Allure Beauty Box, $15 per month (US only, excludes Alaska and Hawaii)
My six-week-old Holland Lop bunny thought that the Allure box looked like the perfect size for a bunny bed!
Allure's beauty box is one of the better values out there. The box used to be known as Allure Sample Society and it was run by Beauty Bar. Last summer, Allure's editors took over box curation and dropped Sample Society from the name. Before that happened, the box was lackluster and not a good value. After the editors took the reins, everything changed. It seems like every month, the box is better than the month before. You get at least six samples per month, often seven or even eight, and they're all chosen by the editors of Allure. At $15, you're getting a lot for your money. I would tell you to spend the extra $5 to get this instead of Birchbox or ipsy if you are on a budget and can have only one box.
Here's what came in May Allure boxes:
- Foreo Luna Play in Aquamarine (worth $39)
- Foreo Day Cleanser (small sample, worth $4.55; full size costs $30)
- Foreo Night Cleanser (small sample, worth $5.45; full size costs $36)
- Equitance Brightening Serum and Spot Corrector (deluxe sample, worth $25; full size costs $125)
- Cōtz Flawless Complexion SPF 50 (teeny sample, worth $1.44; full size costs $19.99, currently on sale for $16.99 at Ulta)
- Pixi Mattelustre Lipstick in Rose Naturelle (deluxe sample, worth $3.69; full size costs $12)
- Make Up For Ever Smokey Extravagant Mascara (deluxe sample, worth $13.56; full size costs $24)
- Lauren B. Nail Polish in Santa Barbara Surf (full size, worth $18)
The May Allure box was worth an amazing $110.69! That's over seven times the subscription price, so you definitely get your money's worth with this box.
In April, Allure released some spoilers for May and got tons of new subscribers. I used to get the box for free from Allure, but they stopped sending it to me after Jezebel dropped Millihelen. When I saw the spoilers, though, I knew I had to get this box! Unfortunately, Allure oversold the box and didn't tell anyone until after lots of people had subscribed because of the spoilers. They didn't let the new subscribers know that they wouldn't get the May box until people started asking them to confirm that they would get the May box. I saw that lots of people who subscribed around the same time I did would not be getting this box, so I checked with Allure. They told me that despite my order confirmation page listing the May box as the first box I would get, my subscription would start with June. I was pretty upset because I wouldn't have even known that if I hadn't contacted them, so I told the customer service representative to cancel my subscription immediately. The customer service rep said my subscription would be canceled and my money would be refunded. Imagine my surprise when I got an e-mail from Allure in the middle of this month telling me that my box was on the way. I looked at my bank records and my money had never been refunded and the Allure site said my subscription was active. I waited for the box to come and, sure enough, it was the May box. Normally, I would be very angry if a company hadn't canceled my account when I asked them to. I really wanted the May box, though, so I was glad that they didn't cancel it. This has happened to a number of people, not just me, so I guess they somehow obtained extra products to put more May boxes together. If you really do want to cancel this subscription, I recommend double-checking your bank statement and Allure account to make sure that they have, in fact, canceled it.
The spoiler for the Foreo Luna Play was what made everyone want the May box. This is the mini version of the Foreo Luna and it retails for $39. The one downside to this product is that it has enough battery power for about 100 uses, then the battery is dead and there is no way to change it. At that point, you can either use it to scrub your face manually or throw it away. Foreo's other vibrating cleansing brushes range in price from $69 to $8,800 (the $8,800 one has a platinum base) and are rechargeable. The "free gift" you can see in the Luna Play case above is for $39.80 off a Luna 2. While that may seem like a lot of money off, the Luna 2 costs $199, so you will still end up paying $160. To use this, you apply either the day cleanser or the night cleanser (above right) to your face with a little water, then you rub the vibrating Foreo against your face for 15 seconds in each area, for a total of one minute. It feels great and it made my skin really soft. The day cleanser has a fruity scent to it, while the night cleanser has a sensual floral smell. You can use any cleanser with the Foreo as long as it's not gritty, so you can skip buying the expensive cleansers if you want. The Luna Play is supposed to exfoliate, give your skin a deep cleansing, and even out your skin tone. While I liked this and will use this until it runs out of power, I don't see myself buying a full size version any time soon. If I had enough disposable income, I would buy it, but I don't at this time.
