I don't have any of the current ones available, but I thought I would analyze the concept and execution with The Beauty Groovy Kind-a Love Makeup Kit that was out just recently.
Exteriors first: this guy is all up in the kitschy retro-ness that is Benefit's calling card, with the vaguely psychedelic purple floral print of the metal container, as well as the romance novel worthy illustration on the lid. (I totally had a flashback to the Harlequin Presents books I used to buy for 25 cents from the used book store, back when I was 13.)
The kit also came with a cute little instructional booklet. It doesn't offer any revolutionary information or techniques, but if you're buying this kit as an introduction to makeup, then it's actually quite perfect.
The contents contained a nice variety of deluxe samples and full-sized products. The eyeshadows included two shades that are in Benefit's current line-up of Longwear Powder Eyeshadows - Guilty Pleasure (golden sand) and Kiss Me, I'm Tipsy (spiced brown). It also contained a mini duo of Dandelion and Gimme Fever, a large samples of The Porefessional primer, They're Real Mascara and the classic Benetint.
Let's take inspiration from my favourite blogger at the moment (Brightest Bulb in the Box - seriously, go read her, I'll wait) and do a value breakdown.
The kit itself retailed for 43$ CAD (and all listed prices will be in CAD).
Eyeshadows - two are in the current line, so I'll assume they're a comparable formula. The regular singles are 0.11 oz and retail for 24$. These are 0.04 oz each, which means a total weight of 0.16 oz. That means that the shadows alone are worth 34.90$, which is already about 81% of the total value of 43$. Qualitative value can be added for the fact that two of the shades are limited edition.
Porefessional - the regular 0.75 fl.oz tube retails for 36$, and the sample is 0.25 fl.oz, which means it's worth 12$. That brings up the total value to 46.90$, which already surpasses the retail price.
Blush duo - one one half (Dandelion) is currently in the regular line-up, but let's assume the same value of 36$ for 0.25 oz. The kit weight is 0.1 oz, so 14.40$. Total value is now at 61.30$.
Benetint - the regular tube is 36$ for 0.42 oz, so this little guy, coming in at 0.13 fl.oz, is worth 11.14$. Total is now 72.44$.
They're Real mascara - Sephora currently sells the exact same size contained in this kit (0.14 oz) for 12$. The actual value, compared to the full sized 0.3 oz at 29$, is 5.60$. (Which means the mini size is quite overpriced.) That boosts the total value of this kit to 78.04 - which is nearly double that of the actual cost. (Since we're all Math Fu here, let's put it exactly at 1.81 times as much.)
Purely from a cost-to-weight analysis, a kit like this is a pretty awesome deal, especially if it happens to contain items you'd like to try out.
All the deluxe samples have a really nice amount of product and are comparable to their full-sized counterparts. I already knew how I felt about both the Benetint and the Porefessional, but I was really glad to finally see what the fuss over They're Real was all about (in short: Holy Long Lashes, Batman!). A full review of that one will be forthcoming when I can get the full-sized version.
I also really liked the eyeshadows. They all have good to great pigmentation, and Shimmer Down is especially lovely, a lighter and slightly rosier version of Satin Taupe. Tickle My Ivory is that rare thing, a very pigmented and creamy smooth white-beige matte. Kiss Me, I'm Tipsy is the weakest of the four, having a drier texture and being more prone to powderiness, requiring a deft hand in blending. All have a decent wear-time, and hold well without creasing or fading on me for 9 hours with a primer.
I messed up the order in the side-by side pictures up there, but from lightest to darkest, they are as follows: Tickle My Ivory, Gilt-y Pleasure, Shimmer Down, Kiss Me, I'm Tipsy.
I liked the blush well enough, though Dandelion was bit too pale and a touch too powdery for me. Blended together with the shimmery pale plum of the Gimmer Fever side, however, it made for a really pretty warm rose tone that didn't come across as overly sparkly. The pigmentation was on the sheerer side.
Overall, I think a kit like this offers a great value. The box itself can also be re-purposed for storage if the other items are removed. (I wouldn't travel with a case like this, as it's impractical and bulky for that, nor would I bother to keep anything in it. I'm planning on de-potting the eyeshadows and blush, as well.)
Out of the ones available on Sephora at the moment, I think something like the Go TropiCORAL would be my pick to try out.
Have you guys tried any kits like this? Are you fans of the concept, or do you prefer purchasing full-sized products?
(This item was provided by the brand/PR to be considered for review. This post is not sponsored or compensated, and all opinions are my own.)