I’ve been tempted for quite a while now to take the plunge, so to speak, and buy a box subscription of some kind. They’ve been around for quite a while now, and in brief, you can pay a monthly fee, and someone will send you a box full of stuff. Any stuff. You can get subscriptions to snacks, cake, tea, cooking ingredients, alcohol, and finally various types of beauty products.
A beauty box subscription is finally what I settled on, and GlossyBox seemed to have more of the things that I suspect I would use, since I felt BirchBox was aimed at an older audience than the type of stuff that I like, and Love Lula is more beauty care style products rather than makeup – which was what I was more interested in at the moment.
For GlossyBox each month you pay a £10 charge for the box, plus £3.25 for shipping, so in total £13.25. There are lower prices available, the lowest being £8.50 per month plus Shipping (a total of £11.75) but this lower tier requires you to sign up for a 12 month contract, and I like the freedom of canceling and renewing when I like.
There are a few other ways you can save money or get more for your subscription each month, as GlossyBox has both a Refer a Friend program and a Loyalty Points program, but I haven’t tried those yet.
Under the cut will be the unboxing and reviews.
So here’s the unboxing. It arrived in a very neat package, just the right size for the box inside. It isn’t small enough to fit through the letterbox, but it is securely tracked which is always a good thing. Inside the box is quite literally a glossy box (I know, the bad jokes) of pretty sturdy cardboard type material, as far as I’ve seen of other people’s boxes, the design each month is different, so I suspect you could view them as collectable. They’re certainly a good enough quality, and arrived completely undamaged – so you could reuse it quite easily. I’m personally very fond of re-using stuff, even packaging – I make enough waste as it is.
Inside there’s a small magazine, which funnily enough is now the last physical copy of the GlossyBox magazine they’ll be doing, as they’re moving it to a digital magazine format. It’s a little thing, only 8 double sided pages in A5 size, but it’s well printed. Inside is the usual general beauty magazine type fair, ‘buy these products’ and ‘advice from this beauty person’. I do think it’s interesting they’re axing the physical copy, as Boots has also recently started a digital copy of the Boots beauty magazine (though the physical copy of that still exists.) Alongside that there’s a small printed sheet telling you exactly what’s in your box, how to use it, where it’s from, and how much it’s worth. Out of the two it’s probably the more useful.
Then we have the very nicely and neatly packaged products.
I’m not going to go too in depth about everything, as I’ve only had it for a short while, but here’s a quick look at what I received.
nailgirls – 3 in 1 base, topcoat, & nail strengthener : It’s an all around clear nail polish that looks like it covers pretty much everything, all you’d need is some nail colour, if you even wanted to bother with that. It’s listed as not a full size product, as it’s 10ml rather than the full 15ml, but to me it’s a very nice size, so I’d call it a nearly full sized item. It’s a nice what-you’d-expect consistency and dries quickly.
Would I buy it full price? Honestly, I tend to gravitate more towards value for money style products and I know there are plenty of drugstore beauty price level equivalents – so while it is nice, I probably wouldn’t, though I will finish the one I received.
Price: Full item £13.50 / for the size I got £9 / from nailgirls.co.uk
got2b – Rise’n’Shine souffle : This is a full sized Schwarzkopf hair product. It’s aim it to add texture, volume and shine to hair. It has a thick whipped consistency and smells very strong, but in a nice way – the scent is described as Jasmine. I like that it’s a little pot style one, that you use your hands to apply, as this is the format I’m more used to. Rubbing it on to see how it fairs against my flyaways, it does well, but leaves a really nasty hand reside feeling. Easily washed off of course.
Would I buy it full price? If it’s any good on a full try I might actually consider trying it out more, as it basically does what an equivalent product I have does ( Bed Head Small take – thickening and volume) but cheaper.
Price: Full item £4.07 / from superdrug.com
Teeez Trend Cosmetics – Beautiful Flat Stiff Brush : Makeup brushes are something that I don’t actually have a lot of, and could probably use more of. Teeez is a brand from the Netherlands, and it’s a really lovely eyeshadow brush. It’s nice, full sized, and feels solid. The bristles are described on the packaging as ‘natural hair’ though of what I couldn’t tell you, and are thick and soft. The thing I actually like most about it is the art on the brush, it’s very pretty – though I suppose not that important to how it actually works.
Would I buy it full price? I’m not sure I’m actually able to purchase this brush or brand in the UK anyway, so I suspect it’s a moot point, though I do need to buy more brushes, and have been looking at the Real Techniques line. I will use this brush I’ve been given.
Price: Full item €19 (£15.14 using google) / nelly.com
Roger&Gallet – Fleur de Figuier discovery ritual : This product is really the only one in the whole box that I’d genuinely view as ‘sample sized’ – it’s a single use sample each of the Fleur de Figuier line’s shower cream, body lotion, and fragrance water (which I think means it’s more like a cheaper body mist/spritz than actually like a full purfume). I haven’t yet tried the shower cream or body lotion – I’ll be using them in the bath next time I bathe – but I did use the fragrance water. It’s all supposed to have the same smell, which is a very nice, slightly musky, sweet fruit fragrance.
Would I buy it full price? It’s a very nice smell, but not the type I usually go for, which is floral, musky, spicy, or a mixture of those three. I probably wouldn’t get it again.
Price: Full item £9.50 for the shower lotion (£0.47 proportionally) / £13 for the body lotion (£0.65) / £32 for the fragrance (£0.48) / marksandspencers.com
So Susan Cosmetics – Universal Blush : Another full sized product. While I was wary at first about receiving a blush, as it’s a makeup item I tend not to use very much at all (I go pink cheeked very easily), this has turned out to be my favourite item of the lot. First off it’s a very ethical style beauty product – the back lists it as being mineral oil free, phthalate free, animal by-product free, fragrance free, hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, cruelty free, and made with fruit oil. That’s quite a long list I realise. The little beauty magazine does have a page featuring the products, which talks about the creator wanting to make beauty products that were good for you first and foremost.
It’s also the best kind of makeup in my opinion, in that it’s clever makeup. Like the foundation I have, it’s a colour changing product. It’s supposed to perfectly match your skin. It’s quite a shock when you first put it on as it looks so dark, but very quickly it turns to a better shade. It has a little shimmer in it, but not a huge amount – the edge of your cheeks/cheekbones just catches and reflects a little light. You also only need to use a very small amount (or I do, as I don’t like a full blush look) so I think it will last a fair while. I’m pretty impressed by it.
Would I buy it full price? I do have a few on the expensive side brands that I like (Benefit and Urban Decay) but So Susan Cosmetics may be joining that list.
Price: £18 / sosusan.com
So, this was my very first month, and I’m pretty happy to be honest. While it hasn’t made me want to buy all the things I received, I’ll certainly use them all. I’m going to keep with GlossyBox for now, and see if I like the next few months before I decide I want to keep it long term. GB has already announced that next month will be Stars & Stripes/American themed, so that looks nice.
Finally, the full value of my items was £47.81. Do I think it was worth what I paid? Yes, very probably. I like the idea of trying new items, and items I wouldn’t be able to get where I live, and it takes a lot of the effort of that out, for a small monthly fee. It’s also nice to get something in the post. The only pinch of salt, I suppose, to bear in mind is that these boxes are probably supposed to make you want to buy more products from brands that you are sent, though I am not too easily swayed I suspect.
Until next time.