Have you ever bought a product, especially an expensive product, to find out that you didn't like it? Sometimes you end up wasting money because you find you can't return it to the store. You can avoid that or even find something new with many subscription companies out there that send you several items to try. Many in the US and Canada begin at around $10 a month and you can cancel at any time.
Items listed past the Beauty Related section are available to those within the US only unless otherwise stated.
In the US:
(please note some companies do have restrictions to Hawaii and Alaska)
- Beauty Army ($12 monthly)
Choose up to six items per month. Launched January 1, 2012 with only 300 initial boxes/subscriptions available.
- Beauty Bar Sample Society ($15 monthly)
This is offered in conjunction with Allure magazine. What you get are "5 deluxe-sized samples from beauty brands like Murad, Stila, and Bond No. 9. A $15 gift code to redeem on a $50 purchase - when any product from the brands you've sampled is included in your order. Expert beauty advice to accompany your samples from the editors of Allure. A bonus one-year subscription to Allure magazine." (LIMITED AVAILABILITY)
- Beauty Box 5 ($12 monthly)
- Beautyfix ($49.99 quarterly)
Create a profile and select up to eight items. Items may range from drugstore items like Caress body wash to salon brands like Jonathan product.
- Birchbox ($10 monthly)
You get between 4 to 6 samples sometimes deluxe size, sometimes full size and sometimes mini size. For each item you get you can review the item and receive 10 points. Accumulate 100 points and you get $10 off almost any purchase (some restrictions on certain items, see Birchbox for more info). You can stack your points to but points DO expire within 365 days. You also get 50 points if you get people to sign up via referral link and they become a subscriber or place an order with Birchbox.
- Cravebox ($10 monthly) You get 4 to 5 samples ranging in size from full, deluxe and sample size products.
- Glossybox USA ($ unknown)
- Julep ($19.99 monthly)
Hand, nail and foot care subscription based in Seattle, WA.
- MyGlam ($10 monthly) - Launched November 2011
This one is new and is co-founded by Michelle Phan & has well known stylists like Jessica Harlow, Andrea from AndreasChoice involved. Like Birchbox it's a subscription beauty company that sends out "four to five new beauty products each month in a cute makeup bag". From My Glam's FAQs, "Glam Bags are shipped on the last day of every month via USPS mail".
- My Platinum Box
- New Beauty's Test Tube ($29.95 + $8.95 shipping, quarterly [every three months])
This subscription service not only sends out deluxe size samples but also full size products. Unlike many other subscription companies this one is sent out once per quarter. 1st Quarter: Jan, Feb, Mar; 2nd Quarter: Apr, May, Jun; 3rd Quarter: Jul, Aug, Sep; 4th Quarter Oct, Nov, Dec.
- New Beauty's Test Tube at QVC (auto renewal or one time only). $29.96 + $6.97 shipping/handling (+ tax if your state has tax)
Exactly like New Beauty except this is a QVC version filled with products sold on QVC. Also sold on a quarterly basis. If the links do not work it means they pulled the page due to the product selling out and will not have the page back up until near the start of the next quarter.
- The Look Bag by InStyle magazine ($10 monthly)
(Not recommended by most members)
- GoGoGirlfriend ($12.95 monthly for a box each month OR $6.99 monthly and you'll get a box every other month)
There are two options for GGG - either pay $12.95 and get a box monthly (12 boxes per year) or pay $6.99 monthly and get a box every two months (6 boxes per year). Items in the box vary from ELF Cosmetics to indy companies.
- Makeup Monthly ($30 monthly)
There are three options to choose from, each option is $30 months. Pick a skincare box or a nail box or a makeup box. Items in the box are from high end brands however items maybe old or discontinued.
- His Black Box ($12 monthly) Out of business temporarily.
For men... or women who like men's products. Set up a profile and get four to five deluxe size samples designed for men.
- Birchbox Man This may actually NOT be a subscription service, at this time, for men but rather the limited edition box.
- Male Box INFORMATION NOT AVAILABLE
In the UK:
- GlossyBox (£10 monthly + £2.95 shipping/handling)
- Amarya Beauty Box (£10 monthly or £120 yearly.) If you subscribe to the yearly plan the entire £120 will be billed to your bank or credit card. Like Birchbox, you're awarded points and in Amarya's case you're awarded 120 points if you pay for a year in advance PLUS you get a Santaverde Gift set work £56.
- Boudoir Prive (£10 monthly) Also similar to other beauty box subscription services you get between 5 to 6 samples each month and earn loyalty points.
- Carmine (£10 per month + pp* or £110 yearly)
Receive 5 exclusive beauty products selected by their expert. Postage and packaging is an additional £2.75 per box.
