Seems I’m doing lots of reviews lately, and I know that I am. I just like talking about stuff that I like and occasionally I get asked to check something out.
Don’t worry, I’ve got some good ol’ fashioned bloggy posts coming up soon, plus some more images of Melbourne which I’ve been dying to share.
But today I’m finally putting up a review of the August bellabox.
For those of you who aren’t in the know, bellabox is an Aussie version of the UK “Glossy Box” and the American “Birchbox” and “Glam Box”… and I am sure there are oooooodles of others. bellabox seemed to be a good price for some pretty nifty samples. At $15 a month (that includes postage, fyi), you get at least five samples of some pretty exclusive products. From my observation of the first box I’ve received and comments from others, it’s pretty worthwhile as they throw in the occasional full-size samples, the value of which can totally make up for the cost of the box.
Anyhoo… This is what the box looks like:
I must admit, the packaging is rock-solid. No flimsy wrapping at all. The Bella Box comes in another postage box so it’s a solid little parcel that arrives.
Here’s how everything’s wrapped:
Before you even open the tissue paper, you get to read the card which gives you the theme of the box as well as a breakdown of what’s inside. Kinda cool.
And this is everything inside the box!
Ok, onto the good stuff…
Click the linkydink to read more – there’s lots of pictures and writing!
The first thing I tried in the box, naturally, was the lip balm. It comes in two varieties, Lemon & Mint and Lime & Ginger. I got the ginger one which I was happy about as I really don’t like mint. The product is actually edible rather than just non-toxic. The blurby on the card says “made from a 100% natural, edible and food active recipe”. It’s like wearing ginger spice cookies on your lips. Can we say “Nom!”? Anyway, I loved it. It’s got a somewhat dry texture in application but feels smooth once you have it on and it’s not at all sticky. It’s also tinted and the colour is a very nice neutral/natural shade which will work on anyone.
If I were to change anything about it, I’d make the texture a touch more creamy.
This product is not available in shops, however you can buy the lip balm from bellabox for $24.95. And it looks like I got the full-sized product as a sample so this pretty much more than makes up for the cost of the box for the month! Would I buy it? Probably not at that price. Too expensive for what it is, even though it is rather nice.
I’ve never actually tried something and disliked it as much as I disliked this shampoo and conditioner. Now, I’m not a huge fan of rose-scented anything so this product was already going to be a downer for me. I think roses are very pretty but you can keep the smell of them to yourself – same with lavender. The rose scent in these samples was enough to make me feel dizzy while I was in the shower using them. Not cool and certainly not “calming” as the blurby says. I am fairly particular about what goes on my hair due to a problem I had a few years back where I lost pretty much half the volume of my hair over the space of about 18 months. When I find something that’s gentle, I use it. This stuff isn’t gentle. My hair felt stripped after I used the shampoo which made me nervous. The conditioner was ok and seemed to put the softness back but when my hair was dry it looked much worse than it did before I even got in the shower – and that was after three days of not washing my hair, including a morning gym session! It was dull, lifeless and what I like to call “clumpy”. I rinsed that shit out of my hair for ages but when my hair was dry, if I squeezed a handful of strands together, they literally clumped together like there was 10 days worth of oil build-up. Not. Cool.
Considering a full sized (500ml) bottle of this stuff costs $40 EACH! (the sample sizes were 50ml), I would expect my hair to be glowing with health and I would also expect it to rub my feet and make me a cup of tea.
Thanks, but I’ll keep using my $7.99 bottles of Herbal Essences Classics.
Back to stuff we like. And I love LUSH. This stuff smells heavenly. I was worried when I read the blurby about it that said “sweet rose and lemon” for the reasons stated above – namely not liking rose scents, but I don’t pick any of that up at all. It’s a mix of nutty vanilla and coconut that reminds me of that Banana Boat sun-tan oil but not as intense. It does have rose oil listed as one of the ingredients but it’s masked by the rest. I used this stuff on my legs after shaving and my elbows and OMG… love. The sample size is very generous at 45g of product so you get a decent try of the stuff but I know the next time I’m in the city (hopefully working) I’ll be grabbing a full-sized can which is 225g for $29.99.
It’s probably not very fair of me to review stuff like this because I have very sensitive skin – to the point where the lightest version of Oil of Olay causes chemical burns on my face. Kid you not. However I did try the cleanser and was pleasantly surprised that it did not burn my face off. It’s got a really fresh lemony-lime scent that I like though it was on the strong side. My face felt nice and smooth after using it and not dry which often happens with cleansers and I.
I wasn’t so brave with the moisturizer though I did put some on the back of my hand and… well, wow. The scent is much more subtle compared to it’s cleanser sister. My skin is so smooth and soft and even a little plumped up… and you can tell a little goes a loooooong way, which it should considering a full-sized bottle at 50ml retails for a whopping $105.00. Yes, that’s ONE-HUNDRED-AND-FIVE-DOLLARS. Would I buy it? Hells no! But… if you’ve got the money to burn on such things, I’d definitely try it out. The cleanser is sold in a slightly bigger size of 120ml but still sells for $44.00. You can get both at bellabox.
There’s not much I can say about Aveeno. I’ve used it for a while, even before getting this sample. It’s always been good and does what it says. It doesn’t burn me (which I have trouble with these days) so it’s a keeper! It’s fragrance free and goes on smooth. The sample size I will keep in my kit bag as it’s a handy 29ml size. The regular full-sized bottles are 354ml sell for around $12.99 at your local grocery shop or chemist. I get mine from Coles.
This is the only thing from the box that I haven’t used – mostly because I don’t like drinking stuff like this. The manbeast will probably try it and I’ll post what he says later. They usually come in a box of 30 sachets and sell for about $17.80.
So yeah… that was August’s bellabox. I can say I’m quite happy with the samples (well, not the shampoo and conditioner, obviously) and the amount of product you get to try. You also get a little discount voucher for a freebie if you buy anything from the bellabox shop. I might keep my subscription going for a while. Everything I’ve reviewed here are available online at bellabox or locally.
You can join up with bellabox for monthly or yearly subscriptions and they also have a male version as well – if you want to get your boy-toys to review stuff! Somehow I don’t think I will be able to convince the manbeast to try it.