15 Great Alternatives to Birchbox Monthly Makeup Sample Boxes

Updated on March 8, 2016

Monthly Makeup Sample Boxes

Box Name
Samples
Cost
Ships to . . .
Beauty Army
4 to 5
$10 a month
USA only
Beautyfix
8 full-sized from a list of choices
$49.00 every three months
USA
MakeupMonthly
Makeup, nails, or skin-care
$30 a month
USA only
Test Tube
Unspecified quantity of full-sized
$29.95 + $8.95 shipping every three months
USA
Bellabox
Five, including samples for men
$15 AUD a month
Australia and Singapore
Lust Have It
5-6
$14.95 AUD a month
Australia and Singapore
Topbox
4 deluxe
$10 CAD a month
Canada
Carmine
5 deluxe
£10 + shipping a month
UK, Ireland, and France
JolieBox
4-5 deluxe
£10 + £2.95 shipping a month; €39 for 3 months in France
UK and France
Latest In Beauty
3, or more in larger box
£1.50 for 3 samples; £4.95 for larger box
UK only
Birchbox
4-5
$10 a month
USA only

Have you ever wanted to try a high-end cosmetic before deciding to buy it? Curated make-up sample boxes let you do just that. Fashionistas and cosmetic fiends everywhere are flocking to the idea, flaunting their monthly boxes on blogs, social networks, and YouTube.

Here's how it works: The sample companies charge a flat rate (which includes shipping) then ship a customized box directly to your door full of products for you to try. Some products are full-sized and some are sample-sized. Other items that are sometimes included are coupons for the products, beauty tips, and tricks. The subscription is reoccurring, so no need to remember to order every month.

If you have ever set foot into a Sephora, you know how overwhelming the selection can be. The sample box companies are trying to help you along the way, as well as promote the brands that are willing to sample their products to their market.

Pro's to Purchasing a Box:

  1. A variety of full-sized or sample-sized products come directly to you, eliminating the need to go in search of new products to try.
  2. Products are mid- to high-end, allowing you to try before you buy, potentially saving you a lot of money.
  3. Most of the companies will cater to your skin tone, skin type, hair color and eye color, customizing a box especially for you.

Con's to Purchasing a Box:

  1. It's really the luck of the draw when it comes to the products that are included. Some are amazing while others are blah.
  2. As hard as I'm sure they try, sometimes the colors that are chosen for your skin tone or skin type aren't always to your taste. You may get stuck with items that you'll never use.
  3. I'm not sure if this is necessarily a con, but there is a lot of packaging that goes into each delivery from the box, tissue, and ribbon to the product packaging. This can't be great for the environment.

Birchbox Comparison

Birchbox

Ships to: USA only

Ships from: NYC

Cost: $10/month

Samples: 4-5 samples per box

Additional details: Every purchase made on the Birchbox website earns you points which you can use toward more products. By referring friends and filling out product surveys, you can earn more points.

Beauty Army
Beauty Army

USA

Beauty Army

Ships to: USA only

Ships from: Unknown

Cost: $12/month

Samples: Choose six product samples from a selection of nine.

Additional details: Beauty Army is described as being for the "beauty obsessed" and curated by some of the industry's experts. The neat thing about this company is you can choose your samples and the cost is still low.

Beautyfix

Ships to: USA

Ships from: California

Cost: $49.99/quarter (every 3 months)

Samples: Eight full-sized products in each box.

Additional details: Beautyfix has a neat twist to their boxes: You have the choice of eight products from a long list which you can include in your box. This way you'll always get what you want and only for $49.99. The downside is that you have to wait three months in between your boxes, but it might just be worth the wait.

MakeupMonthly

Ships to: USA only

Ships from: Washington

Cost: $30/month, signup for 3, 6, or 12 months

Samples: You choose a category: make-up, nails, or skin care products.

Additional details: Unlike the other sample box companies, being able to choose a cosmetic category that you would like to sample helps to narrow down your selection. For example, if you don't use make-up, but you like to do your nails, then this is the box for you.

Test Tube

Ships to: USA

Ships from: Florida

Cost: $29.95 + $8.95 shipping/quarter (every 3 months)

Samples: The company says they provide deluxe and full-sized samples, but don't specify how many.

Additional details: Similar to Beautyfix, Test Tube ships mostly full-sized samples, however you won't be able to choose what's in your tube. The price is cheaper than Beautyfix (a total of $38.90) and you have to wait the same amount of time to receive your package.

Bellabox
Bellabox

Australia

Bellabox

Ships to: Australia and Singapore

Ships from: Victoria, Australia

Cost: $15 AUD/month

Samples: Five products

Additional details: Sampled to both Australia and Singapore, the company send a great selection of samples and full-sized products to subscribers. There's even a Bellabox for men, distributed for $30 per quarter.

Lust Have It

Ships to: Australia (excludes Tasmania)

Ships from: Sydney, Australia

Cost: $14.95 AUD/month

Samples: 5-6 premium samples

Additional details: This is a great Birchbox alternative, available to Australians. You're getting 5-6 premium samples in each box, instead of the normal 4-5 samples. The website has a points program and shop for you to buy your full-sized products.

Glymm
Glymm

Canada

Topbox

Ships to: Canada

Ships from: Toronto

Cost: $10 CAD/month

Samples: Four deluxe samples

Additional details: Topbox promotes some of the higher-end cosmetics companies which are available to Canadians. There is no shopping or point program available on their website.

JolieBox
JolieBox

UK

Carmine

Ships to: UK, Ireland and France

Ships from: Unknown

Cost: £10 + shipping/month

Samples: Five deluxe samples

Additional details: Carmine has a good selection of products (not particularly high-end). There is no promise of receiving any full-sized products. Take it as it is: a sample box.

