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Unboxing the December 2013 Lolabox, plus overall review of subscription to Lola

 

A while ago, I promised to talk about the stuff I got from Lolabox.

While there’s already been a steady upsurge in beauty subscription box businesses in Indonesia since the start of the year, I was skeptical for longer than I thought about how they’re going to implement the model into the new market. I doubt it in terms of products and packaging quality … until now.

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December 2013’s Lolabox

In the wake of the success of overseas brands like BirchboxJulep MavenBeauty Army, and Glossybox, most of which only came into existence in the last couple of years, it’s no surprise to see the proven pattern being repeated here in Asia.

Can’t believe I’m saying this, but when it comes to beauty hauls and the overall shopping experience, I really miss living in SF – you can pretty much walk all over the city in one day, and it has super reliable public transportation so you can come to and fro from vintage stores to day spas to local boutiques (think Bare Escentuals, Benefit, elizabethWAlgenist, and Benedetta at Ferry Building) to sample beauty products in person for free :p But thankfully, Lolabox came around to offer just that in the comfort of our home.

After months of research on the various locally-based beauty boxes, I decided to go for Lola because: a) They work with great brands, offering a varied mix of affordable and premium products, b) there are more skin and haircare products offered compared to makeup, which I like, and c) You can always count on Lola for Luxola vouchers :p

I opted for the 3-month subscription plan (October, November, December), which is tagged as IDR 375,000. You save a good IDR 60,000 by doing so, as the monthly plan costs IDR 145,000, so 145,000 x 3 = IDR 435,000. And now you know that I’m a cheapskate hehehehe.

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When they arrive every month, it almost feels like some secret admirer sent me a gift or something. It’s lovely, and don’t be silly, I’m well aware that I paid for them. I’m an old soul, really, so anonymous gifts and surprise messages have always made my heart stir.

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L-R: November 2013 Lolabox, October 2013 Lolabox, December 2013 Lolabox
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So here are the treasures in the December 2013 Lolabox:

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Because details are my forte, let’s go over the individual samples one by one.

 

1. KENZO Flower in the Air (IDR 610,000 for 30 ml / IDR 855,000 for 50 ml / IDR 1,160,000 for 100 ml)

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You know, if I use perfumes on a daily basis, I’d get this immediately right off the shelf. I knew 10 would instantly like this because it’s like a contemporary version of the classic L’Occitane Rose 4 Reines (IDR 670,000 for 75 ml) that I put on during one of our first dates. Funny thing about being in a relationship is that you actually prefer each other’s natural smell than if you’ve sprayed on some form of artificial scent. Perhaps it’s the pheromones working, but sometimes, inhaling your S.O.’s sweaty scent for five seconds is all you need to revive yourself after a long day of work – I’m serious. But that’s a topic for another day.

Now here comes Flower in the Air to succeed 2000’s poppy-soaked signature, Flower by KENZO. More delicate than it’s gardenia predecessor, what I love about Flower in the Air is that it’s really rosy, but at the same it’s got standout notes of berries that adds that extra zing and sweetness to the light, woody musk base. It also seeps into the skin pretty quickly without losing touch of its ‘featherlight’ quality on your body.

If Flower in the Air is translated into a movie, it’s got to be a Rachel McAdams movie. The scent represents that moment when she’s beaming into a wide smile as she receives a huge bouquet of pink roses from some guy. Ryan Gosling, perhaps?

 
 

2. One Piece Hair Studio ‘Tansan Magic’ Sparkling Gelée (IDR 700,000)

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You can bet your dimes on One Piece for a great Japanese-inspired haircut. By the same token, you can rest assured that this jelly-like hair gel-cum-vitamin developed by the studio stays long on your hair even though it’s got a super light consistency. In fact, this gelée’s so sheer that it’s more liquid than it is solid, so it felt really fresh when I put on the ends of my hair – ultra-moisturizing, zero greasiness.

