The Best Beauty Subscription Boxes for Every Budget
If you’re like me, you love (and I mean love) getting new beauty products. I live for the days that I get to spend trying out funky lip gloss and new eyeshadow colors. But, ya girl isn’t made of money (although that would make my makeup addiction so much easier). When I first discovered beauty subscription boxes I was overjoyed because it seemed to solve both my problems: the obsession with new products AND the lack of dollars in my bank account. It was a real life miracle, but I came to find that deciding which beauty subscription box to spend my moola on wasn’t as easy as I thought.
With thousands upon thousands of different beauty subscription boxes to choose from, it can feel like a bit overwhelming. But, fear not, I have done all the hard work for you. So, without further adieu, here are the best of the best, the crème de la crème, the Steph Curry and Michael Jordan of beauty subscription boxes.
For $10 you can get a pretty decent meal, two(ish) Starbucks drinks, a movie ticket, or five high-quality beauty products from Ipsy. If you’re like me, you’d take the last choice without even thinking about it. First of all, this is an amazing price for the value of the products that you receive at your door each month. Secondly, you’re able to customize the items that you get. This is especially nice because you have a much higher chance of liking something if you pick it out yourself — which is what I’ve told my mom about clothes at least a hundred times.
Ipsy puts more emphasis on makeup items instead of general beauty products — so you’re more likely to get lipsticks, eyeliners, and blushes than tweezers, cleaning wipes, and perfume. So, if that’s more what you’re looking for then you this would be a good match for you. Also, because the price is so low, you can get a subscription for a month or even two to see if it’s the right option for you without feeling like you’ve wasted a ton of money. It’s pretty much a low risk, high reward situation.
If you’re looking for a beauty subscription box that offers more hair and skin products, with a few makeup items thrown in, you should definitely give Birchbox a try. They offer high-end, brand name (and lesser known) products and provide their customers with sample-sized items for a fraction of the price. Birchbox, like Ipsy, is only $10 each month which is well worth it seeing as the vast majority of the beauty subscription boxes end up being two and three times that much.
With Birchbox, you receive personalized products based on a Beauty Profile that you fill out upon registration (which asks things like eye and hair color and brands you love) as well as feedback that you give each month. While we can’t guarantee that you’re going to go crazy over every single item, but you do have a much greater chance of actually liking what comes in your box when it’s personalized — making it more worth your money. Perhaps the best thing about Birchbox, as compared to other beauty boxes, is that you can buy the full-size version of virtually every single product that you receive in your box online. This cuts out the hassle of having to look up a product and buying it from an unknown vendor (not to mention makes it easier to fuel your makeup habit) .
Beauty Box 5
Update 3/19/18: Beauty Box 5’s website has closed down, they have not updated their social media accounts since August 28, 2017, and they are not responding to customer emails.
If you’re looking for a little more than beauty subscription boxes like Ipsy, but don’t want to shell out the cash needed for other more high-end boxes, Beauty Box 5 is the perfect solution. For just $12 a month, you get a great mixture of sample and full-size beauty products that you’ll love. The value of the products in the box in relation to what you actually get is seriously impressive — when our resident subscription box expert, Christine, tried this box the value was consistently four or five times more than what she paid. Beauty Box 5 even promises that the total value of the box will always be at least $35 (which is nearly three times the price of the box).
Beauty Box 5 also offers new, exciting brands in each box — so you’re able to try a plethora of products to find the ones you love. While big companies have great quality and are reliable, I’ve found that smaller, lesser-known companies often spend more time making their products the best they can be. Also, each month the customer gets to give their feedback on the items they receive. Beauty Box 5 takes these comments and suggestions and actually implements them into the creation of the next box (so they’re always improving in order to better serve the customer).
One thing to keep in mind is that unlike beauty subscription boxes such as Ipsy, Beauty Box 5 doesn’t allow you to customize which products you receive — meaning that all subscribers get the same items each month. If you are more of a makeup adventurer or just generally like to be surprised (like a monthly present to yourself) this will be a solid choice for you.
Sephora is a beauty powerhouse providing customers with everything from Urban Decay eyeshadow primer to L’oreal tanning wipes. Now you can get samples of amazing products like these for just $10 each month by subscribing to Sephora Play — and we all know you practically drop $30 just by walking in the store. Sephora Play has two of our own, Christine and Elise, absolutely hooked! They favor it over other beauty subscription boxes because the products are always high-quality and the value of the box itself is far greater than the price of the subscription.
Like Beauty Box 5, Sephora Play doesn’t allow customization of products each month (which means that your items will be picked for you). So, if you want a little more control over what you’re getting I would suggest Ipsy or Birchbox. Other than that, I don’t really have any complaints with this beauty subscription box. Overall, it’s a great investment for those of you who are really adventurous when it comes to beauty products.
Glossybox differs from beauty subscription boxes like Ipsy and Sephora Play in two ways: it’s more expensive ($21 per month) and promises almost ALL full-sized products. So, if you want to get a little more in your box each month I would suggest going with this subscription box or BoxyCharm — which follows the same guidelines of a pricier box and bigger products. The advantages of receiving full-sized beauty products are that you don’t have to worry about finding and buying your favorites after your sample runs out and if you happen to not like a certain item it’s much easier to give it to someone else as a gift.
Glossybox partners with over 400 brands to bring its customers the most sought-after, trendy products. Your items will also come in a stylish box that can easily be reused as gift boxes or storage (as well as many other more creative options). Glossybox is perfect for any beauty queen who’s looking to expand her (or his) makeup and beauty supply collection on the cheap.
While Glossybox is a great beauty box, from all the reviews I’ve read BoxyCharm tastes the cake when it comes to steadily providing full-sized, high-end products. When Christine tried out BoxyCharm for a month her box total value was over $100 — that’s four times the cost of the subscription! I was surprised to read on their website that they guarantee that each month’s box value is at least $100 (talk about impressive).
Another one of my favorite things about BoxyCharm is the community they’ve built on social media which allows it’s customers to share their beauty ideas. This is a great way to learn how to utilize the makeup and other products that you receive if you’re not a makeup guru. While the actual box might not be as stunning as other beauty subscription boxes such as Birchbox or Glossybox, I think we can all agree that what’s on the inside is what really matters (and BoxyCharm never disappoints).
Follow Anna on Instagram: @annamariedepoyster
Last modified on March 19th, 2018