Last month was my first Allure Beauty box in a while. It was a little different because they had so many gifts for signing up that it was hard to look past them to the regular box. This month is the regular beauty box, no new member add ons or extra perks. Allure costs $23 per month and has six to seven products, three of which are suppose to be full size. So shall we see how Allure did for April?
The first item was an item that I honestly didn’t think i would get. Allure leaked it as a spoiler, but then had so much response to new sign ups that they thought they were going to run out. So they added that if you signed up for the box before March 18th you would get it. I signed up on March 20th. Still I received the full size OSEA essential hydrating oil. OSEA as a brand is very hit or miss with me. What I like from them, I absolutely love. What i don’t like, is still good, just not my favorite. Which is not a bad place to fall. It means I will either adore this oil or just think its okay. I’m good with that. I also like that it is in a glass bottle and has a pump. I have this awful tendency to spill oils, or drop them with wet and sometimes oily hands, so that actually saves me from myself.
The second Item I have tried before although I think the sample I tried was much smaller. This is a deluxe sample I believe (it isn’t mentioned in the booklet.). It is the Elta MD Skincare UV Sheer Broad Spectrum SPF50+ It is water resistant, which my other sunscreens aren’t, so I am happy to have this one to add to my summer stockpile.
The sample sized Amika dry shampoo is a good dry shampoo. And while i did order my favorite dry shampoo as a summer essential I didn’t order a travel size. I like to keep one in my purse (mostly because even with clean hair, sometimes in the summer my bangs need a quick pick me up even if the rest of my hair looks fine). So this is perfect to add to the purse for summertime use. And I have used and like it so there will be no surprises with it.
The UVE makeup sponge is fine. I prefer sponges with a slanted edge but a makeup sponge is always useful. I’m sure it will come in handy at some point and an extra is never a bad thing to have. It isn’t all that exciting (unless there is something magical I don’t know about it) but it is nice to have.
I like the Saint Luxe Liquid glow. I think it might be a full size. At least it looks like it is. If it isn’t then i can’t imagine the full size being much bigger. I like the pink tint to it. The booklet suggests wearing it under a tinted moisturizer for a nice glow and the pink tinted highlighters are really good for that (at least with my skin tone.) and it is something I like putting under full matte products to help lighten them for summer. I can’t wait to see how this one performs.
Next there is a primer from The Beauty Crop. Specifically it is the Melon Jelly Dewy Primer XXL. I know, I love primers so you are expecting full excitement. The beauty Crop and I don’t always have the best relationship though. A few of their products I am allergic to and a couple I just plain don’t like. I will give this a shot though, however i will be reading through the label first and trying it out on my arm before it goes anywhere near my face. So we’ll go with cautiously optimistic to have a primer in this beauty box. I am unsure about the Beauty Crops sizes, but I think this might be a full sized primer.
And now we come to the final product. it is the Scratch Nail wraps. I have tried nail wraps before and they always end in tears. I like the thought of them, I like the idea of them and think they are a fabulous way to get fabulous nails. However I make less of a mess if I take out six nail polishes and a set of tiny brushes to do my own design. I know they are just stickers, but they are really strong stickers and I just never seem to get them to work for me. They are pretty, and I know someone who uses and loves them. So they will be making their way into someone’s Easter basket. The nail wraps are just not a product for me. I wish they were and I’m sure there is something simple that I am completely missing, but I think it best to pass them along. And maybe I’ll get my niece to show me how she gets them to look perfect. there will be eyerolling, but who knows, I just might learn something.
In the end I am pretty happy with this box and I think it was worth the $23. A few of the products I have qualified hopes for, but there are several I am looking forward to trying out. Was there anything that sent me over the moon? No, but it was a good solid box. If the OSEA proves fabulous I might be over the moon, but we will see. In the end I can say that I am pleased with the mix of products and the value and look forward to seeing what next month brings.
Back in the day Allure was one of my favorite beauty boxes. It always went above and beyond what I expected in a $15 box. Then they increased the price to $23 but it didn’t seem as though they made the box better, so I let the subscription go. I am still on the e-mail newsletter list though and really enjoy reading the articles they sent. And in these e-mails they sent a deal there was a discount code as well as a new member gift. The new member gift was something I couldn’t resist so I decided perhaps now was the time to try out the Allure Beauty box again.
