Hello and Welcome!
Happy Friday the 13th!
Earlier this week, my Cohorted ‘Black Edition Beauty Box’ was delivered which means it’s review time! For anyone who doesn’t know what Cohorted is, I will be giving a quick explanation as always before I get into the review.
Cohorted is £35 a month, and contains a ‘selection of hand-picked beauty must haves, enclosed in an elegant all black exterior, and finished with a luxury hand tied bow’ (quoted from the Cohorted website) that they aim to deliver ‘by the 15th of each month’. The box contains full-sized products from high-end brands, and the total retail price of the items inside, is always much higher than the £35 you pay. As with all subscription boxes, you don’t know what you’re going to receive, however they have started sending ‘sneak peek’ emails which show one of the products.
As a quick warning, this review is going to be long, as all of my beauty box reviews are (I like to be in depth and give mini reviews of each item and explain my thoughts).
The photo above details what I received in my October 2017 Cohorted box. From left to right, top to bottom, I got:
- Pixi ‘Brow Tamer’ – £12.00
- Lancôme ‘Advanced Génifique’ 5ml x 2 – £10.00
- The Innate Life ‘Rose Hair Elixir’ – £12.00
- Clarins ‘Gloss Prodige’ in ‘Crystal’ – £16.00
- Doucce ‘Freematic Eyeshadow Pro Palette’ in ‘Neutral’ – £50.00
The above prices were taken from the booklet that comes with the box. Totaled up, this makes the box worth exactly £100. However, I always research the prices of items online to ensure the prices are correct and could not find anywhere to buy the Lancôme ‘Advanced Génifique’ products in the size that came in the box. Additionally, I couldn’t find anywhere to buy the Clarins ‘Gloss Prodige’ apart from one website I’d never heard of before called ‘Escentual’ where it was listed for £16.25. This product also wasn’t listed on the Clarins website; they did have ‘Gloss Prodige’ on their website however there was only one shade option (which wasn’t this one), and it was sold out. Saying this, even if those two products were removed, the total would still be £74, which is over double the £35 paid for the box.
Before we get into the review, I want to address some confusion that I had with this box. Firstly, I was surprised to see that they had included two of exactly the same product, I’ve never experienced this with any other beauty box so I thought it was a mistake. Additionally, in the contents page of the booklet there was a section titled ‘Urban Decay’ with the description ‘Revolution lipgloss or eye pencil’. As you can clearly see from my picture, I didn’t receive any Urban Decay products. After searching online (on Instagram and Twitter), I noticed that other people seemed to have the same situation. I then contacted Cohorted, and had a direct message on Twitter where they explained that that the double of the Lancôme product wasn’t a mistake and that boxes either contained the Clarins gloss, or an Urban Decay pencil. When you open the Clarins page in the booklet, it does say ‘or…’ at the bottom, but because of the contents page, I didn’t find it initially to be clear that I would either receive the Urban Decay product or the Clarins product (also nothing is mentioned in the booklet about the Urban Decay ‘Revolution lipgloss’, despite it being printed in the contents. I just wanted to address this as I know that others were as confused as I was. This is also part of the reason why I search for the products online instead of taking the booklet’s pricing as absolute truth (I like to have multiple sources).
Pixi ‘Brow Tamer’ – £12.00
So this Pixi ‘Brow Tamer’ was the sneak peak product for October and I wasn’t massively excited about it to be honest. Usually the sneak peak products have a wow factor (for example the Bellápierre ‘Glowing Palette’ or ‘Contour Palette’, or the Too Faced ‘Born This Way Concealer’), but this product didn’t have that effect for me.
I have been meaning to try some Pixi products for a while as I’ve seen the brand on Cult Beauty and their packaging is really enticing. I’ve also heard some good things about their products so, whilst I wasn’t wowed by this product when I saw the sneak peak, I still was happy to get it. Additionally, the product contains aloe vera and panthenol to condition brows which I love the sound of!
Typically I don’t use brow gels, I have a mini Benefit ‘Ready, Set, BROW’ clear brow gel, but I don’t find myself reaching for it often and I don’t like the way that my brows feel when I do use it. My experience with brow gels is ending up with solid, almost crispy feeling brows. Whilst that does keep my brows in place, it’s not very comfortable and generally I just don’t enjoy the feeling.
I used this product today and I haven’t had the crispy feeling that the Benefit product gives me at all. That being said, I’m unsure whether it has kept my brows in place. I don’t really find that my brows move around a lot, I occasionally have a stray hair but nothing major. Whilst I haven’t noticed that my hairs have moved, when I touch them I can move them around the same as normal so I’m unsure whether this has worked or not.
I’ll definitely continue using this product to see how it works, but currently I’m finding it difficult to tell whether it’s doing anything for my brows. I do really want to try other products from Pixi, their packaging is really cute and I think their prices are more than fair, so perhaps you may see a Pixi makeup or skincare review on my blog soon!
