Truth to tell, I never got into the whole beauty box subscription hype. Sure, I told you once what I might put in one if I were curating a beauty box, but for the most part, it doesn’t attract me. So, I can tell you that it takes a lot to impress, or to even make me take a second look at yet another beauty box subscription service.
And this is where Bag of Love comes in. A beauty box without the “box”? Count me intrigued! Bag of Love, the brainchild of former magazine beauty writer and self-confessed beauty buff Mi Mi Teh, delivers to your doorstep a little pouch (or bag, as you’d have it) of beauty goodies. The rest of the concept is the same as the beauty box subscription service i.e the element of surprise and samples for a fixed monthly fee. The difference lies in the contents and the delivery.
I was handed the March debut bag, to see what I thought of it, but I also subscribed for the April bag to see what it might contain, and to see just how unique it would be. You see, each month sees a different bag design arriving on your doorstep! That alone will pique most people’s interest I’m sure!
I must say that I was quite impressed by both bags that I have. This was the debut box sent out in March 2013.
Bag of Love March 2013
The Definite Cosmetics Face Blending brush, being a full size item valued at RM98, almost pays for itself and makes the RM39.90 price tag seem quite affordable. The brand is Definite Cosmetics which I thought was already defunct. Evidently it isn’t 😛 It isn’t the most luxurious brush around and can be scratchy but it works in a pinch, and is an impressive touch. If you have it, wash it out a few times before using, and it’ll feel a bit softer.
The Murad face wash sample was a generous size and so was the Revlon hair treatment. Included also were samples of the Guerlain Le Petite Robe Noire fragrance, a sample Lunasol powder foundation and interestingly, a movie ticket. Apparently the Lunasol foundation sample and Murad samples have been making their rounds in the beauty boxes from all the different brands, but as I wasn’t subscribed to any, they were new to me.
Of the debut bag, I would only have experimented with the face brush and the Guerlain fragrance, and the Murad face wash will come in handy for tossing into an overnight bag. The Lunasol foundation is too dark for me, and the Revlon hair treatment wasn’t something I’d use. Still, I felt it was a valiant effort. The sizes of samples were impressively lux and placed in a bag, it was quite exciting and different from receiving a box. The bag was a lovely striped satin number that I reckon no one would mind seeing make a return.
Bag of Love April 2013
That was why I purchased the April bag. I wanted to see what else might be on offer. The April bag had an Eco theme so the unbleached cotton bag that arrived was quite in theme.
In the bag was another Definite Cosmetics brush. This time, a Contour Brush. Personally I was less impressed with this one than the Face Blending brush. This felt cheap and scratchy. I am however picky about brushes, so I’m not the best person to ask 😀
I liked the Pillow Spray by The Body Shop. It didn’t put me into a Deep Sleep as it claimed, but it was relaxing and made me aware of the existence of this product. The Nuxe Brightening BB Cream was a surprise because I wasn’t familiar with the brand nor the fact that they too had a BB cream. It was a good sized sample so it does afford you the ability to properly try it out. The Decleor face cream was another good sized sample and the voucher for a facial at a promotional price was quite attractive. I’d been meaning to try their facials so maybe I’ll use it.
Another impressive sized sample was the Phyto shampoo. I was impressed at the size of most of the items in this bag that when I came to the titchy Burt’s Bees sample, I was almost disappointed. That said, I have not been impressed by most of the Burt’s Bees stuff I’ve tried so I wasn’t too fussed about it.
Did I get my RM39.90 worth? I think it was reasonable. The Deep Sleep Pillow Spray and overall generous sized samples (no sachets so far!) made it look impressive and although I didn’t like the brush, it would come in useful for someone who wanted one.
What I could suggest in terms of improvement of packaging would be to bubble wrap the contents inside the bag or at least have a layer of bubble wrap. I don’t mind the bag arriving as is inside the courier package, but I do think the products within should be bubble wrapped. It does seem a little strange at first, opening up the plastic courtier bag and then just seeing the bag sitting in there, quite unceremoniously. The first bag had a box but it didn’t perform well in practice so the exterior boxes have been done away with. I do still somehow feel there should be some packaging of some sort around the bag if only to make it look more like a finished purchase than just treating the bag/pouch as the packaging. Just my 2 sen however.
I like the inclusion of the makeup brushes because this allows people to experiment with different brushes that they may otherwise not own or think of owning. However, I do feel it would work better if there was a makeup item included together with the brush to complement it. For the first bag, the face brush could be used with the powder sample. In the second bag, I’d be lost as to what to do with the brush, if I were a novice, as the rest of the items are skincare.
