ASOS: Travel Essentials Box

Once again ASOS have launched another cracking beauty box this month. Like every month, I sat on ASOS waiting to see when the box went live, just to see what it had in it and if I wanted to buy it. Turns out my persistence is a good thing as this literally sold out in a day! 1 day, I mean that is insane. I'm pretty sure that is quicker than the ASOS x Clinique box from last month. Although the ASOS x Clinique box was a little bit more expensive at £15, it did not disappoint and neither did the box for August which centred around Travel Essentials. This is my third consecutive box and if ASOS continue curating such incredible boxes, I will continue to buy them.

I know I have said this in every single review I have written about the ASOS beauty boxes but I have always wanted to be a part of a beauty box subscription, I just never wanted the subscription part. I have always loved the idea of receiving new products to try and not necessarily picking them so I could try things that I wouldn't normally be able to. However I was always put off by the negatives that come along with this. I didn't want to be committed to a bunch of products I wasn't sure I was going to like. Plus a lot of subscription boxes do not include the brands I usually go for and am looking to try. I have always liked the idea of a more premium box as high end products are the ones I am more eager to try to see if they are truly worth it whereas a lot of boxes include brands/products that I could just go out and buy and not feel guilty if I do not like it. I think ASOS include a good mix of brands in their boxes and there is no subscription. It is completely up to you whether you want to buy that month's box and the best part is, it is open to anyone to buy. The only thing is, you do need to be quick these days to get your hands on one.

This month's box is all about Travel Essentials, very seasonally appropriate considering everyone is going away on their summer holidays at the moment. I am not going on a holiday but I am staying away for a wedding next month and hopefully I might see if I can visit a couple of friends which makes having mini's very handy and there are some wonderful products in this months box. There is one I already know I dislike so I will start off with the negative review first.

Too Faced - Better Than Sex Mascara

Let's just get it out of the way, if you've read some of my mascara reviews from this year then you will know my disappointment in the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara. I believe this is one of the best selling mascaras and I just cannot understand why! This was one of the mascara's I have tried this year as part of my beauty goal which is to try as many mascaras as I can this year. To start out the year, I wanted to try a true icon and nothing sprang to mind quicker than the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara! I actually started out by testing the Waterproof version as I thought it might have a better staying power, I was wrong. After I had made the decision to try the waterproof one, I started to read the reviews and that was when I knew I had made a mistake. Afterwards I decided to give the Better Than Sex range a fair test run and tried the original version as well. I wish I hadn't bothered because they are just as bad as each other. There were so many things wrong with both of them and I did full reviews on both mascaras at the time of using them, I will link the newer one here: Too Faced: Better Than Sex Mascara Round Two. This was the only item that I knew I did not like when I purchased the box, another item may have let me down this month but that wasn't know to me at the time of buying the box. I only found this out after testing the products.

Touch in Sol - No Poreblem Primer

I've always struggled with primers, apart from the Fenty Beauty Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Primer, other than that I've never found a primer I have liked or that has really made a difference. The Touch in Sol primer really blew up when Jeffree Star spoke about it and said he really liked it. A lot of American Youtubers have spoken about Touch in Sol but I had never really seen it in the UK before. To be honest, I had never really looked into it or thought about trying the brand but when I saw it was in this box, I was desperate to get my hands on it. I really wanted to see how it would compare to the Fenty Primer to find out if I would like this one as much.

The first time I tried this I was surprised by the texture of the product. I think I was expecting something that was a little bit more cream based whereas it is most definitely more of a gel formula. It has a light pink tint but that really does nothing when it is on the skin. When I first put some of the product onto the back of my hand, I thought it was quite thick but as you spread it out, it thins out a lot and it definitely has that silicone feeling. When it gets down to the silicone feeling, I do not like this sort of primer. Not because it is silicone but because it doesn't really work for me. I find that on my skin, a silicone primer just helps my makeup to melt off my face. With these primers, I only use a small amount on my T-zone and that is it. With these silicone primers it is important not to use too much or it can go the other way and it will stop your makeup from lasting as long.

In terms of whether or not this made my makeup last longer, I think it did. I used this when I knew I was going to have a particularly long day and my foundation stayed in place for a longer time which is always a bonus. This definitely didn't mattify my skin but it stopped my oily t-zone from breaking up the foundation. In terms of how it smoothed out my skin, it definitely stopped my pores from looking so obvious and it made my skin look smoother. Obviously you can't hid all texture so any areas where I had spots were not smoothed out but my pores were covered.

