Sunday, March 13, 2016

February 2016 Allure Beauty Box - Extra Bonus Box! - Unboxing & Review!

Hello! I hope you're having a great day! I have an extra special Allure Beauty Box to share with you today; back in January, Allure sent out an e-mail saying that they were going to start sending Beauty Box subscribers extra samples, separate from the normal monthly box. The first bonus was a trio of deluxe sized samples that came in a white organza bag and a bubble mailer. The bonus samples this month came in their very own Beauty Box!

When Allure sent the e-mail about these bonus samples, they said we would be getting a Covergirl mascara, a SK-II face mask, and something from Wella.
I was pretty excited just for those three samples, so getting this whole box of goodies was a very pleasant surprise.
I'm not going to do a quick run-down since this is technically separate from my Allure Beauty Box subscription, but I will say that these bonuses are making it one of my favorite subscription services and one I would recommend checking out, especially since it's only $15 a month (I pay around $16 due to tax). I don't think I need to do a disclaimer but, while I do pay the full monthly price for the subscription box, I feel like I did receive these extra products for free for review purposes.
Just like the regular subscription boxes, we got an info booklet/mini-mag that describes all the products in the box, including information on the price and weight/volume of the full size items.
There are a lot of Covergirl products in this box, so there is an advert for the new mascara on the back of the booklet. I always find it kind of bizarre when there is an advert for a product on/near the product that you already have; we got the full size of this mascara in this box, so who is this advertising to? It's like when you're watching something on the Xbox and there's an advertisement for the Xbox. Why?
There's even a letter from the editor that says these products are meant to get you red carpet ready, at least beauty-wise, and to feel glamorous.
In this bonus box, we got four full size Covergirl products to try. I've always shied away from using Covergirl products; it seemed like the lowest quality makeup brand in the drugstore (at least out of the mainstream ones) and the products I would try just disappointed me. Lately, though, it seems like Covergirl has been trying to step up their game and I've been hearing a lot more positive things about their products. The first product we got to sample is the Tru Blend Face Primer for Oily Skin.
There are two versions, this Oily Skin one and a Combo Skin one, but Allure says that both work well for oily skin without drying out your face. This is a silicone-based primer, but it's opaque and white, like a lotion. It smells awful, but there's no added fragrance, which is good if you have sensitive skin. This is the full size of this item and it retails for $8.49.
The next Covergirl product we got is the Intensify Me Liquid Eyeliner by Lash Blast. This liner has a special paddle-shaped tip that allows you to draw both thick and thin lines.
I've already tried this liner (I got it in a different beauty box) and I know I'm not a fan of it; the tip is rough feeling and, while the paddle-tip is good for thick lines, I found it hard to draw precisely with. I also didn't like the formula; it was thin, which makes it easier to use, but it feathered quite a bit. This is the full size of this item and it retails for $8.99.
Out of all the Covergirl samples we got, this was the only one I was expecting. This is the Plumpify Mascara in Very Black. This mascara is supposed to give you a ton of volume; the brush is huge and full of bristles and it curves around itself in a double helix design.
The brush is packaged separately so you can see how big and bushy it is. A lot of drugstore companies will package their mascaras with the brushes separate from the tubes, and I'm kind of surprised more high-end companies don't do that, since a lot of the differences in mascaras come down to the brush design.
I find that, out of all the makeup products available in the drugstore, mascaras tend to perform the best (and are one of the only products from Covergirl that I've heard positive things about consistently), so I'm interested in giving this one a try. Again, this is a full size product and it retails for $11.99.
The last Covergirl product in this bonus box is a Cololicious Oh Sugar! balm. Out of all the Covergirl products we got, this was the only one that I hadn't heard of before, which made me especially curious about it.
There were five different colors that were sampled for this box, and I ended up with the color Soda. When I first looked at, I thought it would be completely clear since the bottom, which usually reflects the color of the lipstick bullet, is white.
I was surprised to see that it actually looked quite pigmented, even though it applies more sheer. These look exactly like the other Covergirl lipsticks, but they're actually lip balms and the consistency feels different (Allure even mentions this in the product description). Covergirl suggests that these are supposed to be comparable to the Fresh Sugar lip balms, though they don't come right out and say it (they say that it compares to a $20 lip balm). They definitely have the same type of lemony sweet smell, though the Covergirl one is a lot more sweet.
You can see here how sheer the color is; this is actually a couple layers, since I wanted to make sure it showed up. I have fairly pigmented lips, so I'm curious to see what this color will look like on me since my natural lip color will show through. This is the full size of this product and it retails for $8.99
SK-II is one of those brands that I know a lot about and love, but don't own because it is way out of my price range. I was already excited when Allure said they were going to send us a face mask, so I was ecstatic when I saw that we got an additional SK-II product. This is the Facial Treatment Essence.
Essences are still relatively new to the US, but they've been popular in Korean skin care routines for a while now. They're the step between a toner and a serum (Allure says the step between cleansing and moisturizing, but that's more of a toner), and they add another layer of hydration and active ingredients. Like all the products in the SK-II line, this essence contains Pitera, a yeast ferment with impressive anti-aging properties. Since you don't need to use a lot at one time, this bottle will last me a long time. Allure lists some various full sizes and their retail values, but at the cheapest price per ounce, this 1fl oz sample is worth about $30. Really, really excited to give this product a try.
The other SK-II product we got was the one I was expecting, the Facial Treatment Mask. This is a sheet mask that has Pitera, SK-II's patented (at least I think it is) almost magical anti-aging yeast ferment.
I love sheet masks, and there's no way I could justify purchasing one of these for myself, so I'm super happy to have gotten one to try. This single sheet mask retails for $17, but you can buy them in multi-packs to save a little on each once.
The last product we got to sample is the product from Wella. This is the Wella Professionals Oil Reflections Smoothing Oil and it's a lightweight hair oil that you can use to help prevent frizz and smooth out any fly-aways. This is a silicone-based oil with avocado, macadamia, and coconut oils mixed in. If it was just those ingredients, I might give it a try, but the third ingredient, after the silicones, is alcohol.
I try to avoid using hair products that contain alcohol as much as possible since it's very drying and can damage your hair. There are so many options out there now that are alcohol-free, that I don't see any reason to have to use one that includes it, especially so high up in the ingredients. Allure says that this oil have a vanilla-floral scent, which is does, but there's so much alcohol that it almost smells like fancy cocktail. I get that the alcohol helps the product dry quickly, which is beneficial if you're in a hurry, but combined with the cyclo- silicone (which is volatile and also drying), it just seems like it will be too much for my heavily color-treated hair. The full size is 100mL for $40, making this 30mL sample worth about $12.

Overall, in this special Allure Beauty Box bonus box, I got five full size products and two deluxe sized samples for a total value of $109.46. Which is incredible. And astounding. And amazing. And a whole bunch of other words. This is just a bonus, freebie box, too! I've had some serious ups and downs with the Allure Beauty Box and I've considered unsubscribing more than once, but I'm so incredibly happy that I stuck it out. I feel like Allure has been listening to us; not only have they been improving the quality of the products in the boxes, but they are making it feel worthwhile to remain a loyal subscriber. I look forward to see what Allure will send us in the future!

Thanks for reading! <3

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