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Allure Beauty Box Review – January 2020

Megan K.
ByMegan K.Jan 10, 2020 | 92 comments

Allure Beauty Box January 2020 beauty subscription box review

Allure Beauty Box
3.6 overall rating
720 Ratings | 154 Reviews

Allure Beauty Box is a monthly beauty subscription from Allure Magazine. Each month they send out a mix of deluxe and full-size samples from mostly high-end brands. (It was named one of the best beauty subscription boxes by MSA readers in the 2019 Subscription Box Awards.)

open white allure box

This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

all of the included products in group shot

About this Box

The Subscription Box: Allure Beauty Box

The Cost: $15 a month + free shipping. Save with a yearly subscription.

COUPON: Get a Free Mega Bundle when you sign up for a 12-month subscription! No coupon needed - just use this link.

The Products: Deluxe and full-size beauty and makeup samples.

Ships to: The US and Puerto Rico for free

Allure Beauty Box January 2020 Review


A handy booklet has all the product info inside.



Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Treatment, 0.25 oz – Estimated Value $10.63 (Buy a full-size 2 oz for $85.00)

I love this stuff. LOVE. I was gifted an entire tube last year and it quickly became one of my favorite exfoliators. I usually try to avoid super grainy exfoliation products because they drag and scratch my skin, but this silica formula feels more like a super fine grit that doesn’t irritate my skin like so many others out there. It also has lactic acid, which is another exfoliator, though it doesn’t have a texture. Oh! And fruit enzymes! I like to apply it in the shower, coating my face with a thin layer and rubbing in circles for about 30 seconds. You can then wash it off or leave it on for an additional 2 minutes. It is important to not leave this stuff on too long, because it is potent. Expect to see smoother, radiant skin that feels like velvet after that final rinse and be sure to follow up with your favorite moisturizer.


philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Water Cream, 0.23 fl oz – Estimated Value $4.49 (Buy a full-size 2 oz version for $39.00)

This is another familiar product to me, and another one I really love. It is actually on my to-buy list, but I guess I can hold off for a little while longer now! It is very balm-like in texture (the full size actually comes in a big pot/jar) and absorbs into my skin so nicely, giving loads of hydration and a soft finish, perfect for my makeup. It also has loads of hyaluronic acid, meaning my skin stays hydrated all day long.


Akar Pure Lip Restoration, 7 ml – FULL SIZE! Retail Value $30.00

I am always on the lookout for great lip treatments in the winter, and this is a new one to me! Plus, it’s multipurpose? I am in! It has a heavier balmy texture, but it wasn’t what I would consider to be hard, meaning you won’t have to dig into your pot to get enough to be useful! It feels great on the lips, adding much-needed hydration and smoothness. The main power players in the ingredient list are almond and castor seed oil, with a nice touch of beeswax. I found that it also worked wonders for dry patches on my face (when used sparingly!), dry knees, and dry elbows. The cheerful red tin also looks super cute in my purse.


Vitabrid C12 Dual Drop Serum, 10 ml – Estimated Value $20.67 (Buy 30 ml for $62.00)

This little bottle of serum is adorable. It also has two glowing skin heavyweights inside: hyaluronic acid and vitamin C. It feels super light on my face and absorbs nicely, with zero stickiness. If you are looking to add a little extra radiance to your skin, vitamin C is a really great ingredient to try. It also promotes collagen production, which is wonderful for a smooth complexion. This portable size is much more suited to a travel bag or on the go kit than my normal large bottles of serum.


NatureLab Tokyo Perfect Shine Oil Mist, 1 fl oz – Estimated Value $4.00 (Buy a full-size 4 oz for $16.00)

This was another familiar “face” but a welcome addition to my box. This oil works really well but takes a little bit of finesse. You can spray it directly onto your hair, but I would caution you to avoid your roots. I then like to finger comb to distribute the shine through my locks. In our info book, one of the Allure editors suggests spraying it into your hands and then finger combing, which worked like a charm! I also really like the soft scent it leaves behind.

Verdict: This Allure box has a total value of around $92.79, which is more than excellent for a $15 box. I loved that this was so skincare focused, especially after all the fun makeup last month. I always find myself even more skincare oriented as winter drags on, so the timing is perfect. Everything in here was a win for me personally. I especially loved the mascara and the AKAR lip treatment but was thrilled to see familiar friends like the ExfoliKate, philosophy water cream, and NatureLab Tokyo oil spray. I am really happy with this month! What did you all think?

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Yes! Scroll down this page to see what items you will get when you first sign up.

