Subscription boxes - surely you've heard of them. They can be anywhere from utterly frivolous to overwhelmingly practical. I believe sharing is caring so I'm rounding up some of the ones I've tried for better... or worse! Full disclosure - My posts do contain my affiliate links but this post is in no way sponsored or endorsed by any of these brands. I share of my own free will!
1. Stitch Fix
Do you need a personal stylist but are not a rich celebrity or Hollywood It Girl? Say no more. Enter: Stitch Fix, a monthly subscription to a personal stylist. To get started, log on to stitchfix.com
and fill out your extremely detailed personal profile. Go ahead and create a fancy Pinterest Board with your Style inspo to help your stylist understand what you're into fashion-wise. You can also include a note to your stylist such as (need access for breastfeeding, have to attend 5 weddings this year, etc.) A pretty box will soon arrive to your home with 5 items ranging from clothes, to shoes, to handbags and other accessories (you can opt out of any of the categories). Try them on, fall in love or recoil in disgust. If you send it all back you will be charged a $20 styling fee but if you buy all 5 you get a sweet discount!
I started with Stitch Fix because, as an exhausted mom in the throes of postpartum discomfort, I had been wearing nothing but shapeless cotton sack clothes. I was feeling in a rut and totally detached from who I used to be BC (before child). I felt like I needed a jolt to get back into caring how I looked again! I will say that I liked my first few boxes. I kept a nice pair of dark wash jeans, a nice black and white marled infinity scarf, a pair of maroon jeggings, and a sweet white cardigan with lovely detail on the shoulders. However, by the third box I felt completely misunderstood (despite updating my profile several times and religiously pinning to my style board and updating it as needed). Furthermore, while my scarf and maroon jeggings and cardigan have remained in regular rotation, the jeans turned into highwaters over night. Having paid a lot for them I was disappointed, but I felt no guilt returning to my tried and true American Eagle jeggings (which I can wash like the lazy and terrible housekeeper that I am!)
Overall Grade: B+
A for effort but I won't be making Stitch Fix a regular part of my life as long as there are sticky hands and boogery noses threatening me at every turn!
ipsy is a monthly subscription service for makeup, skin, and haircare products. You simply create an account on ipsy.com, fill out your profile and preferences for what you like and can update it as your needs change. Then, each month a pretty metallic pink padded envelope will show up in your mailbox with 5 handpicked cosmetics! I started this because I tend to keep the same makeup for 3 years and I end up spending way too much money on makeup I don't need. I am a simple girl and do the basics like eyeliner and mascara and mega under-eye concealer on my average day, and then add in some contouring, foundation, eyeshadow, and eyebrow filler when I'm feeling fancy.
Overall Grade: A
There are not many cons to this - it's a great way to try new products and avoid the overwhelming makeup stores where you feel pressured to buy things you don't know how to use or understand. I'm a big fan!
3. Hello Fresh
My cousin sent me a coupon for a free box containing 3 meals. I'm a big fan of paying it forward, so use my code NICOLELUT to get $40 off YOUR first box! I created an account at hellofresh.com, put in some preferences and scheduled my delivery. I literally forgot about it until I was boiling water for Kraft mac and cheese, and my husband brought the box in from the cold. Oops! I then frantically opened the box and found 3 cool meals, 1 chicken, 1 pork, 1 steak. I chose the one with the least amount of actual prep/cooking, a thai pork dish with rice noodles. As my daughter yanked on my clothing, I chopped up the veggies and threw everything together.
This is a great service that can really help you plan ahead and help improve your health and intake of fresh, delicious vegetables. I say try it!
What I've learned
Overall, I've really enjoyed these subscription box services. Sometimes you are so busy you forget to take care of yourself or do something nice for numero uno. These services each allow you to have someone narrow down the tough decisions for you while still providing you with some lovely options. You may not like all of them, but at least for me, it helped steer me towards what I do actually like. I remember what it's like to be an independent woman who thinks about herself once in a while! I also feel like these save a ton of time and help make dressing, doing your makeup, and feeding yourself and your family a lot less daunting (especially on no sleep while trying to "have it all").
I hope you enjoyed my post and will consider doing something nice for yourself one of these days. What subscription boxes have you tried? Did you love them, hate them, or are you still figuring it out? Let me know in the comments!
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Nice to meet you!
I am a tech pro, blogger, DIY'er, reader, TV binger, music lover, nerd and semi-crunchy mom. I write about professional development, being crafty, motherhood and politics. Thanks for joining me and letting me share my thoughts with you!