The rumors were true! When I read that Allure was putting a full-size Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum in the January 2018 box, I had to subscribe. I subscribed at the tail end of last year and never received an email confirmation. Money was immediately pulled from my account, which is normal with a new subscription. Neither of my emails to customer service ever received a response either. It is nice to know that customer service has not improved since I was last subscribed when this was the Sample Society Box under Beautybar. Between lackluster boxes and shoddy customer service, I previously dropped Sample Society not once, but twice. While I had not given them another chance since they switched over to Allure Beauty Box, I expected more of the same.
Apparently, there are people who actually work in Allure’s customer service. They just only answer phone calls and never respond to emails. That is the exact opposite of Birchbox so they balance each other out. Is it too much to ask for a subscription program that responds to emails and answers phones! I finally got someone on the phone on 01/16/18. She told me that there was a mixup with my email address, but she updated the email address. My January box was in transit. Yay! Turns out she did not actually fix my email address, because I was still unable to login to my account online. After placing a second call, I determined there was a letter missing in my email address. Now, that the missing letter got added, I could get access to my online account. The second lady informed me that my shipping confirmation and referral link was in my welcome email. I reminded her that the welcome email went to the wrong email address so I cannot confirm if referral links are actually included in the welcome email.
Referral links are hard to come by and I did not get mine until deep into March 2018. As far as I can tell, the $10 welcome box is available on the direct site and does not need a referral anyway. Considering the referral gift whether referring 1 or 50 people a month is a single tube of Mally Volumizing mascara, I am not sure the person referring gets much benefit either. Though I have not tried that mascara yet, it is one of the over 100 I own.
Allure Beauty Box sends 5-6 beauty samples for $15 plus tax a month. Shipping is free. Items are chosen by Allure editors so products can range from drugstore to high-end. There is no rewards program with this subscription and elusive referral links are hard to come by. I do not have one. Most items are deluxe, but there are times when 1-2 products are full-sized. It retails for $15 plus tax. Boxes usually ship in the third week of the month, and the charge for the box gets processed the day the box ships. New subscribers get charged the day they subscribe. If you are a new subscriber and there are boxes left in the month you subscribe, you will get a box from that month. When the month is sold-out, you will still be charged upon subscribing, but you will not get charged a second time when your first box ships the following month.
There is a mini magazine inside the box that goes over all the products inside. It gives detailed information about the product, the cost to purchase the full size, and where to purchase it. This is a magazine that hosts a subscription box so I get why this is in there. A brief box description from the editor is at the front, and an ad for a product not listed in the box is near the back. The main reason I stopped paying for magazine subscriptions is because ads outweigh the articles. When the ad is bigger than the “article” from the editor, this mini is like all other magazines available today. I just want stuff I can read, because I am a writer at heart.
The contents are loose inside the box with white crinkle cut paper. Red and white vibes give me a Christmas feeling. I like that.
Most boxes are the same, but there is a little variation when Allure does not have enough of a certain product.
The January 2018 had 5 products, but I received a variant box. Thus, I got 6. The item that was missing from my box was the This Works in Transit Camera Close Up. It is a mask, primer, and moisturizer in one. Though I do not usually like 2-in-1 or 3-in-1 products as they rarely seem to do anything well when they try to do too many things at once, I actually wanted to try this. I love the pillow spray from this brand and was looking to branch out to different products.
The two items I received in place of the primer are a 0.25oz Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer and a 0.5oz Tula Advanced Neck Cream. Some of you may already know that the primer gives me a rash so I will not keep it. It has a $8 value. I am actually happy about the neck cream. I like using neck cream, but I usually just pull my face cream down when I do not have any. When I have a separate cream, it adds a step to my already long skincare routine, but it makes me feel like I am giving my skin the best. This sample is one I’ve heard of and wanted to try. It is worth $23.53 so that’s an added bonus.
The 0.04oz MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Liquid Matte 105 is worth $10. I am not a huge liquid lipstick fan, but I’ve tried to sample as many as I can to find one I can actually tolerate. This is one I have not tried yet.
This Rosewood shade is such a beautiful color, too. I am really drawn to shades like this. Once I wear this, I will edit in a picture and review.
The 0.4oz The One by Frederic Fekkai One and Then Some dry texturizing spray is worth $2.11. Samples this size are usually single use. A single use is really all I need to see if texturing spray works though. Once I try this, I will let you know how it went.
The full-size 0.04oz Rodial smokey eye pen retails for $21. I am overran by black eyeliners, but I’ve grown to appreciate that they were not all created equally. My goal is to sample as many as possible and only keep the ones that are amazing. This is new to me so it keeps me moving toward that goal.
I do have a heavy hand at times, but the tip completely pulled off when I swatched this. This is a very soft eyeliner. That could be great for application, but I will let you know how that translates in wear time once I try it.
The full-size 1oz Sunday Riley C.E.O Rapid Flash Brightening Serum retails for $85. I ordered this as my sample choice from Birchbox last month, because I am really interested in a Vitamin C Serum that has other benefits as well. Most make you choose between Vitamin C or other ingredients and you have to layer them to get more benefits. Until I finish my current serum, I will not start this. It is something I am really looking forward to though. Since I have a 0.17oz sample, I can even keep this one intact until I am positive I want to open it.
This was my first box (since re-subscribing) so it only cost me $10 instead of $15. There is usually an offer on the main page for $5 off your first box and a free welcome gift. If that offer is not available, Google affiliate reviews. The FAQ says the welcome gift may come separately. I contacted Allure at the end of February to see where the welcome gift was. It was in the box according to customer service. That means the extra item was the welcome gift. She mentioned it was the primer. When I told her I thought the primer was a substitution for the primer that was missing, she informed me that they never make substitutions without notifying you. Thus, my This Works primer was just missing from the box. Considering there were other people who received the Smashbox primer in place of the This Works primer and I’ve seen other variations that are not included in the mini magazine, I think she is mistaken.
The box has a $149.64 value. This brings the average box value for the year to $149.64 (of course because this is the first box of the year). My personal value is $141.64, because I will not keep the Smashbox primer. A box like this seems almost too good to be true, but I have realistic expectations that most if not all boxes will be inferior to this one. Getting almost $150 in value for $10 or even $15, if it was not your first box, is incredible. It is a huge reminder of why I like subscription boxes so much. What is great about this one is they advertise what is coming before it gets released. Contents for the February 2018 box are already detailed on the site.
I see enough value and items I want to try in the February box so I will let you know how that box goes soon. February boxes are still available for purchase for anyone else interested. Allure lists these items with a $52 value, which is more on par with a $15 box.
Disclosure: Referral links
I'm Kimberly. Shopping is always more fun when I've found the best deal available, so I am always on the hunt. My father instilled that in me, and I love that I carry a piece of him. Sometimes, my husband and sons (12 and 7) let me shop for them, too. They do not use as many beauty products as I do. We can all benefit from nice products, even though their routine ends with moisturizer. That is when I can convince my 12-year-old to apply it.