Becoming Sleek

Archive for July 2013

I’m starting a new category: Favorites! I was inspired by my fellow bloggers and I decided to feature my own monthly favorites. I will try to limit this to 5-6 items  (about one in each category) to avoid having excessively long posts. Without further ado, here are my June Favorites!

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That is definitely way more than 5-6 items!

1. [Eyes] Essence I Love Stage Eyeshadow Base

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I really love this eyeshadow base, as you can see from my review. I’ve taken to using this everyday and it really helps keep my eye makeup stay put. It’s also quite inexpensive.

2. [Face] Barenaturals Skin Perfecting Primer and Celeteque BB Cream

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I’m going to cheat and put two in this category. The first is the primer I received in my June Glamourbox. It’s a great primer and performs pretty well, even with that horrendous packaging. It’s a mainstay for my everyday makeup. The second is my current favorite BB cream. It performs so well for me and it’s a multitasker as well.

3. [Lips] Snoe Mauve Movement

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I always keep coming back to this whenever I don’t know what to put on my lips. The longetivity and robustness of this trumps everything else.

4. [Skin Care] Celeteque Brightening Tri-Benefit Power Cream and Celeteque Restorative Friming Overnight Cream

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Again another double-item category. These are my current day cream and night cream respectively. I am so far enjoying them, but I am waiting for about a month of use before I write a formal review.

5. [Nails] Dazzle Dry Me d’Forest Queen and BK Nail System Dotting Tool

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Yep I cheated again. I have two items in my nails slot. My newest DD lacquer deserves this spot of course, since green is my favorite and this is such a beauty. My dotting tool also made it, since it helped me do my best nail art so far.

6. [Tools] Artist Studio Brushes

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I have a number of Artist Studio brushes, and by far I am liking them all! The ones I can’t live without are the powder brush, the angled flat top brush, the eyeliner brush, and the eyeshadow brush. I plan on writing a review of these as soon as I complete the collection (I’m just missing 3 or 4).

There you have it for June! Do you like reading about favorites? Should I continue doing this?

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One of my recent acquisitions last July is this interesting product from Sample Room. It’s Colour Collection Vitamin E Lipstick in Kissmark, which is a matte pink shade. Colour Collection is apparently a product of Tupperware Brands Philippines. Yes, the same brand that provided us the ubiquitous plastic containers. I am also surprised to learn that this cosmetics line has already been in production for 20 years. Very interesting!

The lipstick comes in a nondescript black cardboard box. It has the brand, product name/type, and amount in gold embossed in the front, while the ingredient list and instructions for use are at the back and the shade name and mother company at the side.

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The actual bullet is a simple plastic black tube, with the Colour Collection logo at the top and a thin silver band in the middle. More information including the shade name is at the bottom.

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As we saw on the box and on the bullet, there are 4g of product. The color of the lipstick itself is already very matte as you can see here. Here is the swatch on my arm.

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And here is the swatch on my lips. The texture is very waxy, and it does require the aid of a lip balm to help make the application smoother. As this is a matte lipstick, the lips should be properly exfoliated and smoothed out. Otherwise the lines and dry patches will be accentuated by the matte lipstick.

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Here is the look I did using this lipstick (with and without eyeglasses). I kept the look very neutral to emphasize the lipstick. I used my favorite primer and bb cream, then just kept the eyebrows neat. I also used a pale pink on the eyelids and a pale peach blush. I used only one layer of lipstick here, but notice that it is really pigmented.

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I like the fact that it’s a very wearable everyday color. It is school and office appropriate, but at the same time it can be built up to a louder color. It is not very longwearing though, only about 3-4 hours, and definitely will not survive eating and drinking.

I bought this lipstick from Sample Room for 85 points, but it is also available at Tupperware Brands branches for Php330.

Pros: attractive shade; affordable

Cons: tricky application; not very longwearing; limited availability

Were you able to get a Colour Collection lipstick from Sample Room? What shade did you get and how did it work for you?

