Finally, the last Belle du Jour Box I signed up for arrived a couple of weeks ago. I’m only blogging about this now because I was distracted by other things (comics, new project, cat) and I got a new laptop. It’s taking me forever to transition to Yosemite after two decades of Windows-hardened behaviour. What I also realized is you have to be prepared for a certain kind of lifestyle when you switch to Apple products. You’re not just buying a gadget; you’re going to end up buying the ecosystem. The charger, the projection accessories, the external drives, the cords, the adapters, the software. I bought a laptop case and a keyboard protector from Power Mac and nearly blew half my take-home pay on those two things. Of course, you don’t have to buy Apple-specific accessories, but I think people end up going that route anyway since the products look great together, each gadget is too large an investment to risk with non-compatible stuff, it’s easy to get blinded by gorgeous design, etc. Just something to think about if you’re thinking of going Apple. It’s great and all, but I don’t think it’s for everyone.
Anyway, beauty. You’re here for beauty. So, seeing as this was my last BDJ Box, I was hoping for something grand. And by grand, I mean no goat milk products. My expectations were pretty low. When my brother handed me this tiny box, I thought, ‘Oh, I got mail. I wonder who sent this. I wonder when my BDJ Box will arrive…’ Only to find out the tiny box was my BDJ Box. One word immediately blew up in my head: samples.
And I can see why. Last month’s box was all for Bioderma. For those unfamiliar with Bioderma, it’s a French pharmaceutical company that specializes in skin and hair care solutions. They’re very well-known for their micellar water that removes makeup and strips dirt from skin. I myself have a couple of bottles of the stuff, and it does a fantastic job at removing stubborn eye makeup. A lot of brands have since copied the company’s cleansing water formula, but I know the big name in the beauty industry is still Bioderma. The most relevant fact to point out here, however, is one Bioderma product can easily set you back a thousand pesos. It ain’t cheap.
Exhibit A: Bioderma samples galore. And an odd The Body Shop lip stain and P200 certificate.
If you read the comments on this Bioderma-exclusive box on the BDJ BOX Facebook page right now, you’ll see a lot of disgruntled customers and the BDJ team trying to soothe all those angry forehead veins. Obviously it’s because people sign up for the BDJ Box to get more for less. We hope for a variety of brands and full-sized products. This box didn’t meet those expectations, unfortunately. Like I said, Bioderma products are expensive. The way I see it, the BDJ team had two options: 1) offer just one full-sized product, which would have made the June box look rather sad; or 2) send out a lot of samples, like what they did. Because I’m familiar with the brand, this box didn’t surprise me much. But for those who only heard of Bioderma when they received this, I think I understand their dissatisfaction.
I’ve only tried the very reliable Bioderma micellar cleaning water, but I’m pretty stoked with all these samples, to be honest. Bioderma is a good brand, but I’m wary about committing to a full-sized product with a hefty price tag. If it doesn’t work for me, I’d just feel really bad for spending so much on something that breaks me out or dries me up or builds me up, buttercup, baby, just to let me down, and mess me around.
1. Bioderma Sebium AKN. 30ml / P1,038.
“This non-comedogenic treatment cleanses the pores in depth while slowing the overproduction of sebum.” It also smoothens, diminishes redness, and hydrates. Great as a makeup base, the card says.
2. Bioderma Sebium Pore Refiner. 30ml / P1,468.
See what I mean by expensive? 30ml in, and you’re already P1,468 short.
This pore cream is to tighten dilated pores and mattify the skin “…thanks to the astringent and pore minimizer property of Fomes Officinalis (mushroom extract).” The new ingredients that companies incorporate into skin care products always amaze me. Volcanic mud. Placenta. Mushrooms. Snails. I’m waiting for a skin care product that uses cream and cheese as its main ingredients so we can start a pasta party over here. Again, this is supposedly a good makeup base.
3. Bioderma Photoderm Max. 40ml / P1,348.
Blurry photos are blurry.
Judging from the orange colour, this is probably a sunscreen. The card says it’s double spectrum (UVA and UVB protection), colourless, and contains Cellular BIOprotection to combat cell damage. Whatever that means. Sounds legit and important.
