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Frost Avatar

Interesting but overwhelming; I don’t think it’s possible for anyone to “use out” one eyeshadow palette per month. I ended up giving away most of the products I got from boxes and unsubscribed after 3 boxes.

Tine Avatar

I have been subscribed with a few different brands for about 4 years. Lookfantastic was by far the best one, which I ended up having for 3 years. I even ordered their advent calendar twice.
Unfortunately, all those boxes do become repetitive and I ended up accumulating too many stuff that I would never use. I did have a few trades with other people, but eventually I was left with a lot of stuff I couldn’t use or trade anymore and decided to stop my subscription. I have discovered some great brands and products though which was great in the days I was still experimenting and looking for my holy grails. Now that I have found the products best suited for me, I’m no longer interested in beauty boxes.

Erin Avatar

Mostly, I like sub boxes for trying luxe skincare before I buy it, Ive found a lot of gems, and a lot of duds… but now my skin routine is about 50/50 under $20 (the ordinary/inky list) and high-end/luxe.. Also I discovered the hair company Christophe Robin and their scalp scrubs (Im in LOVE with the volumizing one and it does WONDERS for my lifeless flat hair)

Sarah Avatar

I really used to love them, but after awhile I got tired of collecting small black eyeliner samples and cancelled my subscriptions. I did like trying new products, and I found some really great ones through subscription boxes, but they served their purpose for me and I’ve moved on.

Ginny Avatar

Bunch of stuff I don’t need. I tried one back when they first started. I filled out preferences of the kind of stuff I’d want or didn’t want, but they would just send me whatever anyway. It sucked. Maybe they have evolved and you have more control over what you get now.

Cherie Avatar

I did this several years ago and it lasted about 3 months. Two years ago I thought I’d try Macy’s but that lasted about 2 months before I stopped. I do better off in getting random samples or GWP. The questions for customizing boxes do not work well either.

Kimmwc03 Avatar

I fallen in and out of like with them over the last 10 years. Every time I go to cancel ipsy lately they have some new thing I want to try so I haven’t canceled them yet.

Natalie Avatar

It seemed like a good idea at the time with BoxyCharm, but I only stayed for 2 months. I liked the high-end skincare products but twice they sent me eyeshadow palettes that were not very tasteful to me. I’m not looking to color outside the lines so to speak. I like to stick with classic neutral eyeshadows with a pop of color on the lid or liners.

Alice Avatar

I think they’re great if you have no idea what works for you or you’re just starting out. I found a TON of my favorite products from subscription boxes, but now that I have, I generally declutter anything else. I subscribed to a few for about 3-4 years, with Sephora Play being the longest because mine were always skincare-heavy (until I finally cancelled, about a year before they discontinued it, once products started getting way too repetitive) and that’s what I was really after. I still watch unboxings on YouTube, but I haven’t subscribed to any boxes myself in a long time.

Mariella Avatar

They’re not for me. When I first started seeing them, I was mildly interested as it seemed a neat way to try new things. But even for those that were available in Canada, the price was pretty prohibitive (shipping, exchange, duty, more shipping) and the more I started seeing things I didn’t want or need (hair bobbles, nutritional supplements, etc.) the more I realized I was far better off using my money for items I actually wanted and chose for myself.

Sydney Avatar

I agree with what everyone has said about them being wasteful. I can see how they might be useful for people who are just getting started in makeup. Right now I am subscribed to Notoriously Morbid’s Mystic Monthly lipstick subscription. I am on a very low buy right now, but there is something about new makeup that boosts your mood, so I subscribed to an indie subscription that I know will send me something that matches my aesthetic. They send two products each month and I know I will use them. So far they have sent colors that I already own, because I love unusual and Goth-ish colors, but that’s ok, because it’s good motivation to toss an older liquid lipstick. I know a lot of us hold on to product longer than we should.

Jujubes Avatar

I would love them, but they always include something that has fragrance in it and I wish they didn’t, because it’s a deal breaker for me because of my allergies.

Z Avatar

I like the idea. And I’m jealous of the deals whenever I see unboxings…..but I know from personal experience doing the Sephora Play that you pay money for junk you won’t use when you could’ve just saved up that monthly fee for a luxury item you chose yourself at the end of the year.

