It’s time for the wrap-up review of all my May beauty boxes! I’ll give you a quick rundown of each subscription box I got (regular subscription boxes only — no limited edition or mystery boxes). At the end, I’ll choose my favorite box(es) and product(s) for May. If you want to read the full review of a particular box, I’ve linked to each of them below. Links to the box and product websites are in the full reviews, so click on through if you need those. Occasionally, my opinion of a product has changed since I wrote the original review. Whenever that happens, I will note it here.
I was really happy with my May ipsy! The bag, a clear plastic one with ice cream cones and popsicles on it, was very cute. One item, though, the Starlooks Artist Edition Luxe Longwear Star Stamp and Liner Pen, made me wonder what ipsy was thinking. It has a black liner on one side of the pen and then a black star stamp on the other side. The liner itself was fabulous, but I don’t know why they thought a 35-year-old woman would want to stamp stars on her face. I liked the Urban Decay Afterglow Highlighter and IT Cosmetics Superhero Elastic Stretch Volumizing Mascara. The highlighter gave me just the right amount of shimmer and held up all day. The mascara gave me lots of length and volume, didn’t clump, and didn’t flake. I’ve gotten Briogeo’s Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-in Conditioning Spray several times before in boxes and love how it makes my hair feel soft and look shiny and smooth, so I was happy to get another one. The final product in my May ipsy was the Caked Makeup Liquid Fondant in Low Key. This was my first time trying a Caked product. I loved it! The formula stayed on all day and didn’t feather. The color wasn’t my favorite, but it wasn’t bad. I actually liked every product in my May ipsy!
The May Birchbox wasn’t quite as impressive as ipsy. I’ve liked The Beauty Crop’s products that I’ve tried in the past, but their Fabulous Flocking Lashes mascara was not for me. It gave me length and volume and didn’t clump, but it flaked horribly. I had tons of teeny black specks below my eyes when I wore this. The Vita Liberata Self Tanning Gradual Lotion is a clear gel that you apply all over your body, then you rinse it off after four to eight hours. It gave me a subtle tan. I’m not that into self-tanning, but I would like this product a lot if I were. It didn’t have that horrible self-tanner smell. The MAC Strobe Cream was my product choice for May. This is a moisturizing cream that you can use to give you a subtle glow or you can use it as a highlighter. It worked well as a highlighter. It gave me a pearly look. The final products in my Birchbox were the evo mane tamer shampoo and conditioner. They smell great and did smooth my hair out some. In the past, Birchbox has counted a shampoo and conditioner from the same line as one product, so I’m a little disappointed that they didn’t do that this time.
The May Glossybox was just so-so. The one product I didn’t like was the Spa to You Deep Pore Cleansing Facial Brush and Massager. The bristles were a little too rough and scratchy to want to use them on my face. The Kevin.Murphy Hydrate-Me.Masque gave me some much needed hydration for my hair. The masque and the Vitry Nail Repair Care were my favorite products in the box. The Vitry is a base coat/nail treatment that is supposed to get your nails back in shape after two weeks. My nails do look a little better now. The Rodial XXL Lip Liner in Nude worked well enough, but there wasn’t anything special about it that made me like it more than other lip liners. The color matched my lips pretty well, so it could be used with a variety of lipsticks, but I prefer clear liners. The final product was the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm. It smells so good! This is a great way to get your makeup off without drying out your skin. My only problem with it was that I found it a little hard to remove.
The May DermStore BeautyFix was a little lackluster. It wasn’t horrible, but it definitely wasn’t the best box I’ve seen DermStore put out. My favorite product in the box was the Daily Concepts Your Stretch Wash Cloth. When I first heard there would be a stretch wash cloth, I was a little confused. I thought it would be your regular square wash cloth with some spandex in it. Instead, it’s a long, skinny rectangle with handles on each side, so it makes it easy to wash your back and other hard-to-reach places. This is great for people with mobility issues. Best of all, it was gently exfoliating. The AHAVA Dead Sea Water Mineral Hand Cream is a lightweight lotion that is perfect for summer. It has a fresh, clean scent to it that I love. The SmartFX Smartlash Advanced Eyelash Enhancer is supposed to promote lash and brow growth if you apply it twice a day. I can’t say I noticed much of a difference, but I imagine you’d have to use it for a while to see results. The NuFACE Prep-n-Glow cloth was first featured in the November BeautyFix, so I was surprised to see it again so soon. It is a disposable makeup remover cloth that has a textured side that you can use to exfoliate your skin with after removing your makeup with the smooth side. I like it, but I wouldn’t pay $1 per cloth for it. I got another Vita Liberata self-tanner, the 10 Minute Tan. You apply this, wait ten minutes, then rinse it off. This gave me less color than the one in the Birchbox, but it wasn’t bad. The Cōtz Face Natural-Tinted Sunscreen is tinted and, unfortunately, is a little too dark for me. It’s more for medium skin tones. The Manna Kadar primer was silicone-based, so I didn’t like it. Silicone primers just don’t work well with my greasy T-zone. It feels like a thick layer of it sits on top of my skin and that the makeup is floating above it. The Replenix Enriched Eye Repair Cream seemed nice enough, but it’s hard to see anti-aging effects after using a product for a short amount of time. At $85, it’s a little on the expensive side. The final product was the Tula Hydrating Day and Night Cream. This was moisturizing, but it wasn’t overly heavy, so it’s the perfect moisturizer for spring and summer.
