Tuesday, September 16, 2014

September 2014 Blush Mystery Beauty Box - Unboxing and Review!

Hello! Hope you're all having a good Tuesday! I...had kind of a hard day yesterday. I don't want to get too much into it here, I might actually make a separate post to talk about it, but we'll see. I don't like to "force" people into social interactions, especially when the situations are sad. Which doesn't make sense and is vague and I do apologize.

But! Let's move on for now and not dwell on things; I feel like the best thing one can do in these situations is continue life and living, even if it is hard at times. So I decided to blog! I know if I don't make myself do it, it never gets done and then I feel like I can't put my things away until I do blog about them and it all piles up and it gets crazy around my desk (I do have a desk, but I actually sit in our dinning room at our "kitchen table". It's not really a kitchen table and we have never, ever eaten on it. Ever.

For this post, I want to show you guys my September 2014 Blush Mystery Beauty Box! Spoiler alert: not sure how I feel about this box. It wasn't terrible, I can say I've had worse boxes, but it's not stellar, either. Also, I'm not sure if it lives up to it's "$100+ value" promise, which is not cool, Blush.com, not cool at all.

At least the free samples this time were pretty neat!
I never know how often I should do a quick rundown of what the Blush Mystery Beauty Box actually is; on the one hand, I should probably be doing it in every post since you never know if it's the first time someone's heard about it, but on the other, you may have read every single post I've ever made about the box. I also feel like the Blush Mystery Beauty Box is a little less well-known than say, Ipsy or Boxycharm, which is another reason why I probably should talk about the facts in every post...

