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Unboxing and Review: Beauty Army April 2012

May 8, 2012

I already mentioned that I signed up for Beauty Army late last month. I’d heard amazing things about this subscription from so many people, including a friend whose opinion I really trust. I signed up on April 26 and received a shipping notice on May 1, so 3-4 business days. My kit arrived yesterday, May 7, which isn’t too bad. The estimated delivery date was May 11 or later, which would’ve been really slow. I wasn’t sure whether to call this an April box or a May box, because of the way BA runs their subscriptions, but I’m going with April since that’s when I chose my items.

The shipping box was black with the Beauty Army logo printed all over it; fairly nice as far as exterior packaging goes. I was totally delighted by the box itself; it’s sturdy cardboard covered in black, with a pink camo lining. I can definitely reuse it, probably for jewelry or makeup that I keep on the dresser. (The paper would get destroyed fast if I kept it in the bathroom.) Pardon the camera phone photos.

Beauty Army box

I was expecting to be a bit meh about the contents, since there was no surprise involved, but I was actually totally delighted. I think that might be since, even though I picked from a set of samples, I got things I wouldn’t normally buy — so it was still more like a gift in the mail rather than just a purchase. There was black tissue paper folded over everything, then a layer of pink tissue paper that contained the smaller items, with the larger items on the bottom. Here are the contents:

Beauty Army April 2012 items

You can see clearer pictures of the items in the screenshot I took from the BA site when I chose my samples, so I’ll repost that here.

April 2012 Beauty Army Picks

April 2012 Beauty Army Picks

So what do we have? Lots of really good stuff; I’m trying to focus more on reviews for this blog, so I’m hoping to post full reviews of the actual products as I use them.

  • Control Corrective Botanical Soothing Cream, 0.1oz. Full size (2.5oz) $48. Value: $1.92.
    I’m actually really excited to try this, because I have serious issues with facial redness. I think a lot of it is related to allergies, and soothing sounds good. Unfortunately it’s a really tiny sample in a not-so-resealable package, so chances are I won’t be able to tell whether it works well.
  • Cellceuticals SPF Defense 55+, 0.33oz. Full size (2oz) $45. Value: $7.42.
    My default daily moisturizer has SPF30, but I spend a lot of time outdoors when I’m riding horses. I don’t necessarily want to reapply a full moisturizer, so I’m on the hunt for a sunscreen that doesn’t smell too awful or give me hives. We shall see. The full size of this is super pricey, so I hope I don’t fall in love with it.
  • Mad Skincare Transforming Daily Moisturizer, 0.18oz. Full size (1.7oz) $54. Value: $5.71.
    I use and like CeraVe’s AM moisturizer, but I’m willing to try new things. Comparing by price, though, this would really have to knock my socks right off to replace the CeraVe.
  • CoverFX Clearprep FX, 0.24oz. Full size (1oz) $39. Value: $9.36.
    This is a really nice sample size of a mattifying primer/acne treatment gel all in one. I still deal with serious acne issues, especially around that time of the month, and I love primer, especially mattifying primer. I’ve tried and liked the Dermalogica version of this, but haven’t repurchased yet, so I’m excited to give this a shot.
  • Clickr Skincare Acne Spot Serum, 0.11oz — full size product! Value: $20.
    Again, something I’m stoked to try. I’ve had good luck with spot treatments, though so many of them seem to be pigmented and just stand out.  I already applied this to a large blemish this morning, and it’s definitely less red and swollen, though not entirely invisible. Full size product!
  • Joico K-Pak Deep-Penetrating Reconstructor, 5.1oz — full size product! Value: $12
    This is one of those things that’s been on my list of stuff to try forever; Makeup Alley seems to love it, judging by the boards there. I tend to get a lot of breakage in my hair (ponytail + riding helmet = not so good) so I want to see if this makes a difference. It’s sold out on the BA website so I’m estimating the price from other online sources. Again, a full size product!

I have no idea, really, how Beauty Army managed to pack so much into a box that costs $12 including shipping. Two full size products, three nice deluxe samples, and one tiny sample, for a total estimated value of $56.41. That’s seriously impressive. And because I got to choose my samples, there’s nothing there I have absolutely zero interest in trying. I’m hoping it stays this good, since they seem to be heavily gating the number of subscriptions available. I think part of the trouble with Birchbox lately is that they just have way, way too many subscribers.

As of right now, I’m super impressed with Beauty Army, and am definitely keeping my subscription. I like that you can skip the month if you can’t find samples you want. They do have rewards programs; for example, you can get a discount by filling out several brand surveys, and a set coupon for every three months of active membership. They also have a referral program; this is my Beauty Army signup link, should you wish to use it.

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