Do you remember the excitement of getting your own packages in the mail when you first moved out of your parents’ house? From magazine subscriptions to unexpected presents, receiving mail and packages has always been a delight.
This is why subscription boxes are so well-liked. When you subscribe to this service, you receive a box of carefully selected surprise items every month.
Quicklook: Best Beauty Boxes
- PLAY! By Sephora
- Art of Organics
What’s in the Box?
Ordering a beauty box is a fairly common way to get into subscription boxes. Beauty boxes have been around since 2010, and they are trendy among casual makeup users as well as makeup experts. These boxes became even more popular with the rise of beauty bloggers, makeup YouTubers, and other influencers who review beauty products.
When you order a beauty box, you receive a monthly selection of makeup samples, as well as some other grooming and beauty products. Many beauty boxes include perfumes as well.
There are many upsides to ordering a beauty box. In addition to the thrill of getting a surprise every month, you can experience a wide range of brands at a reasonable price. The whole process is more fun and comfortable than sampling products in beauty supply stores and perfumeries.
Subscribing to a beauty box can help you find the perfect product for your needs. It also introduces you to new types of products which you might hesitate to try otherwise. Anyone who enjoys experimenting with makeup should try out this service.
What Makes a Quality Beauty Box?
Whether you’re looking for a way to treat yourself or you want to surprise a loved one, you have a startlingly wide variety of beauty boxes to choose from. The first question you want to ask is, “Who is this box designed for?”
Most beauty boxes are created with women in mind, but it’s easy to find men’s beauty boxes as well. There are a few companies that exclusively offer teen and tween beauty products.
When you subscribe to a beauty box, you generally have some customization options. This includes specifying hair type and skin type. If are looking for specific brands or products, you can subscribe to beauty boxes that feature only beauty products made for people of color or boxes that include only luxury brands. The choices are out there, we did the digging for you in our top picks.
Range of Products
Some beauty boxes primarily feature makeup, while others prioritize hair care products instead. You can find subscription boxes that are designed especially for perfume enthusiasts and some are intended for nail art and nail care. Subscriptions are also available for people who prefer using all-natural or organic makeup products.
Before you invest in a box, find out what kind of makeup brands you can expect. Does the company favor brands you enjoy using? Do they include products made by lesser-known brands? It’s up to you to decide how much experimentation you’re looking for.
Sample or Full Sizes
When comparing prices, pay attention to the number and size of the products you can expect in your box. If you’re a sporadic makeup user, you might be able to rely on the contents of your beauty box alone. Even if you have to keep using your usual beauty products, your beauty box can inspire you to get rid of rarely-used products that are cluttering up your shelves.
Shipping Costs and Frequency
The price of shipping is a major consideration and it’s important to find out if the schedule works for you. Instead of monthly subscriptions, some companies offer quarterly beauty boxes.
Top 6 Beauty Boxes
We focused on well-known beauty subscription boxes, and all of our choices are primarily for women. We took into consideration the quality of the brands on offer, as well as special features and extra gifts. In short, we picked boxes that offer the highest-quality fare, while making sure every subscription box on our list is well-worth its price.
Please enjoy our selection of alluringly packaged beauty boxes that could lead you to new discoveries in the world of beauty and makeup.
Price: $13-$15 Monthly Subscription
- Appealing packaging – abstract patterns that fit the theme of the month
- Includes beauty kit or grooming kit
- Choose one of five samples after second month
- Affordable, with loyalty coupons on offer
- Lots of customization options based on your skin and hair profile
- Every month has a new theme
- Duplicated samples are possible
- The customization options are too limited for experienced makeup enthusiasts – e.g. you can’t personalize lipstick color
- Shipments aren’t always on schedule
Birchbox is one of the first and best-known beauty box companies. It caters to novices and makeup experts alike. The boxes are highly customizable. With the monthly subscription, you get five samples every month which cover makeup, skincare, and hair care products and always free shipping.
Birchbox offers themed boxes and there’s a special focus on skin care. They have a few unique brands, such as ARROW, which features long-lasting makeup intended for an active lifestyle.
Price: $10-$35 monthly subscription
- Designed for makeup pros
- Choose your favorite color schemes
- “Adventurous” personalization options with bold or outlandish makeup art
- You can select your favorite fragrance notes (floral, fresh, spicy, etc.)
