Black Box Subscriptions Review

IMG_0633I’ve never subscribed to a box with the absolute intention of writing it a glowing review.

When I came across Black Box Subscriptions, though, I felt as though I had a mission to tell people about this box. It’s a goth-oriented box from an artist/musician/brand promoter/jewelry hobbyist. They describe it as: “Get accessories, candies, makeup, jewelry, music, art, and more delivered right to your door! Also every month’s box comes with a bottle of black nail polish.”

I saw several unboxing video reviews for this, and all of them seemed phenomenal. My experience?

The standard box ($20/mo) promises 1 piece of makeup, 1-2 accessories, 2 pieces of jewelry, “goodies, “mystery gift” (“usually a hand made gift/artwork/etc. by me, can also be another accessory or makeup item”, according to the website), and a bottle of black nail polish. The deluxe box ($40/mo) comes in a coffin-shaped mailer and promises 2 pieces of makeup, 2 accessories, 3-4 pieces of jewelry, “goodies”, “mystery gift” and a bottle of black nail polish. I opted for the standard box. Upon signing up, they send an open-ended form asking you about what you like and your preferences.

This month’s box had a theme of “Red, White and Coffins”. 

Coffin-shaped bubbles – This is from Oriental Trading company, so this is worth about $0.32. It was the resounding box favourite for my cats, though, and my boyfriend was really delighted, so definitely a win.

IMG_0634She Makeup Nail Lacquer in New Moon – This is (I believe) a dollar store brand. It’s a very translucent grey with fine and chunky glitter. This would be pretty over other nail polish.

Gigantic orange bow – This is like 6.5″ across and 7″ long. This is comically large. This is so big, I know third grade cheerleaders who would say “too far”. It’s a nice quality ribbon with a double cute witch spider in the middle, but this is just not for me. I might save it to clamp on my wreath when I decide it’s socially acceptable to start decorating for Halloween, but I wouldn’t even wear this in my deepest HaLoliWeen fantasies.

Lace black necklace with black briolette drop – In my preferences, I specifically asked for no chokers because my neck is thick. On other girls, this might be a statement necklace, but on me–even with long chains–this wears as a choker. It’s very pretty and definitely fits my style.IMG_0636

• Silvertone glitter bat necklace – This little guy is a cutie. It’s a shorter necklace and he hits just above my collarbone.

Italia Matte Eyeliner – I believe this is another dollar store brand. The bottle is a sparkly navy glitter, so I was really jazzed, but it turns out that this is just plain black eyeliner. It’s pretty dried up and clumpy. It also has this really sweet smell that’s weird for eyeliner.

• The packaging – This game in black tissue paper with pages of a book (one of their signatures). The necklaces came in a red bag and there was a random piece of red tulle-ish ribbon. The bubbles came in a red-striped paper bag. The whole thing came in a black mailer box, which was cool.

IMG_0635The overall – I wasn’t bowled over with this box, and I really expected to be. I think if the big, honking bow had been a bit more petite and the eyeliner hadn’t been so dried out, I probably would’ve been more satisfied. I’m going to give this another month and see how I feel. I am impressed that most of the jewelry pieces are made/assembled by one woman. Some of the jewelry pieces and I think sometimes the goodies are supplied through partners–all indie brands, which is cool. This “goodie”, the makeup and the nail polish were all a miss for me; I’d rather those resources go to something else in the box, personally.

• Would I recommend it? If you’re a goth, this box might tickle all the parts of your cold, black heart, especially if you just love, love, love getting mail.  (If you’d like to subscribe, and don’t mind me getting referral credit, just let me know that you signed up!) For the average, non-goth person, I’m not sure if this box would have much appeal, obviously. I also don’t currently this this box would have much appeal to quality snobs.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. KathyRo says:

    Where do you find these Dootsie?!?

    I suspect the bow really is meant as Halloween decoration and not personal adornment. I know that’s what I thought when I saw it. Also outside of Halloween, orange isn’t a typical goth color, is it?

    I’m tempted to do this for a couple months ( i.e. leading up to Halloween ). I’ve been meaning to swap Popsugar out. However I’m also aware that “a couple of months” tends to become “a couple of years”. Gulp.

    This box has an eco emi feel to it. ( I can’t remember if you did that box too?) I think it’s difficult for one person to successfully pull off a monthly subscription box. The retail value of the box has to be more than what the customer paid or the customer won’t want to continue. ( And actually it’s the retail value of the items the customer liked.) But the seller has to make a profit. The items basically have to come to the seller at little or no cost and to do that the seller has to convince other companies to see this as good advertisement which is tough when your mailing list is small. If the seller is making the bulk of the items his-or-herself, it’s even harder. In my experience artisans have a hard time valuing their product. The combination of competing against mass-produced items ( intentionally or not ) and underestimating their own labor yields a very small wage without any reduction in stress. I’ll be very interested to see how this goes!

    1. dootsiebug says:

      I actually found a different (-coughcoughbetter-) gothy subscription online, but it was based in the UK and I wasn’t willing to pay overseas shipping, so I Googled until I came across this. I may recommend THAT subscription to Caroline.
      The bow has a hair clip on the back that would work for absolutely nothing but hair, so that’s why I went with hairbow. I remember specifically including in my profile when I signed up that I’m not afraid of colour.
      I really, deeply want to root for indie boxes. But it’s wild to me that one woman is trying to run a subscription service. I support her idea 100%, but I figure it has to be tough to balance out “value” and value.

  2. KathyRo says:

    Can I assume you told Caroline Diezyn about this?

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