Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Beauty Sample Boxes!!! Top 10 Beauty Sample Programs

OK, so I am ridiculously excited about beauty sample boxes. If you've been reading this blog, you know I'm psyched about Julep - for nail polish, so I decided to post all the beauty sample programs I've found. Enjoy!!

  1. Julep - as stated in my previous post this is about *nail polish* and hand/feet care products. However I'm very into nail polish lately and love the concept behind Julep. Products bought have $1 donated to charity. 'Julep Mavens' (i.e. sample box program participates) get full size nail polishes not yet released (I'm not sure how many) - which retail on the site for $14, plus a sample of some of their foot/hand care products. I've signed up for this and will review it soon. The lowdown: At $19.99(US)/month this is pretty pricey, but the website says it's very easy to skip a month, cancel, or redirect your box to a friend as a gift - no emailing or calling. As far as I know this is only available in the U.S. Maven's get 20% off their orders and free shipping.
  2. Birchbox - this well-known program has many mixed reviews, but after *much* debating I decided to sign up. It's $10(US)/month and after seeing a full size twenty something dollar eyeliner I *really* want I signed up. Birchbox has high end brands - Nars, Benefit, Bvlgari, Cargo, Stila, Shu Uemura, Korres - the list goes on. If you aren't into prestige brands it's a great intro. The lowdown: $10(US)/month, only in the US, its territories and APO boxes. I've heard that if you are over 30 (birchbox asks for your age) you won't get as much make-up, mostly skin-care.
  3. Eco-Emi - not completely a beauty box, this is a lifestyle box - featuring (in addition to beauty products) things like cards, soaps, food, and other things to help you try out natural, often organic, vegan, free-trade, eco-friendly things to live greener. I love this concept. I've heard nothing but awesome things about Eco-Emi. The low-down: $15(US)/month, USA only according to their site. Currently there is a waiting list which I signed up on, the expected time until you can join is 1-2 months according to their Facebook page. 
  4. Beautyfix - you get to pick your products, and will receive 8 full size or deluxe samples. After filling out a survey which asks about your skin type, coloring, hair type, and age you are presented a page full of products to pick from. Most of the products appear to be skin-care items - moisturizers, peels, serums, etc, with a few lip glosses and bath-bombs (that was mine everyone's is supposed to be a little different). I *love* my existing skincare routine so I don't see myself doing this program. The low-down: $39.95(US)/season (4 seasons a year). This is kind of pricey for me - considering I just started Birchbox and Julep, and I'm not really overly interested in the products. But if you love skincare items, this might be a good choice for you. Available only in the US. 
  5. New Beauty Test-Tube - Seasonal like Beautyfix, but the test-tube comes with a thick magazine. The magazine retails for $9.99(US) in stores and is pretty thick and interesting, but not really something I'm in love with or can't wait to read. My issue is a lot of makeovers - and some are confusing. One features a lady who looks in her 40's. In the next picture she looks about 25. No comments about anything that could really take away all the wrinkles and make her look like a completely different person, it just comments on her makeup and skin color, which leaves me pretty skeptical. However, I've heard that a lot of people love the magazine and that the test-tube itself doesn't disappoint. The lowdown: $29.95(US) plus $8.95(US) for shipping (ouch). With most others offering free shipping that's kind of frustrating. You get 4 seasonal boxes a year which include the magazine. I think this is a US only program, the website doesn't say. If you know, please comment!
  6. Loose Button - Every month you get 3-5 deluxe sized samples - skincare, makeup, fragrance, body, etc. You fill out a beauty profile so the products are customized for you. Brands include Dermalogica, Ahava, Clinique, Lancome, Stila and more. The lowdown: I've heard nothing but great things about this program. It is currently only available in Canada and it's provinces. C$12/month with quarterly & yearly options available. Yearly gives you two free months. Free shipping. 
  7. Yellow Box Beauty [Note: Yellow Box Beauty appears to be no longer active] - Every month you get a box (yes it really is yellow) with beauty products - retail size. There is no set number, just that you will get your money's worth and them some. I can't find a selection of brands that are featured - the only thing the site says is they are 'up and coming' brands. The low-down: I haven't heard much about this program yet. It's available for 3, 6 or 12 months: 3/$34.95(US)/month; 6/$32.95(US)/month; 12/$29.95/month + $7.95(US)/month shipping fees. They also charge tax to California residents. This is only available in the US. If you've tried this please comment!
  8. GlossyBox - Every month you get 5 luxury brand samples. You can fill out surveys and earn Glossydots (that is so cute btw) each survey gets you 20 & when you get 1000 your box is free. Brands include Illamasqua, OPI, Xen-Tan, Lalique, Weleda and more. The low-down: £10/month + £2.95 shipping, available in the UK, France, Germany, Brazil and Korea (info here applies to the UK version, please comment if you know about the info for other countries).
  9. Boudoir Prive -[Note: Boudoir Prive appears to be no longer active]Every month you get 5-6 deluxe size samples - skincare, makeup, fragrance, lifestyle, etc. Brands include Jane Iredale, Sachajuan, Nars, Batiste, and other prestige brands. I've heard this is even better than Glossybox. The lowdown: £10/month, free shipping(!) Currently only available in the UK. Since this looks like the best option in the UK because of the free shipping I watched a review of it on youtube (link here) and was very impressed with the contents and presentation of the box: handwritten card, gorgeous packaging, tokens for friends to get half off their first box, 2 tea bags, a lash growth product by Jane Iredale (who btw, came out with the very first lash growing product, which got pulled by the FDA, then copied by other brands, stolen by Latisse, and now Jane Iredale has it again), body butter, firming creme, hair repair serum, and 2 perfume testers. Except for the perfume everything was a very impressively sized sample - something I'm used to having to pay a good $6-8(US) for at Ulta. Wish this was in the US because it looks like a *giant* rival for Birchbox!
  10. Glymm - Monthly box with 3-5 prestige brand samples, a points system, brands like butter London(<3)Cake, Balmshell, Babor, Principessa Beauty & more. You fill out a beauty profiles for customized samples. Glymm has a green policy that makes me happy - not as good as Eco-Emi but nice. The lowdown: C$10/month + tax (which varies depending on the part of Canada it's being ordered from), (tax? really?), and is currently only available in Canada although the site says it will come to the US soon.
What have you heard about these programs? Tried any? Want to? Know of any others? I could only find programs for the US, Canada, and UK (although one said it was available in other countries to). Know of any other beauty sampling programs? Comment!

