Friday, May 16, 2014

Beauty Box 5: May 2014 Review

Hey, friends! Today I'd like to share with you my very first Beauty Box 5 (BB5)! There was a promotion going around so that you could get your first box free, so I figured I would give it a try. Sorry for not sharing! As an apology, I scoured the internet to find their free box promo for June (you're welcome). Click here if you've never tried BB5 and want some free goodies! You're not held down, so you can cancel after getting your first box with no repercussions. Hooray for cheating the system!

Beauty Box 5? What's that? Beauty Box 5 is a beauty subscription service that delivers a box of five samples to your door each month (Do you see where they got the "beauty" and "box" and the "five" from? Shit, they really thought this through!) Like Birchbox, however, sometimes you'll end up with four items instead of five (which is lame). You take the beauty quiz, as is typical with these kinds of subscription services, to alert of them of your hair/skin/makeup needs and wants. They ship to Canada and all U.S. states but Hawaii and Alaska (sorry, international readers!) It costs $12/month, but you get discounts with 3-month ($10/mo) and annual ($8.25/mo) subscriptions. If you would like to sign up, please click here to use my referral link! (Note: this link doesn't combine with the free box offer, so if you haven't subscribed before, I recommend snagging your free box first. Note #2: I have no idea if this referral even benefits either of us since I'm no longer a subscriber and I don't think you get anything out of it either, but I had to put it out there anyway. Live yo life.

This month's theme was Fresh and Focused. I don't think any of these products really scream "fresh" or "focused" to me, but I wasn't really expecting them to. Thanks to Ipsy (posts) and Birchbox (more posts), I have come to learn that 9/10 times, the theme means nothing. 

Like Birchbox, Wantable, and many other beauty subscription services, BB5 provides a card explaining each of the products you receive in your box. I love these things--they're so nifty! It also prevents me from going on a wild goose chase looking for information for these blog posts every month. 

Let's get on to the good stuff! 

(Full-size [4oz]: $18) (Sample value [1 oz]: $4.50)

This is probably the item I'm most excited about. I have large pores in my T-zone (especially my nose), but my skin is dry-combination so many products for acne dry me out. A key ingredient in Shea Terra's products is shea butter (hence the name), which is generally pretty moisturizing. They're also an all-natural line, which I always appreciate. The ingredients list is very short, which I love: deionized water, african black soap, shea butter, coconut oil, rose hip, red bush tea, oat straw, carrot powder, acerola, citric acid. There's nothing that I can't pronounce, no funny chemicals. That's the same reason I love my Seventh Generation Serum. Awesome! This is a good sample size, too; it's definitely enough to see if I like it or not.

NICKA K NEW YORK Hydro Lipstick in Concerto
(Full-size: $5 for .12 oz)

I'm pretty confused by the retail price listing of this product, since you can get these lipsticks for a dollar at a lot of beauty supply stores (ex. Sally's). The packaging looks nice, but it's incredibly lightweight and feels kind of cheap. Then again, ELF is $1 and has cheap packaging, and their products are almost always great. The color is pretty--great for spring! The formula doesn't feel drying, which is nice. It's creamy, but not exactly moisturizing either. Still, it's a nice product with an affordable price. Not my favorite (I am currently married to Revlon Lip Butters). I might get some use out of the lipstick, but the formula isn't the best. I'm not a fan of saying that something is good "for the price," because a product is either good or not good, but if you find a color you like, I say pick it up and try it. 

(Full-size [8.6 oz each]: $20 each or $40 for both) 
(Sample-size [1 oz each]: $2.33 each)

God bless subscription boxes--I never have to go out and buy shampoo and conditioner! I was having a really hard time finding an ingredients list for either of these products. It's not on Coolway's website or Beauty Box 5's website, or anywhere else that I can think of. I'm assuming that it's only on the back of the full-size products, which doesn't help me out at all. I love the sulfate-free claim, but usually that sulfate is just replaced with another chemical (think the HealthySexyHair Shampoo from my February Empties). I don't like this shady business of not revealing ingredients lists (what are they trying to hide?) but I will try them and see.

LA FRESH Travel Lite Antiperspirant Wipes
(Full-size [48 wipes]: $20) (Sample-size [3 wipes]: $1.26)

When I tried the makeup wipes that I received in last year's March Ipsy Bag, they stung my face pretty bad. It was a common complaint, and they didn't even really take my makeup off! I haven't used an La Fresh product since, but I don't think there will be any bad repercussions to having deodorant wipes. You could put them in your gym bag (LOL having a gym bag, LOL at going to the gym), or just have them on hand during a hot summer day. The individual packaging of each one is convenient, too. 

The Stats:
  • Shea Terra Black Soap: $4.50
  • Don't-Lie-to-Me-it's-$1 Lipstick: $5
  • Sneaky Shampoo: $2.33
  • Sneaky Conditioner: $2.33
  • Antiperspirant Wipes That May Burn My Armpits Off (TBD): $1.26
  • Total Box Value: $15.42 (But it really should be $11.42 because that lipstick is not $5. It's just not.)
The Best: I'm excited to try the Shea Terra Organics Black Soap! 

The Worst: I kind of feel like I was lied to a lot with this box, between hidden ingredients lists and retail values of products that just don't make any sense to me. I'll go with the Antiperspirant Wipes because those are just the least exciting, and because I've had bad experiences with past La Fresh products I've tried. 

The Verdict: Apparently this is a different box than the continuing subscribers got. I guess this is a Welcome box of some sort, but if it's the first box to draw people in, shouldn't it be awesome? Except for the Black Soap, I wasn't really jazzed by any of the brands or products in here. Technically, this box would have cost me $12 if it wasn't my first/freebie box, so if I paid for it I might have felt jipped by the value (because it was really worth $11.42).

I won't be continuing my subscription, and I cancelled. I'm sticking with Birchbox for now, despite its flaws (more on that next week). Have a good weekend, everyone!

What did you think of my box? Have you ever tried Beauty Box 5? Are there better boxes on the other side? Let me know! 

Disclaimer: I am not sponsored or affiliated with any mentioned brands, nor Beauty Box 5. This was a free box that Beauty Box 5 offered to the public, and I included the link so you guys could get one, too. Sharing is caring. 

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