Saturday, 10 January 2015

Violet Box New Zealand - November and December 2014 + Make your own box

Kia Ora!

Today is something a wee bit different, and by different I mean not Memebox. I feel like I've been neglecting other subscriptions in favour of Memebox, and I wanted to finally start unpacking and using the products. 

I've had an excess of Memeboxes to contend with, and a growing dissatisfaction with the samples and useless products that pop up in other subscriptions. It seems (to me) that Goodiebox, Violet Box and Lust Have It have been lacking recently. As a result I've unsubscribed from all three, and will keep an eagle eye out for something to replace them (other than the Beauty Review box which is currently the most exciting box in my life). 

That being said, let's explore 3 different boxes from Violet Box and see what I got!



Starting with November 2014.



Z'kin Organics Samples - Purifying Cleansing Gel, Rebalancing Lotion, and Line Soothing Serum

The card implies that you should get a full size of one of these products, and receiving a pack like this is uninspiring. I have an overload of samples (especially foil packets), and can't say I care enough to try out these ones. Sarcastic *woooo*.

RRP: $Who cares.


Mirenesse  Velvet Lip Lift Moisture Shine

I've been seeing these around for awhile in boxes, and have been half-way tempted to buy one myself. This is one product I'm happy to receive. I love the packaging, and the colour is a lovely nude - perfect for me!

There were also a bunch of promotional things ($25 voucher, competition, etc.) but they are expired or charge tons for shipping to NZ. Neat idea, but I'm personally not interested.

RRP: $39.95
Full size.


clariSEA Rapid Detox Charcoal Exfoliant

I love exfoliants, and I can't wait to try this out. It suggests mixing it with your cleanser, which sounds like a neat idea. I will be using this asap. I'm also happy that it is a decently sized sample. I can get several uses out of this and decide whether to buy the full-size.

RRP: $18 (full size 118g)
Sample size (unknown - could possibly be full size?): $??


Bloom Boost Lip Balm Stick - Tropical Storm

Lip balm is always a solid product in a box. I haven't tried this brand (or this shape of lip balm), and I love it. The smell is nice, if a bit sweet, and the balm is moisturising and easy to apply. I am happy to have this, and will add it to the ever-growing collection of balms.

RRP: $6.95
Full size.


Eyetini Beauty Eye Cordial Eyeshadow + Base  

I'm very unsure about this one. I don't generally wear eyeshadow this dark, and haven't had much experience with cream shadows. I might give it away as I don't think I will use it much, if at all. That being said, the packaging is amazing! And the staying power of the shadow is impressive too (the swatch below took 5 minutes of scrubbing to come off my hand).

RRP: $23
Full size.


Eyetini Beauty Swizzle Stick Eyeliner

Mine is in black. Seems like every month or two someone is putting a black eyeliner in a box. I haven't yet received the same brand's pencil twice, but I've also never used most of them. Another one for the giveaway pile.

RRP: $23


For a finale, swatches of the makeup. The eyeshadow base (with pretty purple shades hidden in it), the eyeliner, and the lip gloss. There are subtle purple sparkles in the lip gloss, which is rather cute.

Overall, I'll use the lip balm, the exfoliant, and the lip gloss. The rest is not interesting to me. After experiencing the BR box and the multitude of Memeboxes where I've loved every product, I'm not keen to pay $30 a month for a couple of things to appeal in a box. I can't justify the expense.

Total value of November box: $92.90+

Moving on to the December box ...



Designer Brands Lashes - lofty

I don't wear lashes, so these are straight in the gift pile. However, they are cute lashes, not overly weird like some I've seen. And there is an extra strip for when they stop being sticky, which bodes well for multiple usage.

RRP: $8.99
Full size.


Mellow Cosmetics Gel Liner

I've never tried gel liner, for two reasons. A) I don't wear it enough, and B) it looks really hard. This will go into the gift pile too. It does look nice though, and I saw another blogger that thought that the included brush was a good one.

I do think it's annoying that there were eyeliners in such quick succession  (November and December). They are different types of eyeliner, but I don't see how someone can go through that many in such a short time. However I'll be the first to admit I'm not the biggest makeup addict, and may not fully understand the appeal.

RRP: $10
Full size.


Naobay Oxygenating Cream Moisturizer

This is a nice sized sample. The cream itself is thick and smells a little of herbs. This moisturiser is supposed to be good for all skin types, which makes it a great item to include in a box. I won't use it for ages because of my accumulation of Meme-creams, but I'm happy to see this one.

