Over the last two years, the concept of receiving a box of something in the mail monthly- whether that be snacks, makeup, or razor blades- has become a very common thing. This concept has been especially popular with makeup samples. There are now over 20 different companies that will send you samples of makeup monthly, for a subscription fee ranging from around $10 to $40 dollars. Sounds great, right? Well, maybe not.
I personally am a long-time subscriber to Birchbox, and love getting my monthly box, but lately I have been questioning whether or not these beauty boxes are really worth it.
With Birchbox, I filled out a questionnaire when I signed up, answering questions about my complexion, eye color, and general beauty preferences. I pay $10 dollars a month and receive a box of five samples around the middle of the month. The samples are truly sample size- small, but I have actually come to find some of my most favorite beauty products through Birchbox.
What is good about beauty boxes for me is that I am not set in my beauty routine or products. Yes, I have my favorites, but I don’t do the same routine everyday nor do I only buy specific brands. I am always interested in testing out new products and seeing how my skin reacts. Sometimes it is a total flop, but more often than not I have been introduced to really great brands that I would have otherwise never heard of. While this is great for me, a beauty box is not a great idea for someone that is heavily committed to their brands and products. If you are close minded to certain brands or unwillingly to switch up your routine, I say save the $10 dollars a month and continue buying the brands you know and love, and the brands that you know you will get your moneys worth out of.
Now let’s talk about the price. Both Birchbox and Ipsy charge $10 dollars a month, meaning $120 dollars a year. Not horrible, but if you aren’t totally into the program that money really adds up. What I love about Birchbox is that you have the ability to review the products they send you and you receive points for each review which eventually earns you money to the Birchbox store. I haven’t had to pay full price for any product I order from them because of this. On the other hand, boxes like New Beauty Test Tube and Jouer Le Matchbox can cost up to $45 a month. For most college students, this is just not manageable. Granted, you get different quality and sized products with each box, but when you don’t know which samples you will be getting until they arrive, it’s a fairly steep price to pay. While some prices may not seem bad monthly, it’s always best to put the price into a yearly perspective, because you might be okay with spending $20 dollars now, but at the end of the year you might be upset without $240 dollars in your bank account. With this in mind, it’s also smart to remember that if you pay $10 dollars for a box, the overall value inside the box can be anywhere from $50 dollars and up. This is a classic cost versus benefit problem.
In the grand scheme of things, I think that beauty boxes are worth it, if you choose the right one for you. If you are a lover of all things beauty and like to try new brands, I say go for it, but if you aren’t totally invested in it, I wouldn’t spend the money on it. Research each company and the types of samples they send out before signing up to the first one you see. Some are tailored specifically to you better than others. And if you do decide to sign up for a subscription beauty box, just know that every month when the package arrives it will leave you feeling like it’s Christmas.