Beauty box service: Comparative analysis

10:39 PM

Hi Beauties!

In the previous months I have posted about the new subscription box services that have recently been introduced in Pakistan. Inspired by Glam box, Ipsy and Birch box, the trend of subscription boxes has made its way to Pakistan as well. Many online beauty stores on Facebook have introduced the concept for Pakistani people to subscribe to these services and enjoy multi branded beauty items every month which are not easily available in Pakistan. The concept and idea is great as it provides people the opportunity to try new and different brands at a much less price. I subscribed myself to all subscriptions available locally and shared them on the blog as well. Today I am doing a comparison post which might help you make a better choice for yourself and choose the service which best suits your need. 

Subscription beauty boxes
Currently there are 3 Facebook stores who are providing subscription box services, namely:


I shall explain in detail about each Page's subscription service and give a comparison in the end. Lets start with The Beauty Broadway. The subscription service by The Beauty Broadway is named as the Beauty Bar. I like how there is a distinct name for the service making it stand out from other beauty boxes. The name makes it easier to identify what service we are talking about.

Beauty Bar is plain thin cardboard box wrapped with a ribbon and tagged with a nice card stating the contact details and service details of the subscription. I wouldn't say, beauty bar is outstanding in terms of presentation but still there is some level of effort. I would prefer the cardboard box to get some color, it looks dud. 

Beauty Bar by The Beauty Broadway

Beauty Bar by The Beauty Broadway

Important thing to keep in mind is, Beauty Bar is a sample subscription service which means, the subscriber will only get sample sized products and it has clearly been mentioned by The Beauty Broadway. I received 6 items in my initial Beauty Bar for the month of January. 5 of them are skin care items with 1 makeup item being the porefessional. My personal opinion regarding the service is, as long as there are items like Josie Maran oil cleanser, Clarins eye cream and Neutrogena anti wrinkle treatment, I am good to go with it. Whats off putting for me is, products which can only be used once or products once opened become a problem in terms of storing. Take the sachets as an example. Most sachets are for one time use and once you open them, they are prone to germs and storing them without leakage is a hassle. Moreover the beauty blogger inside me is not satisfied with one time use of a product. I can never deduce concrete results about the performance of a product with one time use only. Lastly, most of the sachets come for free with purchases so making people pay for free samples just because they dont have access to them seems unjust to me. Page owners have an advantage of getting loads of free samples as they order products in bulk but selling them off like this sounds very unfair to me. Then again its my personal opinion, many people happily buy deluxe sized items. I am also aware that companies sell deluxe items as well but it usually happens for high end brands which are expensive, so companies opt for deluxe sizes for the customers to use them and buy the full size if it suits them. 

Beauty Bar is priced at Rs. 1500 with . For me, Josie Maran cleanser justified the price. But then again I am not comfortable with the sachets. I would keep on subscribing to this service on and off. I like the versatility of the brands its offering even the high end ones. 

January items of Beauty Bar

The next subscription service is ST effects beauty box by The Brand Hub. I must say I am very impressed with ST Effects box. Why? Continue reading and you shall know exactly why. Firstly look at the box. The bright pink red solid cardboard box with golden color inscribed logo screams creativity and effort. The owner really made the effort of designing a box, a proper logo and giving a presentation which makes the subscriber feel royal in terms of getting serviced. Its not just a box, its a tray box, you get to pull out the tray and viola, there are your items placed nicely on a crepe paper. I'd say, the presentation and the box get a full 5/5 from me. Also its not some cheap box, the box alone costs Rs. 350 plus. Also the box is reusable. I have stored quite a number of makeup products in this tray box. 

