As you know from my Instagram account, I like my Beauty Boxes. I’ve tried various ones over the years and I currently allow myself three subscriptions a month, (anymore and it starts to get very expensive); so here’s a rundown of my current favourites, Birchbox, Latest in Beauty and Beauty Pie. OK Beauty Pie isn’t a beauty box but I still pay a monthly subscription so I’ve included it.
Birchbox is a monthly beauty box and also an online shop. When you subscribe, you complete a beauty profile detailing your hair type, skin type etc, so that the items in your monthly box can be personalised for you, although I can’t say that I’ve seen much in the way of personalisation. Most products are ok for everyone, but occasionally I do get something like a facewash for someone with acne, which is totally unsuitable, but there’s alway someone I can give it to. On the whole though, I’ve been introduced to some really good products, such as my favourite Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle.
Each month you get 5 items which are generally a mixture of full size and sample sizes, there are lots of brands such as Benefit and Oribe. You get a choice every month of either the box design or the colour of one of the products but the other products are a surprise. The boxes are lovely, I originally kept the empty boxes to put “stuff” in but ended up with too many, so now I have to really think do I need another empty box collecting dust! Sometimes there is a theme, such as this month where there was a collaboration with Whittards and the box is actually a lovely tin, along with some tea bags.
Price for monthly subscription is £10 + £2.95 p&p per month; 6 Monthly £60 + £2.95 p&p per month, or yearly £110 + £2.95 p&p per month. After six months you become a Birchbox VIP and get 15% off all items in the online shop. I can’t comment on how efficient the cancellation policy is as I’m still subscribing.
The monthly boxes from Latest in Beauty are different to Birchbox in that you choose all your own products, you can tell them your preferences so you get recommendations suited to you to make your choices easier. I enjoy scrolling through the pages to decide what I want to try out each month, there’s a new skincare, make up, haircare or bath and body product added every day.
There are 3 subscription options you can chose, the Beauty Novice at £9 month where you pick 3 products; the Beauty Enthusiast £15 per month for 6 products, or the Beauty Guru at £18 per month for 9 products. All have free p&p and you can unsubscribe at any time. I’ve been able to trial products that I’ve never heard of, or probably wouldn’t buy myself, as well as those from brands such as Rodial, Philosophy, Weleda and Caudalie.
Beauty Pie launched last year as the brainchild of Marcia Kilgore, who started as a facialist before launching the brands Bliss, FitFlop and Soap & Glory. It’s basically a member’s club for beauty fans, a subscription service that gets rid of mark ups by cutting out the middleman. Beauty Pie claim to sell real luxury beauty products directly from luxury-beauty factories, at the manufacturing cost; you have to be a member to get the discounts though. It’s easy to join, I just went online and signed up for the £10 a month membership. This then gave me access to lots of products at dramatically reduced prices. Beauty Pie tell you the cost of making every item they sell, broken down into product, packaging, shipping and storage amounts.
With your membership you are given an “allowance” of skincare and makeup. You can only buy £100 of product each month, the £100 relates to the full price and not the discounted price you actually pay. It sounds complicated at first but you soon get used to it. It can be a bit frustrating in your first month when you might want to try a range of products, for example, I wanted to buy the Japanfusion range which has 4 products at a total recommended price of £225 and member’s price of £28.35. I got an additional £25 allowance towards my first purchase, but I still had to wait 2 months to get all four products and start trialling the whole range. You can pay extra for more allowance but I don’t want to go down that route. Any allowance you don’t use then rolls over into the next month.
I haven’t tried any of the makeup yet but eagle eyed beauty nerds have noted that the ingredients lists for the makeup are the same as well known brands such as Charlotte Tilbury and MAC. Beauty Pie have not divulged exactly which factories they get the products from. Products available include all your makeup bag basics: foundations, concealers, lipsticks, eyeshadows, mascaras and bronzers as well as skincare ranges that caters to all skin types. The line-up also includes anti-ageing retinols, and stem cell serums. Recently they’ve added make-up brushes, nail varnishes and candles.
I have noted that some reviewers have complained that the packaging is basic, however, I have no complaints on that score, I tend to like simple classic packaging. If I do have any complaints it’s with regard to the addition of an unexpected amount added to the payment at the end, it’s generally just a couple of pounds and apparently is a payment processing fee. Shipping could be a bit quicker as well, it seems to take a lot longer than anything else I order.
To conclude, I enjoy all three of my monthly beauty treats and I like the fact that they are all different. There are lots of other beauty boxes out there to try, I would love to hear your recommendations.