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The 16 Best Beauty Subscription Boxes for Makeup, Skin and Self-Care

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Written by Jenna Cartusciello
Best Beauty Subscription Boxes

What’s the purpose of a beauty subscription box? If you love discovering new makeup, skincare and bath and body products but don’t want to pay full price, a subscription is a great solution. Here’s how it works: Every month (or every three or six months), the company you choose will send you a box of three to eight self-care goodies. What makes it worth it? The products you receive are typically discounted.

Unfortunately, finding a great beauty subscription box is not always easy. While most beauty boxes promise to deliver amazing new makeup, skincare and self-care products at a discount, the final price of the box may be the same as buying the individual products outright. In that case, it’s certainly not worth it — especially if you receive items that aren’t useful to you. So, how can you find out which boxes are great deals and which are not? We’ve rounded up the 15 best beauty subscription boxes that we believe give you the most bang for your buck.

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Finding the Best Beauty Subscription Box

Who doesn’t love receiving a package every month? A great beauty subscription box not only scratches that itch, but also gives you the chance to try new beauty goodies at a discounted price. You can get items for 20 percent off or more from the brands you know and love, like Paula’s Choice and Beekmans, and brands you’re just discovering.

However, not every beauty box is worth the splurge. Some companies have come under fire for promising beauty boxes that take preferences into account, then delivering a box filled with products the buyer didn’t request. The most common problem with beauty boxes is that customers receive products that aren’t as valuable as the box they paid for. To avoid getting a box that disappoints you, we suggest that you keep the following factors in mind.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Beauty Subscription Box

Product Size

What size products do you prefer in your subscription box? In general, you have three options: all sample size, a mix of sample and full size, and all full size. Boxes that contain only full-size products are usually the most desirable, but they tend to be the most expensive. Boxes with only sample-size items are the most affordable, but you’ll run out of products quickly. A mix of sample and full size products is a good in-between.


In an ideal world, we’d be able to customize all the items we receive in a subscription beauty box, but most companies are unable to accommodate this because of additional costs. Some companies allow you to choose a few products in every box, but the vast majority of subscription providers keep everything a mystery until you open the package. The best way to tell whether mystery items will have good value is to check out previous boxes and see what was available.


There are a number of beauty box types available, including makeup-only, skincare-only, boxes with both makeup and skincare and bath-and-body boxes. The most common box type is a blend of makeup and skincare, though a few makeup-only or skincare-only brands exist. Generally, we believe that you’ll get the best deal if you stick to boxes containing a blend of makeup and skincare — or bath and body boxes.


Creating a budget for how much money you can spend on beauty subscription boxes is important, because costs can add up quickly. The most affordable box in our recommendations is $7 and the most expensive is $130 per month. On average, you should expect to pay at least $20 for a monthly subscription and more if you want all the products to be full size or luxury items.


What sounds more appealing to you — an expensive box full of luxury, full-size products or an affordable box full of one or two-use, high-quality samples? No matter your preference, the goal is for your monthly subscription to cost less than the overall value of the items inside it. If you can achieve this, then your box will have high value.

Customer Service

Unfortunately, many things can go awry when ordering a subscription box — the box gets delayed or never delivered, some items are damaged or some items are not what you requested. In these instances, customer service can make or break your experience. We made sure to look at reviews of customer service departments for each subscription box before making our recommendations.

What Are the Different Types of Beauty Subscription Boxes?

Beauty subscription boxes are categorized into three types: makeup, skincare and a combination of both.


Makeup-only beauty boxes are some of the most popular subscription boxes, usually because customers already have set skincare routines and would rather explore the world of makeup. In general, you can expect to receive eyeshadows, mascara, false eyelashes, highlighting and contour kits, eyeliners and lipsticks in a subscription makeup box.

However, makeup-only boxes are the hardest kind of box to get right. Each customer has specific tastes in terms of what makeup they like, and skintone-specific makeup has a high chance of leading to customer dissatisfaction.


Skincare-only beauty boxes are not as popular as makeup-only boxes, but they often enjoy high customer satisfaction. This is because most skincare boxes include high-quality, full-size items that the buyer would never find at the drugstore or seek out. If you want to purchase a skincare-only box, expect to receive cleansers, moisturizers, skin serums, body lotion and more.

Makeup and Skincare

In a makeup and skincare beauty box, you can expect to receive a combination of all your favorite beauty items (think cleanser, moisturizer, serum, eyeshadow, lipstick, lip gloss and more). Just be warned: Most combination beauty boxes focus on skincare rather than makeup, because makeup is more likely to lead to customer dissatisfaction.


