Friday, October 28, 2011

October Luxe Box from Loose Button

I've been curious about the boxed beauty sampler subscriptions for a while, ever since Birchbox in the States first began to garner a lot of hype. When Loose Button sent me the October Luxe Box to review, I was eager to accept and see what little delights awaited to feed my beauty-hungry soul. For those who are unfamiliar with "the boxes": the concept is that each month, for a flat fee of $10, a box of deluxe beauty samples is delivered right to your door. Part of the appeal is the wide range of products you get to test without leaving the house, scouring the malls and stores or spending a lot of money. For the insatiably curious beauty addicts, it sounds like the perfect arrangement.

This being my first box, I was unaware that Luxe Box had recently undergone a design change. The sleek black box was sturdy and safely held the five samples without messes or hassles. You can't help but to feel giddy and excited as you begin the process of unpacking the box.

The Loose Button logo is pretty cute, though rather at odds with the stark black and white colours.

Personalizing the address for each box was a great idea. It's like receiving a present from a friend.

The personalizing continues over to the information pamphlet contained within.

I appreciate that it lists the brand, full name of product and a short description of what each item is about. The pamphlet also includes information about the size and pricing of the full size products.

My box contained the following five items:
  • Lise Watier Flash Lift Radiance Vials (x1)
  • Kerastase Elixir Ultime
  • Essie Nail Polish in "Absolutely Shore"
  • Olay Professional Pro-X Eye Restoration Complex
  • Lise Watier Plumpissimo Le Gloss in "Opalescence"

Here's a closer look at each product:

Lise Watier Flash Lift Radiance Vial

I appreciate that it's a sneak peek at a new product that hadn't yet launched in the stores when the October boxes were packed and shipped. However, it's a very small ampoule that's only good for a single use.

"A concentrate of smoothing agents and moisturizers for a lifting effect and instant radiance." The full size retails for CAD$27 for 7 x 1 ml vials. I was rather bemused after opening the package to reveal the tiny vial. You can see that it falls somewhere between the size of a small and large paperclip.

Kerastase Elixir Ultime

Kerastase is a luxe haircare brand that I've wanted to try forever. This elixir "brings shine, nourishment and deep conditioning to the hair while smoothing the hair fiber, resulting in incredible shine... also helps restore strength to the hair and protect it from external aggressors."

It sounds amazing but this vial also happens to be on the tiny side. My hair may be short but it's unruly and there's a lot of it. Even if a little of the product goes a long way, I have doubts as to whether there's enough for even one-time use.

Essie "Absolutely Shore"

A full size nail polish is always nice and it automatically makes the $10/month charge worth the risk. Unfortunately for me, I already own Absolutely Shore, which I already reviewed back in June. It's a nice colour and I like it more now than I did back then, and Essie indeed is a great nail polish brand for Loose Button to ally with.

Olay Professional Pro-X Eye Restoration Complex

This is a hefty size for an eye cream! I've been wearily watching the rising price of upper tier drugstore brands and Olay Pro-X series is quite expensive. The full size (15ml) retails for a whopping $60. Personally I find eye creams the most difficult to finish because of the tiny amount used per application, so this is as good to me as a full size product might be.

Lise Watier Plumpissimo Le Gloss in "Opalescence"

Perhaps due to the lippies ban, or just because sparkly glosses are so appealing as we approach the holidays, I was most excited to see the Lise Watier lip gloss. It's a sizeable amount and while I'm no fan of the plumping action, I look forward to layering on the pale, shimmery pink over different colours and experimenting.

And a little extra...


  • personalized address
  • packaging
  • free shipping/delivery
  • wide variety of products
Neutral on:
  • range of brands
  • overall sizing of samples
  • instead of ambiguously promising "3, 4 or 5 products", nail down a number and stick to it (or offer the choice of choosing 3 samples for $5/month, 4 samples for $7/month, 5 samples for $10/month)
  • consider the usefulness of the sample size for the product (need more than one-time usage for skin and hair care)
  • could widen the range of brands offered in one box (Lise Watier is a good brand but two in one box is repetitive)
  • go further with the personalization (perhaps allow people to choose only what they're interested in -- i.e. receive only makeup or only skincare, etc.)
  • stick to beauty products (I've seen other/previous boxes with granola bars or chocolate -- no thanks)

