If you’re interested in skincare and make-up, you may have heard of subscription beauty boxes. It seems there’s a new wave of boxes being brought out, be it with high street or luxury brands, focusing on skincare or make-up. The concept behind those boxes is quite simple – you sign up for a period of time and every month your box arrives with a few goodies (either in sample or full sizes) which you can try out and enjoy. I recently signed up to LoveLula’s BeautyBox and in this post, I would like to share my views on the contents of the latest January box. I must admit that I find waiting for the box so exciting and when it finally arrives – it feels like Christmas to me as I open the box with excitement. This is my fourth month of subscription so I’ve had a good opportunity to compare the boxes and see for myself what you can expect from them.

LoveLula is one of the UK’s biggest online shops selling a wide range of natural and organic beauty products from over 200 brands. Products on offer “must be created using the highest possible percentage of high-grade, ethically sourced natural and organic ingredients” – this also means that products must not contain Parabens, SLS/ SLES and are not tested on animals.

As for the subscription BeautyBox, there are three subscription levels for UK residents:

  • monthly (recurring) at £12.50
  • three months at £37.50
  • annual at £150

The value of products included in the box is always around £40-50 so they’re super cost-effective! Another amazing thing about LoveLula’s BeautyBox is that apart from goodies within the box, you also get 20% off any products by the brands included in the box which is a great bonus. For more info on all T&Cs and international rates, please visit this page.


Key to ingredient lists:

  • Ingredients known to have positive benefits
  • Ingredients that may cause irritation (especially to sensitive skin)
  • Ingredients considered potentially harmful/ toxic

January’s BeautyBox contained the following items:

REN EverCalm Global Protection Day Cream 

SIZE: 15ml

VALUE: £8.56 (full size 50ml at £28.00)

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION:

“Formulated to leave sensitive, reactive skin optimally hydrated, calmed, soothed and protected this moisturizer combats the feeling of chronic discomfort, redness and sensitivity that can lead to premature ageing and ensures skin glows with renewed health. A moisturiser formulated to leave more sensitive skin optimally hydrated, calmed, soothed, protected and looking beautifully healthy. Hydrates and replenishes. Skin feels calmed and soothed. Protects against free radicals to combat the signs of premature ageing.”

INGREDIENTS:

Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Extract, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil, Cetearyl Ethylhexanoate, Myristyl Myristate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Cetearyl Glucoside, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Triheptanoin, Oryzanol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Seed Oil, Bisabolol, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Laminaria Ochroleuca Extract, Cassia Alata Leaf Extract, Pueraria Lobata (Kudzu) Symbiozome Extract, Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Extract, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Cinnamomum Camphora Linalloliferum (Ho Wood) Leaf Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile) Flower Oil, Limonene, Citronellol, Geraniol, Linalool, Tocopherol.

MY VIEW:

Unfortunately, this cream is not for me as it contains Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate which is a formaldehyde-releasing preservative and a known skin irritant. A few years ago, my dermatologist did skin tests on me which showed I’m allergic to formaldehyde and its releasers so if I used this cream, my skin would definitely react to it. The cream also contains another preservative, Phenoexythanol, that can cause allergic reactions. (You can read more about which ingredients to avoid in skincare products in my earlier post). It’s a real shame as there are some excellent ingredients in this cream, such as chamomile, shea butter and calendula.


Laidbare Pack Your Bags Lighten & Tighten Eye Cream

SIZE: 30ml

VALUE: £7.99

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: 

“Benefit: Pack those bags and say good bye to sleepy eyes! Our clever eye cream contains Buckwheat Wax; an incredible ingredient to help reduce puffiness and dark circles, Shea Butter hydrates and Eyebright helps reduce the appearance of redness and brightens the skin. Bonus: Also an effective treatment for neck contouring and brightening dull skin!”

INGREDIENTS:

Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Cetearyl Alcohol (Palm Kernel Oil), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Coconut), Glyceryl Stearate (Palm Kernel), Cetearyl Glucoside (Sugar), Glycerin (Coconut), Prunis Amygdalus Dulcis (Almond) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol (Naturally Derived Preservative), Polygonum Fagopyrum (Buckwheat) Seed Extract, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Euphrasia Officinalis (Eyebright) Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Xanthan Gum (Naturally Derived Thickener), Potassium Sorbate (Naturally Derived Preservative).

MY VIEW:

I’ve used this cream for two weeks now and I’ve already noticed a significant reduction in dark circles under my eyes! I’ve always had them but since having Max and surviving on very little sleep, the area under my eyes has got worse so I’m very positively surprised at the effects this cream has had within such a short space of time. In terms of the ingredients, there is a good selection of natural products such as aloe vera, almond oil, shea butter and green tea, all of which have soothing and moisturising properties. Plus the 30ml bottle is a very generous size so this will last me a ‘lifetime’. What’s not to love?


Apple & Bears Bergamot and Green Tea Body Silk

SIZE: 50ml

VALUE: £6.00

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: 

“Beautifully balanced with natural botanical ingredients, our Bergamot & Green Tea Body Silk gently uplifts and nourishes the skin with antioxidant rich Green Tea and citrus Bergamot. Re-energises and improves the overall appearance of your skin while the silky, smooth and natural active skin firming ingredient leaves your skin looking firmer, youthful, nourished and radiant.”