Best Overall: Kinder Beauty Box


  • Cruelty free and vegan
  • Clean beauty
  • Easy cancellation


  • Value of some boxes may be higher than others
  • Can’t select any items
  • No one-time purchases of current boxes

The Kinder Beauty Box ticks all of our boxes: It contains five full-size, vegan, cruelty free and non-toxic products. Reputable “clean beauty” brands such as W3LL People and Osea participate, and Kinder tells you what’s in store before each box gets sent out — so you can decide whether you want to skip the coming month or not. We also love that each month has a theme and every product is useful and high quality.

A few buyers have felt that certain boxes were better than others. In addition, Kinder does not allow you to select any of the items. The company also doesn’t offer a one-time purchase of current boxes, but you can purchase boxes from previous months if you want to test the waters. Past month’s boxes are first come, first serve.


Best Budget: Walmart Beauty Box


  • Affordable
  • Wide variety of products
  • Free shipping


  • No high end brands
  • Mostly sample sizes
  • Overcharge issues

At less than $7 each month, the Walmart Beauty Box costs less than your average streaming service. It includes a blend of skincare, makeup, nail art and hair accessories, and the wide variety of products available means you’ll never get bored.

While the Walmart Beauty Box may contain a full size product or two, most products are sample size. In addition, the value of each monthly box is lower than most other subscription boxes, and doesn’t include high-end or luxury brands. Some customers have also had issues with Walmart accidentally charging them $698 instead of $6.98 — while the issue seems to be resolved, make sure you check your receipt immediately after purchasing.


Best Budget Runner-Up: Macy’s Beauty Box


  • Affordable
  • 6 to 8 samples
  • Includes makeup, skincare and fragrance


  • Only sample sizes
  • May swap some products in for others
  • Value may not be as high as it once was

If you have a tight budget but want a few more high-end brands in your subscription, the Macy’s Beauty Box is an excellent pick. It includes between six to eight samples of makeup, skincare and fragrances, and each box always contains at least a few well-known brands. We love that all of the samples are valuable; you’re likely to use all of the products in the box, and not just one or two.

The downsides: Unlike other subscription boxes, the Macy’s Beauty Box does not contain any full-size products. In addition, Macy’s announces the products included in each month’s box but sometimes swaps in substitutions if they run out. Loyal customers dislike this and believe the overall value of the box has decreased over the years.


Best Makeup-Only Box: Chic Beauty Box


  • Quiz to help personalize your box
  • Choose 3-4 products
  • Mix of well known and new brands


  • You may find some products are not useful
  • Reports of shipping delays
  • Reports of unresponsive customer service

Looking for a box that only has makeup products? The Chic Beauty box is the way to go. We like that you take a quiz before signing up so the brand knows your skin tone and product preferences. Then, you can choose three to four of the products in your box every month (two to three products will be surprises). In total, you’ll receive five to six products each month from well-known brands like Nars and Kylie Cosmetics. You’ll also receive items from lesser known brands so you can better explore the world of cosmetics.

A few downsides: Some customers find that they use only half the products in their monthly subscription box. Others have experienced shipping delays and unresponsive customer service.


Best Makeup Box Splurge: Ipsy Icon Box


  • Select 3/8 items
  • Full size products
  • Easy cancellation


  • Only quarterly shipments (every 3 months)
  • Some products don’t reach claimed value of box
  • Reports of poor customer service

If you can wait every three months for your makeup fix, the Ipsy Icon Box may just be for you. This subscription package includes eight full-size products selected by makeup icons, and on certain days of the month before the box ships, you can select three of the eight items.

Though it’s unclear which “makeup icons” curate the Ipsy Icon Box every three months, buyers agree that the investment is worthwhile. However, some products are lower value than others, and several buyers have found the customer service department to be unhelpful.


Best Skincare Splurge: Beekman 1802 Beauty Subscription Box


  • Get Beekman products at lower prices
  • Full sizes
  • Gift-like presentation


  • No one-month options (quarterly)
  • Some products may not be as useful as others
  • Does not include shipping

Wouldn’t you love to try out products from the prestigious Beekman without paying full price? Try the brand’s beauty subscription box, which ships every 90 days and features $150 of goat milk skincare products for $65, from an at-home brightening milk facial to total-body serum.

The downsides: Beekman does not allow you to pick any of the products, so you may find some more useful than others. In addition, the cost of the box does not include shipping.


Best Eco-Friendly, Natural Box: Just Honest Eco Beauty Mystery Box


  • Shipping included
  • Sustainably made
  • Some full size products


  • Can’t select any items
  • Unknown number of items in each box
  • Not many well-known brands

Let’s face it: Most subscription boxes are not sustainable and lead to non-recyclable waste. Fortunately, the Just Honest Subscription Boxes all focus on sustainability. We like the Eco Beauty Mystery Box because every product in it is environmentally conscious — meaning it’s made with little water and you can easily recycle it. The quality is excellent, too; expect to receive natural makeup products like lip balm and mascara, beauty tools, lotions and skincare.

