Whole Foods Beauty Bag Review

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Note from Liz: I am SO excited to introduce Ragan (AKA Sneaky Burrito) as the newest reviewer to join the My Subscription Addiction team!

Whole Foods Beauty Bag Review Bag Front

The Whole Foods Spring 2015 beauty bag is a curated collection of beauty products selected from offerings available in Whole Foods Market stores.  This was a one-time purchase, but I hope it will become a regular thing.  Language in this blog post suggests it might be!

Whole Foods Beauty Bag Review Products

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

The Box: Whole Foods Beauty Bag

The Cost: $18

The Products: Deluxe samples of natural and ingredient-conscious makeup, skincare, and haircare.

Ships to: In-store only purchase at US Whole Foods Market locations starting at 10 AM on March 21, 2015.  While supplies last.

Check out the Beauty Subscription Box Directory for more great natural beauty deals!

Whole Foods Beauty Bag Review Ingredients

There’s not really a theme to the products that I can tell, other than that they’re ingredient-conscious.  You could pick up the list pictured above in-store if you wanted to see the ingredients for each product.  (You can also view it here.)

Whole Foods Beauty Bag Review Info Side 1

Whole Foods Beauty Bag Review Info Side 2

The bag came with an information card describing Whole Foods Market’s quality standards when it comes to beauty care products and also listing the items from the bag.

Whole Foods Beauty Bag Review Bag Back

RIJIgreen Large Organic Cotton Makeup Bag– Value $11.99

RIJIgreen is a company that produces eco-friendly fair trade bags and t-shirts.  They partner with businesses and non-profits that hire survivors of human trafficking and they donate a portion of their profits to anti-human-trafficking causes.  While I have a surplus of makeup bags due to subscription boxes, I like that this one’s cloth and I think the cause is great, too.

Whole Foods Beauty Bag Review Mascara

Gabriel ZuZu Luxe Mascara – Value $10?

I can’t find a size listed on the package.  It looks larger than most of my other deluxe mascara samples but smaller than a full-size mascara.  The full size has a retail value of $16.25 on the Gabriel Cosmetics website.  I definitely got a little bit of lengthening and some added volume, and the pigment was pretty good (and buildable with additional coats).  I don’t really think it added much curl, though.

Pacifica Eyeshadow Duo – Value $5?

Bags contained either a Pacifica eyeshadow duo or a Pacifica lipstick.  I got this same product (in the same colors!) in an Ipsy bag last year.  The shades are called “unicorn” and “moonbeam” and, while you can’t buy these duos on the Pacifica website, they appear to be color selections from larger Pacifica palettes.  It’s vegan and free of gluten, parabens, phthalates, petroleum derivatives, etc.  I though the pigment level was a little low.  The off-white shade was visible over primer but I really had to pile on the purple to get it to show up.

Whole Foods Beauty Bag Review Scrub

Derma e Microdermabrasion Scrub (0.5 oz) – Value $7.31

I’ve tried this scrub before (from an Ipsy Me offer) and I love it.  I’m glad to have more.  It’s gentle and has a light scent and exfoliates using a combination of volcanic sand and Dead Sea salt.  It’s also free of parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, and gluten, plus it’s vegan/cruelty free!

Trilogy Vital Moisturizing Cream (1.18 oz) – Value $30.80

This brand is new to me.  I’m not sure I love the scent of this (it’s somewhat “herbal” to me, for lack of a better word), but it’s all right.  I tried it on my hands right away and it absorbed quickly and was non-irritating.  It’s one of those products that I think will take a little time to show effects on my face, but it’s packed with natural sources of vitamins and antioxidants so I have high hopes.  Also, it’s vegan and free of artificial dyes and fragrances.

Whole Foods Beauty Bag Review Shampoo

Giovanni 2chic Blackberry and Coconut Milk Ultra-Repair Shampoo (1.5 oz) – Value $1.59

This brand is also new to me.  This shampoo is free of sulfates (so it’s safe for color-treated hair) and it smells fairly strongly of coconut (which is fine by me!).  This lathers really well for a sulfate-free shampoo.  It’s difficult to assess the repair abilities after only one use, though, and without also having the matching conditioner.  The “keratin” in this product is from a plant source so this product is vegan, as well!

