My Subscription Addiction
My Subscription Addiction
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The Best Monthly Beauty & Makeup Sample Subscription Boxes

Liz Cadman
ByLiz CadmanMay 31, 2013 | 45 comments

I’ve received many requests to put together a list of the best beauty and makeup subscription boxes – and the list is finally complete! Here are some of my absolute favorite beauty and makeup subscription boxes. I subscribe to all of these subscription services and I am consistently impressed with the value of these boxes and the quality of makeup and beauty items.



My original addiction! Birchbox is the beauty subscription box that got me hooked! For $10 a month you receive 4-5 beauty samples in a bright pink box. Occasionally, a box will contain a full size makeup item, which usually makes the value of the box incredible. They also have a great points system: you earn 10 points ($1) for every sample you review. You can spend those points on any products in the Birchbox shop. It’s a great way to discover new beauty products, and then buy the ones you like at a discount!  (Birchbox Reviews).


GlossyBox – $21 a month

GlossyBox has the best packaging – it’s like unwrapping a gift each month! Plus they almost always have multiple full sized makeup products in each box. I also like that since they started overseas, they often source international makeup brands for their boxes. (GlossyBox reviews)

My Glam

Ipsy – $10 a month

I re-subscribed to Ipsy a few months ago – and I’m so glad I did! At only $10 a month I’m amazed at how much full sized makeup they send out – and always in a cute makeup bag! (Ipsy Reviews).

Beauty Bar

Sample Society – $15 a month

Sample Society is a beauty subscription box that is partnered with Allure magazine  – instant beauty expert cred! Their samples are typicallly deluxe size, and from high-end brands. (Sample Society Reviews).


Julep Maven – $19.99 a month

Julep is a nail polish subscription box, but lately they’ve been increasing their beauty product line as well. Each month you can pick which box you want (or skip a month). They also offer exclusive discounts and sales to their Julep Maven members. (Julep Maven Reviews)

New Beauty Test Tube

New Beauty Test Tube – $29.95 plus shipping every two months

New Beauty Test Tube is one of the highest value beauty boxes. Their boxes or “tubes” always include deluxe or full size products, and they provide all the information you could want on each product and why they selected it for the box. (New Beauty Test Tube Reviews)


In addition to my long-standing favorite boxes, I also have a few new favorites. So far, I am very impressed with these beauty boxes:

Blush Mystery Beauty Box

Blush Mystery Beauty Box – $24.95 a month

This subscription is another great box for full-size and deluxe size beauty and makeup products. I was very impressed with their most recent box (lots of variety, well-known brands, and a great value) and I’m hoping the trend continues! (Blush Mystery Beauty Box Reviews)


Wantable – $36 a month

Wantable is definitely one of the pricier subscription boxes – but they deliver a ton of full-sized makeup products in each box. You also can let them know what products you are interested in, and which ones you aren’t – making this box fully customizable! (Wantable Reviews).


What do you think of this list? What are your favorite beauty subscription boxes?

Liz Cadman
Liz Cadman
Liz is the founder of My Subscription Addiction. She's been hooked on subscription boxes since 2011 thanks to Birchbox, and she now subscribes to over 100 boxes. Her favorites include POPSUGAR Must Have, FabFitFun, and any box that features natural beauty products!

Liz Cadman
Liz Cadman
Liz is the founder of My Subscription Addiction. She's been hooked on subscription boxes since 2011 thanks to Birchbox, and she now subscribes to over 100 boxes. Her favorites include POPSUGAR Must Have, FabFitFun, and any box that features natural beauty products!
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Ipsy does not give full size samples as far as I am aware. I have received 3 glam bags so far and not a single full size product. They’re not amazing, but good enough.


I got my first bag in October and it had 2 full size items in it and some good brands like Urban Decay, Tarte, It Cosmetics, Naked Cosmetics and some more and I got my november one and it was a really good one too with brands like Tarte, Marc Anthony, & others. My first bag with the full size liquid lip was awful though. It’s thick and dries up fast and it won’t come off without soap but it feels awful on your lips. That one I have never heard of the company.


I got 3 full sized items last month and I normally always atleast get one full sized items each month


I love Ipsy…been getting Glam bags for a year and I get full size products every other month or so. My last bag had full size nail polish plus a full size lipstick. Another one had a leave in hair tonic…8 ounces that retails for $65.00!