The first thing I noticed is that the box itself is much larger. There is the possibility that it is just due to the new member items, but the box is substantially bigger. I actually reused one of the old boxes and you can see the size difference. I know it is just about perception, but the new box does feel more like a $23 box.
Let’s go over the three full sized new member items. If you sign up for this box before March is officially over I think you will still get these. After March 31st there might be different ones for April.) The first of these three items was a full sized Sunday Riley Light Hearted Sunscreen.
I tried a sample of this and really loved it. So I am very happy to have a full sized to kick off the spring and summer. (I’ve been using the last of the spray Neutrogena sunscreen that I had on hand, but i is almost out and I haven’t restocked my Volition sunscreen yet. so this is perfect timing.)
The second Item is also from Sunday Riley and it is a full sized tube of the 5 Stars Retinoid + Niacinamide Eye Serum. I saw this a while back and it has been on my list of products to try out so I was very excited to get it as part of my new member gift items.
The third item was the Pixi By Petra Lip Glow. I have tried out eyeshadow from Pixi by Petra but most of the items I’ve used from the brand have been in the realm of skincare. I am actually finishing up the last of a Pixi toner sample at the moment. and you know i love lip products.
Those were the three full sized items in the new member welcome. I think they are only available in March. They might carry over to April, but I just don’t know. So with those complete, let’s look at the actual box. As a reminder this is a $23 box and each month you should receive six or more items with at least three being full sized. There are Seven items in this month’s box and three of them are full sized. Let’s look at those first.
The first item I was thrilled about. it is the Blinc Ultra Volume Tubing Mascara. I love the Blinc tubing mascara. It is fantastic for making your lashes look really long and full. The mascara actually wraps a tube or product around your lashes to give them stable length. It is kind of an awesome product. I haven’t tried the new Ultra Volume version yet though so I am thrilled to get to try it out and see how it compares to the original. I am also thrilled it is one of the full sized items.
The second full sized item is a makeup product. It is from Eyeko. I love their mascara and eyeliner but this is something I have never tried from the brand. It is the Eyeko Double Act dual ended shadow stick with it’s own sharpener. Which is kind of nice because the shadow stick is too large to fit into the sharpener I have.
One end is a dark brown and the other is a shimmery coppery brown. I am going to have a lot of fun playing with that. Incidentally Eyeko is having a massive sale right now, this and all of the other shadow stick shades are half off. (most everything else is on sale tool) Plus you can get an additional 25% off if it is your first order from the website, plus a free sample. Which is kind of an amazing deal.
The third item is the Alpha H Liquid Gold with Glycolic Acid. It is essentially a toner that dissolves dead skin cells and brightens the complexion. At least according to the pamphlet enclosed in the box. The only reason I have heard anything about this is because it is also in the Glossy Box Easter Egg. (Which I managed to remember to order before it was sold out this year, So I will shortly have a second one arriving. I’ve managed to miss it for three years running so I was just glad I remembered before it was too late this year. Thank you post it notes!)
Also I am almost finished with the sample sized Pixi toner so it is time to roll in a new toner, so this is quite timely as well. Lovely Skin has a smaller size of this currently on sale for $20. They too have a large sale going on with most everything on their website at least 20% off. It is one of my favorite places to stock up on skincare.
The other four items in the box are sample sixed. The first of these samples is the Perfect Shine Clarifying Scalp Scrub from NatureLab Tokyo. I have used this before and it is utterly fabulous. It has a fresh clean scent and small enough particles so it can work it’s way through the thickest hair to properly clean the scalp. It is one of those products I am happy to have in any size. I will probably end up using it this weekend as part of my extra Saturday hair care. I try to do a scalp scub about once a month to prevent build up of products on my scalp. I can’t recall if i reviewed it or not but, I’ll look. If I haven’t then I’ll get it scheduled. It is quite fantastic.