A little background info: My hair’s very dry, brittle, and falls off easily. I’ve never dyed my hair. I go to hair salons once a year or never, and I only had my first ever creambath sesh a few months ago. So it comes to no surprise that I’m telling you this now: Other than protein-rich, biotin-packed foods plus virgin coconut oil, I’ve only gone as far as a shampoo and a conditioner when it comes to caring for my hair. The NISIM F.A.S.T. pack was an amazing one, and I wish I could restock them now that I’m still growing out my hair, but I don’t know where to get it in Jakarta :(

 
 

3. ASTALIFT Moisturizing Mask (IDR 145,000)

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INGREDIENTS; Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, PPG-9 Diglyceryl Ether, Betaine, Pentylene Glycol, Isotridecyl Isononanoate, Phenoxyethanol, Bisethoxydiglycol Cyclohexane 1,4-Dicarboxylate, Carbomer, Tocopherol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-20 Glyceryl Isostearate, Potassium Hydroxide, Ethylhexylglycerin, Polyglyceryl-2 Isostearate, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Parfum (Fragrance), Behenyl Alcohol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Squalane, Haematococcus Pluvialis Oil, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Acetyl Hydroxyproline, Secale Cereale (Rye) Seed Extract, Hydrolyzed Soy Flour, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrolyzed Elastin, Polyglyceryl-10 Oleate, Royal Jelly Extract, Sucrose Stearate, Soluble Collagen, Lecithin

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It’s rainy season. Also means it’s the perfect time to get extra hydration. This two-sachet pack has been in my Lolabox for more than a week, but I haven’t found the time to try it on.

For some reason, ever since I moved back to Jakarta, I no longer found the need to use hydration masks to keep my face looking plump, dewy, and moisturized. Even though my skin type is oily/combination, I used to buy these amazing disposable masks on a weekly basis, but now that I’m adapting to the tropical region for good, all I do is clay, clay, clay. Those pores always seem to get bigger by the day.

But the Fujifilm brainchild ASTALIFT plunged into the beauty scene just last year, and has shown its efficacy on soothing major skin concerns most of us experience, particularly when it comes to anti-aging. The red antioxidant astaxanthin, the concentrated key ingredient across the ASTALIFT line, is responsible for the pigmented appearance of all their products, including this intensive two-piece re-plumping mask. Said to be about 1,000 times more powerful than CoQ10 and 100 times more effective than Vitamin E, I’m expecting a supercharged complexion out of this mask. In the meantime, check out the official video instructions on how to put it on:


 
 

4. SIGMA Eyeliner Brush (IDR 132,000)

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So happy this thing is for free!!! Not literally, but you know what I mean.

I’ve been meaning to get a brush for my 88 shade palette, especially when lining my under-eye area with the ombres, but now that a sleek and sharp one is in my hands, I no longer have to smudge excessively with my ring finger and end up with a smokey eye. The tip of this SIGMA brush is finer than the average liquid eyeliner’s tip and felt really smooth as you draw your line across. Because it’s not part of a liquid eyeliner, you can easily adjust your line’s width by pressing the fatter root of the brush. Works awesome for that Angelina-esque demure cat eye look.

 
 

5. Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox Healing BB Blemish Base SPF-25, Whitening, Anti-Wrinkle (IDR 488,000)

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So far I’ve been a-okay with Dr. Jart+’s re-tighten mask, though most of the time it only provides temporary relief to huge pores. Great for skin-integrity maintenance, but not for overall improvement of skin appearance. I’m still using it right now, and still on the search for my next best clay mask after TBS’ tea tree and ORIGINS’ charcoal …

Despite so, I’m still giving the green light for Dr. Jart+, what with all the positive reviews they’ve enjoyed from the Asian market, notably for their premium BB creams.

That’s why I’m thrilled to get a sample of the Black Label Blemish Base. Out of the three BB creams by Dr. Jart+ (Silver Label, Black Label, and Premium Blemish Base), Black Label is the only one that harnesses your skin with UV protection. Other than that, believe it or not, I’ve never used BB creams, eye concealers, or any other sort of face primers before. As in, never. Not because I don’t want to, but because I’m always in between putting off my wish list by researching the best of the best products out there and convincing myself that I don’t need them immediately.