COUPON: Get a Free Mega Bundle when you sign up for a 12-month subscription! No coupon needed - just use this link.

Value Breakdown: At $15 for this box, here’s what you are paying approximately per item:

  • tarte Mascara $3.72
  • Kate Somerville ExfoliKate $1.72
  • Philosophy Water Cream $0.73
  • Akar Lip Restoration $4.85
  • Vitabrid Serum $3.34
  • NatureLab Tokyo Shine Oil $0.65

Alternatively, each of the 6 items has an average cost of $2.50.

Check out all of our Allure Beauty Box reviews and some more of our other favorite beauty subscriptions. 

Swap for any item in this box from the Allure Beauty Box Swap page!

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

What do you think of the January Allure Beauty Box? What was your favorite product in the box?

Allure Beauty Box is a monthly beauty subscription box from Allure magazine that takes you behind the scenes at Allure magazine. Each month includes deluxe and full sized beauty and makeup items from mostly high-end brands chosen by the editors, likely leveraging Allure's insider connections. Becomi... read more.
Megan K.
Megan K.
I love natural/vegan beauty products, Korean skincare, unique jewelry, and weird candies from far away places. When I am not waiting for my next exciting box you can find me painting or taking photographs of interesting people. I never leave home without pug hair somewhere on my shirt and a bold lipstick on my smile.

Megan K.
Megan K.
I love natural/vegan beauty products, Korean skincare, unique jewelry, and weird candies from far away places. When I am not waiting for my next exciting box you can find me painting or taking photographs of interesting people. I never leave home without pug hair somewhere on my shirt and a bold lipstick on my smile.
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I have had contact with Allure over the phone and through email regarding the Vitabrid serum deal. I think it’s really shady what Vitabrid did. Allure is not going to do anything about it. Too bad, so sad…. Is how they come across.
When people started getting their allure boxes, the Vitabrid was listed at regular price which made it qualify for free shipping and therefore cost $9.00 as Allure promised. As soon as I got my box, Vitabrid had put it on sale therefore it no longer qualifies for free shipping. So, we aren’t going to be getting it for $9.00. The last time I tried, it was $17.95. The time before that, $24.95? WTH?
I like the Vitabrid, but not enough to pay full price for it. Nor am I going to pay $17.95 either. At this point, I don’t even want to give that company a penny. Shady is shady.
Business to business relations: I would be threatening to cancel any and all promotions with Vitabrid unless they make good on the deal they made. Plain and simple. Allure really should find a way to get their subscribers the Vitabrid serum at the price promised, or buy it up and send it out. Both companies should be ashamed of themselves.


I really don’t see how it’s shady. The site offers free shipping for orders over $50. With the coupon code it’s $9.90, meaning it doesn’t qualify. This is standard. Sephora and Ulta do the same thing. At no point did Allure promise free shipping. $17.95 for a product that normally costs $62 is still a great deal.


It’s working now! I didn’t place the order but I was able to see the price as 9.90 in my cart. I was curious since I saw their Instagram earlier advertising this very deal with Allure. It’s also on their website.

Megan Perry

As much as it sucks that it isn’t the price you were wanting, they are technically still giving you the deal. I just looked at my booklet and it said we would get it for the “special price of $9.90” but no where in the little paragraph did it say anything about shipping being free. You enter the promo and it does drop to the price they said.


Now I have two subscriptions thanks to my husband, lol. I receive the hot tool and makeup eraser and I am very happy about it. I use makeup eraser to remove rinse-off masks and the hot tool is replacing my hair dryer because it makes my frizzy wavy hair more manageable than my regular hair dryer in about same time. December was a miss for me because it was a bit too heavy on makeup with the highlighter palette and dark lipstick (I use highlighter, but this feels overwhelming as I like just a hint of it, but made a great gift!). I thought January was much more like it until I read Akar product being on the dry side for the lips! WTH? I need to find a different way to use this product. Any tip is appreciated 🙂


I order 2 boxes every month and love 80% of the products. This month the Akar balm left me wanting.

I usually use Bite agave lip mask (my holy grail of lip care) or $1 Carmex on my lips overnight as my lips tend to crack and bleed in the winter.

My Allure January box arrived 4 days ago and I have been using Akar for the last 3 nights. My lips feel parched; they are cracking when I smile. My lips feel absolutely terrible.

I will not be using Akar again. The price point is ridiculous for something that won’t moisturize.


