Thursday, September 6, 2018

We Need to Talk About FabFitFun (Fall 2018 Review)

Guys. We need to talk about FabFitFun.
I know, I know...I'm ridiculously late to the game on this one. However, when I stopped blogging to focus on school I also cancelled all (yes, ALL!) of my subscription boxes. I was in a huge transition in my life as I had ended my previous long-term relationship, moved back in with my parents, then shortly after moved in with my now current fiance...subscription boxes had all but faded from my life. I have always been a fan of PopSugar over FabFitFun, just because they were not only less expensive, but they came monthly, whereas FFF comes once per quarter. I also remember earlier boxes of FabFitFun focusing a lot on the "fit" part of their name with workout and wellness products and, well, I hate exercising. I'm a couch potato. Not going to apologize for it, but honestly their boxes never really wowed me until the past year or two. 

My Birthday is in March, and as a gift, my incredible and attentive fiance (somehow he remembered me wishing I had a subscription box in my life again), purchased me a 1 year subscription to FabFitFun starting with the Spring Box. The box I'm currently on will be the 3rd of 4 boxes I will receive this year, and you can bet your butt I'm going to beg for a renewal of this subscription for my birthday gift next year. 

Here's the thing: At the peak of my blog, I was easily getting 15-20 subscriptions per month. Eventually, NOTHING impressed me. Nothing excited me. I had multiple storage boxes completely FILLED with beauty and skincare products that I would give away in droves because they would have gone bad before I'd be able to use them all. I had some intense subscription box burnout. Now, getting back into having only ONE subscription, I feel that FabFitFun is absolutely perfect to hit the nail on the head for not only beauty and skincare, but lifestyle as well.  

If you've been on the fence about FabFitFun, or are not sure WHY people love it so much and what makes it so different from other subscriptions, I'm going to tell you in all of my rambling, semi-over-detailed glory just like the old days. The fact that I popped on here to tell you about it alone should be a huge hint about how much I truly love this subscription! But anyway enough about me, lets get onto the box goodness!

What is FabFitFun?

FabFitFun is a QUARTERLY subscription that comes 4 times a year: one box for every season. The box is $49.99 per quarter, or $180 per year if you pay in advance, saving you $5 per box.

Each season, FabFitFun will reveal spoilers for the box and also let you do some customizations, which you will see more details on during the review.  
Seasonal Members (who pay monthly) are able to make SOME choices for their box, and other items will be chosen at random. 
Annual Members (who pay per year up front) or "Select" members as they call them, will not only be able to customize some of their items, but will be able to choose almost ALL of the items in their box if they so desire.

What's even better, is if you just CAN'T decide between two items (which happened to me this month) you can add on the other item(s) for just $10 each. So yea, even that $150 handbag or $50 Tarte palette they might be offering that month? Only $10 if you want to add it to your box in addition to something you already chose. 

FabFitFun also offers "Add-Ons" which can be extremely dangerous for some people. To the extent that I've seen people saying they've added hundreds of dollars of product to their monthly box! Basically, this is a store that FabFitFun opens monthly shortly before boxes ship. The store has deeply discounted products and bundles, skincare, lifestyle, cosmetics galore, and even extra boxes if you want to purchase one for a friend. I've seen discounts go for sometimes more than 60% off, so this is a great place to get a good deal on something for yourself, or stock up on Christmas gifts etc. All of the items you "add-on" to your box from this shop ship free with your box, which is another great reason to spoil yourself a bit!

I usually avoid add-ons for the sake of not going bankrupt, but I did get myself 2 add-ons this month because I actually needed both of them! 

My add-ons this month were a Kate Spade thermal mug and the Deborah Lippmann Hard Rock topcoat. Boring? Yeah, probably. But I've had the same thermal mug for at least 4 years and it's very close to completely falling to pieces, and I consistently find myself running out of top coat, so that was also a no-brainer purchase!
 To give you an idea of the discount amounts for the add-on products, the Deborah Lippmann Topcoat retails for $20 and I paid $5. The Kate Spade Thermal Mug retails for $18 and I paid $9. So 50-75% off both items!

There's a LOT more to FabFitFun that you can read or learn about on their FAQ's page HERE.

Fall 2018 Box
Let's jump into the actual interesting part: What was in my box!

Let's start with customizable items!


First Customization choice was either a Vince Camuto Tote bag or a Crown Brush Set. I definitely wanted the Vince Camuto tote in "Red Desert" because I own enough black bags, but I wanted something sleek to carry my laptop in. However, I have been really needing an upgrade on some of my frequently-used brushes, and these ones from Crown looked great. So I added on the silver set for the extra $10. 

