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The 'B' List. A look at the beautiful things in life. This blog is devoted to that list. Join me on the journey, why don't you?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

BB5 - Beauty Box 5 - April Box review

So now it is time for my review of Beauty Box 5's (BB5) infamous April box. I didn't receive this box until the first week of May; they ship from Texas so Canadians are the last to get the box. Here we go!

The box 
The loot
BB5 does not have an inner box; rather, when you open the turquoise shipping container, all of the samples are in a gauzy little bag. This is packaged in the same way as March's box.

thank you card
 Like the last box, a thank you card is included and mentions on the back to go to the BB5 website to find out more information about the brands included in the box.

Rosebud Salve tin
The salve
From the website: "Smith's salves have been beguiling users for over a century. If you haven't experienced the soothing relief of Smith's, here's your chance! The Rosebud Salve relieves chapped and dry skin, diaper rash, blemishes, and irritations. It's a fantastic moisturizer, and can be used as a lip gloss in a pinch."

I saw that some other girls got this salve in past boxes, so I was happy that I received it this time. It is Vaseline-type ointment that smells, not surprisingly, like roses. I have been using this for the past week and love it! I only use it on my lips as it smells sweet, lasts long and gives my lips a dewy look and feel to them. Excellent product - retails for $7 and this was a full-size tin in the box.

Freeman Face Scrub
From the website: "The Pink Grapefruit Facial Exfoliating Scrub is a real treat. It gently resurfaces your skin, removing dead cells so your skin experiences healthy cell renewal. It's non-invasive, perfect for all skin types - and, oh yeah, it smells amazing!"

To be honest, when I saw other bloggers getting the pink grapefruit facial scrub, I was seriously hoping I wouldn't get it - grapefruit and I just don't mix too well. But it came in my box and I thought I might as well try it out, and I'm actually really glad I did. Freeman has done well with this scrub. It is in a clear gel base and the exfoliating bits are not too coarse so they didn't irritate my skin - it just made it really soft and smooth.  And the scent of this product is yummy - it smells like pink lemonade from a can (and I love that ;)
The only thing that I don't like is the packaging - since I can get many uses out of this packet I had to put it in a plastic zip bag - but at least it won't dry out. I would purchase the full size of this scrub for sure; the full size tube which looks like is 150 ml sells for $3.99 - a real steal! The mask sample I received was 15 ml and retails for $1.99.

Pur-lisse moisturiser with spf 30 
The website says: "Stay radiant in the sun with pūr~lisse's pūr~protect SPF 30. Powerful protection from the entire spectrum is yours, all in a lightweight, nourishing moisturizer. Pūr~protect combines the unique peptide complex Lotus Lupine 5 and the Hydra-Shield complex, featuring vitamin E and soy proteins. It's a quick-drying, non-whitening formula, so it won't interfere with makeup! No matter the weather, keep your skin supple and nourished with pūr~protect SPF 30."

I was happy to see this face cream from Pur-lisse. It has spf 30, which is perfect for summer (although I know you are supposed to wear spf every day of the year...but I neglect to do this most of the time. Bad me!) It is for normal-dry skin which is good for my skin type as well. I received in last month's BB5 box a travel bottle of pur-lisse soy milk face cleanser, which is awesome and gentle on my skin (good for those days after a scrub). I haven't tried this moisturiser yet because I will take it with me to Vegas when I go this summer, as it has the nice spf protection. This is a very expensive cream - the 50 ml full size is $55; the sample pack I received is 4 ml (which is about $3.63). I'm not too thrilled about the packaging though - I will need to bring a plastic baggie so it doesn't dry out.

La Fresh makeup remover wipe
The website says: "Bid greasy makeup removers bye-bye with the luxurious six-oil blend of Eco-Beauty Waterproof Makeup Removers from LA Fresh. A blend of olive, jojoba, lavender, sesame, grapeseed, and vitamin E nourish and refresh the eye and lip areas while instantly dissolving resistant makeup. No need to worry about pulling - the Eco-Beauty wipes are an effortless way to feel fresh and clean. They're free of alcohol, parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, dyes, glycols, artificial fragrances and animal byproducts. And they're 100% biodegradable!"

I also received one La Fresh Waterproof Makeup Remover wipe. It says it dissolves water-resistant makeup, and that you should "carefully reseal the pack after use", so maybe this can be used multiple times? In any case, another item for me to try out during my trip, as I'm sure I will be wearing pounds of makeup in Vegas (especially when getting dolled-up at night) and will need all the makeup remover I can get at the end of the night! There are 24 wipes in a full size package - which retails for $9.99. I received one wipe in the box (just under a $.50 sample).

Supergoop Sunscreen Swipe Spf 30
From the site: "Supergoop! believes that UV protection is the foundation of any skincare regimen, and their Sunscreen Swipes are no exception to this rule. Formulated with zinc for sensitive skin, these pre-moistened, water-resistant wipes can be used by children two or three months old. Soothe your skin while giving it powerful SPF 30 protection. Like all Supergoop! products, they're made without parabens, petrochemicals, fragrances, and phthalates."

Last is the Supergoop Sunscreen Swipe. I've never tried sunscreen in this way before - but it certainly is convenient - easy to throw in a bag and no leaking. Again, something I will put away in my travel bag! I like how they are limiting the crazy chemicals as well. The full-size is $10 for a pack of 10 swipes and I received 1 swipe in my box ($1.00).

