6 Things I Like About Allure Beauty Box and 2 Things I Don’t
You would think that with all of the boxes and limited edition sets I review for MSA, my subscription addiction would be satiated, right? Guess again! In addition to the boxes I review for MSA, I have a couple of personal subscriptions that I pay for myself, among them FabFitFun and Allure Beauty Box. I have been a continuous subscriber since the fall of 2017, and since then, I’ve seen Allure Beauty Box as a little box of monthly magic. I remember sitting in an Italian restaurant with my mom one winter break and seeing the box spoiler for the full-size Sunday Riley CEO serum – my jaw absolutely dropped. Being a long-term subscriber, I’ve experienced some highs and lows, so let’s talk about them!
6 Things I Like About Allure Beauty Box
1. Three Full-Size Products Guaranteed Every Month
When Allure first announced the increase in their box cost last year, they tempered that bad news with the announcement that all of the boxes will come with three full-size products. While Allure boxes curated prior to that announcement were fabulous, it was never guaranteed that we would receive a full-size product. Now, we can consistently expect to receive three full-size items and two samples. As a subscriber, this makes me feel like my subscription is a safer bet because even if I don’t love the full-size items, they should at least be valuable to someone else (like the friendly swappers over on the MSA swap site, or my mom, who loves being spoiled in products). While I always love when the full-size product is from a high-end brand like Sunday Riley, I look forward to receiving them regardless, and appreciate that is the new standard.
2. The Affordable Monthly Cost
At $23 a month for a box that includes three full-size items (some from luxury brands!), I consider this box to be pretty affordable. Sure, it’s not as low as the $15 a month this box was priced at for so long, but the full-size products weren’t a guarantee at that price point either. You can save a bit of money if you choose to subscribe for three months or a year too. Allure definitely incentivizes their annual subscription; while new subscribers receive a gift for signing up, if you can fork up the $250 for a year-long subscription at once, you get a free mega bundle, along with a slight discount. Another perk: with your subscription you gain access to some exclusive sets and deals. It’s not on the level of FabFitFun add-ons, but I am a big fan of their limited edition curated sets like the Luxury at Home box or the J+K Beauty box (both of which are still available under the member exclusive offers page). Even if you don’t take advantage of the extra deals, the value to subscribers is undeniable, especially when you factor the low box cost.
3. Amazing Hero Items
Full-size Sunday Riley products will always make my heart swoon, and Allure is no stranger to them (I believe receiving their products in Allure boxes is how I started to really love the brand). Along with the CEO serum from that January 2018 box, I also recall receiving (and loving) the Sunday Riley CEO oil, Peach & Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum, Skin Inc My Daily Dose of Glow Serum, Natasha Denona Eyeshadow Single, Anastasia Beverly Hills Highlighter Palette, a Kat Von D Lip Liner, and a tarte cosmetics blush. Of course, these are just the hero items that really stood out to me. Have I loved every single hero item? Of course not, but I have really enjoyed many of them, and I love the pleasant surprise of Allure’s announcement which says they’re sending a product I’ve been wanting to try.
4. Early Spoilers
Allure always announces monthly spoilers early; the first September box spoiler was released at the end of July this year! Having a few weeks notice is enjoyable because it builds up the excitement for me, and it also gives me plenty of time to skip if the items aren’t grabbing me (along with the hero item, Allure usually publishes a few more spoilers with enough time to skip). If you’re not a regular box subscriber, the early spoilers also allow you to see what’s coming with enough time for you to subscribe and get the box if it’s something you want. While early spoilers has become a bit more commonplace for most boxes, Allure was doing it even when more subscriptions kept their box contents a secret. I’m a big fan of early spoilers, so I appreciate that you can always count on Allure to provide them.
5. Ability To Skip
Speaking of early spoilers, if you see them and realize they aren’t grabbing you, you are able to skip a month in your subscription. It’s pretty easy too; I just log into my account with Allure, click on “Manage Membership,” and then I’m able to click on “Skip the September box” and cancel it without needing to call or email customer service. Of course, even if you like all of the product spoilers, sometimes money is tight, and beauty boxes are a luxury that not all of us can afford to receive every month. There were a few times in law school where my disposable income was just about zero, so my beauty boxes had to go on pause for a little while. With Allure Beauty Box, skipping a month doesn’t cancel your subscription; if you’ve signed up for an annual plan, then that will be extended by one month, since you’re choosing to not receive the next month’s. I actually have never skipped a box with my personal subscription- even if I have some doubts about the curation, I usually receive it anyway and try the products out before deciding how I fully feel. The ability to self-manage my subscription is definitely something a plus for me; even though I haven’t skipped a box yet, I like knowing I have the option to.
