Sunday, November 23, 2014

Boxycharm November 2014 Review and Unboxing

My November Boxycharm showed up completely unannounced, as I had not received any tracking information. Hey, I'm always down for a surprise! Plus, not having the tracking info to obsessively check every 2 hours is kind of a nice break! I was hoping that since Boxycharm is a makeup-heavy beauty subscription, that there would be lots of nice holiday/winter themed makeup! 

Boxycharm is a beauty subscription box that while usually includes makeup, occasionally includes hair and skincare as well. Much of the time the products included are full size. The cost is only $21 per month. 
 The theme this month was "Sparkle and Shine." Reading the card got me excited, because while I don't normally wear a ton of glitter or sparkle in my makeup, there's no better time to do it than the holidays! Festive makeup is kind of my thing- I get so busy during the regular day-to-day, that I'm usually throwing on a quickly bronze smokey eye and a nude lip. The holidays are the perfect time for me to experiment and have fun with my makeup.

Let's see what was in the November box, shall we?

Kevin Murphy: Color Bug ($20)
 Well, this is quite an interesting product! Essentially, this is a fancy hair chalk, which applies on your hair by simply wiping it where you want the color to appear. They recommend using a styling product (like gel or hairspray) before applying so the color will stick better to the hair. Even though I have dark brown-black hair, this purple did show up when I did a little swatch. It's kind of a neat idea, especially if I'm going out and want to have some purple ombre going on. I don't really think it fits the theme well, and I'm not sure if I'd go out to family parties with this in my hair, but I suppose it will be fun to use!

Tarina Tarantino: Eyelicity Glitter Liner in "Black Diamond" ($16)
Any other time of the year I would have been disappointed to receive this product. I'm not huge into glitter, but this kind of product is perfect for festive eye looks. I believe there was an option of receiving either white or black, so I am very happy I received the one I did. The black pigment in this liner isn't very intense and it does apply a bit streaky, so I will most likely use this over my regular liner to give it a little sparkle. I don't know how often I'll use this, but I think it's nice to have for special occasions.

MicaBeauty Eye Primer ($45)
 I have a serious bone to pick with MicaBeauty. They have shown up in many different low cost subscriptions and yet, their products come with obscenely high price tags. So high, that I'm personally offended that they think consumers are dumb enough to spend that much on their products. This is an eye primer. Just a basic eye primer, in a generic jar that a million different companies use (see the next product as an example.) There is absolutely nothing about this primer that sets it apart from any others, or makes it worth a $45 price tag. I even went on the Nordstrom website to see the price of the Chanel eye primer. Guess what? Chanel's is $32. I can't even. The mark up on this product must be astronomical. I really despise companies like this, and they are not the only one.
Many companies that are featured in Boxycharm and Ipsy in particular (ex: Cailyn Cosmetcs, Be A Bombshell), have this sneaky little system. The retail prices of their products are embarrassingly high, and then they offer these constant 30%,-50% off "sales" that make people think they're getting a great deal, when in actuality, the products aren't even worth the sale price they're paying for them. I hate shady business practices, and I hate overpriced drugstore-quality makeup. I'll probably toss this in my makeup drawer and use it at some point, but I will never support this company.

bellapierre: Shimmer Powder in "Sensation" ($15)
I don't know much about bellapierre, but I did a little research on their site, and their prices seem to be reasonable and their products are unique. This is a shimmer shadow that is made with 100% mineral powder. It's incredibly soft and finely milled, and has a frosty, shimmery color payoff that is just lovely. This would make for a great highlight on the brow bone, and would probably look nice lightly dusted over the décolleté for a little extra festive sparkle!

OFRA Cosmetics: Pressed Blush in "Paradise Pink" ($25)
 OFRA is another one of those companies that pops up a lot in lower-priced subscriptions, however like bellapierre, they don't have obscenely overpriced products, however $25 for a blush is a bit much for a small company, in my opinion. I also think that they have very unappealing packaging, which makes me think "cheap" when I see it. Regardless of my first impressions, this blush is actually strongly pigmented- a little goes a long way. This color is very hard to make work on my very pale skin, because even with a light hand, this stuff is flamingo pink to the max. I'm sure I can use a different brush and buff it out very well, but the work involved in that doesn't seem worth it when I can just as easily use one of the blushes in my collection that match my tone better. This would be beautiful on deep skin tones, though!