Lancôme ‘Advanced Génifique’ 5ml x 2 – £10.00
Putting aside why the box came with two of these (I honestly have no idea what possible reason there could be behind including two of the same product), this item has some pretty big claims.
In the Cohorted booklet this product has the following description:
‘Advanced Génifique is Lancôme’s #1 serum for younger-looking and glowing skin.
A serum suitable for every woman: all ethnicities, ages, and every skin type – dry, combination/normal and oily. An important first step of every beauty routine, Advanced Génifique Serum targets key signs of youthful-looking skin: texture, fine lines, wrinkles, radiance and clarity. Reveal your skin’s glow by using it morning and night’
It is also described as having the following benefits:
- ‘Helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.’
- ‘Improves skin’s radiance, clarity and texture.’
Now I’ve always been skeptical of products that say they’re for everyone, after all there’s a reason there are products for different skin types, ages, etc. However, I currently have the Clinique ‘Smart Custom Serum’ which has very similar claims, and I find that it works really well for me. Whilst I am yet to try out this product, I have high hopes based on its description and claims (it also says that the serum has won over ‘150 beauty awards globally). I’m looking forward to trying this out, and hope that it works as well as (or better than) the Clinique product. However, based on the price (£39 for 20ml) I don’t think that I would be converted to this one as it is overall more expensive than my current product. I think that getting two of these is a blessing overall, as I can use one and if I don’t like it then I can give away the second one, or if I do like it then I have a second one to use up.
The Innate Life ‘Rose Hair Elixir’ – £12.00
Whilst I never used to use hair products, I’m finding myself becoming more and more attracted to them (I think the Chirp mask that I received a couple of months ago started my interest in hair products like this). So I was very interested by this product.
In the Cohorted booklet it states that this product contains ’15 potent plant oils that nourish split ends, tame frizzy hair, provide heat protection, repair damaged hair, and add shine’
The directions for use are as follows:
‘Using the dropper, obtain a few drops of the elixir on the palm of your hands. Gently rub between both hands and apply to the hair, concentrating on the middle to end. Use a few drops of the Hair Elixir as a heat protectant before blow drying or use it after styling to add shine and control frizz. For best results, apply daily.’
I used this product on the ends and middle of my hair after I had showered a few days ago and I found that my hair felt a lot softer and looked much nicer. However, I tend to leave my hair to air dry, or go to sleep with my hair still damp. I’m sorry if that makes you uncomfortable, I know that sleeping with wet hair is a big no-no for the health of your hair but I tend to shower right before I go to bed and usually that’s much later than I wanted to shower so I just don’t have time to dry my hair, plus it usually looks much nicer if I’ve slept with my hair still damp! As I don’t tend to use a hair dryer on my hair very often any more, I’ve noticed that my hair naturally is quite straight at the top and much more wavy from the mid-lengths of my hair towards the bottom. After using this product I found that my hair was much more wavy than usual, which was odd but I didn’t mind.
The overall state of my hair isn’t really that bad to be honest. The ends of my hair are much lighter than the rest of my hair as it’s the remains from when I coloured my hair. However, the ends of my hair aren’t particularly dry considering, and I don’t notice any split ends when I look up close. That being said, I will definitely be using this more , and I will try to use it daily as it recommends. I think this product will go a long way, as you literally only need a few drops. For how long I anticipate that it will last, and all of the oils that it contains, I think the price is great and I will definitely be repurchasing it once I have ran out!
If you wish to buy this product or read more about it then you can do this on The Innate Life website for $15 here.
Clarins ‘Gloss Prodige’ in ‘Crystal’ – £16.00
As with every box that I get where there’s multiple options that you could receive, I always get the one that I don’t want. I’m really not a gloss person (with the Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb as an exception), on the other hand I pretty much live in eyeliner and the other option was an Urban Decay eyeliner, so I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed.
Despite glosses not being my thing, I was willing to give it a go. The actual gloss isn’t sticky or gloopy which is really nice. However, the shine payoff isn’t as glossy looking as other glosses I’ve tried (like the Fenty Beauty one). I personally would like it to be shinier, as I don’t find wearing gloss very comfortable so I would want me wearing it to be noticeable. Additionally, the product description in the Cohorted booklet states that it provides ‘innovative colour and plumping’. I was looking forward to having slightly plumper looking lips as I wouldn’t say my lips are particularly big, but I didn’t find this gloss made any difference to how big my lips looked.
Overall, I’m not the biggest fan of this lipgloss, and I don’t see myself using it very often. Personally I would much rather buy the Fenty Beauty ‘Gloss Bomb’ which is the same price, as I find it more comfortable, prettier, and I do think it makes my lips look bigger (you can read my review on the ‘Gloss Bomb’ here).
