Walmart Beauty Box: Fall 2014

So the internets were all abuzz when Walmart introduced their own seasonal beauty box. Priced at an affordable $5 a box, I couldn’t resist trying it out for you all. I received mine a little later than some folks so I was able to see a few spoilers before mine showed up.

Box

I was disappointed when mine turned out to be different than the ones I saw. It turns out there were two versions of this box. And as the beauty and box bloggers all chatted amongst themselves, it came to light that there was: a “young” box and an “old” box. And the cut-off is pretty precise. If you are 35 or above when you signed up you get the “old box”.  If you are 34 or below when you sign up, you get a “young box.”

Thanks Walmart, because I totally needed to feel more waves of panic and nausea as my 35th birthday approaches in a mere matter of days. Since I was still clinging to 34 when I signed up I was technically young and received the “young box”.  I’m guessing next time I’ll get the “old” box and we’ll see some denture cream, Depends and support hose. (I kid, I kid).
Open Box

So let’s jump in:

DeodorantSecret Clinical Strength Completely Clean Invisible Solid Antiperspirant/Deodorant,
(1.6 oz Retail: $7.92)
Description: Secret Clinical Strength Invisible Solid Antiperspirant/Deodorant is here with a Completely Clean scent and 1.6 oz size. It is formulated to provide a shield from odor and up to 100-percent odor protection.”
Verdict: Hit!
No matter how many fancy pants deodorants I try, I always come back to Secret. I haven’t every used their clinical strength (I’m an old fashioned Spring Breeze solid kind of girl) but this is my go to brand so I’m willing to give it a try. I think I’m going to set this one aside for when I plan to workout or do something strenuous. This is the only item that was included in both “young” and “old” boxes. I guess because everybody sweats? (And now I hear that phrase over and over to the tune of “Everybody Hurts” by REM).

Assorted Samples
Samples
Nicki Minaj Pink Friday
(1 oz Retail: $29.97)
Description: Designed to embody the alluring appeal and energy of the rap star, Nicki Minaj fragrance spray is an intoxicating fragrance. It includes the enticing scent of fruit and pink flower petals with just a hint of creamy vanilla, musk and a note of the woods. This eau de parfum spray combines floral and musky elements to create a one-of-a-kind fragrance that is as stylish and sophisticated as the singer herself. In addition, it comes in an elegant and statuesque bottle. This fragrance makes an ideal gift for a birthday or other occasion for the special person in your life.”
Verdict: Miss
This is the ideal gift for the “special person in your life” if they happen to be a teenager. This scent is super sweet to me and reads really young. Not like 34 or 25 young, but like 16 years old and going to Chem class on Monday.

1 Neutrogena Long Wear Foundation (Sample Card w/ coupon)
(1 oz Retail: $13.97)
Description: “12-hour makeup instantly erases the look of skin imperfections. Clinically proven to make skin tone look more even in just four weeks, even without makeup. Lightweight, natural-looking coverage resists heat and humidity. Tone-correcting complex. Titanium dioxide sunscreen. Broad spectrum SPF 20. Helps prevent sunburn; if used as directed with other sun protection measures (see directions), decreases the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging caused by the sun.”
Verdict: Miss
Putting aside that I don’t use drugstore foundation – this is the size you get from magazine samples. In fact, I’m reasonably certain I’ve gotten this same sample of this foundation in a magazine. I expect in a box they could at least spring for an itty bitty tube or a more generous sized foil packet. For folks that do wear this type of foundation the saving grace is that it came with a coupon so that’s really where the value is in this item.

