Saturday, September 24, 2016

August 2016 Allure Beauty Box - Wake-Up Call - Unboxing & Review!

You guys think I can get through the rest of my August boxes and actually get my September boxes posted before October? ...yeah, I don't think so, either.
But that doesn't mean we're not going to try! This is my August 2016 Allure Beauty Box; Allure has been quite up and down recently and for me, luckily, it's been mostly on the 'up' side (my September box, however, is definitely a 'down', but we'll get to that later in a separate post).

The theme for August is Wake-Up Call, and, surprisingly, I think Allure did a great job curating products to match.
The Allure Beauty Box is a $15 a month beauty and makeup subscription service curated by the people that bring you Allure magazine. You generally get five deluxe to full size products, though Allure tends to break the mold a bit (I think the extra $5 a month gives them some wiggle room). You get a variety of drugstore and high-end products and, overall, it's been a pretty good box, but there are issues with the service and if you're curious, I highly recommend checking out the review/spoiler posts and comments on My Subscription Addiction
This box includes one of the most informative information booklets that I've seen from a subscription service. They have changed a bit for the worse, though; they used to list the size of the full size product along with the price, but now they just list the price. They're formatted like mini Allure Magazines and have a model shot and the cover and sometimes on the back, if they don't have an advert.
 The shots have nothing to do with the theme or products or anything; I have no idea if they take them specifically for the boxes or if they're left overs from shoots.
Like a magazine, you get a Letter From The Editor about the theme and why they chose the products they did. Normally, I just ignore this since they try way to hard to make the products fit the theme, but this month, almost everything has to do with morning routines or making yourself look more awake.
First up, we got a sample of the Freeze 24-7 Anti-Aging Eye Serum. This is the first time I've heard about this brand/product, and I have to say, I am very intrigued by it. It's supposed to be like 'Botox in a jar' and includes a special ingredient called amino butyric acid that temporarily relaxes muscles.
There are a few different products in the Freeze 24-7 line, but since my eye area is what I struggle most with, I'm really glad we got an eye serum to try. While this product has an 'instant' effect, it's also supposed to help soften lines over time. I admit that I am a bit intimated by it, and I'm going to have to read more about it, but I'm cautiously excited to give it a try. A full size is $115 for 0.5 fl oz, making this 0.23 fl oz sample worth $52.90. Wow.
More Pur-Lisse! A lot of people have had complaints about all the Pur-Lisse we've been getting, and I do think it's kind of lame to get the same brand in almost every box, but I like Pur-Lisse products, so I don't mind getting a bunch of them. This time we got the Blue Lotus Balancing Moisturizer.
I haven't used this specific moisturizer before, but the other ones I've tried performed well, so I'm assuming this one will, too. Unfortunately, I don't have much more to say about it since it's foiled sealed (which is a good thing!) and I don't want to open it until I'm ready to use it. While I do like Pur-Lisse products, I think they are way over priced for what they are; if they were $10-$20 less and were available in Sephora or Ulta, I could see myself (and many other people) purchasing more full sizes. The full size of this product is 50 ml for $55, making this 15 ml sample worth about $16.50.
This is the third or so Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50 this year, so I'm not going to talk too much about it, but I do like the amount of detail Allure goes into in the mini mag about it.
They did a great job describing how it feels and looks, along with how best to use it. I really like these sunscreen mists since they're so easy to use for touch ups throughout the day (you don't want to use this as your only sunscreen, nor do you want to use it for any serious sun exposure, but it's good for when you're at work or otherwise away from home for a while) . I hope more brands come out with these mists! You can purchase this 15 ml travel size from Supergoop! for $8.
Out of all the products this month, this one had the most controversy surrounding it. This is the Mally Mattewand Eye Brightener, and when Allure first released spoilers for the August box, this product was one of the ones revealed. A lot of people were excited to get it, but then Allure released more spoilers which said that only some people would be getting the Mattewand and other people would be getting something from either e.l.f., Pixi, or Burberry. Understandably, people were upset, especially since some people would be getting a substitute product that had less value than the other. I'm not sure how Allure decided who got what, but some people think they ran out of the Mattewands and substituted the other products based on that.
