Packaging: Both versions of the Test Tube come in the same bright pink box, have the same issue of New Beauty Magazine, and have the goodies stuffed into the same bright pink tube. They come with a really detailed booklet describing the companies and the products. Out of all of the various programs I've subscribed to, I think the Test Tube product information is the most informative. This quarter the QVC has a blue booklet (top left) while the regular one is bright pink (you can see it in the top right picture).
The regular Test Tube also has coupons for spalook. I have never bought anything off the website, but am considering using one to replace my dead clarisonic with this one. I'll update if I get it and let you know how it went. I don't ever really spend much time reading the magazine (lots of plastic surgery info and other procedures I can't afford / wouldn't do), but I know it has region-specific information, which is kind of cool.
The regular Test Tube contained two full size Forever Young face wraps in Avocado and Vitamin E, a paula dorf enhancer in baby eyes, Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy Total Care Shampoo and Conditioner, suki face exfoliate foaming cleanser with lemongrass extract and natural sugar, Phyto botanical hair relaxing balm, and John Frieda fine to full blow out spray (sorry for the crappy pic of the spray, my kids distracted me and I didn't get a chance to photograph it out of the box).
The QVC had a full size Wen Replenishing Treatment Mist in lavender, Algenist Triple Action Micropolish and Peel, full size Perfect Formula Manicure Booster, philosophy's hope in a jar night, Peter Thomas Roth's antiaging cleansing gel, mally's volumizing mascara, a full size tarte's skinny smolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Eyeliner (forgot to write down the color, oops!), and Josie Maran's Argan Oil.
I am wearing the paula dorf liner on my bottom waterline today (and I really sloppily slapped on the tarte from the QVC box as well - I was in a rush). I LOVE wearing either skin-toned or brightening liners to wake up your eyes and make you look less haggard. My rosacea causes my eyes to look bloodshot and my rims to be extra red, and neutralizing the water line makes this look less apparent. I currently use the Rimmel ScandalEYES in nude or benefit's eye bright for these purposes. The paula dorf pencil is a lot harder than these other two, which I actually like. Sometimes the softer pencils goop up my lower lashes and I further irritate my eyes trying to clean it up. I feel like it glided on easily despite the hardness. I like it, but I'm not sure I'd repurchase at that price. A
I LOVE all of the tarte skinny smolderEYES products I have tried, and this is no exception. These babies are easy to smudge out when you first apply them, and then they don't budge after that. There is a touch of shimmer in this one - I am dying to try it out with a nice coppery look when I have more time to do my makeup. Would definitely repurchase. A+
|The duck face is to show you a lip combo I like in a future post. And I'm overdue for a brow wax. Sorry :)|
I haven't tried out this specific Clear shampoo and conditioner, but I use the one for damaged / color treated hair on a regular basis. My hair feels nice and soft afterwards, and I feel like it gets rid of product buildup. The conditioner has a light floral scent, like a toned down version of the original orgasm-inducing herbal essences scent. Yum. Looking forward to using these on future trips to Columbus. I also see that they have a dandruff control formula, so I plan to buy that in the future. A+
I tried out the suki face cleanser and followed it up with the June Jacobs enzyme masque and then the philosophy hope in a jar the other night. My skin felt fabulous afterwards, but it's obviously kind of hard to tell what product was responsible, so I won't rate them yet.
The suki face cleanser smells DELICIOUS - lemongrass is one of my all-time favorite scents. The sugar scrub isn't too harsh, and there appears to be some kind of oil in it. It felt really nourishing. I am not sure yet if I would repurchase, but I know I'll enjoy using it up.
The only other enzyme mask I've used is the one by Chella. The June Jacobs one is a little more cost effective, a bit thicker / creamier, and has a much better scent (mmmmm, papaya). However, the Chella one burns a bit on my face, whereas the June Jacobs one doesn't really feel like it's doing anything. Some people would think that "not burning" is a desirable quality, but at least I feel like something is being accomplished when things burn or tingle. I probably wouldn't repurchase due to price, but I'll let you know if I start to see a major difference after using it alone.
I generally like philosophy products, but I feel like I don't have a strong opinion on this one after just one use. Amazon says: The gentle formula boosts nighttime renewal to retexturize skin, as it plumps the appearance of fine lines and evens skintone. Patented qusomes help deliver potent glycolic acid to the skin, while gradual-release technology minimizes the potential for irritation. I like products with glycolic acid, but I'm guessing the cool technology to lessen irritation won't be enough to replace my beloved Alpha hydrox, which is $11-14, not $70.
I used the perfect formula primer and sealer on my toes along with Julep's Jackie (my April add-on to the product whore box). I'll have to use it on fingernails before I'll know whether or not it really extends the life of my manicure. I will say that it's definitely not going to replace my holy grail topcoat, seche vite, since it was still tacky after 20 minutes of dry time. I will use it as a base coat until it runs out, jury's out as to whether I'd repurchase for that purpose. C
|With and without flash|
- I didn't try the phyto balm, but I LOVE phyto 7 hydrating cream, so I am excited to test it out.
- I love the idea of an anti-aging cleanser. I feel like with all of my rosacea meds plus various creams and cleansers and anti aging stuff and sunscreen, I'm slathering WAY too much shit on my face and this might be a good way to multitask.
- YAY ALGENIST!
- I also got the argan oil in my january ipsy bag, which I talk about here.
- I haven't tried the wen product, but I got the same scent in their regular cleansing conditioner before. Even though I am not sold on wen (the cleansing conditioner made my hair feel like straw), for some reason I love trying their stuff out.
Overall impression of the boxes: Honestly, I was super happy with both of these. I will definitely use up every last product. I love that there are so many masks and treatments in the regular box, and, as I have mentioned before, I really like getting wen, tarte, philosophy, and mally stuff to try out in almost every QVC box. I was pretty shocked to see how low the value of the regular tube was this time - I'll have to add up january to see if this is a new trend. If I didn't know the value and was asked to choose just one of the two boxes, it would be super hard to pick just one - I am excited about them both! However, I think the tarte liner would seal the deal. So between that, the fact that there are way more full size products, and the AWESOME VALUE of the QVC one, it's QVC for the win in April.
Overall impression of the service: I am obviously a fan of both NBTTs, as evidenced by the fact that I plan to cancel ipsy and bb, and these will be my last two beauty subs (I wouldn't call popsugar must haves a beauty sub per se). I love using them to build my tarte collection and to find innovative new products to improve my skincare routine. I do think it's a touch expensive (I wish S&H was free), but the boxes are such good value that it's hard to complain. I have never had to deal with customer service because I have never had a single problem with any of the products I have received. I give both versions an A+.