Beauty and the Box: The Ultimate Guide to Beauty Boxes
Ever signed up for a beauty box subscription? There's a little sense of Christmas every time these fun, cute, and sometimes game-changing collections of beauty products arrive at our doors. Sure, we can fill up our Amazon cart with all our beauty preferences, but where's the fun in that? A selection of new beauty products, and the opportunities they present for us to try a different look, style, or beauty routine, before we commit to a new brand, is totally worth the investment. In this article, we'll cover:
- How beauty boxes work
- The best beauty subscription boxes on the market
- Lu and Allure: thinking inside the box
How Beauty Boxes Work
If your go-to beauty products feel a little stale but you're not ready to make the switch, a beauty subscription box can be your beauty BFF. Typically curated by editors, experts, or industry pros, a typical month's box contains a variety of makeup, skincare, and hair care products. From the usual suspects to exciting new brands (like the LatinUs Beauty Hair Care Control Shampoo & Conditioner, proudly featured in the May Allure beauty box), they give you plenty of variety. So even if you don't like everything you try, there's a good chance that every delivery will include something you'll fall in love with.
Beauty boxes are a multi-billion dollar business. Most arrive with a mix of samples and full-size products, offering you a relatively budget-friendly way to get to know a new brand. The Allure Beauty Box, for example, includes at least $100 worth of high-quality products for a price point of under $25, and new subscribers even get a free gift or two after signing up.
The look of the boxes is almost as important as the contents. The elegant display of tissue, ribbon, stickers, and other touches not only protects the precious samples within, but gives subscribers the chance to unwrap something special. Call it planned pampering. And because every box is unique, it's hard to get bored. There's also plenty of variety out there. Birchbox ships more than a million boxes globally each month. Glossybox sends out around 275,000 beauty boxes per month. And Allure ships more than 120,000 of their boxes to its subscribers.
The Best Beauty Subscription Boxes of 2022
There are many criteria that go into picking the best beauty boxes out there. The market leaders offer value, quality, and variety. They're also careful to introduce new products and avoid repetition. Our favorites go the extra mile by including brands that align with your beauty profile as well as your values. If you know your monthly subscription includes cruelty-free goodies (like LatinUs!), vegan beauty products, or products that are dermatologist approved, you'll be even more excited to receive your delivery.
So, who's the most beautiful of them all? Our editors selected their six favorites among the best beauty subscription boxes of 2022. To find the fairest of them all, we limited ourselves to beauty boxes that feature a wide variety of top-rated brands and give you plenty to look forward to each month:
It's no surprise that Birchbox tops the list. The O.G. beauty subscription box is super affordable, diverse, and boasts an all-star lineup of beauty brands and high-quality makeup, grooming, hair care, and skincare products. Their beauty questionnaire helps ensure your month's box is customized to your skin tone, hair, and overall aesthetic. Each box arrives at your door packed with four to six samples of products you never knew you needed. What's not to like? Pricing starts at $13 per month for an annual subscription.2. Ipsy Glam Bag
With a variety of subscription plans, Ipsy can suit customers on a budget, those who prefer full-size products over samples, and even fashionistas who want a quarterly bump in their subscription. And with Ipsy's beauty quiz, you can ensure that your box matches your beauty profile, color preferences, and more. Customers can subscribe to receive the Ipsy Glam Bag for $13 per month, or upgrade to the Ipsy Glam Bag Plus for $28 a month. They can also sign up for the Glam Bag X for $55 per quarter.
3. Allure Beauty Box
If you love Allure magazine, you'll be happy to know that their beauty box keeps up with the trends and recommendations that are featured in its pages. The monthly box with six or more beauty products is curated by the magazine editors. All subscribers get the same box, so there’s no personalization, but there is a fantastic mix of new products, premium samples, and full-size products from best-in-class brands. At $23 a month, it's an easy and affordable way to stay on trend.
BoxyCharm packs a ton of value into its monthly delivery. The five full-size beauty products you'll receive carry an average value of $175, but you'll pay just $27.99 per month. Customers, or "charmers," get to customize their beauty subscription box more than other services. You'll start by taking their beauty quiz, which informs what your box will include, and you'll also get to choose the products you love for the following month's box. If you want more charm in your life, you can opt for a Premium box for $39.99, or level up your beauty game with a quarterly Luxe box for $59.99.
Every month, Berlin-based GlossyBox sends its customers a curated selection of five deluxe-sized beauty products based on preferences, skin tone, and hair type, all wrapped up in "sizzle" - their signature pink packaging that adds a touch of class and, well, gloss. GlossyBox is known for scouting out trendy niche brands, and each month's box is usually themed. Subscription plans start at $17.50 a month.
6. Kinder Beauty Box
If Vegan beauty is your thing, the Kinder Beauty box is the subscription for you. Co-founded by PETA alum Andrew Bernstein and actresses Daniella Monet and Evanna Lynch (a.k.a. Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter), Kinder's boxes come with five vegan skincare and makeup products that offer up to $165 in value. A portion of proceeds from each beauty subscription box is donated to charities advocating for animal rights and environmental causes. Prices start at $23 a month.
Lu and Allure: Thinking Inside the Box
A beauty subscription box isn't just a way for people to discover new beauty products. It's also an opportunity for a new brand to introduce themselves! For Allure magazine's May subscription box, our LatinUs (Lu) beauty experts selected a sample-sized bundle of our Control collection as our way to say "hola!" With this collection, you don't have to worry about flyaways, frizz, and other prime suspects of a bad hair day.
Made with natural ingredients and the rich, nurturing blend of Murumuru seed butter and Impossible Keratin™, our Control Shampoo and Control Conditioner defies frizz and minimizes the effects of humidity in your hair, allowing you to own every aspect of your look, no matter the occasion. Plus, its invigorating scent of almond, jasmine, tonka bean, musk, and Sicilian blood orange will leave your hair smelling sweet, luxurious, and uniquely empowering.