Topbox: January 2013 Privé Box
Topbox announced in December that in 2013 they would be starting a new line of Privé boxes. Boxes that – instead of featuring a smorgasbord of products and brands – would feature products from a single “luxe” brand. To give subscribers a taste, January’s Topbox was a Clinique privé box. A scrumptious taste indeed.
This, by and large, was a gorgeous box with some very useful products that work. Most every year Clinique wins a gross number of awards for skincare, and this isn’t because they’re sleeping with the judges. Their products are well-tailored to various skin types, cleanse well, moisturize great, and keep people coming back. As for Topbox, the product selection was quite nice, but I do query their attestation that they “tailor each box” per subscriber. Keep reading to see why!
This month subscribers received a travel size eyeshadow mirror combo, 2 travel size cleansers, and a various skin sample (I receive Repairwear). Personally, I like the branded Clinique packaging, but it does fly in the face of 1 of Topbox’s 3 website mission statements, namely, “Reuse. Our luxe boxes are purposely free of branding, so you can easily reuse them for gifting or housing those hundreds of lip glosses you’ve been meaning to organize” (source). Whoops. Dropped the ball there, kids. Like said though, this box made a very nice first impression; I was quite pleased upon unwrapping it.
Clinique Rinse-Off Eye Makeup Solvent: Like with most liquid cleansers, saturate a cotton ball or cotton pad and apply to eye area. Afterwards, it’s suggest that you rinse the eye area well (wait, how does a normal person do this without an eye wash station?) and tissue off before applying additional makeup. The product is oil-free and thus allows immediate makeup application. You know, after the rinsing. With your hypothetical eye rinse station. (Despite this, you may find that you do not need to rinse the area or that “rinsing” can be done by soaking another cotton ball in water and gently wiping the area.)
The texture was soapy, scent free, and very similar to Estée Lauder Gentle Eye Makeup Remover. It also appears to evaporate quickly, leaving little to no residue on skin. After 2 quick wipes, the formula removed 80% of my eye makeup easily, so it works quick and requires little fuss.
Clinique Rinse-Off is pricey but on par with other luxe brands’ versions thereof. Unlike some, however, Clinique’s works well. I find these products are best for individuals who wear a lot of heavy and dark shadows, liners, and mascaras. If you wear relatively light makeup, it may be in your interest to buy a pack of drug store brand makeup removal cloths instead. Significantly cheaper.
Sample Value: $12.00 CAD for 60 mL (2 fl. oz.)
Regular: $25.00 CAD for 125 mL
Clinique Clarifying Lotion for Dry Combination skin: Although labeled as a clarifying lotion, this product is in fact a cleansing liquid. To apply, soak a cotton ball (or pad) and sweep over face and throat twice daily. It’s easiest to apply in the morning after waking up and at night before heading to bed.
I’d argue this Clarifying Lotion is best for individuals who want a deep, sanitizing clean. The kind that burns out pores and slaughters any residual bacteria just hanging around on your skin. If that’s what you want, this product is extremely effective. If you want a gentle clean, however, this product is too harsh for you. Upon applying it, the scent of ethanol is exceedingly strong, which is a turn off for me. No surprise, this product is extremely flammable, so keep away from any source of ignition.
As it offers a deep clean, I found this product tingled and burned while being applied. I don’t use harsh cleansers though and I rarely experience impure settings (by such I have prissy, pampered skin). Nevertheless, if you work in a dirty, toxic, or muddy environment, this cleanser may be what you need. If you also wear a lot of foundation and primer, this product will help remove all trances and deliver a pore-deep clean.
My one beef with Topbox this month is that they sent me a product for Dry Combination skin when I have Normal skin and have thus stated as much on my Topbox beauty profile. There they dropped the ball. Luckily, I know people who will appreciate and use this product more than I ever could.
Sample Value: $4.80 CAD for 60 mL (2 fl. oz.)
Regular: $16.00 CAD for 200 mL
Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle & UV Damage Corrector: I virtually have no visible UV damage or fine lines. Because I’m 24. And live on an island where sunshine is a commodity. So while I cannot attest to the long-term benefits or results of using Repairwear (although in 12-week clinical studies, 63% of participants apparently saw results similar to that of dermatological laser procedures), I can tell you about my immediate experience.
I was expecting a cream, but Repairwear is actually a semi-transparent, watery lotion. It should be used sparingly as a little dab can cover a lot of face. The serum has the lightest of scents – minty almost – and is barely noticeable. What is noticeable is pleasant. After rubbing into skin, it dries and leaves skin feeling soft, light, and residue-free.
Like all anti-aging “repair” creams, nothing can work miracles no matter the price, and while $57 is pricey to some, other creams of this nature can cost upwards of $300 (e.g. Chanel). Clinique is a scientific and trustworthy name, though, and if you take that into consideration, Repairwear has a mid-to-low price range for its product type.
Sample Value: $13.30 CAD for 7 mL (0.24 fl. oz.)
Regular: $57.00 CAD for 30 mL
And lastly, Clinique Colour Surge Eye Shadow Duo in 02 Like Mink. One of the great things about this duo is that it not only comes with an in-case applicator, the case is also a mirror. Perfect for the busy woman who needs compact makeup with all the accessories attached. Me, I threw it in my gym bag as I’m also looking to put my makeup on as quickly as possible post-workout with minimum fuss. My gym bag isn’t huge either, so I love a product that takes up little space.
Like Mink is a very complimentary colour duo for individuals with light skin (like moi), and it makes for a gentle, classy eye; what some refer to as the “natural look”. The pigment has a slight shimmer, too, which adds warmth.
The mirror smudges easily but also cleans just as fast, and the applicator is strong and effective. Price wise, I’d argue $25 is too much for two shades of eyeshadow, brush or not, but you’re paying for the product composition, brand name, and versatility. When you factor all that in, the value isn’t too off-putting.
Sample Value: $16.00 CAD for 1.6 g (0.05 oz.)
Regular: $25.00 CAD for 2.5 g
In total, this box was worth $46.10 CAD; a very pretty value for a $12.00 subscription. In addition to a great value, 3/4 samples were travel size and provided multiple uses – another plus. Diversity was a little questionable as they included a makeup remover and a facial cleanser, two products even I’ll admit to letting overlap when being financially aware (just make sure your cleanser is eye-safe). I did take note of the “eye beauty and care” theme this Clinique box had though, so the products did compliment one another for the most part. As always, I personally feel Topbox should do like most other beauty box subscriptions and add a 5th sample. For that reason, they’ll always score ~4/5 in Quantity.
Beyond that, I was very pleased with this box and will be keeping my subscription for another month. I just hope February’s Topbox manages to wow me, too. Until next time! xx
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