For the Label Lover
Glossybox (shown right)
With more than 400 luxury brands (Oscar de la Renta, Burberry, Fresh) and generous samples, this is an ideal way to test high-end products without visiting a department store.
Cost: $21 a month, glossybox.com for info.
For the Eco-Conscious
Figuring out which brands are “clean” or “natural” isn’t easy. This service does the legwork, then sends five or six trial sizes of green goods that are, among other things, cruelty- and paraben-free.
Cost: $18 a month, goodebox.com for info.
For the Deal Seeker
This is more of a mixed bag, with items like stationery tossed in among the beauty products—from both well-known and under-the-radar brands. Save money by referring friends and leaving feedback; both earn you purchase points toward full-size merchandise.
Cost: $10 a month, birchbox.com for info.
For the Super-Picky
Fill out a profile, then peruse options online targeted to your tastes (whether you prefer the natural look or all-out glam) and make your own selections. And if nothing strikes your fancy one month, you can go ahead and skip it, at no charge.
Cost: $12 a month, beautyarmy.com for info.
For the Pro-Obsessed
A dedicated group of beauty experts cut through the clutter to send you their new go-to cosmetics (and classics, too). You can also view online video tutorials to help you re-create specific looks using that month’s picks.
Cost: $10 a month, ipsy.com for info.
For Women of Color
Essence Beauty Box
We all have a "beauty graveyard"—that gloomy place in your bathroom where foundations that didn’t match or hair cream that left your curls crunchy end up. This new subscription box, curated by Essence editors, promises to help you stop wasting money on products that don’t work for you. The monthly box includes five hair, makeup, skincare, and fragrance products, one of which is from an indie-owned black brand.
Cost: $15 a month, essencebeautybox.com for info.
For the Value-Obsessed Shopper
Sample-size beauty products are awesome, but full-size ones are even better. Enter BoxyCharm, the new subscription box that brings $100 worth of full-size goods to your doorstep. Not sure how to use a product in the box? Just go to YouTube and checkout their tutorials and reviews. Bonus: Subscribers get points (called “charms”) for reviewing products and referring friends, which you can redeem for—you guessed it—more beauty products.
Cost: $21 a month, boxycharm.com for info.