Subscription Boxes // Lip Monthly Four-Month Review (April-July 2016)

Yesterday, I posted an unboxing of my last Lip Monthly bag, the July bag. In that post, I mentioned that I was planning on cancelling the subscription. I wanted to talk to you all about why I’m cancelling and what my experience has been so far, so you can make a more well-informed decision if you are thinking about getting this sub or cancelling the one that you have. This will be pretty darn long, but I hope to give you a really good idea on if this sub is right for you or not. We’ll start by detailing each bag.

April: Paid: $6.45 (half off). Retail value: $46.99. Personal value: $19.99-$26.99

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In April, I got: Hikari lipstick in Peony, a bright pink I have worn once, Seraphine Vegan Berry Tint in Cherry Cream, a vibrant red liquid lip I have never worn but have swatched many times, Starlooks gloss in Guilty Pleasure, a “perfect size” lip gloss in a nudish pink I have worn 2-3 times but have never opted to re-apply, and Pencil Me In Eyeliner in Denim, a blue eyeliner I have worn twice.

You can see the full post and breakdown here, but let’s talk about this bag. I really liked the bag itself, and the colors of lip products were very pretty. I haven’t actually worn many of these, though, because of how bright they are and my general collection offering similar products. At the time, I gave pretty optimistic values for my items ($26.99), but their overall value to me as decreased to maybe, $19.99 because that tint is just not as usable for me. I do like that blue eyeliner pencil, though!

May: Paid: $10.36 (20% off). Retail value: $62.81. Personal value; $36

May’s bag was quite a big hit for me! In it, I got a So Suan Jello Shot that I have worn a couple times but love, Dirty Little Secret lipstick in vengeance, a bright berry/magenta that I’ve worn a few times, and a Manna Kadar Lip Locked “Gloss” in Manna Babe that is also a beautiful berry/magenta that is perfect for me. I also got a Jor’el Parker mask, which I have never used.

The full post about this bag is here, and looking back, I really do believe I valued these correctly ($36 personal value).

June: Paid: $12.95 (full price). Retail value: $69.96. Personal value: $20-26.

June’s bag was alright. This came with a Measurable Difference Lip Color Stick in a shade that is not listed anywhere which I have used a couple times and like, a Jelly Pong Pong Lipstick in Balloons that is a nude and I wore once, a Peony Cosmetics highlighter I haven’t used once, and a Be a Bombshell “One Stick” in a link pink glittery shade I tried to use once.

You can find the full unboxing and value breakdown here. I believe I over-valued this bag (at $26). I ended up destashing two of these products, the Jelly Pong Pong and the Be a Bombshell, both to my sister. The Jelly Pong Pong smells great, but it was too patchy on my lips, and the Be a Bombshell was too thick to use for my lips and the glitter in it irritate my cheeks when used as a highlighter or blush. The Measurable Difference stick is a gem, though! I really like that one still. I would value this one, around $20 now, if you factor in the value from being able to “gift” the two to my sister.

July: Paid: $0 (free with friend signing up). Retail value: $84.30. Personal value: $19.99

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And finally, we have July’s bag. In it was a Cougar Beauty lip plumper, which I used once and hated so much that I will never use it again, and two lipsticks, a Mirabella “Colour Vinyl” in Cherry Shine (a pinkish red) and a City Color “City Chic” lipstick in Je T’aime (a muted almost brick-like red, despite the mauve look in the tube). I’ve only had them a day, so I can’t comment about usage. There was also a BellaPierre loose pigment eyeshadow in Celebration, which is a copper glitter.

Full unboxing and review is here. Since I literally posted this a day ago, not much has changed for me to comment on. I did, however, do I brief value estimate and placed it at around $19.99 ($0.00 for that plumper, though).

Add it all up and you get… a spreadsheet! 

