Hey, ladies! This month HauteLook (an addicting Nordstrom flash sale site) advertised their summer beauty bag filled with essentials for only $20. Of course, I couldn’t resist buying a bag full of beauty products. HauteLook periodically sells these seasonal goodie bags but this was the first time I was interested in the majority of the products. So, let me show you what came in the bag!
1. Lorac Special Effects Mascara (Black)
This mascara has arrived at a perfect time! My current mascara has been getting very dry and difficult lately, so I knew it was time for a new one and I’m happy that I didn’t need to run to the drugstore for a new mascara. This mascara promises long, luscious lashes with a primer on one side and the lengthening black mascara on the other side.
I have used double-sided tubes like this before and I really like their minimalist packaging. It is just a pain to have a bunch of tubes lying around. As far as performance goes, this mascara does not wow me. Below is a before and after of my lashes.
This mascara is effective at lengthening and the formula is clump-free, but I honestly don’t find its performance any different from many of the best drugstore mascara. I have achieved the same length by using a lash primer and Covergirl’s Clump Crusher. It doesn’t add a lot of volume, but that’s also not something I expect. I’ll definitely finish off this tube because it is pretty good, but I wouldn’t re-purchase since there are better, cheap alternatives.
Full-size product price: $23.00
2. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Lip Pencil (Naked)
I was actually very excited to receive this deluxe sample lip pencil because I’ve always really enjoyed urban decay products. However, “Naked” is a straight up brown. In the pictures it seems to have a pink hue, but I promise that is not what it looks like in real life. I’m a super pale girl with pink undertones, so this brown will not work for me in any way. I’ll be giving this away to someone with a much darker complexion.
Full-size product price: $19.00 Sample value: $12.67
The first thing I noticed about this box was the fact that there were two pouches of brushes in my beauty bag. Obviously, the HauteLook warehouse made a mistake and it completely benefitted me. This pack of brushes includes a blush/powder brush, eye shadow brush, angled liner brush, Brow/Lash Comb, and a lip brush. These brushes are quite sturdy and feel like they are of good quality, and who doesn’t need more brushes? I could care less about having brushes specifically geared towards travel, so these will go right into my regular collection. So far I’ve only used the blush brush and its application was pretty smooth. It grabbed just enough product and blended out nicely. I’ll probably end up giving the extra set away since I really don’t need two of each of these brushes.
Full-size product price: $4.45
4. Mirenesse Lip Bomb Glossy Laquer Stain (#22 from Precious Plums)
I’ve seen this brand in other subscription boxes, but this is the first product I’ve ever tried by Mirenesse. This glossy lip stain has a very similar texture/consistency as the Rimmel Show Off Lip Laquers (AKA Apocolips), but with a crazy range of colors. The color that I received is a dark, mauve plum and it works surprisingly well for my skin tone.
As you can see, the color is quite opaque after only one coat.
As far as texture and staying power is concerned, this stain is surprisingly effective. I usually don’t like lip gloss textures because they wear off very quickly and my hair gets stuck in them. However, this lip bomb is more oily than it is sticky and goopy, so it is not only very wearable but also a very effective stain. As you can see below, after only a minutes on my hand, this swatch left a visible stain (after vigorous scrubbing with a makeup removing wipe).
Overall, I’m really happy with this edition to the bag. I think this product will be perfect for the upcoming autumn months!
Full-size product price: $36.00 (approximate)
I have never been a fan of hairspray, but this finishing spray might just make me a convert. This product is fantastic! Firstly, it smells so, so good… very sweet and vanilla-y. Second, this spray is effective without being TOO effective; it holds hairs in place without leaving my hair crunchy or giving it that always-wet look. I wish that it has a little bit more volumizing power for near my roots, but in the mean time I’ll definitely use this sample up on days that I curl my hair or put it up in a bun. I might even start using hairspray on a regular basis after this!*
Full-size product price: $19.95 Sample value: $4.75 (travel size)
6. NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick (Margarita)
All of the lip products in this bag definitely lured me in. Unfortunately, this was another color that just didn’t work with my skin tone either. It is a very pearly coral color, but it was a little too orange for me. Fortunately, my best friend has a warm undertone, so I pawned it off onto her while she was visiting this weekend.
Full-size product price: $4.00
I’ve tried lash conditioners before but not with a lot of luck. However, once I did try a very effective Olay Regenerist lash conditioner and now I can’t trust anything else. I’m really satisfied with the thickness and length of my natural lashes right now, so I’m not even going to bother trying this super expensive product. I don’t want to fall in love with it! I sold it on eBay in nearly record time, so hopefully someone else will enjoy it for me.
Full-size product price: $80.00 Sample value: $8.00
This expensive cream promises to restore skin’s youthfulness, prevent dehydration, and reduce the appearance of fine lines. It has Vitamin E, lactic acid, and hyaluronic acid, which combine to exfoliate and hydrate. I’ve used this twice as a night cream before bed, but it honestly has not wowed me. I’ll continue to use this because I’m sure it effectively hydrates, but I’m not quite sure that I would ever purchase this or even recommend it. Maybe it will get better as I use it more.
Full-size product price: $64.00 Sample value: $12.80
9. Whish Body Butter (Orange Cream)
I’ve sampled a Whish product before (a shaving cream) and really liked it. This body butter is quite hydrating and it smells delicious. It’s a pretty thin consistency, so I’m not really sure if I would call it a “butter” but it is pretty effective. I’ll use this sample but, but would I ever pay $24 for lotion? Uh, no.
Full-size product price: $24.00 Sample value: $2.40
I’m not really a hand cream person (or a lotion person in general) because I don’t have particularly dry skin on my body and I have a hard time remembering to use them. Still, I’m happy to have this sample to keep my knuckles soft and hydrated. It will probably take me MONTHS to use this tiny sample up. I do like that this hand cream has shea butter in it but it’s not overly greasy.
Full-size product value: $12.00 Sample value: $3.60
I’m going to be honest, I think this is tacky. The compact case is a convenient idea, but these hair ties are a little too bold and cheap looking for me. Maybe this is a personal issue? I don’t know, but I’ll definitely be giving this product away.
Full-size product value: $12.00 Sample value: $7.20
This is a unisex fragrance that could be described as natural, earthy scent. I did try this out on my wrist, but is it way too musky for me. I usually like sweet, delicate scents (my go-to is Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle). My boyfriend also did not like this scent, so I guess there is no point in keeping this sample. I’m going to pass it on in a giveaway!
Full-size product price: $140.00 Sample value: $3.36
13. Tan Towel
Like all summer subscriptions, this box wouldn’t be complete without an artificial tanning product. Unfortunately, I don’t use fake tanning products because I have learned to love and embrace my naturally pale/fair skin. I’ll be passing this on in a giveaway, as well. I can’t wait for the summer months to end so that beauty boxes will stop sending me these products! At least there wasn’t a nail polish included, too.
Full-size product price: $24.00 Sample value: $2.40
Overall, this box was not exactly what I was expecting. Even though there were some products I knew I wouldn’t use before receiving my box (the tan towel, the Lashfood), I was really disappointed by products that came in bad color choices (the lip pencil and the lipstick). I wish that HauteLook had some way to choose a color range instead of just sending arbitrary colors. The total value of the box ended up being $124.63, which is very true to the advertised value of “over $120.” I’m pretty pleased with receiving all of these goodies for only about $28.00 (with shipping). I’ll definitely consider purchasing the next HauteLook beauty bag if the products are so appealing again!
* If you have a cheap/effective drugstore hairspray recommendation, lay it on me!