Glymm Box: September 2012

Glymm Box: September 2012

I just joined Glymm at the end of August for three key reasons: 1) they had previously received largely favourable reviews on beauty forums, blogs, and consumer websites, 2) they ship to and/or within Canada, and 3) they were the only monthly subscription service that I could instantly subscribe to. The latter, I would argue, is one of Glymm’s best features. We’re a culture of expected instant gratification when it comes to shopping. Having to join a waitlist with an indefinite length, getting sucked into the pathetically elitist “those with invitations only” purgatory,  or subjecting ourselves to the “check back next month” merry-go-round are not only annoyances, they’re three prominent examples of bad business platforms. (Which is something I could write an entire book on, but I’ll spare you.)

For those new to monthly box subscriptions, Glymm is one of many “beauty box” services in which, for a small monthly fee, you are sent a box of beauty samples (and sometimes full-size products) to try out at your own leisure. Julep, which Kyuu previously reviewed, is another such service.

Beyond the points specified above, another reason Glymm appealed to me was its focus on luxury beauty brands. Me, I’m a bit of a snob – not socially, but in regards to what I put in and on my body. While I love a deal just as much as the next person, I prefer high-end and dermatologically tested cosmetics, regardless of the cost. After looking through Glymm’s list of featured brands, I was fairly confident it was worth purchasing a monthly subscription. You can also cancel at any time, which is another positive. My logic was that I’d try Glymm for a month and if I liked what I received, I’d keep my subscription. If not, it’d be canceled. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, and all those clichés.

Glymm ships their boxes on the 10th of each month. Mine arrived between the 20th and 22nd of September, which isn’t too bad for snail mail. Upon opening a very cute black box, this what what I found inside:

First off, I really liked the textured, white cosmetic bag. It seems to be of good quality and fairly sturdy. The perfect thing to include in a travel tote or gym bag. A girl only needs so many totes, however, so I do hope Glymm switches it up every few months or all my friends will be getting cosmetic bags for Xmas. (You’ve been warned, girls.)

First up, sample-size bottles of Evolvh UltraShine Moisture Shampoo and Moisture Conditioner. I had honestly never heard of Evolvh before, which is rare for someone as hair obsessed as me. Instead of reading up on the product, I decided to go into blind (well, beyond reading the on-bottle care instructions). My first thought was, “Mm, smells like vanilla extract.” The scent isn’t strong, however; it’s very mild and non-offensive, which is good noting how many workplaces and organizations have scent-free policies nowadays. I found the shampoo doesn’t lather well in-hair, so I recommend lathering it in your hands first before applying to your scalp. I also found that my hair felt cleanest after two washes.

I actually used this product for a week straight and experimented with the conditioner, using everything from a little to a lot. Unlike most conditioners that can leave the driest of scalps oily if too much is used, I found that Evolvh doesn’t leave hair greasy regardless of the quantity used. For people with dry ends but an oily scalp, this conditioner is a must have.

Even after first using it, I found my hair to be lighter, silkier, and more volumized. Noticeably so. And it’s been tangle resistent regardless of what torture it’s been subjected to (wind, hair-dryer, humidity). Honestly, I’m considering making this my new go-to shampoo/conditioner duo. Upon reading the product’s “what it does” literature (see below), you might find yourself thinking, “No hair product can do all that,” but it somehow has for me.

Taken from Glymm’s online shop page:
• For dry hair that needs moisture. Turns straw into silk.
• For fine hair that needs volume.
• For curly, thick or coarse hair that needs softness, manageability and less frizz.
• For color that’s more vibrant. Reduces fading.

Verdict? Highly recommended.

Next up, Villainess Whipped Body Cream. To me, it smells like Krispy Kreme donuts – the scent is light but distinctly sweet like vanilla icing. The texture of the cream is also consistent with whipped homemade icing, so this entire venture  could end in a confusing urge to walk to the nearest pastry shop. Due to the small sample bottle, it was hard to get enough on my finger to easily apply it to my skin. When I finally did, it was quickly absorbed by my skin and did not leave any residue or a greasy sheen. And hot damn, it moisturizes well. Due to autumn’s rapid temperature changes, sweaters, and cranking up of the heaters, my skin sometimes gets a little dry, especially my elbows. I usually use a moisturizer after I shower every day, but by the end of the day, my elbows are once again mimicking sandpaper. I substituted Villainess the other morning for my regular body cream (applied a small amount only once) and went 48 hours with elbows so silky that I could barely believe they were attached to my forearms. No lie. So without a doubt, this product is highly recommended.

Bentaberry Super Moisturizing Face Cream for Girls. Right from the get-go, I had two quips with this product: 1) I only knew what it was (i.e. face cream) because I’m fluent in French and, let’s face it, not many are, and 2) no where on this product does it say Bentaberry – you know, the brand name.

Dear Bentaberry’s marketing team,
Here’s an idea: shorten the names of your products and just maybe you’ll have enough space to include your brand name because, without that, good luck establishing yourself.
P.S. If you’re going to try and sell your product in any English-speaking country, you may want to take the time to place a translation somewhere on the bottle.
P.P.S. The back of the bottle is blank and empty. I’d try placing a few English descriptors there, but that’s just me.

All sarcasm aside though, this product didn’t make an impression. The cream is scent-free, which is what some people look for, and the texture is pretty standard for face-cream (white, thin, not too runny), but my skin only felt slightly oily by the end of the day, not hydrated. Granted, I’d probably have to use it for more than three days to get “more accurate” results, but I’d honestly prefer to use a product the leaves me with a clear, fresh face, not a shiny one. Overall, not recommended.

Lastly, La Fresh Waterproof Makeup Remover 100% biodegradable wet wipes. I haven’t had relatively good experiences with biodegradable anything lately, so maybe I’m just plain unlucky, or maybe certain industries should start to re-evaluate their chemical formulas. Nevertheless, these makeup remover cloths are perhaps the worst I’ve ever used, and I’ve used many over the past decade. In all actuality, I’ve used many over the past month, so congratulations, La Fresh, on your massive failure.

These specific cloths were for eye and lip makeup, although one might reason if it can remove the heavy makeup girls use in those two areas, it should be more than capable of taking off foundation, blush, and primer. Apparently not. My test also proved it couldn’t even take off more than 25% of my eye makeup, and I was only wearing regular black mascara – it wasn’t even waterproof or long-lasting. So not only did this cloth leave my eyes looking like smudged black holes and coat my skin in a greasy residue, it also caused a stinging sensation, eye-watering, and fluent profanity. What a charming product. Doesn’t work and it causes pain. A+.

Considering I had to immediately wash my face with hot water to remove the irritation, leftover makeup, and greasy residue, this item is definitely not recommended.

Overall, however, this was not a bad box, and I did find three (of five) products that I loved and would definitely use in the future. The items also complimented one another quite well. Not only were they staples in properly treating your hair, scalp, and skin, they also had a similar sweet vanilla scent (or lack there-of), allowing the products to blend well if used in conjunction. For that, Glymm deserves props.

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