Can FabFitFun's VIP Box Fit Into Your Life?
How would you like a celebrity to pick out your beauty arsenal? That's what you get with FabFitFun's VIP box.
FFF aims to motivate, inspire and excite readers with a slew of great, healthy resources for every kind of woman — from the new college student to the new mom. Our content is optimistic, entertaining, cutting edge, often funny, occasionally snarky, and all about instilling confidence and power in women. It's a way to kickstart your happy and get more from life.
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How It Works
You can access FabFitFun's posts and sign up for their daily emails for free, but to get the seasonal gift boxes (picked by Giuliana Rancic and the FFF team), you have be a VIP member. This means signing up for a subscription, which gets you four gift boxes for $49.99 each. Your credit card is charged every three months when the boxes are shipped. When it gets close to shipping day, FFF releases spoilers and updates, so you get an idea of what's coming and can cancel the box if you don't think it'll work for you. As FFF doesn't accept returns at this time, I imagine the spoilers/updates are quite handy.
FabFitFun's summer VIP box included a pretty wide range of products: hair care, skin and lips, a fashion accessory, and even something edible. You know, beauty things (and something edible). (See also: Pretty, Cheap: Makeup Advice for the Frugal)
Ivory Mason Sunglasses
Ivory Mason sells frames for adults, but the pair of sunglasses I got was tiny. Granted, I have a particularly large head, but I doubt these shades could fit on a regular-sized adult noggin. But hey, even if FabFitFun doesn't accept returns, Ivory Mason will make an exchange with you within 30 days for a $9.95 processing fee.
Because I'm already en route to becoming a Sunglasses Fairy, I think I'll skip the fee and give them to a small child who could use ‘em.
Retail value: $135
Catalina Su Lip Gloss
I wasn't sold on this lip gloss the first time I tried it. It was a little thicker than I'm used to, and the color was lighter than I would like it. However, after a few more attempts, I was able to apply just enough of the lip gloss to get a nice shine without washing out my lips. I still would prefer a darker color, but this works for everyday errand-running.
Retail value: $14
Pur-lisse Pur-Delicate Gentle Soy Milk Cleanser
Out of everything in the FabFitFun box, the Pur-lisse cleanser is my favorite. It contains soymilk, soy proteins, whole oats, white tea, and blue lotus flower water. It's free of parabens, petrochemicals, phthalates, color, and fragrance — although it does have a soft, refreshing scent. It's so gentle, yet removes makeup (even waterproof mascara!) like no one's business, and my skin doesn't feel excruciatingly dry after I wash it off. In fact, my skin already felt smoother and softer after the first use. After using it once a day for about a week, I noticed that my ever-present acne was clearing up. No new breakouts, either, even with yesterday's fish sandwich and crispy zucchini lunch! (See also: 4 Easy, Natural DIY Facial Products You Have to Try)
Retail value: $36
Evian Brumisateur Facial Spray
Yes, this is water in a spray can. And I love it.
I scoffed so hard when I first saw it. Is this a real thing? Do people actually pay for this? Seriously, they do? But it only took a few sprays to convince me that yes, water in a spray can is a wonderful thing. I use it when my skin feels especially dry, like after a shower or when I remove my makeup, and throughout the day when I feel groggy, and sometimes just because. I spray before I apply moisturizer (people say this makes the moisturizer more effective — anyone know the science behind this?), and I spray to set my makeup. Basically, I use this can of water all the time and my skin has never been happier. Hydration rocks!
Still. It's water. In a spray can. Before I run off to get a value pack, I think I'll look for a homemade alternative. Hopefully, filtered water in a spray bottle with a mist nozzle will work just as well.
Retail value: Currently $8.92 at Amazon.
Infinity Sun Glow on the Go
Well. The first time I removed the cap, the spray nozzle popped out. Although this was an easy fix (just popped the nozzle back on), things got a little messy as some of the spray tan misted onto my desk. But it came right off when I wiped it with a damp cloth and it smelled like chocolate, so I didn't mind much.