   L’Oreal Paris Youth Code Texture Perfector Pore Vanisher Cream
(1.4 oz Retail: $17.97)
Description:
Scientifically developed for all skin tones, L’Oreal Paris Youth Code Texture Perfector Pore Vanisher helps to improve overall skin quality instantly and over time. Reveal your most ideal skin now. Virtually Poreless Smooth Results Instantly: Pores appear virtually vanished. Excess oil is absorbed for an all-day, shine-free matte finish. Skin feels freshly hydrated. In One Day: Skin’s texture is visibly transformed for a refined, smooth look. In One Month: Actual pore size decreases as pores begin to snap back into shape. Overall skin quality is improved. Unique Texture: This lightweight, oil-free cream absorbs quickly with no residue or greasy feel leaving skin feeling freshly moisturized with a silky smooth matte finish.”
Verdict: Like the product, dislike the size
This sounds like a really intriguing product, especially to those of us with giant pores, but this size is useless. This is the type of product that you need to use a few times in order to determine if it’s working for you. A regular travel size rather than a packet would have been a much better option.

 


Dove Shampoo & Conditioner
Dove Oxygen Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner (Trial Size)
(12 oz Retail: $4.79/$4.98)
Description: Dove Advanced Hair Series Oxygen Moisture Conditioner provides your hair with moisture and 95% more volume. This gentle shampoo is made with Dove’s Oxyfusion technology, a new generation of moisture. With lightweight, oxygen-fused conditioning ingredients, it cleanses hair while adding natural-looking volume and gives your hair bounce. For best results, experience the Oxyfusion technology with the full line of Dove Oxygen Moisture products.”
Verdict: Meh
I’m just not feeling the travel size. I know this is a cheap box, but I expected to see larger sizes of products they want us to try out and not quite so many sample sizes. This is at least way more generous than the foil packets. I prefer more specialized shampoos (like the one I buy specifically for redheads) so I’m just going to put these aside for when I need to travel.

Hair Oil
Dove Pure Care Dry Oil Restorative Hair Treatment
(Travel Size)
(3.38 fl oz Retail: $11.95)
Description: “Extraordinary weightless nourishment in every drop–the lightweight, luxurious formula of Dove Pure Care Dry Oil Restorative Hair Treatment is infused with pure drops of precious oils. Upon use, hair is nourished and revitalized with added silkiness, softness, and shine. Hair is manageable and protected from the stresses induced by blow-drying and styling. It also smoothes dry ends. Unique Dry Oil Technology offers rapid absorption into hair. Hair will not be weighed down or feel greasy.”
Verdict: Like
This is another travel size, but I mind it a lot less with styling products. This makes them “purse” size and not just stingy (If that makes sense). I’ve been trying a lot of hair oils from my various boxes so I’m willing to give the Dove version a shot.

Polish
COVERGIRL Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Glossy Days Glosstinis Nail Gloss, 0.11 fl oz in After Dark

(Full size: $2.97)
Description: COVERGIRL Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Glosstinis Nail Gloss offer bright trendy colors for day. Plus, light up the night with colors that glow under black light.”
Verdict: Like but in a different season/Gift
I didn’t realize that these lit up in black light until I searched for them at Walmart. Damn this box really wants us to feel the “young” part. In any case, I do like the color, but it doesn’t feel right for fall. I think other folks got a different shade so there’s might be more fitting. Because Walmart is specifically calling this a Fall box, I think the beauty products should utilize Fall colors.

Lip Balm
L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Glossy Lip Balm in Baby Berry
(Full size: $6.97)
Description: Ultra-glossy color for a flirty, playful pout. Glossy color lasts for hours. Crayon point tip glides over lips. Never needs sharpening–simply twist to advance.”
Verdict: Gift
This wasn’t a bad color or product but I have so much lip stuff that I gave this to a friend. I think the berry shade was nice for fall and it was a good addition to this box.

 

Full Box
OVERALL
Verdict:
Like

At only $5 for the box, this paid for itself with just the deodorant.  Just tallying up the full sizes alone, we got to $17.86.

My big reservation is in the division of young/old boxes. I’m not convinced that was a smart strategy for customers. I’m interested to see if that same logic holds up for future boxes.

Did you order one of these boxes? If so, were you “young” or “old”?

THE BACKSTORY

Walmart subscriptions cost $5 per quarter and you receive a box seasonally (four times a year.)

Birchbox: October 2014

Since October is my birthday month, there’s a lot of pressure on my sub boxes to deliver fantastic surprises. It’s time to dive into the October Birchbox and see if it delivered.
Box
The cute pink box opens up to reveal:
Box 2
The even cuter brown box that will surely hold someone’s Christmas gift later this year.

