13 Jan 2012
( 4/5 )
Beauty box services, I must admit, are something that's new to me, though apparently they've had them for quite a while in the US. But in France, they're a new thing - the first one only started up about a year ago.
PreciousBox (www.preciousbox.fr) is the brainchild of Mélissa Aubert, 30, who describes herself as having a lifelong interest in beauty, skincare and all things feminine. “All women like to feel beautiful,” she says. “I myself like to try out new things - and we will take care to differentiate ourselves from the other beauty boxes on the market.”
Mélissa sent me the first box, which included offerings from her initial sign-ups, niche brands Anatomicals, M Picaut, Science & Mer and Terre D’Oc, and more brands will be coming on stream each month. For your 20-euro-a-month subscription, you get five travel-size products from a range of beauty products and accessories, with carriage free of charge. You can then buy full-size products direct from the website if you wish.
Goods are delivered in a black box and Melissa promised “a very chic and feminine interior”. Indeed it was. The box itself is glossy cardboard and seals with a magnet, so you can keep it to store things in, and the contents were packed in pink tulle, pink tissue, pink feathers and shredded black card. Opening it felt like a treat.
Mine contained a full-size Science et Mer face scrub, Anatomicals lip gloss and eye cream, a Terre d'Oc lip pencil and two travel-size samples of cleanser and facial oil from M Picault - a brand that is new to me. Reviews will follow in due course.
Beauty boxes strike me as a useful way to test out products you might not otherwise buy for yourself, and in France you can now choose your price level, with some starting from as little as 8.99 a month, though the lower-priced ones tend to include fees for carriage. Of course, you are bound to get some things you don't much care for, but you're also bound to fall across some things that you wouldn't have discovered otherwise, especially with so many niche brands being on offer.
The only downside? The box arriving through the post really does feel like a present, and it would be all too easy to forget that you're actually paying for it!