Beautiful You Expo 2014

Over the weekend I attended the first Beautiful You Expo, held at the Melbourne Exhibition Building in Carlton.

I’ve been looking forward to this event for several months, and despite a lack of information until about a week before hand, took a chance on buying a VIP ticket. From my past experience with events, I find the first year they run is the best! The show is the best quality (lots of free samples!) and the numbers are lower as not as many people know about. Sadly with the Taste of Melbourne show, every year the numbers of attendees have increased while the quality of the show has decreased. But I digress.

Attending an event at the Exhibition Building is always a treat just because the building is so fantastic. I hit the expo with a schedule and a mission. Stop 1: book in my massage for later in the day. Stop 2: VIP lounge for free bubbly. And here are the first poured of the day.



As a VIP we were entitled to unlimited bubbly all day, but I didn’t actually have much of it as I was so busy running around the expo I didn’t spend all that much time in the lounge. I was surprised by how quiet it was in there. When I walked in at about 10:20, the desk at the front of the lounge was unattended and there was not a single guest inside, just some bartenders and the girls doing gel nails who all stared at me like I was an alien who wasn’t meant to be there. I was a little surprised they weren’t set up and ready to go. I kind of slinked back outside and waited for someone who might know what was going on so I could book in to get my nails done later. As it turned out, I didn’t need to have bothered as it was so quiet in there all day.

I’m going to start by reviewing the VIP experience and then move onto the show itself. All in all, I don’t really think it was worth it. The VIP day pass cost $119 (that’s after 20% off, it was originally $159) and included access to the lounge, free cloakroom, goodie bag (see below), unlimited champagne, free Solerno cocktail, free gel  nail application, and canapes throughout the day. It also included a free 1 year beauty club membership valued at $35 (I have yet to receive this, apparently we will receive a code to activate it after the event but staff on the day seemed confused and unsure about how this will work). So when standard discounted entry was around $21, if you count the Beauty Club membership at RRP essentially you are paying about $70 more for the VIP experience.

Access to the lounge – not really necessary as you are so busy running around trying to see everything we didn’t spend much time there.

Free drinks – same as above. I had maybe 2 glasses of bubbly, a cocktail and a bottle of water, but I could have done without the drinks as it wasn’t really a relaxing day.

Free gel nails by Jacqueline Burchall – a nice idea, and there was a gorgeous range of colours to choose from – I’d definitely recommend salons stocking this brand! Sadly, the technicians were volunteer beauty students and they didn’t do a very good job. Both my friend and I found that the girls who did our applications (different girls) did not go right to the edge, application of colour was uneven from one nail to the next, and in my case they left one hand sticky and I had to go back later and get it touched up by one of the JB representatives. I have weak nails so for me, gel application is something I wouldn’t do very often as getting my nails buffed before application will weaken them for a long time. As such I’m disappointed I didn’t get an application that I’m happy with and will last me a few weeks. When I take them off I know I’ll spend weeks repairing the damage so I really wanted to love the result. Yes, it was ‘free’, but sadly I wish I hadn’t done it.

Free canapes – biscotti in the morning, sushi and finger sandwiches at lunch, cheese and petit fours in the afternoon. The food was lovely, however, we didn’t get much of it. And not because it was busy. Whenever I stopped by the lounge at the posted food-service times and took a seat with a drink to reorganise my bag and work out what I was going to see next (shows and stalls), waitresses would pass by with trays of food and offer me one. And then they’d disappear. There weren’t many people in the lounge so it’s not that all the food got eaten. It just got brought out, offered, and then disappeared into the back room again. At lunch time I sat there for a good 30-40 minutes and got 1 finger sandwich and two small rounds of sushi. I’d kind of bargained on lunch being included for my rather hefty ticket price so I was a bit disappointed when I rushed off to see the next talk. Having been busy the time got away from me and at about 2:30, having barely eaten, I nearly blacked out and had to rush to the cafe to get some hot chips (quickest thing I could get my hands on). In the afternoon they brought out two large platters of cheese, placed it on the table I was sitting at for about 15 minutes, then took it away and left it with the people at the next table for a good hour or more rather than moving it and bringing it back. It would have worked better if they’d had a buffet table set up, I think, so people could help themselves rather than the apparently disorganised canape-service style they tried to have going. The cakes were lovely though and I’d love to know where they got them from, which was also a missed advertising opportunity for the caterer.


