Saturday, August 15, 2015

Allure Beauty Thrills Box - August 2015 - Unboxing and Review!

Hello! Hope you're having a great day! I'm starting to feel like I'm getting back in the swing of things with blogging/vlogging! I made a bunch of videos today and it felt good to be filming again. Not to mention that my family is coming to visit soon and I need to go through my stuff and figure out what I want to give to my mom...

For this post I want to share with you guys my August 2015 Summer Allure Beauty Thrills box!
Ohhhh! 13 pounds of full sized beauty products...
Ahhh! For a little under $60! There is a ton of great stuff in this box and I'm really happy I was able to get my hands on it! If you'd prefer to watch my video, you can do so here:

There's a lot of stuff in this box...
The Allure Beauty Thrills box (previously known as the Allure Beauty Box; the old Sample Society Box is now called the Allure Beauty Box and this box has become the Beauty Thrills box) is a tri-yearly box filled with full-sized, mostly drugstore goodies! This is the second box this year; the spring one was in...May, I think, and the last one will be the winter box in December. These boxes are $44.95, but when you add shipping and tax, they end up being just under $60. Since these boxes include over $250 worth of products, including brand new ones, they are very popular and sell out quickly. This is not a subscription service, you buy each box individually when they are released, though some people where given to option to pre-order the boxes for about $199 for all three. I was lucky and was home and not busy at the time/date when this box was up for sale so I was able to snag one! I've heard some horror stories of people trying to order this box only to have the website crash or something else weird happen, but everything went smoothly for me.
The box shipped UPS and took about five days to get to me. There was one piece of pink tissue on the top and a layer of craft paper underneath. Besides a layer of bubble wrap on the bottom and a small bubble wrap bag with the more fragile products in it, there wasn't any protective packaging. Everything arrived safe and sound and nothing leaked, which I attribute to good packing (everything was stacked in a way that the stronger items were on the bottom and the more delicate ones where on top; the liquid products were also taped closed to prevent any spillage).

Included with the box is a handy little booklet that shows each item individually along with a small blurb of information and a website where you can purchase and/or find out more info on it. For all the items in this box, I got retail prices from Ulta.com, Target.com, or Drugstore.com (except the Milani lipstick, which I found on the Milani website). Due to the variance in prices (Ulta is the most expensive, but they always have a ton of deals and coupons so nothing is ever really full priced, Target is is the middle and has occasional sales, and Drugstore.com is the cheapest since everything is basically always on sale), my calculated values may be higher or lower than what you can get a certain item for, but I hope that it all kind of averages itself out in the final total.

