First of all, I’d like to apologize for not being a photographer … at all. Most of these box photos were taken in the shade or at night and I’ve tried to manipulate them to make the labels somewhat legible. Frankly, I can’t believe I subscribed to EIGHT subscription boxes last month, excluding food boxes (like Home Chef and HelloFresh) and clothing boxes (like Le Tote). So without further ado, I present ….. My August Boxes.
- Manna Kadar Liplocked Priming Gloss Stain in Lucky (RV $24) which I love but unfortunately already own, so I’ll be gifting it.
- yourMinerals Transparent Veil Setting Powder (RV $26) I have two other setting powders I’m working through, from Innisfree & BareMinerals, so I’ll be gifting this as well
- Cougar Cosmetics Mineral Blush in Punch (RV ~$20) I love Cougar Cosmetics packaging, but this shade was too warm for my skintone … another gift.
- Bellapierre Vanilla Bean Lip Balm (RV $10) I’ve had good luck with Bellapierre, but own too many lip balms as it is, so anything that’s packaged in a pot or tub rather than a stick or tube is getting gifted away.
- Nvey Eco Eyeshadow in Rose Quartz (RV $18) You could receive either Rose Quartz, Mahogany, or Mystique, and while I probably would’ve preferred either of those shades, I KEPT THIS! Lol. This was the one item I kept from this month’s box.
This was my last, probably ever, Birchbox. I cancel and resubscribe to plenty of boxes as my mood or budget or needs change each month, but I would say that Birchbox is one that is truly unimpressive. What does it have going for it? Well, it’s classic & it’s cheap. For $10 a month you get samples of makeup, skincare, and hair products. What does it have going against it? Sample sizes are tiny, they’ve eliminated the wonderful points system that made each box essentially $5, and the CEO has released multiple statements about how boring the subscription box industry is. I’ve cancelled my subscription and haven’t looked back. Here’s what my parting box contained:
- Avene Cleanance Cleansing Gel for Face & Body (RV $2.49) Haven’t tried yet
- ProfilePro Ultra Nourishing Oil (RV $2.30) Haven’t tried yet
- MannaKadar Fantasy 3-in-1 Blush Highlighter Eyeshadow (RV $19?) I’m not sure about the retail value of this. The packaging is different than the one on the MannaKadar site, but it seems like it could be full-sized. As you can see, mine arrived completely shattered. I repaired it with rubbing alcohol, but it shattered again the next day. To their credit, Birchbox sent me a replacement. I love the color as a blush and eyeshadow, but have to be so, so careful because it wants to break.
- Oribe Après Beach Wave and Shine Spray (RV $4.60) I love Oribe and am happy to try anything they put out. Though beachy wave sprays never work for me, this one’s added shine was nice & it didn’t make my hair feel filthy.
- Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil (RV $2.40) This sample size was a joke. The shade was too warm for me but honestly I wouldn’t have cared about that if it had been easy to hold or use in any way. The pencil was too light and small and the amount of product made me nervous that it would only cover one eyebrow. I’ve never received a smaller sample of something in my life.
The next box is Essence Beauty Box which, for the measly two months I subscribed to it, was wonderful. Essence Beauty Box was created and curated by Essence magazine for women of color, but it ended up being my favorite for beauty staples (like shaving gel and makeup remover) with a splash of fun beauty products. Unfortunately, Essence is discontinuing their beauty box, and the last box will be September’s.
- Nudestix Lip & Cheek Dual Pencil in Mystic/Whisper (RV $24) Love the nude shades and the formula. I’ve used them as lipstick and cream blush & prefer them as lipstick.
- Skin & Co Hand Cream in Umbrian Truffle and Citrus Amaro (RV $7.92) Haven’t opened these yet but I’m really looking forward to having them as the weather gets cooler.
- SweetSpot On the Go Wipettes (RV $1.28) I LOVED THESE. Their ph-balanced feminine wipes which sounds so… not fun, but I keep them in my gym bag to use as an all-over wipe if I have to head straight to the office after a mild workout. Each scent was awesome and I definitely want to keep buying them.
- Hi-Pro-Pac Keratin Replenish Masque (RV $1.75) I wasn’t excited about a foil sample at first, but this lasted for four conditioning masks on my hair & I ended up really loving it. My dry, bleach-damaged hair needed it.