- Feel Unique Beauty Box (£9.95 monthly) According to their site they "send your unique Beauty Box during the first week of every month, filled with 5 deluxe-sized beauty products, plus a bonus beauty sample for extra unique-measure!"
- Latest In Beauty (starts at £1 monthly) Now this one is definitely different as they offer three different types of boxes starting at £1 monthly.
- The beauty box for only £1 box includes only three samples.
- The luxury box you get to choose your products. Price? Unknown.
- The themed boxes are offered only six times a year and I believe this box is £4.95.
- She Said Beauty (£9 + £2.95 P&P)
- Lust Have It (AU $14.95 monthly or $160 for 12 months) - Launched October 2011
This is the most similar to Birchbox right down to awarding of points to redeem for $10 off a purchase. Delivery is for Australia and Tasmania only. At time time I do not know if they ship to New Zealand or not.
- BellaBox Australia (AU $45.00 every three months)
Get 4 to 5 samples monthly.
- I Love This Box (AU $14.95 per month or $164 for 12 months)
- Glossy Box Australia (AU $14.95 per month)
- Beauty Basket (AU $14.95 per month)
Glossybox around the world.
Ok, some of these are already listed above but here links to other Glossyboxes around the world.
- Glossybox UK (£10 monthly)
- Glossybox Australia ($14.95 monthly)
- Glossybox Canada ($15 monthly)
- Glossybox Hong Kong ($120 monthly)
- Glossybox South Africa (R130,00 monthly)
- Joliebox (10€ monthly + 3€ shipping)
The site is in French and is for those in France. What you get are 4 to 5 miniature high-end cosmetics ("mini-products, formats and even travel large formats from time to time") plus a magazine. There is a loyalty program but I'm not sure how theirs works.
Beside beauty subscription/sampling boxes there are other types of subscription and sampling services to choose from ranging from clothing to shoes to even children's toys. The following include some of the well know subscription and sampling services out there. With the popularity of subscription services booming this list will continue to grow.
- Stylemint ($29.99 monthly)
The styling powerhouse known as the Olson twins are back! Stylemint is their latest venture where they will be designing and releaing a new t-shirt each month! (Credit to Melanie for the tip! :D)
- Jewel Mint ($29.99 monthly)
- JustFab ($39.95 monthly)
Similar to Kim Kardashian's Shoe Dazzle this one is by supermodel Kimora Lee Simmons. Shoe size 5½ to 11. First purchase is 50% off.
- Shoe Mint
$79.98 monthly you can opt to skip if you don't like a pair of shoes. Steve Madden, Rachel Bilson, and Nicole Chavez are the designers of the shoes. Opened November 2011.
- Shoe Dazzle ($39.95 monthly, can skip before the 5th of each month.)[ships internationally, see their site for more info]
Owned by Kim Kardashian, this is was among the first of the product subscription services that I heard about. I've been a member since 2008 and while I haven't purchased each month I have loved the shoes I've purchased from there including my exercise shoes which cost over $60 at other stores. In early 2011 they began to offer more than just shoes and handbags and now offer jewelry, haircare/cosmetic products (during the Dazzle Deal) among other items. From time to time they also have 2 pairs for $39.95.
- Sole Society ($49.95 monthly, also can skip the month before the 5th of each month.)
Exactly like Shoe Dazzle in that it's shoes but it's $10 more. Styles are practically identical to Shoe Dazzle but sometimes they have some much more cute styles.
- Shoe Privee ($39.95 monthly) You can earn "Rewards Points" to redeem for Shoe Privee credit. 1000 = 1 credit. Buy 1 pair of shoes at $39.95 and get 100 points (2.5 points earned per dollar spent). Earn 250 points when you referred someone and makes their first purchase.
- Conscious Box ($12 monthly + $7 shipping)
Similar to Eco-Emi. Ships during first week of every month.
- Eco-Emi ($15 monthly includes shipping) [ships internationally, see their site for more info]
Keep in mind that Eco-Emi doesn't just send out beauty products but other products that are environmentally friendly products ranging from food to health products to household items. Boxes are shipped out on the 17th of each month.
- White Apricot's Green Grab Bag ($15 monthly)
Five to six eco-friendly sample size beauty products. Boxes are shipped out on the 15th of each month.
- Blissmobox ($19 monthly)
Blissmobox ships out organic and eco-friendly products. Unlike similar companies you can either let them pick out products for you or you can pick products to try.
- Foodzie ($19.99 monthly)
- Like Blissmobox this company also ships out food related products. Unlike Blissmobox you don't get to choose.