11 best beauty boxes 2021: monthly subscriptions
STUCK in a beauty rut, or just fancy trying out the latest goodies as they land? You need one of the best beauty boxes in your life.
Monthly subscription services have become super popular in the last few years: rather than simply buying beauty products as and when they run out, more of us are choosing to receive a monthly box of curated treats. Check out our selection of the best beauty boxes below.
The contents will differ per box, but you can expect to find new products, tools, perfume samples and much more.
All the following subscription-based beauty boxes all typically follow the same idea – you pay a fixed monthly fee and a box turns up at your door every month full of brand new goodies for you to try out.
The boxes are designed to open your eyes to a whole new world of brands and items you wouldn't necessarily reach for.
Some subscriptions are pricier than others but it means the boxes contain more luxury brands and/or full-sized products, as opposed to smaller tester sizes.
There are even some brands that don't operate via a subscription basis, but create monthly boxes that you're able to purchase if and when you please if you're not wanting to commit to a monthly fee.
Check out our round-up of the best beauty boxes to find out which subscription will work best for you.
We tested: Birchbox
- Birchbox, from £13.95 per month – buy here
From only £13.95 a month (including P&P) you receive five different beauty products from Birchbox, with the choice of two options each month. These can be different colours, flavours or scent of the same product, or a choice between two different products altogether.
The rest of the items vary slightly per person depending on what answers you give in the questionnaire when you sign up.
As it's a best-selling box subscription, we decided to try out the January 2021 Birchbox to see what all the fuss was about.
The five mini products we received would have equated to £126.45 if we had bought them full-sized, so we were already impressed before trying them out.
Covering haircare, make-up and skincare, Birchbox ticked off all the boxes with Dr Botanicals soap, a purifying mask by Marcelle, This Works hyaluronic serum, Lise Watier illuminating primer, and Amika's scalp cleansing oil.
From winding down in the bath with Marcelle's purifying mask, to realising the power of exfoliating poppy seeds with Dr.Botanicals soap, we loved every product for the high quality, and niche nature of the brands.
Would we continue a subscription? Most definitely, we would never have ever considered scalp cleanser before and it turned out to be our favourite of the box!
The only issue is that you don't get to select all of your products, and we already owned some hyaluronic acid – it'll come in handy at some point though.
Check out our full review of Birchbox here
We tested: Beauty Pie
- Beauty Pie membership, from £5 per month – buy here
Starting at just £5 per month and stretching to £20 per month (or £99 per year), Beauty Pie labels itself as a members' club for beauty lovers.
Products are usually marked-up before reaching the shelves, but Beauty Pie sells them before all of those price increases – usually saving up to 80% of typical prices.
For £5 per month, you can spend up to £50 (plus a bonus £50 on your first month), £10 a month gets you £100 worth of products, as well as a bonus £100 on your first month. Then £20 gets you £200 worth of products, plus a bonus £150 on your first month.
We decided to try out some products to see if they're actually as good as their typical prices suggest – in total, they were worth £140 and we were really impressed by the value-for-money and variety.
Upon first use, we could tell they were great beauty buys – they felt super luxurious, and like a true treat to our skin.
In short, shop Beauty Pie for high quality and low prices.
Check out our full review of Beauty Pie here
We tested: Glossybox
- GLOSSYBOX, from £11.75 per month (for 12mos) – buy here
GLOSSYBOX is another affordable option which is priced from £11.75 a month, if you decide to treat yourself for 12mos.
The brand offers five products a month, gift wrapped in a chic pink and black box (which doubles up well as make-up storage).
Usually, the contents of the boxes are the same for all subscribers but it can often vary.
We tested out the February box to see if it's worth the £13.25 monthly subscription, and it definitely brought some joy into our lives…
Gifted in a funky stereo casette-style box that wrote "Sing, Dance, Love, Repeat", Glossybox' vibe immediately felt perfect for the Gen Z-ers out there.
The products inside included the Avant lip scrub, Bubble T hand cream, a Steve Laurant lip mask, NudeStix lip and cheek colour, and a Glow On Rose Gua Shua tool – all of which we had never tried before.
