What You Need To Know About Essence Magazine’s New Beauty Box
There are a bunch of awesome subscription services out there for beauty product lovers, makeup addicts, and natural hair enthusiast. However, none of them have ever peaked my interest like that of my favorite online & offline magazine, Essence. When Essence magazine decided to market the debut of the inaugural beauty box, I was probably one of the first fans to immediately sign up for one of my own. The subscription cost wasn’t bad, at a low $15 per month, I knew I could look forward to what promised to be a soulful, colorful, and beautiful collection of products that I could easily incorporate into my daily routine.
The first box premiered in October, curated by Essence magazine’s Beauty & Style Director, Pamela Edwards Christiani and her team. The theme for this introductory box was Finishing Touches for Fall, sharing some of the Essence team’s favorite beauty products for this sultry season.
The package arrived after the 15th of October, in a petite red Essence box. I was so excited because every month I coveted the list of beauty favorites that Essence provided to its readers, mostly wishing I could either find time to shop for their awesome new finds or I had the budget to afford them. Because of this subscription beauty box, I felt like this was finally my chance to try the must-have items of the season according to what I’ve always noted as my “best-friends in my head”.
In my October box I found Eden™ Bodyworks Coconut Shea Leave-in Conditioner, a sulfate-free daily treatment that is said to improve manageability for curly or straight hair. I really found this extremely useful, due to the drastic change of weather. During this time of year, I find that my hair is the driest and often hard to manage. I’m always looking for better ways to hydrate my curls and most importantly my ends, so this was something I used every evening to keep my hair from being frizzy and dried out when I untied my hair scarf every morning. It definitely worked great, so I’m looking to purchase a full size bottle of this very soon.
I’m really into scents lately, so finding Calvin Klein’s Eternity Now was a really big treat. It’s a beautiful fruity & floral scent that really last an extremely long time. All you need is a drop, not too much, and it can transfer from your wrist to your neck for an all-over radiant aroma. My husband was very pleased after getting a whiff of me one afternoon, and begged to know what fragrance I was wearing. I’m expecting a bottle of this for Christmas, just saying. The only downside to this being in my beauty box would have to be the size. How can they tease us like that?? No shade, I’m glad it wasn’t one of those tear off samples on a piece of cardboard that you can only use once, but I’m so afraid to use this little bottle up too quickly. I’m tempted to use this Calvin Klein fragrance almost every single day, which can easily be done with how awesome it is. However, I understand completely as this fragrance retails anywhere from $22.00- $84.00 depending on where you buy it and how much you purchase.
One thing I wasn’t expecting was the L’Occitane® Shea Butter Hand Cream, a super-rich balm that is meant to nourish and moisturize hands. Although probably very useful for some, I found this tiny sample of hand cream to be non-practical for my particular lifestyle. It wasn’t as effective as what I’ve been using for years, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula with Vitamin E (Heals & Softens Rough, Dry Skin). It wasn’t nourishing for me at all, mostly because you probably can only use the sample amount once to truly get the effectiveness the product had to offer. The bottle is tiny, so the amount I was trying to use while trying to make my sample last, wasn’t doing the trick for me at all. I researched the retail price of this hand cream and discovered that a 1oz. bottle starts around $12. Although it smells great, I’m good… not really worth the coin for me.
The next item in the box was the Curls™ Crème Brule Whipped Curl Cream, something that I practically used up immediately. I already had this product in my hair product bin, so I knew firsthand how awesome it was. This product (when paired with coconut oil or any essential oil) will and has de-frizzed and moisturized my curls. Prior to me straightening, I was using this curl cream almost daily. It made my hair feel soft and curly without being hard, stiff, and losing that natural shine that I really love. I have been a huge fan of the Curls™ line for a while, so it was a blessing finding this in the first beauty box, it was so cool to have another bottle of this. If you need moisture, this isn’t a product I would sleep on for sure. I’m just wishing, because I like “MORE”, that it was a larger bottle. However, I’m grateful none the less.
Last, but definitely not least, there was also the Tarte The Brow Architect™, an all-in-one pencil, brush, and concealer that shapes, defines and lines your eyebrows. This was heaven sent, as I’ve been slacking on getting my regular eyebrow wax/thread. Using this product has simplified my makeup routine for sure, and I love that it keeps me from having to pick up multiple products to do one job, when it’s all together on one “stick”. The color is deep and rich and the concealer glides on smooth, meaning you don’t have to use a whole lot to get the job done. The term architect means to design and make, and although that’s saying a lot for a product meant to shape your eyebrows, it doesn’t stray too far from the concept. This has literally helped in making my eyebrows appear as if they are always designed and fresh, even when underneath I know, I’ve been slacking. I’m very pleased with this find.
Overall, I like the box. I’m waiting to see what’s in store for this November to really get an idea of the range of products Essence’s beauty team will curate. I’m hoping for way more cosmetics and less hair products. I also don’t mind getting fragrances, skin care, and accessories, either. The downside to this first box was the hair products, I would have preferred to split them up in two separate boxes. Getting two hair products in one box was a little unnecessary for me. Also the useless hand cream (just my opinion) was something that brought the initial appeal down for me as well. I would have loved a great lipstick and an eye-shadow or blush pallet to round out the items that were really incredible. Hopefully, next month will be way better.
Nevertheless, I love Essence for even thinking of providing a beauty box to their readers and I look forward to see what new items they have to offer from here. I will continue to be a fan, as always and I hope that you will join me.
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This review is 100% my own opinions. I was not hired, compensated or solicited to provide this review. The Essence Beauty Box was purchased by me, and not provided complementary.