There are so many beauty subscription boxes it’s hard to know where to start. In this article, you’ll find the best subscription programs available. Any of these would be a great way to pamper yourself, especially during stay-at-home orders and an ongoing pandemic. All of these boxes have different strengths, from customized selections to clean beauty products to luxury items.
These are our favorite beauty boxes. Some of them focus more on makeup, and others on skincare, but you’ll get quality products and discounted items through all of these subscription boxes. NewBeauty TestTube is my favorite, because of the unique, luxurious products featured and the incredible deals you get through it. You’ll get to try recognizable beauty brands and trendy items. As an added bonus, they’ll even send you their magazine for free!
TestTube is a bimonthly skincare and beauty box from the magazine NewBeauty. All products are selected by editors, and they’re often trendy products from recognizable brands. You’ll get a selection of skincare, hair care, and in recent boxes, they’ve also included boutique hand sanitizers. This is my favorite box, and I think they have the best selection of beauty products.
TestTube is $29.99 every other month, not including shipping.
- High value
- Quality, high-end brands
- Trendy and relevant products curated by editors
First of all, TestTube has a value of $180 or more in each Tube. For a $30 box, that’s a great value. If you’re willing to keep an open mind, you can try lots of new products at a significant discount.
TestTube boxes always feature quality brands, and some of them might be ones you’ve been wanting to try for a while. Expect items from Dr. Dennis Gross, Mighty Patch, Sunday Riley, and more.
These boxes are curated by editors, and they’re filled with trendy, exciting products as a result. One month even included a microneedling kit and bone marrow serum combo, for the latest in home beauty routines. Each TestTube comes with a pamphlet where editors, industry experts, and the brand’s founders weigh in on each product. You’ll also see a quick list of key ingredients and how to use the items.
- Only every other month
- Shipping not included in price
You’ll only receive a TestTube every other month, so it’s not quite monthly. These boxes come with enough product to keep you busy for two months, though.
Each Tube is $29.99, but you’ll also have to pay around $9 for shipping with each order. When you add taxes in, expect to pay closer to $40 for each box.
Where to subscribe: NewBeauty TestTube
Ipsy Glam Bag Plus
Ipsy Glam Bag Plus is the second tier from the Ipsy subscription program. This is one of the most popular beauty subscription boxes out there, and for good reason. Every month, you’ll get 5 full-size beauty items packed into a cute makeup bag. 2 items are chosen according to your beauty profile, and you get to choose the other 3 yourself. Your item choices are usually a mix of makeup, skincare, and hair products, with a focus on makeup.
This subscription is $25 a month, with free shipping.
- Full-size items only
- Mix of makeup and skincare
- You get to choose 3 items yourself
Glam Bag Plus gives you 5 full-size products for just $25, which means the items are $5 each. Each bag has a minimum worth of $120, making this a great deal. You can add new products to your routine for just a fraction of the usual price.
This subscription box includes both skincare and makeup, with a fairly even split between the two. Since you get to choose some items yourself, the balance is really up to you, according to what products you choose.
With Glam Bag, you can choose 3 items yourself, from a selection of a few dozen product options. I can’t think of any other beauty subscriptions that let you make product choices yourself. This is the best subscription if you want more control over the products you get.
- Choice items sell out quickly
- Occasional shipping issues and missing products
On the 2nd and 3rd of each month, Glam Bag Plus lets members pick out their choice items. If you miss this opportunity, they’ll choose for you. Items also sell out fast, within hours of their release at 9 a.m. PST.
Some customers have had issues with shipping time or with missing products from their Ipsy orders. I’ve experienced both of those things. Ipsy’s customer service is helpful, but you have to reach out to them yourself if you want to replace missing items or bags.
Where to subscribe: IPSY Glam Bag
Birchbox is a beauty box marketed at women who aren’t very familiar with beauty products.
It positions itself as an easy, affordable way to learn about new products and develop a beauty routine catered to your skin. Each Birchbox contains products that reflect your needs, according to your beauty profile. They’ll help you address aging, dry skin, hair concerns, and more.
This box is $15 on a monthly basis, but if you sign up for a full year, you’ll pay just $13 per box.
- Customized to your preferences
- Choose a customized box or a pre-curated one
- Quality brands
The biggest advantage of using Birchbox is that the boxes are all customized to fit your profile. You can expect makeup, skincare, hair products, bath and body works, and fragrances as possible products in your monthly box.
Every month, you have the option to get the box customized to your profile, or choose a pre-curated box. The curated boxes are designed around a theme, like clean beauty, and there’s usually a box from the company’s CEO, showcasing her favorite products.
Birchbox is a great way to familiarize yourself with the most popular, trendiest high-quality brands. If you’re used to buying all your beauty products at the drugstore, you can learn a lot about boutique brands this way. Since Birchbox gives you sample sizes, you can try them out without worrying about the price tag.
- Small sample sizes
- Repeat items occasionally
Birchbox tends to have some very small sample sizes, with just enough for a few trials. Sometimes it’s hard to get an idea of whether or not a product is right for you. High-end, expensive items tend to come in especially small samples, because of their higher value.
Birchbox will occasionally send a repeat sample item in your boxes. As you rate various products, the company will learn more about your preferences, and they may want you to give a product a second chance. If you’re annoyed by product repeats, you can contact customer service and they’ll probably give you some Birchbox points as an apology.