Receiving a lip scrub and lip mask in February was well timed as the cold weather had left us more chapped than ever – the mask felt soothing, and the scrub (worth £58) ended up being our favourite product of the lot.
Bubble T's 90ml hand cream was definitely a generous saviour for our over-sanitized hands, and we were impressed by the inclusion of cruelty-free brand, Nudestix.
Each product came full-sized, meaning you get more for your money with Glossybox compared to other beauty subscriptions. It's definitely one for our younger women out there (probably 22 and under) for its playful aesthetic and interesting range of products.
Check out our full review of Glossybox here
We tested: Roccabox
- Roccabox, from £10 per month – buy here
Founder Tia wants women to be able to try out different products, finding their favourites to suit their personal needs. So every Roccabox is full of beauty and wellness gems, to have you feeling as good as you look.
From Huda Beauty and SugarBearHair, to Smashbox and St Tropez, you can expect high-quality, best-selling products from Roccabox – which costs only £10 a month, plus £3.25 postage.
We tried out their March 2021 box, which featured three full-sized products: a BeautyPro hair mask, Anatomicals hand sanitiser and hand cream, Monuskin illuminating primer, as well as a travel-sized L'Occitane Almond Milk body cream and Isoclean brush cleaner – all of which would usually add up to over £65.
With every other box we tried, we had a favourite product but with Roccabox, all of them were high quality and showed immediate effects.
We are now officially obsessed with the L'Occitane Almond Milk Concentrate, and will be re-purchasing the Isoclean for our makeup brushes (it washed them so quickly!).
Our favourite thing about the primer is how natural the formula feels on your skin, plus it boasts being SPF 15 – an anti-ageing gem.
Roccabox is a winner for mainly full-sized, luxurious products that you'll probably end up re-buying again and again.
Latest in Beauty
- Latest in Beauty, £12.95 per month – buy here
For less than £13, plus £3.95 postage, you can select which six beauty products you'd like to receive every month – from bath, body, nail and haircare; to make-up and skincare.
If you subscribe you can get delivery free as well!
There are hundreds of products to choose from on the LiB Beauty Counter as well as new products being added daily, and they all arrive at your front door within five working days.
If you stick with LiB for three months in a row then you'll become a LiB Box Pro: think savings, discounts and lots of exciting exclusives.
- Look Fantastic box, £15 per month – buy here
A little pricier at £15 a month (but with free postage), the Look Fantastic box offers around six products every month, which are all available to purchase in full size on the beauty e-tailer's site.
Every month, the box has a different pattern or colour to it, and its contents often follow a theme.
The e-tailer tends to keep the contents of their boxes completely under wraps unless it's collaborating with a brand – so it's an exciting surprise each month.
Previous collaborations include This Works, Illamaqua, Elemis, Laura Geller, EVE LOM, Molton Brown, Sleek, and more.
The boxes aren't aimed towards a certain age and tend to be quite diverse in their selections.
You also get a free Elle magazine with every Look Fantastic box.
- Love Lula, from £14.95 per month – buy here
If you're all about natural beauty and want to try something different, Love Lula is the bargain beauty box subscription you need – coming in at under £15 a month.
Every month, the eco-friendly box will feature some of the best up-and-coming beauty brands alongside some well-known favourites, and you'll get between four and five products each month.
There is always at least one full-sized product in each box, and everyone who subscribes gets exactly the same box.
A feel-good, do-good subscription, some of the previously featured brands include REN, Botanico Vida, Madara, Glossworks and Seascape.
We tested: The Pip Box
- The Pip Box, from £25.99 per month – buy here
Another ethical beauty: The Pip Box delivers a wonderful collection of five vegan and cruelty-free products every month from £25.99.
Every box holds around £55 worth of goods, and if you prepay for six months or one year then you get free delivery!
We tested out the March Pip Box dedicated to International Women's Day, to see if it's worth having a higher price tag in comparison to other beauty boxes.
The box came with Nip+Fab Vitamin C Fix Cleanser, Aromatherapy muscle gel, Kri Skincare Vitamin C serum, Code VLM Volumising Mascara, and Vitamasques Tea Tree sheet mask, with a total value of over £55.
