October Bellabox 2016: Unboxing and Review

Receiving a subscription box on the 4th of the next month is not ideal. I’m not sure whether everyone got it late or whether I was one of the few, because by the time it got to me, all of the contents had been well and truly spoiled on the Bellabox instagram.

It was a case of being spoiled by the spoilers, I suspect. We knew we were all receiving a lip product and there were three possibilities: the Laqa & Co chubby pencil, which I’ve received in a box before; the UB Cosmetics tint stick or a Shanghai Suzy lipstick (!!!). Did I allow myself to hope for the Shanghai Suzy offering? Perhaps.

Let’s unpack.


Universal Beauty Cosmetics Tint Stick (RRP $19.99) – So of course, I got the tint stick. This is probably a more “universally” appealing product. I enjoy Shanghai Suzy lipsticks because of the intensity of pigment, whereas this one is all about delivering a pop of colour through that marker application that goes on thin and without being too much. It’s nice, but it’s not me at all. I also hate the marker style lip tints, which are notoriously fast in drying out and messy on application, but I do commend this for the flexibility of the tip and for actually transferring colour to the lip without being a thick, glossy product. I don’t know how often I would use this, but I did swatch it on my otherwise bare face:


Pretty, but for my longwear colour, I prefer a little bit more of a high impact than this subtle stuff. I can definitely see the appeal.

Skin Republic Brightening Vitamin C Mask (RRP $7.99 – 1 mask) – I’m not hugely into sheet masks and I am perpetually wary of products boasting Vitamin C as their main claim, because I tend to be pretty easily reactive. I have had success with low concentrations, and I’m certain that  this falls into that category, but I also very rarely can be bothered with sheet masks apart from after hospitalisations or plane rides.

Neon & Co Leave In Ampoule Shot (RRP $10.00; full size)- I’ve never used an ampoule for hair, so I’m keen to try this. It smells beautiful, and I still have the tiny bottle of hair oil from this brand I got in an earlier box that at the time, I wasn’t into, but have since become a bit of a fan of.

Cetaphil Daily Advance Ultra Hydrating Lotion (Full size RRP is $9.95; this is 10mL so worth a little more than $1) – I appreciate that this lotion is fragrance free (thanks for acknowledging my gross sensitive skin) but it’s so boring that I might change my skin type on my profile so I stop endlessly receiving cetaphil and physiogel over and over. Just for some variation (and to see if it actually changes anything). It says non-greasy, but it’s that weird light texture that feels oddly slick on the skin like the Avene, that I hate.

Batiste Dry Shampoo (50mL RRP $4.95) – I received my least favourite Batiste scent – Cherry – but this is my favourite dry shampoo because I am bad at hair it’s great to keep it presentable in between washes. It’s the best I’ve found for actually managing oil (vs. ones like the Klorane), regardless of white cast, which I find easy to work through. It’s a great size for travel.

Dermal Therapy Heel Balm – This is on the card as a bonus, but it’s nearly a 30g sample tube and I’m always here for a good size foot cream sample because my feet are always gross. I’m going to Hawaii later in the month, so I need to get them looking good.

The card also mentions the Virgin Wine Club discount card, which I rolled my eyes at several times. I’m happy with cheap moscato that tastes like juice, thank you.

Not a bad box, despite my initial disappointment over the lack of Shanghai Suzy lipstick. Weirdly, I’m most happy with the hair product and the foot cream, which were not the big draw cards of the box. The lip tint might come in handy for low maintenance days like today,  and I’ll probably end up taking the dry shampoo on overnighters. Not so keen on the Cetaphil or the Vitamin C mask, but no box hits all the targets.

I will say, the sneak peaks I’ve seen for the next box – that I saw before this one arrived – actually seem pretty good. It looks like a few Innisfree products, which I’m keen to have a play with, and then one from a selection of Luma cosmetics products. Knowing my luck, it might be a lip gloss, but it’s always nice to have a nice broad spoiler category like that. I’d give this box a solid 3.75/5. Yeah, we’re rating in quarters now. It’s happening.

October Empties 2016

What’s spookier than looking at my rubbish?

Lots of things, probably.


Bioderma Sensibio H2O – This is the 250mL size and it took me an extremely long time to finish. I can basically pour it straight into my eyes without any burning, and it’s the only micellar water I’ve had that experience with (I’ve tried garnier, simple, nivea). It does a great job with stubborn makeup, but if I’ve had a particularly heavy day, I will follow with an oil. It is, however, expensive as hell, so if you’re not particularly sensitive, it might be worth it to go with a cheaper alternative. I keep acquiring them, so I use them to take off lipstick or face makeup, but I find that Bioderma is by far the one that goes the furthest and for me, works the best. Repurchase? They had an anniversary edition that had the 500mL and the 100mL bottles together for about $40, which I bought because this size is $32.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Body Wash – Old packaging from before they did the recent switch-up. I use this mostly to wash my hands, because it’s anti-bacterial, but I will wash myself with it if I’m breaking out on my back. I’ve had it sitting around for a while, because I don’t use it up as quickly as I go through shower gel I use on my body. Repurchase? Probably not for a while – I have so many shower gels. I went a bit wild with the next one.

