May 2016 Allure Beauty Box | Subscription

Hey guys! Quite the hiatus, right? I’m going to try and post on here, seems like a nice little therapy that I’ve been missing.

I recently re-subscribed to Birchbox, Ipsy, and Allure Beauty Box, in addition to Dollar Shave Club – an absolute staple in my house.

Today I got my first Allure box in the mail, so here we go!

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The thick cardboard box comes in a plain brown shipping box, snug and safe. Inside, you’re greeted by the heavy-duty little magazine they have that is in place of a regular product run-down card.

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Underneath the gauzy-white tissue paper is the products, which… could’ve used a bit more of the squiggle grass packing in it, but it all came safe and sound. The glass nail polish was intact and the plastic around the Luna was fine.

Now let’s get to the products!

First up we have the Luna Play by Foreo. The Allure Product Run-Down says:

Foreo Luna Play
What It Is: A golf-ball size facial cleaning brush.
What It Does: Removes gunk with gentle vibrations.
Why We Like It: This brush- a pint sized version of the original Foreo Luna- is gentle enough to use on even sensitive skin. It easily maneuvers around your nose, where bigger brushes tend to struggle, leaving skin smooth. It comes prejuced with 100 uses’ worth of battery power; once drained, toss it out. And in the meantime, don’t worry about cooties: the silicone inhibits bacterial growth.
Price: $39.00
Where to Buy It: Foreo.com

The product is full-size (itself being the smaller version of Luna), so that’s a value of $39.00 already in a $10 box. ($15/mo – $5 coupon for first month.)

It’s gentle, but the larger bumps(?) at the top definitely do a good job at sonic-scrubbing, especially around the nose area. It’s different feeling, to me, since I’m used to bristle sonic brushes, but I think I like this better. It feels cleaner to use, but maybe that’s a placebo effect from knowing the silicone inhibits bacterial growth. I say my skin feels at least as clean or cleaner than my Clinique Sonic and my Clarisonic and most definitely feels like a better clean than my DDF.

Along with the Foreo Luna Play, they sent along both the Day and Night cleanser. I haven’t tested the Night Cleanser yet, but the Day Cleanser was phenomenal. They say:

Foreo Day Cleanser
What It Is: 
A gentle face wash.
What It Does: Cleanses without leaving skin tight and dry.
Key Ingredients: Mandarin and bergamot extracts (antioxidants); apricot-seed oil (moisturizes).
How It Looks/Feels/Smells: The citrus-scented cream transforms to an airy foam when you massage it onto damp skin with your fingers or the Foreo brush.
Why We Like It: It rinses away the leftover retinole and night cream you applied before bed–something water alone won’t do– so you can start the day looking and feeling fresh.
Price: $29.95
Where to Buy It: Foreo.com

 

Foreo Night Cleanser
What It Is: A deep-cleansing face wash.
What It Does: Cleanses skin and removes makeup.
Key Ingredients: Sweet-almond oil and coco-caprylate/carpate, a derivative of coconut oil (moisturize)
How It Looks/Feels/Smells: Once wet, the gel turns to lotion and rinses away every last bit of makeup, leaving skin fresh and soft.
Why We Like It: How clean does you skin really need to be? If your answer is squeaky, you’re going to love this face wash. It thoroughly removes dirt, grime, sunscreen, waterproof mascara, lip stains, and anything else you may have pancaked on your face over the course of the day.
Price: $35.95
Where to Buy It: Foreo.com

What I Say: This day cleanser, omuguh. It’s so foamy and frothy and delicious. It smells amazing. Citrus-y and “HEY WAKE UP”-y. They pretty much explained everything else perfectly.

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What they say:

Equitance Brightening Serum + Spot Corrector
What It Is:
 A dark-spot-brightening serum.
What It Does: Minimizes the appearance of spots caused by acne, hormonal changes, and sun exposure.
Key Ingredients: Linoleic acid, and vitamin C (brighten); olive oil and glycerin (moisturize).
How It Looks/Feels/Smells: The white formula is just thick enough to spot-treat small areas.
Why We Like It: Let’s get one thing straight. Spot treatments require patience and persistence. You probably won’t see much change after a few days. But a serum that shows a visible difference in four weeks? Now that’s fast. This one is moisturizing and gentle, so it won’t irritate sensitive skin. Our fair-skinned tester found that the sun spots on her forehead faded from cappucino brown to light tan after less than a month.
Price: $125
Where to Buy It: Equitance-us.com

Honestly? I haven’t tried this yet. Haven’t even opened it. But I guess the reviews are pretty good, but the price is also pretty steep. If you have the spare change, go for it. I’d personally stick with Origins’ Mega Bright serum from the Dr. Weil line.

