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Joyful Deliveries—The MSA Team’s Favorite Subscription Boxes of 2020!

When we think back on this past year, it’s easy to dwell upon the challenges, but so much more fun to recall the happy moments. For the team here at MSA, many of those smiles came from most-loved subscription boxes or specific items that came inside. It’s true that good mail days never get old! Some of us found our most memorable products in beauty subscriptions or outdoors boxes, while others found joy in the routine arrival of personal styling services or meal kit subscriptions. And, in addition to the subscriptions our team reviews, most of us also subscribe to boxes and digital subs personally. In this list of top picks, you’ll find a combo!

Jump to a specific section:

Our Favorite Items from 2020 Subscriptions
Our Favorite 2020 Subscriptions


…or keep scrolling to read it all!


Our Favorite Subscriptions & Items of 2020, From Experience:

Items From Subscription Boxes

Picked by Carlos, Contributing Writer:


The Item: Parks Project Stewards & Outfitters Beanie

The Item Cost: $28

Discovered In: Nomadik

Box Cost: $32.95 every month + shipping

COUPON: Use code ADDICTION20 to get 20% off + free shipping.

Why I love it: “I have worn this literally every day since I received it. It’s warm, simple, and functional. Plus it supports a cause I believe in. Parks Project contributes to the conservation of our National Parks. So this beanie is a win-win for me.”

Read our Nomadik reviews for more on this box!


Picked by Lacey, Product Manager:

Image via Malin + Goetz.

The Item: Malin + Goetz Mojito Lip Balm

The Item Cost: $14

Discovered In: Ipsy Glam Bag

Box Cost: $12 per month

Why I love it: “I’ve actually never used any Malin + Goetz products before and $14 is definitely more than I usually spend on lip balm, but when this came up as a choice item I went for it immediately. I knew I’d need a good lip product for winter anyway, and it’s kind of amazing to get a full-size product that retails for $2 more than the price of my Glam Bag. And I love it! It’s a subtle mint, not overpowering like Burt’s Bees. I’ve been using it morning and night, and it’s definitely kept any winter dryness at bay so far. And it’s lasting quite a while! Very pleased and will probably end up buying another one after it’s gone.”

FYI: “This was an October 2020 choice item, but wasn’t included in our review.” Lacey doesn’t review Ipsy for MSA, she just subscribes on her own!

Read our Ipsy reviews for more on this box!


Picked by Simran, CEO:


The Item: Nectar Sunglasses Blue Light Blocking Glasses in Brown Tortoise

The Item Cost: $45

Discovered In: FabFitFun

Box Cost: $49.99 per quarter

COUPON: Use code MSA to save $10 off your first box!

Why I love it: “I think my screen time increased dramatically during the pandemic with everything being on Zoom from meetings to weddings and everything in between. I didn’t quite realize how much stress it was putting on my eyes, but I got these blue light blocker glasses through the FabFitFun fall box just to try them out. I figured why not. What a game-changer! I feel a distinct difference wearing them! My eyes feel way less tired at the end of the day. I am actually gifting three pairs for Christmas.”

Read our FabFitFun reviews for more on this box!


Picked by Taryn, Contributing Writer:


The Item: Shivani Marvel Elixir by Shivani Beauty

The Item Cost: $54 at time of review, now listed for $35

Discovered In: The Box by Fashionsta

Box Cost: $24.99 per month

Why I love it: “This elixir is straight magic! No really, it is a hybrid formula that is both a primer and oil. I received this product back in June, used it all, and then bought more because I noticed a big change in my skin once I stopped using it. The oil is super lightweight while still providing deep hydration. It also leaves your skin looking firm and plump, but what I love the most is that it gives me this amazing glow without looking greasy. This elixir is made with passion fruit (Maracujá) oil, pumpkin oil, rosehip oil, safflower oil, and jojoba oil. You can use a few drops morning and night on your face and neck (an important step that I think a lot of people forget), but most importantly you can use it under your makeup, mixed with makeup, or just as a part of your beauty routine. I have been using two drops of this at night with my moisturizer and then doing the same in the morning before applying makeup and I swear it has left me with glowing skin! I love how quickly it absorbs into my skin, and again, it doesn’t leave me greasy at all! Receiving this product was a game-changer for my skin!”

Read our The Box by Fashionsta reviews for more on this box!


