File this under “Things I Love” – subscription boxes are the bomb dot com. You can pretty much find a subscription box for almost anything these days: cosmetics, dog food, toys, DIY crafts, peanut butter, and even underwear. Many services offer the subscription on a month-to-month basis, and in some cases you can buy just one box to try.
After trying out a couple of different services that cater to my needs (wants), I thought I’d share my thoughts with you guys. These make awesome gifts, whether they’re for a loved one or for yourself!
I just recently started receiving Happy Mail, and I want to be a subscriber forever! Happy Mail sends a package once a month with beautiful, handpicked stationery. The service comes from the creators of A Beautiful Mess, which is a lifestyle blog that I’ve enjoyed reading for quite some time. Their attention to detail ensures that each package is a delight, and I haven’t been disappointed yet.
It’s $15/month for a year’s subscription, $18/month for 6 months, and $20 for one month. I pay an additional $2 for shipping since I live outside of the U.S. I think it’s absolutely worth it because I receive at least 10 pieces of stationery PLUS stickers and other little goodies. In Chapters I can pay up to $7 for ONE card. Also, by using the stationery and sending handwritten notes out to my friends, I feel like I’m paying it forward and spreading the love. Happy Mail’s slogan is “We’re Bringing Thoughtful Back”. Awwww 🙂
Birchbox and Ipsy
Birchbox and Ipsy are both beauty subscription services which deliver 5 luxe beauty samples to your door each month. Birchbox sends theirs in a gorgeous (reusable) box, and Ipsy sends theirs in a cute little makeup case. The premise is that you can try before you buy the full size product, and that way you don’t end up wasting your money on something you rarely use.
For example: I was always curious about trying a setting powder, especially one of those “HD” finishing powders that claim to leave your skin almost airbrushed. I was hesitant to invest in one since my skin gets so dry in the Fall and Winter. When I received a sample of City Color HD powder in my Ipsy bag a few months ago, it gave me the opportunity to try it – and I LOVED it! In fact, the sample size was very generous and I still haven’t finished it. I will definitely be repurchasing.
I gifted a Birchbox subscription to my bestie, and she would text me each month and rave about something she’d received that she loved! I think overall the Birchbox samples tend to be more high-end, and the Ipsy samples tend to focus on up-and-coming brands. That’s just my opinion though!
Both services also partner with the brands they feature to offer discount codes. I discovered Trust Fund Beauty nail polish through my Ipsy bag and have enjoyed 20%, 30% and even 50% off codes!
Both services cost $10/month plus $4.95 shipping if you live outside the U.S.A. I think either of them would make a GREAT gift 🙂 If you’re looking for Canadian alternatives you could try Luxebox or Topbox.
I really enjoy subscription boxes because receiving a package in the mail every month is a small and joyful event that can brighten up my entire day. For me, the delight is worth the relatively small price I pay 🙂
If you’re thinking about committing to one, my advice would be to read a lot of reviews on the service first. Although I loved Ipsy, they may not be up your alley. You might prefer a beauty box that sends 2 or 3 full-sized products of well known brands instead of 5 samples which you may not find useful. I love Happy Mail, but you might subscribe for the novelty and then end up with a pile of cute cards you never use. Make sure you do your homework before you buy!
And there’s always the chance that you will be disappointed. I bought Azim a subscription to Mistobox last Christmas, which is a service that sends gourmet coffee each month. Azim is a little bit of a coffee snob, so I figured this would be the perfect surprise!
Well, Mistobox was supposed to send Azim an email on Christmas morning saying “Merry Christmas! Jocelyn has bought you a subscription to our awesome service!” ………… instead, they sent the email out two days BEFORE Christmas!! This might not seem like an issue for some of you, but my family’s Christmas morning gift exchange is a big deal, and I was so angry that Azim had nothing to open, and no happy Christmas surprise.
And how did they respond to the mistake? With a pretty lacklustre apology email notice – subject line “Apologies – Christmas came early”. I emailed to complain, and they responded once more by telling me they were sure that the quality of their product would make up for the initial mistake. Yikes.
Azim did receive the coffee on time each month but he said it definitely wasn’t worth $20 I paid each month. We would have rather gone to some of the awesome coffee shops around Toronto to try some new blends.
If you’ve tried any subscriptions boxes that you really loved please let me know! I’m thinking about trying Naturebox or Oatbox next, since I’m an habitual snacker 🙂