What Are Beauty Subscription Boxes? A Makeup and Skincare Lovers Guide

If you’re a beauty lover you’ve probably already tried a beauty subscription box, or two or three. Even if you haven’t tried one yet, you’ve likely seen them being advertised everywhere. In stores. On your Instagram feed. In your friend’s stories. If you’re wondering what all the hype is about and whether they’re actually worth the cost we’re here to break it down for you. What exactly are beauty subscription boxes and what are the differences? They’re your answer to more affordable beauty. With a beauty subscription box, you can feed your beauty obsession, without spending an arm or a leg. They’re also really fun.

Who doesn’t love opening up a package full of amazing body care, skincare, makeup, and even hair care products? If you like experimenting with the newest cult beauty and saving money in the process, you’ll love using a subscription box service. Buying new beauty products can be tricky. It’s hard to know if a moisturizer or lip color is really going to work for you without trying it out for a few days first. You can sample products in stores, or get advice from sales associates, but that process is time-consuming. Do you really want to spend precious time, mulling over products in stores?

A subscription box service allows you to try a variety of new beauty products, from the comfort of your own home. The cost of beauty subscription boxes is about the cost of one mid-range product. And most boxes come with a variety of products to try. For between $10-$45 a box, you can get 4-6 new beauty products every month. You’ll save yourself time, money, and the frustration of waiting in line at stores. Not to mention hauling a product back for returns.

Some beauty boxes come with a surprising mix of products. Others let you customize your box through your customer account beforehand. Looking for luxury products? There’s a beauty box for that. Strictly clean, green products? There’s also a beauty subscription box for that. You can find ones with full-size products, samples size products, and ones that offer a mix of both. There are a variety of beauty subscription boxes to choose from. We’ve reviewed the top 5 for you.

But first, here’s everything you need to know about your beauty subscription box options before you choose which one is right for you.

What’s inside your beauty box?

what's inside beauty subscription boxes

Most beauty subscription boxes deliver 4-5 different beauty products to your doorstep. Some services only send samples, while others send full-size products. You also have the option to choose a beauty box that comes with a mix of both. Products include skin care, makeup, hair care and even body care. While most beauty boxes try to offer an even mix of both affordable and high-end luxury products, others like Cohorted stick to purely luxury products. Here’s a quick breakdown of what’s inside the top 5 best beauty subscription box:

Birchbox: This beauty box costs $10 a month and delivers 5 sample size products. Products include hair care, makeup, skincare, and fragrances. Examples of brands included are Jimmy Choo, MAC Cosmetics, Estee Lauder and Benefit.

Cohorted: Rated the number one beauty box, Cohorted delivers a mix of 5 sample size and full-size luxury beauty products for $45 USD or $35 pounds. Products include makeup and skincare. Examples of brands included are Gucci, Nars, Burberry, Douccc, Sunday Riley, Marc Jacobs and Lancome.

Play! by Sephora: This beauty box costs $10 a month and delivers 5 sample size products. Products include makeup, skincare, and hair care. Examples of brands included are Marc Jacobs, Benefit and Kat Von D.

Petit Voir: Focused on cruelty-free, luxury, nontoxic, vegan, and ethically made products. This beauty box delivers a mix of 4 sample size and full size beauty products for $15 a month. Products include makeup, skincare and body care. Examples of brands included are Evolvh, Axiology, Andalou, and Olverium.

Glossy Box: This beauty box delivery 5-6 full-sized beauty products for $21 a month. Products include makeup, skincare, and hair care. Examples of products included are Calvin Klein, Lancome, BCBGMAXAZRIA, Bvlgari, Estee Lauder and Redken.

Subscription Options

beauty subscription box options

Beauty subscription boxes are usually delivered monthly, but some offer the choice of seasonally delivery instead. Others offer 3 months, 6 months or 12-month subscription options. The cost of Glossy Box goes down the more boxes you choose to buy ahead of time. For a monthly subscription with Glossy Box it costs $21, a 3-month plan costs $19.50, a 6-month plan costs $18.50 and a 12-month plan costs $17.50 per box. The cost of Petit Voir, Cohorted, Birchbox and Play! by Sephora is fixed. Although, if you prepay for a year’s worth of beauty boxes you can unlock special features like, the ability to customize your box and opt out of receiving certain products or brands.

Play! by Sephora, Birch Box, and Petit Voir give subscribers free beauty points with every box to use towards purchasing full sized products through their websites. You can also customize your beauty preference through your customer account with Birch Box, Play! by Sephora, and Glossy Box. After signing up you fill out a questionnaire to make sure you receive products that fit your hair, skin type, and makeup preferences. Birch Box also allows customers to add free samples of their choice or full-sized products for a discounted price to their beauty box before it ships.

Can You Save Money with a Beauty Subscription Box?

save money with beauty subscription boxes

Wondering if it’s possible to save money using a beauty subscription box? The answer is yes. The cost of the average monthly beauty box is the same price as just one mid-range beauty product you would pay the full retail price for in stores. Remember, beauty boxes come with 4-6 different makeup, skincare, hair care, and body products. That’s a lot of swag for the price of one.

Even the beauty subscription boxes that only send sample size products can be worth it. The value inside beauty subscription boxes (sample-size or full-size) is usually 2-4x the cost you pay. They’re a convenient and affordable way to try out new products. Without even leaving your home. You can save even more money by racking up beauty points and getting special customer discounts on full-size products when you purchase through your customer account.

It’s important to pick a beauty subscription box that fits within your usual beauty budget. If you stop by Sephora every weekend, you’ll love using a service like Cohorted. Even though it’s one of the more expensive beauty boxes, it only delivers luxury products, and you’ll still save money. If you want to keep your beauty budget around $20 a month or less you’re in luck. Beauty subscription box options like Glossy Box, Play! by Sephora and Petit Voir can help you stick to your budget while enjoying a variety of new beauty products every single month.

The Only 5 Beauty Products You Need to Take on A Camping Trip The Only 5 Beauty Products You Need to Take on A Camping Trip