If the beauty sample box phenomenon had a voice, that is probably what it might say :D I don’t believe that we, here in Malaysia have yet had access to beauty sample box programs (do correct me if I’m wrong – clearly I’m not always up to date on latest trends ;) ). We’ve sat here at our desks and stewed as we watched our friends across the causeway in Singapore revel in their myriad of beauty box programs, notably Bella Box, Glamabox and a new addition, Vanity Trove.
Well ladies, Vanity Trove has taken the plunge to extend its reach all the way to us, right here in Malaysia! So we in Malaysia now have access to a monthly beauty box subscription service – a phenomenon that’s taken the beauty world by storm. I know you’re wondering if its worth all the hype? Well, lets take a look at the Vanity Trove box and you can make your mind up yourself :)
I was sent the debut Vanity Trove box back in December. I’m only telling you about it now because the Malaysian subscription service has just been launched – no point my telling you about something without being able to share prices and such right?
I didn’t know what to expect, to be honest. I just knew that each box would be a surprise as to what it contains, on a monthly basis. The box itself, when it arrived from Singapore was simple and, rather large.
* lipstick not included, shown for size comparison
The box is sturdy and the contents are nicely insulated and made to look like a gift box, so each box you receive is akin to receiving a gift. Inside, was a card with a welcome note from the company, and on the back, a list of products and how to use them. I thought this quite a good touch – sometimes, products that come in these sample beauty boxes may be from obscure brands, or a product you aren’t familiar with. Telling you how to use it, will minimize wastage.
The products in the debut box were quite impressive, considering they contained some high end deluxe sized samples. 2 notable brands it included were SK-II and Lancome. When I was an SK-II user, I could get these deluxe sized samples as a GWP with purchases. However, since I stopped using the brand, you will likely never be able to beg a sample product of this size from the counters.
Ditto the Lancome Genifique sample which was a generous enough size for sampling. The GWP sized Lancome mascara is useful too if you just want to try it. It is however, the Virtuose formula, which I’m unsure if it has been discontinued in favour of Virtuose Precious Cells. The 2 Snail Street sheet masks were, naturally full sized products.
2 other items included were a little misplaced, I felt. One was a Skin Inc voucher worth S$50 for purchases at certain counters/stores in Singapore and another was a small bag of coffee beans you could take down to a cafe and have them brew a cup of coffee worth S$5 for you. Both were limited to locations Singapore and so, they would have been a waste for me here. For future reference, I do think it would be advisable for Vanity Trove to ensure that their sample boxes contain something a little more relevant to their Malaysian customers.
Here are a few points to note about beauty sample boxes:-
- Products in the boxes are sample sizes – they are usually deluxe-sized samples and are good enough for you to try a product out to see if you like it, before buying. Some items may be full sized products but they are the exception rather than the norm.
- Each box is a surprise so you do not know what you will be receiving – sometimes a product may not be suitable for your skintype or if it is a makeup item, for your skin colouring. Sometimes, you may find a gem in there.
- Brands may be obscure or hard to find – sometimes, products included may be from brands that are a little more obscure or hard to find and when you want to purchase the full sized product, it may be a problem.
- Its a good way to try different products at a fixed price – for those who like experimenting with new and different products, these sample boxes will be a good way to try new products at a fixed price. Granted, you may be able to get similar samples free of charge at a cosmetic counter, but those samples may not be sufficient for you to properly evaluate how they work on your skin. Samples included in sample beauty boxes are usually more generously sized so you can use them for longer.
- Programs are subscription based – You may subscribe monthly or for a certain length of time, but do take note of the cancellation terms in the event you wish to stop your subscription for any reason.
The Vanity Trove beauty box will be RM50/box or RM600/13 boxes, delivered for free to you each month. You will have to sign up at the Vanity Trove site and check for their terms or contact them if you have any questions.
My feedback to the company was that I felt RM50/box to be a little pricey for us here in Malaysia. Granted, I understand that the samples included will be of high quality and possibly from more exclusive/deluxe sources, I would personally find it hard to shell out RM50 a month, not knowing what I was going to get. Its a lot to do as well with comparative cost of living, because RM50 can get you quite far here. At RM30/box I might be more willing to consider subscribing, in all honesty.
In a nutshell
A new sample beauty box subscription service from Singapore that is available to Malaysian subscribers. Each box will contain 6-7 beauty product samples each month. Shipping from Singapore is free and each box each month will retail at RM50, or RM600 for 13 months. The contents in the first box for December contained some deluxe sized samples of high end brands but also contained vouchers and items only available for redemption in Singapore. That will likely be removed or replaced in Malaysian boxes in future. You will not know what you will get until you sign up and receive your first box so its pretty much a lottery. I think its a good way to try out new products and brands, but the cost is a little high for Malaysians.
Pros: Interesting and novel concept, Good way to try out new and different products each month
Cons: Pricey for Malaysians, Products you receive may not be suitable for your skintype or colouring
The January 2012 Vanity Trove Box contained some brands I’d never heard of, including samples of Olivella hair and body care products, Yadah sample face kit, an Angel lip tint (full size), Leader’s clinic sheet mask and Clinique moisture surge. Not bad, except I found out that Yadah is a range formulated for young adults and teens so I wouldn’t have used that whole pack. It would have been quite hit or miss, that one.
I don’t deny I’m quite curious to see what will come in the future boxes, but for now, I’m not up to subscribing to any of these services, primarily because I’ve never been one for samples, and I just have too much stuff lying around. However, if you are a curious sort, or like trying different products or just don’t know what to buy that friend who seems to already have everything, then a box or two would be a fun indulgence if your wallet allows :)
Does Vanity Trove catch your fancy? Would you subscribe to a sample beauty box service? Have you tried any of these services or wanted to? I’ve already told you what I think so now lets hear your thoughts ;)
Vanity Trove Sample Beauty Box Subscription Price: RM50 or S$25/box ; RM600 or S$300/13 months (Prices have since increased to RM60/box) Availability: Vanity Trove website Questions: Vanity Trove Facebook and Twitter
Update: Some comments from Vanity Trove :)
– RM50 includes shipping from SG right to the doorstep! Shipping, handling and delivery charges are all inclusive – which explains the slightly higher price point.
– Other than classic favourites, we also source for trending products for people to sample. To highlight, in Dec’s trove, we had snail street masks that contains snails secretion which is AMAZING for anti-ageing, blemish control and pimple busting! (These were from reviews of our users)
– Understand about the SKINC voucher and coffee beans, we’ll take that into serious consideration for future troves.
– We will never favour SG buyers over MY ones, both are as important to us! Beauty discovery should know no bounds! We are honestly sold out for Dec, Jan and very very soon, Feb! :D
– We are definitely fighting to get full-sized items of the latest products from labels for our subscribers.