“What’s in the box?!” Dollar Shave Club

whats-in-the-boxBeing a fair-haired lad, Chris doesn’t shave daily, so he could never remember the brand of razor he was using whenever we would be out somewhere and he’d decide that he needed more blades. This usually meant either accidentally buying the wrong kind or starting over with a new razor altogether, and both choices were pricey and annoying. Enter the Dollar Shave Club.

The premise is simple: Sign up for one of three plans, then set it and forget it. The first month’s box includes a set of blades (four blades per month) and a handle; thereafter, like clockwork, once a month you receive a small cardboard envelope with another set of replacement blades. If you don’t need that many, one click on the site lets you switch delivery to every other month. You also have the option of changing your plan and/or adding a few extras to that month’s delivery whenever you want to. Easy-peasy.

Plan 1: The Humble Twin ($1/month plus S&H): Just like it sounds, a basic twin-blade razor.

Plan 2: The 4X ($6/month, no additional S&H): A four-blade option.

Plan 3: The Executive ($9/month, no additional S&H): A six-blade option.

Chris opted to try “The Executive,” because he wanted ALL THE BLADES on his face. He also decided to add a tube of shave butter and, because he thought the premise was hilarious, the “One Wipe Charlies.” Mere days after he registered on the site, the first box arrived. The verdict: He really likes the shave butter, but he loves the razor (saying more than once that it’s the closest shave he’s ever gotten), and he SUPER-LOVES the wipes . . . for using on his face at night (he likes the minty tingle). (Note: I don’t know whether he has actually tried them for their intended purpose, nor am I going to ask — as the wise men of Spinal Tap once said, some things are “best left unsolved.”)

He decided to switch to delivery every other month, though (because he still doesn’t need to shave daily, especially when these blades do such a great job), so when I went to the site to make the change, I noticed that Plan 2 (The 4X) was specifically recommended for “your girlfriend” and thought I’d give it a shot (plus Chris wanted more wipes). And lo, my own delivery promptly arrived a few days later.


Whee, sharp things!

Whee, sharp things!

The handle has some weight to it, which is nice, plus the grippy texture makes it perfect for use in the shower. As for the blades, I have to say . . . I think they are FANTASTIC. I have scars (yes, plural) on my ankles from past incidents when I’ve cut myself to the point that I feared I would bleed out in the shower, and regardless of the razor’s newness and the gel/creme/whatever I put on my legs, I always seem to nick my knees when I’m shaving. That said, since switching to these razors, I literally have not cut myself ONCE, which makes them totally worthwhile in my book. Add the convenience of always having blades on hand for a minimal monthly investment and I’m sold, a completely satisfied customer.

Want to try Dollar Shave Club for yourself? Click here to sign up — you get great service, and I get $5 off my next month’s delivery. Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

“What’s in the box?!” Julep Maven Box, May 2014

whats-in-the-boxOne thing about developing an interest in various subscription services (and occasional purchases from people’s swap boards) is that the daily mail delivery has gotten much more exciting. On May 1, I received my first shipment from Dollar Shave Club (more on that in the next post) and my monthly Maven box from Julep.

Julep is a subscription service that primarily pimps nail polish, although other makeup- and skincare-related products are available. To become a “Maven,” you fill out a little quiz that categorizes your color preferences as belonging to one of four profiles: Classic with a Twist (that’s me), Bombshell, Boho Glam, or It Girl. Around the 20th of the month, you find out what the next month’s theme is and get previews of what your profile-determined Maven box will have in it, although you can always switch to one of the other boxes if you prefer the color selections it includes. You can also upgrade and get a box with all the colors for that month, or you can skip a month if nothing really grabs you (I think — apparently the skips have to be “earned,” maybe one every six months or so, but I’ve heard that customer service will make exceptions for people if need be). If you accept shipment of a box, about a week later you’ll also get access to a 24-hour “secret store” on the website that offers special deals on various products, usually including at least one polish color that isn’t available in the sets (for instance, a new polish correlated with that month’s birthstone). And throughout the month, you’ll get emails with different deals, etc. (There’s also a “Jules” rewards program for keeping your subscription going, but I don’t know much about that yet, either. I’m not a paid spokesmodel.)

This month, in the spirit of OTYS, I opted for the Polish Lover’s Upgrade — I earned double Jules or something for doing so, which means that my monthly box should be free next month, I think. I dunno, I just liked the pretty colors, okay? Don’t judge me, you don’t know my life. (Note: Had I stuck with the standard CWAT box, I would have received two polishes — Maddy and Ramona — and some crazy wand thingie that the company just released.)


Goodies lie within!

As shown in the photo above (click to expand), the box always includes a card showing all the choices for that month, a discount code to use on the site for later purchases, and an inspirational thought. I like to keep mine taped to the wall next to my face so I can glance over and feel reinvigorated when I need a mental pick-me-up. (Snerk — I couldn’t even type that with a straight face.)


My precioussssssssssss…

The name of each color is always a woman’s name (I’ve labeled them in the photo). Sometimes it has some nebulous connection to the color — for instance, the May birthstone polish (a sparkly green emerald) is named “Priscilla” after Priscilla Presley, born May 24, 1945. I looked on the site once to see what “Heather” looks like, and it’s kind of a weird grayish color, which I don’t get — shouldn’t it be some shade of purple instead?

Because of some unfortunate recent nail breakage, I haven’t gotten to try any of them yet, although I swatched each on a nail stick while watching Investigation Discovery the other night, so that was fun. And Sam had a good time poring over them the next day, because he gets very excited about pretty colors, especially if they sparkle. (No sparkles this month, although several have shimmer finishes that are pretty.) I also haven’t tried the Luxe Repair Skin Serum, because I really loathe the word “serum” and therefore don’t want to gunk up my face with it. But hell, maybe for kicks I’ll try it one night and report back on the effectiveness of its “Power Cell Complex (TM).” That should be good for a laugh, right?