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Stowaway Cosmetics Essential Edits Box Review – June 2016

This post may contain referral/affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.


Stowaway Cosmetics just launched a new lifestyle box called their Essential Edits! Each box is “a unique monthly curation” and has  value between $70-$200.

If you’re not familiar, Stowaway Cosmetics is a beauty brand that sells “right-sized” cosmetics – smaller versions made for tossing in your purse or clutch, and also for you to finish them before they expire.

They’ve also released the themes for the upcoming months:

  • July: BBQs, Stars & Stripes draw string
  • August: Pools, Long Reads & Road Trips
  • September: Back To School, Back Being Cool
  • October: Nest, Rest & Discover Your Best
  • November: How To Be Thankful For The Family Circus
  • December: Holiday Parties, Being Foolhardy & Getting On With Gifting


My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)


The Subscription Box: Stowaway Cosmetics Essential Edit

The Cost: $50/month + free shipping

The Products: “Smart women know life requires an essential edit! Simplify your busy life with our unique monthly curations for only $50 per month with surprises that could be worth up to $200, including items from brands like Blow Pro, Flight 001, Baggu, Bkr, and more.”

Ships to: US

Check out all of our Stowaway Cosmetics reviews and the Beauty Subscription Box Directory!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!


Global Glamour Fashion Tobago Tote Bag Natural/Turquoise – value: 175?

FYI – I’m not sure how to price this. I found it at Global Glamour Fashion but you have to “request more information” to get a price and I didn’t want to give them my email and phone number just to find out a price. However, I did find it for sale here for $175! And it says this is a real turquoise, which is great. So, I’m going with the only price I could find it for, but I’m letting you know I’m not 100% on that. Especially because the box value is supposed to be “up to $200” and this definitely pushes the value way over.

I can tell you that this is absolutely a high-quality bag. It’s big, too. And if the button is real turquoise then that does add value for sure. The weave is small enough to work well and it feels sturdy enough to be quite practical – this will be a great beach bag!


It can stand up straight (when full) thanks to this bottom surface, and that also makes it roomier too.


BlowPro Beach Blow Texturizing Mist – 2 oz, value: $8

This texturizing spray does adds texture to my hair, in the way that it makes it a little stiff, but probably not more so than it’s supposed to. It doesn’t give me magical Blake Lively hair, but it seems to work better than most other sea salt spays and such I’ve tried. I think I’ll experiment with this for a bit.

Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel – 0.75 oz, value: $1.80

This product is a little misleading! The label says “Aloe Vera 100% Gel.” Well, it’s 100% gel, I guess, but it’s not 100% aloe, which I’m assuming is what they want to trick you into thinking when you read the label. It has some ingredients I don’t care for on it, and it also didn’t come sealed. I’ll be tossing this, unfortunately.


And now for the little box of cosmetics!


The box contained a palette, two mascaras, and two eyeliners.


Stowaway Cosmetics Essential Eye Palette – value: $25

This palette is the size of a credit card – super portable and perfect for simplifying your makeup routine! It has great colors for eyeshadow, lighter brows, and a black that you can even use for eyeliner. The quality of the shadows is great, and I like the color range, especially for my coloring. Photos of eye looks done with this later in the article.


Extreme Lash Mascara – 0.18 fl oz, value: $12

Defined Lash Mascara – 0.14 fl oz, value: $12

I’m pretty sure the main difference between these two is probably just the brush. They both stay on well and don’t end up under my eyes throughout the day. My main gripe about these is small: they don’t say which they are on the bottles, just the boxes. However the brushes are distinct enough that if you ever needed to figure out which is which you can look it up on their website easy.


Effortless Eyeliner in Jet – .005 oz, value: $10

Effortless Eyeliner in Spice .005 oz, value: $10

These little eyeliners are so tiny! Like, a little longer than a toothpick! Perfect for tossing in a clutch or for a trip, though. I like their formulas: they glide on easily and they have good pigmentation. The black is a nice matte black and the brown has just a little bit of metallic-ness to it.


Here’s a swatch of the eyeliners.


