Saturday, 28 January 2012

Review: Carmine January Box

It feels like a long road back here, my life has just been stuffed full of things like a suitcase you have to sit on to get it closed.  Silly metaphor, but it's how I've been feeling recently, so tired and single-minded, bloodthirstily forcing my mind and body to do moremoremore, write more thesis, no time for a sit-down.  And now we're already at the end of January and I have 11 months until I give it in.  Only 11 more months of feeling like this, then.

So anyway, the end of the month usually heralds a new beauty box or two being delivered, and Carmine's the one I've received so far this month (discounting the Feel Unique box, whose offering this month was unusually bad considering the other months were so great!), so I thought, in the flood of the Blogosphere doing the same thing, that I'd add my little two cents to the pile.

I never got around to reviewing December's box - it came in the midst of packing, wrapping and celebrating and it kind of got lost in the whole of Christmas - so I'll recap a tiny bit: I loved the inclusion of a Japonesque brush in the box and thought it was unique in that not many beauty boxes have done this before.  The inaugural JolieBox (formerly Boudoir Privé) had also included a brush in their December offering, but it was their own branded one, and as a concealer brush I found it lacking - it was too floppy and irritating to use.

...So I liked the brush.  I also really love the KMS Free Shape quick blow dry spray, and have used that one a lot since December.  I think, on the whole, my least favourite product was the Weleda shower cream, as I'm a soap kind of girl - no two ways about it! I just love the smell of soap and shower gels typically aren't for me.

So there we are.

Now, onto January:


I had a mixture of thoughts when I eventually got the box open (hereafter referred to as the Carmine Shimmy), a sort of mixture of both surprise, overall pleasedness (not a word, but I don't care) and then, a tiny pang of 'oh'.  I'll explain.
  • Eldora lashes: I was pleased to receive these and not the diamanté lashes, which aren't my style at all.  After a week of wearing lashes as part of my Carmine article on Eldora (which you can read here!), I already knew these were coming, but didn't know what ones I'd be getting. I'll get some use out of these, I think they are very pretty.
  • Korres Wild Rose 24 hour Moisturising & Brightening Cream: I'm not one to join the increasing storm of those who have received this several times in various other beauty boxes, as I've never received it, so I'm satisfied with this.  I've learned from my beloved Caudalie cream from the first Carmine box not to judge something on first try, so I'm cautious to say what I think, apart from it smells nice, soaks in well and I think I might've liked a slightly more generous sample size.
  • Eyeko Fat Eye Stick in Charcoal: Eyeko. I have a conflictive relationship with Eyeko (ranty post linked here), after they essentially tripled the price of their products and relaunched under the whiny excuse of 'but we USED to sell our products in Harrods for loads more!' I do like this pencil - I received a soft grey-black shade, and while it is very smudgy, it's not something I'd wear all over the lid anyway. I used this smudged into my top lashline just yesterday and I really liked the effect.  It is very soft and smudgy, but I have a personal niggle with Eyeko and it soured it a little for me.
  • Balance Me Radiance Face Oil: I do like facial oils, and although this is a repeat brand from Carmine's first box, I don't have a problem with that, as it's more of a product I'll enjoy using. It's lightweight and comes packaged with a little rollerball - I kinda like that.
  • Westlab Himalayan Bath Salts: This was unfortunately my 'oh' product.  I don't really like baths, I can't stand when my fingers go all wrinkly around the 10 minute mark and I feel compelled to get out. Just typing that gave me shivers! I'm unlikely to use these, sadly, but the premise is interesting, however, like the continued affiliation with Dead Sea Spa Magik and every single beauty box under the sun, I can say I'm very skeptical to the claims.  What can I say, though?! I'm just not a bath salts kind of girl - I also feel like the sample could have been a little bigger.
So, to round up... Overall, I did like the January offering from Carmine, and I will be using 4 out of the 5 items in the box, for sure.  As for the bath salts - well you can't win them all.  I'm not a person who judges a beauty box on the calculated value of its products, as I think that's kind of pointless - I think full sizes are nice but shouldn't be expected, and calculating the value seems to create a false sense of economy, where people feel better when their box is 'worth' £40 whatever the products inside, and rant on Twitter when it's worth say £20.

So, at face value, yes I do like this month's offering, but it's not a SQUEEE moment for me, it was quite a mixed experience.  I like everything apart from the bath salts, which I just don't.  Seriously - the wrinkly fingers and toes and ewww. I can't do baths for very long.

How did you get on with this month's box?




15 comments:

  1. I'm exactly the same with baths and wrinkly fingers. Even if I go to the swimming baths I end up with my hands out of the water for pretty much the whole time. Ha.

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    1. GAAAH! I just can't have wrinkly fingers! Kiwi thinks I'm insane, but turning into a prune (and just the thought of it) gives me goosebumps, ugggh! x

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  2. awww, your blog is so cute! i am a new reader...i like kittens, dinosaurs, beauty blogging, and cooking too!

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    Replies
    1. oh thank you so much for reading my blog! And between you and me, I think you have very good taste in the things you like ;)

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    2. that's really nice. if you want to read my blog here is the web address: http://athenamusings.blogspot.com hope you like it! :)

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  3. I feel exactly the same about Eyeko. The main thing that irks me is the fact that they got rid of so many lovely products after their "makeover". It seems like they tried to go more "sophisticated" and came out as pretty tacky. Eyeko used to be a cutesy, Japanesque brand that was pretty unique for the British market. Why they felt that change was necessary is beyond me.

    Rant over; great post. I've been indecisive about which beauty-box subscription service to go for, and I feel like Carmine are creeping their way to the top. Thanks! ^_^

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    1. I agree. The thing is, I never thought Eyeko were that good before anyway - their mascara was amazing until they changed the formulation for the worse - and then they put the prices up. And now I do feel they have alienated a huge part of their client base who were extremely supportive of them.

      Glad you enjoyed the post, and thanks so much for reading and commenting :) I'd be interested to see what you make of your first box if you end up subscribing :)

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  4. well i do it every month, I sneek peek before i get my own box. oh well it looks great, and i LOVE baths and getting all wrinkly fingers (fell asleep in the bath the other night and looked like a prune......mmmmmmm lovely). great review as always x

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    1. GAAAAH I just can't. It's the feeling of them, I just get goosebumps even thinking about it. I am not a natural-born pamperer! x

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  5. hi again cami! i have been asking a lot of popular bloggers this:

    how do you get so many comments/followers? does the popularity develop overtime?

    please reply!

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    Replies
    1. Hello!

      There's no guaranteed formula, unfortunately. Some people are just popular, and some are less so! It's taken me a very long time to get to 800 Followers, whereas others have reached 5000 in much less time. I think you need to blog fairly often, develop your own style, respond to comments as much as you can, comment on other peoples' posts and try to think outside the box with things you're going to post.

      Otherwise, general behaviour on other peoples' post is a huge one - don't go touting your link around to other peoples' blogs without offering a decent comment, and don't ask for retweets all the time for your posts :)

      x

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    2. thanks! that was really helpful.

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  6. Your remark about wrinkly fingers/toes reminded me so much of Amelie Poulain, I kinda want to go watch this movie all over again now!

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    1. I reminded myself of it when I typed it, and now I'm going to need to go watch it again too *whimsical sigh*

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  7. Receiving the bath salts drives me mad....I actually don't mind turning into a shrivelled up old prune in the bath but I no longer have a bath in my bathroom, just a shower....boo hoo!

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