Also, I would wonder at the practicality of having 12 of these makeup pouches if you subscribe for a year. Granted the same question could be posed in terms of the boxes which is a valid question. As it is, I don’t use most GWP pouches so what I do is recycle them as gift holders. They work very well this way and nothing goes to waste 🙂
I didn’t subscribe for any future boxes, or bags as it were. Its just not something I’d personally pay for. I do however think the beauty box concept is an interesting one, and this one takes the surprise factor up one notch. You don’t only have samples to look forward to, you also have a nice bag/pouch to anticipate. So, if you are thinking of subscribing for one of these, Bag of Love is definitely one to consider.
Have you subscribed to any of these beauty box sample services? Did you sign up for Bag of Love?
I don’t play well with surprises so I’d rather just get something I really want instead of a random sampling of products each month. But that’s true of all beauty box subscription services, not just this one 🙂 You?
Bag of Love retails at RM39.90 a month for a bag of beauty samples delivered to your doorstep, with the design of the bag changing from month to month. Find out more and how to subscribe at their website.
26 comments ... Read or JOIN THE DISCUSSION
I subscribed to it after a nasty fallout with another beauty box named W. W closed my account without my permission because I gave feedback of the particular box in that particular month – it was somewhat a crappy box but apparently the CEO is too proud to admit it and decided to terminate my account out of rage. Yup, out of rage. I still have the conversation to prove it, in case W supporters decided to throw rotten eggs at me. Heh.
Among all beauty boxes available locally, I particularly love 2 – Bag of Love and The Lilac Box. VT has yet to make it to my list because I find the monthly items aren’t as interesting as the ones in SG. I am not into surprises; I love spoilers. Either can give me the spoilers and I’ll still be excited to receive the bag/box. Lol. I’m weird that way.
Paris B says
LOL I had a run in with the W people a long time ago pre-box. BTW What sort of crappy customer service is it to terminate a customer’s account?! Ridiculous 😛 I personally think VT is too pricey. But I have to admit that Bag of Love has been impressive for Bags 1 and 2. Hopefully they continue impressing people with their other bags.
I’ve subscribe once to Mivva out of curiousity but so far i dont see myself subscribing to any boxes soon… no doubt the feeling of awaiting your box to arrive so that you can peer into what surprise you’re getting is fun…. but firstly if the boxes come in every month, i will end up with a horde of products to use but only 1 face to use on…. secondly, my skin is rather sensitive, had a bad bout of breakouts so its hard for me to try new products, now i’m back to my usual brand….
Paris B says
Oh I remember Mivva had an insanely cheap price didn’t they? I’m not sure if its for their debut box or if its the subscription price because I never followed them. But you’re right. Its fun for a little while but as it builds up and as you start getting items you don’t feel the need to use, it can just add to clutter. Makeup would be fun in a surprise box I think, less so skincare.
Cindy Tong says
I am in love with the decleor aromaplasty facial….it’s so relaxing and for the first time the extraction wasn’t so painful! The aromatherapy based skin care does make my mood goes so relaxed and the product itself smell absolutely great!!! Irresistible..you must try this! I have blog about the facial experience….check out on my blog!
Paris B says
Thanks for the heads up Cindy! Looks like I’ll have to give the facial a try 🙂
In no hurry to subscribe to one of these – some of the items look interesting, but I have too much of these sample-sized products as it is, I don’t want to have to PAY for them out of my own pocket.
That’s just my cheapskate-ness talking.
Paris B says
Haha my sentiments exactly. For the most part, few high end samples will come in very generous or even full size packaging, if we even see them in the box. I’d personally keep the money and get something I really want 🙂
Siti Fatimah says
Wow, this is new for me. I love the concept!
Really love this type of surprise *subscribe annual package* 🙂
Paris B says
Haha I hope you enjoy the coming surprises, Siti. The bags so far have been quite cute!
Leonard Goh says
The product they give is quite ok i think , not as luxurious as the other beauty boxes , but still it’s still much cheaper compare to others , although others gives at least one full size product if i’m not wrong . I’m currently loving Decleor’s facials and their product ! Enjoy your RM98 voucher !
Paris B says
Not too familiar with whats in the other boxes but I think for the price and the sizes, its alright 🙂 I think in this case, the full size would be the makeup brush LOL! Handy for someone who wants one but less handy for someone for whom a makeup brush isn’t top priority 🙂 It looks like I’ll have to try the facial. A friend tells me its worth a try and that its really nice! 😀
Sze Ling says
Think I spied some Murad and Decleor here. 😀 And that pink bag is too cute!!!
But yeah…I’ve never subscribed to any of these beauty “box” before. As crazy about skincare/makeup products as I am, I can be pretty picky when it comes to products that I would even try. So, paying for a box that would most probably have only 1 or 2 things that I’m going to enjoy or be excited about seems a bit too much for me.
