Sunday, May 15, 2016

May 2016 Allure Beauty Box - Hot Summer - Unboxing & Review!

Depending on your status as a subscriber, the May 2016 Allure Beauty Box is one of the best things ever, or one of the greatest disappointments. Allure releases spoilers for their Beauty Box before it ships, and one of the spoilers for May was the Foreo Luna Play, a $39 facial cleansing device. This obviously caused a huge influx of new subscribers, but, unfortunately, Allure ended up overselling the box and many people who were expecting the May box are now going to start with the June box. I do feel bad for those that are unable to get this box, especially since it was the reason why they signed up for the service in the first place (I know how much it sucks to get your hopes up and then to be told you can't get/do something), but I am also thankful that Allure made sure that all the current subscribers were able to get this month's box. All too often, it feels like subscription services reward the new subscribers instead of the loyal, long-term ones (but again, if I had subscribed because of the May box and was told I wasn't going to get it, I'd be pretty upset, so I understand the negative feelings people have about it).
So, with that out of the way (if you want to read more about the whole debacle, you can find a lot of info at My Subscription Addiction), let's dive into this amazing box!
Quick Run-Down: $15 a month (I end up paying a little over $16 due to taxes) beauty and makeup subscription box curated by Allure; I would normally say there's  a mix of five or six deluxe/travel/full size items, but Allure keeps changing things, so I'm not sure if there is a set amount of samples(I'm pretty sure we've never gotten less than five items,though); no reward program per se, but Allure does send extra samples for free sporadically; most informative information booklet out of all the subscription services I've subscribed to, though this month Allure left out the size of the full size items (they still list the price).
Besides the info booklet (they call it a mini mag), the only card this month is an advert for subscribing to Allure magazine. I should probably subscribe; I purchase it every month at Target and a subscription would save me a lot of money, but I can't bring myself to do it. It's weird, I know.
The mini mag always has a picture of a model on the cover; these pictures doesn't really have anything to do with the box. They don't correspond with the theme, nor the products you get, but they're professional and they add to the "magazine" aspect of the mini mag.
No adverts on the back this month, just another picture of a model.
The theme for May is Hot Summer, and the products vaguely adhere to it (especially the SPF and the nail polish color). The Letter From The Editor is also slightly risque this month, which is honestly kind of lame. I don't mind a little vulgarity, but it just makes her seem like she's trying too hard.
Right off the bat, we're going to start with the high ticket item in this box. This is the Foreo Luna Play, an extra mini version of the Foreo Luna, a facial cleansing device.
I'm not sure if people got different colors of this product since the picture in the mini mag is blue, but the one I received is pink (according to it's label, it's fuchsia)
Here it is in my hand to give you an idea of the size of it; Allure describes it as 'golf-ball size', and I'd say it's just a big bigger than that. I don't know why it has that little magnified circle on the packaging; so you can see the bristles better?
And here it is compared to my Foreo Luna Mini. Yup, I already own a Foreo Luna product, and I'm pretty happy with it. It's not magic or anything, and at $100 just for a Mini, it's expensive for what it is, but it feels good on my face and I think it's been helping me with my acne (I don't really notice it when I'm using it regularly, but if I get lazy and don't use it for a few days - don't worry, I'm still washing my face, just not with my Luna Mini - I break out). I like the extra compact size of the Play since it makes it super easy to travel with (not that the Mini is that big nor difficult to carry), but I don't like how it's not rechargable. You get 100 uses and that's it; after that you're supposed to just throw it away, which seems incredibly wasteful, especially since this is made out of electronics and silicone, which is intentionally made not to break down. It's cheaper than my Mini (and significantly cheaper than a full size Luna) so if it gets lost it's less of an issue, but it's still pretty expensive at $39 a pop. This is a great way to experience the Luna if you get this as a sample or in a subscription box, but if you're really interested in purchasing a Luna cleansing device, I'd say just spend the extra money and get a rechargeable one.
Along with the Luna Play, Allure also included the Foreo Day and Night Cleansers.
Generally, I don't think you need a separate cleanser for day and night, unless you're trying to address a very specific concern. If I feel like I need to wash my face in morning (and it do it very rarely), I use either my normal cleanser, or a cotton pad soaked with micellar cleansing water. The day cleanser seems pretty standard ingredient-wise, though it does smell like citrus, which is a nice wake-up scent, but the night cleanser apparently has meteorite powder in it (it's even in the ingredients as 'meteorite powder'). Not sure what it does besides sound cool, but it does sound pretty damn cool. The full size day cleanser is $29.95 for 100mL and the night cleanser is $35.95 for 3.3fl oz (no idea why the volumes are listed in different units of measurement), making the 15ml day cleanser sample worth about $4.50 and the 0.5fl oz night cleanser sample worth about $5.45.
Next is the Equitance Brightening Serum + Spot Corrector. I'd hadn't heard of Equitance, but a lot of people commenting on the spoiler posts seemed pretty excited that this product was going to be included, so I'm very curious about it.
