I was nervous for Carmine's November offering, and with good reason. Where other beauty box brands have always created hype with their first boxes to gain the maximum subscriber increase in the shortest amount of time, they rarely deliver the goods for the new subscriber on the second box. I think you all know what I'm getting at here, and I can probably sum it up in precisely one word: Batiste.
You can see why I was nervous. I had no reason to worry, though. Even though I do blog for Carmine as one of their freelance writers, whatever I say on my blog is unflinchingly honest and unrelated. Even so, a small part of me, even though I hold no bias, felt like I really wanted Carmine to do well for their second box, to succeed where others failed.
|L-R: New CID i-Pout in Belle, Dainty Doll Eyeliner in Shake Your Tailfeather and Cosmetics à la Carte Brow Ink in Taupe.|
- Cosmetics à la Carte Brow Ink in Taupe: My favourite product of the box. The timeliness of this product being in my box is spooky - I'd had the page from Cosmetics à la Carte open for weeks (I'm a serial tab-hoarder), contemplating whether or not to purchase it to replace my Suqqu pen. The colour is a little warmer than I was expecting, but I like the flexible nib, which reminds me of Lancôme's Artliner. It is possible to use this as an eyeliner too, but the shade doesn't suit me ever so well on the lashline.
|After using Cosmetics à la Carte Brow Ink in Taupe.|
It does, however, deliver great, natural-looking brows and works well to both draw individual hairs in and to go for a more full-whammy kind of look. I'm aware Carmine polled their subscribers on what colour they wanted out of a possible 3, a tactic I'm impressed with after Glossybox sent out HD Brows palettes for black hair to blonde people.
- Dainty Doll Eyeliner Pencil in Shake Your Tail Feather: I was excited to see this in the box, but I feel the execution of this pencil is a bit below par. The packaging is gorgeous, and the colour is beautiful too, but I had to scrape this across my hand to get much pigmentation. It definitely needs a warm-up/blast with the hairdryer.
- Lulu's Time Bomb Flashback Night Cream: This is not a brand I'd heard of, and I didn't know Lulu had released a skin care brand! This is a decent size and undoubtedly something I will use. I am not fussed on the smell, but I do like that it sinks in quickly though I can't speak for the anti-ageing results in a week's worth of use.
- Neom Real Luxury Organic Body Lotion: I mentioned in my slightly damning Boudoir Privé review that body lotion doesn't excite me at all. That still holds true. If you could only see my collection of unused body lotions, they just keep multiplying! Neom are an up and coming brand which have received a lot of positive acclaim recently. I would've personally preferred the body wash, but that is the luck of the draw! This is a very decent-sized sample, and it is a lovely lotion to use (and I know that, as receiving a lotion in my box prompted me to start doing that whole moisturising thing). The smell is not my cup of tea.
- New CID i-Pout Lipstick in Belle: I find the packaging gimmicky for this: I can honestly say I've never needed to apply lipstick in the dark! However, from what I've seen from the shades in other people's boxes, Carmine picked shades which were quite safe for a variety of skin tones, and the lipstick glides on the lips very smoothly. I like the colour much more (when I tried it on again today) than I did initially, though I am not keen on the frost, and I will definitely wear this a lot.
|Wearing New CID i-Pout in Belle (with the sloppiest application ever).|
I actually think Carmine did very well with this box, the only low point for me being the eyeliner, which I find very hard and dragging across the delicate eye area. I friggin' love the brow pen and have used it to death - it's replaced my usual routine as it's so much quicker. I respect the fact that Carmine polled subscribers on their hair colour, too. I'm really excited to see how Carmine do for December now!
Unrelatedly, I actually saw Carmine tweet the other day that you can now buy the October and November boxes as gifts (either for someone special, or for yourself), and I quite like that idea. It comes in special Christmas packaging, which is quite sweet - or it's just good if you missed the other boxes *coughTHEBALMBLUSHcough*
OH. And a shameless plug for my most recent articles because I'm still a beaming parent watching their child's first steps: if you want to see me take on Twiggy's 60's Mod look then click here, or if you want to see my experience with Cosmetics à la Carte, click here!