Back in December, my Mom was watching a segment on BNN (Business News Network) that talked about Luxe Boxes, which are these boxes of deluxe samples that are sent to subscribers every month. Each month you would receive 4-5 deluxe samples in a cute little box for a monthly fee – samples range from makeup, skin care, hair and body etc. As a makeup junkie, this sounded right up my alley, I love testing out different brands even though I am relatively brand loyal – it just means adding another fave brand into my collection! I did check out the brands that they had listed on their page and they were all higher end brands that don’t always have samples available so I was pretty stoked to give it a try. I signed up and eagerly awaited my first luxe box in January.
January boxes had a “first in line” reservation promotion, which meant I was able to login and request a specific product (out of three different ones) be included into my luxe box. There was only one that I really wanted so I signed in as soon as you were allowed and luckily I did since it was a popular product that ran out quickly. The January boxes also had a small delay and were shipped out later than usual so an extra bath and body kit was included. Who doesn’t love a small bonus?!
So my January box included the following:
- Yves Rocher Full Size Lipstick (very pink!),
- Benefit Full Size Farenheit Fab Shadow (Champagne colour),
- Chi Silk Fusion Treatment,
- Seattle’s Best Coffee, and
- Scent Packet with 6 perfume samples (Prada Candy, Prada Infusion d’Iris, Nina Ricci L’air du Temps, Nina Ricci Nina, Paco Rabanne Black XS for Her, and Paco Rabanne Lady Million)
The bonus box had a Schick Hydro Silk Razor and a 9ml sample of Fekkai’s Brillant Glossing Shampoo and Conditioner.
The January luxe box was a hit and miss since it had stuff that I would use and others that I would not. The Benefit shadow was great and full size so that was a huge thumbs up and the Chi sample is probably still one of my favorites so far! On the not so awesome side were some of the other items in the box like the lipstick, perfume samples and coffee. The lipstick which was way too pink for me but worked well for A. so I gave that to her. And I was not really impressed with the perfume samples but I made an assumption that since it was January, maybe everyone was getting perfume samples in the first luxe box of the year. The coffee – *sigh* Ever since meeting my friend SA, I’ve become a huge coffee snob and I am now incredibly picky about my coffee, so I wasn’t too surprised when I didn’t enjoy the coffee sample, the surprising thing is my Mom (who is not picky at all) didn’t enjoy it either.
As for the razor and Fekkai samples, I received the same razor from my Klout Perks and it’s a razor and it does the job it’s supposed to. I am still making my way through my other shampoo samples so I haven’t used the Fekkai yet, but I’ve heard good things about them, so I am excited to give it a test drive soon.
Since the January box was late, I was already charged for February before I had a chance to decide whether or not I wanted to cancel. My February luxe box came a few weeks later and I was a relatively happy camper as there are some products I like and the others are not major fails even though I am probably not going to use them.
February’s luxe box included:
- PureDKNY Verbena Perfume Sample (7ml),
- Cargo Lash Activator Mascara,
- Redken Colour Extend Shampoo and Conditioner (10ml x 3), and
- Demalogica Microfoliant (13g)
I was really excited to try the demalogica sample since I am a major fan of trying different skin care products, especially as the seasons change and it is fantastic! My previous hair stylist used to use Redken products and she recommended that I try them out, so I am anticipating awesomeness from these. The Cargo mascara is nice but I am still a fan of my usual Dior mascara so it’s unlikely I will be switching brands any time soon. Lastly, another perfume sample, but it is a deluxe size sample so things were looking up a bit and this is a lovely fresh, light scent.
With February’s box being able to meet my expectations, I was ok with paying for another month’s subscription as a tie breaker (so to speak) in my decision on whether or not these are worth the price. March’s box came incredibly late (March 28) and I was charged for April before I even got a chance to open my box that night.
March’s box came with some minor annoyances as there was another “first in line” promotion and it took me forever (>1 hour) to login to even see what the items were and even though I wasn’t enthused about all of them, I still chose the Fekkai samples – I mean I waited for over an hour to get on to the page so I may as well pick something right? After that, my box was sent out very late since people were receiving and tweeting their boxes days before I got a shipping notice. I also read those tweets and the boxes looked pretty awesome so I decided to not let my impatient nature affect my feelings towards the box.
