Am I the only one who thinks buying makeup and beauty products can be a terrifying (and expensive) trial-and-error experience? How do I know which brand is best? What colors will look good on me? Can I buy from a drugstore, or do I need to spring for the high-end goods?
My palms get sweaty just thinking about it. That's why I'm a big fan of the beauty subscription box craze. I get to test beauty products recommended by experts, and I don't have to deal with high-pressure salespeople or completely empty my wallet. In fact, some subscription boxes (like the ones below) cost significantly less than what they’re actually worth, making them awesome for my budget!
Here are three of my favorites:
1. $5 Walmart Beauty Box ($11 value)
Via RachelsJourney87 on Instagram
- Cost: $5/box including shipping
- Schedule: A new box is released every quarter
- Subscription Available?: Yes. You will be billed automatically and shipped a new box every three months but can cancel at any time.
The Walmart Beauty Box is a simple array of drugstore products and samples. The value of each box is typically around $11, so while it may not be a super bargain, it's an inexpensive way to try new things. The past boxes have usually included samples, coupons, and at least one full-size item like a Rimmel Mascara, a Covergirl Outlast lip color, or a coupon for a free antiperspirant. At only $20 per year, it ends up being a fun perk in the mail every three months.
2. $10 Birch Box ($25 value)
Via Birch Box on Instagram
- Cost: $10/month or $110/year including shipping
- Schedule: A new box is curated every month
- Subscription Available?: Yes. Boxes can be purchased on a month-to-month basis (you will be billed automatically but can cancel any time), or you can save $10 (the equivalent of getting one box free) when you sign up for a yearly subscription.
Each Birch Box contains samples and typically at least one full-size beauty product. The contents are slightly customized based on a short, 15-question profile you fill out describing your hair, skin, and personal style. The packaging and quality of the products is on point (I have to talk myself out of being a hoarder and keeping every little piece of packaging each month, but I won't judge if you do). And with each box having a value of at least $25, it's a great deal too. Items include makeup, face wash, lotion, shave cream, and more. Some months they even give you the option of picking one or more of the products you receive. If you like one of the products, Birch Box also offers discounts to buy full-sized versions, as well as a points system where you can earn more discounts or free product by purchasing or offering a quick review of the items in your box.
3. $21 Glossybox ($60 value)
Via Samosaurrus on Instagram
- Cost: $21/month or $222/year including shipping
- Schedule: A new box is curated each month
- Subscription Available?: Yes. Boxes can be purchased on a month-to-month basis (you will be billed automatically, but can cancel any time), a six-month subscription, or you can save $30 by signing up for a yearly subscription.
If there were a way to package excitement, I think Glossybox is it. This subscription box delivers 5-6 full-sized, high-end beauty products curated especially for you. Each shipment comes in a reusable keepsake box and has a detailed “tips and tricks” card to walk you through how to use each product. After you have a chance to try your products, you can complete product reviews and surveys to earn points towards a free Glossybox. Each box has a minimum value of $60 (some of their past monthly boxes have been valued at as much as $125 or higher!), which makes Glossybox a great deal and a beauty-product-panic-reducing, squeal-inducing, monthly delivery. However, consider yourself warned—the monthly boxes often sell out, so it's best to get a subscription to make sure you don't miss out on any of the goods.
Have you tried any of these beauty subscriptions? If so, what did you think?