August 2016 Beauty Box Wrap-up!

Top row, left to right: Beauteque BB Bag, Allure Beauty Box. Second row, left to right: Beauteque Mask Maven, DermStore BeautyFix, Play! by Sephora.  Third row, left to right:  Birchbox, Goodbeing, Petit Vour.  Bottom row, left to right:  ipsy, Glossybox, Kloverbox.

Top row, left to right: Beauteque BB Bag, Allure Beauty Box. Second row, left to right: Beauteque Mask Maven, DermStore BeautyFix, Play! by Sephora.  Third row, left to right:  Birchbox, Goodbeing, Petit Vour.  Bottom row, left to right:  ipsy, Glossybox, Kloverbox.

At the end of each month (or, in this case, the first day of the next month), I do a quick wrap-up review of all the boxes I've gotten.  This was supposed to be posted yesterday, but I saved it when I was almost finished with it, something went wrong, and the article was gone.  I had to rewrite it all today.  This is only for monthly subscription boxes, so special edition boxes aren't included.  I also don't include boxes from the previous month that came late and didn't make it into the last wrap-up.  I'll choose my favorite boxes and products for the month at the end of this post.  Sometimes, after I've had a chance to use a product more, my opinion of it changes.  When that happens, I'll make a note of it here.  I've linked to the full reviews, so if you want to read them, just click on over.  That's also where you'll find links to the boxes themselves and the products that were in the boxes.  

Top:  Birchbox.  Bottom, left to right:  ipsy, Glossybox.

Top:  Birchbox.  Bottom, left to right:  ipsy, Glossybox.

I chose the curated box for my August Birchbox.  This was just an okay box for me.  The HUM powder, which is supposed to be mixed in drinks, wasn't my type of thing at all.  We still haven't tried it.  The Living Proof No Frizz Nourishing Oil was nice, but I don't have frizziness, so it wasn't for me.  I like the Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle as it does actually get tangles out easily, but I only get tangles right before I get a haircut, so I have limited use for it.  The Marcelle BB Cream was okay.  It was a little darker than I would have liked, but it was fine when I used it as a primer.  My two favorite products were the Acure Coconut and Argan Oil Cleansing Towelettes and the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Patina.  I didn't think that the towelettes would be able to get a full face of makeup off as they were so small, but they actually did it.  The scent is pretty strong, though, so they're not for everyone.  The Stila lipstick was a very flattering color on me and it held up most of the day.  It's not quite as good as my OCC lip tar, but I like it and will use it occasionally.  I probably shouldn't have gone with the curated box this month as most of the items weren't for me, but I loved the Acure wipes and the Stila lipstick, so it was worth it.

The August ipsy was so-so.  It's the worst one I've gotten in months, but it wasn't horrible.  All of the products were just okay.  I didn't love or hate any of them, which is kind of weird.  The Jelly Pong Pong Neapolitan Palette had better eyeshadow in it than I was expecting.  The packaging looked pretty cheap, but the shadow itself lasted all day and blended well.  The three colors looked great together.  The packaging on the Beauté Basics bronzer trio was even cheaper looking than the Jelly Pong Pong palette's.  The bronzer worked fine, but there wasn't anything special about it.  I thought it was strange that Beauté Basics doesn't sell bronzer on their site.  Either they made it exclusively for ipsy or they were trying to get rid of old stock.  I liked that the it Haircare 12-in-One gave my hair some shine, but it also gave me volume, so I won't be using it again.  The It Cosmetics eyeliner stayed on all day, but it wasn't easy to blend, and it was black.  How much black eyeliner do beauty box companies think people need?  The Beau Gâchis Pro Series Applicator Sponge was a knock-off beautyblender that didn't give me as quite a smooth finish as a real beautyblender, but I'll use it.  It's weird how neutral I feel about my August ipsy.  Usually I have strong opinions about most of the products in a beauty box, but I don't have any about these products.

