If you follow my Instagram, you may have noticed I’m a bit of a makeup junkie. I could spend hours at Sephora swatching lipsticks, blushes and shadows. Walking into a drugstore without wandering through the cosmetic aisles is practically impossible. But as a working mom, I don’t have that kind of time. That’s why I love the idea of beauty box subscriptions.
There are several monthly beauty subscriptions to choose from and it’s tempting to want them all. At least it’s tempting for me.
Over the last year, I’ve subscribed and unsubscribed from three: Boxycharm, Ipsy and Play! by Sephora.
(Birchbox and Scentbird are on my wishlist so you may see those reviews soon.)
Pros & Cons of Beauty Box Subscriptions: Boxycharm, Ipsy & Sephora
Before I get into the pros and cons of each subscription beauty box – please know that this is my own personal opinion as an over 40 mom who loves makeup. I also don’t have a preference for any particular brands/products. While I appreciate products that are all natural and cruelty/toxin free, it’s not a deal breaker for me.
Pro: With BOXYCHARM you get 5 full-size and luxury travel-size products for only $21 per month with a retail value over $100 & free shipping. You get a lot of bang for your buck. From eyeshadow palettes, make up brushes to liquid lipsticks and so much more – BOXYCHARM is fun for the beauty lover.
Con: It’s the most expensive of the three beauty subscriptions. As with most subscriptions, shades and items will vary – so you could something you love and then not receive it. And sometimes the color selections are pretty dramatic if you’re neutral makeup loving gal. In one BOXYCHARM box, I received an Ofra liquid lipstick. I enjoy Ofra liquid lipsticks, I’ve purchased them on my own but the color I received was a deep metallic purple. I gave it away to my friend’s daughter. After a few months, I realized I was giving away more products than I was keeping.
This was the subscription I’ve unsubscribed from and I kind of regret doing it. Especially when I see products that I want to try or really love. But it was just an expense I wanted to cut out.
Pro: With Ipsy you receive 5 sample size products for $10 a month + the Ipsy Glam Bag. And I am all about that Glam Bag! Sometimes I think the bag is worth more than any of the products inside. That’s just me. I use them to store receipts, make up or writing supplies. They’re perfect in my everyday work bag and for travel purposes. I also like sample size products — especially mascara. And there’s almost always a lip treatment and/or hand cream.
Con: Similar to BOXYCHARM not all the beauty brands can be found in stores. So if you discover a product you really love, you may need to order it online. Ipsy does have an online shop where you purchase items through but the one you want may not always be available.
Play! by Sephora
Pro: Hands down Play! by Sephora is my favorite beauty box subscription. Each month I received 5 deluxe samples plus a bonus fragrance for $10 a month. Similar to Ipsy, Play! samples arrive in a cute reusable bag.
Unlike BOXYCHARM and Ipsy, all the products you receive are available at Sephora. This makes shopping for your favorite products super convenient. If you have the Sephora app on your phone, you have access to your Play! account. All of the products you’ve received are listed to Buy Now or Add to Basket. So easy.
Another win is that each month with your subscription, you receive a Play! pass card worth 50 Beauty Insider points. Pass is only redeemable in stores with purchase and expires 30 days following receipt (expiration date is located on back of card).
Con: Honestly…I really can’t think of any.