My next lesson in my nail art journey is my first attempt at gradients. From my research online, I determined that gradients are done with these steps:

  1. Prep nails and paint a white layer on them. (Note: it may or may not involve applying petroleum jelly on the skin around the nails)
  2. Paint adjacent stripes of compatible colors of lacquer on a small damp sponge.
  3. Press the sponge across the nail (one nail at a time!) gently from one side to the other. Do this several times to achieve the color depth desired.
  4. Clean up the skin around the nail with nail polish remover.
  5. Apply desired top coat.

I followed these steps and used the following Dazzle Dry colors: White Lightning for the base, Lavender Parade and Heart of Fire for the gradient. Initially I wanted to use Strawberry Macaron instead of Heart of Fire for a more pastel gradient, but the baby pink wouldn’t be seen when pressed on by a sponge.

Here’s how it turned out.

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The sponge I used is one of the small makeup sponges in the 5-minute Touch Up Kit from Nippon.

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I used petroleum jelly when I did my left hand (using my dominant right), and I thought that it didn’t help make removing the lacquer any easier. Boy was I wrong! When I did my right hand with my non-dominant left, it took me hours to do the clean up! So my advice is DO NOT skip the petroleum jelly.

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It will probably be some time before I attempt a gradient again. Or, I’ll find a faster way of doing gradients without the hours of cleanup required. How do you do your gradients? I’d love to learn from you!

With the release of the July BDJ Box, I now have a total of six (regular) boxes from them. I feel that it is time to do a round up of the boxes I received. The boxes included in this Round Up are the following: November 2012, December-January 2013, February 2013, May 2013, June 2013, and July 2013. I paid the old price of Php480 for these boxes.

As you well know, I love looking at numbers and trends. For the round up I decided to create a table to make it easier to visualize. I listed the products I received in each box. The ones colored green are the products that I use frequently until present; the ones colored blue are the products I use occasionally; the purple ones are the ones I used once or twice; the black ones are the ones I haven’t used; the orange ones are the ones I tried and finished (but haven’t continued using or rebought); and finally the red ones are the ones I gave away. There are also gray shaded items, which denote the sample sized products (non shaded ones are full sized). [Note: You can click on these photos for a bigger size.]

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Here is a summary of the numbers for each category.

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The very first thing I noticed here is the really great trend with sample sized products vs full sized products. Check out this chart.

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You can see that as the months roll along the number of sample sized products decreased while the number of full sized products increased. It culminated in a mindblowing July box that is 100% full sized. This is greatly appreciated! It is quite a good feeling to receive full sized products in my boxes, but I do also appreciate the samples I received especially for the more expensive brands (like Shiseido).

Another thing I noticed is that I started having more “green” items, meaning more items that I get to use regularly. This might be due to several possible reasons: that BDJ is paying more attention to user profiles; that BDJ is including more relevant items; that I have become more open to different kinds of products; merchants are more willing to work with BDJ; and other such reasons. This can only be good, as it points to better and better boxes.

There is really no other conclusion here. BDJ Box is a great subscription box, and is growing more so. Even with the increase in subscription price (Php480 to Php580) I think it’s still worth keeping a subscription if you can afford it.

Disclaimer: All of the BDJ boxes mentioned above are paid by me. The analysis above is purely my own opinion.

After that debacle with the red french tips, I decided to try a different experiment. This time, I wanted to try some tiger stripes. The theory seemed pretty simple: just paint alternating long narrow triangles on the sides of the nails. I got the inspiration from Super Gorgeous. For this I decided to use Dazzle Dry Forget Me Not for the base, and Sahara for the stripes.

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I used my BK detailing brush to paint the tiger stripes. It was actually a bit more difficult than it looks. I realized about 8 nails in that I was putting too much pressure on the brush, resulting in a triangle with a line in the middle. I had to paint over that line again to create a solid triangle. The results aren’t that horrible though. Check it out.

