It's taken a little while for the box to get here but I was so excited when it arrived that I descended the stairs in my pyjs with a neon pink head band on so that I could see what was inside before I even finished washing my face and getting dressed - My husband and son have named me the Pink Teenage Mutant turtle, now, thank you very much!
It's been a bit of a trial getting here, though, I have to admit. I'm going to explain what happened, if you're not interested then scroll down to the next pic and see what I got in the box.
The team over at Cohorted made a bit of a boo-boo when it came to the release of the box... They released the box, a new website and the weeks product all on the same day. Yes, kaboom. The box was launched at 6pm, I was refreshing from 5:55pm and was very confused when the box never appeared to go on sale, it still said out of stock - I considered that all 100 boxes had sold out during a refresh but that seemed mad considering the site was still live.
After some tweeting and some stressing, and taking the laptop in to the kitchen to I could keep on refreshing whilst preparing food (yes, that's how much I wanted this box) it Finally showed up as in stock and instantly the site slowed... A number of my friends were unlucky and they reached the payment page but the boxes were out of stock by the time they got there. I was Very lucky, though, and got my box! Of course then there was some delays with the courier but Cohorted were fab, really communicative on twitter and they gave me some extra points on the site to say sorry for the delay.
Anyway... I think you've probably had enough of an opener... On to the box.
I've heard some mixed thoughts on this box - Some love it, some don't. Ignoring the added extra that some boxes contain, I was quite happy with what came in my box (The extra item was hidden so I didn't realise I had it for a while, and even before then I was happy) but I can see why not everyone would be.
But I'll let you know my thoughts and you can make up your own ideas based on that. I have already pre-ordered the March box and I'm looking forward to seeing what's in it.
The box is £22.49 (£2.49 of that is postage) so it's a lot more than normal beauty boxes, but then Cohorted are known for their high end bargains so I think we all had high hopes. The box doesn't have a rolling subscription, like other sites, so you buy each box one at a time which is good if you don't want to be tied in to a subscription.
So this is how my box looked when I first got it - Benefit and Bobbi Brown jumped out at me straight away and I was intrigued by the other three products.
And, because I was so interested in seeing what was in the box, in the obvious items that were listed on the card, I genuinely didn't realise there was something shining beneath the papery worms. I'm posting about this last because it's the last item I saw, and also I want people to know what's in the standard box before distracting with the special. But if you're impatient, and don't already know what the added item is, then you can just scroll on down and take a sneak peak.
The first item I picked up (and who wouldn't be intrigued by a huge gold box, haha) was the Dolce & Gabbana 'Clarifying Lotion'.
My camera did Not want to focus on the whole box so I've taken two shots - The box is just beautiful, it shouts high quality and elegance. I was pleased to see, on the box, that the lotion is alcohol-free, I don't like using too many products with alcohol in, on my face, as it dries out my skin.
The box was Heavy, and that would be because the 150ml bottle is huge, it's a beautiful frosted glass bottle that just screams luxury. The Clarifying lotion is supposed to remove makeup and dead skin; a cleansing and exfoliating product all in one - I have to say I am very interested in seeing how this works.
Next up is a brand that I lust after, that I yearn for... Bobbi Brown is a brand that I love seeing in videos, reading on blog posts, looking at on websites... But do I own any Bobbi Brown? Well, no, even when we had more funds I used to mostly use it on high st items to make it last and now that our funds are much more limited. Well Bobbi Brown has remained a daydream until today!
This is a 3ml tube of the 'Smokey Eye Mascara'. The full size of this is 10ml so, considering this is a mini, is rather good. It's supposed to give dark, long lashes as it builds volume and creates length 'lash by lash' I've not opened it, to see the brush, as I want to save it as I have a number of lovely mascaras open already so I can save this until I need something new and exciting. Bobbi Brown! (Yes, I know that most beauty addicts might find this more common-place but not me!)
Next up is the first, of two, products by Korres - Korres is a brand that I already love, I've tried their body care and I Love their lip balm products so to be able to try some of their skin care is a definite bonus for me. The 'Milk Proteins Foaming Cleanser' is a 50ml tube, which is a great size for a beauty box, and is rather intriguing. It's a cleanser, put simply, but it's meant to calm dry skin which is definitely something I could do with, and it's got no parabens, sulfates or phthalates in it and I do like products that are free from nasties. The card that comes with the box lists this as having a £15 value but I'm not sure how that is worked out as a 150ml tube costs £18. Either way it works out as a good value and is a product I'm pleased to have.
