ASOS Summer Box
Beauty box subscriptions were a blogging staple back in the day and to a certain extent they still are. I always wanted to have a beauty box subscription but I never found one that included the sorts of products I am interested in. They always seem to feature lower cost brands which, as much as I love trying them, if I want to try them I will buy them. I find it much more helpful to get samples of products which are more expensive as I wouldn't just go out and buy them without consideration. When I have seen these types of boxes they are always way more than I want to spend which is my own problem. I love the idea that you can get new products to try each month but the risk factor is too much for me, what if I end up hating everything in that months box? That would be a complete waste of money. Plus there is the positive and the negative of it being products you wouldn't usually try. You never know whether you are going to find a gem or if they are going to be complete crap.
Brands like Glossybox and Birchbox have dominated this market and Birchbox even have a store on Carnaby Street in London, which is a must visit for any beauty lovers heading to the city. Subscription services have changed over the years that they have been around. Starting out more simple, you pay a certain amount and get a box through your door every month. Now you have brands like Beauty Pie who have adapted this method of subscription. With Beauty Pie you pay a subscription, then you are able to spend more money on getting high quality products for factory price. I do quite like the idea of this but I have to say the only brand that has got me investing is, oddly enough, ASOS. I know what you are thinking, ASOS are not a beauty brand. Well no, they are not, but they do sell some cracking brands and they actually have their own line of products.
The best thing about the ASOS beauty boxes is that there is no subscription, so you are not tied to buying a box every month, you simply order it if you want it. Super simple and great for people who do not want to be committed. I feel like ASOS have not spoken about/advertised these boxes enough. I found out about them about 2 months ago through the brands Instagram but these days Instagram posts are easy to miss. I hadn't purchased any of them up until now. Last month's box was all about male grooming and as a lady this did not seem relevant to me and the month prior was called the 'Occasion box' which looked good but I wasn't really that interested by the products. This month's box, I couldn't wait to get my hands on.
I had been keeping an eye on the ASOS website to see what each month would be and this month had a lot of products I was willing to try. I feel like a lot of people must have agreed with me as this box is now sold out. This does mean that even though I am talking about it, you can no longer buy it but I wanted to give a review of the products inside and I simply wanted to make you aware that such a box exists as I think it is a fantastic concept. I've finally gotten around to trying all of the products so there will be a review on everything in this box and my overall thoughts on if I think it is worth it or not.
The Summer Box is made up of 5 products, all of which have been picked to help you perfect your skin for summer. This box contains a simple skincare routine and some fake tan. I do like how most of the product do coincide so they can be used together, rather than just being a curated box of products which have nothing to do with each other. There was one product which really pushed me to buy this box which is the St. Tropez Purity Bronzing Water Mousse.
The Purity Bronzing Water Mousse is a new product from St. Tropez that I have seen a lot of bloggers talk about. I have been eager to give it a go myself to see how it would compare to the classic Bronzing Mousse which is my tan of choice. The full size of this bottle is £31 and I was reluctant to spent that much on a tan I wasn't sure about so when I saw that it was in this Summer box I was desperate to get one. I've had this size (50ml) bottle of tan before and it is great for a good trial run of the product. As soon as the box arrived, I had the tan out and I used it that night. I will be doing a full post dedicated to this tan with a comparison to the classic Bronzing Mousse but I will give you a brief summary of the product now, I love it.
Firstly it smells amazing, it has a sort of sherbert cocktail scent. Before you get too excited the classic tan biscuit smell does come out the longer you leave it on but this has to be the least offensive smelling tan I have tried. The colour is beautiful, it is more golden than the Bronzing Mousse, making it more natural. If you've tried the Express Bronzing Mousse, it has the same colour as that. It is easy to use and best of all it doesn't leave marks on your bed sheets. Usually during Summer I have to suffer wearing a full jammie set so I do not ruin my bed sheets but now I don't have to worry. My one problem with this tan is that it is clear so it is hard to know where you have already applied it but so far this hasn't really given me any trouble and my tan has always looked even. You do have to be careful of problem areas still but overall I love this tan. When I run out of my current bottle of Bronzing Mousse, I will 100% buy this tan. This tan alone made the beauty box worth it for me.
The St. Tropez Tan is sort of a lone product as you wouldn't use it with any of the other products. I do think they missed out as they could have included a tanning mitt and St. Tropez have just launched a new Velvet Tanning Mitt but that is just my opinion. Everything else in this box contributes to a skincare routine which I actually did the other night. It is quite a basic routine but it all worked out quite well.
