I had been drooling over the Brown Sugar Box for quite some time. Literally, the box. The graphics on the outside are incredibly cute and were enough reason to try a subscription. I first caught a glimpse of the box with the beautiful graphic of a brown skin woman with the Bubblicious-esque gum bubble while browsing YouTube. I had to know more about that box and what came packaged inside. It was $40 so it had to be good. Right?
Everyone in the YouTube videos that I watched expressed such joy and satisfaction with their boxes. Even those on Insta echoed the same sentiments. I was super hype to be a part of the experience.
Having subscribed to my share of subscription boxes and purchased boxes as gifts, some good and others not so much, I was ready to experience a box that was curated for brown girls. The price point, plus shipping, was a tad high so I tucked my intentions away for a few months. In July, I reckon, an Izzy & Liv advertisement showed up in my social media feed. My excitement was reignited.
I visited their website and poked around. Their website says the following about the subscription: As a Brown Sugar Box Subscriber, you’ll get a box filled with the BEST of Izzy & Liv including best sellers, new releases and limited edition (subscriber-only) products. Your box will include 5-6 products every month. You will always get at least one Izzy & Liv tee, tank or sweatshirt along with other fabulous items — and as often as we can, we will include items from other black-owned businesses we love!
Cool, right? Plus, the retail value of the boxed products would be valued at $85 or more. I read the rave reviews. Viewed the photos of delighted customers. Reconciled with the monthly subscription cost of $39.95 plus $4.95 shipping and placed my order.
My first box came in August. To see the box in person did not disappoint. Then, I opened it. :::heavy sigh::: Although the box was well packed and the pink crinkled packing confetti was sufficient enough to protect the contents, the items in the box were less than desirable.
Let’s start with the t-shirt that comes with each box. September’s shirt was a no for me. The shirts in previous boxes have been more my style so I was very disappointed to see a shirt that I would not wear. Then, there’s the other “stuff”. Just no. The products look and feel cheap. There’s no other way to say it.
Graphic T-Shirt – not my style
Matte Lipstick Trio – poor packaging & cheap feeling. Only one of the shades may work for me.
Yulupai Selfie Stick – package smashed; too small for my phone and I certainly don’t need another selfie stick…that I don’t use.
Pop Socket – This is cute but it looks and feels cheap. I’m hesitant to stick it to my phone.
Phone Mirror (Peel & Stick on phone) – um, no. I don’t want a mirror stuck to the backside of my phone.
Red Cat Eye Sunglasses – um, double no. Even if I didn’t wear prescription eyeglasses, I wouldn’t wear red cat eye shades. Ever.
Wooden I Love My Hair Comb – I like the appearance of this comb. May not actually use it but that’s okay.
A Joy Rose Gold Body Oil – This smells wonderful. Nicely packaged.
Eight items were included in this $40+ subscription box. There are only two products that I can use. Two! Grrr…
I was so disappointed with my August Brown Sugar Box. I’m thinking what happened to all the cute products I had seen in the video reviews and photos? I thought about canceling right away but I decided to think it through a little longer. Well, I ended up thinking too long and another $40+ box was on its way. Hopeful. That’s what I was. This next box had to be better. Right? Well, kinda.
Graphic T-Shirt (She is Africa) – Although it’s mustard yellow, I may be able to wear this T-Shirt. Maybe.
Printed Headwrap – Nice pattern and “meh” color scheme. Probably won’t use.
A Bold Motherland Magnet – :::side eye:::
Ankara Print Pouch – This pouch is okay. I’ll find a use for it.
Africa Shaped Earrings – Not my style. At. All.
Black Girl Magic Cuff (pink/salmon color with gold accents) – Not something that I would wear.
Six products were included in this box. There are maybe three items that I may be able to wear/use.
After two months of disappointment, I quickly canceled my Brown Sugar Box subscription after unboxing September’s box. I no longer wanted to give away $40. Clearly, this box was not for me. Paying for products that I cannot or will not use is a waste of money. If the quality of the products was better, I could gift some of the products. However, no one I know would want any parts of these products. A selfie stick!?
As I think back on the videos I’ve watched and the Insta photos I’ve seen, no one had spoken about the quality of the products. Or lack thereof. I revisited the Izzie & Liv website to dive deeper into the reviews and finally some customers who mentioned the cheapness and uselessness of the products. The box is just OK…for a pre-teen or teenaged girl. It may even rate higher for someone who has an affinity for tchotchke like “stuff” and/or if your style works with the type of products.
Don’t get me wrong. Past boxes have had products that looked awesome and fit with my style. I just lucked out with the two months that I purchased. Timing is indeed everything.
I still love the artwork on the box. If only the contents of the box lived up to that gorgeousness. For me, it does not and for what it is, it is definitely not worth the price.