That's it, I give up on the timeline I had set for myself. The limited amount of daylight plus me not being a morning person is seriously setting me back and I haven't had enough daylight to shoot all the stuff I want(ed) to, hence why there was no November Nylon Box, so just bear with me for the time being. I have plenty of ideas and not enough daylight. On to today's subject though because who doesn't love a good mystery box? I didn't know that both brands, Charlotte Tilbury and Marc Jacobs, would be doing this kind of mystery box on Cyber Monday but when I saw that they were I thought it would be fun to see how the values compare and what kind of products you get (if they're similar or super different). The Charlotte Tilbury Lucky Box of Makeup Magic came in two sizes; $200 for a value of $425 and seven full size products and a $100 box for a $220 value and five full size products. I went for the $100 box since I just drained my bank account at Sephora last month but the value on the $200 box is amazing. Because I went for the $100 box from Charlotte I decided to go for the similarly priced medium size Marc Jacobs Mystery Bag which cost $95 (and has a retail value of $156) to keep the comparison fair. This isn't my first foray with the Marc Jacobs Mystery Bag, I bought one not that long ago back in October which you can check out here if you want, but the prices made a significant jump. Back in October the medium bag, which is what I had purchased, was only $40 and had a value of $101 and the large was $99 with a value of $170 so just from that bit of info you can tell the values have dropped and the prices for the different sizes have gone up significantly (there's also a small which is currently $45 for a $104 value and in October the small was $29 for a $46 value). I don't know if the higher prices are going to stick of if they'll go back down to the lower price point but thought that was worth mentioning since I tried one out somewhat recently. Okay, now let's see what's inside!
First up is a primer and now I'm literally overflowing with primers (currently have seven including this one). I definitely did not need this but I had a sample from a previous order and decided to try it out, instead of opening this one, just so I could see what it like and if it's very different from my other three illuminating primers. It's not...but it's still beautiful. I am not picky when it comes to light reflecting primers as long as they don't have a weird undertone or cast to them and this one is more of a golden reflect but somehow still looks good on my fair cool-neutral undertone. It also has some ingredients in it that help with the appearance of fine lines and help blur any imperfections. It's not an item I was hoping for but I'm a sucker for a dewy primer so I'll be adding this to my back stock while I attempt to use up some of my other primers before cracking into this full size one.
Legendary Brows in Clear $22.50
I was so hoping I wouldn't get a repeat product of something I already own yet here we are. I purchased this back at the end of July and have been alternating using it with my other brow gel and it's not a bad brow gel but it just doesn't give me quite as strong of a hold as I prefer. I didn't want to waste it though so I use this one when I'm going for a very natural brow or sometimes I'll add a few coats to try and build it up to get it to hold a little better. It's a pretty universal product so I get why it's in there but would not of been my first pick. Since I don't hate it I'm keeping it and adding yet another product to my backup stash.
Now onto something that isn't a backup! I own two other shades in the Eyes to Mesmerise, Verushka and Mona Lisa, and even though they crease like crazy on me I still really like them so I was very happy to get another color. These little pots of cream eyeshadow spread and blend beautifully and it's easy to do a very light wash or build up the intensity for a more dramatic look. The downside to this product though is the creasing. I don't know if it creases much on non-hooded eyes but I have very hooded, oily eyelids and have not figured out a way to stop the creasing yet. I've tried setting them with a similar toned eyeshadow and powdering my eyelids before applying and still got quite a bit of creasing both times. About the only thing I haven't tried that I have available in my makeup collection is using a glitter glue before hand so that will be my next trial. When they do start to crease though it's really easy to blend back out, which does cause some fading, but I'm not too fussed about it since I really like the Eyes to Mesmerise cream shadows becausse they're so easy to use. Not the best product for my particular eyelids but I do like the color and I've already used it quite a few times in the short period of time that I've had it so I'm quite happy with this one.
Legendary Lashes $32
A somewhat controversial pick for the box but one I was super excited about. This mascara gets a lot of negative feedback online for being very smudgy but it looks absolutely incredible every time it's used in one of Charlotte's YouTube tutorial so I'd been dying to try it. I had a travel size from a previous online order from Charlotte Tilbury and decided to open that instead to try out since it's older and omg it's a pretty amazing mascara. I don't have the greatest lashes to begin with but this does build them up quite a bit and it doesn't make the curl drop which is pretty hard for a non-waterproof volumizing mascara. So, it looks amazing but is it really that smudgy? Honestly, it does smudge a little but it's really not that bad. In fact, it's not any worse than any other mascara I've tried. Wayne Goss listed this as one of his top mascaras of 2017 but also said that he wouldn't be surprised if they reformulated because of all the complaints about smudging. I think the reason it smudges is because it has an oil in it so that's going to make it break down or transfer onto anything it touches since it isn't a dry mascara. It's also a bit messy to remove and just kind of goes everywhere on my face when I try to take it off but I really like the effect it gives my lashes and the misgivings aren't enough to deter me from using it so I'm happy to add this to my ever-growing back stock (for the record I probably wouldn't go out and repurchase though).