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There’s evidence of that phantom line in some of the triangles, most notably the topmost one in the middle finger. I do like how it turned out. Forget Me Not and Sahara go well with each other, resulting in a vibrant nail art. It was no accident that I wore a lot of blue outfits while I had this on my nails.

Here’s another shot of the nails.

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What do you think? I would love to get your feedback!

One of my new kikay kit additions is Barenaturals Vitaminstix in I Love You This Smooch. I got this from my June Glamourbox, and is one of two products from that brand.

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According to its label, this lip tint/balm contains shea butter, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, and vitamin E. It comes in a thin plastic tube with a twist-bottom and contains 4g of product. This variant, I Love You This Smooch, is a sheer but buildable shade of pink that leans heavily onto red.

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Check out this swatch on my arm. The left side is a single swipe of product, while the right side is three layers. You can really use it just for the balm purposes by putting just one layer on the lips, but you can also use it for its color by building it up.

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And here it is on my lips. I used the “color” version by putting several layers. I really like how it looks and feels on my lips. It’s not sticky at all, and it does keep my lips moisturized as promised. The color doesn’t really survive drinking or eating. I also like the fact that this is locally produced, and uses natural ingredients. I haven’t seen this brand in supermarkets or drugstores, but they have an extensive online shop at Zalora.

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Pros: moisturizing; buildable; locally produced, locally branded; available online; very affordable

Cons: not long lasting

Two weeks ago I decided to try french tips but with a twist. I’ve been looking at tutorials online for doing french tips and found two ways to do it. One is through the tape method where you put some transparent tape over the rest of the (already polished nail) before polishing the tips with white. The other is just freehanding the white tips.

I decided I didn’t really want white tips, so I chose a different color combination. For this lesson I used Dazzle Dry Love’s Secret for the base color and Electrifying for the tips. After putting the base color on all of my nails, I first attempted to do the tape method on my ring finger. Alas it didn’t work. Not only did the tape not able to completely shield the base color (the tip color bled onto the seams), but the tape was also too sticky and took away the base color when I lifted it up!

I had to resort to the second method, which is freehanding the tips. After redoing that ring finger, I slowly drew the line at the tip using the actual polish brush. It wasn’t that bad. Since Electrifying is quite pigmented, one layer on the tip was more than enough and I didn’t need to go over the same line twice. After doing all the tips, I applied the Top Coat. Check out how it looked (the last one is an outdoor shot).

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Not bad for a first-time french tip! The only drawback to the freehand method is that the polish extended onto the skin behind the nails, and I had to do a lot of cleanup with polish remover afterwards. The strange thing is that for some reason, my right hand looked better (applied by non-dominant left).

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Lessons learned from this experience:

1. French tips would be better for longer nails. The longer the better, to prevent the freehand-applied tip from bleeding onto the skin behind the nails.

2. Red tips might be a bit alarming. My husband thought that I had wounded fingertips!

How do you do your french tips? Can you give me tips (hee hee) in the comments?

I usually only have 20-30 minutes to prepare in the morning, since I have a 2-hour travel time to go to the office. This is what I would usually wear on my face on a typical office day.

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Skincare (no picture, sorry!), applied in order

Celeteque Hydration Facial Wash with NMF

Celeteque Hydration Hydrolyzed Moisturizing Mist

Celeteque Brightening Tri-Benefit Power Cream

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Makeup

Primer: Barenaturals Skin Perfecting Primer

Foundation: Maybelline Pure Liquid Mineral Foundation

Eyebrows, Eyes, and Cheeks: Nichido Naturally Beautiful Palette

Eyebrows (2nd layer): Ellefar Princess Chiffon Eyeshadow Palette in Bronze

Lips: Avon Vitaluscious Lipstick in Reviving Red

What’s your basic office look?