Picked by Abby, Contributing Writer:


The Item: LXMI Nilotica Melt

The Item Cost: $28

Discovered In: Kinder Beauty Box

Box Cost: $25 per month + free U.S. shipping

COUPON: Use code MSA5 to get $5 off your subscription!

Why I love it: “Kinder Beauty has had an awesome year! They find obscure vegan brands with amazing products, and each month I am blown away. I received the LXMI Nilotica Melt in my February box, and I am still using this product every night! I only have a few squeezes left in the tube, but let me tell you, this moisturizer has been a total skin saver. It is gentle on sensitive, acne-prone skin and smooths out any flakes or dry patches within a night’s wear. I mix a little in with my regular moisturizer, and it is like a magic medicine for dry, winter skin.”

Read our Kinder Beauty reviews for more on this box!


Picked by Erin, Copywriter:


The Item: Lily Pulitzer Ceramic Mugs, set of 2

The Item Cost: $42

Discovered In: FabFitFun

Box Cost: $49.99 per quarter

COUPON: Use code MSA to save $10 off your first box!

Why I love it: “As Megan said in her review, these beautiful ceramic mugs were a standout item in the FabFitFun winter box, and she helped convince me to select them for my own box. I have been missing visiting coffee shops, and these mugs helped elevate my at-home coffee game. The blues and greens on the design are gorgeous and the metallic handle just makes them feel fancy. When I use them for my morning coffee, they lead to a good day. When I use them for peppermint tea in the evening, I go to bed feeling pampered and relaxed. They have already been through my dishwasher many times and still look good as new. I will be using these mugs for a simple pick-me-up for a long time!”

Read our FabFitFun reviews for more on this box!


Picked by Jessica, Contributing Writer & Mask Queen:


The Item: EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46

The Item Cost: $35

Discovered In: Dermstore Problem Solution: Clarifying Regimen Limited-Edition Box

Box Cost: $75

Why I love it: “This is my favorite product discovery of 2020, but I would also like to chime in and say that the limited edition Dermstore Curated Sets are probably my favorite subscription(-esque) discovery of the year – the curation is always so spot on that I love everything. For example, this sunscreen came in the Dermstore Clarifying Skin set, and I found multiple products that worked really, really well for my (notoriously hard to treat) cystic/hormonal acne. This sunscreen, specifically, is like a heavier moisturizer that absorbs into my skin with ease with no sunscreen smell and no white cast. There’s a lot of drama right now surrounding the actual SPF provided in some k-beauty sunscreens, so I’ve been reaching for this Dermatologist-backed sunscreen to make sure my rosy cheeks are protected from damage. If you’re someone who doesn’t like the typical textures and smells of sunscreens, this one is really worth checking out.”

Read our BeautyFIX reviews (which is Dermstore’s monthly subscription) for more from this brand!


Picked by Naomi, Contributing Writer:


The Item: Izzy & Liv “Hair-N-Hustle” Satin-Lined Hat

The Item Cost: $24

Discovered In: Brown Sugar Box by Izzy & Liv

Box Cost: $39.95 per month

COUPON: Use code FIRSTTIME20 to save 20% off your first box!

Why I love it: “I love anything inspiring, and this bright blue hat with the word “Unapologetic” stitched onto it really inspired me to step up and speak out this year. As a woman and an African American, I needed a little reminder to stop subconsciously apologizing for my existence. An added bonus of this hat is the awesome satin lining that has prevented hat hair from my braids to my locs to my curls. Out of every product from every subscription I’ve received this year, I’ve gotten the most use out of this amazing hat. From the color to the message to the comfortable wear, this is my 2020 fave.”

Read our Brown Sugar Box reviews for more on this box!


Picked by Nicole, Contributing Writer:

The Item: Donna Morgan Belted Maxi Dress

The Item Cost: $73.50, purchased for $14 during 60% off sale + $15 off Gwynnie Bee coupon

Discovered In: Gwynnie Bee

Box Cost: The cost depends on how many items you would like to have out at a time.
1 = $49/month
2 = $69/month
3 = $95/month
5 = $139/month
7 = $179/month
10 = $199/month

COUPON: Get 50% off your first month! No coupon needed - just use this link.

