After years of working in marketing and advertising, it’s become easier to see through shiny packaging and insane markups on commonplace products, priced much above their true value. I can’t help but think - which old, white, business man is pocketing this 70% markup? Thankfully, I’m not the only one who’s noticed.
We’ve entered the age of the industry-disrupting subscription service. Out of the sake of convenience and curiosity, I’ve tried quite a few in the wellness and personal care space over the past few years. Some are great, and others are definitely not worth your coin.
Billie - $9 every 2 months
As anyone who shaves on a regular bases knows, dull razors are a recipe for disaster. It’s no secret that women’s razors are historically more expensive and lower quality than their made-for-men counterparts. I used the Venus from Gilette for years, until one day I finally stopped to just have a look at the men’s razors, and saw that their comparable models were more than a few dollars less!
Billie popped up in my Instagram feed in mid-2018 and I haven’t looked back. Not only do they promise to give great products for less, they’re also not shy about sharing images of body hair - their campaigns are incredibly empowering and something I can get behind.
You start by choosing a handle color, which comes with a matching magnetic shower holder. Then, you select your frequency of refill deliveries based on how often you shave. I shave my legs no more than 2x a week, so I get a pack of 4 refill blades every 2 months.
First, I LOVE the shower holder. It’s incredibly convenient to reach for and put back my razor (it’s magnetic!). Changing blades is a no-brainer because my refills are scheduled for me. I replace my cartridge about every two weeks, and a new pack is in my mailbox before I even run out. For comparison’s sake, an 8-pack of replacement cartridges for the Venus is a whopping $17, and they only have 3 blades compared to Billie’s 5.
Care of - (pricing varies)
Historically, I’ve been pretty good about remembering to take my vitamins. Once I graduated from Flintstones, I moved onto a generic multivitamin, and then eventually to taking Biotin every day to help keep my skin clear and hair and nails strong. But other than that, I was kind of clueless when it comes to the supplement world.
Care of uses a handy quiz to help you figure just exactly what you might benefit from, with everything from dietary supplements to adaptogens that help with cognitive function and stress management. You can also choose to only receive vegan vitamins, if that’s your vibe.
I was kind enough to be gifted a month of Care of vitamins back in 2017. It’s convenient, but pricey for someone who’s used to popping only one or two capsules daily. Each daily dose is packaged individually, which feels a bit wasteful, but does make it easy to throw them in your bag if you forget to take them in AM. You can also adjust your pack as needed - I started off with 3 (!) calcium capsules in my pack which was a lot to swallow, literally.
To see the benefits of daily vitamins, it’s best to stick with it for several months. If you’re not familiar with the world of supplements, this is a great place to start. Personally, I can’t bring myself to subscribe to a service when I can grab vitamins at the CVS in my neighborhood for half the price.
Hubble - $30/month
Ah yes, the infamous Hubble contacts. I’ve been wearing glasses every day since I was 13 years old, and contacts since I was 15. During a particularly stressful period, just after I moved to NYC, I was getting home from work as late as 9 every night and falling asleep in my makeup and clothes, with my contacts still in my eyes. As you can probably guess, I ended up with an eye infection and my doctor suggested I switch to daily lenses. While more sanitary, they’re definitely pricier, so I searched high and low for the most affordable option. Here is where Hubble comes in.
Hubble promises contact lenses that are the same quality as name brands at a fraction of the price. They come in cutely, well-designed, colorful boxes, and arrive in the mail on a monthly basis. They also woo new customers with a free set of 14 lenses to try for 2 weeks. My first full box of lenses either weren’t delivered or were lost in the mail, so when I reached out to have new ones sent, I wasn’t offered any sort of compensation or discount for the missing delivery. Over the course of about 2 years, I had contact lenses fall out of my eyes in public, and in the winter they dried out so much that they were actually painful.
It came as no surprise to me when a co-worker, after hearing me complain about my constant eye irritation, told me that Hubble contacts aren’t exactly what they claim to be. She has a friend who just so happened to work for the customer service team, and her inside source divulged that their contacts are actually expired lenses from top brands. I was appalled, but not surprised. When I called them earlier this year to cancel, I was very straightforward (I’m pretty sure I told the agent that I really didn’t like their product and had found something better) and was met with literally NO resistance.
The final word: Hubble contacts suck and I would not recommend them.