Where did August go? It feels like it just flew by! At least, with every month end I get to open a lovely posh beauty box, Cohorted. I always leave the Cohorted box review last because it is a pre-order box and you wouldn’t be able to get this month’s box anyways. I must admit it is also my favourite subscription beauty box as it always has branded products (I am a sucker for brands!) and the products are almost always large in size. Ending the month with a Cohorted treat is just what the doctor ordered!
The box design was as always the standard black Cohorted box that closes magnetically and is held with a black ribbon bow. Cohorted always comes with a small beauty magazine (only 27 pages) that tells you a little bit more about each product and some featured products or artists.
Cohorted doesn’t really follow a monthly theme like the other three subscription beauty boxes (Birchbox, Glossybox, Look Fantastic) but sometimes you can sort of guess a theme from the editorial intro. From that it appears that August’s Cohorted Subscription Beauty Box went for a “post sunshine pampering” theme.
This month Cohorted contained 5 products but one of them is sample size which is rare and disappointing for Cohorted. But before we get into the details, let’s have a deeper look as to what was inside.
From left to right, the products were: a concealer, a body oil, a shower gel, a mascara and a hair mask.
Let’s dive in a little more deeply into how each product performed after a week’s use. Bear in mind that these are my personal opinions and as beauty is a very personal thing, we all have different skin, beauty requirements and biological build which can influence things. What worked for me might not work for you and vice versa. If you tried any of these please leave your comments below!
Too Faced Born This Way Concealer Colour Light Medium
I knew that there was going to be a concealer in this month’s box as it was on a preview in last month’s beauty magazine. However, I didn’t know it was going to be the Too Faced concealer or maybe I just forgot. Either way, when I opened the box and saw this inside, I jumped up in joy, this is a concealer I wanted to try!
And then unfortunately, the disappointment came almost immediately. The colour I got in my box was “Light Medium” and as you can see on the swatch picture it is way too dark for me. It is even much darker than my foundation and the concealer is meant to be lighter than even your foundation. So this colour is miles off what I would need to use. This is a full size concealer though and came nicely in its original packaging, it is such a waste! What a shame!
This is a prime example of why Cohorted can fall short sometimes, as they do not have a beauty profile option so they do not know what skin tone you are, what colour hair you have, what type of skin you have etc. However, despite the lack of personalisation, Cohorted usually stays away from products that would need personalised information, like specific skin tone colours for example, so I am actually a little surprised they went for a concealer to begin with.
I tried to get as much out of this as possible and I thought that even though it is way too wrong of a colour for me, I can wear it (when alone in the house) to see if at least I like the formula and if it works for me, so then I know if I would want to buy the right colour. And so I spent a few days, in my house, wearing an orange looking concealer under my eyes! Perhaps I can use it for colour correcting instead.
Wrong colour aside, I have mixed feelings about this concealer. Firstly, it definitely made my natural eye creases less obvious, as opposed to a lot of concealers that emphasise them. This one actually sat in the creases and filled them in, so it sort of blurred them away. On a close up look though, you could see that there is a line filled with concealer. However, I didn’t mind that so much because at least it blurred lines away instead of emphasising them, so it was a major plus. However, the disappointment came from the fact that…it never dried! This concealer never dried for me and every time I touched my eyes it would come off. The only way to get it to dry was to set it with powder.
You might think that that’s fine because you set your concealer with powder anyway. Well so do I but I don’t set everything I used the concealer on. I set the under eye creases so that they don’t crease, but if you use this concealer to highlight other parts of the face, then you have to set the entire face. It just becomes a little heavy and unnecessary for me as there are other concealers that I don’t even need to set. Maybe it was just this colour, maybe the others dry? Please let me know, I am very curious!
Other than that, it is easily spreadable and doesn’t feel heavy. It smells of coconut and the packaging is simple but really pretty. The wand inside is the standard wand found in this type of products but it does the job.
So there you have it. On one hand, it blurs creases nicely and on the other it doesn’t dry and needs setting which makes the entire look heavier, even if this concealer is not heavy to begin with. So…I am very conflicted.
It contains coconut water, alpine rose and hyaluronic acid. I love that it contains hyaluronic acid (see post on “Hyaluronic acid – the fountain of youth”). It was a full size product that retails for £20. Well…the Urban Decay concealer retails for £19 and it dries on its own, so I’m afraid I’m going to be sticking with that one. I think if the Too Faced one dried on its own I would buy it. That’s the part that throws me off. SCORE = 7/10
Paul Yacomine Huile De Parfum
Again, if Cohorted had a personalisation beauty profile they would know I have oily skin and so me and oils are not friends. I do however, strangely, have dry body skin so I can only use this oil for body care. At least it’s good that this oil is multi-function and can be used for face, body and hair so that at least if like me you don’t want to use it on the face, you can use it on the body.
