ONYXBox, $25 per month (US only)
This sweet, sassy bun has already perfected the side eye! He's a silly little guy with a big personality!
ONYXBox is a monthly subscription curated especially for black women. Lots of beauty boxes out there that are supposedly for everyone send products that are more appropriate for lighter skin colors and non-textured hair, so a lot of black women find the boxes don't work for them. While I hope that all boxes will either send out only products that truly can be used by people of all colors or will customize boxes so that everyone can get appropriate products for their hair type and skin tone, it doesn't look like that is happening in the near future. Fortunately, ONYXBox is here to fill that unfortunate gap.
ONYXBox sent me this box free of charge for review. I enlisted the help of two friends, Johnny and Angela, to try these products out and tell me how they worked. Johnny is a man, but he loves makeup and is always helping me try out products. I'm all for people of every gender having fun with cosmetics, so I love having his help.
Here's what was in the June ONYXBox:
- Palmer's Eventone Suncare Cocoa Butter Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 (small sample, worth $2; full size costs $9.99)
- OFRA Eyeliner Pencil in Turquoise (full size, worth $13)
- Cargo Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Mojave (full size, worth $16)
- Truly You Silky Smooth Scalp Treatment (full size, worth $30)
- Creme of Nature with Argan Oil Perfect Edges On-the-Go Hair Gel (travel size, worth $3.99; full size costs $4.99)
- Palmer's Cocoa Butter Skin Therapy Oil for Face (full size, worth $10.95)
The June ONYXBox was worth an amazing $74.94! At about three times the cost of the box, the value is great. The theme this month was Fresh and Fly, and the box had the perfect summery feel to it.
First up, we have the Palmer's Eventone Suncare Cocoa Butter Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30. Johnny loves the beach, but doesn't really like wearing sunblock because he says it makes him look like he is covered in calamine lotion when he gets out of the water. I have gotten after him a few times about wearing sunblock. I'm also kind of vain, so I understand his reluctance to wear it — everyone wants to look good when they're on the beach, after all. After trying this sunblock, though, he's finally found something he can use. It doesn't give his skin a weird white cast, it protects his skin from sun damage, and, as an added bonus, it is also moisturizing. Better yet, at $10 for a full size bottle, it is affordable.
Johnny loves makeup as much as I do, so he's always up for helping me try out something new. He was very excited about the turquoise OFRA liner because eyeliners in the turquoise and teal family are his go-to choice when he wants a pop of color. As you can see in the swatch below, the pigment is fantastic. OFRA generally isn't one of my favorite cosmetics brands, but the turquoise liner was a hit with Johnny. It has better-than-average staying power, blends easily, and is a very flattering color on him.
Johnny usually isn't into eyeshadow as much as he is into eyeliner, but he liked the Cargo Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Mojave. As you can see in the above swatch, the eyeshadow had some strong pigment and was a pure, deep gold. Johnny says that many gold eyeshadows end up looking like honey mustard on his complexion, so he often steers clear of the color because the chicken nugget look isn't all that flattering. He was impressed that this gold looked like gold even when applied to his skin, so he's actually found a gold eyeshadow he can use. The eyeshadow stayed on all day with primer and didn't fade all that much over the course of the day. I've tried a number of Cargo blushes and have always had good luck with them, so it didn't surprise me that their eyeshadow was equally good. I do wish that the eyeliner and eyeshadow went together a little better so you could easily use them in one look, but that's not a big deal.
While Johnny likes to help me with the makeup reviews, Angela is the one who tries the hair products for me. The Truly You Silky Scalp Treatment gives your hair some shine and moisturizes your scalp. You can apply a little directly to your hair and scalp or you can use it as a hot oil treatment. Angela hasn't tried it as a hot oil treatment, but she liked how it worked when she put the product in her hair. She said it gave her hair a healthy, natural sheen. She doesn't have a dry, itchy scalp normally, so she didn't notice the scalp moisturizing effect. The scent of this is quite soft and is a little on the herbal side, but it's not all that noticeable once it's applied to your hair.
Angela also was nice enough to try the Creme of Nature with Argan Oil Perfect Edges On-the-Go Hair Gel for me. This is the travel size, so it's perfect to throw in your purse so you can touch up your hair anytime. This gel keeps the edges of your hair in check, makes smooth, flawless ponytails, and has a little hold for basic styling, all while giving your hair some extra shine. I was surprised by how thick the formula is, but the thickness makes it hold your hair in place better. Angela was impressed by how well this worked and said it held her hair in place all day and was easy to use. She said a little went a long way, so this small tube should last her for quite a while. At $3.99, you can't beat the price!
Finally, there was the Palmer's Skin Therapy Oil. Johnny couldn't wait to try this out! He said that it absorbed quickly and didn't leave him feeling greasy. He has combination skin that gets really oily in the summer, so the non-greasy part was important. That can be hard to find in a face oil! He said it made his skin extra soft. He is hoping that it will even his skin tone out, but it'll take some time to see those results. It had a very natural smell to it, but the scent was subtle and didn't last long once it was on his face. Overall, he was very happy with the oil and is hoping that it will help get his skin tone evened out over the coming weeks.
I think this is the best ONYXBox we've seen! Oftentimes, the box has been a little hair heavy, which is understandable, but this box had a great mix of makeup, skincare, and hair care. The value seems to keep going up, so that is another plus. You can tell the women of ONYXBox put serious thought into the curation of the box and choose high quality products that are perfect for women (and some men!) of color. Johnny and Angela both loved all the products they tried and there wasn't one dud in the box. My first ONYXBox review was close to a year ago and I think we've definitely seen some growth and change for the better over the course of the year.