Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Beauty Army Review January 2013

It may seem like my review for the January box from Beauty Army is late, but honestly, it's not!  I recently subscribed to BA, this is my first box!  What I like about BA is that once you subscribe, you are good to go, and don't have to wait for the next box to come out, your subscription goes into effect right then, so my subscription will always send out at the end of the month.

What I think sets Beauty Army apart from other monthly boxes, is that YOU choose the samples you want to get, six out of nine products.  If you don't like the products shown, either refresh your page, or retake the beauty quiz until you find six that you want to try.  You also have the option to skip a month, if there is nothing that you want to try at that time.  The full size of everything BA offers is for sale on their website, so if you like something, go on over and check it out!

Beauty Army also offers referral and other rewards, which is nice (I wish IPSY would do that!).  If you would like to try out Beauty Army, you can click HERE (this link has my referral code, and can earn me free boxes if you use it, full disclaimer).  Ok, enough shameless self promotion.  On to the goodies!

Such a pretty pink box!  Now I have to figure out what to put in it :)
Here is what the box looked like when it came in the mail.  

Love the camo on the inside! And who doesn't love to be called gorgeous?!

The insert card.

7 awesome samples!

Here is a first look at all of the samples that came in my box.  This month, as it it Beauty Army's one year anniversary, every member was given a 7th sample, a Mark mascara.  I love extras!

Bath & Body Works Shower Gel in Sweet Pea, 3 oz. $3.30 retail value, available HERE

The first item I chose is Bath & Body Works Sweet Pea Shower Gel.  This is not a full size product, but a deluxe sample size/travel size.  I have serious fragrance issues, and anything floral sends me into a breathless haze that lasts forever. The Sweet Pea scent is just at the edge of my allergy range, so I thought I would try it out and see what I thought.  The scent, I would have to describe, as ALMOST floral.  It's definitely a feminine scent, and although it isn't a scent I would gravitate naturally, it is very pleasant.  The wash did a nice job and didn't leave my skin overly dry.  I know everyone is familiar with BBW, so this isn't exactly a NEW product, but it IS a scent that I have never used before, so I am very happy about that! Grade: 4.5/5

Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels, packet of 2 $3.75 retail value, available HERE

The second item in my box is Skyn Iceland Hydro Cooling Firming Eye Gels (pack of 2).  I hate foil packs of products, but I thought that this was a neat idea, that and the fact there there wasn't anything else on my list that I really wanted, so I thought I would try these out.  

Here are the gels outside of the foil packet.  These really are a decent size.
I put them on, and was a bit skeptical, but was pleasantly surprised at the instant cooling feeling I had.  I know, I shouldn't have been surprised, as cooling is actually in the product name, but even still, the gels felt room temperature to me in the packet, so it was surprising.  I left the gels on for the maximum time of 10 minutes, and my under eye area definitely felt more firm and not puffy.  This would be awesome for an at home spa day!  The package was a cultural experience as well, even for a foil pack.  The first language on the package is Spanish, second English, and third French; Skyn Iceland is the company; the distributors are in New York and The Netherlands, and the product is made in Korea.  Glad to see that they diversify!  Grade:5/5

Nelson J Argan Oil 7 Non-foaming shampoo, 1 oz $2.25 retail value, available HERE

Next up, is Nelson J Argan Oil 7 non-foaming shampoo, deluxe sample.  After I received my January Ipsy bag, with the Argan oil in it, I have been noticing all kinds of stuff with Argan oil in it!  I thought that this would be a great choice to try out to try to take my very BELOW average hair to at least Only Average.  I wanted to love this, mostly because it has Argan oil in it; but I'm not sure how I feel about non-foaming shampoo.  When I poured some in my hand from the bottle, I freaked out a bit and thought that there was mold in it because there were some dark spots in the shampoo; but when I went to look at it closer, I saw that it was just granules that were (I assume) supposed to be there.  I put this on my hair, and used my fingers to comb it through (my kid got my last comb stuck in her hair this week; I had to cut it out, and I have yet to replace it).  I rinsed it out, and my hair did feel pretty good..  I followed up with my usual extra conditioner rinse, as I have insanely dry hair.  When I went to brush my hair, I will say that it was way easier than usual to brush it, and much less tangles.  I wish the shampoo foamed, but all in all, this worked very nicely, and my hair feels clean and soft, and has a very pleasant scent.  Grade:4/5 (I wish it foamed!)

