If you haven’t checked out one of the many beauty box subscription companies yet, you’re in for a treat. I have fourteen beauty boxes worth trying out and there is something for everyone. What is a beauty box? It is a monthly subscription based service that delivers five or six sample size beauty products from new and established brands each month to your door to try out. If you love the products, you can just go on the company’s website or other beauty retailers and purchase the full size product.
I have tried several boxes, some that are highly specialized, and some that have amazing products each month worth trying. What I love about beauty boxes is that I get samples that are perfect for travel. That’s right. Those small products are the right size to take on a weekend trip. Don’t get me wrong, I have gotten some beauty boxes with products that weren’t necessarily tailored to me (skin tone, complexion, hair etc). The point is, a beauty box allows you to try products you might be curious about before you buy. So without further ado, here are 14 beauty boxes worth trying.
1. ESSENCE BEAUTY BOX
Essence Beauty Box is the brainchild of ESSENCE magazine, the premiere fashion and beauty magazine for women of color. What I love about this box is that the editors curate incredible products specifically for women of color. That means there is usually something for women with natural hair, color cosmetics that work on darker skin tones and new and emerging products from general market brands that work for black women. A single month trial is $15, $90 for six months or $165 for a full year.
BRANDS: Smashbox, DevaCurl, L’Occitane, Ciate, Pur-Lisse, Ouidad, Completely Bare, made Beautiful, Black Opal, Calvin Klein, Cover|FX, Bioderma, Biossance, Carol’s Daughter, Creme of Nature
Glossybox is top notch in the beauty box category. I get so happy when that pink box arrives in my mail. Glossybox has introduced me to a plethora of indie brands I have now come to love and continue to buy when I run out. There are times when I get surprised with a full size product, like last month’s Nuxe body oil, which retails for $45 at Ulta.
I also love that Glossybox partners with cool brands for limited edition boxes. They had the Tony Awards box earlier this summer and have partnered with Bergdorf Goodman and NARS. They also ensure that product fit into a monthly theme, which I love. Monthly subscription is $21, $58.50 for a 3-month plan , $111 for a 6-month plan and $210 for a 12-month plan.
BRANDS: NARS, NUXE, AHAVA, Batiste, Aerin, Doucce, Eyeko, Chantecaille, Ellis Faas, GlamGlow, Jouer, La Prairie, Koh Gen Do, Korres, Orly, Phyto Paris, Redken, Vichy.
3. PLAY BY SEPHORA
Joining the beauty box game is a no brainer for Sephora. I can’t count how many times I have frequented the store to sample new brands to see if I liked them. Play by Sephora gives you just that, a way to sample some of the top brands Sephora has in stock but right at your front door. The box launched in 2015 in a few test markets and is now available nationwide. The only caveat? There is a huge wait list but once you get on it, the box is just $10 a month.
BRANDS: Marc Jacobs, Benefit Cosmetics, Too Faced, Beauty Blender, BECCA Cosmetics, Bare Minerals, Bumble and Bumble, Tarte, Sunday Riley, Maison Margiela, Kat Von D, Tom Ford, Dr. Brandt Skincare, Living Proof, Viktor & Rolf, Buxom, Bite Beauty, MAKE UP FOR EVER, Ole Henriksen, Boscia
4. ALLURE BEAUTY BOX
Allure Beauty Beauty box is another magazine editor curated box you must check out. You get 5-6 high end product samples each month. You also get a mini mag that includes how-to and tips and tricks of using each product in the box. Monthly subscription starts at $15 but you get $5 off your first month.
BRANDS: Alterna, Burberry, CARGO, Estee Lauder, Fekkai, Laura Mercier, Oscar Blandi, Butter London, Revlon, Strivectin
5. JULEP MAVEN
Nail polish junkies are going to love the Julep subscription box. Subscribers to Julep Maven get to pick exactly which colors go in their box each month so they can build their nail polish collection. What’s even better is the fact that everything in the box is full size. You get two nail polish colors plus a full size beauty product. I love the versatility of picking your own items. The box retails for $24.99 per month.
6. VEGAN CUTS BEAUTY BOX
If you’re into eco-conscious products, check out the Vegan Cuts beauty box, which contains cruelty-free beauty products for the Anne Hathaways of the world. Each month you’ll receive a delivery of 4-7 new products to try, ranging from unique cosmetics to luxurious skincare. Monthly subscription starts at $22.95.