The bottle looks gorgeous, which is a little strange because if you look at it closely it is very simple and not exactly special. It is just a square type, glass bottle, but it really makes this oil look fancy. It feels heavy and expensive. I initially thought it was a perfume and my partner though it was an after shave, so actually, the packaging and branding doesn’t give you “body oil” to start with, a picky but small negative for the brand. I mean, it even says “Parfum” at the front of the bottle.
It smells like a blend of oils and it is a mixture of ylang ylang, sweet orange, lemon and rosehip scents. There is macademia seed oil, argan oil, coconut oil, baobab oil, rosehip oil, ylang ylang oil, sweet orange oil, lemon oil and vitamin E. I couldn’t find what the actual full size is (so strange) but I think this is full size (100 mL) and retails for £28.00. A little expensive actually, considering the ingredients are not that fancy but rather quite commonly used oils. Perhaps this is not the full size, then the price would make more sense.
The bottle has a small but still large enough opening to make a mess, so you have to be quite careful when you are using this. It doesn’t have a small, controlled dropping exit like a lot of oils or serums do. It just pours out of the bottle freely!
It of course feels oily on the skin but nowhere near as bad as I expected. It gets absorbed quickly, perhaps because my body skin is super dry, and it leaves a healthy glow behind. The skin feels moisturised and healthy. I wouldn’t use this as my daily moisturiser but it might be a good product to use once a week for some extra moisturising love if you suffer from dryness. After my experience with the hair mask product, see below, I didn’t feel brave enough to try this on my hair. However, if you have dry and brittle hair this might work for you.
It is 100% natural, has no preservatives, no mineral oil and no fragrance. SCORE = 8/10
Apple & Bears Body Wash Honey & Hemp
This is a travel size shower gel that smells quite strongly of Hemp. The smell is pleasant but the combination of strength and type of smell would make this a “wake me up” type shower gel. I wouldn’t use this before going to bed.
The bottle is super cute, it looks and feels expensive and cared for, even though it is only just made of plastic. It is fairly sturdy and the branding is simple but spot on. This looks like a luxury shower gel, although it reminds me of those little shower gel bottles that you find in hotels.
It foams slightly and cleans the skin nicely without making it dry. However, at the same time, it doesn’t feel moisturising either. It has that perfect balance of just cleaning your skin without adding or removing any moisture.
A full size bottle is 500mL (this travel size is only 50mL) and retails for £29.99. This might initially sound like a huge price tag for shower gel, but half a litre of shower gel will last you a while. If you do the math it turns out that this travel bottle would retail for £2.99 which is not that bad but still under the posh shower gel category considering you can buy good, full size shower gels for £1. For that price I would at least expect something extra from it, like perhaps to moisturise my skin as well, so that I don’t need to use a body cream after etc. It is a posh shower gel and you are half paying for the luxury brand.
The Cohorted beauty magazine claims that this shower gel will boost your skin’s firmness, hydrate, nourish and rejuvenate your skin. These type of skin care claims are very difficult to see when using a product and are often only proven (or not at all) in clinical research studies. As a result, it could well be that this product has some extra function to it, but you might never even notice. It’s up to you. Would you pay for this, to try out for months, for a chance that it does something extra?
At least this company is cruelty free, supports Breast Cancer Care and is an organic cosmetic brand made in the UK.
There are other scents as well like pomegrade & aloe vera, grapefruit & seaweed, bergamot & green tea. I wish I could try the other scents too. Would I buy it? As a treat yes, as a standard shower gel probably not. SCORE = 8/10
MAC False Lashes Extreme Black
As much as I am excited about Cohorted including MAC, I am incredibly disappointed that this is only a sample size that I could probably get for free from MAC. Since I joined Cohorted, this is the first time they included a sample size product, they usually always go for full size and sometimes travel size, which is one of their biggest selling points that keeps them apart from other subscription beauty boxes. What happened here Cohorted? Could we not get a travel size mascara at least?
Anyhow, at least they are still true to always including “branded” products so I am glad they included the MAC mascara. I’ve never tried this one before and I should probably disclose that I am currently in love with the Too Faced better than sex mascara which I got from Cohorted June (review here) and the Doucce punk volumizer which I got from Cohorted July (review here). I actually haven’t bought a mascara in years, these boxes keep you well stocked on mascaras! Mascaras are always useful and even if I have a favourite, I do use a lot of different ones depending on the look.
I do not know why I expected this to be bad, maybe because I have a favourite already, but it exceeded my expectations. It makes lashes long and black but they somehow still look and feel completely natural and lightweight. It doesn’t create as much of a dramatic look like the Too Faced or Doucce mascara but it is a very naturally looking mascara. I will definitely use this one as well as my every day mascara or casual/no make up-make up looks. Funny how a simple product like a mascara can come with so many different end looks and functions that you actually ending up needing a couple of different mascaras to match the different looks you are creating!
