Looks very pretty eh? The box is beautifully presented and quite sturdy so could be re-used for all my make up and beauty bits and pieces. They'd look quite nice stacked too. The box also comes with an insert detailing the products contained and its theme (this month is a rather festive 'Finishing Touches'. Overall first impressions are very good.
The first product that I was drawn to was Annick Goutal's Mandragore. This is an impressive 25ml glass bottle of Eau de Toilette - hardly a sample! Even the way it was packaged is impressive, presented in a purple gauze drawstring bag with tassles. Now for the scent. It's definitley distinctive with notes of bergamont, star anise, ginger and peppermint. I usually go for fragrances which are vanilla/musk based whereas this has a strange earthy, plant-like smell - almost aromatherapy based. To me its not a moreish scent which you keep wanting to smell yourself (which is what I look for in a perfume!) However, I think it will make a very nice gift to pass on.
The next most substantial product is Clarisonic's Refining Skin Polish. I was pleased I got this option as I seen other people had received either a gel cleanser for dry or oily skin. As most of you know I love my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish and am not really that keen on trying other products on my skin (if it ain't broke don't fix it!) I tried this tonight with my Revlon electronic buffing brush as I do not own a Clarisonic cleansing system myself. This worked really nicely. You apply it to damp skin and work into a gentle lather. It smells delicious - quite fruity as it contains acai fruit and prickly pear. The gel is also very pretty as it is gold in colour and the jojoba beads that exfoliate sparkle in it. Thumbs up for this one!
Next was one of my favourite nailcare brands so I was pleased to receive a mini (very mini!) Nails Inc. polish in Oxford Street. The colour is a classic candy pink which you can't go wrong with so I will definitley be using this one. The small size makes it nice to take on holiday. The size could have been slightly bigger especially as magazines seem to now be regularly giving away full size Nails Inc. polishes as freebies.
For some reason I thought this next product was going to be larger as it is the full size valued at around £9.50. Bed Head's Sugar Dust is the size of a small pepper pot and in similar packaging! Apparently you sprinkle some into the roots of your hair and it absorbs oil and gives lift and volume. I will be trying this one as sometimes my long heavy hair can lie a bit flat. Not sure how well a powder could hold it though. Though small I think there could be a good few applications in here.
Finally there is a full sized Figs & Rouge Sweet Geranium 100% Organic Balm included. This little tin is just sooo cute and I love anything Parisian or vintage looking. The balm itself feels very silky and is a good multi purpose product for lips, cuticles etc. I also like the fact that it is 100% natural. However, the geranium smell is rather strong and its not one of my favourite scents. Nevertherless this tin will look very pretty on my office desk and useful as a lipbalm!
All in all I was really pleased with this good value box (there were 3 sachets of Living Nature products to try also). All big brands even if some of the products are not to everybodies taste. I think I will carry on for January's box to see if it is as just as exciting!