This is the story of how one subscription box lead to many many stories
Last year, around August, I was looking to do something different. I have this friend that is like a make-up guru, somehow I wanted to be like her, with all that knowledge and passion about make up, I wanted that. well, more than that, I needed kind of put some spice to an adulting life. Anyhow, she introduced me to the concept of subscription boxes. What an interesting concept, you subscribe to a box to which you have no idea of the concept neither the contents and you have to wait every month for it to come. Somehow the idea hooked me up.
My beauty box subscription journey
It all started with googling the interesting concept and what availability there is in Austria. Turns out, there are really amazing subscription boxes out there, the only problem is, most of them do not ship to Austria. After seeing this, I was starstruck over the concept and how it can be applied to so many things, from life-style packages, passing through relaxing, parenting, and make-up. After all the intense research I decided to give one of these subscriptions a chance. And as any normal human being would do, I should have started with a small one a trial version if you will, but the concept had me hooked already and I went rogue. I took a one-year subscription.
Thus beginning the, what I like to call the mad-box-ness period of my life.
Let’s start with the one that started all, the one I went rouge with: My Little Box. This subscription box originated in France with its first box being released in February 2014. Their concept is quite interesting because it consists of a minimum of 5 products from which they will send you an assortment of lifestyle goodies, beauty accessories, and the queen: cosmetics from Partner brands. Since I started the subscription until today, the box has not only surprised me with cute box designs and motives but also with the products itself.
The cosmetics/beauty come in two sorts: own brand (my little beauty) and from great brands such as Caudalie, Pure97, Rituals, and more. Great stuff. And the lifestyle goodies, for me, are the greatest plus that the box has. These products are that kind of little things that give you joy, like candle holders, ring holders, face brushes, winter gloves, and more! To me, the specialty of the box comes from this point right here, where you ask yourself, “what will come next? I’m excited”
To tell you a bit more about the subscription, you can have a monthly or a 1-year pay-in-advance one. Both have their benefits, the first one can be canceled any moment whereas the second one you do a one-time purchase but you pay the amount equalling 11 boxes (thus having a discount). The box comes always, at least for me it did, between the 6th and the 14th of the month. And it always comes very well packed so that no damage incurs to the content inside.
Back to my story. The one-box-situation went on for like a month or two until I decide, I need another one. I wanted to get more beauty products. That is when I was drawn into the magic of Lookfantastic. In the glorious days of 2019, look fantastic included between 5 to 7 great beauty products in a beautifully made box plus a courtesy Elle magazine (they discontinued the magazine inclusion in 2020). I was hooked! On top of makeup and beauty products I got a magazine, and in English? Oh yes! I needed the box, so I got it. Now I had two subscription boxes.
The advantage that the look fantastic box has is that the box is only one part of lookfantastic’s business model. Moreover, the brand’s business is entirely about beauty, thus you can rest assured that the products you will get are being sold in their site. In my perspective, this assures the quality of the content. From the 3 boxes I had, I would say this is the one that focuses the most on make-up. The products were quite good and with some variety from month to month (type-of-product-wise). The box itself is quite ok in price, for 20€ monthly you can get the beauty box every month. However, they have a pricing system where you can choose a different type of renewal system (which also affects when you can cancel your subscription) for 3, 6 or 12 months with their respective discounts.
I simply loved the boxes itself, they are all extremely beautiful and it was always the first one to arrive! It always came some when in the first 7 days of the month. What it was great from this box is that when you start your subscription you need to fill in a beauty profile. This profile will then be used to send you products that best fit you. For instance, when they are sending you eye shadows, they looked out for your skin tone and sent you one of the options that would best fit your tone, or at least that is what I felt since all the products I got – when there were options – I got the one that best fit my profile.
So well, not content with having 2 subscriptions, around half a month later I got the information through Facebook that a new box was debuting in Austria. The Danish success was finally coming to Austria and I could not hold it, I had to have it. Naturally, my inner shopper went and got me the box. The Goodiebox functions with an interesting system, you get your monthly subscription and if you rate the products that you have received you will get goodie points in return Said goodie points can, later on, be exchanged for a box completely for free! (as long as you have enough points).
Regarding the box, in itself the packaging is nice, not only it has vibrant and cute colors but it is also functional. You can use it as a mini cabinet to store whatever it fits inside. However, there were a couple of times that my boxes came a bit damaged from the delivery. But nothing that contacts with Freia would not sort. Freia is the online bot that answers your inquiries in the chatbox available in your profile. The products were also interesting with a great variety range and all surrounded by attractive concepts, most of them centered on how to make you feel good. For this box, you also need to fill in a beauty profile and as in the look fantastic box, I think, they are sending you the best match. However, I can not confirm it since I am not aware that in the different boxes there were variances in products (for instance in colors and the likes). I would say that in its origins the box was a bit pricy but then there was a reduction to around 20€. There are no discounts for lengthier subscriptions.
At the beginning it was incredible to receive 3 boxes on a monthly basis – a couple of days apart – and I could not be more excited for the next month to come so I could see which great products I would then get.
After around 3 to 4 months I started to feel I had had it. Not only the products between the boxes started to repeat but also some products from the same boxes where some times the same as in any of the previous ones (for instance, a hair mask 3 boxes in a row). I started to wonder if the investment of around 70 euros monthly was paying off. And here is where I can give you some advice that I would have wanted before, don´t get too many boxes, it is better if you stick to one subscription. That one that you find most interesting and attractive, else you will start to overstock on the same products (both in the brand and use).
Well, all in all, this has been an intense ride, 8 months, and 3 subscription boxes later I can tell you this doesn´t get too many subscriptions at the same time! I now have enough products for the rest of the year! And many of them repeated. Nevertheless, I have loved every step of the way, getting each box every month was such an excitement! I have also tried a variety of products and have a more certain idea of which products work better for my skin and which ones do not really do me a favor. All of the boxes have their uniqueness, and overall the box you pick should be something like a little treat that you give yourself every month.
And well, to not leave you hanging, this is my box ranking allá Marry-befriend-acquaintance. I would, Marry Lookfantastic, befriend My Little Box and acquaintance GoodieBox.
I hope this article has been of interest and of use. I sincerely hope you like it! For me, when I started my subscription box research the information was scattered, and mostly I could find information from boxes in the US. So well, here it is, my review on the three subscription boxes I have.
Tell me in the comments below which box do you have and why! Let’s give all the information possible to our fellow subscription box lovers.
Article by Javiera Jiménez.