You Beauty Box

Receiving presents through the post puts a smile on my face; even those I have ordered for myself.

Thinking that I really don’t get enough gifts and being one of those people who has to try any beauty products emblazoned with the word ‘new’ I signed up to receive a monthly beauty box. The idea of these subscription-based services is that you regularly receive a parcel containing a selection of beauty, body and skincare products. Some are full size while others are samples, and the products are a mix of known brands and those from up-and-coming companies.

Beauty boxes range in price so having read this helpful review I opted for the ‘entry level’ You Beauty Box. This one appealed to me because it has a range of price options and you get to choose the items you want to receive from a selection which changes every month. This means I should end up with products I’m more likely to use. Also, I noticed other boxes select items for you based on preferences like your skin or hair type but as my skin, in particular, behaves differently from season to season I wasn’t sure how this would work in practice.

I went for the £8.95 option which gets me three products per month. Because I placed my first order partway through the month some of the items were out of stock. Since subscribing I have received monthly emails reminding me to log on to the site on the first day of the month to choose from the line up of goodies and have since managed to get exactly what I wanted each time.

My first box arrived around 5 days after ordering; just long enough for me to have forgotten about it (surprise!). It contained an eyeliner pen from Illamasqua, a 15ml sample bottle of Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse face, body and hair oil, and a full-size bottle of Hawaiian Tropic suncream. There was even a bonus freebie; a sample of the new in-shower self-tanner from St Tropez. This is something I probably wouldn’t have bought but would be happy to try. So far so good; brands I’m familiar with and, in the case of the oil, a product I had wanted to try for a while.

The second box, less than a month later, was even better. A hair repair spray from Paul Mitchell, a cute sample pot of Nip and Fab cleansing pads (giving me my first experience of the wonders of glycolic acid), and a sample of This Works’ In Transit Camera Close Up. Again, there was an additional freebie in the form of black toothpaste (charcoal aids whitening, apparently) from Beverley Hills Formula.

If you’re into beauty and skincare and fancy testing out some different products I would say the You Beauty Box is a great place to start. I appreciate I’m offering this review having tried none of the other boxes on the market but here’s my thinking…Starting at £6.95 for two products per month it’s affordable and given that you can choose the contents, there shouldn’t be too many moments where you’re left wondering who you can palm the unwanted products off on.

It’s giving me a chance to try out products I wouldn’t ordinarily buy either because – hating waste – I wouldn’t buy a full-size version of a spendy product if I wasn’t sure it was right for me, or simply because I already have a favourite brand. On that note, after many years of using it, Clarins Beauty Flash Balm has now been replaced in my affections by the This Works Camera Close Up. It’s a more expensive product, but it gets better results for me and I wouldn’t have known that had I not had the chance to try it.

Of course with some of these products you can get a free sample in a department store, for example, but you’re unlikely to get a 15-20ml pot that you can try out over a number of days, or even weeks.

My third box should arrive any day, bursting with delights from Sally Hanson and Weleda, amongst others. If you fancy giving the You Beauty Box a go, you can read more and sign up here.

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