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The Cult Beauty Up Close on Skin Care Review – February 2021

Jessica Hapak
ByJessica HapakMar 2, 2021 | 17 comments

The Cult Beauty Box
5 overall rating
2 Ratings | 3 Reviews

Cult Beauty is an online UK-based beauty shop that only stocks tried and true products along with the next big things in beauty and innovative products. They periodically offer special one-time purchase boxes. The Up Close on Skin Care box is the newest and includes five must-have items from popular brands that will give you everything you need to take care of your skin (except sunscreen. Always wear sunscreen!!) This box cost roughly $56 USD (including shipping).

This box is no longer available, but Cult Beauty does appear to be releasing sets like these more frequently! 

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

About this Curated Beauty Edit

The Box: The Cult Beauty Up Close on Skin Care – The Edit

The Cost: £35 ($49.05) + £4.95 shipping. FYI – UK tax is removed during checkout so my total with shipping was £39.95 ($56). If you were purchasing in the UK, the price is £42 + shipping

COUPON: 20% off. No coupon needed - just use this link.

The Products:

  • Fresh Soy Face Cleanser (travel-size, 50ml)
  • SUMMER FRIDAYS Soft Reset AHA Exfoliating Solution (full-size, 100ml)
  • THE INKEY LIST Hyaluronic Acid Serum (full-size, 30ml)
  • Glow Recipe Banana Soufflé Moisture Cream (full-size, 50ml)
  • Wishful Yo Glow Enzyme Scrub (travel-size, 40ml)

Ships: Worldwide

Cult Beauty Up Close on Skin Care February 2021 Review

The back of the box packaging included more information about this edit.


Fresh Soy Face Cleanser, 50 ml – Retail Value $15

This is a classic cleanser from fresh, and I think a lot of people would enjoy it. It has a gentle formula made with rose water, cucumber extract, and soy protein (which is rich in amino acids). The texture is a lightweight gel that didn’t lather a ton (I don’t personally need a cleanser to lather, but I know preferences vary), and it wasn’t irritating to my eyes. 


Summer Fridays Soft Reset AHA Exfoliating Solution, 100 ml – Retail Value $54

I was stoked to see this product in the box – it’s the first time I’ve seen the brand Summer Fridays in any type of curated box or a subscription box, and this liquid exfoliant is a newer product release from the brand. I’m a fan of milder exfoliants that are safe to use more frequently, and this fits the bill perfectly. The formula is made with lactic and glycolic acids (the chemical exfoliants), and it’s paired with ingredients like aloe, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin. This does have some citrus extracts, so if your skin is sensitive to those ingredients specifically I would be cautious, but otherwise, this is a great chemical exfoliant I’ve been able to use every morning in my routine without any irritation or sensitivity. 


The INKEY List Hyaluronic Acid Serum, 30 ml – Retail Value $7.99

Hyaluronic is such an excellent hydrating ingredient, so while this serum is simple it is a great addition to your routine if you like to layer products. I’ve been using it on damp skin after applying toner and before applying a different serum (lately, I’ve been reaching for this one from Peter Thomas Roth), and the clear, thin gel formula layers really well and keeps my skin hydrated. Since the city where I live just saw snow for the first time in years, hydrated skin is a focus of mine right now – and the price of this really can’t be beat. 


Glow Recipe Banana Soufflé Moisture Cream, 50 ml – Retail Value $39

What do you want to know about this moisturizer? I’ve already gone through a full-size jar before getting it in this box. This has a wonderful lightweight texture that absorbs into my skin quickly while still giving it a boost of hydration, and it works well for my sensitive skin thanks to ingredients like banana, magnesium, Centella, and squalane. I used this as my daytime moisturizer for a few months because it layers really well over other serums and under sunscreen, and I was sad to empty my jar. But now I have a new one thanks to this box! 


Wishful Yo Glow Enzyme Scrub, 40 ml – Retail Value $21

Wishful is the newest skincare brand among the offerings in this kit – it was created in the last few years by Huda of Huda Beauty. Since this has “scrub” in the name I really thought it’d be more, well, scrubby. It’s actually incredibly mild in texture and performs the way a peeling gel would. You apply it to dry skin and rub in gentle circles and the formula will ball up under your fingers. This effect isn’t the actual exfoliation – that comes from the chemical exfoliants in the formula, like papaya and pineapple enzymes, alpha hydroxy acids (lactic and glycolic) along with beta hydroxy acids (salicylic). Against what I anticipated because of the softer texture, I really did find this to be a gentle exfoliating experience, but I followed up with a soothing and hydrating mask to ensure my skin stayed happy. 

The Verdict: I absolutely loved this curated set from Cult Beauty. This was a skincare-focused box, and they definitely nailed the curation with great skincare products. I’m the most excited about receiving the Summer Fridays exfoliant, but all of these products make me happy and I love that all of the products came from well-known brands. Plus, I really appreciate that everything included is either full- or travel-sized — no small samples here! Everything adds up to $136.99, which is more than double the cost of the box – and I definitely say it was worth it.

To Wrap Up:

Can you get this box if you order today? No, this is sold out.

COUPON: 20% off. No coupon needed - just use this link.

Value Breakdown: This box £39.95/$56 (£35 + £4.95 shipping), and has a total value of $136.99. That means you’re paying approximately the following per item:

  • Fresh: $6.11
  • Summer Fridays: $22
  • The INKEY List: $3.26
  • Glow Recipe: $15.88
  • Wishful: $8.55

Want more? Check out all the best skincare and beauty subscription boxes of 2019!

Did you grab one of the Cult Beauty Skincare Kits?