The Body Shop Pinita Colada Shower Gel – Reviewed here. My sister and my mother are both hooked. We have a Lush Christmas shower gel going right now, and it’s nice, but it’s just not the same. Viva la pinita colada. Bring it back. Repurchase? I have two more on hold, but it’s out of stock most places. Some might still have it!

The Body Shop Calming Aloe Night Cream – Good, basic hydrating night cream. It’s not that heavy, so during winter I use it with an oil. It doesn’t irritate my skin and I like it and it works for me. Repurchase? Persistently .

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Lip Butter – Peppermint chocolate. This is fine. I didn’t find it especially moisturising in the long run, but it did an ok job day to day. About the standard. Repurchase? No

Brite Organix Raspberry & Vanilla Masque for Frizzy Hair – I spoke about the mask for coloured hair in my August empties, and I flipping loved it.  Similarly, this mask is lovely. It smells like heaven. My hair felt wonderful. I’m working my way through  the range, and each packet gets me about three uses. Repurchase? Eventually, probably. I’m currently using the tea tree and mint one, which I don’t like as much.

Simple Kind to Skin Cleansing Wipes – 51st verse, same as the first. Gentle, effective, lovely. Repurchase? Yes.

Simple Kind to Eyes Eye Makeup Corrector Pen – I received this in a Lust Have It bag all of two months ago? It worked fine to clean up underneath wings, but that was about all, and it was near impossible to clean. It dried out after about five uses, and was more hassle than it was worth. Repurchase? Honestly, I prefer just using a pointed cotton bud dipped in micellar water.


Kleenex Anti Bacterial Wipes – Blah blah blah, they get gunk off of my hands. They do it well. Repurchase? Yes

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleansing Wipes – A lot of people apparently love these, but I didn’t like them. They didn’t get the makeup off? They just moved it around a little bit. They were in a bellabox. Purchase? No

Target Essentials Cosmetic Pads – My favourite cotton rounds. Target is a pain to get to, but they’re cheap and they go a long way and they’re way softer than the swisspers. Repurchase? Yes

Lush Shooting Stars Soap – Thought I’d go for the Christmas collection. This smells really nice dry, but it’s kind of generic citrus when in use. I’m still going on it. Repurchase? No. I have a Halloween soap for after this and it smells so much better.

Cocofixation Facial Wipes – These didn’t do much, but they were nice smelling. Purchase? No

Fortune Cookie Soap Steam Me Up Scotty in Serenity – Good occasional treats, make my shower smell like lavender, nice for the loser with no bath who misses out on bath bombs. Repurchase? Who knows

Diptyque Philosykos EDT –  This is a very very expensive perfume that I received a sample of in my Mecca Beauty Loop box, and it smells nearly identical to one I already own. If you’re into The Body Shop’s Italian Summer Fig, they are dead on in terms of fragrance. It’s beautiful and I love it, but I don’t need it. Purchase? No, because I own three thousand perfumes and I don’t need one that is the same as one I own, no matter how much I like it.

Baimeni Hyaluronic Eye and Face Serum – Also talked about this in that August empties, and my thoughts are much the same. I didn’t like it as much the second time around, but I did still enjoy it. Purchase? Probably not.

Sephora Teint Infusion #14 – I thought I’d like this foundation, because I remember liking the YSL fusion ink. It did just tend to settle into the pores on my cheeks, which doesn’t usually happen, and it wore away pretty quickly, but I loved how it felt on my skin. Purchase? No

The Body Shop Atlantic Seaweed Cream – Really enjoyed the feeling of this cream, but it doesn’t give me the moisture I need and if I want a really light moisturiser I’m not going to pay that much for it. Purchase? No

Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation in 0.5 – This is possibly the worst foundation I’ve ever tried on my skin. The oxidisation is wild, and it’s so cakey and unforgiving. It settled into literally everything on my face – blemishes, dryness, pores…things I had no idea were there. It wore away strangely, and dried me out, and honestly it was just a big no. Purchase? Hell no.


Lust Have It October 2016 – Unboxing and Review

Can I blame terrible, terrible photos on the fact that I’m undergoing a particularly stressful and traumatic time in my life? I’m going to do it anyway. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


I was initially extremely taken aback by this box. The combination of brands and packaging was not promising. It’s a lot of brands that Lust Have It defaults to, things I’ve moaned about before, and box pet peeves.

