A new to me box: Macy’s Beauty Box, December 2020 unboxing

My first Macy’s Beauty Box

I have to say Macy’s was one of those beauty boxes that I heard a lot of good things about.  Their focus was, if I remember correctly, on more luxury brands. In addition they almost always add perfume samples to the box. And you know perfumes are a weakness of mine. For me it is irresistible. I have always been drawn to glassware in general and I am a very scent oriented person, so the combination of pretty bottle and lovely scent are too much for me to resist. Although in my last move I whittled down my collection to one box before we moved and then sadly the box was destroyed in the move. While sad, the scents were replaceable. I still mourn the 1915 enameled glass atomizer that the replaceable scents took down and have been lurking in etsy and e-bay corners trying to find a replacement with no luck. But that saga is a story for another day.

Today we talk Macy’s. It is a $15 per month subscription box that offers five products.

Having heard good things about it, I was getting ready to subscribe to the box, adding it to my 2020 subscription list, when in the initial Spring of Corona, they discontinued the box.  Now it has returned.  I think October 2020 was their first month back.  I signed up in November, but December is my first actual box from them.  So this is not only my review but my initial impressions of the box itself. Let’s see what this first box holds.

The very first thing out of the box was a card that says Oops, we had to make a substitution. So it should be an interesting unboxing. There was also a travel kit, a tissue paper roll of products and a card with details about each item. I like that the card talks about the products a little bit and then offers a pro tip for using the product. Several of the pro tips are things I will be trying out actually so in that regard the pamphlet is really helpful. The prices listed for the items are for the full sized items. Interestingly, beside each item break out there is a picture of the sample sized item while in the center of the brochure there is a photo where the full sized items are pictured. while the samples in this pack were easily identifiable, I have gotten samples where the labels were almost too tiny to read. I can see the pictures being quite useful in many cases. The pamphlet also came with a $10 off my next Macy’s beauty purchase. Which is nice to have. I suspect i won’t use it before it expires because at the moment I am all shopped out. While I did save some money by not traveling for the holidays this year, I overcompensated for my lack of presence with extra gifts.

But that was the brochure and now we move to the actual products.

The first item in my Macy’s box is the new Mineralist Hydra Smoothing Lipstick in the shade Honesty from Bare Minerals.  It is supposed to be a good for your lips lipstick formula.  From Bare Minerals I can believe this. 

I really enjoy their products. They are one of those brands that is consistently reliable, but kind of quiet about it so I occasionally forget them. Then I use one of their products again and chastise myself for forgetting them. It is sometimes the danger of having so much selection. The good reliable brands don’t always get talked about as much.

And I am always happy to try out a new lipstick formula. The lipstick is small and kind of adorable.  If I hadn’t gotten the Giorgio Armani liquid lip in my Allure box this month I would have said it is one of the tiniest lip products I’d ever seen.  It is however a reasonable size for a sample. I think I will definitely get enough of a use out if this lipstick to be able to tell if I like the formula. Since I’m actually using both products in this week’s makeup bag, I’ll show a side by side sample size comparison then.

The second item in my box was the Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask. I like several Peter Thomas Roth products including both a primer (Skin to Die For Mattifying Primer) and a moisturizer (Hungarian Thermal Water Mineral Rich Moisturizer) and the mask sample of the Pumpkin Enzyme mask made me want to get a full sized jar immediately, so I am always happy to see anything from the brand in whatever size it comes in. 

Plus, you know me and masks. I am always happy to try a new one. Even the ones with no discernable skin care benefits give me a fifteen minute mental break, which is sometimes desperately needed. Admittedly those I use up and don’t repurchase, but it is still a nice mental break. I just prefer the mental break with skin care benefits.

And now things get a little interesting.

In the brochure, the next product listed is the Grande Cosmetics Stay put invisible lip liner. I have to say I was really looking forward to trying this out. Not only does it match everything since it has no color of it’s own, but it might make my lips look a little less crooked then when I try to use a dark liner with my red lipsticks. Although I am working on practicing my lines.

However, this is where the oops message came in. 