I don’t find the Akar drying, but I do find it absorbs really quickly so I have to keep applying. I’ll use the container up, but it’s not my favorite lip balm and definitely not worth $30. (Seriously, my $3 EOS balm has more staying power.)


Same here! I use Hanalie a lot or purified lanolin. Mostly lanolin in the winter. I tried the akar off and on for a couple of days. My lips started drying out, it feels like there’s a layer of dry skin on my lips and the corners of my mouth started to crack and peel. Ouch! I think putting lanolin on top of it made it worse. So before going out, I had to use a makeup melt to get it off. I seldom just throw something out. I try to find a use for it, like my feet. Lol! But, the only use I see for this is the trash.


My feel lips feel like they are peeling, too. I have used it on my cuticles but I am going to pay more attention to see how they feel.


I got my box a couple of days ago. I had been unsubscribed for a few months. The full size Caudalie foaming cleanser was included in the box. I have tried everything except the exfoliater and so far, I’m liking the products except for one. I am not at all impressed with the akar lip restoration. It feels soft and nice at first but then it’s like it just dries up. I’ve been using it for a couple of days and I have to reapply, reapply, reapply… I have put other lip treatments at night but this stuff seems to have tried out my lips. It’s like there’s a layer of dry skin on my lips and the corners of my mouth are dry and cracking. I was hoping to find a use for this, but I don’t think I want to put it anywhere else on my body now.


I think my box is lost😓. It’s made no progress since the 11th. Is anyone else’s in lala land from IL to the next stop? Texas in my case.


If you haven’t already gotten this taken care of or received your box, I really recommend calling their customer service line. Two years ago the tracking for my Feb 2018 box was perfectly normal until it said “Delivered”…but no box was to be found in the mailbox or on the porch. I even waited a couple extra days and no box. I figured one of the neighbors got a surprise treat that Valentine’s Day. So I called, because tho it was only my 2nd box ever, I’d read comment after comment complaining about the slow & nonexistent e-mail replies people were getting.
I spoke to an extremely pleasant and helpful woman named Wanda (she even gave me her ext, which I lost within a month and wanted to cry), who immediately assured me they’d send out a replacement box, no questions asked. It did take a bit longer than regular monthly delivery, and they can’t send tracking numbers for a replacement, but I did eventually receive it. I had waited until early March to call, and rec’d my replacement in April, nothing missing or swapped out for another product, it was perfect. Good luck!
Allure Customer Service: 1-800-274-1603


Got my box today (regular Allure sub) and was pleased to receive the Amazonian Clay mascara. It’s one of the few I *haven’t* tried.

I’m going to have to research the water cream and serum a bit, since I’m not familiar with either product.

I already have the shine oil. I haven’t tried it yet because it’s supposed to be used on dry hair, and I’m used to putting on oils after letting the towel soak up some of the water after a shampoo.

Always up for a lip balm.

The only not-great is the Exfolikate – I know, heretic!


Not complaining, but did anyone else feel like the samples were so tiny this month? Maybe I am spoiled because we got 3 full size in Dec and several in previous months. It’s still a great box.


I did not feel like we got our money’s worth this month. That Philosophy water cream was pathetically small and that was the one I was most interested in trying.


Yes, I felt the samples were tiny, especially the lip product, Akar. It is only 0.23 oz.


I subscribe through Amazon and have not yet received it. Is there anyone else still waiting for the January box through AZ?


I’m still waiting. Haven’t gotten shipping notice. Mississippi

Anna M

I am subscribed through Amazon and just got my box today. I’m in Austin, TX.


Me. Been subbed for almost 3 yrs and still haven’t received shipping. Chicago.


I really do love Allure. I received my box and its great. I was most excited to try the Akur lip balm as my lips get so chapped this time of year. I was not impressed. I found the formula to be very thin and oily. I had to reapply multiple times throughout the day. Overall, this product did not work for me. I’ll stick with the Laneige lip balm. It has the power to stay on overnight. The rest of my box is usable and I love January’s curation.


I agree. I was very excited about the Akar lip balm but it’s a huge disappointment. Thin, greasy, doesn’t feel protective and only lasts on the lips a few minutes. I prefer a heavier texture that sticks around and feels protective. As the first day of wearing this went on, I realized it was actually making my lips feel drier! Must be the citrus oils. The upside is it smells great, so if I can figure out another way to use it I will. I get the feeling it will get put away and never thought of again though.


Feet! Anything I receive that’s not right for my face goes straight to foot use, lol.


Good to know! Thank you! I generally use the Hanalie lip treatment but have been using purified lanolin at night due to how dry it is in winter. I had planned on using this more a multi-purpose salve anyway. I have something similar for my hands on my nightstand and need something for my travel bag.


