Beauty Subscription Boxes in the UK | Which to Buy?

beauty boxes in the UK

Beauty subscription boxes are a great way of trying out makeup and skincare products for less. Normally around £10 a box for a subscription, and around £30 for a limited edition box, beauty boxes offer a selection of both tester and full-size products at a price far lower than their RRP. They allow you to try out a range of products you may not ordinarily be able to afford, or try out samples of products before you decide to buy them.

Subscription boxes have really exploded in popularity in recent years, so choosing one you like can be a challenge. To help you out, I have listed and explored some of the beauty box subscriptions available, and given my thoughts on the ones I have tried.

Birchbox

birchbox boxes

About the Birchbox Subscription

The Birchbox subscription costs £12.95 a month, and this price includes postage. There are usually 5-6 products in every box.

Birchbox also has limited edition boxes and collections on offer, which are normally around £30. These are curated sets of products, usually themed around a skin issue or product type (e.g. cruelty-free beauty), or they could be a collaboration with a famous face.

Another element of Birchbox is that they double up as an online store for beauty products. They have quite an extensive selection of products on there, including full-size versions of products that come in the subscription box.

birchbox boxes

My Thoughts on Birchbox

Birchbox was one of the first major beauty box subscription services, but, unfortunately, I don’t think it has really kept up with the competition. At time of writing, I am actually subscribed to Birchbox due to a Black Friday deal that made each box around £5 rather than the usual £12.95. Even considering this huge discount, I wish I hadn’t subscribed.

Every box I have received has been pretty disappointing. Most of the products you receive are 10ml testers and a lot of the products are just things I would never use. Birchbox seems to have strayed from being a beauty box to being more of a promotional arm of their online store – giving people testers and then encouraging them to buy full size on their site.

I have also received multiple boxes now where a product is broken or faulty, and I never got a response from their customer service about it.

I find Birchbox to be quite ‘baity’ with the promotion of their monthly boxes too. Most other boxes either keep it a surprise or show the exact products you will get in a box, Birchbox shows a selection of products you may receive, and these are almost always better than the ones that actually show up. For example, a few months ago they kept advertising that you would get a Benefit makeup product in your box and I was excited. Instead I received a mini can of hairspray… that was empty when it arrived! Not happy!

 

Latest In Beauty

Latest in beauty box

About the Latest In Beauty Subscription

The LIB Box is £12.95 + £3.95 postage for 6 products.

Latest In Beauty does things a little differently to the other subscription boxes, and it makes it a great choice for people who like a bit more control over the items they receive.

For their monthly LIB Box, they add around 100 products to their ‘Beauty Counter’, and you can select six of these for your box. Each product has a description and reviews, so you can understand exactly what you’re getting and if it is right for you.

They have a mix of products from big brands and up-and-comers. New products get added to the Beauty Counter every week, so there’s always something fresh to pick when you make your box.

Latest In Beauty also produces collections, which are curated boxes of products – usually around a theme or as a collaboration with beauty industry leaders. The prices of these range from around £25 to £100, depending on the number and type of products inside. You can see every product you’ll receive in these, so you can weigh up whether it is worth it for you.

LIB Box

My Thoughts on Latest In Beauty

Latest In Beauty is one of my absolute favourite beauty box providers. At this point in my skincare and makeup journey, I know more or less what I want, so I prefer to have control over the products I receive. LIB is great for this, as you get to choose everything.

I buy the LIB boxes every now and then, but I’m not on a monthly subscription with them at the moment. This is because I usually love their collection boxes, and prefer to wait and save for those instead.

The collection boxes are more expensive, but they usually contain a lot of products, many of which are full-size, so I do think it’s worth it. They also do limited edition collection boxes following beauty awards, where you get the chance to pick some of the award winning products in a box.

I think the only problem I’ve had with Latest In Beauty is that sometimes they don’t realise how popular they are when a new collection box launches, and there can be issues with the site going down as it can’t cope! There isn’t a fault with the boxes themselves though.

Glossybox

About the Glossybox Subscription

Glossybox is £13.25 including postage for 5 beauty products.

Glossybox also does limited edition boxes, but these sell out so fast they’re almost not worth mentioning. The limited edition collections are usually collaborations with huge brands in the beauty industry, such as Elemis, NARS and Fenty. As a subscriber, you get early access to these boxes.

