Saturday, March 26, 2016

March 2016 Allure Beauty Box - Talking Dirty - Unboxing & Review!

The more $10-$15 subscription boxes I sign up for (and I'm up to five now, not including the Target Beauty Boxes...), the more I realize how different they all are from each other, and not just in terms of "retail value". Sure, some boxes tend to have more monetary value, but other boxes have better value in terms of reward programs, or in the types of products they include. The Allure Beauty Box, however, is proving to be a bit more complicated in that it keeps switching behind what "type" of box it is.
When I first signed up, it was because the monetary value of the box was so high. Then the value of box, both monetary and in usefulness, tanked for a couple months. Then Allure introduced a reward system to end all reward systems where they sent us some extra samples outside of the Beauty Box, including an entire extra box that also had a very high monetary value. Which was amazing.

So what type of box is the March box? What direction is the Allure Beauty Box headed?
Quick Run-Down: $15 a month beauty/makeup subscription service curated by Allure magazine; five or more deluxe-sized samples a month; wide range of products sampled, from color cosmetics to hair care to skin care and more; a lot of variance in box values, but Allure recently added a reward program for subscribers where they receive additional samples outside of the regular Beauty Box (not sure if this will be a monthly thing; we got extra samples in January, and then an entire extra Beauty Box in February, but no extra samples for March so far).
Every month you also get a "mini mag", which serves as a very in-depth information card.
The first part of the mini mag is the "Letter From The Editor", which summarizes the products in the box, why they chose them, and what the "theme" of the month is. For March, it's "Talking Dirty", so almost all the products sampled are related to getting clean.
First up is the dpHue ACV hair rinse. Every month, I look up spoilers for this box because I'm still a little wary of the value/quality tanking (after my first box in September, I was very close to unsubscribing because the boxes were so bad), and this was the product that I was excited to try the most.
This is an apple cider vingear-based hair rinse, and I've always wanted to try one. Unfortunately, it also includes argan oil for some reason, so I will have to pass this product on without being able to try it. Even though I can't use it, I do give Allure credit for including a very interesting and unique sample. The full size is $35 for 8.5fl oz, so this 1fl oz sample is worth about $4.12.
We got two hair products this month (which makes sense with a "getting clean" theme), the second being a sample of the Macadamia Professional Ultra Rich Moisture Cleansing Conditioner.
Unfortunately, this is another product that I can't use since it also has argan oil. I haven't had a lot of luck with cleansing conditioners, so I'm not too disappointed that I won't be able to give it a try. It does smell really nice, though!
I always find it kind of odd when Julep products find their way into other subscription boxes. It just seems kind of...wrong. If you're going to buy Julep products (and that's why they include them in sample boxes, to get you to buy more), you're going to want to sign up for Julep's subscription service and become a Maven so you can get them for less.
This is Julep's Konjac Cleansing Face Sponge, and this was actually the first konjac sponge I ever used (not this specific one; I got one in my Maven box when they first came out). This is also one of the only konjac sponges that I've seen that comes pre-moistened. Most of the time, they are completely dried out and rock hard and you have to soak them for a bit before using them.
Oddity aside, this is actually a really nice konjac sponge and I've very happy to have gotten another one.
If you're a makeup/beauty sample addict like I am, you probably already know what this little jar is...
It's the MUFE HD Microfinish Powder! I feel like brands are sampling their translucent powders all the time, and it always feels like such a weird product to sample since it's a little on the boring side and they aren't often good indicators of a brand's quality.
That being said, I do like the MUFE finishing powder since it's 100% mineral silica and totally talc-free, which is surprisingly rare, even in high-end brands. The full size of this loose powder is 0.3oz for $34, which makes this 0.035oz sample worth about $3.97.
This was another product that I was excited to try from the spoilers, though I am a little disappointed that we only got two of it. These are Nunzio Saviano Anti-Frizz Sheets.
These sheets are like a combination of the Giovanni hair oil towelettes and the Redken Frizz Dismiss sheets; they combine coconut oil (like the Giovanni towelettes, though those use avocado oil) and silicone (like the Redken sheets) to smooth hair and control flyaways. I do like these single use hair towelettes since they're super easy to keep in your bag for on-the-go touch-ups, but these seem pretty pricey at $18 for 12 of them. I'm am excited to use them and see if they work just as well as the Giovanni and Redken ones, but I'm also worried about "wasting" them, since they are so expensive. These two sheets are worth about $3 total.
 The last two products in this box are color cosmetics, and don't really have anything to do with the "cleaning" theme (but then again, what color cosmetics do?).
The first color cosmetic is a Cargo blush/bronzer duo mini in Catalina and Medium Bronze.
Both products are quite pretty, and very spring/summer appropriate. I also like how Cargo sampled these two products; I don't believe that you can purchase them in this duo format and that you'd have to buy the full sizes separately.
Cargo is not a brand I've very familiar with, nor admittedly one that I am really interested in, but I have tried some of their cheek products before and have been satisfied with their performance.
Both colors are swatched on bare, unprimed skin, and I really like how sheer and gentle the blush is. The bronzer is shimmery and warm, so it wouldn't work as a contour color, but I think it will give a nice warmth and glow to my skin. A full size blush is 0.31oz for $26 and a full size bronzer is 0.31oz for $29, making this 0.105oz duo worth around $9.30.
The last sample in this box is not in the mini mag, which makes me think it's another sponsored product. This is the L'Oreal Infallible lip color (I don't know if this is what it's actually called; it doesn't say what it is on the product and advert on the back of the mini mag wasn't too clear) in the color 107 Violet Parfait.
The only information that Allure included about this product is the advertisement on the back on the mini mag, which is more evidence that this is likely a sponsored product (so L'Oreal paid Allure to include it, instead of Allure buying the sample from L'Oreal).
I think there were a few different colors sampled, based on what I've seen on Instagram, but they are all very similar to each other.
This is a two-step lip color; on one end is the color itself, with a felted doe-foot applicator, and on the other end is a sealing and conditioning clear balm (I didn't take a picture of it since that side is sealed and I plan on passing this product on without using it).
107 Violet Parfait is dusty reddish purple with shimmer, which seems like a weird color to include in a spring box, especially since the other color cosmetic is so clearly for spring/summer. It's pretty, but this type of product is not really something I'm interested. This is full sized and it retails for $12.99.

Overall, I got five deluxe-size samples and one (two if you count the L'Oreal lip color) full size product. The total value of the products in the March 2016 Allure Beauty Box (minus the lip color) is $37.59, which is a little more than double what I paid for this box.

So, what kind of box is it? It's definitely a box on the lower-end of value, both monetary and in usefulness (though this is not Allure's fault; if I wasn't allergic to argan oil and able to use the hair care products, then I would use every single product in this box, besides the L'Oreal lip color). I'm hoping that Allure sends us some more bonus samples this month since that seems to be the strength of the Allure Beauty Box service, but seeing as it's nearly the end of March, I'm not too sure that they will. I'm content with this box, but I'm leaning more towards being disappointed with it than I am to being happy with it. I have looked up spoilers for the April box, and I have to say, if Allure doesn't send more bonus samples, I'm not sure if I'm going to be happy with that box either. We'll have to wait and see until it comes!

Thanks for reading! <3

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