This month is the first month I am reviewing anything other than my regular Glossybox service. I've had so many tweets and comments asking me how I think Carmine compares to other beauty boxes on the market, it's by far the most requested review so when they approached me to review January's box I jumped at the chance. Until now I hadn't considered switching my subscription and definitely didn't want to run two concurrently but if you've read this months Glossy review you'll know I'm looking for a change. My main requirement now is that the products I receive are affordable to go on and purchase if I really like them. It's one thing to get money off codes (always appreciated and a great bonus) but if the full price is £100 I'm just never going to buy it.. so what's the point? I think it would be great to be able to chose a budget option with these boxes.. I for one would rather receive one or two extra samples of lower value.. but maybe that's just me.
Anyway... enough babbling, let's take a look inside the box..
First and foremost I love that Carmine have totally bucked the beauty box trend and gone for a completely unique and striking colour scheme where most other options look the same. They're showing that they want to be different which is always a good place to start.
The first thing that stood out at me was the Eyeko Fat Eyestick. I'd already received the Eyeko skinny eyeliner in the Glossybox so when I saw this I was disappointed, I thought it was just a chunky eyeliner but it's totally different. It's more the consistency of the Urban Decay Glide on Shadow pencils. Very impressive and where as the skinny liner didn't peek my interest in Eyeko after opening this one I was on their new site within minutes. I don't know whether it was Carmine or Eyeko that got to make that choice but I for one think it was a good one!
Next had to be the Eldora False Lashes. I've never been very good at lashes but since Christmas I've been practising and I wore them for my hen-do and the wedding so I'm definitely coming around to them and it was nice to see get a new pair in this box. They're so delicate, very different to anything else I've used so far and I love that they have extra length at either side so anyone should be able to get a good fit. They are also said to be reusable even as dainty as they are.
The next three products all seem to be aimed at rejuvenation which I assume is a nod to the New Year but for someone with an 11 week old baby.. that's always welcome!
Balance Me Radiance Face Oil
I have heard of this brand but never been that interested in their products but given that I'm a recent hair oil convert I am definitely up for giving this a go! Much like the designer hair oils this is pretty pricey but I would imagine you wouldn't need too much of it and if it did something extra special it's definitely not totally beyond the budget. I'm yet to give it a go but it promises not only to hydrate and leave you with a healthy glow but also to combat blocked pores... whaat? An oil? I'm intrigued!
Westlab Himalayan Bath Salts
Anything that will make my soak in the tub feel more like a day at the spa gets a big thumbs up from me. Bath salts are bath salts in my experience but if it says it's going to "detoxify" then great!
Korres Wild Rose 24hr Moisturiser
I met this one with mixed emotions. I've always wanted to try something from Korres but have no local stockists and didn't want to buy online without seeing it in the "flesh" first - whole point of a beauty box, no? So I was really pleased to see this sample in the box.. however, it smells of roses. That might just be my least favourite scent! The moisturiser is really lovely to apply and feels great on the skin but the smell just totally ruined it for me. That's a personal preference, I'm sure lots of people would have been happy with it and it will go into my drawer of travel sized goodies to pop in my Vegas toiletries bag. No skin needs moisture more than skin that's been in the desert for a week.
So.. although upon first glance the contents of January's carmine box may not have looked like much I will use all of these products at some point so (although this was sent to me as a PR sample) it's ultimately better value for money than some months Glossyboxes which contain high end products that wow you but are totally unaffordable. Much as I've loved my Glossy subscription I am seriously considering Carmine as an alternative.
I think it's just a bit more budget beauty friendly.
You can find more information about the products mentioned here
In my video review (uploading now) I mention a £5 box but I have no idea where I got that from 'cause from what I can tell that offer ended in October but you can get free delivery here