Glossybox vs. Birchbox
Beauty subscription services are incredibly tempting. After all, who wouldn’t love receiving a surprise package each month filled with new beauty products? I still remember when Birchbox first launched, and it was common to be on the wait list for months and months. When I finally received my first box, I was instantly hooked. At the time, I was a full-time graduate student who was 3,000 miles away from all of her closest girlfriends, so my monthly Birchbox subscription box was a welcome dose of girly frivolity every month.
Now there are dozens of subscription boxes available, and it can be hard to tell which services are worth the money. I constantly received questions about Birchbox and Glossybox from my friends, family, and readers, so I thought it was time to sit down and write a post with all of the pros and cons of each service. I’m sharing all of the details for each subscription box as well as photos of example boxes from January and February 2016!
Subscription Details:Glossybox is a monthly beauty subscription box service that delivers 5 generously-sized samples or full-size products to your mailbox each month. Each month, everyone subscribed to the service receives the same products, and each box contains a mix of high-end makeup, skincare, hair products, and nail polish. You can purchase a monthly plan or 6-month plan for $21 per month, or you can receive a discounted price of $18.50 per month when you purchase a 12-month Glossybox subscription. Glossybox also releases limited-edition boxes several times a year that can be purchased for an additional fee. Glossybox features a mix of the brand names that you love and up-and-coming beauty companies.
The February 2016 Glossybox featured five products designed to help you look ultra-hot for your Valentine. The box featured a full-size Teeez Cosmetics Oasis Gem lipstick and Etre Belle Golden Skin Roll-On eye gel as well as generous samples of some of my long-time favorites, including Benefit Porefessional primer, GlamGlow ThirstyCleanse cleanser, and Biorepublic Aloe Rescue mask. I thought this box was fantastic. It was great to receive back-ups of some of my favorite products, and I’ve fallen in love with the cooling applicator on the eye gel!
The January 2016 Glossybox featured five products from up-and-coming beauty brands. In addition to a full-size MEMEME Lip Glide, the box also contained generous samples of Emite Makeup Diamond Heart Primer, Royal Apothic Body Creme, Beautiful Nutrition Lemon Rinse Gentle Clarifying Treatment, and -417 Foot Nourishing Cream. I hadn’t heard of any of these brands before receiving this box, but they seem to get pretty good reviews online. My favorites from this box were definitely the hand cream and peach lipstick. I haven’t had a chance to try the other three products, but I’m planning on testing out the hair rinse this evening. While I didn’t like January’s box as much as February’s box, I was still pleased with the products that I received. I’m always interested in trying out new brands, so I’ll keep you updated if I end up liking the other products in this box.
Sample Sizes: I’m always pleased with the sizes of the products in my Glossybox. The mix of full-size products and generously-sized samples allows you grow your beauty collection and try out new products for an affordable price.
Wearable Shades: Since everyone receives the same five items, Glossybox tends to choose universally-flattering shades of makeup. It’s nice to know that you’ll always receive classic colors that will suit most skin tones.
Beautiful Boxes: The box itself is beautiful and can easily be re-purposed. I use my leftover Glossybox boxes to organize my desk drawers and makeup collection
Good Brands: Glossybox features high-end name brands along with up and coming brands from around the globe. It’s a fun way to discover new luxury brands and high-end products.
Products Available for Purchase: If you love one of the products from you Glossybox, you can purchase a full-size version of any of the products they’ve sampled. This option is great for purchasing new brands or international brands that can be difficult to find online.
Cons:No Custom Options: This subscription service doesn’t allow you to customize your box based on your preferences. I personally love trying out a variety of different types of beauty products, but I know this feature might be a deal-breaker for some people. While Glossybox doesn’t allow you customize your preferences, they almost always send universally-flattering colors and classic formulas that a would work for a wide variety of people.
Inconsistent Value: The value of the box changes each month. This complaint is really a con for all beauty subscription services. The monetary value of the box changes each month, so some months are a better value than others; however, I should point out that the value of each month’s value is always significantly greater than the monthly fee.Some months feature multiple name-brand products, while others only feature up-and-coming brands. The products are usually all good quality, but it can be disappointing to receive a box full of products that you don’t recognize.
Inconsistent Amount of Name Brands: Some months feature multiple name-brand products, while others only feature up-and-coming brands. The products are usually all good quality, but it can be disappointing to receive a box full of products that you don’t recognize.Glossybox is twice as expensive as Birchbox because it features larger samples and full-size products. Because of the size of the products, I think that the price is justified; however, it’s something to consider if you’re on a tight budget.
Higher-Cost Option: Glossybox is twice as expensive as Birchbox because it features larger samples and full-size products. Because of the size of the products, I think that the price is justified; however, it’s something to consider if you’re on a tight budget.
My Overall Thoughts:I’ve been lucky enough to receive a Glossybox for review consideration for several months and I have to say that I’ve been pretty impressed. I’ve liked some months better than others, but I tend to be pleased with the products provided each month. Even when I’m not interested in trying out one of the products in my box, they’re great additions to birthday or holiday gifts for friends and family. Overall, I think that a Glossybox subscription is a pretty good value and perfect for anyone who likes trying out new beauty products. If you have an extra $21 to spend each month and are open to trying a variety of beauty products/brands, it’s worth trying!