"The Cult Beauty Box is expertly curated by your favourite beauty gurus, and represents a unique opportunity to discover some stunning skin care must-haves."
Jessica Hapak
Jessica Hapak
I am a staunch believer that pineapple doesn’t belong on pizza and when I’m not working as a family law attorney I enjoy hiking the Louisiana trails (alligator sightings are a favorite!) or relaxing with Duchess, my cat. I’m a sucker for anything labeled a mystery box and I’ve never met a bath bomb I didn’t like.

Jessica Hapak
Jessica Hapak
I am a staunch believer that pineapple doesn’t belong on pizza and when I’m not working as a family law attorney I enjoy hiking the Louisiana trails (alligator sightings are a favorite!) or relaxing with Duchess, my cat. I’m a sucker for anything labeled a mystery box and I’ve never met a bath bomb I didn’t like.
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As of this posting, this box is back in stock!


I am SO tempted to grab it. The Glow Recipe and Inkey products are HGs for me, and I’ve always wanted to try that Fresh cleanser. I have a huge backlog of chemical exfoliant products, though.

I don’t need it…!


Has anyone else had a poor experience with Cult Beauty? I ordered a Vieve Lipstick when the brand launched back in November. Over a month later I had no tracking or info. I contacted customer service and it took them forever to even respond. When they did respond, they dispatched a replacement and it never arrived. After waiting two months, I finally gave up on shopping with them again. I’m bummed because they offer some great brands and products, but they didn’t seem to really care if I got my product or not, and they treated me like I was a burden. It could have just as easily been a $400 Dennis Gross LED mask that I was planning to purchase, but after my experience, I purchased it elsewhere.

Maybe it was just bad luck which I definitely have, but shipping from the UK takes forever and the tracking is sketchy.


I’m sorry you had that experience, but it does seem to be outside the norm. I purchased a box from them (not this one, the Female Founders one), and I received a shipping notification within 24 hrs. I received another notification (this time from FedEx) when the box passed through customs. All told, it was on my doorstep within five days. My Ipsy bags take three times as long to get to me, and they ship from just one state over!


I ordered earlier this month with no problems and prompt shipping email alerts too.


Wasn’t there a Summer Fridays product in Boxycharm recently? I mean, you couldn’t use it, unfortunately without possibly having some sort of reaction, but I do believe it was offered in that sub.


All the products and brands I wish to see in other boxes lol nice box and review!

Angela DeSilva

Damn I wish I had known about this omg I want this!


It’s so nice seeing this kit being reviewed 🙂 I also got this kit; primarily for the Summer Fridays toner… and the full size Glow Recipe moisturizer was a nice touch…. plus everything else looked good too. I haven’t gotten around to reading up on the toner (I usually don’t until I’m about to use a product), so it’s good to hear that it’s gentle enough to use daily. It’s also good to know what kind of exfoliant the Wishful product is. I’ve received a decent number of samples of it, but haven’t gotten around to using them yet, and I always assumed it was a typical exfoliant and not more like a peel. I guess I’ll have to move those samples to my peel stash then 😉 Overall, I thought this was a nice box 🙂


Cult Beauty will be coming out with a new beauty box soon called The Female Founders Edit.

The box will be ~$52 (after VAT is removed), and includes:

Briogio Rosarco Milk Repairative Leave-In Conditioning Spray (147ml – FULL SIZE) – $20 value
Charlotte Tilbury Easy Eye Palette in Charlotte Darling (FULL SIZE) – $57 value
Disciple Skincare Good Skin Face Oil (20ml – FULL SIZE) – $26.64 value
KOSAS Wet Lip Oil Gloss in Jaws (FULL SIZE) – $27 value
Laura Mercier Pure Canvas Primer Hydrating (25ml) – $20 value
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant (30ml) – $10 value
U Beauty Super Smart Hydrator (15ml) – $68 value
VIEVE Modern Lip Definer in Rumour (FULL SIZE) – $17.37 value
Wishful Thirst Trap Juice Serum (5ml) – $7.83 value

Total calculated value: $253.84 (a 79.5% savings)
I felt inclined to value this box, because I noticed that Cult Beauty valued it at £225 (I’m sure that total includes VAT), and that seemed like a substantial savings on the original £45 price.

There’s currently a notification link on their site; just go to Brands, then Cult Beauty, and you’ll see it 🙂


Thanks so much for the product break down, Luna – that looks like a great box! I signed up for the wait list. Especially excited for the U Beauty, Paula’s Choice, Kosas, and CT palette. (I know CT palettes can be hit or miss, but Charlotte Darling seems to get universal raves.)


Holy Smokes! I had to do a GOOGLE Search to make sure I was reading that correctly…U Beauty Super Smart Hydrator is 15 ml for $68?! That is HALF OF AN OUNCE! I mean that is creeping up on LA MER prices…I kind of want to get it now just to see what it is like because the serum we received in Allure is not blowing my socks off AT ALL in the performance arena and even less so in the packaging department. Every time I use it I think to myself, “Wow to be so expensive this is some of the cheapest plastic packaging I have ever seen.” 🙂


Thanks for posting! I signed up for the waitlist. All of these are new to me/something I’d like to try.

Jessica Hapak

Thanks for sharing, Luna! It’s like buying the Charlotte Tilbury palette and getting the rest for free.


This box looks great, if I could find someone that wanted the Summer Friday’s and Inkey list I’d order it now.

Laurie Doucet

We love this review! Definitely need to try the Summer Fridays one! 🥰

Jessica Hapak

Thanks for reading, Laurie!

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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.