Ever gone to Sephora, purchased a $15 MAC eye shadow and brought it home, only to discover that “Miss Piggy Pink” just isn’t your color? Or, in a rush to make your next class, have you grabbed a $25 bottle of Clinique moisturizer and woken up the morning after trying it to find you’ve developed a serious case of hives? Enter the Beauty Box, the latest development in high-end beauty products. The idea was launched in 2010, when Birchbox created the first model.
The “best way to discover beauty,” Birchbox works to revolutionize the way women buy cosmetics. When you join, you fill out a profile, describing specific attributes to your hair, skin and even your level of knowledge regarding makeup. Then, for the same amount of money you paid for “Miss Piggy Pink” (which is hopefully long gone in some landfill by now), you receive an entire boxful of beauty product samples each month. Thus, you have acquired a month’s worth of skincare, makeup, and fragrance samples (and with them the ability to discover a nice, neutral shade of shadow.)
After Birchbox debuted this innovative idea, dozens of other companies followed suit, each with a unique niche. For luxury goods, try Glossybox, which offers five large samples of brands such as Oscar de La Renta and Estee Lauder for $21 a month. If you’re picky (and when it comes to beauty, who isn’t) look for Beauty Army, one of the only boxes that allow you to pick your six samples. Goodebox and Eco-Emi both specialize in eco-friendly products, while Beauty Fix delivers larger samples every three months. The disclaimer? No matter your choice of beauty box, even if a month’s delivery doesn’t hold your perfect shade of polish, you can be sure you’ll have a ton of fun trying each one on.