Beauty and skin care products, both conventional and clean, can be pricey. Depending on where you shop and the kinds of results you are
willing to pay for looking for, transitioning to non-toxic products can cost a small fortune — especially if you do it all at once. I have no problem with this and spend an unreasonable amount of my disposable income collecting bottles from various brands. But I also understand not everyone wants to forgo vacations and their retirement contributions in order to try as many products as I do.
I’m happy to say non-toxic beauty departments are expanding at brick and mortar retailers like Whole Foods and some Nordstrom stores, but the truth remains that unless you live in an incredibly marketable city (I’m looking at you, San Francisco!) there aren’t many stores carrying natural beauty brands that allow you to sample the product before you plunk down your cash. You buy from online retailers, sight — and smell — unseen. This makes ordering something as simple as body lotion feel risky. Will the scent be to your liking? Will it be too light or too greasy for your particular skin type? Can you return it if the product isn’t a good fit for you? For store credit or a full refund? And do you have to pay the return shipping?
If you’re a product junkie like I am, you’re not just looking for the staples. Every month there’s a new brand I discover and/or new products released from brands I already love. I get the happy screams! I want to try everything. Which means I have to buy everything. All it takes is a few moments of weakness and a wifi connection and I’ve trashed my credit score and emptied my bank account.
Enter the wonder, the thrill, the answer to my “gimme gimmes” and overspending, as well as the most budget friendly way to try new brands and products: subscription beauty boxes!
There are so many clean beauty subscription boxes to choose from and each one offers something a little different. Most are delivered to your door monthly and are packed with products that are well over the cost of the subscription itself, which makes the value nearly unbeatable. (In August I received a $250 facial oil in a subscription box that costs roughly $54 every other month!) Additionally, it is the most fantastic way to experience new products and learn about new brands. There were a number of brands i was hesitant to try and items I’d dismissed as “not for me” when shopping online, only to receive them in a beauty box and immediately fall in love. I really cannot recommend subscription beauty boxes enough! Read on to discover my favorites.
Art of Organics
The Art of Organics Box is a clean and cruelty free box that focuses mainly on skin care and rarely, if ever, sends makeup products. It ships monthly and features 2-4 full size products that are curated to reflect the theme of the month. The products are most often from two different brands. Each box is valued at $70+ and the price is $39/month, billed in 2, 6, or 12 month prepaid intervals. The products are not revealed until just before the box ships.
Bonus! The Art of Organics also retails products through their online store and subscription members get 15% off all purchases made in the Art of Organics store.
The Beauty Heroes Box is one of my favorites! Their clean beauty box focuses mainly on skin care and rarely sends makeup products. It ships month and usually features one full size product — the hero product — and either a deluxe sample size or full size second product, called the sidekick. The two products are always from the same brand. The products are not revealed until after the box ships. Each box is valued at $90+. There are three prepaid subscription choices: 3 months at $42.95/month, 6 months at $39.95/month, and 12 months at $37.96/month.
Beauty Heroes has an online store that features a seriously impressive array of brands, and box subscribers get 15% off all purchases. Additionally, the store features a “Love More” deluxe sample size gift with purchases (GWP) of $125+. The “Love More” GWP changes every month so if you place a large order or buy your “big ticket” items with with Beauty Heroes, you get a discount on the products and the opportunity to try yet another green beauty product.
Oh, Boxwalla. You confusing little box of luxury, you! The Boxwalla Box is unlike any other subscription box I’ve tried. It ships every other month for the price of $49.95. The box follows no rules. How many products per box? They won’t be pinned down by such silly details. What is the value of each box? Again, details! What is the focus of the box? Exquisite luxury. (For real tho. August’s box is a $250 bottle of facial oil. Legit.) It generally features high-end, luxury skin care, but every now and then a natural (expensive) candle or a non-toxic (expensive) cosmetic product will make an appearance.
Boxwalla reveals the monthly products on Instagram, slowly, through riddles. One post might feature the lines of a poem, the next plays lyrics in a song. Perhaps the third post shows a peek of an art print. It’s delicious, the teasers leading up to the reveal, and it’s so fun to read the comments and guess along. I’s worth noting that Boxwalla does offer one-time purchases of the box, instead of automatically renewing subscriptions. But move quickly. Once the products of the box are revealed? Forget it. The box is sold out before your browser is able to load the page to purchase it. It’s that good.
The Detox Box
The Detox Box is new to the subscription box scene, debuting last year in October, and I think it is quickly finding its way. All boxes have featured skin care products, with most have 2-3 items per box from one brand. It ships monthly, and each box is valued at $90+. The price per box varies, as The Detox Box is one of the few boxes that can be purchased monthly. One month is $49.95 and you have the option to cancel at any time. However, there is also the option to prepay for 6 months at $44.95/month or 12 months at $39.95/month.
The Detox Market is the online store, and unlike Art of Organics and Beauty Heroes, the beauty box was born from the store and not the other way around. However, subscribers do not receive an There are even a number of physical storefronts in the country. If you are lucky enough to live in a city where there’s a Detox Market, 1) I’m jealous and 2) go! Go now! They are incredibly knowledgable about products, have a generous return policy, and practically every clean beauty brand under the sun, including an overwhelming amount of makeup products. Oh. And they do samples!
Other Subscription Boxes