Lip Monthly Overview

This sub has never strayed from 4 products in a bag, with 3 being lip products and 1 being another, non-lip product, like an eyeliner, highlighter, or eyeshadow. It is mostly full-size, with only one product being a deluxe sample (which also happened to be the only skin-care product). While I managed to swing this to be $7.44 on average per box, I was only able to do that because of discounts- my first box was half off, my second box was 20% off (when I went to suspend my account, it gave me the option of taking next month for 20% off), and my last box was free because of referrals.I only paid full-price, at $12.95, once. You can see that with how much I paid on average, my C-PV ratio is high at 3.23 (that means I’m getting over 300% of what I paid in personal value), but at full price, this number drops to 1.85. Usually, 2.00 is my “magic number” for when I find a box worth it for me, and at full price, this one just isn’t there.

Presentation, customer service, and the other stuff like that. Presentation wise, I think it’s cute. It’s similar to Ipsy, but the bag designs are less interesting, meaning that while they are never as cute as Ipsy’s cute bags, you also typically avoid the awful ones. I have never needed to reach out to CS, so I can’t comment on that front, but I can say that while suspending your service is really easy, it is very difficult to change to a new subscription type. I tried a couple months ago to switch to a 4-month sub, and it wouldn’t work. According to their website, this happens a lot and they suggest you re-sign up, as a new subscriber, with a new email. I have had no problems with items coming broken or unusable.

Subscription lengths and prices. When you first choose your type, you can choose between monthly, 4-month, or yearly. Each one has an option for a coupon code. Monthly gives you half off your first month, quarterly gives you 4 months for the price of 3, and yearly is 12 months for the price of 9. However, once your first subscription term is over, it is full price at $12.95/month, even for 4-month or yearly subs. So, for instance, if you chose a 4-month sub and used the code, your first 4 months are $38.95 ($9.74/month), but after those four months, your next renewal will be $51.80 for the next four months ($12.95/month). Similarly, if you choose the yearly, you first pay $116.55 ($9.71/month), but if you re-up, it would be $155.95 (or just under $13/month). There is no actual, non-single-use discount for longer sub lengths. That said, you are given the option of 20% off your subscription if you go to cancel. I did month-to-month, so I can’t comment on how this works on longer sub types, but if you do get 20% off your next renewal, it can work out quite well (if you do a 4-month sub you can get 8 months for a total of $80.39 and with a yearly sub, that would be two years for $241.31).

Compared to other boxes (and looking at my budget)… This is the only box that is mostly lipsticks. It might be most comparable to Ipsy in terms of presentation (bag instead of presentation), and perhaps Beauty Box 5 in terms of brands, but note that this is lipstick, not a grab-bag. Budget wise, at $13/month, it doesn’t break the budget, but it also doesn’t introduce you to a lot of new products, just lipsticks, and $10-$13 adds up.

My verdict: Suspend, for now. There is nothing wrong with this sub exactly. C-PV is always higher than what I pay, and even on the worse months there are still items I could use (and when I can’t, giving it away has it’s own value attached to it… unless it’s that dumb lip plumper aka shiny glue). The issue is that I don’t want to continue paying $13/month when I have over 100 lipsticks and glosses in my possession right now. I just can’t give enough love to all of my lipsticks as is, and while it isn’t very expensive, I would rather spend my money on a subscription service that can introduce me to other product types- and $13/month over time will add up to something nice.

Now, all that said, if beauty boxes don’t die out in the next several months, I do plan on going back in with another email so I can sign up for a four-month plan. I think doing that, and maybe going for 8 months (one extra renewal) would work out well for me at a later date when I’m looking for new lipsticks.

For the time being, I do still have my referral link, which is here. You can use my link with any of the coupon codes. For full disclosure, each referral is now worth “50 pts” so while it is not going to give me a free bag, I do get something out of it. If I have any referrals, those points would go into something I will review (or, if I have any interest, a giveaway??  But that’s a big if).

If you have any questions or any comments about my experience with Lip Monthly, leave them in the comments section! I’d be happy to answer any of your Qs 🙂

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