Too Good to be True? I test Estee Lauder’s Enlighten Serum

Have you ever looked at a product’s claims and thought, “No way, friend. There is no way you can do all that?” Well, I do all the time. I’m a pretty skeptical shopper. Especially if a product is expensive–I’m almost more skeptical because of the investment.  Sure, all those benefits sound nice, but if I don’t get results, I get a little sour.

In my April 2015 Glossybox, we received a sample of Estee Lauder’s Enlighten Dark Spot Correcting Night Serum. The claims seemed a little too good to be true. This product is designed to:

  • hydrate
  • improves uneven skintone
  • reduce dark spots/discolorations and redness
  • smooth your skin’s texture

Full results take up to 4 weeks. That’s a lot for one product! It’s also $69/1oz. Yikes, right. For all that money, it actually better deliver on its claims.

Well, it did! I was shocked, but it definitely helped alleviate my hyperpigmentation. You can see a before and after shot below. I get dark spots around my jawline and nose, where I sometimes get acne from hormones and stress. My hyperpigmentation lasts quite a while after a blemish at baseline, so having something to help it along is welcome in my book.

The green circles indicate areas where I had some new acne; arrows indicate areas of greatest improvement.

I also noticed smoother skin texture. The serum itself is hydrating, but not oily. I haven’t experienced any unusual acne outside of my normal patterns. Enlighten is actually quite thin and refreshing to put on the skin. It always feels nice and cool.

My “naked” face–only a little mascara, eyebrow pencil, and tinted chapstick

I usually at the very least wore a BB cream, if not foundation, everyday to cover the patchiness on my chin, but I have definitely felt more confident heading out the door with a “naked” face, lately. I am so grateful Glossybox sent this sample, because I definitely wouldn’t have sprung for this product otherwise. I am definitely going to continue to use it 🙂

What product have you used lately that totally surprised you?

May 2015 GlossyBox Review!

Hi Friends!

So glad you are stopping by the new site. 🙂 If you have any helpful hints or suggestions, please let me know!

Today I have for you a review of my May 2015 Glossybox, which just arrived here on Saturday. Happy weekend to me! I love subscription boxes, they’re like surprises you can give yourself. If you’re not familiar with GlossyBox, GlossyBox is a monthly beauty subscription box that offers 5 full or deluxe size samples of products for $21/month. They offer mostly high-end products, but they throw in some great drugstore items too.

Here is what they had to offer for May 2015:

Teeez Trend Cosmetics Head Over Heels Nail Lacquer (Value: $14/0.24 oz)

Teeez is a Dutch brand that’s new to me and–if you’re located in the US–it’s probably new to you too. As far as I could tell from a quick search, the only place it’s available to buy online if you’re located in the US is Cloud10Beauty.com. Teeez strikes me very much like a Dutch version of Urban Decay: high-end products, but still edgy.

The nail lacquer I received was in the color Smoking Gun, which I have swatched below!

The color is lovely–it contains flecks of gold, bronze, and silver. It is definitely something I will wear and use! I also noted that it dried very quickly when I swatched it–always a plus!

GlamGlow Powermud Dualcleanse Treatment (Value: we received 0.5 oz, which retails for $19 at Sephora)

The GlamGlow product line is really hot right now–everyone seems to be buzzing about their masks. I’ve never tried one, partly because Lush’s Fresh Masks line (my favorite) is much more affordable; however, I am pumped to see what all the fuss is about. This Dualcleanse treatment is both mask and cleansing oil treatment. You apply a layer and allow it to dry for 5-10 minutes.  Then as you add water to rinse it off, it transforms into the a cleansing oil. The treatment is intended to purify and exfoliate. I am intrigued and I will definitely let you all know what I think!

GlossyBox also included a coupon code for GlamGlowMud. Enter GLOSSYBOX30 to get 30% off through July 31st, 2015.

Clearista Retexturizing Gel (Value: ~$10–retails $79.99/4 oz; we received 0.5 oz)

This is a pretty unique product and I am excited to see if it’s worth the hefty price tag. This gel is massaged into the skin for 30-60 seconds, then rinsed off. The gel is supposed to exfoliate and smooth the skin, reduce dark spots, and hydrate all in one. The brand, Clearista, prides itself on producing forward-thinking skincare products through science and research. They remind me a lot of another brand I’ve had great luck with–Algenist. I will definitely do a review on this, since it’s a newer product on the market.

Doucce Mineral Matt Lipstick (Value: $20/full size lippie)

Doucce is a New York based up-and-coming makeup brand. They are new to me, so I was excited to swatch this and tried it out right away this weekend. Below is a swatch of the color I received, Cherry Blossom.