The second Korres product is this 'Quercetin & Oak Eye Primer' which is rather nice. I've not tried any of their cosmetics, other than the lip balm pots, so this is definitely something new for me. From what I can see on the card it seems that this is supposed to be applied to the skin before concealer, to make the concealer last longer, and also to help minimise the appearance of fine lines and darkness - I've never even, really, heard of a primer specifically to go under concealer so this, definitely has me interested. I can't find this, anywhere, in the UK, every shop I find it in seems to be US so I hope this doesn't become holy grail, as I won't be able to re-purchase! This is worth £10, according to the card.
Oh yes, I do love getting Benefit in a beauty box, but I've never had a full sized Benefit item in a box before! I really like the 'Ultra Plush' glosses, I have a mini in 'Coralista' and a full sized 'Rockateur' so I'm glad it wasn't one of those in the box. I love the feel of this sheer glosses, they're so light and soft on the skin, they're almost moisturising and give a light wash of colour.
'Bella Bamba' is meant to be watermelon scented as well as being a, sheer, watermelon shade - I think this bright, pinky-toned red will be the most pigmented of the Benefit glosses that I have and I think it'll be beautiful for the warmer months. I'm very happy with this product and it's worth £14.50 so is definitely a good addition to the box.
At this point, this is what the standard box contains - Two skin care items and three cosmetics, which I quite like the balance of (I'd always prefer more cosmetics) and all with impressive brands. Cohorted have said that this box is worth over £65 though, with the unsureness of a couple of prices, I make the box as around £50. Obviously I could be wrong in my research and it could, well, be over £65 but even if it's £50 then I'd be happy, it's worth over double the cost and the sorts of brands as much more impressive than you expect from cheaper boxes, not to mention the fact that there's three full sized items, plus two good sized samples.
Oh... yes, you wanted to know what that hidden, extra item was?
Oh alright then!
Oh it's only the... HOURGLASS 'Ambient Light' palette!!! Yup, that's right!
When I realised there was something brown, with a sheen, hidden at the bottom of my box I missed a breath, I dared to hope but was sure that I was wrong... And then I dug it out and made some rather unusual noises. I held it up to my husband, with my hand shaking. 'This is a brand that I've never expected to be able to own' I told him whilst just staring at how beautiful, even the box, was.
Sadly I couldn't get a pic of the box, my camera just said no. I think it's the, almost ethereal, shade and sheen of the cardboard - It is a rich, dark brown with a bronze/copper sheen and it's one of the most beautiful outer pieces of packaging that I've ever seen.
The same goes for the palette itself, to the naked eye it's that same dark brown shade but my camera picked up on the bronze/copper sheen instead. But you can still see how beautiful it is, yes? The shape, what it's made from, everything.
And inside? Mhmm... Three, stunning highlighting powders. The subtle differences between the shades is hard to pick up on camera, but I think you can see. I've not swatched them, yet, I'm not feeling brave enough - I've never owned anything of such a high value, when it comes to cosmetics. I'm so scared of gouging one with a nail or something. I will play with these, though, and try to get a post up in the future. Needless to say I am over the moon and totally in shock - I'm not one of these people that gets such good luck, very often, so this took me totally by surprise. This palette is worth £56 so... yes. My box was, without a doubt, worth the money, and the time, and the stressing over stock etc.
I'm definitely looking forward to the March box (which I was going to link but, in the past few days, that seems to have sold out too!) - Knowing what the standard box contains I'm interested to see what choices they make for next month. I consider these boxes a Very good investment of some of my blog earnings - I've been trying to save what I've earned recently but I really wanted to try this box and I think the next box will be well worth discovering too.
I can see why some people weren't so sure about the box - If the skincare wasn't to their tastes, if the shade of the gloss wasn't something that they'd enjoy... But for me, it was all perfect. And, yes, that's way before I even discovered the palette, I promise.
Thank you, thank you Cohorted!