LookFantastic Beauty Box for August 2019 Review and Thoughts on Subscription Services

I’ve always had mixed feelings about beauty box services as I’m quite picky and tend to dislike surprises.. But I was kindly gifted LookFantastic ‘Heatwave’ *Beauty Box of August 2019 for consideration and decided to review it. To beef up this post I also wrote a couple of short paragraphs what is my personal take on subscription services in general. This post includes spoilers (obviously) as I’m quickly sharing my initial thoughts about each product. Hope you enjoy!

*Beauty Box kindly gifted for review, my thoughts are honest and my own!

August LookFantastic ‘Heatwave’ Beauty Box Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

My Thoughts on Subscription Services

I think there are two kinds of people when it comes to subscription services: all in or very picky. I’d say I’m the latter as I’m very sceptic if I’d actually use or benefit from a continuous service. Moreover I’m constantly trying to be more considerate about accumulating more stuff, especially things I don’t need or want. I don’t have my own Netflix, HBO, Spotify, any magazine subscriptions.. Only things I can thing of I renew monthly/annually are my climbing gym membership, VPN and online cloud space.

I used to be a subscriber to a bi-monthly eco beauty box, but since the price with shipping to EU was pretty hefty I decided to quit once there came a sneak peeks of a box I didn’t care for. But I would considerate subscribing again, if the service was well-curated. My favorite type of a box is 1-3 full size items vs samples. I’m the type of person that believes samples should be free or gifts with purchase, not something I want to blindly order online and get delivered to my door.

Last year I wrote about a beauty box service Glamlin where the contents were personally curated to you (but delivered blindly) and in the end I didn’t want to repurchase any of the items. I got to say I was sceptic when getting a press sample of the LookFantastic box.

August LookFantastic ‘Heatwave’ Beauty Box Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

How LookFantastic Beauty Box Works

You’ll pay a monthly fee of £15.00/€20 or a 3/6/12 month rolling subscription; longer subscriptions are obviously little cheaper. You’ll get a fresh Elle magazine (the size is a bit more compact) and 6 products with the total worth of over £50/€85. The items can be full-size or sample sizes, new trends or just updates to your beauty routine. Your subscription is automatically renewed, but you may unsubscribe at any time. Read more here or in Finnish täällä!

LookFantastic August 2019 ‘Heatwave’ Beauty Box

Sadly, looks like the peak of Finnish heatwave was in July this year, but I wanna stay optimistic and enjoy August to the fullest! Summer is not over. No, and I’m not in self-denial.. One thing that made an impression on me when I received the box is how LookFantastic uses only paper and cardboard packaging. There’s no plastic bubble wrap, only paper shreds of sort that protect the items. Everything looks beautiful and put together, like a gift. There’s even a matching silk paper wrapping and sticker that you won’t see everything right away, which adds a touch of elegance to the box. Love!

Anyway, the box comes with the latest Elle magazine, which I’m not reviewing, but lets just quickly say that if I love the compact size and if I had to pick a women’s fashion/beauty magazine in English or Finnish, it’d most likely be Elle or Trendi (in Finnish). There’s also LF Beauty Box ‘Edit’ with tips and tricks and the six products, which I’m going to reveal next..

August LookFantastic ‘Heatwave’ Beauty Box Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

LUXIE 737 TAPERED HIGHLIGHTER BRUSH

This brush impressed me with its quality. Usually I’m partial to only Japan-made brushes, but from time to time there’s a synthetic brush from Western brands. Oddly I couldn’t find the Tapered Highlighter Brush 737 from LookFantastic website, but the prices were around £30/€33. Fairly pricey for a basic synthetic brush, but it is soft. Not as soft and lovely as my ITCosmetics brushes, but those are even more on the pricy side. I really enjoy the handle, it sits easily on my hand. The brush held well together when I washed this and I’m look forward trying it.

BELLÀPIERRE HEATWAVE HIGHLIGHTING PALETTE

This palette was a mehh for me. Highlighting palettes are usually not my thing and the packaging/quality seemed cheap, so I swatched only one shade in the case I wanted to give this away.. and I will. The color swatched very sheerly. But this might be an OK addition to a youngster’s makeup bag or for someone who doesn’t want their glow to be seen from the space.

JAMES READ 1 HOUR GLOW MASK FACE & BODY (sample size)

I’m not going to even try this as I’m all about my Snow White complexion, but I could immediately think of a family member, who’d love this for some added tan and glow without UV radiation. 25ml seems to be enough to decide if you like the product or not.

August LookFantastic ‘Heatwave’ Beauty Box Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
August LookFantastic ‘Heatwave’ Beauty Box Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

NATURA HERB INFUSED SHEET MASK

Now this mask I enjoyed a lot! The sizing was generous, which I like, and the sheet was packed with a lot of hydrating essence. There was a lot of extra to slather on décolletage or legs, as I usually do. If you find sheet masks are too expensive or wasteful for a daily/weekly treat I might use this mask for 20 mins, put it back to the original packaging and let it sink more essence for one re-use. Loved this was vegan! Sadly, Natura Herb masks are not carried on LookFantastic, I hope they’ll consider adding it to their selection.