My August Glossybox was a disappointment.  Again.  Glossybox advertised on their website that box values would be $70+.  Guess what my box value was?  $51.98, almost a $20 difference!  I sent them a message about it and they send me a message back asking if anything was missing from my box.  I told them that everything listed on the card was in the box, but that the total value of the box was far below what they were advertising.  Of course, I haven't heard a word back since.  The only product I really liked in my Glossybox this month was the Borghese Fango Brillante Face and Body Mask.  It smoothed out my skin and made it glow.  I don't know what it is with Glossybox and Borghese recently.  Last month, we got a Borghese Fango mask, this month we got another one, and the special edition Fighting Pretty box had a Borghese lipstick and a Borghese Fango mask.  I like the Borghese products and everything, but it seems like overkill.  It would have been nice to space the products out a bit more.  The Invisibobble hair ties are fine.  I only need them right before I get a haircut, but they don't pull your hair out or leave kinks, so they're great hair ties.  I liked the De Bruyère After Sun Lotion Monoï, but it was too strongly scented.  Emily had good luck with the Wella hair oil, but that also had a very strong scent to it.  The product that Glossybox had used as a spoiler for this box, the Too Faced Mascara Melt Off, is one of the most pointless products ever.  You're paying $23 for a teeny tube of makeup remover oil so that you can use the little wand to apply it to your lashes.  My mascara comes off fine without using a wand to apply makeup remover to them directly, so I don't understand why anyone would want this.  Maybe if you use some seriously waterproof mascara, it makes things easier, I don''t know.  It just doesn't seem worth it to me, especially at $23.  The final product was the Trifle Cosmetics lipstick.  Subscribers got either Guilty Pug, a coral color, or Exotic Fruits, a very pale pinky-peach.  I got Exotic Fruits and it looked absolutely horrible on me.  From what I've heard from other Glossybox subscribers, it seems that both of the colors were unflattering on just about everyone.  The packaging is cute, at least.  I've been saying it for months now, but I do not know what is going on with Glossybox.  It has gone so far downhill this year.

Left:  Goodbeing.  Top right:  Petit Vour.  Bottom right:  Kloverbox.

Left:  Goodbeing.  Top right:  Petit Vour.  Bottom right:  Kloverbox.

The August Goodbeing was fabulous.  I don't know why it took me so long to start subscribing to Goodbeing!  The Tribe Alive Shibori bag is of really high quality, but the style just isn't me.  Emily loved it, though, so it's all hers.  I thought the EO Organic Deodorant Wipes were okay, but individual packets of deodorant aren't something I really have a need for.  I guess if you're not feeling so fresh and you're on-the-go, they would be good to have around.  The Andalou Naturals mask fit me much better than many sheet masks did and it gave my pores a deep cleaning.  My two favorite items in the box, though, were the Zatik Lavender Licorice Organic Clear Complexion Toner and the Honeybee Gardens Truly Natural Lipstick in Vintage Merlot.  My face has been breaking out so much this summer because my skin has been greasy and gross and this has helped get my skin back in line.  I love that Goodbeing paid attention to my profile and actually sent me a bright, bold color instead of a boring neutral.  The lipstick is of excellent quality and is a very beautiful color on me.  Overall, I was extremely happy with my August Goodbeing box.  They have you fill out an extensive profile when you first sign up and, unlike most beauty box companies, it seems as though they actually use it to choose your products.

Petit Vour had an amazing month in August, too!  I liked the Formulary 55 Sea Mineral Body Polish in Grapefruit and Rosemary.  It was very exfoliating and made my skin feel extra soft, but I was disappointed that it didn't really have a scent to it.  The True Moringa Lavender Facial Oil moisturized my face without making it feel greasy, but the lavender scent wasn't my favorite.  I absolutely loved the Lily Lolo Sculpt and Glow Contour Duo.  The highlighter and contour colors were both flattering on me and they were very buildable, so they could work on a number of skin colors.  I don't think the darker color would work as a contour on people whose skin color was above medium brown, unfortunately.  Subscribers received either two BOX Naturals Luxe Cleansing Towelettes or 100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream.  Subscribers who have been with Petit Vour since the last time BOX Naturals wipes were sent out received the eye cream, and newer subscribers received the wipes.  Petit Vour sent me both to try.  BOX Naturals was originally marketed as feminine wipes, but now they advertise that they can be used for makeup removal or freshening up.  While I don't like scented products for the lady bits, I do like these as makeup removers.  The 100% Pure eye cream was another favorite of mine.  I love caffeine eye creams because they reduce puffiness.  It's great if you've been crying and want to make it less obvious, or if you just have general eye puffiness.  I enjoy the coffee scent of it even though I don't like coffee.  Petit Vour had another great month in August!  

Kloverbox is back!  Kloverbox never actually went anywhere, but they stopped sending me boxes back in May.  The company is under new ownership and they sent me a new and improved Kloverbox to review.  Many subscribers had felt that the quality of Kloverbox had gone down this year and the boxes were coming later and later, so I'm excited to see the new owners get the box back to what it was.  The August box had a spa theme.  There was an entire box of Touch Organics White Tea.  Tea isn't my thing, but Emily loved it.  She also loved the Kiss Me Honey Tropical Coconut Lip Balm.  The lip balm was very hydrating and it had a strong coconut scent.  While I complain about Juice Beauty products a lot, their Smoothing Eye Concentrate is the Juice Beauty product I've liked the most, so I was happy to get another one.  I actually used up the entire bottle of the first Smoothing Eye Concentrate I had, which never happens with my Juice Beauty products.  The eye concentrate smoothed out the eye skin and made it hydrated and less puffy.  My favorite product in the box was the SimpliMandi Minty Peppermint Foot Scrub.  This stuff smells so good and was both exfoliating and hydrating.  They recommend you use it on your legs and feet, but it can be used all over.  I love sugar scrubs and am always happy to get a new one.  I want to try other SimpliMandi products now.  Kloverbox is getting back to what it used to be and I'm so happy to see that!  Kloverbox was always one of my favorite boxes, so the decline in quality the past few months was quite disappointing.  I can't wait to see what the new owners do with the company!  