- In addition to your skin and hair type, you can specify any skin problems that you have
- It’s possible to change your beauty profile and personalize your order by leaving reviews
- Technical problems with the website and the ordering process
- Customer service can be unresponsive
- If you prefer more traditional color combinations, Ipsy’s makeup might not have enough variety
In addition to a wide variety of makeup products, Ipsy sends out skin cleansers and masks, body scrubs, hair products, and fragrances. There are a few gorgeous color combinations to choose from, so you can get eyeshadows, nail polishes, and lipsticks that match your personal style. We especially recommend this company for girls and women with a youthful style.
Ipsy is another big name on the beauty box scene, and they’ve been around since 2011. You start your subscription with a 5 minute quiz on which products you would like to try and your own personal glam style. This is a very user-friendly subscription service which lets you start the process by choosing your favorite brands along with your coloring and some other personal info. You can opt for samples from L’Oréal, Maybelline, Estée Lauder, Kat Von D, and many other cosmetics companies.
Price: $15 monthly subscription
- Mix of current allure favorites, anything from face primers to perfume
- Includes informative booklet
- Reliable delivery
- Great value for the price
- As a new customer, you receive a mystery gift
- Personalization options are limited, though you do get to choose products that fit your skin tone
- Boring packaging
- Some repetition is possible
While our first two options are companies that focus exclusively on beauty boxes, Allure’s scope is much wider than that. You’re probably familiar with Allure’s print magazine which is now available on Kindle, which has an audience of 6.2 million a month, and they also provide valuable online information about the world of beauty and fashion.
Since they’re well-connected in the beauty industry and stay in touch with new trends, the selection in their beauty box is reliably high-quality. For a relatively low monthly price, Allure offers cosmetics with an approximate value of $50-$90. You might receive some discounts as well.
This beauty box is a good choice for any level of makeup experience. You get a chance to try new looks and learn about beauty, but at the same time, most of the samples are work-appropriate and easy to fit your everyday style.
4. PLAY! By Sephora
Price: $10 monthly subscription
- Brings together Sephora’s best-selling products
- Offers access to online content
- Includes booklet with useful tips
- In addition to five sizeable samples, you receive a collectible bag that fits the theme of the month
- You get a discount on things in Sephora stores, as well as access to on-site tutorials led by Sephora experts
- The customization process isn’t very effective
- Some of the products are sent out several times
Sephora needs no introduction. This beauty store chain is well-known worldwide and they currently have over 400 stores across the US. In 2015, they launched PLAY!, a beauty box subscription service that features some of Sephora’s best-selling products.
If you’re on the hunt for a beauty box that could replace some of your makeup, PLAY! is a good option to consider. They frequently include full-size samples, and there’s a focus on practical products.
5. Clean Beauty Box by Art of Organics
Price: 39.95 – 41.95 per box, you’ll receive a box every other month
- Unique theme every month
- Decorative box designed by artists
- Ethically-sourced ingredients
- One of the samples is full-sized
- Special emphasis on skincare – all-natural masks and cleanses
- Lack of personalization
- There are months when you’ll receive only two or three samples
- Lack of variety in the makeup options
The Clean Beauty Box by The Art of Organics beauty box features clean beauty products intended for especially eco-conscious makeup lovers. Everything in the box is guaranteed cruelty-free and the boxes packaged in environmentally-friendly ways. It’s important to note that this subscription box is more costly than you’d get with non-organic competitors. Prices begin at $39.50 a box, and the products are supposed to be worth around $85 retail.
Price: 49.99 per box, billed quarterly
- Quarterly-based subscription
- Includes extras like wellness products or snacks
- Surprise gifts – these are usually practical items such as sleeping masks
- You can order your favorite products at up to 70% discount
- Access to a supportive community
- Personalization is only available to established members
- Unsubscribing can be a frustrating experience
- Possible customer service issues
FabFitFun boxes are especially popular among beauty bloggers, but this subscription service is also an excellent choice for people who don’t want to think too much about makeup. Since the samples are full-sized, a single FabFitFun box may be enough to get you through a season.
In addition to makeup and skincare products, FabFitFun boxes contain wellness products and workout gear. You may even receive a healthy snack. If you’re looking for some extra inspiration to start working out, this is an excellent place to start.
Closing the Lid
Investing in a beauty box is an excellent way to invest in your beauty, health, and happiness. It can be the perfect Mother’s Day gift, anniversary gift, or a great way to send a relative off to college. Choosing beauty boxes can help you bond with a friend or a family member.
But if you’re subscribing in someone else’s name, the best way to go is to ask them first. Since makeup is a personal matter, it’s best to keep the recipient in the loop. Remember that some makeup users have a selection of favorite brands they don’t want to stray from.
Our recommendation is to do some research and present the recipient with a few options. Don’t worry about ruining the surprise. After all, the contents of the box will surprise the recipient even when they know about the subscription.