July TestTube

Here’s the deal.  TestTube is a beauty subscription that only comes every three months as opposed to every month and instead of breaking up the payments of around $10/month, you are charged close to $40 every quarter.  To me, those things are cons, but the benefits far exceed them all.  They provide the most information about the products, the most samples and many of them full size.  I’m continually finding they introduce me to new brands and products I probably wouldn’t buy, but should because they are great quality.  I always do my reviews starting with my favorites and counting down to the one I liked the least, but I genuinely enjoyed each of these things as opposed to every other beauty subscription where I have at least one or two I don’t like at all.
July TestTube: (in order of my favorite to least favorite)

Mally High Shine Liquid Lipstick in Orchid $19/.12 fl oz (received full size):  I’m partial to lip color, and the fact that I don’t own many in the lilac family, I was thrilled to receive the full size of the Mally gloss.  Mally is a brand that’s kind of blowing up… and for good reason.  The company was started by celebrity makeup artist Mally Roncal.  This particular product claims to be a primer, gloss and liner in one tube and I have to say – it’s super long lasting, not sticky and the colors are amazing!  **Note: this is a subtle light purple/pink color.  Some of the other shades would be more dramatic depending on what you’re looking for.

Olay Pro-X-Clear Complexion Renewing Lotion $30.99/2.5 fl oz clarifying cleanser, 1.7 fl oz skin clearing treatment and 1.7 fl oz complexion renewing lotion (received .24 fl oz):  When you sign up for TestTube, you fill out a survey that personalizes your samples, so you get products to go with your hair color and skin type, but sometimes I swear they’re reading my mind.  Because this Summer has been particularly busy and has come with its share of stresses, my skin has felt the brunt of it.  I’m currently tackling some pesty zits that ironically tend to show up at the very worst times.  This was the only product I’ve tried over the last couple weeks that hasn’t burned, but seemed to have moisturize and tone down the redness.  I definitely would buy this full size!

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Serum $15.14/1 fl oz (received full size):  First of all, this product smells great.  I’m very particular about scents.  There’s nothing worse than something smelling artificial or overbearing, but I’m always pleasantly surprised when something is refreshing.  I’ve been using it under my moisturizer and it feels great going on.  I’m making an effort to take better care of my skin, preventative care included, so I enjoyed adding this product to my daily routine.

Lumene Time Freeze Firming Night Cream $21.99/1.7 fl oz (received .5 fl oz):  When it comes to a firming lotion or mask, I like to actually feel it working.  When I’m leaving something on for 20 minutes, I like it to stiffen up and really work on my pores, but when it’s a cream I leave on overnight, a happy medium between barely there and super charged tightening is key.  I like that this cream has a substantial weight, adds tons of moisture to my skin and doesn’t fade within minutes of applying it.

It’s a 10 Miracle Leave In Product $17.99/4 fl oz (received 2 fl oz):  I’ve used a few It’s a 10 products in the past and have not been overly impressed, I’m all for a good frizz fighting detangler.  It definitely helped with knots, but I’ve found other similar products are more effective in the frizz department.  I think this would be great for someone with hair that knotted easily, but didn’t have as thick hair as me.  I’m using this in my dream life – beachy waves and slight tangles because I just surfed all morning and need a quick comb through before I head to my successful studio… if that’s your life… this product is for you and also – please be my friend.

Neutrogena Brightening Eye Perfector in Light $11.19/4.9 g (received full size):  The color is a bit off on this one for my skin (maybe that’s why I didn’t absolutely love it), but the coverage is good.  I don’t have particularly dark eyes or circles, so it’s never been a really important product for me, but for someone that does, I think it would definitely help.  The key to this is to start with only a little of it – it’s easy to layer too much on and look cakey.

Hydroxatone Instant Effect 90 Second Wrinkle Reducer On The Go Singles $44.95/15 packets (received full size):  I’ll admit, part of the reason for the low rating is because the packages are practically child locked (or I’m just weak), but it’s a pet peeve of mine when packaging is hard to open… especially for daily singles!  It definitely does tighten, which is great, but it’s also a bit sticky.