Acure Cell Stimulating Facial Mask (1 oz) – Value $9.59

I’ve sampled the Acure brand before thanks to other subscription boxes, and I’m a fan.  This is a clay mask so it dries on your face and becomes a little bit stiff, and I thought it did a good job at reducing pore size.  It also has some moisturizing ingredients (like argan oil and cocoa butter) and it’s a deep green color from chlorophyll and an algae extract.  I put on a fairly thick layer, but I should still get a couple of uses from this tube.

Whole Foods Beauty Bag Review Biosil Coupon

The bag also came with a coupon for $5 off any BioSil product (redeemable only at Whole Foods locations).

Verdict: The Spring 2015 Whole Foods Beauty Bag had an overall value of about $75 if you count the makeup bag (but not the value of the coupon).  That’s outstanding for the $18 cost!  I’m happy to have a mix of old favorites and new-to-me brands as well as a pretty good ratio of makeup to skincare to haircare.  I’m also happy that products were chosen from a variety of price ranges, and that the sizes are large enough for multiple uses.

I shop at Whole Foods for cheese and eggs and pantry items every week but I’ll admit to walking right past the beauty section because I just assumed everything was too expensive for me.  However, after having researched the products in order to write this review, I was pleased to see just how affordable some of them were!  And if you’re ingredient-conscious, Whole Foods is a wonderful place to shop for makeup, skincare, and haircare.  Here’s a list of the ingredients the products Whole Foods carries will never contain.

What did you think of the Whole Foods Beauty Bag?  Were you able to get one?

Written by Ragan Buckley

Ragan Buckley

Ragan stumbled across My Subscription Addiction in late 2013 and immediately subscribed to way too many beauty boxes. She’s now focused on boxes for her cats and dog, vegan/vegetarian food boxes, and craft subscriptions (and she didn’t give up beauty boxes entirely).

Posted in Subscription Box Reviews, Whole Foods Beauty Bag Reviews| 53 comments


  1. Liz – I sent you the email about the Summer Beauty Bag.

    Here’s the details.

    Ready for Action Summer Survival Kit available starting on June 27, 2015 for a limited time.

    When: Saturday, June 27 at 10 am

    Where: Your local U.S. Whole Foods Market store

    How much: $12 (valued at $50!)

    What: Our curated collection of supplies for active summer living, including sunscreen, aloe, electrolyte tablets and superfood shake mixes.

    Toms of Maine Long Lasting Deodorant, Natural Powder Scent (2.25 oz)
    Aubrey Pure Aloe Vera (4 fl oz)
    Boiron Arnicare Gel (.5 oz)
    Amazing Grass Amazing Meal, Vanilla Chai (.88 oz)
    Goddess Garden Organics Natural Sunscreen SPF 30, Everyday or Kids (1 oz)
    Garden of Life Perfect Food Raw Organic Green Super Food, Real Raw Chocolate Cacao (.34 oz)
    Nuun Active Natural Electrolyte Enhanced Drink Tabs, Lemon + Lime (10 tabs)
    Spectrum Essentials Seed Blends – Orchard Fruit, Savory, Tropical Fruit, or Warrior Vitality (.5-.7oz)

    All these summer essentials are zipped up in a durable jute bag that’s handprinted by RIJI Green, a company committed to ending human trafficking. As an added bonus, you’ll find coupons inside for CalNaturale Svelte Organic Protein Shake, Amazing Grass Amazing Meal and Aubrey Pure Aloe Vera.

    Supplies are limited, so mark your calendar for Saturday, June 27, to take advantage of this awesome deal.

    While you’re in our whole body department, pick up a copy of our Ready for Action wellness guide. It’s packed with tips about hydration, post-workout protein, muscle-soothing baths and more!

    What are your must-have supplies for summer adventures? Leave us a comment!

