A beauty box that has no subscription seems like a great idea, and This is Powder also claims that the products are tailored to your needs. Housed in a useful pink drawer box, before you see what products are on offer though you have to fill out a mini questionnaire, which decides which are the best products for you. Sounds great, but the reality of it is that only some of the products are selected, and the rest are generic to the box. Let’s be realistic that the box will be ‘tailored to our needs’ only according to what is available, because we all know that the company has a limited selection of special sizes and samples with which to create a collection. You may think me cynical, but let’s break down what is actually tailored, what special sizes have been in just about every beauty box going, and which ones are available individually on Latest In Beauty (a sister company) for a fraction of the price.
My box of 15 items cost £40 with free postage, and previous versions of the Powder boxes have been £30-35, where the perceived retail value is over £150. Don’t be drawn in to what you think you are saving, because many items are calculated on a R.R.P based on a full sized product. It took more than a dozen attempts at the questionnaire to get the products I wanted, because it’s not wholly accurate. Just because I have a medium skin tone doesn’t mean I will like a fuchsia lipstick, and I kept getting coconut shampoo in my selections, and I can’t bear the smell of coconut!
The questionnaire has the following questions; then it calculates the result. If you don’t like the suggestions, try it again and tweak your answers.
- Date of birth.
- Skin tone (from a selection of six on a chart).
- Skin type ~ Dry, Normal, Oily, or Combination.
- Skin concerns ~ wrinkles, dryness, acne scarring, oiliness, pigmentation, sensitivity, blemishes, or rosacea.
- Hair concerns ~ split ends, frizz, dry, lacks volume, lacks shine, etc.
- What fragrance do you prefer ~ floral, fresh, woody, oriental, or sweet
These are the products everyone gets regardless of what your results are:
- Imedeen ~ Derma One/Full size
- NARS ~ Organsm blusher/ Full size
- Olay ~ Total Effects Moisturiser day Cream SPF15 /Full size
- *Lipcote ~ Sealer/Full size
- Foreo ~ Luna Play Mini/ Special size
- *Nuxe ~ Prodigieux® Shower Oil/ Special size 30 ml
- *Elemis ~ Botanical Body Cream/ Special size 50 ml
- *St Tropez ~ Self tanning mist/ Special size 100 ml
- *Philosophy ~ purity cleanser/ Special size 90 ml
- *NIP & FAB ~ Glyco Pads/ Sample of 5
- Philosophy ~ take a deep breath cream/ Sample 5 ml
The rest of the items will be one of these according to what your questionnaire suggests:
- *Balance Me Pure Skin Face Wash (50 ml) OR Congested Skin Serum (7 ml)
- Zadig & Voltaire or Coach fragrance sample
- Maybelline lipstick in one of these shades: Midnight Merlot, Orange Danger, Fiery Fuchsia, or Berry Bossy. None of which are particularly appealing…
- OGX shampoo and conditioner (88.7 ml each); variants are: renewing Argan oil of Morocco, Nourishing coconut milk, Weightless Hydration coconut water, Thick and Full Biotin and Collagen, or Ever Straight Brazilian Keratin.
* Items currently available in a build your own box from Latest in Beauty
Less than a third of the products offered are tailored, so it’s a little misleading to say the whole box is individually tailored to your needs. In addition there are some special discounts available too, but aren’t that great, with one being a free NARS consultation, which you can get at anytime. Some items have been in all the beauty boxes recently (Nuxe, and Balance Me), so if you have other boxes, you may end up with duplicates, and items marked with an asterisk are available as a one off box from Latest In Beauty, at £2 an item depending on which box you select.
- The box overall wasn’t bad value for me because it included a NARS blusher, and also the Foreo Luna, which both cost over £20 each, and were products I wanted. However, if it wasn’t for those items I would not have bought the box.
- The booklet that comes with it as it appears to be written by a teenager or a millennial, as the advice given in some cases is incorrect, and I would throw it out. The overuse of casual youth speak is annoying to say the least, and I don’t think it’s professional to advocate hangovers. The advice on fragrances is wrong (keep fragrances in a dry temperature and not in the bathroom, and shaking it doesn’t let air into it!). I worked for a major fragrance company for several years, and I find it frustrating to see people spreading incorrect information.
- The drawer box is useful, and is a good design.
- For a box to be tailored, I would expect at least 50% of the products to have an option. I think there should have been an option to choose in addition to the questionnaire.
- The sizes of the products are not displayed and described as luxury sizes, which can be misleading in some cases.