RRP: £10 a month
--What does the promo say?--
"Stay up to date with current trends and discover new niche brands. Every month, GLOSSYBOX delivers a mix of 5 exciting product miniatures packed in a beautiful box for you to test at home. Our product selection is original and innovative. You can try them out in the comfort of your own home and in your own time without any pressure from sales associates."
When Glossybox offered to kindly send me a free Glossybox, I was in no universe expecting it to be so beautifully packaged. The pale pink and black box is sturdy and pretty, filled with luxurious ribbon and tissue paper in coordinating colours, and comes with full product information too (also printed up in their black and pink colour scheme). Definitely has the wow factor as well as being practical; for the packaging alone, a Glossybox subscription would make a great gift. Swift and secure dispatch also ensure it arrives promptly and undamaged.
As mentioned, you get five product samples (not including multiples; I think including multiples I had 6 or 7 individual pots, vials or sachets). I was intrigued to find out whether these would be full size products, or no more than the teeny sample sizes you get at any posh beauty counter. As it turns out, it's a mixture of the two.
It takes the same view as a magazine or mobile phone subscription: you pay £10 a month to receive an ongoing service. Unlike a magazine or mobile phone subscription, though, the Glossybox can be easily personalised: on the Glossybox website, you can fill out beauty profiles so that you're sent things that fit your beauty and styling requirements. In addition, there is a loyalty scheme on the website which enables you to pick up 500 GlossyDots for every friend you recommend, and 20 GlossyDots for every product from the box that you review on the site. Once you attain 1000 GlossyDots, your next box is free. This all encourages active use and consumer loyalty. Buying products you have enjoyed using is also enabled through the site, and cancelling subscriptions seems to be easy based on the website description of the process. The only feature I would add to the concept would be some sort of forum or service enabling GlossyBox users to interact as an integral part of the site: while there is a blog (and doubtless various Facebook and Twitter accounts), the site community would be strengthened further if its users could communicate with each other more easily.
With GlossyBox promising high-end and niche products alike, I was certainly not disappointed with the selection I received in the September box. I used one of the two generously-sized Dead Sea Spa Magik Salt Brushing sachets on a weekend away in the Loire valley, which rejuvenated and energised as well as fitting in with the luxury setting of my weekend. At £12 for 500ml as advertised on the site (offers exclusive to the site/to GlossyBox subscribers could perhaps be another way forward, allowing companies to shift more of their products and keep GlossyBox users loyal?), I would definitely buy. The HD Brows set is sophisticated and technical, and the Moa green balm is a serious contender to Liz Earle's Superbalm thanks to its multitasking moisturising rescue properties for your whole body. The Neal and Wolf Glow Super Shine Spray is also sure to add a touch of glamour and confidence to any girl's hair. The sample of Plum perfume, by Mary Greenwell, was the only thing I was disappointed with - not for its scent, but the sample size was nothing special and no different to what you get as a freebie if shopping in a department store. However, the box definitely gave me the chance to try products I'd had earmarked for a while (the Moa green balm had been pinned to my fridge in the form of a magazine cutout for months) as well as to discover products I didn't know to exist.
--Value for money--
While for some people £10 seems a lot for something unnecessary, people across the world spend this sort of money routinely on things like state-of-the-art mobile phones. However, the statements made by the company are valid: this is a good way to try a lot of new, different beauty products at once without wasting your money on full size packs. I have also heard GlossyBox lovers justifying the purchase with reasons such as them not drinking or smoking, and so that this is their affordable monthly luxury. And I don't blame them - the brand easily fulfils its brief of delivering a slice of daily sophistication to users' doors, and I have already recommended it to my husband as a gift for a family member this Christmas. Top service.