Subscription boxes are a relatively new retail trend and marketing model where companies curate and send niche packaged products right to your doorstep. It’s a fast-growing product distribution and marketing strategy designed to offer additional value on top of what you are actually paying for.
Beauty subscription boxes in particular target a wide range of customers and accommodate a variety of specific interests and needs. They vary in both frequency and cost, making them more accessible to a wide range of customers with different socioeconomic backgrounds. Most beauty subscription boxes range from $10 per month for regular beauty picks to $100 for high-end, items such as spa-quality anti-aging serums and luxury body oils.
How It Works
The concept of beauty box subscription is pretty simple. All you have to do is sign up, pay a monthly fee and every after a few weeks you will receive about five to seven items right at your doorstep. Most companies will require you to complete a profile survey to determine your personal tastes and style. Some surveys can be completely in as little as five minutes while others are as in-depth as an immigration form; but don’t worry, it’s never that serious.
Once you have completed your profile, you will receive a beauty box in your mail every month with trending beauty products specifically “handpicked” for you. Usually, the monthly price of a box is cheaper than the total value if the individual items contained in it. While some of the items are often sample-sized, most of them come at their regular shop size which means you really get the value for your money.
One of the most popular and arguably the mother of all beauty boxes is Birchbox. It was launched in 2010 and immediately put the subscription trend in motion. The company currently has close to 1 million active global subscribers which translate to about $96 million in annual sales.
The trend has exploded in terms of subscriptions, just five years after its inception. The trend has now spilled to other countless retail categories with subscriptions growing every day.
Three Reasons You Should Subscribe to a Monthly Beauty Box
Tailored to you
During the subscription, the company requests information that helps it to compile a profile of your preferences and tests. This is a great deal if you are eager to try out the latest new trends or maybe you just want to see how a great new hair product feels on your locks. Your monthly beauty box will contain the beauty products you are most eager to try out. You might even have your favorite snack thrown in there.
Try Before You Buy
Beauty boxes are great especially if you have a product in mind that you have always wanted to try out and don’t have the money yet or don’t want to go through the hassle of returning the product if you are not happy. The sample sizes that will come with your monthly box will allow you to try out new products without committing to a full-size item. In addition to saving you time, it will save you lots of money each month.
Discover new products
By subscribing to a monthly beauty box, you will get an opportunity to try out products from brands that can’t easily be found in your local stores. Some companies also roll out new products by including them in a beauty box, which makes you a true trendsetter. The idea of receiving a new box each month full of surprises is also exciting and you always look forward to it.
Top 10 Beauty Box Subscription Services
1. Birchbox Beauty Box
This is one of the most popular and also the most cost effective beauty subscriptions service out there. Offerings vary from skin care products to eye makeup, hair gels, and body soaps. They have a wide range of categories to accommodate virtually unlimited tests and preferences.
On subscription, you get four to five samples of different sizes from brands like Dr. Jart+, Kiehl’s, Kérastase and Stila. You will also get one lifestyle item mixed in there such as stationary or accessory, depending on your preference. Items are packaged based on the responses you offered on the subscription questionnaire about your hair or skin type and concerns, as well as your stated level of makeup proficiency.
Signup is free and subscription options to the monthly boxes are $10 a month and $110 for 12 months which includes free shipping to U.S. Within a week of your signup, you will get an emailed link to place your order, which you will receive in less than a month. Subscriptions are renewed automatically unless you request for cancellation.
2. Beauty Box 5
The company collects hot launches from niche and established brands, plus products from upcoming lines. It also differentiates itself by offering eco-friendly options. You can get a bit of everything in their neatly packaged box. Unlike other companies, they emphasize more on usefulness rather than just trends.
Their boxes consist of well-balanced picks of four to five full-size or deluxe samples from a scoop of under-the-radar brands such as Skyn Iceland and Supergoop to natural and organic options. They customize your box basing on your stated hair color, skin tone, beauty “personality” (adventurous, playful, natural, etc.) and complexion issues.
Subscription options include a monthly option for $12, quarterly subscription for $30 and a yearly subscription for just $30. They offer free shipping to U.S and Canada. Renewal is automatic, but you can cancel anytime.
3. Beautyfix Beauty Box
If your major concern is skin complexion issues, then this subscription maybe be just wanted you need. There is a wide product to cater for both oily and non-oily skins and well as skins with extra large pore size.
The company offers six to eight deluxe to full-size products each month. Some of the skincare products include natural and organic options, dermatologist-approved DDF, Vichy, and Glytone as well as high-end hair care and make-up products.
Subscription options include the monthly subscription for $25 and a one-time purchase of $35. Renewal is automatic, but if you want to cancel or skip a quarter, you can always place a request.
4. Walmart Beauty Boxes
Walmart offers one of the most affordable beauty boxes in the market. They offer a wide range of sample-sized curated skincare and hair products for you to play with before you can make a full-size payment. Most of the beauty boxes here are often limited, so you may want to make your bookings as early as possible.
