I am a beauty box addict. I love getting the little surprise in the mail each month from Lust Have It, Bellabox, Violet Box and the like. I've always stuck with the Australian boxes, but I took a chance recently and signed up for the Wantable beauty box - it's more expensive than other boxes at a total of $45 per month, but is it worth it?
The short answer is YES! I received both my July AND August boxes on Friday, so although it was a long and at times frustrating wait, I had twice as much fun going through it all, and I'm thrilled to bits! I have listed the pros and cons at the end, which I hope you read, but I know what you really want to know is:
Don't worry Brad, this time it's not Gwyneth Paltrow's head. It's prettier and far less annoying.
- Rainbow Honey nail polish in The Kraken, a gorgeous mermaid green jelly with green, gold and holo sequin glitter in round and hex shapes, value: USD$10
- Michael Marcus Blush compact in Demure, a lovely fresh pale pink, value: USD$26
- Michael Marcus lipstick in Debbie, a glossy pure red, value: USD$24
- Japonesque Travel Angled Foundation brush, value: USD$25
- Sample pot of Echo Vie natural lip balm, value listed as $0, sample (thank goodness it's not allocated a monetary value based on a fraction of the rrp - that annoys me)
Even though it was 8.30 at night when I got home I couldn't resist a little play, so I put the lipstick and blush on straight away over my fading daytime makeup.
They don't really go together, it's a bit "I got into mummy's makeup drawer", lol, but the blush is silky, pigmented and buildable - this is a light sweep - and the lipstick is so shiny and comfortable!
The nail polish made me squeal when I opened it, it's my first Rainbow Honey laquer and it's everything I hoped it would be, a glittery sequinned fantasy - and it's even my favourite colour, green! I haven't done a full mani with it yet but I intend to within the next couple of days, but I did put a coat over the forest green A England polish on my thumbnail just to try it.
Here is the polish on my thumb, as well as the Japonesque foundation brush.
The foundation brush is quite heavy and is fabulous quality. It has a short handle for travel and the synthetic bristles feel like silk. The angled edge makes it ideal for applying foundation around the nose and eyes. I can see myself using this brush often, especially as summer comes around and I wear lighter fluid foundations - sheer liquid foundations tend to disappear into the bristles of a buffing brush, so a flat foundation brush is ideal.
The little pot of Echo Vie was the sample this month and it's so cute! It smells like peppermint and looks pink with a gold sheen in the pot, but it applies clear. It came in a little drawstring bag, which I plan to keep it in, it will be easier to find in my handbag.
- Michael Marcus waterproof black mascara (I've never actually owned a waterproof mascara!), value: USD$24
- Be a Bombshell eyeliner pen in Midnight, a gorgeous navy blue, value: USD$14
- Besame lipstick in Red Velvet, a deep red similar to MAC Dubonnet (which I don't have but was coveting!), value: USD$22
- Face Stockholm brow powder in Myrrah, a perfect chocolate brown with no red tones
- Japonesque Travel Smudger brush, value: USD$14.50
- Echo Vie sample vial of organic body oil, value $0 (sample)
Of course I couldn't wait to try the Besame lipstick on, so I wiped off the Michael Marcus Debbie and applied the Besame Red Velvet. By this time I was looking a bit flushed because my fiance feels the cold and our house was around 400 degrees:
Kiss on the hand for David, mwah! This is his favourite of the two red lippies I received.
The Besame lipstick deserves a bit more attention just because it's so special. Besides its creamy texture and smooth application, the packaging is gorgeously retro, with a red velvet pouch, and gold case embossed with red flowers, very 1940s.
"Look at this lipstick. LOOK AT IT."
Thank you Lars, very nice.
The Be a Bombshell eyeliner has serious staying power and is a breeze to apply, and the Face Stockholm brow powder is soft, pigmented and comes in a mirrored compact. Swatches:
The eyeliner has a thick felt tip applicator that tapers to a fine point, for thin or thick lines:
Fascinating hey Jaydee? Can you let go now? No? Ok. Sigh.
