Bellabox November/December 2016 – Unboxing and Review (The Good, the Bad and the Bellabox)

Being away, I missed my chance to post about my November subscription boxes. Because life is stressful, I hadn’t had a chance to catch up on posts about them, so instead I’ve decided to condense each box into its own post. I haven’t received my December Lust Have It, but Bellabox is here, so it’s time for post that really highlights the highs and lows of this particular subscription service.

November

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It looks like a pretty sparsely packed box, but the contents are actually pretty objectively good. I ended up having small problems with certain things, but in general I can really appreciate this. I don’t have the products on hand, so I’m not going to calculate value.

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Innisfree Super Volcanic Clay Mask – I have actually had the chance to use this twice now, and I genuinely really enjoy it. I love that it’s a clay mask that doesn’t go all out on the exfoliation, because it means it’s not too intense for my skin, and I don’t find it too cooling or drying. I do avoid the more sensitive areas of my face, and find this works best on my nose, where my pores are most visible. It leaves the area feeling matte for an extended period.

Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum – I find this a little stickier than I generally like for a serum, especially compared to something like the Baimeni Eye and Face Hyaluronic Serum. I have actually been using some more actives in my routine to really help with the smoothing that has been the one niggling issue – reintroducing BHA exfoliation and also trying for AHAs that don’t include Glycolic Acid, which seems to irritate my skin – so serum products really do become those extra steps and I really do have to love them to want to integrate them.

Innisfree Orchid Enriched Cream – I like the consistency of this cream, somewhere between light and rich, but it’s pretty heavily scented and I’m wary of using it without my skin being in prime condition. I think I’ll just leave it alone, honestly. Someone else will probably appreciate it.

Luma Cosmetics Lipgloss Wand (RRP $16.95)I wouldn’t have been as irritated by this if it hadn’t dangled the possibility of a sheer lipstick right in my face on the card. Come on guys. I don’t even like sheer lipsticks, but I’d take them in a heartbeat over a gloss. At least mine wasn’t a tube – eugh. I see that other people got other Luma products, and I would have loved to try something else from the range, but I have indicated that I’m a lip product fanatic, so…fine (my kingdom to try a highlighter or one of their eye products). Though the packaging is nice, this has zero pigment on the lips, and while I know some people are into that, it’s definitely not for me.

Tilley Australia Exfolating Soap Bar (RRP $7.95) – Another product where I wish I would have received the other option, because while I dig exfoliation,  I famously loathe coffee. I’m a poor excuse for a Sydney-sider. I do appreciate recieving soaps, because it means I don’t have to buy them, and I will put this in the shower at some point, but on initial smell this bar of soap made me feel so ill that I genuinely did throw up. Granted, I had just got off of a 10.5 hour flight where my intestines had decided to rebel and the entire thing had been spent throwing up, so it wouldn’t have taken much. I haven’t gone back and smelt it since then and I’m sure it’s absolutely fine, but I feel a little scarred.

I’d say my ranking for this box would be a 3.5/5 – some strong items, a few that are harder to come across in Australia (Innisfree is a fun inclusion that I’m lucky to have access to as someone who spends a great deal of time adjacent to some great k-beauty stockists, but not all subscribers will be in that position), a good mix of samples and full size. Just a shame that the two variable items weren’t the ones I would have picked. I guess that’s the beauty box risk!

December

From a totally decent box to a box full of promise but ultimately a let down. Bellabox, you’re a cruel mistress.

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Filled to the brim! Full sizes!! Good sample sizes! A good mix of face and body! If you’ve read any of my reviews on boxes before, though, you might be able to spot a few key warning signs.