Where to subscribe: Birchbox
FaceTory Lux Plus is a quarterly subscription that focuses on Korean beauty products. It’s a great introduction to K-beauty, especially if you’re not sure where to start. The company provides plenty of information on all products, so you don’t have to worry about items without instructions in English. They curate effective, award-winning products from Korea in each box, along with one product from their own line each month.
This box is $49.99 each quarter. If you sign up, the company will charge you for your next box 90 days after your first purchase.
- Lots of full-size items
- Introduces Korean products with lots of info
- Great informational pamphlet
Each Lux Plus box comes with around 5 full-size skincare products. Boxes include items like toner, serums, face creams, body lotions, cleanser, and more. There are usually around 6 sheet masks in a box, in addition to the full-size items.
If you’re not sure where to start with Korean beauty items, this quarterly box will introduce you to some of the best brands and products. The company is familiar with the beauty market in Korea, and they share customer favorites and products that have won awards.
Each FaceTory Plus Lux item comes with a full-color pamphlet showing you key ingredients, how to use each product, and how it might fit into a skincare routine. I love their pamphlets, and they’re really helpful in deciding when to use a product. Personally, I’m always wondering if I should use something before or after moisturizing, and FaceTory has plenty of advice on subjects like that!
- Only once every 3 months
- Half the items are sheet masks
FaceTory Lux Plus is such a great box that I only wish it were available more often! If you’re looking for a monthly way to treat yourself, this isn’t the box for you.
This box comes with several full-size items, but there are about 6 sheet masks included with every Lux PLus box. In my opinion, the box is still a good deal, but you might want to skip this if you’re not a fan of masks.
Where to subscribe: Facetory Lux Plus
Kinder Beauty is dedicated to clean, vegan, beauty products that are not tested on animals. Each month, they send a selection of products from trusted brand partners. They have fairly strict standards for clean beauty, so you can be sure your products will exclude a lot of irritants and harsh chemicals. The company also tries to avoid plastic waste as much as possible, and many featured products have sustainable packaging. The monthly box comes in recycled packaging, and the box is printed with sustainable soy ink.
Kinder Beauty Box is $25 per box, but you can save if you sign up for a longer subscription.
- Clean, vegan products not tested on animals
- Range of brands each month
- $75+ value
Kinder Beauty’s main focus is beauty products that are kind to the planet and to your skin. They only include clean, vegan, and cruelty-free products in their boxes. If you’re looking for vegan skincare, this is the best beauty box out there.
Kinder Beauty is a great way to learn about new, eco-friendly brands. The company researches all their partners before highlighting any product, so you don’t have to. It takes a lot of time to see whether a company is really eco-friendly, and this beauty box takes all the guesswork out of it!
Each box is $25 at most, but you’re getting over $75 of products every month. If you’re interested in the clean beauty niche, this is one of the best ways to get deals on products, including both samples and full-size items.
- Box variations sent at random
- Some brands are featured frequently
Each month, there are two variations on the Kinder Beauty box. There’s some overlap, and they’ll often include the same hero item.
Kinder Beauty has a few trusted partners that show up in boxes often, and if you don’t like those brands, you might get tired of seeing them all the time!
Where to subscribe: Kinder Beauty
BeautyFIX is a monthly box from Dermstore, a company that specializes in skincare products that address specific skin problems. Each month, BeautyFIX boxes come with quality skincare products. BeautyFIX always has at least one full-size product, and plenty of deluxe sample sizes. You’ll get $100 or more worth of products in any given BeautyFIX box, and it’s a great way to try brands you might not be familiar with.
Each box is $24.95 for subscribers, or $34.95 for a single box without a subscription.
- Quality products and brands
- At least one full-size item each month
- Member discount on boxes
- Free samples with each order
BeautyFIX’s parent company carries lots of effective skincare brands like dr. brandt, Eminence Organics, and Paula’s Choice. They also have lesser-known companies with equally impressive formulas, like Holifrog.
BeautyFIX boxes include at least one full-size item each month, but they often come with more than one. There’s definitely enough to keep you busy for the full month, until you get your next box from them.
BeautyFIX boxes cost $34.99 for a single box without a subscription, letting you bypass the usual automatic billing that comes with monthly boxes. If you do sign up for a monthly subscription, your boxes will only be $24.95 each. They charge shipping for the first box, but if you keep up your subscription you won’t have to pay shipping costs later on.
Dermstore includes free tiny samples with each order, and that includes BeautyFIX boxes! You can expect a tiny packet of shampoo or facial cleanser with your order.
- Mostly samples
- Doesn’t include makeup
BeautyFIX boxes always come with at least one full-size product, but the majority of your box will be filled with samples. If you’re not interested in getting product samples, you might want to skip this box.
BeautyFIX is focused on skincare and hair products, and rarely includes anything like makeup. At most, you’ll find lip scrubs and similar products. Other boxes like Ipsy Glam Bag Plus have a better makeup selection.
Where to subscribe: BeautyFIX
These are some of the best beauty subscription boxes out there, but one stands out above the rest. NewBeauty TestTube subscription consistently has a value of more than $180, and the products included are really interesting, useful products. A lot of the brands featured here are known for their high quality, but they’re just as likely to include items from emerging brands.
NewBeauty TestTube is always exciting to get in the mail, and you’ll probably find some new favorite products through this service. If you love skincare, do yourself a favor and try this subscription.