I, like most beauty junkies out there, definitely have a huge Sephora obsession that I came to terms with long ago … Every time I see a new product I must have it, and every time I run out of a product that I use every day and go to order a new one I always end up buying a bunch of other stuff that I may or may not actually need.
So anyway, my latest Sephora haul is actually two purchases that I made back to back on Sephora.com over the last week. I decided to put everything into one post to make it easier … also one of the orders didn’t exactly look like a “haul” since it was only a few products, so I added them together to make it look like more of a “haul.” I’m going to review most of these products in individual posts but here is a little overview of the items I picked up … !
I was soooo excited to see this month’s Glossybox and I have to say it really is one of the best ones I have seen in awhile, it might even be my favorite. I am soooo in love with the box design this month and I can’t wait to figure out how I’m going to use it/display it around my room.
Glossybox’s limited edition box design this month was Valentine’s Day-themed and so were all of the items in the box. I took a bunch of photos of the actual box this month (which I don’t usually do) just because it was so pretty.
It was a little hard for me to open up the box because I just loved the way everything was packaged. Glossybox always has their tissue paper plus a ribbon wrapped around the products inside the box, but I was loving the pink and white paper this month and I can’t wait to figure out how I’m going to use this hot pink ribbon!
I’ve been getting pretty awesome Birchboxes lately so I was kind of surprised to find this month’s was kinda meh … Also, this is my third February as a Birchbox subscriber and I remember liking the last two February boxes a lot better. Birchbox sends out products each month based on the Birchbox beauty profile that you fill out when you first subscribe to the service, so not all of the boxes are exactly the same.
Glossybox is one of my favorite beauty subscription services. They feature more “high-end” prestige makeup and beauty brands and, since they first started in the UK, they send out a lot of products from the UK and other European brands (which I LOVE).
My Birchboxes have really been getting better and better recently. For a few months there I was actually super close to unsubscribing because I was so unhappy with the boxes I was getting — I loved them when I first subscribed and they were good for awhile, but then I kinda felt like they were going downhill. So I switched up my Birchbox beauty profile a bunch of times and then, about three months ago, my boxes started getting great again. I really liked this month’s box a lot – especially the deluxe Laura Mercier eyeliner (this one is half the size of the regular pencil but there’s definitely a great amount of product here).
Not Soap, Radio Body Wash and Gilchrist & Soames Spa Therapy Body Lotion
Not Soap, Radio Awash in a field of four leaf clovers Body Wash ($16 for 13.61 oz.; birchbox.com): I am loving this super green clover-scented body wash. It is actually infused with real four leaf clover extract and green tea — how awesome is that? I think I’m going to pick up the full-size version of this, or choose one of the other aromatherapeutic scents — there are eight to choose from and they each come in a big 13.61-oz. bottle.
Gilchrist & Soames Spa Therapy Body Lotion ($15 for 8 oz.; birchbox.com): I’m loving the super fresh aqualeaf and citrus scent of this luxe body lotion. It is infused with extracts of Japanese sea fennel to calm irritation and soothe skin, plus other sea-based vitamins and minerals that absorb into skin to moisturize it and reverse environmental damage.
Laura Mercier Longwear Crème Eye Pencil in Violet
Laura Mercier Longwear Crème Eye Pencil ($24 for 0.04 oz.; birchbox.com): This one was definitely my favorite item this month. This is actually the first time I am using Laura Mercier’s Longwear Crème Eye Pencil and I love it! I have only tested it out so far, but I plan on using it this week. I received this beautiful violet color that’s not too bright — you can definitely do some more “toned-down” makeup looks with this pencil … or you can go all out and do a dramatic look! It’s great for both.
Fekkai PrX Reparatives Intense Fortifying Masque
Fekka PrX Reparatives Intense Fortifying Masque ($25 for 7 oz.; birchbox.com): Birchbox sent out a great deluxe sample size of this hair masque. I used it the other day in the shower and my hair came out looking great! This treatment repairs, protects and smoothes damaged and tired hair.
Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips and Justin’s Chocolate Almond Butter
Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips ($14.50 for 0.51 oz.; birchbox.com): I have been meaning to try this stuff out for awhile, so I was so happy to see this mini tube in my November Birchbox! It’s kind of like a thicker Vaseline and it can be used on parched lips, cuticles, elbows and any other dry area on the skin.
