your door every month for a very low price? How fun is that?
I tried the deliveries from 3 different cosmetic companies that offer
this service. Here’s what I experienced with each one.
I admit it. I’m a make-up junkie. I have at least 26 different lip glosses and 12 lipsticks at my last count. I’ve never counted my eye shadows – it would take too long. I have separate mascaras, facial cleansers, and moisturizers for traveling, so I don’t even need to switch bags – they just remain constantly packed.
If I had to narrow down my selection to one cosmetic bag, I’d be
in trouble. The airlines must be joking when they want all toiletries to fit in a quart size Ziploc bag. This is why I travel with a suitcase -
because I need my selection of skin care, coordinating eye colors, and hair products for every type of fashion emergency, dinner outing, impromptu swimming excursion, and weather I could encounter.
Yes, I obsess much. But I am prepared and prepped.
I enjoy my make-up. I look forward to picking out my colors every morning. Applying my make-up is relaxing, not taxing. I will gladly get up a few minutes earlier just so I can leave the house feeling my best.
A friend of mine introduced me to the concept that many cosmetic
companies are embracing now. Every month, you can opt to get a pre-selected package of everything ranging from lip colors to luxurious eyeliners, skin creams, to nail polishes, and then some. I’ve tried beauty boxes from three companies so far and I’m having a hard time deciding on my favorite. However, your favorite may depend on whether you like the skin care or hair care, versus the color splash that arrives in your mailbox. For between $10 - $21 per month, this is
fashionable cosmetic fun exposing you to the latest trends and brands that can’t be beat at this price point.
Each company that I tried, asks you to fill out a basic profile
online. They ask you questions about your eye and hair color, if your skin is oily, combination, or dry, if you prefer creams instead of cosmetics, if you are a curly top or have a straight mop, and that sort of thing. They try to meet your needs with their ever changing selection of sample size products that they ship out once a month to you for a small subscription fee. With each company, the same
samples are not selected for every box they ship out to every person. For example, here is the entire selection of 79 items that Birchbox chose a few from for individual boxes in August. Samples selected depend on how you answered the questions about your preferences and persona in your profile.
These programs are so popular that most have a waiting list for
you to sign up for at the present time. Once they can bring you on board, they will send you an email and you’re good to go. I started out by signing up for GlossyBox, and then branched out with
Birchbox and Glam Bag. I was on waiting lists for both Birchbox and Glam Bag for a few weeks until a spot opened up for me, and I hopped on board for my beauty box of the month.
Oh, did I mention that Birchbox even has a box-of-the month for men!? Yes! How cool is that! They use soaps, lotions, and shave, too – so why not!
I love getting surprises in the mail of the non-bill kind. These boxes always keep me guessing. I never know what pretty pickings they will have inside. Sometimes they contain sample size products, such as perfumes and moisturizers. Other times, like with my recent Birchbox, I received a full-size facial cleanser, and a regular razor. GlossyBox also sent a full-size lip color that’s worth $35, along with many other full-size products, too!
It’s actually a pleasure for me to get the sample size
cosmetics sometimes. They do take up less room when I travel. Plus, I get bored. I like to switch between eye shadows and lipsticks a lot, and I seldom use up a color before it’s time to toss it. I’m fickle with fragrances like that, too, for the most part.
This is a great way to fall in love with new products that I never would have tried otherwise, too. Some brands, like ‘whish’ you can’t find in Sephora. They can be relatively new to the retail world and you may have missed the advertising. When I find something like this that I love, I can’t wait to get the full size product to indulge on it every day. When you find your treasure this way, all you need to do is go back to your beauty box broker and place your order right
through them most of the time! Birchbox even gives you a discount on products featured in a current month, and when you place your first order!
My favorite samples are generally the nail polishes (because most people can wear any color), and the body lotions (because I go
through a lot and am always looking for something to soothe and moisturize my skin). Lipsticks are fun, too, but so far, they haven’t hit the right colors for my complexion. (One bubblegum pink was too pale, and one brown made my lips disappear into my skin – not the look I was going for.) This is where it comes in handy if you have another female in your house that you can pass the product
down to – or if your friend is willing to trade, that’s a solution, too.
The first time I received a beauty box I really had too many skin creams on hand. I traded this for another product I did want from a friend who had also received the same beauty box. In
the end we were both happy.
While you may only be able to afford one box per month on a budget, I suggest you try out two or three to see which you like the best and
then cancel the subscriptions to those that don’t mesh with your beauty needs.