DOUCCE LUSCIOUS LIP STAIN IN ’HOLIDAY GETAWAY’ (mini)

Yeah, another item I’m skipping. Not my kind of shade, I think a friend will enjoy this more than I do.

RITUALS ’THE RITUALS OF HOLI’ BODY CREAM (100ml)

I have a soft spot for Rituals body products. Their scrubs and scents are amazing, plus they don’t break the bank. We used to get Rituals products only online or abroad, but there is a nice selection now available in Finland. I think I’ll save this for my gym or swimming bag as the 100ml is a perfect size to carry around, but not too skimpy for a subscription box. Flamingo flower and pink grapefruit is quite a feminine and sweet scent, maybe a bit sickly, but the texture is spot on nourishing and sinks in quickly.

Total value of this months box according to the BeautyBox Edit: £92,79 / ~€100.47

August LookFantastic ‘Heatwave’ Beauty Box Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Final Thoughts on the LookFantastic Heatwave Beauty Box

You might enjoy LookFantastic Beauty Box if..

  • You already read Elle Magazine

  • Enjoy a little monthly “treat to yourself” and enjoy surprises

  • Consider purchasing a gift (especially good for young beauty enthusiasts)

  • Like to get value for your money

  • Need or enjoy minis for travel

I think I’m not the best target group for this box service as I’m so picky with my beauty products.. I think most of these items I will donate to a family member. This is too bad because I did prefer like the ‘Hydration Beauty Box’ from July much better, but since the press sample got delivered to me quite late I decided to not post about it. LookFantastic’s Limited Edition boxes on the other hand seem right up my alley, they are luxurious, you see what you’ll get and feature some amazing brands like NEOM or Omorovicza LE boxes!

What did you think about this month’s LookFantastic box? Do you subscribe to any services or beauty boxes?

Too Good to Be True? Glamlin - Personalized Online Beauty Consultant Tested (and Why I Dislike Subscription Boxes)

A couple of weeks ago I was contacted by a Finnish beauty box subscription company and asked if I would like to try their new service called "Glamlin". I've never subscribed or even tried any beauty "surprise" boxes, but Glamlin* seemed freshly different: it's an online service where you create a personal profile and have a live chat with a beauty consultant to find the perfect 4-5 full-size makeup or/and skincare products for you. After receiving the parcel you can decide which products to keep. Now, I'm not a big fan of unboxing blog posts, but after giving it some thought I decided to try the service: after all it was something I hadn't encountered before. Today I'm reviewing their service, but also sharing a little rant related to beauty box subscription services in general.

Glamlin beauty box

My Problem with subscription and surprise boxes

I'll explain my scepticism with Glamlin: I don't really care for surprise boxes. My biggest nightmare is to end up with a pile of products from brands I don't care for (1st world problems haha) – and I admit being quite prejudiced when it comes to 90% of beauty brands. My main dislikes are "ugly" graphics, stupid copywriting or unrealistic claims or I just getting "cheap" vibe from them. I feel like I judge brands from every category (luxury, indie, eco, drug store etc), which makes me skip some very well liked cult products as well. It's silly, I know, but I can't help it!

Secondly, I find unboxing related content quite boring if it doesn't include full-sized items and a proper review or a first impression. Watching plain shopping hauls is my choice of 'junk food' and at least I get to hear the motivation behind purchases, which I find interesting. I do admit having a soft spot for Japanese fukubukuro (福袋) or lucky bag content, where you are getting double, triple, quadruplethe.. amount for what you paid for. Usually it's clothes, but can be toys, merchandise, even for pets! I did try the Beautylish lucky bag (review here) a year ago and although I liked my bag I didn't run and purchase another this year. Why? It was a great quality box with great quality items.. but I sold 1/3. I don't need more makeup atm and I sure won't need anyone to blindly choose it for me.

I want to emphasis I'm not dissing anyone who enjoys a subscription box - if that's your monthly treat, "a present for yourself" then by all means – go for it. Maybe you know better subscription boxes than I do. But in my eyes it looks like many customers are buying in advance a pile of stuff you "didn't know you needed" aka. you DON'T really need! Some of the stuff may end up unused and you're constantly giving in to unnecessary consumption. No-one needs more testers, samples and mini size products laying around "for travelling", trying to lure you in to buy more.

Ranting aside, let's talk about Glamlin.

Glamlin beauty box service

About Glamlin service in a nutshell

The idea of Glamlin* sounds both innovative and interesting: their focus is choosing personalized products for you, which you can either purchase or return if you're not fully satisfied. First, you'll fill an online inquiry about your age, skin type, concerns, what type of products are you looking for etc. The form is fairly simple to fill, but nicely comprehensive as it asks your preferences from disliked brands to wanting only eco products. You'll also select a total budget for your box (the shipping and returns are free!).