I started with the First Aid Beauty Coconut Micellar Makeup Melter. Back in the day First Aid Beauty was very popular with a lot of American Youtubers. I had never really seen the brand in the UK before but it is available on ASOS, Marks & Spencer and Selfridges but now that it is available, it doesn't feel as widely spoken about. When I saw that a product from the brand was included in the box, I was more keen to buy the box. Typically I am not a fan of Micellar products: I've tried the waters and I tried the Garnier Micellar Gel Wash and none of it has worked for me, so I will admit I had little to no expectations of this product.
This is called a 'makeup melter' but I actually didn't have any makeup on when I used this, it was a Sunday and I hadn't been out. Plus I do like to use cleansers on bare skin first just to get an overall feel for them. The name of the product gave no indication of whether it was a lotion, gel or cream and even now I'm not sure what it is. To me it feels like a gel: it is quite a thin product, it has a cooling effect and it is not a creamy product. I tend to like a balm cleanser but I can see why this was included in a Summer box because it is a cooling product which is exactly what you need when it is scolding hot outside.
The refreshing feeling of the cleanser is emphasised by the scent. The scent is not strong at all but there is a hint of coconut and something sweet which is pleasant and not overwhelming. To use this you rub it onto your skin (and makeup) for 10-15 seconds and wash it off. To be honest this really wasn't thick enough to rub in for 10-15 seconds, or I hadn't applied enough. After about 10 seconds the product was completely gone and had basically just sunk into my skin. I don't think this product would be hardy enough to remove my eye makeup. I know for a fact my mascara is always quite stubborn and I don't think this would be thick enough to take it off without rubbing my eyes too much. I do think it would remove my base makeup though. It is an effective cleanser and my skin felt clean after but it didn't feel stripped. My skin didn't feel as nourished as it would after using a balm but that doesn't mean I couldn't use the Makeup Melter for the initial cleanse and a balm after. I think this would be a great morning cleanser as it does feel quite gentle and I wouldn't need two products. I did quite like this cleanser, I wouldn't rave about it but I will use the remainder of the product. I am pleased to have finally tried a First Aid Beauty product and I can safely say I would be happy to buy from the brand again.
Following the makeup melter, I used the L'Oreal Smooth Sugar Clear Kiwi Face and Lip Scrub. When I opened the presentation box I could smell one of the products and it was this product. It has a very strong smell and, of course, that smell is Kiwi. I actually really wanted to try this product as soon as I saw it was one of the products in the box. Even though I don't like facial scrubs. Usually I find them to abrasive and I much prefer a chemical exfoliatant compared to a physical one. I wanted to try this as a lot of people online have been speaking about the L'Oreal scrub range and I wanted to find out if I had been missing out since I had banned facial scrubs from my life.
As I opened the lid to the scrub, the first thing I noticed was how thick this scrub is, it is literally like a jam with scrub particles in it. I don't know what I was expecting but it was certainly something less thick. As this is a sugar scrub, I hoped it would be slightly kinder to my skin. A way of making it kinder is to apply it to slightly damp skin or to add a small amount of water to it as you apply it to your face, then the sugar already starts to dissolve and it isn't so harsh. You can only add a small amount of water though or the scrub will melt before it actually does anything. As well as sugar, the scrub is made up of Kiwi seeds, I assume they act as an exfoliant but I am unsure if they do anything else. As the gel part of the scrub is so thick the sugar and kiwi seeds are suspended evenly within the gel.
To use the L'Oreal scrub you apply it to clean skin. I took product from the inner lid and applied it in dots to my forehead and my cheeks so it would be relatively evenly spread. What I did not realise is that this is a self-heating scrub, I can't even tell you how much I hate self-heating products. Please tell me what this function does and how am I supposed to know if I am having a reaction when my face is getting hot and it is tingling? Yep, not a fan. This self-heating scrub is not nearly as bad as some of the other self-heating products I have used in the past and the heating sensation dies down when you have applied water. I get that this is more to prep your skin but the last thing I want during Summer is a product to add more heat to my face!
I have to say this scrub was not as abrasive as I expected it to be, as soon as water is added to the sugar it starts to dissolve instantly. You are supposed to use circular motions to give the scrub a good opportunity to work its magic and I did, but eventually I just used a damp cloth to remove the final bits of scrub. Ain't nobody got time to be removing every grain sugar that is on their face with water. As I said at the beginning I never use physical scrubs but I did notice a difference after using this one. You can also use this on your lips which is a good idea but I'm not sure this has enough scrubbing power for my old lady lips. I will use the rest of this tub and I do quite like the product but I am not sold on facial scrubs in general. I still believe that they do more harm than good to your skin. However I can see why people like them as they do give instant results. If you were thinking about trying the scrub, and you like them, then I do recommend giving this one a go.