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Gilded Cage Charisma Lip Gloss in 81 (RRP $28 for 13mL so although this is full sized, you can get absolutely fucked Gilded Cage. $28 for a lip gloss tube? To be fair, this is listed as on sale for $21 on their website, the only stockist – STILL EXPENSIVE) – I got a Gilded Cage lipstick in a Marie Claire Parcel, and I whinged about it then. Any natural forgiveness I had towards the lipstick I do NOT harbour for a lipgloss tube. Gilded Cage are a confusing online brand with hardly any presence who charge solidly mid range prices – lipsticks at a higher price than Mac or Kat Von D (although it looks like they’re currently marked down from $40AUD to $30AUD, which is STILL ridiculous). They have three kinds of products in weirdly cheap packaging and I do not understand their branding whatsoever. Subscribers did have the opportunity to choose which product they would receive, but naturally I was in America and the choice had expired by the time I woke up in the morning. It was between their cream eyeshadows and their lipgloss tubes and as soon as I saw that, I knew a lipgloss tube was coming my way. The lipgloss itself has the tiniest hint of pigment that would only show when layered and a light – pleasant – berry scent. I’m just irritated at this whole thing, and I’m irritated at the idea of paying $28 for something that feels exactly the same as 90% of the lipglosses I could get at priceline, including the goddamn one they sent me for November. This is just bitterness coming through. I’ll dial it down.

Revlon Professional Uniq One Hair Treatment (RRP $29.95 for 150mL) – I don’t really use spray in treatments like this, particularly when they smell so strongly like salon – it evokes bad memories of my first job as a general workhorse at a salon as a twelve year old – so I guess this will get offered to my sister.

Sunsense Daily Face SPF50+ Invisible Tint Finish (Full size retails for $26.95 for 200mL; this is 10g – sunscreen and water don’t weigh the same, but let’s call it $1.30 value) – I love getting sunscreen, but I have received this in full size before and sadly know that it breaks me out. Otherwise this would be a great, usable item in the box for me! I’d still be kind of annoyed at the lack of resealable bottle – come on, you don’t use this much on your face in one go, and then it’s just messy – but a tinted 50+ sunscreen is a great summer inclusion.

Cetaphil Dermacontrol Oil-Control Foam Wash (Full  size is a weird 236mL for $15.99, and this is 50mL so my bad maths works it out as about $3.40) – While I’m wary of foam washes in general, because my skin dries out really easily from anything too stripping, I’m always keen to try something new as a second step cleanser? It’s also a great size, so if it doesn’t mess my skin up, it would be great for travel.

Pure Paw Paw Ointment in Passionfruit (RRP $4.95 for 25g) – At least I guess I’ll use this? It smells really lovely – I like the scent of passionfruit, though not really the fruit itself. I’ve never really been a fan of the texture of paw paw ointment, but I can always use a new addition to the lip balm bed time line up.

Palmer’s Coconut Oil Formula Body Lotion (Bonus Item – sachet) – I just got a little bottle of this in my Marie Claire Parcel, so I guess I’ll try the sachet and see if I like the product enough to take the bottle away on a cruise with me as my sole body moisturiser?

Body Boss Training Booklet (Bonus item) – Go fuck yourself. Here’s an extract from the first page of this bullshit booklet: “No time to work out? Too broke? Too cold outside? Sorry babe, we don’t want your lame excuses. Give us 100% and we’ll give you an awesome body.” Literally get bent. Negative value. I’m back to Gilded Cage levels of seething. More. It’s insubstantial and insulting and I shouldn’t have to receive this shit if I don’t actively want it. Also their whole trial program is just basic circuit stuff peppered with cutesy name calling. I’m not really understanding the innovation here.

Avon Life for Her EDP sample (Bonus item) – I think I’ve gone off about Avon enough for everyone to be aware of my feelings, but let’s just say that they aren’t super positive and also this perfume smells incredibly generic and I don’t have the energy for it.

I’d generously give this box a 1.5/5. I’ll use the paw paw ointment eventually and I like that it’s passionfruit scented instead of smelling like petrol, and I might end up liking the face wash – who knows? If I didn’t know that the sunscreen was a disaster on my skin, that might be nice too. Everything else was not great.

Ups and downs. It’s how subscription boxes work.

I’m definitely thinking about cutting back one box, either Lust Have It or Bellabox – having already nixed Fortune Cookie Soap – but the choice is pretty tough. While Lust Have It have more of a makeup emphasis and can occasionally product bigger hits (Paula’s Choice BHA! Great blush!), they also tend to send out things that haven’t been in circulation for forever, which makes me pretty uncomfortable. On the flipside, Bellabox have professionalism on their side, and get bigger names involved with better consistency, but they’re so hit and miss. They’re both on probation. I’m figuring it out.

 

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