Do you love beauty product samples? Glossybox is a beauty subscription service that sends out at least 5 products each month for $21. Each box includes a mix of samples and full-size items from hundreds of beauty brands, ranging from Adore Cosmetics to Zuii Organic. There are plenty of other beauty subscription boxes at a similar price point, and some of them might even be more suited to your needs. If you’re ready to try similar beauty subscriptions, here are 5 options that cost $25 or less a month.
These GlossyBox alternatives are all a great value for the price, including Kinder Beauty, Allure Beauty Box, and BeautyFIX. If you’re looking for the best budget option, try Birchbox to get a personalized selection of high-end sample items for $15 a month. Ipsy Glam Bag Plus is my favorite option here, because you get 5 full-size products a month.
Birchbox is a sample box that’s customized to your specific beauty interests. When you first join, you fill out a detailed profile that includes your skin and hair type, along with the type of products you don’t want to receive. You can completely exclude items if you’re not interested in them, such as hair care or bath products.
- Affordable price
- Lots of product variety
- Great customization
At only $15, Birchbox is one of the most affordable boxes available. You get 5 or 6 items each month. Most of them are samples, but there’s the occasional full-size item.
Each Birchbox comes with a nice variety of products. You can find a cleanser, a face serum, and hair butter all in the same box.
When you sign up, you can let Birchbox know what kind of items you want to try. You can eliminate entire categories, like bath products, if you don’t want to ever get them in your box.
- Sample sizes tend to be small
- Can’t choose items yourself
Birchbox samples aren’t always deluxe, and sometimes they’re tiny. This is probably because they often include high-end, luxury items. In my first Birchbox, I received a tiny sample of a $125 serum. It didn’t look impressive, but I ended up loving it.
Boxes are personalized according to your profile, but you can’t choose any items yourself. You just need to trust the beauty experts at Birchbox.
Ipsy Glam Bag Plus is a monthly beauty subscription service at roughly the same price point as Glossybox, but each box contains 5 full-size items. Ipsy will choose 2 items for you each month, but you can choose the other 3 from a selection of about 24 products.
- Affordable and great value
- Variety of products and brands
- Choose 3 out of 5 products yourself
Ipsy’s price of $25 a month with free shipping is a great deal for 5 full-size beauty items. If you buy beauty products on a regular basis,
Ipsy is best known for makeup, but the company also offers hair products and skincare items. In one order, you’re likely to get a combination of well-known brands and newcomers. If you have more than one Ipsy subscription, they’ll keep track of your past products so you don’t end up with duplicates.
Even personalized subscription services don’t usually let you choose your own products, so the fact that you get to choose the majority of your items from Glam Bag Plus is a huge bonus. You can choose between lip glosses, eyeliners, and so on to build the best bag for your needs.
- Popular items sell out fast
- Your choice items are limited to 4-6 possibilities
On the 2nd and 3rd of each month, you can pick out your choice items on Ipsy’s website. However, you need to get there early, because popular items will sell out in a matter of hours.
I think the choice items are great, but I’d like to mention that you only have 4-6 possible choices for each item slot. If none of the items in a particular slot appeal to you, you might end up with something in your bag that you’re not very excited about.
Kinder Beauty specializes in vegan, cruelty-free, and clean beauty items. The founders test all products themselves, and they have high standards for all the items that make it into the monthly beauty boxes. This is a great choice for vegans, environmentalists and people who love natural products.
- Quality, ethical items
- Eco-friendly packaging
- Great value in each box
It can be hard to find ethical beauty items, but Kinder Beauty only carries items that are free of certain chemicals, not tested on animals, and free of animal products. Their clean beauty items don’t contain mineral oil, plastic microbeads, parabens, and other ingredients.
Kinder Beauty recognizes that subscription boxes can contribute a ton of waste to landfills around the country. They’re doing their part to reduce waste by using recycled, biodegradable packaging and zero plastic bags.
Each box has at least two full-size products in it, and you can expect boxes to be worth anywhere from $75 to $160 retail. Every box is worth far more than the $25 monthly cost, especially considering that natural products can be expensive.
- No personalization option
- 2 box variations each month, but you won’t find out which one you get until it arrives at your home
Kinder Beauty doesn’t let users customize their boxes at the moment, and instead they focus on general beauty items that work across most skin types. Sometimes they might include something that doesn’t fit with your personal style, though.
Each month, Kinder Beauty puts out two different box variations, and you can see the contents of each box on their blog. Subscribers can’t choose which item they receive, though. The box that arrives each month is a surprise. I wish they’d let subscribers choose between the two boxes, but that’s not currently an option.
The Allure Beauty Box is associated with Allure magazine, and this is how they share great new brands and old favorites with their audience. Eah $23 box is curated by the beauty editors, so you’re getting products chosen by people who are well-informed on what’s new and effective in beauty. If you’re wondering what will be in their next box, look at their social media or sign up for their newsletter to get previews of upcoming boxes.
- Curated by expert beauty editors
- 3 or more full-size items
- Over $100 of products in each box
One of the coolest things about the Allure Beauty Box is that the magazine’s fashion editors choose what items go in the box each month. They include trendy new items and ingredients from indie brands, but you can also find luxury brands in their boxes.
Each month, you can expect at least 3 full-size items. The company also guarantees that makeup brushes and sheet masks won’t ever count as one of those items, so you can be sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
This beauty box is $23 a month, and each shipment is guaranteed to include at least $100 worth of beauty products. Some boxes include luxury products.
- No customization
- Boxes may sell out
There aren’t any customization options with Allure Beauty Boxes. You might end up with some items that don’t fit into your beauty routine, or else don’t work with your skin type. Check out previous Allure boxes to get an idea of what to expect from future shipments.
Some boxes with coveted products may be very popular, and those may sell out. Try to sign up early in the month to avoid having to wait another month to get your box.
BeautyFIX is a monthly beauty box with a focus on skincare and hair products, rather than makeup items. These boxes contain everything from accessories, like silk scrunchies, to chemical exfoliants. Some items are full size, and others are deluxe samples. These boxes are curated by professionals in the beauty industry.
- Mostly skincare
- $100+ value
- At least 6 products per box
Skincare can be the most difficult kind of beauty product to research and make decisions on, and it’s also one of the most expensive categories. I always enjoy skincare items the most out of my beauty boxes. Some people may see this as a negative, though.
BeautyFIX offers samples and full sizes of luxury products, and each box is worth at least $100 retail. Boxes often come out to $150+, which is several times the cost of the box.
You’re guaranteed at least 6 items per box, but they sometimes include more. At least one item per box will be a full-size product, but there may be others.
- Annual subscription is much cheaper than a one-off box
- Shipping isn’t free on your first box
The annual price is $24.95 per box, while one box is $34.95. That’s a 29% difference! This is a great deal if you plan to subscribe, but not so much if you’re just trying the box out.
In a similar vein, you do have to pay for shipping on your first BeautyFIX box, or if you aren’t a subscriber.
All of these Glossybox alternatives are a great opportunity to get beauty products and samples for low prices.
The best budget option is definitely Birchbox, though. Birchbox offers a personalized selection of sample sizes each month, with the occasional full-size product. For only $15 a month, you can get sample sizes, the occasional full-size item, and even beauty tools. They also tend to offer high-end samples, so you’ll have the opportunity to see how more expensive products look on your skin and hair.
My favorite option is the Ipsy Glam Bag Plus, which is at a similar price point to Glossybox but includes a cute makeup bag filled with 5 full-size products each month. The most exciting Glam Bag Plus feature is that you can choose 3 of the items yourself from the selection Ipsy has available.