Since I got the Mattewand, I'm going to focus on that (the other products were an e.l.f. brush, a Pixi Glow Tonic mini, and I forgot what the product from Burberry was). Mally is one of those brands I'm not sure how to feel about; I don't have a lot of experience with it and any that I have had has been generally positive, but I don't like the design and...feel, I guess, of the brand.
This is a dual-ended pencil and shadow pen that's supposed to help you look more awake. It only comes in one color, Matte Light; since this meant to be used in the waterline and on the lids, this color works for a lot of skin tones, but it will be more noticeable on skin tones that are on the ends of the spectrum . The pencil side is a twist-up matte medium neutral beige that you use to line your waterline to camouflage any redness and irritation and to brighten the eye area.
The shadow side is a bit more interesting; you unscrew the other end to reveal a sponge tip applicator loaded with a shadow in a color similar to the pencil (though to me it looks a bit more yellow/warm). You can use this shadow as a highlight or a wash of color on the lid, again to cover up any redness and irritation and to make the eyes look more open. I have a lot of brightening pencils, and I have a lot of eye shadows, but I don't have any products that combine the two. This is a full sized product and it's worth $25.
Next, we got a Cargo Swimmables Eye Pencil in the color Pebble Beach. This pencil comes in multiple colors, but everyone got the same one, Pebble Beach, which is a dark brown.
Allure went with a dark brown since it's less harsh than black and I appreciate not getting another black liner (I surprisingly don't have a lot of dark brown; lots of black, lots of navy, but barely any brown). I have another product from the Cargo Swimmables line, and I'm pretty impressed with their water and smudge resistance. A full size pencil is 0.04 oz for $18, so this 0.028 oz sample is worth about $12.60.
Here are the Cargo pencil and Mally Mattewand swatched. The top color is Pebble Beach; it's a nice, deep chocolate brown and since that it's matte, i can use it in my waterline and for tight-lining without worrying about irritation from any glitter/shimmer particles. The middle swatch is the Mattewand pencil and the bottom is the Mattwand powder. The powder is significantly more yellow-toned than the pencil, which is great if you have a lot of redness on your eyelids, but I have to be careful because too much yellow around my eyes can make me look even more sallow and sickly.
Lastly (at least officially), we got a Wet Brush Midi sized brush. I already use Wet Brushes and love them, so I'm happy to get another! This brush is smaller than the full size, but it's bigger than the mini.
I have dry, frizzy, curly hair that needs a lot of love and attention, and traditional brushes just make me look like a big frizzy mess; I generally avoid brushes all together and use wide-toothed combs or even just my fingers. Wet Brushes are gentle (so gentle you can use them wet, which is why they're called Wet Brushes) and they're a great alternative when I need a little more detangling power than my comb or fingers can provide. These are excellent brushes, and I highly recommend them for any hair type. Allure says this brush is worth $8.99, but that's the price of a full size brush (depending on where you buy it); a mini brush is about $4.99, so I would say this brush is worth around $7.
We also got a bonus sample this month; these were in the spoiler pictures, but there's no mention of them in the info booklet, even in an advertisement, so I don't count them as official samples. This is a trial size set of Garnier Whole Blends Honey Treasures shampoo and conditioner. I think this is Garnier's more 'natural' line, though it's natural only in design and name. These products do have some interesting ingredients that you don't often find in drugstore products, including Royal Jelly, but they also have argan oil, so even if I wanted to try them, I couldn't. I didn't calculate a value since these are extra samples, but I like that Allure threw in a little freebie.

Overall, I got three deluxe sample sized products, three full/travel sized products, and two freebies for a total value of about $122. Which...is more than I was expecting, honestly! A little over $50 of that is the eye serum that I may or may not use, but even then, that's over $60 in value for $15 (technically, $16 something with tax). I want to recommend the Allure Beauty Box because, overall, I do think it's worth the $15, but there's so much going on customer service-wise right now that I almost think it would be better to wait. Even if there was something you wanted in a spoiler, I can't guarantee you'd get that box or, even if you did, that you'd get the exact product. If you don't mind taking a risk and you don't mind possibly waiting for a bit to get a box, you can sign up, but otherwise I'd recommend holding off until Allure gets things a bit more under control.

Thanks for reading! <3

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