Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Wantable October 2013 Review

This is my third Wantable box. If you can recall, my first two Wantable boxes were super, super similar. They had the same brands on repeat. When I opened this box, I was really bummed. Another Japonesque brush? Another Be a Bombshell blush? Are you shitting me? For $36 a month, this is kind of silly, isn't it?

Additionally, in this box I only got four full-sized products and one sample. This is less than the five products and one sample that I have come to expect from Wantable.

I have good news, though: I tried the products and it turns out that my negative first impression was dead wrong. This is an awesome box and it's definitely the best of the three boxes that I have received from Wantable so far.


Beauty For Real Miracle Mascara in Very Black (full size at 0.3 fl oz), retail value $23.00 


My stomach sank a little bit when I saw this is my my box. I'd been considering moving mascaras from the "like" section of my profile to the "dislike" section just because I'd typically prefer to get, say, a lipstick. I'm glad that I didn't, though, because this mascara is all kinds of excellent.


The packaging is smart. I love products that have little mirrors on the side of them in case I want to sneak an opportunity to stare at myself in the middle of the day.


It also has a button on the top and a LIGHT which has no effect whatsoever on my ability to apply the mascara  BUT if you are ever stranded in a forest or caught in a haunted house or something, you know that the girl with the mascara/flashlight duo is the one who is going to survive.


The thing that makes this a good mascara, though, is its effect on your lashes. It's a really dark black that is great for lengthening eyelashes. A quick before and after:

No mascara
Beauty For Real Miracle Mascara on Human Face
I've been so used to getting HORRID mascara samples from Ipsy that I forgot that sometimes you can love a mascara you didn't pick out yourself. I'm really happy with this and will definitely use it any time I want to get an ultra-black mascara look.

(Another thing I liked: check out the photo that accompanies this product on their website. Those results look so believable and realistic! Love it.)

Be a Bombshell Blush in Glowing Goddess (full size at 0.14oz), retail value $16.00


I received the Be A Bombshell blush in Sweet Cheeks from Wantable last month AND from Ipsy and both times I concluded that it was just a hair too frosty for me. I think that my new-found devotion to this blush suggests that it actually wasn't the frostiness, it was the color.


Glowing Goddess is just as frosty as Sweet Cheeks, but I love it. I'm always a sucker for an orange blush, but this electric coral is simultaneously unique and wearable.


It is worth noting that the Be a Bombshell site is calling this a "medium peach with a hint of shimmer". Whoever said that does not know their colors. If you were expecting a product that fit that description, you'd be disappointed. This is definitely a neon coral that leans on the highlighter orange side. It's a wonderful color, but it ain't a "medium peach".

Japonesque Travel Angled Foundation Brush, retail value $25.00


This is one of the things that made me groan when I saw it in my box. This is the third travel-sized Japonsque brush that I've gotten from Wantable. They're going to send me a damn brush set. However, once I got over my grumbles: turns out that this is a really nice brush. Like, really nice. It's soft and not streaky. It's large enough to use even if you're not traveling. (It's not one of those tiny baby brushes that you makes you feel like you have giant hands when you try to use it).

Finally, and this is the true reason for my happiness: I hate washing my brushes. An extra foundation brush buys me sweet, sweet time. Procrastination is one of my favorite hobbies.

Cailyn Cosmetics Cailyn Red Tint (full size at 0.19 fl oz), retail value $13.00


Cailyn has just jumped on this beauty box trend like no other. First ipsy, then Birchbox, now Wantable. I'm sure they're also in business with tons of other subscription box services that I don't receive.

Calling this a red tint is just... off... When you say a product is red, I assume you mean something a lot brighter than this. This is closer to the color you get when you spill red wine on a white shirt. Sure, it technically falls into the category of "red" but it has some dusky burgundy and purple colors in there that are ignored when it's described using a three-letter word.


When I first applied this, I made a big mistake. I just slathered it on my lips and it looked awful. After using a lip scrub, though, it applied a little less splotchy. I tend to have bad luck with lip stains in general. However, I think that this one is actually pretty good. It lasts well and it is not drying at all. Usually, lip stains dry out my lips significantly. This just felt like... my lips.

Skiin Soothing and Smoothing Eye Cream (2g/0.07oz), approximate retail value $6.99


Skiin needs to work on their search engine optimization strategy. Google autocorrects you when you try to search for this product! Alternatively, they could have picked a brand name that doesn't look like a typo.

Overall this... well, it's an eye cream. No reason to pay a hundred dollars per ounce for it.

Total Box Value: $83.99

Although my impression when I opened up the box and looked inside was on negative side of things, once I broke down and actually tried all the products, I ended up being very happy. I'll definitely use every single one of these products.

Look made using all of this month's Wantable products!
I do wish that Wantable would put more effort into offering up new brands that they haven't sent me before. It seems like they may need a better tracking system to ensure that there is box diversity. I've been creeping on some other reviews and I know that they have a wider range of products that I would be happy to try... they just haven't been sent to me. That being said, if these exact same products had been from brands that I had never tried before, I would be singing Wantable's praises. Thus, at least for this month, I'd say the problem is me and not them. (Last month's absurd repeats were their fault, though.) I think I'm going to mix up my profile for next month and see if that throws some new brands into the mix.

