Monday, 24 October 2016

QVC Tili Box #2 | Review | The Best Beauty Box Yet?


Phew! When it comes to subscription boxes, it can be hard to keep up.

Sometimes it feels like the format has taken over the world, from beauty to tech gear, food and even boxes that cover your time of the month.

People seem to really like the idea of signing up, and I can’t blame them – getting a little box of loveliness through the front door sure beats piles of bills.

But there are so many beauty boxes now that its hard to know which ones are worth getting. I’ve subscribed, un-subscribed and re-subscribed to several, and although some of the boxes I’ve had have been amazing, others are full of repeat products, stingy samples or unexciting items.

So when I first heard about ‘Tili’, the sub box from shopping tv channel QVC (who incidentally are actually one of the UK’s biggest beauty retailers), I didn’t pay much attention at first. What makes this one any different? I thought. But then I took a closer look and realised that Tili was something different to the rest.

For a start, Tili is only released once a quarter, rather than each month. This box is only the second one they have done. When you sign up, you don’t automatically become a recurring subscriber -  you have to order each one. 

And you can see exactly what will be in the box in advance. True, this does remove the element of surprise but I much prefer seeing the contents and deciding if they are something I would actually use or not.


And I can honestly say that once I saw the super contents, I was way more excited to receive this than I’ve ever felt about a beauty sub box – I couldn’t wait for it to arrive! So it didn’t take anything away from the experience for me.

Tili is £20 which is around double the price of most boxes – but the items are mostly full size and the value is clearly worth it. I would much rather pay £20 for a set of mostly full size products that I want to try than £12 for some hit-and-miss samples.

But what was in the box that tempted me so badly? Take a peek…



Laura Geller Spackle Tinted Under Make-up Primer (full size)


This is a product I have ‘sort of’ heard of before, but not in any detail. I’m always wanting to try new primers through, and as this is worth £25.00, you’ve already had over the value of the box back on just the first product, which is amazing.

I must say I’ve never really tried a shimmery primer before, but its good to try something different. This promises to soothe redness, give a soft, candle-lit glow (your own portable Instagram filter, anyone?) and even out your skin tone.

It also provides a moisturised, plumped effect to the skin and a couple of heavyweight anti-oxidants in White Tea and Centella Asiatica extract.


This all sounds wonderful and it is. The texture is very light and watery on the skin, so it feels comfortable to wear.

It looks alarmingly bronze in the tube, but once its on the effect is gorgeous and subtle – so if you’re worried you’ll look like one of the cast of Twilight’s sparkly vampires after applying this, don’t be.

I’ve been using this primer for a couple of weeks now (instead of saving it, I thought I’d dive in and add it to my daily face routine) and although I do like it, I don’t love it.

It’s worth wearing for the anti-oxidants alone, which fight ageing damaging from free radicals throughout the day, but I much prefer a primer that goes some way to smoothing out the fine lines I’m plagued with, and this falls short there.

If they could just add some line-filling/pore-minimising stuff, I’d really rate this, but as it is, although it gives a pretty glow and I like the effect, I can’t see it becoming my go-to choice on its own.

However….

Caudalie Resveratrol Lift Face Lifting Moisturiser SPF 20 (sample)



…..when used with this little lovely, the Spackle primer works wonderfully!

That’s because this is a moisturiser that lifts, blurs, fills in fine lines AND has an SPF – in other words, pretty much my ideal face cream. Caudalie is a brand that’s been on my ‘must-try’ list for quite a while, so I was excited to get the chance to sample this.

So far, no single moisturiser has covered all the bases I would like it to – if it’s got anti-aging goodies, it seems to skip SPF (which seems quite counter-intuitive…) and if its got an instant cosmetic effect, it seems to skip the long-lasting benefits. But this seems to offer the best of all worlds.

Like all Caudalie skincare, it contains vine-derived resveratrol which is a powerful anti-oxidant protecting the skin against environmental damage (and no, you can’t get the same effect from downing a glass of pinot noir…I’ve tried!).

There’s hyaluronic acid, which is a super-hydrator that keeps the skin plumped and fine lines at bay, here in a ‘micro’ form that penetrates the skin more effectively. Collagen-stimulating peptides also kick signs of ageing into touch. For the instant effect, the formula includes ‘soft focus’ powders that mattify, blur and lift.