I was excited to receive another Japonesque brush in the August box. The travel-sized smudger brush is perfect for eyes - for smudging lines, softening edges, adding a dab of precise colour to inner corners, and blending. It looks as though it might be made of natural hair but it's actually synthetic.
Couldn't resist including Dead Fred in the photo shoot.
I am over the moon with both boxes. There were some dramas getting them here - obviously when your July box arrives on August 23rd, alongside your August box, that's not ideal. They were stuck in the USA sort facility for days and days (2 weeks in July's case), and tracking wasn't very reliable. Fortunately the Wantable customer service reps I dealt with - Kayla and Amanda - were incredibly kind and helpful, replied in a timely manner, and made me feel reassured, if disappointed, that if my boxes didn't arrive they would refund me. I know it wasn't their fault, it was problems with the postal service, but they didn't try to pass the buck or fob me off, they got onto it straight away to find out what was going on.
So this leads me to the pros and cons:
- VALUE. The total value of the box contents is promised to be USD$80 - $100. For us Aussies, this gives us a huge advantage, because products from the USA are notoriously much more expensive here. So right off the mark we are theoretically getting more bang for our buck! A high-end lipstick retails for $25 over there; in Australia $25 barely buys us a Revlon lippie.
- VARIETY. We get to try brands that are hard to get here, like Rainbow Honey, Besame, Face Stockholm and Japonesque, to name a few I've already received.
- FULL SIZED PRODUCTS. Each box promises 4 full sized products, and usually includes one deluxe sample size as well. I hate getting a box full of samples I could have asked for myself and received for free, either at the counter or by contacting the company.
- CUSTOMISED. It's a truly customised box, with an incredibly detailed quiz. You choose the products, and in many cases even the shades and finishes, that you "Love", "Like" and "Dislike"- their site states you are more likely to receive what you love, and will NEVER receive what you "dislike". I have received only "loves" in all of my boxes - June, July and August.
- CHANGEABLE. You can change your quiz each month - so if you got a mascara in the last box you can "dislike" mascara for the next month so you don't double up.
- FLEXIBLE. You can "skip" any month, just by clicking the "skip" button. This means you can get a box every 2 or 3 months if you choose, without having to mess around subscribing and unsubscribing. This is especially helpful given the higher price point.
- SURPRISE. Even though you're customising your box a great deal, the end result is still just as much of a surprise as any beauty box - it's just a better, less disappointing surprise - an "OMG YAAAAAAY!!!" rather than "oh...ok...oh well."
- QUALITY. The quality of the products is always higher end, no "drugstore" brands.
- WAITING. Buying from overseas means MUCH longer postage wait times (usually...*cough stillwaitingforAugustLHI cough*).
- DIFFICULT RETURNS. If you need to return something, forget it - the postage costs from here to the USA are killer. You just have to hope they'll be nice enough to accept photos and refund you without requiring return post.
- COMMUNICATION DELAYS. Time differences and distance make email the only practical way to communicate - if there's a problem I stress about it until it's fixed, so I prefer to just pick up the phone and get it sorted.
I feel that Wantable's customer service team handled the negative side of my order very well. They were quick to respond, friendly and helpful, and I felt reassured that I would be looked after. When my July box was first at a tracking standstill I was kicking myself for signing up to an overseas service, but now I feel confident that if something does go wrong with my order, I will be looked after.
Overall I think the pros outweigh the cons by a mile, and Wantable is above and beyond any beauty box available to the Australian market. It's worth every bit of the $45 per month, especially with the option to skip a month or two if money is tight.
To sign up for Wantable, click HERE
Hint: you can fill in the quiz and have a play around without having to commit to a box yet. Sometimes they'll even send you a discount code if you do the quiz but don't commit to an order, wink wink.
Thanks for reading this very long post - I hope I've helped you make a decision about Wantable! And as for the pretty red Besame pouch? Well it disappeared....
Lars: "Toki took it!"
Toki: "Snitches get stitches..."