Wednesday, August 13, 2014

August 2014 Mystery Beauty Box - Unboxing and Review!

Hello! Hope you're having a good week! It's the end of Wednesday so we're half way through! Yay! Well, halfway through if you work a "normal" work week which, honestly, I'm not that fond of. I actually miss working a somewhat skewed work week where my days off fall on weekdays. It's just less busy everywhere and doing laundry is so much easier when you don't have to fight over machines...

As the title says, this post is going to be all about my August 2014 Mystery Beauty Box! I really do like this box, but I have been tempted towards trying out BoxyCharm or the new and improved Sample Society box... But that's in the future!

The Mystery Beauty Box is a $24.95 a month (I pay closer to $27 due to taxes), shipping included, bag of mystery beauty products! You get a mixture of samples and full sizes and I've only gotten one "foil packet" once and I'm still kind of bitter about it. What I like most about this box is that you're guaranteed a value of at least $100 in products (most often more), which is the most value I've found for boxes in the $20-$25 a month price range (Glossybox is around $60-$70 and BoxyCharm seems to hoover around a similar value).
It always amuses me that this Mystery Box is a bag, inside of a box. I don't know why, it just does.
With every order, you get two free samples. And your Mystery Box counts as an order! Sometimes I get three sample, but this time I got two (fairly dull) foil packet samples.
Yawn. I'm a little over Cotz samples, but they're free and I think they just grab two out of a giant bin and you get what you get.

Every month, reveals a product in the Mystery Box (last month the showed two!) which they dub their "featured product". They make a short video talking a little about the box and demoing the featured product. As soon as the first of the month rolls around, I start obsessively checking the site to see if the new video is up because I like hype.
For August 2014, the featured product is a full size of the Dr. Brandt BB Matte With Signature Shine Ease in the color light to medium!
I was super pumped to get this product! I love Dr. Brandt's skincare products (in my video I get Dr. Brandt confused with Dr. Jart, but it's annotated so it shouldn't be too confusing), but I've never tried a BB cream from his line (I thought I had since I love the Dr. Jart Black Lable Detox BB Cream with a Korean BB cream and Korea makes some pretty sweet BB creams). Unfortunately, this only comes in one color, light to medium, so if you're super pale or tan/darker, this might not work for you, but it is on the sheerer side so it will blend in with a lot of mid-tones. It matches me great, which I'm thankful for. This product has seaweed extract and micro algae (has anyone else noticed how everything now has marine ingredients? Is the sea that awesome? Do we just want to pretend we're all mermaids?), it inhibits excess sebum production, and it has vitamin C! This is a great product to include in a summertime box since a lot of people will have oilier skin and will be willing to use a lighter weight foundation product. Also this is full sized and worth $39! That's over $10 more than I paid for the whole box, which is totally awesome.
In this month's box, we got 5 more products for a grand total of 6! Nice. I'm going to go in the order of my info card because that just makes sense to me.
So I'll start with the SkinMedica Dermal Repair Cream, the only deluxe sample size in the box. This is apparently from the makers of Juvederm fillers and Natrelle breast implants, so you know it's going to be good. This cream firms and defends; it has 10% vitamin C, 8% vitamin E, vitamin A (in an unknown concentration), and hylauronic acid. When I tried it out on the back of my hand, I saw improvement immediately, so I'm pretty pumped to put this on my face. The full size of this product is 1.7fl oz and sells for $117.80 ( had a 5% off sale), making this 0.25fl oz sample worth $17.30. Which is crazy.
 A product I'm always happy to get; nail polish! This is a full sized bottle of Nailtiques Color Lacquer with Protein (fancy way to say "nail polish"...) in the color Tahiti. This is one of two different colors you can get; the info card doesn't show what the color options are, but I think the other color you could have gotten was a red.
Tahiti is described as a "pink, raspberry shade", which it definitely is. And it also makes me question why gives me so many "raspberry" kind of colors... It's very pretty and great for the last of summer. Since this is the full size, it's worth $10, which is about mid-level for polish (around OPI and Zoya).
Next is a travel-sized, uh, bottle? tube? of the Nick Chavez Plump N' Thick Thickening Shampoo. We've gotten a product from this brand before (the Horsetail or something like that Root Lifting Spray) and I wasn't a big fan; it had a lot of alcohol in it and it made my hair crunchy. I'm also not a big fan of thickening or volumizing products since, even though my hair is fine, I have a lot of it and it's curly so I have more volume than I can deal with. It has collagen (which I don't think does anything if applied topically) and wheat protein along with vitamins A and E. I do like the scent of it (it's fruity and citrusy) and am happy it's a shampoo; I seem to have better luck with volumizing shampoos than other products. You can actually buy this size on the website, so I count this as a full/travel size. You can buy it in an 8fl oz bottle or this 2fl oz tube, which retails for $6.
This product really piqued my interest; this is the Neuma neuStyling Texturizer and it's, well, a light-hold texturizing product for your hair. But it does even more! It has green algae and apricot oil, it "maximizes color hue, vibrancy, and longevity", and it protects against UVA and UVB rays. It only uses "renewable, beneficial plant-based ingredients" and it contains NO "synthetic fragrances, sulfates, parabens, 1.4-dioxane, phthalates, glutens, neurotoxins, aluminum compounds, glycols, formaldehyde donors, ureas, carcinogens, or environmental pollutants." Damn. Nice. This is the full size of this product and it's worth $24!
And, finally, we come to the most disappointing product in this month's box. Also yay for mismatched photo resizing! It's what I get for using an ancient version of Photoshop. Like, from college version. Maybe even high school. Anyways, I'm kind of over the Pixi by Petra (previously just Pixi Beauty and carried by Target. Incidentally, Target bought,, and last Octoberish) brand; I don't think the products are necessarily bad, I just don't think they're worth the price. I've gotten a few products in subscription boxes (namely ipsy) and I've purchased a few myself and...yeah. They either need to lower the price to drugstore levels or up the quality to Sephora/Ulta levels. One or the other, but you can't charge Sephora/Ulta prices for drugstore quality (and less). I'm also pretty sure I've gotten this exact same product in the exact same color before, though I think it was in an ipsy bag. This is a full sized Lid Last Shadow Pen in the color Graphite Glint.
It's just a basic, charcoal grey color. Yay. Honestly, this is a pretty good shadow pen; there's nothing wrong with the product and this is a very useful color. It's just that they want $18 for this and, well, I'd rather get a NARS shadowstick.

Overall, we got six products in this month's box: four full size, one full/travel size, and one deluxe sample size (but still worth a lot!). The total value of the August 2014 Mystery Beauty Box is $114.30! Again, that's the biggest draw for this box for me; I feel like I get the most bang for my $24.95.

Thanks for reading! <3

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