Bellabox is probably the most popular subscription-based beauty sampler service here in Singapore. I signed up for a year’s membership in April, before the price went up from SGD 15 to 19.95 each month.
To date, it’s been rather like Mama Gump’s proverbial box of chocolates: you never know what you’re gonna get. There have been hits and misses, and I’m not sure that my way of qualifying a hit even makes sense.
For instance, I was quite excited to get SK-II samples in July’s box, but mostly because I’m already a loyal user of some of their products and thought it was a good opportunity to try the others. Then in August’s box I scored a bottle of China Glaze in Pink Voltage, which made me really happy because I’m a bit of a nail polish junkie – until I realised I already have a bunch of bright pink nail colours in my collection. (Back in May there was a bottle of Sally Hansen’s Hard as Nails, which struck me as completely asinine because that’s the stuff everyone used when they were fourteen, for goodness’ sake.) I did however appreciate the Philosophy samples in August’s box because Alli raves about those products, and it’s nice to be able to try something that your friends highly recommend.
Three or four boxes into the subscription, I came to the awkward realisation that I hadn’t used most of the samples in each box – they were lying around and cluttering up my space. So I decided to get a bit more organised. Samples of facial cleansers, exfoliants and masks now sit on my bathroom counter so that I’ll reach for them instead of my usual stuff. It’s working so far in that I’ve actually been using them! But I still have a massive tube of Kiehl’s cleanser that will last me at least till January, and by the time it runs out I probably won’t remember which of the many long-ago samples I liked enough to actually purchase.
The serums and moisturisers sit on my dressing table, and I’ve been using a different combination each morning and night. This is definitely Doing It Wrong, because it means that I won’t be able to tell which of them made a difference – if any – to the state of my face. I suppose at least I know which ones I like/dislike in terms of scent and texture. (A far more scientific method would be to use up one sample tube at a time, over a period of week-ish.) Also, by the end of each day, I’ll know if something I tried in the morning didn’t play nice with my makeup. Then the challenge is trying to recall which of them I applied in my sleepy stupor.
There are seven months of Bellaboxes left in my year’s subscription, and I’ve yet to actually purchase something I sampled in the boxes. Let’s see how this goes from here!