So, what did I think about this April box? That's the million dollar question - literally. I know that many other bloggers who received their April box did not like it at all, and many people cancelled based on what they received. This is mainly due to the size/value of the products. My box's value came to just slightly over $14 and I paid $12 for the sample box. This was the experience of many other people as well. So I didn't necessarily lose any money, but I didn't gain very much either if you look at it in terms of value for money. However, there is another side to this issue. Grace from the blog, What is no one's watching? contacted BB5 regarding her box (she had a very similar box to mine). She contacted customer service to express her disappointment with the box and these are two things BB5 said to her that really struck me (again for the full conversation, please see her site).

According to Grace, BB5 first said: "There is a misconception about beauty boxes in that it's a way receive free products - that is not our mission. Our mission is help you find the right products by sampling quality brands that will benefit your skin, your time, and your budget."

They then said: "But thank you for doing your own research and finding these differences for us. Your absolutely correct in that we've featured higher valued boxes in the past. Additionally, we have also featured lower-valued boxes in the past as well. It really just varies and this is how it will be in the future as well. Some months you may get a $50 box, other months you may get a $20 box. We have never claimed to be a value box (although we do provide it), we focus our mission on providing beauty samples for ladies that are in search of cosmetic products to add to their beauty regimen."

This is what I'd like you to weigh in on - are beauty boxes a way for people to get free products or a lot of product for little money? Or is it a way to find new products - even if it is just small samples of those products? Or is it something in between or something else entirely?

I personally think that beauty boxes are a good way to try new products that I wouldn't already know about - that's why if I see a full size version of a well-known brand I am not as impressed as if I saw another brand I don't really know, even if it is not a full-sized product. That is why I am actually kind of happy with this month's BB5 box. Having said that though, I do believe there should be some value to the boxes - otherwise it doesn't really feel like any type of deal and limits the incentive to sign up. Also, I believe it is important to get a chance to really try the product, so single-use samples are not that useful. If there was a couple packs of the sunscreen, makeup remover and face cream - I would be really happy since I would know if these products were really for me. But I know that specifically for Beauty Box 5, they only send out 5 samples (that's why it's part of their name). That's why I would urge them to consider sending slightly larger samples, so subscribers can adequately try out these products. 

In any case, let me know what you think about this in the comments!

If you'd like to join me on my beauty box journey, you can sign up for BB5 here. Cost is $12 month or $30/ 3 months. 

**Also, a big congratulations to Tara. She is the winner of my 20 follower Julep giveaway!**


  1. I honestly subscribe to beauty boxes because I want to try new products at a fraction of what it would cost to buy them all in full-size. I do not expect tons of full-sized samples, but I expect deluxe sized samples and one-use packets are not deluxe sized. I understand where the company is coming from, but there is a lot of competition in the beauty box game and if I'm going to get a better value from certain boxes, those will be the ones I will pay for! Thats why I love topbox and glossybox- they're doing wonderfully for providing excellent sized samples of various products :) a one-use sample will not allow someone to decide if they truly like a product most of the time- you need a few chances to use something to know if it's for you or not.

    1. Great points! There is a lot of competition - (have you checked out all the boxes available in the states? Insane!) so it's definitely true that some should probably step up their game - I wonder if this industry will continue to grow in Canada?

  2. I think they should be about sampling new products, and so long as the products add up to a value of equal or more than what you've paid for, I think that is fair. However, I agree that there is a lot of competition between boxes...so obviously the ones with higher value boxes are going to get more subscriptions/less cancellations! Also, I would rather have a multi use sample of a cheaper product than a one use sample of a super expensive one - because 1 use is hard to tell if something works, especially if you need to decide to fork up a huge amount for a super expensive full size!

    1. yeah, the single-use sample packets is what gets me. I actually ended up getting the Weleda day and night cream in full size after trying it in my March BB5 box, but that's only because I had enough in those sample tubes to last me about 3 weeks! I could try it out, see how my skin reacted to it after awhile. If it was a single use pack, I probably wouldn't have forked out for the full sizes.

  3. I totally agree with you. With beauty boxes.. I want to try out new products..mostly makeup products.. but I would like to get enough of that product to really test and think about if I like the product or not. Only getting one sample.. like the makeup remover you got.. I would have like to at least get a couple of them to try and really judge from there. I only have a subscription to Luxe Box.. but I love hearing and finding out about new boxes I have never have herd of before! Love the Rosebud Slave..I love the way it feels on your lips and it lasts awhile too!


    1. I wonder about that sentence on the remover package - reseal the pack after use. Ok I will, but also because that was like a $.50 sample, it probably wouldn't have hurt to throw in another one :) The salve is amazing, isn't it!

  4. I totally agree on your opinion on subscription services.. I think we all loose sight of what the service is really suppose to provide. I like samples but I need them to be enough that I can really try the product out. Great great post hun!!


    1. This was just on my mind since there I read on blogs and forums that many people were disappointed in this month's box, and for that matter, I always see on Glymm's or Luxe's facebook page a lot of comments about how people don't like the boxes. So I thought why not have a little discussion about it here.


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