The item I received was from Grande Cosmetics, but I received a Plumping Liquid lip instead of the liner.  It is a pretty decent size and in the side panel where the color is shown I thought it looked nice.  And I do like plumping lip products, so I went from disappointed to excited. But as I’m guessing several of you looked at the picture and realize I am about to be disappointed again.

When I pulled the wand out to swatch it, the end of the wand was MIA.  It either snapped off in the tube or is missing.  I’m going to call and report it in and see what happens.  If worse comes to worse, I will try using a lip brush to attempt applying it if only to test the formula.  I’ll have to let you know how that works out. I know the top is too small for a cotton swab, but I think I might have a brush that will fit for at least one use.

If nothing else at least it gives me a chance to see what their customer service department is like.  And that is always nice to know.  Admittedly, I would have preferred the lipstick or the liner. I’ve tried mascara from Grande cosmetics and really liked it, but I’ve not tried any lip products so I went from happy to kind of bummed.

Still, I was happy to see the Kiehl’s since 1851 Calendula and Aloe Soothing Hydration Masque.  Not only is it another mask for me to try (woot!) but I actually received a sample size of the moisturizer from this line in my Birchbox Advent Calendar this year so it will be nice to try two different products from the same line. Plus, I believe this is a five minute mask and having a quick mask around is not a bad thing. Because one is a longer and possibly overnight mask (the Peter Thomas Roth) and the other is a five minute mask I don’t find it too strange that two masks were in the box. Especially as this theme seems to be self-care. And Keihl’s is a brand that I generally like using so I am happy to try more from them.

There was a moisturizer in the box as well this month.  It wa the most adorable little pot of Shiseido Energy Moisturizing Gel Cream.  I’ve tried a couple of samples from Shiseido before and they always worked really well on my skin.  They are all relatively strongly scented, so that is always something to watch out for, but I have always liked using them. And I am happy to have another sample to try out. especially since the samples I tried were the foil packet sizes and I wasn’t certain I liked the fragrance enough to try for a full size. This sample, though small, is large enough that I can consistently use it for a short time and make a decision about the fragrance and a full sized trial.

Speaking of fragrance…

There were two perfume samples in this month’s bag, one from Juicy Couture – the new Viva La Juicy Le Bubbly to be exact  and the other Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue Pour Homme. I have never tried wither so I am more than happy to give them a test.  Each of the little samples has enough product in it to do a full week’s trial so look for those reviews coming soon.

Finally this month there was also a kit of travel sized plastic bottles.  The bottles are nice plastic bottles, one pump, one spray one squeeze and two pill container type pots.  I know, technically it was the first thing out of the box as it wasn’t wrapped up with the other items, but I needed a few minutes to decide how I felt about it. The bottles come in a reusable plastic pouch and are all suitable for plane travel carry ons.  In the blurb about the Beauty Box when I subscribed it mentioned a bag coming with the subscription. I think this travel kit is in replacement of that bag. I could be wrong about that and only some boxes come with a bag and some don’t. Or they might have changed it.

Whether the travel kit was a bag replacement or not, I found it a bit of a strange addition, especially this year when a lot of travel has been canceled. But it is a nice little kit.  I’m sure at some point I will have a use for it.  For now it will go into my suitcase to be stored for when I am finally able to travel again.

Overall, I am actually pleased with my $15 December bag.  The products are all nice and ones that I will certainly use, some just not now.  The Grande lip product was disappointing, but hopefully I will at least get to find out a little about Macy’s customer service. The pouch of travel containers was a little strange given the current moratorium on travel that most of us have going on at the moment. I don’t know if that was a hopeful selection when it was made or if someone just didn’t think it through.  Maybe it was pre-planned and too late to change by the time the bags were getting ready to be shipped.  I’m sure at some point I will get some use out of them, it just isn’t going to be this Christmas.

I will admit that when I went looking for more information as to why the travel kit was added this month (I thought there might be a blurb featuring reasoning that made it seem less strange) I saw a bit of a spoiler.  Apparently next month is going to be focused on products for the hair so I am excited to see what they come up with for that. Even if I didn’t find out more about the bag and travel kit.

As a first month of a subscription, it was pretty good for me. I look forward to trying out a few more months at least to see how long I will be keeping the subscription, but for now, I’m happy to stay subscribed and see where this beauty bag takes me.


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