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An occasionally belligerent mother of four and an autism parent / advocate who believes that traveling, good food and good company are vital to keep one sane. I've worked as a news writer/newscaster, a quality systems auditor, a ISO9001 consultant, an FM radio DJ, a Filipino tutor, TOEFL reviewer and have gone into the food industry both as an entrepreneur and as a mommy chef, giving a sponsored demo on healthy cooking in a mall and on local TV. My favorite job however, is being a mom and a wife.

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Monday, July 31, 2017

TMW Beauty Edition: Which Beauty Kit Source Is For You?

as a mom of 4 boys, my beauty regimen/makeovers are  done 90% at home and done by yours truly. This is why I have a closet full (yes, a closet) of beauty products that range from skin, hair and body care to various tools and products involving make up. Buying beauty kits is my one true addiction these days

In an amazingly fast fashion, curated beauty kits have increasingly been popping up. Because of social media and online shopping, getting your hands on the latest and most wanted beauty products from both here and abroad WITHOUT leaving the comfort of your room is as easy as counting 1-2-3.

I love beauty kits. And with this statement lies the crux of my problem: how to limit my purchases by sticking to just ONE source.

For this edition of The Mediocre Wanderer, I'll be talking about the my experiences after purchasing kits from Althea, Project Vanity and Glitbox (formerly known as Saladox PH).

**NOTE: all these sites sell individual products as well, but at regular prices
June's Saladbox, and yes, it came with those two boxes of hair color
1. GLITBOX (formerly known as SALADBOX) http://saladbox.ph/
- Saladbox caught my eye at the start of 2017. Here's the lowdown:

PROS

a. Affordable - at 500php /monthly box + 100 php shipping fee with items valued over 1000 php to 2000 php, I felt that this was a steal. If you subscribe a full year at 6000 PHP, box 11 and 12 come for free

b. Access to the latest products from great brands such as Benefit Cosmetics, VMV, Mary Kay and many more
all my unboxed Saladboxes are posted in my Instagram account. Feel free to check it out

c. If you like surprises, this is for you as you won't know what you're going to get until it arrives at your doorstep

d. Customer service is A-plus. Queries made by yours truly, are often addressed within the day or no more than 24 hours.
e. Ordering is pretty much straightforward and created the way one would order from an online seller. Pick which bundle you'd like, give your shipping info and pay for it in 24 hours or lose the slot.
along with the boxes of hair color, these products made up the June Saladbox

CONS
a. while I love surprises, there would be months when the products sent are stuff you wouldn't even want to try. Stuff that are readily available in nearby supermarkets and drugstores for the longest time, but have NEVER given me reason to buy it.

Case in point: the April 2017 Summer Girl Box. While the box's Farmstay Snail Cream made me a fan of the product, the Skin White roll-on deodorant and whitening lotion plus the Maxi-Peel exfoliating set were things that turned me off. I wasn't going to use it and no one I knew wanted to take it off my hands. 

Luckily, I was one of the lucky ones whose box had extras thrown in (Benefit and Mary Kay Samplers, among others)

Judging from the Instagram posts of folks who tagged Saladbox in their "unboxing" photos, not a whole lot of people were pleased with the items, considering the previous month's box consisted of items from Pond's and Dove (which are drugstore products that I could still work with). The company could benefit from conducting a survey on what their subscribers would actually want to see or at least curate a box with some upscale products thrown in with the drugstore items.

b. Shipping is normally done at month's end and can extend up to the middle part of the next month, but then again, you still get your stuff, albeit not in a timely manner.

ordered the "Beauty from Head to Toe" kit, the freebie (after checkout)  and some ceramide hair treatment

2. ALTHEA BOX https://ph.althea.kr/

- a Korean company that ships directly to the Philippines, the Althea box is a most sought after treat for the reasons listed below:

PROS
a. the themed box can range from hair care, beauty head to toe, makeup 101s and the likes. It has a little of everything, targeted and packaged specifically as advertised. You know what you're going to get BEFORE you decide to purchase it.The website also provides a quick info on what the included Korean beauty products are for.

b. Totally a steal since the boxes are valued from anywhere between 3000 PHP to 5000 PHP (sometimes even more) and retail for less than 2000 PHP. The products on their website are also MUCH cheaper compared to the ones sold in the Philippines. Freebies and promos abound too in their site as well.
some of the options that you may find at Althea. Note the original vs the discounted cost

c. Shipping is free for items bought amounting to 1000 PHP. Since all Althea Boxes cost a little over a thou, shipping is certainly free for your chosen box

d. Shipping, as mentioned after purchase, should take 7-14 days. My boxes have never taken longer than a week, so I'm pretty happy with the delivery time.
full-sized products and not samples come with the Althea box
e. Since I know what I'm going to get and how to use the items ahead of time, I am able to use the products I felt I needed, and save those I don't for later, to be given as gifts.

CONS
a. I CAN'T STOP MYSELF FROM BUYING FROM THIS SITE!!


3. PROJECT VANITY http://www.projectvanity.com/

- I have only purchased one kit from this site. Aside from having an online beauty store, Project Vanity features reviews, and tutorials on make up, skin care and many more.

PROS:
a. Ended up buying the Bridal Kit, which, in my opinion is one beautifully curated kit that covers the bare essentials needed for it's theme. All the items in the pack are usable and fabulous.

b.Valued at over 2000 PHP, the kit retailed for 875 PHP.


c. Customer service is absolutely the best. Tried to buy the kit while we overseas. The payment options given weren't feasible for me at that time. Thinking I had lost my slot to buy one of the kits, I forgot about the matter. A week after we got back, I received a text message from PV asking if I still wanted the kit. I did. Maam Marielle at PV also found ways for me to pay via my bank of choice. Got the item less than a week after.

CONS:
a. kits aren't always available as these are special, one-time only events.

b. BPI is not a part of their affiliated banks when using the online banking option.

THE LOWDOWN
:
I'm pretty partial to kits from Althea, but have had good experiences as well with the other two. All three offer great deals and a wide range of choices. Whatever you pick, always remember to read reviews on product compatibility, both for your skin type and lifestyle.

From TMW, may all your wanderings be better than ours!!!

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