Marie Claire's The Parcel (Final Edit) June 2017 - unboxing and first impressions


If you're a subscriber to Marie Claire's The Parcel or Ageless Parcel, you would have received notification last month that the service is closing operations. Part of me feels sad about this (because surely no one likes it when Australian businesses fail), but the other part of me isn't surprised.

I've said it before but I'll say it again: the problem with the Parcel is that you could walk into your local chemist or supermarket and buy the exact products you received in any given box. While there might be a market for that, by sticking with this formula, the Parcel has effectively been alienating its most important market: the beauty obsessed. We're the ones who spend far more than we need to on beauty and who stay subscribed to boxes even though we have too much stuff already. If you can't capture that market, what's the point?

Moving on.

There are the contents above. Gosh I'm bored. It's meant to be a 'jumbo' box that represents the last Parcel and Ageless Parcel combined, and I suppose it's quite big but I see some repeats here and I'm not happy about that.

The Philosophy cleanser we've received at least once from these guys before, and the Revlon hair treatment was included in the last Ageless box and I haven't even opened mine yet. We received the mask sachet from The Body Shop previously too. At least I love that product. Bugger that it's a tiny sample.

The only thing 'missing' is yet another body cream from Jergens (because I can't remember the last box that didn't include one), and to be honest, I would have preferred that over the Revlon and Philosophy repeats above because at least I would have used it. Oh well.

Let's have a quick look at each item in turn.

Avon Magic Effects Matte Top Coat (RRP $14.99 AUD for 10ml)

According to the card, this top coat is easy to apply and glides on over any nail enamel. It seals your nail colour with a unique matte finish that keeps your tips looking fresh and your colour on-trend.

I don't mind the idea of trying a matte polish because I've never used one, but it's so hard for me to find the time for applying nail polish that I can see this sitting around for ages. The big thing will be whether or not it chips immediately (most polishes do on me). If it does, it's off to the declutter pile.  

Avon True Colour Perfectly Matte Lipstick (RRP $19.99 AUD for 3.6g)

According to the card, traditional matte lipsticks are either too shiny or so powdery that they can cake and dry out your lips. These lipsticks shouldn't do that: they're called the perfect balance between a 100% matte finish and lasting, wearable comfort.

I received the shade 002 Pure Pink. I've seen a swatch and while it looks like a nice colour, I already know that it won't suit me (few pinks do) and I also prefer cream lipsticks over matte ones because my lips are so damn dry. Another product for the declutter pile.

Philosophy Purity Made Simple 3-in-1 Cleanser for Face and Eyes (RRP $50 for 480ml; received 30ml sample)

This cleanser aims to remove makeup and dissolve dirt, tone and hydrate your skin in one step. It's apparently an award-winning product.

I've used at least two of these 30ml samples before and hated them both (it's a rubbish cleanser - does nothing for me). I thought I'd reviewed it but haven't, and I won't keep this sample for review purposes because I can't bear to use it again. Off it goes.

QV Hand Cream SPF 15 (RRP $6 for 50g; received full size)

This should nourish your hands while protecting them with sunscreen. It's apparently a luxurious, non greasy formula that provides instant moisture to the skin, leaving your hands feeling soft all day long.

I don't need another hand cream - I've wound up with far too many of them lately - but I'll keep it and use it eventually. I like that it comes with sunscreen: not enough hand creams do.

The Jojoba Company, 100% Natural Australian Jojoba (RRP $19.95 for 30ml; received 15ml sample)

This is described as a powerful natural moisturiser for face and body. It's high in antioxidants and naturally contains vitamins and essential fatty acids. It should hydrate while carrying nutritious actives to the deepest layers of the skin.

I've used this before and really enjoyed it. This is the only item in the box that I'm pleased about and I might open it sooner rather than later because I'm low on face oil at the moment.

