Violet Box November 2014 - unboxing and first impressions


This one happily showed up today - a bit late, but at least there was good communication from Violet Box about November's boxes being late due to some customs issues.

Decent communication means a lot to many customers (it certainly does to me), and I'm not worried about the occasional late box so long as I'm kept informed.

From the looks of things on social media, this box has been pretty well received. Violet Box must be happy about that, considering the general response to last month's box (which contained - shock horror - not one, but TWO DB products).

DB?! In Violet Box?!

Anyhoo. Hopefully that's an error that won't be repeated ; )

There's a nice mix of things this month - two for eyes, one for lips, one for nails and some skincare samples. I have to say, there's an unusual amount of errors (typos etc) on the product card this month. Who's proofing these? My golly. But moving on ; )

There's also this:

Waaahhhoooo! Excited already. It's a reason to stay subscribed!

As usual I'll go through each item now and give you my initial thoughts on the contents. Later on I'll update this post, once I've used everything and can comment on the products properly.

Bloom Boost Lip Balm (RRP $6.95 for 4g; received full size)

This is a fine inclusion, I just really hate the smell of fake banana - and that's what I'm smelling here. Reminds me of those gross-a-tron fake banana milkshakes that one of my brothers used to order when we were kids.

Hoh well. According to the card, these flavours are inspired by Boost Juice smoothies. I'd have loved another flavour, but not to worry. They're mixed with soothing beeswax, nourishing jojoba seed oil and vitamin E.

What I might do is find a sample of one of these somewhere so I can give you my thoughts on the balm (in another flavour ; ) ), but I suspect this product's headed for the presents pile. Pity, looks cute.

UPDATE: In the end I did gift this to a better home, but I was able to steal it from the friend in question afterwards to test it and also get her thoughts. She really loved the scent (good!) and we both felt it was a decent product - great texture and felt nice and moisturising on the lips. It's just not for me: I wear glosses or balms (or Blistex if my lips are in trouble) and don't use anything in this category. Happily, my friend does.

clariSEA Rapid Detox Charcoal Exfoliant (RRP $18 for 113g; received decent-sized sample of maybe 30g(?))

This was the sneak peek item for this month and I'm super excited to try it. It's an all natural exfoliant that apparently vacuums up impurities from deep within the pores, using naturally detoxifying ingredients.

The powder immediately absorbs and removes dirt and excess oil, while the sea salt attacks acne-causing bacteria on the surface of the skin.

I do hope all that's true!

UPDATE: Full review here. In short, I like it but it's not the best product of this nature that I've used. You can choose to use it with water alone or add it to your cleanser (I prefer using it with cleanser) and it scrubs nicely for a very short time before the salt dissolves and you end up with salt in your mouth (that's not a complaint, just a comment!).

I feel it does have some exfoliating action and leaves my skin feeling fresher and brighter after use: that exfoliating action could be improved if the product didn't dissolve so quickly. It's also gentle enough for sensitive skin and the little sample pot seems to be lasting forever, so who knows how long the full size would last!

I like it but I wouldn't buy it.

Zkin Organics Purifying Cleansing Gel (RRP $22.95 for 100ml), Rebalancing Lotion (RRP $44.95 for 50ml) and Line Smoothing Serum (RRP $59.95 for 25ml) - received 2 x 2ml and 1 x 1ml samples

I'm no fan of sachets, but I don't hate them as much as many do and this is a nicely presented little kit. The only issue with this set for me is that it's for oily or combination skin, and my skin is dry. I'm not sure whether other versions of the samples were available, or whether we all just got the same one.

Anyway, I'll give them a go. They contain a bunch of natural ingredients and Zkin is a brand I haven't heard of, so that's a plus.

UPDATE: Unfortunately the very small size of these sachets makes it pretty hard to give a definite review of these products - I reckon you need at least 3ml for each and 5ml is a better amount.

What I can say is that I like the smell of each (fresh and herbal) and enjoyed using them, although I'd like to see what they have for dry skin because I think I need heavier products. Also, the cleanser instructions are a bit much - you have to emulsify on the first cleanse and then remove the product with a makeup pad, then cleanse again - but maybe I'm just lazy. I like the lotion the most out of the three.

Colour by TBN 3D Magnetic Nail Polish (RRP $7.99 for 15ml; received full size - includes magnetic tooly thing)

I'm a bit suspicious of TBN after receiving that rubbish $3.50 lipstick from LHI. Hopefully this polish fares better, although I can't see myself using this stuff too much because nail polish usually lasts all of 2.5 seconds on me and is therefore not worth the effort. I'm sure many lasses will have fun with this though.

I always seem to receive coloured products from VB in purple and blue and this is no exception. At least the colour's ok.

Apparently the polishes contain magnetic particles that form unique shapes when you hover the magnet over them. I can see myself trying this once and then getting over the effort ; )

UPDATE: I decided to gift this in the end to a better home. It's rare enough that I gather the effort to do my nails, and the extra step of the magnet is something I'd likely do once and never again. If you've used this product, I'd love to hear what you thought of it.

'Tini Beauty Eyetini Cordial Eyeshadow + Base (RRP $23 for 4g; received full size) and Swizzle Stick Eyeliner (RRP $23 for 0.25g; received full size)

These are probably the best items in the box and I'll hopefully have some fun with them. The colours I received were Cognac (that's the eyeliner) and Ambrosia (that's the 'cordial'). See swatches below.

Brown eyeliner is always welcome (I prefer it to black), though I'm not sure about the purple. Enough purple already! Ach. Anyone would think I have 'please give this girl blue and purple eye products' written in all my beauty profiles. Which I don't.

I gave these two swatches a good rub once they'd dried, and it looks like the cordial will stay put but the eyeliner won't. I'll let you know once I've worn them a few times and can comment more.

According to the card, the eyeliner is transfer resistant and won't smudge or fade (we'll see). It doesn't need sharpening, which is always a plus because I'm lazy. The cordial eyeshadow is also apparently transfer-resistant and won't crease/fade, and doubles as a base.

Looking forward to having a play.

UPDATE: Full review here. In short, the eyeliner is a great colour and I like the look of the product and the packaging, it just doesn't last. Plus mine broke after a couple of uses, so there's another question mark over the quality. I'm now using it as a brow pencil and it works well for that purpose.

As for the cordial, this is a much better product and it's one I'm enjoying using. It lasts much better than the liner and I think the quality is more decent. It also works well as a base product if you want to put a different shadow over the top - like a primer, it can intensify the second product and make it last longer. Looking forward to doing a more complete review of this one.


This is a pretty good box and I'm happy with it. I'm most excited about the charcoal exfoliant, and I'd have been super excited about the eye cordial if I'd received a colour that wasn't purple (honestly, I could start my own purple-themed makeup shop - and that's after I've given half the purple stuff I've received away in the past year). The brown eyeliner won't go astray, even though I've received a couple of other browns recently (I'd prefer that to black).

Actually, maybe I'm most excited about the sneak peek for next month!

Have you received your VB yet? What did you think if so?

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