Top:  Allure Beauty Box.  Bottom, left to right:  DermStore BeautyFix, Play! by Sephora.

Top:  Allure Beauty Box.  Bottom, left to right:  DermStore BeautyFix, Play! by Sephora.

My August Allure Beauty Box was so-so.  I didn't love it or hate it.  I quite liked the Cargo Cosmetics Swimmables Eye Pencil in Pebble Beach.  It was a deep brown color and lasted all day on me.  I'm so happy I got several non-black eyeliners this month!  I lost the Wet Brush that I had when I left my ex-wife last year, so I'm happy to have a new one!  When you brush your hair with the Wet Brush, it feels like it's not even being brushed.  It goes through the hair so smoothly and doesn't cause breakage.  The Freeze 24-7 Anti-Aging Eye Serum is crazy expensive at $115 for a full size.  The sample size Allure sent us was almost half the full size, so it had a high value.  Besides being hydrating, it's supposed to relax the muscles surrounding your eyes for several hours, leaving you with smoother skin.  I don't know what it is with Allure and Pur~lisse, but they seem to send us a different Pur~lisse product every month.  I've tried several Pur~lisse moisturizers before, but I think this is the first time I've tried their Blue Lotus Balancing Moisturizer.  It's a very lightweight moisturizer that is hydrating and fights signs of aging.  The Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist works well, but I've gotten it in so many boxes at this point.  I like that it locks makeup down for the day and gives you some added protection from the sun.  Allure threw in small samples of Garnier Whole Blends shampoo and conditioner.  They're inexpensive products that work pretty well.  The final product, the e.l.f. Stipple Brush, was the worst part of the box.  Allure advertised a Mally eye brightener worth $25.  They did note that there would be some product variation and not everyone would get the Mally product, so I'll give them credit for that.  It's annoying, though, that the products people got instead of the Mally eye brightener were a Burberry face product worth $8, a Pixi tonic worth $1, and an e.l.f. brush worth $3.  Variations are fine, but that's a huge difference in value.  They should have tried to make it somewhat even.  The Allure box was okay, but not the best ever.  I keep thinking about canceling this box.  I'll see what I think of the September box and go from there.

DermStore BeautyFix was fabulous, as always.  This box is so underrated.  I always encourage people to subscribe.  The big full size product this month was the Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive.  This was a Juice Beauty product I didn't like as it had a really strong green apple scent to it.  It worked well, but the smell bothered me too much.  I thought it was strange that they sent out a full size Juice Beauty product a few months ago and now they're doing it again.  The other product I wasn't a fan of was the Decléor Aromessence Neroli Hydrating Oil Serum.  This oil made me feel like a little greaseball and the neroli scent was very strong.  Fortunately, I liked all the other products in the box. The Luzern Laboratories Force de Vie Pure Oxygen Crème Luxe is a lightweight, fragrance-free moisturizer.  At $154, it is extraordinarily expensive.  It's nice, but I don't see how it's worth three to four times what most moisturizers go for.  The Pangea Organics Facial Cream in Nigerian Ginger with Sweet Lavender and Thyme is more my type of moisturizer.  It helps keep your oil under control, which is exactly what I need in the summer, and it's only $40 for a full size.  I thought that the Vincent Longo Sun Moon Stars Trio Eyeshadow was going to make me look like an Easter egg.  The three eyeshadows, a pink, a lavender, and a blue, are pastels, so I didn't think I would like this at all.  The colors worked together well and blended easily, so it was surprisingly flattering on me.  I liked the bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Foaming Mask, a five minute mask that bubbles.  It hydrates and fights signs of aging and doesn't leave you feeling greasy.  The Tocca Liliana perfume was the first time I've gotten a perfume sample from DermStore, I believe.  I love many Tocca perfumes, but I hadn't tried Liliana before.  The top notes are fruity and floral and the mid notes are very clean and fresh.  It reminded me a bit of CLEAN Skin, one of my favorite perfumes.  I saved my two favorite products for last.  Alterna Caviar CC Cream is one of my Holy Grail products.  This leaves my hair shiny and soft and doesn't give me added volume, so it's one of the few hair products I use regularly.  The final product was the Danielle Creations Cork Pill Box.  This is so cute!  The plastic pill box inside is removable, so you can take it out and use the cork box to store jewelry or other small items if you wish.  Sadly, the mirror on the inside has fallen off already, but I love the box itself and didn't really care about the mirror, so I can live with that.  I could probably find a way to reattach it if I wanted to.

