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Breaking Down the Beauty Sample Box Craze

Hey Rosés,

Image via Getty

Beauty junkies around the world rejoiced when companies and services popped up selling luxury beauty, body and lifestyle samples. With most of them starting as rewards programs or members-only sites, the subscription sample box craze has blown up from the most generic to offering customized solutions.

Sample boxes are a great way to discover new products, get travel-sized editions of your favorite products, and as I have recently experienced, excellent gift ideas. Most of these sites have great rewards and brand ambassador programs where you can accrue points for free gifts and discounted full-sized products.

L to R: Birchbox, Conscious Box, Crave Box

After meeting the founders of Birchbox, I was an early adopter of their monthly subscription service and continue to write reviews of their products for the sensitive skin and allergy crew. See January, February, and March.

There are new subscription services popping up every week, so find out which sample box works for your beauty and lifestyle needs:

(in alphabetical order – no preferences or endorsements here!)


Beauty Box 5


  • Breakdown: This company made a splash at the 2012 SXSW’s StyleX conference with their Tiffany blue boxes
  • Price: $12/monthly $30/quarterly $100 yearly
  • Products: Feature great local and international brands like Weleda, LA Fresh, and Supergoop




  • Breakdown: Founded by two Harvard MBAs, one of the original beauty sample subscriptions features product customization and a full destination site for videos and tips.
  • Price: $10/month
  • Products: Luxury and mainstream brands include Ahava, Essie, Stila, Nars, Origins


Conscious Box


  • Breakdown: Environmentally conscious products from organic to vegan, including beauty, lifestyle and food.
  • Price: $12/monthly + $7 shipping, $33/quarterly + $7 shipping, $64/yearly + $7 shipping
  • Products: VerMints, Kind Bars, Honest Kids Tea, organic candles, natural lip balm


Crave Box


  • Breakdown: Recently launched, goes beyond beauty to include items for hobbies, pets and home. They offer subscription boxes and limited editions that can be won.
  • Price: $10/monthly
  • Products: NYX mascara, Puristics eye treatment, Mercy recovery drinks




  • Breakdown: The ultimate box for all things curly and natural hair. Packed with samples and full collections from mainstream and independent brands for all types of ethnic and curly hair.
  • Price: $20/monthly
  • Products: Hair Rules, Ouidad, Shea Moisture, Karen’s Body Beautiful


Glossybox USA


  • Breakdown: This British sensation is set to launch soon in the U.S.
  • Price: TBA
  • Products: Global brands include Dermalogica, Chloé, Clarins, Bobbi Brown


The Look Bag


  • Breakdown: Online beauty shop TheLookStore.com partnered with celebrity beauty therapist Damone Roberts to bring customized picks. The Look Bag subscribers also receive 20% off The Look Store’s shop.
  • Price: $10/month
  • Products: Top picks from Damone Roberts include Cattiva, S.S. Soap, Frownies


Sample Society


  • Breakdown: Recently launched venture between beautybar.com and Allure Magazine
  • Price: $15/month
  • Products: 5 deluxe-sized samples from beauty brands like Murad, Stila, and Oscar de la Renta fragrance. Includes 1-year Allure subscription.


What are your favorite beauty sample subscription services?

Taste the beautiful life ~ Alicia

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