In a world where beauty trends evolve quicker than a TikTok clip goes viral, keeping up with the latest makeup products can feel like a never-ending challenge. Enter: makeup subscription boxes. These curated beauty gifts, delivered straight to your doorstep, can be a game-changer, saving you the legwork of trial and error while introducing you to a world of new brands and products.
So if you’re someone who loves the thrill of unboxing fresh cosmetics each month, or you’re hunting for that perfect gift for a beauty-loving friend, this guide to the best makeup subscription boxes in the UK is your ideal read.
What is a Makeup Subscription Box?
Makeup subscription boxes are like the beauty world’s answer to a monthly magazine subscription, but even better. When you sign up, you’re treated to a monthly delivery filled with an array of makeup and skincare products, and these boxes are the perfect way to sample new brands, experiment with different types of products, and add fresh colours to your collection.
The concept of a makeup subscription box is simple: each month, subscribers receive a package filled with beauty and skincare products from their chosen subscription provider. These items can range from well-known, high-end brands to niche, indie labels looking to make their mark in the beauty industry; the element of surprise is part of the charm, as you never quite know what you’re going to get.
But it’s not just about the thrill of the unknown: makeup subscription boxes are also about the convenience and discovery. For busy beauty enthusiasts, these services eliminate the need to scour stores or endlessly browse online for new products. Moreover, they offer an effortless way to discover brands, shades, styles or products you might not have otherwise encountered. From lipsticks and eyeshadows to moisturisers and facial oils, a makeup subscription box is your personal beauty explorer, delivered right to your door.
What Do Makeup Subscription Boxes Include?
A Range of Makeup Products
First and foremost, a makeup subscription box offers an assortment of makeup products. These can range from everyday essentials like mascaras, lipsticks, and eyeliners to more trend-led items like contour kits, highlighters, and eye shadow palettes. The mix often reflects the latest trends and seasonally appropriate shades, but the ultimate goal is to provide you with a variety of cosmetics to help you experiment with different looks, and push the boundaries of your comfort zone. Many boxes will also cater to different preferences, such as including exclusively cruelty-free or vegan makeup products.
Skin and Hair Care Goodies
In addition to makeup, these boxes often contain skincare and sometimes even hair care products. Skincare is a crucial component of any beauty routine, and these boxes understand that! So, don’t be surprised if your monthly package contains serums, face masks, moisturisers, or eye creams. Hair care items might include everything from nourishing hair masks to deluxe sample sizes of shampoos and conditioners from high-end brands. This holistic approach to beauty ensures that you’re taken care of from head to toe.
Tools and Accessories
Last, but by no means least, makeup subscription boxes often include tools and accessories to complement the makeup and skincare products. This could be anything from makeup brushes and beauty blenders, which can upgrade your application game, to hair ties and clips, or even trendy sheet masks. On occasion, boxes might also contain beauty-related lifestyle items, like compact mirrors, makeup bags, or even wellness items like tea sachets or mini candles. These little extras often enhance the whole unboxing experience, making each delivery feel truly special.
What are the Best Makeup Subscription Boxes in the UK?
A pioneer in the beauty box industry, Birchbox has been delivering monthly doses of beauty and skincare to subscribers since 2010. With a strong emphasis on discovery, Birchbox curates a mix of both well-known and emerging brands. Each box includes five products, typically consisting of a blend of makeup, skincare, body, and hair care products. Plus, subscribers can personalise their boxes based on their beauty profile, ensuring they receive products that suit their individual preferences and needs.
Offering ‘5 beauty products worth over £50’, Glossybox has earned a reputation for providing a luxurious beauty experience at an affordable price. Subscribers can expect a variety of products, including makeup, skincare, hair care, and tools, and your monthly box can feature brands ranging from industry favourites to niche finds.
Glossybox distinguishes itself with limited-edition themed boxes throughout the year that coincide with seasons, holidays, or beauty trends, with one recent example being their sold-out Barbie-themed box. These special editions offer an elevated unboxing experience that is often highly anticipated by subscribers. They also have a tiered membership system where you earn Glossy Credits for surveys and product reviews that you can use on Lookfantastic.com. Prices start from £11.75 for a monthly subscription, excluding delivery.
Lookfantastic Beauty Box
Lookfantastic is known for its extensive range of beauty and skincare products online, so it’s only fitting that they branched into the Beauty Box arena! Their beauty box is a monthly subscription that offers a selection of hand-picked items from leading brands, and you can expect a mixture of cosmetics, skincare, body care, and hair care, plus an Elle magazine in every box!
It’s also worth noting that Lookfantastic’s Beauty Box stands out for featuring products from high-end brands like Elemis, ESPA, and Aveda, so it’s a fabulous option for those wanting to try luxury products without committing to the full-sized prices. A subscription also includes access to exclusive discounts on the LookFantastic site, and prices begin from £15 per month, including delivery.
Do Makeup Subscription Boxes Offer Full-Sized Products?
While many makeup subscription boxes provide sample or deluxe travel-sized products, the trend towards full-sized products is certainly growing. This shift is partly in response to consumers desiring more value for their money and wanting to thoroughly try a product before deciding to invest in it.
Birchbox, for instance, predominantly offers travel-sized items, but they do occasionally include a full-sized product as a special treat. Glossybox and LookFantastic, on the other hand, frequently include at least one full-sized item in their monthly offerings.
K Beauty Box Facetory stands out for often featuring a mix of full-sized and deluxe travel-sized items, while luxury brand Cosmetips only offers full-sized products in their boxes – although Cosmetips isn’t a monthly service, and does tend to be on the pricier side.
Thus, while the prevalence of full-sized items can vary between different subscription services, the potential to find full-sized treasures certainly exists. This aspect, combined with the element of surprise and discovery, makes makeup subscription boxes a thrilling and cost-effective way to try new beauty products.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, makeup subscription boxes provide an exciting, personalised way to discover new products, indulge in luxury brands and even learn more about the beauty world. From high-end skincare to the latest makeup trends, these boxes deliver a monthly treat to your doorstep, making beauty exploration fun and accessible.
If you’re a beauty enthusiast or simply enjoy the thrill of surprise, consider subscribing to one of the UK’s best makeup subscription boxes – with options catering to various tastes, needs and budgets, there’s a perfect box out there for every beauty lover!
Are makeup subscription boxes worth it?
This largely depends on individual preferences. If you love trying new products, enjoy the convenience of home delivery, and are thrilled by surprise elements, then makeup subscription boxes can be well worth it. They provide an opportunity to sample a variety of products at a fraction of their individual retail prices.
Can I choose what goes into my makeup subscription box?
While some boxes offer a degree of personalisation based on a beauty profile you fill out upon signing up, most are curated by the company to provide a surprise. However, services like Birchbox do permit subscribers to select some items in their box.
Can I cancel a makeup subscription box at any time?
Most companies allow easy cancellation, but it’s best to check the specific terms and conditions before subscribing. Some services offer a discounted rate for committing to a longer-term subscription, which may have different cancellation policies.
Are makeup subscription boxes a good gift?
Yes! A makeup subscription box can make a fabulous gift for anyone who loves beauty products. It’s a gift that keeps on giving, providing the recipient with a regular treat that offers discovery, indulgence, and joy.
Do I have to subscribe, or can I order just one box?
Some services offer one-time box purchases, but many operate primarily on a subscription basis. It’s best to check the company’s policies if you’re only interested in a single box.