I was asked to review bellabox, the beauty subscription service founded in Australia by twin sisters, Emily and Sarah Hamilton. At just $15 a month it’s not a bad deal, but I do have some criticisms.
For a small monthly subscription fee bellabox delivers a selection of beauty and lifestyle product samples from established brands, free to your home or office. The premise being that if you like a product you will purchase the full size version from the bellabox website.
Most of the products are sample sizes but I did receive a full size jar of Nivea Visage Pure & Natural Moisturising Day Cream (RRP $12.99) when the August bellabox arrived at my home office.
In addition to the moisturiser I received the following:
- Ultraceuticals Ultra CC Cream Mineral Tint SPF 30 5ml
- Pevonia Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser 5ml
- ModelCo Cheek + Lips – Cheek and Lip Tint 5ml
- L’Oreal Base Magique Primer 5ml
- ASAP ultimate hydration 15ml
- Swisse Recover Protein Bar Choc Banana Cinnamon 30G
Each month has a theme and for August it was GET ACTIVE which probably explains why there was a protein bar included. However, I have no intention of eating it because I am of the belief that chocolate, banana and cinnamon should never be eaten in combination.
It’s important to note that not all subscribers receive the same product range. For the month of August there were 20 different product samples on offer, in September there were 18 and in July there were 32. Although subscribers don’t have the option to choose which products are sent to them each month, the staff at bellabox compile product ranges based on the information you provide at sign-up, such as skincare concerns, age and product preferences.
It’s a minor criticism, but included in each box is a product information card printed in font so small I got eye-strain trying to read it. Maybe I need new reading glasses but even my 21 year old son who has 20/20 vision had to agree, the font is a little small. Fortunately for those of us who are a little vision impaired, all the same product information can be found on the website.
A much bigger concern for me was that when I landed on the website, I found every one of the products sent to me were out of stock. Initially, I thought I was at fault – after all I did leave the box sitting on my desk untouched for almost a month. But then a check of availability on products included in the September bellabox revealed that stock control could be an ongoing issue for this online store. Out of the eighteen products on offer for September, twelve were out of stock on September 30.
Nothing annoys me more than an online store that is unable to keep up with the demand they’ve created. But to their credit, bellabox does suggest other retailers where out of stock items can be purchased, which is more than you could expect from their competitors.
So would I subscribe to bellabox? Since I am not a regular buyer of beauty products, I’m probably the wrong person to ask. But if I were so inclined, I can definitely see the appeal of the try before you buy approach to online shopping. And at just $15 a month and you can cancel at anytime, you’re not going to find a better deal in the beauty category.