 

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My Last BeautyBox5 Review

That’s right.  I threw in the towel.  Not because I think BeautyBox5 is bad, but like I’ve said before, I definitely think it is important to test out different beauty subscriptions so you can find the right one for you (we all have different needs and preferences… and this one just isn’t exactly my style.  So from now on, I’ll only receive monthly boxes from Birchbox, Glossy Box and Test Tube.

It’s actually funny that my last BeautyBox5 was my favorite.  It featured some great products, but nothing that compared to what the others were sending (for me), so I decided to stick to my gut and respectfully discontinue my subscription.

June BeautyBox5 Review:
*in order of best to worst

Everyday Minerals Blush in ‘Girl Friday’ $6.99/mini jar (received full size) – There’s no doubt I have a thing for blush.  What I love even more is layering different colors.  Powders make this really easy.  The ‘Girl Friday’ color is really nice because it’s a little deeper than my normal range of colors that I buy, which makes accomplishing a more dramatic look easier.  Everyday Minerals is a company I’ve liked for a while now.  They have beautiful colors and they are light enough where you can play with them and not look crazy, but instead layer for a darker color, giving you more control.

The All Natural Face Vegan Mineral Eyeshadow in Just Peachy $3.99/5 gram jar (received full size) – I definitely unfairly pre-judged this one.  I’ve had really bad experiences with vegan cosmetics before where I’ve seriously felt like I was using something so ridiculous like grains of salt on my eyelids and have even broken out from a similar product, BUT I have to say I love this color and I’ve been using it daily.  The color is very subtle and layers really nicely.  It’s the perfect symmetry of orange and pink, which was missing from my collection and will be very useful for Summer.  I’ve even been using it on my cheeks!

Comodynes Easy Peeling New Face Effect $12.99/8 sheets (received 1 sheet) – I was really intrigued with this and have actually decided I would buy this again.  I love exfoliating and appreciate the soft skin it leaves behind.  What I don’t like about exfoliating is that often times it’s really messy.  Because this is a sheet that you rub over your face, it eliminates the mess, which is great!  What I will say about this is that it is really rough.  It felt very abrasive, which I couldn’t decide if I loved (because it was doing its’ job) or hated (because it kind of hurt).  My skin did feel really soft though about 15 minutes after use, so I’m eager to see what would happen if I used it weekly… it was hard to judge with just 1 sheet.

Blinc Eyeliner $25/.21 oz (received small sample tube) – The positives of this eyeliner are that it definitely lasts a long time and goes on dark, but there are a few reasons I wouldn’t buy this product again.  For one thing, you have to be patient when you apply it.  Wait for it to dry or else you’ll undoubtedly make a mess of your makeup, which is probably more an issue on my part leaving only the very least amount of time to apply makeup in the morning and even 30 extra seconds seems impossible.  Also, the brush is very flexible.  When I’m putting on dark liquid liner, it’s helpful to have a stronger wand that won’t accidentally flop over and create a vertical line making you look ridiculous and usually causing you to start your eye makeup all over again.  Lastly, and this one isn’t necessarily 100% negative, when you do take it off, it almost peels off in little pieces, much like paint.  The reason this bothers me is that I inevitably miss some in the inner part of my eye and wake up with stringy black leftover makeup in my eyes, which is not the way I like to start my day.

Blum Naturals Oil Absorbing Facial Tissues $3.90/50 sheets (received full size) – I’m pretty sure the last time I used an oil absorbing sheet was in high school when Jennifer Love Hewitt was doing the Neutrogena commercials and those little blue oil sheets seemed cool.  Although I admit I initially bought them purely because I had a serious obsession with the movie Can’t Hardly Wait, what I loved about them (although kinda gross) was that there was visual confirmation that they were working.  The oil became apparent as you slid it across your face and it felt like it was working.  This product doesn’t do that.  For me, it just felt like I was rubbing tissue paper all over my face, but it could just be the fact that I don’t have particularly oily skin (I actually am usually looking to help with dryness).