Monday, January 27, 2014

Vegan Cuts' Beauty Box - September 2013

Remember how excited I was to sign up for the Vegan Cuts' Beauty Box??? Finally, a subscription box for the vegan and cruelty-free peeps, right?!?

I received my last box in September. Unfortunently, I experienced a problem with one of the items and it took this long for me to want to share it with you.

I hate posting negative reviews because I always think that my experience could just be a snafu and not typical. I am always patient and willing to work with a company. But when they take advantage of my patience I draw the line. Perhaps they didn't realize I wasn't happy with the outcome. However, I provide lots of info when reporting an issue; if the company was really listening to their customers they would see that I provided all of the info initially and would facilitate the process. However, I felt I was given the run around and that they continually played dumb. Perhaps they were hoping I would just get tired of going back & forth? Regardless, it would have taken much less time and effort to simply replace the item.

Click the link below to read a full breakdown of each item.

Beauty Without Cruelty, Premium Aromatherapy Shampoo, Lavender Highland, Revitalizes All Hair Types. 2 fl. oz. - I got 3 full uses out of this small bottle and I can definitely attest to this being an 'aromatherapy' shampoo. The smell is very prominent and filled my shower with the herbal scent of pure lavender. This is definitely not a fake lavender scent; you know, the sickening sweet one. I actually used it with the BWC daily conditioner and leave-in conditioner and had great results (more about my BWC haul at the end of this post). I would have appreciated the conditioner to go with this. Usually you get both a Shampoo & Conditioner with hair samples. (Retail Value $2.99)

Manic Panic Pretty In Punk Mix, Side B, Eyeshadow Compact - This is the product I had issues with; it arrived seriously damaged so I sent an email to the company through their email system on their website. I could not attach a photo but I let them know I would be happy to send them a photo. Here is a photo I took when I initially opened the palette:

My email was clear & concise. Their response was instructions on how to re-pot the eye shadows; nothing else. My mouth literally hung open. This clearly is not one of those situations where I could just dump it into a small bowl, add some alcohol and put it back in the pan. The two shadows have blended. So, I wrote back to let them know. I sent a separate email with the above photo. I received a response asking if I had filled out the replacement request form. I responded that I was never provided the link to the form. I received a response with a link to the replacement request form. I completed the form and indicated that I was no longer enrolled in the subscription service. The response I received was that I would receive an extra item in my next box. After I already indicated that I was no longer enrolled in the subscription service. Wouldn't it had been 100% better if they had fully explained the process in the first email? I work in customer service and I know that you should always set expectations for the customer; You should explain the process in the very beginning. After 4 days of dealing with this whole thing I decided I was over it. I knew that even if they did send me a new product it wouldn't fix the hassle & runaround I already went through. The Retail Value of this item is $12.00 but since mine was a disaster I ended up trashing it. I won't include it in my total retail value at the end of this post.

Weleda Indulgent Body Lotion Kit - This kit comes with 4 - .68 oz. Travel Size tubes. Each has a different scent: Citrus (Hydrating), Sea Buckthorn (Replenishing), Wild Rose (Pampering), and Pomegranate (Regenerating). Petroleum-free, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Free, Paraben-Free, and Mineral Oil-Free. These are very strongly scented; they smell really good and different from most products. If you like Bath & Body Works you will probably like these too. The consistency of the lotion is a little on the runny side but it also means a little goes a long way. They hydrate and moisturize really nicely. Initially they feel a little greasy but it soaks in quickly. My favorites were Wild Rose (smelled like a real rose) and Citrus (I love the mini wake up I get from citrus scents). This kit is actually available at Target for $ 13.49. I wish I would have posted this before Christmas because these would make great stocking stuffers. (Retail Value $13.50)

(P.S.) I also received a 2 ml packet of Weleda's Citrus Refreshing Body Oil. If you like body oils you will like this one; the scent was just like the lotion and it was bright and refreshing (as promised). You can also get a Variety 6-pack of their body oils at Target. (Free Sample)

Good Clean Love, Almost Naked Personal Lubricant - I was actually very happy to try this product. I used to be a Passion Parties Independent Consultant and my #1 seller and favorite product was lubricant; specifically their Revelation Lubricant. Good Clean Love's boasts that it's edible, long-lasting, and paraben-free. Infused with a touch of lemon & vanilla. 95% organic ingredients, no petrochemicals, no glycerin, recommended by medical professionals, and safe with latex & toys.

When the hubby and I tried this I found it dried out quickly but then again we were limited on the amount. It's not as slippery or wet as Astroglide, which can be too thick for some. The flavor was actually really good; it didn't have any synthetic or chemical taste. It was very light with just a touch of citrus. It's nice to find an edible lubricant that doesn't have a fake overwhelming flavor. I only wish they could have provided more than a small 4ml packet. (Retail Value .50)

GladRags - Washable, Breathable, all-cotton pantyliners. I use pantyliners religiously so I was interested to try this product. However, I was concerned about the whole 'washable' aspect. The pantyliner was not included in the box; there was a card with a link where I could order my free pantyliner. So, I jumped on my iPad and typed in the link only to find I was being charged for it. I sent an email to inquire about it and they were very prompt and courteous. They had me email my info to them so they could ship it out to me and I received it a week later. 

I have mixed feelings about the GladRag. For it to be functional in my life I would need to buy quite a few of them and they aren't all that inexpensive at $12.49 each. I wouldn't want to run the washer constantly because then I would be wasting water & electricity. I do like the idea of sustainability and these are really well made. I was thinking they looked smaller than most pantyliners but they are actually the same size as  'long' pantyliners. They are very soft 100% cotton. They have wings that have snaps to keep them in place. When I wore it I found the pantyliner to be comfortable and breathable; I thought I would notice it was thicker than disposable panty liners but it wasn't noticeable. I did have an issue with it sliding backwards and needed to reposition it a few times. 

nyl skincare Whipped Hand & Body Lotion (Organic), 1 fl. oz. - This is an all-natural lotion made with herbs, oils, and extracts. The whipped texture is really nice. It goes on pretty thick and greasy and requires a little time to be really rubbed in and absorbed by the skin but it moisturizes deeply. I love the smell; it's clean, fresh, and herbal. (Retail Value $5.00)

If you total up the retail value of everything (minus the Manic Panic Compact) you come to $34.48. If you include the Manic Panic Compact you come to $46.48. Clearly the product you receive totals up to more than the $19.95 subscription cost. However, I would prefer more cosmetics. They are also very small portions. I'm aware that cruelty-free and vegan products typically run more expensive and I do understand that they are quality products but if I'm really going to give something a trial run I need a larger supply. I prefer to buy my own bath & body products to test out for an extended period of time. I'm also kind of thrown on the inclusion of the washable pantyliner; yes, I use pantyliners and it peeked my interest but it just doesn't fit with my idea of a beauty box. I guess ultimately this just wasn't the best fit for me and that's ok. I am happy to move on and hopefully there will be more cruelty free options going forward.

I am very disappointed in the customer service I received from VeganCuts. Based on my experience I would not recommend this subscription box; I'm sure there are individuals that enjoy this beauty box but unfortunately it did not meet my expectations. I would, however, recommend many of the brands in this box. I recently made a nice Beauty Without Cruelty haul from Vitacost and am loving their stuff so far. I purchased some hair care and skin care products that I will be sharing with you shortly.

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