Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Summer 2012 New Beauty Test Tube Review

When I first decided to review every single beauty box I'm subscribed to, I was most excited to tell you about the New Beauty and QVC Test Tubes and Beauty Fix.  I had to wait forever to get a new Test Tube to review, and it's not half as cool as the last one.  When I find a service / product I love, I want you to all get it and love it too, so we can talk about how awesome it is together.   After getting this box, I can't write the glowing review that I wanted to, and it makes me so saaaaaaaaaaad!  Hopefully the QVC one will be amazing so I don't have to swim in my piles of unused samples, Scrooge McDuck style, all alone.

Summer 2012 New Beauty Test Tube

Date of arrival: Based on my skirt, July 7, 2012.  Sorry for the delay, I have no idea where time goes.

The deets: There are two programs - the normal New Beauty Test Tube and the QVC one, which has brands sold on QVC (Wen and Tarte were in my last one).  This review is for the New Beauty tube.  Both come with New Beauty Magazine, which is a fairly large magazine, but seems to be targeted towards and older, richer demographic.  It's interesting to me because there are a lot of articles about innovative new technology / plastic surgeries / science nerd beauty stuff, but it's probably not everyone's cup of tea.  The regular New Beauty Test Tube is a little more skewed to anti-aging / skin care stuff compared to the QVC one, but there's still plenty of makeup in both.  Since it's a quarterly box, you get a ton of generously sized samples - no foil packets here!  Often there are at least 3-4 full size and 8-9 deluxe samples in addition to the magazine, a really nice booklet describing the products, and some spalook coupons.  It costs $29.99 plus shipping and handling ($38.90 total).  I used the code TENOFF on my first one and got (obviously) $10 off.   

Packaging: New Beauty is another beauty box going with the pink and white theme.  I get that the whole concept is that it comes in a tube, but I think it's kind of pointless when you then stick said tube into a box.  I'm sure if you were craftier than I am you could think of some fun art projects or whatever to reuse the tubes, but I basically throw them away after letting the girls play telecope and/or drool on them for a week or so.  B-

Not included: dead lawn
Contents: This quarter's Test Tube came with jane iredale Tantasia, Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair serum (full size), Neutrogena healthy skin brightening eye perfector (full size), LashFood eyelash conditioner...
Smashbox Photofinish Primer, Olay Professional Prox Clear Complexion Renewing Lotion, Hydroxatone InstantEffect 90 Second Wrinkle Reducer On The Go Singles, Ahava Essential Day Moisturizer... 
The aforementioned spalook coupons, Lumene Firming Night Cream, it's a 10 miracle leave-in product, and mally beauty High Shine Liquid Lipstick (full size).   

Mini product review: 

The first product I tried was the mally lipstick in the shade Just Heaven.  I kind of love mally; both test tubes last quarter had the shadow stick, which is an awesome product for when you want to look like you are trying harder than you actually are (2 minute makeup days).  I love the design of the packaging (snakeskin!) but I haaaaaaaaaaaaate those clicky pen things.  How many clicks does it take to actually get product out of the mally lipstick?  SEVENTY SIX.  Look at how far down the plunger thingie is!!!  There would be much more room for product if they primed those fuckers first.  They call this a lipstick, but it's totally a gloss.  It's hydrating, shiny, and the end result is "your lips, but better".  In the closeup, I have the gloss on my bottom lip and nothing on top.  I would repurchase if I was somehow out of lipglosses and there was a mally store nearby, but I generally never actively seek out lip glosses, they come find me.  A-     

Also pictured: ill-advised bangs.  They look slightly less dorky when my hair is down.  Slightly.
I was super intrigued by the Hydroxatone 90 second wrinkle reducer packets. I think the fact that they are in little single serve packets is hilarious.  Am I supposed to keep one in my purse in case I see my ex walking down the street and he's 90 seconds away?  I really do think they worked though.  It might be hard to tell from the pics below (before on top, after on bottom), but in real life I could see definite reduction in the fine likes under my eye.  I felt like I wasted a lot of product due to the packaging; I'd recommend getting this one instead (roughly the same amount of product as the 15 packets).  Which I might actually do once I run out of other anti-aging products; $25 is a great price for something that works.  I'll need to test it longer to determine how long the effect is though.  A    
Hello, broken blood vessel and bloodshot eyes!  I heart rosacea.  
I tried the Lumene last night, it's a pretty standard night cream, nothing special.  The whole Lumene line is on sale right now at CVS (25% off and I think there might be some extra care $$ too) if you want to check it out.  It's pretty cheap; this exact sample is only $2.99.  C

I didn't really test much else, since I actually already own a lot of these.  I will keep you posted if the LashFood is amazing, since I am pretty excited to try that one out.  Also, if you've never tried it's a 10, it's a great product.  The 10 things it's supposed to do are repair dry/damaged hair, add shine, detangle, control frizz, seal/protect hair color, prevent split ends, stop breakage, create silkiness, enhance body, and act as a flat iron spray/thermal protector.  Some of those things are redundant and/or debatable (I don't think it adds body) so it's more like a 6, but it smells great and is perfect for people who don't like to put 9 million products in their hair (like me).  

Value: This is the part that is making me sad.  My last test tube was $10 cheaper thanks to the promo code, and at least $50 more in value.  If you divide everything by 3 to make it comparable to a monthly box, you are paying $12.97 for $40.18 in value, and scaled down to a $10 box that's $30.98 in value, or a B-

Overall impression of the box:  It wasn't as good as either of the last test tubes, but it was still a lot of great products (even if I already own them), as well as some exciting new things to try.  I would never just go out and buy a 90 second wrinkle reducer or an eyelash conditioner, so I think it's cool that I get to try them out.  B

Overall impression of the service: Well, I've had one that I was over the moon about and one that was solid but not super exciting.  I still think that I'm keeping my test tubes after I cancel every other box, so that says something.  I'd rather have a few full size products thrown in the mix each quarter than have tons of tiny samples that come monthly.  Like Birchbox, I think Test Tube goes out of their way to show us really interesting/unique products.  They also seem to have a special relationship with mally, which is fine by me because I love her stuff.  I feel like I need another round to fully evaluate, but I'm going to say A-


1 comment:

The Beauty Pirate said...

I usually always get the Test Tube, but hadn't updated my credit card on file. Now I'm glad I didn't, because yeah, compared to previous ones this one blows. Thanks for the details so I knew to avoid it! (And I LOVE Iredale, but if they don't quit giving me self tanners.....grtrrr...)Oh, and you're a hoot, by the by.