Saturday, October 8, 2016

September 2016 Allure Beauty Box - Speed Dating - Unboxing & Review!

Well, I didn't get the posts about my September subscription boxes up before the end of September, but it's still early October and I haven't gotten any October boxes yet (this was true when I started writing this post, but I got busy and was unable to finish it at that time and now it's not quite so true)...so I still feel somewhat on time! Somewhat...(not at all anymore, really).
Since it tends to be the first box to arrive each month, let's talk about my September 2016 Allure Beauty Box! In past posts about this box, I've mentioned, mostly in passing, that there have been some issues with this service, specifically with customer service and new subscriptions. I've been lucky so far and have generally enjoyed this box, but this month things finally caught up with me and I ended up being disappointed.
The Allure Beauty Box is a $15 a month makeup and beauty subscription service curated by Allure magazine. It's comparable to other low cost beauty subscription services, though you do tend to get larger samples and more products than a regular $10 service. Overall, I've been happy with my Allure subscription, but there have been issues with the service and, while I though that Allure had been working on fixing them, they seem to have become even more pervasive. If you're curious, you can read the comment sections on the Allure Beauty Box review and spoiler posts on My Subscription Addiction.
One thing I do really like about this subscription service is their 'mini mag' information booklet. It's formatted in the same way that Allure uses when they review products in the magazine and it's the most informative booklet that I've seen from any subscription service. The cover pictures have nothing to do with the products, though they are nice, clean model shots.
Sometimes the back cover is another model shot, other times it's an advertisement. This month it's an advert for Bulgari perfume, which is not a good sign.
To continue with the magazine theme, you also get a letter from the editor about the theme of the month and why they chose the products they did. This is mostly fluff and sometimes they really stretch to make something work, but sometimes they do have solid themes with solid product choices. The theme for September is 'Speed Dating' and all the products are either multi-taskers or they work quickly.
First sample this month is the Blue Lotus 4-in-1 Cleansing Milk from Pur-Lisse. Pur-Lisse is becoming a love it or a hate it brand in subscription boxes; they have samples everywhere and I'm pretty sure I've been getting at least one a month for a while now, so it's starting to feel redundant. Luckily, I'm a fan of Pur-Lisse products, so I've been quite happy with my ever growing hoard of samples, but if you don't like Pur-Lisse, I can understand why it would be frustrating.
This cleanser uses a coconut oil derivative as a cleansing agent, which is more gentle than regular soap or SLS. I'm always looking for cleansers that I can safely use on and around my eyes, and according to Allure this is one that you can! Apparently, you can also use it as a regular 'apply to damp face' cleanser or you can use it more like an oil cleanser where you apply it to a dry face and then add water to emulsify. Neat. The full size product is 150mL for $36, making this 30mL sample worth about $7.20 (when spoilers for this box was posted, it was implied that this sample would be worth around $20).
Next up is a teeny sample of the Supergoop! Shine On Lip Screen SPF 50. Sunscreen is one of those products that I can always use (unless it has argan oil in it), so I'm always happy to get samples in my subscription boxes. Lip sunscreens are not rare (ChapStick makes some, as does Fresh), but I'm happy that Allure included one in this box since a lot of people forget to wear sunscreen on their lips (so much so that around the lips is one of the most common places for sun damage lesions to appear). Supergoop! makes great sun protection products as well, though I don't always agree with the ethos of the brand.
There are a lot of pros to this sample, but it still just feels so small and insignificant, especially since it didn't come in a box or anything. Surprisingly, this sample is more than a quarter of the size of the full size product, which is a generally acceptable deluxe sample size, so perhaps the problems lies with how small the full size... The full size product is 4mL for $22, making this 1.5mL sample worth about $8.25.
When the September 2016 Allure box was spoiled, there were supposedly going to be two different eye products: this one, the Eau Thermale Avene PhysioLift, and the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum. Some people got both, and some people only got one. I, unfortunately, only got this one. It's not clear if this was a variant product, or if some people got the Estee Lauder as a bonus sample, but I will say that it seems like everyone got this product, either on its own or with the Estee Lauder product, but no one got only the Estee Lauder product (at least as far as I know).
