There is a lot of hype surrounding monthly beauty boxes such as Glossybox, Boudoir Prive etc. For those who haven't heard too much about the concept you basically pay a monthly sum of £10 (plus p+p) and every month a small box of "goodies" is delivered to your door. A mish-mash of beauty products, hair products and (rather underwhelming) perfume samples is what I found in both cases. I was not overly impressed, but I was content to hold out for another month's subscription to give both another chance.
Then I discovered Carmine.
My first impression of the sleek black box (which is much stronger and sturdier than the girly pink boxes from Glossybox and BP) was definitely positive. I like the fact that Carmine has deviated from the pink, the look is edgy and elegant.
So on to the contents of the mystery black box..
I was surprised and impressed with what I found inside my box. There were some familiar brands and some new unfamiliar ones which was great for me as I love to try new products.
The Trind Nail Repair Natural formula is applied like a normal nail polish onto bare nails. It strengthens and protects your nails which is probably great for those who have weak, brittle nails. I was fortunately blessed with rock hard, strong nails which rarely break so I have had little use for this product but I would love to hear reviews from anyone who has actually used this!
I absolutely love body butters, moisturising creams and anything that makes my skin feel smooth and soft, so the Balance Me super moisturising hand cream was a pleasant find in my Carmine box. The formula is not greasy at all and it leaves my hands feeling super soft and silky. The smell is a typical aromatherapy oil type smell which I personally am not fond of. But it's not so overpowering that I can't overlook it because the cream itself works wonders!
The Fratboy all-in-one shadow/blush from The Balm is my favourite product from the Carmine box. The colour is a peachy/coral/apricot toned blush which can also be used as an eyeshadow. I've even used it on my lips on top of a little lip balm (to create a creamier consistency). The colour brightens up my complexion when used as a blush, although you do need to use the product with a light hand as the colour pay-off is pretty intense. The small compact fits neatly into my bag without feeling heavy or bulky, although since using it I haven't needed to touch up my blush at all. The swatches show up a little more pink than the actual blush looks on my skin, the right swatch is blended while the left is the product unblended.
The Caudalie quenching sorbet creme has a great creamy consistency and really refreshes my skin. I haven't used it too much yet, but I am quite content with the product so far.
I found it almost impossible to photograph the swatch of the Daniel Sandler Eye Delight shimmer dust which I received in the shade "Ice" (Carmine also gave samples of the shade "Peach" in some boxes). Personally I am not too fond of glitter when it comes to make up, however I can see myself using this in the inner corners of my eyes and under my waterline to bring a look from day to evening.
Overall I would say that Carmine wins hands down over Glossybox and BP. Saying that, I remember how excited Glossybox customers were after the release of their first box (containing the full size Nars "Orgasm" Illuminator). I really hope the excitement is not short-lived with Carmine as it was with Glossybox. I guess I'll have to wait for the next one to find out!
Do you subscribe to any beauty boxes? Which do you prefer? Do you think they are worth the monthly price?