I know subscription boxes have been around a while, but I’m still weirdly obsessed with them. Having a guaranteed surprise present arrive in your letterbox (or, if you’re like me, at your workplace, to the joy of the reception staff who have custody and knowledge of all my ridiculous online purchases) is a surprising thrill. I’ve dabbled with a few subscription boxes in the past, but often found it difficult to get a good review of the value of the box, whether it delivers on its promises, and how easy it is to sign up, to suspend, and to cancel. So I’ve taken it upon myself (to the joy of my savings account) to embark on a test and review process. Being located in Australia, quite a few boxes aren’t actually available here, so I’m starting with Aussie-based boxes and then shifting along in time (pleeeaassee exchange rate, do me some favours here) to subscriptions based overseas with international shipping.
Kicking things off is the Lust Have It Beauty Box – an Australian-based subscription for all things beauty.
Lust Have It! advertises as a leading monthly beauty subscription. Each month’s delivery will involve a cosmetic bag, with 5 to 6 samples of a mix of products for make-up, skin, hair and body. If you love a product that you sampled, you can buy the full size product on the Lust have it! online store, or via the brand’s site (links to the brands are available on the Lust have it! site).
The box is $19.95 / month, plus $2.95 shipping and handling, so it isn’t the cheapest subscription out there. Then again, I like to support an Australian-based business, so all things considered, it isn’t the end of the world. You can also enter into an annual subscription for $250, which is supremely weird as that works out as $20.83/month, and you can’t renege on the contract. So I wouldn’t be locking myself in for an annual box, unless it is a gift to another person.
The Lust Have It box was my guinea pig as I found a 60% off first box coupon online (bonus!). To order, you create an account for the subscription, enter your card details for the relevant account, and sit back and wait. As I created my account just before the middle of the month, my box was sent almost straight away. I received a notification that my account had been debited, and an additional email with tracking details once my box left the warehouse.
It took exactly a week from delivery to receipt, which was half the time of that advertised on the FAQs portion of the site, although I live in a metro area which generally speeds things up.
The subscription does arrive in a cute cosmetic bag, as promised:
The mesh is really convenient for visibility in your handbag or while travelling. The zip is very hardy, and generally this bag is really durable, versatile and super cute. There is mention on the website that you’ll receive a keepsake beauty box, but that doesn’t appear to be the case anymore.
The January box contained 6 products: a blush, a lip crayon, two face products, a hand cream and what I think is a toner, but may also just be water in a pretty bottle for no apparent reason:
Conveniently, in your cosmetic bag comes a card that explains what the products are and how to use them (thank god, because I approach beauty products like a 5 year old: with a lot of enthusiasm and zero skill).
And if you love it, it also tells you the price if you want to go back for more.
In terms of the products themselves, the blush and the lip crayon are nice, but not really my kind of colours. The brand, Hikari, isn’t one I’ve ever heard of, although I’ve given it a google and it seems to be a US-based company specialising solely in make-up. The packaging is all clean lines and I love the black, although the plastic does feel a little cheap.The lid to the lip crayon is also a little flimsy, and something that I think would probably crack in the possession of someone whose handbag operates as a grinding machine for all possessions. However, I tried on the lip crayon and it goes on like a dream, and the colour is really vibrant and rich, so it is definitely being integrated into my weekly makeup rotations. The blush isn’t entirely my colour, so I’ll be gifting that on to someone else.
The face scrub and face mask are from another brand that’s new to me, Skin Yoga. I loved the packaging, although once I finally worked out how to open it up, the box fell apart. Which is fine, but generally it does seem a bit wasteful. However, the packaging did give off the earthy vibe that I think the company is aiming for, which is fun in a sample-product situation.
The box had a little tiny glass bottle with the product inside:
Super cute, and very spa-like, although not particularly practical. As you can tell, the bottles are tiny, so I’m not sure how we’ll go getting the product out of the packaging. Also, I had a lot of trouble trying to uncork. But I think the amount of product you receive is perfect for getting a good tester of how it works, and a feel for whether you’d re-purchase. Although at $25/50g for a full-sized product, I’d probably just opt to make my own face masks and scrubs at home with all-natural products. Or get something cheap and just as great at Priceline. But hey, I love a good indulgence, so you do you.
The hand cream is pretty standard, and the scent is nice and gentle. It’s a good size to keep in your handbag or at your desk. And the water? Look, I’m an advocate of drinking more water than just applying it to your face, but I can’t fault any attempt to hydrate.
Overall, this beauty box is fun, and I love the cosmetic bag. And as you get mostly very decent-sized samples which seem more to be full-size, other than the face scrub and face mask, it isn’t bad value at all. I’d be considering re-subscribing, but I don’t know if I am creative enough with my makeup to warrant monthly trials of new products to add. I’m more a creature of habit.
Cancelling isn’t as simple as it appears in the FAQ – there isn’t a ‘cancel’ button once you’ve logged in to your account. Instead, you select ‘Cancellation Form‘ in the bottom bar near the Contact Us area fine print. I was a bit skeptical, but I did get an email within 5 minutes confirming receipt of the Cancellation form and cancellation of my subscription as of the next pay cycle, so that was a good bit of customer service on their part.
Lust Have It! has some other quarterly boxes I’m really looking forward to trying out in future reviews, and I do think it’s a great company.
Final verdict for the Lust Have It! Beauty Box: 4/5