In the last year, beauty boxes have grown in popularity. Starting off as small subscription boxes filled with samples of new and cult products, the trend has grown to include everything from health food boxes to gym boxes and jewellery boxes. By far, the most successful and popular are still the beauty boxes. What’s not to love about a selection of brand new beauty items to brighten up your bathroom and make bath time way more exciting?
In January I signed up to Bellabox, arguably Australia’s most popular beauty box service. However, lately the company has been under a lot of fire, with customers claiming they feel neglected by the company as they grow exponentially. After almost twelve months of subscription, I feel I’ve received enough boxes to make an adequate sample size for an honest review.
The concept of Bellabox is for $15 a month you will receive a surprise package of goodies, ranging from five to seven full sized and sample products for you to try. Each month has a theme, and with the announcement of each theme comes little clues and revelations as to what you might be getting in your box this month. There’s also an option to review each product on the Bellabox website, which earns you points that can be spent in their online store.
Out of all the products I’ve received, obviously there have been good ones and bad ones. Some of the products I’ve been sent are now products I use every day, such as the Burt’s Bees Lemon Cuticle Butter, the Indigo Eye Rise Cream and the Anastasia Brow Gel. Some products I’ve been sent I haven’t even touched yet, such as the Sleek green eyeshadow powder I received (why? Nobody uses green eyeshadow unless they’re Elpheba from Wicked) and a sachet of zinc cream (I have plenty of sunscreen at home). However, all up I’ve been pretty happy with everything I’ve received. For $15 a month I’ve got way more than you could buy at Priceline, and I’ve tried heaps of products, from high-end brands to drug store brands, that I would never have heard of otherwise. If value for money and not wanting useless products is what you’re concerned about, it’s not an issue. My only real criticism with the products sent out is that I’ve received a nail polish in almost every box, and every one is either pink or black. Nobody needs that many pink and black nail polishes. Other than that, the product variation is pretty good.
The themes range from basic to glamorous, with collaborations from beauty and fashion sites and bloggers. Some of the most recent themes have been Dusk Til Dawn, Born to be Wild, Beauty Wardrobe and Sport Your Style. Each of these has included products that compliment the theme, such as metallic eyeliner in the Born to be Wild box, or the Lonvitalite 24K Active Gold Eye Mask in the Dusk Til Dawn box (for those tired eyes after a long night of partying). The themes have all been pretty appealing, however there was one theme, American Beauty, which provided the cheapest and worst products, such as these terrible Maybelline false eyelashes that wouldn’t stick to my eye if I welded it there. The products didn’t really match the theme, and many people were confused that month.
Bellabox occasionally collaborates with fashion and beauty icons to bring people one-off boxes filled with products recommended by the blogger or website. The most recent of these was Nasty Gal, where all subscribers received a 20% off voucher for the site as well as a number of products recommended by Nasty Gal. Eleanor Pendleton, the girl behind popular beauty blogging site GRITTYpretty and beauty editor for magazines like InStyle and FAMOUS, was another collaboration that was well-loved by Bellabox fans. This box included the Crabtree & Evelyn hand cream and the L’Oreal Pureology Volume Blowdry Amplifier, both which were really exciting to try.
If you read through the comments on Bellabox’s photos on Instagram, you’ll find loads of stories of terrible customers service from these guys. However, I’ve had nothing but amazing service from their support team each time I’ve contacted them. I’ve always received a reply within a day or two, and the problem is resolved within a week. Personally I can’t fault these guys on their customer service, and it’s unfortunate so many people claim to have had bad experiences with Bellabox.
Delivery is one area Bellabox haven’t quite nailed yet. This is also probably the only valid area of complain for customers, as all other areas Bellabox have got covered to a good standard. When I first joined Bellabox last December, it was promised each month the boxes would be sent out on the 10th. Somewhere between then and now, this part has been taken off their website and there’s no guarantee when you’re going to receive your box. Some months I might receive mine on the 11th, others the 30th. I’ve heard complaints of people not receiving their boxes until the next month. While I understand Bellabox is a growing enterprise and they might be caving under the pressure of packing so many boxes for the hoards of new subscribers, I feel this is an issue that needs to be dealt with somehow. All I’m saying, is it would be nice to receive my monthly box during the month, not squeezing it in right at the end! If you’re someone who doesn’t mind waiting for your monthly surprise though, this won’t be an issue for you. Go right ahead and sign up!
Overall, I think Bellabox is a great service. Despite never really knowing when it’s going to arrive, I always look forward to my little blue box of beauty surprises and am mostly pleased with what I receive. Without Bellabox, I wouldn’t be aware of half the beauty products I currently use!