Here’s a run-down of the beauty boxes I’ve tried so far with their
contents, photos, and my opinions of the products.
GlossyBox- August 2012
The Glossy Mag – a full color, glossy-paged magazine which lists beauty trends, tips, and products along with their uses, so you know what to do with the ones they sent you. Very cool and useful.
Sample Size of Biolage ExquisiteOil Replenishing Treatment - I
didn’t use this. My daughter did and liked how it controlled
frizz in her curly hair while keeping the curl. Thumbs up!
Full size Ellis Faas lip color in a rosy beige (worth $35) – I wasn’t impressed with the color nor the staying power of this. Although it was fun to receive a lip color I wouldn’t have selected myself, the best thing I can say about this lipstick is that I’m glad I tried it
here so I know not to buy it again.
Full size Illamasqua nail polish in Purity (worth $14) – I already have a favorite color for a French manicure base so I really didn’t need another neutral nude. Again, this wouldn’t have been a color I
selected. I like something brighter that packs a punch. It was very
nice of them to include a full size of this nail polish, though. I like
getting nail colors in my box.
Full size Ole Henriksen Truth Serum skin complex (worth $48) – I loved the citrus smell of this product. It wasn’t sticky or greasy and my skin absorbed it quickly. That said, after a week of use, I hadn’t really noticed any visible difference in my skin. It wouldn’t be
worth $48 for me to go out and buy this again.
Full size Touch in Sol Feels Like Honey Moon Skin Base (worth $20) – It was nice to get a full-size product, again, but I’ve used
much better make-up primers and bases, including Smashbox’s Photo Finish Foundation Primer, and Sephora’s Perfecting Ultra Smoothing Primer. The Touch in Sol product did not fill in fine lines the way I expected it to, nor provide a lasting and smooth finish for my make-up to sit on top of. It just wasn’t for me.
Birchbox– August 2012
Beauty School pamphlet – a folded pamphlet describing beauty brushes, cosmetic tips, and a list of products included in the
box. Eh, it wasn’t all that interesting. The product list was the most useful.
Full size DDF Brightening Cleanser (worth $38) – I loved that this was a full size product and it arrived just in time to take
its place in my travel bag because I needed a cleanser to
come-with. It has a clean, refreshing scent, and removes
dirt and oil from my skin effectively. I have slightly oily skin, and it takes a good cleanser to do the job. I like how this product foamed
up easily, too.
Sample size Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy La Fleur fragrance – while the scent was nice, it didn’t last very long. The bottle
contained enough perfume in it to re-apply it once during the
day, but I could have used a third refresher. That said, the
sample squirter itself was nice, because I could spritz the scent
rather than dump the bottle on my skin.
2 Generous sized pouches of Miss Jessie’s Original Pillow Soft
hair lotion - I’m fussy with my hair products and hesitate to switch, so I passed this along to my daughter to try. This after shampoo
product styled her curls leaving them loopy and not frizzy with a
fresh fabric softener scent. We both liked how it smelled.
This worked great for my daughter’s hair type – which is thin and
has loose waves and curls. We found that we even liked it better
on dry hair to smooth frizzies, and separate curls, especially
when applied to a ponytail.
Sample size whish Three Wishes Body Butter – Keeping in
mind that not as many full-size products were included in my Birchbox
because it costs less than a GlossyBox, I was really pleased that they
included this body lotion sample. It was so good, I wanted more!
The sample size was great for travel purposes, and the lotion carried
a light, subtle pomegranate fragrance, yet absorbed easily into my
skin while moisturizing adequately. One of my pet peeves is
putting on a body lotion after shaving my legs and having it
either not moisturize enough, or sting. This did neither. It was a
winner in my book and I immediately ordered a full size bottle of it from Birchbox.
Schick Hydro Silk Razor – This razor has 5 blades! 5! I was in heaven.
The more blades a razor has, the closer the shave I get.
This was a bonus item that Birchbox put in everyone’s beauty box this month. Loved it! It was a great surprise that everyone could use.
My Glam Bag – August 2012
Sample size eclos Moisture Therapy Regenerative Cream – This was a great tiny container of moisturizer that absorbed easily into
my skin and didn’t conflict with other serums and primers I
put on. (Ever have that happen? Where you get this gunky or flaky
effect on your face because the ingredients collide?) Well, this
cream is a safe bet. I liked it.
Sample size eclos Cellular Activator Facial Serum – I’m not a fan of
facial serums, so take what I say with a grain of salt. For me,
this didn’t wow me. It just added an extra step to my skin care regimen; but it wasn’t bad if serums are your thing.