However, it isn’t clear how many items you’ll receive in every box (though the average value of the Eco Beauty box is $44, and the average of the Eco Beauty Bigger Beauty Box is $62). In addition, Just Honest doesn’t use many well-known beauty brands.


Best Organic Beauty Box: Cratejoy My Organic Complexion Monthly Box


  • Advice from licensed aesthetician
  • Full skincare routine in every box
  • Two full size products


  • Expensive
  • Products may not suit your skin perfectly
  • No product selection

If you’re on the hunt for the greatest organic beauty brands, the Cratejoy My Organic box is the perfect way to get your toes wet. Each box includes two full size and two sample size products curated for you by a licensed esthetician, along with instructions on taking care of your skin.

Be warned: One month of this subscription box costs a whopping $130 because you are getting custom advice from an esthetician. In addition, there’s always the chance that a new organic skincare routine doesn’t work for your skin. You also do not have the option to select any of the products.


Best for Discovering New Brands: Eyescream Beauty Monthly Bag


  • Affordable
  • Beginner-friendly makeup products
  • Monthly themes


  • Shipping not included
  • No selection of items
  • Some monthly bags may be more valuable than others

Looking for a budget-friendly way to explore new makeup and skincare brands? We love the Eyescream Beauty Monthly bag, a $12.50 monthly subscription that includes three to five products. Featuring beginner-friendly items such as a nude eyeshadow palette, false eyelashes and peachy lip colors, Eyescream strives to make sure you’ll never get bored.

What some customers don’t like: You cannot select any items in the bag, and some bags may be more valuable than others. In addition, shipping is not included in the cost.


Best Runner-Up for Discovering New Brands: Klever Beauty Box


  • 8 full-size items
  • New theme each month
  • Vegan and cruelty free


  • Can’t customize box
  • Some items are less valuable than others
  • No well-known brands

It’s not easy to find new and exciting beauty products because of the cost and potential waste if something doesn’t work. Fortunately, the Klever Beauty Box may be the right solution. For $29 monthly, you will receive eight full-size makeup items in line with beauty trends. We love that every product in the box is vegan and cruelty free.

What we don’t like: There’s no way to customize this box, so you may end up with some products you won’t use. In addition, certain items are not as valuable as others, which means that some months are better than others in terms of quality.


Best Skincare-Only Box: Dermstore BeautyFIX Subscription


  • Some full-size products
  • Established skincare brands
  • 1, 6, or 12-month plans


  • Not allowed to select items
  • Some products are sample size
  • Shipping not included

Worried that trying out new skincare items all the time will cause breakouts and flaky skin? Try the Dermstore BeautyFIX box. The company selects well-known, established skincare brands like Paula’s Choice and Replenix, so your skin is less likely to get irritated. We also like that many products in every box are full size, and you can choose between a one, six, or 12-month long plan.

Unfortunately, the $24.95 price tag doesn’t cover the $7 shipping fee, and some buyers have complained that shipping takes a long time. Dermstore also does not allow customers to pick out any of the items in their box. Some products in every box are sample size.


Best Box for Acne-Prone Skin: Curology


  • First box is free (just pay $4.95 shipping)
  • Great for beginners
  • Custom skincare from a licensed medical provider


  • Most subscriptions use topical antibiotics (if you wish to avoid them)
  • Stuck with the same routine every day
  • Doesn’t replace a dermatologist

When I entered the world of skincare, I signed up for a Curology subscription box because I wanted the advice of a skincare professional without having to pay for a dermatology visit. Though Curology is by no means a replacement for a dermatologist (the company agrees!), having a relatively inexpensive routine to get my acne under control helped me tremendously. In a month, my skin had never looked better — I continued using Curology for about two years.

Why did I quit? First, I no longer wanted to rely on a topical antibiotic to clear my acne (most Curology subscriptions use clindamycin). Second, I couldn’t customize my skincare beyond my Curology treatment. Now that I know how to take care of my skin on my own, my routine is much less expensive. I also like being able to skin cycle and alter my routine at any time with very little hassle. I still highly recommend this subscription box if you are new to skincare and want an easy, regimented solution.


Best Box for Mature Skin: Laurel and Reed Clean Beauty Box


  • Can add custom gift message
  • All full size products
  • Non-toxic and cruelty free


  • Expensive
  • Shipping not included
  • Can’t select items

It’s no secret that mature skin requires a little extra TLC, and the Laurel and Reed Clean Beauty Box is the perfect fit for the job. Each month, the company partners with a different brand and sends you three to five luxury items such as vitamin C serums, soothing face masks and gentle cleansers. All products are “clean beauty,” meaning they don’t contain known toxins and common irritants. We also love that every box has beautiful, gift-like packaging and that you can purchase previous month’s boxes if you don’t want to commit to a subscription just yet — the Wabi-Sabi Botanicals box is our pick!