The color is a beautiful rosy-pink with blue undertones. Unfortunately, it is a little too blue on me, but I can make it work with a warmer gloss over top. Regardless of the color, let’s talk formula. The formula is described by Doucce as a matte color that “glides on effortlessly.” Well, it is matte. I will give them that. However…it does NOT glide on effortlessly. The bullet is actually rather dry and applying it was literally a bit rough. Given how difficult it was to apply, I was actually rather shocked that it wasn’t drying on the lips at all. I wore it all day on Sunday with no issue. However, I probably wouldn’t purchase it outside of the box given the rough application. The packaging is also a very light plastic that feels quite cheap–it doesn’t feel like something you would spend $20 on.

Sebastian Professional Stylbrid 9 (Value: ~$5; retails $19.96/6.2 oz, we received 1.55 oz)

This product is a hairspray that can also act as a primer to protect your hair from heat, add volume, define curls, and offers UV protection. That’s a lot of usage packed into one bottle. I have used Sebastian products previously and really liked them; I am really hopeful I like this too because I am definitely in favor of any product that can free up some space under my sink!

Overall Value: $68 (over 3x your subscription cost!)

I am once again really impressed with this month’s Glossybox. I think they do a fantastic job of combining highly buzzed-about brands like GlamGlow and sleeper hits, like last month’s Marrakesh Endz. If you’re interested in signing up for GlossyBox, I would love it if you clicked here 🙂

Which products in this month’s GlossyBox that you are dying to try? Did you receive any new favorites in your subscription boxes? Let me know in the comments below!

April 2015 GlossyBox Review!

DSC_0446Sorry for the brief absence! I was in NYC for the week with my husband on vacation and took a break from blogging! Right before we left, I received my April Glossybox, so I tested out the products while we were out of town! If you’re not familiar with GlossyBox, GlossyBox is a monthly beauty subscription box that offers 5 full or deluxe size samples of products, mostly high end, but they throw in some great drugstore items too.

BTW The box itself this month is adorable!


Inside the Box!

DSC_0456

  • Estee Lauder Enlighten Dark Spot Correcting Night Serum (Value: $60/1 oz; we got 0.24 oz sample) According to Estee Lauder, this product is supposed to improve skin texture, hydrate, and decrease hyperpigmentation in 2-4 weeks. I’ve only been using it for about a week and a half, so I can’t really speak to that yet. I will say it feels nice on the skin, not greasy at all. I do have very mild hyperpigmentation around my chin and nose, where I get most of my acne. I will definitely do a post at 4 weeks, or whenever my sample is gone, to see how I feel about the product then.
  • Julep Gel Eye Glider in Navy Smoke (Value: $16; we were given a full size pencil)  I am super impressed with the quality of this liner. It truly does “glide” right on and definitely has the staying power of a gel! The navy color I received is stunning with a grey smokey eye for just a little pop of color. It would look amazing on someone with brown eyes.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Stained Gloss in Rhythm Box (Value: $18/0.33 oz; we were given a full size)  Rhythm Box is a beautiful burgundy/dark berry color. I have worn it on its own and over a pink lipstick and it is a really nice color and I think pretty flattering. The nice thing about receiving a lip gloss is you can layer it and play around to find what suits you best, making it a little more universally received than some other products. OCC products are really high quality–so I was pumped to see this in my box! One odd thing, we didn’t receive the brush that usually comes with OCC lip products.
  • Aerin Waterlily Sun Eau de Parfume (Value: $110/1.7 oz; we received 0.3 oz) This scent definitely agreed with me more than last month’s Vince Camuto Amore. Waterlily Sun is light and floral–it practically sings Spring, but without being sugary and sweet like Amore is. Definitely a hit!
  • Marrakesh Endz (Value: $5.99/1 oz; received 1 oz) This product was a surprise hit for me. You apply a small amount to the ends of your hair–wet or dry–and style. It helps repair breakage and prevent further damage. My hair is baby-fine and dyed, so breakage is a problem for me. I have definitely noticed a difference since I’ve been using this product.
  • Surprise gift: Thursday Friday Makeup Bag This was a cute little extra; it’s the perfect size for slipping some makeup essentials in my bag before a long day at school or work. It included a 50% coupon code to Thursday Friday, which is a nice touch; unfortunately, nothing on the website was really appealing to me.

Total Value: $75+, adjusting for the sample sizes given

Overall, I would say April is a hit! Definitely received some great high end brands and a nice surprise! Way to go, GlossyBox!

What are your favorite beauty sub boxes?