Thankfully, the initial irritation faded out into a pretty overwhelming satisfaction on the backs of a couple of surprisingly lovely products. I didn’t get a photo of the info card, but I’ll include the prices and pertinent information. I’ve also done what I did a few months ago where I check the products information against the website, which did result in additional grievances I probably would have been able to  live in ignorance of.

Colour cosmetics swatches, first up!

mPrincess Melting Maple, ETC Pure, Medusa’s Makeup Loverboy

mPrincess Mineral Eyeshadow (in the shade Melting Maple; full size; RRP $16.99) – I’ve received a blush (I adored it) and foundation powder (surprisingly okay) from this brand before, so while their quality has been consistent, I wasn’t excited by the eyeshadow sneak peek. That said: this shade, Melting Magpie, is stunning. It is like molten copper. Loose shadows are not normally my thing, but thankfully it adheres beautifully – this is a dry swatch – and it’s definitely a colour I reach for, despite my reluctance to use loose shadows. My only gripe with this? The discrepancy between the product shot of this on the website and how it looks in person. Usually, I don’t mind that too much, but come on:

“Melting Maple”

Like…are those even supposed to be the same thing? Come on.

L’oreal Infallible Makeup Foundation (Random valueless mystery item, of which I was given “Golden beige” which is hilarious) – I’m not really going to comment on this, and I’m fairly sure this foundation is in completely different packaging now. How old is this weird foil sample?

mPrincess Small Eyeshadow Brush (RRP $19.50) – This feels like a pretty standard synthetic small shader brush, but it is nice and soft. For what it’s worth.  I will always take brushes. The description does say that it is flatter and more precise than the medium eyeshadow brush, which doesn’t appear to exist on the website. So. You know.

ETC Lip Liner (I got 004 Pure; full size; RRP is apparently $4) – I don’t think this product actually exists anymore. The website they list on the card is the Gosh cosmetics (the other drugstore brand that’s been popping up recently as “coming to Australia) website for Denmark (???), which only has the Gosh cosmetics liners in their lip liner section. To actually find this liner, I needed to independently search for this product name, which has had all product information erased (it still exists cached) and isn’t categorised. It’s a real shame, because this liner is actually a really pretty nude-y rose colour. I tried it on – although that’s not what the “safe not sorry” caution would be, and it’s waxy but still goes on okay and looks nice. It just brings into question not just the products we’ve received from this brand, but also the products Lust Have It are sourcing. I love Lust Have It – their bags are always fun to open, and I’ve found some genuinely cool things in them – but it’s not a good look to have stuff like this in that can’t be sourced. I’m sure there’s a pretty obvious explanation (a la these were repackaged into Gosh lipliners recently and the formula is the same, so these are perfectly recent productions), but it’s something I feel the need to flag as a part of full transparency and a refusal to always talk only about good things. My best estimate is that either a brand sent these because they had loads lying around, because they’ve changed formulas, or Lust Have It have had them sitting around for a while. Either way, not my thing. Still, a really pretty colour if you don’t mind any of that stuff. It’s sealed, at the very least.

Sasy N Savy Pure Creme Rose Geranium Cleanser (2 other sample options; 20mL sample size; seems to be roughly $8 in value since the 100mL size is $42 on the card although is listed as $40 on the website; the brand name is spelled “sassy” on the card but I remember being annoyed at the weird spelling) – Thanks to the normal name of this product, I don’t have to get annoyed at the hundreds of Ns in the name like last time (just say “and”, it’s okay). I really like cream cleansers that don’t strip the skin, so I’m keen to use this as my travel/hospital cleanser. Hopefully the claims of firming don’t mean that it leaves me feeling tight. On dry sniff, the rose doesn’t seem too overpowering, so I’ll remain hopeful.

Medusa’s Makeup Lip Gloss (I got Lover Boy, apparently, and it’s full size; RRP is listed as $12 which makes sense with the exchange rate – it’s $9USD) – I’ve always been confused by Medusa’s Makeup as a brand, because I can’t get a feel for it. I also don’t wear lip gloss. Fuck lip gloss. I appreciate a full size of an American brand, and I would have loved for it to have been a lipstick, but I understand that not everyone digs lipstick like I do. The pink is also like…super pink. I’m not a fan of pink. But still – nice in theory.

So – mixed feelings. I love the eyeshadow, and I really appreciate the inclusion of the brush. Weirdly, I’m enjoying the type of cleanser that’s in there. I like the lip liner as a product, but the actual accessibility of it and the trail it lead me on wasn’t great. The foundation sample is useless and won’t be my colour and I will not even bother with the lipgloss.

I don’t know. I’m a little put off with that whole lip liner thing. It’s such a silly thing to get put off by, but it’s more what’s implied. I’m possibly just in a bit of a bad place and being too negative anyway. That said, most of the contents: not bad.

