I am a subscriber to the US service called Boxycharm. It’s a beauty subscription service where you get a box of cosmetic items every month for $21 (excluding shipping because we in South Africa use a freight forwarding service to get it here). Each month the box contained 4-5 full size items and feature major US brands and items not usually available here, so all in all it is quite a bargain (despite the headaches and stress caused by customs and Aramex). If you want to know more about the original Boxycharm and how get it, check out my previous post here.
A few months ago Boxycharm started talking about an amped up box, which would be bigger and include more items and also items of a higher value/more luxury items. Everyone was excited immediately. So by the time the notice came out that it would happen in September, everyone was freaking out. It’s called BOXYLUXE. This special larger box would be every 3rd month (replacing your regular Boxycharm) and would cost $50. Now this is where I started to get irritated already. People didn’t (can’t?) READ. Boxycharm CLEARLY indicated:
- The box would be $50
- A payment would go off for $21 (regular box) and then an additional payment of $29 would go off (totaling $50)
- It would replace your regular Boxycharm box for that month (you won’t get both).
- Once you upgrade to get Boxyluxe, you will continue to get it every 3rd month until you amend you subscription and downgrade to only the regular Boxycharm again.
Why was this so hard to understand? Holy hat, people kept asking the same thing over and over again, clogging the feeds, I was about to go mad!
So how to get it? On 01 September regular current subscribers would get an email containing a link to upgrade their subscription to include Boxyluxe. You had to be a current subscriber to be eligible to upgrade to Boxyluxe (as in you can’t come on 01 September and then only want to subscribe to Boxyluxe – another fact people just could not grasp). The email would go out at 9am EST (meaning 15h00 in SA). But then all hell broke loose…the website completely crashed. As in would not do anything. Poor Boxycharm was freaking out. People were freaking out, badly. I think I hit that refresh button at least 1000 times before I got in and was able to upgrade. It took HOURS. It seems the system also wait listed some people (for the next Boxyluxe box, which would be December, but some were removed off the list and got the September box anyway). Now okay, I understand people were disappointed that they didn’t get in on the first round, but hells bells people, your life WON’T end because you didn’t get it. People were saying the most nasty things on the social media feeds.
Anyhoo, I got in, and as they said, 2 payments went off immediately. There was an issue with shipping emails not going out and most people had to email customer services in order to get your tracking details, but finally the box arrived in NYC at the Aramex Global Shopper (AGS) address.
And then the real stress starts. AGS has this stupid rule about not being allowed to ship liquids (which almost defeats the purpose of using their service, seeing as most cosmetics would be liquid – like foundation? Is that a liquid?). I don’t understand this rule, it’s not like these packages are being transported in the cabin (like hand luggage), it’s being stored in the hold of the plane and on any airline you fly with you are allowed to take liquids in your checked baggage. So this rule is something my brain just does not want to understand and I think it’s stupid. Immensely stupid. I was trying to think of all sorts of plans in the event they let me know my package would not be able to be shipped to SA (shipping it to friends in the USA, people that will be visiting the USA etc., I almost contemplated just going there and getting it myself).
But then, a miracle, I got a notice that the package was on its way to Johannesburg! Low and behold, it got through without the liquids being detected (the package did contain “liquids”, see the list of items I got below). Now how in the hell do you explain that Aramex…when the previous month my box was detained because it contained a small bottle of nail oil, yet this moerse box came through? It weighed almost 4lbs (2kg). Shipping for a parcel this size was R514 (with the regular Boxycharm it’s R199).
So okay, the box was on its way…it arrived in Johannesburg….aaaand it was detained by customs.
Now customs is possibly the biggest nightmare anyone will ever face when buying anything from overseas and trying to get it here. You never know when you will be charged customs or not. It’s like it depends on the person working that day and their mood. You really just never know. So you hope and pray to every known god that your parcel just gets through without issue. Cosmetics are usually charged customs at 40% of the value of the item(s), which can amount to a pretty penny. But, ANOTHER MIRACLE, I wasn’t charged customs. It seemed my package was inspected and just sent on its way…Hallelujah.
Included in my box:
Tarte Park Avenue Princess chisel palette ($45)
Laura Geller Baked Blush-n-Brighten ($28)
Pretty Vulgar Nightingale Smokey eye shadow palette ($35)
Death Valley dry shampoo ($17)
Smashbox Limited Edition Photo Finish Primer Water ($32)
Sol de Janeiro Ipanema Sunset glow oil ($35)
Hank and Henry liquid lipstick ($17)
Luxie Beauty 732 Airbrush foundation brush ($38)
Juicebeauty Stem Cellular anti-wrinkle moisturizer ($70)
Alamar cosmetics Ojitos brush set ($18)
The Vintage Cosmetic Company Dolly bow makeup headband ($5)
All in all the box costs came to:
Regular box R305,00
Total: R1 244,00
Which is not too bad considering the Park Ave Princess palette is sold in SA for R1100 alone.
So what to do if you want it now?
As stated, you must be a current subscriber – so go subscribe (use this link). Then upgrade your subscription on your settings page to Boxyluxe. You will most probably be waitlisted (I have no idea how long the waitlist is and how long you may be one it, but better on and moving up in the que – people cancel in between – than not be on it at all).
I am waiting to see what the sneak peeks for the December Boxyluxe is before I decide if I will continue with the subscription. Hopefully is filled with more fabulous goodies!
*TIP* if you do decide on subscribing, do not buy the 3 month etc subscription, stay on the month to month, I’ve heard that, if you are charged customs, you are charged on the whole amount you prepaid, and not based on the individual monthly cost.