Every time I get my hands on a new beauty sampling box I basically feel like a kid on Christmas. You know, just substituting the sugar plums for visions of lipsticks and nail polishes.
This time around I got my hands on a Target Beauty Box, and the value kind of blew my mind a little. Just wait until you see what's inside!
As you can see, there's some seriously good stuff in here to talk about. But before I get into the products, let's chat a little bit about how one goes about acquiring one of these bad boys. Target works a little bit differently from other sample curating services (a la Birchbox, Ipsy, or even Walmart). Rather than pay a monthly or seasonal subscription fee, each box is a one-time purchase of $5. Yep, you heard me correctly. $5 INCLUDING shipping. However, the box you receive is not customizable or tailored to your specific needs or preferences. Everyone who purchases the box will receive the same items.
There are some definite pros and cons to this system. Even though the box isn't personalized for your hair or skin type, you still know exactly which products you'll be receiving before you make the choice to invest. The extremely budget friendly price tag also makes buyers remorse much less of an issue. Even if you only end up loving one or two things, you've almost definitely gotten your money's worth. And since you aren't tied into a subscription, you only ever have to purchase boxes which interest you, be it once in a year or every season.
The biggest downside to all of this is that Target Beauty Boxes sell out fast, and since you have to manually go in and order one from the Target website, it's very easy to miss the boat (I'm pretty sure this one went within the matter of a day or so). My best advice for those of you who are interested in purchasing future boxes is to stay in the loop with your beauty blogger friends for announcements and updates as the change of seasons gets closer. I will certainly do my best to let you all know when the Summer 2015 box is here!
In the meantime, let's get a little more up close and personal with the products in the spring box!
This antioxidant-rich shampoo helps to perfect and renew vibrancy to dull, lackluster hair. When used in our 10-IN-1 RENEWAL SYSTEM it provides Sulfate-free cleansing, anti-aging benefits, color protection, hydration, nourishment, rejuvenation, anti-stress, manageability and softness without build up. Our Superfruit Complex helps nourish the scalp while Marula Oil and Biotin combine in a moisture-rich formulation to support hair's elasticity. Hair looks vibrant and lustrous.
Full Size, 13 fl oz ($10.99)
Sample Size, 3.2 fl oz ($2.70)
If you read my April Favorites post, you'll know I'm relatively knew to the Shea Moisture line, but I've really been liking what I see so far. Much like the Yucca & Plantain shampoo I was raving about, this creamy formula rich, nourishing, and gentle on the hair. If you're looking for a super sudsy, get-your-hair-squeaky-clean kind of formula, this is certainly not it. Sulfate free shampoos don't always have a ton of lather, and while I think you do still get enough with this formula for a satisfying, clean feeling, it's definitely not super bubbly. I find it helpful to work the product in my hands a little before I apply it to my hair to make sure it gets evenly distributed. It leaves your hair feeling really silky and it boosts a fresh, fruity fragrance that makes the whole showering experience that much more enjoyable. So far I don't see a huge difference in the appearance of my hair from this formula to the Yucca & Plantain one, and I think they both are equally good at combating frizzy or damaged hair.
Keep your makeup looking fresh hours after application: no melting, fading or touch-ups necessary. This non-comodegenic makeup extender setting spray locks in your total makeup look, Face, Eyes, and Lips, preventing color from smudging or settling into fine lines for all-day staying power.
Full Size, 3.4 oz ($13.99)
I'm pretty sure you all are going to get sick of me raving about this setting spray at some point, but for now I'm just going to keep on singing its praises. With summer approaching and melting makeup becoming a more and more likely issue, this lightweight spray will certainly become a godsend. It won't alter the look of your makeup, nor will it make you feel stiff, cakey, or otherwise gross. It'll just keep your makeup locked down and looking fresh all day. The fact that they included the full size of this product in a $5 box is pretty amazing, as I've seen it retail for as much as $16.99. Even if you were on the fence about all of the other products you were getting, it was worth paying $5 just to get this spray at a third of the price!
Achieve maximum hold with extra flyaway control. This hair style product leaves no stiffness or stickiness—just waterfree, humidity-resistant flexible hold.
