Hello all! It’s the middle of December and I’ve just gotten my Winter Beautycon BFF Box, which means I’m doing a review for you! After the disappointment that was the Fall box, I’m crossing my fingers that this will be worth the wait. Let’s see, shall we?
This month’s box includes:
- ALI & JAY “gift card” ($50)
- Skinvolve – Body Karate Cream ($39.99; full size)
- Garnier – SkinActive Micellar Water ($2.25; 3.4 oz travel size)
- Rimmel London – The Only 1 Lipcolor in “Pink a Punch” ($6.99; full size)
- ColourPop – BeautyCon Exclusive Lippie Stix ($5; full size)
- L’Oreal Paris – Voluminous Lash Primer ($5.99; full size)
- L’Oreal Paris – Voluminous Feline Mascara ($7.99; full size)
- Luxie Beauty – Rose Gold Tapered Highlighting Brush 522 ($24)
- Artist Couture – Illuminati Diamond Glow Powder ($13; size unknown)
- Too Faced – Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer ($7.50; sample)
- Kate Somerville – Exfolikate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment ($24.00)
- Biobelle – Botanic Fiber Facial Mask in “Decadence” ($4.99; full size)
ALI & JAY: First up we have the $50 “gift card”. I totally forgot to take a photo before tossing it, but I’m pretty sure you can imagine what a sheet of paper looks like :-). I have a really hard time with calling things gift cards that require you to spend money, and I really wish subscription boxes would stop doing it. In this case, it’s actually $50 off $100, so I consider it to be a coupon. I did end up using it – they had a deal going on that was buy one dress get one free, and you could use the card with it, so I ended up getting two cocktail dresses for $60. Still, they don’t exactly have a wide range of sizes, and their stuff runs small (as I’ve discovered), so I don’t exactly consider this one a hit.
Skinvolve Body Karate Cream: Okay, I was a little shocked when I found the price for this. I mean…that’s a lot of money for a body lotion! It’s paraben and sulfate free, which is great. The formula feels nice and non-greasy, but not particularly rich. It’s more…refreshing feeling. The smell though – yuck! I read some reviews and people are raving about the smell, so maybe I got a bad batch? It has a wierd plastic stench to me. I can barely stand putting it on it smells so strong/terrible. I would definitely use it up if it weren’t for that. But buying more? Nah. This size will last a 7-10 days max on me (I tend to slather) and that’s not good enough for $40. Excellent inclusion in the box though. If you can get past the smell, it’s a high value and useful item.
Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water: I’m happy to get this in the box! It’s actually a staple for me. I never take the big bottle with me when I travel, so this smaller size one will do nicely.
Rimmel The Only 1 Lipstick: It looks like subscribers could have gotten a few different colors. I received pink punch. The formula seems decent, lightly moisturizing and very creamy, but the color just isn’t for me. It doesn’t look terrible, but it’s not my style. I think I’ve become somewhat jaded to lipstick in beauty boxes – it seems like most of the colors I get are either hot pink, bright coral/orange or neon red, none of which I’m interested in. Still, good formula and if you get a color you like, I’d call it a win.
ColourPop Lippie Stix: I really like ColourPop’s formulas. Any time I get one of their products, it’s a win for me because I know I’ll use it. This color is a nude pinkish brown, and is described as being Beautycon Pink. It looks slightly pinker on than in the tube, but nothing like the sticker/box/color it’s described as being. It’s also labeled as an exclusive color…buuuuuit it looks so much like another one of their lippies that I own that I’m having a hard time believing that it’s not just labeled differently. 🤔
Both shades are swatched on my arm below.
Luxie Rose Gold Tapered Highlighting Brush 522: I’ve gotten several Luxie Brushes in boxes before and really like them. This is one I don’t have, so score for me. It also goes with the highlighter and bronzer included, so plus one for curation.
Artist Couture Illuminati Diamond Glow Powder: Great formula on this one. It’s VERY shiny but smooth and not chunky at all, which is fabulous. Not my color at all (pale girl here, gold looks super terrible on me), but I think I can find a use for it anyway as an eyeshadow or something. I think this is a great inclusion for the holidays – sparkly gold is great for parties. Swatched down at the bottom.
Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer: I have about a million of these samples, in this color. Just once I would love it if they sent out one of the lighter (or darker) shades, for some diversity. This is a formula I like – I use the milk chocolate shade, which is cooler and paler. It smells so good!
L’Oreal Voluminous Primer Base: Here’s another excellent example of curation – primer and mascara together. They’re even from the same brand! This primer is not bad, I have a more expensive version from Sephora (same brand) and this gives me exactly the same results. It definitely provides a small amount of length/thickness.
L’Oreal Voluminous Feline Noir Waterproof Mascara: On the other hand, I am not a fan of this mascara. I’ll be sticking with my two HGs for sure. I found the formula a bit clumpy, the brush didn’t really add anything to the application, and my eyelashes didn’t look particularly dense or good.
I’m wearing the primer on my right eye (left for you). As you can see, it makes a difference from the unprimed eye on my left. The mascara only eye looks okay in the photo, but it was worse in person. I have super long lashes as well, so while it looks like a good performer, trust me, it wasn’t.
Kate Somerville Exfolikate: This is another one where the price tag has me scratching my head. $24 for half an ounce? Okay then. I’ll probably be passing this along to someone else anyway. I’ve had very bad reactions to Kate Somerville products before and I don’t feel like risking it.
Biobelle #decadence Botanic Fiber Facial Mask: It’s always nice to get an individual mask in a box, and the winter box is double nice. Typically this time of year is hard on skin, so pampering is a must. It looks like this company makes their masks from a biodegradable fiber from a “sustainably managed forest” – which is definitely something I can get behind!
Final Thoughts: I am having a really hard time deciding how I feel about this one. I honestly think it’s a great value – even without the coupon, the value comes to about $141 (with the coupon it’s $191). That’s really amazing for a $36 box. Most the items were pretty good, my personal tastes aside. It stuck to the Winter Essentials theme. So I can’t figure out why I feel so meh about it.
The first box I got from them was just so well curated (it was from grav3yard girl) and had so much personality, it’s possible none of them since have really stacked up to that one for me.
So, if I put that feeling aside, it is a good collection of products to try out, and a really great value! I still recommend this one if that’s what you’re looking for. Sadly, I’ve decided to cancel my subscription – I’m trying to declutter and this is no longer a must have for me.