Beauty Box 5 Review - February 2015 - Beauty Subscription Box

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What is it? Beauty Box 5 
How Much? $12/month, $30/quarter, $99/year  plus $3 shipping per box 
What's in it? 5 samples from your favourite beauty brands 

My February Beauty Box 5 finally arrived at the end of March. I wasn't going to review this box, but upon opening and going through it, I realized it's not that bad, and it's worth sharing. For those that don't follow me on Instagram, it took so long to receive my February box because the folks at BB5 made an error when filling out the Customs Declaration portion of the shipping label. They entered a declared value of $99. The first February box actually came to me on March 6th, but it had a $25.05 bill attached to it. That's how much the Canadian Government decided I owe in taxes and fees for importing products with a $99 value. (Don't even get me started on how distorted their system of calculation is. I just refused another box valued at $70 where they wanted $53 in taxes and fees). There was no way I was going to pay $25 to get my Beauty Box 5 box. I was actually angry that BB5 would ship the boxes knowing that an error had been made (a declaration is a legal document after all), and not bother reaching out to customers to warn them in advance. I sent a pretty terse e-mail informing them that I had refused the package and that it would be returned at their expense. It took two days to get a reply (although they replied much faster on Twitter, telling me to e-mail, yet still taking  two days to reply to the e-mail). They apologized and offered to send a replacement box. I seriously did not expect to receive one, but it finally arrived in the final days of March.

Now for the review...

Beauty Box 5 is a beauty sampling service that claims to send 5 deluxe or full sized products every month. The boxes ship from Houston, Texas and usually take 1-2 weeks to arrive. BB5 does not provide tracking information or e-mail notification for Canadians, but this box usually takes about ten days to arrive to me in BC. My replacement box shipped March 17th and arrived March 30th.

The theme for February is celebration because Beauty Box 5 turned three. We are celebrating the milestone with "marvelous makeup and superb skincare". February also marks exactly two years since I subscribed to Beauty Box 5 - my very first beauty box.

Along with the five products, this box also included a $20 "gift card" for Products start at $21, so you would have to pay out of pocket for a portion, plus shipping to Canada is $14.95 per order. (Note: I don't count promo cards in the box value unless they are true gift cards that allow you to purchase items with no out of pocket costs.)

Freeman Beautiful Body Cucumber, Melon & Ginseng Lathering Body Wash (1oz, $2.99, $0.99)
Most other February boxes included GlamGlow foil sample instead of the body wash. I actually prefer this body wash. It don't like the packaging but I can easily pour it into a travel bottle and use it on the road. My only concern is that this product is not readily available for purchase online (and where it is available, it's cheap!) and is not listed on the Freeman website.

Absolute New York Absolute Love Strawberry Lip Balm ($3)
I received a grape version of this quite a while ago from Ipsy. They all smell great. Absolute sells these in duos for $5.99, although BB5 listed the single one as being worth $5.

Marsk Mineral Eye Shadow in Vanilla Frosting (1.2g full size, $22.50)
Vanilla Frosting is an aptly named shade for a birthday themed box, but it's not a good colour for me.

Revlon Colorstay Longwear Nail Enamel in Bold Sangria (full size, $7.49)
This is a currently available colour, still listed on the Revlon Canada website. I really like the colour but the formula wasn't great. It took several coats to get good, streak-free coverage.

Avon Big Color Eye Pencil  in Sunkissed ($3.49)
This is a very high rated Avon product, but unfortunately all signs point to it being discontinued as of late 2014. It's not longer available on the Avon website, was previously sold at a discount in their outlet section, and the reviews reflect customer disappointment that it was discontinued. A co-worker of mine is an Avon rep and she confirmed it as well. On the plus side, this isn't necessarily old product since it was only discontinued late 2014, but the fact that BB5 continues to include discontinued products is concerning.

My February Beauty Box 5 included five products with an approximate retail value of $37.50. This isn't the worst box I've received from BB5 and I will actually use a few of the products. I'm concerned that one item (eye pencil) is discontinued and a second item (body wash) may be discontinued, but they are still things I can use. My 2nd year-long subscription is up and I did not renew. I'm actually quite relieved to be done with BB5. There are so many better services available out there. The benefit of Beauty Box 5 is that it's cheap. With a year long subscription, the boxes work out to $11.25 US with shipping ($14.14 CDN today), but you risk getting cheap, low-quality, discontinued, and expired products. By comparison, Birchbox Canada is $13.28 CDN per month (with a year pre-paid subscription), and you get five quality samples from current leading and niche brands.

If, for some reason Beauty Box 5 interests you, first time subscribers can get a bonus box for free using promo code FREEBOX1 at checkout. That being said, I do not recommend this box.

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