Violet Box is a subscription beauty box service that has recently launched in New Zealand. I’ve never been a subscriber to beauty boxes because, although I delight in tiny things and discovering new brands, I generally don’t trust a faceless company who has no idea who I am to choose things for me. I was sent the June box for free, however, and I feel largely positive towards it, so I thought I’d share what it contained.
The idea with Violet Box is you pay $25 + shipping, and they send you at least $60 worth of samples, deluxe minis and full-size products. The subscription beauty box idea isn’t new, but the market is pretty small in New Zealand with the recent demise of Sample Bar; now Violet Box and Goodiebox are your only options. (Despite having written for Goodiebox before, I’ve never tried the service!) The $60 value thing is debatable: although you would have to spend that to buy the products outside of the service, the question is really whether you actually would.
So everything came in a cardboard mailing box stuffed with purple shredded paper. By the looks of things, Violet Box is meant to come in a pretty black box that ties with a ribbon. I can only assume they ran out and made do; I don’t particularly mind, although if I had got the fancier box I would have reused it rather than just recycling the cardboard.
Here’s everything that came in the box: mini Goldwell heat protectant serum, mini John Plunkett Super Wrinkle cream, sample of RCK ‘body glow’ (single-use fake tan?), full-size John Plunkett Glyco Peel, full-size Be A Bombshell eyeshadow quad, and full-size Chella eyebrow pencil. That gives you a selection of skincare, hair care, cosmetics and body products, which is varied and comprehensive so that’s a plus.
Right away, I can tell you I’m not going to use a single application sachet of RCK ‘body glow‘. It is the middle of winter, so every part of me is covered as much as possible. I am sitting in a cafe right now as I write this, and they offered me a blanket. It is not ‘body glow’ weather.
I gave the Super Wrinkle cream to my Mum. She’s got more wrinkles than I do, and she has dry skin and I don’t, so this product has literally zero utility for me. I suspect a lot of Violet Box subscribers’ mothers will be getting Super Wrinkle cream this month.
Mum asked me who John Plunkett is and I admitted I’ve never heard of him before. Turns out the John Plunkett range is Australian and sold as ‘cosmeceuticals’. That term means nothing other than making you think these products are going to be more effective than other skincare ranges. Honestly that doesn’t bother me because I’ve got this full-size Glyco Peel to try and I’m pretty happy about it. The 25% glycolic acid is pretty high for a pharmacy product and after evening use for a week it’s already making a difference in my skin. I’ll be writing more about chemical exfoliators soon.
Then there’s the Be A Bombshell eyeshadow quad. Be A Bombshell is a brand I’m only familiar with from their saturation of other beauty boxes, mostly Ipsy, which I’ve read about on other blogs. The cumulative effect of reading many Ipsy reviews has led me to have a fairly unoptimistic view of the brand. This quad doesn’t do much to elevate my opinion of them. I mean first of all, these aren’t my colours and I can’t see them being appealing to anyone, unless you’re 12. Then, well, they’re powdery and not very pigmented.
In the photo above, I’ve also swatched the Chella eyebrow pencil (it’s the bottom line – the top is the Sephora honey blonde eyebrow pencil for comparison). The pencil is quite firm, has a narrow tip and isn’t too warmly-toned. I don’t think I’d seek it out, but I’ll definitely keep it on hand for when my other brow pencils run out. (I’m also still a committed devotee of the Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade.)
Last there’s the hair styling spray which is always useful. I haven’t tried it yet but I like protecting my hair from heat and I like sleek hair so it will be hard to let me down with this one.
Overall this is a fairly decent box and I wouldn’t be disappointed if I had paid real money for it – the Glyco Peel alone retails for $30 and is the product I’m most happy with. When you add up the retail value for the whole box it’s about $90, which is very, very decent. I’ll be posting about my experience with the Glyco Peel and other exfoliators soon, so keep an eye out for that post.
Do you subscribe to Violet Box, or any other subscription beauty boxes? Do you think they’re ‘worth it’?
If you’re interested in subscribing to Violet Box, I’d appreciate it if you used the link in my sidebar – I think I earn all of five dollars per referral, which would pay for two-thirds of my daily coffee-and-cheese-scone. I’LL BE WEALTHY IN NO TIME.