I Tried 2 Beauty Subscriptions & I’m Sold — Here’s Why
Getting beauty and personal care products delivered automatically to our homes — genius or making us lazy? Here, a writer tells us why she’s a beauty subscriptions convert.
In the last decade and some change, we’ve seen disruptions in the way we go about our daily lives. From grocery and meal delivery to getting around safely, even hiring people to do handy work, tech startups have provided more efficient solutions for the necessities of the human condition. Not all of them have been great though. Fairly priced, relatively safe rideshares and mobile barbershops are great, but no one needs a $400 juicer whose only function is to squeeze out pre-packaged juice into a glass, or a racist, glorified cabinet designed to take business away from people of color who have been a vital part of their communities for decades.
When some of these developments are discussed, you might hear people complain about how they’re making us all lazy: “Why would I have someone deliver my groceries when I can go get them myself?” The truth is that we often fail to take into account that a good number of these services help people with disabilities, the elderly, or just your average, run-of-the mill crazy-busy person. Another bonus is that they’ve created more options for people who need part-time work but can’t commit to a rigid schedule or who can’t handle the demands of, say, a retail position.
I don’t know about Facebook, but if you’re on Instagram, you must have noticed the new wave of companies who have taken the “small batch” approach and run with it. Everything from razors to supplements is now marketed in a more intimate manner. Instead of products mass-made by a corporation that might not pay as much attention to the wants and needs of their consumers beyond a cursory focus group or two, some of these small-to-medium enterprises are creating sustainable, environmentally-friendly products of higher quality that reflect a society of people who do (or at least should) care about what the products they use are made of. And even better — they arrive in your mailbox automatically just as you’re about to run out.
Here are some of the best beauty subscriptions I’ve tried out.
My favorite at the moment is Billie, one of the few razor startups out there. Billie operates on two major principles:
* Women should not be charged a “pink tax” on stuff like personal care items and clothing, when the other gender that these same companies sell to do not get the same treatment. And also, we’re done with the overwhelmingly pink, cutesy, hairless VS Angel beach goddess nonsense that doesn’t even work that well. Women should not be an afterthought. We deserve good razors, too, that get the work done and don’t irritate our skin.
* Body hair is an individual, deeply personal choice. Wanna shave those gams or your armpit? Go ahead! If you don’t want to, that’s fine, too. A person’s choice to shave or not shave isn’t anyone’s business but theirs. And that’s that on that. For the non-shavers, they sell body wash, shaving cream, body lotion, and sometimes cute accessories like PVC pouches or glittery combs.
It’s a really simple concept. You select which color ergonomic handle you’d like, enter information about your shaving habits to determine the frequency of replacement delivery, add some shaving lotion if you like, pay and done! The starter kit costs $9 and will include your handle of choice, two cartridges, and a magnetic doohickey to stick on your shower wall. The magnetic cradle is great because it allows you to store your razor in an upright position, instead of having the head sit in water on the rim of your bathtub, or in a place where water washes over it constantly, melting the charcoal shave soap around the blades. The starter kit also includes some extra adhesive in case you need to re-stick your cradle. I believe they can be reused.
I’ll admit that at first, I didn’t totally buy the claim about how close the razors shave, but that changed VERY quickly. The handle makes shaving a breeze, I don’t have to use an additional shaving product, the blades stay sharp, and my legs don’t itch the way they used to with other products in the past. Consider me an official Billie convert. You get four replacement cartridges for $9 according to your subscription schedule. It’s a steal. Be honest, when was the last time you paid $9 for a 4-pack of razors that ACTUALLY worked. Idk about you, but my answer is NEVER.
Billie donates 1% of its revenue to causes worldwide, so you can help other women while you get that nice, close shave.
The other subscription service I’ve tried is Myro, a company that offers a vegan, gluten/soy/mineral-free alternative to most of the deodorant products on the market. The company claims that its product works better and does not stain clothes, and so far, I agree. It’s gentle on my underarms, too.
Myro offers a $10 starter kit, which includes one free case, a deodorant pod in the scent of your choice, and a cute pin which reads, “You smell nice.” Refills start shipping to you after a month, in three-month intervals, at which time you are charged $30 for three new pods. You do have the option to delay or speed up the frequency of your shipments, and change which scents you would like to receive. The refillable case is cute, portable, and cuts down on the amount of plastic waste generated by regular deodorants.
For my first pod, I chose the “Cabin No. 5” scent, which the website describes as “backcountry is the new penthouse.” It contains notes of vetiver, patchouli, and geranium, and gives me Old Spice vibes. I don’t mind the scent, since I only get a whiff of it when my nose is close to my pits (which is hardly ever because I don’t go around sniffing myself), but I’m looking forward to trying the other fragrance options.
In August, Myro started offering two limited-edition case shades — Deco and Punch — in Urban Outfitters stores, to give consumers a chance to try the product before committing to a subscription plan.
Getting the timing right when it comes to replenishing personal care items stresses me out as much as running out of sunscreen without a backup ready. And so I welcome the automated deliveries that ensure that I will always have fresh razor cartridges and deodorant on hand. As I mentioned earlier in this post, this model benefits many more people than the everyday person. Both of these companies are a marriage of consumer-oriented service, eco-friendliness, and efficiency in a world full of corporate greed.
Got any other suggestions for subscription-style beauty products I could try? I’ve been really pleased with Billie and Myro so far. I also like the idea that I am supporting smaller businesses who really care about the wares that they provide.
What are your favorite small business beauty brands? Have you tried any beauty subscriptions? What did you think?