My May PopSugar Must Have Box was just okay. My favorite product in the box was the TOCCA Montauk Candelina, which has a salt air and cucumber scent. It was a little sweeter than I expected, but I liked it. The Swing Design Essex Frame is a nice, basic frame. It’s attractive, but a little boring. The only beauty product in the box was Lipstick Queen’s Mornin’ Sunshine, which looks like a bright yellow lipstick, but goes on as a soft coral. It wasn’t bold enough for me, but Emily liked it. The Samantha Faye cuff had “be good. do good. feel good.” engraved in it. Inspirational things aren’t really my style, but I tried wearing it a couple of times. After the second time of wearing it, the silver plating started to wear off. I wrote to PopSugar about it and they said they would send me a replacement, but I’ve yet to get it. I know plating will wear off after a while, but it should take longer than two days. The snack for May was the Southern Culture Strawberry Muffin Mix. They were just okay. The strawberry flavor was not that strong. Finally, PopSugar sent a selection of greeting cards — a birthday card, a thank you card, and a card that just says Hello. They are all blank on the inside. These are cute cards, but not that exciting to get in a box.
I liked my May Play! by Sephora more than I thought I would when I first saw the spoilers. The Rahua Omega 9 Hair Mask gave me a little extra shine, but it wasn’t all that dramatic. I loved the other five products in the box. The Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil removed my makeup and left my face feeling squeaky clean without drying it out. You’re supposed to use this before Tatcha’s Polished Classic Rice Enzyme Powder. I prefer Polished, but I also like Pure. Belif’s Hungarian Water Essence is a lightweight serum that gives your skin some hydration, but not too much, so it will be good for the summer when my skin is on the oily side. I could see using this over another serum and skipping the moisturizer. The trèStiQue highlighter gave me a beautiful, shimmery highlight that wasn’t over the top and blended well. TOCCA’s Stella is my favorite TOCCA perfume. It’s a fresh floral with notes of blood orange, white freesia, and sandalwood. The product that surprised me the most in the box was the NUDESTIX Magnetic Matte Lip Color in Greystone. It’s a medium brown and I tend to steer clear of brown lipstick. I almost didn’t even want to try it on, but I did and ended up loving it. It was a little on the dry side, but it had excellent staying power and looked surprisingly good on me. I got quite a few compliments. It won’t be an everyday color for me, but I’ll be using it on occasion. That’s what I love about beauty boxes — sometimes, they’ll push you out of your comfort zone and you’ll discover a product you never would have tried on your own.
The May Julep box fabulous. This was the first time I loved all the nail polish colors enough to get the Polish Lover’s upgrade, which gives you all the polishes from that month’s collection. All the colors were matte shimmer which means they have a matte base and finish but also have shimmer. I loved the finish. My favorite color was Eve, which Julep calls an iridescent lilac matte shimmer. Lida, a sunflower yellow matte shimmer, was a close second. The other colors were Marina (royal raspberry matte shimmer), Rendee (ultraviolet matte shimmer), Channon (water lily white matte shimmer), Alexandria (coral oasis matte shimmer), and Sarai (emerald isle matte shimmer). I chose three add ons — Julep When Pencil Met Gel liner in Bronze Shimmer, Julep Nail Color in Tranquil Taurus, which Julep describes as a grounded honey wheat metallic, plus an extra polish from the May collection for a friend who wanted it. The free gift I got for the three add ons was the nail polish Kimball, which Julep calls a high-voltage watermelon vivid sheer. Kimball wasn’t my favorite, but I liked the soft gold Tranquil Taurus. The eyeliner has become one of my go-to liners. It’s a nice medium brown with just a touch of shimmer.
