Are Beauty Subscriptions Boxes Worth The Money??

Beauty subscriptions boxes have been around for quite a few years now and they have been highly successful. Birchbox, Ipsy Bag, Glossy Box, Play by Sephora to name a few. The idea behind each of these boxes is pretty much the same- you fill out your profile, talk about your complexion, facial features, hair type, skin concerns you’d like to address and each month a customized box is sent to you.

In most cases the cost of the box is $10/month and the products are mostly samples or deluxe samples but sometimes you will receive a full size item too. The idea is to introduce you to new products available on the market, give you just enough product to test it out and to see if you’d like to invest in a full size product.

Years ago, when Birchbox first launched I was their subscriber for about a year. At first, I was really excited about the goodies I’d get each month and I looked forward to getting my box with surprise products. After some time though, I realized that I was just collecting more and more samples that I generally didn’t use or wasn’t even going to try out. At that point I cancelled by subscription.

Now, fast forward to this year and Sephora announcing the launch of their subscription beauty box called  Play by Sephora. The name Sephora always makes my heart bit faster so I quickly signed onto the waiting list and after a few months of anxiously waiting, I received my first Sephora Play Box a few weeks ago.

DSC_5997The box arrived in a  striped Sephora box with a cute white sack inside. Play by Sephora Box contains 6 deluxe samples. It’s an array of makeup, skincare, fragrance and hair products. July’s theme is Effortless Summer and the box comes with 6 products that will help you achieve an effortless and heat resistant look.

first aid beautyThe sample I was most excited about is The First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser with FAB Antioxidant Booster. I absolutely love trying out new skincare products before investing in a full size bottle. I have only used this one a few times but it makes my face really soft. It has a creamy thick texture and an almost grey opalescent color. In contact with water it transforms into foamy lather.

The second product that I was very happy to see is Beautyblender Blotterazzi. Basically what it is is a thin flat sponge (made of the same material as the beloved Beauty Blender) that is supposed to absorb the excess oil off your skin without taking off your makeup. Unlike the Beauty Blender, Blotterazzi is to be used dry and not wet. Included there is also a sample of Beauty Blender liquid cleanser. Now, normally my skin doesn’t get very oily throughout the day and I never use blotting papers. If I absolutely have to I will retouch my makeup with some blotting powder. I have used the Blotterazzi only once so far and I didn’t necessarily see that much difference. Blotterazzi

In my Play Box I also received a generous sample of the Benefit Dew The Hoola Liquid Bronzer (gotta love the clever name!). This one is not a new product for me because I got the same sample from Ulta a few months ago. Although I do love using bronzers, I am not huge on liquid bronzers. This particular one applies nicely to the skin, it’s easy to blend and it has matte finish, however I feel like the shade is a little too light for me and I can’t even notice it on my skin.

SmashboxThe next product I got is a Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer. I have used it before as well and it’s a really nice product. It gives my skin a silky smooth finish and minimizes my pores. I am really happy with this sample as I can keep it in my travel makeup bag.

ouaiNext, the Ouai Wave Spray is a product that other Play by Sephora subscribers seem to be really excited about. Ouai is a haircare brand I have never tried before. Without styling my hair is usually very frizzy and I need to straighten or curl it to make it look presentable. The Wave Spray is meant to create “an undone look”, which I really don’t aim for and that’s why I haven’t tried this product at all yet. It says it also adds volume and shine.

Lastly, a perfume sample from the brand I have always wanted to try which is Nest Fragrances. The fragrance I received is called Citrine and is a mixture of flowery and citrusy notes. Although the scent is quite refreshing I don’t particularly care for it.

play boxThe box also comes with a little card that you can take to your local Sephora store for a one-on-one advice from a beauty expert. Also, if you show it while making a purchase at the cash register, you get an extra 50 Beauty Insider points!

From reading other blogs, I know that Play by Sephora Box has been a big hit so far. None of my friends are subscribed to this particular one, however I talked to two of my friends who are subscribed to Ipsy Bag and they both seem to love it and they both think it’s totally worth the price. For both Sarah and Jesie the favorite part is the excitement of getting something new in the mail that is just for them each month. Sarah usually sticks to the same makeup products every day and even when we shop for makeup together, it’s hard to convince her to step out of her comfort zone and try something she’d normally not go for right away. That’s why I was really happy to hear that her favorite product that she’s received in her Ipsy Bag so far was a plum Urban Decay eyeliner. Definitely, not a color she would buy on her own.

For Jesie, who normally loves wearing makeup, the $10 price for the subscription is totally worth it as she doesn’t get to splurge on herself a lot being a mom of three kids. Being an Ipsy Bag subscriber for not even a year, she’s already repurchased one of the products she got in her Ipsy Bag. It was a Palmetto Derma Rejuvenating Antioxidant Mask as “it has made a big difference in her skin.”. Actually, she loved it so much that she got one for her mom too. And now I will have to check it out myself! Thanks for the recommendation! Jesie, in fact, loves her Ipsy Bag so much that she’s considering subscribing to another beauty box.

To sum it all up, my July Play by Sephora has some really good products in it and a few new ones that I was really excited to try. Is it worth the $10 price? Absolutely! The Beauty Blender Blotterazzi by itself is a $10 value and it covers the cost of my box already. I do think though that next month I’d like to see a few more products that I have never tried before. But I do realize that for a beauty blogger and a makeup lover like me who always tries to test out products right after they come out it’s a difficult task to fulfill. Nevertheless, I am very happy that I was able to subscribe to Play by Sephora and I am already looking forward to receiving my August one.

What do you think about beauty subscription boxes? Are you or have you been subscribed to any of them? Have you tried the Play by Sephora yet? Do you think subscription boxes are worth their price or is it a waste of money?

Agata,
the founder and editor of Her and Makeup.