Along with our info card, we got a cute little one to broadcast our favorite TV show. My current fave is hands down Once Upon A Time. There are no stories better than fairy tales. Not a one.
Cards

So now we move the tissue paper to dive into the pretties.
Open Box Open Box 2

Beauty Blender
beautyblender® + deluxe solid cleanser

(Retail: $28.95)
Description: Pro-favorite sponge for smooth, natural-finish foundation (plus cleanser to keep it clean)”
Verdict: HOT DAMN!
We had heard this item would be featured in boxes and of course, everyone wanted one. And as luck would have it, I am one of the chosen. I have heard so many amazing things about beautyblenders but have yet to try one. I can’t wait to give this a shot with my favorite CC cream. This item alone is well over the value of the box, and everything after this is just icing on the cake.


Hand
Camille Beckman Tuscan Honey Glycerine Hand Therapy
(6 oz Retail: $13.95)
Description: Sweet-smelling cream that restores and protects hands with glycerin and healing botanicals.”
Verdict: Hit!
Do you see that adorable little flower attached to the top of the itty bitty jar? This thing could be empty and I’d love it. This is a nice little size to keep in your work bag and I’m adding this to my mini nail kit that I’m taking for my birthday weekend trip.

Pore
brandt® pores no more® vacuum cleaner™
(1 oz Retail: $45.00)
Description: “Award-winning gel that degunks pores for fewer blackheads and smoother skin.”
Verdict: Hit!
Blackheads are my skincare nemesis so anything that will “degunk” or remove them is a winner for me. This is pretty pricey on its own so I’m psyched to have a chance to try it out before committing to a full size.

Modelco
ModelCo Party Proof Lipstick in Kitty

(Lipstick Trio Retail: $24.00)
Description: “”Hydrating, semi-matte formula in a soft pink shade that lasts as long as the party does.”
Verdict: Hit!
This was the sample I chose from the options we were given. It’s a nice neutral pink and I like the packaging with the clear top. I didn’t swatch this just because I have a ton of lipsticks currently in rotation. I’ve been wanting to try a smoky eye look for evening and I think it will pair perfectly with this lipstick. (Plus the small size of this will work great in a tiny clutch bag).

Perfume
Sage and Fasten Onward

(Full size Rollerball Collection: $29.00)
Description: Grapefruit, green apple, and lemon mingle in this energizing citrus scent.”
Verdict: Hit!
Typically I don’t care for perfumes, but I love fruity scents – particularly citrus, so this is right up my alley. I also love rollerball perfume applicators so this is a great choice for me. This is another item I’ll be taking along with me on my trip.

 

OVERALL
Full Box
Verdict:
I love it so much that I want to marry it and have its sub box babies

They could have thrown the beautyblender in with just a bunch of packing peanuts and this box would have been worth it. Not only is everything in this box something I will use, but they are all items I would have grabbed for myself if I’d seen them on a shelf. Birchbox really outdid themselves this month and this was just the perfect birthday box for me.

As for the value, I paid $10.70 and received $5.00 in Birchbox points after reviewing each item, so a great deal becomes even better.

I have plans to head out soon to the Birchbox store in Soho, so if you want to get a peek at the Brick and Mortar Birchbox, be sure to stop back.

Were you one of the lucky folks to grab a beautyblender? What was in your October Birchbox?

THE BACKSTORY

Birchbox subscriptions cost $10 per month or $110 per year.

Your options: Women’s Box or Men’s Box

Points System:
Whenever you buy something at Birchbox they give you Birchbox points. $1.00 = 1 Birchbox Point.
Each 100 Birchbox reward points can be redeemed for $10.00.
You can also earn points by reviewing the samples they send you (10 points per sample) and referring/subscribing friends. If your review all the items you receive in your box each month, you’ll receive 50 Birchbox rewards points!
If you purchase a full size of one of the sample items they sent you in that same month, you receive free shipping on them and often extra points.