Are Beauty Box Subscriptions Worth It?


Are Beauty Box Subscriptions Worth It? I Mirra Skincare

Beauty box subscriptions are gaining popularity quickly. I’m sure you’ve heard of a few before and seen ads for them on social media from your favorite celebrities and influencers. But, what exactly does subscribing to a beauty box entail? And is it worth the money?


1. What are beauty box subscriptions?

2. Who are the main brands providing them?

3. What's included?

4. Are they worth it?

Key Points

  • Beauty box subscriptions are recurring delivery services that send niche product packages of makeup, skincare, fragrances, and more.
  • The most popular beauty subscription box brands are Ipsy, Birchbox, Boxycharm, FabFitFun, etc. 
  • These subscription services can be worth it for those who enjoy testing out new products and brands. But, for those who stick to what they know, it can be a waste of money. 

What are beauty box subscriptions?

If you’ve ever heard of Ipsy or Birchbox, you’ve heard of beauty box brands. They are essentially a monthly subscription for beauty lovers that send out small kits of hand-picked new items to try. These items can range from makeup to skincare to fragrance. There is no limit as to what type of products may come inside your beauty box subscription.

Any sort of subscription brand is a set of recurring deliveries of niche products that are picked out by company representatives and are a way for consumers to explore new items, and a way for brands to distribute products. There are subscription services for almost every type of industry and product you can think of, including books, bacon and clothes. It’s a really great way for people to explore and try new products without making the full commitment to buying them individually.

Who are the main brands providing them?

There are several beauty box subscription brands out there these days. But there are a few that are more popular than others. Both Vogue and Byrdie did articles ranking some of the best subscription services, and here were some of the brands that appeared on both their lists:

I’m sure you have heard a few of these brands mentioned before, whether on YouTube, social media ads, or even from friends and family. Ipsy and Birchbox are two of the most popular beauty box subscription brands because they have been around since 2010 and 2011. They also are two of the most talked about subscription services by several celebrities including Addison Rae, Khloé Kardashian, and Reese Witherspoon.

Of course, there are also beauty box subscription services that focus on more than just makeup. BeautyFIX is a subscription box service focused mainly on skincare, FabFitFun focuses on fashion and fitness, and Scentbird includes, you guessed it, fragrances.

What's included?

Beauty boxes include a wide range of products. The more popular brands such as Ipsy and Boxycharm focus more specifically on makeup, including products like:

  • Eyeshadow 
  • Lip Gloss
  • Blush
  • Mascara

While some beauty box subscription services will ask you to submit a photo, most of them do not know specific skin tones and shades of their customers, so they stick to picking products that don’t require a color match. However, they do try to personalize your monthly boxes as best they can. Prior to subscribing, the subscription service will ask you to fill out a quick quiz about your beauty preferences. While these quizzes differ from brand to brand, they all share the same goal: to pick products that the customer will love and use.

Depending on the type of subscription box you are signing up for, the quiz will ask your preferences on color, texture, formula, and scent. It then will take your answers and pick out specific products that best align with your choices. This way you are sure to be receiving products that you’re interested in rather than products that will sit on your bathroom counter untouched.

Because beauty box subscriptions are simply suggestions of products you may love, they often do not provide full-sized products. Usually your subscription box includes travel size products, or deluxe samples. While this may initially seem like a bit of a rip off, it’s important to remember the price you pay for the subscription box is usually equivalent to the price of one singular item within the box. Most boxes come with 5 to 10 samples inside, so this makes more sense when you think about the deal you’re getting.

It also helps to ensure that there will be less product waste. If you purchase a full size product and don’t like it, the entire thing goes to waste, whereas if you receive a deluxe sample size and you don’t love it, you are wasting far less product and money. The purpose of these beauty subscriptions is to expose you to new products and brands, and if you find that you like a specific product, you can purchase the full size later, and you’re guaranteed money well spent because you already know you love it.

Are they worth it?

This is kind of a loaded question, but I can speak from experience. Personally, I love trying new things when it comes to beauty. I love to try new skincare products, new makeup products, and even new perfumes. If you are someone that feels the same way, I would highly recommend trying out a beauty box subscription. But, if you are someone that likes to stick to what they know and use products that they’ve been using for years, a subscription service may not be the best option for you.

The beauty of these subscription box services is that you are able to cancel anytime. My roommate signs up for Ipsy when she runs out of makeup and then continues her subscription for a month or two to receive new products, and then cancels again once she feels like she has what she needs. The downfall is that most subscription services don’t allow you to see which products you will be getting. It’s a toss up every month to see if you get products that you love or ones that don’t work for you. But the brands do their best to get to know you and your personal needs and interests in order to send you products you’ll love.

While I do think these subscription services are worth it for those who love trying new products, I think there are some that are more worth your money than others. It’s important to think about exactly what you want out of your subscription service. Are you looking to try new makeup? Are you looking to improve your skin? Or are you looking to be exposed to new brands and formulas? For example, if your goal is to improve your skin, but you don’t know which products to buy, I’d skip on brands like Ipsy or Birchbox because they are more makeup based. Instead, I’d recommend trying out the BeautyFIX by Dermstore because Dermstore is an online skincare site that solely focuses on skin and skin improvement.

Most beauty box subscription services range anywhere from $10 to $20 a month. But, if you think about the fact that you’re receiving 5 to 10 products to try, it’s a really good value for your money considering most of the products cost upwards of $30 alone. And if you try it and feel like it’s not what you wanted, you can cancel anytime and keep the products you received.

For those who love to experiment and try new things, beauty box subscriptions are a great bargain for your money, and you will often discover new products and brands to fall in love with. However, it’s important to do your research beforehand and decide what exactly you want out of the subscription. 

Written by Jordan Hammaren


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  1. https://www.vogue.com/article/best-beauty-subscription-boxes
  2. https://www.byrdie.com/best-beauty-subscription-boxes-4772004
  3. https://www.goodmorningamerica.com/style/story/makeup-subscription-boxes-worth-put-test-77955106
  4. https://www.thelist.com/587463/are-makeup-subscription-boxes-actually-worth-it/
  5. https://www.dermstore.com/beautyfix.list


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