I think I let out an audible shriek when I opened up this lipstick tube and it was not a happy sound. I am a bold lip wearer so my happy place is in the red/magenta lipstick family and this is described as a suede taupe nude which is about as far from my usual tones as you can get. I heavily contemplated giving this away because I was so turned off from the color in the bullet but then I figured I better try it out anyways so I could tell you all about it and I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, I would say it's actually not a bad deep nude/natural shade on my skin tone. It's very, very close to my natural lip color and looks like a rosy-brownish dark nude on me. I've only worn it once, and I didn't have it on for very long, but the formula felt comfortable on the lips and it has good pigmentation. Definitely not my first color choice, I'm obsessing over the limited edition shade Shanghai Nights at the moment, but I'm glad I finally have a bullet lipstick from Charlotte Tilbury and it's a very wearable color that I'll hopefully get some use out of.
Norman Parkinson 'On Call' Makeup Bag $45 & Hot Lips Keychain $?
And last but not least the makeup bag and keychain. I kid you not, right after I ordered the box I was thinking to myself, "I really hope I get a Norman Parkinson makeup bag" and low and behold I did. I don't actually use makeup bags all that often except for when traveling but I am a huge fan of the Norman Parkinson collaboration and the imagery is beautiful so I'm really happy to have received it. The keychain isn't listed anywhere online so I have no idea how much "value" it actually adds to the box but I think it's a pretty cool keychain/bag charm. The rose gold doesn't match any of my handbags so I don't think I'll be using it that way but I still think it's a cool bonus (even though the lipstick hanging out of the lips low-key kind of reminds me of a cigarette).
Charlotte Tilbury Look
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When I opened the Marc Jacobs package and saw another nail polish I wasn't exactly thrilled because the one from my last Mystery Bag isn't very opaque. I've since bought another Marc Jacobs polish in a much brighter pink, Shocking, and I picked it up at Marshall's for something like $2 or $4 but haven't gotten around to using it yet. This color is a bit disappointing because it isn't that far off from the color I got in October, Pearl Jam, it's just a little bit lighter and doesn't have the slight shimmer that Pearl Jam has. I tried it out and it took about three coats to get it mostly opaque but it's so not the type of color I want to be wearing this time of year so I immediately took it off. I don't hate the color, I just think it's really boring. I'll probably try wearing it again in the spring or summer but I just think there's way better quality nail polishes out there than the Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquers so this product is a bit of a dud for me.
I have a bit of an obsession with eyeshadow sticks so I was super excited to see one include. I was a little disappointed when I saw the color because I have the Cargo Cosmetics Swimmables Longwear Eyeshadow Stick in Hudson Bay which is pretty much identical to Stardust, so much so that I would consider it a dupe, and out of all my shadow sticks it's the one I wear the least. I wasn't super excited because the color isn't anything new to me but I tried it out anyways to see if it applied or blended any differently than any of my other shadow sticks. It blends out super easily, better than the Cargo one I'd say, and has a nicer texture (the glitter in the Cargo one is super gritty). I've only worn this once so far and I didn't want to put it all over the eyelid since that would basically make a smokey eye and I wanted to try something a little different and more subtle so I just smudged it along my lash line over a small black wing and I actually really liked the way it turned out. It did transfer a tiny bit onto my upper crease since my eyes are so heavily lidded but not nearly as bad as I thought it would and if you don't have hooded eyes it probably wouldn't be a problem. Initially I wasn't excited about this but now that I've used it once I really liked the look I was able to create and can definitely see myself getting my use out of it.
Upon first glance this was the only product I was super excited about. This is such a good mascara for volumizing and getting dramatic, black lashes. I've had several travel size tubes of this in the past and I'd say it's probably one of my top five favorite mascaras. I didn't use it in the look I created because I don't want to open it just yet since I have so many backup mascaras at the moment and I like to use them in order of being received but I do really like this mascara. Definitely did not need another mascara but since this is one of my favorites I'm really glad it was in the box.
