Wednesday, 14 March 2012

February Carmine Box...hunting for spiders

Hello lovely beauty box fans,

Time for a *very* late review of the February Carmine box, otherwise known as the controversy box of doom (Take 1) *duh duh duh*. Now I avidly avoided reading spoilers for this box, as it was my first from Carmine and I wanted a surprise, so when my box arrived I didn't have any expectations. in ze box was:

The Balm: Fratboy All-in-one shadow/blush (full size)
Andrea Fulerton Nail Varnish in Paris (full size)
Daniel Sandler Eye Delight in Ice (full size)
White Glo Toothpaste
Diego Dalla Palma Lipstick in 42
Yardley London Peony Fragrance

So far so good, three full sized items and three samples, very nice! However, having followed reviews of Carmine, I recognised the Balm and Daniel Sandlers product from the October box. Now call me fussy, but I don't really like the idea of using a product that's been sat in a warehouse for the last 6 months. The Eye Delight was fine since it was wrapped in plastic, but my blusher was really very dusty. Yuk. This resulted in me spending a minute checking my box for spiders. In my paranoid mind dust = spiders and spiders = trouble. You may be pleased to hear there were no spiders *ahem*.

First up it is the teeny tiny Diego Dalla Palma Lipstick. Honestly, anybody complaining about the size of the Burberry lipstick in this month's Glossybox should have a look at this, it's minuscule! I personally think it's cute, and will keep it in my makeup bag for emergencies (emergencies of the cosmetic kind, not attempting to plug somebody's gaping wound with it or applying some for a spot of CPR). I doubt it will last more than three applications, but meh. I was a bit dubious when I saw the murky looking colour (42) on the booklet, but it's actually a very pretty shiny dark pink. Will absolutely try and repurchase this. It's lovely (and I do like the number 42).

Yardley London Peony Fragrance sampler. My only gripe with this is that it's only half full, but from what I read most people had the same issue. It smells lovely, and it was nice to get a bonus 6th item! I prefer perfume samplers with a 'spray' top, as I find these little vials have a tendency to leak. One of my evening bag still smells of Prada after a perfume leak, traumatic times eh?

Andrea Fulerton Nail Varnish in Paris. I like this, it's a bright bold fuchsia colour, and I don't own any similar nail polishes. Haven't applied it yet, so can't make any more comments. You can buy it in Superdrug for £4.99, I have my eye on the teal colour on the Carmine card.

This was my favourite item in the box, even if it is leftover from October. It's a lovely long lasting pale silver, and ideal for making your eyes look bigger. I love this, it is fabulous and I'll repurchase. 

Once I had reassured myself that this product hadn't been a vessel for spiders, I was actually rather chuffed with it. It's the right colour for my pale complexion, and the packaging is cute. I don't think it is massively long lasting but that's an issue I have with blushers in general. I'm very glad it comes with a mirror, as that makes on the go application much easier. It's quite an expensive product, and I don't like it enough to repurchase, but it is nice. 

I haven't included a photo of the toothpaste, we all know what toothpaste looks like, and you've probably seen photos of it from other reviews. I travel lots so travel sized toothpaste is always a winner with me, and I do buy whitening toothpaste. Will post a review once I have used it up, and can see if it achieved any actual whitening. 

The big uproar around this box, was that the original February box containing Steamcream and Balance Me shower gel sold out, so Carmine replaced these products in the boxes being sent to new subscribers. The logic for this being, that they wouldn't already own the blusher and eyeshadow. This however angered people who purchased 'one off' boxes when they liked the products, as many of them did already have the eyeshadow/blush. It also peeved me slightly as I had subscribed well before the original box sold out, and as a keen follower of beauty blogs, recognised these products from the October box. There was even more upset when the blusher/eye shadow ran out, so some subscribers received yet different products (which to be honest didn't sound great). Tbh in hindsight I'd much rather have eyeshadow and blusher. 

I am in two minds about this, I think it was foolish of Carmine to not realise there'd be a huge increase in subscribers following the discounted box offer. I also think sending out dusty products is a big no (just give them a quick dust/spider inspection!). On the other hand they replaced the Steamcream and shower gel with some of the most praised products, and tried to avoid giving people repeats. I don't think beauty boxes are intended as one off purchases, and poor old Carmine aren't psychic. In my opinion both the original box, and the replacement box that I received are very good value for money. It is a makeup heavy box however, so might not be ideal for those keenest on skin/hair care. 

Does anybody know what is going on with the March box? People asking on the facebook page about when it will be dispatched/when the money will be taken, are being told to expect an announcement. I wonder if there won't be a March box for some reason?

Apologies for this long long rambling review, tomorrow I will be hunting for spiders in, I mean *reviewing* my Harrods GlossyBox. Exciting stuff folks!



  1. The lipstick looks good! Great picks:) xxxxxxxx

  2. Great honest review. Thankfully I didn't see any dust or spider on my products!
    I've not heard anything about the March box, I hope that there is one! x

    1. I do wonder, especially as She Said Beauty announced today that Carmine's Product Buying Director has jumped ship to them. It's clearly a competitive time in Beauty Box world. Shall await my first She Said box with interest! x

  3. Awww, that's a shame they did that for new subscribers - surely they would have anticipated the increase? Still looks like not a bad beauty box over all (and glad there were no extra friendly spiders hanging out in there too!)

  4. Well...I can certainly say that you got some great items even though the spiders are horrific! I am a subscriber of birchbox in the US and let's just say our products are not as great as the ones you've received! Stopping by from the bloghop. Hope you'll visit and would you like to follow each other?