February 2012 Topbox Review & Pictures

February Topbox Review & PicturesAfter receiving a complimentary Topbox back in November with a full-size Deborah Lippmann nail polish that made me squeal more than Wilbur at the thought of bacon, I had to sign up for the service!

The February 2012 Topbox arrived a few days ago, and when I saw the cylindrical container, my heart skipped a beat. I was so excited to see what top products were waiting for me this time.

Are you curious, too?

I took the February Topbox aside and asked if it would be brave enough to bare it all for my readers. At first, it seemed reluctant, but then when I brought the camera out, it was full-on supermodel diva mode! Heck, it was even ‘smeyesing’ as Tyra Banks would say.

Despite all the pomp and circumstance, was I impressed? There’s only one way to find out!

February 2012 Topbox Pictures

February Topbox Review & Pictures

This is what you'll get in the mail. It's all wrapped up.

February 2012 Topbox Review & Pictures

Inside is a cardboard tube with a cover featuring an elegant design. This is the standard Topbox tube that you'll see every month, unless they later decide to switch it up.

February Topbox.ca Review & Pictures

Here's the cover on one end. Ready to see what's inside?

February 2012 Topbox.ca Review & Pictures

Some purple tissue paper!

Topbox February 2012 Review & Pictures

Inside is a card. The little detail on the bottom-right corner is cute and very appropriate for February.

Topbox February Review & Pictures

Inside the card, it shows the information about the products you get, including the price for the full-size item. I also like how they have photos of some of the products. Visuals are always more enticing!

2012 February Top Box Review & Pictures

And it continues onto this page...Beside "Pari Beauty", it says "Personalized Shade" in case it's hard to see because of the reflection.

Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils February Topbox Review & Photos

Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils (3 mL / 1 fl. oz.)

Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils February 2012 Topbox Review & Photos

Here's what the wand looks like. (P.S. I'm wearing China Glaze Gaga For Green on my nails. I hope to review it on here soon.)

Shu Uemura Art of Hair Full Shimmer Illuminating Shampoo February Topbox.ca Review & Pics

Shu Uemura Art of Hair Full Shimmer Illuminating Shampoo (75 mL / 2.5 fl. oz.)

Pari Beauty Eye Shadow Topbox February Review & Photos

Pari Beauty Eye Shadow (2 g / 0.07 oz.)

Pari Beauty Eye Shadow Topbox February 2012 Review & Photos

Here's a closer look at the colour.

LillyPilly Kakadu Plum Hand & Body Creme 2012 February Topbox.ca Review & Pics

LillyPilly Kakadu Plum Hand & Body Creme (3 mL / 0.10 fl. oz. each)

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat February 2012 Topbox Review & Photos

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat

Claims: TRUSTED, but Product: BUSTED

√ Contains 4 deluxe samples
√ Samples are from premium brands

Key Notes

  • Name: February 2012 Topbox
  • What You Get in Each Month’s Box: 4 deluxe samples from premium brands
  • What I Paid: $10 CAD (of course plus tax)
  • Where to Sign up for a Subscription: Topbox website

February 2012 Topbox Review


Since I went into great detail about the packaging in my November 2011 Topbox review, please check that out if this is your first time hearing about this company.

In an allergy-free nutshell, I really like the packaging because it’s simple, clean, and environmentally-friendly. I also think that it’s very smart because it reduces extra overhead expenses for the company, which means that they should be able to focus more on the quality of the products.

The Products

As usual, I have to be honest – the February 2012 Topbox was a majorrrrr letdown compared to the November one I got. Allow me to explain.

Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils

In my first and second years of university, I wore mascara daily, but then I abruptly stopped because I hated the feeling of it on my lashes. Since then, I rarely sport the stuff, so when I saw this product, I wasn’t thrilled. Sure, it’s my first ever Yves Saint Laurent anything, but it’s a product that I may give to my sister-in-law or that I may bust out for a special occasion.

If you actually do wear mascara, this could be a real treat, though, considering how expensive the full-size version costs – $36! Phew!

Shu Uemura Art of Hair Full Shimmer Illuminating Shampoo

Here’s another brand that’s new-to-me. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Shu Uemura eyelash curler, but nothing about this shampoo. It could be because I don’t often look up reviews on shampoo.

The Shu Uemura shampoo is designed especially for colour-treated hair. While I’ll definitely be using this product, I can’t test it out properly since I haven’t dyed my hair for years and years.