The other three items i haven’t tried. The first of these is the Shani Darden Retinol Reform, It is a retinol, but it is what they call a jellied serum. I’m guessing that means a thicker formula, probably with a gel like formula. I have never heard of the brand or tried a jellified retinol so I may be rotating this in soon just because I want to give it a go. Plus I don’t currently have a retinol in my routine so I’ll have to introduce it at the right time. I always find this part exciting.
Next up we have the Augustinus Bader, the Rich Cream. I have heard of the brand before but I have never tried anything from the, I know they are quite pricy (a full size of this moisturizer is $280). I love getting sample sizes of pricy items. I have been known to spend extra on skincare but I like knowing that it is an item that suits my skin before I do spend the money. Because let’s face it, just because something costs a lot and other people rave about it, doesn’t mean it will work for you.
Come to think of it just because something is inexpensive and people rave about it doesn’t mean that it is going to be for you. Skincare can be so subjective. For example my mother has almost the exact opposite of my skin. Which is kind of fun because anything that doesn’t work for me, she generally loves and visa versa so we periodically have an exchange and fewer products are wasted.
And finally we have the cetaphil gentle skin cleanser. If you have sensitive skin this is a cleanser you will probably love. My babydoll uses their products and this sample size will probably end up in his shaving kit. It is for dry to normal skin which is kind of his target zone. so I know he will love it. I’m sure I would love it too as I’ve liked all the other products I’ve tried from the brand, but I will probably still be passing it along to him. Which I am okay with as I have so many other delightful products to play with.
I will admit, The Sunday Riley Products drew me in. However even setting the new member gifts aside, this was a pretty good box this month. The three full sized items; Alphah Liquid Gold (retail $54), Blinc Mascara (retail $26) and Eyeko dual ended shadow stick (retail $25) more than pay for the cost of the box. Each box is supposed to have more than $100 worth of product in it and they have achieved that as well. Hopefully April’s box will be just as good. If it is, I may be keeping this Allure Beauty Box around for a while.
My Allure Beauty Box arrived and if you’ve been reading my posts, you know that this is the last box I am contracted to receive. Initially, the Allure Beauty Box was a $15 per month subscription box. As a $15 subscription this box hit it out of the park every month. In October however, they decided to adjust the box and turn it into a $23 per month subscription. With tax it boils down to $24.27 if you want the full cost.
The problem is that with the October and November boxes, nothing really changed about the box except the price. There was nothing substantially different from when it was a $15 box and so I went from really loving the subscription to being very hesitant to keep it. So this is the third month after the switch in cost and I am trying to decide whether or not to keep it with me in the new year.
So let’s get into it shall we?
First off the subscription box itself changed. It was once sent in a solid and sturdy (and reusable) cardboard box. The box changed and it is now a disposable mailing box. I do cut it up for my compost bin, but it isn’t my favorite change. Plus the items remained the same size and all of them fit in the old boxes so even though I’m sure they changed the box for the new subscription, I’m not a fan.
I’m also not a huge fan of the booklet that comes with the box. While it is a substantial booklet and should have a plethora of information in it, sadly it rarely does. There is a blurb from one of the editors about how much they like the product, the price of the product should you wish to purchase the full size and (if available) a promo code. There is no real product information.
This month that wasn’t a big deal as everything was more or less straightforward, but last month there was an essence in the box that I had no idea how to use. It would have been nice if the large glossy brochure they took so much care to put together had some information about it. Do I put it on after toner? Do I use it in place of toner? Do I replace a serum with the essence? All of that I had to look up on my own before trying the sample they sent. I know, not a major deal breaker, but something that always sort of bothered me about their booklet.
To the Items!
The first item out of the box was a winner for me. It was a nine pan Ciate London Trend Edit Eyeshadow Palette. I liked the last Ciate London eyeshadows I tried and I am happy to have another palette from them. The colors look good and I look forward to trying it out. The palette is also one of the three full sized items promised each month.
I believe the second item I took out of the box was full sized as well. I’m not entirely certain because it isn’t listed anywhere, but I believe it is. This product is the MudMasky Leave-me-on Winter Mask. I’m guessing it is a mask that you leave on. (Not my brilliant deductive skills.) I’ll have to look up the details before I use it though. It sounds interesting and Mudmasky is one of those brands I’ve seen around but not tried.
