By Brittany Anas
Ever feel like you need a personal assistant? Subscription services come close—saving you time on everything from laundry to meal prep. Plus, there’s a fun factor with these services as you discover new beauty trends from around the globe, find a fashion designer that’s just right for the aesthetic you’ve been refining, or are introduced to a new favorite (and healthy) recipe. Subscriptions services have evolved far beyond “wine of the month” clubs. There are subscriptions for just about everything, ranging from designer clothing (Rent the Runway!) to dog toys and treats (BarkBox!)
Here are three ways subscription services can make your life more seamless, and fun, too.
Create a Revolving Closet
Once, there were just four fashion seasons. Now, there are dozens of “micro-seasons,” with fast-fashion stores rolling out “new arrivals” on a weekly, and even daily, basis. The problem with this? The lower-quality clothes are contributing to a whole lot of textile waste, and clothing is ending up in landfills. Textile waste, in fact, has spiked 811% since 1960, according to a report from the Environmental Protection Agency.
But, it is possible to stay on-trend, hardly ever wear the same outfit twice without breaking your budget. Clothing rental services are revolutionizing fashion. Several stores like Ann Taylor Loft and New York and Company have recently launched their own subscriptions, giving fashionistas access to some of the same items starring in the storefront windows. Plus, dry cleaning is included, ultimately lightening your laundry load. The beauty of these services is that you get to try out new trends without commitment. Sleepwear inspired jumpsuits or bold leopard prints? Why not!
Our pick: Rent the Runway Unlimited. For $159 a month, you’ll get to keep four items at a time. Rent the Runway’s massive closet includes everything from Oscar de la Renta statement earrings to Jason Wu dresses, plus you’ll get to discover new-to-you designers like Tanya Taylor who paints the color-saturated prints that appear on her flirty dresses and blouses. Included in your membership is an insurance plan in case you have an accidental spill or pop a button.
Skip the Grocery Store
No doubt, curating a menu for you and your family takes a lot of time. First, you’re perusing Pinterest or blogs for new recipes to try. Then, you’re crafting a grocery list and gathering up all the ingredients you need. And, what about that spice you spent $12 on but only needed a teaspoon or two for your recipe?
Enter meal services. They strike a perfect balance: You’re not going out to dinner every night, but cooking dinner isn’t taking up your entire evening, either, because your meals are planned and your ingredients are pre-portioned. Plus, most meal services have different options to suit your tastes, whether that’s vegetarian or meals that will appease the whole family, including picky kiddos.
Our pick: Blue Apron. There are varying plans, including those curated for vegetarians and one for members who are following Weight Watchers Freestyle plan. The most popular is the 2-serving Signature Plan that comes with a choice of two or three recipes in each weekly delivery from a choice of eight unique options that switch up so your meal plans never get boring. Plans start at $60 a week.
Switch up Your Beauty Routine
The subscription service trend is especially booming in the beauty and skincare industry, giving the beauty-obsessed a chance to try new products—whether that’s an easy-gliding eyeliner, a newly released luxury perfume, or a nail polish in a shade you’d never think to pick for yourself, but end up loving.
There are oodles of beauty subscription boxes on the market, ranging from the popular Birchbox ($15 a month for a personalized box of haircare, skincare and makeup products) to the specialized Kinder Beauty, a vegan beauty subscription box that starts at $24 a month.
Our pick: Allure Beauty Box. This box is curated by the beauty experts at Allure magazine who, combined, test 50,000 products a year. Subscribers get a half dozen editor-approved products. The cost of the box is $15, but the value is up to $90.
Four more subscription boxes to try:
Nuuly is a new subscription service launched by URBN, the parent company of stores like Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie. For $88 a month, subscribers get six items of clothing that can be traded out each month.
BarkBox is for all those good boys and girls. The pet-approved subscription service includes dog chews, toys and treats starting at $22 a month.
Nomakenolife is for the K-Beauty obsessed. Each month, these boxes come with eight or nine innovative beauty products from Japan or Korea. (Think: Lipsticks that change color based on your body temperature). The boxes start at $31.50 per month.
Rowan is another newbie to the subscription box scene. The company offers an earring club membership for kids. Each box comes with a hypoallergenic pair of earrings. Starts around $23 a month.
Brittany Anas is a writer for Julie Loffredi — Lifestyle. For more on Julie, visit Julieloffredi.com.