I’m Kristel. I vlog. I blog. Professional makeup artist based in Manila. 300 hours training in Make Up For Ever Academy, Seoul, South Korea. I live makeup, you have no idea.

Subscription Boxes: March Roundup!

March has come and gone, and my Monthly Roundup is here! I'm getting more comfortable with the whole concept subscription boxes so please bear with the constant changes in my Roundups. I have been doing this only as recently as December.

What's new: better item summary, full-size value (FSV) and score per box. I think the FSA (full-size average) is indicative of the affordability of partner brands while FSV could illustrate value for money. I'll also start throwing my two cents in on how the boxes are doing, if they're getting better or worse.

This month was pretty average as far as subscription boxes go. Even so, it's still a marked improvement from the very unstable, hit-or-miss past few months. Everyone did at least an okay job but I'm still worried because one of the boxes is on a downward trend.

Here's what's up:


March BDJ Box, featuring L'Oreal

Price: Php 480/box

Full-Size Average & Value: FSA = Php 551. FSV = Php 1764 for five full-size items. Impressive return on investment with this one, but BDJ's FSA has been unstable. It's normally in the Php 500 range, like this month, but last month's Shiseido box shot it up to a crazy Php 3075.

*The FSA is the average of the full-size versions of the samples, excluding the vouchers. The FSV is the sum of all the prices of the full-size items.

The Promise: 
  1. Shipping schedule: last week of the month. Received early, on March 14.
  2. 5-6 samples. 7 items (5 of which are full-size) delivered.

Items Sent:

This is a L'Oreal exclusive box.
  1. Fall and Repair Hair Shampoo, 180ml  (full-size)
  2. Fall and Repair Conditioner, 180ml (full-size)
  3. UV Perfect Longlasting UV Protector, 30ml (full-size)
  4. Shine Caresse, 6ml (full-size)
  5. Color Riche Les Nail Art, single pack (full-size)
  6. Youth Code Pre-Essence, 5ml (sample size)
  7. UV Perfect BB Max, 5ml (sample size)
For more info on the items, check my March BDJ unboxing here.

Addon: Another 7-day challenge and the Beauty Social. Check out what happened in this post.

BBT box score: 5/5. I love that it's a complete beauty set! There's hair products, nails, sunblock (great for summer!), skin care and cosmetics. Also, I appreciate how the BDJ Team chose a great balance between new/limited releases (Shine Caresse and Nail Art) vs. well-loved products (UV Perfect sunblock.) Given such a widely-available and trusted brand like L'Oreal, one would think that nothing would surprise you but I was actually unfamiliar with most of the things inside the box.

Final Verdict: Coming off from a Shiseido exclusive, I love that BDJ is able to keep the momentum going. They had a shaky beginning, what with all the Garnier fillers going on, but feel like they really listen to the consumers. Their sample selection keeps improving and all their exclusive events and mini-contests every month make it so worth it to be a subscriber.


March GlamourBox

Price: Php 590/box

Full-Size Average & Value: FSA = Php 2273. FSV = Php 1660 for three full-size items. Great ROI here, as is the usual with GB. GlamourBox has always been full of higher-end and unheard-of brands but I don't appreciate how the fragrance samples (Php 4300 for each of the pair) pulled up the average. Without the fragrances the average is Php 1462, which is still actually pretty high. 

The Promise:
  1. Shipping schedule: second week of the month. Arrived March 18, on time.
  2. 5 samples. 8 items delivered + 2 vouchers. The bb cream had four different variants, which I still lumped as one item. BUT take note that two of the eight items were duplicates, and another two are perfumes, which I don't really consider an item. Why? It's very easy to ask for perfume samples in malls.

Items Sent:
  1. Eye of Horus Natural Smokey Eye Pencil, 1.2g (full-size)
  2. Avon Skin So Soft Glutathione Whitening Renewal Hand & Body Lotion, 250ml x 2pcs (full size)
  3. Pevonia Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser, 5ml (sample size)
  4. Heynature BB creams, 2ml x 4 variants (sample size)
  5. Heynature Aqua Brightening Gel, 2ml (sample size)
  6. Yves SaintLaurent Saharienne, 1.5ml (sample size)
  7. Ralph Lauren Big Pony 1, 1.5ml (sample size)
For more info on the items, check my March GB unboxing here.

