Curateur: A Life Well Curated

Athena ScalziIf you’re like me (in this case that means chronically addicted to shopping, a major impulse buyer, and someone who loves surprises and bougie things), you probably get ads for subscription boxes a lot. And you’ve probably gone back and forth on giving them a try. Read reviews, looked at past boxes, and then talked yourself out of it time and time again. I know how that feels.

I unabashedly love subscription boxes. I have so many (probably too many, but who’s to say how many is too many?). Today I’m here to showcase the newest one I’ve subscribed to! I just got my first Curateur box not too long ago, and I wanted to show what came inside.

But that is not the only purpose of this post! I would like to take this opportunity to show you all my first attempt at product photography. Last week, I got a lightbox, specifically so I could take good quality pictures of things I buy, because let’s be real, I buy a lot of cool shit.

So these are all pictures I took myself of the products in my new lightbox. I tried to make them look cool and professional, but we’ll see if that’s what actually ended up happening.

First, I’ll tell you a little bit about Curateur. Curateur is a seasonal subscription box created by American fashion designer Rachel Zoe. Each box contains five fashion and beauty items selected by Rachel Zoe. If you are subscribed to the box, there’s also a members-only “Shoppe” where you can buy Rachel Zoe approved fashion and beauty items at a discounted price from their original retail value.

Moving forward, the first box I got from Curateur was the Winter 2020 Box. This box came with five main items, as well as a surprise freebie.

Each box (as far as I can tell) comes with an option item. This is where they present you with two items or one item that comes in two different styles/colors, and you pick which of the two you want in your box. For the Winter 2020 Box, I got to choose between a white and a black purse. I went with the black:

This purse is the “Understated Leather” Crescent Clutch in Onyx. It has a retail value of $110. I actually think its really cute, not to mention it’s vegan leather, which is ethical AND makes it feel buttery soft!

This bag was created as a Curateur exclusive item, but here’s a link to their other handbags if you’re interested!

Up next is the “Amber Sceats” Emery Cuff, valued at $169.

This 24k gold-plated bracelet is actually really unique in my opinion, due to its “crushed” metal look, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen before! I quite like it, and though I don’t wear bracelets often, I think I will make a point to include this one in some of my more fashionable ensembles.

I couldn’t find this exact bracelet on the Amber Sceats website, but here’s their other bracelets if you want to take a look!

I also used the bracelet in this photo of two of the other products that came in the box, those being the “Talianna” Lilypad Catchall Tray (valued at $75) and the “Elaluz” 24k Lip Therapy ($28 value).

I have never been a big fan of catchall trays. I’ve always preferred to store my jewelry in other things rather than have it sit out on a tray, but I actually love this one! I love the 24k gold pattern, and it’s ceramic, which I think makes for an elegant look overall. After looking on their website, where you can preorder this adorable tray, I realized it doesn’t just have to be for holding jewelry or your keys, you can put super cute treats and baked goods on it!

On the flip side, I love lip products. I am a big fan of lip conditioners, lip butters, basically anything that will make your lips feel nice and soft. So I was enthralled to receive what is a basically a fancy lip balm. Not only does it contain 24k gold, but it’s vegan, cruelty-free, and free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and more! Plus it comes in recyclable packaging.

The picture I got of the lip therapy is not all that flattering, but you can see a much better picture of it, as well as purchase it, here! I actually really like this product, I think it works very well and feels super nice on the lips.

I have saved the best for last (not including the freebie which I will mention after this)!

This is the “Cushnie” Grey Horizon Ombre Scarf, valued at $150. This is another Curateur exclusive, and it’s actually what made me buy the box. Though I liked the other items, I couldn’t convince myself to become a member and get the subscription. This scarf pushed me over the edge, though. I adore the design, it’s so minimalistic, just a grey, white, and black scarf. Yet it’s so classy at the same time!

(I couldn’t decide which photo was better so you get both.)

It’s long, soft, lightweight, and elegant. I feel like you could pair it with just about anything. Though this scarf is an exclusive item for Curateur, I went looking for the website for Cushnie, but found this article about the founder having to close her business instead, which is pretty saddening.

So that’s all there is for the main items of the box. There was, however, a “free gift” included in the box, which was a sample pack of Rachel Zoe’s first ever fragrance line. You can see it in the top right of the picture at the top, because I totally forgot to photograph it on its own. I am for sure a perfume lover, but I didn’t really like any of the four in the pack. However if you’d like to try it for yourself, you can get it here!

So, yeah, all in all, I liked this box! It is the most expensive subscription box I get, but I don’t really mind since I like the products quite a lot. It’s definitely a bougie box, and meant to make you feel fancy, which I enjoy.

If you are interested in getting a subscription to Curateur, I’m going to go ahead and plug my referral link. Though feel free to get a subscription without going through the hassle of using my code and whatnot, I won’t be offended! It’s kind of a convoluted process of entering your email first and then entering the code at checkout and whatnot, yada yada, so no worries, but it’s there if you’re feeling generous.

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this look into a “life well curated”. It was really fun setting everything up in the lightbox, if not a little difficult, but I’m hoping to improve in time with practice.

Let me know if you are also a fan of subscription boxes, or if you’d like me to do posts about some of my other boxes I get, as well! And have a great day.


20 Comments on “Curateur: A Life Well Curated”

  1. Last year for my birthday I purchased a couple of one-offs from OwlCrate, which is a YA book subscription box service. Each box has an overt theme related to the book, and also includes plenty of charming trinkets from small crafting businesses. Lots of fun!