JolieBox

Ships to: UK and France

Ships from: Unknown

Cost: £10 + £2.95 shipping/month, or in France: 3 months €39, 6 months €78, 12 months €136

Samples: 4-5 deluxe samples

Additional details: This is the closest UK version of Birchbox available, with 4-5 samples and a low subscription fee. Boxes are catered to your personal attributes and full-sized products are available to purchase on their website.

Latest In Beauty

Ships to: UK only

Ships from: London, England

Cost: £1.50 for a three-sample box or £4.95-6.95 for larger themed boxes

Samples: Three small samples or larger samples for themed boxes

Additional details: This sample box is unlike any of the others. Your order is placed via your mobile phone. You text in your order and the cost comes in the form of your phone bill. For £1.50 you are only getting three small samples, but it is a small cost. The website does have a shop, where you can purchase full-sized products. Larger themed boxes are only available 6-7 times a year.

There are many, many more companies out there, available to suit your needs, budget, and location. If makeup isn't your thing, there are companies that will even sample shoes, clothes, food, and much more.

Which sample box have you tried?

See results

Questions & Answers

    Comments

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      • profile image

        Josie 

        2 years ago

        Only as my previous comment earlier today about Walmart and Target Beauty Boxes. I looked into it and wanted to make a correction about the price it is $10 to subscribe to it though you get 10 items! But unfortunately they are sold out at the moment. Keep in mind that this all online only and not available in stores. So for now I will stick to Birchbox and Walmart! Again compare the two and get the best of both worlds, high ends and dupes!

      • profile image

        Josie 

        2 years ago

        I just subscribe to Birchbox and the Fall Beauty Box from Walmart. For those looking for high end and drugstore cosmetics this is it. You get the best of both worlds. From samples and full size (from Walmart) of selected items. I'm not sure of Birchbox. It mention 3/4 sizes of some items. While Birchbox is $10 a month for your subscription, Walmart is only $5.00!! But you their subscription is quarterly based on season! And I seen Target launched one as well. So I'm going to check on that. Again like Walmart it is only $5.00. Not sure on details but once I know I'll post about it! So think about, the BANG for your money. If you subscribe to all 3 you only spend $20. Yearly!!! The Best of both worlds!!!

      • profile image

        Dawn 

        3 years ago

        true sample junkie, I belong to birchbox, beautybox5, newbeauty test tube, ipsy, and glossybox. I love being surprised and share with my daughter. can't get enough, wish there were more to choose from!

      • Nicole S profile image

        Nicole S Hanson 

        4 years ago from Minnesota

        I get birchbox every month and love it, but I'd definitely try one of these other ones.

      • suthernglam profile image

        suthernglam 

        5 years ago

        Great hub! I subscribed to MyGlam for about 8months. After a few months quality seemed to decrease. I am going to try a few of your recommendations:) Thank you!

      • Nicole S profile image

        Nicole S Hanson 

        5 years ago from Minnesota

        Eek! Love this. I currently get birchbox but the wait between boxes kills me! If I had two of them coming, I'd probably be a very happy gal :) Nice hub!!

      • shaymarie profile image

        Shay Marie 

        5 years ago from California

        Ugh. I can't wait to sign up for one of these services. I'm product obsessed. Thanks for all the info!

      • Morena88 profile image

        Morena88 

        5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        https://www.loosebutton.com is a good one for Canada!

      • profile image

        adlee 

        5 years ago

        I think all of these options are great! The brands and products are fabulous, good quality too. But I can never seem to find what I want... Even with the memberships where you can choose the products! Anyone else have this problem??

      • Boxmonthly profile image

        Boxmonthly 

        6 years ago

        Boxmonthly.com is a new beauty and healthy eating box that is coming out this month. You really should check it out. Right now it's $15 a month with full size products and extras. Really helpful

      • smlbizmatters profile image

        smlbizmatters 

        6 years ago

        This is great information. I've actually been looking for companies like Birchbox so I could decide if that was best for me. This article is exactly what I needed.

      • profile image

        Summer 

        6 years ago

        Why is The Natural Beauty Box not on here? It's launching in July...Great box!

      • profile image

        Charlotte 

        6 years ago

        Awesome list!

        Have you checked out Little Black Bag too? I wish there was something like that in Europe/UK :-(

      • profile image

        linda 

        6 years ago

        thanks so much for this! and @meldie1 thanks so much for the promo code. still works! mine is coming!

      • Naturally Luxe profile image

        Naturally Luxe 

        6 years ago from MA

        Thanks for this list! I have been wanting to try something like this. Definitely interested in Beautyfix! I want to be able to pick the products.

      • profile image

        meldie1 

        6 years ago

        HI,I JUST WANTED TO SHARE WITH U,THAT JULEP MAVEN IS HAVING THE FIRST BOX FOR A PENNY! JUST USE THAT CODE...IT'S FAST. AND EASY MINE SHOULD BE ARRIVING ANY DAY NOW!!! I'M SO EXCITED. U KNOW IT'S FUNNY HOW THE SMALLEST THINGS THINGS CAN MAKE A GIRL SO HAPPY!!:)... CODE IS) PENNY

      • profile image

        rmcleve 

        6 years ago

        This is a great compilation of sites...I just don't think I'm ready to pay for a monthly box! I'll have to stick with Sephora samples for now. Julep has piqued my interest and is often advertised, but $20/month is quite a bit of money for nail polish.

      • profile image

        Kelly 

        6 years ago

        I was tired of so much skincare from Birchbox, so I googled other companies to try. I'm so excited to find your list! I can't wait to try them. Since I have sensitive skin, I think I'll enjoy the ones that let you choose your samples. Thanks!

      • LoriSoard profile image

        LoriSoard 

        6 years ago from Henryville, Indiana

        I had no idea there were so many. Good list.

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