Review: Toppbox June 2018 (Men’s Grooming & Skincare)

Toppbox is a monthly box of men’s grooming and skincare supplies. They source products from great brands, and send a selection straight to your door. It costs £19 per month plus £3.35 P&P.

I’ve been very lucky to try out all kinds of wonderful skincare, but as this is a box for men, my darling husband Big C has been kind enough to give me his opinion on these lovely things. Also, they’re almost all unisex, so I use them too!

Toppbox Review June 2018 Men's Grooming skincare subscription box

The box is sent in a jiffy bag, with extra tissue padding. That protects it nicely but looks boring, so no picture of the bag. 

Toppbox Review June 2018 Men's Grooming skincare subscription box

Here’s the menu card for the month. You’ve got lots of information about each item, plus RRPs, so you can appreciate what great value this is.

Monuskin for men face scrub Toppbox Review June 2018 Men's Grooming skincare subscription box

Monuskin for Men Face Scrub. RRP £18.50.

This scrub has a very fancy description in the menu. (There’s also a tiny typo, bonus points if you can spot it in the picture above.) It contains silica to exfoliate, shea butter to moisturize, and papaya enzymes, which apparently digest dead skin cells. That sounds kind of gross, but this scrub is very nice to use. The ‘scrubbing’ feeling is rather gentle, not at all coarse, and your skin does feel nice and soft afterwards. Must be all those greedy papayas.

Seven Potions Woodland Harmony Beard Shampoo Toppbox Review June 2018 Men's Grooming skincare subscription box

Seven Potions Woodland Harmony Beard Shampoo. RRP £10.97.

Big C grabbed this immediately: ‘Ooooh, beard shampoo, fantastic!’. He does have a rather nice beard, and he likes it to have shampoo all of its own. Not only does this smell delicious, apparently it made his beard feel lovely and soft. It is also organic and made from almost all natural ingredients. (I’ll be nice and let him keep this all to himself. Also, I don’t have a beard.)

Henri Lloyd Tinted Moisturizer for Men SPF15 Toppbox Review June 2018 Men's Grooming skincare subscription box

Henri Lloyd Tinted Moisturizer for Men SPF15. RRP £20.

In last month’s review I said I really wanted to see an SPF product. Well, they’ve obliged. This is a mineral-based cream, and apparently can build up a deeper colour over time when you use it. Plus of course it contains SPF15, which simultaneously protects your skin from the sun. So it swaps one tan for another.

Optiat The Hungover Potent Peppermint Coffee Scrub Toppbox Review June 2018 Men's Grooming skincare subscription box

Optiat ‘The Hungover’ Potent Peppermint Coffee Scrub. RRP £9.99. 

It doesn’t say on the packaging or the menu whether this is for the face or body. As it contains actual coffee grounds (lovingly collected from London cafes) which are on the coarse side, it seems a little harsh for facial use. I’ve decided it’s for the body. This smells absolutely delicious, like a peppermint mocha. It’s also very nice to use, and you can really feel the softening effect of the base of shea butter and almond oil. The only drawback is that your bath tub ends up looking like you just dropped a full cafetiere, so you have to spend a few moments diligently washing everything away. But it’s worth it, because this is very nice indeed.

Fit Pit Peppermint Deodorant Toppbox Review June 2018 Men's Grooming skincare subscription box

Fit Pit Peppermint Deodorant. RRP £3. 

Searching for a good all-natural deodorant is a bit like looking for the Holy Grail.

Fit Pit Peppermint Deodorant Toppbox Review June 2018 Men's Grooming skincare subscription box

I get intermittently anxious about nasties in regular deodorant and try something natural instead, before abandoning it for deodorant that actually works. Big C hasn’t tried this out yet (he is less concerned with deodorant nasties and works in a very hot environment) but I have. Gotta say, I’m impressed. I don’t think I’d risk it in the summer rush hour, but when I tried it out on a moderately warm day I was surprised how effective it was. It smells nice and is easily applied. While it’s not a proper antiperspirant, I definitely didn’t feel particularly sweaty. 

Howard Matthews Co. Black Knitted Tie Toppbox Review June 2018 Men's Grooming skincare subscription box

Howard Matthews Co. Black Knitted Tie. RRP £17.50/$22.99. Exclusive to Toppbox.

How lovely, another accessory! The March box contained a funky pair of socks, and now Big C has acquired a rather nice knitted tie. It’s one of those cool skinny ties, and while it’s made from polyester it does feel soft and cottony. A black tie is a very handy thing to have in your accessory drawer, and this one is very nice indeed. Big C is very pleased with it.


As always, there’s a great selection this month. The tie is a fantastic bonus.

Before I go any further, I’d just like to talk about the tinted moisturizer. I’ve looked this product up online, and it seems to have very good reviews, so I won’t argue with its quality. It also seems that there are, in fact, men out there who would use such a product. Big C is not one of these men. He’s no stranger to skincare, but he draws the line at putting colour on his face.

I also conducted an entirely unscientific poll (via Facebook) of male pals, and the unanimous verdict on the use of tinted moisturizer was ‘no way’. (Some of them used other words, but I’m not going to repeat them here.) The demographic is over 30, straight and gay, working in music and theatre. So possibly not the most representative group, but you work with what you’ve got.

In the interests of science, I tried it out myself. I don’t use tinted moisturizer ever, so this was out of my comfort zone. Personally, I didn’t like it. I don’t like putting colour on my skin either (I don’t use foundation) and I really didn’t like the smell – it strongly resembled the biscuity scent of fake tan. 

That is my only disagreement with this box. Everything else is lovely.

The value, as always, is brilliant. There’s a great emphasis on natural ingredients, and there’s a good mix of face, hair, and body products. If you’re a fan of nice skincare buy this for yourself. It’s a great gift for a man who likes to look after his grooming. Also, if you’d like the man in your life to improve their skincare regime, this a terrific way to help him out. (Plus you’ll be able to borrow most of the products yourself. Just sayin’.)

This month Big C is thrilled with his new tie and beard shampoo (which he doesn’t have to share), and I love the scrubs and the deodorant. Win win.

Toppbox Review June 2018 Men's Grooming skincare subscription box

Extra bonus anecdote from a pal on my tinted moisturizer Facebook poll:

‘Debi got some as a present from one of her pupils one year (she’s Bengali!). I didn’t realise it was tinted and used it on my hands for a few weeks – couldn’t work out why my knuckles looked so dirty!!’

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At TOPPBOX, we’re here to simply introduce you to great products from top brands at the comfort of your own home.  Each month, we select 4-5 grooming products and deliver them directly to your door, helping you discover products you love!

Our mission is simple. To find the right products for your routine so you can look good, feel great and smell even better!











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