Our Favorite Beauty Box Subscriptions You Should Try Right Now

As college students obsessed with all things beauty, we’re often concerned with getting our beauty fix without breaking the bank. We also have to find products that actually work and, most importantly, that look good. Ta-da! Beauty subscription services are here to solve all your beauty woes. Beauty boxes offer deluxe beauty samples—tried and tested—usually once a month. Check out our top picks for the best beauty boxes on the market right now. (Plus, they make for a great last-minute gift idea!)


Birchbox | $10

Probably one of the most widely known beauty subscription services, Birchbox features brands like Milk Makeup, Oribe, BECCA Cosmetics, and Smashbox. The site even offers a beauty box exclusively for guys—perfect for all those men in your life who like a little pampering. The site offers a free gift with subscription and deluxe samples with re-subscriptions (think style steals like beauty blenders and Laura Geller highlighter).

Ipsy | $10

This beauty service lets you take a quiz to get a gauge of your skin tone, hair texture, and beauty needs. The site has special offers from the brand itself and special promotions for the brands they feature. Some of the most well-known brands offered in boxes are Estée Lauder, MAKE Beauty, and theBalm. They largely feature indie and lesser-known brands, so try Ipsy if you like to experiment with new beauty brands. The best part is it comes in its own makeup bag!

PLAY! by SEPHORA | $10

If you love Sephora, you’ll love their beauty box. While the other boxes can’t guarantee which brands will be featured, Sephora’s box carries brands that they also sell in-store. The box comes with a list of the products and how to use them, plus a card with 50 beauty insider points towards your next Sephora purchase! Sephora’s YouTube page also features how-to videos for the box products every month. Sounds like heaven, right? There is a downside—the waiting list is quite extensive and you have to register as soon as you get an invite or you’ll be put back at the end of the line!

Onyxbox | $25

This beauty box was created specifically the black ladies! Onyxbox founders Delali & Myriam created We Are Onyx to encourage beauty discovery and knowledge in the black community. Their mission is to educate and empower women to embrace and take charge of their own beauty. The site offers a 20% off coupon for signing up and each box packs 5 or more deluxe beauty samples valued around $70. The site also has a blog that features tutorials for every product offered in the boxes.


Glossy Box’s website offers a free gift when you first sign up. The subscription service features high-end products from over one hundred brands including Tree Hut, Tarte Cosmetics, Redken, Pixi Beauty, Lancôme, Juice Beauty, and GLAMGLOW. The site offers limited edition boxes—this month features a holiday themed box, a perfect gift for your makeup-obsessed besties!


by Melissa Lee