Justin’s Chocolate Almond Butter Squeeze Pack ($12.99 for ten 1.15 oz.-packs; birchbox.com): I haven’t tried this out yet, but I thought it was a cool extra to include in my Birchbox this month. I love almond butter and chocolate so I know I’ll like this a lot. You can eat it straight from the pack, or spread it on toast, fruit, crackers, sandwiches, etc.
Subscription Box Breakdown:
I loved my Birchbox this month and I think it was one of the better ones that I have received in recent months. I am so happy that I’m getting better boxes now after hitting a bit of a slump for a few months there. I love the Laura Mercier eyeliner, I definitely want to order a full-sized Not Soap, Radio body wash and the Fekkai hair mask worked great in my hair. Loved all the products pretty much!
Pricing & Availability:
Birchbox is a monthly beauty and lifestyle subscription box that costs $10 per month. To subscribe click here, or visit Birchbox.com for more information.
I received my Beauty Box 5 for November a few days ago, and then I got a ton of other boxes over the next few days (this week was like an early Christmas!), but I really just had time to sit down and write the reviews this weekend so I will be posting all of the reviews tonight (Sunday night) and tomorrow morning.
This month’s Beauty Box 5 wasn’t the most exciting (in my opinion). I usually love to receive makeup items the most and, unfortunately, there were no makeup items in this month’s box. However, there was a nice variety of different types of beauty items and accessories which is cool. I will probably put all or most of these items to use.
DenTek Floss Picks + Case
I use floss picks sometimes on-the-go and I honestly was having a bit of an issue with how I would carry them along with me to keep them clean and organized, so I was just leaving the whole bag in my car (I got cute little Hello Kitty floss picks so that’s really what inspired me to use them since I am obsessed with Hello Kitty). Even though it’s not really an item that I use all of the time, this floss pick pack is a great idea and I will definitely be using the case with these floss picks and to hold my Hello Kitty ones as well 🙂
DenTek Floss Picks + Case ($2.49 for 4 count; dentek.com) comes pre-packed with six “Comfort Clean Floss Picks” and fits conveniently in pockets, purses or travel bags for on-the-go flossing. Each DenTek floss pick comes with “Germ Shield protection” to prevent the growth of bacteria and the cases come in five different colors.
Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash & Afterfeather Refillable Travel Bottles
I decided to take a more artsy approach to this next photo 🙂 I had some pretty flowers laying around and I put them down on this white tray I have and liked the way it looked so I decided to put these next two products down on the tray as well and snap a few pics!
The first product is Dove’s Deep Moisture body wash. I always need body wash so, even though this might not be the most exciting product, I will definitely be using it. The second product is a cute little refillable travel bottle. I honestly don’t really have many travel bottles so I’m sure I will find a use for this at some point.
Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash ($6.49 for 22 oz.; drugstore.com) is supposed to provide 10 times more “skin natural nourishment” with Dove’s “NutriumMoisture.” It is described as a “gentle, rich body wash formula” that helps to rinse “cleanly and quickly” and help you have “softer, smoother skin after just one shower.” I haven’t tried this one out yet but, like I said, I always put body washes to use. In fact, I haven’t even bought a full-sized body wash for myself in about a year now because I get so many samples in all of my subscription boxes.
Afterfeather Refillable Travel Bottles ($8.95 for set of two refillable 2-oz. bottles; afterfeather.com) are compact and lightweight, “making them ideal for travel,” and they each hold up to two fluid ounces, which meets TSA compliance for carry-on items. They feature Dandelion and Peony designs and use 25% post-consumer plastic. Ten percent of Afterfeather’s proceeds are donated to charities.
Laura Ashley Body Butter & HASK Macadamia Revitalizing Shine Oil
I will most likely not be using this body butter since I have sooooo many body butters and lotions already, many of which I don’t even use, but this one looks super cute, and it smells pretty good, so I’ll probably pass it along to my mom or to a friend. I haven’t used the next product yet, the hair oil from HASK, but if it’s good I will probably keep it and use it. I also have a bunch of hair oils so if this one isn’t as good as the ones I already have then I see no reason to hold onto it.
Laura Ashley Body Butter ($20 for set of six 1.75-oz. body butters; lauraashley.com) is described as a “nourishing, rich lotion” in the scent of “Sweet Peony.” I actually can’t find this six piece set online, maybe it’s new? So I linked to the one body butter I did find at lauraashley.com.
HASK Macadamia Revitalizing Shine Oil ($2.99 for 0.62 oz.; ulta.com) is an ultra-hydrating oil that can be used on wet or dry hair that leaves hair “nourished and glossy” with the deep penetrating and cuticle-sealing qualities of macadamia oil.
