Stowaway Cosmetics Subscription Box Review – January 2016
Stowaway Cosmetics has their own subscription service that sends you “right sized” products. They call it “makeup you’ll love in sizes you can carry and finish, before it expires.”
They have a few different subscription plans (explained below) – this is a review of the Complete Solution subscription.
As a sub box addict myself, I know we tend to have a stash (or hoard!) of products and I know I definitely don’t get through them all by the time I should!
Their subscription has a few different varying factors you get to customize as far as how often it’s sent and what products you get. Here’s how it works:
First, you pick your routine/how often you use makeup. This affects how often your subscription ships (every 3 months, every 4 months, or every 6 months).
Then, you select your kit/what products you want. There are 3 choices:
- Complete Solution, $60: includes complexion beauty balm, concealer, 2 mascara formulas, and 2 eyeliner colors (this is the kit in this review)
- Complexion Perfection, $35: includes complexion beauty balm and concealer
- All About Eyes $35: includes 2 mascara formulas and 2 eyeliner colors
Note: you select the shades for the concealer and beauty balm, but not the eyeliners
My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).
The Subscription: Stowaway Cosmetics Solution Subscription
The Cost: The Complete Solution is $60/shipment (every 3, 4, or 6 months – you choose), the Complexion Perfection and All About Eyes are both $35/shipment
The Products: Travel-sized cosmetics from Stowaway’s brand. Each kit option contains slightly different types or numbers of products (see above explanation for details).
Ships to: US
Check out other makeup boxes in our Beauty Subscription Box Directory!
Also included was a list of all the items in my Complete Solution kit and how much they cost on their own. The subscription is $60, but if I were to buy each item a la carte in their store, the value would total to $82.
(Good to know: if you order and cancel your subscription before 30 days has passed, they charge your card the difference so that you ultimately do pay the a la carte prices).
Because the products are small, the box is small – I wanted to show you so I used my hand for rough comparison.
Stowaway Cosmetics Defined Lash Mascara, black – 4 ml/.14 fl oz, value: $12
Stowaway Cosmetics Extreme Lash Mascara, black – 5.4 ml/.18 fl oz, value: $12
The main difference between these two mascaras is the brush. The Defined Lash has a fluffier one, and the Extreme Lash has a stiffer, more comb-like one. I’ll talk about performance later with photos of these applied. One thing that irked me, though, is that these mascaras say nowhere on the actual bottles which formula they are, only on the boxes. (Also good to know: they only have black formulas, no brown option.)
Stowaway Cosmetics Effortless Eyeliner in Jet – .005 oz, value: $10
Stowaway Cosmetics Effortless Eyeliner in Spice – .005 oz, value: $10
These eyeliners are very thin and cute – I really appreciate how chic the packaging is for Stowaway’s products! The colors here are black and a sort of slightly shimmery brown (see below for swatches, application photos near the end of article).
Jet (black) is on top, and Spice (brown) is on bottom. Spice has a little shimmer to it, but nothing drastic at all. I also noted a difference in the softness of the formulas. Jet was a harder formula and therefore really easy to achieve a super thin line if you want. Spice was softer, and that’s why it swatched thicker on my arm.
Stowaway Cosmetics Radiant Complexion Beauty Balm Cream, Fair – 25 ml/.85 fl oz, value: $22
Stowaway Cosmetics Creaseless Concealer, Fair – .15 oz, value: $16
Both of these products are in the shade Fair, which is the lightest one they sell. Unfortunately, they weren’t pale enough for my ghostly complexion (I kind of knew the shades wouldn’t work – I’ve tried practically every brand there is!). The formulas aren’t bad, though.
The Beauty Balm Cream (BB cream) was lightweight and had enough coverage to even my skin tone, but not heavy/full coverage.
The concealer went on well and blended nicely. They recommend using this as an under-eye concealer, so it’s not super heavy duty for blemishes or anything.
See? These products are not my color. Also to note: they aren’t the same shade exactly; the concealer leans pinker than the BB cream does. This isn’t a huge issue, though; they blend pretty well.
I didn’t want to go totally orange-face for photos here, but I did swatch them on my neckline.
Pro tip: this is where you want to swatch foundations and concealers, so you can compare them to your face AND neck. You want to match to your NECK, not your face! This prevents getting that “mask” look, because often your face is redder than your neck (as it is in my case) or there’s some kind of similar difference in coloring.
Top: eyes with no eyeliner or mascara
Bottom: Left has the Jet eyeliner and the Extreme Lash mascara, Right has the Spice eyeliner and the Defined Lash mascara (one layer of mascara)
I’m really happy with the performance of the mascaras! Ultimately, I didn’t see a huge difference in the results, except slightly more length and definition with the Extreme Lash.
I really didn’t notice a difference in the formulas that affected application, just in the brushes. The Extreme Lash is my favorite because it has a stiffer, more comb-like brush (slightly different than Benefit’s They’re Real), which I like because I feel I have more control over separation and get my lashes coated better. The Defined Lash was good, too, if you prefer fluffier wands. I felt like it had a lighter product application, though.
Here’s a closer look at the eyeliners. Again, the left has the black liner and the right has the brown. It’s quite a subtle difference, but just enough to give you control over intensity.
Verdict: I know this was a slightly wordy review, but I like being thorough and specific about cosmetics and offer tips (this is thanks to my Sephora training making me like that). I’m happy with the performance and formulas of Stowaway’s products! I also think Stowaway has an interesting idea with their vision (the “right size” products so you use them up before expiring). I see this subscription as being very good for minimalists, people who travel light, or even people who just want to make sure they have a set of touch-up makeup with them or in their purse. (This isn’t a sub designed for discovery, though, since each kit is the same thing).
Now for the value. Paying $60 for $82 in cosmetics is pretty good! A lot depends on what your budget/spending style for cosmetics is like, and seeing how much product you get for $60. Stowaway cosmetics also offers a one-time purchase kit that is a “complete face,” which contains your color choice of BB cream, concealer, cream lip/cheek rouge, eyeliner, lipstick, and a Defined Lash Mascara. I wish this whole kit were available as a subscription, too – I feel like a “complete solution” should have also included a cheek and lip color.
What do you think about Stowaway Cosmetics?