Check here frequently for new product reviews. I will be sharing my thoughts on all sorts of products and companies. All thoughts are my own unless otherwise noted. While there may be some items that are gifted from companies, I promise to give my honest opinion.
So as I was deciding on what subscription boxes I wanted to review this year Amazon did a thing. Amazon has for the longest time had a couple of subscription boxes you could access through them, but that was it, just a couple. Then a few weeks ago I got several emails notifying me they were officially making subscription boxes a thing you get from them. No they aren’t boxes exclusive to Amazon, they are just made easy to access and manage in one spot, similar to the way Cratejoy works.
So I wanted to make sure to review at least one subscription box this year that is purchasable through Amazon, maybe more. So for the purpose of this review, and any future boxes I get through Amazon, I will only be talking about my experience with Amazon and the option available there.
So today we are taking a look at the Bokksu Tasting Box. This is the first subscription box I am trying through Amazon. They do offer a larger box called the Classic, and when I originally ordered my box their Vegetarian box was an option. However, the vegetarian option is not currently showing on Amazon’s page as I write this.
Where Is It Available: When ordered through Amazon, this box is available only in the US.
Who To Get It For: I think this is perfect for anyone who is a foodie or loves the Japanese/Asian types of treats in general.
What You Get: In the tasting box you get 10 to 14 items each month along with a culture guide that include product details. Items are all from Japan in a mix of savory snacks, candy, and teas. If you upgrade to the Classic box you get 20 to 25 items each month. Each months box revolves around a theme. For the October box, the theme is Haunted Harvest.
Drawbacks: For me personally there wasn’t any drawbacks. However, if you or the person you are buying this for is a picky eater or has certain types of food allergies, then this may not be the box for you.
Even though this is the October box, I was initially confused as to what month this box was for. The theme, and products included (as you will see), does seem very much like it should be for October. However I received my box mid September, so I originally thought it was for September. To give you an idea of the shipping time I ordered mine on September 2 and I received it on September 14. But the guide that came in the box definitely identifies the box as the October box.
So now lets take a look at the actual box and what came inside.
And when you first open the box, this is what you see. The Culture Guide, as they have describer it, is laying on top. And I like their tag of “Discover Japan Through Snacks” is nicely incorporated into the opening of the box.
And then under the guide you will find your products for the month.
Now lets take a closer look at each of the individual items in the box. I will try to link to any individual products you can purchase as a standalone for anyone who wants to try something that was in this box.
Organic Hojicha Tea. This is actually from Bokksu. Since I haven’t had the box before I don’t know how often they have items that are their own products, but this one is. From what I understand this box always contains at least one tea each month. This particular tea is described as being a roasted sancha green tea with a light flavor. This is one of two items I haven’t had a chance to try yet.
Onigiri Senbei: Halloween Soy Sauce Flavor. This is from a company called Masuya. Unlike the previous item, the name doesn’t really tell you what to expect with this one. What you get is two rice ball-shaped crisps with seaweed bits in it, flavored like soy sauce. I couldn’t find these special Halloween edition ones, but you can buy the original pack.
Kakimochi Mochi Rice Crackers: Kobukaki. From a company called Hinodeya Seika. While the ingredients in these mochi rice cracker are similar to the last product, the flavor and texture is very different. I don’t know what I expected when I opened these, but it is nothing like any other Mochi I have had. These are definitely like puffy crackers.
Satsuma Precious Chips: Salt + Brown Sugar Flavor. These are from a company called Hombo Shoten. They are a sweet potato chip with extra flavoring added. This was one of the few things in the box that I did not care for. Typically I think of most snacks from Asian countries are less sweet than American snacks. However, these were a lot sweeter than any of the sweet potato chips I have ever tried. They were really more of a desert than a savory snack.
