My latest Carmine arrived today and I much prefer it to the last one as I’m familiar with the majority of the brands and I like the selection. I much prefer boxes that contain more make-up than skincare samples as I think you’re more likely to be able to work with make-up even if the products are not designed to work with your colourings. I just think there’s more flexibility with make-up. The other good things is that the 3 make-up samples in this month’s box are full sized. I wasn’t too blown away with last month’s box (I can’t really remember much about it which tells you all you need to know really) but I’m much happier with November’s box. This month’s box contents are all linked to celebrities one way or another, either by being from their own product range or (I’m guessing as it’s unclear) by being mentioned by a celeb. I quite like the idea of themed boxes as it feels like thought has been put into the box as opposed to a load of samples randomly selected.
Cosmetics A La Carte Brow Ink
First up is the brow ink which can also be used as a liner. It’s a little bit dark for my eyebrows (Carmine sent out an e-mail a few weeks ago requesting information about my brow shade which I liked, as I’d much prefer products that are tailored to my individual colourings) even though it’s the Blonde shade. It’s got a nicely intense pigmentation and works well as an eyeliner as the pen nib is like a very thin felt tip which makes it easy to apply in a fine line. In the pictures above I’ve got it on my eye applied very thinly and on my brow too. If it were a little lighter it would make the most perfect brow pencil as you can draw in the individual hairs really easily. Included in the box was a full sized sample, which normally retails at £22.
New CID i-Pout Lipstick
This is quite a novel idea as included in the lipstick is a mirror on the outer case and a light on the inner case. On the outside of the tube where the lipstick comes out from are two lights which you turn on from the base of the case. I’m always a bit wary of things like these as I worry that the gimmick aspect might be trying to make up for the quality of the product, but the lipstick is actually really lovely, both in texture and colour. The shade I received is called Berrylicious which is a bright, slightly pinky, red. It’s finish is quite glossy and the colour is really rich. Again the sample was full sized and normally retails for £15.
Dainty Doll Eyeliner Pencil
|Bottom left is my attempt at using it as a liner and bottom right is with it used all over the eyelid.|
This was probably my least favourite make-up item in the box, mainly because I’m not a huge fan of the colour, but also because it’s really tricky to use as an eyeliner. The shade I received is called 004 which I think is Tail Feather which is a fairly bright and sparkly green. I tried my best to use it as a liner but it was really difficult to get enough pigment to impress on the eye without drawing a thick and messy line, but maybe that’s just me being rubbish with pencil liners. I also used it as an all over eye colour which came out a lot better, but I still wouldn’t use it as I don’t think the shade suits me. Another full sized sample which retails at £10.50. There wasn’t a direct link to a stockist included on the insert that came with the box, so I’ve linked to Boots who also sell the range.
Lulu’s Time Bomb Flashback Night Cream
This was the first of the two skincare items included and the sample is 15ml. I haven’t used it on my face yet, but I have tried it on my hand and it has a very light texture and absorbs nice and quickly. The link included in the pamphlet takes you to the Lulu site and if you try to shop through it you end up on an American site, so I wasn’t sure where to get reliable information from about the prices of this range. Therefore, I’ve linked Salon Skincare which is the first site I could find with this particular product available. I don’t know if this is an accurate representation of the price or not, but this site sells it for £30.75 for 45ml, which would mean that this sample is worth £10.25.
Neom Organics Real Luxury: Body Wash or Body Lotion
Lastly, I received the body lotion and this is probably my least favourite item in the box but that’s mainly because I tend not to use body lotion that often, so it’s tricky to write a comparative review. All I can say is that it does have a really nice consistency and feels quite soothing. I used it on the dryer part of my hands and it softened that really well, but it does have a rather overpowering smell – of which I’m undecided about – of herbs, which might conflict with perfume, if you wear one. Included in the box was a 50ml sample, whereas the full sized bottle of 240ml retails at £23.50 making the sample worth around about £4.50.
So as I mentioned, I’m much happier with this month’s box as I see myself using the majority of the products. The box costs £12.75 a month including postage and packaging, which I think is a really reasonable cost considering – according to my estimates – this box is worth just over £60. To find out more about Carmine boxes click here.