(I will say: I'm not confused about why there is so little brand variation. I speculate that there just aren't a lot of brands willing to mark down their prices enough to make Wantable profitable. The boxes that I have received have ranged in value from $80-$100. Wantable costs $36. That's between half and a third of the box's retail value. On top of that, the original cosmetics company has to make money and then ship the products to Wantable. Wantable has to make money and ship the products to you. Add in the salaries of those hired for marketing, customer service, product scouting... And you have to account for profit losses associated with their generous "no questions asked" return policy. It's hard to imagine that they aren't working with a pretty tight profit margin already... they must need to get those products pretty cheap! I recognize that brands have very valid reasons to avoid participating and thus, given the limited brand selection, there will be repeats. I just want to sample the range of what brands are actually available.)

When all is said and done, though, this box surprised me with its excellence. May next month be even better...

If you're interested in joining Wantable, please consider using my referral link by clicking here.

8 comments:

  1. Love your blog, love catching up on the older posts! Would you consider checking out the Alpha Hydrox products, specifically the "AHA Souffle (12% Glycolic AHA) and the "Retinol ResQ"?

    The branding says "Alpha Hydrox...the one that works". Here are their claims:

    AHA Souffle 125 Glycolic AHA

    A powerful natural exfoliant that works to smooth and soften your skin, restoring a younger appearance. The 12% AHA solution improves your skin's texture, elasticity and tone as it intensively nourishes the skin. Peptides and green tea work together to prevent free radicals from breaking down the skin, and to preserve your skin's firmness. You will see noticeably softer and more radiant skin from the first application. After 100% pure AHA crystals are liquefied for cosmetic use, percentage of AHA is based on a 70% solution.

    Reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and evens skin tone
    Proven to show significant and measurable improvements in skin's condition after six weeks
    May prolong the effects of Botox and microdermabrasion
    Helps to prevent signs of skin's premature aging with antioxidant vitamins and green tea
    Contains glycolic alpha hydroxy acid which is highly recommended by dermatologists
    For all skin types, fragrance- and oil-free, pH 4

    Sunburn Alert: Product contains an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that may increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun and particularly the possibility of sunburn. Use sunscreen and limit sun exposure while using this product and for a week afterwards.

    Retinol ResQ

    Formerly known as, "Retinol Night ResQ, Anti-Wrinkle Firming Complex".

    For all skin types
    Fragrance Free
    Time-released
    Topical Vitamins A, C and E

    Time-released formula with patented Microsponge® technology maximizes effectiveness in reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
    Combines the anti-oxidant benefits of topical Vitamins A, C and E
    Reduces imperfections, tightens pores, improves clarity
    Evens skin tone

    Retinol ResQ® contains pure active Vitamin A (Retinol), a superior anti-wrinkle firming treatment. The anti-oxidant powers of Vitamins C and E penetrate deep into skin where wrinkles and damage begin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For the former, you might want to look at this recent Beauty Brains post: http://thebeautybrains.com/2013/09/21/alpha-hydrox-aha-souffle-look-at-the-label/

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  2. I love that mascara! As someone who always carries a mini flashlight in their purse, the built-in light doesn't seem so crazy. Maybe.

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  3. I really appreciate your honest reviews! Before I found your blog I'd go searching for subscription box reviews, only to get frustrated with the universally positive, completely credulous reviews of whatever they'd gotten stuck with that month. Totally useless. Who cares what you'd have spent if you'd bought each separately if you don't like or use 3/4 of the products? I really appreciate your value of the box based on which products you'd actually use, and whether you'd have spent the cost of the subscription just on those products alone. Much more logical (and useful to the rest of us!)

    I think I've decided that I don't want Wantable because of the full size products. This month I'd only have wanted the mascara and brush, and so I think it makes more sense for me to get the smaller size product boxes - or just the less expensive subscription in general. Thanks for your cool blog!!

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  4. Isn't that Caitlyn lip stain really similar to that other lip stain you have where it's supposed to look like blood in a vial? (I THINK it was you who reviewed it...unfortunately I can't remember)

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  5. I keep going back and forth with Wantable. I had them for 2 months. My first box was a huge bust, and I got products I put as "dislikes," but my second box was better. I also wish they offered more brand diversity. It's ultimately why I cancelled. All the Calyn and Be a Bombshell stuff I was getting I was also getting from Ipsy - at a fraction of the cost.

    Seeing people's awesome boxes always makes me want to resubscribe though! TBH, another reason I unsubbed was because both times I ended up getting just 4 products, while everyone else on Reddit was posting 5-6. I felt a little ripped off. :/

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  6. I'm with you on the "so tired of horrible mascara samples" bandwagon, but this time round i got a blue-tinted Cailyn mascara that i LOVED in my wantable box. I think it's quickly becoming my "regular mascara.

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  7. this might be the "last" good box we get. Wantable is now sending out only 3-4 items and the value is less than 70.00. Of course, the sub price hasn't dropped. Look at how they are marking november's box.

    Unless they just made a major goof (and I feel bad for those members that did get a november box already, because the value was awful), this is very disappointing.

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