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Testing Wantable
New beauty subscription service seems expensive. Is it worth it?

The nail polish offering. 

Finally, a company that really gets me. They will read my mind, deliver to my door for free and make me look hip and stylish. Yes, such a brilliant business does exist and they are right here in Milwaukee. It's called Wantable.


“We are focused on being everything to everyone, since each box is completely different,” says Wantable’s founder and owner Jalem Getz.


I spoke with Getz, who planned on retiring on a beach to sip drinks with umbrellas but ended up starting Wantable in April 2012. He started his first e-commerce company at age 22 and later ran the successful Buyseasons.com for more than 10 years. So with plenty of experience with business models and with a target consumer in mind (women, 25-45), Wantable seemed a natural transition.


You might have heard of BirchBox, a similar company, but more of a marketing tool. BirchBoxes are only $10 per month and offer sample sizes of popular brand-name items in broader beauty product categories like lotions, shampoos, fragrances, and makeup.


Though different from BirchBox, Wantable is very similar to nail subscription service Julep, and shoe "subscription" service ShoeMint in that it requires you to answer a series of questions so that the service can determine (as much as an algorithm can) your personal style.

The real differences between this subscription service and others are twofold: the steep price that comes with full-size products.

You can subscribe to Wantable for $36 per month or buy a box outright for $40. In each box, you receive four to six full-size premium makeup products hand-selected by beauty expert Teresa Sammarco, or three to four accessories selected by stylist Bjorn Nasset (also Milwaukee Magazine's community columnist, Fashion Farmboy). The reward is certainly greater than the risk – there is a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee and free shipping and returns.


Getz calls Wantable the Match.com for beauty products and accessories. “It’s a great deal even if you only like 50-60 percent of the products since it’s an $80 retail value.”  The element of discovery is an added value, since they use emerging brands, not for sale on their website. “Our job is to find gems and introduce them to customers because we offer products consumers can’t find unless you are looking for them,” Getz says.

I logged on and ordered a box just to see how accurately it fit my style. To my pleasant surprise, it was near perfect. After completing a three-minute online survey about my style preferences, they sent me:

1.    MyFace Cosmetics lip pencil in wine
2.    MiABelleZZa sensitive black mascara
3.    MiABelleZZa eyeliner pencil in Onyx
4.    MyFace Cosmetics eye shadow duo pop culture
5.    MyFace Cosmetics nail polish in Sp“Ice”y

They also threw in three perfume samples to ice the cake. 

The only item that really missed the mark was the eye shadow duo in glowing green/electric blue. Based on my survey, I am really not sure how it ended up in my box. Additionally, t
he mascara was a little too light for my taste; it felt like no matter much I tried to brush on, it just wasn’t making an impact. 

I have never owned, nor thought I needed lip pencil before, but now I realize what a great tool they are for lasting lip color. My favorite item was definitely the nail polish; the metallic brownish-gold is unique, versatile and perfect for winter to protect my dry, brittle nails.

Final verdict: it’s a great value and I’d recommend it to anyone looking to freshen up their look. It's so much easier than navigating the maze of beauty counters, dodging perfume sprays and sweating under the fluorescent lights of a shopping mall. Though I might not subscribe monthly, I'd happily purchase the one-time $40 box quarterly. 


And though he declines to provide actual numbers of subscribers, Getz says his company is seeing steady growth, with the accessories option growing faster than makeup. Also, more customers are choosing to subscribe rather than buy outright.


To check it out for yourself, click here.

Follow me on Twitter as @jkashou to stay on top of what's happening around town or search #GirlAboutTown.




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