Having gorgeousness-enhancing goodies delivered to my doorstep always sounds like a great deal. I imagine that I can lazily browse an easy to use interface and pick out some sweet samples, or accept choice selections guided by my precise personality profile, then forget about it until the mailman arrives some afternoon and leaves a surprise in my mailbox, like Santa. But having experimented with a few different subscriptions, I’ve learned when it comes to beauty subscriptions, if it sounds too good to be true, it certainly is. Let me tell you the three reasons I’ve realized I’m done picking up beauty bargains from subscriptions.
The selection process is incredibly frustrating. Instead of offering alternate choices, if the goods I’m offered for that month aren’t things I’m into, I have to repeat the same series of questions about which celebrity’s style I admire, my hair and eye color, etc. to get a different result. It can be tough to figure out which tweak will offer me a new set of products and the guesswork can get infuriating.
Auto-renew is a terrible, terrible plan for this type of system. For static services like car insurance or my cable bill, I don’t mind the thoughtless automatic deduction from my bank card. But deciding on shades of nail polish or picking out new beauty products to try requires some attention. And when a selection auto-ships because the email snuck past me in the glut of my inbox or directly into my spam folder, it’s not that same kind of Christmas morning elation. It’s like when Mom grabs Christmas gifts because they’re on sale instead of what’s on your list.
In fact, it seems to be exactly like that. For some of these subscription start-ups, I can overlook the small inventory. But the more popular services I’ve tried out tend to repeat products, brands, and shades too often for my liking. Instead of recycling their overstock in a giveaway like they ought to, they keep offering me the same stuff that doesn’t sell, over and over again.
The idea of beauty box subscriptions was fun in the beginning, but until the burgeoning industry is overhauled, I’m out. — Casandra Armour