Monday, 20 October 2014

The Parcel by Marie Claire - Spring 2014

My apologies for it being so long since I've had a post out! I've been writing sporadically over the last week and a half, but October is one of those months where, academically, sh*t starts to hit the fan and your life needs organisation with precision that would impress the navy. I have at least a dozen drafts written or half-written, but until we hit early November... It's going to be hard to get most of them out.

Onto more interesting matters: I can't remember when I found this or how I found this -- but rest assured, when I heard about The Parcel, I immediately jumped on board that ship and prayed I wasn't boarding something that was going to sink.

Not that I thought I would. When a beauty box promises brands such as Benefit, Revlon and Clinique for a $25 price tag... I'm seeing The Love Boat, not the Titanic.

My Parcel arrived last week in the mail, and let me say, it impressed me hugely.

The first thing I'd like to point out: personalisation. It's the little things that count, but seeing my name printed on the sleeve encasing the box... I felt a little thrill go through me. It was the same with the little card that listed the products: my name, right there, on the card. Eeep!

The ratio of box to tissue paper to products was good. It wasn't like a package you get from MAC, where one lipstick is swaddled in enough tissue paper to stuff a cushion -- it wasn't like one of Mecca's Beauty Loop boxes where there's still more paper than product -- this was... this was nice. A little tissue paper, but a really good number of products.

1. L'Oreal Paris Elnett Satin Purse-Size Hairspray || It doesn't seem like you can buy this product in this exact size, so whether the idea to call this "purse-sized" is the very clever brain child of Marie Claire or L'Oreal, I'll never know. Either way, it's valued at $4.95, which, not going to lie, kind of seems a teensy bit untrue when you can purchase a 75ml can from Priceline for $4.99, and a 400ml can for $9.99. Still, I don't make the rules on how things ought to be valued, so I'll accept the value for the 55ml can I received in the box. I don't own a hairspray yet (Shock! Horror!) but I think this will be a great starting point with me.

2. Benefit They're Real! Mascara - 3g || I've occasionally been a little "Hmm" when it comes to sample sized products, but I've come to learn through the Beauty Yodas on YouTube that these are great for travelling and, as such, I've become excited. A product from the They're Real! range, this one seems to get a lot of rave reviews. I received a sample of this for free when I bought the liner, and I've used it a couple of times. I think the formula is nice, but the medieval weaponised brush has stabbed me in the eye several times. It takes a little extra care to use, but I think it's worth having for girls and guys who aren't willing to shell out $38 when there are mascaras just as good for a lot less. This little sample, based on weight vs price vs dicey mathematical skills, is worth $13.41.

3. Lancôme Visionnaire Advanced Skin Corrector - 7ml || This looks like a serum-type product, designed to improve skin texture by refining and correcting "the appearance of wrinkles, pores and uneven skin texture. Skin looks visibly more beautiful, immediately and over time." Me being a Beauty Padawan, I personally have a hard time telling if my skin is any different after I put any kind of product on it. It doesn't matter if it's a mask, a moisturiser or a primer -- I haven't yet trained myself to see it. I think I'd like to take photos before and after, to really compare and see if it does make any immediate difference. This 7ml bottle is a sample size -- the packaging is really cute, and you screw it open to reveal just a plain ordinary applicator stick thing. The regular 30ml bottle of this costs $97, which puts this at a value of $22.63.

4. Gwen Stefani by OPI Nail Lacquer in "In True Stefani Fashion" || Okay, I'm not going to lie: I might love OPI polishes but I'm generally not a big fan of glitters. There were six shades available (although the full range has seven, so I'm not sure which of those wouldn't have been included -- perhaps "Push and Shove") and hey, perhaps this will end up working really nicely over the top of one of my less exciting polishes (particularly one I have that reminds me of an industry-standard band-aid). These retail at $19.95 and I received a full-sized product. Awesome!

5. Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stain in "050 London Posh" || Forget the high name brands, I was impressed as soon as I saw this. These little babies cost $25.95 a piece, and this is full size! There were twelve shades possible shades, and I'm glad that I got a nice neutral one. It seems to be a natural kind of dusty rose pink with a little shimmer, and I think it will go naturally on my lips. I am so excited to use this because I've heard so many great things about it. I think there are perhaps only one or two YouTubers that I follow who haven't given this product a two thumbs up, so I'm interested to see how my experience compares with theirs.

6. Benefit They're Real! Push-Up Liner - 0.10g || I already have the full-sized They're Real! Push-Up Liner -- I bought it a few days after it came out -- and I love it, so it's good to know that I've got a smaller one for travelling. I know that this product brings in opinions as divided as they come, so I think that a sample size is great for people who neither want to fork out $35 for the full thing nor commit to a product that a lot of people seem to hate. This little liner is worth around $2.50.

7. Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo & Conditioner - 40ml ea || I can't lie, I do enjoy the smell of shampoo, particularly one that smells as luxurious as Pantene (watch me duck as all the hairdressers shout at me not to go near it). Shampoos that claim to "add moisture" usually bring as much Hermione Granger out in my hair as there is possible to bring, so while these wouldn't have been my personal choice if I were shopping for shampoo, I think they're a splendid general product -- and great for travelling. This was listed on the card as a "bonus", so I'm not sure if each Parcel will have a bonus item or if this was put in there because it was the first one -- this could only be answered with purchasing subsequent boxes. The Parcel puts the value of a 200ml bottle at $4.99, which makes the samples worth about $1 each. Can't complain, really!

Price: $25
The Parcel Product Value: $91.39

I think this was a great beauty box for those who aren't at the top of the beauty chain in terms of buying everything the moment it comes out. I'm sure there are people who may have had some of these in their collection already, and thus may have been a tad disappointed -- but otherwise, I can't find any fault with it.

For the younger beauty conscious, there is also a Girlfriend Parcel in the works, and you can go here to sign up to be notified when you're able to purchase it. I'm fairly certain that both boxes are Australia-only, as they are shipped by road only -- and we unfortunately do not live in a world where this can happen (you don't need to watch the whole thing to see what I mean).

Will I be purchasing the next Parcel? I sure will be if I can get around to doing it before it sells out! (I should make a note to do so tonight...)

What do you think of The Parcel by Marie Claire? Would you have bought this for yourself? Let me know!

Sarah xo

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