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Post in Beauty Advisors

Best & Worst Beauty Box Subscriptions

What would everyone say their favorite subscription box is? And which are a waste of money? I am looking to subscribe to some more. I have had Birchbox and it started out good but then I stopped seeing brands I knew and loved. I just signed up for IPSY and am crossing my fingers I like it. Julep looks like a good deal so I think I am going to sign up for that one to.

Re: Best & Worst Beauty Box Subscriptions

Ugh thats disappointing! Thanks for posting though, I didn't even think to look them up on BB. Its always ice to know what is up with companies. I haven't heard about Wantable, sounds great, I will have to go check it out. 

Re: Best & Worst Beauty Box Subscriptions

Hmm, now I'm really conflicted about Ipsy. I've liked the products in their recent bags, but horrible customer service is a huge turn off. 

Re: Best & Worst Beauty Box Subscriptions

I've been subscribed to Birchbox, Ipsy, Beauty Army, Glossybox and Julep. It's hard to pick out a favorite and least favorite...I haven't had any horrible experiences with any of these companies; nor do any of them stand out as being better than deep dish pizza. Smiley Tongue


That said, I've been subscribed to Birchbox the longest, and will probably continue w/ my subscription. Not every box is a winner, but I do get at least one good item per box, and I really like their rewards system. After reviewing all of your items, you get $10 back (assuming you use it in their shop) every couple of months.


I've been subscribed to Ipsy for almost as long and have liked/loved the majority of my bags. While I personally haven't had any bad experiences w/ Ipsy (well, that one POP Beauty gross-smelling lipgloss, but CS was nice enough to send me a replacement when I complained) I have been hearing a lot of bad publicity. about them lately...and Michelle Phan seems kinda annoying. Have also read a lot of negativity about her too.


I'm fairly new to Glossybox, but so far I'm pleased with each month's box. It's a bit more expensive of course, but I'm loving the high end products, many of which aren't sold at Sephora and therefore are completely new to me!


On to the less favorites:


Beauty Army is a nice concept -- you get to choose all of your samples, so there are no surprises. On top of that, if you don't like the selection, you can skip a month. I love that they had those kinds of options for members. Downside: I never liked the selections, so I think in all I got maybe 3 boxes and skipped several more before I decided to just cancel my subscription. 


I subscribed to Julep for a month because they had that promo (free box, just pay shipping) and because I thought you could skip months whenever you wanted. When I realized that they had a new rule - you get one skip every 6 months - I was all Smiley Surprised and cancelled. I do like Julep nail polishes and their other beauty products, but not enough to commit to getting them every month. 

Re: Best & Worst Beauty Box Subscriptions

Thanks for such a great break down of all the sub boxes. Extremely helpful! I think I might do what you did with Julep and I will have to check out Wantable. Thanks! 

Re: Best & Worst Beauty Box Subscriptions

What kind of products are you looking for? Also, what are things you look for in a subscription box? Sounds like you care which brands are included in a box. There's also sample size, number of products, customization, and shipping to consider. I'll provide a breakdown of which ones I think are the best in certain aspects as well as a detailed breakdown of my experiences in the spoiler.


Product quality - Glossybox

Brand selection - Glossybox & Sample Society

Best Value - Sample Society

Best Customer Service - Wantable & Julep

Best Shipping - Wantable

Customization - Wantable (also Julep if they let you skip whenever you wanted)

Shipping - Wantable


Here are my two (okay, maybe it's a little more than two) cents on the ones I'm familiar with (Birchbox, Glossybox, Sample Society, Wantable, and Julep):




1) Birchbox: I had this for a year and ended my subscription March 2014, mostly because the size of the samples kept getting smaller. And like you, I didn't enjoy the brands they offered. While the reward system was cool, it wasn't enough to keep me in for another year.


2) Glossybox: When I quit Birchbox, I switched over to Glossybox. I love the quality of the products I get in this box. Through the boxes I've received, I'd say it's about 75% skincare, 25% makeup. Most of the brands are not offered through Sephora either, so it's a great way for me to try something new. The sample size is usually decent - sometimes you'll get full size items as well! For the quality, I think the higher price point ($20) is worth it. The only complaint out there for Glossybox is that it ships very late, usually at the end of the month. You might get your box at the beginning of the following month as well. It doesn't bother me too much since I have enough packages coming in and enough time to enjoy each of them, but if this is something that you don't want to deal with, you may want to look into a different box.


3) Sample Society: I ordered a bunch of boxes during their warehouse sale and will be receiving the new revamped July box on Thursday! Since they're switching up the box, it's hard to say what the product assortment will be like. In the past, it's been almost all skincare, but this month's box will be all makeup. I like that I'm familiar with the brands they offer (it helps that I'm an Allure subscriber), and I feel like the quality is up to par. This month's box will include a Butter London nail polish (full size), LM Matte Radiance Powder in Highlight (deluxe size), a Fekkai Fortifying Mask (deluxe size), a L'Oreal Paris Color Riche Lip Color (full size), and a perfume sample vial. While I'm not familiar with the perfume brand, the rest of the items are good enough for me. I don't mind that L'Oreal is a drugstore brand because the lipstick still looks very high quality. The box comes with a mini booklet detailing each item and why that item was chosen for the box. At $15/month, I think this box probably has the best value per cost.