Travel Size, 1.5 oz ($1.47)
I haven't tried this hairspray yet, although I haven't had much need for extra firm control since my ballroom days have past. If I'm wearing my hair down (which is most of the time), I prefer a hairspray that will maybe add a little hold and texture, but is also still flexible and doesn't make my hair feel stiff. I know this hairspray claims to have "touchable feel" but I am dubious. Most extra firm hold hairsprays shellac your hair to your head, and unless I'm doing a serious updo I have no need for that. I know I really need to try this before I pass judgment, and if it ends up being an amazing product that totally reverses my expectations you'll be the first to know it, but for now I'm not that enthused.
Experience saturated lip color, sensuous balm care and polished lip shine from Maybelline New York Color Elixir by Color Sensational. The exclusive smoothing angora brush delivers a polished, even application and smoothing sensation to lips. The balm infused formula, with pure color pigments, leaves lips feeling cushiony soft.
Full Size, 0.17 oz ($6.99)
These lip gloss/lipstick hybrids have been in my favor for quite a while now, so I think Target made a great decision by choosing to include one in this box. I believe that everyone got the shade Rose Redefined, which is perfectly springy and also would flatter a variety of skintones. If you've never tried a Color Elixir, the texture of the formula is really interesting. It's semi-sheer, with some of the brighter and bolder colors offering more pigmentation without being totally opaque. It's very thick, with an almost jelly-like texture, but is not too sticky on the lips. If you're someone who doesn't like the feel of gloss, or prefers a "barely there" kind of lip products, these might be too heavy for you. Otherwise they're quite pretty! Since I already have a shade that's very similar to this (Celestial Coral) I think I'll be saving this for a giveaway I'm planning (muah ha ha....ha...or something).
Introducing Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream for extra-dry skin, a fragrance-free, lightweight gel-cream that instantly quenches and continuously hydrates skin. Formulated with hyaluronic acid, it boosts hydration and locks it in so skin stays hydrated, smooth and supple day after day. Applies effortlessly, absorbing quickly into skin without leaving behind an oily or greasy feel.
Full Size, 1.7 oz ($17.99)
Sample Size, 0.25 oz ($2.65)
Sample Size, 0.25 oz ($2.65)
Ever since Influenster sent me the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel to try, I've been really curious about how it compares to the Gel-Cream formula. To be honest, I think I might like this formula better. While I think the Water Gel definitely helps to minimize oiliness, it has a tendency to make the skin actually feel a bit tight and dry after you apply it, which I always thought was kind of strange for a moisturizer to do. However, this Gel-Cream formula still feels quite light without the drying feeling. Looking at the ingredients list, they are essentially almost identical, with a few of the more hydrating ingredients being higher up in the extra dry formula. The Gel-Cream formula is also free of artificial dyes and fragrance, two potential skin irritants, that are in the Water Gel formula. Also, while both formulas state that they contain Hyaluronic Acid, it's one of the last ingredients in both of them. To me this is the same kind of marketing gimmick that movies use when they put a big name star on all of the promotional materials for the film, but they actually only have a 5 minute cameo. Just name dropping to get you in the door. There's a lot of hype around Hyaluronic Acid these days (and for good reason), but in such small amounts it probably is doing very little for your skin in this particular product. Long story short, if you're going to buy one of these two formulas, I think the Gel-Cream formula is probably the way to go, even if you wouldn't consider your skin to be "extra dry".
And that about wraps up my thoughts on my first Target Beauty Box! The total value of everything I received was (by my calculations) $27.80, which is about $10 off from their estimates, but totally well worth the $5 I paid. Target chose some really high quality, universally usable products to sample, which is important when you are only offering one version of the box to purchase. And just taking a quick look at some of their previous beauty box offerings, I think they're also upping their game on packaging and presentation. The little black box everything arrived in was very sleek and also pretty hefty. I would totally consider purchasing another one of these boxes in the future, especially if the products in it were ones I had been looking to try. As I said before, I will definitely keep you in the loop as soon as I hear when the summer box is becoming available!