And I must say that it’s such a generous size! πŸ™‚

Pari Beauty Eye Shadow

I really like the purple colour and the sleek, dome packaging, but alas, it contains an ingredient that I have a cosmetic allergy to! Darn! Looks like my sister-in-law might make off like a beauty bandit. πŸ˜‰

LillyPilly Kakadu Plum Hand & Body Creme

These are really small samples, and when it comes to hand creme, I would much prefer a small squeeze tube. These kind of samples seem like the free ones you can get yourself, so it was disappointing that these counted as a deluxe sample.

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat

Now, the boxing gloves are coming out! I can’t hold it in!

Glamorizing the act of smoking cigarettes is so old-fashioned and backwards.

I’m not a smoker, but a lot of my friends are. I won’t hold it against you if you smoke. What I don’t like is that the advertisement is trying to sell makeup by unnecessarily linking it to cigarettes. That turns me off immediately. Even if it was an ad for green nail polish, I wouldn’t buy it because I don’t like promoting messages like that.

A lot of you may think that I’m blowing it out of proportion, but this is something I strongly feel is wrong, and you have to stand up for what you believe in or what use is it to have opinions in the first place?

Got that off my chest. πŸ˜‰ Now I can talk about the sample. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed that the sample is a one-use deal. I understand that this is a Yves Saint Laurent product that’s expensive, but at least the mascara was a cute little tube. This is just the kind of sample you get for free in a magazine.


  • All products are from top brands
  • Environmentally-friendly packaging
  • Generous size for the shampoo

  • Single-use samples included
  • I can’t wear the eye shadow (because of a cosmetic allergy to a known ingredient) & I hardly wear mascara, so those 2 items are a bust for me

Final Verdict: 4/10

With beauty-sample services like Topbox, it’s understood that some months will be huge hits and some will be misses. It’s all in the luck of the draw, and you pay for that chance of getting pure gold or fool’s gold. It’s part of the fun!

Although I really like the company and am thoroughly impressed by their marketing campaigns, the February 2012 Topbox was a complete flop for me. (It hurts me to say that.)

I had such grandiose expectations after the November 2011 Topbox, so I think the bar was set unrealistically high.

Yes, it sounds harsh, but the only product I’m going to use is probably the shampoo. Thank goodness it’s such a generous size! πŸ™‚ But, I guess this product actually pays for the cost of this month’s box, so maybe I shouldn’t be complaining. (And I would totally wear the eye shadow, but my allergy is the only thing preventing me.) I like being able to try more products from the month’s box. That’s why I subscribed.

Hopefully the March box will be more appropriate for me. I’m still giving them another chance. I think it’s unfair when some people unsubscribe after just one bad month. Not every product can appeal to everyone. Plus, I believe in giving people second, third, fourth, fifth, nth (hehe) chances in life. πŸ™‚

Do you subscribe to Topbox? If so, what did you get this month? What do you think of the products in my Topbox?


31 thoughts on “February 2012 Topbox Review & Pictures

  1. maddy

    I think November’s box was better. This time they didn’t have and nail polish and I don’t use mascara too. It makes you eyelashes feel thick, heavy and unnatural. They really should have include little squeze tubes instead of packets for the hand and body creme. By the way, I love your nails.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey maddy!

      Definitely November’s was way better. I mean, I had to pick up my jaw from the floor when I saw the contents!

      Thank you so much – the formula for that green polish was a pleasant surprise.

  2. karen

    I had no idea that they were still doing so many of these boxes. My Mom used to get them from one company when we were kids and she always shared the stuff that she wasn’t going to use with us girls.

    It’s a shame that this one was a bit of a bust for you, but your sis-in-law will probably have fun trying out the products. Hopefully, you’ll make out like a bandit in next month’s box. πŸ˜€

    I gave up mascara ages ago…and shadow, liner, blusher…well, okay, all makeup. Some of it was due to allergies, but most because I’m just too lazy to bother. πŸ˜›

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey karen!

      Yes, I’ll cross my fingers, toes, and eyes that next month’s will be better. πŸ™‚

      I know how you feel about reducing the amount of makeup you wear. I used to wear a lot, but over the years, I’ve cut it down. Sometimes, though, I’ll go all out just for fun.