Vince Camuto Tote in "Red Desert" ($128)

I heard a LOT of complaints regarding this tote being "vegan leather" and not genuine leather, however I don't really think (even as a carnivore) that an animal needs to die for my fashion. I'm fine with faux-leather, as long as that's what we're calling it. The "vegan leather" buzzword term is just a fancy way of saying faux leather, ya know? But regardless, this tote is flat in that there is no flat bottom to it. It would easily hold a tablet, large laptop, perhaps some slim books etc. You could absolutely use it as an actual daily handbag, although I prefer to carry bags that actually have a closure, which this one doesn't. I have a large gaming laptop and it still fits perfectly in here, so that's what I'll be using this for. Really love it! 

Crown Brush 6-Piece Brush Set in "Silver" ($75)

First off, I'll admit that I actually chose the black and rose-gold color and they sent me the silver, but it's such a small difference in appearance that it doesn't matter enough to me to contact them about it. Having said that, I HAVE contacted FabFitFun about small issues with my box (an item missing, an eyeliner that was dried out) and they've not only resent missing/damaged products, but they also awarded me $10 in credit to use in the Add-on shop and a free mystery item in my next box (which ended up being a super cute necklace). So I've gotta say I've had incredible luck with their customer service!
That aside, I'm not totally sold on the price of Crown Brush sets. I think they're a bit overpriced and seem to me to be relatively close to Coastal Scents and other less-expensive brands of brushes. Having said that, I happily spent the extra $10 to add these to my box. I needed a new angled blush brush and the one I saw at Ulta that was affordable and the right size was around $15. So I essentially saved myself some money AND got the whole set to boot!


Customization 2 had all subscribers choose between an super adorable teapot infuser and a French Press both by the brand "Alfred". I've never heard of this brand, but I was happy to try out their super cute products! I really don't drink tea (although my fiance does) and you can essentially use a french press for loose tea as well as coffee, so you'd think I would go for the french press right? Nope.

Alfred Teapot ($26)

The teapot was just WAY too cute. The cuteness won me over. As I said, I don't even drink tea and I felt compelled to own this little guy. It has a stainless steel basket inside to put your loose tea, and is just about the most adorable thing ever. You can't heat it on your stove hilariously, so you need to boil water in a regular tea kettle, pour that boiling water over the loose tea and into this teapot and then serve. Still, my fiance thought it was cute and said he'd happily use it for his loose teas, so hey, it's a win for everyone!


Customization 3 had all subscribers choose between two patterns of Catherine Malandrino Umbrellas, and black or white wireless bluetooth headphones. I was very tempted to get a few additional items here too, but I resisted, and ended up choosing the white and rose gold wireless headphones.

CYLO Cobra Bluetooth Wireless Earbuds ($40)

Honestly I wanted a set of headphones for both myself and my fiance, and damn did I want one of those cute umbrellas, but I JUST got my fiance new earbuds for Christmas and I have enough umbrellas for a large family, so I made the choice of just getting earbuds for myself. I have yet to try these out though, as I just got the box today, but I am loving the pink/white tones to these and I use earbuds often when I'm practicing my Korean lessons on the subway or after my fiance goes to sleep!

Now we're onto items that were customizable ONLY for Select/Annual Members. Members who pay month-to-month will receive one of the items from each category at random, while annual subscribers were able to choose.


First up was a trio of products from a brand called "Grown Alchemist." It became very apparent to me how out of the game I was on beauty blogging when I had never heard of this brand, yet I saw others raving about them in the FabFitFun forums all over the internet. Of course, the temptation was there to choose all 3 items, but there was really only one that I actually needed:

Grown Alchemist Hydra-Repair Day Cream ($49)

Just today, I made a huge RoseRoseShop haul for all of my Korean beauty necessities, but I have been running desperately low on face creams and lotions. Since I started living a more minimal lifestyle and cancelled most of my subscription boxes, my supply of Korean skincare dwindled pretty quickly, especially my moisturizers which I use multiple times a day. I'm excited to try this one out and see how it stacks up next to my favorite Korean brands!


