MINI PENNY: You've Got Nail 20 // December Cult Blackbox

Saturday, December 28, 2013

You've Got Nail 20 // December Cult Blackbox

Edit 2/17 // Please read my story about how Cult continues to steal from bloggers and nail artists.
Edit 12/31 // While I've been pretty stoked on Cult, I am disappointed to find out that they've been stealing my images for their paid advertising on Facebook. Ugh. Canceling my membership ASAP. Such a bummer. 

Chicago is so strange. I'm not sure if it has to do with USPS cutbacks or the holidays or what, but I've been receiving my mail anywhere between 9-10pm. And this past weekend, my Cult Blackbox subscription showed up to be on Sunday. Regardless of whatever the hell Chicago has going on with its mail system, it was a nice pre-Xmas surprise.

In my first Cult Blackbox, I was really amped on the colors. I was disappointed, however, in the "professional tool," which was an OPI Crackle. Either way, it wasn't bad for the price, especially since I had received my first box for 50% off.

This box is another win. There are a couple of 'mehs,' but overall, it's a steal.

Let's go over what came in this month's package:

● Cult Nail Polish in El Matador — This is a bright cherry red. A classic, if you will. However, I'm sitting g on a sea of similar reds already. While it's a good shade, it's not nearly as deep as my Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear, nor does it cover as well. Despite their claim for only needing one coat, this one takes two. I like the shade, but it's definitely the least exciting part of my box. [similar or subscribe to Blackbox]

● Cult Nail Polish in Boneyard — Bam! I love this color. I have some grays in my collection already, but I really wanted one that was smooth with no shimmer or flake. This polish covers well in one coat and is just warm and dark enough to set it apart from some other similar colors I've been eyeballing. Win. [similar or subscribe to Blackbox]

● Cult Nail Polish in Stay Gold — Just last weekend I was raving about the awesome large gold flake I received in my Julep Maven box. I sort of chuckled when I opened my Cult box to find this — a fine, gold glitter. I have a gold glitter that, honestly, has been sitting around for a while and needed to be replaced. I was pleased to see how amazing the coverage is with this one — there's a lot of glitter in here! [similar or subscribe to Blackbox]

● M.A.S.H. 5x2 Way Dotting Tool Set — I've been waiting to buy a dotting tool for quite some time. In fact, years. Well, my patience was rewarded with this awesome dotting tool set. This makes my life so much easier, you have no idea (or for those of you who own dotting tools... you do have an idea). [similar]

● Another Cult Cosmetics sticker — okay. I like stickers.

● A card that included a little info and some tips and tricks. The sample nail designs were actually (sorry) really heinous. The color matching on the print was off and made the grey polish look like a Christmas green. No, thank you. [similar]

These are the polishes test on off-white faux nails. The red has two coats, while they grey and glitter have only one. I used different sides of one dotting tool for the polka dot test. As you can tell, the grey covers really well, while the red dots show the darker base color a lot. On the glitter nail, you can see how much coverage one coat gives — and how fantastic is can look over complimentary colors.

Want to know something that's truly a shame? I like the red and grey combo, but because of growing up in Ohio and absolutely loathing football, I can't look at this color way and think of anything other than drunk bros puking all over the main drag and yelling "O-H!" and "I-O!" back and forth to each other. Ugh. I'm pretty sure I'll never get over that. But that's just me.

For this New Year's Eve manicure, I used the following polishes:
● Cult Nail Color in Boneyard [similar]
● Color Club Nail Laquer in Disco Nap [similar] as a base for the gold
● Cult Nail Color in Stay Gold [similar]
Seche Vite Top Coat
● M.A.S.H. Dotting Tool [similar]

I'm on the fence whether or not I'm going to order January's box. I already skipped my January subscription to Scratch, but am definitely getting Julep Maven. I'm going to hang tight on my decision until I see the preview email for next month's colors. However, because of getting Boneyard in the box, I had to go back and change my January Maven selection (haha), because I had originally gone with a box that included almost an identical grey!

● Overall a very good and useful box. Love the tools and colors!
● Same pros as last month — the packaging is great (uniform, rectangular bottles), the company has a "5 Free" mentality to stay away from some harsh chemicals, and they don't test on animals.
● To correct myself on last month's post — you do get to preview the upcoming box. I received a preview marketing email on the 4th of December and they also feature the new collection it on their blog.
● This box has a MSRP of $40. I paid $20. In my eyes, it was worth it.

● Shortly after I wrote last month's review, Cult released their "referral program." I love Julep's referral program because it's tied into your login account and is easy to see what goes down when you share your link on social media sites and with friends. Cult's, however, it's like that. I was extended something that more like an affiliate link rather than a Refer-a-friend link. So if you're not blogging or vlogging about this box,  I'm not even sure you can get a referral link to share (which is bogus for those who want to share cool shit with our friends and don't blog!). On top of that, it doesn't tie into your account, so there are no real checks and balances to see if you are obtaining referrals from that link. Total 'meh.' On their blog they mention a Refer A Friend program but I can't figure out any way in which you can refer someone.
● I literally get marketing emails every other day. Cult! I'm already getting your box! Stop spamming my inbox!
● Although I got the preview email, I'm still not seeing an easy way to opt out or cancel for a month. Anyone have any experience with this?
● This is going to sound snobby, and I don't intend for it to. BUT. If I owned a company that specialized in nail polish and nail art tools, I would have a lockdown on what the manis looked like that I was showing on my blog, social, and website. Some of the shots just look sloppy and rushed. Not into it.
● I was a little perturbed to find that Cult used my image of the November box mani in multiple places on their social media and credited it to the wrong person. It happens, I'm sure it's an honest mistake, but it's still obnoxious.
● Edit 12/31 // While I've been pretty stoked on Cult, I am disappointed to find out that they've been stealing my images for their paid advertising on Facebook. Ugh. Canceling my membership ASAP. Such a bummer. 

Okay, I know those are a lot of picky cons. But in the world of subscription boxes, it's easy to get bored fast. When Cult is completing with someone like Julep or Scratch, they're all important things to keep in mind. We'll see what January brings for Cult!

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