And here are a couple looks with it. The shades are all neutrals, and the couple darkest colors lean very warm/reddish, which works with my hair/skin tone. I love the golds and lighter shimmers of the first three shades. I’ve been using this ever since I got it! And I’ll definitely be bringing it on a family reunion trip I have coming up.

Verdict: This Stowaway Essential Edits box is a win for me. I’m happy with the performance and quality of Stowaway’s cosmetic products, and I’m also happy with the bag and the hair spray, but I’m tossing the aloe gel. Which is fine because it was only worth a buck or two anyway. I also think Stowaway has an interesting idea with their vision (the “right size” products so you use them up before expiring). I think their products are  great 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. Value is hard to pinpoint here because of the aforementioned ambiguity of the price of the tote bag, but even without factoring in a value for the tote, the other items add up to $78.80, so I’m happy with that!

I’m very excited to see future boxes from them, too.

What do you think of this new Essential Edits box from Stowaway Cosmetics?

Written by Haley Faye

Haley Faye

Haley Faye first discovered Beauty Army and Birchbox in 2012 and instantly fell hard and fast for the world of subscription boxes. Over the years of writing for MSA she has found many subscriptions to fuel her addiction, but her favorites include fashion, geeky, beauty, and mom/baby boxes to share with her son.
All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.


  1. I got my July box today and it is truly awful. I received a striped Physician approved straw hat that in no way is cute (blue and white stripes w/ a clashing ribbon. . .really frumpy looking), some random dollar store items including a small striped tin with a few straws, zestt cocktail napkins, an anchor pouch (that looks like it should have jewelry in it, but it was empty), and a magazine that looks like someone had read through it already??? So bizarre. For the makeup, I got 3 lip glosses and 3 lip/cheek tints. Unfortunately, only 1 of the gloss colors will work with my skin tone. The lip and cheek tints are nice though and I like the shades. I sent an email to cancel, since their website has some kind of glitch and won’t let me set up an account.

  2. I received my box and I am not impressed! Someone commented that it looked like someone in the office cleaned out their purse…I wholeheartedly agree! I purchased a 3-month subscription. If this is indicative of what the boxes will be, I will not resub.
    Extras: Banana Boat Sunscreen 50+ – 20z., Simply Gum Natural Fennel Licorice – 15 pieces, Olly – The Women’s Perfect Multi – 7 pieces, Blow Pro Beach Blow texturizing mist – 2 oz., Wet Brush Pro Detangler (looks like a mini), some weird and sticky blue object, and Self Magazine. I also received a hand written note thanking me for subscribing and informing me I will also be receiving a 6-month subscription to SELF Magazine that will start in October.

  3. So mad about his box. First of all, I started to sign up but back out of the page. I never received an account confirmation email, or shipping notification or anything.

    So I was quite surprised to get a box from the, yesterday. I checked my account and sure enough I was charged.

    The box cotained a package of gum, sunscreen, a mini hair brush, tiny hand sanitizer and some weird sticky rubber thing that looks like an apple core. Basically, some woman in the office their dumped her purse, and they stuck her crap in my box as the “value added items”

    The eyeshadow was chipped, but anyway, it is way too sparkly.. full on glitter that I can’t wear. ?

    • See, so annoyed I lost my grammar and can’t go back to fix it. *there not their

      PS The eyeshadow does look lovely on Haley who did the review…but mine seems more glittery

    • I had the same experience… The applecore, small sunscreen, self magazine, a portable mini-fan, hand sanitizer, and the makeup. Definitely a bunch of junk.

    • Wow! I’m feeling lucky with my magazine now. That box sounds horrible!

  4. I was going to subscribe, but definitely not after reading that only a few people receive the big ticket items! I don’t feel like playing the lottery with boxes, and it seems to be more than just a coincidence that reviewers and bloggers usually get the best items.

    Such a shame, because all of the makeup looks perfect, and I love that tote.

    • Exactly.

  5. That stinks that folks paid for the box and got crappy replacement items. Not fair at all. And to hear that MSA actually paid for the box and it wasn’t a free reviewer box makes the company seem even more shady. Maybe they read MSA and knew that Haley was a reviewer…who knows. Not interested in this box anymore because I actually like the concept of smaller items.

