Beauty Boxes- which is best?

This is a first impression, at a glance comparison of several of the popular monthly beauty subscriptions. None of the links below are referral links, I get nothing if you click on them. Cost of subscriptions were out of pocket, I did not receive any compensation for the products or this post. I just wanted  to provide a one page comparison of some of the popular beauty subs out there.

Play! by Sephora $10 mo for 5 samples + a fragrance sample

There is a beauty profile for you to fill out, but no customization of your box (you don’t get to pick a product or have a color choice).

MAY 2017 BOX #306
TRÈSTIQUE Highlight & Perfect Multipurpose Stick
MILK Makeup Blur Stick
GRANDE COSMETICS GrandeLIPS Hydrating Lip Plumper
TATA HARPER Resurfacing Mask
RAHUA Omega 9 Hair Mask
CLEAN Reserve Sel Santal
I am thrilled that 3 of 5 products were makeup and each one a different type. I appreciate that fragrance samples do not count towards your samples. I am happy with my first bag and look forward to next month.
  • fun bonuses like Play! Pass and Play! Date
  • value
  • low cost
  • quality


  • long wait list that “opens” periodically
  • no customization choices

Thus far, I would recommend Play! by Sephora

LipMonthly– $12.95 mo, 3-4  full sized lip products + 1 full size beauty product

I used the first month for $5 offer (it was actually $6.45 I inquired about the discrepency and was refunded $1.45). LipMonthly used to (prior to July 2015) offer 4-5 products for $10 a month. They have since raised the price and reduced the number of products you get, as well as countries they ship to, in order to provide higher quality products. For some reason several articles in the Support Center does not reflect this change. I have emailed them regarding this and will update the post when I receive a response. Still, at the cost of $3.24 or less per product, I expect it to be a good value.

As of right now, my first bag has not yet arrived. It has an estimated delivery date of 5/30.  I have no idea what is coming. All I could find from LipMonthly is that subscribers might receive a lip gloss from Bang Beauty, a dual lip wand from City Color Cosmetics, a lip liner from Starlooks Cosmetics and an eyeshadow pencil from Luna by Luna Cosmetics. Saying I may get something doesn’t really mean anything, though. I will update when I receive my bag.

I have already cancelled my subscription, but had I stayed on I would be able to choose the colors for 2 of the products in the June bag (both lip gloss, unknown brand) but the choices were unappealing to me.  I really wish I could choose what colors or finishes I absolutely do not want to receive, because I have very pink skin that clashes with many colors.  My decision to unsubscribe was not because of the company at all, just that my unique skin tone makes this subscription a bad fit for me personally.


  • Low Cost
  • Full size
  • Some customization
  • Monthly giveaway, reward points, & refer a friend links


  • delayed shipping
  • Tracking info not updated on website
  • Outdated information on website

I am hesitant to recommend LipMonthly.  I haven’t had enough experience with the company to know if shipping is usually reliable or what the product colors are typically like.


Ipsy– $10 mo, 5 beauty products

There is a beauty profile for you to fill out and reviewing products you get somehow affects what you will receive. I’m not sure how much either of those are actually taken into consideration, though.
I was less than impressed with my first and only bag, which contained a laughably small mascara sample, a cheap eye shadow brush, under eye gel pads, face wash sample, and a highlighter stick. All were small sample sizes except the brush, which retails for under $3. However, as disappointing the bag was, ultimately it was the poor customer service that caused me to cancel.  Sadly, of every sub on this list I was most excited for this one.


  • low cost
  • referral links and points


Because of my experience, I cannot recommend Ipsy.


Birchbox– $10 mo, 5 beauty products

I really liked BB and stayed with them for 3 months. I did not receive any full size samples in that time and the samples tend to be small.


December 2016
Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray
Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel
Wilma Schumann Skincare Hydrating Collagen Eye Pads
IPKN Radiant Cream Primer SPF 15
Milk Makeup Dew You

November 2016
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish™ Hot Cloth Cleanser Starter Kit
jane iredale Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain
amika Silken Up Dry Conditioner – 5.1 oz.
ARDENCY INN MODSTER Smooth Ride Supercharged Eyeliner Travel-Size Duo
Marcelle New-Age LumiPOWER 3-in-1 Moisturizer

October 2016
Mally Beauty Volumizing Mascara
dr. brandt microdermabrasion skin exfoliant
Air Repair Super-Hydrating Eye Cream
Prescriptives False Eyelashes Plush Mascara
Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo


  • Low cost
  • Great customer service
  • quality samples
  • Your history continues to be available after you end your subscription
  • Value
  • Customization (sample choice and beauty preferences)


  • Repetitive
  • Samples tend to be on the smaller side


I really loved the  overall quality and customer service Birchbox offers. If I were in the market for skin and hair care products, I would resubscribe.


I’m still searching for a subscription box that is affordable and mainly focused on makeup. Taking recommendations! I’ll even use your referral link 😉

Which subscription box is your favorite?


5 thoughts on “Beauty Boxes- which is best?

  1. I’m so glad I read this! I’ve been considering the lipmonthly but now you made it clear. I’ve never tried Play by Sephora but I read about it often in beauty blog world. I already told you my current favorite is the Julep Maven Beauty Box 🙂 I think my next beauty box will be one that is not mainstream, maybe a new company? AH I love subscription boxes!! 🙂


    • After looking around My Subscription Addiction it looks like LipMonthly sends a decent variety of colors, but there are also several comments about being charged after cancelling and receiving prior months bags, as well as late shipping. Now I’m worried my bag will actually be the April bag, and I REALLY don’t want that one, lol.
      That Julep Maven box always look great, I’ve held off on it because I’m a nail biter (I know, ick!) but maybe I can bribe myself to finally break the bad habit so I can sign up 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.