Sunday, January 24, 2016

January 2016 Target Beauty Box - Refresh - Unboxing and Review!

My makeup/beauty collection is reaching critical mass (again), and I'm due for a destash, so I'm trying to get through all of my January sample boxes and beauty purchases in order to integrate the products into my collection so I have a better idea of what I have and what I have too much of. January was a very fruitful month for sample boxes and Target released two different beauty boxes. And I got both of them.

The first Target Beauty Box I want to share with you is the Refresh box.
These beauty boxes are not subscriptions; you purchase them individually when they go on sale. On the one hand, it's nice since you don't have to buy the box if you don't like the products in it, but on the other hand, if it's a good box, you have to be very quick to get one! This box is no longer available, but Target does release these boxes once a month or so, so keep on eye out for one at the start of February.
I already explained how these boxes work, so I won't do a quick rundown, but I will add that the prices of these boxes can vary depending on the contents. I've seen boxes as low as $5 and boxes as high as $10. The two boxes for January were $7 each; these prices include shipping, but not tax, so I ended up paying $15 or so for both boxes. They also shipped individually, which was kind of odd; one shipped a day earlier than the other, but they bot arrived at the same time. The products come in a sturdy black box, which varies in size according to the amount/size of the samples (I have a few of these boxes and there are two distinct sizes). When it ships to you, it comes wrapped in plastic; there is no outer shipping box.
As with all sample boxes (well, mostly all), there is an info card. The front side of the cards from both boxes are exactly the same, but the backs list all the products you received, along with a little info blurb. You also get a tear-off coupon that's good for $3 off a beauty/hair care/skin care purchase of $15 or more.
In the Refresh box there are nine different products; eight of these are deluxe sample/travel size and one is a full sized product. I did not calculate any values, but the full size product alone retails for $6.99 and I only paid $7.50 for this box after tax, so I know for sure that I got my money's worth.
Since the theme of this box is all about "refreshing" your beauty routines, there are no color cosmetics. I think this was the less popular of the two boxes because of this, but I really like the variety of both new brands and new products that were chosen for this box. First up is the Acure Day Cream! I've heard of Acure before, but I thought it was more like a hair care/body care brand, but apparently they do skin care, too. The main ingredients of this day cream, gotu kola stem cells and chlorella growth factor, are also new to me. Add to that the fact that this product is vegan, cruelty-fee, and silicone- and fragrance-free, and I'm pretty excited to give it a try.
Due to my addiction to subscriptions and sampler boxes, I have enough hair spray to last me for the rest of my life. Especially since I barely ever use it. However! I've found that I really like the products in the John Frieda Frizz Ease line, so I think I'm going to move this one up to start of the "use it up" line. I've also found that I prefer more lightweight hold sprays over the heavy duty ones, and this spray promises flexible, brushable hold, which sounds like it's exactly what I'm looking for.
These in-shower lotions are a newer trend/innovation and they apparently work quite well. You're supposed to apply your normal body lotion while your skin is still wet in order to seal in more hydration, but we all know how uncomfortable that feels and how long it takes your skin to dry afterwards. In-shower lotions speed up the process and are supposed to provide more hydration than other kinds. In the Refresh box, we got a sample of the Nivea Almond Oil in-shower lotion (Jergens' version was included in the Renewal box). This is a good sized sample (I'm pretty sure it's actually the travel size) and I'll get a lot of uses out of it. The only downside is that they stress that this product will make your tub/shower exceptionally slippery after using it, which could be a hazard.
I've gotten more shampoo and conditioner from Clear than I know what to do with. I actually end up giving it to my mom because I know I won't like it. These products are supposed to be nourishing, and they do have some good ingredients, but they are so far down the ingredients list that I'm not sure they're going to be doing much. The shampoo has SLS and dimethicone, the conditioner is full of silicones, and fragrance is the fourth ingredient in the shampoo and sixth in the conditioner. I have so much shampoo and conditioner that I much prefer over these that's it's not worth it for me to keep them around.
These Simple Micellar face wipes are the one full size item we got in this box (which is not a bad thing; the sample sizes of the other products are quite generous!); since these retail for $6.99, it's basically like I purchased these, then got all the other sample for free. I really like the Simple Micellar water and I was happy to see they were coming out with a wipe version. Unfortunately, these don't perform as well as the water itself (I got these in my Allure Beauty Thrills box a while ago and have already used them), but compared with other makeup wipes I've used, they're pretty standard. I much prefer using the normal Micellar water, but these are a nice option for travel since they won't spill everywhere.
Body lotion is another one of those products that I have a surplus of due to my sampling, but it's also one of those things that I like to have near me at all times since dry skin can strike at any time, especially in the winter. I actually prefer getting sample/travel sizes over full sizes since they fit in my purse, on my desk, near my computer at work; anywhere I can think of to put them, really. This lotion has some interesting ingredients, like willow bark extract, and even though it does have added fragrance, it's only to cancel out any scent from the ingredients; it doesn't really smell like anything. A little bit goes a really long way, and I'm already mildly addicted to how soft it makes my hands feel.
It's been a very long since I've used a pre-soaked exfoliating facial pad, but they used to be a part of my daily skin routine. When I was young, I used the Stridex ones for acne (I didn't have much acne when I was young, I actually have way more now as an adult, but it just felt like one of those things I was supposed to do at that age) and I used the First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance pads when I was starting to serious about skin care and makeup. I stopped using them in lieu of toner since I felt like you got a lot more toner for your money. I'm interested in trying these since my favorite toner ever, the Mario Badecus Glycolic Toner has glycolic acid in it (as the name implies), and I've heard a lot of people like these (and the dragon's blood version, which sounds way cooler). Unfortunately, you only get five pads in this sample, which isn't nearly enough to form an opinion on, but at least I'll be able to tell if they irritate my skin or not.
Last but not least, we got a couple braided elastic hair bands. I currently don't have much use for these, but my hair is getting longer and I've been attempting to pull it back more (it's in that awkward stage where nothing looks good...), so they'll come in handy soon. I really like that these are braided; it makes me think that they'll be less like to break at inopportune moments.

And that's the January 2016 Refresh Target Beauty Box! If you're interested in getting these sample boxes, I highly recommend following Nouveau Cheap's blog and/or instagram since she always posts spoilers and alerts when they go on sale. Since these aren't subscription boxes, they are first come first serve so you have to be quick in order to get one; they go up pretty early in the morning and most of the time sell out in the early afternoon. If you do manage to get one, they are well worth the price!

Thanks for reading! <3

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