Overall Thoughts
I paid $21 for this box, and the "retail value" is about $120.
I cannot help but snort at that retail value, because it's so incredibly deceiving due to that MicaBeauty primer. $45 of the box value is a bunch of bull. The primer, if priced the way it should be, would probably be about $12. I also think that the OFRA blush is a overpriced at $25, considering most high end brand blushes go for about the same (Tarte's for example, retail at $26). If I went to the store and bought all of these products on their own, I wouldn't pay more than maybe $40. Since I only paid $21 for the box, I do feel like the value is there. The thing that bums me out is that I wouldn't actually buy any of these products, so my money feels a bit like it could have been used better elsewhere. 
This is my 3rd month of Boxycharm, and it's the second month in a row where I wasn't completely wowed by it's contents. The first month was so good, that I keep hoping that I'm just having bad luck. I know quite a few people enjoyed this box much more than I did, which gives me hope that maybe an upcoming box will be more my style. I'm not quite at the point where I want to cancel this subscription yet, but if December's box rolls in and it's just as disappointing for me, Boxycharm is getting chopped from my subscription box roster. We'll see!

If you're interested in signing up for Boxycharm, They occasionally have a short waiting list, so I would jump on it now if you are hoping for a December box! You can sign up here: Get BoxyCharm!
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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post may contain affiliate or referral links.


  1. This box doesn't seem AWFUL to me, but the quality of the products appears to be on par with Ipsy, which is half the price, so... yeah. $45 for that primer though?! C'mon now.

    1. That's exactly how I feel. If this box was $12-$15 a month I would probably be much happier, but it just seems too close to an Ipsy bag when I look at it. And UGH...the MicaBeauty primer. I can't. I just can't even.

  2. I actually just subscribed to boxycharm recently after seeing reviews of this box, but I've been insanely curious about hair chalk and I need a new eye primer so I figured I could get both those and a few extra things. I can see how it'd be disappointing though if you weren't super interested in the products. That primer is wayyyyyyyy overpriced though.

    1. The hair chalk is definitely fun! And honestly, the eye primer is a good primer, just...not worth $45! I do think this is a great box for a lot of people, it was just a miss for me, personally. I do hope that there's more stuff that's up my alley next month. :)

  3. This ridiculous thing lost my comment, which was long and awesome.

    Short parts version:
    1-thanks for not being a corporate shill or a toadying syncophant begging for free boxes and/or product. There's about four box reviewers I refuse to click on (Mysubscriptionaddition, ramblingsofa, sometimes Zadidoll can be this way too) in my google search results because they're just cheerleaders for the box companies.
    2-This is a meh box. Maybe I'm the only one who is sick of only getting "safe" colors like barely-there shimmer powders and pink effing blush (you're obviously very fair from the swatches), but I'm still getting a little sick of it. Actually, more than anything else I'm sick of getting black pencil eyeliners. I cannot tell you how many damned pencil eyeliners I've gotten in my two years of subscription boxes. Sumita, UD, Starlooks--those are just the wooden ones. Liquids from Bombshell/Pop Beauty/etc. etc. Dip and draw style from Micabeauty, Cailyn...

    Dunno, maybe I"m complaining about nothing.

    1. Ahh I hate when I write a bunch of stuff and it disappears!!! :(
      And you're welcome! LOL I am pretty easy to please most of the time. Beauty products make me happy so usually I'm like "OMG LOOK AT THE THING. THE THING IS SO CUTE" but honestly, I won't hold back if I'm disappointed in a product, even if it was sent to me complimentary. While I did buy this with my own money, I still would have been disappointed if it had been sent to me. I completely agree with you on the safe colors. I'm tired of getting the same exact things repeatedly. And you should SEE my eyeliner collection from Hell! I will never in a million years use all the liners I have, but hey- I haven't had to buy them in years! haha ;)

      You're definitely not complaining about nothing. once you've been in the subscription box world for long enough, you start to expect more, and rightfully so. I try to keep my reviews objective, but also share my opinion, because I know sometimes people really like boxes that I despise. I absolutely hated this box and I'm not going to use anything in it, but I didn't want to rip it apart in a sense, because this COULD be a good box for someone else if they don't have a lot of makeup or the colors work well for them.

      But long story short, I expect more from boxes now that I've been getting them for years and years now. I want new and interesting things that I don't have a million of. Not black liners and pink blush and shimmer powder.