Advertisement

Join in
Mumsnet is supported by readers. All our writers obsessively research every product we recommend. When you buy through a link on our site we might earn commission but this never influences our product choices.

Best beauty boxes and subscriptions for 2022

Beauty boxes – bundles of products and make-up delivered straight to your door via a subscription – are by far the easiest (and most exciting) way to get your style fix, and they make an excellent gift too. Pick one that's right for you with these recommendations from Mumsnetters.

By Louise Baty | Last updated Jan 14, 2022

a selection of makeup products

Beauty boxes are a beauty addict’s ultimate dream. Gone are the day when you’d simply replace beauty products as they ran out or spend hours in the shops trying out every single lipstick sample on the back of your hand.

These days, you can look forward to tantalising packages of specially curated skincare products and makeup delivered straight to your door via a subscription. Beauty boxes are a great way to try new products and experiment with fresh makeup looks, all in the comfort of your own home.

Depending on which beauty box you choose, you can look forward to finding new makeup and skin care products, handy tools, fresh new perfume samples and more. Some may be more weighted towards skincare while others will focus on makeup. More expensive options may feature top brands and full-size products rather than dinky tester sizes found in the cheaper boxes.

So pick one that fits your own beauty bill with these sparkling recommendations from Mumsnetters.

1. Birchbox

Birchbox beauty box

Price: £13.95 for monthly subscription | Buy now from Birchbox

“I've had Birchboxes for a couple of years now and I love them. I always think it’s good value for money and a good range of products.” TravellingSpoon 

The original beauty box - and also still the best, according to Mumsnetters - Birchbox has been around since 2010. A popular beauty box choice on our Style & Beauty forums, Birchbox is loved by beauty obsessives for its beautiful presentation boxes crammed with gorgeous products.

Independent reviewers rate Birchbox for offering top-end beauty treats by brands including Dr Botanicals, Benefit, John Freda, Nuxe, This Works and Lise Watier. If you sign up, you can personalise your product offerings according to your skin and hair type each month to ensure you get the best selection for you.

The majority of products are minis but occasionally you’ll be treated to a full-size version. 

Need to know

  • Subscription service: Yes
  • Available plans: Monthly, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months
  • Option to cancel anytime: Yes, on the rolling monthly subscription

2. Best budget beauty box: Glossybox

Glossybox beauty box

Price:  £11.75 for monthly rolling subscription | Buy now from Glossybox

“I did Birchbox for six months and at the same time my friend did Glossybox. We definitely preferred Glossybox - more full-sized products and fewer repeats. [...] I don't have experience of any others but out of those two I'd go for Glossybox if I did it again.” RavenclawsRoar

Glossybox has been around almost as long as Birchbox and has become iconic amongst beauty fans for its cute, reusable pink boxes. 

Each month, you’ll receive five scrummy products, from big names including Nip + Fab, Anatomicals, Steve Laurant, NudeStix and Vitamesque. You can personalise your box to suit your preferences by filling in your account’s beauty profile. If you’re on a tight budget, this could be the box for you as it's only £11.75 per month, so long as you sign up for a full year. 

Reviewers praise Glossybox for offering mainly full-sized products. However one criticism is that some products are more suited to younger women rather than all age groups.

Need to know

  • Subscription service: Yes
  • Available plans: Monthly and 12 months
  • Option to cancel anytime: Yes, on the monthly rolling subscription

3. Best value beauty subscription: Beauty Pie

Beauty Pie beauty box

Price: From £5 per month | Buy now from Beauty Pie

“It's great. I have a £5 per month subscription and buy stuff every couple of months. Very good quality. I'm yet to be disappointed.” Lamentations

“I am another happy BP user. I like the serums and night treatments. The foundation is good and their colour match system was very accurate for my shade.” QueenofLouisiana

Beauty Pie won’t send you a monthly beauty box full of surprises. Instead, it offers a purse-friendly yearly subscription deal, allowing you to choose your own products for delivery.

For just £5 each month, you can choose products worth up to £50 (plus a bonus £50 on your first month) as long as you sign up for a year. For £10 per month, you can choose products worth up to £100 (plus a bonus £100 on your first month). For £20 a month, you’ll get £200 worth of products (plus a bonus £150 on your first month).

Beauty Pie labels itself as a members' beauty club, selling high-quality products at less than 80 percent of typical prices. Signing up means that you can choose products you really want, but some critics say that it’s not as exciting as other subscriptions because all the products are by Beauty Pie. 