Going in the order of my booklet, the first item is...
A Yes To Cucumbers  Hypoallergenic Facial Wipes 10 pack! I've used these wipes before and wasn't the biggest fan, but that's mostly because I don't really like cucumber scents. A lot of people really like these wipes and, besides the scent, they're pretty nice. Value: $2.99
While everything is this box is theoretically full-sized, this is the only product that you can't actually buy individually. This is an Allure x Butter London collab polish in the color Violet's Revenge.
I don't have any swatch pics (since this is going to get crazy long anyways...), but I do show a quick swatch of this polish in my video. This is a cool violet purple creme and it is only available in a special four piece set that retails for $30. I thought this was smaller than a normal-sized Butter London polish, but it looks like all Butter Londons are 11mL. Strange. Since the four piece set retails for $30, this polish is worth $7.50 (half of a normal Butter London polish).
Along with the Butter London polish, this is the only other high end makeup product in the box. This is the It Cosmetics Hello Lashes 5-in-1 Mascara! This was one of the reasons why I wanted to get my hands on this box; I already like a lot of the It Cosmetics line and wanted to try this mascara. It retails for $24 and is worth about half the cost of the box!
This (these?) are the only other not really full-sized product; this is the Laneige Advanced Hydration Trial Kit. You get four deluxe sized samples of a cleanser, serum, moisturizer, and sleeping mask. Laneige is a Korean skincare brand and is apparently a sub-division of AmorePacifc! You can buy this set from Target for $10, so it does fit my criteria to be called a full sized product.
Another product that drew me to this box is this Milani Color Statement Moisture Matte Lipstick! I hear so many good things about Milani products, but I never really get to try any myself since I have a hard time finding it locally.
I got the color 68 Matte Iconic, and I believe everyone got the same color (it's the same color as in the picture, at least). This was the only product I had to look up the price for on a website that was not Ulta, Target, or Drugstore.com. Value: $5.99
There were a few products in this box that I wasn't really interested in trying; not because they are necessarily bad or anything, but there products that I already use that I know I like and that I don't really think these products will perform any better. This Clear Scalp & Hair Intense Hydration Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner set is unfortunately one of those products. These products definitely have some good ingredients in them, but they are farther down on the ingredients list than a few less desirable ingredients (SLS and dimethicone to name a couple). These products will go to either my husband or my mom. Value: $4.42 each, $8.84 for the pair).
Next is a product I'm on the fence about; I know a lot of people really like the John Freida Frizz Ease line, but I personally haven't had the best luck with it. This is the John Freida Frizz Ease Beyond Smooth (there are three different trademarks out of those six words) Frizz-Immunity Primer. I do have frizzy hair, and I like products that help reduce my frizz, but I'm not sure if I want to even give this a try and instead pass it on to my mom and see how she likes it. Value: $10.49
I was so happy to see that this was the Hask Monoi Coconut Nourishing Shine Oil and not the argan version! This is actually a travel-size version of this product, but since you can still purchase it individually, I'm totally cool with calling it a full-sized product. This vial looks small, but you really only need two-three drops of this oil to take care of your whole head! Value: $2.99
I could not find this product for sale anywhere. It wasn't at Target, it wasn't at Drugstore.com, it wasn't even on the Curel website! The only place I found this product was on eBay for like $50. Not sure if this is a totally new, unreleased product or what, but I do get pretty itchy, especially in the winter and during season transitions, so I am very happy to give this a try. Value: $7ish?
This product actually was a surprise in this box! Originally, and according to the picture still on the cover of the info booklet, we were supposed to receive a Pureology Colour Fanatic leave-in spray, but instead we got the brand new Colour Fanatic Instant Deep-Conditioning Mask. This mask apparently provides the same 21 benefits that the spray does (take that, It's A 10), so, it's basically the same thing. Value: $44
Continuing with professional haircare, we got a couple products from Redken. First, we got a full size (not just the travel size) of the Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Primer. This is a dual phase spray (you have to shake it first) that decreases blow dry time and provides heat protection. I rarely, if ever, heat style my hair so I'm not sure how much use I'll get out of this, but I have been curious about giving it a try. Value: $22.
The other Redken product is a pack of 50 sheets of the Frizz Dismiss FPF 10 Fly-Away Fix Oil-Infused Finishing Sheets (...that's a long name). I've used a few Frizz Dismiss products before and have been pretty impressed with them (I generally don't like Redken products; they're not bad, I just have other things I like more, plus the Frizz Dismiss line is full of dimethicone), though I am a little unsure of these. I've used oil-infused towlettes for my hair before (the Giovanni ones, but I think they stopped making them), but I get the feeling these are going to be a little drier. Regardless, I definitely want to at least try them! Value: $25
More nail polish; I will never turn down a nail polish! Well, unless it's like Nails Inc or something... Anyways! This is a bottle of Sonia Kashuk polish in the color Jewel Orchid. It's a much warmer, more red-toned purple than the Butter London polish, but it's just as pretty! I believe Sonia Kashuk is exclusively sold at Target and is worth $4.79.