  2. I’ve been stalking Whole Foods’ website and just got on their email list…looking for a summer beauty bag! Don’t see anything yet….

  3. Lucked out today at Whole Foods. I don’t shop there normally, but was running errands and decided to check if they had any bags left. They had six bags and they had the lipstick. I snagged one. I really like the lipstick. The other products smell nice, but haven’t tried them yet.

  4. If you live in Houston, the Whole Foods on Bellaire still has 20-30 bags left as of Thursday, March 26, 2015. I bought four for family and friends yesterday and all four had the Pacifica eyeshadow duo. I’m not complaining though. The bag, alone, was awesome!

  5. Woot! Picked one up tonight. WF on PCH in Long Beach CA still had about 3 or 4 left as of tonight. The one I picked up is exactly the same products as MSA reviewed. Love the little bag of goodies!

  6. None of the bags at my Whole Foods had the lipstick. They all had the same Pacifica eye shadow duo that I received in an ipsy bag a few months back.

  7. I took a look at Riji Green’s website, they have similar makeup bags for purchase. It says that the linings are made from recycled Saris which would explain why they are all different. Since I missed out on the beauty bag, I may just get one of these bags instead. They are made by survivors of human trafficking, what a great organization!

    • My Whole Foods are selling the empty bags ($8) along with the full beauty bags. I was there yesterday and they still had both but only eye shadow. I looked trough every one of them for lipstick! If Liz puts Whole Foods in the swaps I can get you one.

      • Thanks, I did look on swaps but didn’t see any. That explains why. I wish we had a whole foods nearby for many reasons.

        • FYI – I listed my bag in swaps. If you want an empty bag let me know.

  8. I took my sister over to Whole Foods this evening to see if there were any left. She bought the last one which had a lipstick! She’s happy with it. I’m glad that there was one left for her because I wasn’t able to go there this weekend.

    Congrats Ragan on becoming a reviewer!!!

  9. Welcome Sneaky! How awesome that everyone’s favorite commenter is now reviewing boxes! Also I picked up 2 bags today and they both had the lipstick, the color is named tenderness.

  10. I got 2 bags today and there were still about 20 left at our store. All had eyeshadow, no lipstick. After looking in most of them I realized the inside fabrics were varied and most were great!

  11. I picked this bag up Sat. and am excited about the products. I was surprised at the low color payoff for this Pacifica eyeshadow. I have two other pallets from Pacifica and love them, the Solar pallet and a smaller 4 color shadow pallet. Both have excellent color payoff, a creamier texture, and great staying power. They are actually my most used powder shadows and give the look of a loose powder mineral shadow.

  12. Welcome!!! I am so glad you are contributing!! I always read your comments, so happy you get your own posts!

  13. My bag didn’t come with the lipstick. I was the first to arrive at 10 am (of course…lol) and the girl at the makeup counter had to bring the bags out for me. They had around 50 bags in a cart. While I was choosing the bracelet, an older gentlemen non-chalantly walked by and grabbed one. Another person came and got one, too. My best friend met me there and puchased one, as well. Overall, I think it’s a really good bag and hope that WF continues to make them!

  14. OMG, I LOVE SNEAKY BURRITO (Ragan)!!!!! Your comments are always insightful and funny, and you would post how you scored good deals & different strategies with different companies (Birchbox, etc.). I’m SO HAPPY to see you’ve joined MSA! More please!!

    Regarding this bag, I was actually disappointed. Got the poorly pigmented eye shadow from Ipsy previously so didn’t need another.

  15. Thanks for reviewin this bag! I have to admit I was a little bummed on opening it. I knew what was going to be in the bag from the whole foods email but I thought perhaps there would be a couple of full sized products and i was really most interested in the lipstick and of course got the eyeshadow (which holds zero interest for me).

    When I first opened my bag I was a bit confused about where they got the $60 value, although I hadn’t gotten around to looking up each product yet. So, I was interested to see it was mostly in that face lotion. Now I’m more interested to try that one.

