One of the very first perfumes I ever bought for myself was actually a blind-buy (which, if you know me at all, is hardly surprising!), Crabtree & Evelyn’s Song de Chine. It is long-discontinued, and to be very honest, I don’t even remember why I bought it! The marketing blurb must have sounded very compelling to me, and I have to say that when it arrived in the mail, I was quite excited to give it a try. As luck would have it, I loved Song de Chine very much—it was a soft floral with tea and vaguely aquatic notes—and the thrill of the blind-buy has not left me since.
From Crabtree & Evelyn’s press release in 1997:
CRABTREE & EVELYN SONG DE CHINE SCENTED BATH AND BODY LINE marks the company’s first major launch since it was purchased by Malaysia-based Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad. The five-SKU range, which Crabtree is promoting as the “essence of tranquillity,” is available now in Crabtree & Evelyn doors in the U.S. Crabtree & Evelyn Song de Chine bowed in the U.K. and Canada in June.
I’m doing some perfume and makeup organizing at the moment and don’t particularly feel like tossing everything up in the air and digging around for my old bottle, but I found this photo online for the same item I had…I feel like I might have thrown out the box, which is sad as it’s kind of pretty, isn’t it?
For my second Topbox (referral link) after resubscribing this summer, I didn’t “wish” for any of the special “Privé” boxes, because even though some of the brands were higher end/interesting (Bobbi Brown, Dr. Belmeur, Glamglow, Missha, Too Faced, etc.), I wasn’t enthralled by the actual products on offer, or their value. One option was actually a tarte eyeliner that costs $16 normally, so I’d be saving $4 by getting it? Gee, what a great deal. This isn’t what I find “fun” about a subscription box.
So, I stuck with the regular Topbox as I always have. (Will they actually have a Privé box that interests me, someday? I wonder.)
I also did not get a chance to pony up $10 for the additional “Beauty Surprise” since it sold out before I could sign up—but after checking out what other Topbox subscribers received, I’m a bit relieved that I saved my ten smackers.
I’m particularly relieved since I found my box this month to be something of a letdown. They are mostly items I can use, so at least they won’t go to waste, but there’s nothing I’m especially excited about at first glance. In hindsight, I should have opted for the Missha Privé, which was a tension compact valued at $24, which I would definitely have enjoyed using. Ah, well. Can’t win ’em all.
At least I didn’t get more Cake stuff, which is lovely but I’m so bored receiving the same Coconut & Cream hand creams from Topbox/Luxe Box.
All prices are in CA$ unless otherwise noted.
What I Received in my Topbox
Barefoot Venus🇨🇦 Green Tea Body Wash in Lilly Pilly (50 mL sample) [$6.90 for 50 mL / $20.05 for 250 mL, value: $6.90 / $4.01]
Be a Bombshell Lip Crayon in Some Beach (2.5 g full size) [value: US$7]
BeneFit The POREfessional Pore Minimizing Makeup (5 mL sample) [$40 for 15 mL full size, value: $13.33]
Satin Smooth Day/Night Daily Moisturizer (10 mL / 0.35 fl oz sample) [US$43.99 for 1.7 fl oz full size, value: US$9.06]
I recently resubscribed to Topbox (referral link), a Canadian beauty subscription that costs CA$12/month (shipping included!) for four beauty products. I had originally canceled it back in December 2015 because I felt I was getting too many of the same repeated items—Cake Beauty lotion, in particular. I chose to resubscribe last month because I’d been checking out some of the recent Topboxes and they looked pretty nice. Plus, $12 is really quite cheap considering it includes shipping.
Topbox offers a couple of different options each month. You can create a box wishlist from a list of “Privé” boxes, which typically consist of 1 or more items from a single brand (this month I recall seeing Privé options for Bobbi Brown, Dr Belmeur—there were quite a lot to choose from! I am just drawing a blank). You can wish for the Privé boxes that interest you, and depending on your luck, you might receive that box instead of the general Topbox. I’ve never personally wished for a Privé box—for whatever reason none of them has ever piqued my interest enough to forgo the regular box. I guess I just like getting a selection of brands!
Another option is the $10 Beauty Surprise, which you can add to your monthly Topbox. I believe I’ve only done it once (possibly twice?) and I remember receiving a full-size Teeez lipstick, which was awesome, except that it was red and I honestly have enough red lipstick. Nevertheless, I thought I’d do the Beauty Surprise this month—go all in!
My first Topbox, now that I’m back, is a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand, I got some great stuff that I will definitely use. The bag is well worth the $12+$10 I spent. On the other hand, I did get some repeat items!