Our favourite product had to be the Nip+Fab cleanser which arrived in a generous 145ml bottle, feeling so fresh and gentle against our sensitive skin.
We hadn't tried vitamin C serum before, but after using Kri Skincare's for just three nights, we could already notice a brightening difference when applying it before retinol – so points to Pip Box for introducing us to a skincare must-have.
As there was a soothing sheet face mask and de-stress muscle gel, the box felt like a gift of self-care, and we definitely felt cared-for after using all of the hand-selected products.
- Little-Known, £14.95 per month – buy here
If you're anti animal cruelty when it comes to your make-up bag, the Little-Known Box is something you need to invest in.
Each monthly box contains up to six products, all from certified cruelty-free brands.
Chosen with ethics and wellness in mind, look out for the likes of Noble Isle and Figs & Rouge.
You'll be spending £14.95 a month, plus a delivery cost of £3.75.
It's not a bad deal considering Little-Known Box even throw in a bonus item for you to try.
- Look Incredible Deluxe Beauty Box, £35 per month – buy here
If travel-sized products just don't cut it for you, then Look Incredible's Deluxe Beauty Box is the one, offering a unique full-sized selection every month for £35.
Curated by Look Incredible's beauty experts, the box contains four to five products, including high-end gems – from moisturisers to mascaras.
Everything inside is a surprise, but it's all carefully researched and they pay attention to feedback too, to make sure it doesn't ever disappoint.
You'll be charged on the first day of each month and the box of goodies will be delivered straight to your door.
It's a little pricier, we know, but it includes delivery and it a well-deserved treat.
The Natural Beauty Box
- The Natural Beauty Box, £23 per month – buy here
As the seasons change, so does the Natural Beauty Box, giving you skincare and makeup to suit the changing weather every month for £23 – with free UK shipping!
Incorporating natural, vegan and cruelty-free products sourced from British artisans, this is another eco-friendly gem full of guilt-free goodness.
All five to seven monthly products are free from harsh chemicals, known skin irritants and cheap filler ingredients.
One happy customer says: "Beautiful products presented in a natural box and packaging. Every month is a treat and this is one subscription I can't see myself cancelling!"
How much are monthly beauty boxes?
Beauty boxes vary in price depending on their contents and whether you purchase them on a monthly basis or sign up to an annual subscription.
The cheapest in this list is Beauty Pie, with their subscription boxes starting at just £5.
At the other end of the scale is Look Incredible Deluxe which will set you back £35 per month.
However, you'll find that most of the boxes, including Glossybox and Birchbox, hover around the £12-£15 per month mark.
Which beauty subscription box is best in the UK?
All of the boxes on this list are available in the UK.
You might also want to try Birchbox, which declares itself 'the UK's No. 1 Beauty Box'.
Meanwhile, Yorkshire-based Roccabox is perfect for a more independent, up-and-coming spin on beauty, while Pip Box features cruelty-free and vegan-friendly makeup only—and donates 10% of profits to animal-friendly charities.
What is the best subscription box for skincare?
If you want to make sure you get the best skincare solutions from a beauty box, then it may be better to choose a more personalised box.
Latest in Beauty can be ultra-personalised so may mean you find a more tailored solution to skincare needs, compared to other boxes.
Are beauty boxes worth it?
It all depends on you! If you rarely splash out on beauty products, you might find that subscription boxes send more than you can use (although plenty allow the option to choose quantities).
However, if you love trying out new goodies and are always buying new beauty items anyway, then a subscription box can be a really worthwhile investment. Plus who doesn't love receiving treats in the post each month?
What are the best monthly box subscriptions?
See above! All of the boxes we've picked out boast monthly subscriptions, meaning you'll either pay a set fee which includes a standard number of products sent out to you monthly—or the fee grants you access to a revolving roster of goodies that you can choose to purchase at a fraction of the normal cost.
Enjoyed our round-up of the best beauty boxes? Take a look at Sun Selects to discover more of our recommendations.
Do you love beauty products? Us too! Check out our beauty recommendations here.
If your hair is in need of some love check out the best hair masks here.
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