INGREDIENTS:

Aqua (Water), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice *, Isopropyl Myristate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Myristyl Myristate, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil *, Benzyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Parfum (Fragrance), Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Xanthan Gum, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Leaf Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Dehydroacetic Acid, Citric Acid, Sodium Phytate, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Peel Oil Distilled, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Leaf/Twig Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Peel Oil *, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Maltodextrin, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil Expressed, Cupressus Sempervirens Oil, Elettaria Cardamomum Seed Oil, Ferula Kokanica Resin Oil, Juniperus Mexicana Wood Oil, Myristica Fragrans Fruit Oil (Nutmeg), Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Herb Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Flower Oil, Chlorella Vulgaris Extract, Alcohol, Citral, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool.

MY VIEW:

When I first applied this cream onto my skin, I was amazed that it actually did make it feel very smooth and silky. I do like when a product does what it says on the tin 🙂 But it’s a shame that it contains so many ingredients, including so many fragrance ingredients and ‘parfum’ which, in itself, can consist of tens of ingredients. (You can read more about this in my post on how to decipher ingredient labels). So while it is a pleasant cream to apply after the shower, as far as I’m concerned, the ingredient list is a bit too long and over-complicated for me. For my body care, I’ll be sticking to my bare but trusted essentials: raw shea butter, sweet almond oil or my own whipped body butters (containing those two ingredients).


Balm Balm Fragrance Free Organic Face Balm

SIZE: 30ml

VALUE: £8.95

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION:

“For use on dry skin, as a lip balm, nappy balm, cracked hard skin & more. A must for sensitive skin, Balm Balm Face Balm is an organic, Soil Association approved salve that melts on contact with skin, leaving it supple and smooth. A wonderfully emollient, natural, organic balm suitable for all skin types. It is so gentle that it can be used from babies to grown ups alike. This multi purpose balm will moisturise and nourish your skin throughout the day & night.”

INGREDIENTS:

Butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), Helianthus annuus (sunflower oil), Cera alba (beeswax), Calendula officinalis (calendula oil), Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba oil).

MY VIEW:

Since discovering BalmBalm products, I have immediately fallen in love with them so when they appear in the box, I get very excited as I can take advantage of the 20% discount on their other goodies. I’ve already got their hibiscus face mask (reviewed here), rose floral water, lip balm and a couple of essential oils, and they’re all amazing and ‘simple’ products. I use the term ‘simple’ in the most positive way as all BalmBalm products are made using very few but powerful ingredients. On top of that, all their products are 100% organic, as certified by The Soil Association. This balm is no different. Plus it is a multi-tasker which is an added bonus. I’ve used it mainly on my hands as they’re currently going through a contact dermatitis flare-up and the redness is slowly disappearing. I’m also planning to test it as a nappy balm as I think it will be perfect for protecting little bums – the ingredients are just so safe!


 

John Masters Organics Evening Primrose Shampoo for Dry Hair 

SIZE: 60ml – travel size (full size – 237ml)

VALUE: £5.50 (full size – £17.00)

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION:

“Recommended for a salon performance natural organic shampoo for dry, damaged or coloured hair. Made from the gentlest corn and coconut cleansers, and infused with conditioning plant extracts and essential oils, this shampoo will gently wash away dirt without over stripping the hair shaft. 17 herbs, plant extracts & essential oils to hydrate dry hair. pH balanced. No sodium lauryl sulfate. For dry or damaged hair. Safe for colour-treated hair.”

INGREDIENTS:

Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera leaf juice) gel,* aqua (water), decyl glucoside, disodium cocoamphodiacetate, sodium cocoyl sulfoacetate, babassuamidopropyl betaine, panthenol (vitamin B5), sorbitol, symphytum officinale (comfrey) leaf extract,* lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower/leaf/ stem extract,* urtica dioica (nettle) root extract,* equisetum hiemale (horsetail) leaf/stem extract,* chamomilla recutica (chamomile) flower extract, achillea millefolium (yarrow) extract, camellia sinensis (white tea) leaf extract,* salix alba (willow) bark extract,* lonicera caprifolium (honeysuckle) flower extract, hydrolyzed soy protein, cananga odorata (ylang ylang) flower oil,* pogostemon cablin (patchouli) oil,* citrus grandis (grapefruit) peel oil,* juniperus mexicana (cedarwood) oil,* citrus medica limonum (lemon) peel oil,* pelargonium graveolens (geranium) flower oil,* santalum album (sandalwood) oil, guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride, wheat amino acids, sodium pca, arginine, serine & threonine (amino acids), potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid), glycerin, oenothera biennis (evening primrose) oil, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil,* linum usitatissimum (flaxseed) seed oil,* borago officinalis (borage) seed oil,* simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil,* tocopherol, sulfur

*Certified Organic by EcoCert / QAI

**Certified by EcoCert (for eco-clean production)

MY VIEW:

Sadly, this beautifully-smelling shampoo is not suitable to my hair which is very oily at the moment so this little beauty will be gifted to someone I know, mostly likely my Mum 🙂 But in terms of the ingredients list – it does look fairly ok but I would have liked to see a shorter list of ingredients. However, I do have one of their other shampoos – Zinc and Sage (which also smells divine!) and I do like it.


OVERALL VERDICT

I really enjoy getting the LoveLula BeautyBox every month but as with any beauty products, I do check the labels before I try the products to make sure their ingredients agree with my sensitive skin. Research shows that we absorb 60% of what we put onto our skin so it’s so important to read and understand ingredient lists on beauty products. I do think that the value of these boxes is excellent though and while sometimes not all five products will be suitable to your skin/ hair type, you still get your money’s worth.

Have you tried the LoveLula BeautyBox or any of these products before?


Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and I purchased all the products mentioned within this post. All views and opinions expressed here are all my own and 100% honest.

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