11 August 2012

A guide to UK beauty subscription boxes


I have been getting beauty subscription boxes since April this year. That's not very long, but I have tried all but one UK beauty subscription box now. I always post about them when I receive them and within the comments, and on Twitter, I always get asked which box I think is best. So I thought I would write a post about each box with my thoughts on them and whether they are worth signing up to. Listed in alphabetical order, with each box I will include price, contents, customer service and a final verdict. I hope this will help people who are unsure about signing up to a beauty subscription box, or if you are thinking of changing boxes, help you decide which one is best for you!

BeTrousse

A picture of BeTrousse
BeTrousse is a beauty box which is slightly different from all the other beauty boxes available in the UK, for two reasons. The first reason being that it does not involve a monthly subscription. Instead, each month they release the box on the website with all of the products within the box listed, and you can decide whether or not you want to buy it. The second reason this beauty box is different to others available in the UK is that every single item in each box is a full sized product. You pay a set price for each box, and you receive full sized products which are worth at least three times what you paid for the box itself! 
Price 
Each box varies in price, usually between £17-£19
Where
You can find these boxes on the BeTrousse website here.
Pros
All the products are full size.
The products cost far more than what you pay for the box.
Each box is themed.
Cons
I think the one thing BeTrousse lack, is presentation of their boxes. But I understand that with sending all full sized items, it can be difficult to present them in cute little boxes like other beauty boxes do. 

Customer service
The BeTrousse team are friendly and helpful. As a French brand starting up in the UK, their English isn't brilliant, but they are always energetic to talk to and very enthusiastic about their box.
Verdict
This box is great if you don't like surprises and if you want to get your moneys worth. 

Glossybox

A picture of Glossybox UK
Glossybox is probably the most talked about beauty subscription box in the blogosphere. Glossybox was in fact the first beauty box I ever signed up to and I loved my first box. In total I got three boxes from Glossybox before unsubscribing. As the second and third boxes were just not up to scratch. Glossybox is raved about in the blogosphere, I think, mainly because there are a few established beauty bloggers who are ambassadors for Glossybox. I know that's what influenced my decision to join them - The rave reviews of the ambassadors. 

Price
Glossybox costs £10 per box plus £2.95 p&p a month.
It works on a monthly subscription. You can also buy boxes in packs of three months, six months and a year.
Where
You can find these boxes on their website here.
Pros
Glossybox is usually more make up orientated. 
Often the brands within the box are respected, high-ish-end brands.
The box is cute.
Cons
There is always a divide with boxes. Some people will receive a box full of amazing products and samples, then others will receive measly, rubbish samples. 
See Customer Service.
Customer Service
I have found the customer service with Glossybox appalling. All is explained in the post linked above, but I have never been so... disgusted, by a teams approach to dealing with customer complaints and issues. 
Verdict
I enjoyed my first Glossybox, but after that they were a waste of money. I wouldn't sign up again because the boxes aren't worth the hype and mainly, because I don't want to support a company who has such shocking customer service and ethics towards how to treat people.

Joliebox

A picture of UK Joliebox
Joliebox is like BeTrousse, a French orientated box as that's where it first started. The products in Joliebox, I think, are more thought out than most beauty boxes. The brands within each box are usually very well respected, high-ish-end brands and the sample sizes are generous, as well as often sending full sized products. I had to unsubscribe to Joliebox due to money, but I will hopefully be subscribing again when I have more money to spare, as I really like Joliebox. 

Price
Joliebox costs £10 per box plus £2.95 p&p. You can also subscribe in packs of three months and one year subscriptions.
Pros
The boxes are well presented.
The brands in each box are all lovely.
I've never been disappointed with a Joliebox.

They have a Joliebox magazine - Something no other beauty box has, which comes with each box.
Cons
I am yet to find one!
Customer Service
If you call or email, usually they are quick to respond. The Twitter and Facebook need to be updated more often though I think.
Verdict
An all round great box, with great products. I would say this is probably more orientated around women in their 20s and older.

Latest in Beauty

The concept of Latest in Beauty is similar to BeTrousse. There is no subscription, instead each month they create a themed box and if you want it, you order one. It's as simple as that! The only difference between Latest in Beauty and BeTrousse, is that they don't really come with full sized items. I'm not sure how regular it is to receive full sized items in Latest in Beauty boxes, but for example, the above box which is the Skincare Stars box from July, only had one full sized item. You can read the review of this box here. As well as their themed boxes you can create your own boxes, find sample sizes of various products and the site is packed with various ways to enjoy Latest in Beauty.

Price
Each themed box costs £9.95 plus £2.95 p&p.
Where
You can find these boxes on their website here.
Pros
You can see the products in each box before you buy.
You get generous samples and sometimes full sized samples.
There is a huge variety of high-ish-end brands in each box.
Cons
Not every themed box will appeal to everyone.
Customer Service
I have yet to deal with their customer service, however I have tweeted LIB a few times on Twitter and always receive a quick, pleasant response.
Verdict
These boxes are great if you like the theme of the box in a certain month. I don't think LIB is one I would get every month, but I am sure there will be months when the contents of a box appeals to me and I will purchase again.

Lux Box

A picture of Lux Box
Lux Box, along with She Said Beauty, is one of my favourite beauty subscription boxes. I really like the variety of products you get in Lux Box. It covers so many different aspects of beauty! The sample sizes are generous, and they include full sized products too. The brands are also well respected brands and brands I have enjoyed using. I also really like the boxes that Lux Box use as they are cute, yet look luxurious. 

Price
Each box costs £10 a month plus £2.95 p&p. You can get Lux Box on a monthly subscription, or in packs of three months, six months and a year.
Pros
There is a great variety within the boxes.
The brands are high-ish-end and well respected.
The sample sizes are generous.
They also include full sizes products.
The boxes are well presented.
Cons
I am yet to find one!
Customer Service
Great, friendly and helpful team. Fast to reply on Twitter, too.
Verdict
I really enjoy Lux Box. I have used every item in my first box (pictured above) and think it is a great box which should be raved about more often in the blogosphere.

She Said Beauty

A picture of SheSaidBeauty Beauty Box
I have been subscribed to She Said Beauty since April and there's no denying it, it has continuously each month, remained to be my favourite beauty box. The contents are varied, the sample sizes are generous, yet most the products each month are full sized products! The box is slightly different, with a magnetic lid which I love. She Said Beauty also have a website which is the social networking website for beauty! She Said Beauty continue to please me with every box, and each month I always look forward to the new box. 

Price
The cheapest of all boxes, each box costs £9 per box plus £2.95 p&p. You can get them on a monthly subscription or in packs of three months, six months and a year. 
Where
You can find these boxes on their website here.
Pros
The box is magnetic, large and great for storage. It is different to boxes used by other subscription services.
The sample sizes are generous.
They often include mostly full sized products in their boxes.
There is a huge variety in the products.
They have a website which is basically the social networking for beauty.
You can review each product each month and receive points towards a free box.
Cons
I am yet to find one!
Customer Service
Whether it's by email, phone or Twitter, She Said Beauty are quick to reply! They also interact with their customers, share links of customer reviews and are always a pleasure to talk to!
Verdict
This is my favourite beauty subscription box. I could not recommend it enough!

I hope this post will help explain beauty boxes to everyone and how they work, costs, which is best for who, etc! Are you signed up to any of these? I'd love to hear what you think about them. Do you think you'll sign up to any of these, if so, which one?
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