The Walmart beauty box goes for $5 per month to cater for shipping and handling. Once your order is confirmed, you can expect to receive your box within 5-10 days. The subscription is renewed automatically every month and the $5 is charged on your credit card until you choose to cancel the service. The best part is you can unsubscribe at any time in your account’s dashboard.
5. Allure Beauty Box
Allure offers the best picks at the editors’ fingertips while uncovering the must-haves on the market in skin care, hair and cosmetic categories. The best part is that you only get what has been tested and approved by the editors so that you don’t have to worry about being a lab rat for some new untested brands.
Each box comes with a mini tag that details of the samples offered which also include how-tos, reviews, and tutorial for your information. You will three to five products each month customized to your personal tastes and preferences. There is a single subscription option of $15 per month which is renewed automatically each month.
6. Popsugar Must-Have Beauty Box
Lisa Sugar, founder of the hit digital platform Popsugar created a fabulous monthly box subscription service that sends goodies straight to your doorstep each month. The box contains a mix of the best picks in fashion, fitness, beauty and fitness inspired by that particular season or year. You will find items like a coffee mug, fashionable scarf, lip balm, lunch box and much more.
The company has several subscription options depending on how much commitment you are willing to pledge with them. Options include monthly subscription for $39.95, 3 months subscription for $109.85 and 6 months subscription for $214.70. Upon choosing your plan and subscribing, your credit will be charged the periodic amount until you choose to cancel the service. New subscribers receive their first box valued at $100 or more as their welcome gift.
7. Julep Beauty Box
Julep monthly box offers great goodies from nail polish and hair to skincare, but they focus mainly on nails. They will shower you with a constant stream of sophisticated, high-end and hip shades as well as scrubs, creams and tools delivered right to your door. You can choose pre-curated boxes or pick the one that you love. You can also choose to skip a box or send it to a friend.
The box typically contains 2-3 new nail polishes and other plum products such as crystal nail files, hand moisturizers or glycolic hand scrubs. The box is customized based on what you fill in the style quiz during subscription. The questionnaire comes with selectable photos of preferences on the most coveted celebrity hairstyle, skin complexion, nail art, a dream vacay, and so on.
Subscription options available include a monthly box worth $40 of polish and product for $24.99 per month and 3-month subscription for $19.99/month. There is always a surprise item each month that will often scratch your itch.
8. Mishibox Beauty Box
Mishibox is another great monthly beauty box subscription service that sends five to six deluxe-sized and full-sized products to your door front. The items typically come in a pink cardboard box wrapped in teal tissue paper with their Mishibox bunny logo. You will find plenty of designer makeups and samples of the upcoming products from some of the leading brands in Korea that women love.
The subscription is $19.95 per month charged on your credit card every month until you choose to cancel the service. There is also a small shipping fee of $3.95 to the U.S. and its territories and a varying amount for other countries or states depending on where you are located. Products also come with information cards that interpret the ingredients and directions for use.
9. Ipsy Beauty Box
The site offers detailed YouTube video instructions on how to go about beauty and makeup as well as a beauty box subscription service called Glam Bag. The box contains cute products picked out by the “stylists” of the site. They also come in cute little cosmetic bags within the packaging.
Some of the goodies you can expect here include five deluxe-sized or full-sized products from brands such as Josie Maran, Benefit, and Urban Decay. The items are customized to fit the list of your favorite brands and the style of your profile. If you have ever ordered Nyx, Dermstore or sephora beauty boxes and liked them, you will for sure love this one too.
Signing up as a member is free and allows you to scope out things like product picks and makeup tutorials. If you subscribe to the Glam Bag service, you receive a monthly beauty box subscription for $10 or 12 boxes per year for $110. Shipping in the U.S is free and monthly subscriptions are renewed automatically unless you choose to cancel.
10. Vegan Beauty Box Review
Vegan Beauty box offers you a way to discover cruelty-free beauty products without breaking a bank. They send you a monthly box containing four to seven new products to try. Products range from luxurious skincare to unique, under-the-radar discoveries.
Their subscription options include a monthly subscription for $22.95, 6-months subscription for $120 and a 12-month subscription for $222. Their boxes typically contain a $40-$60 retail value and sometimes, even more, no single use sample sachets and mostly organic or natural.
Renewal is automatic and you are charged on your credit card; you can cancel this at any time. (And they seem so confident that you will never have to use to cancel). Shipping is free in the U.S and variable to other countries.
As you can see, beauty box subscriptions are a great way to cut down your budget on beauty products, sample new exclusive brands as soon as they hit the market, discover more cosmetic products and have fun while at it. To get the best out of a beauty box subscription service, be sure to scout around for a provider that caters for your personal preferences, tastes, and sense of style. Am sure the above list will accommodate even the most extreme preferences. If you need some additional options, feel free to check out dallas, Lancome, Burberry, JP, Tarte, and Onyx.