My holy grail is the SPF-15 bareMinerals foundation, and I’ve been using it for over four years for general coverage – particularly for concealing and for a little sunscreen. So I was glad Lola picked for me the Black Label one, because this is probably the creamiest and quickest-drying primer and moisturizer that is perfect for brightening up my dull complexion and for getting a flawless finish under my foundation.

I love that it’s lightening and that it provides close to opaque coverage, but it’ll take time to see whether they do work for treating blemishes.

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INGREDIENTS: Water, Proplyene Glycol, Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Titanium Dioxide, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Isopropyl Plamitate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamage, Butylene Glycol, Dicaprylate/Dicaparate, Methicone, Arbutin, Talc Dipentaerythityl Hexhydroxystearate/Hexastearate/Hexarosinate, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1, Diemthicone, Plolyglycerl-5 Isostearate, Magnesium Sulfate, Iron Oxides, Hexyldecyl Myrisotyl Methylaminopropinoate, Diemthicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Silica, Aluminum Dtearat

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***EXTRAS

What’s a beauty box without bonuses? My Lolabox this month is giving away the biggest bang for my buck with exclusive samples from Dr. Jart+’s 24-hour hydrating MOST MOIST series to keep my skin dewy through the cold season.

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But just as with the ASTALIFT disposable mask, I haven’t tried any of these moisturizing miracles while I can fry an egg with the excessive oils on my face. So these claims have made me itching for the stressful and PMS moments when my oily/combination skin will turn dry:

 

1. Dr. Jart+ MOST MOIST Water-Act Skin Mist

INGREDIENTS: Water, Propanediol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Trehalose, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Panthenol, Butylene Glycol, Equisetum Arvense Extract, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry), Fruit Extract, Adansonia Digitata Seed Extract, Fructan, Sophora Japonica Flower Extract, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein/PVP Crosspolymer, Caprylyl Glycol,, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tropolone, 1,2-Hexanediol, Disodium EDTA, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot)

Moisturizing alcohol free mist with capsulated moisturizing ingredients to increase moisture level

4 Free System acts on skin gently
Suitable for all skin by removing harmful ingredients with 4 free system – preservative, alcohol, fragrance, and pigment free. Acts on skin softly with no irritation. Safe to use on sensitive skin.

Natural preservative from kimchi
Lactobacillus peptide extracted from young radish kimchi acts as natural preservative to protect the skin from inner and outer environments.

Low irritating mist with refreshing finish
Refreshing feeling without stickiness yet moist finish and increased absorption for the next step skin care.

Maintains skin balance with capsulated moisturizing ingredients
Capsulated moisturizing ingredients penetrate deep into skin to restore skin balance and maintain moisture without dryness for a long time.

Skin soothing & skin barrier strengthening function
Guards skin from inner and outer environments while restoring skin back to healthy condition.

 

2. Dr. Jart+ MOST MOIST Water-Up Serum

INGREDIENTS: Aqua (Water), Propanediol, Glycereth-26, Glycerin, Polyacrylate-13, Polyisobutene, Butylene Glycol, Equisetum Arvense Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Methylparaben, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Hibiscus Esculentus Fruit Extract, Cereus Grandiflorus (Cactus) Flower Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Carbomer, Parfum (Fragrance), Hexyl Cinnamal, Alpha Isomethyl Ionone, Linalool, Butylphenyl Methyl Propional, Hydroxycitronellal, Limonene, Citronellol, Isoeugenol, Dipropylene Glycol, Polysorbate 20, Sorbitan Isostearate, Xanthan Gum, Tromethamine, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hyaluronate, Propylparaben

Moisturizing Serum Containing 15% Macromolecule of Hyaluronic Acid to maintain Moisture Level 

4 Free System acts on the skin gently
Suitable for all skin by removing harmful ingredients with 4 free system of preservative, alcohol, fragrance, and pigment free. Lactobacillus peptide extracted from young radish kimchi acts as natural preservative to protect the skin from inner and outer environments.

