Review & Rant: November Black Box

Hello world! Another catch-up review coming your way from the ever-well-meaning-but-habitually-tardy Camophile! This review will entail both what I received in my November Black Box, what I thought of them, and my newly-shaped opinion of Black Box as a company.

Do you want the good news or the bad news first? What’s that? You’ll have to speak louder. G– Good news, you say? Alright, but only because you’re so persistent!

Good news: Good stuff in the Black Box, albeit only a couple of new items, and a couple that I’ve already received in my Limited Edition Birchbox Man box.

The Black Box came with a notecard (which has since been thrown away), which I will paraphrase:

“Howdy! In this ultra exclusive holiday box, all the items are from the Anthony Logistics line. We’ve teamed up with them to bring you these great products in this uber tubular special edition one of a kind box! We didn’t send you products all from the same company because it’s all we have left. Seriously, we didn’t. Honest.”

Maybe I’m reading too much into things! 😉

In the box:

Anthony Logistics Shave Cream – Previously reviewed in Birchbox post (see link above)

Anthony Logistics Lip Balm – Previously reviews in Birchbox post (see link above)

Anthony Logistics Facial Moisturizer – I have never been one to use facial moisturizers, but after using the Jack Black stuff from the Birchbox I got, I have to say that I feel less avoidant of them in general. My skin is fortunately a good medium between oily and dry; I don’t have any problems either way. I thought that this product was nice, and similar to Jack Black’s moisturizer in that it makes your skin feel soft, without any undesirable stickiness and is barely noticeable within minutes of application. And just so we’re clear – guys, there’s nothing wrong with having a soft face! You don’t want your face to feel like Mount Rushmore, now do you? I’m glad you’ve seen it my way! Oh, one more thing about this product – one thing I didn’t like so much is that this tan-colored product of a creamy consistency smells like.. wait for it… wait for it… SHERBET. Yeah, like the ice cream. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good sherbet every now and then, but I’m not sure I want my face to smell like it. Personal preference, though. Great product otherwise.

Anthony Logistics After Shave Balm – I really liked this item. I don’t care who you are: we’ve all experienced razor burn at one time or another, whether due to shaving in a rush, using a low-quality shave cream, or just using a dull razor. Gone are the days where you dad splashed on aftershave and pretended he didn’t mind the burn. This product is truly soothing, and has a fantastic cooling effect when applied. It’s got kind of a menthol-y scent to it, but nothing offensive. Personally, I like it a lot. Once I run out of this sample, I will definitely consider purchasing a full sized bottle. Good stuff!

That’s it. But it was a couple of new things I liked quite a bit, so I’m happy. It’s not HisBlackBox’s fault that I got two of those samples from Birchbox too. I like the balm and the shave cream okay. I wouldn’t mind giving the extras to other guys in my life who desperately need grooming help. Share the wealth!

So, the bad news: I think HisBlackBox is already a thing of the past. I was hoping that they would be able to pull themselves together and continue to offer guys some cool samples for a reasonable price, but it is looking bleak. Let me explain why I think so.

I had my suspicions by mid-November, when I was wondering where my November box was. I moseyed on over to Facebook, where I “liked” them earlier and initially was impressed with how much they interacted with their fans. So when I went back to check out the page again, I was disheartened to see they were no longer on Facebook. I knew they were previously on Twitter too, so I checked there. Gone – without a trace. Then, I went to their website, which prominently proclaims, “Due to limited product availability and the holiday season, we are not taking new orders at this time.” All that was enough evidence for me to believe that they were not planning to continue. But I also thought to myself, they never mentioned current subscribers, so I must still be getting a box. WRONG!

I emailed  them on January 4th: “Hi there, I was just wondering when I can expect December’s Black Box. I see I was billed on 12/16/11, but still have yet to receive anything. Thanks for your time.”

I received the following reply on the 5th: “Unfortunately, due to high product demand and the holiday season, we are unable to fulfill orders at this time. An announcement regarding this is forthcoming. We will reach out at a later time should things change. Again, so sorry for the inconvenience.”

Seems pretty ominous to me. Despite calling this a rant, I actually have no ill-will toward HisBlackBox. They credited me back for December, since they will not be able to fulfill it. I think it is a bummer that they seem unable to continue. Well, this gives Birchbox and even bigger niche to fill once they decide to move forward with their men’s subscription. Hopefully it’s soon. Anyway, when I hear more about HisBlackBox’s plans moving forward, I’ll be sure to share.

I guess I’ll just have to find some other stuff to review in the meantime.

‘Til then!

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Limited Edition Birchbox for Men

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Its official, guys! Birchbox has officially jumped into the men’s deluxe sample market, after a seemingly successful run with their women’s beauty sample subscription service. As of today, they are offering a one-time limited edition set for men. It should be noted that they do not yet have a regular subscription service up and running as of yet, as I initially thought this might be. It might be that they are testing the waters before they fully commit.

Another thing to note – it is pricey. At $45, I thought twice before ordering it. However, they say that there is over $250 worth of product inside. After seeing what they listed as being inside, I ordered with enthusiasm. It is supposed to ship in about a week, so I will happily write up a review on it. I’m still holding out hope for a legitimate subscription service, though!

Also, please look for my upcoming review on my October Black Box in the coming days.

Til then!