Funwari Meijin Mochi Puffs: Annou Imo Sweet Potato. These are from a company called Echigo Seika. I know these are a little difficult to see because of the packaging, but they are quarter sized round balls of puffed mochi with powder on them. The guide-book says that this sweet potato flavor is only seasonal. They were very unique with the texture of a cheese puff and the flavor of a cinnamon donut. This was probably my favorite item in the box, both because of the flavor and uniqueness. While I could not find these exact puffed mochi, you can purchase what seems to be the same thing from a different brand in a different flavor.
Puchi Pure Gummy: Halloween Assort Pack (The assortment included two flavors as seen in these two pictures. It came in grape and orange). These are from a company called Kanro. I did try the grape flavor, but as most of you know my allergy issues include citrus and citrus flavors. So I passed the orange flavor on to my niece.
These, at least compared to what I have had before and what is available in my area, were the least unique items in the box. That doesn’t mean they weren’t good. I often like Japanese gummy candy because the flavors taste more real to life compared to American candy. And that stayed consistent with these. I could not find them in these small triangular packs, but they are available in large bag assortments.
Baby Star Ramen Sticks: Halloween. From the Oyatsu Company. This is ramen noodles that have been fixed in some way that they are ready to eat like chips with seasoning on it. So other than the packaging, I am not sure what exactly is Halloween about this product. The taste was great though, and it brought me back to my childhood. I was one of those weird kids who really loved eating the ramen when it was still crispy. And while again I could not track down this exact packaging, I did find where you can purchase chicken flavor or you can purchase a variety pack.
Tsukisamu Anpan: Kabocha Pumpkin Red Bean. This is from a company called Honma. This is the only other item I haven’t tried yet in the box. The only reason I haven’t tried this yet is the guide recommended baking it first, and I just haven’t gotten around to it. It is described as being a pumpkin sweet roll with a red bean and kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) filling. For those not familiar, Japanese pumpkin is not what we in the US call pumpkin. You may be more familiar with it as a fall squash.
Sanrio Characters: Halloween Cookie Assort. These are from a company called Shoei Delicy. Assortment again is two packs. I do believe how the packs look are completely random with these. However, the contents should be the same for everyone. Each person should receive one chocolate cookie with a ganache filling.
And you should have a second pudding cookie as the guide refers to it. This particular cookie is vanilla with a pudding filling, but instead of pudding I would refer to it as a thick custard. I really liked these. They kind of reminded me of some of the filled tea cookies I have had in the past.
Kinako Kurumi Walnut Mochi. From the company Kubota Seika. This was definitely a treat. I had never had this type of mochi, and I definitely loved it. There was just one disappointment, but you will see what that was with the next item.
Kurumi Walnut Mochi. This one is from a company called Marusan Tamakiya. So while I still enjoyed both of the walnut mochis, it was bit disappointing in the sense that I would rather of had multiple flavors to try rather than a repeat just from a different company.
Butter Corn Rice Cracker. This is from the company Marukin Foods. The last food item was another really unique item that I had never had anything like it. It had the flavor of buttered cornbread but with the texture of a shortbread biscuit.
The only other thing included in the box was the guide.
In the guide you will find a list of products and which boxes they were included in for the month. Descriptions of each item in the boxes. A map showing which region each of the products came from. And there are also some fun little bits in the guide, like Japanese words to learn for the month.
And with that we have everything in the box for the month of October.
I really loved this box, and I was quite impressed for quite a few reasons. First, I thought this box was a reasonable price. Some food boxes can be quite pricey or they just don’t have much in them. I also really appreciated that this was full of things I had never seen before. I have tried other snack boxes and felt like they were full of things I could have gotten on my own from local groceries. And I was very happily surprised to see that they included allergen information for each product.
Before I say anything else, I want to acknowledge that yes, this is a very late review for this box. In fact the Spring box is about to ship, or may already have for some people. My box didn’t arrive until well after Christmas, and Christmas is when I typically stop reviewing until I start back in September of the next year. Then I got busy with doing things to my home. But what can you do, life happens and you move on.
I honestly did not want to just skip reviewing this box. I think people aren’t really aware of this subscription box on say the level they are Fab Fit Fun, and that box is just not for everyone. I know it wasn’t for me. So I wanted to try to review a good quarterly lifestyle box that I thought people would like as an alternative.