The Blush Mystery Beauty Box is a $24.95 a month subscription service from Blush.com, Dermstore.com, and Hairenvy.com, a trifecta of beauty websites that are actually one website. It's weird. You can also purchase individual boxes for $34.95 a month if you do not wish to subscribe. You're guaranteed (though there have been a few boxes, like this one, where it's questionable) $100+ in product value, so it's generally one of the best values I've found for mid-range subscription boxes (so those between $20-$25 a month). You also get free shipping on anything from the website (which includes the box, another selling point for me) and two free samples (I've occasionally gotten three) with every order (which again includes the box).
Oddly enough, I'm really excited about my two free samples this month; lately I feel like Blush.com has been in a rut with their samples and I've been getting a lot of the same things, so it was nice to get two totally brand new samples. Yay! There is a featured product every month (though there have been two before) which they reveal in a video.
This months featured product is the Vapour Organic Beauty Solar Translucent Bronzer in the color Simmer 222. This product also comes in two other colors, but Simmer 222 is a nice happy medium bronze.
I love it when things come sealed inside of boxes! The more protection against tampering, the better. I'll never understand why higher-end products rarely come with safety seals and only in boxes. Granted, some drugstore products come that way as well, which is even worse.
The side of the box has a little blurb about how ecologically conscious Vapour Organic Beauty is, which is nice to know. It's 70% Certified Organic and 95% USDA Organic and 100% natural. It has a lot of ingredients that are good for your skin, so it;s kind of like skincare and bronzer in one!
It's also made in the USA, which sometimes doesn't really mean much. There are underpaid factory workers here, too, sadly.
Here's what the product looks like in the tube. Not sure how well it shows up here, but my bronzer came in an all blue tube while the picture on the card and of the product online show it with a silver inside. Is this an older product and they changed packaging? Was this made especially for this box?
Here it is swatched, but not blended out. I've never used a cream bronzer before so I hope it blends out and looks natural. I think it's a little too orangey/red for me, but it says it's supposed to be good for all skin types, and in the video demo it looked natural, so we'll see. This is a full sized product and is worth $36.
On the back of the info card are the rest of the products in this months box. The picture shows all the products in full size, but you don't always get the full size. One time, they actually listed what was full sized on the info card, but they haven't done it since. They also like to show how many stars a product has received from reviews, but that can be misleading because some products have very few reviews and some have a ton.
I'll start with the SkinCeuticals Advanced Pigment Corrector. This is the smallest sample size, but also the most expensive (when full size) product. This is a "lightening treatment for unevenly pigmented skin" and it contains 0.3% salicylic acid to exfoliate, 1% hydroxyphenoxy propionic acid to actually inhibit melanin production, and 0.5% ellagic acid to reduce dark spots and discoloration. I'm pretty excited to try this product since I do have a lot of acne scarring that I would like to try and get rid of, but one of my subscribers on Youtube commented that this stuff smells super weird. And it does. Like a combination of medicine and a pet store; very disinfectant-like. She said the smell put her off so much she wasn't able to use this product, which is kind of worrisome. If the smell doesn't linger I can probably put up with it, but if it sticks around... The full size of this product is 1fl oz for $90. I don't really know how much this sample size is worth because it doesn't list anywhere how much you get! I assume it's at least $10, and according to what my box value should be, it's closer to a $14 value.
...this was one of the reasons why I was disappointed in this months box. This is the Klorane Extra-Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk, and I want to start by saying that I really like this product! It's the best dry shampoo I've used by far and it is paraben and colortant-free. The reason why this was a disappointment is that I know I love it so much because I already got a sample of it, in the same exact size, from my Ipsy bag. Considering how the Bush Mystery Beauty Box is over twice the cost of Ipsy, why couldn't they have at least included a bigger size? You can purchase this product in two different sizes; there's a 3.2oz can for $19.50, and you can actually purchase this 1.06oz can for $9, which makes this a travel size and not a sample size (at least to me). If Blush.com had included the bigger 3.2oz size, I might not have considered this a "disappointment", but since I got the same exact sample and size in a significantly less expensive subscription service...it kind of is.
Next, however, is something I thought was pretty neat! This is the Color Wow One-Minute Transformation Styling Cream! I've never tried anything from this brand before (also pretty sure I've never heard of it before; or, if I did, I don't remember), which is one of the reasons why I like subscription services: trying products and brands you've never tried before. This is a styling cream for dry, frizzy hair, which describes my hair perfectly. It's wax and emulsifer-free and it's really easy to use: you smooth it over frizzy areas and brush through. That's it. If you want to get serious-time, you can lightly apply it to sections of your hair and blow-dry it with a round brush for several seconds. I love products like this that you can use on dry hair and they don't take forever to dry or set. This is the full size and it's worth $24.
And then this was the other semi-disappointing product. This is a 10-count pack of Lumene Sensitive Touch Cleansing Wipes. Again, this product in itself is not bad; I actually kind of liked it! I used one today when I was taking pictures of swatches and I like the "formula" (it wasn't too wet nor too dry), it didn't have a fragrance, and the cloth itself was soft. I definitely see these being great for sensitive skin (though I haven't tried them on my eyes yet). Why was it disappointing? Two reasons.
A. it expires next month. Which makes me think that Blush.com just wanted to clear out any old inventory they had of these. Also, this product has gone through a packaging change as well, which again gives credence to the "get rid of old stuff" theory. At least I have a month to use them up (and then, since this isn't a sunscreen or other time-sensitive ingredient, you can kind of play fast and loose with the expiration date as long as the product's texture/color/scent hasn't changed) but I'd prefer not to feel rushed. Especially since I have other makeup wipes already opened that I want to use, too.
B. the full size is a 25-count that sells for $6.99. Again, why didn't we get the full size? For the price of this box, and the value we're promised, it seems like it would be really easy for Blush.com to include the full size. As it stands, this 10-count sample size is worth only $2.80. My consolation is that this is a pretty good product and it didn't take up much "box value" real estate.
And then we bring it back with another interesting product! I believe this is the first product from Juice Beauty that I've ever tried, though I have seen other people get a lot of different samples in various subscription boxes. This is their Reflecting Lip Gloss in the color Champagne.
Champagne Bio sounds kind of funny. You could have gotten one of four different colors, which are all the color options available from what I can see. This color is described as a "soft champagne pink"; it is paraben-free, 100% natural, and 70% Certified Organic. It also has agave nectar!
Here's the blurb on the box about the ingredients. The packaging was kind of weird, especially for a more mid-range product; it comes in a very plastic-y tube with a sticker on it. Like, an obvious sticker. I do like the gloss formula and the color, so I'm willing to overlook packaging for a great product.
This gloss doesn't have much color punch on it's own, but it has a nice, soft shimmer; no chunky glitter, and I can see this looking very pretty layered over other lip products or even on it's own. This is a full sized lip gloss, which sells for $15 on Blush.com and Ulta, though there is a special set of all four colors you can get for $36. Not sure if the glosses in the set are full sized, but if they are, then this lip gloss is worth between $9-$15.

So overall, I got six products in the September 2014 Blush Mystery Beauty Box. Three were full size, one was travel size, and one was a deluxe sample size. As far as the products in this box go, I'm okay with them. I got some interesting things to try, but I also got some samples I'm not too thrilled with since I've gotten them before, or the sample size seemed kind of unnecessarily small.

Value-wise, I feel almost a little cheated by this box. Without the SkinCeuticals product, the value of the box is $86.80, and that's counting the Juice Beauty lip gloss as a full $15 value. That means, in order to get the promised $100+ value, the SkinCeauticals sample needs to be worth about $14. I can see that, due to how expensive the full size is, but it is still a little disappointing.

I'm really on the fence about the Blush Mystery Beauty Box; I used to love it and highly recommend it to people looking for a mid-range subscription service, but now I'm not so sure. It's been really hit or miss and I'm just not sure if it's worth it to stay subscribed anymore, especially when there are other, similarly priced subscription boxes out there to try. I'll see what October brings, but the Blush Mystery Beauty Box might be on it's way out...

Thanks for reading! <3

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