Oh, the wonderful world of online shopping. You have a wider inventory to select from, it’s so much easier to find exactly what you’re looking for, and you can buy it all without even leaving your house or being hassled by a sales associate trying to pad their commission check (I know this dress looks hideous on me, don’t lie.) I mean, it doesn’t get much better than that, does it? Oh, but it does! What if you didn’t even have to take the time to shop for what you like. What if somehow they just knew and sent it to you? Welcome to the world of subscription boxes. Take one short, simple personality/style quiz and viola! Through the magic of technology (and some science that I don’t understand) you will get a box full of goodies you love sent directly to your home. So how do you get aboard this shopaholic’s dream train? Which subscription is right for you? Take a look below and decide on one (ok…maybe a few) for yourself.
For those beauty-ing on a budget (see what I did there?), Birchbox may just be the beauty box for you. Costing less than a few Starbucks coffees each month, Birchbox sends each of its customers an assortment of five hair, beauty, skin care, and fragrance samples and deluxe samples. Past brands found in Birchbox include Benefit Cosmetics, Cynthia Rowley, and theBalm. You will get some high end brands with Birchbox. The only downside? Sometimes a foil packet will count as one of your five samples. Not much product in those, but that is the trade off for the low price and quality brands
Ipsy is another very affordable box out there. Created by Michelle Phan, Ipsy not only gives you four to five deluxe samples (no foil packets here) for about the same price as Birchbox, they also include a free, cute cosmetics bag. Now how’s that for more bang for your buck? The catch? You may go months without seeing a brand you recognize with this subscription. It’s definitely a great way to try new brands and expand your makeup and beauty horizons, but understandably, it may not be for those who are well versed in the beauty world and know what they like. Also be prepared to see affordable drugstore brands like NYX, Pixi, and Pop! often.
13 Walmart Beauty Box
This baby is half the price of Ipsy and Birchbox! It is shipped out every season and you get what you get. There is no real customization, other than age. There isn’t usually anything high end or super exciting in the Walmart box but it is a great way to get the essentials, like shampoo, face cream, and body lotion, in cute travel sized packaging for a fraction of the cost. Olay products have even been including in this box in the past making it a great value.
12 Target Beauty Box
You didn’t think Target would just stand by while Walmart got in on this subscription box trend, did you? Target’s beauty box costs about the same as Walmart’s each season, though it doesn’t seem to be reoccurring. Meaning you randomly have to check the website each season to purchase (annoying.) It sells out quickly but is a great value. Shampoo, conditioner, make up, and skin care brands sold in Target stores are the treasures hidden in this box.
11 Allure Beauty Box
This is another one for those monthly beauty surprised without breaking the bank options! The Allure Beauty Box (formally known as Sample Society) is just a few dollars more than Ipsy and Birchbox and includes four or five deluxe beauty samples chosen by the company, a mini Allure magazine, and usually an extra “gift” (read -discount) from one of their partners. With brands like Estee Lauder, Bumble and Bumble, and Supergoop! as past box goodies, you’ll definitely get the most out of your money spent.
For whatever reason, this is a box that often gets overlooked. It may not be as well known as Birchbox or Ipsy, but it sure does its best to compete with them. Though it does cost a little more than its competitors, customers of BoxyCharm will receive four or five full sized items. That’s right. FULL SIZE. No samples here, ladies! Full sized eyeshadow pallettes (such as Coastal Scent’s Revealed 3) have even been included. This box is also known for including quality makeup brushes as well.
So this one is not for those on a budget. I will just be up front about that right now. This one is for those willing to spend more in order to get more. Fab.Fit.Fun is definitely one of the most popular and versatile subscriptions out there. Why? Because this box doesn’t just include makeup and beauty products. Oh no. Fab.Fit.Fun is all about being well rounded so you will find beauty, fashion, fitness, health, and even home décor items in this box. It does cost more each but you do get a lot of items. At least $200 worth.
8 Popsugar Must Have
Popsugar’s Must Have box is for sure Fab.Fit.Fun’s biggest competitor. For a little less than Fab.Fit.Fun, Popsugar also offers at least $200 worth of product in each box. Beauty, fashion, home, health, and fitness items are also included in this box. The main difference between Popsugar and Fab.Fit.Fun is the vibe. Popsugar tends to be a little bit more quirky and whimsical (funny coffee mugs, cute lunch boxes, pretty purses, Judy Blum books) and Fab.Fit.Fun tends to be a bit more refined and elegant (wicker pumpkin décor in fall, gold ball Christmas ornaments in December.)
7 Rachel Zoe Box Of Style
What can’t Rachel Zoe do? She’s a mother, celebrity stylist, designer; she has made herself a household name and created an entire fashion empire. Those who want to get a feel for what it would be like to have Zoe as their stylist may be interested in purchasing her subscription box aptly named “Box of Style.” For a bit of a hefty price tag each season, you can expect three times what you paid (at least $300) worth of fashion and beauty products. Brand names like Tarte, Toms, and Miansai have all been included in past boxes. It’s one of those spend more to get more subscriptions.
6 Julep Maven
Are you seriously addicted to manis? Love to change your polish daily? The Julep Maven box was made for nail obsessed ladies like yourself. Focused on nail care, Julep Maven includes their own nail polish and nail care items in their boxes. They often offer free trial boxes for new customers. This way you can try the brand and then decide if you would like to subscribe.
5 Beauty Box Five
Beauty Box Five is one of the most affordable beauty box subscription options. But this also means your chances of getting any high end products are slim to none. If you’re ok with that, this is a great option. Five samples (hence the name) are selected each month and often include beauty tools as well as hair care, make up, and skin care.
4 Wantable Accessory Box
Looking to add a little zest, class, or fun to your wardrobe without having to… well… buy a whole new wardrobe? The Wantable Accessory Box may be your simplest solution. Take a short style quiz and their “personal stylists” will hand pick products attune to your liking. This subscription is quarterly and a little different than the rest. You will need to pick out what you like from the box and return what you don’t. So maybe it’s not the simplest solution, but it does bring back memories of returning birthday gifts that are just not your style. You know, without the guilt.
3 Petit Vour Vegan
Loving the beauty world and fighting for a cause in one swoop seems to be the trend that has created vegan beauty products. Quality ingredients and cruelty free, there is a lot of appeal to going vegan within your beauty routine. Petit Vour sends each customer four (“Vour”) vegan beauty products each month. It’s a great way to familiarize yourself with vegan brands and even decide if you’re ready to take the plunge from conventional cosmetics to vegan brands.
BabeBoxx is also different than your conventional beauty subscriptions. Though not vegan, all of the products found in BabeBoxx are natural, handmade, and chemical free. Those a little skeeved by any of the long, hard to pronounce ingredients found listed on the back of their beauty products may find this subscription very appealing.
1 Nina Garcia
If Nina’s face looks familiar it’s probably because she’s a pretty big deal in the fashion community. That, or you’ve seen her on Project Runway. This Creative Director is Marie Claire has decided to get in on the subscription box craze. Normally her boxes are (understandably) fashion based with accessories but she does usually include a few beauty items here and there. And just like how she randomly praises an outrageous designer on Project Runway, she sometimes throws a curve ball by doing what you least expect and dedicating an entire box to must have beauty products.