Monday, 27 June 2011

June Glossy Box - My Thoughts

I had never heard of Glossy Box until Leanne from Obsessive Cosmetics Disorder posted about the company a while back. Although I had no idea as to what would be in the boxes, I loved the concept as I can't easily get access to new and more niche luxury brands due to living away from the cities. In the past I have resorted to buying sample sizes of products I am interested in from eBay, so I felt that Glossy Box had read my mind.
For those of you not already familiar with Glossy Box, here is a brief explanation. For £10 a month, you are sent a box with 5 luxury products in a variety of sizes, most generous samples. You don't pay postage and the idea is that gradually the boxes will be adapted to suit the individual.

I placed my order/subscription (you can cancel at any time) a couple of hours after the May box sold out and I can't tell you how annoyed I was when I saw a full size Nars Orgasm illuminator in it! However, I waited patiently and on Friday morning I got a pleasant surprise when my June Glossy Box arrived.

My June Glossy Box - £10
It came beautifully packaged in a lovely box (which will be put to good use for my craft storage) filled with black tissue and wrapped with ribbon. Most importantly though are the products. This is where I was a little disappointed. The contents were as follows:
  • OPI Designer Series Mini Nail Lacquer in what appears to be a silver colour. There is no name on it but I have a full size silver one and it seems identical to that.
  • Bio Effect EGF Serum in a large sample size but again, no ml measurement given.
  • Batiste Original in a 50ml size
  • Lalique Perles de Lalique Eau de Parfum 4.5ml
  • Abahna White Grapefruit and May Chang Bath & Shower Gel 100ml
I assume that in the same way as the Nars Illuminator was meant to be the big draw in the May box, the Bio Effect Serum fills that role in the latest box. The full size serum costs £125 but I would be more impressed with its inclusion if I didn't know that Bio Effect had offered free samples worth £30 to applicants not so long ago. I haven't tried the serum so can't comment on that but British Beauty Blogger has a great review here.

The shower gel smells nice and I've used it in the bath a couple of times, but I wouldn't purchase a full size. 250ml retails for £17 so at just under half size, I suppose the value is reasonable for the 100ml sample. It is a brand I've never heard of and having had a browse of their website they seem to have some lovely scents so in that way Glossy Box have done what they set out to, introduced me to a new brand.

The perfume sample is an EDP and at 4.5ml, larger than the usual vials. Again, I haven't tried it yet and I know nothing about Lalique but having looked up the price of the full size, around £50 for 50ml, the sample is worth about £5. I hope that Glossy Box continue to use harder to find perfume samples as that is the one product I find difficult to buy from blog reviews alone as scent is so personal. Fingers crossed for some Jo Malone or Illuminum in the future!

As I mentioned above, I already have a couple of the OPI Designer Series colours and have a comprehensive collection of their ordinary colours (think 3 figures). Considering the theme of this month's box was Summer Essentials, I thought the silver colour was an odd choice. It screams winter to me, but each to their own. What would have been more impressive would have been a full size or even a miniature of the most recent Pirates of the Caribbean Collection. That way I would have felt more like I was receiving the latest offerings from brands, rather than products left over from previous seasons. As the shade is not named, I suppose there is a chance it may be from a future OPI release, but it looks suspiciously like a DS colour I bought last year full size so I doubt it.

Finally, Batiste. It is somewhat ironic that the product I had the biggest issue with is the one I like the most. I seemed to have been blissfully unaware of the cult that is Batiste but after trying it last night, I can now proclaim it a miracle! I have been really suffering with my hair since coming off the pill last September. A week later, my hair was oily and lank, and that was right after washing. I tried different haircare ranges and a lovely friend sent me some American SLS free products to try which helped for a while, but seemed to lose effectiveness after a few washes.

I had lost all hope of ever being able to wear my hair down as it looked such a state, but one spray of the Batiste solved this. I cannot believe I never thought about using a dry shampoo before. I may have a degree in Classics but I freely admit I am an idiot. The only problem with the Batiste is as a brunette, I look like I have grey hair. Tomorrow though I will be rushing out to buy the full size brown version. Problem solved.

Judging purely on the box, it definitely has the novelty factor. I mean who doesn't like receiving a beautiful package of surprise goodies through the post? However, the May box seemed vastly superior in terms of contents and value. The Nars Illuminator and full size All For Eve Lipstick far outshine this month's offering. However, I will wait and see what July brings, giving Glossy Box one more chance to impress before I cancel my subscription.

