Beauty boxes: a guide on what to choose


Beauty boxes are a great way to test out things from makeup to fragrance and find some new favorite products to add to your collection. But there’s a ton of beauty subscriptions to choose from, so which one do you pick? This is your guide to the top four beauty boxes on the market right now to help you pick the perfect beauty box for you.

PLAY! by Sephora: I love trying out new products, so when the new year came around and I decided to subscribe to a beauty box again, I had to pick the one from my favorite retailer. Like most beauty boxes, PLAY! by Sephora comes with a “playbook” that has all the information about the products inside. This box also comes with a card for 50 free beauty insider points with any purchase which is especially great for those of us who are trying to maintain Rogue status. Each box comes with six products—some products come in every box, others are hand picked by a number of options based on the quiz you complete when you initially sign up for the box. You pay $10/box for sample/travel sizes of each product. This is pretty standard across beauty boxes, so it’s up to you whether or not $10 for a bunch of samples is worth it.


BOXYCHARM: One of the big appeals of this box is the price. I chose a three month plan so I could give it a test drive and it cost me only $51. The price of just one box is $21, so by signing up for three months, I saved $5. Not a huge amount, but the bigger plan you buy, the more you save. Purchasing a year plan will give you the equivalent of one box free. You get four products in your box each month, and the total price of the products—all full size, by the way—is typically $100+ making this box worth that $21 a month.


Birchbox: This is one of the OG beauty boxes dating back to 2010. For $10 a month, you can get a box filled with five beauty products tailored to you. Unlike the Sephora box and BOXYCHARM, everyone gets different products based on their preferences. You’re also able to go directly to the site and purchased your favorite products there. Birchbox also makes a BirchboxMan box which launched in April of 2012. Now that special guy in your life (or you, if you’re a guy) can have a “beauty” subscription of their own.


IPSY: The last of the popular beauty boxes, but one that has two million followers on Instagram. The “Glam Bag” was created by YouTube beauty guru Michelle Phan, and, much like the others, comes with five personalized products that are chosen based on a quiz you take in the initial sign up. For, again, $10 a month, you can test out beauty products that come in each bag and rate them on your profile. This helps further personalize the items you receive on a monthly basis. If you’re looking for a popular and inexpensive beauty box, IPSY is definitely the one for you.


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