International Parcel Forwarding with MyMallBox

Sometimes the postman teases me for how many parcels he delivers to me, and the man at the Royal Mail office I have to go to pay my customs fees likes to comment that I sure do like my customs payments–yeah, because everyone just loves paying extra money for their goods. But in all honesty I don’t shop as much as I used to, and I certainly don’t shop abroad that often anymore. A lot of that is down to trying to be better at saving in general and not buying things just for the sake of it, but in terms of not buying from America as much as I used to it’s simply a case that it just stopped being so practical.

The British Pound took a nosedive (thanks Brexit!) after a long period of slowly weakening against the dollar, and trans-Atlantic shipping has never been cheap anyway. Combining all those things with the saving mentioned above meant quite often I’d put items I wanted into my cart on various US websites, see the shipping rate rocket up the cost of my order, then forlornly close out the window, order abandoned. If the item I was looking at was only small or light, and/or cheap, and something I knew therefore wouldn’t actually cost too much to ship internationally, that was an increasingly frustrating experience.

Enter MyMallBox. I’ve been curious about shipping forwarding services for a couple of years at least but have never done the proper research to find out how many there were out there or even entirely how they worked. MyMallBox contacted me a while back to ask if I would be interested in testing out their services and the answer was a no-brainer. What took longer was deciding what to buy to best utilise the service.

There’s multiple options there. Some American companies simply won’t ship to the UK or other countries abroad, so a service like this allows you to shop with a storefront that normally rejects your custom–MyMallBox even have a feature where they can buy the product on your behalf for a small additional fee, as some US websites will actually reject any debit or credit card not registered to a billing address in the States (I’m looking at you Payless, Walmart, and Target.) In those kind of instances, a service like this is a total game changer.

I found it’s also really useful in combining several small orders into one shipment so you aren’t paying for international shipping from multiple companies. To test the service out, I eventually decided I would place a few small orders to do just that.

I ordered a dress on sale from Unique Vintage, another on sale from Bernie Dexter, a cardigan from Amazon, and an audiobook CD set second hand through Amazon, one I haven’t been able to find the audiobook of here in the UK, written by one of my favourite authors. The international shipping for each item was quoted to me as being $15-30 each, but combining them in a single parcel from MyMallBox meant I only had to pay $36-ish total to get them delivered tracked to the UK.

So how does it work? When you sign up to MyMallBox they give you a private Suite address at their Delaware location, a state that is tax free so you won’t get charged additional state tax fees when you order an item to be delivered to that location. When your parcel arrives to your Suite they email you to let you know your parcel has arrived and where it’s come from, which is handy if you have multiple shipments heading to your Suite around the same time. Any items can be stored free of charge for up to 90 days, so you can wait until you’ve had all your deliveries arrive before you then begin repacking or consolidating for shipment.

All your parcels are detailed in the My Packages area of your account

When choosing your items for repacking or consolidation, you can change the customs amounts listed against each item. This is especially handy when ordering from certain companies that don’t mark down sale items to their sale value on their customs forms, which I’ve experienced before, forcing me to pay customs fees on the full retail value of an item I bought at half price, or even less. Since you can control what the customs fees will be documented as on your parcel, you won’t be getting a nasty unexpected customs bill when you go to pick your item up at the post office.

You can choose to repack single parcels, or select multiple parcels to consolidate

When you choose to repack a parcel they simply repack it into the smallest but safest packing option they can. When you choose to consolidate, that’s when they will repack the parcels you’ve selected into one single parcel ready for shipping.

I was actually expecting to get an email letting me know my parcel had been consolidated but I didn’t, although checking my account the next day showed my parcel had been repacked. Then it’s a simple case of adding that parcel to your cart and selecting what address you want it to be forwarded to. All my shipping options were listed according to its newly consolidated weight and size, and where I wanted it to be delivered. I chose the cheapest tracked option, as I had no desperate need for my items to arrive quickly, paid for it at checkout, and waited for an email with my tracking number. Then all I had to do was wait, occasionally checking the tracking excitedly to see how far off my parcel was.