Need to know

  • Subscription service: Yes - you can purchase without a subscription but won’t get the benefit of the knockdown prices
  • Available plans: Monthly and 12 months
  • Option to cancel anytime: Yes, on the monthly rolling subscription

4. Best skincare beauty box: Lookfantastic Beauty Box

Lookfantastic beauty box

Price: £15 for monthly rolling subscription | Buy now from Lookfantastic

“Lookfantastic. Got the sub for DD for Christmas - it's brilliant. Eight or nine full-sized goodies every month in a lovely box. Really good stuff as well.” BookMeOnTheSudExpress

 Lookfantastic is a popular beauty box with Mumsnetters. It’s not cheap; the lowest priced subscription option costs £13 per month, providing you sign up for a full year. But you can get your first box for £10 using the code TREATBB (valid on three-, six- and 12-month subscriptions).

The box is guaranteed to contain six products worth at least £50. It’s weighted towards top-quality skincare brands including Molton Brown, Eve Lom, Omorovicza and REN so it’s great for skincare addicts. That said, you’ll also receive the odd makeup, hair and nail treat along with a glossy magazine. Plus, subscribers receive a £5 discount on Lookfantastic.

Need to know

  • Subscription service: Yes, with options to buy unboxed items on the website
  • Available plans: Monthly, three months, six months and 12 months
  • Option to cancel anytime: Yes, with the monthly rolling contract

5. Best one-off beauty box: Roccabox

Roccabox beauty box

Price: £15 for monthly rolling subscription | Buy now from Roccabox

“I've had Roccabox for a few months now and love it! They've just announced they are upping the price a bit to be able to incorporate more luxury brands which I'm really excited about!” SnowWhitesRestingBitchFace

Roccabox bills itself as the ‘beauty expert-approved box of luxury products’ delivered to your door. You can opt for a monthly box or choose a one-off Limited Edition box such as the £10 Mystery Box or the festive Not Another Beauty Advent Calendar beauty box for £28, which is the best Christmas beauty box we’ve found. 

You’ll find a gorgeous selection of makeup, skincare, haircare and wellbeing treats from brands including Illamasqua, Doctors Formula and Hawaiian Tropic, and you’ll even find a cheeky bit of Cadbury chocolate in some of the boxes. 

Each month has been selected by Roccabox’s beauty expert team and has a different theme, such as vegan-only offerings, so you’re unlikely to ever get bored with the products you receive. The downside? You have to play £3.95 extra for postage and packaging on top of the subscription price.

Need to know

  • Subscription service: Yes
  • Available plans: Monthly, 3 months,  6 months and 12 months
  • Option to cancel anytime: Yes, with the monthly rolling contract

6. Best luxury beauty box: Cohorted

Cohorted beauty box

Price: £39.99 per month | Buy now from Cohorted

“My absolute favourite is Cohorted. High-end products worth more than the box. It's expensive but such a lovely treat every month.” Laaaaa

You’d need to be pretty much obsessed with beauty to spend £40 (or £39.99 to be exact) a month on your beauty box subscription. However, if you’re willing to splurge, Cohorted truly delivers (literally) and then some!

Packaged in sleek black boxes, you’ll find five high-end offerings worth over £100 in total each month from brands including Gucci, TooFaced, Lancome and Marc Jacobs. 

Reviewers praise Cohorted for including mainly full-size products - and we should think so too at THAT price - as well as for the useful booklet offering advice on getting the most out of your goodies.

Need to know

  • Subscription service: Yes
  • Available plans: Monthly rolling contract
  • Option to cancel anytime: Yes, you can cancel or pause at anytime 

7. Most flexible beauty box: Latest in Beauty

Price: £12.95 per month for monthly rolling contract | Buy now from Latest in Beauty

“I like Latest In Beauty because they let you choose your own items from a bunch of options. Their collections are good too, and there's usually a new one every month.” beguilingeyes

Great for beauty box newbies, Latest in Beauty is super flexible and offers lots of different options. You can choose the quantity of goodies you receive - from three products a month to a staggering nine products. And you can also choose exactly which goodies you’ll unbox - admittedly, this is not great if you like surprises but it does lower the risk of getting stuff you really don’t want or need.

Latest in Beauty also offers exciting themed boxes, some in aid of charity. You do have to pay £3.95 postage on top of your subscription though.

