The Lilac Box 4

I don’t think I am exaggerating when I say that The Lilac Box is one of the most sought after beauty subscriptions on the planet. The beauty box craze has taken the world by storm but never before have I read of a subscription service selling out every box as quickly and consistently as The Lilac Box. Let me know if you know of any other boxes with the same track record and I’ll update my notes.

I think we'll just be friends.

I think we’ll just be friends.

So who are the brains behind The Lilac Box? The Lilac Box is founded by a savvy trio of marketing men, known collectively as ‘The 3 Guys from The Lilac Box’ (their words not mine) who seem to have latched onto a winning formula for curating one of the most popular beauty boxes in the country.

These Lilac Guys were the first in town to understand that a beauty subscription need not be released regularly for the hordes to covet it but that being exclusive and ‘wantable’ were the more critical keys to success. And successful they are. The Lilac Box has the esteemed privilege of being the only subscription service that has sold every single box they have ever released. This is a Malaysian record and quite possibly a world record.

Just don’t expect a box every month. Sometimes there are two a month. Possibly more. Maybe less. These guys have the type of beauty box business where they won’t even need to quit their day job to run it. They release one when they feel like releasing one. How’s that for a change?! D*mn bold, I say! And a very strategic move in a highly competitive business – the longer lead times between each Lilac Box can certainly buy them more time to secure the best samples in town.

And, if their boxes keep selling the way they have been then our 3 Guys at The Lilac Box just may have to quit their day jobs. This is just my amateur observation but The Lilac Box is getting big and people are noticing so methinks it may not be long before (if they play their cards right) the venture capitalists want some of that lilac magic too.

Self-styled as Malaysia’s only premium beauty subscription, The Lilac Box have acquired a reputation among many a local beauty maven as being extremely covet-worthy. In living up to this reputation each edition has indeed sold out within an impressive handful of days from release. Of late, their last few editions have even managed to sell out within hours and in the case of their H2O Concept Box – all boxes were snapped up within a jaw-dropping 35 minutes!

I have enough Crabtree & Evelyn handcreams to launch a spa but this is the best of them. A Lilac hit.

I have enough Crabtree & Evelyn handcreams to launch a spa but this is the best of them. A Lilac hit.

Keeping in line with my tradition of being fashionably late, I was late to the The Lilac Box party and so my first subscription to The Lilac Box was at Box 4 meaning I had missed out on the first three boxes and a couple of special edition boxes too.

Decent fragrance but the reptilian vibe doesn't do it for me.

Decent fragrance but the reptilian vibe doesn’t do it for me.

Flash was actually less flashy and better than I expected. Not bad.

Jimmy Choo Flash was actually less flashy and better than I expected. Not bad.

I shall probably be crucified by the brand’s die hard fans for this but I’m going to admit that as much as I wanted to love my Lilac Box 4, this edition did not blow my socks off as far as beauty boxes go. In terms of value it was certainly worth more than it was priced (RM49.90) because an OPI nail polish costs RM63 at retail alone but the downfall of this box was the inclusion of too many L’Oreal items – 3 products – and for me that was brand overkill.

You know what they say about the girl with too many dates...

You know what they say about the girl with too many dates…

Hairspray is so 80's so I'm going to have to find other uses for you, my pretty.

I know you’re Limited Edition by Charlie Le Mindu (who?) but hairspray is so 80’s so I’m going to have to find other uses for you, my pretty.

The sense of overkill was exacerbated by the fact that these two L’Oreal items from the Liss Ultime range must hold the record for the most included items in any beauty box or magazine Gift With Purchase. I’m afraid these two babies will die of overexposure because they have been seen in almost every beauty box subscription in this country and then some. The L’Oreal Liss Ultime Shampoo and Mask are great products but their run around the beauty box block prior to this Lilac Box 4 appearance didn’t bode well for The Lilac Box’s claims of exclusivity. If beauty products were girls, the L’Oreal Liss Ultime has been quite the flapper about town.

My frosted pink OPI from the Spiderman Collection. If not for you, dear, this could have been so much worse.

The Belle of the Ball. My frosted pink OPI from the Spiderman Collection.

A dynamic duo worth a girl's time.

A dynamic duo worth a girl’s time.

Don’t get me wrong, Lilac Box 4 is not a bad box. It’s still gorgeously packed and a delight with the appearance of OPI, Sothys and Crabtree & Evelyn and two vials of Jimmy Choo fragrances but the inclusion of the 3-item L’Oreal overload was a glaring faux pas that let it, in my estimation, fall short of being the truly fantastic box it could have been.

I also think  ‘The 3 Guys at Lilac Box’ made a faux pas in releasing it and the Special Edition Tongue-in-Chic X Lilac Box in the same fortnight. This special edition box was to coincide with the Good Vibes Music Festival out at Sepang and was testament to the fact that at the same price of RM49.90, the Lilac Boys really can do better than Box 4.

The Box that should have been.

