8 Things You Didn't Know About Beauty Subscription Boxes

If you've seen our Unboxed series, you know how much we love (carefully) tearing into a pretty package filled with makeup, skincare, and the occasional wildcard food or drink item. Even if we aren't always completely in love with all of the contents of a box, the actual process of receiving it in the mail, opening it, and being surprised by its contents is enough to get us to fork over the monthly subscription fee. 

With so many different beauty boxes on the market, it's safe to assume that business is booming; it seems like everyone we know is separated by two degrees from someone who has a monthly subscription. And if you haven't taken the plunge into beauty box territory yourself, below are some interesting facts that might turn you into a convert. 

There Are Hundreds of Different Subscription Boxes

Contents of a subscription beauty box
Girl Meets Box

Take a trip over to the ultimate subscription box directory, Hello Subscription, and you'll see that there are over 240 different beauty box subscriptions to choose from a sea of more than 2000 different subscription boxes total (for other categories like pets, crafts, kids, etc.)! That's a whole lot of boxes. 

You Can Be Rewarded for Being Green

goodebox subscription beauty box
My Subscription Addiction

Speaking of all those boxes, it does kind of make us think about all of the waste that must be generated. Enter Good Being (formerly GoodeBox), the eco-friendly box service that encourages recycling. Here's how it works: Send back empty product containers, and the company will give you points toward more free samples! It may take a bit of time to accrue the free products, but know that you're helping the Earth in the process. 

Beauty Boxes Are a Global Market

Beauty boxes
Victoria's Little Secrets

For international beauty fanatics who love learning about different cultures' ingredients and trends, you can subscribe to a box service from a different country. YesStyle is a unique service in that it's not technically a subscription service but rather a box of 10 Korean beauty samples you can order whenever you want. When you're done with that box, take a trip around the world and try out other countries' boxes, like France's Saveur du Jour.

The Packaging Is All Part of the Experience

Contents of a beauty box
Really Ree

Carlos Soares Moreira, head of business development for GlossyBox, says the packaging is incredibly important: "We invest a lot in the experience. Last year, we changed the box so that it takes 0.8 more seconds to open. So, to open GlossyBox, you have to take the lid of the box, then untie the ribbon, then take the seal off and take the tissue off," he tells CBS News. Fascinating.

The Beauty Box Following Has Come a Long Way


Birchbox, the mother of all subscription boxes, has raised a whopping $70 million in funding and more than a million subscribers, as of September 2015. It's safe to say the company has come a long way from the small startup it began in 2010.

Some Boxes Give Full-Size Samples

Beauty box with full sample sizes
Slashed Beauty

Need a little more than just a tiny face mask or small perfume sample? Companies like BoxyCharm give away full-size products in each of their monthly boxes, many of which are lesser-known brands that you can "discover," so to speak, and share with your friends. Starlooks is another great full-size subscription service, at a mere $17 a month for three to four Starlooks products.

Many Major Stores Have Their Own Box Service

Contents of a beauty box
Little Blushing Bride

Retailers like Walmart, Sephora, and Macy's all have their own beauty boxes. Instead of meandering the aisles, eyes glazed, throwing items into your basket that you don't necessarily need, let these major stores put together their own special boxes for you each month, delivered right to your doorstep. 

Vegan Beauty Boxes Exist, Too

Beauty box with vegan products

Looking for something a little more natural and organic? Petit Vour, the self-proclaimed "crème de la cruelty-free," is an excellent choice.

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