  6. These boxes go along with the Lucky Bag format (Stowaway has done several of these in the past year). Most people get the same things, but a select Lucky few get a bigger high-ticket item (Haley scored! I got the Ale bag like so many other people did; fortunately, I love it). Everyone gets the same makeup but the rest will be a “mystery”. I cancelled but only because I have sooo much stuff in my stash and the July makeup isn’t stuff I’ll use. But I love the surprise aspect of not knowing what you’re going to get!

    • The problem is that it was not advertised that way.

  7. I’ve been considering this subscription. However, while I don’t mind variations in things like color or scent (in perfumes) I do have a problem with subscriptions that have a huge difference in value from box to box. Therefore, although I like the idea of “right-size” cosmetics and I do like the lipsticks that were in the PS box a while ago, I will not be subscribing to this box as long as they treat their customers in such an unfair manner.

    • And their customer service is crap. ?

  8. The bag is cute, but I’d rather have a lower price and just have the Stowaway makeup. I don’t need the extra “stuff” every month, and it sounds like most people didn’t get the nice bag anyway.

  9. When I saw the box description on the original post and read “unique monthly creations” I did think that might just mean individual boxes. I held back because I didn’t think I was clear on that point. Couple other reasons but that was the prime reason.

    I don’t need the negative energy of box envy in my life. ?

    • I don’t mind variation, but sending a $250 box or a $75 box to people who paid for the same subscription is not fair , imho. I will be cancelling.

      • Oh for sure! I agree. I was just making a jest about myself. I didn’t think about how that might be interpreted.

      • Good luck with that. I’m fighting with their CS now.

    • Cee & Lisa, thank you for this info! I’m surprised to learn they do vary between subscribers… especially because the tote was in a spoiler/announcement photo! I looked for any other reviews of this and couldn’t find any, nor was there an info card talking about the items.

      We did pay for this box and did not coordinate a review box for free from them, so this should be the same any subscriber could get, but I would be totally disappointed to get some of the other variations! It’s not just like you could get different colors of totes or something… but a self magazine and multivitamins? That’s an awful “variation.” I agree – that’s not fair across subscribers…

      Thanks for reading and the input, ladies!

        • Lisa:
          Thanks. I wouldn’t trust any ‘variation’. While I like the idea of Stoweaway sizes, the variations don’t inspire me at all. Vitamin gummies and a magazine? No way.

      • I was totally bummed when I realized after receiving my box that the tote was not a in it. I was misled by the spoiler pix & that was the one of the main reasons I ordered this box. I am in for 2 more months as I signed up for the 3 month-er. The variation in boxes is unfair when there range of price point is large. I received the make-up bag, sunscreen, self mag & gummy vits.

      • Haley, can you edit your post to show this discrepancy? I just found this box – and was reading your review and was going to purchase. Glad I read the comments. I would have expected quality of what was reviewed. thanks –

  10. I received the same make up, but different add-ons (multivitamins, sunscreen, and a towel). I prefer not to subscribe to boxes with variation and wouldn’t have done so if I knew this would happen. I

    • I emailed them to ask them to make it right, and they did! I was super impressed with the customer service and will stick with them for now to see if they get the bumps smoothed out.

      • When you say make it right, did they send you something better than the rubber apple core thingie? Or what?

  11. My June box had the Ale makeup bag, Olly women’s vitamins (7day), 2oz banana boat sunscreen, Self magazine, 1/2 oz hand sanatizer and the same Stowaway eye set. Wish I had gotten the beach bag for my trip since I have so many makeup bags. I do like the makeup but there’s too much variation in this box.

    I cancelled after seeing all lip gloss for July. I don’t need $70 in lip gloss.

  12. Thanks for the review! Just a heads up that not everyone received the tote. Some people received a towel or a cosmetics bag (neither of which had a value close to that of the tote).

    • Very disappointed in the value difference between boxes.

    • I got neither! They sent a mini size of the wet hairbrush. It’s pitiful on my thick curly hair.

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