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I got this recently in my April Birchbox, and fell in love with it then. It’s perfectly textured, no (obvious, to me at least) scent, and silky silky soft.

Cōtz Flawless Complexion SPF 50
What It Is: A noncomedogenic mineral sunscreen.
What It Does: Protects skin from UVA and UVB rays without clogging pores.
Key Ingredient: Zinc oxide (sunscreen).
How It Looks/Feels/Smells: You could mistake this sunscreen for a makeup primer. It has the same silky texture that makes it easy to spread on skin.
Why We Like It: Because it’s not greasy or oily and it doesn’t smell like a piña colada. White we have plenty of sunscreens that we like to wear at the beach, there are few that have passed the makeup-bag test. This one provides sun protection and also wears remarkably well under foundation.
Price: $19.99
Where to Buy It: Ulta.com

They pretty much nailed it. It’s silky, has no scent (mother-approved! She HATES sunscreen smells, bug repellant too.), and works not as a primer, but sits nice under a foundation, for sure. It is tinted, as well. There’s not quite enough coverage for a tinted moisturizer, but it definitely evens out skintone.

Pixi Mattelustre lipstick in Rose Naturelle
What It Is: A semimatte tawny-pink lipstick.
How It Looks/Feels: The creamy bullet applies with no drag or dryness. And unlike most “neutral” lipsticks, it delivers rich coverage.
Why We Like It: This isn’t a wispy, barely there rose. It has some heft, thanks to traces of brown and a lush opaque finish. It also has peptides, hyaluronic acid, and vitamins C and E to keep lips looking extra Angelina Jolie-ish.
Price: $12
Where to Buy It: Pixibeauty.com

This is a comfortable and pretty color, excellent opacity without having 1904343 pounds of it on, which is something that I hate about other formulas like liquid lipsticks. I feel like I will be throwing this one if my purse for regular use. It’s creamy and comfortable and lasts for about 3-4 hours and leaves a gentle stain for about 5 hours. Pixi is a brand I always kind of skipped over, but the next time I’m in Target (which is always), I’ll check it out.

 

Um. So. I didn’t grab a picture of the Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara for some reason. But I’ve had the full-size for a while. It’s alright. I don’t find it too unique, and if I hadn’t gotten it as a gift, I’d not spend the money on it. It’s nice, don’t get me wrong. It’s just nothing that’s changing the world.

Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara
What It Is: A volumizing, lengthening, and curling mascara in an ultrablack shade.
How It Looks/Feels: Packed with 580 bristles, the brush is shaped like a candy corn. The idea is that the fine tip targets small inner-corner lashes, while the fat center loads up your lashes with the inky pigment to volumize and lift with one swipe.
Why We Like It: You know those mascara buzzwords you hear all the time (volumizing, lengthening, curling, defining)? Well, this pigmented mascara manages to capture them all in one sleek black tube. One coat left our tester’s lashes lifted and thicker, yet somehow multiplied, with zero clumps. The unique shape of the brush fits right in with the all-in-one trend: The tiny nib gets right into tricky inner corners while the fatter end pulls the outer corners up and out for a subtle cat-eye effect.
Price: $24
Where to Buy It: Sephora.com

The brush is not unique, for the record. It’s a regular cone shaped bristle wand. And the packaging could be better. *shrug*

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Lauren B. nail polish in Santa Barbara Surf
What It Is: A glossy green-blue polish that’s free of formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, and camphor.
Why We Like It: The love child of mint green and sky blue, it works with our summer whites and office neutrals. And the glossy, wet-looking finish stays shiny even after a trip to the beach.
Price: $18
Where to Buy It: Laurenbeauty.com

This is a pretty standard turquoise polish. Pretty packaging. I’ll swatch the polish for another post, but judging from the formula it seems like it shouldn’t be too bad. $18 is a wee bit much, but we all know I’ve spent more than that.

 

So that’s it for the Allure May 2016 box. I liked it pretty much overall. Two full-sized products and a mix of makeup and skincare and nail polish with not a single hair product in sight. Now that’s my kind of box.

My only issue lies in the product run down card. The punctuation and grammar was horrible, and they described things… not well. Also, who buys an $18 nail polish and doesn’t use a top coat? Like, great, it’s glossy, but… top coat, man. Top coat.