Finally, I thought I'd flag up another issue that I have only just been made aware of. I know that a lot of bloggers were sent out complimentary Glossy Boxes as samples but I want to make it clear I was not one of them. I paid for my subscription and as a result, I got an email from them a few days ago about some recent changes. Apparently the free postage is only for the first 4 Glossy Boxes, I think they put it as a thank you for having faith in them from the beginning. From September each Glossy Box will cost £2.95 more, to account for postage.

I may be wrong but I don't remember anything about originally postage being free for just four months. If I had known this I would definitely have thought twice about it. The cynical part of me can't help thinking that Glossy Box has had a lot more customers than they anticipated as they sold out of May, June and July boxes. As a result, maybe they think they can up the price, and postage is one way to do this without looking totally money grabbing.

With the original cost of £10 a box, the postage increases this price by nearly a third. Unless the boxes rapidly improve and they start doing the personalisation they initially promised, I will be cancelling my subscription after the last box with free postage. I had high hopes for this venture but they are rapidly falling. The email left a bad taste and my opinion of the company has gone down significantly.

I hope that this review has given you a better idea of what the Glossy Box scheme as a whole as well as an insight into what the June box contains. Do let me know what you think of the contents and the idea behind it. Would you hand over £10 for the box now you know what is in it? Is anyone who is already a subscriber upset about the postage charge? I know that Glossy Box is available in Germany and Birch Box is a similar scheme run in the US. Do you pay for postage in those countries and how have you found the contents of your boxes?

NB - Having been away from blogs and twitter for most of the week I wrote this before I saw a number of posts already on Glossy Box and the differing contents of some of the June boxes. Fee at has written and excellent post showing oyu the contents of both the May and June boxes and is well worth a read. I do think the huge difference between a full size Rouge Bunny Rouge Lip Gloss and a large sample of shower gel is not on, even if the products are different the value should be the same. I'll still be sticking with lLossy Box until September though so will keep to posted on what next month brings (hopefully a bit quicker this time!)


  1. I'm one of the subscribers to glossy box (also Douglas Box and Boobox- the idea was to see which was the best and cancel the others after a couple of months) in Germany and I have to agree with everything you said here about the contents.

    Looking back at the contents of these boxes as far as they go in all cases the first two, which were in spring, were fantastic (full size kiehls face cream, laura mercier pressed powder, Rouge bunny rouge lipgloss, exclusive anny nail polish...) but the June ones are very disappointing In comparison. LOTS of tanning towellettes, tanning oil, hair gel, body cream and small perfume samples, none of which are any use to me. Beautiful packaging in all cases though, I can't help wondering how they wrap things that well for the price.

    I get that it's summer but if the contents don't improve within three months I'm cancelling.

    As far as I know there are no plans to start charging over the 10 euros for postage but I'll be looking out for any announcements on that now...and presumably the personalization thing would kick in if you review the contents on
    the website, which shows ten items per month, with five being put in each box. I don't really like that idea though as for various reasons I won't be doing reviews and I can see that meaning I get tanning towellettes and body cream ad infinitum while five star reviewers get the rouge bunny rouge and kiehls stuff.

    that was way too long but there was a lot to say, I was initially very excited about it but only two months in and as you say, the novelty factor is already the only thing keeping me on board. The more I think about it the more I think that subscribers will just working as marketing lab rats and paying for the privilege, which sounds harsh but with this in mind, If this month's isn't a blip, I can think of other ways of throwing 10 euros away!

    Good to see a post here which has some real thought behind it, and doesn't just advertise the service in the simplistic and overexcited way I've seen elsewhere.

  2. I think your skepticism is healthy. I'd be wary of price gouging so soon after launching them, as well. Feels a bit petty tome. I think there's a US version of this, but I am not interested. I don't really like samples. That might sound crazy, but the only sample I want is for something I really want to try, not something some company thinks I should try. I look forward to reading more reviews from around the globe on these things but for now I'll remain a spectator. :) Thanks for your honest review.

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  4. So interesting! There are a few companies about to launch somethng similar here in Australia, and it will be interesting to see if the boxes go the same way. Very cheeky up-ing the price four months in!

  5. I think the concept of Glossybox is great but unless they really come up with stunning brands I think there will be a lot of disappointment. I've seen that Abahna shower gel in TK Maxx for around £7 so I don't know if it's worth full price.

    I also think it's cheeky to put up the price by £3. If they underestimated their costs they should eat the loss and improve their customer service. Then in January when most prices go up for other things they could justify it.