A shade of the dramatic, where different is all there is.

December 2012 Topbox

The middle of the month has rolled around already and that means that my December Topbox has arrived.  After November‘s amazing Topbox, I was so excited this time, I started ripping off the paper in the elevator, I couldn’t even wait to get up to our apartment.  I was pretty surprised to see it in my mail box when I got home from work, considering the boxes shipped out Thursday and it was in my mail box on Friday.  🙂  Thank you Canada Post!

Topbox Review for December 2012

Unfortunately though, that is where my “thank you’s” end.  I was disappointed with sample after sample from this month’s Topbox…and I will tell you why I’m particularly irritated this month.

Box 32 Contents from December 2012 Topbox

Let me start by sharing a little bit of background.  Being a Topbox subscriber, you have the opportunity to fill out survey’s every month so Topbox can better personalize your box for you.  I think this is an incredible feature and is the main reason I signed up for Topbox in the first place.  So you have your standard beauty profile in your account, which is very limited and only consists of about 6 questions.  But, every month, about two weeks after your last Topbox, they email you a survey to help them personalize the next month’s box for you.  December’s survey featured a few different questions, two of which I remember the jist of quite clearly.  One asked if I was suffering from acne breakouts recently.  I answered “no”.  The other question I remember pertained to how often I blow dry my hair.  My answer would’ve been “very rarely” or “close to never”.  I think the last time I blow dried my hair has to be close to 9 months or a year ago.  I have hair almost to the small of my back that dries bone straight, so my blow dryer sits in a rarely opened drawer.

So what were two out of the four samples I received?  Acne treatment cream and styling gel for blow drying your hair.  *sigh*  The spray gel is particularly frustrating because the Topbox card says “for short or long hairstyles” but the bottle itself says for “short” hair.  I suppose if I actually ever blow dried my hair, I could use it for hair my length…but I personally have zero use for this sample.  Thank you Topbox for completely ignoring my survey this month…

If my other two samples had been incredible, I probably wouldn’t have cared so much, but I received another perfume sample…..and a small pigment sample (equivalent to the sizes you can get from MAC or Sephora for free just by asking).  So this month was a complete and utter disappointment for me.  The packaging was cute for the holiday season, but that is where my excitement ended.

Enough ranting, let’s take a closer look at the items I received in Topbox #32:

Kellett Clarifying Acne Treatment 

kellett Clarifying Acne Treatment

5% Benzoyl Peroxide Gel

Dosage: Apply a pea size amount twice daily to affected areas or as directed by physician.  Fair skinned individuals should begin with one application. 

I personally hate these types of packaging for samples, because there is too much product for just one use, but there is no way to reseal them after you’ve opened them.  So it takes some effort to ensure they don’t spill all over the place or dry out before you can even finish trying them out.  I really think it would’ve been great if the samples were instead in a mini bottle or tube.  

These two packets are 3mL each, for a total of 6mL.  The full size bottle available for retail sale is 50mL and costs $75.00.  This sample is valued at a total of $9.00.

Chloé Eau de Parfum

Chloé Eau de Parfum

This perfume sample comes in the cutest little bottle and though it is hard to see in the picture “Chloé” is etched on the top plug which is an adorable touch.  The scent itself is a strong floral, rose scent that smells very fresh and sophisticated.  It in no way smells cheap or “old ladyish”.  It seems to be quite long-lasting in my first experience with it and is quite elegant and classy.  So although I wasn’t at all wanting another perfume sample, this one is lovely.  I just hope I don’t get any more for a few months because my stock pile of perfume samples is growing too large and I can’t keep up!

The full size version of this perfume is 50ML and retails for $90.00.  That means this 5mL sample of perfume is valued at $9.00.  

Goldwell  Style Sign Jelly Boost

Goldwell Jelly Boost spray gel

Easy-to-use spray gel for creating instant body and texture.  

Directions: Spray onto towel-dried hair and finger style.

Full size bottles (150mL) retail for $18.95, making this 30mL sample valued at $3.79.

Ferro Cosmetics “Blush x 3” Mineral Pigment

Whisky Rose Ferro Cosmetics Mineral Pigment

Whiskey Rose swatch by Ferro

Ferro Cosmetics is a brand founded by Celebrity Makeup Artist Krissy Ferro.  They make 100% natural mineral makeup.  Their Blush x 3 line of mineral pigments are multi-purpose pure mineral pigments that can be used on the cheeks, eyes or lips.  Advertised as saying “every shade matches every skin tone”.

The packaging of this sample is a nightmare.  Because there is no plastic cover or anything inside the vial, the pigment gets everywhere.  So as soon as you open it, it spills all over and as soon as you close it the same thing happens – it gets all over your hands and everywhere else in close vicinity.  

To give you an idea of sample size, it is the very close to the same size you would receive at a MAC store or counter.  Except the MAC vials have a much better seal and don’t spill all over the place.  

It was hard to find a value of this sample because there is no measurement of weight or contents on either the sample or the full size products (retails for $17.00) on the Ferro Cosmetics website.  They do however have samples of other products available for sale on-line, so I can estimate that this sample’s actual value is somewhere between $3-4 dollars.  

Bottom Line

Value wise for this Topbox, it is safe to estimate this box at about $25.  But as I’ve said before, it is only worth it if you actually plan to use the products.  Otherwise the $12.00 invested could be better spent somewhere else…

That makes 2 out of 3 boxes from Topbox complete misses for me.  I was really disappointed that my December survey responses were ignored.  I only have one or two more Topboxes in me, before I cancel my subscription.  I really hope January’s box is better!

