Time is going past so quickly but how can we be upset when it means that it’s time for another set of beauty box unboxings! Look Fantastic was, as always, the first beauty box to arrive and so without further ado, let’s have a look at the April 2019 box.
The theme this month was “Raw Beauty” and the quote under the lid read: “There is beauty in simplicity”. While I absolutely love and agree with the quote, I really dislike the “organic” and “natural” beauty direction that Look Fantastic seems to be going into, which is how they explain “raw beauty”. As I mentioned many times before, there is no such thing as natural or organic being better for you or your skin. These are all populist themes that come from emotions or what some think is logic and not from scientific facts. For more info check out:The Chemical Misconception – Should we avoid chemicals? andOrganic food and farming – Scientific evidence, problems and ethical dilemmas
Nevertheless, the April Look Fantastic box was still interesting to unbox and try out and although it came in a very simple, plain cardboard looking design, it fit the simplicity quote. This beauty box always comes with a small monthly Beauty Magazine that has a little more information about the products contained and some other featured products, and a travel size, but full edition, of the ELLE magazine. It is such an amazing value for money. To subscribe to Look Fantastic and get £5 off your first box click here.
This month’s box contained 6 products. From left to right as seen in the picture below, the products were: a scalp treatment, a lipstick, a mask, a serum, a moisturiser and bath salts.Let’s have a look at the products in more detail. These are short reviews that cover first impressions and experiences from using the products. For full reviews, including ingredient analysis and if I would recommend a product or not, check out: Bonds of Beauty (all articles here). Bear in mind that these are my personal opinions and that beauty is a very personal thing, we all have different skin, requirements and biological build which can influence things. What worked for me might not work for you and vice versa, please leave your comments below!
Grow Gorgeous Back Into The Roots
This is a scalp mask that you are supposed to leave on for 10 minutes (or up to an hour) and then rinse. It is meant to give a boost of life in your roots and revitalise your scalp.It contains some interesting ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, vitamins, caffeine and more but all are listed after fragrance which means that there isn’t much of them. In fact, everything other than water and two other ingredients is listed after fragrance which makes me doubt how effective or worth the cash this product is.At least it comes in a very cute plastic bottle of standard quality and looks nice. It opens by twisting the top and squeezing the white creamy product out. The product itself has a very strong menthol scent which can be irritating to skin and eyes.I can’t say that I noticed any difference after using this product or that I would buy it. In fact if you truly wanted to treat your scalp skin, this product contains some skincare no-nos, such as fragrance and menthol. It lasts for 12M and this 60mL bottle retails for approximately £6, considering that the full size 240mL product retails for £24. SCORE = 6/10
Bellápierre Mineral Lipstick in Colour Envy
When I first opened the beauty magazine I saw this lipstick being presented as a deep wine red colour and got super excited. Then I tried it on and it was more of a brown red. Still a nice colour but way out of the expectations that the pictures created which goes to show you, you should never buy cosmetics (or any product really) just on the basis of the colour description or picture.
Nevertheless, this lipstick is very wearable and it looks like an enhanced natural colour. It is still mostly a red and obvious that you are wearing lipstick (although this will depend a lot on your skin and lip tone too) but it’s not as much of a “look at me” display as a full-on red. In simple terms, it’s a dirty red that will allow you to wear a red lipstick without looking too intense.
The name Envy and the colour immediately reminded me of the Estée Lauder Pure Colour lipstick in Envy. The two are very similar but not the same, with the Bellápierre one being a more dirty-brown red and the Estée Lauder a more pinky red. While they are not the same colour they are close enough to not be worth having both, especially considering that the small colour difference will be even smaller once you put them on your lips, which naturally already have some colour. If I had to choose, I’d still go for the more hydrating Estée Lauder but it is more expensive!
The lipstick feels very lightweight and is neither moisturising or drying. It comes off when eating or drinking like all lipsticks do.Although it comes in a cute looking packaging, at the same time it feels fairly cheap. The plastic casing is very light but it feels durable. For £16 though it is disappointing to not have a slightly more feel good casing. This 3.5g lipstick lasts for 24M. SCORE = 7.5/10
Naobay Recovery Mask Sensitive Skin
This face mask is meant to be used on clean dry skin and the brand labelled it as suitable for sensitive skin, despite the fact that it contains many potential sensitisers. About 98.7% of the ingredients are from natural origin and 30% from organic farming methods. These type of products always make me wonder. Even if there was merit to organic or natural ingredients (please read Organic food and farming – Scientific evidence, problems and ethical dilemmas) why would I want to use a product that is only partially that? If I’m honest, to me these type of products are screaming “hey, here’s a mix of everything we could add to sound fancy but unfortunately we couldn’t do a complete job”. It’s like dieting all day and then eating a crêpe at night. You are either going for it or not!
