Review: The Best Beauty Box Subscriptions to Indulge in, According to Self-Confessed Addict

Article by Margaret Bonass Madden

I may (read: definitely) have a problem – addiction to beauty box subscriptions.

It started off fairly innocently. I spotted a beauty box photo on a friend’s timeline and off I popped to check out the website.

So far, so normal. I decided that it seemed like a nice little treat and clicked the ‘One Month Subscription’ option.

Birchbox Beauty beauty beauty box subscriptions

I was still on safe ground, as I could cancel the subscription at any time. Fast forward two weeks and Postman Mario (his real name) came knocking at the door. Well, that was it. A slippery slope, if ever I encountered one.

The postage box was black, the print was white and it was like that Christmas that I got a Sindy sideboard (complete with dinky crockery). I pulled the easy-use tab and I swear I could hear a choir singing!

Sindy Sideboard
Sindy Sideboard

The box was a delicate pink, with the Glossybox logo, and it was a thing of beauty. Things went from bad to worse when I opened said box.

Inside, there was pink tissue, wrapped in black ribbon, concealing a package of joy. Pure joy, I say! I pulled afore-mentioned ribbon and there was more stuff-of-wonder: Lots and lots of shredded pink paper.

It rustled and teased me as I felt through its papery goodness. Oh, the excitement! Beneath all the wonderous packaging were five beauty treats.

Postman Mario now raises an eyebrow as he delivers them to my door (they won’t fit in our American-style post box on the gate post).

Now, I’ll be honest here and tell you that I can’t actually remember what the five products were, but I know that this was the day I became addicted to beauty subscription boxes.

Postman Mario now raises an eyebrow as he delivers them to my door (they won’t fit in our American-style post box on the gate post). He says, using his best cuss-words, that I am not the only ‘wan’ in the village – there are many of us. I feel a little better, knowing this, I have to say.

Lookfantastic beauty beauty box subscriptions

So, what does a beauty-box add to your life? Well, you may just wonder how on earth you have survived your adult life without one, let me tell you.

They are little parcels of happiness, that arrive via (insert post-person’s name here) and sweep you away on a cloud of beauty-product fairy dust. Sort of.

Here are the ones that I can recommend:

Glossybox (€14.00 plus p&p)

Glossybox Beauty Box

Each month, subscribers receive five products (usually with at least one full-sized item) that are lavishly packaged in the trademark pink box.

An information card is enclosed, revealing the wonders you can expect from each product and has the RRP of each item. I am always amazed at the overall saving and have discovered some real make-up and skincare gems.

There are occasional limited-edition boxes and they have been known to result in some squealing. I have seen tweets that say the contents are more for the younger gal, but I think this is all relative.

Big thumbs up for the variety. Lower price-range products, but bigger sample sizes or full-size treats. (I particularly love receiving new make-up brushes).

Birchbox (£10.00 plus p&p)

Birchbox Subscription Beauty Box

This beauty box is also one with five products, but of the pricier variety. It is a smaller box, as the sample sizes are smaller, but they are seriously luxurious products.

Occasionally there is a full-size treat and the cost of the subscription more than covers what you receive. As these products are more top-end labels, the comments on Twitter suggest a slightly older clientele (less unicorn/mermaid love and more soft-skin vibe).

These products tend to make you want to create a wish-list that you can stick on your fridge, for all to see. Lots of skincare and less gimmicky products. Classy.

LookFantastic (£20.00, free p&p)

Lookfantastic beauty box subscriptions

A bigger box, stuffed with six products and a complementary ELLE magazine. This is a new one, for me. I’m on month two and am already impressed.

There are plenty of full-sized products and of high calibre. There are face-masks, lip balms, serums, mascara and eyeshadows; the box is brimming with galmour.

The information booklet is full of product details and tips on how to make the most of your haul. This beauty box is amazing. A great mixture of products and many of which I would go on to purchase again.

Beauty Pie (£10.00, product price and p&p)

Beauty Pie beauty box subscriptions

This is harder to explain. Bear with me on this one. You’ll thank me for it. This is more of a membership club, resulting in mega-bargains. For £10 per month you become a member.

This entitles you to MASSIVE discounts on high-end products, up to a maximum of £100pm.

For example, I adore their JeJu Overnight Moisture Superinfusion (nightcream, folks) and this has a RRP of £70.00. However, with membership, this is reduced to £9.40. Or, their Future Lipstick has RRP of £20 but is £3.48 with membership.

These are the crème-de-la-crème of products and I tend to save up a few months worth and bulk-buy. This service requires a UK postal address so check out addresspal to facilitate this (See? I told you I had a problem!).

There are many beauty box subscriptions out there, but these are the ones that I can recommend.

Now I just need to wean myself off, gently, as my kitchen presses won’t fill themselves. Support groups are sure to be available in your location, soon.

I’ll be reviewing some of the February Beauty Subscription Boxes over the next few days. Let us know if you’ve tried any of these and maybe tweet us a pic of your favourite products @indulgeme_ie

Margaret Bonass Madden
 Margaret Bonass Madden is a book blogger/reviewer, features writer and mother of five.

She can be found with her nose in a book, surrounded by beauty products and subscription boxes, on Twitter and at bleachhouselibrary.ie.