A Note on Beauty Subscription Boxes

I've been blogging since 2011 - that's four, long but exciting years of beauty launches and news. Along the way I have seen new brands develop, soar in popularity, name changes and every now the demise of a box. Four years is long enough to recall the birth of not only Glossybox but other beauty subscription boxes, it is also a lengthy enough period to gain insight to how said boxes work and where they are lacking.

I am pro-beauty box subscriptions; they are an affordable and dare I say it an exciting way to experience new brands, test high end items and gain full size products. One of the first ever Glossybox's contained a full sized NARS highlighter (I'm like an elephant, I never forget) and along the way companies such as Birchbox (formerly Joliebox - flexing my memory once again) have featured full sized luxury products too.

Every now and then you will also stumble across a slightly more obscure brand inside a box which you can not find with ease on the UK high street. With the addition of beauty box online stores you can also shop the full sized version of the box's contents with ease too. Typically beauty subscription boxes come beautifully presented, are delivered directly to your home and cost less than £15. What's not to like?

The dud products that's what? Those throw away items that you could have snagged for free at a beauty counters. I don't want a teeny tiny 5ml tube of body lotion - that is not enough product to coat my legs, let alone my entire body. What use is it to anyone? You can't stash it away for travel, you can't gain any semblance of a feel for the product. Nothing. Don't even get me started on the perfume vials, can we just not?

Before I sound greedy, what I'm really touching on is the value of a product and by that I mean the value it brings to the person at home rather than the recommended retail price. Think about it, technically speaking you will be more satisfied with a £3 bottle of Garnier Micellar Water, than the aforementioned fragrance sample - which is probably similar in terms of retail expense. Another thing I don't care for is beauty box branded items i.e a Birchbox eyeshadow, and the main reason being is that they are never for sale individually and normally sub par in quality.

My last bug bear with beauty subscription boxes is that on the whole they are not tailor made despite a few attempting to profile their customers. I can get over the surprise element - in fact I rather enjoy it but the items miss the mark completely leave a sour taste. It would be nice to see more age specific choices, a teen has no need for anti-ageing products just as a mature woman would most likely rather forgo a blemish busting treatment (I am generalising but once I received a packet of menopause targeted supplements in a box - a complete fail).

Let's wrap this post up on a high shall we? I am really enjoying the more thought out themes and general path that the majority of beauty boxes have been following as of late. Overall they seemingly contain products higher in value in both senses so I have less to complain about. Is there room for improvement - yes but isn't there always? On the whole they are a great concept and one I hope will continue to flourish and evolve.

So where do you stand?
Do you still subscribe to a few or would you rather spend your money elsewhere?