Marie Claire The Parcel – Winter Edit Unboxing/Review

The Parcel is the box with which I have experienced the highest highs and the lowest lows. It’s on the pricier side of boxes I am subscribed to – a single box costs $30, although there are significant discounts as you subscribe either seasonally for $25 a  box or $99 for a year’s worth like I have, and you can pair it with the magazine should you choose to – and given I have it for a year, I’m not really here to be disappointed overall. Last season left a really sour taste in my mouth.

I’m in hospital at the moment, so I was set up to really enjoy this box. Thankfully it delivered on being the bright spot I needed, and also provided a few weirdly useful things that would have ordinarily been boring, but came at the perfect time.

As per usual, the parcel is presented beautifully. In terms of straight out value, you never have to worry about getting $30 worth – it’s whether or not the items are of usable quality and perceived value. The box is shrink wrapped and nothing is broken, and unlike last month, it doesn’t smell ridiculously intense and overpowering. There’s also a great little booklet explaining what everything is, what is costs and how to use it.

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Atrocious hospital lighting does not make for good photo quality

Colgate Optic White High Impact White (full size is 85G for $9.99; this is 21G so approximately $2.50 and I’m not using a calculator so let’s go with my rounded up maths) – Toothpaste would ordinarily be a super boring thing to put in a box, but I’m in hospital and I made the mistake of grabbing the first travel sized toothpaste I could find, and it is HORRIBLE. I generally use Colgate, so I am incredibly grateful for this. I wouldn’t say no to whiter teeth, so hey.

MOR Rosa Noir Hand & Body Milk (full size is 500mL for $39.95,  my box is no longer with me but I believe it’s around 50mL or $4) – I’m on record of not being a fan of how heavily scented MOR’s products are, but this one surprised me by being actually quite subtle. It’s a lovely lightweight formula that seems to still do a decent job of moisturising, so even though it’s still heavier on scent than I generally reach for, I’ll definitely use it up. Once I finish one of my other three million body lotion samples.

Garnier Wake Up Cream (full size; 50mL for $19.95) – A full size face cream is a nice inclusion, and this is actually a really interesting one that I think will please a lot of different skin types. Again, heavier on scent than most creams I go for, but a really interesting thick cream formula that feels light and almost whipped on the skin. It claims to be “fatigue fighting”, and I’m about to undergo a change in medication that will mess with my sleep cycle, so I’m definitely willing to give it a go and work it into my skincare rotation.

Rituals Cosmetics Fortune Oil (full size is 200mL for $18; this is 20mL so $1.80 in value) – I actually used this tonight! I had never used a shower oil before and I was all out of tiny Lush shower gels for travel/hospital, so this was a much nicer alternative to the antibacterial generic hospital stuff. It smells orangey and woody, makes a really sparse foam but spreads beautifully, and leaves the skin super soft. I don’t think I’ll get many uses from it – it pours out pretty quickly – but it’ll make this hospitalization a lot nicer.

Klorane Shampoo with Quinine and B Vitamins (full size is 400mL for $20.95; this is 25mL so like…$1.30) – This Klorane creation is for adding thickness and strength, which isn’t really something I go for in my haircare – my hair is weirdly thick, although I do lose a lot of it from meds. I use mostly colour haircare at the moment, so this will get put in the sample bag to get used eventually.

Nivea Sensitive Caring Micellar Water (full size; 200mL for $9.97) – Another full size. A while back I declared I had reached micellar saturation (unless it’s tiny bottles of Bioderma). Another bottle was literally the last thing I needed. At least I’ll never have to buy it again? I haven’t tried this one, so it’s something new. Maybe it’ll blow me away and I’ll prefer it to Bioderma, or at the very least prefer it to the Garnier.

Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector (foil sachet – the full size is $13.95)  – I actually love the oil free version of this for beach days, but I was never a fan of the original. I’ll try it again, because why not?

John Frieda Frizz Ease Forever Smooth Anti-Frizz Primer (full size; 100mL for $16.99) – I feel like we could just call this a leave in treatment and not need to be buzzwordy and call it a primer. I’ve mentioned that I don’t really do much with my hair, so this will probably go to my sister, but I appreciate the full size and I do have very frizzy hair and I’ll probably give it a go.

The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate (full size is 50mL for $69.95; this is about 7mL so it’s worth around $9? Maths, man) – I spoke about this briefly in my most recent empties post, because I work at the Body Shop and I’ve been using it for about six months. I don’t personally necessarily go for the latest advances in stem cell technology, because I’m not really about gimmicky skincare (fun as it may be), but all I know is that this stuff makes my skin feel amazing. It gives the kind of hydration my skin needs without any kind of heaviness or stickiness (the kind of things that deter me from using serums), and seems to have creams absorbing faster on top of it. I find that when I’m using it I get a lot more compliments on my skin, and it’s one of the only products I can say that for. It’s definitely not cheap, but I accidentally got hooked on it. I’ve already got a big bottle of it, so this little one has gone straight to my mother.

Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm (full size; 4.25g for $12.95) – I got mine in “Sweet Violet” and ordinarily I’d  insert a swatch but there is literally no pigment to these tinted lip balms so I will not bother. It’s a little waxy but softer than most stick balms, and it smells nice. I’ve been addicted to the Epically Epic lip balms which come in amazing scents and melt beautifully into the lips, but the one I brought to hospital (Snow Angel) has a strong peppermint flavour that I can’t use around meal times, so it’s nice to have something simpler on hand. As a lipstick girl, I don’t often do the lip balm thing, but I’ll never say no to them.

 

Overall, the box had about $75 of my badly calculated value, which is probably actually lower than most of the parcels I’ve received. There were no big ticket fancy Estee Lauder serums or severely underwhelming $40 lipsticks (god damn it Gilded Cage). That said, I am way happier with its perceived value than the last box because there are no $40 lipsticks with formulas that I hate in colours I won’t wear or $20 soaps that give me migraines or $20 nail polishes that I won’t use. Nearly everything in this box is something I’ll use, except maybe the hair stuff, and the Drops of Youth that just so happens to be something I’m already into. I’ll get around to some things eventually, but I was surprised by my enjoyment of the lotion and the face cream. I’ll give the micellar water a go.

It’s not as overwhelming of a success as my first box (Zoeva brush! Paula’s Choice Vitamin C serum! Trilogy Cleansing Balm! Swisse Deep Sea Toner Spray! Man, what a box), but it’s definitely not making me regret my subscription. Let’s give it a 3.5/5.

 

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