Earlier this month, in my internet wanderings, I stumbled upon a beauty subscription box service that was new to me: Latest in Beauty. In this service, you are given the ability to choose the products that you will receive, as well as the number of products being flexible depending on what you are prepared to pay. You are also able to buy one-off boxes, but this does work out considerably more expensive than if you committed to the subscription in order to trial the box, and cancelling if it is not to your liking. I chose the 3 product option, which costs £9 with free P&P (so £3.45 cheaper than Birchbox) but for my first box I got a 10% discount making it £8.10.
You can choose from a range of full size and sample sized products, and I found it exciting flicking through the pages to see what I could add to my box as my 3 products. Immediately, I could see the contrasts between this service, which is marketed as a customised beauty box, and Birchbox – a beauty box for discovery. I thought it would be nice to compare the two services over the course of a month or two, so that you are able to see the similarities and differences between what each service has to offer.
When I received my LiB box, it arrived as a regular plain brown parcel, sealed with a sticker featuring their logo. Upon opening, I could see the products neatly wrapped in pink tissue paper-again sealed with a sticker- and laid on wiggly pink card strips (or ‘worms’, as I’ve heard them called).
The packaging of the products was very sophisticated and well-presented, although very different to that of Birchbox, which usually arrives in a drawer style box with a themed design, making it very handy for storage. I would find it difficult to reuse the LiB box, as it does not have those features.
However, the Latest in Beauty service is not without a signature touch, as each month the box contains a different cute postcard with a quote on it, which I think would be nice to collect and display on your dressing table, for example.
The first thing I saw when I opened the tissue paper wrapping was this little canvas make up bag. I did not know I would be receiving this in my box, and it was a lovely surprise as it will be very useful for keeping those few essential make up items safe and on hand in my bag. I wonder if this is an added bonus for new subscribers or if you receive a little bag like this every month (I look forward to finding out if I continue this subscription on into May).
Here, I have to be honest with you all. This first item- a mini Givenchy lipstick in the shade Rose Dressing- was the main reason I was interested in getting my hands on this box. Browsing the site with no real intention of subscribing, I saw this sample and, well… here we are. I was already tempted to give this box a whirl, however I would say that this item was the one that persuaded me to take the splurge.
On first impressions, this lipstick is really creamy and it is very hydrating on the lips. The colour is perfect for spring- a rich peachy pink. My only worry is that, being a small sample, it won’t last long, however I’ll savour it and hopefully it will last me a while! In all fairness, this sample is not a bad size and it will be perfect to keep in my bag. I received a comparable sample in my Birchbox a couple of months ago- the Benefit they’re real double the lip lipstick, and I think that there is a similar amount of product in both samples, just that the tube itself is more compact in the mini from Givenchy.
The next item I chose is this 111Skin ”biocellulose facial treatment mask’. A while ago now, I received my first ever sheet mask in my Birchbox, one from a Korean brand called Keeome. I loved how my skin felt after using that mask and found the whole experience very relaxing, and so this is what made me decide to try this one. I haven’t tried it out yet so unfortunately I can’t compare the performance of the masks, but I am looking forward to it.
As my third and final item, I decided on the Cetaphil ‘gentle skin cleanser’ for face and body. I can get quite dehydrated skin on my face so I think that this should be good for cleansing without stripping it of any moisture. I am also very pleased that this product works for the body as well as the face, as I have sensitive skin on my legs that doesn’t react well with over perfumed body lotions or shower gels. As this product is fragrance free, I think that this will be perfect for me. Not only this, but this product is full size and sells for £8.99 at Superdrug, so this one product makes up the value of my whole box!
I was also given a couple of perfume samples too, which is always nice.
Overall, the general impression I got from trying both Birchbox and Latest in Beauty is that they are essentially offering very different things, and so are targeted at different customers. I have always enjoyed the element of surprise that comes with Birchbox, although I also found it exciting choosing products to try out for myself. The price of LiB is very attractive, and would save me just under £4 every month, which doesn’t sound like a lot but is always a good thing. However, I do think that I’ll be sticking to Birchbox, as I love how it opens my mind to new products and brands I may not have tried before, and I could see myself constantly ordering what I know and love in LiB boxes as opposed to trying something new ans stepping outside of my comfort zone.
Sorry that this was a more lengthy post, but I hope that you found this comparison helpful if you were considering buying a beauty box subscription, or if you were just interested in the concept of a beauty subscription service. I hope to trial more boxes in the future, and offer a more varied comparison for all those interested.