AJ Avatar

I don’t even wanna talk about how many samples I threw out these past couple weeks while I’ve been sorting through stuff to move. I did Ipsy for a while and then Sephora Play for a year or so, and while I did occasionally get some fun stuff, it was mostly too much neutral eye shadow, pink lip gloss, black eyeliner and random skin and haircare that I would forget to use. Beauty subscription boxes are a NO for me right now.

I do get a tea subscription box that I love — their survey is very good and they send me things I really like, and I can drink all the tea in a month if I try. They’ve been pretty responsive when I’ve had an issue or request, too.

However, by far the WORST subscription box I ever tried was one for belly dance. I think I got only two months before I canceled. Everything in it was just really cheap and junky — like a ten or more year old DVD in a battered case with some random studio’s contact info inside, dollar store glitter nail polish, cheap pot metal jewelry, etc. I got rid of the last of that stuff in this current move, too. Found all the junk jewelry in the bottom of my jewelry armoire, having never worn it, and put it all in the thrift store bag.

Adrienne Avatar

I like my box subscription. I got the Allure box for awhile and enjoyed the skincare stuff. But I cancelled it because they too often included supposedly “for everyone” nude lipsticks that were way too warm for me and it seemed wasteful. I signed on with Ipsy’s glam bag because they let you pick 3 out of the 5 products they send you. I am kind of hooked on the beauty box thing for skin care because it lets you try new stuff for a fixed price rather than having to shell out for the full priced product. I’ve found some favorites I never would have otherwise tried that way. And what doesn’t work for me, I give away. Plus, it’s fun to get a present for myself in the mail each month!

Lizzie - IsolatedColor Avatar

They’re not a good fit for me. I never use eyeliner, which I feel is one of the “safe bet” items that get put in boxes a lot. I’d rather use a full drugstore mascara than a mini expensive one. I never wear neutral eye shadows. Nudey lipsticks like Mac Velvet Teddy don’t look good on me.
From what I know of subscription boxes, they’re designed to appeal to the average makeup user. The products that go in that category are ones I either already own or don’t want. I’d rather put my money towards picking out the kinds of colorful eye shadows and interesting lip colors that I know I want.

Ana Maria Avatar

I am very specific about the products and colors I like, so for me a subscription box, especially one where I can’t pick my products, doesn’t make sense for me. I would just end up with products I don’t use. Also, I love a minimalist make-up and skincare collection, and subscription boxes will add multiples of items I just want to own one of.

Nonetheless, I am on subscription for products I love and use constantly (gelatin powder, variety boxed of my favorite snacks, toilet paper – from Who Gives a Crap). The only reason I don’t have a subscription for my body wash or concealer (beauty stuff I constantly repurchase) is because I can buy them cheaper if I wait for sales (e.g. the subscription would be 15% off, but brands have often 20% off sales).

BrandiD Avatar

I like the idea, but it doesn’t work for me because of my allergies and the fact that I’m picky. I do like some of the holiday boxes with small sample sizes that Sephora and Ulta do, mainly because I love trying new things in little packages where there’s less risk of guilt if something doesn’t work, but in those cases I know what I’m getting. I tried Allure’s sample box and unsubscribed after two or three boxes because nothing seemed that exciting to me.

I DO have one subscription service, for gym clothes, but this works well for me because 1) I work out a lot, 2) it’s cheaper than buying the same sets at TJMaxx or Marshalls, where they often don’t have matching pieces and 3) I can pick which set I want every month. If beauty boxes worked on the same principle of letting you pick from an assortment, I’d probably be more interested.

BrandiD Avatar

The one I use is Ellie, and I chose their three piece monthly system. I’ve been getting it for several months now and it’s great. They’re really good about sending reminder emails to choose your outfit, etc. They do sell out of some things close to the end of the month so since I have a billing date on the 22nd, I just make sure I pick my choices well ahead of time. I’ve been able to get great outfits and I pick out the ones with medium or high impact sports bras for running. All around, it’s been great for me.

Ariel Riley Avatar

I found myself giving away a higher and higher percentage and I don’t recall anything so earth shattering that I bought another one of.