ST effects beauty box by The Brand Hub

ST effects beauty box by The Brand Hub

Coming to the items in the box, there are 4 full sized items and of multiple category. There is one skin care item, one face powder, a lip product and an eye pencil. See the versatility of the items. ST effect box owner does not reveal any item the subscriber would be getting, but surely asks for a preferred category of choice like whether the subscriber's item of preference would be from the lip category, eye category, skin category and so on. My preferred category was face hence I received incredi peel and elf face powder. As I mentioned above, the blogger me is not satisfied with one time use products as they dont let me judge their performance with single use, incredi peel is one such product. It left me wanting for more as I could not judge its performance. But another thing to notice is, its a sachet from a full sized pack and not some deluxe sample. All items are full sized. 

Initially the price of 1 month subscription was Rs. 1500 along with Rs. 300 as delivery charges. Rs. 300 delivery charges because of the box. For the price, I find the items adequate and worth more the price and justified. The prices were revised in the month of February and now the price for monthly subscription box is Rs. 2300 and the items are again worth more the price. So far, ST effects box is the only subscription service offering all full sized items plus the versatility of the items is another plus. 

January items of ST effects beauty box

Lastly, coming to the subscription service by Beauty Enhancers. What I liked about her service is, she shows a pool of products from which you can choose one product of your choice and remaining 4 to 5 items are by the page owner's choice. Now its your luck when you get to decide upon the product of your choice and its availability. It is very much possible that your favorite product has already been booked by someone else or you dont like any. 

Beauty Box by Beauty Enhancers

So my first beauty box actually cam in a small pouch like bag. The quality of the bag is not impressive. Its a plain zipper bag in red, but the good part is the bag is reusable. It can be used to store makeup items or also can be used as a travel makeup pouch. I personally dont mind it being a bag instead of a box but then instead of being called a beauty box it should be renamed as a beauty bag. Upon asking this question, the owner informed me she was out of boxes and wanted to send me the products on time hence as a last minute option she chose to opt for the bag. One, as a first time subscriber, I should have been given a proper box with a proper service name or a logo of some kind. In some cases, first impression is the last impression, this was one such case. Also I am not impressed with the name 'beauty box'. What beauty box? I recommend, the service should have a name to impress prospective clients. The bag came perfumed and I really loved the fragrance of it. The perfume thing-y sure impressed me. As I said earlier, I do not mind the pouch but it should have some logo attached to it to highlight being a subscription service, as in a proper marketing thing. 


Now coming to the items I received in the pouch, there were 4 items in total but I would consider them 3 as I was not informed that the service would contain sample sized items that too the ones with not for sale written on them. I dont feel it justifiable to charge people for something that came as a free sample to you and says it should not be sold individually. Just because these brands are not available in Pakistan does not mean, the customers have to pay for free samples which in most cases the page owners get for free. So I'll say instead of getting 4-5 items, I received 3. The hard candy palette was the item of my choice. NYX lip pencil and body shop butter and the cream sample is of the owner's choice. I am pretty okay with the items I received except the sample sized product, that too because I was not aware the service would contain sample size items and not full size. 

The subscription charges for each month are Rs. 2200 including the delivery charges. Had there been full sized 4-5 items I would have felt the price justified. In this case not very much so. Beauty Enhancers recently announced a change in the strategy of the subscription service, it has been renamed and the charges have been reduced but now its a sample sized subscription service like Beauty Bar. 

Verdict:

If you want to try out different brands in budget and you are okay with 1-2 times usability of the product then I recommend opting for Beauty Bar.

If you want full sized items worth way more than what you shall pay with multiple category items then ST effects box is your service to go for. I'd say, its the most professional service so far for me. 

For Beauty Enhancers subscription service, I shall have to opt for it again to come up with some verdict. For the initial January delivery I recommend price slightly lower. 

I hope the points I mentioned regarding each service were helpful to you in deciding which service to opt for in case you are still undecided. The concept of beauty boxes is new and will take some time even for the owners to come up with consistency and balance among the product. Its a great start and I am hoping for more such services being introduced by other Facebook stores as well. 

Please drop in your comments to share your feedback with me on this post. It took a lot of my time and effort and I want to know if it was helpful for you people or not and how I can improve myself further so make sure to leave a comment either on the blog or Facebook page. Stay healthy and beautiful. xoxo!!!




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