Saturday, August 20, 2016

Birchbox vs Allure Beauty Box August 2016 Beauty Sampling Subscription Review

It's hard to follow the fantastic box that was my Allure Beauty Box this month. But Birchbox popped out of my mailbox yesterday so, of course, I had to dig in. For a change, I thought I'd do a little comparison. If you saw my Allure review, you probably already have an idea of how this is going to turn out.

Birchbox and the Allure Beauty Box are both sampling subscriptions. Both offer five samples with some full sizes popping up every now and then. There are some similarities in brands but it's definitely not comprehensive. You'll find brands in Allure that will never be in a Birchbox and vice versa.

The Cost:

Birchbox is $10/month and you have an opportunity to earn points if you buy full size products in their extensive shop. You used to be able to earn points by reviewing the items in your box but that is no longer possible.

Allure is $15/month. Personally, I feel the extra $5 is what brings in the better brands.

What You Get:

As I mentioned, both boxes send five beauty items per month. It can be haircare, makeup, skincare or fragrance. Birchbox offers an option in your profile that allows you to keep fragrance to a maximum of 6 per year. Allure does not. Birchbox sometimes sends self-branded products like their LOC makeup line or products made just for them like the Beauty Protector hair products. Allure has none of those capabilities. Birchbox says they choose items for your box based on your profile but I find that to be extremely unlikely. Allure makes no such promise though it does have a profile you can fill out.


Website:
The Birchbox website is streamlined, easy to use and you have the ability to change your profile and/or your subscription whenever necessary. The Allure website is clunky, archaeic and oddly, doesn't require a password. Sounds like a mess for security one of these days.

Customer Service:

Birchbox has excellent customer service, far above the norm for any subscription box. They are generous with points when solving problems, quick to send out replacements for damaged items bought from their shop and it's usually all with a good attitude. I have always been taken care of far beyond what I've expected. It's a $10 box. I don't expect rainbows and unicorns in return for a broken sample but even getting just the rainbows is pretty awesome. 

On the flipside, Allure is just getting into the game handling customer service issues. Previously, all issues were handled by Beauty Bar and the service was stellar. Maybe even better than Birchbox for pure generosity in solving issues. However, that has changed and Allure is now handling CS. Based on what I've heard, not what I've experienced myself, customer service seems to be a little on the helpless side. My questions have always been answered promptly but I haven't had anything that needed to be replaced yet.

Here's what I received in this month's Birchbox:

Hey Honey Trick or Treat Cream Concealer- An undereye cream with propolis to hydrate the thin skin under the eyes.

Manna Kadar Cosmetics The Day Dream Palette- A rich, pearlized shadow that arrived completely exploded into dust. Looks like its a full size product. Although it's listed as a "palette" I don't think it was. Probably just one color.

Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray- So far I've loved everything Oribe that I've used. I haven't tried this one before but I will! It's the perfect purse size, too.

R+Co Oblivion Clarifying Shampoo and Conditioner- This shampoo uses rosemary, coconut oil and witch hazel. The conditioner is considered a bonus. Yay!

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Patina- This is a pretty rosy pink (my favorite lipstick color). I haven't opened it up yet but I don't recall having good feelings about the other Stila lippies I've tried. Always too sticky.

Here's what was in my Allure Beauty Box:
Freeze 24-7 Anti-Aging Eye Serum- A nice moisturizer with glycerin and aloe designed to brighten and de-puff your undereye.

Pur-Lisse Blue Lotus Balancing Moisturizer- This is a silicon based moisturizer with a bunch of peptides. It's a good moisturizer but too expensive for what it is.

Supergoop Defense Refress Setting Mist SPF50- A spray sunscreen makeup setting mist that I don't recommend for your face. It makes a mess in your hair.n.

Mally Mattewand Eye Brightener- It's got a twist up pencil on one side and the other is a spongy-type applicator that's billed as a "shimmer free highlighter." Maybe this is fun and new to only me but I thought that was awesome! The product is stuffed inside the lid that covers the applicator.

Garnier Honey Shampoo and Conditioner- I never mind getting drugstore type bonuses ever. Nothing wrong with Garnier and I'll use these because I like honey.

Wet Brush Midi Brush- This is a pretty blue-green with flexible bristles that make brushing through wet hair a breeze. Love this!

Cargo Swimmables Eye Pencil in Pebble Beach- It's a dark brown, water resistant eyeliner. I'm totally okay with that, I like dark brown liners.

VERDICT: Birchbox has three makeup items and three haircare products. One was unusable. Allure has three skincare products, two makeup item, two haircare and one tool. I'm not going to count the broken product against Birchbox because it's a fairly rare occurence and CS is easy to deal with. However, I'll likely use only the Oribe and the Stila lipstick if I like it. The Allure box has five things I'll definitely use. The Mally, Garnier, Cargo liner, Wet Brush and Eye serum.

So the winner this month is Allure for having exceptional value to me personally. I will end up using most of it. I should note that normally there are five items and this month has more than usual which gives it an edge. Birchbox unfortunately sent me a bunch of hair products which I usually hate getting but since one is Oribe, I forgive it. Exploded or not, I'm unlikely to use the Manna Kadar which is the big ticket item. The Mally from Allure, on the other hand? Yeah, used it, love it!

If you would like to sign up for Birchbox, you can do that here! It's only $10/month. Want to see what I've got over the years? Here's a bunch of my old reviews.

Allure is $15 but you can get $5 off your first month here if you are a new customer. Here are my Allure reviews since the day it changed hands.

Which beauty boxes do you get and which one do you find makes you happiest?

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