My third item was a sample size of the Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum. I really like Caudalie products. I tend to hoard their sorbet moisturizer. I’ve tried several of their serums before as well and really liked liked them. I actually received a tube not that long ago from Look Fantastic in their subscription box. I am always happy to have another Caudalie product on hand and this one I don’t think I’ve actually tried which is always nice to see.
The third full sized item in the December box is an eyeliner from By Me x My Beauty Brand. I’ve not heard of the brand before but I do like that this box is a mix of things I’ve heard about and things I haven’t. Honestly though, I’m not going to get all that excited about another black eyeliner. Even when the black eyeliner is my absolute favorite brand (Eyeko actually) I’m still not hugely excited by it. But I will give it a try.
Next up is a sample size of an item I actually have in my shopping cart elsewhere. It is the La Roche Posay Retinol B3 Serum. I recently tried Retinol for the first time and really liked the way it worked on my skin so I started looking into trying more retinols. As La Roche Posay is one of those brands that is really good for sensitive skin, I figured they would be a good place to start. I’ve used their cleanser routinely as well as their moisturizer and had no problems so I thought the retinol might be good for me as well. I am happy I now get to try it before I buy the full size.
The last official item in my box this month was the Cetaphil Healthy Glow Daily Cream. I have friends who swear by Cetaphil and have used it for years. I remember trying a sample a long time ago and not being terribly impressed. However it was a long time ago and my skin has changed so what I look for in a moisturizer has changed as well. Plus this looks as though it is a new product in their skin care line so perhaps I will like this better.
I know some of you have looked at the picture above, seen the small black bag and have spent the entire post waiting to see what is inside. Well wait no longer. Inside the bag is a little card that thanks me for being a member and then gives what has to be the smallest sample of liquid lipstick I have ever seen. It is from Giorgio Armani.
I’ve tried their perfumes but never their makeup. I’m sure the sample is so small because it is so expensive. But oh my darlings it is tiny. Adorable. But tiny. From the swatch it looks to be a fantastic color and perfectly suited to the holiday season.
I’ll have to see how it wears before I decide whether or not it is worth picking up in a full size. I do appreciate the sample actually, even though it is comically tiny. It is a nice, thoughtful thing to add.
But am I going to remain an Allure beauty box customer?
While this box is markedly better than the last two months, I am going to take a break from the Allure Beauty box for a while. I adored it as a $15 subscription. Then it offered two to three full sized items each month, usually three and occasionally more. Now at the higher price they promise three or more full sized items, and have exactly three. Which is what they promised.
It is however, what they were already providing before the change. So while I like all of the products within the box and I think they are getting better, I don’t think they are quite there yet. I will be watching the Allure beauty Box every month, checking out the products they offer and seeing how the box changes moving forward. I hope that in a few months there will be enough change that I can re-subscribe and feel good about the $23 price of the box. But that time is not now. For now, I will be letting the subscription lapse. I am not completely closing the door though and will continue to pay attention to them and perhaps return in the future.
Okay my darlings, buckle up this is going to be an interesting unboxing. The highly anticipated October Allure box has arrived. As you can see above, the box itself has changed. No longer is it the reusable box of yore but a cardboard mailer.
This was the first month of the NEW Allure Beauty Box if you will remember. Originally It was a $15 subscription box which put it into competition with both Birchbox ($15) and the Regular IPSY Glam Bag ($12). In October the price of the Allure Beauty Box went up to $23 per month. With the price increase you are guaranteed six or more products valued at $100 or more (previously 5 products with a $70+ value) and at least three full sized items (previously 2).
While both Boxy Charm and IPSY have $25 boxes, those boxes are all full sized items (5 full sized items). By contrast, Look Fantastic ($19/ month) has a mix of full and deluxe sample sized items as does GlossyBox ($21/ month). Since I get BoxyCharm Premium and IPSY Ultimate instead of the regular boxes (and because of the sample and full sized mix) I am going to be comparing the new Allure Box to this month’s Look Fantastic and Glossy Box as they are its closest competitors. Just remember they are both slightly less in cost.
So let’s talk about what arrived this month.