Nancy T Avatar

Having had an Ipsy Bag subscription for around two years, I can honestly say that while I did really enjoy looking forward to little “surprises” each month, there were also enough misses that I just couldn’t continue with it. Besides that, half of the products were deluxe minis. If I were to do it again, it would be Boxy Charm because theirs are full-sized products and more interesting looking.

tracy watada Avatar

Monthly subscription boxes don’t seem necessary or useful. You’ll never go through that product in a month, and often times there’s so much stuff you won’t use/need. I tried skincare ones, as that I’m more interested and use everyday, but even then it was too much product, and it often ended up being the same type of product, oil serums and balms when I have normal/oily skin, and don’t use those much, if at all. I’ll buy a one off box if I like the look of the products, but no more subscriptions for me.

Zia Avatar

I enjoy them more for skincare than makeup since for makeup I like to pick and choose what I really want (usually things that receive positive reviews on here) and what will work for my skin and looks I like.
I do receive the See New Beauty box for luxury skincare (it’s bi-monthly but I chose to get every other box) and I do love it so far. 95% of the time, I would never pay the prices for most of the products I receive, so it’s nice to able to receive them in a box at a deal price.

Zelda Avatar

I was really excited about the idea but the reality wasn’t that great. The eyeliner is always black and I ended up with half a dozen mini black eyeliners. The lip products seemed to always be either really bright or brownish, neither of which suits me. Sometimes there would be foundation or tinted moisturizer in “medium” which was always too dark for my very fair skin. The skin care products seemed to always be a cleanser, which I’m not that picky about, so it was kind of a nothing product for me.

I watch the Allure box and buy it occasionally if there’s a good, full-sized skin care product that I’ll use.

I love my Margo Elena subscription, it’s mostly bath and body products. There’s always a fragrance and one thing that is not bath/body/fragrance. I love the scents of the bath/body products and the fragrances, so it’s definitely a self-treat. I’ve kept that subscription for a few years and have no plans to cancel.

Jen Avatar

They serve their purpose, I suppose, and are useful for someone just getting started or to see what kind of products are out there, but they have their limitations. Personally I got bored with them and actually just cancelled my iast subscription, Ipsy, last month. I figure, it’s money I could spend on something I really want instead of something I might get, or worse don’t want at all.

Deena Avatar

I’ve had a bunch, but I only keep the small Ipsy at this point, and only to have access to the add ons in case there is a good deal on something I use. I use samples/small sizes when I travel because I have had too many good luxury products break in flight. Now I just take Ipsy crap for the few days I’m away. I keep everything in a bucket and pack it to travel, and most of the time throw it away before coming home to make room in my luggage. I certainly don’t keep the subs for quality stuff. It’s just a bonus when I can get Sunday Riley skincare for $18.

Alex Avatar

Those are the only reasons I kept Ipsy for as long as I did…but yikes, in the leadup to Christmas especially I found myself getting a little bit deal-happy and started feeling a dent in the ol’ pocketbook and forced myself to cancel.

Eileen Avatar

They don’t appeal to me. Like the majority of GWP’s, too many of the items just don’t suit my needs, interests, or esthetics even though many of the boxes are supposedly targeted. I guess there are a lot of people who find them fun, but not me.

Genevieve Avatar

No – I don’t like subscription boxes because, as you have said Christine, very few of the items are suitable for me and they ended up being wasted.
The only kind of subscription boxes type of thing that I do like are the free Priceline skincare bags that you get with a minimum purchase of products for about $70. These are often of good value and anything that doesn’t suit me is passed on to my daughter in law, or is donated.

Susan Avatar

I thought they were fun initially. I gave what I didn’t want to my granddaughter who was a young teens and had a shade darker complexion. She also shared with her friends. After a while I realized I was using next to nothing from the boxes and cancelled them. It has been several years ago and I really don’t miss them.

Rob Avatar

Christine – a bit off subject but where did you get that beautiful rug shown in the pictures ? It is exactly what I’ve been looking for and after two years haven’t found . The colors are EXACTLY what my sunroom and patio are decorated .

