After my video Friday, I’ve had several of you email me to ask what subscription boxes I’ve tried and what the best subscription boxes were in my experience. I’ve tried a fair amount of subscription box services at this point, including Beauty Box 5, GlossyBox, Vegan Cuts Beauty Box, Petit Vour, Madd Style Madd Cat Box, Rainbow Honey Mini Mystery Bag, Fortune Cookie Soap Co, Notoriously Morbid Vanishing Cabinet, Her Fashion Box, Popsugar Must Have Box, and Naturebox, just to name a few.
What are the Best Subscription Boxes?
Beauty Box 5 – $12 monthly, $30 quarterly, $99 yearly
Fortune Cookie Soap Co – $19.99 quarterly
Glossy Box – $21 monthly, $60 3 month, $115 6 month, $220 12 month
Her Fashion Box – $39.95 monthly
Lacquer Cabinet $25 1 month ($30 if you purchase 1 box individually), $23 for 6 month, $20 for 12 month
Nature Box – $19.95 monthly, $53.85 3 month, $101.70 6 month, $191.40 12 month
Notoriously Morbid Vanishing Cabinet – $12.90 monthly
Petit Vour – $15 monthly, $45 3 month, $90 6 month
POPSUGAR Must Have Box – $39.95 monthly, $109.85 3 month, $214.70 6 month.
Rainbow Honey Mystery Bag – $12.95 monthly for the mini, $25 for the large.
Vegan Cuts – $19.95 monthly, $59 3 month, $115 6 month, $215 12 month
Madd Style Mad Cat Box was a mixed bag for me. I half-loved it but I received a repeat eyeshadow with it (I had placed an order before subscribing). Since it was a small, one person company, I hadn’t expected to receive a repeat. I canceled my subscription after I heard the company was closing (I think they closed in October). If there weren’t repeats in color, and the company wasn’t closing, I would have kept my subscription. (See my July box). (vegan)
Julep Maven Box was a big fail for me. I subscribed for one month and canceled it immediately. The polishes I received were awful. I was actually surprised because I’d purchased a mini set of polishes from Julep that were ok over the summer. It seemed like the polish quality was inconsistent. (cruelty free)
Adore Me was ok when I tried it but I’ve read a million nightmare stories about it now so I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s a lingerie subscription service. (2012)
I signed up (briefly) for Ipsy (beauty box) but then cancelled before I ever received a bag when I found out they wouldn’t guarantee cruelty free products. Ipsy did tell me that if enough people asked they would consider a cruelty free option.(not guaranteed to have cruelty free items)
Wantable is a beauty (or jewelry) box subscription service that I wasn’t overly thrilled with because some of the items I received lacked pigmentation. It did have potential and they did have good customer service. (2012)(not guaranteed to have cruelty free items)
Petit Vour is a really nice luxury vegan beauty box and it’s a great way to be introduced to new brands. It’s a mix of beauty products including makeup and skincare. I think this is perfect to gift to your vegan best friend. (See my review of the April Box 2014). (vegan)
Vegan Cuts Beauty Box is a mix of beauty and skincare products. I’ve reviewed several of them (July 2013 box, February 2014, Leaping Bunny Fresh Start kit, and Spa Box 2014). It’s a mix of makeup and skincare. I’ve really liked the eyeshadows and nail polishes from these boxes. Some of the skincare has been nice. I loved the body scrubs and bath salts. I’m not a fan of the toners. Basically anything lavender scented or a toner I will always hate. I often feel like the items you receive in the Vegan Cuts boxes are things I wouldn’t have tried on my own that I ended up liking, so it’s a nice introduction to new things and new brands. (vegan)
Fortune Cookie Soap Co. offers quarterly boxes. I LOVED my first box – Witch, Please (see Fall box). I pretty much hated the Winter Box, inspired by a Griswold’s Family Christmas and dubbed Old Fashioned Family Christmas. (see Winter box). I couldn’t use the items that I didn’t like the smells, so I gave them away. To be fair, pine scents and eggnog scents gross me out. If it had just been scents that I’m not overly fond of, I’d have been fine. Scents fall into Love, Like, Neutral, not my favorite, and OMG GROSS GET IT AWAY FROM ME. Most of the Old Fashioned Family Christmas fell into that last category.
I haven’t decided if I’m going to cancel before the next box ships because I’m so picky with scents. The Spring Box’s theme is ‘Eat Me’ inspired by Alice in Wonderland! I have to give it a chance! I’m definitely going to get the Spring 2015 box. (cruelty free)
Glossy Box offers a mix of full size and sample beauty products. You get makeup, skincare and haircare. (See my 2012 boxes) My problem with the box (when I was receiving it) was that it was heavy on skincare and haircare and very little in the way of makeup. I really hated that I ended up receiving a bunch of brown items – brown lipstick, brown nail polish, brown lip gloss, so the few makeup items I did receive were not even colors I would wear. So I was really disappointed with it, though some of the recent boxes have been very nice and included Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Cargo, Tarte, Teadora and NCLA. GlossyBox is not 100% cruelty free – some brands and items are cruelty free but others are not. (not guaranteed to have cruelty free items)
Her Fashion Box is a mix of fashion and beauty products. I liked some of the items in the box. Some of the items weren’t cruelty free. I think if you’re looking for fashion accessories with some beauty thrown in this is a box you may like. (February box) This is an Australian company. (not guaranteed to have cruelty free items)
Nature Box is a healthy snack box subscription service. I tried it thanks to POPSUGAR Must Have Nature Box (see my thoughts). I really enjoyed this box! If you’re looking for a healthy snack box, I would definitely recommend this one.