And then my box came…
The box contained:
- Cargo Lip Gloss in Fresno (possibly full size?),
- J.R. Watkins Hand and Body Lotion in Lavender (29ml)
- Fekkai Colour Care Shampoo and Conditioner (9ml)
- Fekkai Colour Care Moisture Mask (9ml x 2), and
- Scent Packet with 3 perfume samples (Calvin Klein Sheer Beauty, Rihanna Rebelle, and Marc Jacobs Daisy)
This box is pretty much a miss all the way around for me – after all the time waiting for the Fekkai samples, they were not what I would call a “deluxe sample” in terms of size, these make me think of the samples you can request and get in the mail, although I suppose it’s a deluxe sample in terms of brand? I was expecting something similar in size to the Bumble and Bumble sample I got earlier from somewhere else.
The Cargo lip gloss is a great size and I think it’s a full size product but I’m not sure – my only issue is the stickiness of the product and I don’t think I will be using it any time soon. The JR Watkins lotion is a good size but I’m sure not this is something I would consider a deluxe brand and unfortunately lavender is not a scent I enjoy. It’s a nice product but I expected something more higher end? And lastly my biggest issue was the perfume samples – I can understand getting it once or twice a year but I’ve gotten perfume samples in every single one of my boxes. And the January and March ones are the samples you can get from the department store for free – I’m not sure that they are adding any value whatsoever to my boxes, especially since I have built up an extensive freebie collection.
So What Would Argenplath Pay?
The luxe boxes are $12.60 a month including tax and shipping. And the value of each box is over $12 but the question really is whether or not the contents of the box are right for you.
I totally got my $12.60 value in January with the Benefit shadow ($19) so even though everything else in the regular box was not quite suited to me, it was ok and the bonus box really added value because razors are not cheap and it’s not like they go bad so you can always use that. Februrary was probably my favorite box even though it had the least items because the demalogica is so awesome and it normally retails for $72. March’s value was over $12.60 if my assumption about the Cargo lip gloss being a full size product ($14) is correct, but since only the hair care is something that works for me, the whole box was a major miss in terms of value.
I have one more box coming in April but the hit and miss nature of the boxes make this a service that isn’t worth the money for me. Partially because the brands are not meeting my expectations especially based on the list that they have on their website – I was expecting higher end brands like Bobbie Brown, Nars and Stila etc. And partially because the products are not suited to me and mainly because in the end I’ve been able to get better samples from Sephora or other companies when I either request a sample, order online, shop in store or attend an event. Sometimes I’ve spent minimal amounts of money and gotten a sample worth more than what I bought. Exhibit A: I picked up an $8 cleanser and got a 30ml Ole Henriksen moisturizer sample with my purchase – 30ml is over half the regular size (50ml) and the regular size retails for $56.
There are other companies that also offer a similar service like Glymm ($10/month) and Glossy Box ($15/month), but I am holding off on trying those out because fellow blogger Little Miss Andrea has indicated that she is reviewing something that I might really love! [EDIT: It turns out Andrea has a discount code for 10% off your first Glossy Box and I am awaiting my first box in May]. However, a lesson I think I am taking away from this is when other bloggers review these services where the companies have sent them a box – those boxes are essentially press boxes and tend to have better items in it than the ones you receive when you just subscribe for the service on your own.
Finally, rumor has it there will be a #yeg sample exchange party in the works so maybe I can trade away some of the items I’ve received for something I can/will use. *keeping my fingers crossed*
EDIT: So I just organized my sample collection and this is what it looks like, although there are some that didn’t fit into the zippered compartments (i.e. perfume and bigger jars) – but if you notice, there are a range of brands in here from drugstore products like Olay and Nivea to Benefit and Nars (even the holder was a Nars freebie!) – and most of them were either gift with purchases (I’m buying stuff anyways) or samples that I just requested/picked up from the manufacturer or store.