Oooh, a back-to-back unboxing! Welcome to my unboxing of the July BDJ Box, the last box in my quarterly subscription. Wanna see what’s inside? Come take a look!

Warning: Photo-intensive post ahead. [You can click on each image to make it larger.]

First of all, the package came in an unusually large box. I wasn’t able to get a picture, but the usual BDJ Box was accompanied by a nondescript white soft cardboard box wrapped with brown paper. It was heavy! I’ll show you what’s inside that box later.

As usual, upon opening the BDJ box we are greeted by the welcome cards and the inspirational stickers. There didn’t seem to be an official theme name, but I gather from the welcome card that this box is for “me time”. It’s for self pampering, and the products are made to reflect this.

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It was accompanied by a second welcome card which is exclusively from the brand Dove. I grew up with Dove and to me the name suggests gentle soaps that will not irritate skin. BDJ included a whole range of full-sized (!!!) Dove products with this month’s box for us bellas to try. This apparently is what is inside that white box.

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The third welcome card is an announcement regarding the BDJbox website revamp. They will be opening their online store soon! I’m excited to see what they will be offering.

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Here are the backs of these three cards (click to embiggen).

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Let’s move on to the contents of the boxes! First let’s tackle the usual BDJ box. This is in the order listed in the first welcome card.

First up we have the largest item in the box: Beach Hut Sunblock. It’s in an aerolyzed form which means it’s a spray-on type of sunblock. It makes application very easy and fast, and it has pretty good spf (SPF75, PA++). No more excuse to skip the sunblock even in the rainy season, especially if you expect to be out in the sun for a significant part of the day. I like Beach Hut and I don’t mind receiving this one at all. It’s definitely full sized, and costs Php399.

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The next three items are makeup! Woo hoo! This first item is Too Cool for School BB Cream. Have I already mentioned that I am addicted to BB creams? I am so happy to receive this, and from a brand I have never tried too! I’ve been hearing a lot of good reviews of TCfS and I can’t wait to try this out. It is the travel-sized version (I can’t find how much product is in this tube) so it’s really cute and tiny. It comes sealed for your protection, and has a 12-month life upon opening. The full name of this item is actually TCfS After School BB Foundation Lunch Box with SPF37/PA++. A BB cream-foundation hybrid? Very intriguing! This costs Php219.

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Next we have Enchanted Eyeshadow in After Midnight Smokey Eyes. It’s a 3-color eyeshadow palette which comes in a black plastic case with a nice big mirror and a two-ended sponge-tip wand. It promises to be long wearing. My palette comes in baby blue, light gray, and dark gray. Now that I have discovered a use for the darkest shadows (as eyeliner!), I am quite happy to receive this palette. I am an eyeshadow enthusiast and I never pass up the opportunity to learn more. This is also a brand I’ve never tried nor heard before. This palette costs Php179.

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Lastly for the makeup items is Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in 075 Lollipop. This is my second Revlon lippie. This looks like it’s going to be a nice bright pink, and as it is lip butter I assume it will be quite moisturizing. This costs Php525.

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Next we have a foot-pampering item, the Foot Appeal Mask. It is what they call peeling socks, which I assume will exfoliate the feet and reveal soft new skin. I haven’t tried anything like this before, so this is bound to be an interesting experience. This pack costs Php279.

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Lastly we have a Sure Slim Voucher. Forgive me if I don’t sound excited about this, because I’m not. This is the third voucher I received for the same service and I still don’t intend to use it. What is weird in this iteration is that it’s included as an actual item according to the welcome card, and is assigned a value of Php1500 (since it’s Php1500 off for the weightloss program).

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Before I move on to my impressions of this box and the value review, let me present to you the contents of the Dove box. It contains eight full sized items: (2x) Damage Therapy Intense Repair Shampoo (180ml, Php106 each), (2x) Damage Therapy Intense Repair Conditioner (180ml, Php108 each), Damage Therapy Intense Repair Treatment Mask (200ml, Php235), White Beauty Bar Moisturizing Milk (135g, Php52.50), Whitening Original Anti-Perspirant Deodorant Roll-on (40ml, Php83.50), and Whitening Original Anti-Perspirant Deodorant Aerosol (169ml, Php170). Quite a huge haul! As I have received the L’Oreal set last month, I will probably not need hair care for the rest of the year.