Goodie bag- a nice idea, but poorly thought out. The goodie bag included a bra and a tshirt, both my friend and I got nowhere near the correct size. Also the liquid items (can of drink, hair illuminiser, and travel shampoo/conditioner) as well as 1 or 2 magazines (can’t remember what was in the bag and what I picked up elsewhere, all freebies of the day in photo below but some were from separate events/stalls) made the bag really heavy and after a few hours of carrying it around my arm was going numb. Might have been better to give a coupon on arrival for collection of the goodie bag on the way out, also (particularly for the bras) perhaps a first-in-best-dressed set up where you could try and actually pick your relevant size from a selection? Not sure, but ultimately a bit pointless to give people a bra in a random size that most likely won’t fit them. image

All in all – did I benefit from the extra $70 spent? Probably not. I ended up buying extra food anyway because they didn’t provide enough, had a couple of drinks I didn’t really want, and received a goodie bag with 2 major items that didn’t fit. The event itself was great but I’d say go for a standard ticket.

Now on to more positive stuff! I discovered some really great new brands at this event! Many of the stalls were giving out samples and goodies as well as running competitions (sadly don’t seem to have won any) and most of them had promotions offering a discount on their products.

You could easily spend a whole day just wandering around looking at stalls, and on top of that there was a whole range of different talks running at the 4 stages across the day. If you want a more relaxed experience, I’d say buying a weekend rather than single day pass is a must. I bought a single day and I was running around like crazy for 8 hours straight trying to see everything. It was a BIG expo. I felt a bit sorry for many of the speakers as the seats in front of the stages were more than half empty for many of the presentations. Some even got cancelled as no one was there to watch them. I’m sure this wasn’t due to lack of interest but just the size of the expo. I missed a few I’d intended to watch just because I got caught up talking to a stall holder or looking at something else.

I can’t summarise every stall, so I’ll make a list of my personal standouts:

Besame – WOW. What amazing cosmetics. Based off vintage colours this art-deco glamm inspired brand has about 10 shades of red lipstick. Everything is packaged beautifully in gold and rose gold toned metal tins and tubes with red lacquer designs. It’s the sort of thing that just makes you feel special when you use it. I bought Red Hot Red (apparently the exact shade Marilyn Monroe wore) and a beautiful metal powder compact with violet brightening powder. I have no idea when I’ll actually use it but it’s exquisite. Each item comes in a little red velvet pouch to protect it from getting scratched in your bag. See photo below.

Tara Wolf – lovely jewellery with spiritual overtones (chakra inspired bracelet designs, etc). They had their new locket range there which I LOVED the concept of – each locket is made of two pieces of crystal encased in a silver or gold vermaille circle.  They look a bit like monocles or little magnifying glasses, although they come in a heart shape as well. The locket opens and you can put little charms inside it, that move around freely. Charms are very reasonably priced though the locket itself is a bit pricey for costume jewellery. They also come in possibly the most divine gift box I’ve ever seen. Definitely a great present for someone special or to commemorate a special moment in your life.

Silk Oil of Morocco – I didn’t need any of their beauty products but I got a 15 piece vegan brush set in folding wallet for $79. They seem to be good quality so this is a great price (normally sells around $120, I think). I’ve been wanting new brushes for a while so this was one of my key buys of the day.

Flash Tat (not pictured). I’ve heard a bit about flash tatts recently so I was kind of excited they had a stall there and were giving free trials. The girl applied a gold feather on the inside of my forearm and apparently they last 5-7 days, unfortunately mine has already half worn off after 2 days. Considering the price they sell for that’s a bit disappointing for me but the ones on their collarbones etc with little movement seemed to be wearing pretty well. Not that I think of the inside of the forearm as an area where the skin moves around a lot, but it is in contact with my sleeve. Definitely a summer item, don’t think it would last long at the beach though with the sand etc.

