June 13, 2013

vanity trove june edition: obsessive beauty

When Valerie from VanityTrove Malaysia sent me another complimentary trove to review this month, I was looking forward to it because of their June theme - Obsessive Beauty. My head was filled with images of a box filled to the brim with makeup goodies, plus a voucher or two ... these images I wholeheartedly blame on the Christina Aguilera look-a-like wannabe plastered on their website, beckoning to subscribers with a makeup addiction {i.e., moi} like a siren call.

My pristine and rather heavy beauty trove arrived on my desk early June in VT's signature colours of white & hot pink ... and then the next six hours was torture. Utter torture because the dang box kept staring at me, calling to me to open it and I just couldn't! All the anticipation I built up in the course of a few weeks was flattened like a capathi because of a dateline I had to meet. When I finally got home, I took a few minutes - sat down and just stared at the box. Yes I did. After six hours of waiting to open the box ... I stared at it. I guess after having two kids who test my patience every single second of the day seem to have worked wonders on my patience which literally, was on the shorter end of the fuse prior.

I first heard the term "beauty box" from YouTube's makeup darling, Michelle Phan; now an ambassador for Lancôme. She launched her version of a beauty box a few years back in the US and needless to say, it was a total hit. Back then, I lamented that Malaysia didn't have something similar and as if by some miracle, the Big Guy must have heard me because beauty boxes started springing up like mushroom circles after the fairies danced in the moonlight - Yes. I believe in fairies ... don't you?

However in the course of the last few months, I have found the original concept of subscribing to a beauty box to have evolved. Beauty boxes are essentially a beauty sampling program created to allow subcribers an opportunity to trial beauty & makeup products in either sample or  deluxe sized; sometimes it may come in full sizes too. It's basically subscribing " ... to the thrill of scoring something unexpected". Nowadays, that thrill is replaced with an expectation which I personally feel is a tad unfair because when the expected brand/item isn't included, the bottom line spells "You suck! I will never ever subcribe again ... ever!"

Which is why I stared at VanityTrove's June edition themed Obsessive Beauty, instead of ripping off the protective plastic cover and rummaging through my trove. I was expecting makeup ... lots of it and deep down I knew it wasn't fair to VanityTrove because it is after all, a box of surprises. What's the point of a surprise if you have etched an expection only to be disappointed if it isn't met, right? So, I wiped out the Christina Aguilera look-a-like wannabe expectation from my mind, took in a deep breath and re-evaluated what Obsessive Beauty meant to Valerie and VanityTrove Malaysia instead and found these surprises inside ...


L'Orèal Professional Liss Ultime Smoothing Shampoo; 100ml
L'Orèal Professional Liss Ultime Smoothing Masque; 75ml
Decléor Hydra Floral Moisturizing Cream; 15ml
Bifesta Eye Makeup Remover; 30ml
Celeb Beauté Celeb Lash - Jessica; full size
Soap Artisan Natural Lip Balm with Beeswax & Vitamin E; full size
COCO•LAB Aromatic Body Oil; 5ml

{Added Bonus, as this was not in the information card}
Payot Pâte Grise & Payot Spéciale 5 sample satchet; 1ml each

As always, there were vouchers included; one from Decléor for their "Signature Aromaplasty Facial" at RM98; a 57.4% discount off the original RM230 price and one from Soap Artisan & Natural Wellbeing with a RM5 discount off purchases above RM50; a 10% discount.

I also received a full-sized 5ml bottle of Heaven On Earth's Lavendar essential oil, courtesy of Heaven On Earth as my sample bottle in the May edition of VanityTrove Malaysia was leaking. It was definitely a lovely surprise after a long Monday in the office, when I read the email from Winnie. Thank you very much to both Heaven On Earth and VanityTrove Malaysia for this. Goodness knows this thirty-something mama needs all the calming and relaxation she can get, even if it comes from a bottle.

Now with a cleared mind, here are my thoughts on the products. I get where VanityTrove Malaysia is going with this month's theme; Obsessive Beauty isn't just all about makeup; it's about sexy flowy locks, a killer stare with fluttery lashes and a pouty kissable lip. It's also about clean skin and a calm mind and should you wake up one morning morning and find a blemish or two or an entire clan, it's about being able to do something about it without pain nor leaving a scar.

I'm not stranger to L'Orèal Professional products as they are products I run to when my hair throws a tantrum, so I'm definitely loving the timing of the Liss Ultime duo. Decléor isn't new to me either but since I've just started "going steady" with a new skincare line, I think it's best to not rock that boat ... yet.

Bifesta, Soap Artisan and COCO•LAB are new to me so it'll take me a while to decide if I like the products and the brands, although  I have to admit first impression scent wise for both the COCO•LAB Aromatic Body Oil and Soap Artisan Natural Lip Balm with Beeswax & Vitamin E seems promising.

Finally, Celeb Beauté Celeb Lash ... not quite sure how to react to this. A gal can never have enough faux lashes but for a gal who wears glasses or risk walking in glass walls {and they hurt like you-know-what}, mascaras are the prefered choice.

Anyhow, this month's trove gets a thumbs up from me for product selection in this box although I'm not feeling some of the brands. However, I am constantly reminding myself that this is after all a beauty box and it's all about experiencing new brands. Word of advise though Valerie - I would totally fire the Christina Aguilera look-a-like wannabe because she was very, very misleading.

Needless to say, the value of the products included in this month's trove far exceed the price of subscription per box. There are also two full-size products in this month's box {the faux lashes and lip balm} so I'm giving it a thumbs up on value as well.

I'll leave my product reviews for another post but I will say that my absolute favourite product in this month's line up would have to be the L'Orèal Professional Liss Ultime Smoothing Masque, which is definitely influenced by the state of my hair. Then it goes without a saying, there's the Lavender essential oil courtesy of Heaven On Earth - not because it's full size but because I'm totally into Lavender right now.

So, the question remains ... does VanityTrove Malaysia deserve a third go. Well, if you're up for surprises then do give VanityTrove Malaysia a go as I hear the July trove is going to be pretty awesome - an exclusive Kosé treasure trove. However, if you're expecting specific brands or products then perhaps beauty boxes just aren't your thing.

What's your take on beauty boxes?