The GQ Best Stuff Box is a quarterly men's subscription from GQ magazine that's $50 a box with free shipping. The box features $200 worth of products the editors have curated after testing and finding them to be the best in their class. Although this subscription is geared towards men, women love it for themselves as well.
This, however, is not one of the quarterly boxes. This is GQ's first limited edition box, which they are called "The Future of Grooming." It features tons of full-size personal care products and an electrifying hero item. It is separate from the seasonal boxes and entirely optional. It costs an additional $75 for subscribers and $150 for non-subscribers but touts twice the value.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we review boxes.)
I didn't even know GQ was doing this limited edition box until it arrived on my doorstep. I was thinking the Winter box came early. My very first impression was that it was heavy. I'm talking hea-VEE. I assumed there would be no voucher for the big-ticket item, because it was most certainly in the box. I was wrong. The box was crammed full of products and there was still a voucher for an amazing item.
The GQ Best Stuff box always comes with a fold-out info sheet that lists the included items and a little bit about each. It also tells you where you can purchase the item on the internet, along with the listed price. This quarter's box, of course, is all about grooming. The box includes an electric toothbrush, exfoliating shower towel, and many, many, many personal care products. Get ready, this is going to be a big one.
Let me take just a second to say something I've said many times. I'm not the world's biggest self-care guy. I take quick showers. I use deodorant, toothpaste, soap, and that's typically it. But I've learned a lot about grooming from subscriptions like this. I really do try all the items. And I try to do my best to give my honest opinion about what I think and how it pertains to you.
Inside the GQ Best Stuff "The Future of Grooming" Box
Burst Sonic Toothbrush - Retail Value $69.99
Despite this box's hefty weight, there was still the usual GQ voucher for an amazing item. This special box's special item is a sonic toothbrush from Burst. It comes in black and white. I received black. If there was an option to choose, I missed it. The brush has three settings: "whitening" which is full power, "sensitive" a lower power for sensitive gums, and a pulsating setting called "messaging." They say the brush reaches 33,000 vibrations per minute, which I'm assuming is the "whitening" setting. The handle measures 6-1/2 inches and the head is 3-1/2 for 10 inches total. It comes with a charging station which be used with a traditional plug or USB. The website claims a single charge will last a month, but we all know we're just going to keep it plugged in all the time.
This is my first foray into electric toothbrushes. My wife and four-year-old have one and I have several friends that swear by them. I rather enjoyed this new-found cleaning and really dug the soft bristles. It will take some getting used to not brushing manually, but it's a change I'm willing to make. I have found that I am already brushing more often and longer. It has an automatic 2 minute operation time with a pause every 30 seconds to let you know it's time to change quadrants.
Note: Receiving this item requires automatic enrollment in a recurring toothbrush head subscription through Burst. You can cancel anytime. I don't like being forced to enroll in something, but I will say they made it very easy to cancel. If you decide to keep the subscription, the heads cost $7 and you can choose the frequency you receive them: 4, 8, or 12 weeks. (Hint: If you threaten to cancel, they'll tempt you with a 50% off offer.)
Also included in the Burst box were vouchers for Hello Fresh and Naked Wines.
Colekt Eye Balm - Retail Value $109 (U.S. Purchase here)
I don't normally use eye cream, but I feel like it's a product you have to use for a while to see how it works for you. So my opinion is uninformed and warped. I will say I – and my wife – enjoyed this product and made me feel brighter. It's supposed to reduces rough, dry skin, and fine lines and leave your skin feeling smooth and silky. The manufacturer's website says it achieves "depuffing and protecting with natural retinol, lipids, and vitamins." Personally, the price tag is unsurmountable to me, but again that is from a man that doesn't use eye cream in the first place.
Note: The link to the manufacturer's website is outside the United States.
Wonder Valley Two Deserts Soap - Retail Value $18
Apparently, Wonder Valley is actually an olive oil company first and a soap company second. This bar is made with the company's olive oil with hints of juniper, sage, and eucalyptus. The latter really puts me over the blissful edge. I prefer bar soap over gel any day and this bar is intoxicating. I will say that $18 for a bar of soap is pretty steep, but the smell and feel of this makes me what to try out their other products ... including their olive oil.
Bathing Culture Mind and Body Wash (8 oz.) - Retail Value $18
This mind and body wash comes in a groovy handheld bottle perfect for your shower niche. This gel is called Cathedral Grove and is concentrated, so a little dab will do ya. The scent is heavenly. I think I would even like my house to smell like this. The bottle says it's like "jumping into a river on a hot day, under a canopy of Redwoods." I think it just smells like Redwood soap. Whatever the smell is exactly, I really enjoy it and there is something about a good smell that also washes your mind. Ya know?
Nécessaire Body Serum - Retail Value $45
For your post-shower routine, this hyaluronic acid gel will leave you feeling soothed and smooth. This fragrance-free product is good for dryness and skin Eczema. It's for those spots that need hydration the most. It says to follow or mix with a moisturizer, which doesn't make sense to me, since it is supposed to hydrate, replenish, and plump. But it has worked wonders for me and it is one of the products my wife has been stealing the most.
Goshi Exfoliating Shower Towel - Retail Value $15
This was another item that was new to me. I love exfoliating soaps and face washes but had never considered having an exfoliating towel. This one is made in Japan by a company called Goshi. It has textured threads to scrub away the old skin and lathering threads to hold a good lather. It's also quite bigger than I would have thought. I was expecting a hand towel, but this is more like a scarf. It's 10 inches wide, but four feet long. It's good for getting your back, but I think I would have preferred two or three smaller cloths. Something a little more manageable in the shower.