When FabFitFun sells out of a season’s box before the next season, they often put together an Editor’s Box, which is a mix of products from past boxes and products that are new to FabFitFun. The Spring FabFitFun Editor’s Box wasn’t quite as good as the regular spring box, but I still loved it. I liked that they included a Gypsy05 roundie, but that they had different colors from the regular spring box. I got the Cool Geometrical design in this box. In the two regular spring boxes I got, I had gotten the Yellow Paisley and Warm Geometrical, so I was happy to get a third color as I love the roundies. The roundies can be used as a beach or picnic blanket, a wall-hanging, or a throw for the back of a couch or chair. They’re cute and versatile. FabFitFun always has jewelry and they had a LuvAJ lariat necklace for this box. This wasn’t from a previous FFF box, so it was nice to get something different. It’s cute and I’ve been wearing it often. The Rifle Paper Co. Herb Garden Coasters were also new to the Editor’s Box. They’re made of heavy paperboard, so they can be used a few times if you aren’t too hard on them. I love the pretty floral designs on them. The Marrakesh Oil in Original Scent is a hair oil that makes my hair soft, smooth, and shiny without weighing it down. The scent is warm and spicy, which usually isn’t my type of scent, but I actually really liked it in this. There were two products that had originally been in the winter FFF box — the O.R.G. Skincare Mineral Peel Face and the Anderson Lilley Beach Butter Body Cream in Winter in Manhattan Beach. The O.R.G. peel is an easy, fast way to exfoliate and get your face looking smooth and feeling soft. The Anderson Lilley body cream is fabulous! It is thick and moisturizing, but absorbs quickly. The best part of it is the beautiful scent. You could get either the Winter in Manhattan Beach or Sicilian Tangerine scents. I love citrus, so I was really hoping to get the Sicilian Tangerine, but I got the other scent both times. The scent of Winter in Manhattan Beach is very fresh and clean. Everyone who smells it loves it! I added the Sicilian Tangerine scent to my add ons for the summer box because I’ve wanted to try it so badly. The Things Coloring Book and Colored Pencil set and the Spongellé body buffer in Bulgarian Rose were both originally in the fall box. The coloring book is okay. It’s good if you want to color something, but don’t want to color one of those very intricate pictures that will take hours. The colored pencils aren’t of great quality, so I recommend using your own pencils, crayons, or markers. The Spongellé is a sponge infused with body wash. The rose scent is a little too strong for me, but it’s not bad. It gives you all-over exfoliation. The final product was the RealHer Playbook Eyeshadow Palette I in Be Your Own Kind of Beauty. This is a palette of warm nudes and neutrals. The eyeshadow is of great quality and stays on all day, but I wish that the colors were a little bolder. I can’t wait to see the summer box from FabFitFun! They always hit it out of the park.
My May Kloverbox was a lot of fun. My favorite product was the I was a Sari Loop Scarf. These are scarves made from upcycled saris by women in India. All the scarves I’ve seen have had different prints. I wish my print was a little more colorful as navy and taupe aren’t my favorite colors, but it’s still pretty and of excellent quality. I’ve tried the Yarok Feed Your Ends Leave-in Conditioner before and liked how it made my ends soft. It also is supposed to detangle hair, but my hair isn’t long enough to get tangled. The bottle of New Chapter Perfect Hair, Skin, and Nails Dietary Supplement is supposed to make your hair and nails healthier and stronger with biotin, plus it contains astaxanthin to fight signs of aging. It’s hard to see results in such a short period of time, but I was glad to have the chance to try it. The Meadowlark Botanicals Orange Cuticle Cream smells fabulous. This is supposed to moisturize and repair skin, soften callouses, and strengthen nails. I’ve been hard on my nails lately and this was just the thing I needed. My nails and cuticles are looking better than they have in a while. Finally, there was the Ballerina Botanicals Green Beauty Barre Spirulina Soap with Matcha Green Tea and Peppermint Oil. It was a moisturizing soap that has a strong peppermint scent that I loved.
The May Mommy Mailbox had an Honor theme because of Mother’s Day. It was the first time there was something in the box meant specifically for mothers, the book The Magic of Motherhood: The Good Stuff, the Hard Stuff, and Everything In Between. Despite being called Mommy Mailbox, the products would usually make most women happy, whether they are mothers or not. I haven’t had a chance to read the book yet, but it looks interesting. The 10-pack of lavender Papermart paper straws was cute. While the straws are paper, they hold up pretty well. I wouldn’t recommend reusing them, but they’re good for one use. My favorite product in the box was the Manna Kadar Beauty Flutter Mascara in Jet Black. It gave me lots of length, a good amount of volume, didn’t clump, and had a curling effect. You’re sure to get at least one Manna Kadar product a month if you get a number of subscription boxes. Most of their products are okay, but nothing to write home about. I really liked their mascara, though. This is probably my favorite Manna Kadar product. We also got a hammered metal Kendra Phillips ring. The metal is thick and the design is a little minimalist, but it’s cute and should look good with just about anything. One side of it is open, so it is adjustable. The final products this month were the Lake Champlain Chocolates in Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate Hazelnut. The milk chocolate was plain, but good. I prefer dark chocolate, though. I loved the dark chocolate hazelnut.