Why I love it: “This is from a review I did all the way back in April, but it continues to be one of my favorite items I received all year! Donna Morgan brand dresses are some of my favorites due to their comfortable and stretchy fabrics, but also the unique designs. I have reviewed several of their dresses through Gwynnie Bee and Dia & Co. This particular maxi appeals to my vintage and retro tastes – it looks like something straight out of the late ’60s or early ’70s! The orange, red, and yellow colors are everything! In addition, I got it for a fantastic deal due to Gwynnie Bee’s member sales and incentives – you can’t beat getting a dream dress for $14!”

Read our Gwynnie Bee reviews for more info!


Full Subscription Boxes

Picked by Brandi, Contributing Writer:

Image from our November 2020 review.

The Subscription: Wicked Good Perfume

The Cost: $29 per month + free shipping

COUPON: Use code MSA15 to save 15% off your first month.

Why I love it: “Every month I am so delighted with the unique fragrances from this subscription. I love that the boxes are themed and that 2 products stay the same (the perfume spray and roller) and then there are 2 surprises each month, each with attractive and complex scents. This handcrafted subscription is perfectly curated and feels so special each month!”

Read our Wicked Good Perfume reviews for more on this box!


Picked by Lindsey, Contributing Writer:

The Subscription: Gobble

The Cost: $11.99 per serving + $6.99 shipping.

COUPON: Get 6 meals for $36. No coupon needed - just use this link.

Why I love it: “It’s no secret that I love meal kits, and I eat a lot of them. Out of all the dishes I sampled this year, Gobble delivered my favorite: Sweet Chili Shrimp with Coconut Rice & Thai Coleslaw. This dish truly had it all. It was utterly delicious, the flavors were on point, and it was on the table in just over 20 minutes. The mix of coconut rice, Thai sweet chili shrimp, and fresh herb slaw gave me some serious island vibes, and I would happily pay “tourist prices” to eat the exact same dish again in a beachside café somewhere. It was really THAT GOOD.”

Read our Gobble reviews for more on this box!


Picked by Becca, Contributing Writer: 

The Subscription: Lil’ Grace DIY Box

The Cost: $14.95 + $4.95 shipping

COUPON: Use code confettimsa5 to save $5 off your first box.

Why I love it: “This mini version of the original Confetti Grace subscription brings a beautiful little craft each and every month. We receive 2 projects that are perfect for my kids and me to make together, and they coordinate with each month so they can be displayed right away! We love this box!”

Read our Lil’ Grace reviews for more on this box!


Picked by Mallory, Community Manager:

Image via P.volve.

The Subscription: P.volve Digital Subscription + Starter Kit

The Cost: $15.99/month for the Digital Subscription + $159.99 for the Starter Kit

COUPON: Use code NEWYEAR30 to enter code NEWYEAR30 at checkout for 30% off kits.

Why I love it: “I love to exercise but I hate to sweat (or leave my apartment, because #2020), and P.volve has been the perfect solution. I’ve had the P.volve digital subscription for a few years now, but I stepped it up a notch and purchased the Starter Kit when my gym closed down in March. It’s a simple low-intensity workout that focuses on toning, and when I stay consistent with it, I start to see real results within a few weeks! I’m planning to continue with P.volve in 2021, and I’m hoping to purchase their Slant Board next.”

Should we review P.volve? Contribute to the convo here!


Picked by Sara, Content Manager:

Image via MasterClass.

The Subscription: MasterClass

The Cost: $180 for an annual subscription

Why I love it: “I know I recently mentioned MasterClass in our last team round-up, but it’s hands-down my favorite subscription investment this year. Not only are there close to 100 different instructors, but each instructor offers multiple lessons within each class which I was not expecting. I downloaded the app to my TV and use it just like any other streaming option. It’s been fun AND educational and I would hands-down renew next year!”

Read our MasterClass review for more on this subscription!


Picked by Nancy, Contributing Writer:

The Subscription: CAUSEBOX

The Cost: $54.95 per quarter, or $199.80 annually

Why I love it: “2020 was the year of optimizing my home life. I couldn’t do much else, anyway! CAUSEBOX made it super easy to upgrade everyday items to more sustainable options—I switched from plastic to bamboo tongs and I reached for silicone stretch lids more often than plastic cling wrap. As an annual subscriber, I loved being able to choose nearly all my items. The items I didn’t need ended up making fantastic gifts for friends and family. In the process, I learned to be more ethically and environmentally conscious. That’s a complete win in my book.”

Read our CAUSEBOX reviews for more on this box!