Ambiance coloured dry shampoo – another item I’ve been planning to buy for a while as I have dark hair and hate looking like I have dandruff when I use normal dry shampoo. Unfortunately I think I got a bit ripped off on this item. They had it ‘on sale’ for $59.90 for an applicator brush and one refill. I just bought it because I wanted it and wasn’t really thinking but when I got home and double checked the price on iHerb I don’t think I was better off. Yes, I’d have to pay shipping with iHerb, but depending what else I ordered with it I think that might have worked out better. Oh well.

Advanced Natural Beauty Spa – an Australian salon that makes their own skin care. Not shown below as they are shipping it to me since they were cash only on the day. I’ve ordered the resurfacing masque, to try and eliminate some minor imperfections on my face that exfoliating doesn’t seem to fix. You’re meant to leave it on for 20-30 minutes. I noticed a distinct difference on the skin on my hand from a trial patch I left on for only about 5 minutes, so I’m really excited to get this product and try it. It’s expensive (RRP $145 a jar, that will last several months) but still a lot cheaper than going for regular treatments in a salon. They were running a competition that I’d have love to have won… I wonder who did win it?image9 Tribes – I have yet to buy this product but I think within a few months, it will be my standout favourite. 9 Tribes has tailored 9 series of skin care for different skin types (e.g. fair caucasian, sensitive asian, african heritage) and from what I can see, it works. Despite being half asian the lady manning the stall had no issue quickly defining my skin as having ‘more caucasian tendencies’ due to my lack of sensitivity and underlying pink tones. My friend and I tried both Caucasian ranges: Liya for fair and dry skin for her, and Ero for medium normal-combination skin for me. The body scrubs were very different, the Liya had larger but softer particles, and there was a noticeable difference in the moisturisers too. The Liya, for drier skin, was much richer and absorbed well into my friends skin whereas it sat on the surface on my hand and felt a bit too thick for my liking, where the Ero absorbed almost instantly and left my skin feeling powder smooth. The only thing that stopped me buying the full range of products was the huge build up of bottles and jars I already have at home that I’d been experimenting with. I can’t bear to waste it all, so I held off. But I should have started and ended my search here as the products seem perfect for me (I had NO idea what I was doing when I started looking around, there are just so, so many options). I’ve been told they’re going to start running ‘tribal night’ events so I’m keen to go along to the next one and buy the suite of products.

Eye of Horus – the girl manning the Eye of Horus stand (yet another brand I’ve never heard of) was wearing THE most beautiful gold eyeshadow I’ve ever seen. Apparently wax based products modeled off ancient egyptian formulas, the eyeshadow can be applied wet or dry. Sadly, they didn’t have any there to buy, so I searched the rest of the expo for a gold eyeshadow to buy and none of them compared. I’ll be looking to buy the Isis palette, but the Eye of Horus Australian website doesn’t appear to stock them! However the New Zealand one does. So it’s on my ‘to do/buy’ list for later.

Klara cosmetics – They seem to have really great products, and were giving away some cute free samples of their kiss proof liquid lipstick, but I’m not inclined to buy from them. They were so unfriendly and just gave off an unpleasant kind of snobby vibe. In part, this was because they were a busy stand, but when surrounded by competitors being much friendlier and more helpful, it would have been nice to see a higher level of customer service.

The Skin Boutique – They were having a pretty amazing deal on lazer treatments, 3 sessions of brazilian AND underarm lazer for just $27 each. I’ve been considering lazer for a while now so this was an offer I jumped on straight away! I’m sure they’ll offer another deal to continue, but if not, OzSkin was also handing out VIP membership cards that offer 50% off all lazer treatments so I’ll be able to switch over. I believe the Skin Boutique does also price match, though. We’ll see when the time comes.

All in all it was a really good event, though I could tell the exhibitors were disappointed by the number of people in attendance. I hope that won’t put them off from exhibiting again next year as I’d love to see Beautiful You break the cycle of ‘more numbers/poorer quality’. I’m sure as word gets out the attendee number will rise next year.