Item number one is the The Nue Co Topical C (full size) (Retail $70). It is a vitamin C powder that you add to a moisturizer or mix with a little water. According to the little write up in the magazine the powder is supposed to help prevent it from being too heavy on the skin.
I can’t say I’ve ever had issues with serums being too heavy. Moisturizers and occasionally oils, yes, but not really serums, but I can see the logic. If you add it to your moisturizer, it is like you are only layering one product (sort of) onto your skin. I’m game to try it as I do like Vitamin C serums and I have never tried it in powder form. I am just going to have to look it up on the brands website to get more information when I do. The Allure booklet tells you only what one of their beauty editors thought of it and doesn’t give you a lot of product information.
The next item in the box is the Verso Super Eye Serum (full size) (retail $65). I like Verso products in general. I’ve used several before and find it to be a really good brand. I pick them up now and again from Alyaka when they have sales. As far as eye cream goes, it is a good size and one that would take me quite a while to get through. I have no complaints about that. Speaking of Alyaka, they too have an Advent Calendar out (and I forgot to add it to my advent post yesterday. I knew as soon as I posted I would find more, anyway you can click on the link to see it. It looks kind of amazing and Alyaka specializes in vegan and cruelty free beauty products. The advert with the photo of products is posted at the bottom of this post if you want to get a look at the goodies offered)
The third full sized item is the Static Nails Liquid Glass Lacquer in Irene (full size) (retail $16). It looks to be a nice color and one I will use. I like nail polishes. As I recently purged several no longer usable nail polishes from my collection I have plenty of space for it.
However, it does not look full sized. It may be full sized, but if it is I would take issue with Static Nails. Since it is hard to get a visual on it by itself, I put it with two other nail polishes. The Smith and Cult which retails for $18 and which came in a $15 Birch Box and a Nails Inc which came in a Glossy Box. It may be a pretty color, but it does not look full sized. Of course I haven’t tried it. It could be the best nail polish I’ve ever tried where one coat performs unexpected feats of magic. I don’t know and won’t until I try it. Yhis is however an unboxing. I sometimes forget to report back about nail polishes, but this one, I will be remembering to review. As you can tell in some of thes photos, I really need to take off my old polish and repaint them so a review may be coming fairly soon.
Moving on we come to the La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm AP + Body Cream. It’s a sample so there is no price given for it, but the full 400 mL size is $19.99 and the sample is 15 mL so basic math gives us a value of $0.75.
Now, I like La Roche-Posay products. Their sunscreen is really good and very lightweight on the face and their cleanser is amazing for anyone with sensitive skin. Well, it is good in general, even if you don’t have sensitive skin. (Incidentally their 20% off sale starts tomorrow, I’ll post reminders, but on 10/21 use the code EXCLUSIVE20, on 10/22-23 use code HURRY, and on 10/24 use the code SURPRISE to get 20% plus two deluxe samples.)
Since you can now pick up an array of the brand’s products in Walgreens I tend to run out and pick it up when I find myself low on cleansers and don’t have another one lined up. It is consistently good. I have even used this moisturizer before.
This exact same size was given out as a free sample from Walgreens when the brand first started being sold there. It is a good moisturizer. I prefer it on my body rather than my face as I find it a little heavy on the face, but it is a good product. As Allure claims that they are the box that sends products you can’t find anywhere else, I can’t say I am wowed by its presence.
The same goes for the Dr Jartt Ceramidin Cream sample (again basic math $48 for full sized 50 ml Tube, sample size is10 mL with a value of $9.60) . It’s a nice cream. I’ve tried it before. I’ve even had a sample of it from Allure before.
Admittedly the previous sample was a bit smaller in size. But I have had so many samples of this cream from so many different sources that I have lost count of the number of times I’ve used or passed on these tubes of cream. Because it has been repeated so many times by so many different boxes, it doesn’t feel all that special. And quite frankly it is an okay cream that I will probably not be picking up in the full sized versions any time soon. As this was their first higher priced box, I would have expected them to try to make it a little more special.
I will say that the Sigma Liquid Lipstick in Venom did feel special (full size $20, sample $4). It is a beautiful color and I can not wait to try out the formula. I’m okay with it being a sample size.
