About a month ago, I signed up for My Glam Bag. I knew it would be a while before I received my first bag, and in the meantime I read some not so favorable posts on facebook about the service. Luckily, my first bag arrived this month without any problems. However, before you read my overview of the bag, it’s only fair to mention that I have cancelled my subscription.
I just got the bag yesterday, so I have not yet used any of the products in the bag. These are just my initial thoughts on the products and the bag as a whole.
First of all, the mailing envelope was adorable. It’s shiny hot pink, and although other people mentioned theirs had come somewhat unglued in shipping, mine was sealed pretty well with just a small gap (Not enough that anything could’ve fallen out). Inside, the bag was a similar hot pink as the envelope and it had little black hearts on it. It’s very cute, but not great quality, some strings hanging off and whatnot. You could probably get something like it at the dollar store. But still, I like it and it’s basically an ‘extra’ anyway. I’ll definitely use it for something.
First, there was a card with a – get this – $100 gift certificate to Nume. I’ve never heard of Nume, but this definitely sounded too good to be true. (And I don’t mean the following to sound ungrateful, I’m just explaining both sides of it). While that is obviously an amazing savings, it’s not without a few catches. The card specifies that it can only be used on hair tools or hair extensions, not on products. My suspicions rose a little bit at that. Their hair extensions are $180, and the styling tools start at $130. Another thing to consider is that their shipping is calculated at checkout, and even with the smallest item in my cart the shipping was another $12 and can go even higher. While saving $100 is definitely a great deal, alot of these hair tools can be found cheaper online. And if you buy the cheapest curling wand, you’re still spending at least $47 when shipping and tax is added. There’s a site online that was selling the curling wand for $45 (although it’s a site I’ve never heard of), and some you tube videos were saying that Nume was on HauteLook the past couple of days, although I missed it so I can’t tell you those prices. The bottom line is that it’s a good deal, but possibly not as amazing as it sounds. If you were planning to buy one of these styling tools already, you might be able to save quite a bit. If not.. well, is it really a good deal if you’re spend money on something you wouldn’t have bought otherwise? Just be sure to comparison shop before assuming this is a fabulous savings. (Edit: Interestingly enough you can also find a $100 off coupon code at Retailmenot.com).
Next up was a Freeman’s Facial Hydration Mask in Goji Berry. This was in a sample/travel sized packet. Last month Glam Bag sent out a Freeman’s mask as well, but it was full sized. These travel (.5 fl oz) packets are sold on the Freeman’s website for $1.99, or you can get the full size for $3.99 (full sizes all seem to be 6 fl oz). These are also sold at Ulta and Walmart for around the same price.
Then I got an NYX roll on shimmer in the color seafoam. This is a little tube of roll on glitter you can apparently use on eyes, face or body. I’m not sure I would be rolling green glitter on my body, but I’ll try it on my eyes. These are sold on the NYX website and at Ulta for $4.50 and this one is apparently full size. It came with a little card offering 30% off on another one. Can I just point out the picture on the card here? One youtube video said the pic was a woman with a gold unibrow, but I think she’s missing the most important issue here…. that womans’ eyelashes are not attached to her lash line. The lashes are glued to her eye crease! Is this a printing error, or the new look for spring? Ya’ll, if that’s the look for spring, I’m just going to have to be unfashionable I guess. Seriously, what the heck? Also the gold shimmer between her eyebrows is strange. Just saying.
The next product was a nice sized tube of X-out shine control. I appreciated that this tube is sealed in plastic, especially after hearing that some people got bags last month that had been returned. I’ve never heard of x-out, but it’s apparently from the creators of Proactiv, which I have used and liked. However I have dry skin, so I don’t generally use shine control products. It came with a coupon advertising a full sized shine control free with the purchase of their face wash stuff, although there is no code, I think you get that deal with or without the glam bag. (Just like Proactiv throws in a repair mask with order).
Next up was a little pink mesh bag containing two small silver packets from Premier. One was a Instant Stretching and Revitalizing/Lifting Mask which the card calls “The Cinderella Mask” and the other packet is a Biox Anti-aging complex cream. Some people on facebook were claiming this is the full size and that it normally comes in tiny packets. That’s clearly not the case. There is a coupon included for 50% off the full size, which runs $150. I don’t know where they got the idea that these are full size, you can find these tiny silver packets on their ‘free’ samples page. (There is a $5.99 sample shipping charge, and you get to choose 3.. not to mention that the Cinderella mask sample comes in a small tube on the website, not a packet). It would seem that you don’t even need to make a purchase to get the samples.
Lastly, in honor of Valentines day there were two squares of Ghiradelli chocolate included. I’m not much for eating food out of boxes like this, but it was a cute addition. A full bag of these squares is around $5, but I’m not sure how many they contain.Overall, I found this bag to be… well, really strange. The heart print bag and chocolate squares were a good start to the Valentine theme, but then it goes off track entirely. Shine control, tiny samples you could get free (ish) from Premiers’ site, drug store products, and coupons? There seemed to be no method to the madness of it all. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but I was looking for high end samples – and two of the items you can get full size for $4. I thought Glam Bag was directed more at makeup, but roll on glitter isn’t really what I had in mind. The giftcard was nice, but it’s designed to get you to spend money. After all the issues they had with last month’s Glam Bag I thought they would really step it up for this month. I’m sure there were plenty of people who were already in the market for new hair tools who made good use of the certificate and loved this bag. I just found that it wasn’t right for me. I feel that Birchbox outperforms Glam Bag on quality of products, the points and referral system (since GB has none), the size of samples and even slightly on the presentation. That’s just my opinion, but I don’t think I will lose any sleep over cancelling Glam Bag. Keep in mind that I haven’t tried the products yet though, so I might like them a little better once I do. I really like the idea of a little reusable makeup bag full of products, these just weren’t products I would choose. Here’s the break down…
Value: NYX roller: $4.50, Freeman mask: $1.99, Premier samples: Free but $5.99 shipping for a set of 3/ (though their sizes are larger on some), we got 2 so we’ll call that $4, Chocolate squares: around 50 cents maybe? Hearts bag: About $1. Shine Control: Free gift with a 2 piece $20 kit, so we’ll generously call that ten bucks. Total value of actual products (excluding gift certificate and coupons) estimated around $21.99.
*Let me know if there are any typos or errors I missed, I have a dachshund on my lap helping me proofread… which is exactly as helpful as it sounds. 😉 And leave a comment if you disagree with the way I figured up the value, it’s just a rough guess.