4) Wantable: I love that almost all the items in this box are full size. I think I might be in the minority here, but I am iffy about the quality of the items. I received my first box in February, skipped March and April, and got May, June, and will be getting July. My first box was pretty cool. I got a retractable blush brush and a liquid eyeliner that I use almost daily. Because it's a pricier box, I decided to skip. The next boxes I got though included items where the packaging felt cheap. I got a cream blush that was basically just glitter. I also got a Pla Beauty HG Mascara (HG is part of the title - not my HG), a Sorme Beauty Concealer, a Tarina Tarantino Mascara, a Mirabella Finishing Powder, and a few others. I'm still torn on this box. Some boxes are awesome, and some are awful. I ended my subscription a few weeks ago, but they sent me a $10 off coupon for my next box, so I figured I'd give it another shot. I like that you can customize your selection without ruining the surprise. If you really don't want a type of product (for me, it's nail polish and eyeshadow), they won't include those items in your box. I had a great experience with their customer service as well. I'm currently in the process of moving, and accidentally had my box shipped to my old address. I notified their CS, and they put the box on hold and shipped it so that I would receive it right when I move into my new place. What an awesome housewarming present Smiley Happy The lady who helped me was so sweet - I wish she handled all my CS cases! They will charge on the same day every month - the day you sign up for your subscription. Shipping is very prompt as well. I hope that I do love my next box because the logistics of this company are the best so far.


5) Julep: This is the newest subscription for me. I signed up for the free box and haven't cancelled yet. I love love love the colors they offer. Even if I see a color similar to what I already have, I still want it. They are always having sales, which makes it tempting when you're a Maven. I'm not as enthusiastic about this box because while I love nail colors, I get lazy about painting them on a regular basis. I keep this box mainly due to fear of what I'll miss out on lol. I think the $24.99 rate is neither amazing or too expensive. Julep has amazing customer service too. I've contacted them about a couple of issues - once about giving a fellow beauty addict her referral credit and once about a promo code I forgot to use. My friend got her credit and they ended up shipping the mystery gift to me in a separate box later on (free of charge!). Their CS agents are so friendly over the phone. Good customer service really helps tip the scale for me when I'm undecided about a box - ergo, why I'm still with Julep. I only wish they let you skip more than once every six months.





Re: Best & Worst Beauty Box Subscriptions

Thanks for the great well-written reviews, I feel like I have such good idea of which boxes to get now. You answered so many of my questions. I am the same way, I mainly want skincare and makeup, not nail polish. I ordered IPSY already and I am thinking I am also going to try  each for a month and see what I think, every box seems so different. 

Re: Best & Worst Beauty Box Subscriptions

Yes I agree! Makes the decision based on mainly preferences Smiley Happy


Good luck on your sub box hunt!

Re: Best & Worst Beauty Box Subscriptions

Thanks @joannimation!

I have been wondering these same things and had asked a similar question during a discussion somewhere on BT ( I need to pay more attention to what I am doing instead of shopping & talking! lol)! Thanks SO much for breaking it all down like you did. I am still a bit torn but think I am gonna go w/ either Sample Society &/ or Burch Box. Don't you get a discount 1st time around w/ Sample Society if you have a subscription to Allure Magazine & get the Allure E-Mails & what not? Either way, most appreciative w/ your breakdown of each of the company's CS & what goodies (& size/ amount) are in what and so forth! 

Re: Best & Worst Beauty Box Subscriptions

Hmm I tried searching for a coupon code for Sample Society but had no luck. Maybe you could find the sub box photo sharing thread and ask people who've been subscribed longer?


Re: Best & Worst Beauty Box Subscriptions

I'm fairly new to them but of the ones I've gotten...


Beauty Army (1 box) - I seriously do NOT recommend this one. The brands advertised were nowhere in sight in the options. I picked my first box anyway and the sample I wanted to try the most was by Juice Beauty. When I got my box, the moisturizer was expired! I did a private message with Beauty Army on facebook and sent a photo of it where it said "EXP 6/2014." They told me that Juice Beauty says that's the date I can "start" using the product and it'll be good for 6 more months. This was an absolute lie! Expired means just that. It will expire in June 2014 and despite the fact that it might still be useable, they cannot guarantee that it will continue to be safe to put on my face after the EXP date. My biggest issue with this is the fact that they knew the product was old but went ahead and sent it out anyway. If I'm going to pay $12 for a sample, I expect it to be safe to use! Not some old unwanted thing! Shows how little they care about their customers. They didn't even offer to replace it or give me an apology or anything. Can you imagine how old some of the things which don't have dates on them could be?

I cancelled my Beauty Army subscription immediately. Then I contacted Juice Beauty. Juice Beauty said the batch they gave Beauty Army was supposed to be used in April. Then they did more than I ever expected and offered to send me a replacement sample for no extra charge. They had more respect for me than Beauty Army ever did!



Birchbox (2 boxes) - I've kept them for the customer service and points system. I prefer makeup and they mostly are giving skin and hair products but I am holding out hope that maybe they'll keep improving. They added the ability to pick an item in July's box so they seem to be listening to their customers more.


Glossybox (1 box) - I've seen enough reviews on youtube plus comparing June's box and the upcoming July box with GlamGlow in it, I can say I like the sample sizes and quality. I just wish it didn't take so long to ship.


Ipsy (1 bag) - I haven't even opened it yet but I've heard a mixture of good and bad press. I will say that I was very unhappy to see a dark tanning oil in my glam room considering the fact that I am dark skinned, have that written on my profile survey, and have zero use for a tanning product. I really feel like they don't pay attention to the beauty profiles, but they have some popular brands and the monthly bags are really cute.


Beauty Box 5 (1 box) - This one has brands I've never heard of and from what I've seen online, the months seem to be hit or miss. I got an extra product in mine and the first box free so I can't really complain.


Hope this helps!

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