Review: QVC New Beauty Test Tube, Q2 2013

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – QVC’s New Beauty Test Tube is one of the best beauty subs around. As much as I love my monthly subs, like Birchbox, there is something “special” about getting this bright pink tube filled with goodies once a quarter.

My 2013 2nd Quarter tube arrived in mid-April. There is always the option to skip a shipment – and I debated skipping this one – but there were a few items included that won me over. At this point, I’ve been able to try everything in the tube, and while there isn’t a throwaway in the bunch, favorites did emerge.

IMG_0253Tube contents this quarter (full-size cost and size/sample value):

1-fl oz Algenist Triple-Action Micropolish and Peel ($75 for 2 oz/$37.50)
6-fl oz WEN by Chaz Dean Replenishing Treatment Mist (full size sample! $27.00)
0.04-oz tarte Skinny smolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Eyeliner (full size sample! $19.00)
1-fl oz Peter Thomas Roth Antiaging Cleansing Gel ($35 for 8.5 oz/$4.12)
0.39-fl oz Mally Beauty Volumizing Mascara in Black (full size sample! $20.00)
0.4-fl oz philosophy hope in a jar night ($48 for 2 oz/$9.60)
0.17-fl oz Josie Maran Argan Oil ($48 for 1.7 oz/$4.80)
0.60-fl oz Perfect Formula Manicure Booster (full size sample! $21.00)
NewBeauty magazine (n/a – it sells for $10/issue and it’s a perfectly fine magazine – albeit a bit too focused on plastic surgery – but I don’t count this as an added value to the overall Test Tube)

A few of my faves from this tube…

IMG_0258This is my first time trying Wen – which receives rave review all around the internets – and I like this product quite a bit. I’ve used it primarily on my hair, and it falls somewhere in between a detangler and a “foundation” product to help with the layering of other products. Also sooo happy that I didn’t get the lavender scent! I love fig scents and this one is perfect.

IMG_0256Perfect Formula is not a brand I was previously familiar with at all, but this appears to be some sort of wonder-nail-drug. My manicures have been lasting DAYS longer than they usually do, with NO chipping. I’m thinking this is a HG nail product.

IMG_0257My ongoing love affair with Tarte continues. I received a regular sized smolderEYES pencil in a previous test tube, and the “skinny” version works just as well. You know how people say certain eyeliners glide on like a dream? Well, that cliche was created for products like this. The color is gorgeous, too – a bronze shade with golden undertones. A little more versatile than the navy smolderEYES I already own.

The total value of this quarter’s Test Tube is $143.02 and it contained 4 full-size products – that makes it the best value AND the most full-size products of any Tube I’ve received so far. Even with s/h costs, this beauty sub is far and away the biggest bang for your buck. The biggest complaint I’ve heard/read is that they tend to sample from the same brands over and over (tarte, Mally Beauty, etc). That does seem to be the case, but they are great brands, and not ones I had tried widely before, so that doesn’t bother me at all.

Here’s how past QVC/NBTT’s stack up:
2013 Q1 Tube: Total value of $132.08, 3 full-size products
2012 Q3 Tube: Total value of $102.68, 2 full-size products

Review: QVC New Beauty Test Tube (Q3 2012)

When I signed up for automatic shipments of QVC’s New Beauty Test Tube, one of the past quarter’s test tubes was still available for purchase. And contained two products that I’d been wanting to use for quite some time. How did I show such amazing self-restraint and not purchase it? I guess we’ll never know…

QVC_2012 Q3_entire box

The contents of my QVC 2012 Quarter 3 Test Tube:

QVC_2012 Q3_Laura Geller eye spackle

Laura Geller Waterproof Eye Spackle {full size, $23 value}: An eyeshadow primer with major staying power – I’ve used this several times and been pleased with the results. It comes with a “click pen” dispenser and I learned the hard way not to get too much product on my lids – it seems to work best with just a little dab. I’m not sure I would pay this much for an eye primer in general, but it’s definitely a product I’ll use regularly and was nice to receive as part of the Test Tube.