Oh I just love the Laneige! It’s the best! It really does exfoliate left on overnight. It’s one of a small number of really great sub box star finds.


I received my box today. It was the same except I received Tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara. Which was already using and loving.


I Don’t like anything with clay as an ingredient. Too drying!


Love the January box! Every product sent I will use. I find that with Allure I find new products that I love and actually purchase; more so than any other subscription box. Since I’m older I love the skincare, but have also been educated on different makeup trends. I worked for a leading cosmetic company for over 20 years and miss all the free product. Allure is a very affordable way to continue finding and using great lines. I read all your reviews as I’m new to these subscriptions and value the imput; so thanks.


No, the Gifted Amazonian Clay mascara is my absolute favorite mascara of all time!! Tarte is a great brand for mascaras because they always make sure to add ingredients that nourish and condition your lashes 🙂 If you end up getting the Gifted mascara, I really recommend that you give it a try~ You might just find your perfect natural everyday mascara ^^


They got a new box curator (thank goodness) so hopefully, this year will be back on the up and up for them. This box is awesome and a great start to the year. A full-size Tarte mascara *swoon* – love it! I’m a huge tarte fan and love both those mascaras. I already have three full-size Lights, Camera, Lashes mascaras (all came from gifts) so I’m hoping for the other one, but I’ll be happy either way. I haven’t tried Akar before but I’ve only seen rave reviews, so I’m excited to try it. And the Vitabrid C12 Dual Drop Serum looks great. Then, including NatureLab Tokyo and Kate Somerville seals the box for me. Not a huge philosophy fan myself, but still makes for good items to take on vacation, especially in the small sizes.

I’m a sample-size-a-holic – I have a huge box of skincare and one for makeup and I take them when I travel, use them for homemade gift boxes for holidays/birthday and just to toss in my purse.

I just hope my prediction will be correct for them coming back from the absolutely awful year they had last year (i.e. the one month with 2 modelco products in one box and one being that black eyeshadow with chunky silver glitter, *blech*). This is just me, of course, but last year was the first year where I contemplated cancelling (after being a subscriber for years), but November, December and this month have changed my mind (as well as seeing a new curator).


That’s good to hear. I had been subscribed for a couple of years. I signed up again for this box and I’m hoping next month will be good too.
I’m one of those loyal subscribers that never got any of those special gifts in a box. 🤷🏻‍♀️ Then I started getting bottom of the barrel boxes. In April’s box, I got repeat items and a little card explaining that I was getting that box full of random crap repeats because I’m such a loyal subscriber. Huh? I definitely called on that one and was told I was going to be sent a care package. I never got one. I did receive someone else’s with their name and my address. It was 4 Sunday Riley products. I called allure back after returning the package to Allure. Still nothing… I didn’t like or want any of the spoilers, so I canceled. Now I’m being told that I won’t be getting the sign up gift? Okay. I guess I won’t be a loyal subscriber. I will only be purchasing the months I really want.
I too like to have smaller sizes and sample sizes. Unfortunately, I do have to travel some and it just makes it easier to have a somewhat already packed bag. Particularly when it’s something like this week, wasn’t planned, but off I go. At least I can drive…


I ordered the December box and got gift to order the 24K Gold One-Step Blowout styler – I ordered it free shipping and all – what a deal super excited , can’t wait until it comes.


I’m waiting on my box through Amazon, can anyone tell me what is in the AZ box? Thanks.

Anna M

I got the Tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara in the wooden oackaging which is great because I HATE the other packaging. I subbed through last month’s link and got the certificate for the hottools dryer. I already received it and it isn’t as great as it appears in youtube videos. It does make hair dry faster, but not smooth.
Really do love this box though!


Since the only variant is the mascara, it’s hard to say. Everything else will be the same.

The other month I got boxes through Allure and Amazon, and they were identical.


I ordered the January bag from your link, plus I’ll get a free new member gift worth $15. Will that gift be another product included in the shipment? I’m curious what to expect. ty!


I believe it’s a Caudalie product. Cleanser, perhaps.


Is allure not giving the $5 off for new subscriptions anymore? It’s showing up $15 for me and not $10. I’ve gotten allure in the past before, but I’m using a different name and email and it’s still not working.


This is a great box, I ended up ordering two. On that note, are there any February spoilers yet? Usually by this time of month we’d have March spoilers lol.


