Unboxing: Topbox September 2013

I finally received my Topbox September 2013  yesterday, seven full days after the expected delivery.  I find it frustrating that Topbox issued me a shipping notification early on September 10th, but the Canada Post tracking system shows the box didn’t even leave the Topbox facility until late on the 12th.  If you’re going to send me an email saying “Your September Topbox Has Shipped!”, that shouldn’t actually mean “We’re Going to Put Your September Topbox in the Mail Two Days From Now!”.   I’ve been feeling sad for the past few days as I’ve seen countless other unboxings online and it’s frustrating to have to wait seven days longer than most other subscribers.

This month, the box was huge.  Too big to fit in my condo’s mailbox, so I had to grab it from the post office after work.


That’s my September Topbox with a banana to help show just how big the box was.


Inside the box there was the standard Topbox tube, this time a little longer and a little fancier.  My disappointment was furthered by the fact that I think the packaging was rather wasteful; about 75% of the box was empty space.


The first thing I found in the box was a rolled-up issue double issue of Chatelaine.  This is a magazine I strongly associate with my mother in the early 1990s, and not a magazine that I consider relevant to most women in my demographic.  It looks like the magazine has perhaps recently redesigned, though I’m unclear as to how this “double issue” represents the standard format.  One half of the magazine includes only food and home articles (which are rather… pedestrian…) while the other half includes style, health and “real life”.   The section promising “three tips for the best sex ever” makes me never, ever, ever want to reach middle age.  I am not counting this towards the value of the box as it is not a beauty product.


The first thing I pull out of the tube, as the camera begins to die, is a full-size Wella Thermal Image Heat Protection Spray.  Oddly, the first ingredient in this product is alcohol.  Alcohol is known to be pretty drying, so I’m surprised it would feature so prominently in something designed to keep my hair from drying out while heat styling!  I have not been pleased with Wella products I’ve used in the past but am willing to give this one a try.  This spray retails for $14.


I thought the next two products were it for my September Topbox.  First, there was a decent-sized sample of Cover FX anti-aging primer, which claims to serve as both a primer and a serum.  I will probably try this one and then end up adding it to my morning skincare cocktail.  This seems to contain a very low concentration of active anti-aging ingredients, based on the ingredient list on the Cover FX website.  Full-size retails for $38, making this sample worth $6.33.


The next product in my box, which is shown above, is a Lise Watier “Age Control Supreme” bronzer foundation sample.  Seriously, beauty boxes should not attempt to send out foundation samples.  Skin tone is much too personal and the chances of matching one of a few sample colors to any particular subscriber are miniscule.  The shade I received, which actually does seem to be one of the brand’s lighter shades, has strong orange-pink undertones that make it look more like fake tanner than foundation on my skin.  As someone passionate about sun protection (as anyone interested in anti-aging products should be!) I would never let my skin get this dark even during the summer, which makes this sample pretty worthless.  A full-size bottle of this foundation costs $48, which would make this sample worth $8 (if I could use it).

As I mentioned before, I thought that was the full contents of my September Topbox.  However, when I looked at the included information card, it said there should have been a sample of Lancome’s Tresor perfume.  I went back through the tissue I’d throw to the side and found the sample carefully wrapped amongst the packing materials.


I find it kind of ironic that I mentioned associating Chatelaine with my mom in the early 1990s, as this is another product that also strikes me as being a bit dated.  Lancome’s Tresor, in its current incarnation, went on the market in 1990.  This perfume is extremely sweet, opening with strong notes of peach, apricot and rose before slowly settling into a still-sweet musky vanilla.  I remember the old Tresor ads with Isabelle Rossellini, and it seemed to target an audience older than me (even today).  This is a legitimate deluxe-sized sample, worth $9.22 (calculated based on the price of a 100ml bottle).

The inclusion of two anti-aging skincare products, a perfume from 1990 and a magazine my mom used to read in the car while waiting to pick me up from elementary school made the entire September Topbox feel dated.  Old and dated.  I’m surprised Wella wanted to be included in this mix of products.  The total value of products in this month’s box was $37.55, which is $23.63 in 1990 dollars. 


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