And I’m a little jaded but with so many competitions running yet no visibility of the winners, I wonder if all the brands running promotions on the day did genuinely draw a prize or if they just trusted in anonymity to not have to award them to anyone (since after all, who would know?)


Classic native box august

A little belated – but nonetheless. Native Box’s August Classic Box arrived and I have to say I was pretty excited by this one. Notice something in the picture? No filler. Absolutely no shredded paper/tissue paper/ribbons etc. 100% product filled box 😀


Goodies included:

  • Organic Dried Figs – I love figs, particularly with blue cheese, but I think I’ll save these to chop up and add to some healthy baked goodies
  • Koala popcorn, lightly salted – now I am a popcorn fanatic! I love popcorn and it loves me (maybe?) so I was really happy about getting this organic snack bag. And really pleased by the taste too! So often I find that air popped corn is tasteless because in the absence of oil, the salt or other flavours don’t seem to stick to the kernels. Not so! This popcorn was super tasty and I enjoyed every crumb 🙂
  • Meditree Kakadu Plum moisturiser – I’ve been using this at nights and I really love the smell. It’s light and non greasy.
  • Pure papaya ointment – I’m not a big papaya fan but this is a nice sized sample
  • Vabori Olive Leaf Extract – I’m happy to have received this but a bit hesitant as well. Olive Leaf extract is something I’ve heard lots of praise for so I’m keen to try it… sort of. I’m also a bit hesitant about what it’s going to taste like. But I’m happy I’ll be able to now without committing to buying a whole bottle 🙂 Thanks Native Box
  • Organic Coconut oil – this is a cute little sample. Probably not enough to bake anything with, but enough to use for light stir frying or for cosmetic purposes (face moisturiser, hair treatment? the uses for coconut oil seem endless!)
  • Anerah rejuvinating mineral mask. I’m really fascinated by this. It comes as a powder and you mix it into a mask. I haven’t tried it yet. I’m not sure I have purified water to use either but I’m sure normal water would be ok.


And last but not least, Native Box’s own recycled catering pack. I found this a fascinating item to include. The plate is made of palm leaves and is quite thin (see below) but certainly feels much stronger and sturdier than paper. It included a wooden knife, fork, and bamboo/sugarcane napkin as well. They are compostable and bio degradable 🙂 I think this is a great idea but note that you can’t buy this as a ‘pack’ on their website. The plates, forks, knives and napkins are sold in separate packs however it is not clear from the descriptions how many are sold in a pack.


As usual I really enjoyed receiving this Native Box, I never am quite sure just what will be inside when I open it and I love that surprise!


Native box has responded that the quantities are as follows: Plates 8 per pack ($1.39 per plate), Cutlery 24 per pack (18c per piece), napkins 25 or 50 per pack (16c per piece)

Native Beauty Box August

Oh my gosh!! How exciting! Today I was a lucky recipient of the first ever Native Beauty Box – With a winter theme. It was pretty much overflowing with goodies.


Seraphina Sensitive Skincare body custard – a thick moisturiser that absorbs quickly and leaves the skin with a lovely sheen. Unscented.  Look forward to using this on dry winter legs
2 x Byron Bay tea samples
Essentially natural therapeutic rose bath salt – it smells gorgeous, a true rose smell like Turkish delight.
Care you love Persian rose face moisturiser – sample size. Love the idea of following up a rose soak with rose scented lotion
Natural lemon myrtle soap – the smell of this is incredibly fresh and invigorating,  it’s the first thing I noticed when I opened the box. The leaf fragments also act as a built in exfoliant .
2 x sanctum hydrating gel mask samples
Konjac eco sponge – I already have one of these and they are fantastic,  I’m able to remove all makeup and oil (except mascara) from my face with no cleanser or makeup remover. This one is flagged for oily skin and as mine is normal I personally find it gets a little dry ifor I use it too much but I still really like it.
Australian bush flower essence intensive hand cream – I’m unlikely to use this myself as I just love having a little native Australian treat to send over seas friends and promote the great natural products we have here!