What I Received as a $10 Beauty Surprise
Cake Beauty🇨🇦 Delectable Skin Perfecting Bronzing Body Lotion in Sweet Cream (100 mL full size) [value: CA$18]
Cake Beauty🇨🇦 Delectable Ultra Nourishing Hand Cream in Coconut & Cream (60 mL travel size) [value: CA$6]
Great, more Cake stuff! That was my first reaction, because I was already annoyed about receiving Cake lotion upon Cake lotion from both Topbox and their other subscription box, Luxe Box. I was initially also annoyed about getting a full sized bronzing lotion, since that isn’t something I normally use. But upon giving it a try on my skin, it turns out that it’s super subtle despite the way it looks in the bottle—and it smells awesome! I’ve never tried the Sweet Cream scent before, and it smells lovely and milky. So this is a reasonable win. Read More »
I’ve been AWOL for a while! Apologies—I’m sure we’ve all been terribly busy with the start of the new year, and it’s been the same for me.
Here’s a quick post to remind you all that The Body Shop has clearanced their holiday products and (I presume) newly discontinued items, and the sales are pretty good! I know I like to complain about their products, as quite a lot I’ve tried aren’t all that great, but damn it’s hard to beat a good sale, isn’t it? And, they do have some gems here and there.
I placed two orders, one yesterday and another today when they reduced some prices even more. Plus, I have the Love Your Body 10% discount, which expires in May, so I should take advantage of it as much as I can. I don’t expect to renew the card this year.
Here’s the combined haulage:
Vanilla Chai Body Butter, Body Scrub, & Lip Balm
Vanilla Chai is a holiday limited edition scent, and I love it! This smells to me like a sweet chai with loads of vanilla. I don’t really get the eggnog vibe that some people are talking about—I definitely get chai. I know this because last year, I ordered the Body Butter, then totally forgot what scent I ordered when I slathered it on. I instantly thought, “This smells like sweet chai!” and not, “Mmm, eggnog.” And I love eggnog. A scent for next Christmas, perhaps?
I don’t like the Lip Butters I’ve tried; hopefully this one will be better since it is called Lip Balm and comes in a tin. At least I know I’ll like the scent!
My finger is still healing—it’s at the scabby phase, now—so I’ve got another swatch-less review today!
I deeply love a piña colada (most anything with coconut+pineapple…and rum), so I was really excited to try out The Body Shop’s new Piñita Colada line of bath and body products. The Fresh Body Sorbet sounded great—and a body moisturizer would let the scent linger more than, say, a body wash would—so that’s what I chose.
Smooth on sunshine with our new limited edition Piñita Colada collection. This irresistible tropical summer scent featuring coconut and pineapple is deliciously refreshing and moisturising and offers a smile-inducing experience. Escape to the tropics with our light summer textures that are crisp and exotic, making it the perfect post-beach body care treat.
Good copy, right? But I’m dismayed to report that I didn’t like this product very much at all!
Firstly, the scent is not especially strong and not particularly interesting. The notes sound great, but the actual fragrance is weak and decidedly artificial smelling, not juicy at all.
Fresh and crisp with Passion Fruit and Pineapple Juice
Aquatic and transparent with Coconut Water and Maraschino Cherry
Bright and smooth with Coconut Liquor, and Light Rum
I’d never heard of a piñita colada before, and only figured that the word was a diminutive of piña, Spanish for pineapple—though I learned it as ananá in high school. [I just looked it up and colada must be from the same root as the English colander, as it means “strained” in Spanish.] It turns out that piñita colada refers to a virgin piña colada, even though The Body Shop’s scent pyramid does include boozy notes in the base.
[Incidentally, my funny story of the day is about the first time I tried this lotion. I guess I was sleep-deprived and brain-befuddled, because I brought this product into the shower with me. I squirted it onto my bath pouf and got really angry after attempting to cleanse my skin with it: “This isn’t like a shower gel at all!” Yes, it took me a minute.]
After being less than enamored of the last body scrub I tried from The Body Shop—Vineyard Peach Cream Body Scrub—I went out and bought two more since they were on sale. Typical me! (I also picked up the Love Your Body Rewards Card, which gives a 10% discount, so obviously I needed to spend more, hahaha…)
This time, I picked scrubs in two different formulas, though. The Vineyard Peach scrub came in a not-very-scrubtacular cream formula. The Chocomania scrub came in a greasy formula and the Blueberry scrub came in a clearer, jelly-like formula. Gotta say I didn’t especially love any of the three!
While it’s a scrubbier scrub than the Vineyard Peach scrub was, and definitely not greasy like the Chocomania scrub was, I found that the Blueberry scrub’s light jelly texture meant it slipped off the skin too easily. The abrasives used were raspberry pips (too large) and walnut shell powder (could have used more).
Funny story about the raspberry pips: they’re small, light brown, and almond-shaped. Once, when I got out of the shower, I saw one on my arm that hadn’t washed off, and jumped about a foot in the air, thinking it was a bug!Read More »