Beautycon Summer 2016

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I decided to spring for the Summer Beautycon Box since there was a coupon code and the total came to $21.49 with shipping and it’s one I haven’t heard much about before.  It’s a box that is delivered four times a year, once every 3 months, so, March, June, September, and December.  I plan on doing this box as a one-off and waiting to see who is curating the next box before jumping on again.  Unfortunately, Beautycon makes it pretty difficult to unsubscribe.  Their policy is that when you purchase a box, you automatically sign up for the month-to-month payment system for all boxes.  In order to unsubscribe from the next delivery, you have to email within 7 days of receiving the current box.  It seems a little silly that you can’t just hit a button on their website to unsubscribe or opt in or out of the next box and that the unsubscription window is so short.  I much prefer being able to know the curator before making a decision about the next box, and being forced to make that decision before knowing anything about the next box is really troublesome.
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Anyway!  Inside the box, smiling up at you, is a portrait of Kandee Johnson, the curator of th summer box.  I had honestly never heard of Kandee before, but she’s apparently a famous beauty expert on YouTube.  On the back of this card is the rundown of the contents of the box along with social media links.  It might sound silly, but I really like how the box is put together with the packaging, product card on top, and a little message on the inside that says, “Oh Hey, Beauty!”  There’s also a cardboard insert on top of the contents that reminds you about social media links and tells you to make sure the lighting is just right for your unboxing video.  Cute.

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SO!  All of that in one box!  When I brought it in from the mailbox, I thought, Hey wow, that’s heavy, and there’s why!  Four full size products that were over an ounce with the Redken Spray at 8.5 oz.  Really pretty impressive!  I had seen previous boxes and there were some items that weren’t makeup, skincare, etc inside, but this one is ALL makeup and skincare.  From Kandee’s video on YouTube, it looks like they were all selected for being great for summer, and it definitely shows.  On to the details!