2 x la mav wrinkle smoothing nightly repair nectar – it’s a little bottle but it says you only need 1-2 drops so it should last a while! It has a very mild and relaxing scent. Looking forward to trying this tonight instead of night cream. I generally am a fan of using a small amount of oil based product instead of slathering on creams, I find it just let’s my skin breathe better and absorbs better also.
Lemon myrtle lip balm – this is new and interesting! It also contains beeswax which is I find one of the most effective lip balm ingredients as it protects your lips from the drying effects of saliva while the other ingredients moisturise!

I definitely found this a very exciting box to open! It’s nice that a seasonal / quarterly box is absolutely stuffed full owr goodness and I also found the winter theme with lots of rose scented products and warm skin nourishing tea well thought out.

Seraphina body custard: this is an extremely unusual product and I don’t think I’ve ever used a lotion like it. Despite being so thick it’s quite hard to get out of the tube, as you rub it in it feels like it is dissolving into water under your hand!! Wow.

La Mav overnight serum: unfortunately despite it being a natural and organic product something in la mav doesn’t seem to agree with me. I tried an eyecream once that I had to wash off immediately due to the burning sensation and this serum, despite using a very tiny amount, led shortly after to mild itching all over my face, so I won’t be able to continue using it.

Mirenesse VIP Birthday Box

Well there are good and bad things about the Mirenesse VIP birthday box. Firstly, it is quite good value. However, they allow you to order up to 3 of them, and so I did ! Never expecting that I would get 3 complete duplicates 😦 I don’t think this is very intuitive or customer friendly. So that was kind of disappointing.

I received a neck mask, full size lip gloss, sample lip gloss, blue liquid eyeliner, foaming cleanser and a small super line product. I separately had bought a red lip bomb (been eyeing this off for a while) and the new Supreme Secret Weapon Mascara. I can’t go past the Mirenesse mascaras these days and I think I’m hooked.



As you can see I now have a nice little collection of Mirenesse lip glosses 🙂 Again, I don’t think I’ll be going back to any others. The only down side is they are a little bit sticky and the boy doesn’t like to kiss them! But other than that they are a dream. I now have my favourite shades for fancy events, winter, summer, girly and nude looks.



Mirenesse has great products but I’m sometimes not sure about the value or intuitiveness to customer needs – this was one of those times. Wish I had got 3 different sets of products – at the very least different coloured lip glosses would have been a nice start. Sorry Mirenesse but you let me down this time.

Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure

I’m going to start this by saying one thing: My nails are terrible. Like, truly awful.

They’re short and wide, fan and flatten out towards the end so false nails won’t even stick to them, peel, shred, have both vertical and horizontal ridges, and  have torn back so far over the years that the nail bed on most of them starts about 4-5mm back from the end of my finger. They are so weak and peel so much I almost never have to cut them because they just tear off before they get that long.

When I use most nailpolish and remover, or even forget to use a strengthener regularly, it takes months to recover. Sometimes they bend and buckle to the point that the entire nail of polish lifts off in one piece. They’ve always been like this.

In addition to that I generally do a terrible job with nail polish and smudge or otherwise ruin it within an hour. Despite this, I love it, and have a ridiculous amount of bottles for someone who is barely able to use it.

Recently I decided to clear out most of my polishes and start fresh with some 3 free (yet to arrive) and strengthener based polishes that would hopefully be kinder to my sensitive nails.

My first trial is this product: Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure. I’ve tried the regular SH salon manicure (no longer available as far as I know as it’s been replaced by complete) and liked the colour and application.

This one is advertised as base coat, strengthener, nail growth, colour, top coat, chip resistance and gel shine all in one. Kinda sounds too good to be true but I thought I’d give it a shot as Sally Hansen nail strengtheners are generally pretty good.

Having not looked after my nails recently I was in the challenging position of trying to find a colour that would actually be flattering on bitten back stubby nails, so the attractive and eye catching reds, purples, blues etc were out. I eventually settled on this colour, Commander In Chic.


It’s neutral but a bit different. In this picture it looks brown but in the store it looked more grey. In truth it’s a mysterious grey-brown-purple that changes in the light.