 

I hope this is a welcome return, and I hope to post on here more frequently (instead of every two years).

Britni Rose

SquareHue April 2013 Bloom Collection | Swatches, Photos, Review

Hey guys! I have so much to catch up on, so I’m just going to rapid-post a bunch of stuff. Here’s the April 2013 collection from SquareHue!

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Yellow Submarine, Flower Power, Groovy Love

IMG_8636Yellow Submarine is a banana yellow shimmer with a bad formula. I mean, it’s on par with any other pastel yellow. Frankly, I give SquareHue credit for coming out of the gate with a yellow pastel shimmer as the first polish you pull out of the box.
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Flower Power is a bright grass green creme. Pretty good formula, if you aren’t super patient, it can be a bit streaky. Pretty color.

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Groovy Love is a bright lavender creme. Again, streaky, but not horrible. I barely have any purples, so I don’t have anything to compare it to, really.

xoxo
Britni Rose

Introducing SquareHue! February 2013 Box: The Vintage Love Collection | Swatches, Photos, and Review

Hi guys! So I’ve decided to try a bunch of different subscription services for at least three months each. A pilgrimage of sorts. I’m seriously debating leaving Birchbox, I’m just waiting for the eco-friendly April box, which if I’m not mistaken, will be the third anniversary of my Birchbox subscription. As my regular readers will know, I’ve reviewed Beauty Box Five as well, and even signed up. Well, I cancelled that one. It just wasn’t the style and type of box I’m looking for. Then I saw someone post a SquareHue review, the first and only that I could find. It’s $21 a month, but I used a promo code that I got on the blog so my subscription to SH is $14/mo instead. Also, a portion of the monthly fee goes towards charities helping women! Yay!

Each month, you receive three nail polishes that are excellent quality and very on-trend. So here’s February’s box, I’ll continue the review below.

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The box they send it just large enough to fit three polishes, some easter grass, and a card stating the month and collection name. That’s it. No wasted space, no non-recycleable materials, nothing. Simple and sophisticated. SquareHue doesn’t have to throw girly colors at you. The company has a “grown up” look to it.
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Underneath the easter grass is three gorgeous square bottles with simple white cap handles, a square “hue” logo (get it? SquareHue? get it? Yeah, you get it.) IMG_7771 IMG_7773

I absolutely love the stickers on the bottom. Clean and large, easy to read. Brand, polish name, collection/month. That’s it. So easy to organize that way.IMG_7811 IMG_7818IMG_7774 IMG_7776One coat. A little streaky, not bad for a pastel.

IMG_7777Two coats. Better!

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High School Crush is an opaque pink pastel. If I had been more patient, the third coat shown in the last two pictures would have been flawless. But I was rushing. It’s a gorgeous pink too, not too girly. I’d actually wear this! It just looks so soft, innocent, and gentle. The formula really wasn’t bad for an opaque pastel color. Shiny too!

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Wartime Romance (how awesome is that name?!) is a medium berry creme. The formula on this one wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t completely horrible either. An okay color. I like it, but it’s a common color. Super shiny though, no topcoat in any of these pictures.

IMG_7794 IMG_7795 IMG_7798 IMG_7809 Dear John is a blackened crimson shimmer. Oh my gorgeous. Formula was spot on perfect, the color is so deep and glowy. I absolutely love this. It does look black in some lighting, but bursts into life when light is introduced. So smooth and shiny, just like the others.

I love the packaging. The square bottles are super easy to store, they look professional and sleek, and it’s still easy to see the color from above, so no pulling out bottle after bottle looking for that exact pink you’re looking for.

Overall, I’m extremely impressed by my first SquareHue box. I love how the company presents itself, I love their customer service and social media presence, and most importantly I like their product. These polishes are gorgeous.

At the time of publishing this article, I have received my second box from them, with the review being posted tomorrow, I can say I’m probably going to stay with SquareHue for a while. You’ll see why.

What do you guys think? Will you check out SquareHue? Let me know in the comments any other subscription services you’d like to see reviewed! I have a list, which I will post to help ladies realize there are other things than Birchbox!

xoxo
Britni Rose

Review: Beauty Box Five

Tonight I have for you a super-awesome review of a beauty box I was sent. Beauty Box Five is a beauty subscription not unlike Birchbox. For $12 a month, you get 4 or 5 deluxe beauty samples (tiny little versions of the product, not those god-awful little packets) in the mail. Just as with any beauty box subscription, it’s like Christmas each month. Where Beauty Box Five differs though, is quality and quantity. I’ll get into that more below.