So today we will be taking a look at the Margot Elena Discovery Box for Winter 2018. Spoiler alert – I really love this box, so I am actually considering reviewing this box all the time, rather than just once like I usually do for most subscription box reviews. This review will be done in the typical way I review subscription boxes, however if I continue to review this box it will be review slightly different. I will link anything you can purchase on the Margot Elena Website. So let’s get to it…..
Price: $49.99 if you pay quarterly, and $179.99 if you pay annually.
Where Is It Available: the contiguous United States, this does not include PO Boxes or APO Military Mailboxes.
Who To Get It For: This is great for anyone looking for a lifestyle box. Especially great for anyone who loves the Margot Elena Brands. Even if you think you are not familiar with her brands you may be. Brands of Margot Elena include – Lollia, Tokyo Milk, The Cottage Greenhouse, Library of Flowers, Love & Toast, and Me Life + Home.
What You Get: Every three months, or four times a year, you will receive a box filled with products from the various Margot Elena brands, including some items exclusive to the box. All products will be full size and will total over $200.
This is a lifestyle box, and the items you receive could fall in many categories. You might get anything from fragrance to home décor to clothing items and so much more.
Drawbacks: I must say that for me personally there isn’t any drawbacks to this subscription box. I mean, yeah like any box that contains fragranced products there are going to be some items I can’t use. But the good news is the items I can’t use are highly giftable. I can easily save myself some time on shopping for a few Christmas gifts.
But I also realize drawbacks can be subjective. So I tried to think of what some of them might be for other people. Seeing as this a quarterly box, the price is $49.99. That is more than your average monthly box. If you are on a budget, that might be a drawback for you.
Also, while the idea of items being pulled from very select brands are a selling point to me, I can see that it might be a drawback for some people. It definitely limits what can possibly be in the box, and for me that is a plus. I like knowing it’s going to be from brands I am most likely going to like the style of. But if you are looking for a broader range of things, maybe its too limiting.
The Details: Your subscription arrives in a branded box. It is a cardboard box, but there will be no doubt that it is your Margot Elena box. It arrives looking like this:
Photo taken from the Margot Elena website.
I had to share the picture of the outer box from the Margot Elena website because 1. mine was covered in shipping labels and labels from my mail box. and 2. like a savage I couldn’t wait to rip into mine before I took pictures. Don’t judge me.
When you open it up you will immediately see a few things.
First thing laying on top was a letter. I thought about sharing a picture close up of it, but it’s really just a letter of the reasons the items included in this box were chosen. It was definitely a sweet touch to the box, but I didn’t think it would translate for this review.
Just behind the letter you can notice a picture on the inside of the box.
It says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” and then it says that the Winter 2018 box marks the one year anniversary of the Margot Elena Discovery Box.
This little graphic card is really there to mark the theme of the whole box. brands I also think it’s a fair representation of the Margot Alena brands in general. They are filled with art work and the esthetic of Margot Alena herself.
Just under the letter that was included all the items are wrapped in a printed Lollia tissue paper.
Yes, I ripped into the paper too. There was no waiting for this box.
Now lets take a look at what you all really want to see, what was tucked under that paper.
I managed to avoid most of the spoilers for this box. But this first item was the one thing I had already seen, and I was pretty excited about receiving it but slightly worried at the same time.
This is the Margot Elena Peacock Silken Kimono, and it has a retail value of $60. This, along with a few other items, were created exclusively for the Discovery Box. As I said, I was quite looking forward to this, but I was also hesitant. I love peacock prints and feathers, and well anything peacock. But this is a one size fits all item, and I think most plus size ladies can relate to the dread of a one size fits all piece.
However, I am happy to say that this piece actually did fit me at a size 20W. I would wager to say that it should fit up to at least two sizes larger. I will be posting pictures on social media a couple of day after this post goes live. I will make sure to include some of me wearing this for those who want to see how it fits on a plus size body.
