Glossybox January started 2020 strongly with an interesting box. This month’s theme was “sleep and refresh” which I’d say fits December more than January but everyone has different schedules I guess!
This month’s box contained 5 beauty products as always, of which all were full size, and a snack bar! What more could you want to start the year?
Let’s have a look at the products in more detail. These are short reviews that cover first impressions and experiences from using the products. For full reviews, including ingredient analysis and if I would recommend a product or not, check out: Beauty In-depth Reviews & Ingredient Analysis (all articles here). Bear in mind that these are my personal opinions and that beauty is a very personal thing, we all have different skin, requirements and biological build which can influence things. What worked for me might not work for you and vice versa, please leave your comments below
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BYBI Strawberry Booster
Straberry Seed Oil is one of those ingredients that come up as “the do it all agents” and is said to have many skincare benefits thanks to the cocktail of ingredient goodies it contains, such as vitamins. However, strawberry seed oils are usually dark green in colour and have a light sweet aroma.
This serum which is said to be made by just pure Strawberry Seed Oil, is very pale yellow without almost any scent at all. This makes me question whether this is trully strawberry seed oil, whether it contains other ingredients, whether it was diluted or perhaps undergone some refinement, all of which might affect how effective it is but most importantly, make me not trust this product.
Despite that, it was pleasant to use and the product packaging looks super cute and fitting. It took a while until all of the oil was absorbed into the skin but that’s normal with oils and even though strawberry seed oil is a dry oil, my skin still felt oily for a while. I can’t say that I saw any skincare benefits but that’s expected from using a product just once.
If it wasn’t for the ingredient question mark I would have really liked this product but the ingredient situation makes me feel uneasy. This 15mL bottle is full size, lasts for 12M and retails for £12. SCORE = 7/10
Basic Beauty Tweezers
There isn’t much that can be said about tweezers other than they work well and are thin enough at the end to be easy to use without being pokey painful.
These tweezers look simple and elegant and do the job well. They are a full size item which retails for £15.50. SCORE = 9/10
ModelCo Clear Brow Gel
Clear brow gels can be so helpful if you have long eyebrow hairs as they can keep them together while looking natural and tidy.
This vegan and cruelty free brow gel comes in a simple but still super cute pink packaging. While it looks nice the actual product packaging itself feels very plasticky and cheap, especially when you screw the lid into the main body of the product, it doesn’t screw down in a straight manner and it feels stiff as well.
Nevertheless, the product itself is colourless and almost scent-free. It keeps the eyebrow hairs nicely together without feeling sticky or strange.
This 3.5mL tube is full size, lasts 6M and retails for £14 which is slightly more expensive than the also good Pixi Brow Gel! SCORE = 8/10
BeautyPro CBD Oil Infused Mask
CBD is going to be one of the 2020 beauty trends but don’t worry, CBD is the non-intoxicating part of the marijuana or hemp plants. It has many skincare benefits including anti-flammatory, anti-ageing and skin soothing properties.
This mask contains this ingredient but also some other goodies. It is 100% plant based, water-free, cruelty-free and vegan. The mask is also made by biodegradable bamboo and the packaging is recyclable.
You are supposed to use it like any other mask, on clean dry skin for 15 minutes and it doesn’t require rinsing. I didn’t notice any skincare results but that’s expected, masks shouldn’t really change anything drastically. If masks do that for you then you need to re-evaluate your skincare regime.
Overall, the mask was a positive experience but I wasn’t a fan of the scent which is an off-scent typical to natural products. This is a full size, one-use mask which retails for £5.95. SCORE = 8/10
Naobay Detox Illuminating Micellar Water
This makeup remover works well on a clean face and feels nice on the skin. It struggles a little with a full face of makeup but that’s acceptable, this type of products are not supposed to be used for heavy cleaning duties. The product leaves the skin soft, neither dry or oily and it has a very subtle scent that is hard to determine. The ingredients are not amazing and it contains fragrance but it’s a cleanser all it needs to do is clean!
So, the product is good but let’s talk about the branding because it is very important. The product says at the very front of the bottle “natural & organic” and then “detox” and then “unpolluted”. It’s an understatement to say that as a chemist I cringed but let’s take one description at a time.
Natural and organic products in the cosmetic industry have no proof on their claims. Molecules do not have a history, they do not know if they have come from a lab or nature (although note that even natural compounds have to go to the lab to be purified) and so they do not change whether they are good or bad. A molecule will be good or bad based on its structure and hence chemical activity, not based on where it came from. Natural and organic products (whether food or cosmetics) come with a higher profit margin and that’s the main reason why companies create these products. There isn’t even solid proof for organic food and there are a lot of ethical dilemmas with these types of labelling, for science information check out: Organic food and farming – Scientific evidence, problems and ethical dilemmas
Detoxing is also one of those terms that just adds a higher price tag on the product. The very concept of detoxing your skin lacks scientific evidence to say the least. All this product will do is clean which is a stretch and unscientific to call it detoxing, as this implies that it will remove toxins which it likely won’t.
Finally, the unpolluted term taps on our society’s chemophobia. Unpolluted would mean not contaminated with harmful substances and well all cosmetics would fall under that category. This term almost implies that this product is better than others and that should not be allowed. To find out more about chemophobia check out: The Chemical Misconception – Should we avoid chemicals?
Overall, this product’s branding is very strong around fear and unproven claims and that’s unacceptable. But this is not the only product or brand like this. These types of marketing should be illegal especially when they are not based on any evidence. The product is good, why don’t you let it sell itself? For all the information check out: NAOBAY Illuminating Micellar Water – In-depth Review and Ingredient Analysis
A 200mL bottle retails for £11 which is not that expensive but could be a lot cheaper if those labels where not present. The product lasts for 12M. My score on the product would actually be high if it wasn’t for the fear marketing. SCORE = 4/10
Overall, this month’s box interesting and the products contained were fun to test. A strong first month of the year box indeed.
Initial box score, in terms of products and first feelings = 8/10
Overall box score after product testing (average of product scores) = 7.2/10
Box value = £57.75
Star product = Basic Beauty Tweezers
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Did you get this month’s Glossybox? What did your box contain? What did you think of the products? Have you tried any of the products listed? Let me know your experiences!
For all the details on how Cohorted, Glossybox, Look Fantastic and Birchbox performed in 2019 and which one is worth your money, check out “Battle of the Beauty Boxes – Conclusions from the 2019 Unboxing and Reviews on Glossybox, Look Fantastic and Cohorted”.
For general subscription box reviews see the: Birchbox, Glossybox, Look Fantastic and Cohorted general review posts. For help on how to choose the right subscription box for you check out “Which Subscription Beauty Box is right for you?”. You can also see pictures from all beauty boxes (2017-current) on my Pinterest beauty box board.
I am not affiliated with any company or brand. These are my views and experiences.
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