Let me begin my August Boxwalla review with a small apology for not having this review up sooner! I intended to get this review up when I had posted my review on the August limited edition box, but two separate health issues had me down for a large part of the month and got in the way of a few reviews I had wanted to get up this month. I regret to mention that the August box is sold out and that there aren’t any one-time boxes available, but if you have any interest in the featured products do read on because I have genuinely fallen in love with this month’s box.
Themed “The Curious Comfort of Skincare-like Things“, Boxwalla’s August Beauty Box* showcases three products to provide comfort to both skin and spirit, including a new-to-Boxwalla brand: Lovinah Supernatural Skincare, and a 2020 familiar from the February beauty box: Votary London.
What’s Included in the August Beauty Box:
- Lovinah Skincare Dragon’s Blood Vitamin C Cleansing Oil ($55 value) – an emulsifying guava-scented cleansing oil made with double encapsulated BHA (salicylic acid) for deep pore cleansing. Contains milk thistle, radish seed oil, guava seed oil, cloudberry seed oil, and lingoberries.
- Votary Super Seed Serum ($118 value) – an oat-based hydrating serum emulsion designed for sensitive and reactive skin types. The Super Seed serum helps the barrier become more resilient and stronger over time. Made with hyaluronic acid, broccoli seed, peptides, and more.
- Votary Intense Night Oil (travel size) – an anti-aging night time oil made with rosehip and retinoid to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for a more glowing and youthful complexion.
What is Boxwalla all about? To put it simply, they like to fill boxes with things that MUST be experienced. Boxwalla is a bi-monthly subscription box service that showcases artists and artisans from around the world giving the subscriber a choice of four different interests to choose from: The Beauty Box, The Food Box, The Film Box, and The Book Box. Each box is curated with context in mind and with a story to be told, each one delivering a beautiful sensory experience. Green beauty lovers will appreciate that they have high standards when it comes to ingredients and that they actually use, love, and enjoy the products they feature. Boxwalla typically features between 1-4 products including both full and generous deluxe travel-sizes. Their beauty box rings in at just $49.95 every other month, with each box valuing well over the price tag. If supply is available, they will offer one-time boxes after subscriptions close and they also offer non-renewing gift cycles.
lovinah skincare Dragon’s Blood vitamin C Cleansing Oil
“Dragon’s Blood Vitamin C and double encapsulated salicylic acid cleansing oil, is a highly concentrated vitamins and nutrient-rich luxury deep cleansing oil that emulsifies with water to completely remove heavy makeup, excess oil, dirt and other pore-clogging impurities.”
Lovinah’s Dragon’s Blood Cleansing Oil is a magical, magical formula and I’ve fallen head over heels for it. To be honest, I didn’t expect to love it as much as I do! I’m picky with my cleansing balms and oils (I do prefer a balm over oil) so for me it speaks volumes that I find it to be so good.
This guava-scented formula (which is so delicious) is made with a double encapsulated salicylic acid which acts as a slow release to the skin as it’s being massaged and mixed in with water and it even remains on the skin for hours afterward. I love and appreciate BHA’s for their deep pore-cleansing abilities – something that’s necessary to treat clogged pores which I’m highly prone to because of excess dead skin cells.
The marker for me that indicates how well it performs is whether or not it gets rid of the “grits”, which are dried sebum plugs that have plagued my pores for years. Not only does this loosen up and pull out the “grits”, but I feel like I’m getting a lot of them out that have been clogging my pores for months! After a good cleanse with the Dragon’s Blood my skin truly feels like it’s undergone a deep and thorough cleanse, but one that’s still easy enough on the skin that you can use it every night for maintenance. In particular, I have noticed that the pores on my nose are more clear than they used to be, which indicates this cleansing oil is helping to clear built up oxidized sebum. Many cleansing oil lovers will appreciate that this one emulsifies, which means that it can be rinsed away with water. I still use a good old warm damp washcloth to remove it for further exfoliation. If you’re on the hunt for a new cleansing oil, do put this one at the top of your list to try!
$55 retail value; 2 oz.
Votary Super Seed Serum
“For sensitive, redness-prone and irritated skin. Votary Super Seed Serum relieves redness while calming and softening skin. Cooling and refreshing on your skin, it leaves your skin more resilient and less reactive. Broccoli seed and rosehip oil deliver a natural lipid boost while hyaluronic acid increases hydration and plumps skin. Grape seed extract soothes reactive skin while natural and bio-engineered peptides boost skin’s natural defences by supporting lipid function and microbial balance.”