While the Laurel and Reed box offers luxury products at a discount, it is still expensive. Shipping is not covered in the $59.95 price tag, either. Laurel and Reed does not allow you to select the items in your box, but you can opt out of certain months with ease.


Best Haircare Box: Prose


  • Choose all products and all ingredients
  • Free shipping
  • Satisfaction guarantee (request refund or new products in first 30 days)


  • Expensive
  • Key ingredients aren’t always in high concentration
  • Affordable haircare may perform just as well

Struggling to find the perfect hair care system? We recommend Prose, a subscription box that sends you custom hair products tailored to your hair concerns and needs. Prose first has you take a comprehensive quiz to learn about your hair health and density, scalp health, styling preferences, fragrance preferences and even the water quality in your area. From there, you can opt to add a custom shampoo, conditioner, scalp mask, styling gel, curl cream and more to your monthly, bimonthly or quarterly box.

While we absolutely love how easily you can tailor your hair care, the Prose box gets expensive quickly — just the shampoo and conditioner cost $54.40. In addition, the ingredients Prose highlights on the bottle aren’t always at the top of the ingredients list. Lastly, some customers think that traditional shampoos and conditioners do just as good of a job, and they don’t see a big difference with Prose.


Best Runner-Up Haircare Box: Function of Beauty


  • Vegan and cruelty free
  • Can request refund or new products in first 30 days
  • Customize color and name on bottles


  • Expensive
  • Affordable haircare may perform just as well
  • Some ingredients may be irritating

If you’re looking for an alternative to Prose, try Function of Beauty. The initial quiz to find your perfect products is not as extensive, but it points you to the right hair care to meet your needs. We love that this brand lets you customize the color of your hair products and even add your name to the bottles — plus, you’ll get fun stickers with every box.

Of course, custom hair care comes with a hefty price tag; Function of Beauty charges $54 for just the shampoo and conditioner. A few customers also found some of the ingredients to be irritating. As with Prose, some Function of Beauty customers believe that their hair fares just as well with affordable shampoo, conditioner and other hair care products.


Best Spa Day Box: Cratejoy Therabox


  • 8 full-size products
  • New theme each month
  • Curated by a therapist


  • Can’t select products
  • Items may get repetitive
  • A few customer service issues

Looking for the beauty box that highlights “me time?” We can’t get enough of the Cratejoy Therabox. Each month, you’ll receive at least eight full-size relaxation products, such as an aromatherapy candle, skin oil, CBD gummies, a “heatable” eye mask and a journal. Every box is curated by a therapist and has a theme, which helps build excitement for each coming month so you don’t get bored.

Note that this is a surprise box, so you won’t be able to select any of the items you receive. In addition, a few customers felt that the items were repetitive — so you may want to skip a month or two if this happens. Some buyers also felt that customer service could be more responsive.

People Also Ask

  • Q: What’s the best beauty subscription box?

    A:While there are a wide variety of beauty subscription boxes that offer excellent value, we chose the Kinder Beauty Box as our top pick because of the quality of the products for the price point and excellent customer service.

  • Q: Are beauty box subscriptions worth the cost?

    A:Certain subscription boxes are not worth the cost if the value of the items is less than the cost of the box. Other boxes (such as those from Kinder, Beekman, Just Honest and Laurel and Reed) are worth it because you’ll receive expensive products at a much lower price.

  • Q: How much do beauty box subscriptions cost?

    A:The most affordable beauty subscription boxes cost about $7, while the most expensive cost about $150 per month.

Why trust Us

At Us Weekly, we aim to inform readers to make smart purchasing decisions, saving you both time and money. Our editors are obsessed with finding products in a variety of categories from fashion and beauty, to home and fitness.

We try various products, so we can recommend our favorites, and we also summarize feedback and data from other customers. Data, like product reviews and ratings, helps us recommend the best product choices for individual price points and needs.

On top of that, we highlight unique product features for special use cases, ingredients preferences, and more. We strive to make sure you are discovering new products that can make your life easier, while keeping you up to date with the best product choices for types of items you already know and love.

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By Jenna Cartusciello

Affiliate Commerce Writer Jenna loves recommending great products to her friends and family, so helping the rest of the internet on their quest to find the best stuff makes tremendous sense! Though she mainly writes in-depth buyer’s guides these days, Jenna still enjoys crafting the occasional health article. In her spare time, she loves immersing herself in creative writing. Her favorite authors (for anyone who is willing to geek out with her) include Neil Gaiman, Cheryl Strayed, and Jennifer Egan.

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