I’ve been hearing a lot about subscription boxes lately, but I’m far too budget-conscious to sign up for most of them. In fact, even though I would love some of the high-end options, my bank account won’t allow me to partake. So, I decided it was time to do some serious investigative reporting on subscription boxes.
There are boxes for pretty much every theme you can think of – dog treats, vegan snacks, gamer toys. Although I would love something with fashion or accessories, those boxes range from $20-$60 a month. Yikes! Therefore, my search became focused on beauty products. I simply cannot get enough nail polishes and lipsticks, so beauty boxes were a good bet for me. Plus, I can’t think of anything more exciting than getting a box of fun in the mail – rather than those dreaded bills! Here’s a rundown of the 4 brands I researched.
Birchbox is one of the most popular beauty subscription boxes – and they were one of the first to appear on the market. For $10 a month, you receive 4 or 5 beauty products (ranging from lip glosses to hair care). While Birchbox offers some awesome fancy brands (Kiehls, Benefit, Jurlique), some people complain that the sizes are way too small. Other users insist that Birchbox doesn’t seem to match products to your preferences, even though you fill out a special quiz before you get your first box.
Ipsy is fast overtaking Birchbox for the number one spot in shoppers’ hearts. For $10 a month, you get several makeup and beauty products (which are usually full-size versions), plus a cute makeup bag. Ipsy’s boxes feature great brands like Benefit, Urban Decay, and Josie Maran. There are no shipping and handling fees, and customers rave about the variety of products and the great value you receive each month for just 10 bucks.
With the Beauty Box 5 subscription, you get 5 (duh) makeup or beauty products every month. For $12, you can get brands like Aveeno, NYX, and Nubar. However, compared to the other boxes, this subscription doesn’t have any premium or really well-known brands. Plus, customers often complain that they get far more beauty products than makeup (not good for someone who definitely needs her constant supply of mascara and lipglosses).
BeautyArmy is more a ‘sample’ box than anything else. Every month, for $12, you can select 6 samples from 9 different options. There are great brands, like Essie, Butter London, Lorac, and DuWop. However, none of the products are ever full-sized, and many customers complain that the same samples get sent out every month. One of the best parts about subscription boxes is the variety, so this one kinda defeats the purpose.
Verdict: I’m going to go with Ipsy. In all my research, I never found one negative post from a customer (unlike the other three brands). Also, at $10 a month, this box is the cheapest option I found on the market. Now I just have to wait for my first box of happiness to arrive!