A BOXFUL OF SURPRISES Lifestyle Writer Foo Rong En checks out two monthly surprise box subscription services, which bring boxes of carefully selected treats — desserts or comestics — to one's doorsteps.
ubscription boxes offering a treasure trove of goodies at a fixed monthly rate are cementing their presence in Singapore. For instance, The NOM Box is a dessert box subscription that delivers the caféhopping experience to subscribers. Freshly baked desserts from various cafés are picked,
packed and delivered to one's doorstep. At the other end of the spectrum is bellabox, a beauty-themed box subscription service that lets customers try out the latest beauty innovations using generous samples of makeup and skincare products without leaving the comfort of their homes.
BEAUTY TROVE: Packaged in a pretty baby blue box, the bellabox is generously filled with deluxe-sized samples of skincare essentials such as sunblock, moisturizer, and makeup. PHOTO: FOO RONG EN
BELLABOX Website: http://bellabox.sg/ FOR makeup junkies, this beauty box subscription service checks all the boxes in terms of affordability, variety and convenience. Having started three years ago, the team behind bellabox aims to allow women to sample new beauty products and new product innovations without the trouble of heading down to department stores. This way, women are able to try a skincare product in small amounts before deciding to purchase the full version, preventing them from spending a bomb on unsuitable skin products. Subscribers to bellabox can look forward to a surprise hand-picked selection of around five generous deluxe-sized — a size between a sample and a full version — beauty samples from high-end boutique and cult brands. The brands include Benefit Cosmetics, Kiehls, Biotherm as well as others rarely found in Singapore, such as Sleek, The Balm, Skinmiso and Twistbands. “We loved the idea of trying out beauty products. It is so hard to try samples in Singapore, they do not just give them out. So we knew that a beauty box full of amazing new make-up samples would be a big hit,” said Ms Emily Hamilton, founder of bellabox. Each bellabox comes with an impressive range of skin care, makeup, body, hair and lifestyle products. At the order page on their website, subscribers are invited to fill in an optional Beauty Profile form, which covers
skin concerns, skin type and hair colour. The form allows bellabox to select products based on their customers’ skin types and beauty preferences. A sneak preview is revealed on the website before purchase, where subscribers are clued-in on the box’s contents. Samples will vary slightly for each customer, tailored specifically for the customer’s skin profile. The subscription costs $19.95 a month (free delivery by courier). An annual subscription, which comes with a free monthly box, costs $219.45. For a more substantial beauty box, the Limited Edition bellabox ($39.95) fits the bill with a wider variety of full-sized beauty items. Occasionally, the company offers other specific themed boxes too, such as the Travel Essentials bellabox ($34.95), which features 12 travel essentials, such as a travel guide and sunscreen, all packed in a bellabox tote bag. To complement its offerings, the bellabox website also offers an online magazine section where readers can access a wide range of articles on beauty advice, trends, makeup and skincare, as well as browse through product reviews. The articles are accompanied by helpful step-by-step pictures of product demonstrations. Bellabox is set to blaze the trail of the beauty subscription box, with a subscriber base of 42,000 across Singapore and Australia, and a growth of over 50 per cent in their subscriber base over the past three months.
THE NOM BOX Website: http://nomnom.sg/the-nom-box/ THE NOM Box is a new monthly dessert box subscription service that brings a mysterious assortment of desserts right to subscribers’ doorsteps. The founders of The NOM Box, Ms Tan Yi Rong, 23, and Mr Er Jie Yong, 26, started the service in June this year in a bid to satisfy sweet tooths in busy homes and offices. “We always wanted (our business) to have a social emphasis — for friends and family to share moments together over delicious desserts. Our mission tagline, ‘delivering happiness, one cake at a time’, contains that idea,” Ms Tan said. Ardent dessert lovers themselves, Ms Tan and Mr Er visit a myriad of cafés and eateries to source for the best desserts to include in their monthly surprise boxes. The duo personally selects each month’s offerings, and takes care to include only desserts that are handmade on the cafés’ premises, to ensure that the desserts remain fresh upon delivery. Though the founders like to keep their dessert boxes a surprise, they do try to accommodate customers’ requests — subscribers can indicate their preferred flavours on an order form.
The duo personally selects each month’s offerings, and takes care to include only desserts that are handmade on the cafés’ premises to ensure that the desserts remain fresh upon delivery. Previous boxes included financiers — a type of French sponge cake — from Carpenter and Cook and The Butter Studio’s Salted Butterscotch Red Velvet Cupcake, with the former once limited to the café’s dessert ta-
bles and not available on its regular menu. In addition to a regular The NOM Box, which serves four to five desserts for two people, those in bigger groups can order the upsized The NOM Box +. The larger box packs six to eight desserts, which are suitable for sharing between two or three people. The NOM Box costs $28, while longer subscriptions cost $26 and $23 per month, for a three and six-month subscription respectively. The NOM Box + costs $38.95, while longer subscriptions cost $36.95 and $33.95 for a three and six-month subscription respectively. The founders handle an average of 50 orders for The NOM Box each month. The founders mentioned that their monthly boxes do not carry a specific theme, but should a festival coincide with certain months, they will try to match desserts to the festival. “For example, Children’s Day marks the start of October, so for this month, we are having old-school desserts to bring a sense of nostalgia,” Ms Tan said. Surprises can also be arranged. Mr Er mentioned that they previously received a request for a cake and a bouquet on top of a regular box order. With advance notice, The NOM Box can also personalise gift tags and include cards for special occasions. Subscribers can indicate their special requests when placing their orders on their website. The founders wish to raise the profiles of lesser-known stalls that sell quality desserts as well. “We absolutely love the muffins from AJ Delights at Alexandra Village Food Centre. Through our personal taste tests, we hope to promote such hidden gems,” Ms Tan said. The NOM Box is also constantly evolving. Ms Tan shared that a chocolate or durian themed box is on the cards in the near future.
Students who input the coupon code "NTU10" will get 10 per cent off on their first order of The NOM Box. The offer lasts until 30 Nov.
FEAST ON THIS: Dig into the vintage-looking box complete with a personalised tag, for a specially-curated selection of desserts and snacks. PHOTO: LIEW YU WEI