Friday, August 14, 2015

New Beauty TestTube July/August 2015 Review and Unboxing (Plus 30% off Deal!)

New Beauty TestTube is considered the "first beauty subscription service" in the beauty box world. It all began when readers of New Beauty magazine began asking where they could try/buy products that were featured in the magazine- and the test tube was born through the idea that readers could try the editors favorite products for themselves rather than just reading about them. It was a great idea of course, considering a massive, seemingly endless market of beauty subscriptions has risen out of it. New Beauty TestTube has partnered with some really great brands and has had some absolutely outstanding curations in the past. I've subscribed on and off to TestTube for many years now, and they might be the beauty service that I'm most up-in-the-air about. Some tubes I was blown away by to the point where I wished I had purchased more than one. Other tubes I was incredibly disappointed by. 
Recently, they seem to be coming around again and picking up more high end brands and making better, more valuable curations. While I wasn't thrilled with the last tube I received a few months ago, I'm always interested to see if a subscription has improved or gotten worse. What is New Beauty TestTube's fate? Let's find out!
Details
New Beauty TestTube costs $29.95 plus $8.95 S+H for a total of $38.95 per tube. The reason why this review is labeled "March/April" is because New Beauty TestTube comes out once every other month, so you would be receiving 6 tubes per year rather than 12 in a monthly subscription. Each box includes the Test Tube, which is filled with beauty samples and full-size products as well as a detailed informational booklet on the products. You also automatically receive a subscription to New Beauty magazine when you subscribe to the Test Tube. The magazine is delivered separately from the Test Tubes, 4 times a year.

Save 30% off Every Tube As Long As Your Subscribed!
This is a totally new thing here- Apparently when you use my referral link, from what I understand in the fine print, you wil not only save 30% off your first tube, but EVERY tube that you receive during your subscription! This is an awesome deal!
Sign up with this link to save 30% off for every tube you receive!
 Of course for some people that is quite a lot of money for a box of beauty samples. The good news is it only comes every other month, so it's a price equivalent of having a $20 per month subscription. On top of that, they usually include higher-end items and full size products that other subscriptions do not.
I think the test tube is perfect for beauty junkies, but especially for women who don't have time to shop for beauty product or read pages and pages of reviews on a product. Getting the tube sent right to their door removes the hassle when shopping/discovering new beauty products!
I will say that while New Beauty does provide makeup in their tubes (many times it's full size!) they are usually a skincare-heavy subscription. If you're looking for solely cosmetics, this might not be a good choice for you.
  A great thing about New Beauty TestTube is that they provide a large booklet filled with tons of details about each product included that month. Not only do you get information about the brand, but you can get detailed info on the product as well as tips and tricks to using it properly! It's a really helpful little handbook that I wish more subscriptions took the time to do!

Now let's get on with this month's tube!
Ojon: Rare Blend Protecting Treatment ($4.12)
First we got some hair products! Ojon is a really popular brand, and I first discovered them through samples I got from Ulta of their shampoo and conditioner. I really loved them, so I'm actually quite happy to see this treatment! This is a spray-in treatment that includes seven nourishing oils that help protect and condition the hair. Since I got my hair cut and dyed professionally, I've been heat styling it a lot more often than I used to, so having a little spray like this is great to keep my hair protected and healthy.
Balanced Guru: Style Me Roots to Ends Hair Oil ($9.50)
I have a love/hate relationship with hair oils. Since I have thin, fine hair, they can sometimes be a little to heavy or greasy for me. I have tried products from Balanced Guru through other subscriptions and they seem to be very nice quality, so I'll be brave and give this stuff a try! This is is a certified organic hair oil that nourishes and improves hair textures with sesame and argan oils. It also claims to have a lightweight formula that is good for all hair types and helps control frizz and flyaways. Coolness. The only thing that I find odd about this, is the info card that is provided has a picture of a 1oz bottle, and says that we're receiving a full size, 1 oz bottle. Only problem is, the bottle I received is 0.5oz. So that does detract from the overall value of the tube, but it's still a sufficient amount to test out since you only need a small amount for each use.
WEN: Cleansing Conditioner in 'Lavender" ($6)
This is a deluxe sample size bottle of Wen, which normally comes in a 32 oz bottle. Most people have heard all about Wen by now, and they are either in love with it or hate it. There's even been some talk about Wen causing people's hair to fall out scattered around the internet, however I've used this product quite a few times in the past and have never had a single issue. For anyone that isn't familiar with Wen, it's a cleansing conditioner that you essentially use as a shampoo and conditioner at the same time. The company claims you need an insane amount of product to saturate the hair, but it really just makes you use the product more quickly. I tend to use the same amount I would if I was using any other hair product, and it's always worked fine for me! This is a good size to have for travel, especially because I'd only need to pack this one bottle rather than both a shampoo and conditioner!
Supersmile: Quikee ($18)
Wow, can you believe this tiny little tube is full size AND costs $18? Crazy! But what is it, exactly? Essentially, this little tube can be tossed into your purse for those fresh breath emergencies. It's an instant stain remover that contains Calprox, which dissolves the thin layer of protein that forms on the surface of your teeth, which also removes plaque, stains and bacteria. While I kind of love this idea and can't wait to give this stuff a try, I have to say that not only is this expensive and very tiny, the tube itself is more than half empty when you squeeze it. There really isn't a lot of product here at all, which is a bummer.