The next thing that came out of the box, I actually heard way before I saw. It is called The Kissing Bell, and it came with a little note card that explains what it is and the tradition behind it. It has a retail value of $14. This was also an item exclusive to the box.
Now this isn’t really my thing. I love the color, but I’m not really into decorating for the Holidays. With just my husband and I, and spending the actual days at other places, it just seems sort of pointless for me to decorate. So most likely this will be passed on to someone else.
Next I found this little set. It is the Tokyo Milk Dark Fragrance Duo of Novacaine and Tainted Love. This set retails for $18. These aren’t really fragrances I can use myself, but I have a few friends that really love these sorts of fragrances. So I think this would make a great birthday gift for someone.
This item is currently sold out on the Margot Elena website, but you can sign up to be notified when it is back in stock.
When I pulled this item out of the box, I may just have squeed a little bit. This was my favorite item in the box. It is the Margot Elena Hand-Glazed Stoneware Mug, and it has a retail value of $14. And yes it is the same peacock print that is on the Kimono. This was exclusive to the box, so unfortunately you can not purchase one for yourself.
While this isn’t my favorite item, it would be hard to top the peacock items, it is something I had hoped would be in the box. Several of the Margot Elena brands have things like card stock and fabric and various other printed good, and I really love all of it. This in particular is the Tokyo Milk Signature Stationary Trio. The detail card include in the box says the set retails for $15. However, I do not see this available as a set. Each card retails for $5.50.
I included a couple of up close pictures of the cards so you could see that they have a subtle glitter accent. I don’t think it even shows up well on the Margot Elena website, but you can sort of see it
The next item out of the box is this White Pine and Balsam Travel Candle, and it has a retail value of $12. The travel size doesn’t seem to be available anymore, perhaps it is a Christmas only item. But you can still get this in a full size candle.
This is the only item in the box that felt any real disappointment in. That isn’t because it’s a bad product or anything, it mainly because of my allergy. The two scents listed are both things I react to. They don’t really say what type of balsam, so maybe I could have the worst allergic reaction ever. I was worried enough about it that I haven’t even taken the lid off of it, hence why there is no pictures of the inside.
I also don’t really know anyone in my immediate friends circle that I think would like this type of scented candle. So I haven’t really decided what I will do with it yet, but maybe it will go in a future give away or something.
The last four items all sort of go together. They are all part of the Lollia line in the Wish scent. Now these are actually all individual items, and I am going to talk to talk about them individually, but I wanted to show all the items as a collection. The scent is described as, “Delicate infusions of Sugar Cane, Vanilla Bean, and Jasmine meet comforting Ylang Ylang and sheerest Amber Woods to leave skin deliciously fresh.”
This is a Limited Edition Wish Bubble Bath, and it retails for $18. On the card that came in the box that is all it said. However on the summary that was posted in their blog, it calls it a mini size. But for a mini size, it is quite large.
Also included was this absolutely adorable Wish Bath Salt Sachet. It retails for $14. I think this might be the cutest and best smelling sachet I have ever seen. I honestly am tempted to keep on a shelf as decoration and never use it. But then I would feel bad for wasting it.
And finally, the last item is this Wish Triple-milled Shea Butter Soap. It retails for $12. I know some people might not be excited over a bar of soap, but when I get one I can use, I really love it.
And that is what came in the Winter 2018 Margot Elena Discovery Box. That brings the total value of the box to $202.
FinalThoughts: I really love this box. Everything is beautifully packaged. There is a decent variety of items. And I think the value is pretty great. Even though I may not use every item myself, I will be able to use it as a gift. And I do like everything. This is opposed to some of the other lifestyle boxes I have tried where I was left feeling like I only really liked about a fourth of the items. But everyone likes something different, so if this isn’t the one for you there is sure to be something out there for you.
It is subscription box review again. I have quite a few of these I want to try to get through before Christmas time gets here. If you missed my last one, you can go back and check out the Black Unicorn Subscription Box review at your leisure. You can also find all of the subscription box reviews I have done by going to any page here on the blog, find the green bar under my logo and click on the down facing arrow. You should see a search box and you can search for subscription box reviews.