Equitance Brightening Serum and Spot Corrector is meant to even out your skin tone. You can spread it over your entire face after you've toned at night, or you can just use it exactly where it's needed. At $125 for an ounce, I would recommend using it only where you need to. I've used this on those horrible little pimple ghosts (the marks that are a shade or two darker than your skin color that pimples leave behind for weeks or even months after they've died) and have seen a slight difference. Even with this serum, skin brightening isn't an overnight process, but I love anything that helps speed that process up. Would I spend $125 on this? No, but I would if I had lots of money.
This is the time of year for beauty box companies to send sunscreen! I've gotten a good amount of facial sunscreen in boxes recently, but the samples are always small, so more samples are always welcome. I've tried Cōtz's Face for Lighter Skin Tones SPF 40 and didn't like the tint that was in it. It gave me the Trump/Boehner look. I was worried I would have the same issue with the Flawless Complexion SPF 50, but the tint to this is much sheerer and didn't change my coloring at all. It's very lightweight. I would recommend applying this before your primer, but it would probably be fine if you applied it after the primer, too. Foundation often contains SPF, but this has an SPF of 50, so this will give you better sunblock protection than makeup alone. Tanning is so bad for your skin and is the second quickest way to get wrinkles, so proper sun protection is important, especially in the summer!
I generally like Pixi by Petra. It's sold at Target and it's relatively affordable. Unfortunately, their Mattelustre Lipstick wasn't for me. This color, Rose Naturelle, looks like a dark brown in the picture, but it goes on as a mauvish tan and looked like a slightly browner version of my natural lip color. This is the second lipstick I've gotten this month that almost exactly matches the natural color of my lips! Like many matte lipstick formulas, this felt quite drying and didn't last all that long. This lipstick is a definite pass for me.
I've never tried Make Up For Ever's mascara before, so I was looking forward to trying Smoky Extravagant. This mascara is more for volume than length, so it isn't quite what I'm looking for. My eyelashes are pretty voluminous, but a little on the short side, so lengthening mascaras that don't up the volume too much are more my thing. Despite that, it worked well. If you need more volume than length, this mascara is a good choice. It didn't clump, flake, or run, and it stayed on all day. This mascara is of really high quality, so I would love to try MUFE's lengthening mascara, Smoky Stretch.
The last product in the box was a full size Lauren B. nail polish. I've gotten a few Lauren B. polishes in the past and have always liked them, so I was happy to add Santa Barbara Surf, a sea foam green, to my nail polish collection. Green is my least favorite color, but I like this shade of it. It looks bluer in the picture above than it is in real life. I gave myself a pedicure with this polish and it went on smoothly, dried quickly, and still hasn't chipped several days later. The color doesn't look so great with my skin tone, so I wouldn't put this on my fingernails, but it's fine for my toes.
I'm so happy I got the May Allure box! The Pixi lipstick was the only product I didn't like. I loved the Foreo, but I wish it were rechargeable and that the rechargeable ones were a little cheaper. The Lauren B. nail polish didn't work perfectly with my skin tone and the MUFE mascara gave me more volume than length, but they're great products. I like that I've finally found a Cōtz sunblock product that I liked. This box had a great mix of makeup, skincare, and nail polish, plus a beauty tool. There wasn't a hair care product, but I'm okay with that. The Allure box just seems to get better and better. I doubt that they'll be able to top the May box, but I'd love to see them try. This box is one of the best values out there, so I recommend subscribing if you haven't already!