Skip the trip to Sephora, try a beauty box instead

Elizabeth Santoro, Blogger

Even walking to CVS can feel like a hassle in this winter weather. How great would it be if you could have new beauty products delivered straight to your mailbox? That’s precisely the purpose of a beauty box, which is a container (usually, you guessed it, a box) that includes a variety of beauty and wellness products for the consumer to try. Some services offer subscriptions, or you can just pay as you go.

There are many beauty box services out there (way more than are included in this list), but when choosing a beauty box, you want to see what will be cost-effective, offers you the brands you like and actually gives you enough product to use. Here is a list of boxes I’ve researched to give you more or less this perfect combination.

Cost: $10 a month for women for four to five samples
What’s in the box: This box offers boxes for both men and woman. With the membership, you get tested samples of trending products and the option to buy the full-size product directly from their website. You create a public profile (under a surname) that you can use to write reviews. These reviews earn you points that contribute to Birchbox’s rewards program, which gives discounts on full-size products.

Cost: $21 a month for women for five to six products
What’s in the box: This subscription service for both men and women offers monthly ($21), three-month ($60), six-month ($115) and 12-month ($220) payment plans. The products in this box are high-end, luxury beauty products. The best part, though, is the products are deluxe size so no sample sizes here. You can also earn rewards points from writing reviews that can earn you a free GlossyBox.

From the Lab:
Cost: $19.95 per month for up to three full size products
What’s in the box: Want something really ahead of the game? This box includes beauty products not available to the U.S. market. The company works with cosmetic companies from around the world to create new products for its customers to try. However, while the ingredients are clinically tested, the finished products are not. Membership is also limited, so if it’s not open, you will be added to a wait list.

Cost: $10 per month for four to five products
What’s in the box: It’s not a box in this case; it’s a bag, a Glam Bag. This service includes a combination of sample and full-size, stylist-picked beauty products. You can pay monthly or pay one annual fee and get one box free. However, they have a waitlist when maxed out on subscriptions.  The website also includes tips and tricks for the products they send you and includes discounts to buy full-size products.

Beauty Bar Sample Society:
Cost: $15 per month for five products
What’s in the box: Straight from the beauty experts, Allure’s own beauty box gives you five generously portioned samples of luxury beauty products to try. Plus, each box comes with a mini Allure magazine with tips and a $15 coupon to use on a $50 or more purchase (for when you run out of that sample and crave more). Also, new members get a one-year subscription to Allure magazine.

Of this list, I have two favorites: GlossyBox and Beauty Bar Sample Society. Both of these boxes are favorites because they give you decent-sized samples, and their products are usually going to be the high-end items that you may not go out and splurge on on your own. In my opinion, that’s the point of these boxes: to try something fun that you wouldn’t usually buy.

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