Subscription Details:Birchbox is a beauty subscription box service that delivers five personalized beauty samples to your mailbox each month. When you sign up for a subscription, you’re able to customize your preferences for the types of beauty products and brands that you’ll receive in each month’s box. Your Birchbox subscription sometimes includes a bonus sample, so you can also customize the types of bonus samples you’d like to receive. Birchbox works with well-known name brands as well as up-and-coming beauty brands to curate their boxes each month, and they’ve also launched several in-house beauty brands. Birchbox subscriptions are available for $10 per month, or you can receive one box free when you subscribe to the $110 annual plan. Birchbox also offers a monthly subscription service for men for $20 per month, $60 for 3 months, or $110 for 6 months. The men’s subscription service includes 4 samples of grooming products in addition to one lifestyle product. In addition to its monthly subscription service, Birchbox has an extensive online store featuring a variety of unique beauty products. You can earn gift certificates to use on their website when you review the samples you’ve received from your Birchbox subscription, and you also earn points for every purchase made from their online store.
The February 2016 Birchbox featured five beauty samples to help you shine on your Valentine’s Day date. The box included samples of Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar Liquid Lipstick, amika Bombshell Blowout Spray, Whish Renewing Mud Mask, Cynthia Rowley Beauty Brightening Illuminator, and Catherine Malandrino Romance de Provence perfume. I absolutely loved the Lip Tar and blowout spray, but I wasn’t the biggest fan of the perfume or illuminator. I still haven’t tried the mud mask, but I have high hopes since Whish is one of my favorite body care brands. Even though two of the products were duds for me, I still liked this box! It’s hard to make a match with perfume samples, and it’s impossible for all beauty products to work for everyone.
The January 2016 Birchbox was great. In addition to a sheet of motivational stickers, the box included samples of Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle spray, Harvey Prince Hello Body Cream, Peripera Peri’s Tint Water, Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel, and a full-size Eyeko Fat Liquid Eyeliner. I was really impressed with this box. I didn’t like the smell of the body cream, and the Peripera Tint Water didn’t really work for me, but two of the other samples completely blew me away. The Eyeko eyeliner is a new favorite, and I am absolutely obsessed with the Beauty Protector detangling spray. It smells AMAZING, and I will definitely be buying a full-size bottle when I finish this sample! I haven’t tried the Real Chemistry peel yet, but it sounds like an interesting product.
Pros:Birchbox Points: Everytime that you review one of your Birchbox samples on their website, you receive 10 Birchbox points. 100 Birchbox points can be redeemed for a $10 purchase on Birchbox’s website. That means that if you review every sample that you receive, you’ll get $5 in Birchbox points each month. This feature basically reduces the overall cost of Birchbox to $5 a month.
Good Brands: Birchbox works with a variety of well-known and up-and-coming beauty brands, so you’ll always receive high-quality products.
Customization Options: Birchbox allows you customize your beauty product preferences, and you sometimes get the opportunity to choose between two boxes (typical sample box or a brand-curated box).
Fabulous Online Store: Birchbox’s online store is fantastic. In addition to the availability of Birchbox points, the online store frequently offers discount codes and free shipping.
Lower-Cost Option: The base price of Birchbox is lower than Glossybox; however, you’ll be receiving smaller-sized samples.
Small Sample Sizes: Birchbox is infamous for sending tiny sample sizes. If you’re not interested in receiving samples that are sized for 1-3 uses, Birchbox might not be a good fit for you. With that being said, this subscription is fairly low-cost (especially when you factor in Birchbox points), and Birchbox sometimes includes larger sample sizes and even full-size products.
Inconsistent Value: As I mentioned with Glossybox, this is a negative aspect of all beauty subscription services. While you’ll always receive products that are worth more than the subscription fee, the monetary value of your box will differ from month to month. I find that with both boxes, the good months tend to make up for the not-so-good months.
Inconsistent Amount of Name Brands: This con is also shared with Glossybox. With most beauty subscription services, you’re going to receive an inconsistent amount of name brands in your monthly box. Some months are better than others.
Overall Thoughts:I think that Birchbox is a great service if you’re interested in trying out a wide variety of products. While the sample sizes are sometimes small, the box is less expensive. The Birchbox points also add to the value of the subscription and makes the monthly payment less risky. If you’re open to trying new products from well-known and up-and-coming brands, I think Birchbox is worth the money! If you’re looking for consistent large samples/full-size products or don’t like experimenting with brands, Birchbox might not be a good fit for you.
After sampling both Glossybox and Birchbox for several months (I only photographed the past two months to keep this post from becoming a novel), I can safely say that I recommend both services. If you’re a beauty addict and love trying new beauty products, I think that you’ll love both beauty subscription boxes. I can’t say that I would necessarily pick one box over the other; it just depends on your budget and preferences. If you’re interested in seeing monthly unboxing posts from my Birchbox or Glossybox subscriptions, please leave a comment letting me know. I’d also love to hear your thoughts about both of these services!
Glossybox provided PR samples for review consideration; however, they did not request that I write this post and have no idea that I’m even writing this post. As always, all stated opinions are my honest thoughts. I only recommend companies that I truly love!