GlamGlow: YouthMud Tinglexfoliate Treatment ($20)
Oh Glamglow... when are you going to go away? I mean let's be honest here: this itty bitty tiny tube with MAYBE 2 uses in it if you're lucky, would retail at $20 if you go by ounce price. That is absurd, considering I have used Glamglow masks dozens of times and have never seen it work any better or differently than my $5-$6 clay masks from Korean brands. This isn't a jab at New Beauty for including this in the tube, because I think it's great to have this in case someone was curious about trying it and didn't want to spend an arm and a leg for a sample tube. You may like this product quite a bit, but please, consider trying other clay masks before spending your life savings on this product. I highly recommend the Origins Clay Mask-it's so much less expensive and works beautifully!
It Cosmetics: Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil ($24)
Woohoo! Makeup! And full size to boot! It Cosmetics has grown quite a bit in popularity over the past few years, and rightfully so. They have some fantastic products that really outshine some of their higher end competitors. I have never tried their brow products before, but this seems like the perfect product for me!
This is a dual-ended product- one side having the brow pencil itself and the other being a spoolie brush to help comb and clean up your brows. The pencil is oval shaped to make a more natural look to the brow. It is a taupey brown that can be used lightly or built up for a darker appearance, truly making it a "universal" shade as it claims. It's a really nice brow pencil and I think I'm going to love it- I have blonde brows so I'm always penciling mine in, so I blow through brow pencils like crazy. I'm curious to see how long this one will last with daily use!
GrandeLASH: Grande Mascara ($6)
This is a repeat product for me, which means it's probably been in quite a few tubes considering I rarely get them. This mascara contains an ingredient called "Sympeptide 226EL" which has apparently been proven to stimulate keratin production for healthier, shinier lashes. The applicator brush is made with both hard and soft bristles to lift and lengthen lashes while giving volume. I know this sounds awful, but I'm a packaging-is-everything kind of person, and this tube looks exactly like the dollar store mascaras I used to see all the time when I was younger. It just looks so incredibly cheap. Having said that, it's actually not a bad mascara. I wouldn't say it's life-changing, but it's something I would definitely use. Very little clumping and it does a good job separating and lengthening my lashes. I just feel there are plenty of less expensive mascaras that do the same job for less money!
 
Laura Geller: Waterproof Eye Spackle Hues ($23)
Wow, even more name brand makeup! TestTube isn't normally known for putting a whole lot of makeup in these tubes, so it was actually a pleasant surprise to see! I am a huge, huge fan of Laura Geller products- I don't think the brand gets nearly enough love in the oversaturated cosmetics market. Having said that, some of my favorite LG products are the primers or the "Spackle." One of them even made my favorite products list of 2014! This one is a little bit different, though! These eye spackle "hues" are essentially a primer and an eyeshadow in one. You can wear it alone or under eyeshadow to added dimension. The one I got shocked me at first because I thought it was a red shadow, but it's actually just the "original" primer- no color. I actually prefer this because I change my eye makeup so much that having a specific shade probably wouldn't be as useful for me.  
You can see that the spackle is applied with a brush and has a twist up bottom (similar to a Stila lip glaze, for example.) I'm not a huge fan of this type of applicator, but I tested this out yesterday and it works very well as an eye primer. My shadow didn't budge all day. This one is a winner for me!
Overall Thoughts
New Beauty TestTube costs $29.99 per month and has a shipping charge of $8.95, making it about $39 per tube. The total value of the July/August TestTube is just over $110.
That is almost double the value of the last tube I received, so I'm quite happy with that! I also think there is a much better variety of products here, and a lot more high end brand representation. I love that there were 3 makeup products in this tube since cosmetics are not as common in this subscription as they are in others. All the products (even the samples, really) had a solid value and are things I actually want to try. I think this is a step in the right direction for NBTT, and I hope that they continue to go up from here. My only request for them would be to stop putting repeat products in the tubes. While it might be possible to include some past products in a new subscriber tube for example, I can imagine it gets bothersome to long-time subscribers to consistently get repeat items. If they can avoid doing that in the future, I think they might be able to climb back up the beauty subscription ladder again. We'll see!

If you're interested in trying your luck with New Beauty TestTube, you can do so here, and save 30% off your Tubes EVERY Month!
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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post may contain affiliate or referral links.

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