Three beauty/lifestyle subscription boxes I recently tried // Art of Organics, Boxwalla, & Craftly

march 7, 2017 | by: mercedes | filed under: skincare, alternative health + lifestyle

You know Beauty Heroes is my #oneandonly. I love Beauty Heroes not just for the thoughtful curation but the energy behind the brand/service has just always felt a cut above the rest to me. That said, I’m also aware that the beauty subscription market is VAST and has exploded in recent years (remember when Birchbox was super novel? yeah I miss those days too).

Recently I had three different subscription boxes happen into my life at the same time. I intended to do a video but lack of time and other videos I’d rather make instead have relegated this box trifecta flash review to a blog post. One of these I purchased myself, the other two were sent to me as PR.

1 – Art of Organics February Box featuring de Mamiel and Henné Organics

Art of Organics is, in my opinion, probably the closest thing I’ve seen that approximates Beauty Heroes. It’s $39 per month, you get at least one full size eco-beauty product (sometimes more than one, from what I can tell), there’s no minimum subscription plan, you have until the last day of the month to cancel your membership for the next month, and you get 15% off your purchase in their online shop. I’ve known about this box since they started, and honestly they didn’t seem to come out super strong out the gate. Their business model was confusing (I remember there being different “options” to subscribe to, like a “detox box” or a “glow box” or things like that), and the customer service was adequate but not exceptional. It seems like they’ve since remedied some of those issues, and appears to be a good option for those interested in getting to try more luxe eco beauty products at a lower price.

I decided to give the February box a go since I love face mists and it was de Mamiel. It’s a brand I’ve been curious about, and first time subscribers get 10% off, so the box was $34. Overall I’m really happy with the two products in the box, the de Mamiel Dewy Facial Mist and the Henné Organics Rose Diamonds lip scrub. I enjoy the face mist most as a setting spray/during the day refresh, rather than toning step, for whatever reason, though I am using it as part of my skincare routine also. The scent is very earthy and full of complex rose, and it lingers nicely (the scent). I still *slightly* prefer the Amly mist, but this one is beautiful too and I’m happy I went for it. The lip scrub leaves the lips beautifully exfoliated and moisturized, and I look forward to using it. This is a lot for me because I roll my eyes at lip scrubs usually. So, rave!

I was debating whether or not to see what another month of Art of Organics would bring – and decided to give it at least one more month. I might do two more months and then do a 3-month Art of Organics cumulative review or something? On video.

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2 – Boxwalla Secret Garden Beauty Box (this particular box isn’t available, I’m not sure if it was one of the subscription beauty boxes or a one-time beauty box…kind of confused actually)

My YouTube friend Trish (ScentHive Trish) makes regular Boxwalla box reviews on YouTube, and she passed my name along to their team. They graciously offered to send me one of their eco-beauty boxes to try out. From one of the co-founders Lavanya (who is super lovely! lots of positive vibes from her):

“We launched our store last October : https://www.theboxwalla.com and our main goal is to showcase the best artists and artisans across multiple categories (Green BeautyInternational FilmBook and Artisanal Food) using a bimonthly subscription model.

One of our categories is green beauty and we are passionate about featuring the most effective and nourishing beauty products we have experienced along with the stories of the ingredient conscious artisans/formulators behind the products. We are ingredient-junkies and encourage our subscribers to learn more about the ingredients in the products we feature – why they work for their skin (and why they might not). The products we showcase are housed in a keepsake box crafted from tree-free handmade paper – a reminder that beautiful things can also be sustainable.”
The box I received featured two products from a brand I hadn’t heard of, H is for Love – their BARA Balm, and lip glacé; also included was the One Love Organics Love Springs Eternal Youth Preservation Serum. So far the stand out product for me has been the lip balm. It’s tinted but brings just a beautiful natural flush to the lips, I use it ALL the time. The texture is beautiful and it’s really nicely moisturizing. I’m a sucker for lip product in a pot (unlike most!). The face balm is nice but I’m just moving a bit away from balms as part of my regular skincare (I’m using more traditional moisturizers), so I’ve been using this as a hand balm and it’s nice. Not groundbreaking, but nice. It’s reminiscent of the original Mahalo balm. I’ve tried the OLO serum in the past and I remember really liking it. It has a strong neroli scent (in a good way) – so I haven’t decided if I’ll gift this to a friend, do a giveaway, or incorporate it into my own routine. Blogger conundrums : p
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3 – Craftly
Lastly, “Craftly is a bimonthly subscription box that features professionally well-crafted goods (home, grooming, accessories, and more) with a modern, minimalist style. We aim to feature small-to-medium batch brands. The company is founded by Cathy Diep and Adam Montoya.”
This box reached out to me and wanted to see if I wanted to receive a box to test. I said sure, after a quick peruse of their site yielded a modern unisex aesthetic I thought could be interesting. The price of the subscription box “starts at $29.95.”
Items included –
The Rich + Clean New Standard Face Wash, $6
Morihata Binchotan Charcoal Face Scrub Towel, $10.50
Plus Ultra Toothbrush, $6.99
David’s Premium Natural Toothpaste, $7.95
August Uncommon Tea, $4
I’ll be completely honest – this box was kind of a dud. I mean I love David’s toothpaste but it’s been in like EVERYONE’S subscription boxes so it’s just not terribly exciting. I can’t use regular toothbrushes or my gums bleed. I’ll probably try the tea, and I’ll probably tuck the face wash away for travel use but am guessing it’ll probably be too drying on me.
I guess receiving this box made me realize that in general, I don’t advocate boxes that are a lower price point (even though $29.95 isn’t even that low! just doesn’t seem like the value is there with this one), and include “a lot of little things.” This has been a Kimberly Clark (YouTuber) criticism in some of her anti-hauls – that subscription boxes are largely NOT a good use of your money. I think some of the newer models like Beauty Heroes and Art of Organics, where you pay a bit more but are getting a more luxury item at a discounted price CAN be worthy investments, at least for a period of time. So – I appreciate the offer from Craftly but alas don’t think I’d recommend the box based on my own personal preferences and the items I received. Or maybe I’m just really spoiled with Beauty Heroes?
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  One thought on “Three beauty/lifestyle subscription boxes I recently tried // Art of Organics, Boxwalla, & Craftly

  1. March 7, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    It’s crazy how many different boxes there are out there, wow! But I hate when there are repeats of certain products amongst the boxes :(

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