Last October, Glossybox finally launched in Italy. Us Italians always complain that interesting brands and services never arrive here, so the arrival of Glossybox was greeted with joy, enthusiasm and hope. However, in its first three months, the service has already attracted a lot of critics and negative reviews from bloggers. The main complaint seems to be the choice of products: instead than the luxury items promised, we got quite a few cheap, drugstore ones instead. But before I get into that, let’s see what Glossybox is, shall we?
What’s GlossyBox and how does it work?
GlossyBox is a subscription service where you pay €14,00 (p&p included) a month to receive 5 high-quality, luxury beauty samples. The products vary from make up, skin care, hair care and perfumes and sometimes, you will receive some full size ones too (and from time to time, an extra product may be included). When you subscribe, you will be asked to fill in a questionnaire with your preferences regarding beauty products which will help GlossyBox to personalize your little box and send you what best suit your wants and needs.
Keep in mind, though, that GlossyBox Italy has just launched and so, even if they have already started to personalize the boxes, most of the products are still the same for everyone. In addition, you’d better like surprises because there is no way of knowing before you subscribe what products are gonna be included in the Glossybox, so, even though the service allows you to try several products at an affordable price, you will also receive a few you don’t really care or aren’t interested in at all. But if you find out this service is not for you, you can just cancel your subscription anytime.
Shipping and delivery
GlossyBox starts to ship the boxes on the third week of every month. They are sent by courier so delivery is quick and usually takes only a couple of days. You will receive a cute cardboard box and inside you’ll find another box, which is usually pink in color. Inside, you’ll find the products, carefully packaged and wrapped up in black paper and a lovely pink ribbon. You really cannot fault the presentation. The box is beautiful and you feel like you’re opening a luxurious birthday present. Also included is a small card that tells what each product is and what it is supposed to do, which is very helpful.
My thoughts on the products included
On their website, Glossybox promises to send to its subscribes “high-quality, luxury beauty samples” so a lot of people were disappointed, and some even felt cheated, when they received products from brands such as Aquolina, Pink Sugar, Layla and Mavala, among others, which, albeit good, are quite cheap and can’t be considered neither high-end nor luxurious. They were even more upset because in other countries such as the UK, France and Germany people receive products from brands like Nars, MUFE and Bobbi Brown. Only Brazil seems to fare worse than us with products from Nivea and Dove. At the beginning I thought this was due to the fact that GlossyBox was a new company and needed time to improve, but now I think that it is simply offering the best service it can considering the Italian beauty market… well.. sucks.
Italy is not the UK , for instance, where brands like Nars and Benefit can be found in most cities and bought online as well. Here, they have only a handful of counters only in big cities like Rome, Milan and Florence and don’t even have a website, let alone an ecommerce one. Actually, a lot of brands, like Bobbi Brown, aren’t sold here at all. Which is why I, and most beauty junkies, buy most of our beauty products online, mostly from English and German websites. Now, cosmetic brands are businesses, not charities. If they give samples to GlossyBox subscribers is because they hope that they will like them and buy the full size products. Therefore, if the brand has only a few counters in our country, what do they get in return for the samples? Not much. I think that, should they decide to donate samples to Glossybox, they will donate only a small amount and very few of us will get them. Of course I hope I’m wrong.
As for high-end brands like Dior or Lancome which are easily available all over the country, I doubt they need services like GlossyBox to attract customers. Because of this, the GlossyBox staff will obviously find it harder to convince them to donate samples than they do with brands like Aquolina (althought we have a bigger chance of seeing samples from let’s say Lancome than Urban Decay in the future). I guess when the service will be more established and will get more subscribers, more and more brands will jump on the bandwagon. But the Italian beauty market is very different from the UK, France or German market and so comparing our GlossyBox to theirs is honestly ridiculous. The GlossyBox team is doing the best they can, but we all know how very few brands are available here compared to other countries, and our expectations should thus be limited to what our market can offer us, which sadly isn’t much. More brands are slowly coming to Italy though so things may change in the future, but even then it will take a long time. In any case, you can’t purchase a lot of makeup products with €14,00 in Italy and for that price, the items we get aren’t bad at all.
So, who is GlossyBox for?
I think GlossyBox is a great way to try several beauty products every month at an affordable price. But because you don’t know in advance what the boxes contain, I’d recommend it only to girls who love to hoard every kind of beauty product (from makeup to skincare lotions, from shampoos to perfumes), like to experiment with different makeup shades and aren’t afraid to try products they wouldn’t normally buy. It’s also important to have realistic expectations and realize that you will end up with products you don’t like every now and then. I personally don’t mind because even if a product doesn’t work for me or I get something that I normally don’t use such as glitter eyeliners, I can always blog about it and so my money isn’t wasted. If you don’t have a blog, you can just give them away to family and friends.
So, who isn’t Glossybox for?
If you’re someone who is interested only in some kind of products (ie only makeup, only skincare, only natural products, only mineral makeup products etc), then GlossyBox is not for you. It’s also not suitable for girls who like to stick to what they know works or prefer to try only those products they are interested in instead than new stuff chosen by others. In addition, GlossyBox is also not a way to hoard expensive products for (almost) free so if that’s what you’re after, you’ll be disappointed. And while €14,00 a month can seem very inexpensive, if you’re on a budget you may want to consider carefully whether it’s worth subscribing. You have to consider that you won’t like/use all the products and so in your case it may be more convenient to just purchase in shops what you need and will surely use so that none of your money is wasted.
Have you tried GlossyBox or similar subscription services? What do you think of them?