Today I’m reviewing the subscription beauty box service, Bellabox.
They sent me a box to test out and I’m going to try my best to take an objective point of view and answer the biggest question in my head (and maybe yours):
Are these boxes a waste of money??
Bellabox was founded in 2011. I believe they were one of the first and one of the most popular subscription beauty boxes in the Asia Pacific region. I certainly remembered when they first came out, there was a huge buzz that surrounded them back then.
Personally I have never signed up for a subscription beauty box. Because…
Firstly, for some reason I thought the price for these boxes was $49 per month?! I thought this was just ridiculous… but the subscription price is actually only $18 shipping per month. That is $15 for the box + $2.95 for shipping.
Or you can choose to pay $16.66 per box, but pay for the whole year.
Secondly, I am drowning in samples already. I am a fashion and lifestyle blogger and I am on quite a few PR companies mailout lists, which means I get sent lots of free stuff to try. For most of the items, I don’t ask for them, so they are not suitable for me, or I am not interested in trying out, or they don’t suit my skin type, so I usually send a note of “thanks but no thanks” back. Then I feel really bad!
Lastly, back then (when considering a subscription box), I felt that I had reached a stage in my life where I don’t like to experiment with new beauty products. I just wanted to stick to my usual stuff.
But funny thing is that, it turns out that in the past couple of years, I have become more experimental and keen to try new beauty products. Maybe a sign of getting older and wanting to stay young? Wanting to remain in the cool gang? Haha!
March Box Contents: Blue chalk hair colour (probably would have liked pink chalk), Neon & Co Hair treatment. (hair treatment oil is always fab), Bliss Body Butter (I always need body cream for my legs and feet!), Benefit Pore Minimiser (so cool , I have always wanted to try this), MonoDermà A15 Retinol – Vitamin A (yikes, I have always wanted to try this kind of vitamin A capsules to apply directly onto my skin to reduce fine lines and wrinkles).
So what is good about these subscription boxes anyway?
I had a good think about WHO would benefit MOST from them, and WHY someone might like to try it out.
1. Samples save you money. I actually love getting samples. They allow you to try before you buy. A full bottle of cream can be $16 – $22 or more! I have bought so many crappy products.
I have many regular beauty items I have discovered through samples. My Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation that I have been using religiously for the last 5 years, came from a magazine sample. Keihl’s body cream, Aesop hand creams, philosophy scrubs, AHA masks and more.
2. Access to product samples. If you don’t have access to product samples, subscription boxes are a pretty good way to get them. Especially because someone else chooses and finds them for you.
3. Value for money. Standard shipping alone in Australia is about $9 – $13 for a small box? So getting 5 samples sent to your door for $18 is pretty cheap.
4. Saves you time. I once had a few hours spare to go shopping… so I went to Priceline. I opened bottles, sniffed products, dabbed them onto my hands, felt the consistency, looked up the products on my smart phone while standing in the aisle, read the reviews. I tried out eye liners, lip stains, tanning creams, bb creams, foaming face wash, oil cleansers. I read the back of packets, looked at ingredients, I just wanted to know what was out there and to test out what they felt like. Suddenly it was 2.5 hours later and I was absolutely KICKING MYSELF that I wasted so much time!!
I seriously would have preferred someone ‘in the know’ to recommend me a few good products so I could try.
5. Trying new stuff is fun. If you enjoy experimenting with new and popular beauty products, then 5 samples per month is a good place to start. If you don’t have any skin sensitivities or allergies, then it can be quite exciting to try new stuff for your skin/body/hair/face. You’ll never know if something will work for you if you don’t try it right?
6. Receiving surprises in the mail. Most people adore this. It reminds us of the good old snail mail days. The box is lovely and the products are very well packaged.
So to answer my original question – Are they a waste of money?
YES, if you are completely not interested in experimenting and someone else choosing beauty products for you. or if you have sensitive skin. Or particular about colours. It’s not for everyone!
BUT if you like experimenting, receiving samples, saving money on products and saving time on research… then NO, it’s not a waste of money – it’s actually pretty good value.
As for me…
I pick up a new mascara ($25) or a BB cream ($18) or a new lip colour ($23) or a different nail colour ($17) ALL THE TIME, just because I saw it in a magazine and just to try something new. If I wasn’t already drowning in product samples, I would definitely sign myself up for a monthly subscription.
I’m not getting paid for this review, but if you decide you like the idea of a subscription box, you can check out the Bellabox Beauty Boxes here and if you subscribe, I’ll get a little commission on the sale. No pressure though. Like I said, it’s not for everyone.