Demeter Roll on Perfume Oil in Clean Skin (worth $10) – I don’t like roller-ball perfumes. Not enough comes out for me. I usually wind up taking the roller-ball top off, and just dabbing it on. However, even when I did that with this fragrance, I found it to be weak. I guess it’s meant to be that way, though; hence the name “Clean Skin” – a barely noticeable fragrance reminiscent of shower soap. If you like that sort
of thing, this is for you. Me, I need a fragrance that has power
and makes a statement on me, or what’s the point of wearing it.
Sample size s.a.l.t.y. cosmetics Glama-ZOID! eye shadow (worth $3.97) – This – was cool. At first I thought they sent me a
white eye shadow. I was not initially thrilled. I thought,
“What am I supposed to do with this?” White is not a versatile color for my complexion. But, I tried it anyway. Get this – to my surprise,
on my skin, the powder changed to a subtle, sheer lavender and blended effortlessly with my other eye colors. Loved it! It had a twist
off top on the pot of color and you could shake just the right amount
out into the lid for application. Great choice, Glam Bag!
Circus by Andrea’s Choice Ringmaster Nailcolor – First I thought – “Bright fluorescent orange nail polish – really?” Yes, really – and to my surprise I loved this color choice! I tried it on my toes and it was a
great beachy, summery color that didn’t chip off. The formula is
great, and I never would have thought to try a color that packed
so much punch before. Thank you Glam Bag for getting me to think
out of your box. This is the perfect example of getting to try
something new that I never would have selected for myself, yet
I loved. Circus nail color is so new, you can’t even buy it yet!
This is totally thrilling to me to be able to preview a new product
before its release!
Full Size My Glam, Glam Gloss in Color 01 (a cotton candy pink) – I loved getting a full size surprise lip gloss in my beauty box, but again, the company got their color all wrong for me. It was too
light for my lips. So, I passed this one onto my daughter for her to use, too. It did have a nice fruity-sugary scent/taste to it, so I suppose if the color were for you, you’d love it. They
get a good rating for trying to please with this product.
Orange netted zipper cosmetic bag – This was a nice and unexpected perk to find inside the August Glam Bag. I definitely could use something to contain my cosmetics and this worked nicely. It was a
very thoughtful and useful addition to the array of products sent.
GlossyBox– July 2012
The Glossy Mag – a full color, glossy paged magazine which lists
beauty trends, tips, and products along with their uses, so you
know what to do with the ones they sent you. Very cool and useful.
1/3 Full size Allesandro International Pedix Heel Rescue Balm - I always apply cream or lotion to my feet. I can’t stand having rough
skin on my toes or heels. This was a great addition to the box. The
formula absorbs quickly so you don’t slip and fall on the floor.
Sample size Sebastian Color Ignite Multi Tone Shampoo – I
color my hair and hate how it fades, especially in the summer sun. I
like this shampoo. It seems to keep the color in my hair with
Sample size Sebastian Color Ignite Multi Tone Conditioner – This, comes out of the canister like a mousse, but it’s really a conditioner.
In the shower it gets the knots out of my hair, and although it’s not a
very slippery texture, it seems to condition my hair well after I leave it on for 5 minutes or so. I like how my hair feels and styles after its use. So don’t let the texture throw you on this one. A“mousse” can
condition like a cream.
Full size Figs & Rouge Lip, Face & Body Balm (worth $6) - I am in
love with this organic balm, which I use religiously as a lip balm now.
You don’t need much of it so it goes a long way. I save my 5 star
ratings for those products I would definitely buy again, and this is
one of them. It’s 100% organic, too!!!! I can’t put enough
exclamation points after that statement. I love environmentally and
body-friendly products that pack a punch and do what they say they do. This fills in the crevices on my lips so my lipstick glides on with
ease. It also keeps them baby soft and smooth.
Full size Senna Cosmetics Mineral Eyes Shadow Trio in Satin Doll (worth $24)– Eh, not impressed with this one. I’m glad they let
me try an eye shadow palette. They are always fun. However, the
colors don’t contain much pigment. This was a trio of matte shadows in the brown-to-pink family. In theory, the color combinations are
compatible, but the browns weren’t dark enough for me and the pink was too white.
Sample size Blushed fragrance by Ruddy Water – This smelled pretty but not enough was included in the sample for me to make a
sound judgment. The scent was on a fragranced towelette that was not very moist. So, I could barely apply it to my skin. As it only comes in pouches, I’d pass on this purchase.