I won’t comment on the packaging or the wand, even though they are not bad at all, because this is clearly not even a travel size but rather a sample product. The full size product retails for £19.50 and is 8g. It claims to have dramatic effects etc and while it did transform my lashes and make them longer and more black, the finished look for me was fairly natural which I actually thought was an advantage. We don’t need all mascaras to be “fake and bold” looking.
It didn’t smudge or transfer but it didn’t last anywhere near as long as the Too Faced or Doucce. Perhaps this is a dry and old sample. This mascara actually contains hyaluronic acid which is amazing. I would buy it and use it for natural looks.
This product shouldn’t even count in the value of this month’s Cohorted box as it is just a sample. SCORE = 9/10
Chirp Body Softnest Natural Hair Mask
Last and unfortunately least, this hair mask/oil/juice product that you are meant to massage onto dry hair and scalp 25 minutes before washing.
The packaging is actually quite interesting and cute. It looks like an orange juice or health and fitness product, so it’s not exactly the best branding and packaging for it, but I sort of liked that it is different and I was excited to use it. When you open it up it literally looks like a juice and smells like a combination of juice with oils.
The instructions at the back of the product do not tell you how much you are meant to use, so I went with as much as my hair was “taking in”. I have long and thick hair so I ended up using half of the amount contained. It was easy to apply in terms of getting the liquid onto the hair but also difficult at the same time because my hair absorbed it so quickly that I didn’t always know where I applied it and where I didn’t. As a result, I probably ended up using more than I should. But then again my hair was “wanting it” so it can’t have been that much more. Or not? I don’t know as there are no instructions on this point!
I left it for 25 minutes as instructed and then washed my hair with shampoo. Four times. The instructions say wash twice but, aw my lord, my hair was so oily and dirty feeling that I wasn’t happy to stop washing. I didn’t expect to come out with squeaky clean hair, I did just use an oil after all, but I didn’t expect to feel dirty either! After washing with shampoo 4 times, I decided that it wasn’t going to get better and I skipped the conditioner step (even though the instructions say to use a conditioner as normal) because my hair was already so weighted down and “dirty” that if I used a conditioner it would just look like I haven’t even washed my hair at all.
I decided to let my hair dry on its own as it already went through enough (4 washing cycles) and I was planning to use hair iron straighteners when it was dry. My hair straightened easily but it honestly looked like I haven’t washed it for days. You know how hair looses volume and separates to individual hair strands when it gets dirty? Yeap, it looked exactly like that and I just had washed my hair! I was so embarrassed I ended up putting it up in a pony tail and washing it again the next evening. It didn’t make my hair any softer as it claims or have any other effect than make it look super dirty and oily.
On the plus side, because I lost a lot of volume from the “oily dirtiness”, my pony tail looked really nice, thin and long. So maybe if you want an elegant, controlled pony tail use this product, otherwise just go for something else. It doesn’t happen often, usually I accept that products just don’t work for everyone because beauty is so personal and individual, but damn I hated this product.
From my experience, I think this is one of those products that sound good on paper, has lots of oils and natural juices so it must be very nutritious for the hair, but actually doesn’t work in practice.
It is apparently 100% natural, cruelty free, has a plethora of oils and juices and for £18 you can get your hair to look dirty. I won’t be buying this product. SCORE = 2/10.
Overall, unfortunately I think this is my least favourite Cohorted box I even received. I still loved to receive and wanted to try all the products contained, but I had a lot of disappointing moments on the way, like the wrong concealer colour, an oil that I don’t want to use on my oily face, a sample size mascara which I could get for free and a hair mask that made me want to wash my hair 4 times!
I also think that Cohorted over estimated their box value this month, it was definitely not worth £81 as they claimed but rather somewhere at £68.99 IF the Paul Yacomine oil and the hair mask are full size. Otherwise, the box is worth less than that. Still more than what I payed though and Cohorted is still my favourite beauty box. Just please, stop overestimating the boxes’ values! We still accept £68.99 for the £35 we payed, no need to sugar coat it!
Initial box score, in terms of products and first feelings = 8/10
Overall box score after product testing (a sum of product scores) = 6.8/10
Star product = MAC False Lashes Extreme Black
Did you get this month’s Cohorted? What did your box contain? What did you think of the products? Have you tried any of the products listed? Let me know your experiences!
For general subscription box reviews see the: Birchbox, Glossybox, Look Fantastic and Cohorted general review posts. For help on how to choose the right subscription box for you check out “Which Subscription Beauty Box is right for you?”.
I am not affiliated with any company or brand. These are my views and experiences.