All shipping options will be listed In Your Cart once you’ve selected your shipping address

My parcel was shipped by Globegistics, and it’s worth noting that if you choose similar shipping that the Globegistics tracking will stop updating once it leaves the USA. Upon arriving in the UK I found the Royal Mail website was then able to tell me where my parcel was. It took 14 days from shipment to delivery to my local post office where I had to pay for the customs. There were delivery options that would have gotten the parcel to me faster, but I wasn’t too concerned with speed so the cheaper option worked fine for me. Even though I knew exactly what was in my package, there was still something especially exciting about opening it up to see all the items that I probably wouldn’t have been able to buy without utilising this service.

I was so happy with my experience I’ve told myself since then that it would be a reassuring piece of mind in the distant future to order certain items if I absolutely needed to–and then quickly broke and ordered myself another dress, a hair accessory and some Colourpop lipsticks. What can I say? It’s a useful service but it certainly doesn’t offer you extra will power, that part you have to handle on your own.

Just make sure you don’t order items that MyMallBox can’t ship overseas (aerosols, perfumes, etc, tend to be prohibited for international shipping across all mail carriers and couriers.) You can find a list of prohibited items in their Terms & Conditions.

I had a really good experience using MyMallBox and it’s definitely a service I’ll be continuing to utilise in future when it can save me money or help me purchase goods that are otherwise not available to me because of my location. If you sign up through a referral from a friend you immediately get $5 credited to your account, so I’ve got a referral link set up for you here should you want it. Happy international shopping, bbs!

 

 

My Makeup Faves: Edition V

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It’s been quite a while since I’ve done one of these (uh, last April) and there’s lots of new items I’ve found that I love so let’s waste no more time. Here are all my latest favourites of the new products I’ve tried in the past few months.

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Seventeen Wow! Skin Concealer – This concealer is great for brightening up my undereye without layering it without so much product that it begins to settle in my fine lines, as heavier concealers are wont to do. I also find it’s great for brightening and concealing minor imperfections and blemishes that don’t require heavy duty cover up. £4.99 available online or in store from Boots.

Makeup Revolution Blush Goddess Palette – Featuring 8 shades, 4 each of blusher and highlighter, I find this palette to offer great shades for paler skin. I prefer pale-to-mid pink toned blushes, nothing too bright, so almost every shade in this palette suits my preferences, though I can use them all. The highlights are also well pigmented and glide on easily. Great selection for travelling if you’re going on a trip that won’t allow you to take your full makeup bundle but you want options. £6 from Tambeauty.com, or Superdrug.com + select Superdrug stores.

Makeup Geek Contour Powder Pan in ‘Break Up’ –  The Makeup Geek Contour range comes with an awesome shade system that helps you figure out which shade is for you. Available in 4 cool toned shades and 4 warm toned shades, the line is designed to cater to every skin tone. As a porcelain skin lady with cool undertones. I chose Break Up, a perfect contour shade that gives me depth without looking muddy or orange. Glides on well, holds it’s pigmentation throughout the day, my new favourite contour shade. It comes as a pan, so you’ll need to add it to a magnetic empty palette (see ‘Tools’ below) unless you want to buy it in compact form. I bought my pan in the UK from Beautybay for £9.25 (free delivery over £15) but you can get them for $10 each from Makeupgeek.com, where the compact is also available for $15.

Freedom Makeup Green, Yellow & Lilac Pro Camouflage & Correct Paste – When they saw paste, they’re not kidding. These thick matte colour correcting pastes come in a glass concealer pot that’s bound to last you an age, as the paste is pigmented and goes a long way. Most other budget colour correctors I’ve tried have been half sheer and a lightweight cream, but these pastes go on and stay put. The product photos online make them look shimmery, but don’t worry, they’re 100% matte. £3 each available from Tambeauty.com or select Superdrug stores/Superdrug.com.

