Shopping without sight – my first Glossybox

The next installment in my series about my experiences as a beauty-loving blind woman on a mission to shop online! Could I get my Glossybox to my door without accessibility problems? Read on to find out!

So, I’d heard a lot about Glossybox and if you read my February favourites, you’ll know that I won January’s one in a giveaway. I was really pleased with it and decided to sign up for my own!

When I’m looking at new beauty boxes, there are three main considerations for me:

1. Is there a good range of products, and are they products that I’m likely to use?
2. Does the box get good reviews?
3. How accessible is the site for blind people?

Having already won the January box and watched a lot of unboxing videos, I felt pretty sure about questions 1 and 2. So I just needed to find out if I could access the site without sighted help. If the answer was “no”, it would be a dealbreaker for me!

I needn’t have worried. Using the screenreading software on my laptop, I could set up my account and sign up for my box. Buttons and data entry fields were labelled, and I could do everything with the keyboard as I don’t use a mouse.

What was in the February box>

When the box arrived, I was too excited to wait for S, so I used the Seeing AI app on my phone to scan the products. The app can recognise text on products and reads aloud what it can find. This works better on some types of packaging than others, depending on the size of writing and colour contrast, but I already knew what other people had received and could read some of the information on the card. I then checked out the products with sighted help later.

There are eight possible products and you get a selection of five in your box. I received

  • Studio 10 makeup mist glow-plexion (£14) – this travel-size mini is a multi-purpose mist. You can use it as a primer, hydrating mist or setting spray. I have such a stash of primers at the moment that this will probably be used as a hydrating mist, but I will also give it a go as a primer and I like the fact that it’s a new brand for me. It’s also nice and compact, so would fit in my handbag – presuming of course it’s still around by the time the sun finally makes an appearance!
  • A mini Siate nail varnish (£6) – this brand is cruelty-free. There’s 5ml in the pot and I have tried Siate nail varnishes before, so I know it’s a good one! I’ve already worn it and found it to be quite good in terms of not chipping. I did add a top coat as I always do, but when you can’t touch them up yourself, it’s good to have one that will last at least a few days!
  • Steve Laurent lip gloss (£17) – I’ve never tried anything from this brand before, which is one of the things I like about beauty subscription boxes. It comes in a little glass jar and has a creamy, but not sticky, formula. It says “live your life in colour” on the top, and the glass jar makes it feel quite luxurious! I was thinking it could be used as a cheek tint too and was happy to see that one of the writers on the Glossybox blog agreed!
  • oOlution eye contour cream (£30.99) – I have a couple of eye creams on the go at the moment so this one’s in the queue, but it seems nice and nourishing, and promised to hydrate the area around the eyes, reducing puffiness. It’s also organic and not tested on animals.
  • Sleek makeup palette in Storm (£8.99) – this is the only thing that I won’t use as I’m a cream shadow or shadow stick kind of girl. I don’t use powder products because I can’t see the fall-out and I find them harder to work with. No problem though as I knew someone who wanted it, and I think the product itself is a good one, with a selection of 12 shades to create a number of looks.

The other products I could have received were a face serum and two mascaras.

The only thing I won’t use was the palette, but that’s ok. It’s a random box and there’s bound to be one or two things that you won’t use or that aren’t the right shade. I think the value in the other products definitely makes it worthwhile.

Some people go into Facebook groups where you can sell or swap any unwanted items. I either give them to friends or family, or put them in a blog give-away. On the subject of give-aways, I have one coming up in March, so you can either subscribe or sign up for the email alerts if you want to find out when it goes online!

As I can’t see the box, the products are more important to me than the box design, but it has a colourful design with lollipops and lipsticks on it. These are nice, sturdy boxes, good for storage – or maybe for parcelling up give-away prizes in!

You can get 20% off your first box

If you want to give it a go and get 20% off your first box, you can use my code KIRSTY-RGE when you place your first order on the Glossybox site.

How could the Glossybox experience be better for me as a blind shopper?

The only problem I had was in the areas where you personalise your box and give feedback on products. On both screens, there is a list of questions. I move around the screen with my cursor keys and I selected my answer for each of the questions using the keyboard. I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t submit my answers and I asked S to see what was happening.

It turned out that even though I’d been through all the questions and ticked my answer for each one, you need to click “next” so that the next question appears on the screen. I don’t really care what information is visible on the screen, because I don’t look at the screen, but it appears you have to click “next” until all of the questions become visible, even though I had already answered them! No sighted person would have this problem, which is why I guess nobody has noticed it.

