Beauty subscription boxes are one of the best ways to get a good deal on exciting new products. NewBeauty’s TestTube subscription service is full of high-end products for subscribers to try. Each box offers at least $180 worth of product each month for only $29.95. With this subscription, you can try recognizable brands like dr. brandt and Sunday Riley for a fraction of their usual price.
In the November TestTube, I received hand sanitizer, a spot-targeting acne mask, dry shampoo, spray-on thermal spring water, a pink liquid lipstick, vitamin C face cream, a cleanser, an exfoliator, an anti-aging hyaluronic acid serum, and a $10 gift card for Beauty Care Choices. My favorite product this month is the exfoliator, because I’ve been looking for a thorough exfoliator recently, and this one fits the bill. The November TestTube box is worth it if you want to try luxury skincare at a discount and learn more about various brands and products.
What We Like About NewBeauty TestTube
Each TestTube comes in a unique tube design, and this month’s has an urban collage featuring a megaphone. The Tube couldn’t contain all the beauty products, so some of them were loose in the outer cardboard box.
The box has a total retail value of $245, including the $10 gift card, which is great for a $29.95 subscription.
I liked that the box was curated with current events in mind. TestTube kept things relevant with a soothing hand sanitizer and an acne spot treatment to help deal with mask-induced acne. That makes the entire box seem thoughtfully planned for what subscribers might need most.
The box came with a booklet that gives information on each item in the Tube. There’s a section describing the product, how to use it, NewBeauty’s editor comments, the ingredients, and comments from an expert. At the bottom of each page, you can also find discount codes for the various brands included in the box.
TestTube’s contents are mostly higher-end brands, and many of them have clinical trials and thorough research backing them up. It’s nice to try more expensive products before buying instead of investing in them based on reviews or ingredient lists. Nothing compares to actually trying a product, and TestTube seems to regularly include trendy items.
What We Don’t Like About NewBeauty TestTube
This subscription box does charge for shipping, so the overall cost comes out to around $40 rather than $29.99. The box is still a great value for this price, but you may want to keep this price in mind as you budget.
TestTube is curated by the NewBeauty editors, and while they try to choose items with wide appeal, there will likely be the occasional item that just doesn’t make sense for your skin or hair. On the signup page, you can look at the items in the current month’s Tube, and you can also look at the items from previous Tubes.
Each TestTube subscription includes NewBeauty magazine, but the magazine is only released quarterly. The company’s FAQ also says that new subscribers might have 1 issue of delay, which is disappointing. I wish they had a more straightforward answer.
If you’re looking for a beauty box with all kinds of products, you might want to skip TestTube. This box tends to focus mostly on skincare, and it includes only one makeup and one hair item.
Cloud Whip by Eight Saints
This vitamin C-based cream is designed to reduce the effects of sun damage. Eight Saints suggests applying it in the morning after a serum, so it can work against environment harm all day long.
It contains coconut oil, jojoba oil, aloe, geranium, neroli, and many other botanical essences to hydrate and protect your skin.
There’s a herbaceous lemony scent to this product, and it’s a bit harsh and medicinal. It does have a very lightweight, whipped texture, like the name suggests. It’s not as deeply hydrating as I prefer from my moisturizers, though.
This cream also came with an exclusive offer for TestTube subscribers to try the rest of their beauty line!
Hyaluronic Marine Meltaway Cleanser by Dr. Dennis Gross
This is a hydrating cleanser featuring hyaluronic acid and marine algae to protect skin.
This product should be applied to dry skin, and you rub it into your face until you see makeup begin to melt or fade away, as the name suggests. Once you’re done cleansing, you can remove it with a cotton round or washcloth.
This product feels very lightweight, and it has a deliciously sugary scent. It reminds me of some childhood treat I can’t place, maybe a particular cookie or frosting.
Hyaluronic Acid + Peptide Serum by Dr. Zenovia
This facial serum is designed to moisturize and balance combination skin, dealing with both dry and oily skin.
The serum contains the proprietary REG-ullate360 Complex, and it includes a phytoestrogen, vitamin E, and green tea. This complex is designed to correct issues commonly found in hormonally imbalanced skin. Dr. Zenovia specializes in hormonal dermatology
It has a very viscous, gel-like texture that reminds me of raw aloe vera. I like the texture, and it applies easily. It left my skin feeling hydrated and smooth.
Vita+ Hand Sanitizer Spray by VIVI Naturals
This natural hand sanitizer is the perfect product for winter of 2020! I’ve definitely gone through a lot of hand sanitizer since March, so I was excited to see this in my box. Like any sanitizer, it has an alcohol scent, but it dries down to something more pleasantly herbal than most other options.
