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The Beauty Sample Box Low-Down: A Comparison of Birchbox, Glossybox and Yuzen.


Sample boxes of beauty seem to be all the rage. I hear people talking about them everywhere, and I am often asked my opinion. I thought I would share my very honest opinion of three different sample box services that I received over the past few months.

In case you are new to sample boxes, they are basically just that. They are boxes of sample beauty (mostly beauty) products, in which you subscribe to on a monthly basis. Every month, you get a new box for a subscription fee.  The boxes contain a mix of beauty products, mostly sample sized.

Let's take a look at three of the most popular beauty sample boxes.

Birchbox Sample Box

BIRCHBOX - $10.00/month

The Birchbox I received was the August edition, I believe. It was the smallest box in size, product and value, but also the smallest in price at just $10 a month, which includes the shipping.

It contained:

  • Color Club Professional Nail Lacquer in Disco Nap - This seems to be a very small .25 oz. sample size that is very separated in the bottle, no matter how much I shake it.
  • Twistband - A pink ribbon, that seems to be made out of a very stretchy satin ribbon. I think it is made for the hair?
  • Origins Checks and Balances Frothy Face Wash - This is a "not for individual sale" free sample size.
  • Lulu Organics Hair Powder - A small free sample size of hair powder.
  • Stila Sparkle Waterproof Eyeliner in Curacao - This was the only full size piece in the box. It retails for $22.00, so if it is useful for you, it makes this months Birchbox a great deal.

Glossybox Sample Box

GLOSSYBOX - $21.00/month

The Glossybox I received was from June or July. It was considered the Summer Nights edition.

It contained:

  • Sebastian Color Ignite Shampoo & Conditioner - These are small 1.65 oz. and 1.7 oz. sizes.
  • Alessandro Pedix Feet Heel Rescue Balm - This seems to be a free 1.0 fl oz. sample size.
  • Blushed Fragrance Pouch - a free throw away fragranced towelette.
  • Senna Lip Gloss Duo - A full size lip gloss duo in pretty coral shades.
  • Figs & Rouge Balm - A full size balm that I am guessing can be used on dry body parts and maybe lips.

Yuzen Sample Box

Yuzen - $26.00/month

The Yuzen box is an eco-friendly box that contains all eco-friendly, natural and organic products. This was the heaviest, and fullest box, but it is also the most expensive. This was the August box.

It contained:

  • Coola Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 - This was a full size facial sunscreen.
  • TilVee Calendula & Comfry Healing Balm - For lips, wounds, and any body part that is dry. This was just a .28 oz. size, but it looks to be a full size product.
  • Cowgirl Skincare Desert Recovery Cleanser -This is a 2 fl oz, which seems to be a large sample, or travel sized product.
  • Organic India Teas - 4 tea bags in different flavors.
  • Olomomo Nut Co. Chai Bliss Almonds - A sample package of nuts.
  • Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Soap Bar - A full size bar of soap.

All in all, let's face it. You are paying for samples, many of which are free samples. Many of which are products you are not going to use, let alone be interested in. This was my case anyway. I guess you can tell I am not a huge fan of the subscription sample box services overall. I honestly rather save up a few monthly subscription fees and splurge on one great beauty item that I am lusting after.

What do you think? Are you a fan of the subscription sample boxes?

Reader Comments (15)

Thank you so much for this. I've always wondered how they worked and what you actually got. I see that you may get something valuable, but if it is of no use to me, it makes it just another waste of money. I like your idea of just saving it and splurging.
I never heard of Yuzen box. It looks like it has a lot of things in it. I would subscribe to that for maybe the $10, but I don't think it's worth $26 because you don't now what you are getting.
I've was happy to have heard about these beauty boxes and subscribed to Glossybox and Birchbox. I kept with each of them for 3 months but were both fails for me. What I especially didn't like was that each month I was charges about 3 weeks before my boxes actually shipped out. That's no way to do business. Is the normal business model to charge your card on the DAY OF SHIPPING? That is what probably irked me more than anything else.

Out of the six boxes I tired, there was only one products I ever liked and re bought, so the marketing part of it is all a big fail too.
I currently subscribe to Birchbox and so far what I have received had been mosty lack luster. I am going to give it a few more months to see if it improves. Of course the month I opt out will be the month that something fantastic is shipped out!
What an excellent comparison!!
I've tried Glossybox and Birchbox and I haven't been all that impressed. I've pretty much given up on expecting much. You get what you pay for usually and I rather know exactly what I am paying for I guess.
Val - I totally encourage buying what you want and spending your hard earned dollars on exactly what you need. I'm glad you enjoyed my comparisons.
Hi Patricia - Thanks for the comment. I guess you see my point of the subscription boxes. I also like to know exactly what I am paying for.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Bev. I had no idea of about the billing process and I have no way to verify that or find out why that happens, though it does seem wrong.
Of course that is what will happen Lisa. It's Murphy's Law! At least you are giving the boxes more than a few chances.
Thanks Lola! I'm glad you liked the comparisons.
I'm in agreement with you there Betty. I don't just like to know what I am paying for - I need to know!
I just got my first box from True Beauty for $10.00. It really wasn't bad. I think that maybe $15.00 would be the max that I would spend for a box. There's just too much grey area there for getting a box full of stuff you'll never use. It reminds me of that "gifts" certain cosmetic companies give away when you spend x amount. It's always a bunch of stuff you hate with maybe a trial sample of mascara.
Ipsy is the best and is much better than all of these. You get mostly sized products, a new makeup bag each month that they come in, and it's $10/ month. You take a survey to describe what your tastes are and then evaluate your items each month so that you can eliminate products you don't like or use from coming in further bags.
this was so helpful.. so were the other comments..thanks

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