I love getting mail. I practically race to the mailbox when I see our mailman deposit things into it. Usually, it is a pretty huge letdown. Surprise, surprise! Bills, circulars, flyers, credit card offers – not anything to get excited about or look forward to. So this year I decided to treat myself to something I so creatively call Happy Mail. I give myself a budget of ten dollars a month, and every month, I choose something different to be mailed to me, something fun, something I wouldn’t normally buy for myself. A treat, if you will. It is cheating to just go on Amazon and buy something. I need to find a subscription box, or magazine even. I have had a blast with it and have gotten some good stuff, and not so good stuff.
I started the year with Ipsy, for $10 a month, free cancellation at any time. Their bright pink mailers, cute little bags filled to the brim with different beauty products – definitely not stuff I would ever go to the store and buy, honestly. It’s all part of the fun, like a present to myself. Ipsy gives you the option to peek at your bag before you get it, but I never did. I wanted it to be a surprise. And sometimes I liked the stuff, other times I didn’t. I kept the stuff I liked, and gave away the stuff I didn’t. I wish I had taken photos of my bags that I received, but I didn’t think of it! Which is totally out of character for me, I take pictures of everything, everywhere.
I did Ipsy for about three months, then decided it was time to switch it up! I decided to try Birchbox, which is like Ipsy but instead of a bag it comes in a box. I paid $10.00 a month for this one too, and I could cancel at anytime, per my own rules. It is described as:
Birchbox is a monthly beauty subscription of five samples tailored to your skin, hair and style. Each month, your personalized beauty box subscription will include five product samples. You’ll get to try all types of products (from haircare to skincare to makeup), and we’ll include information on why they’re great and how to use them.
And they are absolutely right on. You answer questions as to your preferences and personal style, hair, skin, etc, and they try to tailor your box around your answers. You also have the option to peek at what is coming!
I did take pictures of my Birchbox.
I actually liked getting the stuff in a box more than a bag. I guess I have more use for small boxes! I used this one to store pens in, in my desk drawer. It looks so cute in there! As for the products themselves, I kept every one of these and used them all. I really liked the Arrow Boost color enhancing lip balm, and the Beauty Protector, to protect and detangle, leave in conditioner. I have crazy wild feral hair, and it did a nice job of keeping it soft and less frizzball. Despite loving the Birchbox, I only did it one more month, as I wanted to totally different mail – I was done with makeup for now. I actually rarely wear makeup so it was fun but after awhile, I was ready for a switch.
Next up, I tried a book subscription box, called Bookishly. I had such high hopes! Coffee, a book, both full of goodness. This is the description:
A surprise vintage paperback and delicious ground coffee through the post each month. You’ll receive a different 75g bag (4-5 cups) of freshly roasted medium ground coffee each month, along with a vintage book from our library. There’s no stationery in this version of the subscription.
And from the UK! How fun!
However, I was a bit disappointed.
I think I paid around $15.00 for this subscription, when all was said and done. The coffee was actually tasty, but not enough to keep me more than my one month. The book was just pointless, I guess. The one in the ad is of Howards End – I guess I expected something more like that, than something so pulp and that actually seemed physically dirty. It just wasn’t the subscription for me.
Moving on, I took a break from subscription boxes and instead, subscribed to HGTV magazine. I just got my first issue and love it! Now though, I need to start searching around for my next bit of Happy Mail!
Anyone have a subscription box? Which ones do you like? It doesn’t need to be within my price point, I am just curious what ones other people like – or don’t!