I love the idea of beauty boxes in theory, but in practice I’m not so keen. Often they contain non-cruelty-free products, which means it’s pointless me signing up, and I don’t really like the idea of setting up a subscription for something that’s so hit and miss. I’ve seen too many reviews essentially dismissing beauty box contents as ‘meh’ to ever be truly taken in.
The Naturisimo Discovery Box is slightly different. You see what you get before you buy and every payment is a one-off, so you only ever buy the boxes that interest you. When I saw the Gorgeous Hair Discovery Box in their newsletter I was intrigued and immediately put my order in. Luxury, cruelty-free hair care in generous sample sizes, all for £12.95 including delivery (even though it’s worth £37?)? Sign me up.
I much prefer trying sample sizes of pricier products before I splash out on the full-size — just in case — and I’d never tried any of these brands before. Plus I really, really need to wean myself off silicones and start using more natural hair products — all the silicone products start off great and then just end up weighing my hair down, and ain’t nobody got time for that.
Evolve Superfood Shine Shampoo (v), sample 60ml, full-size £12 for 250ml
Love love love. A foamy shampoo that leaves my hair feeling clean and swishy, without weighed down roots. It’s also gentle enough not to irritate my sensitive scalp. I’m taking it away on holiday with me for sure.
Evolve Superfood Shine Conditioner (v), sample 60ml, full-size £14 for 250ml
Feels very light on the hair — almost too light — and I began to wonder if it would even do anything. I needn’t have worried, because it injects a whole lot of moisture into the ends and makes my hair hella shiny. It may even beat my Yes To Coconut Ultra Moisture Conditioner (although it doesn’t smell as good!)
John Masters Rose and Apricot Hair Milk, sample 30ml, full-size £25 for 118ml
I was expecting something a lot more liquid since this is a hair milk, but it’s actually quite thick, more like a cream. A milkshake? Anyway, it softens the ends of my hair without weighing them down and gives them a bit of a moisture boost to boot. The apricot smell is subtle but it’s definitely there, and it’s rather yummy.
John Masters Sweet Orange & Silk Protein Styling Gel (v), sample 10ml, full-size £17 for 236ml
I’m gonna be completely honest with you — in all the excitement of trying everything else, I haven’t touched this since I photographed it. Gel just isn’t exciting, and in fact I tend to associate it with the days when I took ballet classes and had to have my hair ruthlessly slicked back into a bun. The gel always encrusted my hair so it was rock solid, so I’m sure you can see why my memories of it aren’t particularly fond. I’m going to pass this on to someone who might actually get some use from it.
Intelligent Nutrients Volumizing Hair Spray, sample 60ml, full-size £30 for 200ml
Another product I fell in love with. Now, I can’t be bothered with heat styling — it takes forever, it makes my arm ache, and most of the time my hair looks great for an hour and then just goes frizzy and dry. But when I used this on my hair after it’d been in plaits, my god did I notice a difference. Normally the waves either frizz up or go all limp and stringy, even if there’s no product on them, but a few spritzes of this and they stayed shiny and beachy all day, even though it was incredibly humid. Miracle might be stretching it a bit, since it does go a little crispy if you spray too close, but I think this spray is something I need in my life from now on.
Swell Ultimate Protect and Renew Serum (v), sample 30ml, full-size £20 for 50ml
I’m often wary of serums making my hair greasy but I had no such problems with this. My hair actually felt silky, which is incredibly rare, and it didn’t make my curls go limp either. The real test is how well it does its job when I leave the house, because as soon as I step outside I turn into Monica from Friends, Barbados style, but I had no problems whatsoever. Shiny, silky hair, for once in my life? Yes please.
Have you tried any of these products? And what are your thoughts on beauty boxes? Let me know in the comments!
(v) = vegan
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Beth, 25, South East England.
Lover of books, dogs, yoga, travel, gin, and the Oxford comma.
I write about cruelty-free beauty, vegan & veggie food, and trying to lead a less wasteful life. I throw the odd think piece in there, too.