    I’m not at all unhappy with the bag. I’m glad to see the “value” of the products is what was advertised. Next time hopefully they’ll let people pick if there is an option as it seems most of us wanted the Lipstick!

  16. Thank you for posting!!!! I called several Whole Foods and none of them got the lipstick. Could you reach put to corporate and see what happened?

  17. Great bag – great review. Hope they stock all the bag options next time.

  18. Yay Ragan! Your comments always make me laugh. Welcome aboard 🙂

  19. I would love to try this, but ever since Whole Foods started selling rabbits as meat I don’t shop there any more. 🙁

    • Oh, my. You would probably not like the Korean market where I shop for produce. I have to turn my head every time I walk by the meat department. The whole lambs bother me the most. But I am sure there is rabbit there, too. I just don’t want to look too closely.

      • Yeah, that would make me sad. At least lambs aren’t typically pets… unlike rabbits.

        Anyway, glad it to put a name and face to the alias!

  20. Welcome aboard! I enjoy your posts, now I can enjoy the reviews also! No whole foods stores near me so I will have to appreciate these lovelies from afar.

  21. Welcome Sneakster! You have a lovely first name.

  22. Thank you for the commentary about the items in this bag! Welcome!

  23. Welcome to the MSA review family. I always enjoyed and appreciated your comments. I did not get this bag as I rarely wear makeup so do not subscribe or get beauty bags . Am lucky enough to have OuiPlease and LLB that helps with skin items. I look forward to your future reviews as I have PetBox and Fare Trade which sounds like your niche.

    • Will be doing a lot of reviews for cat boxes, that’s for sure…

      Thanks for the welcome, everyone.

      • Welcome and thanks for your review Ragan! I just picked up a bag at a WF in Manhattan and they had dozens left. Got the eyeshadow, too.

      • Yay for cat boxes! I can’t get any right now because my housemate’s cat can’t handle catnip – as she puts it, he’s a mean drunk. But once they’re gone, catnip for everyone! Can’t wait to see what the best boxes are for my kittehs!

  24. My friend was able to pick up 6 of these for my friends and myself. None of them had the lipstick either!

  25. I don’t know where else to post this messag; I am sorry that it’s not relevant to the whole foods beauty thread. I just wanted to ask how one becomes a reviewer for MSA? Next time you’re looking Liz, I would love to be considered! I’m an active subscriber and swapper, an avid foodie, dog owner, accessory addict and beauty product junkie that loves to write……

    • message; (touch screen frustrations!)

    • While we aren’t always adding new reviewers, anyone is interested can email me a sample review! 🙂

  26. Thanks for posting the information. I was able to pick-up a grab bag also. I’m super pleased with the quality products given and all the new brand names to try out. I love them all and will be finding some new favorites.

  27. Will this bag be up in the swap area? I got one, but can’t use the shampoo or derma e cream. Looking forward to trying the mask, cream and mascara though 🙂

  28. Welcome to official reviewing!

    I liked the bag (mine was purple/pink ribbon on outside) and contents. I wasn’t disappointed by only 2 makeup items because there were full spoilers on their blog ahead of time. I forgot about it until the afternoon and snagged the last bag at my store. The store was running a beauty event as well so I left with a ton of foil sample packets in addition to a few deluxe samples from local companies. It was a $18+tax well spent for me!

  29. Terrific value for the bag. I went to WF yesterday night, I wasn’t sure I want to get a bag because I had too many makeup and beauty items already, but the makeup bag is so cute I had to have one 🙂 There were lots of the bags in stock. By the way, I was looking for the lipstick version but didn’t find any either.

  30. Love this! I sometimes forget everyone isn’t conscious of animal testing and then get junk like this past month’s Popsugar box. I love that they source only cruelty-free items since it seems like you are more likely to lose customers by NOT doing that than by choosing to avoid animal tested products. The bag is super cute, too. I wish my Whole Foods wasn’t an hour away!

