Monday, December 7, 2015

November 2015 Allure Beauty Box - Unboxing & Review!

Hello! Hope you're having a great day! For this post, I want to share with you my November 2015 Allure Beauty Box.
Yeah...going to be up front with you guys; I was pretty disappointed with this box. Considering that this is a $15 a month subscription (plus tax, so it's more like $16 something), not a very good group of products. Especially considering how the theme for this month is "The Glam Life" and in the "Letter From The Editor" intro in the beginning of the info booklet (I guess it's actually called the mini mag), I just don't get it. The only truly glamorous product in this box is the L'Occitane Divine Youth Oil. But we'll get to that in a moment!
The Allure Beauty Box is my newest subscription service; I've only been subscribed since September, and it's definitely had a lot of ups in downs in that small time period. Which is not a good thing. It's also a more expensive subscription (at least compared to Birchbox and Ipsy) at $15 a month, so it's only natural that I expect a little bit more out of it. From my past experiences with subscription boxes, the more you pay doesn't seem to always correlate to a better value; many of my Ipsy/Birchboxes have had 3-4 times more value than the $10 I paid while my more expensive subscriptions have had 2-3 times more value. The first month I subscribed, September, the Allure Beauty Box was an amazing value. October was pretty "meh", and my November box is dismal. Since Allure doesn't offer any rewards program (at least from what I can tell; they do seem to have a lot of contests, though), I'm not confident in the value of this subscription and, come January (I already got my December box), I may be unsubscribing. ...I will also unsubscribe immediately if I get into the Sehora Play subscription service.

One of the strong points of the Allure Beauty Box is its info booklet (I really don't want to call this a mini mag...); it lists all the products you get in your box along with a ton of information about them, including how to use them, some key ingredients, why Allure picked them for the box (we'll touch on this more later, too), and the price and size of the full sized product (most of the time; I've noticed that if it's something like a lip gloss, they won't list the size of the full size). There is also a "Letter From The Editor" section in the beginning of the booklet which explains a little more about the theme of the month. As I touched on before, this section reads very forced to me this month since these products are supposed to be a part of "The Glam Life" and they most certainly are not.
Let's get to it! First up is the Klorane Floral Eye-Up Remover. Been seeing a lot of Klorane recently (I've been getting samples for their products for a long time now, but it seems like only recently they've really stepped up their sample game), which is not necessarily a bad thing. I've sampled a few things from Klorane including hair and skin products), and overall I've been pretty happy. This remover is supposed to be super gentle and includes cornflower water, which works as an anti-inflammatory (Klorane has a line of products based on the cornflower; the bottle doesn't explicitly say so, but it has a picture of a cornflower and is a dark blue color like the rest of the products in the line).
Allure says they included this product since it caused zero eye irritation and it easily removes waterproof eye makeup. I have yet to give this a try, so I can't confirm nor deny any of their claims, unfortunately. The full size is 6.7 fl oz for $16, making this 0.8 fl oz sample worth about $1.91.
Normally, I would say that a bath and shower gel (which this is) is the most disappointing product in a box, but this month it has competition. This is a sample of the Crabtree & Evelyn Verbena and Lavender de Provence bath and shower gel.
This product feels like such a throwaway; like Allure included it because they needed something else and didn't have anything better on hand (there's another product with a similar feeling coming up next). Basically, they liked it solely because of its scent (it's not a bad scent, I actually like it! It smells very summery and bright, which is a nice pick me up in winter, but I don't think that's a good reason to include something in a sample box). Added to the fact that this feels like a product I would find in a hotel bathroom (Crabtree & Evelyn make hotel bath products so you probably can), I just don't see the value of this product in respect to this subscription box. The full size is $22 for 8.5 fl oz, making this 1.7 fl oz sample worth about $4.40.
The dreaded perfume sample! And it's even one of those samples you can easily get for free from a perfume counter or Sephora. This is the other sample that I feel like Allure just threw in as an afterthought.
This is a sample of the Hanae by Hanae Mori perfume. I did enjoy sampling this product; I hadn't smelled it before and, recently, I've really been into fragrances so I'm having fun expanding my scent horizons. I also like how this smells; I love gourmand scents, especially when they are heavy on vanilla, but not when they are too sweet. This scent is just a smidge too floral, but the floral notes dry down pretty fast so you're left with the deeper notes of vanilla and sandalwood.
The full size bottle looks gorgeous and this is definitely something I would think about purchasing (so, essentially, the sample did its job), but I don't like it when subscription services include these little vials as samples (if they're an extra, then I don't mind. You could argue that this is an extra since there are six samples in this box, but for December we got an extra product and it was not included in the info book, so I don't think it is). I also thought the story about the little boy was cute; children are the best critics. The full size bottle is 1.7 fl oz for $92 (which is super expensive), making this 0.04 fl oz sample worth about $2.16.
I'm going to really upfront and tell you guys right off the bat that I don't like Mally Beauty products. They're not bad, but I don't think they are worth the price and I hate the aesthetic of the line as a whole (pink, gold, pistachio green, and snakeskin...). This part also gets kind of long since I have very strong feelings about it, so tl;dr, not a bad sample, but I feel lied to by Allure.
Allure says this is a sample of the High-Shine Liquid Lipstick, but, after looking at the Mally website, I'm not so sure that's correct (I'll get to that in a moment). One of my biggest beefs with this product is that it's a called a "liquid lipstick", but it's nothing more than a gloss. Allure even touches on it in the "Why We Like It" section, which seems like such a contradiction. They also say that it doesn't last very long, one to two hours tops, and that even the dark shades are sheer. These all seem like reasons why you should avoid this product, not why you should include it in a sample box. It makes me feel like these product descriptions are written after the box is finalized, not actual reasons why these products were chosen.
Allure also talks about this products "doe-foot applicator", but it has a brush (which again makes me think Allure has this product labelled incorrectly or used a different product when they wrote the description...even though they themselves commented on the sheerness and lipgloss-ness of it). The brush applicator is really annoying; it's hard to get it back into the tube without messing it up and my brush is already all wonky and full of stray hairs.
 There were ten different shades that were sampled and I ended up with Starburst, a pal peachy pink with shimmer. I prefer light color glosses over darker ones (the light ones add shine and just a hint of color, darker glosses just tend to look streaky and goopy on me), so I'm happy with this color. As a gloss, it's pretty middle of the road, but what bothers me the most is the forced and fake feeling description in the info book. If Birchbox gave me this sample and was like: "Here's a lip gloss! Maybe you'll like it!", I would be totally okay with it; that fact that Allure says that it doesn't last very long and that, even though it's called a liquid lipstick, it's actually a gloss, but that that doesn't stop them from loving it makes me question their sincerity.