The August Play! by Sephora was the best Play! I've gotten so far.  August had an eyes theme.  There were two products I didn't really like, the Urban Decay Perversion Mascara and the Lancôme Éngergie de Vie.  I've tried Perversion before and it's always been so clumpy on me, but I know a lot of people love it.  The Lancôme Éngergie de Vie is a liquid moisturizer.  It didn't feel hydrating at all and I didn't like how it smelled.  Fortunately, I liked the other four products.  As I mentioned in the DermStore review, I love CLEAN perfumes, so I couldn't wait to try a new one, CLEAN Reserve Blonde Rose.  I thought it was okay, but it was more masculine than I expected it to be.  It's not my favorite CLEAN perfume, but I'll wear it occasionally.  The Caudalíe Resveratrol Lift Eye Lifting Balm was brightening and reduced puffiness.  It contains resveratrol, so it'll also combat signs of aging.  My two favorite products this month were the Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow in I-544 Pink Granite and the Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil in Flirting Game.  The eyeshadow was a beautiful color and was very long lasting.  I would love to try other eyeshadows from MUFE.  Sephora Collection eye pencils are only $10 and they're high quality.  I've tried them before, so I was happy to get a new one.  The color I got was taupe.  Other subscribers received Love Affair, a plum, and I was sad I didn't get that color, but I'll still use the taupe.  I hope future Sephora Play! boxes are as good as this one.

Top:  Beauteque BB Bag.  Bottom:  Beauteque Mask Maven.

Top:  Beauteque BB Bag.  Bottom:  Beauteque Mask Maven.

August Beauteque BB Bag was fun, as it always is.  There was only one product I disliked, the Tsaio Pore Clear Treatment Set.  The set included a tonic to treat pimples and a peel off mask.  I liked the tonic, but the peel off mask felt like it was ripping off my skin.  Removing it was very painful.  It might work better if you applied moisturizer right before you used the mask to give it a little lube of sorts.  The headband was plain, but it'll be perfect for when I'm doing a mask.  It's so annoying when hair gets stuck in mask liquid.  The Hanaka Innerskin 3-Step Hydrating Mask gave me some serious glow, so I'm a fan of this mask set.  While the Urban Dollkiss EasyLooks Soft Lipstick in 08 Rose isn't my favorite lipstick ever, it has surprisingly good pigment and staying power.  The color also looked great on me.  My favorite two products in the August Beauteque were the Deoproce Green Tea Essence Moisture Toner and the Ladykin Elmaju Cactus Aqua Cream.  The cream was lightweight and hydrating.  It didn't leave me feeling greasy.  The toner was moisturizing, which is great because toners are so often drying.  It's supposed to brighten your skin and kill acne.  While this wasn't my favorite Beauteque BB Bag ever, it was still a good one.  

Last but not least, my August Beauteque Mask Maven had a Post-Rase Cooldown theme.  The masks this month were all about hydration, which isn't quite what I need in August.  We liked the masks we tried, but we haven't had a chance to try them all yet.  I'll let you click on over to read the mask reviews as they're quite short and my summary of them wouldn't be any shorter.  

Now, on to my favorites!  

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My favorite August boxes were Petit Vour, Goodbeing, and DermStore BeautyFix!    

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I couldn't choose just one favorite product this month.  Can I ever, though?  My favorites were the Honeybee Gardens Truly Natural Lipstick in Vintage Merlot from Goodbeing, the Zatik Lavender Licorice Organic Clear Complexion Toner from Goodbeing, the Lily Lolo Sculpt and Glow Contour Duo from Petit Vour, the 100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream from Petit Vour, the Alterna CC Cream 10-in-1 Complete Correction Leave-In Hair Perfector from DermStore BeautyFix, and the Danielle Creations Cork Pill Box from DermStore BeautyFix.  I made a list of all the products I liked the most, then made myself narrow it down.  I was surprised to see that I had picked exactly two products from each of my three favorite August boxes.  It makes sense because there's obviously a reason I chose those as my favorite boxes, but I usually have a product or two on the list that didn't come from one of the favorite boxes of the month.  

That's it for August!  I haven't gotten the August Terra Bella Box and The Makeup Edit yet, so they weren't included.  August was a good month for beauty boxes overall.  I'll start getting September spoilers up soon!