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Boxycharm — 2020 In Review

BoxyCharm in 2020

Some of my favorite products, the best brands I saw inside, and my hopes for this subscription in 2021.

BoxyCharm has been one of my favorite subscription boxes even back before I joined the MSA team! It has consistently had value and a good mix of smaller brands, hype brands, and new brands which gives it a little bit of excitement! Though not every product or even every month has been a home-run, I have found that this box consistently delivers a great value, even if I only like a few of the products inside. In a year where so many of us have been wearing less makeup (or, none at all!) was a box like BoxyCharm still worth it? I think so, and I have a few good reasons other than the value.

BoxyCharm has helped to keep me excited about beauty and makeup products. Even if my mouth is covered with a mask, I am still really looking forward to rocking some bold lips in 2021. And even though my fashion statements are mostly sweatshirts for the time being, I can’t wait to rock some dramatic shadow looks next year. It would have been really easy to just ignore the fun that makeup brings to my life this past year. But I have collected some really incredible products that get me giddy at the prospect of a hopefully more normal 2021.

by Megan Kirkland, 2020 Makeup Hoarder
December 23, 2020| 5 comments

Gallery: My 2020 BoxyCharm Deliveries

About BoxyCharm

The Subscription Box: BoxyCharm

The Cost: $25 a month. Save with longer subscriptions.

The Products: 5-6 beauty items that include nail care, skincare, makeup, haircare, fragrance, and more. (At least 4 of those items will be full-sized).

Ships to: The contiguous U.S. for free, Hawaii, Alaska, and Canada for $5

What BoxyCharm Got Right in 2020

Value

BoxyCharm consistently delivered values ranging from $122 to $250 with an average value per box of about $171 per $25 monthly subscription cost. The total value of my 12 months of boxes lands at about $2,056. The total cost of this subscription for the year is $300, meaning you save A TON with BoxyCharm.

Variety

Even though BoxyCharm is makeup focused, there was still a wide variety of product types in 2020. Here is a breakdown:

  • Makeup (including primers and setting sprays): 34 products
  • Skincare: 15
  • Bath/Body: 3
  • Haircare: 2
  • Tools: 6

Choice

BoxyCharm allows you to choose a product for each of your boxes. This allows you some power over the tone of your box. The downside is that sometimes these choices sell out quickly or the BC website is buggy, which can totally dampen the fun here. I hope this feature is streamlined and improved in 2021, but I thought it was a great element of 2020 IF I was quick enough to snag what I wanted.

Pop-up Sales

This was the first year where I really took advantage of the BoxyCharm pop-up sales. These major sales have hundreds of items and take place a few times a year. Your subscription grants you access to everything from makeup, skincare, hair, body, tools, and lifestyle products at pretty massive (up to 80% off) discounts. My favorite pop-up purchases? Sonage Frioz Ice Globes (they retail for $60, I paid $10!), multiple MAC lipsticks (for around $4 a pop!), and some giftable eyeshadow palettes from tarte and Alamar.

What I Would Like to See in 2021

I would like to see BoxyCharm lean into the popular brands so many subscribers know and love. We all want to see more of the fave brands we play with at Sephora at that massive BoxyCharm discount, right?

I hope this brand continues to deliver great value but is more careful about some of the brands they choose to include that can be seen as filler or “off-brand” because they are manufactured in a different way than the products you might buy in person, even though they are still produced by the brand. The makeup community is a smart and savvy bunch and we research and investigate our products! We can tell if something is worth it or not.

Finally, I hope that Boxy invests in new and smaller brands that are of great quality (Alamar is a great example!). These smaller brands are so creative and bold, and I would love to see more inclusion of high-quality indie brands in my boxes.

My Favorite Brands and Products from BoxyCharm in 2020

BoxyCharm has consistently delivered products from brands I really, really love! A few callouts would be Too Faced, BECCA, MAC Cosmetics, Alamar Cosmetics, Benefit, Sol de Janeiro, tarte, Kate Solverville, and loads more!

Though this box delivered a TON of goodies in 2020, there are some that really stand out and that I am still obsessed with and using all the time. Here are some of my faves and my thoughts from when I reviewed them:

Too Faced Cosmetics Diamond Fire Highlighter in ‘Fancy Pink Diamond’, 12 g – Retail Value $36.00

From my January review:

Too Faced always has over-the-top packaging (which I adore) but this little box feels extra special. It is designed to look like a vintage ring or necklace box, complete with the push-lock closure (though it is actually magnetic!) and fabric-lined interior. I think it is precious! The highlighter inside is also lovely, and quite demure in terms of the sort of highlighters I expect from this brand. This is a good thing though! It is the softest golden pink pearl, with uniform shimmer size and finish. Love!