So far I’m really happy with it. I used two coats, with no other base or top coat products, and I got a thick glossy finish in a colour that somehow manages to actually improve the look of my damaged nails.


I’ve been wearing it for 2 days now and there are no chips, cracks or smudges, although I’m seeing some minor edge wear on a couple of nails. Now that may sound unimpressive for less than a day, but for me it’s kind of a miracle. Generally it would have started peeling by now.

I’m so happy with the finished result that I kind of want to go out and buy all the colours; but I’ll wait a few days and see how it performs on the strengthener side of things. If your nails aren’t as bad as mine, though, and you just want smooth glossy colour, definitely go for it!

RRP in Australia $14.95 a bottle. My latest beauty must have!

Native Box July

I had forgotten that my Native Box was on it’s way so I was super excited when I opened the box, Christmas in July indeed! I feel like this month’s box was really thoughtfully curated, with products that were both interesting and useful, as well as the usual treats.

Just Snacks Peeled dried mango – treat! I personally don’t like mango but my partner was really happy that I got this (and don’t like it, therefore he gets it). It’s one of his favourite healthy snacks.

Morlife Goji Antiox Toasted Muesli – treat! A big plus from me. I love muesli or oats for breakfast. It’s one of the few things I find that actually feels me up for longer than 20 minutes and gives me energy to get on with the day. I love discovering newer healthier variations too.

Coconut Magic Raw Energy Rasberry Coconut Bar – TREAT oh my lord I can’t even describe how delicious this was. My only regret is that it was so delicious that it disappeared really quickly and I’m not sure I enjoyed it as much as I should have. Very sweet with a smooth but slightly gritty coconutty texture, yet not sickeningly sweet. I liked it so much, I used the included code to order 3 boxes of these in different flavours!!


Essentially Natural Coconut Flour – useful! Something that can sometimes be hard to find and has been on my ‘I’ll buy that eventually’ list for a rather long time. I’ve been wanting to do some experimental helpful backing so this arrived at a great time for me.

Vabori Olive Leaf Lozenge – Useful! And thoughtful! What a great idea to put in a natural home remedy type product during the cold winter months when everybody has been sick. I am healthy at the moment (touch wood) so I haven’t tried this yet  but I think its a fantastic idea and great to know its out there as I can’t stand soothers etc and don’t find they help much anyway.

Go green at home eco toothbrush – Both interesting and useful! This toothbrush has a curved bamboo handle and charcoal enhanced bristles, sadly the one I received was split so I couldn’t use it but they are sending me another one (continuing the path of excellent customer service I have come to trust from Native Box) so I will test this soon and report back! They retail for $10 for a pack of 2 which is on par or slightly cheaper than leading brands plastic brushes.

eco toothbrush

Cherry brown creme mineral foundation – again both interesting and useful!  I think this is a really fantastic idea! A smooth cream foundation in a little tube, it came with a makeup sponge and the instructions ‘apply directly to face then blend with a damp sponge’.

I can’t believe this is the first I’ve ever seen of something like this. One, its a great idea for travel – the tube in the box is a sample size but I actually think its a great travel size too, a larger tube might be a bit harder to use – and two, for someone like me who doesn’t like to wear a lot of foundation, I love that I can dot it directly on the areas that I want more coverage on and then just lightly blend it out to the rest of my face.

I’m lucky this sample was the perfect colour for me too (I think it was ‘warm beige’) but they have other colours as shown below (from the website It went on smoothly, was easy to blend, didn’t leave thick patches or streaks, and felt very light, like I was wearing no makeup or maybe just a little powder.

Cherry Brown is made in Tasmania and the foundation retails for $29.95 for 15 grams (with free Australian postage).

cherry brown

I love this and think it will be my Go-To foundation from now on. Although this is a box review this product is going into my beauty must haves. Click on the category for more.

Additionally we got a small packet of soy crisps (another product I have a great weakness for) and a natural herbal face wash as extra little Christmas in July treats. What an exciting native box! I think all these products are great and the fact that they are Australian  natural products is just the icing on the cake (or should I say cherry on the pudding?).


