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Tech

Luxe Box brings luxury beauty samples to the masses

Posted by Erin Bury / June 21, 2011

Luxe Box Loose ButtonLast September, I wrote about Toronto company Loose Button, an online shopping site that made international fashion brands accessible to Canadian consumers. In true tech start-up fashion, they recently started to offer a service similar to the U.S.-based Birchbox, which delivers hand-picked beauty samples to one's door every month in a nicely packaged Haute Box.

Because Birchbox doesn't deliver to Canadians' doors, the opportunity was open for Loose Button founder Ray Cao. He re-focused the company and debuted a similar product, Luxe Box, earlier this year to a select group of invite-only testers. Now Loose Button has rebranded it as "Luxe Box by Loose Button" and its opening the "luxury beauty products for everyone" service to the public.

Luxe Box Beauty ProductsLuxe Box is a monthly subscription service that delivers three to five high-end deluxe-sized beauty products to one's doorstep so they can be tried in the comfort of the home. The samples are bigger than the ones given out by department store employees — they're full-sized travel samples, similar to the ones you get with "gift with purchase" offers. They come with a card explaining the nature and attributes of each product, and range from skincare to makeup, fragrance to hair products. The company offers three subscription plans: $12 for one month, $36 for three months and $120 for a year. Shipping is free for all plans, and the multi-month plans ship earlier than the one-time Luxe Box.

I was one of Luxe Box's early beta testers, and though the product has evolved since then, I loved the initial experience. The box was beautifully packaged with ribbon and tissue paper, so it was like opening a gift (sure, one I bought myself, but whatever). The products were varied, and though I didn't use all of them, it was fun to check them out. There was a Benefit highlighter (I didn't really know what to do with it, but now the boxes includes a card with information on each product so I'm assuming that helps), two face masks that made me look like a serial killer when I put them on but were really refreshing, Balmshell lip gloss that I carry in my purse to this day, and a face cream that sits in my cupboard unused.

Luxe Box Loose ButtonsSince I'm probably forgetting one or two products, I would say I'm 50/50 for the ones I used vs. the ones I didn't. But I loved trying the new products, and I mostly loved getting something fun in the mail. In fact I've even bought 3-month Luxe Box subscriptions for a few of my girlfriends' birthdays, which were a hit.

One feature the company is working to implement is the ability to customize the samples customers receive. I'm not a huge haircare person (drugstore shampoo for me!), so I'd rather receive makeup or fragrances. The ability to customize means less samples will end up getting re-gifted to your friends or destined to remain forever collecting dust in the medicine cabinet. In terms of providing more information about the products, Losse Buttons also plans to post tutorials on its website site in order to to help recipients use the products effectively.

Since shipping is expensive and the boxes are relatively inexpensive, I'm thinking Luxe Box may choose to go the way of Birchbox and allow users to purchase the full-size products featured in the Luxe Box for a discounted price in an online store, which would give them another revenue stream (they currently charge brands a fee to be featured as a monthly selection). The website claims they're working on making Luxe Box available in other countries around the world, so it will be interesting to see if they try to go up against established player Birchbox in the U.S., or if they set their sights on other international countries first.

Discussion

18 Comments

Nala / June 21, 2011 at 11:53 am
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Why not actually try the products, or at least remember what products were included? BlogTO posts way too many lazy reviews.
tactipyu / June 21, 2011 at 11:58 am
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Erin Bury is overrated
Erin Bury replying to a comment from Nala / June 21, 2011 at 11:58 am
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Hey Nala,

I tried it as a consumer a few months ago, and don't have all the products from it. They also didn't include a product description with that box so I can't list all the products from memory. This article is about their public launch, it's not a review of the products in the box.

Thanks,
Erin
betty day / June 21, 2011 at 12:56 pm
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Hurrah! I was hoping this would come to Canada!
Alex replying to a comment from Erin Bury / June 21, 2011 at 02:25 pm
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Um right...but nobody cares about the launch of something if they don't know if the product has any value.

In other words, saying "X is launching" doesn't do anybody any good "X is launching and the products are great/mediocre/bargain" does have value.
Erin Bury replying to a comment from Alex / June 21, 2011 at 02:29 pm
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They don't make the products that go in the box. They feature different products from different beauty brands every month. Me reviewing the products from April's box would be of no use for someone subscribing to next month's box.
Alex / June 21, 2011 at 02:30 pm
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PS - Somebody may want to tell these morons that "2 months free" isn't "2 months free" when the 12 month price is EXACTLY THE SAME PER MONTH as the 3 and 1 month plans...i.e. it's always $12 a month...
Phil / June 21, 2011 at 03:23 pm
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Did I miss something? Where's the damn link? Link to an old article, link to a different company, link to twitter, *no* link to the subject of the post?
math man replying to a comment from Alex / June 21, 2011 at 04:04 pm
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umm learn math then comment. 10 x 12 = how much ? and how many months in a year? right... so who is the "moron" ?
LB_TO / June 21, 2011 at 07:28 pm
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I tried Luxe Box and the samples sucked.
Dee / June 21, 2011 at 08:34 pm
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Lux box is awesome. Since when does 12x 12= 120? 12 months for 120 sounds like 2 months free to me. I must be a moron too.
Bock replying to a comment from Alex / June 22, 2011 at 01:18 am
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Yeah if there were only 10 months in a year. Perhaps your calendar ends on Halloween? Hello.
Emma / June 22, 2011 at 10:57 am
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Love Luxe Box! It's such a nice inexpensive treat for yourself, with surprises and chocolate as the result. I've been overall very impressed with the quality of the samples.

And Erin - didn't even THINK to get a 3-month subscription for a friend's birthday, but what an awesome gift. It means they'll be reminded 3 times what a great friend you are ;)
Chelsey / June 22, 2011 at 04:33 pm
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I heard Glymm.com offers a real alternative to Birchbox, a friend from fashion told me about them last weekend.
Kimberly / June 23, 2011 at 10:03 am
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I know of Glymm too! SO many cute tips on their fb!
elicit replying to a comment from tactipyu / June 23, 2011 at 04:59 pm
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Agreed. But what can you expect from a society that lets social mores turn into anything goes? Attention seeking and ego building are all the rage. We only have ourselves to blame if we continue to high-five bad behavior, rather than admonishing someone when they become sickeningly bombastic.
Kathy Smith-Woodcock / April 15, 2012 at 03:40 am
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Hi, I have left my info including payment info which I am not too comfortable doing. As far as being on waiting list what is the estimate for lenghth of wait, two months, six... I would like to have some idea, please respond
Thanks,
Kathy Smith-woodcock
Elise D. / April 16, 2012 at 08:41 am
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Hi everyone,
I am french and I am just opening a facebook page for "beauty correspondent". The idea is to exchange our french Jolie box or glossy box with your Luxe box which are not delivered yet in Europe. If you are interested to get new "beauty friends": http://www.facebook.com/Becorrespondent

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