A Scarlet letter to RubyBox

November RubyBox

Dear RubyBox, I was pretty disappointed when I saw this months RubyBox. I know you can’t do much for  a R100 these days… movies are expensive (not to mention the popcorn) and you can’t even buy much from Mr P anymore. So everytime I see Kumari and my sister receive their RubyBox I know it’s not going to be mind-blowingly awesome. It’s like a little treat to test and just nice to receive a personal parcel but…

I hope this post does not open a Pandora’s box on StyleSociety but when I saw the reaction of Kumari and my sister when they received their November RubyBoxes, I just had to say something. (By the way they did cancel their subscriptions prior but alas the packages still arrived… anyway)

Firstly the box is already awkwardly small, I know it sounds petty but what is really nice about these beauty boxes is collecting them and storing other goodies in them like gift wrapping ribbons or nailpolishes. So it would be better if the box was a little bigger and not have the random brown cardboard sleeve (like what do I do with that…besides recycle it that is)

And now for the Products: So both of these ladies were upset for the value for money. So I thought I would take the challenge to see if I could get the samples myself. So one day after work before my grocery shopping I went on a beauty mission…which took me about 20 minutes.

  1. Burberry Body – I went to the fragrance counter at Woolworths and asked for samples of new perfumes that were out and they gave me not only this sample but also the Issey Miyake Florale sample.
  2. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant Frangrance Free – So this was my first hiccup, They don’t give out these pre-packaged samples at the Elizabeth Arden counter but they do give recommended squeezed-out samples (I took home a cleanser and day cream) that you can test out and after you try the products, they’ll give you a call and you can book a facial with them which I think is a lot more personalised (But I will admit that this Eight Hour cream is a MUST have!)
  3. Burberry Body & Issey Miyake Florale spritz samples and Elizabeth Arden skincare samples
    Burberry Body & Issey Miyake Florale spritz samples and Elizabeth Arden skincare samples
  4. Essence Colour & Go in Sure Azure – So my next stop was at Clicks and yes it’s a full size product (not like they going to give a sample pot ) and this colour is not in store but it’s only R19.95 &  when you’re instore you can actually pick the colour you want. However again I admit it’s a stunning pastel blue colour and is very trendy for Summer.
  5. Essence XXL Shine Lipgloss in Timeless Beauty – It’s a girly pink gloss with a slight artificial strawberry scent, this super sparkly lipgloss is a meer R24.95, again – at least at the store you can pick the colour you like…that is if you actually want to buy lipgloss at all.
  6. Essence Nail Polish Costs only R19.95
    Essence Nail Polish Costs only R19.95
    Essence has a wide range of nail Polish colours
    Essence has a wide range of nail Polish colours
    Essence Lipgloss costs only R24.95
    Essence Lipgloss costs only R24.95

So all in all the products cost about R45 and you basically paid R55 for packaging and postage… well that is minus the Eight Hour Creme sample (but who am I kidding if you don’t own a tube yet, go buy one for R165…seriously it’s magicical stuff)

Don’t get me wrong I love the RubyBox and their website is amazing!

But to RubyBox please give the customer a range of expensive and inexpensive products to balance the box out, because this November RubyBox looked empty, no matter how much pretty fabric and vouchers you stuff inside.

Kind Regards,

A lipstick junkie and repeated eyeshadow offender



  1. November 16, 2012 / 11:38 am

    Hello Ladies,

    rubybox here 🙂

    We’ve read (and re-read) this article and all subsequent comments, and whilst being really sad that we’ve disappointed you on this occasion, we’d like to say thanks to all of you for taking the time to objectively review the November box.

    We wanted to take the time to respond to some of the comments and hopefully shed some light on our decisions.

    This month our goal was to include a few fashion forward and summery elements into the box (such as the powder blue nail polish) we have since had feedback on this decision (both positive and negative) and we’ll most likely not be doing this again and rather sticking strictly to the user profiles to lead our choices for each box.

    With regards to the quality and value of the boxes, the truth is that when rubybox was launched, we included only high end products in each box, however as we’ve grown it’s honestly been very difficult for us to source such large volumes of high end beauty products.

    Therefore, now we try to produce boxes that offer you a few high end treats, a few every day fashionable beauty items to sample and try, however, every sample is beauty editor endorsed, and tried and tested by our expert team. We would never put items in the box we would not want to receive ourselves. We have also launched a line of ‘rubytools’ to increase the value of each box.

    We believe that collectively over the course of the year the boxes we’ve sent have been balanced and good value for money. (For example the May and October box values were much more than R200 each)

    In terms of our packaging choice, the outer sleeve is purely functional – this is to ensure the actual rubybox itself does not get scratched or marked in the couriering process.

    In terms of the box size itself, we decided to choose a smaller box because we wanted to limit the wastage factor attributed to sending out potentially thousands of boxes each year. We aim to be a very eco friendly business, and all of our paper and card is re-cycled.

    We take all of the comments in this post seriously, our No.1 aim is to delight each and every ruby each month and we’re disappointed we couldn’t do that this month.

    To Lucy in particular, a genuine thank you for taking time to review the box, although hard for us to hear, it’s only by listening to our customers (both happy and unhappy) that we learn and grow as a business.

    We do love to hear your views, so should any you have any questions whatsoever, we’d be happy to answer them at rubybox.care@gmail.com

    Love, rubybox.

    • November 16, 2012 / 3:59 pm

      Hey Rubybox Ladies,

      Thank-you for taking the time to respond to my post.

      I am glad you have responded to every detail (including the box comment, I really appreciate that you strive to be as eco-friendly as possible) and I look forward to the future Rubyboxes! (curious to see the RubyTools)

      We understand that this is a new concept to South African shores and that to find what works for us is all about trial and error. Taking on this sort of task takes a lot of courage so we wish your team good luck and I hope the future boxes hold delightful treats we would be happy to brag about.


  2. November 15, 2012 / 9:08 pm

    Besides the awful box its extremely disappointing that they refuse to cancel the subscription. I bought a single box for my sister in July and called GlamBox to cancel thereafter. Gave all the details and was assured that the subscription was cancelled but still received a box in August.

    Last week was my third call now made to RubyBox and I was again promised that I wont be debited for December. I have now been debited R100 a month for 4 extra months without my consent.

    My time on the phone explaining this over and over to different people is worth more than the R100 a month so I decided to let it go! A great concept has now become a FORCED subscription and even more disappointing that the box does not live up to our expectations.

  3. November 14, 2012 / 8:05 pm

    I also did a post to them on my blog recently, and was hoping they’d up their game, suffice to say they didn’t. I’m so dissapointed because I adored glambox, but this collaboration is a total fail. And I just cancelled my subscription, total waste of money. Agree with the box, I mean honestly, it’s such a weird rectangular shape, they don’t even package it nicely, no really … Too many people have complained about them.