- Oyin Hair Dew (RV $1.67) I haven’t tried this leave-in conditioner yet, but plan on packing on my upcoming trip. It gets great reviews & I’m excited to try it.
- De Bruyere After Sun Lotion (RV $12.36) I gave this to my mom to try, but now I wish I hadn’t. I want something pretty & French sitting on my bathroom shelf, lol.
- Wella Oil Reflections Anti-Oxidant Smoothing Oil (RV $11.80) When I dyed my own hair, I always used Wella brand, so I feel good about sampling this.
- Borghese Fango Active Mud for Face & Body (RV $3.20)
- Too Faced Mascara Melt Off Cleansing Oil (RV $3)
- Trifle Cosmetics Lip Parfait in Guilty Pug (RV $18.95) YES, that is a pug on the tube.
- Invisibobble hair ties (RV $8)
- Nioxin System 1 Shampoo & Conditioner (RV $5 for both)
- Veraspa Face Moisturizing Gradual Tanner (RV $8.75)
- Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash (RV $8)
- Talika Photo Hydra Day Cream (RV $35.50)
- Rituals Sakura Shower Foam (RV $3.75)
- Glossybox Shadow in Glossybox Mauve (RV $11)
- Color Club Polish in Feverish (RV $6) A deep, cranberry red
- MTJ High Definition Mascara (RV $23)
- Orogold 24K Hand Cream (RV $22.78)
- Florapy Strength and Energy Mask (RV $8) I used this! I loved it, but I tend to love sheet masks. This one felt extra luxurious.
- Lord & Berry Maximatte Lipstick Pencil in Intimacy (RV $20)
- Beauty For Real I-Line Waterproof Eyeliner (RV $14)
- Josie Maran Whipped Mud Mask in Vanilla Apricot (RV $4.48)
- Nyx Liquid Illuminator in Gleam (RV $6.53) I contacted CS about the shade, as it was too dark for my skintone, and they sent me the appropriate shade in Sunbeam. While you can’t complain to CS about simply disliking a product to try, if something is blatantly wrong for your skintone or if something is broken or missing, they are extremely quick to remedy the situation.
- Organic Surge Perfecting Face Polish (RV $3.71)
- Make Up For Ever Eyeshadow in I544 Pink Granite (RV $6)
- Clean Reserve Blonde Rose (RV $1.33)
- Sephora Collection Eyeliner in Flirting Game (RV $4.25)
- Urban Decay Perversion Mascara (RV $5.50)
- Caudalie Eye Lifting Balm (RV $19.84)
- Lancome Smoothing & Glow Boosting Liquid Moisturizer (RV $12.75)
So, no, this isn’t my big August box reveal post – god knows how long that is going to take – but I wanted to share another site I’m apart of that is similar to Influenster. This one is called BzzAgent. It has a similar set up: sign up, link your social media, agree to receive free products in exchange for honest reviews, fill out surveys, and wait for your products to arrive. Overall, I would say I am getting more drugstore-level products through BzzAgent, but I’m also receiving campaigns much more regularly than I do with Influenster. Here’s a snapshot of some of the campaigns I’m currently participating in:
I signed up for Influenster on June 19th. It’s a site that sends out complimentary “VoxBoxes” which contain various products (like beauty, fashion, tech, snacks, etc.) in exchange for product reviews & shares on social media. I researched it through different bloggers and reddit, so I was excited to try it and started going wild on my reviews. I reviewed everything I could think of (a.k.a. everything in my bedroom at the time, lol) but still didn’t expect to get a survey for awhile. People were saying it took them months to qualify for their first box. So, I was truly surprised to receive a qualifying Prestige Beauty survey on the 27th. I made it through (though there isn’t any email notifying you that you made it, that takes a few more days or even weeks for some people)!
I received my VoxBox on July 7th. It had four full-sized beauty products from the new ESTÉE EDIT by ESTÉE LAUDER line. I received the Pore Vanishing Stick, Beam Team Hydrate & Glow (not to be confused with the Beam Team Bronze Highlight & Glow), Flash Illuminator in “Spotlight”, and The Barest Lip Color in In the Buff.