Bite-Sized Five: Products I’ve Been Thinking About in October

October has been a truly brutal month. I’m only writing right now because honestly, I need a bit of a distraction, and grief is blocking almost all of the inspiration I need to get any of my work done for university. This post might be impersonal, and it might really exceed in the bite-sized stakes, but it’s something.

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream in Light – This is the baby size, and I caved to rave reviews in my quest to find something nice for everyday when I go to Hawaii and for during the awful Australian summer. While I really enjoy the light feeling melding with decent coverage – this isn’t a foundation, but it definitely does a more effective job at covering blemishes than the majority of BB or CC or XX whatever creams – but it is definitely thicker feeling than other lightweight bases I have used, and I do feel like a primer is necessary with this one. When I have used it sans primer, I’ve found it tends to get a little clingy onto dry patches. The colour range is not spectacular and it has quite a strong smell, and I’ve heard a lot of reports of it being not so great in terms of triggering breakouts (I personally can’t comment on this either way). The wear time is alright, and I probably will reach for it more come summer, but I do wish it were a little more fuss-free. I guess that’s the trade-off that comes with wanting some coverage when you’ve got spots and scars and the like.

Physician’s Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum in Ultra Black – My local Priceline didn’t have a Physician’s Formula stand and I’ve also only really heard good things about like two of their products, so I never really paid much attention to the brand. When a new Priceline opened up with a stand, I thought I’d finally give a go to the one product I hear raved about consistently from the brand, especially compared to one of my absolute favourite products – the Kat Von D tattoo liner. It does have a brush tip, which I like on the KVD for the precision it provides, and it is definitely very black. That said, I find it much thicker and harder to control, and I can’t get precision at all. I like using it to get the actual line along my eye, nice and opaque and intense, but if I’m doing a wing, nope. A lot of people call these dupes, and while this will get used, I would definitely not consider them equal.

Teeez Dessert Metals Mascara in Tigers Eye – I got this in my July Lust Have It bag,  and in the off chance that you come across it, my verdict is that it’s fine. Brown mascara doesn’t really suit me, despite the gorgeous packaging. The biggest claim of this mascara is that it is longwear but easy to wash off, which is a claim I’d have to dispute – I find this to be a bit of a pain in the ass to remove, if I’m honest. The wear is decent, but not spectacular. It’s fine.

The Body Shop Down to Earth Eye Palette Smoky Gold Quad – The first of two palettes I wanted to talk about quickly, and my requisite single body shop product per bite-sized five. These new eye palettes launched, and I really do have to commend The Body Shop for upping their game on the eyeshadow front. Each palette – I’ve played with them all – differs in quality, but they are a huge step up from the previous Body Shop palettes in terms of blendability and ease of use. I appreciate the focus on ease of use and simplicity rather than pigmentation, because it’s very in-line with the demographic (not me). I do really love this one. It’s so smooth, and the pigmentation is great in each shade. The individual shades pop out, but aren’t available separately yet. There’s a nice highlight shade (or base, on my skintone), a good deep matte brown, a beautiful satin shimmer gold and a pretty shimmery taupe. I also have the Smoky Brown palette, which has two peach shades, and I can say that the glitter shades are definitely the weakest ones. I’m not so much of a fan of the pigmentation on the plum quad, which also doesn’t go on very plum and has a boatload of fallout, and the black quad isn’t my thing. The palette of eight is a nice mix of the golds and the plums, but I stayed away because I wouldn’t use the black or the plums. I love the nice big mirror and the new packaging and basically holy shit, these are so much better than the shimmer cubes. They aren’t cheap, especially for four shadows – when you compare it to the Zoeva palette, it’s excessive – but you do get deep pans and they are, when you pick the right palette, good quality. I’d say tread carefully, choose wisely (strong recommendations for this one and the brown one, and the grey one is nice on fair skin), but a step in the right direction.

Zoeva Naturally Yours Palette – I recently sold my Rodeo Belle palette, which was full of colours that didn’t inspire me, and was thinking about replacing it with another one because the Zoeva palettes are lovely quality, affordable, and good for playing around with. I went with the full intention of getting a more well known option, like the Rose Gold or the En Taupe or something, but for some reason the Naturally Yours palette was just the one that was calling to me. I know who I am. I know I like bold lips and bland eyes with the occasional pop. Zoeva shadows blend beautifully and their palettes work cohesively and this is just a really easy palette to create the basis for anything. It’s got your creams and your browns of different hues and some great easy shimmers. It’s not a good base-for-any-eye kit in the same way that the Kat Von D Shade and Light eye palette is, but it’s great if you know you want neutral but aren’t feeling inspired. So basically, it’s great for me.

I haven’t got a lot else in me, right now. I’m consumed by a lot of weird emotions and everything feels heavy and slow.