Paris B says
LOL Yeah, beauty boxes aren’t for picky people. Its as easy to be disappointed in the box/bag as it is to be impressed I think 😉 The fun would be in the surprise but I can imagine the number of samples will build up as the months go on! Would rather save up and get something nice 😀
I love the concept, although I’m not sure what I would do with so many makeup bags. You must get quite a collection if you subscribe for several months. They’re cuter than boxes, but I don’t find them as easy to recycle.
I tried one of these services but they kept sending me skincare products that broke me out so I unsubscribed. I loved the idea of trying different samples every month and I discovered some nice new products I wouldn’t otherwise have tried, but most of them didn’t work for me and I felt like I was just wasting money in the end.
Paris B says
You’re right Gio 😀 As it is, I’m not quite sure what to do with the 2 I have LOL! I haven’t subscribed before but I think I’d be bugged if I opened up the box and saw a sachet or a tiny 5ml sample tube as I’ve seen before. I’d seriously feel shortchanged because those are samples you can get at the counter! A nice way to learn about new brands but I think, imminently impractical over time.
I did two beauty boxes for 6 months – have not resubscribed and enjoy getting my cheap beauty thrills online or in store. Good if you are starting out, but if you already know a lot of products, perhaps not so useful.
Paris B says
Oh I remember you were subscribed to them. Looks like the novelty wore off after a while 😉 But you hit the nail on the head. Its a fun concept when you want to play around, less so when you already have a proper routine and set products 🙂
Well, at least this concept is more interesting than boxes. Also, it’s a good thing that the bag is not stuffed with vouchers and sachets. Hate that. I think it’s a great way for those who just started with makeup or skincare. For myself, I really prefer to spend my money on something I really want. When it comes to cosmetics, I don’t like surprises, because I’m picky 😛
Paris B says
Ugh, if I had seen a sachet, I’d have been really pissed. Like you, I’d rather use the money for something full sized that I like. I must say the bags were a good effort and definitely something interesting 🙂
Oh I think I would like this more then my beauty box (which I really liked and started to dislike more and more, switched twice and back again), I have two to go before it ends and I don’t think I will subscribe for monthly boxes. There are theme boxes which are great and if they would do something like this I would try it. But it depends on the price because I have come to the conclusion your really don’t use more then 50% or more of what you get. I do like to spread the love so I don’t throw away anything.
Paris B says
Haha I like how you said you liked it and then started to dislike it 😀 I think after a few months, it will get a bit trite or even boring so I personally think a monthly subscription would make more sense so you can stop as you like 🙂 I think you’re right about how many products you’d realistically use in the box. More often than not, based on my observation of these boxes, there would be one or maybe 2 interesting things but the rest would just be fillers that either won’t suit you or aren’t something you’d like to use. So in that sense, I think it’ll end up being a waste after a while
I also think that being a beauty addict, blogging and reading blogs makes me spoilt, I do like new things and I do like trying different beauty products. I love getting the box and not knowing what’s in it, I love the concept of trying different things for a lot less money, but with that it should be new things mostly and nog products that have been out for month or from the last tree collections [as what happens with nail polish you get in the box]. So the concept is cool, but then it should be rolled out as such. I have also tried a box for less then the usual amour, containing 6 products and all accessible at drugstores and the point is trying new and fairly new products. I liked the first one, now I’m gonna try another one… and yes it’s very nice you can stop the you subscription per month. Bottom line is that it just is a waist of your money if the content isn’t top notch and yes in the end you tend not to use most of it.
Paris B says
I do agree with you Wojis, that being a blogger and reading beauty blogs have totally spoilt me for these box subscription things. Nothing looks new anymore does it? Perhaps from the point of view of someone who isn’t so immersed in beauty as we are, it would be a fun little beauty surprise each month but for the rest of us it’ll get tired after a while 😉
Did not subscribe to this. Looks good! But I do miss FF. That’s the 1st I ever subscribed. Too bad it’s terminated. I bought 3 boxes from Lilacbox. Rather disappointed with the 3rd box thou. After much teasing for Essie.. I opened the 3rd box and did not see the Essie. Turned out it is a contest where X amount of lucky winner will win the nail polish.. boo.. Maybe i wont go with box 4.. not sure yet. Oh yes, they “over tease” the box too. Saying it is the most heavy box, ladies will need help etc etc.. I can just take it with 2 fingers lol.. it is good to tease a little, but not too much, no?
Paris B says
I think FF gave us a really good start but Bag of Love seems to pick up where FF left off which I think is nice. They’re both small outfits helmed by women who have a passion for what they do and for beauty, not just some big company trying to make a quick buck. I haven’t paid attention to the other boxes around but I do wonder at some of their ethics 😉