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15 Great Alternatives to Birchbox Monthly Makeup Sample Boxes

I enjoy trying new makeup and I love giving advice to others on how to obtain new samples.

Curated make-up sample boxes are the latest trend in the cosmetics industry.

Curated make-up sample boxes are the latest trend in the cosmetics industry.

Cosmetic Sample Boxes

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 that is 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 specially 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.

Monthly Makeup Sample Boxes

Box NameSamplesCostShips to . . .

Beauty Army

4 to 5

$10 a month

USA only


8 full-sized from a list of choices

$49.00 every three months



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



Five, including samples for men

$15 AUD a month

Australia and Singapore

Lust Have It


$14.95 AUD a month

Australia and Singapore


4 deluxe

$10 CAD a month



5 deluxe

£10 + shipping a month

UK, Ireland, and France


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



$10 a month

USA only

Birchbox Comparison


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


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.


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 that 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.

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.





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 sends 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.





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.




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.

More and More Boxes Available

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.


Custom Boxes on October 02, 2019:

Thanks for sharing the idea.



Allure Beauty Box.

Play! by Sephora.


Ipsy Glam Bag Plus.



Josie on October 22, 2015:

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!

Josie on October 22, 2015:

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!!!

Dawn on November 13, 2014:

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 Hanson from Minnesota on September 11, 2013:

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

suthernglam on May 03, 2013:

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 Hanson from Minnesota on April 05, 2013:

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!!

Shay Marie from California on December 08, 2012:

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

Morena88 from Ontario, Canada on December 06, 2012: is a good one for Canada!

adlee on November 26, 2012:

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 on July 17, 2012: 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 on May 30, 2012:

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.

Summer on May 22, 2012:

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

Charlotte on May 15, 2012:

Awesome list!

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

linda on May 02, 2012:

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

Naturally Luxe from MA on May 02, 2012:

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.

meldie1 on April 23, 2012:


rmcleve on April 19, 2012:

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.

Kelly on April 16, 2012:

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 from Henryville, Indiana on February 23, 2012:

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