Saturday, February 16, 2013

Beauty Subscription Boxes Comparison

I've compared six of the most popular beauty subscription boxes based on the information in my Subscription Box Directory. In categorizing all the boxes, I have attempted to differentiate, if at all possible, the given box from the rest in the batch by including some"highlights" on each one. It was important for me to include this observation because, when I was researching the “myriad” of boxes out there, I found myself putting down short summary notes on each to help me remember it somehow.   

The highlights should be helpful if you are trying to compare a few subscription boxes within the same category – for example, I’m looking to subscribe to a Beauty Box (I know – it’s a miracle I’m still not subscribed to one! Maybe because I love my local Sephora too much...) and I built a quick comparison table of the most popular boxes to help me decide which one I should go with. Take a look:

So, I went with comparing 6 of what I believed to be the most popular (or most talked about) beauty subscription boxes on the market. Apart from Birchbox (one of the earliest entrants and currently, the biggest one on the market), it was very difficult for me to differentiate among what these beauty subscriptions had to offer simply by looking at the individual websites - they all sounded similar. I was interested in some specific comparisons, namely: 
  • price, 
  • what sub-categories were mostly covered, 
  • number and size of products delivered, 
  • if subscribers had a choice in product selection and 
  • any additional perks that the subscription offered. 
I also wanted to know how "popular" the beauty box is and I used the number of Facebook likes as a proxy to that... e.g. the more likes, the more popular the subscription service. While not 100% accurate, it does give me some indication of the size, popularity factor and also, of how long the company has been in business (e.g. a lower number of likes might be attributable to the fact that a company is newer on the market).

So, based on that comparison, I found that while all of the 6 beauty boxes "customize" your box based on your beauty profile, only one of those lets you choose the specific products to go into the box (Beauty Army). Also, since I dislike just getting and paying for foil packet samples (I already get those for free from Sephora), the size of the items was important to me. While four out of the six boxes say they deliver deluxe size samples, only two of those also deliver full-size products (Ipsy and The Look Bag), with just one specifying the number of full size products included (The Look Bag).

So, while now I still plan on checking some reviews and information on the individual beauty subscription services' websites, I'll only do it for the ones that I short-listed based on comparing them along those key highlights important to me.

How do you choose a new subscription box among the many that are available today? What do you compare them on - quick facts or simply "word-of-mouth" & friends' recommendations? What do you think of my comparison?

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