Beauty Without Fuss

Monday 22 September 2014

My Little Box comes to the UK

I am somewhat sceptical (shut up at the back) about "beauty boxes".  I'll be honest, I'm not really a fan.  I think some of the Glossybox limited edition boxes have been great (fabulous, even), but ... yeah, £10 (+ p&p) or so a month for a couple of things you can usually get free from department store counters, plus a bonus "full size" product or two just doesn't really float my boat, especially when you can't pick and choose what you get.  So when I heard about My Little Box, the subscription box service from the team behind "My Little Paris"  I simply wasn't that excited about it.


However, that lasted just until I received my first sample box, and then I realised that My Little Box was actually something quite, quite different.  And rather wonderful to boot. And then, being the sceptical so-and-so that I am, I wondered if it was just that one first box that would be great,  and the next box would be full of those department-store perfume sachets and "lifestyle" teabags that we've all begun to know and dread.

It wasn't:

Not a sad-looking perfume card, "bonus" chocolate, or "artisan" teabag in sight. These are the contents of the last three boxes, two of the French original boxes on the right, and the first UK-exclusive box bottom left (top left is a special one-off box I'll talk to you about a bit later on).  What I hadn't realised about My Little Box at first is that it's not merely a beauty sampling service, it's actually a proper gift box sent to you from Paris.  And they do it beautifully.

What you get every month is a proper magazine (not just a puff-piece for the brands in the box), a "lifestyle item" (these have included playing cards, jewellery, scarves and sarongs in the past), several beauty samples (usually three, at least one of which is always full size), and some other bonus items which fit with the theme of the box, because every single My Little Box has a theme, and it follows through on the theme both inside and out, through the magazine, to the lid of the box, to the actual contents of the box too, it's a joy to unpack.

In this months UK box we got a half-size Laura Mercier Foundation Primer, a travel-size bottle of Nuxe oil, and a full-size My Little Beauty Highlighter Pen, alongside a "My Little Carnet" notebook (which also contained this month's magazine), some "Parisian" stickers, and an iPad cover, which I was delighted with!  (ETA it's actually a laptop cover, but it'll work for iPads too!)

Real thought and care goes into every box, and the house style (created by in-house designer Kanako) is cute without being too whimsical, and it all just adds that little something extra to every month's delivery. Unlike some boxes where all the thought apparently goes into the box itself, it feels like every single My Little Box is a limited edition. It's a lovely feeling.

The reason for this is that the My Little Paris team live and breathe the brand.  Last month I was lucky enough to be invited along to their Paris offices which are in Montmarte, directly in the shadow of Sacre Cour, to see how they work.  I came away with a new appreciation for the company (which started as a mailing list to 50 people every month, and now has 1 million subscribers across France, alongside 80,000 box subscribers every month too) where every member of the team seems to live and breathe beauty and lifestyle through everything that they do.  We were treated to a view of their Paris, which was wonderful, and I now have a new list of places to go and things to do when I go back!    Whilst we were there we were presented with a souvenir "Welcome to Paris" box, which is the one you saw in the group shot above, and now I've finally taken pictures of it, I can't wait to get stuck in! Here's a little photo-essay of my day in Paris with My Little Box:

Breakfast. Check out those Eiffel Tower biccies!

You don't really get more Paris than this view from the roof garden.

They have a book.  Did I mention the book?  There's a book.  It's good.  Get one.

Reference books in the My Little Paris offices

Emails from happy subcribers are hung everywhere around the building.

I want this office.  That is all.
The ideas laboratory where the team get together to brainstorm.

Sacre cour!

Internet circa 1895

Boxes!  Loads of them!

Gorgeous work-spaces 
Art from the Quiet Gallery.  I nearly bought this.  Still regretting that I didn't.

Lunch - a real hidden gem.


Notre Dame
All the boxes cost £11, which is just £1 more than other beauty boxes on the market - and, considering the box is sent direct from Paris, the postage costs just £3.95, which is around 70p more than UK based box services.  The difference in quality, however, is priceless. Think you deserve a treat?  Well so do My Little Box.

The Fine Print: Get Lippie was a guest of My Little Paris in Paris.  Boxes have been sent as PR Samples.   There was no expectation of review, but I've been so delighted and surprised, I just had to.  Even sceptics get excited sometimes, you know.

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