Editorials

Is the Feel Unique Beauty Box worth it?

No, not really. But why?

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No, I don’t think it is. Thanks for listening to my TED talk.

So I signed up, slightly inadvertently, to 12 months of the Feel Unique beauty box sometime last year. I think I actually did it in response to their service launch email.

Space NK UK

However, I distinctly do not remember signing up for 12 months and yet each month I am charged £11.95 and beauty samples fly through my letterbox like anthrax. When I tried to cancel it, it was then I learnt I was roped into 12 months and could not cancel it. I suppose I could have put a stop on my card, but effort…

Stack of Feel Unique beauty box parcels unopened
Pile of samples from the Feel Unique beauty box deliveries

So the Feel Unique beauty box comes and it comes. Each month in a smart little postage box and inside, a really useful and gorgeous little pink and cream bag filled with an array of samples. Whilst the contents are not so great, I’ve been using these bags for all sorts and honestly, they’re the best part of the box.

Can I choose my Feel Unique Beauty Box samples?

Yes, and I absolutely recommend doing so. Each month you have a list of samples to choose 5 from on the Feel Unique site. The selection does vary from month to month and if you’re really savvy, you can get your £11.95’s worth. Sometimes there are full sizes, but usually pretty uninspired full sizes largely from Bed Head haircare; in one box I got a pack of Invisibobbles which have now mostly been stolen by the cat.

Full size Bed Head product from one of the Feel Unique Beauty Box deliveries

If you don’t decide to pick your beauty box samples, this is when things get a bit naff. Feel Unique send you a random assortment of what seems like stock excess and rubbish that is absolutely not targeted to you at all; not your customer profile, purchases or even gender with one box containing some benefit brow definer in light brown.

Feel Unique Beauty Box brands to choose from

The brands are also pretty uninspiring, just being the usual suspects like Clinique, REN, Khiel’s, Decleor etc. There’s nothing that’s come and has been a particularly new discovery, but given my job and career, I get I’m probably being a bit too harsh; but I think anyone with a passing interest in skincare has tried Clinique Moisture Surge or Khiel’s Ultra Facial Cream.

An example of a good box from the Feel Unique Beauty Box service

Another problem is that many samples that come are clearly expired and stinky, in the last 5 boxes of 5 products, at least one box’s worth was dead and needed throwing away, which is a shame and a waste of time and money.

So is it actually worth it and why?

At the time of writing, the landing page for the Feel Unique beauty box has a little black circle claiming that the service is “worth up to £110”. In what world!? Per bag? or per 12 months, because at 12 months at £11.95, that’s a net loss of £33.40…

For each of the 5 samples, including the bag and postage, but the whole sell is really the samples, you’re paying £2 per sample. Is this worth it? Again, no, not really. The larger sizes maybe, but these are few and far between. It’s also highly unlikely that Feel Unique will be paying a penny for these samples as brands send them to retailers in the hope of sales. So apart from a cardboard box, a little cotton bag and the packing/postage – all of which will be ultra-cheap because of the scale of this newly LVMH owned e-tailer, this is a pure profit exercise and I don’t feel the value.

I also don’t see how hard it would be to use a little bit of machine learning on the customer profile side to send me things it thinks I might like or at least make better suggestions. There’s been nothing I’ve received that I’d genuinely buy full sizes of.

Can’t I just get the samples for free?

As an alternative, as long as you don’t take the micky, you can visit your local beauty hall or beauty retailer and kindly ask for a sample of something you genuinely want to try. Most consultants can tell the difference between someone just wanting freebies and someone genuinely wanting to try a product, so just ask nicely and often, you’ll receive! But despite Feel Unique being my favourite online beauty retailer, this racket is not for me.

If there’s something wrong with you and you took this as a glowing review of the service, you can buy a subscription to the Feel Unique beauty box here.