Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Nubar Nubar Red + Beauty Box 5 review

Last month, I was watching "Auntie Mame" (which is so not PC *at all*, but Rosalind Russell is one of my faves) when I suddenly got the urge to do my nails and to do them in red. I have a crapton of red cremes, but since I'd just gotten a new one in a subscription box, I figured I'd try it out.

This is Nubar's Nubar Red. Not very original and maybe not the most exciting introduction to Nubar for brand newbies or seasoned collectors (*cough*), but it's a good red creme and with a great formula and application.

And here is what the mini bottle looks like next to a regular-sized Nubar bottle:

Shown here is three coats, but you only need two. Did I mention that the formula was perfect? Dry time was great with SV, although the wear was not so great because I did a lot of cleaning that weekend. Ah, well. I'm not too disappointed because it's not the kind of red creme I tend to gravitate toward (I like vampy reds, red jellies, or saturated, BRIGHT reds -- to quote Landa, if it ain't bright, it ain't right).

I also wasn't disappointed because it was free! (Oh, come on.) Nubar Red was one of several colors included in Beauty Box 5's August 2013 box, which was sent to me at the beginning of October. A Beauty Box 5 rep contacted me in late September about reviewing it. I'd hemmed and hawed for a couple of weeks because I don't wear makeup, but Vee, the wonderful rep, convinced me that I was well within the company's target demographic. As she put it,

"From your email, you are quite the ideal person to review our box.  Beauty Box 5 was founded because of the concern you expressed-- not knowing anything about makeup AT ALL.  Our beauty box is aimed at introducing cosmetic products to women who have never tried makeup before, among other concerns.  Beauty Box slowly introduces new products to women without getting the overwhelming feeling one gets when stepping into a place such as Sephora or ULTA.  By slowly introducing products to women with the same concern as you, we give them the availability to test the products out before spending any money on full size items.
"Also, BB5 sends out a mixture of cosmetic items such as makeup, skin care, hair care, nail care, fragrances and beauty accessories, not just makeup.  We're happy to know that at least one product featured in our box is found useful by our customers."

With that fantastic response, how could I refuse?

This post was supposed to go up in mid-October once I'd tested the other products in the box, but it fell by the wayside after real life started to get insane. Without further ado, here's the August 2013 box:

Okay, let's get to it.

H2O Plus Aquafirm Microcollagen Moisturizer (0.27 fl. oz.) This was the product I actually used the most. I'm not a big skincare person (I use, like, two things, and one of them is Aquaphor), so I'm not familiar with skincare products and didn't know what to expect from this. Guys, this stuff does not play. My face was FIRM within seconds of applying this product. As a moisturizer, I didn't think it was as good as what I normally use (the Clinique Dramatically Different moisturizer), but it was especially fun to try once I'd Googled what a full-sized container of this tub costs. This was easily what would have been the most expensive product, so ... hey. Now I know.

Be a Bombshell Eyeshadow in Dancing Queen (full size!) This one, I absolutely did not use at all. I don't wear eyeshadow, so it would stand to reason that I had nothing on hand that would help me apply it. I accidentally did smudge a little bit of it on my finger, though, while I was closing it. I gotta say, this was pretty pigmented. I think I'll give it this to one of my friends and have her report back to you. I did read good things about these eyeshadows in all the other Beauty Box 5 reviews I Googled while waiting for my box, so perhaps it's something that might interest y'all.


I told you I was bad at this beauty stuff.

Bask Heavenly Silk Daily Skin Nourishing Moisturizer Anti-Aging & Firming Lotion (2 fl. oz.) I didn't really care for this lotion. I have sensitive skin in addition to being sensitive to scents, so this was just not for me. I used it once, and although my skin wasn't burning once I put it on, it also didn't agree with me. This sample bottle got passed on a long, long time ago, but I *believe* the scent here is nashi pear and mimosa. You know I love mimosas. I just did not love this one.

I didn't think this was particularly greasy and it moisturized OK, but the scent pretty much killed any interest I had in testing this one for a longer period of time, like I did with the H2O Plus sample.

Swissco Nail File Well, we all know what this is. Oops, I forgot to take a picture of the other side, which is a regular dark grey/black emery file, but it's your standard padded file. And that's fine. I love my Swissco glass file (from Sally's!) but padded files are nice to have, too. I don't know if this was meant for a particular grit, but next to the other products in this box, I admit this file was a little "whatever" to me.


As my introduction to subscription boxes, this wasn't too out there for me, but it didn't blow my hair back, either. I'm not sure if it's because cosmetics are as foreign to me as calculus; I will concede that the H2O Plus sample was probably the biggest "get" from the August box. Out of curiosity, I Googled posts about other months -- the October box looked particularly intriguing to me -- so it's really a hit or miss thing, and that's not specific to Beauty Box 5 ... that goes for every subscription box service.

There's a list on the company FAQ page about the kind of brands they work with, and a lot of those names are familiar even to a n00b like myself. So that, coupled with Vee's awesome 'customer service,' was why I decided to go ahead and accept a sample. (Seriously, she's great.)

So if you want to look into subscribing, here's what you need to know:
  • Beauty Box 5 ships to the contiguous U.S. and Canada
  • You must sign up by the 31st (or 30th) of the month to receive the next month's box.
  • A monthly subscription is $12, a quarterly subscription is $30, and a yearly subscription is $99. Pretty affordable, no? (depending on the box, of course) Recurring subscriptions automatically renew, so make sure you cancel it if you need to do that.

Aaaaaand that's all I've got. I wish I were more knowledgeable about makeup so I would have had something more substantial to say to you, but trust me on the customer service. That box came REAL QUICK after I eventually agreed to review it.

Now. When will the regular nail/real life content be back on this blog? The short answer is: I don't know. :( It all boils down to me being able to take decent NOTD photos at a decent ****ing hour -- and I haven't had any time to do that at all. (DISLIKE.) Please bear with me! If I can get next week's posts up, I'll consider that a huge success.


  1. Um, ok, that's the perfect effing red! Like, fo reals! And, baby Nubar bottles! So precious! (I still haven't worn mine....)

    And, bech, that file! Glitter everywhere, and way too gritty!

    Great review BTW, even for a non makeup person!

    1. Aw, thank you, Angie! I didn't think it was super gritty ... just boring, compared to the rest of the box, hahaha. I'm glad you liked the post ... I didn't think I would have much to say. :)

  2. When I think of Mame, I think of the one from the 70s with Lucille Ball and Bea Arthur (looovve Bea Arthur) :D

    1. That version would have been perfect if they had cast anyone else except Lucille Ball (and I respect her like crazy).


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