Teresa Avatar

I’ve been subscribed to various subscription boxes and enjoyed the fun of finding out what each box included. They were great for introducing me to different companies and products. However eventually they became a burden and wasteful because I was drowning in product and becoming specific in my wants and needs. I have unsubscribed to all my boxes now. I may consider something like Fab Fit Fun or another quarterly subscription but not for a while as I need to coordinate my donations and decluttering.

editor Avatar

I never use black eyeliner. They always send a black eyeliner, like every month. Although I could say more, that about sums it up.

Maggie Avatar

I’ve had this conversation with a friend and we both agreed that the idea of subscription boxes was too similar psychologically to gambling – betting on the chance that you’ll get a lot for less money. Or get addicted to the idea of receiving a gift. This is especially dangerous for young children and toy subscriptions. We thought it was much better to develop the practice of being able to narrow down your needs and/or whatever “sparks joy.”

However, judging by the comments below, I can see that for someone new to something that it can be a good idea to try out different varieties for a lower cost. I think the idea of a tea subscription is a lovely idea for someone who is a chronic tea drinker and wants to branch out and try new teas. And I have a friend who has subscribed to a farm fresh vegetables box to try cooking and eating different kinds of vegetables.

SF Avatar

Most of the full size products are things they got a deal on bc nobody wanted them anymore. Got so sick of boxycharm and doing ipsy now it is a smidge better. I get the dermstore one and LOVE IT

Helena Avatar

They might have appealed to me at some point, but I have been trying to pare down my stash—not build it up—for a couple years now.
My mom and I were subscribed to Julep’s Maven boxes for a bit. Honestly, we were roped in by the free first box. She always forgot to skip them or cancel the subscription altogether and for a while I couldn’t be bothered to go through the trouble (IIRC it was a bit of a process?). In the end I think the card I had on file simply expired and that’s how I got out 😂 I still remember missing out on MAC’s Gold Mirror lipglass because I forgot to skip a month and thus couldn’t afford the gloss. 😩

Pearl Avatar

I love my subscription box (Allure) for skincare, could pass on the makeup (only because I already have all that I want and need, and my brand preferences are set). I have really enjoyed supplementing my skin care and I use up the deluxe samples. I give away the few items I wouldn’t use (which aren’t many).

Alex Avatar

I did Birchbox for a couple months as my first experience with them. I don’t wear any kind of eye makeup, and I think Viktor Rolf’s Flowerbomb smells like 90s mall trash fragrances, so I quickly realized I would use, at most four of the five items per box. I will admit there’s some use to it–as someone on the go a lot, things like small moisturizer samples and the like are nice to have a small stockpile of. A few months later I gave them another try…ended up with two of the same items I’d already received, both things I don’t use. Plus, they can bump you up into NEEDING certain things in a higher price bracket! I can’t live without Oribe Supershine anymore because of them.
I also tried Ipsy, for longer, but I got so tired of things like eye shadow accumulating that I had to cancel again. Ipsy still blows Birchbox out of the water though because of the access to their deals, and it’s $3 cheaper a month. There were a few deal items I bought multiples of (MOTD powder brushes, small Tarte Shape Tape concealers, each at only THREE DOLLARS!) and the rare crazy deal (R+Co Waterfall cream for $14 and Juice Beauty anti-aging serum for $18 come to mind right away.) Problems aside, I actually almost signed up for Ipsy again a week or so ago…but news had broken that a couple of their “suppliers” were just a couple people buying makeup off AliBaba/AliExpress, slapping a logo on it, and selling it to Ipsy. Apparently this happened a while back, they rectified it…but now have reneged on their promise to drop these “brands”, so now I’m put off forever.

Aspasia Avatar

I subscribed to Ipsy for 2 years but recently put my subscription on hold. I felt like I was drowning in sample sizes. I liked getting “fun mail” and it was lovely trying new products I would never think to purchase for myself, but the downside was that after a while they were sending me the same types of products every month. I now have 5 black eyeliners, 5 blushes, multiple mascaras. It just started to overwhelm me, especially after I created a spreadsheet of all my beauty products. We’re also in the process of buying a house so the less I buy now, the more money we’ll have and less stuff to move. Oh, and I really haven’t missed my subscription since I have such a large stash and I’ve been busy with life.

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