If you read my post about vegan snack boxes, i’m sure it will come as no surprise that when I heard Vegan Cuts was coming out with a beauty box (affiliate link), I made a noise like a tea kettle and threw my wallet at my computer screen. I am so excited to be able to get a beauty box that is affordable and from an all-vegan company, ran by vegans, so I know they aren’t going to slip me beeswax or carmine or lanolin. Vegan Cuts stocks a lot of beauty products that i’m curious about, but they do tend towards higher end items that cost more, so I will gladly take all of the samples the want to sell me. I also have a problem with buying mostly ELF makeup, because it’s cheap so I made a deal with myself that i’m not allowed to bring home more makeup or face products unless it’s from a company I haven’t tried.
I noticed a few complaints about the box, right off the bat – so let’s clear some stuff up. The entire point of a subscription box is to try new things, so if you don’t normally wear makeup, that means that it’s ALL new things. If you don’t wear makeup and don’t plan on wearing makeup, don’t order a beauty box! I got the same feeling from reading some reviews that I get when I read cookbook reviews on amazon that say ‘I flipped through this at the bookstore and nothing looked good so i’m giving it one star’.
Also, the point of the little pouch that came with the first box is so you can put your makeup in it and then carry it in your purse. Makeup will sometimes explode or unscrew and it’s better to have it do that in a tiny bag then your whole purse. Some people seem to be completely confused by the inclusion of the little pouch. Let’s move on!
From left to right: Namaste pouch, Glam Natural mascara sample, NYL facewash sample, Suntegrity tinted moisturizer sample, Acure pure argan oil sample, LVX polish in Deco (the V isn’t worn off, it’s the way the light was hitting the bottle), Lippy Girl lip gloss, and a sample of essential oils. Some people got a lip balm and eye shadow as a replacement for the lip gloss.
I was extremely pleased with the selection, and if you go to use all of the products you’ll realize that they gave you pretty much everything you need to do a basic makeup look. You can wash your face, put on the tinted moisturizer, mascara, and lip gloss, and maybe add some powder and that’s about how much makeup most people can stand on their face during a hot summer day. You can paint your nails and use the argan oil on your cuticles. And then I guess huff lavender oil out of the pouch and pass out looking absolutely beautiful.
Will I keep my subscription? Absolutely. The value is definitely there, especially when you consider that shipping gets more and more expensive. $20 shipped is nothing, and I know this box was extra packed because it’s the first one but i’m sure they’ll keep the value up. I think the sample sizes are just enough to keep me occupied until the next one comes, and the mascara and tinted moisturizer samples will actually last through many applications because you need so little.
My only issue was a non-issue for me personally, but if I had gotten the eyeshadow and lip balm replacements, I would’ve been kind of mad because it’s the same lip balm that was in the last snack box, same flavor and all. I like it, but I just got one. Crossing over products is something they’ll have to be mindful of.
I think they can improve this service by letting the box be customizable by skin tone, i’ll explain why that’s important below with the tinted moisturizer. Trying to keep color preferences straight would be a lot of work for Vegan Cuts, but I think a note on how light or dark people are and what their underlying tone is would go a long way into making the box more usable to everyone, every month if such products are going to be included regularly. I also hope they will expand the amount of companies they carry or send out samples of, as the variety on their website isn’t big enough to keep the boxes from containing repeats for more than a few months. Mayhap we will see some OCC or Sugarpill in the future?
Overall, I think this is an invaluable service to a lot of vegans because navigating the world of cruelty-free beauty is HARD. There’s third party testing, parent companies, now companies that sell in China have to test making them not cruelty-free, the fact that cruelty-free claims aren’t regulated at all, Urban Decay can bite me, all kinds of bullshit. Personally, even I can’t pick up a product in a store and tell you if it’s vegan unless someone else has told me or the company has labeled it as such, because of the crazy names they give some animal products. I think this (admittedly old, but it popped in my head) post from JL shows how mega-companies that are known to test are trying to trick us into giving them their money. If you are not that into makeup but still want the occasional cruelty-free product without trying to make your brain explode, this will be great for you. Basically, any vegan who likes to put things on their face will appreciate this box for one reason or another.
That is what I have to say about the box in general, if you are interested in reading about what I think of each product, keep reading!
The nail color is one that will flatter pretty much everyone, and coral is a standard color for summer. I am pretty good at chipping nail polish just by looking at, I managed to go three days without a single chip besides my thumb, which I used to pick a sticker off of a glass bottle. LVX is $16 a bottle, so a full size bottle is almost the price of the whole box. Some people balk at the price, and while $16 is kind of high for nail polish, it seems to be a quality brand. For comparison, two of the more popular vegan brands, Zoya and Butter London, sell their polishes for $8-9 and $15, respectively. I own and enjoy some cheap polishes, like Wet n’ Wild, but they are $3 or under for a reason.
The Suntegrity tinted moisturizer immediately had me worried. Most people have either yellow undertones or pink undertones, some people are neutral. But most tinted moisturizers a) default to yellow and b) are too dark. I am pale and pink, so I usually get screwed over. Thank god for samples! I squeezed some out on my hand so you can see that it is pretty dark, even when blended out, and the sample color is ‘golden light’. However, it didn’t look that bad on my face and with mineral foundation over it, was even less noticeable. I already have a tinted moisturizer and a BB cream that I like pretty well, so I wouldn’t buy this one as the full size retails for $45.
(I don’t like posting pictures of my hands because of my eczema, hang nails, and poor painting skills so please be nice.)
I LOVE the Lippy Girl lip gloss, it’s flavored with coconut and fruit oils so it’s like spreading Aloha Bread on your lips. I’ve already gone through 1/5th of the tube so i’ll definitely be ordering more.
Mascara wearing vegans are always on a quest to find the best one EVER. I was recently saying that the size of mascara tubes annoy me, because they’re actually too big. You’re supposed to toss your mascara every 3-6 months because of bacteria, so having more than one full-sized tube at once seems like a waste. Even if you don’t toss them that often, they will dry out long before you actually use it all. So in the case of mascara, I would rather they were all available in sample size.
Now I am from Team Drag Queen Lashes, so I knew that anything with ‘natural’ in the title wasn’t going to blow me away. But I tried the Glam Natural and it doesn’t flake, smudge, or fail the Nap Test, so i’ll be keeping it in the Namaste pouch in my purse for mascara emergencies YES THAT IS A REAL THING THAT HAPPENS. You can build it up a little bit, the left is one coat and the right is two (curling my lashes would’ve helped):
P.S. I immediately fixed my bangs after these photos. What are they even doing?
I used the face wash, but I really don’t know what to say about it. It washed my face? I’m not too particular about my face washing products because I mostly use some sort of scrub. I will say it was more watery than I was expecting, but on the package it says that’s because they don’t add unnecessary thickeners to their products so it’s totally on purpose.
I’ve never used argan oil, but I know it’s all the rage in beauty right now so the prices of it can be pretty inflated. I’ve been using Jojoba oil as my night moisturizer/stretched ear massaging oil for years, so i’m pretty happy with what i’ve got. So i’ll use the argan oil and i’m happy to get a sample to try, but I probably wouldn’t purchase a full size.
The lavender oil is the only thing I would toss if I had to choose, but that’s because i’ve had insomnia since I was about seven and sniffing some oil isn’t going to put me to sleep (if only, if only). But it’s the smallest sample in the box so it’s not that big of a deal and it smells nice.
So that’s it! I love two of the products, like the pouch and mascara, and hate nothing. I got everything I wanted out of it and then some!
under: products, review