While I can't argue that this box definitely contains more than the money's worth, I think several improvements can be made to aid the overall experience. Personally, I don't believe in paying for samples, which is one major reason I have yet to subscribe to any of the boxes so far. One can easily walk into a Sephora and walk out with three different samples for free each visit. I've also received a lot of hefty-sized products being passed out on the streets or at events for promotional purposes. When the box services began at $5/month, I thought the overall experience was worth it, but at $10/month, people will be extra careful about whether they want the service at all and for how long they want it. Based on the October box, I personally would not order; however, I am also someone who is fighting against the tide of products accruing in her bathroom cabinets.

This is a really lengthy way of saying that I feel rather neutral about it. I would neither encourage nor discourage subscription.

For different perspectives and opinions on Luxe Box, see what some of my favourite fellow bloggers have to say:
And to subscribe or gather more information, you can skip over to Loose Button's website.

Do you already subscribe to a sampling program? Would you? What would it take for you to sign up for a box?

October Luxe Box was provided by Loose Button for review only.


  1. Ah shame that you got a polish that you already have. They included crackle in other boxes.

  2. Hey, Justine. That's okay with me. I have so many nail polishes that the chance of receiving the same or a dupe was quite high. I don't like the crackle either so would have given it away anyway. Plus, this was all free. I would have been bummed if I had paid.

  3. Yeah, I got an email asking if I wanted to renew. Not going to. Kind of over it. It was fun for awhile, but then I was that's it? Rather put my $10 toward something else I really want.

  4. I recently saw a review that said these boxes work best as gifts to others, which I think is true. I do love the packaging though!

  5. Oh bummer, you got an essie you already had? It is quite pretty though, and the box (essie included) is a pretty good value. I also like the personalized sticker. That's a small, but thoughtful touch!

  6. I wonder about these services. I haven't tried it, because like Tracy said I think I would rather just invest in a product I want. I also have a ton of sample I've yet to use. But there is something nice about getting packages and it does seem like they tailored it to be a nice present. I'm not quite sold on the idea myself.

    Oh on another nude nail note. I was at Sephora and tried on some of the Nails Inc. At first I thought Cadogan Square was a dupe for Camel, but it's not, it's really close to San Tantonio, but a little lighter. I really like it. And Basil Street is really beautiful very close to Essie's Jazz, oh and that is gorgeousness. Just to add to our thoughts on nudity.

    And another thought as I was walking through Nordies looking at all the lovelies out for my visual consumption, I thought it would be fun to do this with Liz and Eugenia. One day my friend, one day.

  7. I'm starting to feel like this is just another fad that will eventually die down. In Australia we've just had (I think) 4 different varieties of these boxed released. I signed up for one. The first two they sent didn't impress me at all - heavy on bronzer and nail polish, two products I have zero interest in. The third one was better, but not good enough to make me keep on so I unsubbed. I just feel like it's a bit pointless when I already have a drawer full of samples I'm not using.

  8. i was actually really interested in trying out one of these services but couldnt really find one and then once i found one i didnt really wanna commit and i realized i definitely shouldnt pile up samples of things that i dont want or doubles of things i already have xD but yeah i think once you build up your makeup collection enough you become more picky with what you want and since they dont tell u wat ur getting ahead of time you could just end up with things you don't want/need/use.

  9. @Tracy - Yeah, it's something that can stockpile pretty quickly and we can easily feel oversaturated with unwanted samples. That's why I think further personalizing might cater more effectively.

    @MM - They would make lovely gifts! We bloggers already have an extensive collection of products but I know something like this would delight a lot of people I know!

    @Dovey - I think they're definitely on the right track with the small touches like that. It can't be easy trying to please everyone and keeping the boxes consistent each month.

    @D - Yes, it'd be so much fun!!! We'd have to work hard to keep up with Eugenia. ;D I haven't ventured into Nails Inc. yet because I can't seem to stop at just one, but Cadogan Square looks lovely indeed! You know, there's something about Essie Jazz that just doesn't jive with my skintone. Everytime I hold a bottle up against my hand, something is screaming "NOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

    @Dee - I agree it's not something that one can subscribe to for a long time. Eventually you'll tire of it. In order for them to stay on top and keep business, more customization and options will have to be offered.