Picked by Megan, Senior Writer:

The Subscription: ArtSnacks Plus

The Cost: $39 per month

Why I love it: “This subscription sparks JOY every month. The supplies are always creative, colorful, and put me into a state of mind I find happy and relaxing. What else could I ask for in 2020?”

Read our ArtSnacks reviews for more on this box!


Picked by Ragan, Contributing Writer:


The Subscription: Potomac Beads Best Bead Box

The Cost: $25.99 per month for the Regular box, $39.99 per month for the XL box

Why I love it: “This was a new box this year put out by one of my favorite online bead stores and they really do everything right. You get complete supplies and a pattern for one project but lots of fun extras for your stash including some of the latest multi-hole beads (I have a weakness for these), some fun crystal shapes, and a few products I hadn’t previously been familiar with. The projects have been varied but have taught me a few new techniques (e.g., twisted herringbone stitch and beading on a filigree) I had been wanting to learn.”

Read our Potomac Beads Best Bead Box reviews for more on this box!


Picked by Haley, Contributing Writer:

The Box: Tarte Create-Your-Own Beauty Kits

The Cost: $63 for a one-time purchase

Why I love it: “Tarte offers these 7-for-$63 twice a year, and I never miss them! FYI They aren’t a regular subscription: when they’re released, they’re a one-time purchase. I love Tarte’s products, and the fact that these kits let you select your own items (within designated categories) is super fun and guarantees you are getting something you know you want to try, or lets you stock up on favorite products. I’ve found so many favorite products through these kits because I like to pick new things to try – the price is great so it makes it low-risk! They also usually offer a 4-for-$45 version on occasion. This is one box you should sign up for MSA’s alerts to know when they’re available!”

Read our latest Tarte Create-Your-Own Beauty Kit review for more on this limited-edition box!


Picked by Samantha, Copywriter:

The Subscription: Silk + Sonder

The Cost: $19.95 per month

COUPON: Use code SUBSCRIPTIONADDICTION to save 10% off your first three boxes.

Why I love it: “I have tried and trailed off from many agenda books, but for me in 2020, Silk + Sonder is the one that stuck. It’s more than just a daily planner to me- it’s my tangible space to record my goals, track my habits, and plan ahead with focus. I love its daily thought-provoking prompts and monthly themes from ambition to vulnerability. This approachable agenda diary subscription strikes the perfect balance of positive psychology and mindless activities (coloring, anyone?) without being too fussy and overwhelming to get to. Having S+S as part of my routine, I’ve found it nurtures my creative expression and rounds out clarity in my ideas.”

Read our Silk + Sonder review for more on this box!


Picked by Caragh, Contributing Writer:

Image via Beachwaver.

The Subscription: Beachwaver Co. Good Vibes Moisturizing Shampoo & Conditioner, 8 oz each

The Cost: Subscribe & Save monthly price for the Set: $32 + free shipping. (The set costs $48 + shipping for a one-time purchase.)

Why I love it: “Beachwaver Co. Good Vibes Shampoo & Conditioner set has an irresistible tropical coconut scent, and is super-thick and moisturizing for my hair. It’s just as incredible as the label looks! The “Bondi Beach Day” aroma experience — with coconut milk/oil, shea butter, and Tahitian Monoi Flower — leaves tresses smelling amazing. The duo helps tame the frizz in my processed hair that’s also chlorine-damaged from pool swimming. The set is a bit pricey, but I took advantage of the subscribe & save monthly savings. The shampoo and conditioner make a luxe little self-care treat for yourself, or an indulging gift for your best gal pal. It’s nice to know that Beachwaver Co. uses clean ingredients and is a vegan hair care brand.”


What do you think of our 2020 favorites? Did you spot any you also loved? Did you fall in love with a subscription this year, too?

Love keeping tabs on what excited our review team the most? Our categorized monthly favorites posts feature our favorite individual items from subscription boxes we received in the previous month.

Written by Christen Russo

Christen Russo

Christen is a smile collector, outdoors enthusiast, and appreciator of soggy French fries. Her favorite subscriptions involve eco-friendly products and clothes, nature supplies, stationery, and coffee. She can be easily won over with a good sheet of stickers.

Posted in Monthly Favorites, Subscription Box News| 2 comments

Comments (2)

  1. Many of your favorites are alsoy favorites!

    • Lots of good ones in there! Thanks so much for reading along, Alice!

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