For a hand sanitizer to actually work, it needs to contain a lot of alcohol. This product is different because it includes aloe vera and peppermint for a soothing effect. This is a great product (or gift idea) for anyone with dry skin, so you can stay safe without drying out the skin on your hands.
UA Red Liquid Lipstick by FLOetic
This liquid lipstick has a fuzzy applicator that lets you apply with precision. Just click the button at the bottom of the tube to dispense more lipstick into the applicator, like clicking a ballpoint pen.
This color is called UA Red, and it comes across as a very pinkish red to me. I would have called it pink if not for the name.
This lipstick has an almost glossy texture. I can’t stand lipgloss, but I don’t mind this formula, because it’s creamy and hydrating without being too sticky or slippery. Jojoba and sunflower seed oil combine with vitamin E for a deeply hydrating formula that’s good for your lips.
When I first opened it, it took a while to get the lipstick to dispense. When I checked their website, I saw this note: “Due to the airtight design of our packaging seal, it might require up to 25 clicks at initial use for the content to dispense.” Don’t worry if it takes a minute or so of clicking to get a new lipstick started!
COLAB Original Dry Shampoo
This dry shampoo is a lifesaver on busy mornings, or for anyone with dyed hair. It’s a fast way to refresh your hair without needing to restyle it.
This product bills itself as offering oil absorption “without white residue.” I have dark brown hair, and dry shampoos tend to leave a faint white cast until I brush or comb it out. This product really does go on invisibly, with no visible residue at all.
It also has a nice floral scent of rose and bergamot. The lingering fragrance may be irritating for people sensitive to smell, though.
Avène Thermal Spring Water
This product is a spray-on bottle of thermal spring water from the south of France, without any additives. This is the kind of indulgent, slightly impractical product that I enjoy getting in boxes!
The nozzle on this bottle provides a nice, even mist for your face that won’t disrupt your makeup, and it does feel hydrating. I can imagine this being especially soothing when you’re in a car or room with the heating on high, because that always leaves my skin feeling dry.
The water contains helpful microflora that soothes the skin and reduces itching. You can apply this mist to soothe your skin after any irritation, like from a sunburn or from shaving. Water from the Avène thermal spring has been used to treat skin conditions for centuries, since 1743. Dermatologists have been recommending this spring water since then.
Avène’s website has a fascinating timeline of the water’s history in skincare, including tidbits like how the French sent the water to soothe burn victims of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871.
dr. brandt Microdermabrasion Age Defying Exfoliator
This is a thorough exfoliant with aluminum oxide crystals, which remove dead skin cells from your skin. It can create a smoother appearance for your skin, and even make pores appear smaller. You should only use this a few times a week, to avoid overexfoliating.
To use this product, apply it to damp skin and massage in for a minute or two. Rinse it thoroughly when you’re done, and be careful not to let any drip into your eyes.
I found that my skin felt a little softer and smoother afterward, though the effects weren’t especially dramatic for me. The lactic acid in this product softens skin, while jojoba oil and chamomile extract calm the skin to avoid redness after the exfoliation.
Sunday Riley Saturn Sulfur Acne Treatment Mask
This medicated acne spot treatment has sulfur as its active ingredient. The sulfur clears skin by removing dead skin and drying out sebum. There’s also tea tree oil, niacinamide, zinc PCA, and manuka oil to keep skin clear and discourage more pimples from forming.
Sulfur is the dominant ingredient here, and this product does have a faint sulfuric smell. It’s not overwhelming, in my opinion, but you might want to moisturize with a better-smelling product afterward.
This mask has a pointed tip for precise application, and you can squeeze out really tiny dots, as you can see above. This product isn’t designed for use on large areas of your skin, so make sure to only apply on acne or forming blemishes. You can use it up to 3 times a week, but be aware that it could dry out your skin!
$10 Gift Card for Beauty Care Choices
This is a bonus that comes with each November TestTube box. Beauty Care Choices is a family-owned beauty company. They specialize in helping customers find the right products for their skin and hair types. Each product is marked with special logos to show if they are alcohol free, paraben free, cruelty free, vegan, and so on.
I liked this TestTube box, and I think the contents are useful but still luxurious. The dr. brandt Microdermabrasion Age Defying Exfoliator is a product I’ve seen on lots of beauty blogs and in articles. I liked getting to try the full-sized version of such a popular item through a subscription service. I’m impressed with the value of this box, and I think adding a gift card is a nice touch, too. I’m not usually as excited about boxes that aren’t catered to customers, but I think TestTube does a great job curating products.
I recommend TestTube to anyone who loves skincare and getting discounts. The value of the box means you’re getting full-size products and samples at a steep discount. There are also plenty of exclusive brand discounts available through this subscription, too. That way, you can expand your collection with full-size items too, or buy gifts.