Since the birth of beauty boxes in the UK a number of years ago, the whole market has been filled with controversy and debate. Brands have launched to high praise and folded soon afterwards, one-off box collaborations have led to more long-term partnerships and overseas services have landed successfully on British soil to service a gap previously unmet. Although I’ve never been a huge fan of beauty boxes (other than Latest In Beauty’s collaborations and the new My Little Box service which is just too cute not to love,) I do feel there’s a real lack of understanding by customers, bloggers and beauty enthusiasts when it comes to their expectations. After being involved on both sides of the fence, here’s my personal view on why we should take beauty boxes at face value and celebrate the service they offer – as well as finding the one that’s right for us.
Remember The Purpose
Beauty box subscriptions were first established to provide a sample of something great, aimed at aiding discovery of brands and products that you wouldn’t normally know about. It was never meant to be a huge goodie bag of premium greatness landing on your doorstep, but rather providing a trialling opportunity in order to decide whether or not to invest in the full size product. With so many beauty launches happening every single month, it’s hard to see the wood for the trees – beauty boxes provided a way of discovering new things without a hefty price tag. However, over time this seems to have been lost; there’s a lot of unrealistic expectations that cause beauty boxes and subscription services to get a bad name.
Even Sachets Cost Money
While you may be celebrating the inclusion of the mascara everyone’s raving about, or the fact that Laura Mercier have included a sample of their famous primer that would’ve set you back a fortune, it’s worth remembering that everything included in your box costs money to make. Even a sachet of product meant for only a singular application often has a significant value, with travel sizes costing practically the same amount to produce as a full size bottle. We’re so used to getting freebies with magazines and from counters that we’ve forgotten that every single product sample has a value attached to it; we shouldn’t turn our noses up at the inclusion of a sachet or tiny vial, because that probably cost £4.00 to produce.
Brands Don’t Pay To Be In The Box
As far as I know, brands don’t pay to be included in beauty boxes – they simply provide a huge stash of product (which still has a huge value,) and the beauty box company pays for the rest. This means that your £11.95 has to pay for the box, the packaging, the admin, the marketing, the website and so much more – these things don’t miraculously form themselves; there’s a huge team of people behind them that have to be paid. I really believe we forget how much beauty boxes cost to pull together and the time involved; so many now see them as a way of getting their hands on products for next to nothing, rather than seeing boxes as a service with a bigger purpose.
Although the initial concept may have been lost a little along the way, many beauty boxes and subscription services now add so much extra value – thanks to the demands of customers pushing the boundaries. Birchbox offer online discounts to the products featured in the box, Latest In Beauty have been offering free digital subscriptions to Glamour magazine and My Little Paris fill their carton to the brim with bespoke gifts and trinkets that can be treasured. If you’re really concerned about getting value for your money and parting with hard-earned cash for something you’re really going to benefit from, then do your research and find the service that works for you. You don’t have to be tied to anything ongoing, so why not simply buy a one-off box and enjoy the pleasure it brings… Rather than moaning about a can of Batiste being included. (That still cost money to make.)
What do you think of beauty box and subscription services? Are you a fan, or would you rather spend the money on something you’ll know you’ll enjoy?