  • Benzac Blemish Clearing Hydrator – 1 oz  / $8.99 – (Full Size Product)  Being the natural sort of nut that I am, the first thing I noticed was that this contains parabens.  Salicylic acid has really never done anything for my acne either, but this might be something to try during the uh, more acne-challenging week of the month, if you catch my drift.  I like the idea of combining an acne fighting ingredient with a moisturizer to keep your skin from drying out though.
  • Garnier Clearly Brighter Moisturizer – 2.5 oz / $14.99 – (Full Size Product)  It’s a moisturizer with a chemical sublock at SPF 15 which I know is something I should be doing more often.  Granted, I’m not out in the sun that often to begin with, but I really ought to be using a SPF15 on my face every day.  I guess now I have no excuse!
  • Neutrogena Ultra Light Cleansing Oil – 4 oz / $8.99 – (Full Size Product)  Another product that contains parabens.  I’m no stranger to cleansing oils, but the ones I use have far fewer ingredients!  (Is my organic/natural nerd snobbery showing?  I think it might be…)  It’s a huge product to include, and a far better way to clean your face than a soap or cleanser that strips away oils, not to mention that cleansing oils remove makeup really well.
  • Redken Fashion Waves Sea Salt Spray – 8.5 oz / $15.25 – (Full Size Product)  I was really excited about this until I read that the second ingredient is Magnesium Sulfate.  I have crazy curly hair and I’m super picky about what products I use in my hair and sulfates tend to be no-nos.  Tightly Curly lists that ingredient as an avoid.  I’m probably still going to try it to see how it treats my second-day curls since I have it.
  • NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil – .18 oz / $4.50 – (Full Size Product)  The color included is, “Cashmere,” and it’s a warm gold color that’s just perfect for some summer shine.
  • NYX Ombre Lip Duo – .004 oz / $12 – (Full Size Product)  The color included is, “Peaches & Cream,” which is a light yellow-orange on one end and a darker bright orange on the other.  The lighter end is a thicker tip and the darker orange is a thinner tip almost like an eyeliner.  Oranges really don’t work for me as lip colors.. I gave it a try just because an ombre lip color seemed like fun, and the effect is really neat and really bright!  I could see using this on a day at the beach, but, I’m not a beach person and have no plans to go to the beach this summer anyway.  I may stash it away for some future caribbean vacation or repurpose it as an eyeliner/eyeshadow since the formula is pretty matte and would work well as an eyeshadow color set.
  • Smashbox Brow Tech Shaping Powder – .03 oz / $25 – (Full Size Product)  This is the item I’m most excited about in the box, and the color includes was “Taupe.”  I have pretty thin eyebrows – not thin in width, but very sparsely populated, if that makes sense.  I’m already a huge fan of Benefit’s Gimme Brow, and this looks like it fills in the gaps in my eyebrows maybe even a little bit better since it’s a powder with fibers instead of basically an eyebrow mascara with fibers.  It doesn’t take much, and that little pot will last a long while.
  • Too Faced Waterproof Better Than Sex Mascara – .27 oz / $23 – (Sample is .17 oz, value of $14.48)  I’ve heard a lot about this mascara, but unfortunately cyclopentasiloxane is on the list, an ingredient I know irritates my eyes.  Anything with this ingredient sends me straight to having the worst puffy itchy eyes, but you know I’m probably going to try it anyway, just on the off chance that this is the magic formula that doesn’t bother me.
  • VersaSpa Gradual Tanning Face Moisturizer – 2 oz / $35 – (Sample is .25 oz, value of $4.38)  I’m just not into chemical tanning products.  Pale is a naturally beautiful color and I really have no use for something like this.  PLUS, there’s no ingredient list on the product, and even the website doesn’t have the full ingredient list.  That always makes me think they have something to hide.
  • LA Fresh Wipes – 4 wipe sample pack / $2.99 – (Sample is two wipes, value of $1.50)  Included were the wipes, “Instant Cooling Body Soother” and “Oil-Free Face Cleanser.”  Okay, first off, these are NOT compostable or biodegradeable because of the ingredients in the wipes, one of which is my arch nemesis again, cylopentasiloxane, which studies have shown can bioaccumulate in fish.  This isn’t something you want to stick in your compost bin and later mix into your garden to grow tomatoes, so it really bothers me that LA Fresh markets these wipes as compostable and biodegradable when it’s not at all safe to do either with these.  Anyway, I’ll probably still use them, but unfortunately, they have to go in the trash, NOT the compost bin.
  • Cover FX Contour Brush – 1 brush / $38 – (Full Size Product)  This is actually a really nice surprise!  I just got a contouring set in another box, so now I have the right brush to go with it!  This is the most expensive item in the box and easily covers the cost of the box.

Also included (not added into the box value) is a promo card for 15% off Seventeen’s The Edit shop when it opens later this summer.  Let’s face it, I haven’t been 17 for over 17 years at this point and even the curator is older than I am, so this feels a bit misplaced.  Either that, or I’m not really the target age group for this box.

When you add everything up, the total value comes out to $148.08 depending on how you calculate the value of some of the sample sizes, just shy of $150 which is really amazing for a box that only cost me $21.49.  On the other side of that, there’s really nothing new and super exciting in this box.  The big items are basic drugstore brands which isn’t terribly exciting, all the colors are standard, nothing special or unique that only comes in this box and can’t be purchased elsewhere.  I’m left feeling like I should love this box more than I do when all is said and done.  Really, what I’m coming to realize, is that I need to stick with vegan or cruelty-free boxes because this kind of box just isn’t me, especially as I’ve become more conscious of the ingredients in cosmetics and skincare products.  There are wonderful options out there that don’t contain two dozen ingredients, half of which are unpronouncable, and do the same thing just as well if not better.  So, I guess, mixed feelings on this!  Like I said, the value is really incredible, but personally, I’m left feeling like this just wasn’t the box for me.

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