QVC_2012 Q3_josie maran

Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil Daily Moisturizer {full size 1.7 oz for $48; sample size .17 oz with value of $4.80}. This was one of the products I had been majorly wanting to try, and prompted my purchase of the Test Tube. So far, I’ve used it as a face oil and also on my hair (ends only). I couldn’t tell a major difference in my hair, but I did like the results on my skin. It made me glowy, but in a “perfect skin” kind of way, versus oily. It’s a small bottle but I think it will last for quite a while – a little goes a long way with this product.

QVC_2012 Q3_Bliss body butter

bliss lemon+sage body butter {1.7 oz for $6}. Bliss products have never let me down – my main experience with them has been via hotel toiletries (W Hotels stock mini versions of their products in their rooms). The scent is fresh and citrusy, and it’s always great to have small versions of body lotion on hand. No complaints here.

QVC_2012 Q3_mally lip shine

Mally High Shine Liquid Lip Color in “Starburst” {full size, value of $20}. This is a gorgeous color – the perfect shade of pink for me. I’ve written before about my love for these lip glosses – it’s so rare to find one that isn’t drying (for me, at least) AND has staying power. This is definitely in my regular rotation for lip color.

QVC_2012 Q3_Ojon conditioner

Ojon Damage Reverse Restorative Conditioner {full size 8.5 oz for $25; sample size is 2 oz with a value of $5.88}. I love this conditioner – it makes my hair soft and shiny, and it smells fabulous – sort of woodsy meets perfumey but not too much of either, if that makes sense. I’ve been pairing this with a clarifying shampoo that I received in my January Birchbox. I always love experimenting with different hair products, and this is a stand-out.

QVC_2012 Q3_philosophy gel

philosophy love sweet love shampoo, bath & shower gel {full size 16 oz for $24; sample size is 1 oz with a value of $1.50}. Shower gel is one of those things that is always nice to receive in a subscription box, but not something that I’m passionate about. I use a mix of high and low brands and philosophy is a nice addition. This scent is a little too “perfumey” for my tastes, but nothing that would make me not use this up.

QVC_2012 Q3_Smashbox primerSmashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer {full size 1 oz for $36; sample size is .5 oz with a value of $18}. This was the second product that made me jump for this Test Tube. I’ve heard amazing things about this primer and from my experience so far, every word is true. It gives my skin a nice matte-ish finish and keeps foundation and blush in place all day long. I didn’t start using primer until recently, but it really does make a huge difference. Especially, I think, for someone like me who doesn’t wear a lot of face make-up – instead of wearing off by the afternoon, my makeup looks as good at 4 PM as it did at 7 AM at the original application. This is going on my “must buy” list for when the sample runs out.

QVC_2012 Q3_Algenist

Algenist Firming Cream {full size 2 oz for $94; sample size is .5 oz with a value of $23.50}. Algenist wasn’t a brand I was familiar with before my Test Tube subscription, but I’m now the proud owner of this firming cream and their eye cream.  I’ve used this a few times – waiting to use up some other product before I switch my focus – but it leaves my skin in a great state. I can’t tell any major “firming” results (which I’m not really looking for at this stage of the game anyways) but it is definitely a high-impact moisturizer.

If it’s not totally obvious already, I’m absolutely in love with the QVC New Beauty Test Tube subscription. It offers major bang for the buck – both of the tubes I received have a value of 3-4 times what I originally paid – and has a great array of different types of products and brands. I also like the fact that it only comes quarterly – it makes it seem more special and it’s fun to receive so many products in just one delivery.

Review: QVC New Beauty Test Tube (Q1 2013)

QVC’s New Beauty Test Tube is a quarterly subscription that has been around for a few years. I was unfamiliar with it until I stumbled across some reviews online. It seemed like an incredible value and I liked the idea of a quarterly subscription with larger sample sizes versus a monthly box with smaller samples. Each quarter runs around $39.00 with S&H – which breaks down to $13/month, less than I was paying for Beauty Bar’s Sample Society. (This is how I’m justifying my Test Tube subscription – I’m dropping Sample Society AND saving $24! I feel better already.)

QVC_2013 Q1_entire box

As you can see, a wide variety of products and very generous sample sizes. Plus that cute hot pink tube – how could anyone resist?