Jonathan Dirt Texturizing Paste, .7 oz $5.43 retail value, available HERE

I chose another hair product, Jonathan Dirt Texturizing paste.  The sample size is a good size, and I love the little jar.  This product is oil free, and is supposed to define and separate the hair, hopefully giving me more volume.  First, I love the name.  Who could resist a product called "Dirt"?? When I first opened the package, I gave the white (white dirt?) product a sniff, and it has a nice, clean smell.  Nothing like dirt.  The creme looked pretty firm, so I gave it a touch.  I had to work to put a finger print into it!  When I went to use it, I had to really gouge out some, and warm it between my palms to get it viable to use.  I applied it to my hair, and it has a light, airy feel.  My hair has a bit more volume than usual, but this product isn't nearly as good (or as easy to use) as my now beloved Rough paste from Redken.  Grade: 3/5

Mark Hook Up Lip Gloss, Blow Kisses, full size (.12 oz) $6.50 retail, available HERE

My fifth item brings us back into my comfort zone: makeup.  Mark hookup lipgloss in the shade Blow Kisses.  This is a full size product!  Once upon a time, I was an Avon rep, and I used to love the Mark line.  I love how the products click together, so save room when packing a makeup bag in my tiny purse.  I've since upgraded to loving higher end makeup, but Avon and Mark are still solid brands. I also absolutely love glosses, and much prefer them to lipstick.  
Mark Hook Ups lip gloss in Blow Kisses
This is a pretty red lip gloss (awesome for Valentine's day!) and is not sticky.  Love it! Grade: 5/5

Whip Hand Cosmetics loose pigment eye shadow, Special Forces, .02 oz. $2.80 retail value, available HERE
Item number six is what I was most looking forward to in my box this month, Whip Hand Cosmetics loose pigment eye shadow in the shade, Special Forces.  I love love love loose pigments, and couldn't wait to try this pretty, peachy color.  This is also a deluxe sample size.  

I was rushed when taking pictures, on a rainy day, and this swatch really doesn't do it justice.  It's a pretty peach.
This goes on smoothly, and is nicely pigmented. It isn't overly shimmery, but not exactly matte either.  Very pretty, and my swatch really doesn't do it justice.  I love the cute, tiny glass jar the sample came in, but I don't like how the lid fits onto the jar.  I am sure that the full size product has a better fitting lid, so I can't exactly hold it against them; I just didn't like seeing some shadow bits in the bottom of my box, I want it all to use! Grade: 4/5

Mark Scanda-lash mascara, full size (.12 oz)  $6.50 retail, available HERE

The last item in my box was a free gift, in honor of BA's one year anniversary, Mark Scanda-Lash mascara in black.  I love that I got 2 ends of a Mark hook-up in my bag, they are so fun to play with and mix and match.  The scanda-lash mascara has been around for quite some time.  It's not my absolute favorite mascara, but it is very nice.  Plus, who doesn't love a cute pink bow tied around the box?  Super cute! Grade: 4/5

One thing I really like about BA is that they make all of their products available at their own store (and all the product links in this blog go there).  Who doesn't love one stop shopping??!!

Here's my haul :) (The little black thing in the middle is the connector for the lip gloss and the mascara)

Overall, I think I definitely got my money's worth in this box.  $12 doesn't seem like a lot to pay for all this stuff!  I still absolutely LOVE Ipsy, and am cautious about Beauty Army, but I hope that next month I will see more of the full size items I have seen others receive and review.  

Recap: $12 out of pocket ($2 more than Ipsy), including shipping
Retail value: $30.53  
Not as great as Ipsy, and not as great as some of the other reviews I have seen for Beauty Army, but still pretty good, as I more than doubled my money's worth.  If I hated everything in my box, it would SO not be a deal.  I think I will try again next month and see what I can get! 

Leave a comment letting me know how you like my review, and if you would like to see more beauty reviews!
If you do subscribe to Beauty Army, leave me a comment and let me know how you feel about this service.  Do you think it's worth it?  Anything you disagree with me on?  Let me know!
Are there any products you would like to see a review for, or service you would like reviewed?  Let me know, and I would be happy to do it for you!

Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion, on a product I paid for out of my own pockets.  I have not been compensated for this opinion in any way, and it is my honest thoughts on the products listed above.  The referral link in this post is one where I would receive credit for a referral, and be compensated with free product for referring 3 people. Here is a link that just goes to Beauty Army, without my referral code.

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