Worth it? Beauty Subscription Boxes

beauty subscription boxes

Subscription boxes in general are everywhere, catering to various interests and desires. There are boxes for people who want purportedly healthy snacks, boxes for dog owners, boxes for geeks, and, what’s relevant to this blog, beauty subscription boxes.

Like other subscriptions, beauty subscription boxes do several things. They:

  • Give us something to look forward to. Admit it, you like receiving packages.
  • Create an opportunity to try items that we might not otherwise choose to buy for ourselves.
  • Yield the novelty of a value set month-after-month.
  • Enable smaller or newer brands to get their good name out there.
  • Provide a way for established brands to generate buzz about new products.
  • Offer an outlet for brands or retailers to deal with overstock.

Some companies offer subscription boxes for $10 per month (or less if you agree to six months or a year). I’ve tossed around the idea, but until now, I’ve let it go. Here’s why:

Frankly, I’m a control freak

I purchased the Sephora Paint it Pink set – but I did so knowing its contents. If I’m going to spend money on fun things, I feel more comfortable doing so when I know there’s a good chance of those things actually being relevant to my interests. You lose that with beauty subscription boxes; some of them, like Birchbox and ipsy, let you set preferences to a point – but its still very much so a gamble.

I hate clutter

Small sizes are a great way to try new things without committing to a full-sized product. By their nature, beauty subscription boxes are hit-or-miss, and I wasn’t willing to take on a ton of tiny product clutter.

Skeptical of the Content

I’ve read that Birchbox subscribers sometimes wound up receiving things like granola bars or tea. If that’s the case, it’s more of a lifestyle rather than a beauty box, right? It isn’t that getting snacks or random things is bad, it just is not what I want.

On that same note, ipsy claims to feature brands, “such as Urban Decay, Too Faced, Nyx Cosmetics, St. Tropez,” but I really haven’t seen much of that. I see more lower-end, random, seldom-seen brands coming in ipsy mailers than anything. Kind of seems like a bait-and-switch, right?

Skeptical of the Value

Glossybox would probably be a more reliable bet for me, but at $21/box I would just go to Sephora more often! It doesn’t make sense from a value perspective for me. The $10/mo price point feels better for me, but with the aforementioned concerns, the value isn’t there, either.

The Bottom Line

It’s subjective; only you can decide if it’s worth it for you. Overall, I’m not against the idea of subscription boxes. In fact, I’m on the waitlist for Sephora Play! For now, though, the current options available are not worth it to me.

What’s your take on beauty subscription boxes? Have you tried any?