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BoxyCharm vs. Birchbox

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Are you looking for ways to update your skincare and makeup routine? Beauty subscription boxes can help you find new brands and get outside your comfort zone. BoxyCharm is a beauty subscription box filled with 5 full-size products each month, and you even get one choice item. Birchbox personalized boxes according to your interest, and you get 5 samples each month. It’s a great introductory beauty box.

BoxyCharm has a lot of value in each box, and comes with full-size products you’ll be able to use for months. The box tends to focus more on makeup, and you can choose one item per box. Birchbox, on the other hand, only carries sample sizes. The boxes are curated according to your needs, and they usually focus on skincare and hair products more than makeup. I recommend BoxyCharm for most people, because the high value and product choice means you’ll probably get more use out of items from this box.

How Do They Work


BoxyCharm is a monthly subscription box. The Base subscription comes with 5 full-size products each month, with a minimum worth of $125. There’s also a Premium option that comes with 6-7 products instead.

If you have the Base subscription, you can choose to upgrade to a BoxyLuxe box every three months. The Luxe box contains both lifestyle and beauty products, so you’ll get things like metal straws, teeth whitening kits, and tea-brewing mugs alongside the usual beauty items.

BoxyCharm does ask you to fill out a survey, but they don’t really customize boxes. Instead, they let you choose 1 item (for Base and Premium subscriptions) or 3 items (for BoxyLuxe) for each box.

The company has a reward points system, where 100 “charms” equal one dollar. You earn 50 points per product review, though, so these can add up quickly. You can use your points in the Charm Room.


Birchbox is a monthly subscription box catered to your unique needs. When you first sign up, you’ll fill out a beauty survey to let them know your top priorities for samples. You can let them know what categories you like most. They offer fragrances, skincare, hair care, makeup, and bath and body items.

Once you sign up for Birchbox, you can expect your first box about a week later. This box doesn’t have a waitlist, and they ship pretty quickly. You can see what’s coming in your box once it ships.

Birchbox is designed to introduce people to new brands and products, so you can expect them to focus on items that address any issues you mentioned for your skin and hair. This box focuses more on skincare and hair care than most other beauty boxes.

After you get your box, you can leave reviews or browse reviews other people have left for your samples. When you leave reviews, you get rewards points that you can spend in their shop. If you buy something from their shop, you get 1 point per dollar you spend. 100 Birchbox points are worth $10, which is a pretty good value for rewards points.




  • All full-size items
  • Choice option each month
  • High value
  • Lots of subscription tiers

BoxyCharm only includes full-size items, so you’re getting a lot of product in each box. It’s definitely enough to keep you busy for a month, and you can always skip months if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

BoxyCharm doesn’t personalize boxes for you, but you do get to choose at least one item for your box each month. With the Luxe subscription, you can choose up to 3 of your products. It’s great to have some control over what you get each month, to make sure you get your money’s worth.

The Base BoxyCharm subscription is worth at least $125, which is 5 times the monthly cost. This box is a great way to get access to makeup for a discount, as long as you keep an open mind about trying new things.

BoxyCharm’s Base subscription is great, but if you want more products each month, you can try Premium for $10 more per month, and you’ll get 6-7 products. There’s also an optional quarterly upgrade called Luxe, which includes 8 or more lifestyle and beauty products. It all depends on how many products you want from your box.


  • Long waitlist
  • Few skincare items

When you sign up for BoxyCharm, expect to spend some time on a waitlist. They need to make sure they have enough inventory for all subscribers, so it might take them a month or two to start charging you and sending boxes.

BoxyCharm mostly contains makeup products. Skincare is more of an afterthought. If you’re looking for a box with a focus on skincare products, you might want to skip this one.



  • Quality brands
  • Personalized selection
  • Lots of product variety
  • Option to get a curated box instead

Birchbox sends lots of recognizable brands, and you can get to know some of the best beauty brands through their sample service. If you’re used to buying beauty products from pharmacies and big box stores, you might not be familiar with most of these.