POPSUGAR Must Have Boxes are an eclectic mix of items. Sometimes they’re all great, sometimes they’re good with some weird thrown in. (March Box and August Box). Some of the weird but cute that I’ve gotten in these boxes include a bunny rabbit ring holder (which I love and it’s on my dresser in use), my obsession for Snapea Crisps (a tasty snack that I can now thankfully find at Publix), a Bite Beauty lipgloss and a cute black cat’s eye necklace. Seriously, it’s always such an odd mix of items that if you love to be surprised, you’ll enjoy this one. (not guaranteed to have cruelty free items)
Beauty Box 5 is another sub box that I tried in 2012. The box is a mix of body care and makeup. My original box was all makeup and cruelty free. It’s not guaranteed to be cruelty free, as I can see that they feature brands like Dove. (not guaranteed to have cruelty free items)
Lacquer Cabinet by Nailtini is a nail polish box that’s curated by different people each month. You can buy the boxes without the subscription. You’re getting 3 full size polishes plus 2 mini bottles for custom mixing. I’ve been debating signing up for the Lacquer Cabinet because I really like most of the curated boxes I’ve seen. I recently purchased the December Lit Cosmetic box for $30 (you can purchase them without subscribing but of course you get a better rate if you subscribe). I enjoyed the boxes that I received. (April box, May box)(vegan)
Rainbow Honey Mini Mystery Bag has been my favorite subscription service for most of the year! I absolutely love it! It comes with 3 mini nail polishes and an eclectic mix of other items including perfume, cuticle balm, cuticle oil, soap, hand sanitizer and eyeshadow. As I already loved the nail polish and cuticle balm from RH, I was confident I’d be happy subscribing to the bag, and I have been. I’ve loved all 8 of my bags, though I didn’t get up a review for 2 of them. (April bag, May bag, June bag, July bag, August bag, November bag). (vegan)
Notoriously Morbid Vanishing Cabinet is my other favorite monthly subscription service. I love it because it’s like 90% eyeshadow and 10% either lipgloss or blush. While I rarely reach for gloss these days, I do like blush. Notoriously Morbid eyeshadows are drop dead gorgeous. I’ve been subscribed since the Firefly inspired cabinet ‘Out to the Black.’ August was Neil Gamin inspired, September was inspired by Tim Curry, October by the Walking Dead, and November by the Sookie Stackhouse series. December is inspired by horror movie villains like Michael, Freddy, Jasoon, Chucky, Leatherface, and Regan. (some products are vegan).
My requirements for a subscription box right now include having cruelty free eyeshadow or nail polish (two of my favorite things). I spend about $26 monthly on the Vanishing Cabinet and Mini Mystery Bag. I feel like I’m guaranteed quality products that I will enjoy with both of those subscriptions.
What subscription boxes are best depends on what you’re looking for. Since I’m an eyeshadow addict, the Vanishing Cabinet never lets me down. As I’m an avid fan of the RH nail polish, perfume and cuticle balm, I’ve been very happy with this bag. I absolutely love my Rainbow Honey Mini Mystery Bag and Notoriously Morbid Vanishing Cabinet every month. Those two never disappoint.
I personally don’t like receiving haircare or facial skincare products in most boxes. I feel like I’ve experienced way too many duds, and even some discontinued products. Why would anyone want to receive products that they couldn’t purchase because they were discontinued if they liked them? With hair, I need sulfate free shampoos and conditioners and you’re not guaranteed to get those in a box. With facial skincare, I’m just very picky about what I like and I have sensitive skin. I’m iffy on perfumes in a lot of boxes because I’ve received a lot that were not to my taste. I hate things that smell like lavender or patchouli or incense.
If you want a mix of fashion accessories and some trendy beauty items thrown in, you might enjoy Her Fashion Box. They’ve had some nice boxes. You can look at all their past boxes here.
I think the Petit Vour box is perfect if you want a luxury vegan beauty box. If you like a nice mix of beauty, skincare and spa products you’ll enjoy the Vegan Cuts box. If you want a complete surprise every month, I’d recommend the POPSUGAR box. You never know what will be inside the box, but you’re guaranteed to receive a ton of nice things.
My BFF LOVES Stitch Fix! She’s found so many cute pieces of clothing through the site’s service. She has been very impressed with the articles of clothing that she’s been matched to. You can keep the pieces you like and send back the ones you don’t like.
I’ve been very tempted to subscribe to Nature Box, because I really enjoyed the one box that I received. Other boxes I’ve contemplated subscribing to, but have not yet are The Cravory (a cookie sub), but I’d have to then sub to The Conscious Box (healthy food, bath, beauty and home products) to balance out that one. I think Lootcrate (gaming and geek box) looks like an awesome, unique box. I’m curious about Bark Box for Phaedra because I’m sure she’d enjoy receiving a surprise each month.
The boxes I would personally skip
- Julep Maven
- Adore Me
The boxes I think look great but I haven’t tried
- The Cravory
- The Conscious Box
- Bark Box
The boxes I’m currently subscribed to
- Rainbow Honey Mini Mystery Bag (v)
- Notoriously Morbid Vanishing Cabinet
- Fortune Cookie Soap Co. Soap Box
Of the boxes I’ve tried I think the best are
- Rainbow Honey Mystery Bag (v)
- Notoriously Morbid Vanishing Cabinet
- Petit Vour Beauty Box (v)
- Vegan Cuts Beauty Box (v)
- Lacquer Cabinet (v)
- Stitch Fix (while I haven’t tried it personally I’ve been there for my BFF’s unboxing several times and she’s been very happy with her subscription)
- Nature Box
- POPSUGAR Must Have
So tell me, what are your picks for the best subscription boxes? What are you subscribed to?
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