Subscription Box Breakdown:
This month was not my favorite month for Beauty Box 5. I thought it was a little boring and the value of the items in the box wasn’t that great either — all of the products this month pretty much cost the same as the $12 monthly box price. I’m not complaining about that, I’m just used to getting a better value out of subscription boxes, including Beauty Box 5.
Pricing & Availability:
Beauty Box 5 is a monthly beauty subscription box that costs $12 per month with the option of paying less per month when you buy a multiple month subscription. BB5 focuses mainly on drugstore makeup, hair and body products. To subscribe click here, or visit beautybox5.com for more information!
I have been a New Beauty Test Tube subscriber for over a year now and I absolutely loved the program when I first subscribed. You receive a new Test Tube every other month and the first few Test Tubes I received were awesome and jam-packed with beauty goodies in great deluxe sample sizes, plus plenty of full-sized items every month. Then, a few months ago, my Test Tubes started going downhill.
I’ve been paying about $40 (including tax & shipping to NY) every two months to basically find repeat products with every new Test Tube I receive. Out of the last three (at least) Test Tube shipments, there were more repeat products than new ones — and many of the products weren’t even ones that I loved enough or used enough to want doubles of them. I decided to stick it out for another couple of months to see what the next Test Tube looked like, and the current one (November/December) had, once again, almost all repeat products.
So I have decided to cancel my New Beauty Test Tube subscription after receiving this latest Test Tube. I really hate the thought of cancelling a subscription box because I am really obsessed with this whole craze and whenever I think of cancelling a subscription box I always tell myself that the next month will probably be better and I don’t want to miss out. But … one of the main reasons I subscribe to subscription boxes is to discover new products, and I just don’t think it’s worth it for me to stay subscribed to NBTT if I just keep getting the same products over and over again.
New Beauty Test Tube November/December 2014
I still stuck it out for a good six months (at least) after I started seeing a lot of repeat products in my Test Tubes and it seems like each new one I received had more repeats than the last. I really can’t justify paying 40 bucks every other month just to get products that I already received in past Test Tubes — and a lot of the repeats are products that I hardly even used in the first place.
I don’t want to turn this post into a New Beauty Test Tube rant. I really loved the service when I first signed up and I got to try out a lot of great products, including a bunch of products that were completely new to me. I think that anyone who signs up for the program now for the first time would be happy because all the products will be new and there’s no chance for repeats when you are just signing up for the program for the first time. So, with that being said, I am a little sad to have to cancel a subscription box and I might sign up again in the future but, for now, I feel like it’s just a waste.
SO, with my “rant” out of the way, on to the review of the current New Beauty Test Tube for November/December 2014:
Dermalogica Precleanse and Klorane Make-Up Remover Wipes
I received this Dermalogica Precleanse a few months ago in a subscription box, I’m not sure if it was New Beauty Test Tube or a different one. This pre-cleanse is step one in a two-step cleansing routine and Dermalogica makes a cleanser that goes along with it; you could also use any regular cleanser right after using this product. I honestly haven’t really used this product much since the first time I received it because I have a good cleansing routine that I’ve been sticking to, but this product did get great reviews on the Dermalogica website and people really seem to like it.
Dermalogica Precleanse ($38 for 5.1 oz.; dermalogica.com) is described as a deep-cleansing, “oil-busting emulsifyer” that melts impurities and makeup from the skin. It is the first step in Dermalogica’s Double Cleanse regimen and it “thoroughly melts away layers of excess sebum (oil), sunscreen, waterproof makeup, pollutants and products that build up on skin,” allowing your Dermalogica cleanser (Step 2) to “penetrate even further for professional cleansing results.” The New Beauty Test Tube only came with the pre-cleanse, but you can really use any cleanser afterwards to achieve similar results.
The next item were these makeup remover wipes from Klorane. I’ve never used this specific brand before, but I always put makeup remover wipes to use. I don’t like these as much as my favorite wipes from Ole Henriksen, but they definitely do the trick!
Klorane Make-Up Remover Biodegradable Wipes with Soothing Cucumber ($12.50 for 25 wipes; kloraneusa.com) contain decongesting cornflower water (extracted from Klorane’s own organic cultivation) to soothe skin and remove makeup without the need for water. This alcohol-, fragrance- and paraben-free formula is ideal for sensitive eyes and contact lens-wearers.