Glossybox subscription box

My Thoughts on Glossybox

Glossybox is a beauty subscription box I’ve always got my eye on. Instead of subscribing to them every month, I usually just wait and see for boxes that contain products I am interested in.

From what I’ve seen, Glossybox is focussed slightly more on makeup than skincare, in comparison with other beauty boxes.

The products are usually from bigger brands, and you can often find products that are very expensive normally, making the box worthwhile.

The only problem I’ve had with Glossybox was that once a lipstick came broken. They were not able to send me a replacement, only a £3 refund.

 

Roccabox

Roccabox

About the Roccabox Subscription

The Roccabox subscription costs £10 a month + £3.95 postage and contains 5 beauty products. Roccabox often puts a focus on smaller and newer brands, although you will still find popular products in their boxes.

They also offer Mystery Boxes for £10, that you can buy at any time, which contain 5-6 products that were previously featured in the subscription boxes – if you want a taste of what a Roccabox subscription is like without committing, you can try one of these!

Roccabox also curates limited edition boxes from time to time, which are usually between £25-£35. These can contain hundreds of pounds worth of products, and are often themed or created in collaboration with other brands.

Roccabox September box

My Thoughts on Roccabox

Roccabox is one of my favourite beauty boxes, I think they are very reasonably priced considering the type of products you get in these boxes.

I don’t subscribe at the moment, but I try to buy all of the limited edition boxes when they get released. When I buy a limited edition box, I will add a Mystery Box to my order, as they are great value!

Roccabox are really good with the products they give – more often than not they are full-sized products, and when they are tester products, they are usually for more deluxe brands.

From these boxes, I’ve received moisturisers that cost £94 and full-size eyeshadow palettes, as well as an assortment of goodies from other indie and premium brands, including Murad!

If I had one complaint about Roccabox, it would be that they have a tendency to include tanning products in some of their subscription boxes, and I don’t really use them, but this is quite a small issue and certainly isn’t reflective of all Roccabox has to offer.

 

Look Fantastic

lookfantastic september beauty box

About the Look Fantastic Subscription

The Look Fantastic subscription costs £15 a month + £2.95 p&p and contains 6 beauty products that have a combined value of over £50. You can choose from a 1, 3, 6 or 12 -month plan for your subscription.

Look Fantastic often does collaborations with beauty brands, such as NARS and The Inkey List. These offer the chance to try a selection of products from big brands for a lot less. They are very popular and tend to sell out quickly, so it’s a good idea to follow them on social media if you want to know when they go live!

My Thoughts on Look Fantastic

Look Fantastic is not a beauty box I would subscribe to monthly, but it is one I’ve picked up from time to time when there was a deal available. I personally find it a bit expensive for what it is. Often I’m not really “wowed” by the products they have in these boxes the way I am with many other subscriptions.

I have got a couple of their limited edition collections in collaboration with other brands, and they have been very good. These are great if you already have your eye on certain products, but couldn’t afford them outright before.

Other Beauty Subscription Boxes

Subscription boxes seem to have become a really big thing recently. There are now lots of niche boxes available for all sorts of things, including vegan skincare and kbeauty. This is a list of other beauty subscription boxes that I am aware of, but have yet to try!

  • The Pip Box – £19.99 a month for 5 cruelty-free and vegan beauty products.
  • Cohorted Beauty Box – £39.99 a month for 5+ premium beauty products.
  • Lengbox – £30 a month for a curated selection of kbeauty products.
  • The Natural Beauty Box – £24.95 a month for 5+ natural, vegan and cruelty-free products.

Do you use any beauty subscription boxes? Share your faves in the comments below, as I’m always looking to try out more!

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ellennoir

Hi! I’m Ellen, a Devon-based beauty and lifestly blogger who is perhaps a little too obsessed with makeup and skincare (seriously, I own over 100 lipsticks…). 💄

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1 Comment

  1. 30th January 2021 / 9:20 am

    I used to subscribe to Birchbox, Glossybox and Look Fantastic. Out of the 3, Glossybox was my favourite. They had the best selection of products and more full-size ones too. Birchbox was the most disappointing for pretty much the same reasons you gave. Tiny samples and generally from brands I’d never heard off. I often received repeated products too.

    I don’t think I’d ever subscribe again, because I ended up overwhelmed with samples. I literally had drawers full of them and had to give them away. I would probably just try individual boxes if they had a good one.