Allure Beauty Box March 2016 & Red Carpet Bonus Box

Hey Beauty Fans!

Today I will be reviewing the March Allure Beauty Box. as well as the *Bonus Red Carpet Box

For $15.00 per month you will receive a box containing 5 or more deluxe sized beauty products from today’s most luxurious brands.

One of my favorite things about the Allure Beauty Box is how carefully it is curated and the awesome little mini mag that is included in each box.  It gives excellent descriptions and tips for each item in the box with a descriptive and down to earth introduction to the boxes content.  I love the beauty directors honest representation of each product.

*I know there as been much confusion for many, mainly long term Allure subscribers or ‘Legacy’ Subscribers as Allure is calling ‘us’ ie: subscribers from when allure was combined with Beauty Bar and called Sample Society.  In recent months Subscribers who signed up after the re-branding, takeover, whatever it was, by Allure, were getting emails about extras being sent including, but not limited to the coveted Red Carpet box.  After much speculation as to why loyal, long time subscribers were being left out of this new feature and lots of back and forth with Customer Service it was said that Legacy subscribers, in fact, would not be included in any of this ‘extra stuff’ and it was suggested that we in this situation, unsubscribe to the old & resubscribe to the new.  I decided to do this and did get lucky enough to receive a Red Carpet Box after voicing my disappointment in how this whole thing played out.  My final contact with CS and the only phone contact I had with their CS went quite well, they were friendly & helpful.  I did end up with two March boxes due to the time frame I canceled and resubscribed but was warned that it was a possibility.  I got a different lippy shade the second time around & love the March box so I was cool with it.  This is the only issue I’ve ever had since subscribing to allure 1.5 years ago but do wish they would have handled this whole ordeal more fairly.  Whether or not they will continue to provide these extras to ‘new’ subscribers in the future; I can’t say.  I have not received any emails myself but time will tell.  I love this subscription box; it’s personally one of my favorites.  I’m glad to have everything cleared up on my end so I wanted to relay the information to anyone who might still be uncertain.   And now, on to the box!

The Beauty Box:

Allure Beauty Box March 2016

The Goods:

Cargo Blush:Bronzer duo

Cargo Catalina Blush & Medium Bronzer duo: This is a mini duo, Seperately they are: $26.00 (blush) $29.00 (bronzer)  

I looooove both of these shades and their formulas, such a cute little duo.  The bronzer is a great shade with just the right amount of light reflecting shimmer.  It makes me want to cover my entire face with it and re-enter past decades. The formula blends well and doesn’t make my lighter skin tone look muddy or dirty and does not have an orangey appearance. It also comes in a light and a dark which I love, making it much easier to fit 1 particular bronzer to your skin tone, as opposed to a one size fits all approach.  I wish it were a bit easier to fit my brush in without hitting blush, but because I received two boxes I think I will re-arrange mine, putting the two blushes together and the two bronzers as well.  Seems like a good plan & problem solved!  The blush shade is just as nice, a pearly, cotton candy pink with just a hint of shimmer.  I love the lighter, luminous shade and how it adds a subtle pop of sheer, illuminating color but can built up some for added intensity.

Julep Konjac Cleansing Sponge

Julep Konjac Cleansing Face Sponge: Product is full size & $12.00

This is an all natural exfoliating sponge, with charcoal, designed to give you a softer, smoother complexion.  This is a product I already use daily & because I generally replace mine every month or so I’m thrilled to have back-ups!  This ‘sponge’ is a bit odd when you are new to it, it is damp inside the package and it feels a bit slimy at first.  It feels really great against your skin though.  It exfoliates without being too abrasive and leaves your skin feeling smooth & clean.  Because of the charcoal you can use the sponge on its own if you like but I use mine with my cetaphil cleanser, which I apply to my face to break up my makeup with first, splash off, add a bit more and cleanse with the sponge.  My skin’s texture and my breakouts have improved a lot since I began using this sponge so I am a huge fan.  I am a Member of Julep’s Maven subscription service, which is where I purchased my first sponge; the April collection has introduced 2 new versions of this product; 1 infused with green tea & another with Kaolin clay.  I’m getting each of them in additional to a stick cleanser for & I can’t wait to try the new versions!