Contains 15% macromolecule of Hyaluronic acid with high absorption ability
Powerful natural moisturizing factor, macromolecule Hyaluronic acid, 15% is contained for longer lasting moisturization.

Restores moisture and prevents rough skin
Restores moisture within the skin giving energy , improves to moist and smoother skin texture by preventing dryness.

Moisture evaporation blocking system
Protects moisture particles from evaporating casing by external factors.
Forms powerful moisture layer to keep the skin moist and healthy

Absorbs quickly with refreshing and light application
Absorbs lightly without stickiness and leaves no burden on the skin.
Refreshing application with quickly soothes stressed and tired skin.

 

3. Dr. Jart+ MOST MOIST Water-Sure Gel

INGREDIENTS; Aqua (Water), Propanediol, Glycereth-26, PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer, Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Cyclohexasiloxane, Dimethicone, Cetearyl Olivate, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Sorbitan Olivate, Butylene Glycol, Methylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Cereus Grandiflorus (Cactus) Flower Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Equisetum Arvense Extract, Tromethamine, Carbomer, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Hibiscus Esculentus Fruit Extract, Parfum (Fragrance), Hexyl Cinnamal, Alpha Isomethyl Ionone, Linalool, Butylphenyl Methyl Propional, Hydroxycitronellal, Limonene, Citronellol, Isoeugenol, Dipropylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Disodium EDTA, Propylparaben

Oil Free Gel Cream With Lock & Lock Double Moisture System for moisturization and lifting effect

4 Free System acts on the skin gently
Suitable for all skin by removing harmful ingredients with 4 free system of preservative, alcohol, fragrance, and pigment free. Lactobacillus peptide extracted from young radish kimchi acts as natural preservative to protect the skin from inner and outer environments.

Refreshing oil free water gel cream without stickiness
Refreshing oil free gel cream keeps moisture for a long lasting with light application without stickiness.

Gel cream alone takes care of moisturization
Humid weather and laziness decrease usage of basic care products. This gel cream alone can provide enough moisturization.

Moisture protection layer on the skin and elasticity within the skin
Moisture coating layer and elasticity can be felt at the same time on the skin from double moisturizing effect .

Prevents aging from dryness and gives lifting effect
Prevents aging from lack of moisture and presents lifting effect for firm and smooth looking face contour.

 

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Now here’s the verdict: Despite all the great samples I received in the past 3 months, I don’t think I’ll be subscribing to any one beauty box any time soon. Why? Well, let’s weigh it all in:

Perks: a) I get to try different products from different brands inexpensively, b) I get introduced to new stuff I love, c) I don’t waste a lot if a product doesn’t suit me.

Downsides: a) I don’t think product samples, particular skin and haircare products, are enough to give the brands a chance to see whether their stuff are effective or not (I had a good three months or so for my final say on SK-II’s Facial Treatment Gentle Cleanser, Facial Treatment Clear Lotion, Facial Treatment Essence, and Facial Treatment Masks because I was given the full package), plus b) there are stuff in the boxes I don’t usually need, but I’ve gotten into the habit of needing them. My skincare regime has always been very, very simple, and I like to keep it that way.

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November 2013 Lolabox
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October 2013 Lolabox

Right now, I can already envision the birth of several niche beauty box companies that strictly only deliver natural, organic, vegan or even just minimally-processed beauty products to their loyal health-conscious subscribers. So probably only then will I entrust myself to subscribe to an annual plan of beauty samples. But we’ll see …

 

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Have you subscribed to a Lolabox before, and are you happy with it? How do you feel about the December 2013 Lolabox? Let me know what you think of the five products, and which of them is your favorite.

 
 
 
 
 


Stace

 
 

via Be Cleo

 

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