Beauty Subscription Boxes - Why They're Not For Me...
I have always been open to the idea of these subscription beauty boxes and completely get that it's a fantastic way for us as consumers to discover new brands or products without having the expense of buying full size versions - especially if you are unsure whenever certain products are for you. I get the want to try before you buy.
Having received last months Birchbox* recently I must admit had I paid the £10 subscription cost I feel I would have been left a little disappointed.
After reading enthusiastic blog reviews I know that I am likely to be in the minority with this take on the subscription box trend but I pride myself on giving an honest opinion in my blog posts, regardless of whenever I have received samples or have been in liaison with PRs. I don't feel this should compromise my true opinion or experience on any products I review. In fact many blogs that churn out glowing gushes of praise with no negatives or cons in return for free samples I often find myself unsubscribing from. I read blogs for personal opinions, not marketed clap trap - I can read magazines promotional features and adverts for that.
My gripe with subscription boxes? First of all - the sample sizes. A lot of the products I received would most likely be handed over free of charge on asking at your local department stores beauty counters. The sample sizes are not particularly generous, just standard what you'd expect as a freebie from magazines, counters and on brands websites. The positive being that you maybe introduced to new brands you may have otherwise overlooked.
Secondly, I don't think the products equate to £10's worth (+£2.95 p&p). Whist £13 may not be much to some, it is £1 from a full size MAC lipstick in a shade you may actually want, or a generous sized Soap and Glory product or two, there's change from a paint of Essie polish, or three Barry M's. You could also spend your £13 on that Real Techniques brush you've been after and will actually use.
I have a basket full of samples which I say I'll get round to using but often never do because they are not appropriate to my skin type/tone etc...I fear a lot of the products included in subscription boxes are destined to join that basket which is why they are personally not for me.
I, like most people, love receiving parcels from the postman (which explains why I buy more than I probably should on eBay!) and I can see the attraction of consumers enjoying the element of surprise with a pretty wrapped box of 'hand picked' beauty products being delivered every month - but will they all get used? Is it really worth it?
Admittedly the attractive packaging will be a welcomed addition to my make up storage and compliments my bedroom decor well. I am also keen to try the Laura Geller Beauty gel liner included in this months offering and those Lindt Lindor chocolates had made for a nice breakfast not even 2 minutes after the postman had shut my front gate...
Perhaps at £120 a year for 12 deliveries (Plus the £2.95 P&P cost each month) I am being a little bit of a miser. My opinion is not exclusive to the Birchbox I received, I feel the same with Glossybox and beauty subscriptions alike... for me personally I'd much rather buy one or two full sized product a month that I REALLY want, rather than sample sizes where most are destined to be shoved in a box collecting dust until my next clear out.
I have a generous amount of samples which I've been sent from companies free of charge. If you are in the UK it is worth liking Freebies List on Facebook (click here) and keep your eyes peeled for their regular status updates. Whilst the freebies featured are not exclusively beauty related, most are. They scour the net for free samples and do all the hard work for you. You simply click the link, fill out your postal details and a few weeks later samples land on your doorstep - all for free. A collection of a few I have accumulated in the past six months or so (featuring Estee Lauder, Label M, MAC and Elizabeth Arden) are pictured below - and they didn't cost me a penny!
So what do you think? Do you have a beauty box subscription? How do you feel about them? Am I just being old and boring or can you see my perspective? I'd love to hear your thoughts!