Makeup Forever HD Microfinish Powder

Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder:  Deluxe Sample, Full size is $35.00

This is a loose, very finely milled, translucent finishing powder.  I always use an HD powder to set my makeup and these super finely milled, translucent versions are the only ones for me as I do not like a heavy feeling, powdery look on my skin but like the way these versions set my makeup, keep the oil on my forehead at bay and do not feel cake-y or settle in to fine lines.  Though I often use this exact particular product, I recently ran out and have been using the E.l.F Studio version.  Of all the other brands I’ve tried I find that version is the closest to this; and, it’s also the least expensive.  I’m happy to have a couple new jars of the MUF version because I do go through this stuff fairly quickly.  I use somewhat of a baking method when I apply this only it’s a more subtle approach.  I do not wear heavy foundation so the addition of this does not appear or feel heavy on the skin.  After foundation I layer a generous amount of this powder and let it sit on my skin, no blending.  (you should look like you have white powder on your skin) I’ll do my eye makeup and then lightly blend the powder in to my skin with my damp beauty blender.  It makes everything look soft and smooth while keeping your makeup in tact.  You can also do this on top of your foundation & cream contour but if I am doing a powder contour blush or highlighter;  I make that my final step.  The powder contour applies more smoothly on my skin post HD powder.

Anti-Frizz Sheets Nunzio Saviano

Nunzio Saviano Anti-Frizz Sheets: 2 packets, box of 12 is $18.00

These are coconut oil infused hair smoothing sheets designed to tame frizz.  These little towelettes have a really nice coconut-y scent and while they do smooth your hair on contact they aren’t what I expected them to be.  I’ve heard people talk about using dryer sheets for the same effect so I had expected these to be a dry product.  Because these are damp (like a wet wipe) they smooth my hair at first but then the areas (top of my head) I use them on, frizz more once the area dries again.  They may work ok on the ends of my hair and when I chose to wear my hair in it’s natural wavy state.  I just have a really tricky hair texture. 😦  Cool product though and I assume it will work great for many.

Macadamia Professional Ultra Rich Cleansing Conditioner

Macadamia Professional Ultra Rich Moisture Cleansing Conditioner: Deluxe Travel size, Full size is $26.00

This product is meant to cleanse and condition, in one step, removing buildup while eliminating frizz & softening your locks.  This is definitely a thick, rich product with a light macadamia scent.  Probably not the product for thin and/or oily hair.  Typically 2 in 1’s skimp on the conditioning aspect but this doesn’t seem to be the case with this product.  This product is said to be loaded with nut butter & oils and while I do like the formula and eliminating a step my hair does still require additional conditioning leave-ins & oils.

ACV by DP Hue Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

DP HUE ACV: Travel size, Full size is $35.00

I’ve received other ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) hair products in the past and while I am aware of the benefits and even use ACV (with mother) for numerous things, including taking shots of it.. There are only so many instances I can tolerate the scent of it; you know, like over a salad; in the shower, it’s not so pleasant.  This one is not quite as pungent as others I have received and not nearly as strong as the actual product.  It doesn’t hang around once I am finished with my routine.  This stuff hasn’t seemed to do much for my actual hair, visually (though it could be cleaner) but it does seem to be benefiting my scalp, so that’s a plus and probably means that regular shampoos aren’t doing their job in the fight against removing all of these, now common, dry shampoos and oils we pile in our hair.  I plan to see it through.

Loreal Teaberry Two step lipcolor

Loreal infallible 2 step lipcolor.jpg

L’oréal Infallible Pro-Last Lipcolor:  Full size $9.74-$12.99 (varies by retailer)

This product must be an extra as it is only listed as an add in the Allure mini mag.  It’s a great product though and I lucked out too b/c I received two boxes and actually got two different, equally as wearable shades.  (they look nearly identical in the above photo but you can see the difference in the swatching below)  I received the shades timeless rosé & toujours teaberry.  Wow this product really stays, like: ‘invest in those lipstick removing products I never thought necessary’ kind of stays…If you put this stuff on too thick it feels kind of plastic-y on your lips and let it dry all the way, or it can also get sticky, but otherwise it’s a nice product.  I love both shades I received as they are the types I would purchase myself.  I’m boring, I know.  The product is like the much older technology where you apply a high intensity shade of transfer proof lip ‘paint’ on your pout and then add a moisturizing, sealing top coat, but it’s definitely an improved version from the past products I’ve tried.  Still not crazy about the feel of these products but if you want intense color and some real staying power.  You’ll get it.

Loreal infallible 2 step teaberry & timeless rose swatches

Left: toujours teaberry Right: timeless rosé

Pro-last lipcolor by Loreal infallible -lip swatches teaberrry & timeless rose

Teaberry, top Rosé, bottom


Allure Red Carpet Bonus Box

Because I have already reviewed a lot of the Covergirl items when I did my ‘New for 2016’ series, I will provide review links for those particular items.

