DermStore BeautyFix Review, August 2016

DermStore BeautyFix, $24.95 per month (US only)

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This baby bunny thought that the DermStore box matched her fur color well.  She's a six-week-old Mini Satin.  

BeautyFix is a monthly subscription put out by DermStore.  Subscribers receive at least six items per month with a minimum value of $100.  Oftentimes, the value is quite a bit over $100.  I always recommend this for women who are 30+ because it's usually filled with high end anti-aging skincare products.  Most months, there is one makeup item and one beauty tool, but the rest of the items are skincare products.  I've seen some months, though, where all the products have been skincare items.  You usually get at least one moisturizer per month, often two, and sometimes even three.  There's always at least one full size product, often two or more, and the rest of the products are generally deluxe sample size, although they sometimes have a teeny sample of an expensive product.  I've found the sample sizes to be getting bigger lately.  Boxes aren't customized for subscribers.  Everyone receives the same items with perhaps some color or scent variation.  This is one of the more underrated boxes out there, in my opinion.  It's a great way to sample a lot of expensive skincare products without making a big financial commitment.  Who wants to take the risk and spend $100 to $200 to find out that a high end product people rave about doesn't actually work for your skin?  This is always one of my favorite boxes to get.

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Here's what I got in my August DermStore BeautyFix box:

The August DermStore BeautyFix box was worth $170.41!  I'm definitely happy with that value.  There were two full size products this month.  I thought the product mix was excellent.  There was the one beauty tool (of sorts), one makeup item, a perfume, and then six skincare products.  I believe this is the first time I've gotten a perfume in my BeautyFix box.  It was the standard, teeny 1.5 ml perfume sample, but it was a ninth item, so, to me, it's just an added bonus.  

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I don't think I'm allowed to have a month without getting at least one Juice Beauty product in a beauty box.  It's like black eyeliner!  I think it's a little strange that we're getting a full size Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive this month when DermStore sent us a full size Juice Beauty Green Apple Age Defy Moisturizer in the April box.  Juice Beauty isn't my favorite brand and there are lots of people who aren't big fans of the company, so putting full size versions of their products in boxes just four months apart may not have been the best decision.  I hate the scent of the products in the Green Apple line, so I won't touch their moisturizers.  Fortunately, my mom loves the scent, so those products usually end up going to her.  This might get shipped up to Maine, too.  This is an alpha hydroxy acid face peel that even those of us with sensitive skin can use.  Besides the AHA, which gives your face a deep cleaning and evens out your skin tone, it also contains aloe and vitamins A, C, and E.  I used this and, unless you count the scent, I didn't find it to be irritating at all.  When I tried Juice Beauty's Green Apple Peel Blemish several months back, it had almost no scent to it, so I was surprised by how strongly this one was scented.  It did leave my skin feeling smooth and looking bright, so I'll give credit where it's due, but I probably won't use this again as I really hate the smell and there are lots of equally good, non-stinky peels out there. 

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Luzern Laboratories Force de Vie Pure Oxygen Crème Luxe, an anti-aging moisturizer, is $154 for 2 ounces, so it's expensive.  DermStore sent us a 0.333 ounce container of it, worth $24.75, so, while it doesn't technically meet my standards for deluxe sample size (at least one-fifth of the full size), it is almost there.  There is no added fragrance to this, so those who don't like perfume-y moisturizers might like this.  I was expecting this to be a thick and heavy moisturizer, but it's light and perfect for the summer.  The first ingredient listed on the package is aloe, so they were really thinking of summer skincare needs when they made this product.  I like this, but would I ever spend $154 on it?  Never.  I see that it gets rave reviews on DermStore's site, but I didn't find it to be any better than moisturizers a third of its price.  Perhaps if you used it for an extended period of time, it would have fabulous anti-aging benefits.  If it did, then it would be worth it to some people, but I would want to see some proof before spending that much money on a moisturizer.

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When I say BeautyFix boxes usually have a beauty tool, I use the term broadly.  While most beauty boxes just throw in the occasional makeup brush and that's it for the beauty tools, DermStore gets creative and I love it.  I've gotten an eyelash curler (which I've gotten in other boxes, but the one DermStore sent was extra nice), a fabulous little makeup mirror, a travel makeup bag, a cooling gel eye mask, an eyebrow trimmer, and other stuff I can't remember off the top of my head, and now they've sent out an adorable cork pill box.  This is my first time getting a pill box in one of my subscriptions.  If you don't take pills or you already have a pill box you like, you can remove the plastic pill case and use the box to hold jewelry, small makeup items, or other little things.  There's even a good size mirror in the box.  It's hard to tell in the pictures, but there are some gold foil lines in the cork, which makes it extra pretty.  A lot of the beauty tools DermStore sent have been from Danielle Creations, and I'm a big fan of the company.  Their products are of high quality and are always pretty.  

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The next product was the Pangea Organics Facial Cream in Nigerian Ginger with Sweet Lavender and Thyme.  The ginger, lavender, and thyme combination made for a better scent than I was expecting and it wasn't overbearing at all.  The formula is very lightweight and didn't make my skin feel greasy.  This regulates your oil and fights signs of aging, while also being very hydrating.   I like that it keeps my greasy T-zone in check even in the summer.  At $40 for 2 ounces, it is much more affordable to than the Luzern moisturizer and it works better for my skin type.