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My impressions of the July BDJBox: What I like about this box is the amount of makeup products. I love receiving new items to try, and I like the fact that two of the three are brands I haven’t tried before. I also don’t mind receiving the Dove pack, since I like the brand. The only thing I have against it is that it’s a household name and is pretty much known everywhere. It’s just fortunate that I’ve never tried the hair care line so this is a good opportunity to do so.

Value review: The total value of this month’s box is Php2570, including the Dove pack but excluding the voucher. (I refuse to include voucher values!) This is over four times the value of the subscription cost of Php580! The Dove pack alone is worth Php969 already. Subscription is still quite worth it!

Did you get a July box? What are your thoughts about it?

With great excitement I present to you the unboxing and first impressions of the BEST Glamourbox ever released. Glamourbox has promised about four times the peso value of this box, and they have delivered! Let me show you what is inside.

Warning: Photo-intensive post ahead! [You can click on each photo for a bigger size.]

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After seeing that nice limited edition cover, check out what’s inside.

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You will be greeted by this welcome card, which emphasizes that this box will focus on the vibrant hues and playful shades of Avon’s latest makeup collection. Those magic words! Any beauty enthusiast will have a big smile for those.

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Opening it up you will see what is so far the most packed of any Glamourbox. There was barely any filler confetti.

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And here is the back of the welcome card. This is a most amazing list, and again is the longest product list compared to previous Glamourbox welcome cards. From here on I will present to you the products in this box, starting with the full sized ones. As usual it will be in the order shown in the welcome card.

First up we have the Avon True Color Eye Shadow Quad in Purple Pop. This is one of the two boxes carefully enclosed in bubble wrap to prevent breakage (see the third photo above). It is a palette of four shades of purple, and we are given an application guide at the bottom of the palette. It comes with a big ass mirror and a dual-ended sponge applicator. The purples are such nice shades and I can’t wait to try them out. I think this will do perfectly for a date night. This is of course the full sized quad, and costs Php449.

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The next is Avon Supershock Max Waterproof Mascara in Black. This may be the biggest tube of mascara I’ve ever seen, and in such a gorgeous shade of teal too! I wouldn’t be ashamed showing this in public, it’s so unique! This promises a big boost to volume (up to 15x!) and also claims to be waterproof. This comes in great time as we are now smack dab in the middle of the rainy season. With great tube comes great wand size. It has a pretty large wand but with short bristles. Hopefully I don’t stab myself in the eye with this, as with my experience with previous large-wanded mascaras. There cannot be doubt that this is full sized; this costs Php420.

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Next we have Avon Skin Goodness Moisturizing BB Cream SPF20/PA++ in Nude. This was my favorite item upon first glance at the contents of the box. I’m in a BB cream phase and getting to try new ones is really exciting! It claims to be enriched in vitamins and is suited to sensitive skin. Yay that is such a great promise, and I will definitely do a review of this soon. The only weird part I found with this is that this tube is apparently already full sized, at only 18 grams. This is even smaller than the Celeteque BB Cream, which I thought to be already small for a BB cream tube. I did some initial swatching below. This tube costs Php399.

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The second box in the bubble wrap is next, Avon Ideal Luminous Blush in Peach. It has pretty much the same casing as the eyeshadow quad above, with the same big ass mirror (a good thing I assure you!). Unlike the quad, this comes with the cover cling wrapped. I cannot tell you enough that I’m happy to receive a peach shade! My blushes are usually pinkish or reddish, so getting something I don’t have yet is quite a thing. It even comes with its own blush brush, and it doesn’t seem half bad! The bristles are soft enough and doesn’t seem too small; makes this a perfect portable blush. I haven’t swatched this yet, but I expect to write a review for this.  It is full sized and costs Php370.

