Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Magic Box

So I'm doing something completely different today. I'm a bit of a beauty product junkie, I just don't have the cash to usually indulge. I've been on financial lockdown for several months, so when I got a new part time job a few weeks back (the interview for which is a whole other story in itself) I decided to go a little nuts and try out some beauty subscription boxes. Part of it was motivated by the fact that I was running out of most of my basic makeup and needed to replace it, and partly because I LOVE getting stuff in the mail. I mean, who doesn't?, but given how often I post stuff to other people I feel like I'm getting mine when something arrives in the post. 

Some of the stuff I got is really exciting so I thought I'd review two of the four boxes here, 2 of which were Australian boxes. I only bought a Lust Have It box because it was $7.95 and the contents aren't even worth talking about, while I get the feeling Bellabox was having an off month, so I'm keeping my subscription with them for a little bit longer and giving them another shot. 

On the other hand, Violet Box came through with the goods in a big way. With two full sized products and some great samples, the $12.95 I paid for the box (as an introductory offer) was more than recouped.  Included in the box was the Laqa & Co. Lip Lube (RRP: $20) in Bees Knees (lucky me, I got a shade I can actually wear!):

and the So Susan Flutter Mascara in Black (RRP: $32):

The lip lube, despite its terrible name, is great and glides on like a buttery gloss and is quite sheer, so you need well buffed lips for this product to work properly. The So Susan mascara has a small wand, which works great on my little lashes. Given that I needed a new mascara, this Violet Box was worth purchasing just for that alone, although I am also enjoying a tiny vial of Bioderma's Pore Refiner and some Sukin Hair Treatment samples, among others. 

And then, my friends, it gets even better. I tried out Wantable, a Milwaukee based company in the States, that offers highly personalised beauty boxes (although they also do accessories and intimates). I bought the one off box for $40 plus $10 shipping, but as the total value of my box was more than $100 US, I was very happy with the value of the products received, especially as several of them replaced items recently emptied in my beauty bag. 

Getting this box in the mail was truly very exciting:

and on the inside: 

So the four products I received in the Wantable box were Geri G's Innocent Foundation in Light, Elisabeth Mott's It's So Big! Mascara, Tarina Tarantino's Eye Dream Hyperlight and Vincent Longo's Velvet Riche Lipstick in Carnelian Red. 

The great thing about Wantable is that you can customise the box to the nth degree. You fill out a very detailed questionnaire on what you love, like and dislike and you are guaranteed to never receive anything you dislike, which for me means never getting eyeliner, bronzer, nail polish or tools. But it also means never receiving any lip glosses, or loose eye powders, or brow pomade, because you can customise the products even further within the broad categories of lip colours, eye shadows or brows. It's pretty freaking great, and I loved every one of the four full sized products I received. I was pretty strict with what I said I liked, and I think that's how I ended up with a box I loved. 

I needed a new foundation, so the Geri G. (RRP: $38) blends like a dream and was very welcome, as was the second mascara It's So Big! (RRP: $19.99) because I really needed to replace those. The Tarina Tarantino Eye Dream Hyperlight (RRP: $22) was very exciting; it's essentially an illuminating concealer and a very welcome addition to my makeup bag. It seems I finally might have found a concealer that works for me! Finally there was the Vincent Longo Velvet Riche lipstick (RRP: $23) in Carnelian Red, which looks really good over a regular lip balm.

It's worth pointing out that these items have a higher dollar value here, beyond that stated on the invoice, given the significant mark up on cosmetics here in Australia, particularly those from the US and the UK. So I really feel like I got more than twice my money's worth on these products. The Wantable box is too expensive to buy every month, but maybe every three or four months I'll shell out the dollars for one. For now I'm subscribed to Violet Box, and if the box is this good value every month and filled with items I need and use anyway, then I will stay subscribed.

If you're Australian, I highly recommend the Violet Box. And if Wantable ships to your country you should definitely give it a try, it's like beauty Christmas time!

And if all else fails, Violet Box's packaging is the perfect size for my meds collection: