Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Box v. Box - Wantable & Glossybox

>>I bought one (Wantable) and I got one (Glossybox) free of charge from the company<<
Now that November is coming to a close, day of Thanksgiving drawing closer with the hours, anticipation of a grossly full Belly looming large, I want to turn your attention to my Box versus Box experience.

By "Box" I mean those various beauty subscription and one-time boxes chock full of an incredible selection of personalized full sized and deluxe products!  *small cough*  Why, get to try products from fun and new brands I've never tried before?  Have a chance to find my brand new holy grail something?  Or that's the tantalizing thought which persuaded me to buy a November beauty box from Wantable.  I also received a Glossybox, free of charge from the company.  Having both, I thought I'd do a deep dive of what came in those boxes.

Wantable
This is probably one of the more expensive subscription boxes out there.  While you can opt in to the subscription mode and save a few dollars each box, I decided to pay more just to receive the November one.  The featured brand is Surratt, and I of course was hoping to receive something from the brand.

Here was the selection of product I received:

  • Spellbound Nail Polish in Medallion
  • Geri G Foundation
  • (Pla) Beauty Eye Shadow in Serenity
  • Surratt Expressioniste Brow Pencil Refill (in Raven) & Case
 The Spellbound nail polish is very pretty and metallic.  The color turns cool and warm with profuse shimmer and has a rose tone to it.  It applied very easily and streak free.  I was pretty surprised with how much I liked this shade.  But would I pick it up on its own and buy it?  No, probably not.


This Geri G foundation is a veritable mess on me.  The color was way way way too pink and several shades too light for my tone.  Aside from the color mismatch (no big deal), it is heavily scented with a floral fragrance and has a very dry matte finish.  No bueno.


 The eye shadow is a soft musty mauve pink shade.  It is quite powdery and lightly pigmented.  Nice shade, but nothing to write home about and doesn't compare favorably with my other matte formulas.

 Of course the biggest draw in this box is the brow product from Surratt.  I was pretty delighted to receive the 2-piece brow pencil.  The case is refillable.  The tip is super fine.
Raven is a cool dark brown shade and is a nice color for my brows.  It is very pigmented compared to my normal rotating set of SUQQU brow pen and palette, but easy to soften by brushing the brows through with a spoolie after application.
Quick comparison below of the other brow things I use for color reference:
From left to right: SUQQU Balancing Brow Palette in Moss Green (left shade of pan, middle shade of pan), SUQQU Brow Pen in Moss Green (the squiggle), Surratt Expressioniste Brow Pen in Raven (three lines), Shu Uemura Hard 9 Brow Pencil in Seal Brown.

Glossybox

Glossybox comes in its signature pale pink box.
It came with a varied selection of products, hair, nail, skincare and makeup.

  • 12 Benefits Hair Treatment Spray
  • Kneipp Balancing Lavender Herbal Bath
  • Juice Beauty Green Apple Age Defy Moisturizer
  • So Susan blush - Universal Blush
  • OPI nail polish in Pink Outside the Glossybox


 I will definitely try the Lavender herbal bath.  It smells really beautiful!  But the hair treatment spray isn't something I'd normally use as I'm generally pretty low maintenance about hair care.  The Juice Beauty seems too light for my drier winter skin, but I will keep it in my purse to use as a hand lotion.

Now this blush from So Susan... I've never heard of this brand before and this "Universal" color thing is weird.  There's very little in the world color wise in cosmetics that would be universal.
 It's a very high shimmer peachy pink color, that really has a lot of golden sheen to it.  Reminds me of a more sheen and less glitter version of Nars Orgasm.  It is a pretty color, decent color payoff and smooth formula.  Again, not likely something I would pick up at the store.
 The OPI of course is a well know brand.  The pink of this shade is developed just to match the pink of the Glossybox.  It's a very sheer, pale pink and makes a good practically nude shade.

So I'm not sure I'm likely to wade into the world of these boxes again.  Though the Surratt brow pencil, the Spellbound nail polish, and the little jar of the Kneipp bath are nice, I'd rather choose what I want to choose a bit more selectively and not end up with duds I need to figure out a way to get rid of.

However, it was all in all fun to experience the "SURPRISE!" element of opening up these boxes to see what potential treasure lurks within.

Are you  a fan of these beauty subscription boxes?  Did you find anything that ended up as a true holy grail for you, or discovered any fun brands?

Happy Thanksgiving for those celebrating in the US!  Hope the rest of your week is filled with fun family time.  I shall be baking my pumpkin pie, and prepping for the FEAST of TOMORROW.

disclosure: this post features a subscription box that was provided by Glossybox.  I purchased the Wantable.  I am not compensated to feature any product on this blog and all opinions are my own.  If you are interested in checking out my PR/disclosure policy in more detail, check out this page!

28 comments :

  1. I'm not generally a fan of boxes, unless they're super super specific like the Le Métier one that I subscribe to or the Petit Vour one I've been eyeing which focuses on "green beauty." There's also a site I like called Quarterly, which lets you pick a "curator" that puts together boxes for you every quarter. I believe "No More Dirty Looks" have had a few boxes with them.

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    1. I think despite the high price, the LMdB one is great if you love the brand. It's a really nice way to try broader range of products you may not have already tried but still great for fans!

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  2. Hey Belly, still really jealous of that Surratt brow pencil here! Some subscription boxes look really good, but I really, REALLY can't accumulate stuff that I won't really use anymore, so I have largely looked away from them! Although just to be honest, if I know for sure there is going to be a Surratt brow pencil or a beauty blender in one of them, I might still go ahead and do it!

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    1. Yeah! These boxes are a one way ticket to quick accumulation. I'm sure if Surratt weren't the featured brand, I would not have ordered the box.

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  3. I've been wanting to try Wantable for a while, but it is pretty pricey! Granted, they're all full sized products but still! Maybe one day I'll try it out and see!
    Great post!

    www.lilting-grace.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by to comment, Miss Louise! :D
      All the blogger reviews of Wantable have been generally very favorable, so I was keen on trying this out. Still, even in all the best boxes, you get a dud so those pile up, you know?

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  4. Hmm, I actually went as far as filling out a profile on the Wantable page, but then got scared and decided not to go for it - partly because even though they customize it for you, I was still hesitant about shade selection and all that jazz. I guess I'm a control freak and want to buy exactly what I want! That being said, if you're ever in SoHo, try the Make Your Own Birchbox service at their store. Because you get adorable minis, but you get to choose exactly what goes into your box.

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    1. I certainly would be drawn to the idea of make-your-own-box, I think it is a great move from Birchbox!

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    2. I love cute minis! I do really like the idea of selecting my own. That's a great idea, Monika.

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  5. I posted about my unfortunate Wantable experience in your Surratt concealer post. In a nutshell, bought the November box specifically for Surratt. Box arrived with two awful shades of PLA (who?) Beauty, a super metallic blush kind of like Orgasm on foiled steroids, and a coppery eye shadow. Also very shiny. The same Geri G foundation you got, whose pump popped off when I attempted to use it. A Mirabella lip pencil. Aaaaand ... that was it. Geri G offered to ship me a new bottle of the foundation when I contacted them, which was super nice of them. Wantable essentially told me to take a hike. Canadians have to pay for returns, and I did not want to toss another $26 or so after the $54 I wasted on this box. They were going to replace the foundation but Geri G already offered to do that. When I said that Wantable had heavily promoted Surratt (in news releases, in the IG pics they promoted, in the freebie boxes a lot of beauty bloggers got and reviewed, I ultimately received this reply: "We did promote Surratt and many of our customers did receive items from them, it was just the luck of the draw that you did not. I do thank you for trying our service out, I know it's not the right fit for everyone."

    Yeah, I guess those of us who have this expectation that we will get what they promote are the kind of customers Wantable isn't right for. So ... from now on, I think I'd rather pick what I know I'll like instead of spending $$ to be unpleasantly surprised.

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    1. Urg! You had a terrible experience. I think their response saying that the service is not the right fit for everyone is a huge cop out. Basically they are telling you "Too bad for you; we're not going to rectify it." I'm glad to hear that the Geri G folks offered to replace your foundation.

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  6. Of all the items in these boxes, I'm with you, Belly, I'd probably pick the Surratt, Kniepp, and borderline the Spellbound.

    I bought a box one time, long ago, and ever since never bought any box subscription and didn't miss it. I think the allure of the box is the same as playing slot machine: I'll score big next time. They give you enough carrots here and there to keep subscribing. I honestly admire the business model of it: to entice customer with inconsequential, but frequent spending, and in the while investing on that probability that they would want to purchase the full-size. Happy Thanksgiving to you & entire Belly family!

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    1. Excellent analogy, Claire! It really is the ever hopeful thought of hitting it big that makes a lot of these boxes so alluring! Even in these two boxes, though I found a couple of really nice things (namely the brow pencil), I could have just BOUGHT that one brow pencil and called it a day without having to deal with all the rest of the stuff that I don't know what to do with now.

      Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful, Claire!

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  7. I ordered the Wantable box because of the possibility of receiving some Surratt items but only received his concealer in shade 01 that was white as a sheet. I returned the whole box because the other items were off brand and looked terrible.

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    1. Holy crap, the shade 1 is super super pale. I wonder how the questionnaire relates to the shade selection. I specifically checked pale thinking that a lot of companies don't make pale enough yellow foundation shades but then ended up with the Geri G which was much too pale & pink for my skin!

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  8. I've read a lot of reviews of subscription boxes, but I don't think I've ever read a 100% positive one. There always seems to be at least one big disappointment. Part of this must be that the companies are trying to appeal to as wide a range of people as possible, so everyone ends up with bland pink polishes and "universal" shades of blush, i.e. nothing truly interesting or eye-catching. I've never subscribed to boxes because I want to save my small makeup budget for items I really want, but I agree with Claire that people must keep ordering boxes in the hope of being completely satisfied one day. The brain is such a strange thing. At least you got your brow pencil, so all is well.

    Have a very happy and gluttonous Thanksgiving!

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    1. Ms AB! Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful! :)

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  9. I wanted a box with surratt but I don't like no PayPal payment options, then all I got was spam emails after that lol.

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    1. Did you see that Barney's was offering free International shipping for Black Friday?

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  10. I used to be intrigued with these boxes, but the more I read about them, the more I don't want them. I prefer the freedom to choose, as well as the shopping experience. I get the random samples from magazines and handouts, and never really use them, 90% of the time I pass them onwards. So to pay for a box of random samples will likely be a huge waste for me.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. YUP! I would need a serious level of selection & personalization to make a box really work for me every time. It was a good experience for me though, just to try it out and see if the idea of these boxes would appeal to me or not. (Not, as is my case, but still fun).

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  11. It seems strange to me that they would send out foundation in a subscription box! That's so finicky. I wonder what percentage of people actually chanced upon the right match.

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    1. I agree on the foundation! I saw that someone above got the palest shade in a concealer which is very very pale. Even "pale" as a description is kind of arbitrary, I wonder how these box companies match people up correctly?

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  12. Thank you thank you thank you for your wonderfully honest assessment of the content of these boxes and your reaction to the "box concept" in general. There's little I find so off-putting (and dishonest) as reading a post--by a blogger who typically buys high-end beauty products--praising each and every item in a box. Really--you love the band-aid beige lipstick that crumbles as you apply it? REALLY?? Your approach is so much more interesting (not to mention believable) to read. I hope you get on with the Surratt brow pencil!

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    1. SoSuSam, thank you for your really lovely and generous comment. I can see what the general appeal with these boxes could be, but for picky people (and I'm pretty darn selective) I can't see how these boxes could work. So far I'm really loving the pencil! I was happy to receive it in the box. Though, I just should have gone to the counter and bought it in person! XD

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  13. I want that Wantable!! Just for the surratt!!! I'm inundated with products too... a couple of years ago, I thought they were a brilliant idea... but now, i just start rummaging and throwing out stuff when I receive them because there's just not enough real estate!

    Let's see the turkey!!

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    1. :D I didn't cook turkey this year! And didn't last year either. Our family is not a big fan of the big bird. We did have a glorious rib roast, though.

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  14. Wantable is featuring Surratt right now??! Wow!!

    (That's it. That's all I got out of this post. Surratt trumps all.) :P

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