Next we got a trio of oral care goods from Arm & Hammer. The people who make baking soda, cat litter, and diapers (the latter two include baking soda). Baking soda is pretty magical, though, so you can't blame them for branching out with it. There is a Truly Radiant Rejuvenating Whitening Toothpaste, a bottle of Truly Radiant Rinse mouthwash, and a Truly Radiant manual spinbrush toothbrush ($3.49, $4.64, and $3, respectively). I like whitening tooth products, and I've never tried anything from Arm&Hammer before (tooth-wise; it's the only brand of baking soda I buy), so this is a pretty good deal! I was told by one of my Instagram followers that the whitening is pretty powerful and made her teeth sensitive, so that might be something to watch out for.
This is another product that I'm fairly certain I won't like and that will be going directly to my mother. This is the Caress Love Forever Body Wash with special fragrance technology that makes you smell nice all day. I'm pretty sensitive to fragrance, and fragrance is the third ingredient in this product, after water and SLS, so I don't think it will get along with my skin. Based on the graphic, I'm pretty sure this is rose-scented as well, which is another strike against it. Value: $4.34.
Oddly enough, this was another product I was really interested in trying! This is the Dove Dry Spray Antiperspirant. I like the idea of a dry spray; it just sounds so quick and easy. Not that deodorant is hard or anything, I just really seem to struggle with finding the right one for me. I used to use the solid ones because I didn't like the cold sticky feeling of the gels, but then they kind of stopped working for me and just left my clothes goopy (gross, I know), so I switched. Now my clothes are fine, but I don't feel like I'm getting the protection I need like I had with the solids. Moral of the story is deodorant is hard and this seemed good to try. Value: $5.17
More Dove products! This is a 2-pack of Dove Purely Pampering Shea Butter with Warm Vanilla Beauty Bars. I've used Beauty Bars in the past because I like how soft they leave my skin, but I have yet to figure out if you can use them as actual soap or not. I know it sounds weird, but I never feel like they leave my skin clean and it doesn't really say on the packaging that you can use it for cleansing, just for moisturizing. Very odd. Value: $3.82
This is another product I was really interested in trying! I've used Jergens body perfecting cream/lotions in the past and really liked them (specifically the one everyone went crazy for like a year or so ago that gave you a gradual tan along with good moisturization) and this product sounded very similar, albeit less self-tanney. This is a big tube that will likely last me a very long time and it is worth $12.99.
More products I wanted to try! The amount of products I wanted to try significantly outweighed the amount I knew I didn't, so I really think this box was worth it, even though I knew there were going to be some duds. This is a 10-pack of the Ban Total Refresh Cooling Body Cloths. These are great to use after you get all sweaty and gross but don't have time/inclination to take a shower (like when you go to the gym or do yard work or something). I get the feeling these are more of a mental thing than anything really beneficial for you (not that they're bad, just that they don't do anything except make you feel refreshed), but a placebo effect is just as good sometimes. Value: $3.39
In the home stretch now! In this box there were three Revlon products, all packaged in this white organza bag. I'm not sure if everyone got the same shades or if there was some variation, but I will say my eye shadow and lip color matched what was pictured in the booklet, but my nail polish was different.
For our eyes, we got a ColorStay 16 Hour Eye Shadow quad in 526 Romantic. I haven't swatched these yet (there's no time, captain!), but I'm generally not a big fan of drugstore eyeshadows since my collection of high end shadows is so huge and I reach for them more often.
For our lips we got a ColorStay Overtime Lipcolor in the color 490 For Keeps Pink. I'm much more interested in giving this product a try than I am the eyeshadow. Again, not totally sure if people got different colors, but this is the same color as pictured in the booklet.
The final Revlon product we got was a nail polish set! Yay, polish! This is a two-pack of the ColorStay Gel Envy Longwear Nail Enamel; each pack comes with a base coat/color and a special top coat. There are different color packs out there, and since my polish color is different than the one pictured in the booklet, I wonder if people could get different ones. Another just as likely scenario is that Allure couldn't get enough stock of one color and substituted a different one.
The color I got is called Royal Flush and it's a bright, deep hot pink. I don't have a lot of experience with these no-light-gel-like-finish types of polishes, but I did use and enjoy the Julep Freedom Polymer Top Coat for a long time, which is basically the same idea. Value: $7.99, $9.99, and $12.99 respectively.
Sadly another product that I'm not really interested in trying; this is the Suave Professionals Luxe Style Infusion Smoothing Light Weight Weather Proof Cream. I think this is basically the same thing as the John Freida Frizz Ease primer thing, and, to be honest, given a choice between the two I would go with the John Freida product. Value: $4.49.
Last but not least (whew!), this is a bottle of Aloxxi Texturizing Spray. For a long time, I thought texturizing products were not for me since my hair already has a lot of natural texture, but then I discovered that adding texture actually improves the look of my natural texture (texturetexturetexture). This spray also protects hair from UV rays, so added bonus! Value: $15.

And that's everything! If you stuck around this far, I'm impressed! Overall, I got 26 products with a combined value of about $266.89. I think this box was well worth the $60 I paid for it, especially since these are products that I have been interested in trying but never got around to actually purchasing. I'm excited to see what's going to be in the Winter box and, if I like what I see, I will definitely try to snag another one!

Thanks for reading! <3

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