I know I've ranted enough about this product, but I also wanted to address why I think this is mislabeled by Allure as a liquid lipstick. On the Mally Beauty website, there are, indeed, High-Shine Liquid Lipsticks. They look completely different and they do, in fact, have doe-foot applicators. They kind of remind me of the Stila lip glazes, just with a different tip. They are $20 each, which is exactly what Allure says. However, there is also a set of five minis that look exactly like this sample and it is called a High Shine Lipgloss set. So are these lipglosses or are they lipsticks? I almost think Allure used the full sizes without testing the minis, but then they also say that these only lasted an hour or two and are sheer, so the product must have been the same. Again, tl;dr, the set of five mini glosses retails for $29.50, so this sample has a value of about $5.90.
Whew! Sorry about that long rant. I just had a lot of feelings I wanted to get out. ...anyways. This little guy is a sample of the L'Occitane Divine Youth Oil, and is my favorite sample out of this months box.
This is another facial oil, but since these are so useful, I don't mind getting more (I got a Jouer one last month). I don't normally associate L'Occitane with skincare (mostly just bath and body products), but I haven been curious about trying this product. As the name suggests, it's a mixture of a bunch of oils, including rose hip and seabuckthorn, that help with hydration and assists with the penetration of your other face products. The scent description, "a delicate flower that you want to eat and you're in the ballpark", is weird, but accurate (though I would say it has a very "french" scent, if that makes sense). It's also kind of pricey, $106 for 1 fl oz, so it's nice to have a good sized sample (a little goes a long way with oils) to try before you buy. This sample is 0.1 fl oz and is worth about $10.60.
Last sample of this box, and it's an interesting one. This is the Kevin Murphy Anti-Gravity volumizing serum. Before this box, I had never heard of this product nor this brand (person? Personal brand?). When I first saw this product, I assumed it was a powder. I don't know why, but I guess I associate this type of bottle with powders. But it's not; it's a goo. It's colorless (Allure says it is; I'd call it a milky/cloudy white) so it won't mess too much with my platinum hair (my fave hair oil is a little on the yellow/orange side, which makes my hair look yellow when I use it. It's annoying.), which is something that can be weirdly hard to find.
Allure says it smells like lavender lemonade, which is pretty accurate, but it's also kind of off-putting. At least for me. I'm super sensitive to scents, though, so take that with a grain of salt. When you use this product, you're supposed to pull it through all of your hair and not just focus on the roots, which is intriguing. You also have to blow-dry otherwise it apparently has the opposite effect. I might try this product but since, a. I don't need more volume and, b. I don't blow-dry my hair, I'm not sure how much use I will get out of it.

Overall, this was not a great box. Had September not been so impressive, I would have unsubscribed after this one. But, I held out and got the December box, which was a little redeeming, so we'll have to see what January brings. If I remain unimpressed, I will unsubscribe. All six products in this box were deluxe sized samples, unless you don't count the perfume sample as deluxe sized (this box does not promise any full sizes, so all deluxe sized samples are okay with me. I'm on the fence about the perfume sample; since you can get them for free with your orders from Sephora along with other foil packets, it's arguable that it's not). The value of the November box, while still more than what I paid, is pathetic. The total value is $31.64, $29.48 if you don't count the perfume, which is barely just twice what I paid (less than twice if you include tax). Hopefully Allure steps up their game, and keeps it up there, otherwise they're going to have one less subscriber.

Thanks for reading! <3

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