Becca Glow Gloss in ‘Camellia’, 5 g – Retail Value $22.00

From my March review:

Becca is one of my favorite brands when it comes to lip products. I have yet to meet one I don’t love! This gloss is kind of one of those hybrid sorts, which feels like a mix of lipstick, lip gloss, and the nourishing elements of a balm. I am really into the cool spring pink shade and find it so easy to just toss on and wear. Becca glosses used to have a super sweet scent which has been replaced with more of a peppermint vibe that doesn’t really tingle but still feels very refreshing on the lips.

Farmacy Beauty Cherry Cleansing Balm, 3.4 fl oz – Retail Value $34.00

From my March review:

Who doesn’t love Farmacy’s Green Clean Cleansing Balm? It is one of my favorite balm-style cleansers and magically removes every trace of my makeup when I use it. This is a limited edition cherry version, made in Korea just for BoxyCharm. I am not usually a cherry-scented fan, but I did really love this fragrance. It is like a blend of cherries and almonds and is a delightful pink color. It comes with its own little spoon scoop so you don’t have to dip your fingers inside too, which I greatly appreciate. I like to apply this to a dry face and work it in, then rinse away the makeup and dirt from my day. I have also used this on dry skin and just wiped it away with a cloth if I am in a hurry or away from a sink or shower.

First Aid Beauty KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub with 10% AHA, 4 oz – Estimated Value $14.00 (Buy 8 oz for $28.00)

From my June review:

Our last item is a body scrub that is ideal for those who suffer from Keratosis Pilaris but also just a really awesome exfoliator for anyone, especially if you have sensitive skin. Inside there are tiny beads of pumice and AHA, both of which exfoliate together to improve skin texture. I tend to be really bad about exfoliating regularly because many scrubs feel too harsh unless I use them just on my bum and thighs. This one was gentle enough to use on my neck, arms, and very sensitive calves, but this should never be used on your face. This is certainly a product I would consider purchasing in the future. My skin felt great!

Sol de Janeiro Mini Brazilian Joia Strengthening + Smoothing Shampoo, 3 fl oz – Retail Value $12.00

Sol de Janeiro Mini Brazilian Joia Strengthening + Smoothing Conditioner, 3 fl oz – Retail Value $12.00

From my July review:

I am a late member of the Sol de Janeiro scent club. I used to think the smell of their iconic cream was way too sweet and reminded me of food. I ended up getting a few samples and now I really like it. These minis have that same amazing fragrance and I have to say that I LOVED using these! My whole shower and bathroom were filled with a cloud of warm sunny scent. As far as how these two formulas actually work, they are pretty good! The shampoo had loads of lather though it did take a little bit of work to get going. (We should all be massaging our scalps longer in the shower anyway. Life is crazy and everyone deserves to take their time!) It left my hair feeling squeaky clean without feeling overly dried. The conditioner was pretty thick and I didn’t need a ton to coat my ends. The scent stuck around for a while which was nice! I can totally see myself splurging on the full-size bottles.

MILK MAKEUP Cooling Water Eye Patches – Retail Value $22.00

From my August review:

Big Milk Makeup fan here. I love how cool and effortless their products feel. These eye patches are the sort that are on more of a fabric backing and aren’t wet. They are sticky though and they begin to cool your skin on contact! Of course, this is only magnified when you stick them in the fridge for a little while before application. I just arrived in Tennessee after an 11-hour road trip I drove solo, so my face is a little worse for wear, especially under my eyes. I applied these and took a nap in them (oops) and I was pretty thrilled with how de-puffed my skin looked and how energizing they were.

Alamar Cosmetics Spanglish Pressed Pigment Palette – Retail Value $28.00

From my September review:

Ever so often I will love an item so much that I feel like I have gone crazy and maybe I am just beauty-drunk. This was one of those items. The pigment level here is WILD. Seriously, the shimmering foils are ridiculously metallic and so easy to apply. I usually have lower expectations for matte shadows but these kept up with those shimmers in terms of pigment levels, bendability, and overall performance. They have a little fallout but honestly who cares when you get color like that? The back of the palette suggests using the for metallic shades wet, but there is really no need to bother. These shine enough on their own. I am in love. Is this the most versatile palette I own? No way. These colors could be considered pretty specific. But does this one spark pure joy when I open it? YES. Especially that electric coral (Pero Like), the electric purple-blue (Guao), and the sweetest pink (Ay Que Cute). If you like these shades, buy this palette. I can’t imagine anyone being disappointed with these formulas, especially for this price.

Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser, 6.75 oz – Retail Value $40.00

From my October review:

I am all about this cleanser! In peeking at the ingredients, I am seeing some favorites, like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and lactic acid. I am kind of an acid freak (that might not sound right…) because they do so much for overall skin texture and also help with the little spots and bumps that have been a major feature of 2020 for me. This cream feels great on my face and lathers nicely. I like to massage it on my face then count to 30 before washing it off, just to give all of those delightful acids a little extra time to work. This formula also makes quick work of makeup and dirt too. As with any exfoliating product, make sure you moisturize properly after use and wear your sunscreen!

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Kiss Tinted Cupuaçu Lip Butter in ‘Keep it Rio’, 0.11 oz – Retail Value $20.00

From my October review:

Sol de Janeiro is a brand that just makes me feel good because it brings my mom a lot of joy every Christmas. I try to treat her to some Bum Bum Cream because she loves the scent and the smell. This is my first lip item from this brand and the first thing I noticed was the cute packaging! I know packaging doesn’t have anything to do with performance, but who doesn’t want everything to be cute AND functional? This lip formula comes in three different tints which are meant to enhance your natural lip color. This is the lightest shade and I actually couldn’t tell a huge difference in color on my lips. I do have pinker lips naturally though, so they might have been drowning out this soft nude. The texture is super smooth and this balm has a scent I just can’t place. It smells nutty and also sweet and creamy. It kind of smells like cereal milk? I swear that’s a good thing!

Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow+ Tinted Volumizing Eyebrow Gel in ‘3’, 3 g – Retail Value $24.00

From my November review:

This has been my HG brow product for a few years now. It’s just way too easy to use and does wonders for my troubled brows. You see, I was an over plucker in highschool. Seriously. We’ve come a long way. And though they will always be spotty and now they have pure white hairs, this gel easily fills in the blanks while still looking natural. Just a few flicks and they look so much better!

Notable Changes to BoxyCharm in 2020

BoxyCharm had a price increase from $21 to $25 back in November of 2019. Though that was a 2019 change, it was on the cusp of 2020, so it felt worth including.

The most massive change to BoxyCharm this year is that it was purchased by IPSY in October 2020. This means it will be extra interesting to watch in 2021! You know we will have all the deets for you as we get them here on MSA. We do know that BoxyCharm and Ipsy will continue to operate as separate subscriptions but only time will tell what new features and surprises we have to look forward to in the coming year.

Who do I recommend BoxyCharm for?

If you love a good value and you love makeup, this is a subscription that I recommend you try, even if it is just for a month or two! I think you will enjoy the mostly full-size products, the brands, and the creative palette choices and that these new additions to your makeup stash might help inspire your new 2021 looks. At only $25 a month, this is one of the ultimate “treat-yourself” makeup subscriptions that delivers a lot of fun without breaking the bank.


What were your fave BoxyCharm products this year? Let me know in the comments!

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Written by Megan Kirkland

Megan Kirkland

I love natural/vegan beauty products, Korean skincare, unique jewelry, and weird candies from far away places. When I am not waiting for my next exciting box you can find me painting or taking photographs of interesting people. I never leave home without pug hair somewhere on my shirt and a bold lipstick on my smile.

Comments (5)

  1. I ditto most everything in this review. Boxycharm is an amazing value overall, and the popup is far too tempting. My main issue is that I get makeup overload faster with this box than any other, and I don’t know what the solution could be. Boxycharm has done better including more skincare each box, giving subscribers a choice each month, including tools and more variety, etc. They’ve really done well to try to diversify. Still, multiple palettes each month are more than I can go through. I can’t even swap (or gift) them fast enough. They end up getting tossed faster than a germphobe can say “bacteria.” Maybe this box is best enjoyed in one or two month stints, but as I mentioned earlier, that seductive popup keeps me subscribed.

  2. I subscribed to Boxy in July for my birthday and became hooked. I think ipsy has a better bag but Boxy is winning with the pop-up sale. In have so many products and will make January my last month and might return in the summer when I use more of stash.

    • The pop-ups are so hard to resist!!

  3. I LOVE BoxyCharm! It’s my favorite subscription! But, oh my goodness, I wish they would work on shipping issues! It’s always the end of the month before I get mine.

  4. Perhaps BC customer service will improve in 2021. We can hope. The best thing about a BC sub is the pop up sale. I scored multiple two for one Volition Snow Mushroom serum at $12/$6 each! That alone was worth keeping the sub. Now, if BC would only ship them…

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