  3. Laura

    I didn’t receive the shampoo, I received a C. Booth Hand and Nail Treatment instead. I have been disappointed in every Topbox after the Lippmann one. I see you have their claims still down as “TRUSTED”, for me though, I don’t think they are; I’ve actually cancelled my subscription because of it.

    Claim 1: “All products are from top/ premium brands”… I don’t really see LillyPilly, C.Booth or Pari Beauty (just this month alone) as “top” brands, there’s nothing horribly wrong with those products, but I think to imply that these brands are “top” or “premium” is a little extreme.

    Claim 2: “Contains 4 deluxe samples”… I would say I received 3 “deluxe” samples this month; the one-use Touche Eclat and the 2 little packets of LillyPilly cream don’t add up to a 4th deluxe sample.

    Sorry to rant on your site, I just was past unimpressed this month (I even suspect my mascara is expired, it’s dry on the brush and next to impossible to apply)

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Laura!

      Yeah, I almost “BUSTED” their claims. But, I just couldn’t because they did include Yves Saint Laurent, which is very expensive, and also because the Shu Uemera shampoo was a very generous size.

      No problem. Don’t apologize for ranting. I understand that you’re feeling disappointed like I was about this month’s box.

  4. Lisa

    If I got three counter samples plus some shampoo for ten bucks, I’d unsubscribe likethat.

    When I’m paying for something, I’m not inclined to pretend it’s all about being nice and being friends. Screw me once on my dime, I’m gone.

    These monthly deals are all about trust–we pay in advance and don’t get choice, and we’re trusting whoever we’re paying to do right by us. Topbox hasn’t, and as long as we’re paying for the transaction and as long as we can’t send it back for a full refund it’s reasonable to not want to keep being played like they did this month.

    Sorry to slag your sponsor/affiliate deal.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Lisa!

      Yes, I’m sure that many will unsubscribe after getting this month’s box, and it’s their choice. I’m still going to pay for the subscription for next month’s box. If that’s disappointing, too, then I may unsubscribe, but I really want to give them more chances.

      I don’t have a sponsor or affiliate deal with Topbox. I paid for this myself. The only box I got free was the November Topbox, but it came with no strings attached – they sent it to me, and I was free to post a review (or not) regardless if my opinion was positive or negative.

      Even when companies DO send me free things and I choose to review them, I can still give them a poor review if I feel that it didn’t cut it. And even if readers leave negative comments about a product, it doesn’t alter the relationship I have with a sponsor/affiliate.

      It’s all about honesty. Period. πŸ™‚

  5. Jennifer

    I hate the little baggie samples (counter sample). It just makes me feel robbed since I can get those sample myself… πŸ™ It just looks cheap, plus it’s usually only one use, because you can’t really preserve the product in a opened plastic thing…

    I like the mascara sample though. Even though it’s a small tube that is supposed to be for 10-days trial, I usually use it for a month or 2. Somehow, there just seems to be quite an amount of product in it.

    Have a nice weekend, Mary! πŸ™‚
    Jennifer recently posted: The Hunger Games

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Jennifer!

      I’m actually surprised that they provided that kind of sample since in the November Topbox, the majority of the products had the Insane Wow Factor!

      It’s good that you can use the mascara. I’m sure that most people who do wear mascara will be pleased to see that sample. Expensive if you buy the full-size!

      Thank you so much! πŸ™‚ Hope your weekend was relaxing!

  6. Carmela

    Thanks for making me feel a teeny tad better that I missed out on the subscription (they opened a few slots yesterday and it all sold out in 15mins!). πŸ˜› 75mL for a Shu Uemura shampoo, a full-sized (?) eyeshadow single and the deluxe sample size YSL mascara is pretty good, except that’s really only 3 samples instead of the 4 that you’re supposed to be guaranteed. Not to sourgrape, but now I don’t feel as bad that I missed out on this month’s. But don’t get me wrong, I am still hoping to get a subscription when they do open more slots just to try the service out for myself. I’m expecting a Luxe Box this month tho (yay for awesome hubbies!) so we’ll see how that stacks up to your Top Box. πŸ™‚
    Carmela recently posted: Indulgent Intermission: A Whole Lotta Tags!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Carmela!

      You’re welcome…haha, anything for my sweet Carmela!

      I hope you’ll be blogging about your Luxe Box! I love seeing the different things that others get.