Allies of Skin Amino Hydrating Cleanser - Retail Value $26.60
This shiny vessel packs a cleansing punch that you'll want to use every day. It's used to remove makeup or just for daily use for a clean as refreshing as its smell. It says it has a pH of 5.5. I don't know exactly what that means, but I don't see other products mentioning their pH. It nourishes, conditions, and brightens skin. This product really made me feel clean. I mean, I really felt it. Also, the gel is a tasty pink. Looks good enough to eat.
The Nue Co Barrier Culture Moisturizer - Retail Value $65
This sleek, glass bottle it pack full of heavy-duty moisturizer. Its formula "repopulates the topical microbiome, protects against pollution, and locks in moisture." I've been using it on my hands and elbows, but GQ's description suggest using it on one's face. That's a good idea and I'm embarrassed I hadn't thought of it. Regardless, my skin feels smooth, hydrated, and healthy.
Lumin Anti-fatigue Eye Patch (5-pack) - Estimated Value $10
Subscribers get five sets of anti-fatigue eye patches. They are about 2-1/2 inches long, black, and look like those things that football players wear under their eyes. You're supposed to leave them on for 10 minutes, twice a week and the bags under your eyes are to disappear. My two-year-old has been waking up a bunch throughout the night, so at this point I'll take all the help I can get. I'm just glad I can at least pretend I look like an athlete while doing it.
Note: The link for purchase is for a 10-pack for a one-time purchase of $20.
Huron Hair Styler - Retail Value $12
I've let my hair grow back in for the fall and winter, so it's nice to receive some hair product I can actually use. I've heard good things about Huron and was excited that it was included in this grooming box. This particular item is a light hold formula. So it's good for getting your hair going the way you want it, without it being waxy or rigid. It works great and smells even better. It comes in a cool, distinctive blue and white jar.
Versed Game Over Acne Drying Treatment - Retail Value $16.99
Lucky for me, most of my acne days are behind me and, man, I don't miss them at all. But I never had anything like this. GQ says this products is "specially formulated to dry out pimples and halt breakouts dead in their tracks." Just a small dab on any budding whitehead before bed and let it work its magic. I'll definitely be throwing this in my toiletry bag for the rare, but inevitable breakout.
Germanikure Glass Nail File - Retail Value $10.95
I found this frosted white glass file to be elegant and different. It works rather well and I look fancy using it. It can be used on wet or dry nails, in any direction. It comes in a felt sheath, which all comes in a hard cardboard container. The whole presentation is very nice. I only wonder how fragi....I just broke my file. No joke. Word to the wise, there is no need to test its strength. Just enjoy it and don't take it for granted like I did.
Phlur Sandara Fragrance (10mL) - Retail Value $28
I found the aroma to be wonderful. Not over fragrant, not even over manly. I was going to say it smells outdoorsy in a floral way. A plant I can't quite put my finger on. Sure enough GQ describes it as "earthy with notes of sandalwood, oak moss, and timur pepper." Sandlewood seem to be in every manly fragrance, but I'm not complaining. I also really like the container. It's hard, white rectangle that looks and felts like a piece of marble or something. It's solid and feels like it'd break my toe if I dropped it on my foot.
Note: I asked my four year old daughter to describe the smell in one word and she said: "Plute." So, there it is.
Just after I complained about the last box feeling like a bunch of samples, GQ Best Stuff hits a home run with its "The Future of Grooming Box." Thirteen amazing, full-size items. Granted this was an additional, pricier box, but it was exactly what I was talking about just a few short weeks ago. Each item was great and fill out the theme nicely. While the toothbrush would be my best item because it is functional and something I can keep for a long time. Choosing that as my favorite seems like a cheat. So I'm going with The body wash, cologne, and hydrating cleanser. All these products really excited me and made me feel great using them. The body wash in particular is something I could see myself buying again. I thought the exfoliating towel and glass file (R.I.P.) were awesome. And, honestly, I liked just about everything. The eye cream and eye patches are lost on me, which feels like a shame, because the cream is so expensive. Overall, I thought GQ really knocked it out of the park with this box. I'd like to see GQ continue its limited edition boxes each year. Since I am not a big grooming guy, I'd like to see one geared toward items that make a man look and feel gentlemanly. Maybe a watch, socks, tie, wallet, etc.
Keep track of your subscriptions by adding this box to your subscription list or wishlist.
Let's Talk About Value
By my calculations, this box clocks in at a whopping $455. Holy smokes. Even at the $150 non-member price, that is astounding. For subscribers, that is nearly SIX times the value.
For $75 for this box, here's approximately what you're paying for each item:
- Toothbrush ($70): $11.55
- Eye Balm ($109): $17.99
- Bar Soap ($18): $2.97
- Body Wash ($18): $2.97
- Body Serum ($45): $7.425
- Towel ($15): $2.475
- Hydrating Cleanser ($27): $4.46
- Moisturizer ($65): $10.73
- Eye Patches ($10): $6.60
- Acne Treatment ($17): $2.81
- Hair Styler ($12): $1.98
- Glass File ($11): $1.82
- Fragrance ($28): $4.62
For those non-subscribers purchasing this box at $150, you'd be paying twice these amounts.
To Wrap Up
Would you grab the "Future of Grooming" GQ Best Stuff Box for a guy in your life... or yourself?