Friday, December 26, 2014

Walmart Beauty Box Unboxing - Winter 2014

The Walmart Beauty Box made its debut this past fall. It's similar to the Target Beauty Box in that you receive drugstore brand items, but this box is free (well, plus shipping) and they don't reveal what will be in it beforehand. Since this was a marketed as a free box, initially I expected a bunch of foil packets. To my surprise (and delight), the fall box had a few deluxe samples and even three full-sized items! I knew that'd be hard to top so I was looking forward to what we'd be getting for winter.

What: Walmart Beauty Box contains samples of beauty products from major drugstore brands
When: Ships once a season (March, June, September, and December)
Cost: The box itself is free, but there is a flat $5 shipping fee

As with almost all start-up boxes, there was some confusion with the fall box regarding shipping. We weren't notified when boxes went out nor did we receive tracking info. I didn't get mine until about 6 weeks after I started seeing box reviews popping up. Fortunately, it seems Walmart learned from that experience and sent emails to all customers letting them know when winter boxes were being shipped AND they included a tracking number. Yay! And to my surprise it only took three days to get here :)

The first thing I noticed when opening the box was Play-doh. No really. The box reeked of it. Unfortunately, I'm not totally sure of the source because once I started sniffing around to investigate, my nose got accustomed to the scent and I couldn't smell it anymore. I guess that's a good thing though?

L'Oreal Paris Hair Expertise Oleo Therapy Oil Infused Shampoo & Conditioner (2oz ea.sample value: $2.80 total) - I think it's safe to say that every Walmart box will include a shampoo & conditioner. On the bright side, at least we get the duo and not just one or the other. At one point (aka when I first started subscribing to boxes) I wished I had more travel size hair care products. Now my drawer is toooo full. The Oleo Therapy line targets dull, dry, or damaged hair with its 6 flower oil blend for intense nutrition and shine. These products shouldn't weigh down your hair, but if you have oily hair to begin with as I sort of do, I'm pretty sure any oil-infused product applied near your roots will make your hair greasier. But these smell nice :)

Olay Fresh Effects Everything Off! Make-Up Removal Cloths (7 ct. travel size value: $1.10) - These would be handy for wiping makeup off my face before practice since I don't like carrying makeup remover liquids or creams in my purse. Right now I just don't use makeup on days that I'll be helping out because I'm sure the last thing anyone wants is my foundation smeared on their shirt sleeves. These cloths are scented with honeysuckle and white tea. I can smell the white tea...I think...but overall I'd just call this scent "fresh." I haven't had much luck with finding a cloth that removes mascara without making me look like a raccoon, but this one claims to be effective for that purpose - we'll see.

Maybelline Dream Wonder Powder (no $ value) - It's always risky sending out skin-tone-specific samples because it's impossible to color match everyone. More so when you send out a single color instead of a palette of several choices. I'm pretty sure I don't know what color this is, but I'll take anything that's a warm golden hue. I'm guessing the point of this sample is to see if you like the formula, and if so then you can use the $1 coupon on the back to purchase a color of your choice. Dream Wonder is a whipped powder and this particular sample is a bit too cool for me (it's pinker in real life), but it has a nice powder to cream consistency that I'd go for.

Nivea Cocoa Butter Body Lotion (0.14oz two sample foils value: $0.10) - Mmm...smells good. I don't know if it's my nose being weird again, but it smells sweet, almost like candy. This lotion is enriched with cocoa butter and vitamin E and is made for dry skin. Perfect for the winter months. My skin's not especially dry so it feels kind of greasy on me and didn't really absorb quickly, but I'm sure if your skin is thirsty it'll suck this right up. And I think I've solved the playdough mystery - the ink on the card backing smells faintly like my beloved childhood hobby. I guess mixed with everything else the smell just got overwhelming.

Maybelline Color Sensational The Buffs Lip Color - Maple Kiss (0.15oz full size value: $5.00) - I'm glad Walmart decided to include Maybelline's Buffs line of lipstick in the box instead of the bolder Vivids line since neutrals would probably appeal to more people. Unfortunately, I'm not a lipstick wearer so I won't be getting any use out of this. That's not Walmart's fault though. This is actually a very nice fleshy color that would add a touch of warmth to my natural lip color. Again, very appropriate for winter.

Jergen's BB Body Perfecting Skin Cream for Light Skin Tones (1oz sample value: $1.60) - I remember when this cream was making its way through sub boxes to the point where people began to roll their eyes when they received one. This is a cream that claims to perfect skin tone and texture within 5 days using its self-adjusting skin tone technology. So what's the special technology? Basically it's a self-tanner. It contains dihydroxyacetone which is used in lots of bronzers, so it basically hides fine lines and imperfections. I'm not really sure how much tanning it can do for me though since the color itself is lighter than my skin tone anyway.

Alright so I wasn't wowed by this box. If you compare it to the inaugural box, this one had about half the value ($10.60) and fewer things I would use. The drop in value was probably due to the Winter box having only one full-size item while the Fall box had three. And the remaining samples in here were very affordable items to begin with so they didn't add much value. It's a bit disappointing when the only things I can get use out of are the foundation one-use sample and the makeup remover wipes. I guess I can't hold that against Walmart though, since this box is customized solely on age group. But I am glad that they are putting out a box that allows people to discover affordable brands available at mass retailers because I'm 99% sure not everyone cares to buy a $40 facial cleanser when you can buy a decent one for $8.

If you want to explore affordable drugstore brands, sign up here to get a free box shipped to your doorstep each season. I'm not sure if the Winter box is sold out yet, but I'd wait for the spring box anyway. I think Walmart does a decent job of curating the boxes toward the season, and I'm guessing spring will contain items to freshen up our beauty routine.

Note: I did not receive any compensation for this honest review.

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