John Frieda Frizz-Ease Straight Fixation Smoothing Creme and CHI Silk Infusion
I received this Frizz-Ease smoothing creme a few Test Tubes ago and I actually haven’t even used it yet! I guess it’s a good thing that I got a new one because it reminded me that I had this product tucked away in my haircare drawer.
John Frieda Frizz-Ease Straight Fixation Smoothing Creme ($6.99 for 5.0 oz.; johnfrieda.com) is described as a lightweight crème that smooths away frizz and “keeps hair soft and moisturized for up to 24 hours” while it helps to block out humidity. This smoothing creme contains a special “ThermaGuard Complex” to help protect against damage from heat tools and it is formulated with sweet almond oil and Milk Protein to smooth and condition the hair.
I actually think I received the CHI Silk Infusion in a past Test Tube as well, but I’m pretty sure I used it up already since I don’t see it anywhere in my haircare collection. It’s a great treatment for those with dry, damaged hair and it definitely made my hair feel a lot stronger after using it.
CHI Silk Infusion ($41.50 for 12 oz. or $22.50 for 6 oz.; ulta.com) is formulated with “positively charged silk molecules” that “interlock into hair’s natural structure to build strength and resilience and to improve moisture and shine.” This treatment restructures hair with silk, wheat and soy proteins, making hair stronger and minimizing breakage. This leave-in product won’t dry out hair and it works on both wet and dry hair to detangle, provide manageability and reduce frizz. It’s like an all-in-one, leave-in wonder treatment.
These next two items weren’t in any past Test Tubes (or at least none since I’ve been a subscriber), so they were brand-new to me. The tinted moisturizer is a really cool product and it won the New Beauty Beauty Choice Award; as for the lip balm — I constantly need lip balms and I use them every single day, especially now that the weather’s changing. I’m always happy to get a new lip balm!
Revision Skincare Intellishade Broad-Spectrum SPF 45 ($52 for 1.7 oz.; intellishadespf45.com) is a three-in-one anti-aging tinted moisturizer with sunscreen that conceals, corrects and protects. In a clinical study, 94 percent of participants said that they experienced smoother, brighter and more even-toned skin after using Intellishade, which contains “proprietary technology” that enables it to match “every skin tone, every time.” It is formulated with a blend of three peptides and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while providing broad-spectrum UV protection.
Donell Lip Saver SPF 15 ($7 for 0.15 oz.; donellskin.com) is a “professional-strength lip balm” that is “designed to combat cracked, fissured lips and extreme dryness caused by the use of Accutane and other chemical treatments.” This lip balm soothes chronically dry, chapped lips and it contains a “proprietary MCC complex for healing properties,” as well as SPF15 for UVA and UVB protection.
Mally Evercolor Starlight Waterproof Eyeliner in “Ice Blue”
This is the third time I have received a Mally eyeliner in a Test Tube and the second time I have received this exact color. It’s a good eyeliner but I haven’t really used it that much. I’ll probably pass this new one along to a friend.
Mally Evercolor Starlight Waterproof Eyeliner ($15 for 0.04 oz.; mallybeauty.com) is described as a “professional-quality, waterproof, long-wear eyeliner” formulated with jojoba oil, a nutrient-rich, vitamin-packed skin nourisher. This formula glides on smoothly and “sets to a beautiful finish.”
Votivo Aromatic Candle in “icy Blue Pine”
This is also the third time I have received this Votivo candle. I do love this candle, so I’m not exactly complaining, I just would have preferred a new product a lot more.
Votivo Aromatic Candle ($15 for one candle tin; votivo.com) is described as a “deliciously fragrant” luxury candle. Votivo scents come in a bunch of different products, including hand-wrapped candles (with hand-pressed seals), fragrance sprays, reed diffusers, sachets and more. I received the “Icy Blue Pine” scent, which is described as “a bold whiff of pine, accented with hints of cedar” that come together in a candle that is “reminiscent of a crisp winter day.”
Subscription Box Breakdown:
If I had not already received a lot of these products then I would definitely be liking this current Test Tube a lot more. There were a few great products and I’m probably going to be using most of them. I’m a little disappointed that I have to cancel my Test Tube subscription, but, like I said before, I really don’t think I should be spending $40 every other month just to get repeat products all the time. I’ll be watching the blogs for reviews on the next few Test Tubes to see if I want to re-subscribe in a few months.
Pricing & Availability:
New Beauty Test Tube is a bi-monthly beauty subscription service that costs $29.95 plus tax and shipping (my Tube cost about $38 every other month). For more information or to sign up for the Test Tube program visit testtube.newbeauty.com.