#WeAreTesting: 4 Must-Have Beauty Boxes for the Conscious Beauty Enthusiast

These days we seem to have an endless selection of deliverable goodie-boxes, providing us with fresh products on our doorstep every month or two. Lately, I have been keeping an eye on skincare and make-up subscription boxes, and believe me, it’s addictive! This April, I review and introduce four boxes to all of you, eco-conscious beauty enthusiasts.

Words: Johanna Raudsepp

Image: The Cruelty Free Beauty Box / Author’s own

Image: The Cruelty Free Beauty Box / Author’s own

1. Love Goodly (Testing: February/March 2019 Box)

Right off the bat, this first box has an inspiring message hidden in its name, sparking a smile. Founders Katie and Justine want to help women have an easier time finding healthier products at a reasonable price. Love Goodly provides a collection of eco-friendly, nontoxic, vegan and cruelty free beauty products bi-monthly for $34.95. They also pop in a wellness and/or home item, too.

Image: Love Goodly Beauty Box / Image: Author’s own

Image: Love Goodly Beauty Box / Image: Author’s own

The February/March Essential Box includes 4 full-size products, from beauty to other treats, valued at $99.

Flower Mill Balm Shell Cleanser with makeup removing quality: This virtually scentless cleanser is very easy to use. I was a bit surprised at the consistency – it really is a balmy texture and once you rub it onto skin, it turns into an oilier, Vaseline-like cream. Definitely piqued my interest in what else this brand has to offer.

Zatik Gratitude Face Serum: The face serum has quite a medicinal smell, I would say. The product comes in a handy pump-bottle and delivers silky skin.

Aisling Organics Duel-Sided Luxe Shadow Brush 389 for buffing and blending: It’s nice to see that aside from skincare products, Love Goodly has featured a beauty tool as well. I am always on the lookout for alternative, consciously-made makeup brushes and beauty tools, so this surprising addition was a great find.

Fine & Raw Chocolate: This time, a delicious snack to go with wine, coffee or tea. Again, another surprise for me, but it is definitely a treat… quite literally.  

2. The Cruelty Free Beauty Box (Testing: February 2019 Box)

The Cruelty Free Beauty Box offers a variety of beauty products, from skincare to makeup, all cruelty free. It should be noted that although they are cruelty free, the products are not marketed as eco-friendly or natural – so if you’re looking for a more natural beauty box, this could be a hit or miss. Granted, most of the items have a lot of natural ingredients in them. What’s great about this is that you can personalise your boxes to suit your needs. The individual monthly box comes in at £14.95.

Image: The Cruelty Free Beauty Box / Author’s own

Image: The Cruelty Free Beauty Box / Author’s own

The February box features 4 full-size products and 1 travel size product, valued altogether at £43.61. Out of all of these products, I was only familiar with one brand before, the rest were new, so discovery value is definitely high. Most of these products seem to be vegan and/or natural.

Pure Purpose Green Tea Balm: I love the mousse texture of this healing balm, and it has a lovely green tea smell. I haven’t had any scars or burns or tough skin to try it out on, but it seems soft on the skin and the tiny jar is a handy thing to have around.

Urban Veda Purifying/Radiance Body Lotion (travel size): The Urban Veda lotion is inspired by Ayurveda. The product is lightweight and makes the skin instantly soft. It has a rather strong scent from its ingredients (turmeric, marigold, patchouli, coriander), which might not be for everyone.

Phase Zero Make Up Coconut Eyeshadow in the ‘Lucky Penny’ shade: This liquid eyeshadow is my favourite item in the box – such a great makeup find! It’s easy to apply, has great pigment and a beautiful shimmering gold tone. The eyeshadow is based on coconut water which helps with quick drying.  

Friendly Soap: Orange and Grapefruit – almost instantly, I was hooked by the fresh smell it has. The soap is all natural and handmade, as well as free from plastic and palm oil, cruelty- and paraben-free… love it!

Medusa’s Make Up XOXO Perfume Oil roller + tiny bag: Another handy beauty product to pop in your bag when heading out. It comes with a tiny string-tied bag, which is handy for other makeup, too. The perfume oil itself has a sweet floral aroma, which is a bit like candy. Not my personal favourite because I don’t go for sweet scents.  

3. Kinder Beauty Box (Testing: February 2019 Box)

The Kinder Beauty Box aims to bring you a selection of products kinder to your skin, body and to the environment. The idea behind the box stems from its founders, Daniella Monet and Evanna Lynch. What’s better then having cruelty-free and vegan beauty delivered to your doorstep every month, they ask – and I couldn’t agree more.

