Which of these Innovative Beauty Boxes Is Right for You?

Which of these Innovative Beauty Boxes Is Right for You_Openletr Reviews.png

If you are anything like me, then you love trying new beauty products. And if everything from skincare to makeup, haircare and beyond excites you, I have some good news. Instead of doing loads of research before testing out products, you can get a curated box full of some of the best delivered right to your door each and every month. And what makes these subscription boxes even more tempting is that they offer an impressive value for every budget.

But with all of the beauty boxes available, it can be difficult to choose the right one based on your preferences and needs. I scoured the world wide web and discovered the latest and most indulgent that you are sure to adore. In some, you’ll discover brands you’ve never heard of and, in others, you’ll have full size or deluxe samples of the most coveted beauty products in the world of pampering. You’ll get to trial goodies you’ve been dying to test and things you’ve never even considered.

So, let’s find out where you should begin on your journey to the perfect beauty box.

Allure Beauty Box

The Allure Beauty Box has been around for quite a while, but it continues to blow some of the others out of the water. This monthly subscription service features 5 to 6 of the most trendy and Allure beauty-editor-approved products. Each month, you receive deluxe samples or full-size products along with a handy clutch to store all of your goodies. Although the pouches sent are sleek and chic, it can be a hassle to collect up to 12 little baggies per year, so keep that in mind if you don’t like clutter (I do wish it would offer a way to opt out of the bags after the first month, even better, for an additional discount).

This box contains mid-range to luxury brands and costs only $15 per month plus free shipping valued between $50 to $90. As a signup bonus, you do get your first box for only $10 with a new-member gift included. For example, the June new-member gift was SUNDAY RILEY C.E.O Glow Vitamin C + Turmeric Face Oil ($40) and Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream ($35) with a mystery gift for July, so it does change regularly. For some, this could be reason enough to choose Allure.

The Allure Beauty Box features universal products compared to other boxes; meaning that Allure selects very wearable shades of eyeshadow, lip colors, and won’t pick skincare that will be too intense for a given skin type. This is due to the fact that it doesn’t offer any customization quiz, so you cannot personalize your box. With that being said, there will be some products that not everyone can use. A couple of months ago, the editors included the St. Tropez Bronzing Water Gel. Although some may love it, if you have a deeper complexion or dark skin, it wouldn’t necessarily interest you. In these scenarios, I gift the products to friends and family who will get more use out of them. Note, however, that these products can be kept and used for new seasons, so even for dark skinned or deep complexions, the St. Tropez Bronzing Water Gel could be a great transitional care from winter to spring to even your skin tone out.

Additionally, Allure provides discount codes for just about every product, so you can repurchase your favorites. And it won’t just give you these products and expect you to know everything about them. It includes a handy pamphlet with tips and tricks on how to use the products. This way, you always have the guidance of the Allure beauty experts.

If $15 per month seems too pricey for you, you can save $30 by signing up for a full year for $150. And since beauty subscription boxes make amazing gifts, Allure also offers gift options for 3 months, 6 months, or 12 months. For the budget buyers out there, it works with Ebates so you can earn a decent percentage of cash back when you sign up. I don’t expect this to happen, but in case you’re unsatisfied, you can cancel, and won’t be charged for future boxes. Do keep in mind that you won’t be refunded once charged. Therefore, if you’ve been debited for July and then cancel, you will still receive the July box and the cancellation will begin in August.

BeautyFIX by Dermstore

If you are unaware, Dermstore is a one-stop shop for all things high-quality beauty and has been since 1999. It offers a huge selection of professional formulas, natural beauty, and specialty brands from across the globe. Due to its growing success, it launched its own beauty subscription box called BeautyFIX with a curated selection of makeup, skincare, haircare, and more. And if this one turns out to be the box for you, order it now, it sells out fast!

BeautyFIX is a simple subscription box as it is sold as a one-time purchase for $34.95 or on a monthly renewal basis for $24.95. This box also includes free shipping, and allows you to cancel anytime if you choose the subscription service. And if you are unsure about it, the big pro is that you can test it for one month before committing to the subscription. For $34.95 or less, you will receive a box that consistently has a value of more than $100. Again, if you happen to be on a budget, there is an additional cashback through Ebates. Also, you will likely find a coupon code for $10 off your first box by doing some research.

The BeautyFIX box ships full, deluxe, and travel size items. For instance, the June box had for a theme “Beach Beauty” and included a full-size Nia 24 Age Recovery ($60), full-size COOLA Mineral Liplux ($18), and a deluxe sample of the Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask along with four other deluxe products from reputable brands.