It’s perfection for people like me, in their late twenties or early thirties who are just beginning to see signs of skin ageing.

I absolutely love this, although my one negative comment would be that it doesn’t ‘feel’ very moisturising. Its quite powdery and dry when you put it on – perfect for summer, but I feel my skin may need a little more in the winter. For me, I’m happy to layer this with some oil or my favourite serum, but those seeking less hassle might not feel the same.

I do love this though, and it replaces the need for a separate line-smoothing primer (could the days of my beloved Benefit The Porefessional be numbered?). I will definitely be buying the full size of this and I’m so pleased to have discovered it.

OPI Nail Laquer ‘Russian Navy’ (full size)


The next item is a nail polish from OPI, who produce some of my all-time favourite shades like ‘Malaga Wine’ and ‘My Private Jet’.

This shade is ‘Russian Navy’, a deep and moody metallic blue-purple. It’s a beautiful shade for the autumn months, although I am a little wary with blue-based manicure shades as they can make your digits look dead, especially without a summer tan.

This is has such a beautiful rich, metallic sheen though and like a lot of OPI’s shades it has real depth and dimension. It’s a little out of my comfort zone and although its gorgeous, its not necessarily something I would pick off the shelf myself, but I’m glad to have received it as its pushed me to try something new.  The rich indigo shade is especially punchy when paired with gold tips or a gold glitter top coat.

The OPI formula is really glossy and chip-resistant and I do love the wide, flat brush which ensure that even klutzes like me get a neat finish. Its quite a unique shade and really sophisticated.

It normally costs £12.50 per bottle, so again, the value of this box is amazing. I can be quite fussy about nail polishes but I really do like this.

Philosophy Amazing Grace Shampoo, Bath and Shower Gel (sample)


Philosophy is another beloved mega-brand that I have never, ever tried. I’ve heard an awful lot about certain of their products though, including this all-in-one scented bath, shower gel and shampoo. I like the idea of a multi-tasker, but I’m always vaguely unconvinced that they can do everything as well as individual products – but here is my chance to find out!

There are a lot of people obsessed with the Amazing Grace scent, but although I find it inoffensive, its also a bit bland and forgettable. It’s a very clean, sweetish soapy scent – like an adult version of Johnson’s Baby products!

You may worry that anything that works as a bath foam will be far too drying for your hair, but this stuff is fortified with milk proteins to calm and nourish the skin. At £19.00 for the full size, its very pricey, although I suppose if it really does replace your shampoo, body wash and shower gel, it might be worth it -  although that’s still £6.30 per item!

It seems that the people out there who are ardent fans of this are mainly obsessed with the scent of it, but its not really my cup of tea – I much prefer something like Molton Brown’s Pink Peppercorn. I can’t see myself falling in love with this but I am glad to have tried it, if only to see what all the fuss is about.

Pixi Mini Endless Silky Eye Pen (deluxe sample)


They did really well with picking these cult favourite brands, didn’t they?  There’s a lot of buzz around Pixi and seeing as I’ve only ever tried one of their lip balms, it seems high time to try some more of the range out.

Who can’t use a black eyeliner? It’s the ultimate beauty essential, and yet, like a lot of ‘simple’ products, its hard to get right.  This one has bagged lots of top beauty awards though, so they must be on to something good.

This promises waterproof, super-long-wear, no-smudge, no-budge eyes that will stay put through thick or thin and require zero retouching – which sounds right up my street!


Despite the durability though, comfort is still a factor, and this glides on very seamlessly – it feels like a liquid liner – and doesn’t irritate tired eyes.

Its also extremely pigmented, so if you’re constantly searching for a ‘blacker than black’ formula, this is it (bet you didn’t think you could get THAT from a pencil, now did you?). I’ve been enjoying actually using this with a fine slanted eyeliner brush, which gives a beautiful precise finish.

And as an added bonus, the pencil contains Vitamin E which protects the delicate skin around the eyes and encourages lash growth!

Percy & Reed Abundantly Bouncy Volumising Mousse (full size)


Percy & Reed are one of those ultra-trendy haircare brands that seem to be in every magazine going, and although I have tried a couple of their items before (The ‘No Oil’ Oil which I didn’t like as much as my Mythic Oil and the Glossing Polish, which made my hair feel greasy and lank), I’ve never found one I loved.