What would be really good is if the “submit” button would appear when all of the questions had been answered because I had read and answered questions that my partner couldn’t see yet!

This is the only time I’ve seen a page like this. I wouldn’t say it’s inaccessible, because I know I need to keep clicking that “next” button until “submit” appears, but it was a bit confusing at the beginning as I could already read all of the information unlike my boyfriend, who needed to wait for it to show up on the screen!

The other thing that would be nice is if the information from the card which you receive in your box could also be available in the members’ log-in area. I could ask S to read it to me, and I did try scanning it with the Seeing AI app, but it would be great if we could access it online too.

Other than that I was really happy with the box and I’m looking forward to what will be in the March box!

Listen to the podcast episode

I’ve also produced a podcast episode about my first Glossybox. You can look for Unseen Beauty on Apple podcasts (previously known as iTunes), or wherever you get your podcasts. Alternatively, you can listen to it here:

More from Unseen Beauty

If you’d like to get my catch-up emails, usually twice a week, you can sign up using this form.

The emails contain news of my new posts, other things that I’ve enjoyed (podcasts, posts from other bloggers, interesting articles etc), and any UK shopping information that I think my readers might like.

This post contains some affiliate links, but I only promote things that I’ve tried and tested.

Author: englishwithkirsty

I have two blogs. Unseen Beauty is my personal blog. English with Kirsty is my business blog for people who are interested in languages or learning English.

15 thoughts on “Shopping without sight – my first Glossybox”

  1. The eye cream is really good! I received it in my glossybox in 2016, it worked really well for me! Maybe you could send them an email and point out how the questionnaire could be difficult for people who use a screen reading tool like you do? I’m sure they would be able to tweak it to work better. 🙂

    1. That’s good to know. I want to finish up my Body Shop one first, but I’ve read good things about the eye cream and it seems like a nice one from the little test that I did. Yes, I’ve shared the review with them and will be interested to see if anything comes of it. It’s not bad for me now because I’ve figured out what’s going on, but it would be good if it could be fixed so that it doesn’t confuse new customers in the same situation.

  2. Yet another example why we should never ever make assumptions about what someone with a disability can do, or what they might be interested in.

    I love that you blog on beauty products. You are one of an elite few beauty bloggers that I will happily and regularly read.

    1. Thanks so much! There are so many beauty bloggers out there and I know I break all the rules in terms of my text to image ratio! So reading a comment such as yours puts a big smile on my face 🙂

      1. You are more than welcome, the quality obviously comes through in the writing, sometimes you have to break rules in order to break new ground.

  3. We don’t have such concept here in India. I’m sure if there was something on offer for blinds, it will be an instant hit. Thanks for letting me know such options exist abroad.

    1. Thanks for your comment. Actually this is a beauty subscription box that’s available to everyone. I think there are similar ones in India because I follow some beauty bloggers in India too. The idea with this series is that I try out some mainstream shopping sites and report back on how easy they are for blind people to use. Hopefully the articles will help other blind people who are thinking about using the sites, or the reviews may even persuade the site owners to work on the areas that cause us problems.

      1. Even though India is at the forefront when it comes to internet and online shopping but ensuring that they are blind friendly is something that needs lot’s of work. great going Kirsty

  4. This seems like a great subscription box & you got a lot of nice products! It’s interesting to read your perspective about Glossybox and their website!

  5. Ohh I found this so interesting, especially things like the Seeing Ai app, what a fantastic idea that is! I used t get the Glossy Box, and was pleased with it, but I ended up with so many mini samples that I gave it a rest for a while. This looks a great selection of products. I think the monthly subscription boxes are a great way to try new brands do you? Great review xx

    1. Oh yes, Seeing AI comes into its own with all my lotions and potions!
      I like the element of surprise in the Glossybox. I think I’d maybe struggle a bit more if I didn’t have the blog. Now I don’t feel bad if there’s something I won’t use – it can just be added to the giveaway pile and won’t go to waste. Sometimes the very thing that I don’t want is someone elss’s favourite item in the box!
      I also like the boxes where you choose your own products – no element of surprise there, but you’re more in control.
      I do end up with lots of small samples, and I’m always on a mission to use things up. Still, it’s a good way to try out new brands without buying the full size every time! Thanks for your comment XX

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