Friday, January 11, 2013

Battle Of The Beauty Boxes: Subscription Beauty Boxes - Who Offers What?

Hello lovelies! Recently, The Makeup Examiner has become somewhat obsessed with beauty box subscriptions. So I put on my investigator’s hat and set out to see what some of the well-known and lesser-known beauty box subscriptions companies had to offer. Are companies like Beauty Box 5, Birchbox, Blissmo, GlossyBox, KLUTCHclub, and True Beauty Box simply reinventing the wheel or does each company truly have something unique to offer consumers?

You may be unfamiliar with beauty box subscriptions, but it’s really quite a simple concept. Beauty box subscriptions are monthly deliveries of new, sample-sized and full-sized beauty items that introduce you to beauty and wellness products that you may not have tried before. It is every beautynista’s dream! So without further ado, let’s see what each company has to offer and perhaps find one, or more, that’s right for you.

The Qualifier: Beauty Box 5 - $12/month
Beauty Box 5 (BB5) is a good way to try new, sample-sized products. The samples that I received in the BB5 box contained items that I had tried before, but that’s not to say that BB5 is bad. For $12 per month, you receive 4-5 samples per box and a postcard that describes each sample product. The company offers both 3 and 12-month subscription plans with the incentive that the greater commitment the greater the savings. They also offer a “Sharing is Caring” program where subscribers can earn one month free for referring 5 friends to BB5.

The Qualifier: Birchbox - $10/month
If you’re new to subscription boxes, Birchbox is the perfect place to start. At $10 per month it is the least expensive beauty box. Birchbox offers 5-6 samples per box, a postcard that describes each product and one of the three boxes that I received even contained a $50 gift card for Rent The Runway! The downside is that all three boxes contained a sample of blusher from the same company in the same shade. This, of course, could simply have been a fluke. If you fall in love with a sample, you can purchase the full-sized product at Birchbox and earn points toward more products. And gentlemen need not feel left out as Birchbox has a box just for the guys!

The Qualifier: Blissmo - $19.95/month
Blissmo is an amazing lifestyle box! If you’re seeking out green, organic, eco-friendly products, Blissmo Box is an absolute must try. Each month you have the option to select limited quantity products curated by eco-experts that introduce you to both beauty and food products. The packaging is minimal and in line with what a green company should provide. All but one of the 5 products that I received was new to me and I received a leaflet explaining each product. Some may be put off by the $19.95 price, but it is a bargain when you consider that you receive a mix of sample and full-sized products, plus an option to skip a month. Behind the curtain of this company is a well-versed, friendly staff that believes in what they do. Personally, it’s just as important to me to receive good customer service, as it is to receive quality products.

The Qualifier: GlossyBox - $21/month *Since the initial posting, Glossybox's Quality Has Taken A Nose Dive! 
For a company that launched a mere 18 months ago, wow! GlossyBox offers 1, 3, 6, and 12-month subscriptions plans and the savings go up with the length of your subscription. I received two beauty boxes, each one curated by a beauty industry insider! The first was a collaboration with Refinery 29 and January’s box was curated by Leandra of Man Repeller. The boxes were beautifully packaged, like receiving a present! Each box contained 6 products that were a mix of both sample and full-sized beauty products, a postcard that describes each product, plus a GlossyBox magazine that give tips and tricks. The GlossyBox is most definitely for the prestige beauty product bunkie who wants to be introduced to the best beauty trends.

The Qualifier: KLUTCHclub - $18/month
The KLUTCHclub is every health lover’s dream! KLUTCHclub offers nothing less than encouragement toward a healthier lifestyle with the introduction of organic beauty and food products. The company offers 1, 3, and 12-month subscription plans with savings for the lengthier commitments. KLUTCHclub offers both a women and men’s box curated, by experts, for specific goals. I received four boxes that gave me a real feel for this company. January’s women’s box was curated to help kick-off the New Year on a healthy foot and help us to keep that NYE resolution. With a mix of sample and full-sized products, a pamphlet that gives you the what, why and how, plus coupons galore, the KLUTCHclub box blew me away.

The Qualifier: True Beauty Box - $30 & $40/month
True Beauty Box is the new kid on the block, having just launched in January, but they’re already off to an amazing start. True Beauty Box is curated by the experts at LoveTrueNatural and offers 3 different cruelty free, 100% natural, full-sized product box options: Flirt ($30/month), Indulge ($40/month), and Veganista ($30/month). The packaging is minimal, but beautiful, so you definitely feel like you’re getting a present! I received the Flirt and Indulge boxes, each of which contained 5 full-sized products and 3 samples that were new to me. True Beauty Box starts you off with filling out a questionnaire that builds a custom beauty profile. You have the option to change your profile and select a different box to receive, so you can chose the Flirt box one month and try the Veganista the next!

Think that’s all the subscription boxes out there? Not by a long shot, which is what led me to do Battle of the Beauty Boxes Round 2!

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