Gosh Velvet Touch Primer & Setting Powder – Aptly named, this translucent velvety powder works wonders as an oil-control primer and setting powder. You can use it in either step of your makeup application, or as I do when I wear a full face of makeup, which is use it both primer and setting powder. £9.99 from Superdrug stores or Superdrug.com, in which it’s often included in Superdrug’s 3 for 2 or buy 1 get one 1/2 beauty offers.

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Makeup Academy Inked Lip Stain – Available in 6 shades, this lip stain is a true stain. Honestly, it doesn’t taste great, so it’s best to avoid licking your lips, but it’s comfortable and super lightweight, making it a great liquid lipstick alternative for ladies who can’t stand the dry or thick feeling of some matte liquid lippies. In Maraschino, it’s a true red that doesn’t transfer and needs only minor touch ups after eating. It will definitely leave a pop of colour on your lips after you’ve taken it off, which depending on your opinion either leaves you a nice touch of colour for the next day or an annoying stain you’ll have to paint over. Budget friendly, it costs just £4, available from Makeup Academy’s website or Superdrug stores/Superdrug.com.

Maybelline Vivid Mattes – I’m a stickler for requiring that my matte lipsticks stay put and absolutely do not budge, so it may surprise you that I like these Vivid Mattes because they do come off easily. If I know when I go out that I’m going to be consuming a dinner that will destroy any lipstick I wear or kissing someone, because every lipstick that claims to be ‘kiss proof’ melts onto both of your faces after a good snog, then I like that I can swipe this lipstick off with a tissue and then paint it back off when my mouth is, uh, done. It’s soft and comfortable to wear due to the velvety, plush-feel formula. In ‘Red Rebel’ it has a solid red lipstick pigmentation, so it completes my full face of makeup beautifully and doesn’t feel like a step down from a full look like a red toned balm crayon would be. Available at any beauty store or pharmacy/chemist that stocks Maybelline, including Boots and Superdrug in the UK for £6.99.

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Colourpop Brow Pot in ‘Redhead’ – I have multiple brow products I love, and yet I can’t help but keep trying more. I liked the shade ‘Redhead’ from Colourpop as their brow pencil, but I’m more of a pomade girl, so I love this creme gel brow formula. Easy to apply with an angled brush, stays on well throughout the day (10+ hours of wear, according to the website) and not tested on animals, it’s a great mid-tone red brown for us dark red haired ladies. Plus, at only $6, it’s a bargain. Available from Colourpop.com

 

faves5tools Freedom Pro Studio Brush Bath Sanitising Brush Cleanser – Bit of a mouthful, but what it lacks in a catchy name it makes up for in ease of use. A solid brush cleansing soap contained in a place screw top jar, all you need to clean your brushes is this pot and warm water. That means this product is perfect for taking on the road with you when you travel, as there’s no risk of leakage in your bag. I used to be disgusting about how often I washed my brushes, but this is the second time I’ve bought this product and since I first tried it I’ve become much better at cleaning my brushes regularly. £7 from tambeauty.com or Superdrug.com/stores.

Makeup Revolution Precision Brush Oval Eye – Made for blending powder and cream shadows, I actually love this brush for blending my under eye concealer. I know most people swear by their Beauty Blenders, but I just don’t find it makes much difference to my application compared to anything else. Available for £6 from tambeauty.com.

Freedom Makeup London Pro Artist Empty Magnet Palette – I have a few empty magnetic makeup palettes, Z palettes and from coastalscents.com, but this Freedom Makeup palette is a great middle-ground size for me. Measuring 17.5cm by 9.5cm it can fit 18 standard eyeshadow single pans or 8 of Freedom’s contour/blush/highlighter shades. I’m using it currently to house my favourite contour shade pans, but for travelling it will be perfect for taking my favourite shades of all types of product pans, meaning I won’t have to carry a different palette for each type of product. Plus, the entire inner lid is a mirror, an added bonus. Only £5 from Tambeauty.com.