I paid for a whole year but they put you on a wait list unless you advertise for them- like post on your media and bug friends! I cancelled!


I am looking for a different variety of perfumes (vials, rollerballs) to be Sent to me on a monthly basis. Do you have this available?


try scentbird, they send one perfume a month


Scent bird is amazing!


I would love to see an updated version of this list. At least two on the list have changed their names.

PA Anna

My almost 6 year old son loves Kiwi Crate, KidStir, and Nerdblock Jr for Boys. I signed him up for a 3 month subscription with some of his birthday money for IvyKids. There are many kid boxes out there.

I think it must be hard to make a list because it is subjective to what you are looking for in a box. Factors such as wanting full size versus sample size or the latest in chemistry versus organic/natural, skincare versus cosmetics plays into it. I’m a newbie receiving boxes since May so others are much more qualified, but here are my favorites so far as a working mom in her 40s with rosacea.

Beauty DNA which is customizable. I’ve been introduced to products that I would not try because of my rosacea, but feel comfortable because they matched me with it knowing I have rosacea.

Birchbox – The novelty hasn’t worn off. I received samples without parabens and sulfates.

Petit Vour – Natural and/or organic products. I found a few great products this way.

Gourmet Body Treats – I received the second box which is August. I absolutely love it. Organic products with essential oils. Can’t wait to see what is in the third box.

Sample Society – Sometimes a girl wants to have fun. This is my fun box.

Yuzen – Comes out quarterly. I received one box which I enjoyed using. More along the natural/organic skincare.

Another fun one for me is Blush Mystery Beauty Box (not to be confused with the adult Blush box). I discontinued it because I wanted to try other boxes, but I do think it is worth the money and the products are great. I can see myself subscribing again in the future.

Some are listed above in Liz’s blog post and have more information. Looking forward to other responses since my bent is towards natural/organic skincare.


I know this is an old posting but I wanted to see if anyone had any recent updates on best boxes they wanted to share. I’m just starting into my sub box addiction. I began with Sample Society and Ipsy but just canceled Ipsy – I had it for 3 months and haven’t loved any of it. I just signed up for Birchbox because of the points system but am not sure if I’ll keep it because I also just signed up for The French Box and Glossybox. I also get Nailette (I hated Julep and love mini’s), Beauty DNA and Blush Beauty Mystery Box.
I am also looking for something my kids would enjoy – I have two girls ages 5 and 7 months.
Thanks in advance to anyone that offers a suggestion!


My favorite box is Boxycharm, which isn’t on the list. You get so much value for your money and I get really nice makeup brushes a lot of times too! I have received huge eye shadow pallets from them as well. It also seems that Boxycharm items do well on the swap site.
My second favorite is Ipsy (I actually have three subscriptions to it) love the cute bags and the samples are much bigger than Birchbox. I have also received make up brushes, full sized nail polish, eye lash curlers etc. from Ipsy. I like that Birchbox lets you choose a curated box or pick one sample every month and the dollars you earn for reviewing the box but, I always like my Ipsy bag more.
I also really liked lip monthly but had to cancel because I couldn’t keep up with the number of lip products I was receiving. They allow every other month and that would probably work better for me.
This is my second month of Julep and I like that you can customize your box and the secret shop too. So I would put Julep on my recommendation list but those add-on’s are dangerous!!
Boxes I didn’t really care for : 1) Glossy Box and cancelled it because the products just didn’t fit my needs and I always felt disappointed and couldn’t justify the cost. 2) Blush Mystery Box – A lot of hair products that I wasn’t really excited to try. One product I received was about to expire so it made me wonder if they were just getting rid of old products.
Well, Black Friday is coming up and last year I subscribed to a Birchbox annual subscription for $88 and also got a great deal on Popsugar for 6 months too. So I am holding off on my addiction to see what Black Friday brings for annual subscriptions.


Boxy charm is Fabulous! I love it. Also Fabfitfun Box is amazingly fantastic


it’s an interesting list for me. I hate birchbox. I’m on the fence about Ipsy. I feel like the Test Tube is SUPER hit or miss that I cancelled it just to avoid the frustration. The box I love the most? Memebox–hands down. I know it’s not a traditional subscription but it’s the best bang for the buck out there and I never worry that any of the other boxes are going to have any Memebox stuff. I also keep hearing great things about boxycharm.