This product is supposed to minimize the appearance of spots caused by acne, hormonal changes, and sun exposure; I have a lot of acne scars that I'm trying to get rid of (they've improved vastly, but it's been an incredibly slow process), so this is perfect for me. According to the ingredients that Allure listed, it looks like this serum uses vitamin C and linoleic acid to lighten, which is good. The directions say to apply it all over, but I might just use it to spot treat my spots just in case it's irritating (Allure says it isn't, but my skin can be very sensitive sometimes). The full size is 1fl oz for $125, so this 0.2fl oz sample is worth about $29.16. Already, this is an incredibly high value box!
This is the second CoTZ product I got this month (the other was in my May Birchbox), but I am much more excited about this one, because I can actually use it! This is the CoTZ Flawless Complexion SPF 50 sunscreen;I love CoTZ products because they're broad spectrum mineral sunscreens that are unscented, fairly inexpensive and safe for the environment (chemical sunscreens can be very bad for aquatic creatures, so much so that some coastal places have banned the use of them; there is also some discussion that chemical sunscreens cause heat damage t your skin since they are absorbing the UVA and UVB rays, not reflecting them like mineral/physical sunscreens do).
The reason why I am going to use this one and not the one from Birchbox, is that this is a barely tinted sunscreen that acts almost more like a primer than a sun protection product. The one in Birchbox, the Face Natural Skin Tone SPF 40 has a dark, orange tint to it that's way to much for my skin tone and it feels a bit thicker on. The Flawless Complexion is an excellent sunscreen: it's SPF 50, leaves not white cast or orange tint, is unscented, and it blends smoothly into your skin without feeling greasy or heavy. The full size is 2.5oz for $19.99, so this 0.18oz sample is worth about $1.44.
Out of all the products in the May Allure Beauty Box, this was the one I was least excited for. This is a Pixi Mini Matteluster lipstick in the color Rose Naturelle.
I will admit, part of the reason why I don't like this product is that I'm biased against Pixi as a brand; the packaging seems cheap to me and the pistachio green color scheme is a I will say, though, that the Pixi Glow Tonic is pretty awesome and if you haven't tried it yet, I highly recommend doing so.
So this is supposed to be a demi-matte lipstick in a 'vintage liptone rose' (that's what Pixi describes it as, Allure calls it a 'tawny-pink').
It comes in a standard bullet shape and applied easily, though a little sheer.
Allure says this has a 'lush, opaque finish', but it took a few swipes to build the color up to the opacity seen here (it does feel creamy, though). This is right after I swatched it, so it didn't get a chance to dry down which is why it looks so shiny.
This is after about 20 minutes; it's still glossy, but it doesn't have the same wet look it did when it was freshly applied. I think calling this a matte/semimatte is a little deceptive; it's really more of a satin than anything. The color is nice, though I worry it's a little too brown for me. The full size is $12 for 0.13oz, so this 0.04oz sample is worth about $3.70.
Out of all the samples in this box, this one seems like the most random. It has the least to do with the theme (the Luna Play doesn't have much to do with it either, but it's the centerpiece of the box) and when they said there would be a MUFE product in this box, I didn't think it would be one of their mascaras. This is a sample of the Make Up Forever Smoky Extravagant Mascara.
I don't have a lot of experience with MUFE mascara, so I'm happy they included one, but again, it just seems a little out of place. The brush on this mascara is supposed to be packed with 580 bristles and in a triangle shape (Allure says it's shaped like a candy corn) to enable you to get both your inner corner and outer corner lashes easily. This mascara is supposed to provide volume, length, curl, and definition while being ultra pigmented and clump-free. I have a lot of mascaras open right now so I haven't tried this one yet, but I am pretty intrigued by it. A full size is 0.23fl oz for $24, and a 0.16fl oz travel size is $12. This sample is 0.13fl oz, which calculates to a $13.56 value based on the full size, but I thought it was kind of silly that the travel size, which has more product, actually cost less, so I'm calling this a $12 value.
Lastly, we got a nail polish! I'm always excited to get nail polish, especially when it's such a beautiful color. This is a Lauren B. Beauty nail polish in the color Santa Barbara Surf.
This is the first Lauren B. Beauty polish I've tried, and so far I'm a little on the fence about it. The color is gorgeous, and it applies well, but it's a bit sheer (I don't get full opacity in two coats, but you'd only notice it if you looked closely) and dries to a semi-matte finish.
Allure describes this color as the 'love child of mint green and sky blue', which it totally is and which is probably why I love it as much as I do (mint green and sky blue are two of my favorite nail polish colors). Pretty color, cute bottle, 5-free formula, but a little sheer and expensive. This is a full size product and it's worth $18.

Overall, I got eight (!) products in my May 2016 Allure Beauty Box, two of which are full size, with a total combined value of approximately $113.25. Which is absolutely astounding for a $15 box! Again, I do feel bad for the people who subscribed in order to get this box and were told that they weren't going to, and I hope Allure is able to get some procedures in place to help prevent overselling situations like this. If you're interested in signing up for this box, I do think it's worth it, but it might be best to wait until this situation gets resolved (or at least until the June spoilers are released).

Thanks for reading! <3

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