Beauty subscription boxes: are they worth it?

In hindsight, I wish I had read something like this before making the commitment to subscribe to a monthly beauty box (leaving isn’t an option, as they never return my e-mails, and on my account I opted out but continued to be billed every month). Most beauty boxes are around £13 per month, it doesn’t seem a staggering amount. However, that is still £156 a year that you could be saving – so it needs to be justifiable.

I thought I would give you the guys the much needed heads up; I will focus on Birchbox and Glossybox. Birchbox, I have finally terminated my subscription with – but Glossybox I am still using. I will weigh up the advantages and disadvantages, and give you a balanced conclusion.

Advantages of subscription beauty boxes

  • You are sent exclusive samples of new/alternative products which you could end up loving
  • It’s a great treat for yourself once a month, and not hugely expensive
  • If you love buying beauty and hair products, it stops you binge shopping as you are regularly sent top-ups
  • If you don’t like some of the products you are sent and they are an established brand i.e Benefit (a beauty box fave) – you can always sell the product on eBay and scrape some of your money back

Disadvantages of subscription beauty boxes

  • When trying to opt out (Birchbox) it would not let me cancel the subscription! This was very frustrating / only when I received a new card from my bank, it was cancelled as they hadn’t got access to my updated details
  • A lot of the time it seems you are sent products which can’t be shifted by brands – a cheap option to fill up the boxes
  • When you are sent a very good product – it’s usually in sample size, I understand they want to encourage users to buy the full product. However you are still providing them with regular money so you should be rewarded for that
  • Although you create your own personalised profile so that you are sent products which are suited to your individual needs; most of what is sent is generic / i.e I keep getting sent shampoo and I have bleached dry hair so I rarely wash my hair, these products are irrelevant for me. I think they should ask for feedback to improve that.

Overall conclusion

I would say overall that Glossybox is better value for money than Birchbox, simply because I love make-up and they always send good make-up in full size samples. I guess it comes down to what you are looking for, and preference. But I must admit on several occasions I was disappointed with my Birchbox, it seems to be hit and miss whether you get good products or not. I would recommend beauty subscription boxes for anyone who binge buys make-up and hair products, and toiletries – so that you are sent regular top-ups. Maybe subscribe for a few months until you have a build up of good products and then cancel it. Otherwise, don’t bother.


  1. April 20, 2016 / 2:57 pm

    I had a 6 month subscription with Glossybox, I did find it fun and exciting receiving them monthly however they make it next to impossible to cancel your subscription. Be careful and monitor your account x

    • April 20, 2016 / 3:03 pm

      I know it’s awful trying to cancel a subscription & I never have time to call up! Plus you’d probably be on hold for about an hour lmao xxx

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