The gist of the directions on the can (and instructions that I found on the Web) indicated that I should spray evenly — but sparingly on especially absorbent areas like the hands and feet — and rub it in. Since this was the first time I had ever used spray tan, I limited the area to my right leg, the palest of my limbs. It actually ended up being darker than my other leg, because apparently it takes about 15 minutes for the color to set. It looked a little patchy, too, but that's probably due to my inexperience.
Oh, and I had an allergic reaction (mild hives) to the spray tan. It turns out that sunless tanners in general can do that to some people, and I'm one of them. Good to know.
Retail value: You won't find the 3 oz. travel size (what I got) at Infinity Sun's online store, but Amazon has it for $29.50.
It Hair Care Surf Spray
Surf spray is supposed to give you "beach waves" — I had to research what that looks like. I guess it's tousled, messy curls? Like you just got out of bed or back from the beach? In any case, it didn't work on my short, straight hair. I tried it on both wet and dry hair, I tried scrunching my hair like in how-to-use-surf-spray videos on YouTube, I tried blow-drying my hair afterwards as instructed by the bottle — but no. My hair settled back to its usual, round bob within minutes, but now a little more limp and feeling like I just spent a day at the beach (except that I didn't). (See also: 5 Hair Conditioners You Can Make at Home)
The surf spray does smell nice, I'll give it that.
Retail value: $44.90 for a case of 6 bottles if you buy directly from It Hair Care, so about $7.49 each.
KIND Dark Chocolate Chili Almond
I don't usually eat snack bars, but if it's lying around on my desk — sure, I'll take a bite. So I did. And I kept on biting, because this gluten-free bar is good. KIND claims that two bars a day "can curb appetite and even help prevent weight gain." I can't attest to that since I've only had the one bar, but I will say that the dark chocolate, nuts, and chilis (cascabel, ancho, and habanero) make for a scrumptious combination.
Retail value: $107.50 for a case of 72 bars if you buy directly from KIND, so about $1.50 each.
ORLY Nail Lacquer
I think the nail polish was a bonus. It isn't listed on FabFitFun's Big Reveal info card or post, but I do see it in some of their images and other VIP box recipients also received a bottle of ORLY nail polish (as well as Yes To towelettes).
When it comes to nail polish, I usually go for the cheap stuff (after making sure they don't have any super toxic ingredients, of course). ORLY tends to be out of my range, so I was really happy to try it out. And here's another item that I love from this box. The color is called "Sparkling Garbage," but I think "Starship Dance Party" is more fitting. It's a translucent teal jam-packed with tiny specks of glitter — a very good combo that hides any streaks or smudges. I've been wearing it for a week now and no chips yet!
Retail value: $8.50
Yes To Cucumbers Facial Towelettes
Although not as harsh as other towelettes I've tried, these Yes To towelettes still leave my face feeling a little dry. But since they do a great job of removing everyday makeup, I have no qualms about using these when I need a quick fix.
Retail value: $2.99
Is It Worth It?
The retail value of everything in the box came out to around $244 — so yes, that's a huge savings. But savings can only be considered savings if you were willing to buy the products anyway. You're still spending $50. Since every VIP box is essentially the same (with some variation in color or flavor), it makes sense that the FFF team would want the product lineup to appeal to as many people as possible — and, inevitably, some products may not be a good fit for you.
That's the risk that comes with any Discounted-Surprise-in-a-Box service, though. They key is to pay attention to FFF's box spoilers and cancel the shipment as soon as you know it won't work for you.
Me, I'm feeling conflicted right now. If I were a VIP member and knew that I'd be getting sunglasses, a sunless tan product, something not suited for my hair, and water in a spray can, I probably would've canceled my order. But then I would have missed out on a magnificent cleanser, pretty nail polish, a tasty snack, and other products that I've come to use almost every day. And I wouldn't have known how wonderful it feels to regularly hydrate my face.
So I guess, even with a few misses and an allergic reaction, for me, this box was worth it. If you're interested, check out FabFitFun VIP today!
Disclaimer: I got a free box for an honest review.