A Totally Glowy Vibe: August BoxyCharm Review

BoxyCharm coined their August box the "Totally" box, but they should have taken it one step further and called it the Totally Glowy box. Almost every single product I received in my box is shimmery / oily / dewy / glowy / everything I needed and more in my life. I love a good glow. And did I mention everything is pink? I love pink almost as much as the aforementioned "good glow." Almost.

As much as I live for the pink packaging and aesthetic, what's more important is how the products actually work. Let's get glowing ( let me have my lame puns !! ) and break down each item that came in my August 2019  "Totally" BoxyCharm box.

Becca Cosmetics Hydra-Mist & Refresh Powder | $38

If you know me at all, you know that I have a lot of makeup. Every now and then, I'll get a product in a Boxy Charm box that I already have, and this month, the Becca Hydra-Mist Powder was that product.

Becca describes this powder as being "weightless, formulated with 50% water and glycerin, creating a mist-like sensation on the skin for a smooth, silky, invisible finish."

As I said above, I love to glow, so much so that borderline sweaty is perfectly fine with me. That being said, you can probably gather that I'm not a powder girl. Powder tends to make my skin look dry and aged. I thought, before I had ever used this product, that it was going to be my new holy grail powder since it's supposed to be hydrating to the gods.

It's definitely unique—it's very cooling and light on the skin. When you apply it, it feels almost like you're somehow patting cool air on your skin with your sponge or brush. Sounds so weird, I know.

After observing my makeup throughout the day the first few times I tried this powder ( prior to receiving it in my BoxyCharm box ), I came to the conclusion that it didn't keep my makeup looking smooth and made me look oilier than if I hadn't used a powder at all. Even though this powder is so weightless, something about it caused my foundation to become textured and slightly cakey-looking as the day went on.

Now that I've revisited the powder in a soon-to-be-uploaded IGTV makeup tutorial * cough cough hint hint check out my Instagram *, my final thoughts on the Becca Hydra-Mist & Refresh Powder are the same as my initial thoughts. It feels weirdly good going on the skin, but I'm not a fan of how it works with my makeup and skin.

Wander Beauty Glow Ahead Illuminating Oil | $42

I was pumped to see this item in the August Boxy Charm box because I LOVE facial oils. I religiously apply my 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil by The Ordinary every single night, and I swear, the only product that's cleared my acne more effectively is the Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask. They're two of my top five skincare favorites, but I digress.

If you like a good description like me, you'll be happy to learn that this light-weight illuminating oil "nourishes and primes the skin, helps to restore the skin's moisture barrier, and provides a youthful, bouncy, glowing complexion."

Because of my affinity for facial oils, I wasn't shocked that I absolutely love this product. I was, however, surprised to see that the oil is pink and has a noteable amount of shimmer in it. I was curious as to how glittery my face would look upon application, but neither color nor shimmer were detectable on my skin once the oil soaked in.

As a final skincare step, this oil made my makeup-free face feel silky and hydrated all day long without feeling heavy or greasy on the skin. As a makeup priming step, the oil added an extra layer of hydration but did not cause my makeup to become oily as the day unfolded. It's a 10/10 from me.

Tarte Cosmetics Big Ego Mascara | $23

I'll be the first to say it: I'm not a fan of Tarte. Ever since their racially-biased Shape Tape Foundation launch, I've steered clear from supporting them as a brand. That being said, I'm always a bit disappointed whenever I receive a Tarte product in a subscription box, which, if I'm being honest, is pretty frequently.

For the sake of the review, I'll put my personal biases aside to give you a candid review on this mascara—Tarte describes their Big Ego as having an ultra-black formula that lifts your lashes and delivers a fully-loaded flutter for up to 16 hours. It's also vegan, which something I'm trying to pay more attention to in purchasing new makeup products.

Big Ego is... an interesting name for this product, assuming that Tarte's marketing team tried the mascara themselves or at least talked to people who did. The effect on the lashes is so underwhelming. It didn't not do anything, but it also didn't do anything significant. It basically painted my lashes black, lengthened them a smidge, and volumized them by adding the illusion of two extra eyelashes.

Based solely on my experience with Tarte's Big Ego Mascara, I would not purchase it on my own or recommend it to anyone. L'Oréal has one of the best mascaras on the market—Voluminous Lash Paradise—for $11. Save your money on trying Big Ego and spend it on Lash Paradise instead. And buy yourself a McDonald's Double Cheeseburger and Large Diet Coke while you're at it, because you have extra money, so why not?

Ace Beauté Glimmer Shadow Duo — Cotton Candy & Iced Latte | $25

My very first thought upon unboxing these was that they're a Colourpop Super Shock Shadow rip-off. I say rip-off rather than dupe because you can get two CP shadows for just $12, compared to two Ace shadows for $25. You could literally get double the amount of CP shadows for less than half the value of the Ace shadows. Even though I was turned off by the uncannily similar concept and packaging of the shadows, I was happy with the shade colors I was sent.

Ace's Glimmer Shadows, much like Colourpop's Super Shock Shadows, are described as "high-pigmented soft shadows with a creamy texture specially designed for the ultimate color pay-off. Get bold color in one swipe without fallout, creasing, or fading."

They feel and perform pretty much the same as well at first. Super high-pigment, insanely shiny upon application, mousse-y texture. However, the shadows creased badly and stained my lids slightly ( the pink shade ), which really surprised me. It rubs me the wrong way that Ace, which launched two years after Colourpop, tried to replicate one of CP's products, marked up the price on it, and failed at matching or improving the quality.

Moral of the story: they look beautiful and feel like the same product, but you should buy Colourpop instead.

Steve Laurant Lip Liner — Chic | $15

I used to detest lip liner, but now it's one of my absolute favorite makeup products. It took me a long time to learn how to properly line my lips, but now that I've nailed it, I see a huge difference in my face when I'm wearing it and when I'm not.

Overall, applying lip liner gives the appearance a smooth and crisp lip line, plus it acts as a base for any lip product you put over it, which means your lip combo is going to last longer than if you hadn't used liner.

I'd never heard of Steve Laurant before receiving this lip liner in my BoxyCharm box, so I didn't have any clue if it would be a winning product or not. On my lil Boxy description card, the brand describes their liners as "waterproof, non-transferable, and bleed-resistant, creating a seamless and flawless finish that lasts for up to seven hours."

My very first impression based on sight alone was that the color is amazing. It reminds me of Mac Cosmetics' Stripdown Lip Liner, which has been sitting in my Ulta wish list for literal years.

After using this, I can say that I definitely love the color. On my skin tone, it's a deep rose, slightly brown in color. I paired it with a milky pink nude—Marc Jacobs Sugar Sugar—and I loved how it looked. The one small complaint I have is that the pencil is not super glide-y or creamy. Compared to a Mac lip liner, the Steve Laurant one was a little stiffer and harder to guide. I had to wipe off my first attempt, but after a second go, I came out with a solid lip line. Based on my experience, I could see myself buying another Steve Laurant lip liner in the future.

While I only spent $19 on my August BoxyCharm box, I received $143 worth of product in the mail. The overall value of the five products in my box is more than seven times what I paid for it. BoxyCharm subscriptions are a steal. I already can't wait to get my September box ( which I believe is my quarterly BoxyLuxe box, how exciiiiting ) and share it with you!

Have a question about the products in my August BoxyCharm box, or simply want to continue the conversation? Drop a comment below!

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