RRP: $69 (full size 50ml)
Sample size (30ml): $41.40


Lonvitalite 24K Active Gold Yulan Eye Mask

This is one thing I'm really really excited about. It's something different, and I'm obsessed with masks anyway. I can't wait to sit down one night and try this out!

RRP: $25.95 (five masks)
Sample size (one mask): $5.19


Coastal Scents Go Palette - Cairo

Wow! A full palette (albeit a small one) is almost unheard of in a box. I almost can't believe I have it. There was a choice between Cairo and Beijing, and I'm stoked to have received this one. I prefer neutral colours, and can see myself using this (when I do have the motivation for makeup). I love that it is a smaller palette, especially as I might eventually use it up (in twenty years maybe).

Coastal Scents is big in the US, but I've never seen it here before. Apparently it produces nice shadows, and I'm excited to try these ones out.
(Bonus picture of my new work dress in the mirror).

RRP: $16.95

Total value of the box: $82.53. That's a good value for the box, and has a couple of exciting items in it. I'm pretty happy with this box, but cancelled before receiving it. I'll be keeping an eagle eye out for the next couple of months and might re-subscribe.



Next up is the make-your-own box that was offered for Christmas. This was primarily to get rid of old stock (so all items from previous boxes), but that's fine. As long as the company discloses that beforehand then I'm happy with that. I too the opportunity to grab things I'd liked in other boxes, and wanted to have more of, or to get an item in a different colour.


Appelles Blackseed Shampoo and Tamanu Conditioner

I loved using this combo, and it did great things for my hair. The smell is divine too! I jumped on the chance to get this again, particularly as it is expensive to buy this  brand from Australia. It was in the July box. 

Shampoo RRP: $18.95 (full size 150ml)
Sample size (60ml): $7.58

Conditioner RRP: $44.95 (full size 500ml)
Sample size (60ml): $5.40


Camille Beckman Glycerine Hand Therapy - Tuscan Honey

I received this in the August box, and loved it so much. I had the Monarch type before, so this makes for a nice comparison. The cream is thick and moisturizing, and leaves almost no residue. It does take a minute to sink it, but feels fantastic after that. Mmmm.

RRP: $No idea as this isn't measured in metric system.
Sample size.


bioderma Micelle Solution - Crealine

I have no idea which box this was in. I have been hearing awesome things about this product, and wanted to give it a go. And all the other option were unappealing by the time I ordered.


LAQA & Co Sheer Lip Lube - colour unknown

I got a bright pink version of this in the July box, and have loved the formula (if not the colour). I jumped at the chance of a more nude version to play with. The formula is just as great, and the slight mint smell is quite nice too.

RRP: $20
Full size.

Evelyn Iona Lip Gloss - Susan

I also really loved my Maple lip gloss, and absolutely jumped at the chance to get this in a different colour. I would have been happy to have a backup of Maple, but it wasn't available. This colour is lovely too though so I'm happy. This was in the August box.

RRP: $20.50
Full size.


Swatches of the Laqa & Co Lip Lube and the Evelyn Iona Lip Gloss. I love how they are similar colours.


Here's the whole collection, for comparison sakes. Highly recommend these to everyone!


And swatches again. Laqa & Co on the left, Evelyn Iona on the right. Maple doesn't show up much, but you can see the gloss part. 

Total value of box: $53.48+

I really liked that I had options in this do-it-yourself box. I think this is a great way for Violet Box to get rid of excess stock, and for us subscribers to grab extras of products we liked. I loved being able to choose things for this box (although I was late to the party and had limited options), and it was a win-win situation for everyone. 

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Overall, I'm feeling rather meh about Violet Box. The DIY box was great all around, and I think that it was a great way for the company to tap into customers personal needs, as well as allowing people who want to try out there service a chance at a 'naked box'. 

The monthly boxes have been average for me personally though, where I'm excited about one, two, or even three items in the box, but the rest are things I'm automatically giving away or not interested in trying. It might be that I've reached saturation point for subscription boxes (as tends to happen at the 12/18 month mark). For this reason I'm taking a break from Violet Box (and most of the other subscription boxes) and will do some other blogging activities. I also have a major backlog of Memebox openings to write up. 

I'm planning on doing a Project Pan, and talking about my skincare routine, and writing up the empties posts I've been neglecting recently. A mammoth empties post is likely to pop up sometime in the next month, and cover the last few months. Any other types of posts anyone is interested in seeing me do? Let me know and I'll do my best!

Until next time ...