Doucce ‘Freematic Eyeshadow Pro Palette’ in ‘Neutral’ – £50.00
I absolutely LOVE getting eyeshadow palettes in my Cohorted box. I don’t really own many eyeshadow palettes and I’m indecisive when it comes to buying them. I always find that I tend to buy a few smaller things that equal the same price instead of splashing out on an eyeshadow palette when I don’t know if I’ll like it or not. The Cohorted boxes have included products from Doucce a few times now and, whilst I was unsure at first, the brand is really warming on me, and I love their ‘Punk Volumizer Mascara’.
The first thing I want to say about this is that it feels super luxurious, the palette is sleek, and heavy. Additionally, it has a button that you press to pop open the palette. I have never had a button on a palette before, and I really love that touch. Not only is it really fun to press, but I feel that it’s a touch that makes it feel more expensive, plus it saves me from scrambling to open it and chipping my nails.
The first row (from Mila to Julia) are all shimmers, with the second row (Jacqueline to Ella) being all matte. Each individual pan is magnetised to the palette, and can easily be removed. When I checked the Doucce website they offer the option for you to make a custom palette, so it makes sense that they are magnetised and easy to remove.
I have to be honest and I was a bit underwhelmed with the colours when I saw them laid out on the back of the box. Whilst I don’t own a lot of palettes, they are mostly made up of very similar shades to the ones in this palette.
I wanted to make a really orange, terracotta eye look as I felt that was best suited to the palette. Therefore, for the look I created (which you can kind of see in the above photo), I laid a base of the Urban Decay ‘Original’ ‘Primer Potion’, and set it with ‘Jacqueline’. I then used ‘Harper’ in my crease, followed by ‘Deena’, and ‘Ella’ on my outer corner and through my crease. However I found that all three of these shades came off very similarly on the eye when applied with a fluffy brush, and I found it difficult to deepen up my outer corner in the way I wanted. If I’m totally honest, I was quite disappointed with the matte shades. They were really soft, but they just blended into one shade of orange. I ended up adding some of ‘Sydney’, even though it was slightly shimmer, to my outer corner in order to deepen it, but even then I didn’t see a huge amount of difference. I then added ‘Julia’ to the rest of my lid with my finger (the method that I use to apply all shimmers), and this shade performed amazingly and redeemed the palette somewhat for me. I also added ‘Veronica’ to the inner third of my eye over ‘Julia’ to lighten it slightly, and ‘Mila’ to my very inner corner as a highlight.
Overall, I used 9 of the shadows out of the 12 that came in the palette so I think I have a good idea of how they perform. I noticed that all of the shades were not as pigmented on the eye as they were when swatched, and I found that the mattes all blended together into one colour. From the palette I don’t think I’d ever use ‘Abby’ or ‘Demi’ which are both light grey/almost blue toned.
Whilst the shimmers performed amazingly, and I will definitely use them again as the colours are beautiful, for £50, I would expect all of the shades to perform equally as fantastically. When most palettes, including the Anastasia Beverly Hills (ABH) ‘Modern Renaissance’ palette and some Marc Jacobs palettes that contain similar shades, are cheaper, you need to be hitting it out of the park in order to compete in my opinion, and this palette just doesn’t do that for me.
The ABH ‘Modern Renaissance’ palette contains very similar orange tones for £41, and whilst it doesn’t contain as many shimmers, or even shimmers of a similar tone, the Soph x Makeup Revolution palette contains shimmers that are virtually identical for £10. Therefore, if you bought the ABH ‘Modern Renaissance’ palette, and the Soph x Makeup Revolution palette, you could create the same look as with this palette, as well as countless others, and have 26 more shades for £1 more than the cost of this palette.
Whilst I love the packaging of this palette (and the button to open it), I feel that the shadows themselves are hit and miss for me, and it isn’t a palette that I see myself reaching for very often.
If you would like to try out this palette or find out more (they do 2 other variants) then you can do so on the Doucce website here.
Overall, I Cohorted’s October 2017 Beauty Box hasn’t been my favourite ever (so far that has been last month’s box) but I will definitely get use out of the products. I’m unsure if I will be using the Doucce palette often, I may reach for the shimmers in it sometimes, but I will be using every other product, so overall I do think that this month’s box was worth it!
If you’re interested in the Cohorted monthly box then you can subscribe through their website for £35 a month.
This brings us to the end of the October Cohorted ‘Black Edition Beauty Box’, I hope you enjoyed reading! If you did then please give this post a like, also if you’ve ever tried the Cohorted box or any of the products that came in this month’s edition then leave your thoughts in the comments section. Additionally, if you think my blog contains content that you’d enjoy reading then subscribe to stay up to date with when I’m reviewing – I post at least twice a week!
Also if you enjoyed this post, be sure to read my other beauty box reviews here.