Luxe Box Image Via Flickr
While the beauty box craze (monthly boxes of customized deluxe makeup and skincare samples for about 10 bucks a month) is pretty big in the U.S., most of the popular American companies aren’t available here in little old Canada. We may not have Birchbox yet (they’ve recently expanded to France, Spain and the UK), but there are still lots of Canadian options for monthly beauty boxes. For beauty buffs who love to try the newest and latest thing, they’re a cost-effective way to access new products. Even for the less-than-knowledgeable beauty beginner, they’re a great way to test the waters and figure out what you like without having to buy full-size products. Here’s a rundown of the best beauty boxes available in Canada, complete with the pros and cons of each.
Glossybox describes itself as the “globally-inspired” beauty box, with exclusive access to global beauty brands. You get five samples a month, all from high-end and drugstore beauty brands. Last month’s box included samples from brands like Nexxus haircare, Maybelline, Nicole by OPI and Vitabath.
Pros: Seems to be a good mix of both skincare and makeup, and they’re very upfront about what’s in the box each month on their website.
Cons: It’s really expensive: $21/month, although there are three, six, and twelve-month plans that knock a few dollars off the price when you commit to the full timeframe. But is the cost really worth it when they use so many drugstore products?
For $15/month, Glymm subscribers get four to five luxury beauty samples from brands like Caudalie, Butter London, Anastasia, and Cargo. The samples also come in an eco-friendly makeup bag. Again, what you get is based on the information you put in your personal beauty profile, and you have the opportunity to fill out surveys on your samples each month and earn points that go towards Glymm’s online shop. So, if you got something you really liked, it’s possible to buy it from them with a discount. Glymm also has a beauty box program for men, Glymm Man.
Pros: The aforementioned points system, luxury brands, and lots of eco-friendly brands.
Cons: I’ve had a Glymm box for several months, and it’s mostly anti-aging products and very little makeup. I also had an issue where I didn’t get at least one item that was listed as supposed to be in my box, and contacting support got me no response. I also got a product intended for black hair one month when my beauty profile was marked “Caucasian” and “fine hair.”
Get four deluxe beauty samples from brands like Benefit, Stila, Clinique and Skinceuticals delivered to your door each month for $12. There’s also a beauty profile but, if you’re like me and forget to fill it out, you still somehow magically get a box of Clinique products for normal/combination skin (HOW DID YOU KNOW!?).
Pros: You get a good balance of makeup and skincare (if you look at the brands page it’s mostly makeup, so if that’s what you’re looking for in a monthly box, this should probably be your pick). It’s also the cheapest, and sample sizes are pretty generous.
Cons: There is a waiting list for subscriptions, but it’s only about a month.
Luxe Box offers seven to eight samples each month from the really high-end beauty brands, like Valentino and Prada. It’s so fancy and personalized that each box is monogrammed with your initials. Members also get free shipping at the Luxe Boutique, and access to private events, product launches, and beauty tips and tutorials. Memberships start at $26.
Pros: Luxe Box definitely has the most high-end brands and the most samples. You can also reserve specific products so that it will be in your next box, so there’s much more customization and personal input than any of the other boxes. It’s also the most cost effective, because their memberships are only charged every three, six, or twelve months, depending on which plan you choose.
Cons: You have to commit to at least 3 months. Memberships start at $26 every three months, and you can’t cancel before that three-month term is up.
Megan Patterson is the Science and Technology Editor at Paper Droids and currently a Toronto Standard intern. She has also written for WORN Fashion Journal, Elevate, and Salon Magazines. She also tweets more than is healthy or wise.