Unboxing | Beauty Box 5 January 2015: Hello! | Hello Pretty Bird! - A beauty and not-so-glamorous lifestyle blog

13 January, 2015

Unboxing | Beauty Box 5 January 2015: Hello!

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Hey look, it's my first subscription box unboxing post of the year! I should bake myself a cake or something. And then mail it to myself. Monthly, of course. But do you know what would be even easier than that? Subscribing to a monthly beauty box, like Beauty Box 5! Read on to see what was in my very first box of 2015. Gasp.

New to this box? Beauty Box Five is a monthly subscription service for beauty and personal care samples. Each month subscribers get 4-5 beauty products from a wide variety of categories—could be haircare, skincare, makeup, whatever!  BB5 costs $12 per month if you subscribe on a month-to-month basis, but they offer reduced pricing on multi-month plans. An annual subscription is $99 for example, which works out to a mere $8.25 per month. Prices include shipping to the USA lower 48, and Canadians can subscribe too for an additional $3 monthly shipping charge. You can read more about the particulars in their FAQ and check out my reviews of past boxes here.

This month's theme is "Hello!" Right back atcha.

Hi, Fresh Possibilities! How've you been?

Coastal Scents Eyeshadow Sampler Quad Mint Condition, Sundried, Stone Cold, and Wild Raisin

Coastal Scents Eyeshadow Sampler Quad (2g, approximate value $2.60):
I based the approximate value of this sample off the non-sale price of Coastal Scents' Hot Pots, if anyone cares. The shadows included in this sampler are: Mint Condition, Sundried, Stone Cold, and Wild Raisin. I like all of these shades! I'm holding off swatching this because I'm planning on buying their massive 252 palette the next time there's a big sale. Generally speaking though, Coastal Scents sells decent shadows... their palettes can be kind of hit or miss depending on the shade, but overall they're a nice buy for the price. I'm glad that Beauty Box 5 sent out a Coastal Scents sampler that was NOT from one of the Revealed palettes, because I'm starting to get a ridiculous collection of those.

Softsoap NutriSerums Body Wash sample

Softsoap NutriSerums Body Wash (1.7fl oz sample, approximate value $0.47):
Stan seemed unusually fascinated by this sample, so I let him try it first. His thoughts, verbatim: "It was kind of hard to get out of the tube and then it wasn't very sudsy at all. I like a sudsy soap. I want to lather, damnit! But it smelled nice and had these cool-looking shiny bits in it and once I'd gotten the first glop out the second glop was pretty easy to get out."

You heard it here first: We measure things in "glops" in our house. I think his analysis is spot-on though—it was sort of hard to get out of the bottle, though I think that would be less of an issue with the full size. Hard to squeeze a teensy bottle like this, y'know? But it sure does look a lot cooler than regular Softsoap body wash.

Ultraflesh "The Gold Standard" Mascara in Blackout sample

Ultraflesh "The Gold Standard" Mascara in Blackout (2.5ml/0.08oz tube, approximate value $6.22):
A thickening mascara in a fancy gold tube. Sounds OK... but can I just say that ULTRAFLESH is a really creepy name for a makeup brand? Sounds like it should be the name of a Clive Barker movie or brand of truck stop condoms instead. Or both! What a fun date. Shudder. Anyway... I can't really find much current info about this brand online, but apparently at one point they made a mascara with a 3D panther head on the cap called PANTHERA. If that isn't amazing, I don't know what is.

Garnier Fructis Daily Care Fortifying Shampoo Sample

Garnier Fructis Daily Care Fortifying Shampoo (Sample size 1.7fl oz, approximate value $0.63):
Ah, that old shampoo sample chestnut. I can't hate you, because it's not your fault that I'm a crazy person who hoards drugstore shampoo like a maniac, but I just don't need you. Then again, this Garnier sample is the perfect size to slip into my travel bag... in my suitcase you go!

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips Kit

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips Kit (16 strips, value $9.99):
Nail polish strips with fun patterns! Yay! I'm always envious of other people's pretty nail wraps... I lack confidence in my ability to apply them neatly on my own person, but since I got them as part of a beauty box, now's a good excuse to try! Here's a closer look at the pattern I got:

Cute. Much more intricate than something I could paint myself, but not too crazy for daily wear. (Says the panther-obsessed shampoo hoarder.)

Total box value: Approximately $19.91

Overall impressions:
I liked this month's Beauty Box 5. The Coastal Scents quad and Sally Hansen nail polish strips are right up my alley, and the shampoo/body wash samples are things I'll use up soon (even if they're not thrilling). I'm not really sure what to make of the fact that I can't find more info about ULTRAFLESH (shiver) online, but perhaps my life is enriched just by knowing that mascara with a panther head existed for a time? Meow.

If you want to sign up for Beauty Box 5 yourself, you can do so here. New customers can get the previous month's box free as a bonus with any subscription length—just use code FREEBOX1 at checkout.

What do you think of my January Beauty Box 5? If you subscribe, did you get the same stuff?

