Sunday, August 28, 2011

Review: August His Black Box

This review is the first of what will hopefully be many men's focused product reviews, which includes my husband's input!

I was recently given the opportunity to review the August Black Box, which I was really excited about! When I first learned about Black Box, I cannot tell you how ecstatic I was to discover that someone had finally created a sample subscription service like Birchbox for men. Like many guys, hubs (my nickname for my husband) tends to only try products I purchase for him. The problem is, I don't follow men's skin/hair/cosmetic trends as closely as I do women's. A service like Black Box will allow my husband to try some of the newest, hottest products to figure out what he likes with me having to lift a finger! Believe it or not, as soon as I told hubs about this service and the fact that we were going to review the Black Box August box he was so excited. He is what many would consider a very masculine guy, but he has no problem trying hair products, skin care products, cleansing products, etc. Getting something in the mail every month with products for him was something he was vocally excited about ;) Subscriptions to Black Box are $12/month.

Black Box caters specifically to men and everything from the products to the website have male appeal. You can see the post I did on Black Box as soon as I learned about the service HERE. All thoughts/opinions from hubs will be italicized and bold, that way you can easily reference his male perspective. Also, he was the first to open the box and he went through the products on his own. I simply observed :)

Let's jump right in!

As you can see, Black Box has taken a great deal of time to really brand their product towards men. The platinum colored box and masculine black-striped sleeve with bold font would make any guy feel comfortable about this being a men's service. I really find the packaging quite classy. Hubs liked it as well.
Black Box packages come in a hard platinum-colored box with a magnetic flap. Hubs thought this was very "slick" and interesting.

An insert is the first thing you see when you open a Black Box package. It briefly describes the inspiration behind that month's product picks. August products were chosen because they are appropriate for the end of summer, but still work well for the beginning of fall. They described as "sophisticated yet efficient". Hubs agreed that they fit this description.
On the backside of the insert is a list of the products in the Black Box along with brief descriptions. We actually received one additional product that was not on the list, which was the Art of Shaving Shaving Cream.
First glimpse of the inside of the August Black Box

Here are the individual products:
Anthony For Men, Shaving Cream: This shaving cream is supposed to provide a great shave for all hair types while minimizing much of the unpleasantness. Price: $16 for 2-month supply
Anthony Shaving Cream Ingredients
Ingredients continued...
Hubs has moderately curly, very thick hair and he has a beard that is very thick. Shaving for him is a constant necessity and good shaving products are something he's constantly on the hunt for.  

Hubs: This was far better than the drugstore shaving creams that come in cans, but there was a slight pull while shaving. This does allow for a decently close shave.

The Art of Shaving, Shaving Cream: This was the extra item in our Black Box. It is an unscented shaving cream for sensitive skin that can be used with or without a shaving brush. Price: $14 (2oz tube), $15 (1.7oz pump), or $22 (5oz tub).
It was actually really great that the extra product in our Black Box was another shaving cream because it gave hubs the change to compare. He's in love with this one! We're going to have to purchase this full-size.

Hubs: "Truly amazing! It was the smoothest shave I've ever had in my life, literally." There was no pull while shaving, skin wasn't sore after, and there was no razor burn.

Baxter of California, Bravado 2: This sample cologne is described as the big brother to #3 and differs slightly because of its slight musky undertone--a great fall transitional scent. Price: $80 for 100 ML
Bravado 2 Ingredients
Back of sample packaging
Hubs and I are both extremely particular when it comes to scents. We both wear fairly expensive perfumes or colognes and I will try a million before even considering one for myself or before showing it to hubs. This one was a winner for us both! This is a sexy smell to both of us and certainly something we plan to buy a full-size of.

Hubs: "Unbelievable." The initial scent is citrusy and refreshing and overall appealing.

Billy Jealousy, White Knight Gentle Facial Cleanser: This is a facial cleanser made specifically for men. Price: $20 for a 1-2 month supply
Directions & Information
Facial cleansers are another products I'm constantly on the lookout for, for hubs. He has sensitive skin and tends to get some irritation/slight break outs when he's over-stressed, tired, etc. This cleanser left hubs' face feeling super soft!

Hubs: Nice. This doesn't smell overly powerful and feels like it does a great job cleaning your face.

City Cosmetics, Lip Plumping Treatment: Apparently in a recent AskMen poll lips ranked as one of the most attractive male features. Price: $40 for 3-month supply
When hubs opened the Black Box this was the only product he looked at a bit questioningly. He has naturally full lips anyway (not always typical for a buy), so a lip plumping product isn't something he'd ever look at or consider on his own. We both tried it together for kicks. This is probably the most effective lip plumper I have ever put on my lips. My lips swelled like nuts, it was actually pretty surprising! The only downside is you have to be totally fine with the extreme tingling and slightly more than average sting. This does have a glossy finish to it.

Hubs: This was too painful and not something I'd use.

Conclusion:  We both felt this was well-worth the $12/month and signed up within a couple days of receiving this.

So there you have it! Our first husband-wife review and our first Black Box review. What do you think? Would you subscribe to this service for your husband/boyfriend/father/brother? Or if you're a man, would you sign yourself up for Black Box?

You can sign up at:

This Black Box was submitted for review by the company. All opinions above are our own (mine and my husband's).


  1. Thanks so much for the honest review!! I just stumbled on the blackbox online today, and frankly, i'm impressed!! Has the hubs been enjoying the other products as well?!

  2. He definitely enjoys getting the boxes every month! He has a blog of his own written for men where he's been doing his Black Box reviews. He hasn't received October's yet, but as soon as he does he'll post a review of that one as well. You can see his Black Box reviews on his blog here:

    He's actually running a fabulous giveaway right now for men with some really great, high-end products if you're interested!

  3. I was wondering if his black box is still around do you know?? I am trying to find something like this for my husband. I got him the bb men and he loved it plus he sees all the ones I get and wants a piece of the action HAHAHA

    1. Hello! Actually, HisBlackBox was acquired by Menscience and I'm not sure if they've put subscriptions temporarily on hold for a bit, but the site leads right to now. Ironically, my husband had a poor experience with HisBlackBox at the end (charged and never received things, getting a response a month or so later, etc.). There is a new box tailored toward men offered by Platinum Box. My husband has gotten 2 and it was similar to what he'd received from HisBlackBox. I am dying for Birchbox Man to start doing regular subscriptions. Until then, I'm trying to think if there's anything else worth checking out ... hmmm. None come to mind, but if I think of any I'll mention them on my blog! Hubs really liked getting things in the mail each month (more than I do I think!) so it stinks that there's so little for men. I wish we could start one! It'd be so much fun ;)


Please make sure all comments are appropriate and void of self-promotion such as links, blog URLs, etc. Thanks for chatting!