A few months ago when I first started looking for subscription boxes to review for this year I had a few goals in mind. I wanted to find a variety of types of boxes, boxes in various budget levels, and boxes that in addition to being of interest to all of you would maybe make good gifts.
I have definitely shared some affordable boxes in the beauty category before, but not everyone is into makeup I do think this will by far be the most affordable subscription box I have shared as of yet, and I believe it is very giftable.
Because of the nature of this box and the variety that can come in it, I thought I would share what I got for both the months of October and November.
Price: $8.99 to $56.99 (This box has a large price range because of several box options and payment terms options. Prices may vary when you go to sign up if they are running a sale.)
Where Is It Available: This subscription is only available to US residents.
Who To Get It For: Anyone who loves jewelry, especially earrings. who has pierced ears. Age doesn’t matter as they have a box option for younger subscribers. This would also be great for someone who is just beginning to build their jewelry collection.
What You Get: There are three different earring boxes available from Ladiee T Jewelry that somewhat customizable to your own tastes and preferences. Here are your options:
Princess Collection for Girls – Each month’s box contains two randomly selected pairs of earrings that is age appropriate for girls between 5 and 10 years of age. Earrings in this box are deliberately kept small in size and are mostly studs.
Women’s Monthly Earring Packet – Each month you will receive one medium to large sized pair of earrings. Earrings sent will be based on your taste and style preferences chosen.
Women’s Monthly Earring Box – Each month you will receive two stylishly hand-picked medium to large pairs of earrings. Earrings sent will be based on your taste and style preferences chosen. (This is the one I will be sharing with you here.)
Drawbacks: If you like jewelry that is matching sets, this box won’t offer that. I don’t really see an option to find that on their main website either. So if that is a big deal to you, then this might not be the subscription for you.
When you sign up you fill out a brief preference profile.
First you choose if you are subscribing for yourself or giving a gift. If you choose a gift subscription, then once you fill out the profile you will have the option to add a message that get emailed to the recipient once the subscription mails out.
First you are asked which subscription you want. Then you are asked about your metal color preference. No preference is totally an option here. Next you are asked about earring style preference, and again you can absolutely choose no preference. Finally you choose the length of the subscription you are paying for at once.
Every month the subscription arrives in a small cardboard box. (And again I would like to remind everyone to not worry about my safety, the mailing address shown is not my home address just the mail box I get my blog mail at. But I appreciate the concern people have shown)
On the inside you will find your earrings individually wrapped as well as a small card, all lying on a bed of filler paper. The card just let’s you know about an opportunity to get an extra pair of earrings in the next month’s box by sharing it on social media.
This is the inside of the October Box
And this is the inside of the November box.
As you can see they pretty much arrive looking exactly the same each month.
For the month of October, here is what I received:
I actually really loved both pairs of earrings. Unfortunately they were both stud closures, and I can’t wear those. But at the end of the day that is fine. I got this subscription to review, and I have so many earrings. I gifted the red pair to one of the besties who I do steampunk with. Its kind of perfect for that kind of look. And the other pair I will also gift to someone or sell on my poshmark.
And now lets look at what was inside the November Box:
These earrings are on French hooks, so I can actually wear them. So off to a great start for November. I did like the designs, and I will definitely wear them out. But I think I liked the designs in the October box more.
I think this is a decent box for the jewelry lover. It’s certainly a good value. And I really think it would make a nice gift. I don’t really have any complaints. I felt like the whole process went smoothly and everything was shipped on time. Sometimes that is a big issue, especially for subscription boxes.
If you like the idea of this subscription box, but it’s not quite what you are looking for, here is a brief list of other boxes that may interest you.
Mint Mongoose – Must-have jewelry — your choice of silver, rose gold, or gold — delivered to you, every month!
Emma & Chloe – A surprise piece of French designer jewelry at your doorstep every month!
