Saturday, August 20, 2016

July 2016 Allure Beauty Box - One The Hunt (Nordstrom Anniversary Sale) - Unboxing & Review!

One thing I've noticed about the Allure Beauty Box is that it seems to be more overtly sponsored than other subscription boxes. I'm sure that all boxes, at one point or another, have been paid to include a certain product and/or other types of advertisements like inserts and promo codes, but most are subtle and incidental (these types of partnerships aren't bad things; more often than not, we get bigger/better samples and coupons for products we'd probably purchase anyways). Allure isn't shy about it's partnerships and, in fact, has themed an entire box around one.
Can guess what the theme for the July 2016 Allure Beauty Box is? Actually, Allure announced it way before these boxes shipped, so it's not really a mystery...

Just by looking at the samples, you can probably tell this box was at least inspired by a high-end department store. Something about a combination of La Mer, Estee Lauder, and Clinique just screams 'beauty counter'.
Considering how overt the inside is, cover of the mini mag seems to have nothing to do with the partnership. This isn't unusual; these covers are random model shots and don't even use the products sampled that month.
The back, however, gives it all away. Allure has partnered with Nordstrom this month to help promote the Nordstrom Anniversay Sale! This is a pretty intense sale, with special value sets created specifically for it from brands like Estee Lauder, La Mer, and even MAC, so this partnership makes perfect sense.
The Letter From The Editor talks about the theme and why the products included were chosen, but I'm kind of surprised at the limited mention of Nordstrom (she only mentions that she spoke with the national beauty director); considering how every other page (literally) is an advertisement for the sale, I'm surprised at this almost Nordstrom-less introduction.
Every sample had a matching promotional page, but I didn't want to make this post too picture-heavy, so I'm only including the calendar of events that was in the middle. The sale is over, unfortunately, but it gives you an idea of the types of things you can expect next year.
First up is the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II. This is a, surprise, anti-aging serum that you use at night. It has hyaluronic acid, algae and yeast extracts, and alkyl guanine transferase and is fragrance-free, which is good if you have sensitive skin (Allure says it smells slightly medicinal, but I think it has a pleasant, almost grassy scent).
There's probably not product here to really see if it will make a difference, but these skin care samples are more to see how your skin reacts before buying a full size than they are to see if they actually work. The full size is $92 for 1.7 oz, making this 0.24 oz sample worth about $13.
I'm always happy to see a GlamGlow mask, and I'm especially happy to see one that helps fight acne! This is the GlamGlow SuperMud Clearing Treatment. These masks get a lot of hype on social media and, while they do work, they're quite expensive, especially with all the other, cheaper mask options that are now widely available.
If you have drier and/or sensitive skin, some GlamGlow masks (like this one and the YouthMud) can be irritating and extra drying, so I prefer to apply these to targeted areas on my face (like my T-Zone) instead of all over. This full size is $69 for 1.2 oz, so this 0.3 oz sample is worth about $17.25.
I'm going to say this right upfront; I'm not a fan of Clinique. I've used a lot of their products, including skin care and color cosmetics, and I have yet to be really impressed. I like that their products are fragrance-free and designed for sensitive skin, but the quality (both in packaging and product) seems to be lacking, especially for this price.
The Clinique product we got to sample this month is a Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Super Strawberry, a sheer pinky red.
I think Clinique was one of the first brands to introduce chubby lip crayons/balms, which is pretty neat considering how common they are now.
I had to make a lot of passes to make the color show up this pigmented; with one swipe, you get just a hint of tint. It's okay for what it is, but it's not any better than lip balm crayons that I've tried from less expensive brands, including ones from the drugstore. This isn't a bad product, but it's not my thing, so this will be getting passed on. A full size is $17 for 0.1 oz; I couldn't find a weight/volume on my sample, so I'm going to error on the low side and say it's a third of a full size, so it's worth about $5.70.
And what would a Nordstrom box be without something from La Mer? With the way Nordstrom promotes it, I'm surprised that they're not the exclusive retailers. When the spoilers for this box were released, I was excited to see that a La Mer product was going to included, but I was also apprehensive. La Mer is a very pricey brand and we would likely be getting a teeny sample. Don't get me wrong, this sample is still worth quite a bit, but it is very, very small.
Specifically, this is a sample of the La Mer The Moisturizing Soft Cream. This is a lighter version of the cult favorite Creme de la Mer, though it still feels pretty thick. It absorbs quickly, though, and doesn't leave any residue. This product has one huge downside, however: it smells like baby powder. After roses, the one scent I can't stand is baby powder. Unless it's really subtle (like, 'you can't even smell it' subtle), if something has a powdery note, I won't use it (there is an exception to this and that is Ouidad haircare products; they're amazing enough that I can get past the scent and it dissipates very quickly). I'm going to try this moisturizer because it is La Mer (and the scent does seem to disappear quickly). This product is $170 for 1 oz ($310 for 2 oz and $465 for 3.4 oz), making this 0.11 oz sample worth about $15.
I don't even want to talk about this sample. If you've read my blog before, you know how I feel about the Smashbox Photo Finish primer (spoiler: I hate it) and how annoyingly often I get samples of it.
I know there are people out there who love this primer, and I'm sure it works really well for them. My skin doesn't seem to get along with it and it makes me a blotchy, red mess. A full size is 1 oz for $36, so this 0.25 oz sample is worth about $9.

Overall, I got five deluxe sized samples with a total value of $59.95. This wasn't a bad box, but it wasn't a good box for me personally. I'm only going to use two, maybe three, of the products, but I know there are people out there who would use and would love to get all five. Plus, getting almost $60 worth of products for $16ish is a pretty good deal. I do want to recommend the Allure Beauty Box, but it sounds like there have been some issues at Allure recently and it might be better to wait a month or two before subscribing (unless you really like the spoilers for a box, but make sure you call customer service before you subscribe to see if you'll be able to get that box; if you want more info, check out the comment sections on the Beauty Box unboxings on My Subscription Addiction).

Thanks for reading! <3

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