I have to say as an alternative to the Fenty Beauty Primer, I actually really liked this primer. It definitely has a more silicone feeling when it is applied to the skin whereas the Fenty one is much more like a cream. The Touch in Sol primer would be better for you, if you do not want a primer which is going to make you look completely matte. It does have mattifying properties but I wouldn't say they were as strong as the Fenty Beauty Primer. I do really like this primer and can see why so many people raved about it. After looking it up on ASOS, the full size is normally £15 but it is currently £12. I have no idea if this means ASOS are getting rid of the brand but now is a good time to buy it if you have been thinking about trying it.

Glamglow - Thristymud

I have written about Glamglow quite a lot over the past year as I have slowly tried more masks from the range but one that I never got round to trying was Thristymud. As I am prone to a breakout, this never seemed like the type of mask that I would want to spend this sort of money on. The full size of any Glamglow mask is £42 which does seem slightly insane. I've always struggled to get on board with these masks that you apply, leave for 20 minutes and then tissue off: I couldn't see the point. However as I have learnt more about skincare I do get it now but that does not stop the onslaught of spots I get from using this type of mask, so yes I was a bit apprehensive about trying this mask.

After using Thirstymud, I realised why you would spend £42 on this mask, the results were incredible. The next day I woke up and my makeup applied very smoothly and my skin looked refreshed. If I didn't have all of my current spots this would literally have made my skin look amazing. Not only are the results incredible but it smells like coconut, a bit like a Pina Colada. This mask is designed to 'moisturise, restore, replenish and calm the look of skin,' that is according to the ASOS website. Personally I saw results in all of these areas so I do not disagree at all. You apply this mask after cleansing, I also used a charcoal mask prior as I thought using this after would be the perfect way of getting the hydration back and it turns out I was right. It says you can either leave it for 10-20 minutes and wash it off or you can leave it overnight for an intense treatment (which was what I did) If you struggle with dry skin, this mask might be worth looking into. After using this mask there is only one mask from the Glamglow mask range which I have not used which is Flashmud and I actually do have it in a draw somewhere ready to be used. I would definitely buy a full size of this mask as the results were amazing.

Emma Hardie - Brilliance Facial Oil

Generally I haven't tried many facial oils, in fact they always seem like they will be far too much for my skin which is why I put off trying this product. Much like the Ouai Hair Oil, this comes with no instruction on how to use it which left me a bit baffled by it. I wasn't really sure what to make of a facial oil. Previously the only one I've used is the Clarins Face Treatment Oil in Lotus. I only had a sample size but I did see a difference in the period of time I was using it. Not only does the Emma Hardie oil remind me of the Clarins oil but in many ways it reminds me of the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate which I have been trialing for a couple of weeks. The Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate is a slightly thinner texture but they smell quite similar and I have been using them in exactly the same way.

To use this oil, I have been doing the rest of my skincare routine and leaving this until last. As this is quite heavy and it is a thicker texture I think it is best left until last so that it can allow all of the products I have already applied to work their magic and in a way to create a barrier to protect and help nourish the skin. As this is such a thick formula I do not use it everyday as I feel like that might be a little bit too overwhelming for my skin. I feel like I do need to point out that for an oil this is quite lightweight but in comparison to the types of products I usually use this is a lot heavier. Typically I can see this being more of a treatment rather than being an everyday product. This does smell very herbaceous and spa like, much like the Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I have used this oil a couple of times now and each time I have been impressed.

I use this just before I go to bed and when I wake up, my skin looks rejuvenated. It has helped with: some of the red marks which have been left behind by recent spots, it has helped to make my skin look fresher and more plump, my skin texture also looks improved. These are all results that I want from my skincare so this product is a win in my eyes. Considering this is £39 full price (for the full size,) I would never have just bought this to try and to be honest I wouldn't have tried this without it being in this box but now that I have tried it, I really like it. I've only ever tried the Moringa Cleansing Balm from Emma Hardie before but now I think I will give the brand a little bit more attention.