The next product is the one that interested me the least and also caused me great confusion. I must have mentioned it on my blog before but I am in no way trained in beauty, I know a lot about it, but everything I have learnt myself. Generally when I come across a new product I need it to tell me what it is and the Sanoflore Aqua Magnifica gives nothing away from the bottle. It is called a 'Skin-perfecting botanical essence,' where in that does it tell you what it does? I assumed it could act as a toner so I used it next in my routine but online it doesn't really give too much info. I tried to look for this on ASOS but they don't actually sell the product which is odd. Both Feel Unique and Look Fantastic sell this product which is where I looked at it.
The immediate thing I noticed about this product is the scent, it is very strong. I thought I detected peppermint and after looking it up, I was right. On Feel Unique, in the description it says, 'This is one of those products that you need to keep in your bathroom cabinet (or even better in your fridge) for when your skin is feeling hot, irritable and sensitive and you want to instantly calm, cool and restore.' This description fully explains why it was included in the Summer box, it is cooling and I have to say it does have a cooling sensation on the skin. I used a cotton pad to apply some of this and it didn't feel drying but it did make my skin feel tighter to begin with. I was not a massive fan of this feeling but this did settle down as the product began to dry more. One of the main ingredients in this product is alcohol which is probably what caused this feeling. Alcohol is a drying ingredient and as the alcohol evaporated, the feeling wore off. I know a lot of people avoid alcohol in products,if that is you, this will be no good. I expected this to feel quite oily because it says about being botanical but surprisingly it wasn't at all.
As with all toners, I do think this is a bit of a waste of time. Yes this feels nice on your skin but in no way would I deem this necessary. It is refreshing and I can imagine keeping it in the fridge would be even better but I am 100% sure that my parents do not want our kitchen fridge to become my beauty cabinet. I can safely say this product would be a miss for me and I am going to move on quickly.
Normally I would use a serum at this point but as there wasn't one in the box, I decided to skip it on this one occasion. This meant I went straight to moisturiser and in the box this was the Nip + Fab Kale Fix Moistuiser. This is actually a full size product and it contains 50ml of product which is larger than your average moisturiser. Much like First Aid Beauty, this is a brand I have heard quite a bit about. Nip + Fab is the drugstore brand from Rodial which I have tried a few products from. I do believe Kylie Jenner used to be an ambassador for the brand back before she had her own brand. Even so I had never tried anything from them which made me quite excited to give this a go. I have to say I loved the pump on this product. When I was younger my mother always used an Olay moisturiser and it had a similar pump design. When I was younger I always wanted to use a product like that and this finally felt like my moment.
This moisturiser comes out very creamy and thick, plus it is a weird green/pale green colour. Not the most reassuring image of a product. The scent was not for me at all, it literally smells like earthy grass/kale which lingers long after you have applied the product. The scent comes from the ingredients: it is a complex of Kale, Watercress and Almond oil which are all amazing for your skin. I thought this smelt like it had a touch of cucumber in it so if you don't like that sort of scent, you will not like this. Even though this looks very thick, it feels more like a thick lotion. As you apply this moisturiser it spreads out well and does leave a sort of film on the skin so it is rather nourishing. It does suggest that you use this both day and night but I would probably use this in the mornings. I will definitely use this when I run out of my morning moisturiser, I actually really enjoyed this product, other than the smell.
Overall I would say this box was a success. I will continue to use most of these products apart from the toner. The real winner for me was the St. Tropez tan. I am so pleased I loved it as much as I thought I would. Not only did I like basically all of the products but that in itself made this box a complete bargain at £12. You can't actually buy the small size of the Purity Bronzing Water Mousse but you can buy the normal Brozning Mousse in this size which is £9.49. If you take the Purity Bronzing Water Mousse to cost the same, then you've already made most of the cost of the box back, just by liking this one product. The Nip + Fab moisturiser is £14.99 and the L'Oreal Scrub is £9.99. All together for those three products alone, you are looking at spending £34.47. The other two are sample sizes so I haven't factored them in but still that is over half the price of the individual items. I would say this box is completely worth the money.
I have always wanted to try this type of beauty box but I never wanted to be tied to a subscription, the ASOS boxes are a great introduction to this. I loved the presentation box, the concept of the box and most importantly the products which were featured. I will eagerly await the arrival of the next box on the ASOS website at the start of July.
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