  2. Wow! I subscribe to a Japanese snack box, and used to subscribe to some boxes for tabletop gaming, mostly miniature painting.

    It’s really fun to get a box of stuff in the mail that you didn’t pick out yourself, isn’t it?

  3. Quick question about the individual scarf photos: the black and grey look super shifted to green on my iPhone and iPad. I’d almost call them a deep forest and a sea foam greens. I was wondering what combo of my screen, your lighting, your camera, and your editing plays into that, as the colors are much more neutral in the top photograph. Do you know what sort of light box you got (fluorescent or led)? Also, the warmer colors of the tray, lip balm, magazine model, etc may have shift your camera’s white balance compared to the individual scarf shots.

    (I’m a lighting designer for live performance and love to geek out about this stuff. Composition-wise, my favorite is the shot of the Emery Cuff. I like how the opposing cutoffs of the black bag and white card add some dynamism and help draw the eye to the bracelet placed just above the line between them).

  4. I love hearing about subscription boxes. I’m almost addicted to watching unboxing videos on YouTube. :>)

    I’d love to see more posts about your other subscription boxes.

    A side comment: Please make sure that tray is food-safe if you’re planning to use it for unwrapped baked goods and such.

  5. I just went to the website to take a look at that tray. Appears that you CAN safely use it for treats. :>)

  6. [Deleted (as predicted) because concern trolling a box reveal is a bit much. If it bothers you, feel free not to read the piece — JS]

  7. First off, if we somehow co-mingled finances before I found this out about you then I would make a mad dash to court to get that agreement annulled.

    Second, if you met my sister you would be bosom buddies, cuz she’s the same way. Drives me nuts but hey, it’s her money and her boyfriend.

    Now that I think of it, if you and I co-mingled finances and your dad’s finances got involved… Um. I’m single?

  8. For photography (and video) tips check out Peter McKinnon’s You Tube channel. Mixed in among his myriad videos are some on product photography. You might be interested. I’ve picked up some valuable info here.

  9. Bouncing off what Bruce said, you can manually set white balance on almost every camera, including cell phone cameras. You may need to use “P” mode or “Pro” mode to set it. If you are using light bulbs, you usually can find a number like “2700K” or “5000K”. If you match the white balance on your camera to the number on the bulb, you will get the correct color.

    You can also edit the color after shooting. Adobe Lightroom uses the same numbering system for white balance correction.

  10. Uh huh. My subscriptions tend more to the veg selection box from the local community farm, magazines and reading matter and some other foodie type stuff, but that looks like pretty decent for high end YA fashion. Go you!

  11. Yeah, My subscription box is the weekly CSA from an organic farm. There are some rather spiffy vegetables ( some of which I had never tried before) and some really great tasting carrots in multiple colors! As far a brand products I’ve been known to get a mystery box from Tupperware on occasion. Feeling old here…..

  12. A year or so ago (when it was still called Box of Style rather than Curateur), I got a box from these same people, and there was a little leather bag in it that I have used and used. There was other good things in that one, too, but that one bag alone was worth it to me. It is awfully expensive but often worth it. (Also they have coupons a lot, apparently.)

  13. Last year I subscribed to my first subscription box from Margo Elena and I’ve gotten 2 of them now. I love it, but I love bath and body products. I’m curious to know what others you get. I’ve decided I’m never going to get too old for surprise packages in the mail. Knowing that a box is coming and I don’t know what’s in it makes me happy.

  14. I was a Birchbox subscriber for a few years. An unexpected bonus was saving the one or two items I didn’t want every month, and then giving them to my sister-in-law for Christmas. A full stocking of fun products. Then if she found something she really liked, I would get her the full size for her birthday in the spring.

    I have reached the age where I just don’t want any more stuff, no matter how good it smells. I already have a bowl of perfume samples ( a good use for a pretty tray!).

    I am thinking about the various monthly snack boxes. Snacks of the world looks fun, and who doesn’t like snacks!

  15. I’ve been resisting subscription boxes for years, but last month I gave in to temptation and subscribed to a quarterly one from my favorite yarn store. I’m expecting my first box at the end of the month. They promised some cashmere yarn, a pattern, some custom knitting notions and a “surprise item.” Knitting addict that I am, I’m really excited for it.

  16. We subscribe to tea runners (I think because of this website, or the @scalzi twitter feed).

    Subscription boxes used to seem like a waste of money (paying like $10/pear or something, which is only slight hyperbole after accounting for inflation), but there seem to be a lot more reasonable options these days. And mail definitely is one of the few things to look forward to during a pandemic. I now understand why my grandma was subscribed to every “as seen on tv” subscription after she retired. (I wonder if any of those plates ever did increase in value…)

  17. My view on getting ‘a collection of things you didn’t choose — for a price’ has been tainted by an experience our library system had several years back. In an effort to cut expenses, book selection was outsourced to a commercial company. Aside from all the librarians howling, the books selected were not up to snuff. The overall feeling was that the company used the library system to offload a bunch of marginal materials. The contract was canceled at the first opportunity. Mystery boxes don’t entice me.

  18. I currently have two subscriptions. One is Penspirations (just under 20/month) because I love pens, and the quarterly Causebox, where every box helps with women focussed charities around the world.

  19. I liked this! Show us more of your boxes – getting stuff in the mail is so fun. And you’ve done a great job with the photos! I don’t have any kind of experience, but they look pretty good to me, and I think if we’re enjoying them, you’re doing great!

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