Allure Beauty Thrills, $55 (including shipping), one-time box, occasionally available
I paid $60, including tax.
The Allure Beauty Thrills box contains a plethora of toiletries and beauty items. It’s issued three times a year, in May, August and November, and it usually sells out very quickly. The box features only full size products, but they are all drugstore brands, several low-end. While the box has a very high value, how much value it has to you depends on whether you are OK using those brands and how many products you will use. I’m not a beauty snob – indeed, I’ve only started using high-end products since I started getting subscription boxes -, so I’m perfectly fine with these products. I’m also happy that the majority of them are made in America.
In all, this box included 2 facial cleansers, 2 facial creams, 2 body washes, 1 shampoo, 2 conditioners, 2 deodorants, 2 self-tanners, 1 hair oil, 1 hair mousse, 1 hair voluminizer, 1 razor, 1 lotion, 1 package makeup remover wipes, 1 toothbrush, 1 toothpaste, 1 beauty accelerator and 3 makeup items. It has a total value of $206. The value of the products that I would have bought anyway is around $52, so for an extra $8 I was able to get a plethora of other products. We will use or gift all of them so I’m quite happy with my purchase. Here is what I got:
Bioré Charcoal Pore Minimizer, 3.1 oz, $7
This is a face wash with charcoal and some exfoliating ingredient. It’s supposed to help reduce the appearance of pores and according to reviews it does a fair job at that. My daughter loves Bioré so she quickly claimed it, but as she doesn’t have large pores I doubt she’ll see any results. This is a drugstore product. It’s made in the USA.
Update: My daughter likes this cleanser even more than the original. She feels it really makes her face smooth.
derma e Anti-Wrinkle Vitamin A Glycolic Cleanser, 6 oz, $9
I was excited to try this product at first as both vitamin A and glycolic acid can help with wrinkles and dark spots, but it’s not clear how much vitamin A and glycolic acid it actually has. According to studies, a 10% ratio is needed to see results, and given how low in the ingredient list glycolic acid, it’s likely to be much less than that. It also turns out that while application of topical creams with glycolic acid prior to sun exposure can reduce sun damage, application during sun exposure actually increases the chances of sun damage. In any case, I’m planning to use this cleanser. According to the bottle, this product is “Made in the USA of foreign and domestic components.” I reached out to them and they assure me that currently none of their ingredients come from China.
Update: I’ve been using this cleanser and it has a light gel-like consistency and a light pleasant scent. It pumps a little bit too much, but it does a pretty good job of leaving my face clean. I’m happy with it.
Pond’s Anti-Wrinkle Cream, Rejuveness, 7 oz, $8
I have so many face creams that I probably will give this away, but does get reviews on Amazon. It gets a mixed review from Paula’s Choice, mostly because it contains some skin irritants (but other than my nose, my skin almost never gets irritated) and doesn’t have any ingredients against blemishes. I’m putting so much stuff on my skin, however, that I don’t need every product to do everything. Plus at least I know where it’s made, Mexico, which I trust much more than China.
derma e Anti-Wrinkle Vitamin A Retinyl Palmitate Crème, 4 oz, $10
Retinol is one of the few products that has proven to work against wrinkles. I only have a sample of retinol creme right now, so I’m happy to get this. Made in the USA of foreign and domestic components.
MD Complete Anti-Aging Even Tone & Texture Accelerator, 1.7 oz, $36
This is such a new product that I couldn’t find anywhere online that sells it other than the MD Complete website. However, Target carries other MD Complete products and I assume they’ll also carry this one soon. It’s supposed to be an anti-aging product intensifier. Basically, it’s supposed to make your wrinkle and dark-spot treatments work better. It has so many ingredients that there is no way that I could evaluate if it does. And, truth be told, I’m using so many products now that I probably won’t notice if it works. My one concern about this product is that I couldn’t find any information as to where it’s made. I have contacted the company and will update if they respond.
Update: I heard back from the company and all their products are made in the USA. I’ve been using this product for several days now, and while I can’t vouch for how well it works, it at least has not irritated my skin.
Cetaphil Intensive Moisturizing Cream, 3 oz, $7
I don’t have particularly dry skin, so this may work better on others. It’s a pretty thick cream, not the smoothest thing to apply. It feels very greasy on my hands and elbows and it took long for my skin to absorb it. That may be because my skin wasn’t dry enough. On my feet, the cream absorbed quicker.
The cream gets fairly good reviews in Ulta, specially from people who have dry skin though not extremely so. According to Paula’s Choice this is a pretty generic cream, not more moisturizing than others and it’s tested on animals (which personally I don’t think it’s a big deal, as the alternative is testing on people).
I may keep this cream as a foot cream, depending on how it works long term. It’s made in Canada.
Dove go fresh Revitalize Body Wash, 22 oz, $5
This body wash gets 5 stars on Target.com but to me a body wash is a body wash. I have switched to using Aleppo soap, as I feel it leaves my skin cleaner and with a better ph-balance, but I’m glad to get body wash as some members of my family prefer it and the more body wash they use, the more soap is left for me. Made in the USA.
Suave Naturals Gold Body Wash, Sea Mineral Exfoliating, 12 Ounce, $3
I wasn’t able to find any reviews of this product, though I found many “reviews” pimping the product in blogs that have been removed. They all were written in bad English and had similar language/format. In any case, I hope this body wash is good enough for my family so they don’t touch my soap.