The May Goodbeing was the best Goodbeing I’ve gotten in months. The only product I didn’t like all that much was the Previse Skincare HydroFoam Hyaluronic Moisturizer. I like lightweight moisturizers in the summer, but this moisturizer was too light. It’s a foam and it feels like I’m just putting water on my face. I need a little more moisture than it provides. The Honeybee Gardens Truly Natural Mascara is a great daytime mascara. It gave me some length and volume, but it wasn’t quite dramatic enough for a night on the town. There was a second moisturizer in my box, the Bella Aura Daily Repair Moisturizer. This was a good lightweight moisturizer for summer. Fortunately, it wasn’t as light as the Previse moisturizer. It hydrated my skin without making it feel greasy. The scent of it is too strong, but it goes away once it is absorbed. EO Products’ Lavender Hand Sanitizer Wipes use sugar cane ethanol to disinfect. The lavender scent is strong, but it’s not bad. These are great to keep in your purse for when you touch something gross but there’s no sink nearby. The final product this month was the NOTO Botanics Multi-Benne Tint LIPS + EYES + CHEEKS. This is an orange-based red that looked beautiful on my lips and gave my cheeks a nice, healthy flush. It was my favorite product in my May Goodbeing.
The Petit Vour in May wasn’t my favorite, but it wasn’t bad. The HAN Skin Care Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Sunset had excellent staying powder and I liked the formula, but the color wasn’t really for me. The Mullein and Sparrow Balancing Face Mist worked well as a toner, but the geranium scent wasn’t my favorite. My favorite product in the May Petit Vour was the Juara Java Plum and Avocado Nourishing Mask. You can use this as an overnight mask, or you can apply the mask and rinse it off after 10-20 minutes. It’s very hydrating and would have been perfect for the winter when my skin gets dry. The Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Muscle Bath and Shower Oil is a blend of rosemary, black pepper, lavender, and ginger essential oils. To use this, you massage a capful of the oil onto your torso, breathe the scent in, then take a shower. It smells great, but I didn’t notice any effect on my muscles.
The May Terra Bella Box was amazing! It was my favorite Terra Bella Box ever. Everything in the box smelled fabulous. My favorite product was the Three Sisters Apothecary Bath Salt Soak in Lemongrass. I love bath salts and was so happy to get some with a strong citrus scent. It made my bath very relaxing. The Bonjour Jolie Lilac Body Lotion was also fantastic. I love the scent of lilac, but it’s not a scent you see often in bath and body products. The Lizush Natural Grapefruit Soap also smelled beautiful. Grapefruit is another one of my favorite scents. Best of all, the soap is moisturizing. The final product was the Clean Living Collection Flowers and Mud Mask. This didn’t smell quite as good as the other products, but it still smelled great. It’s a powder clay mask that you mix with a little water, apply to your face, allow to dry, then rinse. It’s exfoliating and moisturizing, plus it fights acne. It made my skin feel soft and smooth, but it didn’t dry my skin out as many clay masks do.
Choosing favorite boxes and products is always difficult. I can never choose just one box or product. My favorite boxes this month were Terra Bella Box, Play! by Sephora, FabFitFun Editor’s Box, and Julep.
As for favorite products, I narrowed it down to six. My favorites were Three Sisters Apothecary Bath Salt Soak in Lemongrass from Terra Bella Box, Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil from Play! by Sephora, TOCCA Montauk Candelina from PopSugar Must Have, Julep When Pencil Met Gel Long-Lasting Eyeliner from Julep, Julep Nail Color in Eve from Julep, and I was a Sari Loop Scarf from Kloverbox. I didn’t plan it this way, but it ended up that I chose a bath product, a skincare product, a home product, a makeup item, a nail polish, and an accessory, so I have something from every big category except hair care. I have some runners-up that almost made the cut for favorite products but weren’t quite there. The runners-up were Lizush Natural Grapefruit Soap and Bonjour Jolie Lilac Body Lotion, both from Terra Bella Box, the Gypsy05 Roundie in Cool Geometrical from FabFitFun, the Daily Concepts Your Stretch Wash Cloth from DermStore BeautyFix, the NUDESTIX Magnetic Matte Lip Color in Greystone, and the Caked Makeup Lip Fondant in Low Key from ipsy.
That’s it for May boxes! There were a lot of great boxes and a lot of okay boxes, but no boxes that were terrible. I’m excited for the June boxes as summer boxes are often my favorites. What did you think of your May boxes?