I do love a good beauty box, they can be a great way to try new products in a way that’s larger than the tiny samples you get for free. Debenhams have a Beauty Discovery Box, with seven travel sized products in it, for £35. At the moment there is an offer where if you buy a beauty of fragrance product then it’s half price. I can’t find anywhere that says that it’s got a minimum spend and I spent just over £20 and got the offer.
The seven products included cover hair, skin and makeup and include products from Too Faced, Kat Von D, Clarins, Clinique, Smashbox, Murad and Aveda. I have to say that the Too Faced mascara and the Smashbox primer are the two that I wanted the most, and pretty much cover the cost of the box at half price, but I am looking forward to trying the others. As with any of these beauty box posts I do, this is pretty much first impressions, unless I’ve already used the product in the past, and I’ll add up the total of what everything would be worth separately to see if it’s worth the money.
I won’t make this bit too long, but how pretty is the box? I do love the colour combination of the orange and the mint green, it stand out, and the fact it’s actually a drawer is such a nice idea. I’m not sure if it’s something they do with their other beauty boxes so you can stack them and make your own little storage unit, but I really think they should if they don’t already. I’d definitely find this more useable in the future than the boxes you often get.
Unfortunately not everything in the box is cruelty free, though only the Clarins and Clinique products aren’t cruelty free as they are sold in China so five out of seven are. I would have preferred it if everything was cruelty free, I buy cruelty free, but I will be passing the other two onto others who will enjoy them.
The Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream is a nice handbag sized tube of hand cream. It’s fairly thick and feels moisturising but it does have a very strong floral scent. I have a feeling it’s something like honeysuckle, it just goes really weird on my skin. The full sized 100ml tube costs £23, so this 30ml tube would have about £7 of product in it.
I don’t really need a volumizing product for my hair but I do like trying new hair products. The Aveda Volumizing Tonic has a nice spray, though it does have a fairly strong floral scent to it. It does seem to make my hair nice and soft when I’ve tried it and does help with flyaway hairs. This 40ml travel bottle costs £9.
I’ve heard a lot about Murad on various blogs and YouTube channels but never actually tried anything from them so I’m looking forward to giving the Retinol Youth Renewal Serum a go. It’s a really nice, light formula that spreads evenly and sinks in quickly. I seem to find this one has a slight floral scent to it too but it’s not overwhelming. This travel sized version is available and the 10ml bottle is £25. This is one reason I like beauty boxes, it’s always nice to try more expensive products in beauty boxes.
The Clinique Dramatically Different Jelly actually seems like it would be a nice cooling moisturiser for in the summer. I can’t say how well it works but it has a fairly light scent and it’s not one I think anyone would mind. The only thing is it feels like a light moisturiser that might not be moisturising enough for my skin, I’d say it feels like it would be good for normal or oilier skin types. There is a travel size 50ml version available and costs £18.50 so this 12.5ml tube would be around the £5-£6 mark and has a decent amount to test the product out.
I’ve tried the light version of the Smashbox Photo Finish, but this is the original version and I’m looking forward to seeing how they compare. So far it actually seems as light as the lighter one and the scent is light and powdery. It seems to work well as a primer and leaves a smooth surface. They don’t have a travel size of the original but, as the full sized version of 30ml costs £26, it would be over £12 of product in there.
I’m not buying Kat Von D any more but I will be using this one, it was a moment of weakness, and I love the Lovecraft colour. The Studded Kiss Crème Lipstick has a nice moisturising formula with great pigmentation. The only problem I’ve had with the one I have is that they do transfer so much to start with. They don’t lose their colour but do leave it on everything else too. The full sized 3g tubes cost £17 so this 1g would be just under £6 of lipstick.
The final product is actually one that’s been on my repurchase list for a while. I always have so many black mascaras I just never got to the end of them to get onto buying any. The Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara has a nice finish, either a thin coating just to add a tint or building it to add volume. They have a waterproof version too and I’m definitely going to have that on my to try list as I could do with a waterproof mascara. This travel sized one isn’t available in the normal version (the waterproof travel size costs £9) but the full sized 8ml tube costs £19 so this half sized 3.9ml would be just under £9.50.
You do also get two extra vouchers, one is for a Healthy Skin Consultation at your local Clinique counter and the other for a makeup or skincare consultation at your local Clarins counter. I’m not likely to use either as my local is over an hour away and not somewhere I go to, but they are a nice extra treat if you do have one near to you.
Overall this is a great all round box of products. Some of the scents seem a stronger floral than I was expecting but, other than the two I’m planning on passing on anyway, I do really like everything I’ve tried. I think my favourites are the makeup products, but I kind of knew that going in.
The final value of everything (if I’ve worked them out right) should be around the £73.50 mark so more than double the price even at full price so it’s a great way of trying everything. The Murad is especially good when you get this for half price as that’s more than you’re paying for the box at £17.50.
I think if you want to try some new products this is a great way to do it. It would also make a great gift box for a beauty fan and could even be broken up as little gifts for different people or to make your own version of a beauty box. I do like how the box itself is reusable and could make a nice gift box, especially if you cover over the Debenhams Beauty Lovers heart in the corner.
One thing to be aware of though is that (at the time of writing this) Debenhams have gone into administration. At the moment they’re still selling things normally but there’s always the chance they stop and it’s best to use a credit card if you buy online with them as you have extra protection if they didn’t send out your products. I’m not saying that would happen but I didn’t want to just recommend the box and then there be problems! Which have done a post on what happens as a customer with Debenhams now it’s in administration, might be worth checking out if you’re nervous, or doing your own research if you’re reading this in the future.
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