However, mousse is a product I do use. It sounds a little retro, but if the word conjures up images of the crispy curls of the 90’s, banish that thought. Modern formulations are mostly very lightweight and are a brilliant way of adding volume at the roots.

I have quite fine hair but people always believe its thick – mainly because I blow-dry it upside down using a thickening product. It makes a massive difference.

So this mousse could be something I would love. Not only does it lock in volume, but it contains polymers that help to moisturise and smooth out the cuticle at the same time – so you can get the mega-thick but silky finish that’s the stuff of shampoo-ad dreams.

I also really like the classy matte white packaging with the pen and ink drawings on – ideal for those of us that love a good bathroom shelfie! Although it sounds promising, I have held off using this for the moment – purely because I have so many hair products on the go at the moment and I want to finish those first.

This is £12.00, so its on the pricier side, but if it delivers what it claims, that would be money well spent. Again, its fantastic value to get in the box, although I don’t think this will turn out to be a ride-or-die item for me judging on the other products I’ve tried from the range.

Niod Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex (full size)


Now this was a real winning item for me in the box. I’ve actually been wanting to try it for a while. It sounds super-effective, combining twelve forms of hyaluronic compounds to plump and hydrate the skin beautifully.

As I’ve mentioned, my main skin concern at the moment is my fine lines, and I think this might actually help to sort them out. Not only does it deeply hydrate, but there’s more anti-oxidant and collagen-stimulating benefits to be had as well.

This also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, so the daily stress of pollution, computer use and hormonal imbalances in the skin are also addressed.

This is an incredibly complex, science driven formula (which is exactly how I like my skincare, no organic flora and fauna for me!) and it targets skin at the upper, mid and deeper levels with different agents in the compound.  It offers up to 400% more surface hydration and a boost to skin’s natural processes as well.

It sounds amazing, and I’m really hoping it lives up to the hype. It’s normally £38.00, so again, to get this in the box is amazing.

Tarte Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara (full size)


Tarte is an amazing brand with so many amazing products, and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to try their new mascara launch.  Again, this is worth £22.00 on its own, so the contents of this box are so far above the price you pay.

With its slick black and gold ‘paint spatter’ casing, this looks as rockstar as Tarte products usually do. I’ve tried – and liked – their Lights, Camera, Lashes formulation, although it didn’t snatch the crown of my holy grail mascara (Too Faced Better Than Sex).

This has a completely different style of brush though, one of the plastic comb style ones that generally provide quite a defined, separated look. They also tend to be more lengthening than volumising, whereas I prefer the latter, but I’m prepared to suspend judgement on that account.

This, however, promises to increase lash volume by 2700%, which… I mean, that’s just insane amounts. I tend to be slightly skeptical
.


The ‘Lash paint’ element comes in because this is created with ‘triple-black’ mineral pigments. So if you want lashes as dark as your evil soul, this is clearly the place to start!

I’m not terribly convinced this will deliver on the volume side of things, just because that claim is so far out-there and it doesn’t seem like the type of brush that would deliver that fat, feathery look.

I haven’t cracked this open yet as I already have two mascaras on the go, but I’m excited to give it a try. I’m quite likely to have tried this anyway at some point, so it was a brilliant addition to the box for me.

Verdict

I am absolutely blown away by Tili – by the quality of the products, the calibre of the brands and the generosity of the value.

Yes, £20 is steeper than other monthly boxes, but for the price you get amazing amounts, mostly full sized products from high-end brands – and all things I would have wanted to try, with the possible exception of the hair mousse.

I thought this box also had a great mix of items, between skincare and beauty, and I may well have found my new daily moisturiser. Even the things that didn’t wow me (The Percy & Reed mousse and the Philosophy Amazing Grace) are still things I would have wanted to try – there aren’t any filler items here, all the products featured feel well selected as the hero products of their range.

I am wowed by how great this box is. I sort of like that its not out every month, as that makes it more special. I will definitely be keenly looking out for the next box. I may well cancel my monthly subs in favour of this – it feels much more carefully curated, full of killer products and it really felt like Christmas had come early when it arrived. I love that I’ll be able to actually see the contents of the next box before I buy it as well.

This is my new favourite thing and absolutely unbeatable value – grab one while you still can!

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