Finally, the last group of customizable items. Again, month-to-month subscribers would receive one of the 3 items shown here in their box, while annual subscribers would be able to choose. Since I greatly dislike lip glosses and only have a standing shower in my apartment...that only leaves one item:

Farmacy Dew It All Total Eye Cream ($38)

I'll be honest, I need another eye cream like I need a hole in the head, but this was the only product in the selection choices that I would definitely use, and I really do love the Farmacy brand. I've used quite a few products from them before and I've loved and enjoyed every one, so I'm happy to get this product and hopefully I can get through all my other eye creams in time to be able to try this one soon! 


Finally, we have a group of items that were non-customizable, and come in everyone's box regardless of whether or not you are a select member. 

Beauty Blender ($20)

Ahh the famous beauty blender. I swear this baby has made the rounds in almost every single subscription box since it's invention, so really it's not all that exciting for me to get. Personally, I don't always have the time to wet a sponge, apply my BB cream with said sponge, and wash/rinse it and find a place for it to dry for the following day. It just seems a bit time-consuming for me, especially since I have gotten my makeup routine down to a science to make sure I'm on time. Even so, I still appreciate having one of these on hand for the days when I want my makeup to look extra flawless. And since my wedding is in 2 WEEKS (ahhhhhh!) I think it was the perfect time for this to show up!

GlamGlow Bubblesheet Oxygenating Deep Cleanse Masks ($18)

Okay, from someone that comes from a mostly Korean Beauty background, I've gotta say that $9 for a single sheet mask is kind of ridiculous. Not only that, bubble sheet masks have been sold by Korean brands for a while now, for a LOT less money than these GlamGlow ones. I know a lot of people love this brand and swear by it, but personally, I think it's a lot of really good marketing that makes them so popular. None of their masks have ever broken me out, but nothing has ever really transformed my skin to the point where I'd spend so much on their product line. I am happy to get these and I will definitely use them, but I can't see myself ever repurchasing unless they wow me moreso than the less expensive Korean versions.

Simply Whimsical Tea Towels ($15)

During the time that I was in school and on hiatus from blogging, I got super into interior decorating and home-type products. My fiance and I moved into a small apartment just outside of Boston and we had absolutely NOTHING, so I've been spending the past 2 years slowly building our collection of furniture and home decor to match our style. These towels are SO adorable and exactly the kind of thing I would buy on my own. I love gray and white, and I love tea towels! I checked out the Simply Whimisical website and I cannot get over how cute their products are, especially the aprons! There was a 40% off coupon code for all their aprons in the FFF booklet, so there's a high chance I'm about to get myself one!

Skin&Co Roma Blue in Capri Shower Gel ($22)

Another weird thing I have found myself constantly running out of is body wash, so this also came at the perfect time for me. I really love this brand and everything I've tried from them, so I have a feeling I'll enjoy this as well. The scent is interesting with wild sage, lemon and alpine rose. I usually hate anything that has rose in the scent, but it's very subtle and mixes well in this scent overall. this can also be used as a bubble bath, but since I don't have a bath tub I won't be able to enjoy it in that way. I'm telling you, I cannot WAIT to move into a condo that has a bathtub after living years in this apartment without one!

Luna Rica Bar ($1.40)

This was a sponsored item in the box, or in other words, a little extra item that isn't necessarily included in the overall value of the box. I haven't had a Luna Bar in years, and the Rica bars in particular are filled with cashew butter. This salted caramel nut flavor was absolutely divine. I mean I gobbled this thing up SO quickly. It's 170 calories, tastes like a cookie with nuts and caramel, and is actually soft and not dense like regular energy bars. Obsessed. Buying a box on Amazon as soon as I'm done with this review!

Overall Thoughts

I'm just completely obsessed with FabFitFun. There's no other way to describe it!
This box cost me $45 (as an annual subscriber) and the retail value (without the added items) is  a whopping $357.

If I include the cost of the items I added on, I spent a total of $68, and the retail value of all the items including my add-ons is $470!

This was by far the best birthday gift my fiance has ever gotten me, one of the best subscriptions I've ever received (and my old readers know I've subscribed to pretty much all of them), and it's always a true thrill to not only choose each item every season, but browse through the add-ons shop for deals. I can't think of a better box currently (although if you ARE looking for something similar, I hear Causebox is close in terms of value and variety!), and overall I am thrilled with the content, the curation and the value of the boxes, season after season!

$10 Off Coupon Time!

If you'd like to sign up for FabFitFun, I'd LOVE if you would use my referral link! You will receive $10 off your first box, and I will get $15 in credit to use in the add-ons shop.
Sign Up For FabFitFun HERE!

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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, and goods were purchased by the blogger and not provided for review. Post contains affiliate or referral links.