The packaging for the New Nudes range frightened me because I thought I was getting a lipstick the color of the tube and may or may not have had a bit of a fit until I opened it up. Then when I saw the actual color of the lipstick I thought it was a bit boring but I'd still give it a go since I like Marc Jacobs lipsticks a lot. This ended up being such a good shade of nude on me. Without a lip liner it's a super light nude but not so light that it looks like concealer lips. I actually like that it's a bit sheer because I think that is what keeps me from looking like a corpse in this shade without a liner because it is pretty light on the lips. The sheerness of it does show any texture on the lips so I do have to exfoliate and moisturize my lips before wearing it but I am shocked at how much I like this lipstick. I surprisingly ended up loving this and it'll probably be my go-to nude from now on so I'm quite chuffed with this one.
I love that I also got a lip liner to go with the lipstick but I must say I'm not the biggest fan of this shade because it's a little too brown for my taste. I used it in the photo below but it's not my favorite color so I probably won't be using it a ton. As far as formula goes it glides on super easily and it lasted until I took it off so the longevity seems good. While the color isn't my most favorite I do like that it's a twist up so I won't have to sharpen it when I do use it (I hate sharpening lip liners). I'll probably use it every once in a blue moon since I have it and I don't want it to go to waste but I would of chosen the shade Prim(rose) since I prefer more pink toned lip liners with my complexion. I'd say this is a don't hate it, don't love it product for me.
Last but not least, an eyeshadow brush. Out of the eyeshadow brushes from Marc Jacobs this is the perfect one for me. Unless I'm trying to create a lewk for Instagram, which I don't do very often because I'm basic and simple, I usually don't wear a ton of eyeshadow on my lids and prefer to just smudge a shadow or liner along my lash line and that's where this baby comes in handy. I have about three other smudge brushes but they're all shaped very differently and this one is no exception. I used it to smudge the Twinkle Pop along my lash line and it worked very well at doing so on the top and bottom lash line. It has a bit of a weight to it which makes it feel expensive, which it is, and the brush hairs aren't scratchy or falling out so it seems like a good quality brush. I will definitely use this a ton and I can't say "no" to a new makeup brush so this is great.
Marc Jacobs Look
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Okay, now that we've seen what each mystery box how do they compare? If you're after value Charlotte's your girl because the total value sans keychain ended up being $220.50 so it hit the value promise and had five full size makeup products plus two non-makeup items. The sheer quantity of items is great and I think the shades for the lipstick, brow gel and cream eyeshadow would work for a lot of different skin tones. If you want something that's maybe a little more exciting, at least to me, Marc's your man. The value is nowhere near as good at $156 but the color choices are a bit more flattering on me (though I think medium to deep skin tones would struggle with the lipstick shade). I think it's interesting that both brands did a cream shadow, lipstick and mascara so the product types actually ended up being a bit more similar than I anticipated. In general the percentage of items I like is greater with Charlotte Tilbury but my favorite product out of everything is the Marc Jacobs lipstick so it's a bit of a toss up for me and I would say if you wanted to get one of these next year for Christmas to go with the brand speaks to you more.
Of course I had hoped for certain products and even with the given items I probably would of chosen a different shade for everything but that's the risk you take with mystery boxes. Sometimes you end up with a gem you would of never thought to get and the color choices can push you out of your comfort zone which can be good if you're in a makeup rut. I will more than likely be purchasing mystery boxes from each brand in the future since these are two of my favorite cosmetics companies and I tend to like most products from both and trust them to be consistent in quality. The Charlotte Tilbury mystery box was only a Cyber Monday deal but as of right now the Marc Jacobs Mystery Bags are still available so if you are interested in one, go check it out here before they disappear (you can sign up for notification for Charlotte's next year here).
If I'd of known or thought more about potential Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals I probably wouldn't of picked up so much stuff from Sephora's sale back in November because now I have an absolute crap ton of makeup. I don't even want to look at makeup online because I'm so overwhelmed with all the new stuff so hopefully I can be a good girl and resist online shopping for a while and just enjoy what I have since I've got some great new additions (with the exception of the Beautylish Lucky Bag because I will definitely be trying to get me one of those since that is what started my blog this year).
I think that is everything for today. Thank you so much for being patient with me, I've got part two of my Fall Beauty Haul coming up and then hopefully after that the next installment in the liquid lipstick battle so stay tuned for all that. If you want to know when new posts go live be sure to follow me on Instagram and/or Twitter because I always share on there when a new blog post is going live. Thank you so much for visiting and have a lovely day!
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