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Swatch of Vincent Longo Sun Moon Stars Trio Eyeshadow (Left, Sun; middle, Moon; right, Stars)

Swatch of Vincent Longo Sun Moon Stars Trio Eyeshadow (Left, Sun; middle, Moon; right, Stars)

All subscribers were supposed to get the Vincent Longo Sex Lux Pax Trio Eyeshadow, and that is what's listed on the product information card.  It looks like a lot of people got the Vincent Longo Sun Moon Stars Trio Eyeshadow instead.  It's pretty much the same thing, just different colors, so it's not a big deal, but DermStore should have been a little more careful with that.  I got the Sun Moon Stars trio in Rhythm Mix 2.  DermStore describes this trio as a grassy green color, a plum, and a dusty rose, but, to me, the color that is supposed to be grassy green is very much a light blue.  The sun, moon, and stars printed on the eyeshadow are meant to be a guide for how to apply this eyeshadow.  The pink, or sun, is supposed to go all over, from lash line to brow bone.  The blue, or moon, is supposed to be the crease color, and the purple, or stars, is supposed to go along the lash line and to be applied to the outer corner of the eyes.  I followed the instructions and liked the look a lot more than I was expecting.  Truthfully, I thought this was going to be a hideous mess as pastel eyeshadows aren't my thing, but it ended up looking really pretty on me.  The blue mixed with the pink that was underneath it to make a purple, so it really pulled the whole look together.  It didn't make me look like an Easter egg at all.

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Next up is the bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Foam Mask.  While DermStore sometimes sends out teeny samples of crazy expensive products, I was a little surprised to get this microscopic sample of a product that was only somewhat expensive.  This sample is one-twentieth the size of a full size product and worth $2.80.  I used it once and had plenty, but, as the bottle is opaque and the pump doesn't screw off so you can see inside, I have no idea how much I have left and how many more masks I'll be able to get out of this little bottle.  This mask comes out as a pink gel, but, once you rub it on your face, it becomes a soft white foam.  It tickles a bit at first because of the foaming action, but it goes away pretty quickly.  You only need to leave this on for five minutes, so it's great for when your skin needs a pick-me-up, but you're short on time.  This mask hydrates your skin, brightens it, helps prevent damage, and fights signs of aging, so it does a little bit of everything.  I used it and liked the moisture it gave me, although with my skin being so greasy right now, this wasn't really the type of mask I needed.  

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Tocca has some gorgeous perfumes, so I'm always up for trying a new one from them.  Some of their perfumes aren't for me, but a number of them are fabulous.  I hadn't tried Liliana before.  Subscribers received various Tocca scents, so you may have gotten something different.  Tocca describes this perfume as having notes of bergamot, neroli, peach, muguet, gardenia, peony, sandalwood, musk, benzoin, and patchouli.  The peach, neroli, and patchouli made me a little nervous, but I couldn't really smell them in the perfume.  I got a fruity floral scent in the top notes and a clean, fresh, almost soapy scent in the mid notes.  I love the CLEAN line of perfumes (CLEAN Skin is one of my few signature scents), so the mid notes were very appealing to me.  The patchouli would have been a base note, so it's possible that comes out more toward the end and I just didn't notice it.  I hate patchouli, though, so I would have noticed it if it had been strong.  This is one of the better Tocca perfumes I've tried.  I wouldn't go out and buy a full size bottle of this, but I'll enjoy using it while I have it.  My one complaint about Tocca samples is that they don't have little spritzers attached.  It's so easy to overdo it with an open vial.

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Alterna's Caviar CC Cream is one of my Holy Grail products!  I've gotten samples of it before, but I had very little left and had been avoiding using it because I'd be sad once it was gone.  I'm happy DermStore sent us a deluxe sample size.  I don't use many hair products, but I love the CC Cream.  It's a leave-in conditioning treatment that you work into your hair after a shower.  It leaves my hair extra smooth, soft, and shiny.  You may notice that the tube says 10-in-1 Complete Correction.  Alterna says that the ten benefits are:  moisture, shine, smoothness, softness, UV protection, manageability, strength, anti-breakage, heat protection and light hold.  It's not the cheapest product, but this is worth it if your hair needs some help.  If you're wondering why it is called Caviar CC Cream, it is because the product contains caviar extract, so this is not vegan.

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The final product was the Decléor Aromessence Neroli Hydrating Oil Serum.  This wasn't for me at all.  First, the bottle design allows way too much oil to come out, so that was annoying.  Neroli smells horrible, in my opinion, so I hated the scent of this.  Neroli is okay when blended into perfumes sometimes, but this is straight up neroli and it is not a good smell.  The worst part, though, is that it made me feel like a greaseball.  This says it can be used on combination and oily skin, but it didn't work for me at all.  I'd recommend this to people with dry skin only.  Has anyone with dry skin tried this?  If so, how did it work for you?  

I'm very happy with my August DermStore BeautyFix box!  The Juice Beauty peel and the Decléor Neroli oil weren't for me, but I was very happy with the rest of the products.  The Danielle Creations pill box and the Alterna CC Cream were my two favorite items, but I also loved the Tocca perfume and liked the two moisturizers, the mask, and the eyeshadow.  I thought that the bliss mask sample was a little small, and, of course, the Tocca perfume sample was small (although that's the sample size you'll get almost all the time in subscription boxes), but, given that there were nine items and six of the nine were full or deluxe size and the other small sample was worth about $25, I have no complaints.  DermStore is always a fun box to get and gives you a lot of value for your money.  I love trying the high end samples that I could never afford to buy.  

What did you think of the August DermStore BeautyFix box?  I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!