I have resubscribed for January after a long break – and so happy I did! I got Amazonian Clay mascara (through Amazon). Every item will be used, which never happens!

Toni Marie

I really love this months box.. the past 3 months boxes were great… cant wait to see what the next collabo box will be..


As a lip balm junkie, I had Sol de Janeiro’s and Laneige sleep mask, but I just bought some of the Tatcha lip balm? in a tiny pot with a scoop and that is now the best that I think I have ever tried. No wonder there were cries to return it!

Looking forward to comparing akar to my favourites.

Still have not received my December box and hair styling tool. I think I have a pretty good idea of how impossible it is to ever see what they promised me in writing. Ugh!


I got the styling tool gift and just placed my order 🙂 can’t wait – it should came it came in my first box . I emailed CS on it every week to make sure I was getting it so maybe that helped


The first box always takes forever to get to you. I have canceled and re subbed a bunch of times and the first box has taken 6 plus weeks. I usually get my 2nd box right after my first arrives.


I got my first box within 2 weeks.

Amanda Rana

Any news on when we’ll see february spoilers? I’m already looking ahead 🤩


I just canceled by calling them directly 800-274-1603 I wasted a lot of time trying to figure out how to online, it seems there isn’t an option to cancel through our online account.


I emailed to cancel yesterday after a few years of subbing at full price $16.90-( must be tax?) and seeing everyone get those straightening hairbrushes for subbing last month, which seemed unfair to those of us paying full price. The value is there for those who aren’t on product overload but for me it’s been mostly meh lately. This looks like a good box, which I haven’t received yet but it’s paid for so I should get it soon. I’ve not yet got a reply and in my email I voiced my frustration at not being able to cancel on the website and having to write out an email.


Yes, it is tax. That’s something I have never understood about Allure… I get the fact that they have to charge taxes. What I don’t understand is the amount charged. It’s not just federal and state taxes, but they also add any and all local taxes imaginable. If I drive 4 city blocks, the sales tax is less. A friend of mine pays about $0.18 less per month for her allure box. Another who lives in the same area but a different county pays even less. It’s the only sub I have ever gotten that I noticed this with. I thought they had to have a company entity to do it this way… But, because of their magazine, available nationwide, their tax system is set up this way. When I subscribed to Sephora, the tax on that sub was that of the Sephora store location closest to me.
I have not been subscribed to Allure for a few months now but I really like the January box. I didn’t check what the charge was. I’ll have to look. At one point, it was varying, anywhere from $15.48-$15.98.


I always email to cancel. It’s easier than calling and I get a response within a day usually. Plus they used to offer the 4 months for $10/box (haven’t cancelled lately).


Yea, now they’re only offering 2 months at $12 each (eyes rolled)


I can’t wait to get mine! I haven’t gotten an allure box for a few months. These are products I can and will use.


How do people get through exfoliators so fast? I was told it’s only good to use twice a week, so I have two sample sized bottles I feel like I’m never going to finish, one of which is exfoliakate already

Megan K.

I *cough* def exfoliate my face much more often than I probably should… I also use it on the back of my arms pretty often!


I use them all over my body. There are no rules as to where they go, lol.


Some of us use them on other body parts, like feet, lol.


I use smaller samples I get on my arms in the winter also. One way to use it up faster.


This looks like a great box! Which is lucky because I cannot for the life of me figure out how to cancel.


Their FAQ says to call them to cancel but the confirmation email you get when you order a subscription has different guidance. The email’s fine print says you can indeed call them but you can also email them at beautybox at allure dot com to cancel. It also says you can use the “customer portal” on the account page; however, that doesn’t work because there is no cancellation link anywhere. I cancelled via that email and it worked.

Elisabeth Berlowitz

If you need to cancel you can just email them too. That’s what I do. Then you don’t have deal with customer service people trying to get you to stay.


I’m not sure why people are having trouble canceling from their account info online. I have done so several times over the past 3 years. I believe once I even put my sub on hold for a few months. I wish I could tell you how but I don’t remember! I will go take a look latter today and give the steps to help y’all out!


Call them, customer service is quite helpful.


I have had good experiences with them a couple of times but not this last time. And supposedly you can cancel online now but it doesn’t work for me. My credit card expires next month so I’m not worried about it.


I am super excited about the Akar lip now! I am going to try it on my cuticles!


Really happy with this box that I got through Amazon. Got an Amazonian Clay Mascara. Can’t wait to try it

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Our reviewers research, test, and recommend the best subscriptions and products independently; click to learn more about our editorial guidelines. We may receive commissions on purchases made through links on our site.