May is the harbinger of sunny summer days to come. While May's not the cruelest month by any means, it’s easy to feel stuck in a rut.
The air is heavy with anticipation — for the new season, for longer days, for summer. But too often, anticipation leads to disappointment. Whether it’s the anticipation of good weather or anticipation for — say — a package to arrive, you inevitably end up disappointed at the result.
For me, the idea of something is much more potent than reality. Even if I get what I asked for, nothing can ever live up to the lofty expectations I set. This is especially disappointing when I drop a hefty percentage of my paycheck on a product just to be let down by it.
Since it’s almost impossible for me to lower my expectations — believe me, I’ve tried — I’ve become quite selective about what I buy and why I buy it.
Asking myself why I make a purchase has revealed a lot about my shopping habits. For example, when I first started being more introspective about my spending, I realized it was often: “because I someone on Instagram had it.” Now I know that most of my Instagram buys leave me disappointed. Influencers earn their money by proclaiming a brand is life-changing when it’s rarely suited for my life at all.
Growing aware that I have a penchant for products that I realistically won’t use, I now aim to spend in line with my real lifestyle. Rather than buying brands that social media convinces me I ought to have — looking at you, That Girl, you too, Clean Girl — these days I’m brutally honest about what I’m passionate about and actually use.
As I learn to spend more in line with my values, I realize that I get serious mileage out of my beauty products. Sampling new products is genuinely fun. And finding fresh combinations of skincare routines and stunning beauty looks channels my creativity.
The Allure Beauty Box lets me indulge without overspending.
A delightful cornucopia of sample sizes and full-sized goodies, the Allure Beauty Box is a monthly subscription that shares whatever’s buzzing in the beauty world for low stakes and a lower price.
Rather than blowing my whole paycheck at Sephora, I get to indulge in my passion at an affordable price each month. The products I like, I get at a major discount. The ones I don’t — which TBH scarcely happens — I gift to my friends to their delight.
Join today, and kick off your subscription with beauty favorites from U Beauty, Christophe Robin, First Aid Beauty, and more — all hand-picked by Allure’s renowned editors. For your first month, you’ll receive 7 products — including 5 full-sized! — worth $296, a free gift from Rare Beauty, and access to Allure’s exclusive member store.
Rare Beauty Perfect Strokes Mascara (full-size)
Selena Gomez’s brand — Rare Beauty — has quickly become a makeup bag must-have for those who love beauty. This mascara will actually change your life. Created for a variety lash types, this all-in-one mascara pairs a weightless, easy-to-build formula with a universal eye-hugging brush that lifts, lengthens, and curls without creating clumps or feeling too heavy.
U Beauty Resurfacing Compound (full-size)
This cult-favorite resurfacing compound has been on my wishlist for months and months. If I purchased it alone, it would cost a pretty penny. But now, I don’t have to. Get the full-sized bottle of this skin-transforming elixir without breaking the bank. Made with clean ingredients, it gently exfoliates and reveals brighter, tighter skin.
Christophe Robin Hydrating Leave-In Hair Mist with Aloe Vera (full-size)
Most likely, your favorite Instagram hairstylist stocks up on Christophe Robin products — and for good reason. Composed of clean, lightweight ingredients, their products boost hair health for salon-like strands with each use. This aloe vera hair mist hydrates dry hair without weighing you down — restores dull, brittle hair with just a spritz.
True & Luscious Super Moisture Lipstick (full-size)
Like anyone, I love a red lip. However, I don’t love a dry, cakey lip that clumps when I reapply. True & Luscious’s ultra-moisturizing lipstick conditions your lips while giving a pop of color. Get the benefit of a lip mask while flaunting some dramatic flair with this satiny — but not sticky — must-have.
Haruharu Wonder Black Rice Hyaluronic Toner
A K-Beauty favorite for a reason, this black rice toner delivers weightless hydration to your parched pores. Don’t let your skin get dehydrated. Give yourself gentle yet effective TLC with a formula that leaves your skin looking dewy, not greasy. Instantly feel the long-lasting effects of fermented black rice and hyaluronic acid in your morning routine.
First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser
When it comes to cleansers, simple is best. This First Aid Beauty classic replenishes essential moisture while making your face squeaky clean. You won’t feel stripped or dry after cleansing with this gentle formula. Instead, it preps your face for the your morning ritual and supports overall skin health.
Beauty Stat Universal Pro-Bio Moisture Boost Cream (full-size)
Sure, the weather’s getting warmer, but don’t skip out on moisturizer. In fact, depriving your skin of moisture will cause it to overcompensate by pumping more oils into your skin. Avoid a greasy complexion with this lightweight moisturizer packed with natural ingredients. It will work wonders on your skin.
LatinUs Beauty Hair Care Control Shampoo & Conditioner
This shampoo and conditioner set is a full-on hair miracle. Reclaim washday with this dynamic duo! It’ll makes thick or curly hair wayyy easier to deal with. Its anti-frizz formula uses Murumuru Butter to deeply nourish your strands so they’ll easily detangle. Natural ingredients boost hair health — no more struggling with your comb in the shower.