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Beauty Box Five differs from most beauty boxes with its packaging. Others tend to come in an outer shipping box, and the inner box with the products inside. Beauty Box Five takes the extra packaging out, and holds the products in the shipping box, saving some cardboard resources and making it one less layer to your goodies.

It arrives on your doorstep as a pristine Tiffany blue little box. That’s another thing I noticed — it’s tiny! It’s about the size of my hand, which is smaaaaaall. At first this worried me. Then I opened it.

IMG_7027Inside is a mesh bag with all of your goodies inside, on top of, and surrounded by dark brown/black shredded, crinkly paper that keeps your items from bouncing around inside, which is absolutely adorable and genius. The color scheme and packaging of BB5 is so on my level. Unlike other subscription services, there is no cheat sheet in your box to tell you about your items, there’s simply a thank you card that directs you to your product information online. Again, saving some resources. I like that.

Inside is a mesh bag with all of your products, which is again, resourceful and reusable. This way, your stuff isn’t flying around the inside of an un-stuffed, bigger box. *coughBirchboxcough* Anyway, let’s take a look.

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Blinc | Mascara | Full size: $26 for .21oz

Beauty Box Five website says:

Finally a no-hassle, no-smudge, water-resistant mascara that you don’t have to re-apply! Great for those with sensitive eyes and contact-wearers, this non-irritating mascara actually creates tubes around your lashes that will even wear through a workout! To apply, just remove the wand and apply to lashes!

I was given this sample in my Birchbox, though the one in my Birchbox was much bigger. Blinc is a really good brand for waterproof eyeliner and mascara. I use the mascara often, and if I could find my eyeliner, I’d use that at well.

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City Lips | Lip plumper, clear | Full size: $35

From the Beauty Box Five website:

Visibly plumper lips are just minutes away with this amazing, power-packed plumper! Simply apply and watch, your lips will become fuller as the minutes pass and the results will typically last four to six hours! What’s better? CITY Lips has proven long-term benefits. Used twice daily, CITY Lips users have seen plumper, fuller lips in only 30 days!

Oh, lip plumpers… I’m not a fan. This one isn’t too bad. It tastes like vanilla and doesn’t sting too bad. It just feels really warm and tingly. I don’t like the taste/smell, but there has to be menthol in here somewhere, because my cold let up a teeny bit. Actually… now that I’m wearing it a little longer, it is kind of burning. I hate these things. I’d rather use contouring and highlighting to create the illusion of fuller lips. This one is clear, and has a brush applicator, where the full size also comes in colored versions and have a doe foot applicator.

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Bodyography | Foundation Primer | Full size: $30

From the Beauty Box website:

This multi-purpose foundation primer (which is packed with anti-oxidants and vitamins) extends the wear of foundation, fills in fine lines and pores, helps prevent collagen breakdown AND aids in the evening out of skin tone!

This is a clear foundation primer which I believe is silicone-based, or at least feels like it is. It’s got that lovely silky feel and a smooth matte finish. It smells like maybe jasmine or camomile or baby powder. It’s relaxing and it doesn’t last long, but it does smell a little “old lady-ish”, which some people may not like. As a primer, it’s pretty good. Nothing outstanding compared to MUFE, Urban Decay, or Lancôme. But it’s definitely on par with them, at a tad bit lower price point.

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Pūr~lisse | pūr~delicate Makeup Remover and Cleanser | Full size: $36 for 5.6 fl oz

From the Beauty Box Five site:

Give your skin a fresh start every day with pūr~delicate from pūr~lisse. Their special blend of soy milk, soy proteins, white tea and whole oat leaves your skin caressably smooth without removing natural oils. pūr~delicate will soothe your skin, not irritate it. Soap-free and non-foaming, pūr~delicate is strong enough to remove dirt and makeup, yet gentle enough to preserve and enhance your skin’s natural beauty. Bring home pure cleansing power with pūr~delicate.

I didn’t get to try this for too long, maybe one or two days, but I liked it. It was soft and gentle, but really did it’s job well. I like the scent. It smells really clean and not chemical at all. The scent is actually very akin to Lancôme’s Nutrix Royal body cream. Very relaxing, but not long lasting, so it doesn’t disrupt any of your perfumes or oils.