Rodial - Dragon Blood Hyaluronic Tonic

Surprisingly this is actually probably one of my most used products that I received in this month's box. This is a sample size but it is still massive. I love a good facial spray, especially during Summer. There is nothing like that instant hit of refreshment after you have used it and it is even better when it you have kept it in the fridge. Back in the day it was all about MAC Fix + but more recently I have branched out and I am using the Mario Badescu Rosewater Facial Spray. The Mario Badescu one is very hyped and I have to admit I was a little bit disappointed. The scent and the product itself is amazing but I do not like the spritz, there is too much for my tiny face and it sends out quite a lot of water. This is why I have been loving the Rodial Dragons Blood Hyaluronic Tonic. It has the perfect spritz. It is a very light mist which gives you the refreshment and hydration you need but not too much of it.

Not only does it have the perfect spritz but it has a lovely scent as well. I have been using the Dragons Blood Sculpting Gel recently and even though I haven't seen incredible results, the product itself has the most incredible scent. It is very fruity, like a summer cocktail and this spray has that same scent. This does also contain Rose Water which makes it quite similar to the Mario Badescu version. I have to say I was really impressed by this and it was lovely to be able to try another product from a brand which confuses me as much as Rodial.

Ouai - Hair Oil

I have to say this one was bit of a mystery to me. As you may know, if you have read my blog before, my knowledge on haircare is very limited. I like my hair to look good but my general knowledge is lacking in comparison to other areas of beauty. I currently use the L'Oreal Extraordinary Oil on my hair but I only use it just after it has been washed, however you have the choice to use it about 5 different ways. The Ouai Hair Oil comes with no instructions so I had no idea when to use it: do I use it on dry or wet hair is the main question? After looking on ASOS I was none the wiser but I believe you can use it on both.

One thing I find really odd about this oil is that you can use it on both your hair and body. I would never use the same product for both, they both have very different requirements. I'm not at my boyfriend's house using his shower when predictably you find out he uses the 2-in-1 shampoo/shower gel. No! I want two products. Anyway as it says you can use it for both, that is what I have done.

Before I get into how I think the two ways work, I'll talk to you about the scent. This product claims to have a rose scent but I don't think it particularly does. I don't mind a rose scent but I do think it can get overwhelming very quickly. This isn't a pungent scent, in fact, I would say it was very light and it isn't particularly sweet either. Online it says that it also has Bergamot and White Musk in the scent. Whilst I was trying to find out more about this product, I did see some reviews and quite a lot of them were negative which is why I put off trying this for so long. This product is the reason this review has gone up so late in the month.

Personally I do not like to use an oil on my dry hair as I have very thin, fine hair so an oil is usually too heavy for my hair. In my opinion  I think this hair oil has quite a thin consistency but it was still scary to put on my hair. I used this the day after I had washed my hair and I concentrated this exclusively on the ends of my hair. I put one pump into the palm of my hand, rubbed it in and applied it; this way there isn't a massive concentration of it which would 100% make my hair look greasy. This didn't make my hair look greasy and it definitely made my frazzled ends look a little bit smoother which was great but I did expect better results. Also the smell really did not come through at all! When I held my hair to my face I got a small waft but it was only when my hair was directly under my nose.

In terms of using this a a body oil, I am not a huge fan of that either. This is quite a thin oil but it just seems to linger. If I am going to use a body oil (very rare) I always use a dry body oil as it sinks in pretty quickly. This leaves a greasy feeling which I do not like. Not only do I not really like the texture but once again the scent really isn't strong enough for me.

I have to say like most 2-in-1 products this feels rather confused. I think if they had focused it more, it wouldn't be such a wishy washy product. I will continue to use this probably as a hair oil as I actually preferred it for that function but I will not be purchasing the full size that is for sure!

My one problem is that I can't test out and write about the products before the boxes sell out. When I posted my review on last month's Clinqiue box everyone wanted to know whether they could get it but it had sold out weeks prior. It is the same this month. By the time I had given them a good test run to be able to give them a proper review and managed to write my post, it has long sold out. The only thing I can suggest is keeping an eye on my twitter if you are keen to get a a box, usually when I see it on ASOS I will tweet about it, if I think it is any good. This Travel Essentials box has probably been my least successful with two of the products being flops. However this months box had some really exciting brands that I had never tried before and therefore it fit my criteria of what I look for in a beauty box. 

You might also like:

ASOS x Clinique
ASOS Summer Box
St Tropez Mousse
August Makeup Look
TF: Better Than Sex