Now, this box is highly rated and seems to rarely disappoint customers given its extensive variety and high quality, but with that, there is no personalization. So you could get a deeply hydrating moisturizer which will be difficult to use during summer if you have oily skin. Again, you can always gift these items to a friend. If you do choose the pay-as-you-go, you can see the selection of cosmetics before ordering it so that is a plus. And with the subscription, you can skip a month that doesn’t tickle your fancy with a $10-premium for that convenience.


NoMakeNoLife is not your average beauty subscription box. It is a beauty box that encloses 8-9 Japanese and Korean beauty products. This is ideal for those beauty lovers who want unique products they may have never heard of. Not only do you explore a myriad of interesting products, but you also enjoy a little sneak peek into another beauty culture. This box comes with free shipping worldwide, and has a variety of payment tiers to choose from. You can pay $35 per month, $100.50 for a 3-month subscription (saving $4.50), $192 for a 6-month subscription (saving $18), or get the best deal with the yearly option for $378 (saving $42). Plus, when you head to the site, there is a pop-up wheel that can be spinned to win a coupon or a bonus gift.

The brands featured in NoMakeNoLife include Etude House, DHC, TONYMOLY, and so many more. The box provides everything from mascaras and powders to face masks and beauty tools. Again, there is no personalization based on your skin tone or type, but from past shipments there aren’t too many complexion products included to make the lack of customization a concern.

NoMakeNoLife offers an exclusive program called Streaks for their returning customers. The longer you have your subscription for, the more points you earn. You can then redeem those points to buy items on the site or for discounts among other perks. As a warning, if you cancel or skip a month, you have to start from scratch. So this is only a great benefit if you remain subscribed; otherwise, you miss out on the offer. And when it comes to canceling, you can easily do it on the website without any hassle. NoMakeNoLife does advise to cancel before the next billing date to prevent an unwanted renewal.

TestTube by NewBeauty

The TestTube beauty box is not a box but a tube in a box. Sleek. It is also a luxury beauty sampling experience. And that is easy to believe when you hear the value. It is a sampler delivered to you every other month for $29.95 worth over $150. This tube of 8, or sometimes more, full or travel size cosmetics is curated by the NewBeauty editors. Along with your subscription of TestTube, you receive the NewBeauty magazine shipped separately. On top of the amazing value, each sampler comes with a guide to the products as well as promotions to repurchase.

The buying options are as follows… By signing up for a bi-monthly, you pay $29.95 every other month. If you choose a yearly subscription providing 6 tubes you pay $149.75, which is the best deal with a $29.95 saving. Or you can buy a gift for 6 months or a year of subscription paid upfront. On the downside, you have to pay $8.95 for shipping per tube for the bi-monthly, and $44.75 paid upfront for the annual subscription. However, the cancellation policy seems to mimic most other subscription services with key dates. With the bi-monthly, you must cancel by the 10th of the billing month so that you are not charged for the next shipment. It is a similar policy for the annual subscription with the exception that by cancelling midway through, you will not be refunded for unused time. Also, if you cancel by the 10th of the month before your subscription anniversary date, you will not be charged moving forward.

Being that TestTube is the only of these beauty boxes that do not offer free shipping, it is definitely a turn-off. And although it is not just any old beauty box as you’ll get to test luxury items in large sizes, some of the most coveted items featured are also available in other boxes. In the past, TestTube has included Derma E Vitamin C Peel ($23.95), Sunday Riley A+ High Dose Retinoid Serum ($85), and Perricone MD High Potency Classic Face Firming Serum ($99). So yes, there is amazing value, because just one of these items costs more than the entire box. However, due to the shipping fee, number of items received compared to the other options and lack of personalization, TestTube is higher risk.

Beauty subscription boxes have really amped up the level in recent years. They went from offering overstocked products in unflattering colors to shipping full-size luxury items for a fraction of the cost. In reality, each and every one of the boxes I discussed is a good value. I think you would be more than happy with any of them. Clearly, the most budget-friendly option is the Allure Beauty Box and all of the women at OpenLetr happen to be subscribed to it. It offers a nice selection of coveted products in generous sizes. I also like that it is quite minimal, as I have an influx of beauty products and this doesn’t overload my collection.

Now, if I were to overlook the cost of each box, I would say that BeautyFIX and TestTube are sort of tied. TestTube has the best value in terms of product, as it offers the most full-size and luxury items, but paying for shipping goes against my coupon lady lifestyle. Therefore, my choice for either one would have to depend on the selection of items available the month I sign up. And as much as trying out products from other cultures entices me and so long as I am signed up to one box only, I am much more likely to get excited for brand names I am familiar with like Sunday Riley and Peter Thomas Roth, so I will eventually add NoMakeNoLife as a secondary box and a way to explore further on a regular basis.

I hope this in-depth guide of the latest and most innovative beauty boxes helps you make a decision. If not and you still can’t choose, why not try them all?