Today I bring you another subscription box review. If you missed my last one, you can go back and check out the Macy’s Beauty Box review at any time. You can also find all of the subscription box reviews I have done by going to any page here on the blog, find the green bar under my logo and click on the down facing arrow. You should see a search box and you can search for subscription box reviews.
My last few reviews have been aimed at beauty boxes, but there is a lot of different types of subscription boxes out there. So, I wanted to make sure to get a few non makeup boxes reviewed this year too. I went on the hunt for some unique boxes, new boxes, boxes I hadn’t really heard a lot about, but boxes that still included things that interested me. It didn’t take me long till I came across the Black Unicorn Subscription Box.
I mean they kind of had me with the name. After all I do dress up as a black unicorn for Steampunk Symposium every year. It was meant to be, right?
Service Name: Black Unicorn Subscription Box
Price: $25.00 a month or $75.00 for three months, plus shipping.
Where Is It Available: This box is available internationally. Be aware you pay shipping and any customs fees due.
Who To Get It For: This box is meant to be targeted at people in alternative lifestyles. If you consider yourself Goth, Punk, Steampunk, Lolita, or even Wiccan this box may be of interest to you or alternatively the person you are gifting it to.
What You Get: Each month will have a theme. All items included will pertain to that theme in some way or another. Each box will include a crystal or other magical item, some sort of DIY item, and one or more items from a featured Etsy seller or small business. Types of items that will be included can range from home décor to accessories and everything in between.
Drawbacks: Since this box does not have once consistent theme, and items can come from a broad range of categories, there is a much higher chance you may receive items you don’t like. Also, if you don’t typically like the types of items you find on Etsy, this may not be the box for you.
I often start this part off by showing you the boxes these arrive in. However, this particular subscription arrives in a plain brown box. No identifying logo or anything, and I really didn’t think you guys would be interested in seeing that.
So lets take a look at what came inside the box.
In addition to what is pictured above, each box also includes a card insert that tells a little something about each item you receive. It also includes any pertinent information about the box.
As I said previously, each month the box has a different theme. This month’s box, November that is, is “The Wolf Box”. So most things in the box will relate to wolves in some way or another. I personally was quite happy with this month’s theme. I have really loved wolves since I was a teenager.
An added benefit with this box is that some of the proceeds go to a different charity each month, and this month’s proceeds was going to be donated to a charity that works towards Wolf Conservation. Once you are a subscriber you can join the subscription box Facebook page and you can make suggestions on charities you would like to see supported.
DIY Stark Wolf String Art – Obviously this is the DIY craft project for this months box. It was created to be similar to the wolf that represents House Stark in Game of Thrones. For me this is an item I wasn’t personally crazy about. I don’t have a lot of extra time for crafting, so when I do it I am very particular about what crafts I want to do. This will most likely get passed on to my niece who loves to craft.
Black Unicorn Beanie – This was the one item that was not related to the theme, but of course is related to the box. This item I was really excited about. I don’t wear a lot of hats, but beanies are one of the few that I can and do wear occasionally. And well it has a unicorn on it, and you guys know me and unicorns, so there is that.
Howling Coasters – This is a set of four coasters. They are made of cork and then hand painted with the wolf picture on each one.
This is an item that I felt torn about. On the one hand I really like what they are, or would have if they had arrived looking as they were intended to. Mine, and from my understanding, several other people’s warped. You can see this in the second picture that is from the side. Now of course I let the owner of the subscription box company know. She actually offered me and
others several options, including the option for a partial refund. I actually chose to not take the refund because I wanted money to be able to go to the charity.
I decided to just chalk this up to something that just wasn’t for me. That happens sometimes, and its a chance you take with subscription boxes. But I was just relieved to know the owner handled the situation well.
Magic Crystal – Every month’s box includes a crystal or similar item. I’m not sure if the card always refers to it as the Magic Crystal, or if that is just what it is calling it this month.
This month’s crystal is an orange calcite. According to the card this particular stone was chosen because, “Wolves are known to be extremely loyal to their packs, and this crystal enhances relationship connections, between you and your family. This crystal is also great for camaraderie and achieving goals, portraying
how the pack works together to survive in the wild.”.