The personalization option sets Birchbox apart from other boxes. If you’re not sure where to start looking for beauty products that fit your needs, they can guide you to helpful products. You can let them know any skin issues you want to address, and your usual makeup style.

Birchbox carries beauty products from all categories, not just skincare and makeup. You’re likely to learn about new product types through this service, and you can figure out what’s right for you.

If you want to skip the personalized box for a month, you can choose one of their pre-curated boxes instead. They have themed boxes like Clean Beauty and a box curated by the company’s CEO.


  • Repeat products
  • Small sample sizes
  • No guaranteed value

Birchbox does occasionally send the same sample more than once. If you didn’t like it the first time, it’s annoying to get the same lackluster product again. The company says they do it strategically, so you can give products a second chance. If you contact Customer Service about it, they’ll usually give you some bonus points to make up for it.

Birchbox features a lot of high-end cosmetics, which means you end up with some very small sample sizes. If a product is $100 or so, they’ll typically send a smaller sample, because the product is worth more per ounce. Sometimes it’s hard to get a real sense of whether or not you like the products they send, since there’s so little of them.

Birchbox doesn’t offer a guaranteed value like many other boxes do, including BoxyCharm. If you add up the value of their samples, it often comes out to around $40, but they don’t try to meet a specific dollar amount. Box values aren’t always consistent.

How Much Do They Cost?

BoxyCharm is $10 more each month, but you’ll get much more product from that subscription box. Birchbox offers 5 samples each month for $15, and it’s a good option if you’re working with a budget.


The Base BoxyCharm subscription is $25, but there’s also a Premium option for $35.

If you have the Base subscription, there’s an optional quarterly Luxe upgrade for $50 total. That means you’ll get an additional $25 charge on top of your usual subscription charge.


Birchbox is $15 for a standard monthly subscription. With this option, you can cancel at any time. This is probably your best bet if you’re not fully sold on the subscription just yet.

If you agree to a 6 month subscription, you’ll get each box for $14 and pay each month. It’s $13 per box for an annual subscription, which is the best possible deal.

What Kind Of Products Do You Get?

If you’re looking for a lot of makeup in your beauty box, BoxyCharm is the best choice for you. Birchbox only carries samples, but they’re normally high-end, and you can expect lots of skincare from this company.


BoxyCharm sends a variety of beauty products, but it specializes in makeup. Past products include eyeshadow palettes, lip oils, primer, brushes, eyeliner, serums, and more. BoxyCharm almost always features eyeshadow palettes, but you’ll find the occasional skincare product, too.

The boxes are assembled randomly aside from your choice item, so don’t expect a lot of personalization. You’ll find reliable, well-reviewed brands in your boxes. They’ve included items from MAC, Huda Beauty, Yensa, Elemis, and Luxie.


Birchbox sends a lot of beauty brand favorites. You can expect to get trendy brands like Oribe, Sunday Riley, R+Co, and more.

These are mostly skincare brands, and that reflects Birchbox as a whole. They have more of a focus on skincare and hair care than makeup, so be aware before you sign up. You can choose to prioritize certain categories in your box, though.

Birchbox has its own cosmetics line called Love of Color, with eye and lip products. They have a skincare line, too, called ARROW. ARROW has some innovative products, and I liked their spray oil cleanser.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a useful introduction to beauty items and brands, Birchbox is the best choice for you. It’s only $15 a month, and you get a selection of 5 product samples every month. They choose great brands, so you get to try items that aren’t usually available at the corner store or pharmacy. They also have more skincare options than BoxyCharm.

BoxyCharm is more expensive, but you get far more product in each box. All BoxyCharm subscriptions let you choose one or more products each month, so you have some control over what you receive. This box features a lot of premium brands for both makeup and skincare, but you’ll probably get more makeup items overall. If you want to expand your collection with full-size products each month, BoxyCharm is the better choice.

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