I’m starting to feel like I’m alone in loving Birchbox! I almost always find something I like and want to order, and then with the points system, I can get it really cheap from their website. I’ve subscribed to and cancelled Beauty Army and Saffron Rouge, and I plan to cancel BeautyBox 5 once my 3-month subscription is up. But Birchbox is the one I consistently look forward to each month.


You are NOT alone! I love Birchbox! I have tried ipsy, Sample Society, BB5, and even SwaagBox. I cancelled all but Birchbox. They sent me a code for 30% off to celebrate my 3rd box, and I have 190 points already to use in their shop. Birchbox is awesome!


Hi Liz! Thank you for this post. It’s been super helpful in my decisions for which boxes to subscribe to. I was curious as to whether or not your list has changed since last year – do you have any new ones you would add to this or ones you would remove?


Hello! Just joined this site. I have been wanting to join a few makeup subscription services but didn’t know where to start. I spent a lot of time reading this blog and other information on this site, and decided to add to my subscriptions based on the information from wonderful people like you. I subscribed to Julep about a month ago, and just added Ipsy and BoxyCharm to that, like 30 minutes ago, lol. I’m super excited! So far, I’m very happy with Julep. I liked my introductory box, and I found some additional great deals (free makeup bag with 2 polishes with a minimum purchase x2), plus my first box came with a 50% off coupon code for my next order! I know it will be fun in a few days to go in and review what the April box will be. I don’t get my first Ipsy shipment until April…does anyone know how soon my first BoxyCharm shipment will arrive? Oh, one other question…how do I add my subscriptions to my profile on here?



I only subscribe to one box (so far…) but I am thrilled with it! It’s BoxyCharm. Found it thanks to Liz’s site, and the March box I got today has a value of $120, including a Pur-lisse moisturizer valued at $55. Totally worth the $21 monthly, including shipping.


I love Boxy Charm the most out of all my subscriptions. You can’t beat the value and the variety of full sized products. Good choice!


I just want to say thank you for your blog! I stumbled upon birchbox about 6 months ago. I had never heard about these boxes till then and then I found your blog and was thrilled to see how many their are! I am now addicted. I have to agree with the other comments about birchbox. I was so excited at first but since I subscribed to a few others boxes, I feel like they pale in comparison to other sub’s. I subscribe and love ipsy, blush and starbox. I think I’m going to be trading in birchbox for glossybox. The only reason I haven’t cancelled bb is because of their points system and (as silly as it sounds) it’s packaging. I’m a sucker for packaging. So about glossybox… Is it worth the $? Should I trade in birch? In the worst at making decisions! 🙂 I would love any suggestions! Thank you!

Liz Cadman

Thanks for reading the blog! 🙂 I think GlossyBox is worth the money – the box value is usually double or more the cost of the box. If you’re looking to only get full size or deluxe size samples, then I think you should make the switch. And if you love the Birchbox packaging you will LOVE the GlossyBox packaging! (I’m a sucker for packaging too, and GlossyBox has the best presentation of all subscription boxes in my opinion!)


I just recently subscribed to Ipsy, Julep, PopSugar, Your Bijoux Box, and Wantable accessories. I don’t know if I’m going to keep all of the subscriptions, but we’ll see how it goes as the boxes arrive. So far I’ve gotten Julep and Wantable. I’m a fan of Julep, although I may end up skipping future months since I already have a lot of nail polish. The Wantable box, sadly, has to go back. There was only one piece (out of 4) that I might have wanted to wear, so I decided to return the box. I did subscribe for 3 months, though, and I updated my style preferences, so I’m hoping the next one will be better! Does anyone have thoughts about the accessories box from Wantable?


I’ve had two months of Wantable. Customer service is great, the accessories, not so much. I wrote about it on my blog, but in a nutshell, the products left a lot to be desired and weren’t my style, despite being pretty specific in my preferences.

Frances Tolley

I love Glossybox…it’s a little more but I actually the stuff. I can get much of birch box only better via sephora for free. I like Ipsy too!

Anna W.

I cancelled my birchbox. I got so tired of the tiny samples and foil packs. Blush mystery beauty box is by far my number 1! Followed by Ipsy, then Julep, then Glossybox… and I’m waiting on my first sample society box now 🙂


I agree with your comment on Birchbox. I subscribed for a very long time then I switched to Ipsy which was much better but not uh, “age” appropriate for me so now I just got my first glossy Box.