I have also included a second picture of the orange calcite to help show the size od stone I received. I have it placed next to a MAC lipstick bullet. Of course due to the nature of the item, there will be variety in shape and size that people receive in their boxes.
This is another item I loved receiving. I have always loved crystals since I was a little kid. I find them fascinating and have a bit of a collection.
Wolfen Vinyl Sticker – This was the item from the featured small business of the month. The business is Vinyl Hell Stickers Co. This was a custom designed sticker for the Black Unicorn box and it was based on the thriller film Wolfen. This is another item I wasn’t a fan of. I’m just not a fan of stickers in general. But again one of my nieces might really like this, and I think it could be put in her Christmas stocking as something fun.
Bad Wolf Earrings – The final item in the box was this pair of Bad Wolf earrings. If you are a Doctor Who fan, then no doubt you recognize the term. And of course I am a doctor who fan, and I was stoked to get these earrings. One of my steampunk costumes is doctor who themed, and I will definitely be wearing these with it.
Where To Sign Up:
You can sign up for the Black Unicorn Subscription Box on Crate Joy. You can find their page at https://www.cratejoy.com/subscription-box/black-unicorn-subscription/. They do offer multiple subscriptions, so be careful to make sure you are signing up for the correct one.
In this particular box I was happy with half of the items, and with the other half, most of those items can be used as gifts. Personally I feel okay with that at the end of the day, especially knowing that part of what I spent goes to a good cause.
With this particular type of box, I think it is just par for the course that you have some months where you really love everything, and other months there are going to be some stinkers. Hopefully there won’t ever be any months where you don’t like anything.
Tell me in the comments what you think about this box. Would you/have you tried this box?
Now if you like the idea of this box but it’s not quite what you wanted, you might want to take a look at these other boxes:
Accio! – the first and only artisanal subscription box 100% inspired by the Potterverse.
This is the fourth in a series of Shampoo and Conditioner reviews. I will be reviewing a Burt’s Bees shampoo and conditioner. Don’t forget to check out my last review on the Free & Clear Shampoo And Conditioner.
My Hair And Scalp Type
(notice this section will be in every shampoo and conditioner review for reference. This is for convenience so you do not have to look back at earlier posts)
My hair is very thick and coarse. It tends to be very dry, and can turn brittle if I wash it too often or don’t condition it enough. But my hair is reasonably healthy outside of that, as I do not use heat on it very often and I try to take care of it to the best of my ability.
My scalp goes back and forth between dry and oily depending on the time of the year and the products I have used. My biggest struggle with my scalp is from the allergic contact dermatitis caused by my allergy to Balsam of Peru. This causes a dry, scaly, itchy coverage on the scalp that looks a lot like dandruff. I have never been able to get it fully cleared up on my scalp. At its worst, when I have a reaction to something, it also burns and can blister.
This is the Burt’s Bees More Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner with Baobab. I purchased mine at Meijer’s, but they don’t seem to currently have a website to link to. So I have linked to Amazon. Of course it is also available on Burt’s Bees website and some of the places Burt’s Bees products are sold. Each bottle is 10 fluid ounces, and it sells for anywhere from $7 to $8 depending on where you buy it at.
There were a lot of reason I wanted to give this a try. Most of all I had not seen this products before and I really wanted to give some product out of the more natural category a try. There are some things on the label that really intrigued me, which will be a big part of the discussion in several ways.
How It Performed
Moisturizing shampoos for me, at best, usually means not drying. I rarely find one that I actually find moisturizing. In fact there is only a few that I can think of that is actually moisturizing, and most of those are more oil based. This really performed well on my hair. It was moisturizing, it wasn’t oily, it left it soft and manageable. I really like what it did for my hair.
The conditioner performed well also. I would say it verged on almost being too moisturizing for me, but not quite. I definitely don’t need to use a hair mask with this one. And just a little bit goes a long way. That is probably the first hair product I have felt that way about, but its true.