QVC_2013 Q1_Julep polish

The first item I pulled out of the tube was this Julep Rapid-Dry Nail Color in Melanie. This is a full sized product worth $14.00. Julep’s website describes the color as a “pastel indigo metallic chrome” and it’s absolutely gorgeous. But here was my inner monologue upon further inspection:

Ooooh pretty.

Nope, I’m too old for this.

Am I, really? I could pull it off.

You are definitely too old for this.

My sensible side won out on this one – I’m looking forward to trying Julep’s polish, but this isn’t the right color for me. I’m saving it for my sister, who is much more fashionable and trendy (oh, and younger) than me.

QVC_2013 Q1_mally lip shine

Another full sized product, this Mally High-Shine Liquid Lip Color has a click applicator and imparts some serious shine. I received the color “Mally’s Look”, which is an opaque bubblegum shade that isn’t too juvenile and is perfect for everyday wear. My biggest gripe with lipgloss is that it tends to dry out my lips and doesn’t last long, but this product is ultra moisturizing and stays put. It retails at $20.00, which means the combined total of my first two items is almost more than the Test Tube itself! This is very promising.

QVC_2013 Q1_philosophy miracle workerThis next product is one of my favorite skincare items I’ve sampled: Philosophy’s Miracle Worker Lactic Acid Cleanser + Mask. I’m using it primarily as a mask (it goes on like a cleanser but instead of washing it off immediately, you leave it on for about 5 minutes) and the result is some seriously glowing skin. From searching online, it looks like it’s harder to buy unless as part of a set, but a 16 oz. bottle will set you back $58.00, making this sample’s value around $7.25.

QVC_2013 Q1_tarte eye linerNext up? The third full size item in this Test Tube. Tarte’s smolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Liner retails for $22.00. For those of you keeping track, that means I’m only four products into this review, and the value is already over $60 – well above what I paid. My eyeliner shade is Navy – a very pretty, dark blue color with just a hint of shimmer. The liner goes on like a dream – hands down one of the easiest eyeliners I’ve ever used – and comes with a “smudger” on one end. I wore this to work last week and my 72 year old boss commented on how nice my eyes looked! It’s not much, but I’m going to call that a win. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for this product in the stores – I’d love to have a few more colors in my collection.

QVC_2013 Q1_AlgenistAlgenist was not a brand that I was familiar with, but it gets rave reviews online and in the general beauty community. This sample of Complete Eye Renewal Balm is a good size and has a value of $30.33, since the full size (15 ml) costs a whopping $65.00. I’ve never used eye cream regularly, but I’m sold on anything anti-aging and after a few uses, this does appear to minimize undereye circles and brighten my face in general.

QVC_2013 Q1_ole henriksenAnother generous sized sample, the Ole Henriksen Truth Crème can be used morning and night as a brightening moisturizer. At a value of $13.50, this is a generous sized sample and a brand that I’ve always wanted to try. It is definitely on the heavier side for my somewhat oily skin, but it makes a great winter moisturizer and I saw brightening results literally overnight. This has earned a spot in my regular skincare rotation.

QVC_2013 Q1_Nick Chavez conditionerThis bottle of Nick Chavez Advanced Volume Conditioner promises to make my hair “more luscious” and full of volume. I have thick hair, so I’m not necessarily seeking out more volume, but this conditioner paired well with my weekly clarifying shampoo, restoring moisture and making my hair incredibly soft. A full sized, 8 oz. bottle retails for $24.00, which makes gives this sample a value of $6.00. Also, it’s pretty and purple, which means my husband won’t try to use it.

QVC_2013 Q1_bliss hand creamThe last product in this quarter’s Test Tube was High Intensity Hand Cream from Bliss. I received the Macadamia Oil version, which was perfectly nice but I would have preferred the Blood Orange + White Pepper scent. This is the perfect size to throw in my purse (1 oz.) and has a sample value of $9.00. It will come in handy (no pun intended) for achieving my New Year’s resolution of being one of those girls that always has nice looking nails.

Overall, I am thrilled with the QVC New Beauty Test Tube. This tube had three full-sized products and the rest were all very generous sizes. Including the issue of New Beauty magazine that comes with each Test Tube, the total value of this tube is $132.08, which is well over three times what I paid ($39). This is my new favorite subscription and I can’t wait to see what next quarter has in store.