Subscription boxes take the guesswork and research out of trying new beauty products. You can sign up for a beauty box and get monthly deliveries of products already vetted by beauty experts. Look Fantastic and GlossyBox are two subscription options, and both of them are curated by experts to include exciting new products and tools.
Look Fantastic is a monthly box containing 6 beauty products, including makeup, skincare, and more. You can expect an array of brands and product types in each box, giving you plenty of fun new items to work with! GlossyBox is another monthly beauty box, and each one has 5-6 items, including beauty products and tools. This company is known for its flashy packaging and monthly themes.
Look Fantastic is a UK-based beauty subscription service. Each month, you’ll get 6 products to try. Most of them will be samples, but sometimes you’ll get a full-sized product, too. They offer all kinds of beauty products, and you’ll usually get a good mix of skincare and makeup items in these boxes. They do have hair care items and makeup tools sometimes, too.
These boxes are very loosely curated around a theme, which is mostly reflected in product packaging. For example, their November 2020 box was Firecracker themed, and most of the items inside had red, pink, and orange packaging. The box included a volumizing shampoo and conditioner set, an orange lipstick, gold eyeliner, and micellar water with packaging in Firecracker colors. They’re not necessarily fiery products, but they do match the packaging colors!
Look Fantastic boxes come with cute little booklets that tell you all about your products, including key ingredients and how to use them. You’ll also find interviews with industry professionals and ads for new products, to keep you up-to-date on beauty news.
GlossyBox is a monthly beauty subscription service. There’s a different theme each month, and both the packaging and product choices are influenced by the theme. Previous themes include Aloha, Happy Birthday, Enchanted Spirit, and more. GlossyBoxes contain at least 5 items each month, but sometimes they come with a bonus item.
When you first sign up, they’ll ask you to fill out a short beauty quiz to give them a better idea of what brands and product types customers want. This isn’t a customized box like Birchbox or Ipsy, though.
Each GlossyBox is curated by the brand’s experts, with a few possible variations. They’ll have anywhere between 6 and 10 possible items for boxes, but they usually fill your box with a random item. There’s not much in the way of customization, because they have limited options available.
This box is a fun way to try new products on a regular basis and expand your beauty collection. Boxes include skincare, makeup, hair care, and tools. GlossyBox tends to include a lot of accessories, more than you’ll find in other boxes.
- Variety of brands
- Box value of $60 or more
- Well-rounded boxes
Look Fantastic is a British company, and they often have brands that are made in European countries like Spain, Italy, and France. This is a convenient way to try international brands that are hard to come by in the United States.
Each box has a guaranteed value of at least $60, so you’re getting about three times what you paid for. They meet the minimum value by featuring high-end brands and products in Look Fantastic boxes, so you can try luxury items before buying them.
Look Fantastic does a great job of curating boxes to include a useful variety each month. You won’t end up with tons of one kind of beauty product. Instead, you’ll get products and samples each month that will help you build up your collection.
- Small sample sizes
- Sometimes includes filler items as the “full-sized product”
- International shipping often gets delayed
Look Fantastic samples are sometimes pretty small, with only enough product for a few uses. It’s not worth it to pay for samples that are around the size of samples you can get for free, and I’m doubtful about the worth of some of these.
These boxes come with full-size products, but sometimes they count an accessory like a brush or sponge as a full-size item. Those items just don’t have the same value as a makeup or skincare product.
Look Fantastic ships from the UK, so American subscribers might get their shipments delayed. This has been a more common problem during the COVID-19 pandemic and the holidays, but hopefully the shipping process will get smoother soon.
- Great packaging
- Monthly themes
- Variety of brands
GlossyBox is known for gorgeous package designs, and they generally fit with the month’s theme. They had a bright, tropical print for their Aloha month, and they went with a bright pink for their Birthday box. These designs really elevate the boxes and make them feel special. You can also hold onto them to use as organizers or gift boxes.
The monthly themes help guide the product curation, which makes for a diverse selection of products each month! That keeps things fresh from month to month, and you might end up trying something you’d never try otherwise. During Aloha month, they included coconut oil deep conditioner, a Hawaiian black salt scrub, and Hawaiian facial serum.
GlossyBox features hundreds of brands from around the world. They carry beauty favorites like Briogeo, Crabtree & Evelyn, and Pure Cosmetics along with brands you might not be familiar with. Here’s the full list of their brand partners.
- Not much customization
- Sometimes include beauty tools or accessories instead of other products
GlossyBox asks you to fill out a survey when you sign up, but there isn’t a lot of customization available. They only have 6-10 products available each month, so there might not be anything particularly relevant to your interests.
GlossyBox includes more beauty tools and accessories than most other beauty boxes. Products like brushes, headwraps, and makeup sponges usually have a lower value than other beauty items, so they’re not as exciting as the other possibilities.
These two boxes are at a similar price point, with only a few dollars between them. Look Fantastic is cheaper, though.
Look Fantastic is slightly cheaper than GlossyBox at $19 per box. If you sign up for a longer subscription, you’ll get a lower price per box. All their long-term subscriptions are billed on a monthly basis instead of in one large payment, which makes them budget-friendly.
A 3 month subscription is $18 per box and a 6 month subscription is $17 per box. The cheapest option is the annual subscription, which is $16 per month.
GlossyBox is $21 per box on a monthly basis, giving you the freedom to cancel whenever you want. If you sign up for a longer subscription, you can save a few dollars. If you agree to an annual subscription, they’ll charge $18 per box every month.
Another option is to prepay for a longer subscription. The 6 month subscription costs $111 up front, and saves you $15 total. If you prepay for an annual subscription, it’ll be $210 up front, and you can save $42.
In your Look Fantastic box, you can expect a mix of skincare, hair care, and makeup items. They feature lots of European brands, which is a plus if you want to expand your knowledge of brands outside the US. Some of their favorite brands are Christophe Robin, Elemis, thisworks, Philip Kingsley, and more. You can also learn about new European brands like 3INA, which is based in the UK but made in Italy, France, and Spain.
Look Fantastic boxes are mostly samples, but usually there’ll be at least one full-size item, like a lipstick, a beauty sponge, or mascara.
GlossyBox features products and brands each month chosen by their beauty experts. They have more than 150 beauty scouts who test out new products so they can feature the best ones in their boxes. They often feature international brands. In the past they’ve had a World of Beauty theme to highlight different products from around the world.
The items in your GlossyBox are influenced by the themes each month. November 2020’s box had a Makeup & Magic theme, so it was filled with a glitzy eyeshadow palette, gold eye masks, and other flashy items.
GlossyBox always includes at least one full-size item. Past items have included breakout treatments, liquid eyeshadows, and lip liners.
These two boxes are really similar, because they include about the same number of products each month and are worth around the same amount. If you want the cheapest option, try Look Fantastic. It comes with 6 products each month, but some of them feel like filler. However, they do have lots of products from European countries that you might not already know.
GlossyBox is more consistent in terms of box value, and it has more exciting packaging. I also like the monthly themes from GlossyBox more. They choose products that reflect the themes somehow, whether it’s floral products for a bouquet-themed month or a Wild Thing month. I recommend this box as a way to try out new products and expand your beauty collection.