I feel like Wantable is the beauty subscription box version of that friend. They're very sensitive to your stated preferences, but I feel like they don't have a person sitting down and saying, "Okay, this is what they like, how can we create value?" Instead you get Wantable-Bot, who hears you don't mind brow gel and buys you one ludicrously-priced brow gel product and an anti-aging sample and calls it good.
With that said, I'm pretty happy with my December box. I'm gradually weeding out the things I'm consistently not impressed by. If you choose to subscribe to Wantable, I recommend being as picky as you possibly can in your preferences survey, as that will avoid a lot of disappointments.
Here's what I received this month:
Manna Kadar Sheer Glo Shimmer Lotion Highlight (full size at 1.0 oz), retail value $29
This product is a light pink liquid that imparts a soft glow. Although the internet machine recommends that I mix this with my foundation, I didn't find that to be effective. All it did was sheer out my foundation; it didn't affect the finish. I do really like it, though, as a subtle highlighter. Even on my pale-ass face, the pink color isn't too pigmented or clownish. It gives a spectacular finish that looks almost supermodel-esque.
The downside? I have no fucking idea what color this product is. It isn't labeled anywhere. Online, you can buy it in "Movie Star", "Paradise", and the Birchbox-exclusive "Birchbox Love" and none of those look quite right. It looks closest to "Paradise", but Paradise seems to have a golden hue that isn't present here. I think that keeping quiet about the color is a ridiculous choice. There are two reasons you would discount a product for a beauty box: you want the person you send it to to buy it and/or you want them to tell other people to buy it. If you don't make it clear what the product is, neither of those things can happen.
|One pump is WAY too much product, though. Whoops.|
This is a nice, easy-to-use eyeliner pen. Before I checked out the price (I always use stuff before I look up the value), I was certain that it was going to lean on the pricey side. To my surprise, it's currently on sale for a wallet-friendly $7.99. Although I'm not thrilled about being sent a product that is on sale, I do like this eyeliner a lot.
The point on the pen is nice and precise, making it easy to work with. It's a lovely, true black. The formula on the liner itself is pretty great (I drew a picture on my hand and it was fine in the bathtub until I started rubbing it, at which point it smudged. I speculate that it would probably last through watery eyes, but not full-on ugly crying). I think this is really impressive for $7.99. It's a drugstore pricepoint but it's leaps and bounds above the drugstore eyeliner pens that I have tried.
La Bella Donna Love Lips Collection Duo Lip Crayon in Luscious (full size at 0.145oz), retail value $27
This a double-ended lip liner and lip pencil. The liner side has the texture of a traditional pencil lip liner, so it's a bit tougher than I might have wished for, but it's totally usable. The lip pencil side is very soft, but it's a bit sheerer, with tons of glitter.
The liner side is a rich, dusty medium-dark red that leans warm. The pencil is the sheerer, shimmery glitter-bomb version of the same color.
Based on the swatches, I wasn't in love. As soon as I put it on my lips, though, I changed my tune. Having a lip liner/lip pencil duo is really convenient and the color doesn't look frosty or immature when applied. It looks pretty and has good lasting power.
Billion Dollar Brows Clear Brow Gel (full size at 0.1fl oz), retail value $16
To the best of my knowledge, all clear brow gels are functionally identical. I have never had a clear brow gel and thought, "Wow, this is so much better than that other clear brow gel!" Thus, it's hard to conclude that this brow gel is going to give me $16 of value. The only thing it's really got is pretty packaging. (And even that is non-ideal-- I put brow gel on after I fill in my brows. As a result, my brow gels get murky quickly. Since it looks nasty, I'd always prefer to have opaque brow gel packaging.)
Still, I totally needed a new clear brow gel, so it's hard to complain.
Victoria Soap Lanolin Eggwhite Facial Soap (0.53oz), approximate retail value $1.49
I don't have much to say about this soap. It's a facial soap. If you put it on your face, your face with be cleaner. The end.
Total Box Value: $81.48
Here's a look I created with all the products in my December 2013 Wantable box:
Overall, I like every product that I received and I'm pretty darn happy. My criticisms are mostly nitpicky, but I feel that this is reasonable when reviewing a subscription service that costs $36. (That's a fair bit of money given that you aren't choosing your own products!)
I'm going to continue to refine my likes/dislikes survey. It's hard to say you don't like things that you totally do like, but the pickier that I have been on the survey, the happier that I have been with my boxes.
If you do decide to join Wantable, you are always welcome to use my referral link by clicking here.