Saturday, December 8, 2012

Some Other Sample Box Options

While impatiently waiting for my next Glossybox I thought I would check out some other sample boxes you can order.

Birchbox (
Birchbox sends 4 to 5 samples and/or full-sized products of high end beauty products. Its only $10 a month. They have a point system similar to Glossydots except that you have to actually buy the products to get points. This website seems more aimed at sending you things to get you to buy them than sending you things so you can try them out. One thing that does appeal to me is that it seems to offer a wide variety of things. Their samples range from hair care, to make-up, skin care, and other beauty products as well as a “lifestyle“ product which actually seems to be mostly food. I’m not sure its worth the money (some of the samples don’t really seem that high end and there are way too many foil packets) but I tried to sign up for it anyway. I was put on a waiting list and I don’t know exactly how long it will be so I’m signing up for another one.

BeautyBar Sample Society ( Page.qs)
For a $15 a month fee you get 5 “deluxe samples” of luxury beauty products, a one-year subscription to Allure, access to beauty tips on their website, and a $15 off coupon for products on their website. This box is put out in affiliation with Allure so I would tend to trust all of the products they are sending so this was tempting to me until I read the fine print and realized that the $15 off coupon needs to be used on products you received in your box and that there was a $50 minimum. I hate it when they give you money or a percentage off and then tell you you have to spend a certain amount to get it. If I wasn’t going to buy it anyway its not worth it to me. So I did not sign up for this box. Yet.

Must Have by Popsugar (
This box is expensive at $35 a month but it has the unique feature of sending you only full-sized items. Also the items range from beauty products to jewelry, and from food items to home d├ęcor items. Supposedly the items combined are valued at $100 for each box. It also looks like they send you a handful of coupons and special offers, although I don’t know how good they are. There is an added Must Have Luxury Edition for $100 which I certainly hope is worth considerably more than that but I haven’t been able to find much info on that. I did sign up for this box but was quite bummed to find out it will be February before I receive my first one.

Ipsy (
This is another cheap one at $10. As far as I can tell from the website this seems to be mainly make-up items (eye shadow, concealer, lip stick and that sort of thing). I’m not huge into make-up myself and when I do wear make-up its not the slightly garish colors I see displayed on their website. I’m not of a neutrals and natural kind of girl. Also it seems that every month you get a new make-up bag. How many make-up bags does one person need?

Beauty Army (
This box seems to be slightly more customizable than others. You fill out a beauty profile then are given a list of nine possible products, of which you can pick six. I do like that you have a choice, although it really isn’t much of a selection (and it sort of spoils the Christmas-like surprise of opening your box if you already know what’s in it). It gives you a chance to look into some of the products and see if other people liked it. I did sign up for this. I figured for $12 a month I’d try it anyway. I was slightly underwhelmed by my options. There were far too many pictures of foil packets (which I really hope aren’t actually foil packets when they get sent to me) and most of the products I had to choose from were either shampoo or facial cleanser. I was hoping for a little more variety.

I just have visions of laying on the floor in my room surrounded by bottles and tubes and jars of things that I can’t get rid of quick enough, but in spite of my reservations I plan on trying all of these boxes (probably not the Ipsy one though since I don’t really use a whole lot of make-up) for at least three months before I decide whether or not I like them. I can read all the reviews I want but until I actually try them I won’t really know whether I like them. At the very least I’ll get to try out some stuff and maybe find some new products that I love. I have to say though, just from first impressions I think I’m going to like Glossybox best. I’ve seen many reviews where people have complained that the price is too high but overall the products seem higher quality, plus they promise at least one full-sized product every month and it seems like often there are more than that. Too many other sample boxes have too many foil packets or very small samples. Those foil packets usually only last me one or two uses and if they are hair products sometimes they don’t even last me one use. One or two uses is not enough to accurately tell if you like a product. Seriously, if I’m paying money to sample products I want to be able to use it long enough to see if I like it. Birchbox actually seems to put food in a lot of their boxes. I have seen two different reviews of two different months boxes that had Luna bars in them. I like Luna bars but I can buy them for like $1 at the grocery store so I don’t need to pay $10 a month to have them mailed to me. I want to try beauty products, not eat something I could buy at any grocery store.

Lastly, (I promise I’m almost done) I have seen at least one beauty blogger say that all sample boxes were basically a waste of money and that if you really want to use high end beauty products, save the $10 or $15 every month and every 6 months or a year buy something that your really could use. While I agree with this logic, I am relatively new to the whole high-end beauty thing. Most of the products I have right now could be bought at any local drug store and I really don’t have the money to spend on a bunch of expensive things that I’m not even sure are going to work. So, I will continue to get sample boxes until I settle on some things that I really like.

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