Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Subscription & Mystery Box Roundup #NYG

Welcome to the first installment of tracking my New Years Goals (#NYG)! I decided to do away with resolutions this year and go for a set of goals that have a tangible end point. Being able to complete something is much more motivating for myself, and of course I need to document it all along the way. A few of these goals will definitely be hard to share in words, but I will attempt to touch on all of them in the next few months as well as supply some progress reports!

One of my goals this year is to reduce the amount of subscription boxes coming at me every month. I'm like anybody out there who just loves getting mail and a monthly subscription box is the perfect answer to a guaranteed treat in the mail box. It's gotten to the point where I have more than enough products to go through, and despite the fantastic deals, I can't justify the cost anymore. I did a serious sit down where I went through every subscription box or mystery bag I have ever ordered and sorted them into four different categories: Keep, Probation, Occasional, Ditch.

Keep. These are my must haves that I will keep my subscription to no matter what.
Probation. These are either newer subscriptions that I haven't exactly fallen in love with but I'm keeping for now to make a judgement.
Occasional. These are the ones that I will make one time purchases of based on spoilers but I won't be keeping a running subscription on.
Ditch. These are the ones that are getting the axed and under no means of torture or blackmail will I ever (most likely) subscribe to again.

Obviously the goal is to a lengthy list under Ditch and a much smaller list on the other three categories. I've tried many different boxes and I'm listing them all, even one time purchase boxes, so let's just see what it has come to! Warning this is going to be a long one!

  • Birchbox. This one is a no brainer. It was my first subscription box and it is still the best deal. $10 for a box full of beauty goodies, a point system that can't be beat, and amazing customer service to top it all off. If there is only one box you can subscribe to I suggest Birchbox!
  • Walmart Beauty. There was a mixed review on the last box, but personally I think $5 a quarter (so $20 for an entire year) for a box packed full of mainly full sized products is a great deal! They always send things I look at in the store and think this would be fun but never pick up so I think this is a fantastic box to have.
  • FabFitFun. I bought a subscription off RueLaLa, I don't believe I even posted a review on the one box I got. I'll admit I wasn't wowed by it, but the price and curation is more to my liking in comparison to Popsugar. I like that it's a quarterly box so the clutter factor is minimal, we'll see after the next box (I got a two box deal) what I think and if I will continue the subscription.
  • Petbox. My dog absolutely adores this box and we found some of her favorite treats (water buffalo ears and chicken jerky bones) from this subscription. The point system is also awesome and there are always deals on Groupon. I have temporarily cancelled the subscription just because my very small Pekingese now has two BASKETS overflowing with goodies, so once she eats her way through some of it I will definitely pick up another subscription for her. I guess technically this should be in the 'Keep' category but since it isn't an active subscription I stuck it here instead.

  • Popsugar. This one was so disappointing I was so excited for this box and when I finally decided to treat myself to a three month sub it was possibly the three worst boxes that Popsugar ever managed to scrounge together. They tend to release full box spoilers before the boxes sell out though so from now on I'm checking the spoilers and using coupon codes to gift myself only the boxes I know I will 100% love. Since my subscription ended I have only bought one box this way.
  • Goldentote. In an attempt to turn fashionable and with a huge fascination over these clothing boxes, two months ago I finally chose one to try out. This is a grab bag of clothes so instead of only paying for what you like (like most clothing boxes do) you pay one flat price and get to pick out 1-2 items and the rest of surprises. I like this service because the styling and fit is on point for me. I've only gotten two totes so far but I've loved everything I got it! One day when I have body confidence I will start doing Goldentote reviews. It's not a running service, you buy totes only if there are pieces you are interested in. I'm waiting for spring/summer to get some more warmer weather clothes because they've already sent me more than enough snuggly sweaters for the cold!
  • Beautybar Sample Society Mystery Box. I've never actually subscribed to this, but I have gotten quite a few of their mystery boxes. This is basically when they take their inventory of leftovers from past boxes and throw them all into boxes sold at discounted prices (5 samples for $10, 10 for $18, or 15 for $25). This is a great way to get a bunch of high end samples all at once, and they sizes are great, foil packets are rare. Since I don't subscribe to the box I don't have fear of duplicates so this will be something I will still get once in awhile when it's available as a nice treat.
  • Target Beauty Box. I'm usually not impressed with the contents of the Target Beauty Boxes and usually they release full spoilers before the boxes sell out. This is another great, cheap option to get some full sized and generously sized samples so I'll continue checking spoilers and just buy the ones I'm interested in. 
  • Freeman's Mystery Bag. I'm a huge fan of Freeman's skincare and their mystery bags are always great! Honestly I would put this on the Keep list just because I think I will continue buying all of their grab bags as they come out, but I'm starting to drown in an excess of Freeman's products so it will have to be happy sitting in the Occasional list instead.
  • Beauty Box 5. Never again. This box is consistently crap in my opinion, I only have it because I got a great coupon code for a year subscription. My last box will be in February so there will still be two more unboxings on this blog but I already cancelled my subscription so there will be no more after that. 
  • Ipsy. I just kept giving this chances, but I'm sick of the stuff and I have more cheaply made makeup bags than I know what to do with. I'm going to let it follow my BB5 but after I receive the February bag I am canceling it. 
  • Blue Velveteen. There was a whole scandal about this subscription closing down so even if I wanted it still I don't have that option! Basically not the best thought out box ever, the items in it were mostly discontinued and weird colors. It taught me a lesson about new subscription boxes and basically to wait for them to establish themselves more before subscribing.
  • Beauteque Beauty Bag. I'm talking about the one time beauty bags, not their new subscription service, here. I just thought that it was fairly expensive and not a good sampling of Asian beauty products. I did like the customization but it's just not something I need.
  • Barkbox. The curation is fantastic, but it's very toy heavy and my dog doesn't really like playing with new toys! She strictly only associates with mini tennis balls and loofah dogs, and even introducing a new loofah dog to the clique takes about 3-4 months before she will fully accept it. 
  • Memebox. I went through a ridiculous meme obsession phase. I bought upwards of 20 boxes within a three month span. Thankfully Memebox is changing their whole thing and not really doing boxes anymore. Even before that I decided I was all Meme'd out anyways. I have more than enough Korean beauty products to last me for at least the next two years so no more of these pink boxes for me!
  • Glossybox. I only ever bought the holiday box but I'll never do it again. It was just expensive and the curation of their regular boxes just isn't something that interests me.
  • Julep Mystery Box. I don't know why I even bought one, Julep nail polish isn't even in my top 5 of polishes! Ultimately this is a waste of money for me and I haven't even used any of the other non nail polish products I received.
It shocked even me to see just two boxes left in the Keep list. Typing this all out definitely shocked me in how much I have thrown away on subscription boxes and definitely motivates me to keep it under control. This helps me save money and but it towards things I really do love. Though I will miss the thrill of constant boxes dropped on my door step, it will be a lot nicer getting through all my hoarded products and embracing set routines with products that I love!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome summary of so many boxes! I'm looking into a few that I had never heard of. Birchbox is a keeper for me, too! I hope you will share a Goldentote review soon lovely lady! xo