Overall I would say that I am very happy with the way this shampoo and conditioner performed for my hair. And I think most people who have very thick, course, and dry hair will like it. I would not recommend this for anyone who has fine, thin hair or anyone who struggles with their hair being limp or oily.
The Allergy Affect
Before I say anything else here, let me say that I have not had a reaction to this product. It hasn’t improved my scalp from previous reactions, but it has not caused a reaction either. This is a very distinct difference that perhaps only other with contact dermatitis will understand. For the rest of what I want to say, there is a bit of a story involved.
When I am trying to decide whether to give a product a try there are always a few things I do to make that decision whether I think it will cause a reaction or not. Two of the top things are reading the ingredient list and smelling the product. I have probably mentioned this many times over the years.
I smelled the product and no alarms went off. So I read through the ingredient list, and again no alarms went off. But I did notice something interesting I had not seen on any of the other products I have tried. In the ingredient list it has fragrance, and right by it is a little asterisks mark. When you look at the bottom to see what the asterisks is about, it says natural fragrance. When I smelled the product it had that very natural kind of smell like many Korean products do. This had me intrigued, so I visited their website for more information.
Looking at their product page didn’t really give me any more information than the bottle did, so I decided to look around the rest of their website. After much searching I found no information that directly answered my question, but I did find on their contact page a link that says it is to email them about product and ingredient inquiries. So of course I sent them and email.
I messaged them and let them know that I am a blogger and that I was working on a review of their product and why fragrance information was important. I of course let them know what product I was reviewing, and I asked for information about their fragrance mix used. The initial reply I received was an automated response saying they needed more time to research my question. But when I got the actual response from a person, this is where my problem started.
The first response I got back from Burt’s Bees was odd, to say the least. All it said was, ‘Thank you for your patience. So we can help, would you mind providing the UPC for the product in question? We look forward to hearing from you.”. Now remember my question was a general question about fragrance for the anyone, not one specific fragrance, and definitely not about me having a reaction to the product I purchased. The response I got was more what you expect when you have told the company you had a reaction to the product.
So I responded back to them, not with an answer to their question, but I just sent back a message saying I was a little confused why they needed that to answer my question. Did they perhaps misunderstand what I was asking. I mean, this should be a simple answer from them. They are not creating a different fragrance for each bottle of moisture shampoo they make.
I did get another response back from them, and I felt just as frustrated by this one as the last. Their response read, “Thank you for getting back to us. The majority of fragrances in Burt’s Bees products are natural, composed of proprietary blends of essential oils and natural extracts. We ask that you please consult with your doctor before using our products. If you happen to have an allergy to a specific ingredient, please provide the name so that we can let you know if it is in the product.”. Again, I didn’t have a reaction and wasn’t asking for that reason. And even if I had, with a allergy to something like Balsam of Peru, it’s not as simple as just saying I am allergic to Balsam of Peru.
First of all most doctors and health professionals don’t even know what that is, I don’t expect someone at a beauty company to know. You can literally react to hundreds of things that are chemical twins to Balsam of Peru. And people with my allergy don’t all react to the same things. So admittedly I was very frustrated when I sent my last response back to them. I sent back a simple question. “Did you even read my initial email?” I never received another response from them.
I have really mixed feelings about this, and a lot of it has to do with the email exchange. On the one had I think the product was excellent, but I have said many times how important customer service is to me. And the email issue isn’t just that they didn’t want to tell me what their fragrance is, but that they indicate that you can ask and then rather than directly saying in the beginning that they can’t share that sort of information. (I am guessing that is what all the dancing around the subject is about. I would hate to think they are really so incompetent that they can’t read an email and comprehend it.)
So I am at that point where does the product outweigh the behavior of the company and my frustration with them. But I suppose only time will tell with that. I am still testing out shampoos and conditioners. Maybe I will find something I like better.
Tell me in the comments if you have tried this shampoo and conditioner. I would especially love to hear from any of you with contact and fragrance allergies. And don’t forget to let me know if there is a specific shampoo and conditioner you want me to put on the list to try out.