Addon: Pevonia giveaway.

BBT box score: 3.5/5. I feel very up and down about this box. I love that there's a full-size eyeliner, as I've been wondering why it's so easy to give out full-size skincare samples but not makeup. However, I'm pretty neutral about the duplicate Avon lotions. I wish they came in different fragrances or variants. I love the Pevonia and Heynature samples, especially the BB cream variations, but I hate that there are perfume samples. Overall, there's great variety, but I wish there were more cosmetics and no perfumes.

Final Verdict: GlamourBox started out really, really strong. It was the top performer for me as of late last year. I just find that lately, the samples and the sample selections are a tad bit underwhelming and I really hope they get their mojo back.
Price: Php 500/box

Full-Size Average & Value: FSA = Php 674. FSV =  Php 880. It's on par with how they've always been. As for me, getting the box fee back is good enough.

The Promise:
  1. End of the month delivery. Received late, on April 6. I find this unforgivable and can't understand how they've been letting it go on for this long.
  2. 4 samples. Received 5 items.

Items Sent:
  1. Innisfree It's Real Sheet Mask, 20g (full-size)
  2. Avon Skin So Soft Glutathione Hand and Body Lotion, 250ml x 2 (full-size)
  3. Mir and Ryvi Tomato Soap, ~25g (sample size)
  4. Skin79 Hot Pink Super Plus Beblesh Balm, ~2g (sample size)
  5. Baviphat Island Girls BB Primer Fix, ~2g (sample size)
For more info on the items, check my March SaladBox unboxing here.

Addon: "Free" samples promo but please read all the terms first. I had a rollercoaster ride of emotions about that one, seen here.

BBT box score: The box itself is a good and solid 3.5/5. All the items are interesting and substantial, I just find the box a little light and bare. Still, they've kept their promise and there are no filler items here so technically, it's still a good box. I'm just so distracted by the bad everythingelse. I'd been seething from previous month's sample selections, where Carmex and so-so products are used as fillers, and it's pretty hard to get over from. I'll say it again: if you're sticking to small quantities, you must kick ass in terms of quality.

Final Verdict: The March box is okay but but the February box is still better (unboxed by Peachy Pink sisters here,). I didn't get that one because of SaladBox's difficulty with PayPal transactions, BOO. From this point on though, I just hope the the Salad Team listens to consumers and improves their service. I've been reading of a lot of griping both in terms of sample selection and customer service and a lot of people are falling out of love with the brand.

Sample Room
Will be generally left off this list from this point forward, especially when I don't have purchases for the month.

SR replenishes about mid-month. This month's selections are great, and they keep getting more and more partners so there's always something to look forward to. However, I think the samples still run out pretty quickly. Or should I just learn to lurk better :P? I do hope they eventually get to be big enough to be able to carry stocks 24/7.

I didn't buy anything this month 'cause I didn't find anything I liked :) That's the beauty with SR: if you don't like anything, you don't have to spend.

I won't rank Sample Room as I didn't purchase anything this month but I will say that they had a good month this March and have been steadily improving since their opening.

I think, once again, BDJ wins this month! (They won it for me last month, too.) The L'Oreal box has great variety and sample selection, and there's also a good return on investment. Glamourbox and Saladbox are both third placers as neither are not good enough for second place. GB has been in a rut since January, and SB is just floundering all over the place. Get it together, people!

NEWCOMER ALERT: Somebody asked for advice in FB about the best subscription box and they mentioned an Orangebox. I hadn't heard anything about it and am now checking it out. Do expect a post on it soon. Thanks for the tip, dear reader!

My April BDJ Box Unboxing!

Shiseido x Animetric's Flawless and Radiant Makeup Workshop