Little-Known Box is a new beauty box that is available in the UK that focuses on (as the name says) emerging and niche brands with a particular emphasis on premium, natural and organic beauty products. Launched in May 2016, each box contains 5-6 items, which are a combination of full and travel sized products. Packaged in a stylish matt black box, there are additional discounts offered by some of the brands, and this month a few have 20% off when you buy online from their websites. One of the great things about Little-Known Box is the flexibility where you can cancel up to the 14th of the month for monthly subscriptions—something that can put people off subscribing. Here are the subscriptions options that are currently available:
- Monthly ~ £14.95 a month plus £3.75 for delivery of each box
- 3 Month pre-pay ~ £43.45 (plus delivery)
- 6 Month pre-pay ~ £83.70 (plus delivery)
- 12 Month pre-pay ~ £149.40 (plus delivery)
*** SEE BELOW FOR A 20% DISCOUNT CODE***
To subscribe, you need to fill out a short questionnaire, that includes: age, skin type and tone, hair colour, skincare concerns, what colours or scents you prefer, and what products you would like to receive and ones you don’t. All boxes are dispatched around the 20th of each month, so unlike other boxes everyone should receive them at the same time. Subscriptions are automatically renewed, so if you wish to cancel, do so by the 14th of the preceding month when the subscription is about to end. Payments are also taken out on the first of each month regardless of the date you originally subscribed.
I received the February box** with a spa night theme to review, which contained 4 full sized items, a travel sized item and a bonus item:
- Ecocare Rose & Chamomile Organic Face Wipes ~ £4.99 (Full size 24 wipes)
- FRUU Lip Balm ~ £2.99 (Full size)
- Miss Patisserie Cupcake Bath Melt ~ £3 (Full size)
- Medusa’s Makeup Black Mascara ~ £9.70 (Full size)
- MONU Skin Recovery Balm ~ 25 ml /£12.50 (Travel size)
- Friendly Soap Hair and Body Bar ~ 20 g (Travel size)
Ecocare (www.ecocareorganic.com) is a small company that was founded in 2011 in Australia with an emphasis on ethical trading. Currently there are three items in the range; organic apple and honey facial wipes, rose and chamomile facial wipes, and coconut oil. The wipes are cruelty free, and certified organic, and contain no alcohol. I love the use of rose as a natural ingredient in skincare, and these are excellent wipes that cleanse well, and are great for travelling or for the odd late night as an additional product in your cleansing routine. Priced at £4.99 a pack they are at the higher end of comparable products, and are ideal for those who have sensitive skin and prefer to use organic and ethical brands.
FRUU (https://fruuurskin.com) is a new UK organic cosmetics company where the products are handmade using fresh fruit. All their products are vegan and cruelty free, and at present they offer lip balms in ten different fruit flavours: watermelon, strawberry, pineapple, lime, pomegranate, lemon, coconut, cherry, and avocado all priced at an affordable £2.99. The story behind FRUU is inspirational; it won the Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future Award for the most sustainable business (using up surplus fruit waste) and was funded by a crowdfunding campaign by biochemist Terence Chung. A company to keep an eye on!
MONU (https://www.monushop.co.uk) skincare has been around for a couple of decades, and has been used in salons across the UK, but may not be as well known on the high street. The recovery balm is an excellent product for all skin types to be used instead of a moisturizer or in the evening as a hydrating mask. This is my favourite item in the box as it instantly soothes and hydrates the skin without feeling heavy.
Medusa’s Makeup ( http://medusasmakeup.com) is a quirky cruelty free and a vegan brand based in the USA. Currently the brand is only available online from the USA, and also have their own monthly beauty box priced at $15.95 (plus international shipping) a month for 3-5 full sized vegan products to try. The full sized black mascara is a great way to try the brand, especially for those who are looking for vegan products.
The bonus product of the Friendly Soap bar (http://www.friendlysoap.co.uk) was another great find, as I love handmade soaps. Suitable for sensitive skins, the products are cruelty free and suitable for vegans too (vegan society approved), and are very affordable. In the interests of research I tested it to see if it could wash the hair too (I have long thick hair) and it does as it lathers easily. While it won’t replace shampoo, it’s useful for trips or if you have short hair in need of a quick wash. Full sized bars are 95 g and are priced from £1.99 for bath soaps and £2.49 for facial cleansing bars and shampoo bars. I tried the Lavender and Geranium soap bar and it smelt wonderfully relaxing and lathered up quickly leaving my skin clean and smelling great. Eco-friendly, vegan friendly, and economical; there is no reason not to try a bar.
Miss Patisserie is a Cardiff based company that creates luxury beauty products that are cruelty free. The cupcake bath melts are one of their signature products and is a luxury item packed with moisturizing ingredients. I used this and I do feel this should come with a warning to be careful when you step into the bath as it can leave a slippery oil film. Although you can use the melt a couple of times by taking it out before it completely dissolves, I chose to use it it one go as it can be a little messy otherwise. For those with dry skin, this is probably a nice product to use, but if you don’t like bath oils you may not like the bath melts and I wouldn’t use it if you were doing a body scrub either. My skin did look and feel shiny and soft afterwards, but is best saved when you have time to relax and not for a quick bath and are great to give and receive as a gift.
Rating and Verdict
Although the box costs a little more than other beauty boxes, the quality of the brands is consistent, and as they focus on natural and organic products, is ideal for those in search of new ethical beauty products. Rather than focusing solely on the products, the box introduces the brands, many that have a personal story behind them. As a vegetarian for a quarter of a century, finding sustainable and ethical brands with products that work has never been easy, and this box provides an accessible showcase.
Response to queries may take a few days, due to being a small company at present, which is the only thing that could be improved. From time to time they do offer promotions which I have seen, but they have been time sensitive which doesn’t always suit everyone nor allow enough time for offers to be shared, or simply for the buyer to weigh up the value. The presentation of the box however was excellent, and the delivery was quick.
All the contents of the box were useful to me, and that is a bonus even if the retail value wasn’t as high as comparable boxes. Some of the full sized products were on the small side (a bath melt, lip balm, and facial wipes) but were a good introduction to the new brands. Out of all the products, I was impressed with the Friendly Soap bar, Monu Recovery Balm, and the story behind FRUU, and will look into the other products available. Recommended for those looking for vegan, organic, and ethical brands, and who like to experiment with new beauty brands.
*Discount available only on a monthly subscription until 31.05.2017.
**PR box sent for review.