To make things worse, this product didn’t come with a seal which means that all these extracts and other air-sensitive ingredients could have been partially oxidised already, before I even received the product.On the plus side, this white cream mask spreads on the skin easily and feels nice. It has a subtle off smell of nothing specific, but it is a scent that is fairly common in natural type products.
However, this mask was pleasant to use.After 7-10 minutes you are meant to remove and rinse with water. The skin is left feeling soft and moisturised but I can’t say that this is the most nutritious mask your money can buy. It lasts for 12M, is cruelty free and vegan. This 20mL travel size tube retails for £4.95. SCORE = 6/10
Balanceme Vitamin C Repair Serum
Another 98% natural product, but at least this one contains a lot more interesting and potentially skin nourishing ingredients, not because they are natural though. Molecules don’t have a history, they do not know if they’ve come from a natural or synthetic source and therefore will still have the same properties regardless of where they came from (please read The Chemical Misconception – Should we avoid chemicals? ). Like many natural products, it contains a lot of extracts which are a nightmare for sensitive skin as there could be many potential sensitisers, so try a little at the back of your hand first.
This serum is a white cream with a medium strength lemon scent. It spreads easily and is meant to be followed by a moisturiser. It gets absorbed quickly and doesn’t leave any residues behind. I might dedicate a more in-depth post on this product sometime but for now, looking at this product quickly, it’s not the worst serum out there and it might even be better than the one you are using. It lasts for 6M and this 7mL tube retails for £11. SCORE = 8/10
Emma Hardie Midas Touch Revitalising Cream
This moisturiser is meant to hydrate, lift and smooth as well as improve elasticity and firmness. But it all sounds much fancier than it is in practice, a moisturised skin will potentially be more elastic and firm anyways! Nevertheless, this cream at least came with a seal which protects it from air oxidation. It has a white cream consistency and a lemony-natural product off scent.
There are many interesting ingredients but not a lot of basic skincare must haves. There are also a lot of potential irritants and some avoidable ingredients such as alcohol denat. As a result, I wouldn’t recommend basing your entire skincare routine around this product. You skin will definitely not turn gold as opposed to the “Midas touch” labelling of this product.This 15mL travel size tube lasts for 12M and retails for £13.50. SCORE = 6/10
Ahava Natural Dead Sea Bath Salts
Bath salts can be very relaxing, especially when used on stressed or tired muscle days! However, I must admit I didn’t have time this week to enjoy a bath and so since I haven’t tried them out I will not be scoring them. It made me wonder though whether this type of products are becoming outdated because let’s face it, baths are not a big part of modern life. Even when I do have time, I think I’d rather take a quick shower and enjoy the rest of my time with my family, friends, exercise, do some face masks or skincare routine or play a game or something. Taking a bath is low on my me-time list.
It also slightly annoys me that there is not ingredient break down, it says that it is 100% dead sea salt, but then I would have liked to see an analysis of the mineral content. Instead all this product states is that it is rich in magnesium, calcium, sodium, potassium and you are left having to guess how much rich means.Although this 250g satchel seems like it will last ages, you are supposed to use it all in one go as per instructions and then soak for 15-20 minutes. I will definitely enjoy it one day but for £7 it is way too expensive of a single use salt to recommend.
Overall, I enjoyed trying out the contents of this month’s box but I can’t help but feel that Look Fantastic is going down a chemophobic populist marketing route as they even have a “clean beauty” and “organic and natural” section on their website. Additionally, it feels like Look Fantastic often includes travel size products and it would be nicer to receiver larger items.
Initial box score, in terms of products and first feelings = 7/10
Overall box score after product testing (average of product scores) = 6.7/10
Star product = Balanceme Vitamin C Repair Serum
To subscribe to Look Fantastic and get £5 off your first box click here.
Did you get this month’s Look Fantastic box? What did your box contain? What did you think of the products? Have you tried any of the products listed? Let me know your experiences!
For all the details on how Cohorted, Glossybox, Look Fantastic and Birchbox performed in 2018 and which one is worth your money, check out “Battle of the Beauty Boxes – Conclusions from the 2018 Unboxing and Reviews on Birchbox, Glossybox, Look Fantastic and Cohorted”.For general subscription box reviews see the: Birchbox, Glossybox, Look Fantastic and Cohorted general review posts. For help on how to choose the right subscription box for you check out “Which Subscription Beauty Box is right for you?”. You can also see pictures from all beauty boxes (2017-current) on my Pinterest beauty box board.
I am not affiliated with any company or brand. These are my views and experiences.