Friday, September 5, 2014

Product Review: August Beauty Box 5 feat. Pur~lisse, La Fresh, and more!

Beauty subscription boxes have been around for quite a while now, but if you still haven't tried them yourself, I don't blame you. It's cool to have a box of curated beauty products sent to your doorstep on a monthly basis, but it's also a daunting financial commitment to have to pay for them every month. What if you don't like any one of the products one month? What if you try to cancel and the company tricks you into purchasing more boxes? What if one of the boxes are full of spiders instead of makeup????

Yes, these are the kinds of thoughts that give me panic attacks.

Luckily, there are a few select boxes that I've subscribed to myself and have lucked out with completely; Beauty Box 5 is one of them. Every box, and almost every item I receive, I end up loving! I've definitely purchased full-sized versions of products from their storefront after sampling them, which is a great option to have.
Beauty Box 5 is a subscription-based, beauty sampling service that delivers five deluxe samples and full-sized products right to your door every month. In their own words:
It's a cosmetic jungle out there and  we want to lend a helping hand by introducing you to new brands and great products, while sharing tips on the best ways to use them.

Every month we'll send you a mix of makeup, beauty accessories, hair, skincare, fragrance, body, and nail products that we can't get enough of. Our secret? We share products that really work, so you'll receive luxury, drugstore, niche, eco-conscious, and even vegan brands.

Whether you're a cosmetic newbie or a beauty guru, identify yourself as adventurous and playful or classy and mature, like to splurge on high-end items or be a savvy spender, we have everything you're looking for.
It costs $12 per month, but if you want to commit to an annual subscription, is only $8.25 per box, making it one of the most affordable beauty boxes out there. It currently only ships to US and Canada.

August's BB5 had a collection of hair, skin, and makeup products that I was super pleased with:

As you can see, Beauty Box 5 comes in a cute little turquoise box and contains multi-use samples—they're actually useable, unlike those tiny, useless packets you get from department stores. For products like lip gloss and nail polish, you actually get the full-size, which is awesome because they can just become a part of your cosmetics collection.

BB5 also provides an informational card with all the product specs and retail prices, which is convenient to have as reference in case you are interested in purchasing the full-size products from the Beauty Box 5 store.


Here's a rundown of the products I received in my box this month:

Pur~lisse Pur~Protect Essential Daily Moisturizer protects and hydrates your skin with its non-greasy formula and excellent SPF coverage. It's an everyday moisturizer that is gentle enough for all skin types, and is contains anti-aging properties as well. I love this product because it doubles as a sunscreen and it applies so smoothly and makes my face really soft. At $55 for the 1.7 oz. tube, it doesn't come cheap, but it's the kind of skin care product I wouldn't mind spending my money on.

I also received a packet of La Fresh Travel-Lite Facial Cleansing Wipes, a portable, easy, and nourishing cleanser that is formulated with Vitamin E and is safe for all skin types. Oil-free and packaged in a cute travel-friendly envelope, these facial wipes also contain aloe vera, cucumber, chamomile, marshmallow, and tea plant botanical extracts. I absolutely love these wipes and will be purchasing them on my own!!! They are non-irritating and work just as well as my regular face wash. I found them extremely refreshing and the wipe actually exfoliates and picks up any leftover makeup residue as well, so it's a win-win.

Sometimes, whether you're far from home or simply staying late out at night, washing your face just isn't an option—but it's so necessary to maintain balanced, blemish-free skin. These cleansing wipes save the day because they require no water or rinsing; just swipe them across your face and they pick up makeup, as well as condition your skin. I adore the miniature packaging because you can literally tuck them anywhere—in your purse, schoolbag, work desk, car, etc.—so this really is an on-the-go beauty essential. Best of all, each 8-count package is only $2.49, so whether you buy one, three, or sixteen (like yours truly), you can go crazy without breaking the bank.

Novex Brazilian Keratin Deep Hair Care Treatment harnesses the power of keratin and nourishes your hair back to health. This dense treatment deep-conditions with proteins and vitamins to restore shine and smoothness. I was surprised to find this in my beauty box because it came in a standard sample package rather than a little bottle or tube like the other samples, and it has unexpected Portuguese words all over it (authentically Brazilian, I suppose? LOL!). It was one of the best products from this box and gave instant, noticeable results.

Normally you hear about keratin treatments at salons, but this is a convenient at-home alternative. It's basically an intensive deep conditioner that renews and reinforces your strands, and it's perfect for all hair types. For me, it noticeably added shine and smoothness to my hair from root to tip—a new favorite of mine! A huge 1-kg tub of this miracle cream is only $18.99; it seems pricey, but imagine how many uses you could get out of that! I recommend it wholeheartedly.

I received one bottle of sea green nail polish from Style Essentials Touch of Teal Collection and while I was excited to try it—look at that color! Does it not match Books à la Mode perfectly??—I was a bit disappointed.
This nail polish is originally a part of a collection that features complementary shades, so maybe I would have gotten more out of it if I'd tried the glitter topcoats. The color and finish were gorgeous, but formula was a bit thin and streaky. At only $7.99 for the entire four-piece set, they're a total steal, but don't expect too high of quality. You get what you pay for!

Let me start off by saying I was less than thrilled to receive a lip gloss in my box because a) I'm not a huge lip gloss fan and b) even if I did wear lip gloss, pink and shimmer would not be my color and finish combination of choice.


I was so, so impressed by Nanacoco's Popular Lip Gloss because of its hydrating, non-sticky formula and vibrant, long-wearing color. Yes, its a bright, cheery pink—not my usual shade—and yes, it contains little specks of shimmer—something I haven't touched since 7th grade—but hear me out; if I regularly wore lip gloss, this would be my go-to.

The packaging is sleek and the slim wand allows for easy, precise application. There is a slight "artificial" scent to it, but it isn't at all unpleasant. Most lip glosses dry my lips out or turn really sticky and gross after a few minutes, but this stay put and felt like a lip gloss and balm combined—perfect for me!

The best part, by far, is the pricing; it looks and feels like a luxury lip gloss but a 0.22 oz. tube is only $3.99. High-quality lipgloss for drugstore prices? I'm sold. I would have loved to try this in the shade First Kiss even though I received Popular. Check out the other Nanacoco colors in Beauty Box 5's August box product inventory and tell me your favorite!

What do you think?

As you can see, this month's BB5 was a huge hit; I loved virtually every sample I received, and discovered some new favorites as well (like the La Fresh wipes and Novex keratin cream!) that I will be purchasing in full-size.

Tell me:
  • What product(s) from this post would you most like to try?
  • What's your favorite beauty product you discovered in August?
  • Have you ever tried Beauty Box 5 before? What are some of your favorite products you've received?
  • Are there any other subscription boxes you've tried? How did you like them?