First impressions – receiving the Kinder Box felt like getting a carefully selected present from your friends, from the heartfelt notes to the contents. Kinder beauty definitely features more makeup than the other boxes I tested. All products are high quality, cruelty free and vegan. $24 for individual order, but if you order for many months, the price per box is reduced. (Psst! Their latest April box is out now!)

Image: Kinder Beauty Box / Author’s own

Image: Kinder Beauty Box / Author’s own

The box I got is valued at least at $79 + one item without a price, and includes 5 beauty products. Again, I only recognized one brand here that I was familiar with before, the others were all great new finds.

Delia Organics Skin Detox Rehab Mask with French pink clay and papaya extract: Nice product for your home spa. Who doesn’t need a face mask? The rehab mask needs mixing yourself, therefore it can take a few tries to get the mixture just right in consistency.

Ambreesh cosmetics 24 karat liquid lipstick in the ‘Hey Doll!’ shade: This liquid lippie has become one of my favourites very quickly and is a staple in my beauty bag. Hey Doll! has a pinkish nude tone with a vanilla scent and has great staying power. My favourite thing is the lightness of the formula and how it seems to moisturise as well.

Kat Von D Tattoo Eyeliner in Black: I understand now why this has been named one of the best eyeliners on the market. It’s really easy to use, has great pigment – a great for eyeliner-beginners like myself. Another high-quality vegan product.

Derma-E Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil (Deluxe size): This tiny travel-mini is a rinse-free moisturising cleansing oil including argan and jojoba oils. The Derma-E oil market price hasn’t been listed, probably because it seems to be a special edition mini version. It has a nice scent and works well, but I was a bit confused by it being rinse-free, since the product label instructs to clean your face with a damp cloth afterwards…so you still need not to forget to wipe it off from your face.

Eldora H171 False Eyelashes: The Eldora falsies are handmade from human hair. I didn’t try these this time because I don’t use false lashes, but nevertheless, I liked seeing that there are vegan options out there for makeup lovers.

4. Laurel & Reed (Testing: December 2018 Box)

They say that appearances make or break the first impression. When I picked up this simple white box with a ribbon tied on top from the post office, I felt special. Launched by owner Natalie Duell in 2018, the box strives to bring you clean beauty products because, as Natalie herself says ‘Our health is everything!’. Rooting out toxins from our daily skincare is important for Laurel & Reed. The very elegant Laurel & Reed box is also the priciest out of the four, with a monthly price of $49.95.

Image: Laurel & Reed Beauty Box / Author’s own

Image: Laurel & Reed Beauty Box / Author’s own

I got to test the December 2018 box, the contents of which are valued at $113.95. This box had the most brands that I had come across before but hadn’t necessarily tried. Conclusion: the box is definitely more on the high-end side, but focused on skincare rather than makeup. It includes 4 full-sized beauty products.

Osea Malibu Atmosphere Protection Cream: Osea is quite a well-known label in natural skincare. The moisturizer has a herbal smell and is very moisturizing. I love the glass bottle! This is a nice high-quality skincare product.

Plant Apothecary Wake-Up Organic Bar Soap with rosemary and lemongrass: The pleasantly relaxing product has been cold-pressed – that means it took 8 weeks to make! With its aromatic oils, I can imagine this being a fantastic product for a long bath or a sauna experience with a hint of aromatherapy.

BKIND Konjac Facial Sponge infused with green clay: Personally, I am not a huge fan of konjac sponges, I just don’t get the point. I’ve tried it and it doesn’t do much for my skin. But it might work for other users.

URSA MAJOR Bright & Easy 3-Minute Flash Mask: Another product that quickly captured my heart. The Flash Mask is extremely refreshing. Face masks can be a hassle, so URSA MAJOR have made an option for quick and easy skincare for the modern-day busy person. I’ve enjoyed getting a quick facemask in the morning, preparing me for the day.

Final Thoughts

I think this selection shows that there is a beauty box out there for every beauty lover. They come in at different price points and help you discover new cruelty-free and eco-friendly products that are otherwise hard to come across. I loved the element of surprise a subscription box brings, as well as the convenience of having curated collections of skin-friendly beauty delivered to my doorstep. The fact that all of these boxes and most of the packaging of their contents can be reused or recycled wins major bonus points from me. For me, each of the boxes deserves recognition, and below I have listed what stood out to me about each of these. Whichever speaks to you the most, make sure to check out their websites and discover cleaner beauty for your beauty shelf!

Best price to product ratio: Kinder Beauty

Most new finds: The Cruelty Free Beauty Box

Most surprising selection: Love Goodly

Fanciest pick: Laurel & Reed