Subscription Box Comparison

Below is my summary review of all the different kind of boxes. Note that in the summary substantial travel/sample sizes are referred to as travel size, while sample sachets/single use are referred to as sample. Other refers to other offers such as gift vouchers with partner companies or coupons, promotional items such as pens, magnets etc. I hope you find this helpful in choosing the right box for you 🙂 xox

Lust Have It

Offers Monthly Women’s Box $19.95, Quarterly Eco Box $29.95, Monthly Fashion and Beauty (FaB) Box $35, Bridal Box $50, and occasional specialty boxes (e.g. Chloe Morello). All boxes ship mid month. Shipping notification but no tracking on shipments. Has an online store with limited product available, boxes and purchases contribute towards points which can be used on products, however most products have a points cap.

Women’s Box: May
5 full size, 0 travel size, 0 samples, 1 other

I’m sorry to say that after my June experience I am not inclined to recommend Lust Have It. I did not receive my June Eco box until early July, June Women’s box in mid July,  and as of now (16/07) have not received the FaB Box at all. Customer service response is also very slow. The products you receive is not bad but when there are so many other options out there this company is not for me.

Bella Box

Offers one box $15 and claims limited ‘tailoring’ to your beauty profile but doesn’t appear to actually do so. Supposed to give you  a tracking number but I didn’t get this, also it arrived very late. Still, decent box for the price. Best entry level box due to low price point. 

BellaBox June:
1 full size, 3 travel size, 3 samples

Beauty Edit

Offers one box at $20 every second month that you purchase in advance in lots of 2, 3 or 6. So minimum spend is $40. Shipments are tracked with Australia Post. Has an extensive beauty profile in the info box and tailors boxes to suit you (amount of personalisation varies month to month). Best if you want a box that is a little more personal and not too often. 

Beauty Edit June:
2 full size, 3 travel size, 3 samples, 1 other

Important: Since this review was written Beauty Edit has gone into liquidation!!

Violet Box

Offers one box at $22.95 per month, shipments are tracked. Has a ‘luxe’ focus. Best if you want to try a wide range of different beauty and skincare products. 

Violet Box June:
5 full size, 2 travel size, 0 samples, 0 other


Offers 3 types of Glamm boxes at $80, but seem to frequently be on sale for $19.95. Once subscribed to the $19.95 special, future boxes are also $19.95. You can choose beauty, skincare, or mixed. Only contains Mirenesse products. There is also a mystery VIP box offered every second month for VIP subscribers, starting in your second month ($25 a month). Click here for an explanation of how the system works.

This box is not as ‘exciting’ as others as the contents are small, however they are expensive ‘specialty’ products e.g. anti aging, plumping lip gloss which the other boxes don’t tend to provide. Best if you want to receive specialty treatment products rather than eyeshadows, generic moisturisers etc. Provides shipping notifications, but no tracking.

Glamm Mixed June:
1 full size, 2+1 travel size, 0 samples, 0 other

VIP Box August:

Native Box

Offers eco-friendly, Australian, sustainable products only. Boxes include monthly Classic Box $24.95, monthly Vegan Box $24.95, quarterly Supersize Box $49.95, quarterly Mum & Bub box $24.95, quarterly Beauty Box $24.95, quarterly Mens Box $24.95. Discounts available for paying for multiple boxes in advance. In addition to the eco-focus they try to cater for those who have food allergies or skin sensitivities to additives and so provide products with natural ingredients.

The classic and supersize boxes are a mix of food and beauty/skincare products, and may occasionally include home care (e.g. cleaning products). As a non vegan non allergy/sensitive person I found the box a little disappointing as most of the products were small sachets however I can see the value in getting to try small amounts of new products if you have special requirements. Also the fact that all businesses they work with are sustainable and Australian is a nice touch. Online store is in development, offers a points system for reviews of products. Best if you have specific ethical or allergen needs. Also has fantastic customer service.

Classic Box May:
2 full size, 2 travel size, 5 samples, 2 other

NoTox Box

Offers a monthly NoTox Box $25 and monthly Superfood Snack Box $28.95. Also offers discounts for paying for several months in one go. Has a good mix of beauty and foods, more of a food focus than Native Box. They have an extensive online store with a wide range of health foods available at reasonable prices. Best if you want to try different health foods and products. Provides shipping notification but no tracking.

