Beauty subscription boxes. I have no idea how many there are out there (a lot), but they have always hovered on the peripheries of my interest/shopping list.
Let me start by take a quick detour and making a confession – I’ve grown to hate samples. I find them hugely wasteful and not really that helpful when it comes to my skincare journey. Of course, if it’s a product that’s already sitting on my wishlist and I have a chance to try it out, then I’m all over it. But random stuff, like the Jouer tinted moisturers that Cult Beauty are always giving away in utterly useless colours? No thanks.
Coming back to beauty boxes – this is inherently why they have never interested me. I don’t particularly want to fork out X amount of money on a box of things I don’t particularly want and am not going to get much benefit from due to the small product sizes.
That was until I laid eyes on the Beauty Heroes box.
What’s the story?
Beauty Heroes is a box (and online shop – more on that later) that focuses on ‘hero’ products, meaning you get one, full-size, awesome product per month.
Beauty Heroes was founded by Jeannie Jarnot, an ex spa director. Overwhelmed with the amount of products that crossed her desk everyday she taught herself to identify the real heroes – “Whether they were undiscovered gems or cult-classics, I could sense the star performer in a product lineup – that rare combination of quality, efficacy, and luxury”.
Jeannie hand selects and tests the hero products for each monthly box, focusing on ‘clean’ brands with inspirational founders. Josh Rosebrook, Mun, Mahalo, Uma, Kahina and Skinowl are probably some of the better known brands she works with.
How does it work?
As I’ve said, in your Beauty Box you get (at least) one full-size hero product (always over US$60 in value) and a ‘sidekick’ product (usually something of lesser value, often also full size and occasionally limited edition for Beauty Heroes).
Beauty Heroes ships globally (check their website for a full list of countries) and will send out boxes so that (if you live in the US) you receive yours on the first of the month – the same day they announce the hero product on Instagram. I’m in New Zealand and the box usually takes a week to get me.
While you don’t know what the product is going to be, you can register any ingredients you have issues with. If the monthly product contains an ingredient you can’t use Beauty Heroes will contact you and give you the option of skipping a box.
Finally, they keep the boxes in stock until the 20th of the month, so you can sign-up during the month and still get your hands on the current box. I’d definitely recommend waiting for a box you are really keen on, rather than signing-up just on spec.
How much is it?
It is a subscription box, so you have to sign-up to at least three months. It is a rolling-subscription so if you want to stop receiving boxes you need to cancel through your online account (it’s very easy to do, and also easy to restart if you want to).
Three months is US$115, six months is US$225 and a year is US$450. That works out at less than $39 a box whichever option you choose – that’s pretty good value if you ask me. The January box alone was worth US$127.
Shipping is included in the US, US$11.95 per box for Canada and US$18.95 per box for all other countries. It’s pretty steep but for a small company it’s to be expected. I still think the overall cost represents great value.
Why did I sign-up?
While I was aware of Beauty Heroes, I hadn’t looked into it because of my general disregard for all beauty boxes.
I’d had my eye on Maya Chia’s Super Couple for months, so when I saw on Instagram that it was in the Beauty Heroes box my interest was peaked. I did some research into the box – loving the fact that you get one full-size products, rather than lots of minis. The fact that Beauty Heroes only chooses ‘clean’ products meant that I was 100% sure I would want to use the products and that I most probably would like them.
As I have mentioned, the three month subscription fee is less than the value of Maya Chia Super Couple (US$85) and its sidekick, the Waterless Wonder Balm (US$42), together. This seemed like a no-brainer to me.
What kind of products?
Beauty Heroes has a great roster of ‘clean brands’ – Maya Chia, Josh Rosebrook, Mahalo and Mun being of particular interest to me.
I’m gutted that I only discovered it in January, because the December box was Mun (Awki cleanser with a face cloth) and November was Josh Rosebrook (Cacoa antioxidant mask with a travel-size Hydration Accelerator and a mini fragrance. I know – these boxes are THAT good).
My first month was Maya Chia, followed by Osmia (a body oil and lip balm) and Innersense (an amazing trio of shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner and a multi-purpose oil).
I’m a skincare junkie, so naturally I would have preferred three skincare boxes, but given that I covered my costs with the Maya Chia everything else is just a bonus.
Beauty Heroes is not just a subscription service. No no. It also has an online shop, stocking extended ranges from all the brands that have featured as heroes.
If you are a ‘live’ member (currently still within your subscription) you get 15% off everything from the online shop.
They also run an Instagram photo-competition every month, where you tag your photo of the current hero and sidekick and are in with the chance to win a free box.
Last month, they held a sale for President’s Day where they sold off all the leftover boxes from the previous months (I don’t read my emails so missed that one – so annoyed).
They also have a number of ambassadors who are given an in-depth briefing on each hero product so they can provide informed thoughts on blogs, Youtube etc. Following the ambassadors is a great way to find out more about each product and get some different perspectives.
I’m in love with Beauty Heroes. It’s such a familiar concept but done so well (far better than the majority). I love Jeannie’s ethos and how much she clearly cares about the brands she works with and her customers’ satisfaction, not only with the products but the overall experience.
I have finished my first three month subscription and decided to cancel. This is not because I don’t want to continue, but having been slightly underwhelmed by the second and third boxes (personal preference – they are still amazing products) I want to wait until there is a box I really want before I resubscribe. I’m hoping that won’t be too far off!
If, like me, you have never seen the appeal of traditional, sample-focused beauty boxes I highly recommend giving this one a go.
Knowing a package is on its way to you combined with the anticipation of the big reveal makes you feel like a child at Christmas. And aren’t the things in life that make you feel like that the ones that are really worth it?