  7. Nicole

    This was my first month receiving Topbox too. Like you, I was a little disappointed. YSL is the only one I would consider a top brand. The little packets are far from deluxe samples. I’m not giving up on them though. Most of the previous boxes have been pretty good. Plus they seem to have the best customer service from what I can see out of the 3 boxes. I like the fact that they seem to know their limits and haven’t taken on too many customers too quickly.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Nicole!

      Sorry that you were also disappointed, but I’m glad that you’ll also be giving them another chance. Hopefully the March box will hit it out of the park!

  8. Ashley

    Awww I’m sorry your box was disappointing, I probably would have had the same reaction. Not a fan of lotions or hair care products, I usually just use the same thing over and over again haha.

    On an unrelated note, have you seen the new Spoiled nail polish line from Wet n’ Wild? They have all these amazing colors for $1.99, I was definitely have a moment in CVS haha. I got this beautiful green glitter (Show Me the Money) and a silver glitter (I Have no Reception).

      1. Mary Post author

        Hey Ashley!

        No, I haven’t seen the Spoiled polishes in person. I don’t even think we get them here in Canada. *Whine whine whine* πŸ˜‰

        They are really beautiful, though, and I drool over the swatches of them online!

  9. β™‘ Jay β™‘ (@JaylieG)

    It must be a February thing, as I got my Birchbox and was quite disappointed as well. I only got what I would consider 1 deluxe sample, the others were like one use samples.
    But Like you said, some months will be better than others. And for the price, its good to keep trying! Love your site!!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Jay!

      Maybe it is the winter blues…Who knows?

      I’m curious – what exactly did you get in your Birchbox this month?

      Thanks for the support – I love my readers! πŸ™‚

      1. β™‘ Jay β™‘ (@JaylieG)

        Winter Blues! yes that must be it.
        What I got from Birchbox this month:
        Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant Powder (this was a nice size sample.
        Eye Rock Designer Liner
        Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint (sample so small, I am not sure it will cover my face)
        Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum (dime size sample)
        Supersmile Powdered Mouthrinse.

        After looking at the samples more, I saw that the EyeRock had four eyeliners in it (they are single use). These might actually be interesting if I ever get a night out..

        1. Mary Post author

          Yes, the eyeliners sound interesting. Even if they’re just for a single use each, at least you can test-drive four colours. πŸ™‚

          Hmm…I’ve never heard of a powdered mouth rinse before. :S That sounds weird. But now I’m curious to know what you think of it if you try it out. (But…such a strange thing to include in a beauty box!)

  10. chloe

    hi, i was wondering if you know if theres anything like topbox.ca for people living in australia? everything wonderful in cosmetics is only in america and canada…

    by the way, i love your blog..especially the nailart tutorials

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey chloe!

      Hmm…sorry, I really can’t even think of a single service in Australia like this.

      If any of my readers see this and know, please reply to her comment and help her out!

      Glad that you like the tutorials so much! πŸ˜€ Which ones have you tried so far?

        1. Mary Post author

          YAY! Glad you tried it and appreciate how it’s both classy and fun at the same time. Hope you’ll try out other designs, too, and even come up with your own to share. πŸ˜€

  11. Caroline

    That’s so awesome! I am so new to all of this stuff haha.
    What “boxes” are available in the US?

    Ahh, can’t wait to try something like this πŸ™‚

    I totally understand why you wouldn’t be super excited about this, but someone who loves mascara and isn’t allergic would probably enjoy this quite a bit, so I think you’re totally right giving it another chance πŸ™‚
    Caroline recently posted: Feeling Italian!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Caroline!

      In the States, there’s Birchbox.

      Since you’re new to this, maybe try Googling or YouTube-ing it. It’s fun to see what everyone gets. Plus, it’ll give you a better idea of the kind of products you may get in a future box.

  12. Claire

    I agree about the glamorization of smoking in that concealer ad. How strange! Also I think this post is a good example of why I’ve held out on trying one of these programs so far. I hear stories of getting amazing things like the Lippmann polish and then not so great ones the next time. While I wouldn’t necessarily expect something like that every single time, I feel like I’d rather just save the money that I’m paying for samples and go buy something I know I want. But that’s just me. πŸ™‚ Love the packaging on this one, though!
    Claire recently posted: Lady Gaga Edge of Glory set by Deborah Lippmann

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Claire!

      I completely understand how you feel. Services like Topbox really are a gamble because, in the end, you really don’t know exactly what you’re going to get. Some months will be amazing, and others will be flops. It’s definitely safer to invest in a specific product that you know you want.


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