Curated subscription review: Goodebox

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Curated subscription club Goodebox focuses on "healthy beauty." In practice, this means Goodebox sends the same types of products as other beauty box services (makeup, skin care, hair care, etc.), but they focus on brands with natural scents, no phthalates, no sulfates, no parabens, etc. The products they send are also animal-friendly. For $16/month including S&H, Goodebox sends at least six samples of these types of products, both from established natural beauty companies and new kids on the block.

I received my first Goodebox in March. The packaging was unremarkable, but sufficient. Inside, I found the following:

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alima Luminous Shimmer Blush: A small sample of natural blusher in Freja. Wonderful color and formula, but not a very easy to use sample size. Estimated value, $1.50

alima Bronzer: A small sample of natural bronzer in Belize. Seems like a nice formula, but the color is a bit too dark for me and the sample size, again, is small enough to be difficult to use. Estimate value $1.50.

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Clairvoyant Beauty Depuffing Cucumber & Cranberry Eye Gel: A small sample size (.25 fl oz) of natural, vegan eye gel. A little goes a long way, so I've been using this for about two weeks and haven't even killed half the jar yet. I don't know if it's helping much or not--my allergy eyes are puffy no matter what--but it feels nice when I put it on. Estimated value $16.

Clairvoyant Beauty Balancing Rosehip Oil & Hibiscus Serum: A small sample size (.5 fl oz) of natural, vegan skin serum. Haven't yet tried it yet, but it smells wonderful. Estimated value $34.50.

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Josie Maran Bear Naked Wipes: LOVE these. An 8-count sample package of the best makeup wipes I've ever used--they take everything off, smell nice,and feel really good to use. I will definitely be buying a full-sized version. Estimated value $6.

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Stark Skincare GRAPEFRUIT cleanse + hydrate balm: Reasonably sized sample of a really nice smelling skincare balm. I just can't get down with balms--they feel like Vaseline on my face--but if I could, I'd use this one. Estimated value $9.

Stark Skincare Green Tea Detox Clay Mask: One or two-use sized sample of natural mask. Haven't used it yet, but I will try it. Estimated value $6.

Total estimated value: $74.50

There were a couple of things I really liked about my Goodebox. First, I hadn't ever seen any of these products before--they were all brand new to me, and that was really cool. Secondly, all of the products are cruelty-free, which is wonderful. Third, I really, really love the Josie Maran wipes--the introduction to them was worth the price of the box alone. Finally, Goodebox does something I haven't seen any other subscription company do--they send an email, after you receive your box, that lists each product, gives information about it, provides a URL to it, and has a coupon code for it. That's very smart business, and a nice touch.

The thing I liked less was the size of the samples. I understand that samples need to be small to be cost-effective, but some of the included samples were simply too small to use easily or to get a good idea of how I feel about the product. The Josie Maran sample pack was a great size (8 wipes), and the Stark Skincare and Clairvoyant Beauty samples were fine, but the samples from Alima really were too small. These Alima and Clairvoyant samples were also pretty poorly packaged, without full labeling. This makes the products feel a lot less special and a lot more like something you got in a free bin or shoved into your bag at Sephora.

Another concern I have is about the extent to which Goodebox is personalized. Looking around online, I saw a review of a box exactly like mine. More looking around makes me think that all of the March boxes were the same. This isn't necessarily a problem, but I think I prefer curated subscription models that tailor to individual tastes/needs at least a little bit.

I can't recommend Goodebox whole-heartedly, because of the issues I had with sample size and because I am a bit trepidatious about what they will find to keep filling their boxes with--how many natural beauty products are there to sample, really? However, I did like this box enough, and find it to be a good enough value, that I will try again next month. I'll come back and report on April's box then.

2 Comments

Great review! Goodebox tells me through their FB page that although their launch boxes were all the same, they are sending out at least 4 different boxes this month (April), so maybe these will be better tailored for beauty profiles. All in all, great value for the first one, can't wait for the next!

Interesting review. Just to address some of your dislikes, most natural brands don't have the budget the big brands have because they aren't cutting corners by including cheap,toxic ingredients. So sometimes compromises have to be made - a better, health conscious product, or really pretty packaging.

As for how many natural brands are out there? As many as mainstream. I know because I only use and work with those brands. There are thousands. They lack the budgets to hire celebs to lie and say they love the line, so no one's heard of many of them. Which is a shame because most of them are quality. Much better quality than mainstream, actually.

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