4. Bioderma Atoderm Preventive. 200ml / P1,998.
I see a baby icon at the corner there, so that might be a good sign that this product is gentle for all skin types. “It has been developed to intensively restore the integrity of the skin barrier by strengthening and protecting young skin, ensuring that the evolution from dryness to atopic dermatitis in childhood is prevented.”
I don’t know what atopic dermatitis is exactly, but dry skin is clear to me. 1 + 1 = use this when my skin is dry. Got it, got it.
5. Bioderma Atoderm Intensive. 200ml / P1,418.
“The Intensive Soothing Emollient Care is created with Bioderma’s exclusive Skin Barrier Therapy complex, which restores the integrity of the skin barrier, prevents the penetration of allergens, and enhances suppleness and comfort. Added Zinc and Betasitosterol provide intense anti-inflammatory care, and helps to stop the itch.”
Two things I took away from this: suppleness~ and Betastiserorol.
6. Bioderma Sensibio Eye Contour Gel. 15ml / P1,248.
I should probably stop typing Bioderma before every product, but I’ve gone this far. No turning back for the lazy.
“This lightweight hydrating gel works to decongest this most delicate area of our skin, reducing puffiness and smoothing line lines [sic] with its rigorously selective active ingredients.”
I love me a good eye cream, but P1,248 for 15ml is ridonkulous. I should be able to bat my eyes at the Swiss national bank and walk out of there making it rain cash and Francs. Because dogs…hotdogs, franks, Francs. Get it, get it, get it?
I give up.
7. Bioderma Sensibio Tonique. 250ml / P1,658.
A toner. Self-explanatory.
8. Bioderma Sensibio DS+. 40ml / P1,628.
A calming, lightweight moisturizer, designed for people who have sebhorrhoeic dermatitis. (That sounds more awful that the atopic kind.) It’s anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, non-oily, and healing to improve the skin’s tolerance threshold.
Just reading the descriptions of these products make me feel like Bioderma is a truly legit brand that relies on scientific innovation to cure our skin troubles. It’s also probably why it’s so goddamn expensive. We pay for quality. But! Just because the products are expensive doesn’t mean they’re the best. The first week I used the Bioderma micellar water for sensitive skin instead of my usual cleansing oil, it broke me out. And I’ve read some women have experienced this, too. It’s fantastic as a makeup remover, but I hesitate to recommend that product for daily use all over your face. This experience only supports my point finding the right products for your skin type is of greater importance than choosing the most expensive brand on the shelf.
9. The Body Shop Lip and Cheek Stain. 8ml / P795.
This was the sole full-sized product in the whole box, but it’s somehow the thing that disappointed me the most. But it’s only because I’m not a fan of lip stains or tints. I like my lip products really moisturizing and to guarantee a full, even deposit of colour. In my opinion, lip stains are only useful if you’re into gradient lips, but if not, better stick to tinted lip balm and lipstick. When I used this lip stain (or any other lip stain), most of the colour deposit unevenly rests on the insides of my lips and the outline, which makes me look like I didn’t colour inside the lines. I’d go over my lips again with the stain, but it’ll still look like that. Not worth the hassle, if you ask me. I suppose with lighter colours it won’t look as weird, but since I have this cherry red shade, the only option I see is to use it as a cheek stain. Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of cheek stains either. Lose-lose.
I also feel like the BDJ team needed to throw this one full-sized product with a gift certificate in the box to appease the crowd because otherwise the box would just be all samples. And I don’t even count samples when I try to see if the box is worth the money I paid for it since samples are usually free. The retail price of the lip and cheek stain is P795, but The Body Shop has been having sales lately, so this product can go as low as P400+. That means I didn’t get my money’s worth with this box. Or I did, but it’s hard to see that because of all the sample-sized products.
Despite this experience with the regular BDJ Box, I still signed up for one more round. BDJ is offering Elite Boxes from now until December. Their promise is P3,000 worth of goodies and exclusive access to stuff for only P1,480.
As of this post, the August Elite Boxes are sold out, but you can already pre-order the September to December boxes. I guess I’ll see if the August box is worth it before signing up for the others. I think I’ll get the December box since the spirit of giving is strong during Christmastime. Let’s see, let’s see.