A few weeks ago, the fashion site The Coveteur asked me to review some of the most popular subscription beauty boxes to see how they stack up (I know, my job is really hard). And given the number of products that come across my desk on any random day, I'm somewhat of a tough critic.
So over Labor Day weekend, while you were out sunning yourself, I was stuck in my bathroom trying dozens of new beauty products (this is the part where no one should feel bad for me). Herein, the good, the bad and the best box of all.
Birchbox: Of all the beauty boxes I tried, I was most excited about Birchbox because I had heard so many great things. But when it arrived in the mail, it was a little lackluster. The packaging was minimal (the five items came in a small brown cardboard box) and the contents looked like they had just been dumped inside. When it came to the products, my favorite was the Benefit They're Real! Mascara -- it wasn't new to me, but it was nice to get a mini version to stick in my purse. But it got worse from there: the other products included a Tocca Grapefruit and Cucumber Hand Cream (which smelled like a perfume store exploded on my hands), a magenta Laqa & Co. lip tube (way too bright), a Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator (which felt like a fancy Clean & Clear scrub) and an Amika Nourishing Hair Mask (which I enjoyed, but if I'm being honest, I'm never going to sit down and do a hair mask).
Number of products: Five
Overall rating: 2 out of 5. I loved the mini tube of mascara, but the box didn't introduce me to any new items that I'll buy again. Also, Birchbox needs to up their packaging game -- they should include a tiny makeup bag or something to give their boxes a little somethin’ somethin’.
Ipsy: Ipsy, which is the brainchild of the ultimate Youtube guru, Michelle Phan, gets major points for presentation. Their items came in a cute, patterned makeup case that I will definitely use when I go on my next vacation. As far as the products go, there were two that I absolutely loved. My favorite was the Eva NYC Freshen Up Dry Shampoo, which came in a mini aerosol bottle (and is going to save my life during fashion week) and the other was the Ole Henriksen The Clean Truth Cleansing Cloths, which are perfect to use when your face needs a little pick-me-up in the middle of the day (another product that will probably save my life during NYFW). The other three products weren't as great -- there was a pink lipstick that looked awful with my skin tone, a bronzer with too much shimmer and an aquamarine nail polish I'll probably never wear.
Number of products: Five
Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5. The best product from all the beauty boxes I tried was in the Ipsy box (the mini dry shampoo), but most of the other products fell flat.
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