6. Wide Variety of Brands and Products
Subscription boxes are a great way to try out products from brands normally outside of your budget, and Allure Beauty Box features luxury brands as much as they do high-quality products from more affordable or drugstore brands. A good example of this is the February 2021 box; it featured a full-sized hair product from Christophe Robin (a haircare brand sold at Sephora and a brand I really love), a full-sized serum from U Beauty (a brand sold at Nordstrom and Violet Grey), a sample of sunscreen from French-pharmacy brand La Roche Posay, and a full-size lipstick, sheet mask, and skincare sample from Sisley or Amore Pacific (more brands I would consider to fall into the luxury category). I love that Allure will send out products from French pharmacy brands like Avene, La Roche-Posay, and Embryolisse; that’s not commonplace among beauty boxes, and I tend to really like those type of products. I don’t think a box exists where you can get exclusively luxury products; some are full-size and less than $25, but I value Allure for featuring a wide variety of brands across the price spectrum, and not just ones that are easily accessible and affordable. Plus, with my Allure Beauty Box subscription, I can always count on receiving a variety of products; makeup, skincare, body care, nail care, and hair care are all fair game. Getting a mix of these items makes it easier for me to try them all out faster, because it’s a lot easier to try one hair cream, one lipgloss, and one face serum, than it would be to try only skincare or only makeup products.
Those are six things about my Allure subscription that I like, but that doesn’t mean this is a perfect subscription. Let’s talk about two things I’m not loving when it comes to this box.
…and 2 Things I Don’t.
1. No Customization
One of the drawbacks of this subscription is that there is no customization. Each month you can expect to receive 6 products in your box, with three of them being full-size. Sometimes, there are variations in one of the (non-full-size) products being sent, which I don’t wholeheartedly love. I can understand variations being necessary considering the relatively low monthly cost, but it can be a bit annoying if Allure is sending a variation of an item, and then I get the product I wanted the least. A great example off the top of my head is the February 2021 box- subscribers received either the Sisley Parish Black Rose Cream Mask, the single extract essence or cleansing foam from Amorepacific, or the L’occitane Immortelle Divine Cream. I love Amorepacific, but I still was a little bummed to receive the single extract essence when I love masks and really have been wanting to try more products from Sisley. Allure Beauty Box does make the promise that subscribers won’t receive items that they have already received in a prior box, and I cannot recall seeing a full-size item ever being one of the variations, unless it was in the shade of the product. I also can’t recall there being more than one product that has variations, so as a whole your box is going to be consistent with what all other subscribers receive. That being said, the lack of customization can still be a bummer if you wanted a variation different than the one you received, and in a perfect world I would like to see either no variations at all, or subscribers being able to pick which variation they receive.
2. The User Experience Has Room For Improvement
Since Allure is now $23 a month, I mentally classify them in the same beauty box category that I would Ipsy Glam Bag Plus or the base box of Boxycharm. Because of this, I think Allure would really benefit from having a feedback system like those two boxes do where subscribers can take surveys and rate the products they received. I think if subscribers don’t love a particular brand being featured or product category, it feels more productive to give constructive feedback in a way where we know Allure will see what we have to see. Along with creating a ratings system, I would love for Allure to upgrade their beauty box website as a whole. While I appreciate the ability to skip boxes without having to contact customer service, overall the website is a touch unwieldy to operate. I think a more updated interface for subscribers to manage their account and give feedback on their boxes would allow Allure to continue delivering a nice beauty box with a good value every month. And hey, if they eventually add in a customization feature, these surveys would help make it happen!
There you have it- six things I really like about my Allure subscription and two things that I don’t. Even with my criticisms, I do think that, as a whole, this is a great box for new subscribers. I have lost count of the number of friends I have recommended this box to (especially when I know they like a particular brand or product and that was the early spoiler Allure released).
I would love to know more about what your favorite and least favorite parts of subscribing to Allure Beauty Box are. Let me know below!