Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Subscription Box Journey

I’ve done a previous post about all the subscription boxes I have and what happened with them but since then things have changed yet again. Today I wanted to explore the entire journey of subscription boxes for me, how it started, where it went, and where it's going now.

So I can actually pinpoint my subscription box fascination to two videos (which coincidentally also started my YouTube obsession). One is this Elle Fowler video which isn't the exact one. But it was her video that unboxed her Little Black Bag that had that purse in it but I can't find anymore. I was in love with that bag and that's when I really started looking into subscription boxes as a service. This was back in the summer of 2012 and probably when the subscription service model was really just beginning. The next video that specifically pointed me towards beauty boxes is another one I can't locate anymore but it was a Leighannsays Birchbox unboxing that included a tiny Make eyeshadow sample. That along with meeting a real life person who was subscribed to Birchbox finally pushed me over the edge and I signed up for a month to month subscription of Birchbox in March 2013.

From there it kind of exploded. Having just one box a month wasn't enough and I became obsessed. I signed up for Ipsy next which was quickly followed by Beauty Box 5, Popsugar, and more all spurned by watching unboxing videos on YouTube. Next came the discovery of the now defunct Birchbloggers group which basically invited subscribers of Birchbox who had blogs to a private Facebook group where we can share our blog posts and network within a community. That's where I discovered Bloglovin and was able to subscribe to hundreds of blogs that I combed through religiously everyday picking up tips and tricks as well as inspiration for more subscription boxes.

Then it became the summer of Memeboxes in 2014 when I stumbled across Rachel at Harlot Beauty and I got hooked on ordering this curated surprise boxes. Just search Memebox on this blog and you will find a ton of unboxings. So naturally this also turned me onto Asian beauty products and my exploration into those subscription boxes.

Fast forward a few years and I have ended my longest standing subscription, Birchbox. What's happened? It could be the immense clutter and hoard that has developed from samples that I never use, or perhaps my busier lifestyle that doesn't allow me the luxury to test out new products. You can even say it's the decline of my editorial calendar. I changed, the subscription industry has changed, and here we are now.

I'm only subscribed to a handful of services now, Walmart Beauty Box (quarterly), FabFitFun (quarterly), Sephora Play! (monthly), Barkbox (monthly), and Little Lace Box Serendipity (bimonthly). There's also Fabletics and Golden Tote however I find that I skip months a lot more than I actually go for a box. I have Birchbox and Mask Maven still on the back burner, cancelled but waiting for the last few boxes in my year subscription. Sometimes I'll pick up a special edition box here and there, Allure Beauty Thrills or Bare Minerals Surprise Bag. I guess I always liked subscription boxes because they were a great deal. It was the chance to try something I wouldn't pick out normally in the store for myself for a discounted price. I think what really changed was sifting through all the junk that they would send. For example, in a Birchbox, every one item I was genuinely thrilled to try out would also come with a perfume sample that I hated as well as a hair product that I would never use. The value of these boxes greatly diminished in my eyes as I found myself amassing a bunch of junk that I wouldn't touch in a million years.

I've moved away from beauty boxes really to more lifestyle boxes and even those are limited because there are only so many notepads and weirdly scented candles that a girl needs. So there we have it, how it all begin and where I am now with subscription boxes. I think I will continue to subscribe to a few but I see myself unsubscribing to more as the years go on. As fun as it is to get a guaranteed piece of mail every month I see a better value in saving my money and just placing orders for items that I truly love and want.

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