Great list! I started with Birchbox, but after being consistently disappointed I canceled. For just $5 more, Sample Society is excellent! Its what I always wished Birchbox was. GlossyBox is my absolute favorite. Even though its $21 a month, I think you get so much more bang for your buck. And it really is like opening a present!


Lip Factory and Ipsy do a great job of offering really good value for dollar. Lip Factory sent the following full-sized items last month: eye shadow, a baked blush, a lip pencil, and two tubes of lip gloss with a face-wipe sample and a face mask sample. Ipsy sent a full-sized lip pencil, nail polish and samples of a body lotion, a face treatment, and hair care product.

Plussie Galore

I just received my first Birchbox and I won’t be doing that again. It was disappointing to say the least. I’m so hesitant to try another because several people told me Birchbox was so great. Really? I’d rather go over to Sephora.


Birchbox sucks. Ipsy glambag and glossybox are Amazing!!!!!

pattie campbell

I agree. I just cancelled my birchbox subscription. This is the second time I was sent a tube of bright red lipstick. Also sent frosty pastel eyeshadow. Really, I’m 52, and no one my age should be wearing that, plus it arrived crumbles and they will only give me points to compensate. I don’t think they customize the boxes at all. They also sent foot wipes in this months box. Seriously, that’s just ridiculous. A few months ago I got tea bags and a pen. I’m trying Ipsy next.


You will LOVE Ipsy. I am 40 and i use the majority of everything they send me. You can personalize it by answering the profile questions accurately. I have found a few new Favorite Brands and my absolute Best RED lipstick ever – just by subscribing to ISPY. and you get a cute make up bag each month. You will like it. If you get on the waiting list – Just wait… It will be worth it.


OMG, I feel the same way. How many bright red lipsticks can you send that do NOT MATCH my profile. I’m cancelling birchbox as well and maybe try 1 on this list to see if better items will come through. (thought the same about the footwipes, really? the point of that?)


I actually started out with Birchbox then heard about Ipsy. Every Birchbox I got was a complete disappointment! I canceled Birchbox after about six months but still have Ipsy. I really like Ipsy! You usually get a few full sized products with them unlike Birchbox which was full of perfume samples. There are a lot of other subscription services out there. I’m sure one will fit your needs. I look forward to my little bag of goodies every month. Don’t let Birchbox ruin it for you!


My first was glossy box and I love it. I had subscribed to birchbox but was dissapointed with it compared to glossy. Maybe I will try the beauty box 5. That looks better than birchbox.

Kim Comeaux

I have been a Birchbox customer for 3 years and have been dissatisfied with the items I’ve been getting. Too many shampoos and non-makeup items. And then lately, tiny, one-use samples. So, I signed up for Ipsy and have been happily satisfied by the size and quality of products I’ve been receiving. While it’s true that most of their products aren’t considered “lux” like Birchbox, they are products that I can use for weeks, not just one day.

I didn’t know about some of these others you mentioned, so I’m going to try those too. Thanks so much for the information!


Can you do the best Eco friendly, natural or organic boxes???

Liz Cadman

Thanks for the suggestion – I will definitely make a eco/friendly / organic subscription box list!


Thank you!


My favorites are Birchbox and Yuzen. 🙂


I am subscribed to Birchbox and Julep, I’ve been happy with both so far even though I skipped the June Julep box. I signed up for Ipsy last week but I’m on the waiting list. I may check out Sample Society next!


Thank you so much for creating this list! I had been wanting to subscribe to some beauty boxes but didn’t know how to go about finding the best one. I definitely will be subscribing to one of these. 🙂


I am currently subbed to Julep,wantable,Ipsy and Lipfactory!! I absolutely LOVE all of these altho with Julep i have gotten a few dupes (ones i got before) lately. Lipfactory always puts a “full face” in their box, meaning makeup for eyes,lips & face. july is their anniversary month so i CANNOT WAIT to see whats in it. All 4 of the boxes i do receive send out full size products which when looking for a box for myself was something i wanted~more bang for ur buck!!! 🙂


Great list, Liz! I’m definitely thinking of adding a couple more to my already growing list!

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Our reviewers research, test, and recommend the best subscriptions and products independently; click to learn more about our editorial guidelines. We may receive commissions on purchases made through links on our site.