BRANDS: 100% Pure, Emani Vegan Cosmetics, LUSH, ZOE Organics, Mai Couture, Cocokind, One Love Organics, Pacifica, Red Apple Lipstick
Cocotique is another subscription box curated for women of color. You get 5-8 beauty and hair care products for just $20 per box. They also have limited edition boxes like a summer box that has 12 full size products in it. Subscribers can also look forward to brand takeover months with a box filled with full size products from one brand.
BRANDS: Creme of Nature, Luster’s Pink, Bader, Beauty & Pin-Ups, Naked Beaut, Shea Moisture, Elaine Hair & Body, Everyday Botanicals, Evologie, Lottabody, My Suga On Top, OGX
One of the beauty box originators, Birchbox has been a staple among my friends for a few years. They always send a good mix of beauty samples, which include color cosmetics, nail polish, haircare, skin care and fragrance. The brand also just launched its own line of products, some of which are included in your box. You also get to choose one of the samples that go in your box.
BRANDS: Parlor by Jeff Chastain, Joie, Davines, Oribe, Avene, Cynthia Rowley, Amika, Jurlique, Shiseido, Moroccanoil, NEST Fragrances, Laura Geller, Darphin Paris, One Love Organics, Juice Beauty, EXO Supply Co., Tata Harper
9. BOXY CHARM
BoxyCharm sends you over $100 worth of products each month for the price of just $21. What I love about this box is that you get full size makeup, skincare and hair products.
BRAND: Doucce, Coastal Scents, Mally Beauty, PYT, Noyah Cosmetics,
10. TARGET BEAUTY BOX
Target got into the beauty box game with its very own curated collection of accessible beauty products from trusted brands you can find in its stores. The box, which retails for $7, comes with five essential skin, color cosmetics, hair and body care products.
BRANDS: Maybelline, L’Oreal, Neutrogena, TRESemme, SheaMoisture, Elnett, Fekkai, Laneige, NYX
11. NEWBEAUTY TEST TUBE
Newbeauty Test Tube was one of the first beauty boxes to hit the American market and they’ve been going strong. Instead of a monthly subscription, this box comes every other month but is full of deluxe-size and full-size products that are vetted by the magazine’s editors. Each box retails for $29.95 plus $8.95 shipping.
BRANDS: Chi, Revision Skincare, It Cosemtics, Bliss, Bio-Oil, Dr. Brandt, Super Smile, It’s A 10, Tan, Towel, Equitance, Miracle 10® Cosmetics, CHI®, Donell®, Dermalogica®, Color Club®, Balanced Guru, Eraclea, Key West Aloe, Hada Labo Tokyo™, Lids By Design by Contours Rx, Patchology, Supersmile, Altchek MD, GrandeNaturals, GLO Pop, Color Secrets Professional , Pure Gold Collagen, NeoCell, Cailyn Cosmetics, Bliss, Fromm Beauty, Hask Beauty, Board and Batten, Oral Essentials , Gavée Gold , Rituals, Peter Coppola, pur~lisse, Wilma Schumann, Obliphica Professional, Leaders Cosmetics, Goldwell , fave4, Pencil Me In Cosmetics, Osmosis Skincare, Mystic Tan and VersaSpa, Denman, June Jacobs, Novex Keratin Hair Cream, Probelle, GrandePRIMER
12. THE eSALON CUSTOM COLOR BOX
Love coloring your hair at home? Then eSalon Custom Color Box is for you. For $19.99 a month plus $4.95 shipping, a stylist will work with you to make sure you get the exact color you’re looking for, plus tailored instructions on how to get the look.
13. GLOWING BEETS
If you’re into green beauty, Glowing Beets is for you. Subscribers get 3-4 deluxe-size or full-size natural or organic product samples each month. You get high quality indie brands for $29.95 monthly. First time subscribers will get 10% off.
BRANDS: Flourish, Biodara, Lilfox, Patchy, Plant,
14. JOUER LE MATCHBOX
Last but certainly not least is Jouer LeMatchbox, a quarterly beauty box from Jouer Cosmetics. You get full-size products valued at over $100. What I love about Jouer LeMatchbox is that they offer warm or cool tone boxes to match your skin tone. Subscription is $45 per quarter or $65 for a month time purchase.