The Lilac Good Vibes Box was the collection that should have been Box 4 😦

{via}

I strongly suspect Lilac Box 4 was a red herring for the real gem which was actually the Good Vibes Box; a beauty that held a much more impressive haul of samples. In my opinion, The Good Vibes Box was by far the superior compilation and the collection that Lilac Box 4 should have been and because of the timing, the comparisons were unavoidable. Box 4 appeared lacklustre by comparison. I cannot help but feel a little shortchanged on some of the samples. I want Bobbi Brown! Anyone care to swap?!

But, if there’s one thing ‘The 3 Guys at The Lilac Box’ are supremely good at it is Marketing with a capital M.
Being trendy urbanites they have approached their box promotions unlike any beauty subscription on the planet. They promote their brand partners and beauty samples  to subscribers as sexy little blind dates – a brilliant metaphor! One that’s sexy, fresh and exciting even if a tad corny.

But behind The Lilac Box’s kitschy innuendos is a greater logic and one that actually makes sense.

The Lilac Box recognises that a beauty box is all about giving subscribers a chance to meet new beauty brands and/ or products and these rendezvous are not unlike blind dates. Similarly, these encounters come with all the thrill and possibility of finding the product/s that you might fall in love with – a true perfect match.

Kitchy, corny and a little hot-under-the-collar but it works. This novel approach is pure genius and they certainly have the sales to prove that their concept is feasible and extraordinary.

Now, how much The Lilac Box continue to live up to their savvy marketing is something I hope they fine tune a little more.
The Lilac Guys have proven that they have their vocal pulse on the needs and wants of women in this country. They are telling us what we want to hear – my only wish now is that they are able to give us what we want to have.

Granted, I’ve only subscribed to the one Lilac Box so I am not going to be narrow minded and let that weigh on my future purchasing decisions with them. Sure, my first Lilac Box was a rather pedestrian encounter that I am going to wave off as a trivial flirtation but their ideas for boxes are always so novel that I am still darn intrigued (there’s the clever marketing at work again!) and yes, I am willing to give these boys another chance to prove their worth.

Good but not great

Good but not great…but intriguing enough for another date!

My second date with The Lilac Box is on the cards and I look forward to receiving my subscription to their first Cult Box – a collection of unique and fresh foreign brands. This baby sold out in 4 hours flat and had girls (and no doubt some boys) all across the Peninsular setting their alarm clocks ready for the 10am sharp release last weekend. Don’t we all want a bit of love?

Fingers crossed that these foreign babes strike a chord, yeah? I’ll keep you posted, darlings, on how our date went.

It’s worth remembering that The Lilac Box doesn’t release their beauty boxes under any regular timetable so you’ll really have to stalk their Facebook page for updates.

Prices vary from box to box and usually start at around the RM49.90 mark these days. Their first box was only RM33. Box subscriptions are one-off and are only available until Sold Out which in the case of The Lilac Box can mean minutes or hours from the moment of issue so sign yourself up for their Facebook notifications if you’re interested – once released their boxes sell like hot dates cakes so missing out on one is a very real possibility.

The Lilac Box Facebook

The Lilac Box Website

lilacboxlogo

{Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored or brand affiliated post. The Lilac Box 4 was paid for by me and the opinions expressed here are entirely my own. Consider at your own risk}

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6 comments

  1. I loved what you have written about Lilac’s Box 4. You were not gushing about how great the box is, in fact you were fair in your assessment. A fair and provocative review. Many bloggers tend to get emotional, most of the times they don’t convey a clear picture on the whys the beauty box comes out to be a dud or hows the box could have exceed the subscribers expectations. Always looking forward to reading more reviews on the beauty bags or boxes you have subscribed.

  2. @Linda, thank you so much for your feedback. I do try to write reviews as honestly as possible and will not shy away from constructive criticism if required. Have you had a chance to set up your own blog yet?

  3. I absolutely know what you mean. If I hadn’t gotten hold of the Outdoor Survival Kit I would have been extremely upset about the whole situation. The hair spray is lying in a corner awaiting the miraculous day that I decide to wreck my hair with such things. Can’t wait for your post on the Cult Box!

  4. @Arpita, I can only say it as it is – even though I love you to bits, I am truly jealous of those that got the Good Vibes Outdoor Survival Lilac Box 😛
    I can’t help but see it over and over again as the box that should have been Lilac Box 4! I am looking forward to getting my hands on the Cult Box and will certainly update you with a ShopGirl post-mortem.

    As for the hairspray…did you see the link to the article on 22 Uses for Hairspray that I posted up on my Facebook Page? Perhaps you will find one of the 22 practical.

    http://www.babble.com/beauty/22-amazing-and-practical-uses-for-hairspray/22-amazing-and-practical-uses-for-hairspray/

  5. ShopGirl: You’re right the outdoor survival kit was indeed ‘drool-worthy’ i could so see myself using every item in that box. Chewing my nails off and waiting for the cult-box… here I thought I was done with Malaysian beauty boxes..and come Saturday morning..dragged myself out of bed with fever and all just to score one. Cant wait for your next review

  6. @Sharon, The Lilac Box has had some wonderful boxes out but I keep missing out on the great ones. Yes, I hope that this Cult Box is fantastic too. Hope you’re feeling better, Sharon! Get well soon!

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