Allure Beauty Box, $15 per month (US only)
This little guy's not so sure about this whole modeling thing! He's still a cutie, though!
Allure is a monthly beauty box curated by the editors of Allure magazine. Each month, subscribers get a selection of higher end beauty products and the occasional special drugstore find that the editors think subscribers will like. There is a mini magazine included in each box that tells you why the Allure editors chose the product, the good and the bad about the product, and any tips they might have for using it. I like that they don't just tell you the good points about the product, but also tell you about any drawbacks it may have. The boxes generally have a pretty high value. I've never seen any variation in Allure boxes besides color or scent.
Here's what was in the July Allure Beauty Box:
- Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (deluxe sample, worth $9; full size costs $36)
- Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II (deluxe sample, worth $14.87; full size costs $62)
- Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Super Strawberry (deluxe sample, worth $12.75(?); full size costs $17)
- GLAMGLOW SUPERMUD Clearing Treatment (deluxe sample, worth $17.25; full size costs $69)
- La Mer Moisturizing Soft Cream (teeny sample, worth $18.68; full size costs $170)
My July Allure Beauty Box was worth approximately $72.55. It's not the highest value Allure box I've seen, but it's almost five times the purchase price of the box, so no complaints on the value. The Clinique Chubby Stick didn't have a size listed on the tube, so I had to estimate on the value of that product. This month, Allure collaborated with Nordstrom to curate this box. Until this month, the Allure Beauty Box website said that subscribers would get at least six items, so I thought it was strange that this box had only five items in it. I just checked the website and they've changed it to say that the number of items in each box varies. If they're going to make changes like that, I think they should notify subscribers in advance instead of changing it without saying a word. While most subscribers wouldn't cancel over the change, if a box says they're sending me x number of items per month, I expect that number of items to be in the box and get a little annoyed when that is changed without notice. I'm not sure if there will be five item boxes regularly or if this was a one-time thing for the Nordstrom box.
Anyone who has subscribed to any conventional beauty box for any length of time will eventually get the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. I don't even know how many of this same sample I've gotten over the years. I love the Smashbox Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Foundation Primer, but I hate the regular stuff. I know a lot of people like it, but it's just not for me. I feel bad for people who subscribe to this box and the Play! by Sephora box because this month, people who are getting the Play! box for dry skin will be getting this same sample. I'm getting the oily skin box so I'll be getting the Pore Minimizing Primer. You'd think Smashbox would try to coordinate this a little better with beauty box companies or perhaps try to push one of their other many types of foundation primers instead of the same, boring, regular one all the time. I've heard people say it felt weightless and kept their makeup on all day, but, to me, it feels like I have a layer of greasiness on my skin with my makeup floating around on top of it. Perhaps it's better for those with skin that's on the dry side.
I got the Estēe Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II in a Glossybox several years ago and liked it. In case it isn't clear by the name (which it's not), this is a serum. This is a thin serum that absorbs quickly into your skin and has almost no scent to it. It's hydrating, brightening, and anti-aging, so it's a little powerhouse. While this is a rather expensive serum, the sample size lasted me quite a while the last time I had it. A little really does go a long way with this product. I want to keep this, but I'm a little overrun with serums right now and my mom has wanted some good anti-aging products, so I'll be giving this to her when I make it up to Maine at the end of this week. She loved the Estēe Lauder moisturizer from the same line, so I'm pretty sure she's going to love this serum. She reads most, if not all, of my reviews, so I think I just ruined the surprise.
Does anyone else hate the name of the Clinique Chubby Stick? I think it's just the grossest sounding name. This isn't a regular lipstick -- it is primarily a lip balm with a little color thrown in. I had to build the color up a lot to get what you see on my arm. When it's on my lips, you can't even really tell it's there. It is very hydrating, but at $17 for a fancy Chapstick, I'd recommend passing on this.
I know GlamGlow has a (well-deserved) reputation for being over-priced, but if you haven't tried SuperMud Clearing Treatment, well, you need to go out and do that now. If your face isn't oily and doesn't break out like mine, then you don't need this product. If your face is combination or oily and prone to breakouts, though, this mask will be your best friend. You know those strips where you can see the gross little things that came out of your nose pores? This is like those strips except it's for your whole face. It's a kaolin clay and charcoal mask with little leafy bits in it. When you apply it, it's a dark grey. After fifteen minutes, though, the mask dries to a light grey color. There are spots of dark grey in the light grey where the mask pulled out the dirt and oil from your pores. You'll see them all over your face, but the dots will probably be concentrated in your T-zone. If your pores need a deep cleansing, this is the product for you. If you have dry skin, I'd recommend giving this to a friend because it will dry your face out even more. At $69 for a full size, this is pretty expensive, but it's worth it. Sometimes GlamGlow has sales on their website, so watch for those. I've actually bought this mask several times, so that should tell you how good this stuff is.
Finally, there was the La Mer The Moisturizing Soft Cream. This container is just about microscopic at 0.11 oz, but it's worth $18 because the 1 oz full size is $170. This is the more lightweight version of La Mer's signature moisturizer and it's best for those who have combination or oily skin. Those who have dry skin would be better served by the regular La Mer moisturizer. Sorry, dry skinned people! The July Allure box is not for you. This moisturizer was nice, but I can't figure out how in the world it is $170 nice. It felt moisturizing, was lightly scented, and didn't leave my skin feeling greasy, but I can say the same for a lot of moisturizers that cost a quarter of the price. I know La Mer has a cult following and it's supposedly amazing for combating signs of aging, but I'm a bit of a skeptic here. There are few beauty products legitimately worth $170 for 1 oz and I doubt this is one of them. If you've had absolutely amazing results with La Mer and swear by it, I'm happy to hear you out, but I just don't see how this is worth the price.
July's Allure box was kind of a miss for me. I've tried three of the five items before (and I have a feeling I've tried the Chubby Stick before, too, but I just can't remember for sure) and the fifth is, in my opinion, outrageously overpriced and the sample size is minuscule. I know that as someone who gets tons of boxes every month, I'm going to get repeats of the same product sometimes. There are some products and brands you see over and over in boxes. Three, possibly four, of the five items, though? Come on, Allure editors, I know you try out tons of products every week. I'm sure you can come up with something besides the same few, tired products we've seen a million times before. Don't get me wrong, I love my GlamGlow SuperMud and Estēe Lauder serum, but I get beauty boxes so I can try new things, not things I've tried more times than I can count. Usually Allure is better than this, but I think the Nordstrom collaboration really threw things off. I wasn't all that impressed by last month and I'm really not impressed by this month, so, unless August really knocks it out of the park, Allure will be getting the axe.
What did you think of the July Allure Beauty Box? Does anyone out there love La Mer? If it really does work, I'd love to hear about it. It's not like there's enough product in that teeny container for me to see any real results. Do you love GlamGlow SuperMud as much as I do? What do you think of Smashbox's serum? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!