Would I have preferred the full size? Of course. If given the chance I would have made the lippie a full sized and the nail polish a travel sized. As the nail polish already looks travel sized it probably would have looked ridiculous any smaller though.
My next items was the Wilma Schumann Hydrating Collagen Eye Pads (1 pair)($18 for 5 sets, 1 pair is $3.60). I like eye masks and I am always willing to have another pair to try. I have no complaints about this product. I look forward to using it and hope it turns out to be something I enjoy using.
The Rusk PUREMIX Native Fig Replenishing Shampoo & Conditioner I sort of have an issue with (at Ulta it is $26 for the set – here the math gets fun, 12 ounces is 354.882 mL the shampoo and conditioner are both 12 ounces so combined for $26 you get 709.762 mL. There is 10 Ml of shampoo and another 10 of conditioner in the foil packet which means the foil packet is valued at $0.73).
Again this is nothing against the brand. I have used many Rusk Products before and I enjoy almost anything fig so that’s not the problem. The problem is that it is a foil packet.
First, of all I hate foil packets of shampoo and conditioner in general. For me there is no middle line with that. There is no ‘well it is a really pricey product and this is a cost effective way to try it.’ No, I’ll let you get away with that for serums and well most any other product really, just not shampoo and conditioner.
I don’t care how good the dotted line is, opening them in the shower with wet hands is always a pain so if you don’t remember to cut them open before you get in the shower it just becomes a struggle. And you have to separate the shampoo and conditioner first, otherwise you end up squirting both into your hand at the same time. However, when you separate them, sometimes the packets tear weirdly and you end up with shampoo dribbling out of the side of the packet. And then you have too much product to use in one sitting and if you try to keep it for your next shower so you don’t waste it then sometimes the edges dry out and get nasty so you just throw it away, or someone else uses the shower, ends up setting their shampoo on top of your semi flat foil packet thinking you just accidentally left the empty in the shower, thus causing a spluge of product on the wall.
No, no shampoo and conditioner foil packets.
I can tolerate foil packets for other products, but absolutely hate them for shampoo and conditioner.
But pet peeve aside, when you get a foil packet, it always feels like an extra. Something they threw in as a bonus item. Now, it is the eight product in the box and technically could be considered as an addition. It is listed as an item on the site and advertised as such not as a bonus. It is even listed as a sponsored item.
While the value is there, the included products having a value of $169.68, and there were more than the six promised items and technically three were full sized, it still felt like a $15 box and not a $23 one.
By contrast Look Fantastic had six items this month and Glossy Box had five. These links will take you to my reviews of the boxes if you want to do a more indepth comparison of items. The value of the $21 Glossy Box was $91.44 and the $19 Look Fantastic Box had a value of $76.11. Despite this, both Glossy Box and Look Fantastic felt far more lux than this upgraded $23 box.
It isn’t one major thing, but a lot of little things that make me feel this way. To be honest, once I received the box, I went ahead and called to cancel before the next box. They did offer me a deal. For the next two months I would get the old price. So November and December I would receive the same box for $15 instead of the upgraded fee. I suppose they are planning to get better and hope to convince me to stay when the deal is over.
I accepted the terms and they charged November’s box right away so I have prepaid ($15) for November. I will then pay December regularly (still at $15). That will give me two more boxes to decide if it is worth keeping around. As I was planning to reassess my subscriptions in December/January, I am fine with that. If they step up in the next two months, I may keep the subscription, if they don’t then I may cancel.
However, an interesting thing happened shortly after I had my conversation with Allure about my subscription. I received an e-mail saying that the new price of $23 will take effect December 1st. I don’t know if this means that enough people cancelled that they had to rethink the box or what. I know that anyone else I talked to about their box this month was not happy so I imagine there was a lot of push back.
Personally, if I was increasing the price of a subscription I would make sure to knock it out of the park the first few months so people would get comfortable with the new price increase. Mostly because there are a lot of people who can justify a $15 box but who might be skeptical of something over $20. This was not an out of the park hit. There was no home run. And I will spend the next two months with a very critical eye to the box to see if it will be worth the price increase or if this box will not be following me into the new year.