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Lash Card | Mascara Sheilds | Full size: $6.99 for a 10 pack.

From the Beauty Box Five website:

Minimizing those mascara mistakes has never been easier! Great for maximizing curl, separating lashes and avoiding those bottom lash mishaps, these discrete little cards are your lashes new best friend!

These little things are nifty, and I think they should come in a hygienic plastic version for use on clients. They do their job and they do it well, but I just don’t find where I would actually need them. Most people don’t have an issue with applying mascara. The only reason I could really think they’d come in handy were if you were to use a mascara with a large brush, like DiorShow or Revlon Grow Luscious by FabuLash. You know, the ones with the wand that’s as big as your eye? I love those ones. But they can make a mess. I did find that using the shields on your under eyes for coating the bottom lashes was extremely helpful, seeing as that’s where you’ll most likely fudge up, or holding it in a way to protect your inner eye area/nose when you get the inside lashes. But in the end, it’s an extra hand that you need, which makes it kind of difficult at times, and not truly worth it. Makeup Artists though, may benefit from it if they find they have issues with applying mascara to clients.

Alrighty! That’s the last product in the box! Let’s sum everything up:

Packaging: Beauty Box Five, I think has the best packaging in the beauty subscription world. It’s not too fancy or wasteful, and while you’re getting the same amount of samples, you just feel like you’re getting more because the box is smaller and your products are surrounded by that dark Easter grass stuff, where Birchbox, you have a too-big box that doesn’t support it’s contents, allow it’s contents to slip and slide around at it’s own free will. BB5 packaging is smaller and less wasteful, and while they don’t seem to claim that, nor do they claim that their boxes are reusable and resourceful, as Birchbox says, these are far more conservative and eco-friendly.

Quantity: You receive 4-5 items per box, I received five in this box.

Quality: For $12 a month ($2 more per month than Birchbox), you’re getting the same amount of product in deluxe sample sizes with no extra “lifestyle” products like Birchbox just love to give out. For me, that’s fine. I’m not looking for headphones or granola bars, I’m looking for beauty products. Beauty Box Five seems like a much more intimate experience, and their Beauty Profile that your boxes are based off of are much more detailed, and therefore your boxes are (hopefully) more custom. I did find myself wish I had the product card in front of me, but only for the prices for full-size versions as well as the size of full-size product. In terms of product description, I find that the packaging on the products themselves explain enough for me. The rest I can read online.

Brands Offered: Companies that show on their “Brand” page include, but are not limited to: Model Co., Ferro Cosmetics, Ellis Faas, h.wood.beauty, Bodyography, Nastassja, Silk Naturals, City Cosmetics, Cetaphil, Swagger Cosmetics, Lash Card, Furlesse, Show Stoppers, Becca, Freeman, Supergoop, La Fresh, Pūr~lisse, Merlot, blinc cosmetics, Travalo, MakeupGeek, It’s a 10, Priti NYC, Weleda, and Blûm Naturals.

I find this list to be impressive, but not over the top. Many box subscription companies list brands that they feature once with weak examples, then never send again, yet still claim them. I’d love to see something from brands like Becca, MakeupGeek, Weleda, La Fresh, and definitely Travalo (the travel-perfume thing!). Another great one is Cetaphil, a great consumer brand. Other brands on the list like Tree Hut, Freeman, It’s A 10, and Evie Evan I’ve either never heard of, or I’ve heard of but have never been able to try.

Final Thoughts: Well, as of an hour ago, I’m now a BB5 subscriber, and I intend on giving them a few more months to sway me, but as of right now, I find BB5 to be much more intimate, with small, eco-chic and adorable packaging of the box, and worth the price. That being said, $12 just sounds so much more than $10 for the same amount of products as other brands.

If you’re interested in checking out Beauty Box Five yourself, I’ve included my referral link below for you to check out!

Click here for my referral link to Beauty Box Five’s website!

This was one of my most exciting reviews to date, and I want to thank BB5 for giving me the chance to review their company. As always I went into this unbiased, and was pleasantly surprised. I plan on keeping you guys updated on my subscription with BB5, hopefully with first-impression videos, as well as catching up with my Birchbox posts so you can compare the two yourself. This post was a long time coming, and I’m so happy to finally share it with you. Please let me know what you think, and any suggestions on what you’d like to see done differently!

Have a lovely day!
~ Britni Rose

This product was sent to me for review. For more information on my product reviews, please see my Disclosure policy.