NoTox Box June:
3 full size, 3 travel size, 0 samples, 2 other

Goodness Me Box

Offers a monthly Goodness Me Box for $25 which drops as low as $22.91 if you subscribe for a year at a time. This is a purely food based box and full of yummy treats! Best if you want to try different health and organic foods only. Comes packaged really nicely too!

Goodness Me Box July:
4 full size, 1 travel size, 4 samples, 2 recipes 🙂

Once Upon a Time Self Tanning Magic Care

I’m not that big on self-tanning products. They never seem to work for me. I possibly get my moisturiser application done unevenly, or its due to patches of scaly skin, or I don’t know but I end up looking stupid. But for some reason I decided to try this product. Ok, not ‘some reason’, for the pure fact that the brand is called ‘Once Upon a Time’ and I happen to like that TV show. Kind of a stupid reason to try a beauty product, right?

Well luckily for me, it worked out! I present: Once Upon a Time Self Tanning Magic Care. Apparently it’s a French brand.


So you get this little vial of… well rather unappealing looking liquid with an eyedropper. It doesn’t have any particularly strong smell, which I’m glad of. Even pre mixed self tan tends to smell a bit funky, and this is, I can only assume, the pure tanning ingredient not mixed with any kind of moisturiser.

The application is very, very light. You use – literally – only 2 to 3 drops, drop them onto your hand first, rub hands together then rub into your face. I was very skeptical. I thought, yeah, I will totally end up with 3 finger shaped lines dragged across my forehead and the rest of my face will be pasty, there is not nearly enough of this stuff to spread around. But I was also cautious about using more than 3 drops.


I actually was quite pleasantly surprised. If you are very pasty you may notice a slight difference after a few hours. The tan was very subtle and natural looking. After about 3 days of application, I approached what I felt was a slightly less ghost-like colour. This is great for me because I usually don’t tan my face in the sun with the rest of my body – cancer aside (although yes I know that’s the important thing) I just get covered in freckles rather than darker. And I don’t want to be covered in freckles so of course I wear sunscreen (also to protect against cancer and maintain youthful skin, of course) and then my face stays pasty white while the rest of me looks healthy and summery. Being able to control the colour of my face to match the rest of my body in very subtle increments is extremely appealing.

It doesn’t last that long though, a week or two without application and I’m back to looking rather pale.  But I have confidence now that I’ll be able to control my colour up or down in single shade increments with this product. Beauty Must Have.

Oh- and don’t forget to wash your hands after application!

Beauty Edit – June

Important: Since this review was written Beauty Edit has gone into liquidation!!

Beauty Edit boxes cost $20 a month but you sign up in min of 2 month lots, so the minimum spend is $40. They are sent out every second month, so I’m subscribed for June/August.

This appears to be the most tailored box! Account set up allows you to select your skin type, concerns (including sensitive) and even the type of samples you prefer to receive – Iit is ‘ preference so no guarantee but I for one rarely use self tan so it was nice to be able to opt out of this and hopefully not get them.

The mailer is customised and pink so I thought that would be it.


But inside was a lovely, sturdy box with magnetic closure. I’ll definitely be there re using this to store my growing collection of samples.

It also came with a welcome letter which was a nice touch, explaining the system a little more.

So. My box. I received a shampoo and conditioner travel duo, 3 instant eyeshadow applicators, cuticle treatment oil, night cream, moisturiser and tea.


I was pretty happy, it was nicely packaged, items were in accordance with my profile selections, and the eyeshadow applicators are a fun idea I’ve considered trying before but never felt particularly inclined to buy. Not the huge volume of stuff that Violet Box provided (which I suspect is largely due to the birthday addition) but it still felt fairly substantial with nice quality products.

The ability to tailor your preferences is a big plus I feel, also the bi monthly shipment is appealing as someone who doesn’t use a HUGE amount of product (and is now super over stocked but that’s beside the point).

I’m a fan, and this will probably be on my stay list.