Disclosure: The box featured in this post was provided to me for review purposes, however any opinions expressed above are honest and my own. I did not receive any other form of compensation. This post contains affiliate links. For more information, check out my full disclosure policy.


  1. Hey, this was a pretty good box! Most of the time I see these Beauty Box 5's and am not impressed. But this had a little excitement with shiny bits in otherwise sad shower gel (Stan is hilarious) and a creepy crawly inducing makeup brand. Seriously. I'm with you. Did no one vet that name before they ran with it?!

  2. Yeah, ULTRAFLESH PANTHERA sounds like a type of bacterial infection, not something I should be putting on my eyes. I am really glad that Stan got to join in on the fun this time though!

  3. I have the Coastal Scents 252 palette from their 1/2 sale. The only
    problems I have with pigmentation is usually from the matte colors, but
    you can definitely build up the pigmentation, especially when layered
    over a base or a primer.

    Overall, this box isn't bad, but the
    Softsoap and the Garnier products look like freebies BB5 got, and don't
    seem too exciting to me when you can get drugstore products for a subscription price range that ipsy and Birchbox dominates.

  4. Thats a bummer about the body wash. It def looks cool! But if it doesn't perform well then I guess looks don't really matter. The coastal scents shadows look pretty. I have never tried any by this brand.

  5. I have a couple of the smaller Coastal Scents palettes and my experience has been similar. Some patchy mattes, but mostly workable with primer. Hard to beat the prices though, honestly!

    I agree that the Softsoap and Garnier aren't the MOST exciting samples... I feel like a lot of the samples in cheaper beauty boxes are provided to the companies gratis though? It's a form of advertising for them, which is probably why you tend to see the same item popping up in a few beauty boxes sometimes. I do think the overall range of brands that Birchbox has been sending lately is more interesting though. I unsubscribed from Ipsy a while ago because I was getting way too much similar stuff from month to month.

  6. Coastal Scents is not bad, and soooo affordable. They don't really rival higher-end brands, but some of their satiny and metallic shades are actually really nice. Their huge palettes are good for those moments when you want a weird color that doesn't really show up a lot in smaller palettes. Or eighteen different shades of pink, lol.

  7. hmm I think they will be at IMATS so I'll have to check them out! Btw...are you going?

  8. Very unlikely. My dad is trying to plan a family reunion in Philly on that exact weekend, so unless he changes the date that would be a definite no!

  9. Aw bummer..would have been cool to meet up. But I'm sure Philly would be fun. If anything changes let me know!

  10. Will do! I've never actually gone to IMATS... I would love to but somehow there always seems to be a conflict in schedule. Someday!

  11. Me either but its def something to experience at least once!

  12. Lmao at the Ultraflesh mascara! I've actually gotten it once before in a different box and I originally thought it was "Ultraflash," and I was like, ok, that makes sense, it's gold and sparkly! But no, it's Ultraflesh. I don't really know what they were going for with that name.

  13. I agree that many samples beauty boxes get are free or heavily discounted, but Garnier and Softsoap are low end drugstore brands that I would not want to see, unless that's what the sub is about. Granted, BB5 never mentions what price point their mystery boxes are, but ipsy and Birchbox had brands that even if they are drugstore ones, are more well received, like NYX or OPI. I do see a lot of brand repeats from ipsy, like Be a Bombshell, Caityn, J Cat, etc. but seeing as I've never tried those items and never got an ipsy subscription, the products do look interesting even if the brand is a repeat. And I would not know where to get those brands in stores or online, either.

    Will you resub / sub to other beauty subscriptions? What about the new Asian beauty bags / subscriptions like 3B, Beauteque, or Mask Genie?

  14. I've been getting BB5 for about a year and they tend to send a lot of drugstore and budget brands, so I guess that's why I'm not surprised by the Garnier and Softsoap samples. They don't explicitly say it on their website, but inexpensive brands seems to be their thing. Shrug!

    Right now I'm subscribed to Birchbox and happy with it. I'm undecided on the new Asian beauty subscriptions... Beauteque does seem to offer good curation, but the price point is a little high. I'm not really sure about 3B because their first bag looked kind of boring to me, but the second one looked a lot better. Mask Genie is a great concept, but I'd be more likely to buy something like that as a one-off than a monthly subscription.

  15. Haha yeah, Ultraflash would be a lot less weird! The tube *is* pretty flashy.

  16. If 3B's next bag still looks as good as this month's, I will probably get the sub to try out!

    I agree with your assessment on Beauteque being a higher price point. I'd rather stick with Memebox instead, but seeing as Memebox's recent boxes are $29 plus shipping, Beauteque and Memebox are pretty much on par right now. I think Mask Genie is a monthly now. She was collect emails to her costumers to enroll them in a early notification system of some sort for next month. I don't remember but was it to tell them about shipping?

  17. One of my old coworkers bought the Panthera mascara just for the tube. She said it worked alright but since she only bought it for looks, she didn't care :P


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