What did you receive in your beauty box(s) this month?  Does anyone have a suggestion for another Canadian Beauty Box that I might like better?  I’m curious about Loose Buttons, Glymm and Glossybox.  If you are a subscriber of any of those, I’d love to hear if you are happy with the service!  Please leave a comment below or send me an email.

Thanks for reading everyone!



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18 responses

  1. Glossybox is my favourite, but there are alot of drug store brands etc – I will use almost everything from them.

    I cancelled Glymm it was so bad

    Luxebox I enjoy the quarterly, its actually becoming one of my favourites again.

    December 16, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    • Hey Ivy, thanks for taking the time to leave me a comment! I’ll have to do some looking into Glossybox and Luxebox then. I think I’d like to have a second box anyway, even if I do decide to stay with Topbox. They’ve pushed me to the limit though. I really have my fingers crossed for January!

      December 16, 2012 at 9:32 pm

  2. i have never heard of topbox. i have ipsy here in the US – do you get that there? i like that they try to make your box really individual with the surveys, but it doesn’t sound like they did a great job of doing that for you this month 😦

    December 16, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    • Hey! Yea, right now Topbox is only in Canada and I’m sure you aren’t sad about that after reading this post! lol

      Ipsy recently started shipping to Canada now too and I loved the look of them. But even though the box is the same price, we would need to pay $5/month extra for shipping. So I’m not sure it is still worth it for $15/month. Would you pay $15 for Ipsy?

      December 16, 2012 at 9:34 pm

  3. I haven’t gotten December’s topbox yet but right now I am loving Glymm and loose button!

    December 16, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    • Hey Kimberly, I hope that your Topbox makes more sense for you than mine did for me. Thanks for taking the time to comment. I’ve heard mixed reviews about Glymm, some people seem to love it and some people seem to hate it. Loose Button seems cute too though! So many choices. I really think I would like another beauty box subscription, its just so hard to pick which one!

      December 16, 2012 at 9:35 pm

  4. Ugh. I get Birch Box and have been so disappointed with the last few boxes. I sent them an email I was so disgusted. They had no response and you do have a beauty profile with them- they just don’t care.

    December 16, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    • Topbox customer service is always good, but sometimes that isn’t enough. I emailed them as soon as I opened this box to give them feedback. They got back to me Friday night right away, but didn’t have a very good reason…so I emailed them again and imagine I will hear something further today. Or at least I hope so.

      Birchbox not getting back to you at all is completely gross though, that would enrage me to no end!

      December 17, 2012 at 7:52 am

      • They did get back to me- I’m sorry I didn’t make that clear- and it was a nonsense answer. Disgrace- $100 US a year for things I would never use.

        December 17, 2012 at 10:32 pm

        • Oh sorry, I understand what you meant now!

          Topbox got back to me too and their response was them telling me to hold onto the products and when I do need them, to give them a try. *sigh* So frustrating. I can’t wait to try out that hair product 12 months from now…yay.

          I really hope I’m not headed for more disappointment. 😦 Fingers crossed for January!

          Ipsy is $15 a month for Canadians and it is looking better right now than the $12 I pay at Topbox. I love the idea of beauty boxes and I get that it is impossible to make everyone happy all the time…but really…there has got to be some middle ground somewhere.

          December 18, 2012 at 12:36 am

        • I love ipsy. I’ve gotten a lot of full sized products.

          December 18, 2012 at 5:44 pm

        • They really do look fantastic. I think I will sign up for them as soon as I am back from holidays. I don’t want to come back to an overflowing mail box, or returned shipments!

          December 18, 2012 at 6:11 pm

  5. LOVE ipsy (formerly myglam)! The first few were “eh”, but I can’t say enough good things about the last 3. A lot of eyeliner and lipglosses though, but that’s what I like 🙂 This past month was UD 24/7 eyeliner (in zero) and BeABombshell lipgloss (in hotmess). Got Mirabella primer and shimmering NYX shadow too. I should do a post, but I’ve been busy baking.

    December 21, 2012 at 10:06 am

    • I love that their website shows exactly what they have sent out in the past! Really great to help someone decide if Ipsy is for them. I think they look fabulous…and I’m a sucker for eye liner and lip glosses too so that is music to my ears. Honestly, I’d rather pay $3 more than Topbox each month and get a bag I’m totally in love with. I think I will keep Topbox for another month or too, but will sign up for Ipsy starting in February. I’d love to start for January, but we are going on a trip for a few weeks and I’m worried about our apartment sized mail box getting flooded within just a couple of days. *sigh* Ah well, something to look forward to when we are back! Thanks for leaving feedback for me, I need all the help I can get deciding! 😉

      December 21, 2012 at 10:35 am

      • Go for it! ipsy hasn’t disappointed 🙂 have a great vacay 🙂

        December 26, 2012 at 1:13 am

        • Thank you so much, we will certainly try! (We both are sick with cold’s – murphy’s law!)

          I’m excited to sign up for Ipsy as soon as we are back, definitely something to look forward to for February. Thanks for reinforcing this decision, everyone seems to just love it!!

          December 26, 2012 at 11:28 am

  6. Pingback: Topbox’s First “Prive Box” – Clinique « eyemasq

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