Sunday, March 18, 2012

March 2012 Beauty Army Box

I've posted here and on my YouTube channel about a couple of beauty subscription services that I subscribe to: one is Birchbox and the other was Eco-Emi (which I have since discontinued due to lack of interest in the products).

I recently signed up for a new service to replace Eco-Emi - Beauty Army.  For $12 a month, you choose 6 deluxe samples from a list they provide for you.  I like this because not only are products chosen for you that match your needs, but you can choose which ones you want to try, which helps keep you interested in each of them.  I received my box over a week ago and have now gotten to try everything out.  Here's what I think!

The Beauty Army box arrives very well packaged in a sturdy black box.

I actually love the pink camo print on the inside.  I was never a huge fan before, but now that my little brother is in the military, it has a whole new meaning for me.

The products are packed up so beautifully.  Seriously - how could this not make you feel like you just made a huge luxury purchase?!

The first product I unwrapped was the Cover FX Eye Prep FX Anti-Age Smoothing Primer (0.16 fl oz).  This product is paraben-free, sulfate-free, pthalate-free, etc., and claims to smooth lines and wrinkles, hydrate, and reduce undereye puffiness while serving as a sillicone-free base for your eyeshadow.  A 0.67 fl oz tube of this retails for $43 at Sephora.  This sample is a $10.27 value.

I have tried this primer out a few times... it works nicely, but I do not notice a significant reduction in eye puffiness.  I think the price point is a little high for my taste to just use this as an eyeshadow primer, but I'm glad I got to try it out and see if it worked for me.

The next product I chose was the Night Cream with Cocoa, Millet and Rice Bran by Befine, 1.7 Ounce
in the 0.5 fl ounce sample.  This paraben-free night cream retails for $17.95 on Amazon, so the sample is worth approximately $5.28.

I have been using this cream directly following makeup removal at night, and I really like it!  I put a teeny little bit on my middle fingers and pat it on my cheeks, patting gently under my eyes and around my nose.  I find it to be soothing and hydrating.  I like that it's thin without being watery (so it absorbs nicely without feeling like I'm wearing a mask), and it's not sticky or greasy.  I am going to continue using this sample (which is quite generous) before determining for sure that I want to purchase the full-size, but my instincts are telling me that I will keep this in my routine. It claims to improve skin tone, and I find that lately my skin has been a bit softer with less noticeable pores. I still have redness, but that will be addressed in a moment.

This brings me to the next item in this month's kit: Babor Argan Cream (0.5 fl oz). I love this cream! I use it at night after applying the Befine Night Cream.  Again, a little goes a very long way, and it's very lightweight.

I think my favorite thing about this cream, besides it's silky feeling, is how nice it smells. I'm very sensitive to scents, but this one is incredibly pleasant. I can't put my finger on the exact note, but it smells comforting and luxurious. It's wonderful and the combination of Argan cream and Befine Night Cream has replaced my regular old moisturizer and I like how my face feels!

The next item I chose for this month's box is a dry shampoo from Pssssst!  I have one from a higher-end brand already, but I wanted to try another to see if I liked it better.  The one I have, by Kenra, works nicely but it does leave a funny feeling in my hair - I can feel the product on my scalp and in my roots.

I was anxious to try a different kind, and I'd never heard of this one.  It comes out without color and has a very pleasant, light smell and it sprays steady and fine.  I used Pssssst! this week because I'm trying to stop washing my hair every day.  One thing I noticed is that my hair looked better than it ever did with the Kenra dry shampoo.  Although I could feel like I hadn't washed my hair that day (I'm so weird about that), I couldn't see it.  My hair wasn't even greasy at the end of the day, so it lasted all day!  I pulled my hair back, so I don't know how well it "volumized" (something a lot of dry shampoos claim to do), but I plan to test that out in the near future.

This brings me to another hair product: Joico's K-Pak Revitaluxe.  This a deep conditioning hair treatment is supposed to prevent color fade and strengthen your hair against breakage.  I've only tried it once, so the jury's still out, but I have used multiple other Joico hair products, and they never fail to impress.  I will keep using this and will update this post when I have a better idea of its benefits.  It does smell good, though!

The last product is by far my favorite!
I almost threw this sample away - thank goodness I didn't!!  The M.A.D. Redness Rescue is a blue gel that soothes your skin and reduces redness.  When I first went to try it, the pump didn't work.  It's relatively lightweight, so I figured there wasn't anything in there, and almost tossed it.  On a whim, I unscrewed the top and sure enough - there's plenty in there!

Redness Rescue is a blue gel that I apply using a Q-tip.  Again, a little goes a long way.  It has a light fragrance (sort of cool-smelling, like eucalyptus) and it does take a minute or two to dry on the skin.  The results are almost like magic.  As it dries, the redness on my cheeks, nose, chin, and above my lip lessens significantly.  I have battled rosacea for years and years, and had resolved myself to just using a higher coverage foundation to hide the redness.  So far, this gel has proven to be a great product for my skin, and I plan to purchase a full-size version.  Its effects last at least 4 hours for me, perhaps longer.

So, that's my first Beauty Army box.  I'm really excited to see what comes in the future, as all of these products are fantastic.  Highly recommend this if you're like me and wanting to try new products without investing a ton of money into purchasing full-size amounts and doing research on all the different brands out there.  It's nice to get to really try it out before slapping down the plastic, and getting brands and products recommended for my needs is icing on the cake!