Monday, July 15, 2013

BeautyBox5 Review(s)

This is probably my only mostly negative review so far, so be aware of that. I have already cancelled this subscription.

I signed up for BeautyBox5 in the beginning of June. The first box that I received was one of the first subscription boxes I had ever signed up for, so I wasn't sure what to expect.

The box was small, and light. Light blue in color. Contents were dissappointingly small, to me.

  • 2 larger packets of Body Bronzer, by "Just Being Sexy". This is sort of in between a self tanner and a bronzer in that it is a body cream that absorbs, however there are multiple warnings on the packet about drying and potential color transfer. I can't seem to find this product for sale anywhere; googling produces and Amazon image result, but goes nowhere, as if it was at one time on the site. (Setting retail for these at $1 each since I can't find them)
  • Shampoo and Conditioner by Coolway. These were 1oz sample bottles (about the size you'd find in a hotel). I'm not familiar with the brand, but I can't locate this for purchase either unless you buy the whole "system" (including a flat iron) for over $100. (Setting retail for these at $1 each since I can't find them)
  • Shea Terra Black Rose Hip Facial Cleanser. A nice eco-friendly, full size product - that retails for $4.50.
  • A makeup brush hanger (called Minxxette). This might truly be an awesome product for somebody and have some niche market application. None of my brushes will work with it (Tokidoki) and there's nowhere to really use this in my bathroom. It looks, sadly, like a dollar store item, though it supposedly costs about $4.50.

Retail value was about $13. The box is $12 a month, so really no value at all. I disliked that I hadn't even heard of any of the brands before (and I know a *lot* of brands.. just saying.) I decided to cancel and here's where I actually got "negative" - the website was down. You could sign up, as near as I could tell - but could not access your own account to cancel. I had to email in my request. By the time that went through and they responded, they said I'd already been charged for July's box, but it would be cancelled and no more boxes would come following that.

(Note - July was nowhere close to *shipping* at that point - really? DISLIKE)

So a couple of days ago, the July box came. Same small blue box (It's even smaller than Birchbox).

This time around we got...

1) Every Beauty Foot Smoother ($8.99) full size product. Actually, I really liked this. I am obsessed with good foot care, and cursed with bad genetics. I get dry skin and calluses easy, so I am always interested in products that help with this. This is basically a sponge with two types of sandpaper on it (yes, really) - but it works really well. It was a lot easier and more ergonomic to use than a PedEgg or similar. I have concerns about how long it will last before breaking down or being ineffective.. but I DO actually like this.

2) Two Jean Pierre Cosmetics nail polish remover wipes. I love the idea of these and portability, and I do understand this is just meant to be a sample. However, I couldn't get one wipe to last long enough to do one hand of NON-sparkle polish removal - due to the nature of the remover chemicals, this dries out quickly. At least I do know now that if I wanted to take these on a trip, I would need more than I thought I did. Retailing at $4 for a set of 10, I think I'll stick to the 99c bottle of remover and some tissues.

3) Be a Bombshell lipgloss, fullsize. This was in a color that made me wince - 1980s neon hot pink! However, I let the demon daughters try it out, and it wasn't bad at all - so I stole it back. It is pretty tacky in texture, but it's nice for a quick pop of color. Retail $14

4) LA Fresh pack of travel antibacterial wipes. Full size - TRAVEL - pack. This was actually useful and neat, but I don't see what it has to do with "Beauty" as far as "BeautyBox" implies. I'd expect this in some other type of curated box. Retail $2

5) H2O Plus Face Oasis Hydrating Treatment. This is a very tiny sample; full size retail of $36. I actually tried this right off the bat since so far so good on the products in this month's box... and yuck. It felt really heavy, tacky, and just ultimately gross and slimy on my face. I have thrown away the remainder.

So this box in contrast to the first, actually had a value of about $28. Much better value, and at least 2 usable full size products (When normally you'd only get one, bonus!).

Sadly, if this had been the FIRST box I received, I probably would have kept the subscription.

There are mixed reviews of hit or miss months online regarding this service. I think they possibly have limited suppliers and haven't quite found their feet yet. I aigned up hoping to see Its a 10!, Ferro, Demeter, Freeman, Supergoop!, or All Natural Face (listed on their brands page) and in 2 months didn't see any of those, sadly. Most of what I got isn't listed on the Brands page at all.

If you do sign up, I think for this one, bite the bullet for the $99/year subscription (making it 8.25 per month). That makes it THE cheapest box out there, so if you're dissappointed a few times during the year, it won't matter much.

Verdict: C- as presented, potentially an A with the yearly discount and some more clarity on the brands page, as well as more dependability on box values. It shouldn't vary as widely in value between 2 months unless there's an announcement of a special surprise in the box that inflates the value (but lets you know that's a one time bonus).