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We have another tube next, the Avon Ultra Glazewear Lip Gloss in Fiery Red. This is perhaps the one that I wasn’t excited about the most. I am not a big fan of glosses mostly because they disappear too quickly and gives me a sticky feeling while I have them on. This one promises to moisturize without the sticky feel, so I’m willing to give it a chance. That bright red shade is a little frightening though, but one needs to break personal barriers so I’ll soldier on. This is full sized and costs Php299.

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Next we have another lip product, the Avon Ultra Color Lipstick SPF15 in Hibiscus. Now this is more like it! A proper lipstick, and it has spf too! It comes in what I think is the usual Avon lipstick bullet, black plastic with silver accents. Hibiscus is such a nice girly pink, and seems like it will be a great everyday color. Swatches and review will definitely be done for this. It’s full sized, and costs Php379. (Pardon the shot of the shade name, it’s upside down haha!)

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I’m going to skip the next item in the list since it’s sample sized (I’ll do those for last) and instead discuss first this Avon Anew Vitale Day Cream SPF25. Although the box promised makeup items they did include some skincare, which I will definitely not complain about! I love skincare, and I’ve been particularly curious about Avon’s skincare line. This particular one is a day cream with spf, always a bonus when something is a multitasker. It comes in this tiny jar which feels like glass. It is full sized at 15 grams, and costs Php399. I am definitely trying this out and will report back on how it performs.

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Finally we come to the sample sized items. The one I skipped earlier is Avon Ultra Moisture Rich Moisture Seduction Lipstick in Red Kiss. I got two tiny tubes of this, which I thought was pretty cute! They look like toys! This promises moisturizing while providing an intense color. I confess I’m still afraid of red lipsticks, but I’m willing to give this a shot. This tiny tube is 0.5 grams, and costs Php62.50 each (full size 3g, Php375). As an aside, some boxes will contain the other variant, Ultra Color Rich Mega Impact Lipstick SPF15 in Charged Cherry. I gather it’s similar to the Hibiscus one in formulation, but is also dark red like the one I got.

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Lastly we come to a bunch of sachet samples. Normally I would have been annoyed to get sachets, but these are samples of the products that I actually wanted to try from the Avon Anew Genics line. The ones I got are two sachets of Avon Anew Genics Treatment Concentrate, one sachet of Avon Anew Genics Treatment Cream, and one sachet of Avon Anew Genics Eye Cream. This line is their anti-aging line. While I am not that old yet, I am starting to look into these and the Anew Genics line is one of my candidates. The Treatment Concentrates are 2ml samples and costs Php119.9 each (full size 30ml, Php1799), the Treatment Cream is 2g and costs Php86.6 (full size 30g, Php1299), and the Eye Cream is 1g and costs Php86.6 (full size 15ml, Php1299).

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There you have it! The glorious box of Avon products, revealed!

My impressions of the Avon Glamourbox Special Edition: If you haven’t gathered by now, I am absolutely in love with this box. SIX full sized makeup products, a set that actually almost completes a makeup kit! You’d probably only need something for the brows, and maybe a setting powder, and you have yourself a complete set. This is perfect for those starting out in the world of makeup, and guess what? You only needed to pay Php595!

Value review: The total value of this box, including the sample sized items, is actually a little above Php3100! What a great value! That’s five times the subscription cost! If you take into account only the full sized items, the box value is Php2718 which is still quite great value. This is a lot more than the usual of about Php1800 per box and it really seems like Glamourbox took the idea of special edition to heart. I’m hoping that they will release more special editions in the future!

Did you get one? What did you think of it?


Who is Becoming Sleek?

A Filipino blogger interested in all things makeup, skincare, and nail polish. She may or may not also be interested in crafting, cats, and food.

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