The link for Julep is an affiliate link. [Note: this is no longer an affiliate link]



  1. So happy you signed up for Birchbox!! Septembers box is supposed to the the Anniversary box so we have high hopes. :-) keep us posted.
    We are now following you and would love for you to follow us if you haven't.
    Also, we are having a fun giveaway that ends soon.
    We'd love for you to enter!
    Jayme & Mendi @ Her Late Night Cravings

  2. Thanks for your comment :) I'm excited for my September box, can't wait. <3

  3. I know this post is old, but I'm looking at Birchbox now, and it was interesting to read about all of these programs! :) Good job!

    1. I am receiving my 1st Birchbox real soon and I am so excited :-)

  4. Have you heard of MyGlam?

    1. yes and they rip off tons of people watch the youtube videos and you will see what I am saying

  5. looking into gogogirlfriend as well

  6. Gogo Girlfriend has sent out a lot of $1 ELF products, discountinued Urban Decay eyeshadow that was $2 on the UD site apparently?

    Also that "members" of the site have not gotten boxes in 2+ months and Gogo girlfriend is refusing to refund any money saying it is a membership fee to their site??

    More like NONO...girlfriend!

  7. If you love beauty sample boxes, check out the brand new Total Beauty Collection. As a leader in beauty news, content and as home to thousands of unbiased beauty reviews, we realized we were in a great spot to launch a collection full of what women really want: deluxe samples from top-rated brands across all beauty categories for one low, flat rate. Plus, there's no subscription required! Check it out

  8. Glossybox is available in the states now.

  9. I have been getting the New Beauty Test Tube for a little over a year. It's just ok. I have received a few repeat things and only one full sized product in each order of which was the repeat item. I do love a lot of the things but they tend to often be the tiny sample and then I'm out of it in a week and sad. I just signed up for Sample Society through Allure Magazine and ama very excited. I tried to sign up for Birchbox but they said they would contact me when it was available. It looks as if they are doing a Beta Mens only Birchbox that is $20 a month as compared to the $10 a month fo us ladies. Thank you so much for this list. Can't wait to try them all.

  10. I just found 2 other ones, Goodebox and Kara's Way. I haven't tried either, but both are more on the eco-friendly side of things.

  11. hey Jen! Thank for all your information. I came across your page when i was doing research on 'beauty army' its $12 a month. have you heard of this beauty box company? Did they not make it onto your top 10?

  12. Hi all!

    Has anyone tried ipsy? They are very fast, much easier to deal with than Birchbox although I'm excited about that one.

    I signed up for both on the same day, and I've received two ipsy kits and no birch box yet. Birch said I had to wait for an invitation, then the moment I received it I processed my membership and it informed me that they only ship on the 10th of each month. Bottom line, I'm going to be on my third kit from Ipsy before Birch even ships. (Irritating rip off) So, if you want it, gift it to yourself and it will come quicker.

    Ipsy sends a pretty pink foil bubble envelope with a new little makeup bag each month and inside it are 5 products to sample, so far I've gotten mainly full size. One travel sized hairspray. They send anything from make up, to nailpolish, skin care, and tools like brushes or lash guards. Very pleased with it, and the discounts that come with each product.

  13. Has anyone tried Kara's Way?

  14. Your post is old, but its like a gold, basically I am talking about Birchbox which is very interesting for skin care but according to my budget its expensive for me.