I’ll be closing this blog to focus on my Etsy store. I’ve enjoyed sharing my love of subscription boxes with you and hope to see you over at SeasonSoaps!
Handmade Beauty Box is a monthly DIY beauty subscription box from the owners of Soap Queen and Brambleberry (in Bellingham, WA!). Subscriptions start at around $30. February’s project was a cuticle/lip balm project. Detailed instructions with pictures and tips are always included.
It didn’t take long for them to solidify, as you can see from the bottom tins.
By the next day, they were a nice solid cuticle and lip balm with a lovely scent.
Verdict: Since its first box, Handmade Beauty Box has been my favorite subscription. The projects are fun and easy, and I love sharing with friends. It even inspired me to start making other products; check out my Etsy shop here!
Julep Maven is a monthly nail polish and beauty box from Julep, which happens to be a Seattle company. Subscriptions start at $20 a month.
I joined Julep Maven a few years ago, back when you were allowed to skip any months where you didn’t like the products (new customers have limited skips). I’ve skipped quite a few boxes, but when I saw this month’s bright colors, I upgraded to the whole collection.
Known as the Paradise collection, this month’s colors included (left to right) Jenna, Connie, Drew, Cassidy, Addison, Danica, Danielle, Randi, and April.
I also added on Angie (a holographic shimmer), Brigitte (white, painted underneath bright colors, it causes them to pop), a base coat, and a top coat.
For ordering at least three add-ons, I received a free surprise gift, which turned out to be a lip gloss.
Vivid is a dark red and definitely not my shade. I’ll be swapping it.
The box also included a coupon, inspirational quote, and colorful candy.
Verdict: I’m a huge Julep fan – their products are vegan, 5-free, and some of the proceeds go to women’s empowerment. I also really enjoy visiting their local parlors. Maven is a great deal for polish and beauty product lovers: not only do you get Julep products at much lower prices, you get a discount on everything in Julep’s online store and free shipping. Just be sure you want a monthly commitment, as new subscribers only get the option to skip every three months or so.
Referral: Use my link to sign up for Julep Maven – you’ll get a free box and I’ll get a $15 Julep credit.
Handmade Beauty Box delivers ingredients and instructions each month for a DIY beauty project. Subscriptions are around $30 a month.
This is the box’s second month, and it featured a lavender herb bath bomb.
If I’d known how darn easy it was too make bath bombs, I could have saved myself hundreds of dollars spent at Lush! I started by gathering my supplies and ingredients.
I matched up the molds and cut out the labels before things got messy.
I managed to lose my instructions overnight, so I adapted a recipe from the Soap Queen’s site (she is the founder of HBB). I know they would have sent me the instructions again – love their quick and friendly customer service! – but I was too excited to wait. I started by adding the citric acid and sodium bicarbonate, mixing them together by hand.
Next I added the fragrance oil. The whole bottle of fragrance oil. I later realized you were only supposed to add about a quarter of the bottle… I do like strong scents at least! I also deviated a bit from the recipe and added some moisturizing jojoba oil.
Then I mixed and put about two thirds of the mixture in a separate bowl and added the blue mica.
I sprayed enough witch hazel on them to make the mix stick together in my hand.
Once that was done, I packed them in the molds, layering the two colors and squeezing the two halves of the mold together to form a ball.
Here’s where I wasn’t sure if I should take them out of the mold to dry or leave them in. So I did a little of both.
The project was a little messy, but cleanup was a breeze! Baking soda and lavender are great countertop cleaners.
And the mix left in the bowl just fizzed right up, then dissolved in water. You can see the lovely blue tint.
I’ll give these guys some time to dry overnight, then tomorrow I’ll add the labels and ribbon.
Verdict: I’m a complete beginner at making my own products, but this box makes me feel like a beauty badass. I have so much fun making these products, and love chatting with and getting tips from the Handmade Beauty Box staff. It’s my new favorite box. I can’t wait to see what next month brings!
Next day update: Leaving them in the molds seems to be the way to go. You can see how the ones that didn’t (top row) flattened where they were drying on the counter, and got paper towel stuck to them. Overall, they turned out beautiful, and very strongly scented.
Influenster is a product review and discussion site that occasionally sends free products for users to try.
The selections are usually themed or from just one brand, but this box was all over the place.
A card was included for more details on the products.
A serum and Target coupon were in the Frosty Box. I’m not really in the market for a serum right now, and found some conflicting info online as to whether this brand is cruelty free, so these are getting swapped.
NYC, owned by Coty, is another company I couldn’t find much info on. I’m not a big lipstick user, and have way too much tea, so these guys are getting swapped as well.
Rimmel is also owned by Coty, who isn’t listed in the cruelty free database. I’m not a huge eyeliner or makeup remover user, so these will be swapped.
I got so excited by the hairbrush, I forgot to take a picture of the Thyme seasoning they included, which is totally random but a keeper since I don’t have any. Ecotools is one of my favorite brands ever. I actually need a new hairbrush – my current one is by them too – and this one is perfect (and an $11 free value!).
Verdict: Hey, free hairbrush!
MunchPak is an international snack subscription box delivered monthly. Subscriptions start at $21, and, for an extra fee, you can choose what types of snacks and ingredients you want included or excluded.
I cannot ever get enough Cadbury. If only they had vending machines here like they do in London… Probably a good thing they don’t! I had the chocolate flavor of the bear biscuits last month and they were super tasty. Even though I’m a huge fan of taro, I haven’t been brave enough to try the candy.
I like how the chips are “unmistakably” onion and cheese flavored. This month’s box also included gummies and a green tea wafer bar.
Nugs! This made me laugh. Nugs are a prominent fixture in my favorite video game franchise, only they’re pink little pig-type creatures, not candy bars! I kept the koalas for myself, but I always pass on the wasabi peas.
A strange fruit candy was included this month, as well as a delicious-looking toffee chocolate bar, coconut wafers, and a Croatian chocolate bar that I sent to my Croatian friend.
Verdict: MunchPak is one of the best. subscription boxes out there. I love finding new favorite snacks; I’m still dreaming about vanilla Italian wafer Balconi bars from a few months ago…
I joined the Handmade Beauty Box team in Bellingham’s Umpqua Bank for the box’s launch party. Guests were treated to drinks and hors d’oeurves, live piano, handmade soaps, a preview of the inaugural box, and a make-your-own bath salt bar. I got to meet the box’s manager and The Soap Queen herself. We learned HBB has over 400 subscribers, and that an upcoming box will feature ingredients for nail polish.
Being surrounded by such kind people who were so excited about natural beauty was a wonderful treat. I’ve just finished making my soap from the first box – post coming soon! – and can’t wait for next month’s box.