As is the case with many people, I am most familiar with the original beauty sampling program Birch Box. But, recently I had the opportunity to review Beauty Box 5, one of the newest sampling programs. Beauty Box 5 offers 4-5 monthly samples for $12 per month, or as low as $8.33 per month with a yearly subscription. All boxes ship mid-month and come packaged with a card describing the product samples and giving usage tips. I was able to test a single shipment:
As an initial observation, the packaging is cute and feminine, but not overly girly. The items are packaged up like a little gift, which is fun. The sample sizes are, for the most part, large enough that you could get a really good idea about whether the product is for you and whether you want to purchase a full size item.
In a vacuum, I'd say Beauty Box 5 is a fun program for beauty product enthusiasts. When compared to Birch Box, the reigning beauty sampling program, however, I find Beauty Box 5 a tad lacking.
First, the pricing is trickier. Beauty Box 5 offers a month-by-month payment plan, where Birch Box only offers 3, 6 and 12 month plans. If you go with Beauty Box's monthly plan, you are paying $2.00 per month more than Birch Box, but if you purchase Beauty Box's 12-month plan you are paying about $1.70 per month less. Like I said, confusing. A more straight-forward pricing plan, easily comparable to competitive services, would serve Beauty Box well.
Second, I feel like the Birch Box deliveries I've seen -- my mom recently finished a 6-month subscription -- have contained more products. In fact, my mom received many full-size products and entire bonus shipment of products during her birthday month.
So, why would anyone go with Beauty Box over Birch Box? One big reason is the brands. Beauty Box appears to be offering more small labels and boutique beauty brands, where Birch Box offers a lot more mainstream brands. For example, Beauty Box's site lists boutique brands like Blinc, Blum Naturals and Everyday Minerals, while Birch Box lists more department store friendly brands like Kiehl's, Smashbox and Kerastase. For a beauty maven, the opportunity to sample lesser known and less widely available products with Beauty Box 5 is a big bonus.
The bottom line for my Beauty Box 5 review? If value and number/ size of products is the most important factor to you, Beauty Box 5 is behind its competitors. But, if you are a beauty maven interested in trying lesser know brands and labels you may not find in many stores, then Beauty Box may be just right for you.
→ Sign up for Beauty Box 5, $12.00 - $100.00, at beautybox5.com.
Disclosure: A review sample shipment of Beauty Box 5 was provided by Beauty Box 5. No compensation was received in exchange for this review.