Secondly, you'll have a chat with a beauty consultant (esthetician) on Messenger, Whatsapp, what have you. The consultant will ask you additional questions and you may further explain what you're looking for. After the chat you'll get a box within a week with 4-5 full size products. The "surprise unboxing" is just a cherry on the top when your items arrive.. and I gotta say it was quite fun. You'll only pay for the (unopened) products you want to keep, the rest you may return for free. Glamlin gives you a -10% discount if you choose to keep all items. If you want to return everything, you pay 27€ "consultation fee".

Glamlin beauty box
Glamlin beauty box

My Glamlin experience

I honestly doubted an online inquiry would be much use as I'm very picky and particular when it comes to beauty products. I decided to be quite specific with my form: I ticked off all color makeup and asked for a light base product, moisturizer and serum instead. I listed some brands I didn't like and eco beauty is a plus, but not a must. To get a good foundation match I listed some of my shades from other brands (I'm about MAC NC15). Filling the form took me about ~5 minutes. Ida, the Glamlin esthetician/beauty consultant, contacted me the same night via Messenger, which I was very happy about! She asked quite specific questions related to my skin, ie. how I experience the dryness, any acne problems and so on. Finally I sent her a couple of photographs of my face. She sounded a bit distant but very professional online. The chat took about 15mins max. Then I had to just wait!

I received my parcel in less than a week (7 days was their estimate) and I couldn't contain my excitement. It was very much fun to open the box and find out what was inside. Even Kiko, my maine coon kitten, enjoyed the opening process.. by trying to eat the filling. The inside box was beautiful millenial pink color with a big black satin bow and the items were wrapped with black silk paper. Talk about attention to detail! It was like receiving a Christmas present, except my Christmas presents were fairly boring (a kettle, toothpaste, vitamins) compared to this box. I recognized the brands only by name, but the items were just what I had wished for: a light foundation, a serum, an eye cream and a moisturizer.

All items were sealed with small tape and had some instructions intact with rubber band. I really liked the instructions as they seemed like useful tips how to use the products and I could proceed testing them without trying to read the small print or sales jargon on the packaging. Personalized pamphlet with more instructions, product list and pricing is a big plus in my book. Here's what I got including the with prices (listed in the pamphlet):

Diego Dalla Palma Vitamin C Radiance Serum – 44,70€
Patyka Neroli Face Cream – 42€
Absolution Le Soin Regard (eye cream) 39,60€
Elizabeth Arden Flawless Finish Mousse Makeup (foundation) in Sparkling Blush – 47€

Total price of the box: 173,30€ (-10% if you purchase all items)
My budget for the box: 180€

I've used the products for little over the week now and I'm quite liking them. I was very dubious of the foundation as I had seen a bad review on YouTube. If this wasn't a PR package I would probably had sent it back. I had told about my neutral undertones but this shade, 'Sparkling Blush', comes out very pink - but - there's a but: it blends into my skin, so I'll keep testing. The Absolution eye cream I've loved, it feels very nicely light but cooling and hydrating at the same time. Patyka's cream has been nice and packaged very well, but feels some basic to me.. you know, I'm picky. I will do a double-check on the ingredients and use it a little longer before I decide. Same goes with testing the Vitamin C serum, I'm giving it some more time. I dislike it's a dropper bottle, but Ida the consultant read my thoughts as I was in the need of a new Vitamin C serum! After ~a week she even emailed me asking if I had enjoyed the box and if there was anything else she could help me with.

All in all.. I liked this service.

Glamlin beauty box

Final verdict

Here's the burning question: would I recommend the Glamlin* service?

YES – if you are new to beauty, look for specific items and want someone to help you picking products. If you are busy, live far away from a beauty counter/department store or have a general dislike to visiting them in person, but want individualized service and instructions how to use your products. An excellent gift idea for someone.

NO - if you are a beauty addict with a lot of products, have strong sense of specific likes/dislikes and hate the element of surprise. Not for someone with very sensitive skin or hard-to-find undertones.

I think I'm the second category myself as I have a fair amount of beauty products AND I am quite picky. I rarely pick up anything if it hasn't be recommended to me first. With Glamlin I got to try 4 new brands I haven't heard too much about (except for Elizabeth Arden's 8 Hour Cream) and I'm pleased! In the end I probably wouldn't reorder this service as I'm too much of a control-freak with never-ending wish list, but I can see how many would enjoy Glamlin. There's zero samples or unused items laying around, no hidden fees. The whole experience was simple but very personalized with a touch of glam, which I love. I'm sure they will develop the service even further.

What do you think about this kind of a service? Are you a fan of beauty 'surprise' or subscription boxes?

EDIT: Later, I ended up feeling a big “mehh” about the products and didn’t repurchase any of them.

*Glamlin service was kindly gifted for tested and review, my thoughts are unbiased and my own.
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