La Roche-Posay Redermic C10 (RRP $69.95 AUD for 30ml)

This is an anti-ageing serum that combines 10% pure vitamin c with hyaluronic acid and vitamin e for hydrated, visibly plumper-looking skin. Its intensive corrective action reduces the look of wrinkles, reinforces skin's firmness and evens out the complexion to give skin luminosity.

I do like La Roche-Posay as a brand but this is another thing that I could have grabbed at Priceline and it's only 5ml in size so there's not much product to play with.

Nivea Cellular Anti-age Eye Cream (RRP $27.99 AUD for 15ml)

This is described as a rich, nourishing cream that you can use both day and night. While I don't have a lot of eye cream floating around, it's not something I skimp on so I wouldn't buy it from a pharmacy/supermarket brand like Nivea. Sure, I'll try it but my dry 37-year-old eyes generally need something pretty special to look their best.

Klorane Mango Butter Shampoo (RRP $13.95 AUD for 200ml; received full size)

This should nourish and restructure dry hair from the first wash with the nourishing properties of mango butter. It claims to smooth the hair cuticle and fill the gaps in the hydrolipidic film that shields hair from dehydration.

You know how I feel about receiving shampoos or conditioners without their mates. It's bloody annoying. How will I know what this shampoo is like if I don't have its matching conditioner to try along with it? Pffft. Not long ago we received a 'floating' conditioner from Klorane via the Parcel, which I haven't opened yet (again, because it has no pair) so I'll probably use them together. They're not from the same range (also annoying) but at least they'll get used.

Revlon UniqOne Hair Treatment (RRP $29.95 AUD for 150g; received full size)

This range from Revlon apparently offers the most advanced technology and gives you ten benefits to help you achieve spectacular results. This particular product is a leave-in spray treatment that should repair dry/damaged hair; offer shine and frizz control; protect your hair from heat; and leave it smooth and silky.

I've tried this before and didn't love it, but that was years ago so I'm open to trying it again. Problem is, we received this exact product in our last edit of the Ageless Parcel, and I haven't even opened that one yet so I definitely don't need another one. Off to the declutter pile we go.

Nivea Cellular Anti-age Volume Filling Pearls (RRP $32.95 AUD for 30ml; received 2ml sample)

These contain hyaluronic acid and collagen booster pearls, and they should reduce wrinkles and fine lines for a fuller, firmer and younger looking complexion. They're suitable for sensitive skin.

As with the eye cream above, at my age and with my skin type I wouldn't buy a facial serum from a brand like Nivea. I love Nivea for body care but my face needs something with more punch. If you're on a budget and need good skincare, you're better off looking at brands like The Ordinary or Antipodes for facial care. That's just what I think. 

The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask (RRP $44.95 AUD for 75ml; received 5ml sachet)

According to the card, this mud-textured exfoliating mask works to deeply cleanse and detoxify the skin. It contains Himalayan charcoal and green tea leaves, and helps purify the complexion.

We got this from the Parcel last year and it's a fantastic product so I'll definitely use this. Pity it's a tiny sample, but there you go.

In sum

This wasn't a great box and I'm automatically decluttering three things - two being repeats and the third being the pink lipstick. The other things will get used so that's something, and I'm pleased that the Parcel was able to get out a final box as promised after announcing it was closing operations.

Mind you, we've been promised refunds and I understand that no one has received theirs yet, which is worrying (I'm owed something like $80 AUD so I'm keen to recover that amount) and I do hope they make good on that. I did call them to chase up the refund and was promised I would receive it by June 30, but there's been no sign of it yet. Not cool.

Do let me know how you feel about the Parcel closing. I for one am quite glad that I'll be getting my money back (assuming that actually happens!) because the service has deteriorated ever since I made the mistake of re-subscribing. Yes it's true that I've never been hugely excited about the Parcel's contents (at least for the most part) but there was a time when it contained plenty of things I would happily use so at least it was good value and saved me a few trips to the chemist. Not anymore.

Hope all's well with you, and speak soon x

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