  31. I got mine this morning. My Whole Foods had a ton (3-4 shelves worth). I’m a just a little bit disappointed because I was really looking forward to the Pacifica Lipstick and not the eye shadow. I went through about 10 bags and none of them had the lipstick. I also asked the girl who works in the Beauty Dept. and she said she was also hoping to get the lipstick herself and that none of the bags the store received had it. Interested to hear if any of you got one in your bag!

    • I got super lucky I guess…the first bag I picked (just based on tassel color haha) had a lipstick. I didn’t even bother to look inside until I got home and was happy to see I received the lipstick and not the eye shadow. I thought about peaking in the bags but I was in a hurry and felt a little weird picking through each bag.

  32. Thanks for the review Ragan, glad to see you transition to the official reviewing side of things here on MSA! I always enjoyed your comments on posts particularly because they were relate-able to me geographically (I live in Smyrna). I picked up two of these at 10 AM (and dutifully doled out the rest of my Whole Paycheck while I was there). The WF I went to probably had 30-ish out and there was no big rush on them when I got there. I love the Derma e product and am excited to try some of the other brands that are new to me. Both the bags I got had the Pacifica eyeshadow duo (maybe I should have dug through the other bags to see if there was a lip product in one…) Hope they do more of these bags in the future!!

    • Which Whole Foods did you go to? I went to the Harry’s Farmer’s Market in Marietta. (It’s entirely possible I did not count the number of bags in the store correctly…)

      I haven’t heard of anyone getting the lipstick yet. It would have been interesting to try — I don’t think I’ve ever used lipstick before where the pigments came from beets, tomatoes, and carrots.

      • I went to the East Cobb WF. I wasn’t sure if Harry’s would carry them – good to know for (hopefully) next time! Harry’s is much closer for me.

      • Hi, Ragan, and congratulations on your new role as a reviewer!

        I live in Winter Park, FL, and was lucky enough to get the lipstick. Admittedly, I didn’t search through the bags as I wanted to be surprised, but I saw comments on the announcement post that seemed to indicate that some stores only received bags with the eyeshadow. Perhaps some locations only received lipstick, too?

        Believe it or not, Pacifica is a new brand for me! Of all the beauty boxes I’ve subscribed to over the years, I’ve never gotten one of their products. My lipstick is full size (RV $14), and has the same packaging (white with gold accents) that the retail lipsticks have. My shade, Tenderness, is a pinky nude. I was blown away by how pigmented it was, and the color lasts and lasts without feeling dry. It also didn’t come off on my straw when I stopped for a coffee today. I’d like to note that the lipstick is slightly scented, but it isn’t bothersome, and has a fresh natural scent that probably comes from the incredible ingredients.

        I definitely recommend trying it if you’re interested – the pigments are amazing! I know you were hoping to find one of these lipsticks in your bag, but perhaps this will help if you’re on the fence about picking one up the next time you visit your local WF. Looking forward to your next review!

        • Thanks! I shop at WF every week. I think perhaps one of the Pacifica lipsticks will be a reward for me next time I make it through a whole week with exercising and eating well and going to bed on time (I just got a Fitbook — something else I learned about on MSA — so I am trying to think of little rewards like that). I am definitely interested in seeing how well the plant pigments work.

      • All the bags at my location in VA had lipsticks

  33. Does anyone know how many each store got? I had to work yesterday and the nearest whole foods is about an hour from my house…Is it worth going today to see if they are still there?

    • I think the number of bags might have varied by store. My store didn’t have very many — probably fewer than 20 (and I got there right at 10 AM). But I read a comment from someone else that said their store had around 50. You might try calling and seeing if they have any left — then you wouldn’t be in the car for two hours round trip for nothing.

      • My store probably got the high end, but it’s a busy store. My guess is they are gone if they didn’t get a few hundred. I’ll try calling, but I think my schedule foiled any change of getting one. Maybe next time….not like I NEED it.

        Thanks for the info!

  34. The value is great but honestly I would have been a little disappointed to only get 2 makeup items in a beauty bag, one of which (eyeshadow) I had already recieved from Ipsy and hated due to the awful pigmentation.

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