Saturday, 26 November 2011

Beauty Boxes - What would I like to see in them?

The monthly beauty box market in the UK had exploded in the past six months. I have mixed feelings about some of the companies but I did subscribe to Carmine and have received two boxes from them. I've read lots of blog posts and watched plenty of YouTube videos about the contents of most of the boxes which have been sent out and have noticed that there are some products which get people really excited and others which are pretty badly received. 

What's the purpose of these boxes?

The answer to this question seems to be different depending on who's been asked. To me, the boxes are supposed to provide the subscriber with a certain number (usually five) of deluxe samples from luxury brands. The thinking behind this being that we can try out high end brands we've not heard of before or products we find too expensive to buy without trying.

I find it a bit confusing that companies include a lot of full sized items and products from lower priced brands. I would prefer if they stuck to sending deluxe samples of "luxury" products; for £10 - £13 a month, I don't expect to find full size products which retail for £20 a pop and I don't want samples of products which cost less than a tenner to purchase in full size.

So, aside from the issues with full sized products and budget brands, which products do I not want to see in my box?

  • Poor Quality Products - I'm not talking about products which don't work for certain people, I'm talking about products which just don't work for anyone. 
  • Perfume Samples - I like perfume but these little samples are usually so fiddly and hard to use so I hardly ever try them. From what I've heard, most of the scents are not well received, either.
  • Anti-Ageing Products - These frustrate me because they tend to be pretty hardcore anti ageing products and I have no need for those at this time. I know older customers would probably love to receive these but I think it's unfair to exclude younger customers.
  • Small Samples - I know some boxes include little samples as extras but if one of the five samples is very small, it's disappointing regardless of what else is in the box. We want to be able to try these products out over at least a few days/a week.
  • Inaccessible Products - Receiving something from a brand which is not easily available is annoying if you like the product. I know most of these companies have online shops where full sized products can be purchased so that combats that issue somewhat. I also question whether including a little sample of a £150 face cream will go down well either, I think the full sized products need to be reasonably affordable so that if you like the sample, you can afford the full size. This is one people are probably going to disagree with!

On a more positive note, which products do I think go down well in boxes?

  • Cosmetics - I think there needs to be at least one make up item in each box. It doesn't have to be a full size but I think most people want to try something from the make up side of the beauty spectrum.
  • Hand Creams - Okay, this may be a personal preference for me but the smaller sized hand creams which come in these boxes are great for your handbag.
  • Something Everyone Can Use - Things people use on a regular basis anyway are always appreciated because they're things the subscribers can easily test out - things like a shower gel or a lip balm.
  • Universal Shades/Formulas - A black or brown eyeliner will always go down better than a neon orange one. I don't think I've ever seen a neon orange eyeliner...
  • Basically anything which doesn't come under the things I don't like to see!

If you've made it this far, well done! The points above are just my opinion. I'm still not completely sure what I think of this crazy beauty box phenomenon. I question whether I should spend my £10 - £13 per month on something I know I want rather than risking it on a beauty box which might leave me feeling a bit disappointed.

What are your thoughts? I'd love to know!

Stace xx


  1. I have to say I 100% agree with you on this! I quite like to see things that are actually useful to me, e.g. a hand cream, body scrub, shower gel, as well as some more innovative products. As for anti-ageing products, surely when you sign up you put in a dob? The companies should be able to tailor products to suit ages. For instance if you're 18 or 19, you might be more interested in combating spots, whereas I'm in my 30s, so am more interested in products for the first signs of ageing. If I was 20 years older, I'd probably want hard-core anti-ageing products - it wouldn't be that hard for the companies to check subscribers dobs, would it?! xx

  2. Thanks for reading and commenting! I think sending products for specific age groups in boxes is silly unless the person who's receiving it is in that age group, you know? It's hard to personalize boxes so I'd prefer they just left age-specific products out rather than sending the wrong thing.xx

  3. I agree with both you Stacey and the previous comment by The Bristol Beauty blog. I haven't subscribed to any of these boxes as yet and based on what I have heard, I am not rushing to either. Being on a tight budget at the moment, I can't justify spending the £10ish on products I won't either like or use. These companies are missing a trick in my opinion by not researching the demographic of their subscribers. How many times have you received a sample, loved it and gone on to buy the product? If it is not suitable for you in the first place it is a complete waste of time! Great post x

  4. You're probably best saving your money, to be honest. Although I have found a few really nice products...I don't know! I wish they did more research into their customers and the companies they include in the boxes.xx

  5. You summarise many people's thoughts very well. :)