What Are the Best Beauty Boxes? Here’s Everything You Need to Know
Let's say sampling beauty products isn't your full-time job — should you be denied eye-cream kismet or love at first spray just because you can't track every niche brand or really kinda hate asking for freebies at the cosmetics counter? Online subscription clubs that regularly send targeted samples to your home may be your new best friend — provided you know what all those boxes of goodies will actually cost and which sites suit your specific needs. We rounded up a whole lotta packages to help you find the best ones.
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BeautyFIX by Dermstore
How it works: Packed with highly covetable items, these beauty boxes are available via monthly delivery through a membership, or can be purchased as one-off sets at a slightly higher price point.
What you get: With a team of skincare professionals from Dermstore behind this beauty box, you know the selections are going to be golden. Expect at least six products worth a value of over $100 per box. These full and deluxe sample sized items include skincare essentials, emerging makeup brand testers, and breakthrough beauty devices.
Customer review: "I absolutely LOVE BeautyFIX! I've tried many monthly beauty subscription boxes over the years because I love to let my subscribers know if these boxes are worth it. I was so excited to see most of the products were either full size or very deluxe travel sized. They were all brands I recognized and already loved or brands that I had been dying to try!” - Lisa J Makeup
Target Beauty Box
How it works: Rather than using a subscription model, Target lists each monthly beauty box on its site and allows anyone to purchase a la carte. But, given the low box cost and zero-cost shipping, they tend to sell out extremely fast.
What you get: Each box contains around 5-7 items, and can include products from across Target’s health and beauty departments. Expect anything from deodorants to body washes, and razors to micellar water.
Customer review: “I loved everything. Quite a bit of things for only $7 -which includes a $3 off coupon to purchase a full-size product in the future. Today alone I used the L'Oréal face wash, used the lash primer, the rose water face primer mist AND the Nivea lotion. The lotion and face wash came wrapped in gripper tape so the products didn't leak during shipping! Love my Target boxes!” - Kelly
PLAY! by Sephora
How it works: The Sephora beauty box is partially about the loot, but also partially about the learning experience. Aside from a selection of beauty samples, each delivery comes with access to videos especially created around introducing you to the products in your box. Don’t let that liquid liner just sit on your shelf forever, master an extra-pointy cat eye instead.
What you get: Subscribers can expect five trial-size products, plus a cute cloth pouch that’s great for traveling, each month. These are a mix of skincare, haircare, makeup, or fragrance selected by Sephora’s team. If you’ve ever gotten a free birthday gift from Sephora, or redeemed your Beauty Insider points for minis, your monthlies will be comparable in size.
Customer review: “Loved my September box! I used every single product — Gimme Brow is my fave and now I have a wonderful travel size version. Thanks!” - li4747
How it works: One of the original players in the beauty box space, Birchbox has been delivering beauty discoveries to our doors since 2010. To better understand what to send you, Birchbox first prompts members to fill out a quick survey about their preferences. From there, you’ll receive five sample-size products each month, and can submit feedback to the Birchbox site. The more feedback you provide, the better Birchbox is able to send you items you’ll love. You can also purchase limited edition boxes a la carte on the Birchbox site.
What you get: Fragrances, makeup products, skincare, and haircare. Birchbox works hard to stay on top of what’s relevant and sends out five fun, trial-size versions of trending and beloved products each month.
Customer review: “Birchbox reminds me how fun it is to forget about my to-do list for a while and play with makeup!” - Madhu
Macy’s Beauty Box
How it works: Another monthly, this subscription service delivers beauty samples to your door, and includes a $5 coupon towards your next Macy’s beauty purchase.
What you get: The Macy’s Beauty Box is like a walk through the beauty section of an IRL Macy’s — except you get to enjoy the comforting waft of elegant perfumes and excitement of luxe products from the peace of your own living room. Fragrance samples are heavily featured in each five-sample set, which also include a small bag each month, plus makeup and skincare minis that you’ve likely heard of and been interested in already.
Customer review: “I love my Macy’s Beauty Boxes. LOVE the makeup bags you get each month. They are fun and made well. The samples you receive are similar to other subscription boxes. (I’ve tried most of them.) If you love fun makeup bags the Macy’s box is definitely for you!! I look forward to receiving my new box each month.” - LeAnne
Walmart Beauty Box
How it works: This quarterly beauty box is a great way to test out new products available at your local Walmart and Walmart.com. You receive one per season, so that you can stay on top of changing inventory and try new trends.
What you get: This box is marketed for sale for “just the cost of shipping,” so don’t expect any full-sized products or insane deals. What you can expect, though, is a fair number of foil packet samples of shampoo and conditioner duos, foundations, bath soaks, and sheet masks, plus the occasional mini bottle or canister of dry shampoo or deodorant, perfect for slipping in your purse.
Customer review: “I love the Walmart Beauty Boxes!! They are worth much more than $5.00 and everything can be used and enjoyed!! So much better than other more expensive boxes.” - Kendra
Amazon Beauty Sample Box
How it works: Available exclusively to Prime members, this sample box is updated periodically, but can be purchased at any time — no subscription commitment required. Even more appealing is Amazon’s credit system, wherein for your first purchase of this box you’re extended a coupon for the exact value you paid, which can be applied towards select beauty purchases on the site, effectively making the cost of this box sum zero.
What you get: Currently, you can choose between two specific beauty boxes: the Skin & Hair Care box, or the Spring Fresh Beauty box. The former includes 14 samples of shampoos and conditioners, body lotions, face wipes, and dental products. The latter contains 11 pieces in similar categories, but on the slightly trendier end.
Customer review: “I mean it’s basically free, since they return the money towards a purchase. The black vanilla sampler is so tiny I could probably use it on a hamster. Won’t take a star off for that though, my hamster is gonna smell great. I think it’s highly worth it, as you never know when you'll need one these things, and they're so small you can bring it anywhere.” - Victoria