The Bonus Box:

Allure Red Carpet Box

The Goods:

Cover Girl Oh sugar in soda

Covergirl Oh Sugar in Soda: $6.94 – $7.99 (prices vary by retailer)

Click to read my review.  I was really happy that I received a shade I didn’t already have!

Cover Girl Tru Blend oily skin Primer

Covergirl Tru Blend face primer for oily skin: $8.44-$9.99 (prices vary by retailer)

This is the exact version that I already own, click to read review.

Cover Girl Plumpify Blast Pro

Covergirl BlasPRO Plumpify Mascara: $8.97-$11.79 (prices vary by retailer)

Click to read review.  I would like to add that this mascara did grow on me.  It took a bit to get used to the large brush and ‘break it in’, so to speak, but I did continue using it and my lashes looked good. 😉

Cover Girl Lash blast Intensify me liner

Covergirl intensify me liquid liner: $6.99-$7.64 (prices vary by retailer)

This is one product I did not review in my ‘new for 2016’ Covergirl haul.  I had received it prior to that haul & totally forgot about it.  This is a pen style liner with the harder style tip but instead of a basic point it has a unique paddle shape to help you achieve both thick and thin lines with one product.  I actually like this eye liner pretty well but still prefer the more flexible, super pointy felt tip style liquid liners as my go to products.  I find them more smooth on my lid and use them more like a paint brush when I prefer a thicker line, simply filling it in.  This marker type eyeliner and other similar versions also tend to bleed a bit, though eye primers do help combat this. It’s a total preference thing when it comes to liquid liners.

covergirl intensify me eyeliner swatches

Swatches

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

SK-ll Facial Treatment Essence:  Multiple sizes available ranging from $99.00-$29o.00

I have heard so much about this product and after seeing the price tag on it I’ve always wondered if it was worth the hype.  I was thrilled when I learned that I was going to get to try it out for free.  The product’s main ingredient is Pitera, which I have not really researched, but likely should, but I do know it is used to enhance the skin’s renewal process.  This essence, sometimes dubbed ‘miracle water’ is meant to moisturize, improve texture and clarity, and contribute to a more balanced, and glowing complexion.  The product itself honestly looks and feels just like water.  The instructions say to sprinkle a small amount on your palm and gently press on to your face and neck.  Because of this application method and the nature of this product with its hefty price tag;  I felt myself caught in between: “how can this water-like substance really do anything special for my skin” to: “OMG I just lost a drop on the sink!, Is that water?! is that essence?!  I better wipe it on my face, just in case…you know, like an addict… :0  Anyway, I’ve been using it for 3 weeks now in conjunction with my 2-3 months new skin care routine and my skin has been worlds better lately.  I’ve not had a breakout in nearly 2 months and my scary dry patches are finally gone.  I do not know what it is about this magic water but my skin definitely & finally seems balanced, the most it’s been in years; so, as much as I do not enjoy the hefty price tag, I’m really digging the product and I’m afraid I just can’t live without it.  At least it seems it will last quite a while!  What does everyone else think of this product/brand? (I will do a blog post soon on my entire skin care routine.)

Sk-II Facial Treatment Mask

Sk-ll Facial Treatment Mask: $17.00 for a single mask $135.00 for 10

I have yet to try this mask.  I’m not going to lie; I’m totally hoarding it.  I guess I’m saving it for a special occasion where I want my skin to be at its very best.  -Mask is 100 percent cotton and drenches the skin with pitera’s fusion of vitamin, amino acids, minerals, and organic acids, while working to revitalize, comfort, and provide intense hydration. It immediately replenishes dehydrated skin, leaving it refreshed and cool.

Wella Smoothing Oil

Wella Professional Oil Reflections Smoothing Oil: This is a 1 oz size $20.00 @Ulta, larger size is $40.00

This stuff smells like a beach in a bottle.  I like that it has a pump so I can control the oil amount better.  It’s a lighter weight oil that absorbs really quickly, because of my thick, dry, hair type I can use this product on my dry hair too, without weighing it down or making it look greasy.  It’s great for touch ups on no-wash days when my hair is looking dry and not so smooth.  A little on the ends helps the appearance of split ends.  I’ve been using it on my son’s damp hair to smooth it and eliminate some of the puff he gets.  He loves the scent so much and calls it his beach oil.  It’s the perfect leave-in for his very thick, slightly wavy but undamaged hair.

Well, that was a lot of products!  But seriously, how amazing were these two boxes!?  I’m thrilled with all of it.  I really hope Allure puts together more of these specialized boxes either free or for sale as extras as they clearly know how to curate a box!!  I’m anxious to find out if there will be anything else new in store for them, freebies & otherwise.  Thoughts?

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-Kelli xoxo

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