Votary’s Super Seed line was created with sensitive and reactive skin types in mind, formulating their products to be free of essential oils, fragrance ingredients, color, and known allergens. The Super Seed Serum is one of three super seed products we have been introduced to courtesy of Boxwalla, the former two being their Super Seed cream and oil.
The Super Seed Serum is an antioxidant-rich emulsion made with soothing + calming oat flour, hydrating sodium hyaluronate, broccoli seed oil, cloudberry seed oil, chia seed oil, pomegranate seed oil, sacha inchi, and skin-firming peptides. The blend of seed oils provides this serum with a slightly nutty, slightly cucumber scent and has a runny lotion consistency.
This serum is another one of those products that has done a 180 on me since my initial impression of it. For the first week I was using it, I wasn’t wow’d by this serum because it felt rather unremarkable and not as hydrating as other serums I have tried. After a week of morning and nightly use of it, my skin started to feel more plump and more hydrated, resulting in what feels like a more firm and thicker outer barrier. I understand now why this serum is thought to make the outer barrier more resilient and less reactive, because the plumping factor helps the outer barrier of skin become more strong. It’s also rather calming and cooling on the skin, which I appreciate after a cleanse to help reduce redness. I’ve nearly used up a quarter of this serum in just one month because I’m going crazy for it, slathering up with it every morning and night.
I think of this serum as being “skin food” in that it delivers much nourishment and nutrition, just without the bells and whistles of fragrance and colored ingredients. For that reason, it works so well in any routine both morning and night no matter my mood or my skin’s condition. Super trusty and reliable!
Highly recommend this serum for those looking for a good “base” of a hydrating serum, especially for anyone with sensitive or reactive skin types.
$118 retail value, 1.7oz.
Votary Intense Night Oil with Rosehip and Retinoid
“Votary Intense Night Oil combines rosehip and retinoid to smooth texture, even-out tone and give you younger, plumper-looking skin. Intense Night Oil is packed full of nature’s most powerful ingredients. Delicately fragranced with rose oil, it also contains nourishing avocado oil, tomato seed oil and rosehip oil. Extract of acmella flower is proven to improve dermal structure and results in firmer-feeling skin, while Australian sandalwood extract is a natural source of ximenyic acid to reduce redness and fine lines. These luxurious natural ingredients work with the rosehip and retinoid to nurture, nourish and restore the skin.”
I was a bit nervous before starting the Votary Intense Night Oil because I’m apprehensive about using chemical exfoliants (with the exception of BHA’s which I love) – I haven’t had good results with AHA’s and I don’t know if I need or am ready for retinoid. I have used another product with a gentle retinoid in it, but didn’t continue use for the fact that I didn’t like the product much.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that this oil is rather gentle and not “intense” in experience and that I actually enjoy this oil! It has a subtle scent with rose undertones, but not terribly noticeable which I do enjoy in a night oil. The consistency is rich and golden and cocoons the skin in silk, yet it absorbs really well and quickly. When I use this at night my skin is always left feeling comfortable, moisturized, and glowing, but not too heavy in residue.
How I’ve been using this night oil in my PM skincare routine in combination with other featured Boxwalla products:
- Double cleanse with Lovinah’s cleansing oil and SkinOwl’s unreleased cleanser OR Cerave Foaming Cleanser.
- Mist with either MUN Skincare’s Anarose mist or Mad Hippie’s Hydrating Nutrient Mist
- Apply a pea sized amount of the Votary Super Seed Serum as a calming hydrating base serum
- Then I apply a few drops of Lovinah’s copper peptide + EGF ampoule.
- Two drops of Votary’s Intense Night Oil
- A smidge of Mad Hippie’s Eye Cream
- Finish with a small amount of moisturizer – which lately has been either Votary’s Super Seed Cream or Mario Badescu’s hydro moisturizer.
This routine may sound like a lot, even for me being a minimalist type of person, but it’s been treating my skin super well at night. Sometimes I change up the Intense Night Oil for MUN Skincare’s Aknari Oil which is more lightweight – it tends to be one of my go-to’s.
Another top-notch Boxwalla beauty box for the records! Again, I regret to inform that August boxes are sold out, but consider checking the above products out individually if they pique your interest.
In the mean time, October subscriptions are open and it appears that one brand to be showcased is Naturallogic! As of this posting only one product has been revealed, but head over to @theboxwalla on Instagram for more sneak peeks.
Boxwalla’s limited edition beauty box collaboration with Lovinah is still available for purchase for $69 which includes Lovinah’s Copper Peptide + EGF ampoule set and incredible Eye Magic Palette. Check out my review on this box which includes two eye looks I created with the Eye Magic palette! This box was one of the highlights of my skincare and makeup experiences this year and I recommend to jump on that box while it’s available.