Dove Advanced Care Original Clean Deodorant, 2.6 oz, $5
This gets great reviews at Target.com. I prefer rollons to sticks but as we’re always in need of deodorants, I’m not complaining. It’s made in the USA.
Secret Outlast Completely Clean Scent Clear Gel Antiperspirant & Deodorant, 1.7 oz, $2.50
It’s a deodorant, it gets great reviews at Amazon and we’ll use it. It sells for $4 at Amazon, but you should be able to find it in a store for around $2.50.
Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun Sunless Tanning Mousse in Deep Bronze, 6 oz, $12
It’s an understatement to say that I have no need of this product. I tan extremely easily. Living in California, I only need to go outside for a few minutes a day to keep a tan several shades above my normal skin throughout the year. So I’m going to give this product to my sister who takes much better care of her skin than I. It gets great reviews on Amazon so I hope it’ll work well for her. It’s made in the USA.
Suave Professionals, Gradual Self Tanner, Visible Glow, 7.5 oz, $7
It seems silly to include two self tanners in the same box. I haven’t used any of these products but I can only imagine they last for quite a while. I hope to find someone to give this to. It’s made in the USA.
Clear Scalp & Hair Active Damage Resist Ultra Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner, 12.8 oz, $5 each
Apparently this shampoo & conditioner help prevent breakage in hair. Personally I’m not picky about my shampoo & conditioner but I welcome them because they are useful. Made in the USA
Aloxxi Style Lightweight Sculpting Wax, 6 oz, $16
This seems to be a new product because, while it’s sold at Amazon, I wasn’t able to find any reviews about it. It’s basically a hair mousse but it’s supposed to give volume and help protect against UV rays – an issue for colored hair. My daughter claimed it and I hope it works on her as her blue hair fades very quickly. At least we’ll be able to test it. It’s made in the USA.
Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Cleansing Conditioner, 8oz, $7
As I mentioned above, I’m always happy to get conditioner as this is an item will surely use. This conditioner seems to do a good job on thick, dry hair. It gets fairly good reviews at Ulta, but it seems that the key is to use only a little bit. Unfortunately this bottle leaked in the box, fortunately it wasn’t too much and it didn’t ruin any products. It has a pretty strong minty smell that is not really my thing.
John Frieda Frizz Ease Nourishing Elixir Oil, 3 oz, $8
This oil is supposed to fight frizz and give your hair softness and shine. For the most part, reviewers agree. My daughter has just started using oils for her color treated hair and I’m sure she’ll eventually get to this one. Made in the USA.
Update: My daughter LOVES this hair oil. She says it leaver her hair softer, shinier and fuller. She likes it better than the very expensive hair oils we’ve gotten in other boxes, which she feels weigh her down. Sometimes cheaper is better.
Suave Professionals Luxe Styling Infusion Volume Weightless Blow Dry Spray, 5 oz, $5
This is a product you apply before blow drying your hair and it’s supposed to give you volume. It gets very mixed reviews on the Target website – people either love it because it works for them or they hate it because it doesn’t. Many of the ones who love it say they have fine, straight hair so this may be a good product for that demographic. I don’t blow dry my hair so I’m not going to use this, but may daughter might, in which case I’ll report on how it works.
Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Daily Refreshing Clean Cleansing Cloths, 25 Count, $7
My daughter wanted makeup remover cloths so she was happy to get these. In my experience none of these cloths work nearly as well as just washing your face. They don’t get great reviews either. Note they are $10 at Amazon but you can find them cheaper elsewhere. Made in USA.
Bic Soleil Glow, 1 razor, $3.50
This is another product that is useful and gets fairly good reviews.
Colgate Optic White Platinum Toothpaste, Express White, 3 oz, $4
I haven’t tried this yet – and I won’t until we run out of the currently open toothpastes – but it’s toothpaste, it’ll be used. It’s made in Mexico.
Colgate Optic White Toothbrush + Whitening Pen, $7
I’m always glad to have more toothbrushes. My daughter claimed it, however, so I’m not sure I’ll be able to assess if it works.
Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick in Gladiolus, .1 oz, $8
This is a very red lipstick, which none of us can really rock. It’ll go to my youngest daughter (see below) who is still playing with makeup as opposed to putting on makeup. I tried it as well and it felt like any other lipstick. It’s made in the USA.
Revlon Photo Ready Eye Art Lid Line and Lash in Desert Dazzle, .1 oz, $7
This product gets mixed reviews at Ulta.com but I can only imagine the people who reviewed it used a lighter hand than my daughter. She loved it, though. She felt she looked like a fairy and is planning to use it for Halloween. I’ll give it a try myself and see if this can actually be used by an adult – although I’m sure it’ll have to be a rather young adult. Made in the USA.
Physicians Formula Eye Booster instant Lash Extension Kit in Ultra Black, 0.21 Ounce, $12
This is one of those products that I’d never buy as it’s so expensive, but that I’m thrilled to have. My oldest daughter has somewhat skimpy eyelashes and she was dying to try it. I’m pleased to say it worked. It was easy to apply (you put on the mascara, then the powder and you finish it off with more mascara) and it really made her eyelashes look longer and curved upwards (see below). She was thrilled. Note that while this product is $22 at Amazon, you can find it at drugstores for $12.
Camila wearing the Revlon lipstick and eyeshadows.
The eye lash extension kit in action.