    @Isabella - Part of the fun is the surprise aspect of it but some people really prefer to know in advance what's coming. Personally I like the surprise but receiving these once a month, 12 times a year might change that.

  10. I think they're an interesting idea, but so far, I haven't seen anyone with known allergies review them. I would never do something like this, just because the odds of me getting something I can't use (i.e., have an allergy to) is really high. If they had some sort of way of accommodating that, it might be an interesting idea, but no. And I also don't believe in paying for samples. Some of the "sample" sizes are are you supposed to find out if you like a skincare product from one use? I guess I don't have any problems buying a full size of something and then returning it if it's not working out, so these things simply don't appeal to me. Great review though, Liz!

  11. It's that sort of plum grey undertone. I have a deep olive sort of coloring, and for some reason I pull off certain cool colors well. But some cool look terrible. I guess it's got to have the right balance. Does Jazz make you look like you're heading for the morgue? Because I think Basil Street will be a bit warmer and is a very gorgeous color. Oh and I am digging Korean beauty products, girl your people do it right. My friends in Korea are so lucky. We're going to have to plan a trip and have you go incognito, and we'll have to go to Hong Kong and Japan. That will be the second trip. I'm mentally making a shopping list.

    I'm going to set up a shopping with Eugenia exercise plan. I will be working out at various malls daily. :D

  12. @Larie - I didn't even think of that! Gosh, that sucks. Perhaps some day there'll be a box for all-natural, paraben-free products only? Even then, the range of products wouldn't be as diverse as the "regular" boxes.

    @D - Yeah, I think it's the case of dead hands with Jazz. And yes, the Koreans are amazing at this beauty stuff. I think a lot of the innovations starts in Japan but the Koreans perfect them. It's a little sad how little I know of Korean beauty care, but frankly they scare me. But I am down for that trip with you and Eugenia! Gosh, Eugenia's going to be busy. We also joked about heading down to Key West and she's supposed to cook up a storm for me and Latoya (Beauty Obsessed) some day. I've been called a mighty shopper myself but it looks like I'll have to try my best to keep up with you ladies! ;D

  13. I tried Luxe Box when they first debuted in the summer but immediately stopped. Great idea but I don't even use the free samples from The Bay or Sephora!

  14. I know... isn't it weird how we go mad for samples and don't even end up using them?? For me, I think once it's out of sight, it's out of mind. I tend to shove all the samples into a bag/box and forget about them. :x

  15. I've been hearing about these box thingies for quite some time now, and I understand that they've really taken off in the UK, but I haven't been personally drawn to them myself. Perhaps it's because like Tracy, I too have a bag/container filled with samples that I've yet to try and as far as cosmetics/nail polish goes, I'd rather simply invest in the shade I want than leave it to chance that I'll get something I'll like (not to mention that it would be quite a feat if some random person were to actually send me a shade I don't have, lol), so....thanks for this really great post - you've done a fab job of saying it like it really is. As to what our friend D said, I would love for the three of us to hit the counters!!!! One day, indeed!

  16. I feel like the boxed samples concept arrived a bit late on the scene. Say, about 10-15 years ago when samples were more difficult to obtain (or was that only because I was young and penniless?). Like you, now I find myself drowning in free samples without the subscription anyway!

  17. Even before this great review, I felt indifferent about these sample boxes, because like you - to pay for samples seems a bit ridiculous, don't you think? Companies should be handing them out left, right and centre to get people to try their product - don't they understand that if we like it, WE'RE GONNA BUY IT?? Sheesh. In any case, super cool that you got to try it out first and see what it's all about!

  18. Yeah, I don't get the counters that act like samples are gold. If I can't sample, I may never purchase.

    On the other hand, these are supposed to be deluxe samples and while some definitely are, some definitely aren't. I think it should be consistent with what's advertised. I've seen some boxes (not just Luxe Box) slip in perfume samples that are the same size as those that are being passed out for free on the streets all the time. I'd be pissed if my money went to such tiny things on a regular basis. Paying customers deserve something more substantial.

  19. Thanks for the shout out! I just finished my subscription and was going to do a post about my whether or not I renewed...stay tuned :)


NO LINKS IN COMMENTS. Comments for posts older than 10 days will not appear on the page until they have been approved.