I was initially excited to try this product since I'm always looking for new eye creams/serums and I do like the Eau Thermale Avenea water mist I have, but again, this sample is super small! The full size isn't super big (in the mini mag, Allure shows a picture of the sample itself; the full size actually has a pump), but it's pretty standard for an eye product, and this sample is about 1/7th of its size. The full size of this product is 15mL for $44, making this 2mL sample worth about $5.87.
This is another product that was part of a confusing 'is this a variant or is the other product a bonus sample?' situation. It looks like everyone got this product, the GrandePrimer lash primer (before my Allure Beauty Thrills box, I had never heard of Grande as a brand, but now it's everywhere!), but some people also got a GrandeMascara sample. I wasn't too interested in trying the mascara, but it was upsetting to not see it in my box (the spoiler image implied that everyone was going to get all the items and that there weren't any variants/bonus products).
Mascara primers are a great way to bet more 'oomf' out of your mascara, and I'm surprised that more people don't talk about them/use them in tutorials. This product looks and smells like a regular lash primer, though it's also supposed to have ingredients to help improve the look of your lashes. The full size is 10g for $24.95, but I can't find an accurate size/weight for this sample, so I'm going to assume it's about a third of the size and worth about $8.30.
Yay, nail polish! This is an Orly Breathable Treatment + Color nail polish in the color Pick-Me-Up. I do like Orly nail polishes and think they're an excellent drugstore polish brand, but I haven't tried any polishes from their new Breathable Treatment + Color line. I'm not sure how recent this line is since I don't see a lot of polish news specifically about Orly, but it still says it's new on Orly's website and Allure does seem to get products out to people before official launch dates, so it's potentially brand new.
This is an all-in-one product that includes basecoat, color, and top coat, along with ingredients to help nourish and hydrate. There were ten different color variations and I got Pick-Me-Up, a  deep grape purple.
I'm really happy I took the time to look this polish up on the Orly website because one of the ingredients it uses for hydration is...argan oil! I think this is the first nail polish I've ever heard of that has argan oil in it (nail oils and treatments, yes, but never actual polish).
This polish was opaque in two coats and it self-leveled to a smooth, even finish. I really like this color, especially for fall, and I am quite sad I won't be able to use this polish; admittedly, I have more than enough argan oil-free polish to last me the rest of my lifetime, but I'm sad that now I have to pay a little more attention to new polishes and there are some that I will never be able to try. This is a full size bottle of polish and it is worth $8.99.
Lastly, we got another Bulgari perfume sample; this time it's the Omnia Coral scent. I'm not a fan of most mainstream perfumes in general, and I really don't like these Omnia ones.
This scent is better than the previous one, but it's still pretty 'meh'. I'm glad that these are deluxe size samples instead of just mini vials, but it's still a sample that I'm not going to get any use out of. I also find it kind of annoying that this sample was included, not because Allure particularity likes it or thinks that it's relevant, but because Bulgari likely sponsored this box (as evident by the advert on the back of the mini mag). Again, 'meh'. A full size is $82 for 2.2 fl oz (this is also the only product in the mini mag that has the price and volume/weight of the full size), making this 0.17 fl oz sample worth about $6.18.

Overall, I got six samples in my September Allure Beauty Box--one was full size and the rest were deluxe sample size (though two were on the smaller side)--for a total value of about $44.79. It's worth more than the $15 I paid, but this box is on the lower value side, at least for an Allure Beauty Box. Since I can't use the nail polish and won't use the perfume, I'm not sure if I feel like I got my money's worth, at least for me personally. I'm always reluctant to recommend this box; it can be a really good box, but with all the problems plaguing it right now, I'm not sure if it's worth subscribing to right now, or if it would be better to wait until things get figured out. We'll have to see what the October box brings...

Thanks for reading! <3

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