Need to know

  • Subscription service: Yes
  • Available plans: Monthly
  • Option to cancel anytime: Yes, with the rolling monthly contract

8. Best cruelty-free beauty box: LoveLula

LoveLula beauty box

Price: £14.95 for monthly rolling contract | Buy now from LoveLula

“I've had Birchbox, Glossybox and LoveLula. I would resubscribe to LoveLula more than the others as the products were bigger, better value for money and all organic/paraben-free etc…” Retailqueenie

This ethical beauty box is ideal for vegans and anyone who avoids using anything that isn’t cruelty-free as LoveLula are committed to only stocking organic, sustainable beauty products that aren't tested on animals. 

LoveLula collaborates with small brands as well as big names in ethical beauty. You’ll find products from clean beauty brands including L’Odaites, Walden, Joik and REN Skincare meaning that your skin will be as clear as your conscience every single month.

Need to know

  • Subscription service: Yes
  • Available plans: One-off box, monthly, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months
  • Option to cancel anytime: Yes, with the rolling monthly contract

9. Best perfume beauty box: scentaddict

Scentaddict beauty box

Price: £12 per month | Buy now from The Fragrance Shop

“The Fragrance shop do scentaddict where you are sent 8ml (about a month’s supply) of a different perfume every month. You choose which one and you can swap and change or keep the same one every month.” queensvillage1

With this beauty box subscription from The Fragrance Shop, you can sample different fragrances every single month. It’s the ideal choice if you’re the indecisive type when it comes to perfumes. 

Each box includes one travel-sized atomiser bottle, containing 100 sprays, from a choice of hundreds of top-name brands such D&G, Chanel, Gucci, Tom Ford and Viktor&Rolf.

If you find a perfume you love and would like to buy it in a full-size bottle, you can redeem the £12 subscription cost against the price, either online or in-store, and if you find your forever perfume and don’t want to try any more, it’s really easy to cancel the subscription too. 

Need to know

  • Subscription service: Yes
  • Available plans: 6 or 12 months
  • Option to cancel anytime: Yes

10. Best vegan beauty box: TheVeganKind

The Vegan Kind beauty box

Price: £15 plus £3.95 postage for every box | Buy now from The Vegan Kind

“I get a Vegan Kind food and Vegan Kind beauty box (makeup and toiletries) every two months and love them. I'm not vegan but it's nice to discover new things that don’t harm animals.” CharlieCoco

This eco-conscious, vegan beauty box will land on your doorstep every two months rather than monthly. But each beauty box is crammed full of skincare and beauty goodies including cleanser, moisturiser, eyeliner, lip balm and perfume - and there’s zero animal testing involved either.

Cruelty-free brands you’ll find in this beauty box include MUA Makeup Academy, Q+A, Dr Botanicals and Foamie. Payment plans are flexible - you can pay per box, pay in bulk once a year or choose something in between.

Need to know

  • Subscription service: Yes
  • Available plans: Bi-monthly
  • Option to cancel anytime: Yes

Are beauty boxes worth it?

If you’re not a big beauty fan, you may find that subscription boxes send more goodies than you can actually use, although it’s a great way of trying different products and brands.

However, if you’re a beauty addict who is totally crazy about sampling new products (and we’re not judging you, really we’re not), then having a beauty box could work out as being a great money-saver for you, so long as you resist the urge to splurge in the shops too.

How much are monthly beauty boxes?

Some subscriptions are pricier than others, but this means the boxes contain more luxury brands and/or full-sized products rather than dinky tester sizes. 

Beauty boxes vary in price depending on their contents and whether you purchase them on a monthly basis or sign up to an annual subscription. Generally, most boxes, including Glossybox and Birchbox , are £12 to £15 per month.

The cheapest subscription boxes we’ve found are by Beauty Pie, and they start at under £5 per month, providing you sign up for a full year.

The most expensive beauty boxes we’ve found are the Look Incredible Deluxe Beauty Box which costs an eye-watering £35 per month, and Cohorted which costs £39.99 per month.

Are all beauty boxes part of a subscription service?

Generally, beauty boxes are available through a subscription, but some brands offer the chance to purchase one-off boxes as well as offering limited-edition boxes.

What is the best beauty box in the UK? 

The best beauty box in the UK is the Birchbox - the original beauty box and still the best for presentation, contents and value for money according to Mumsnetters and independent reviewers.  

How we chose our recommendations

Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation from other beauty fans, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which beauty subscription boxes were rated by Mumsnet users.

We compiled a list of the beauty boxes they loved for products, style and value for money. We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which beauty boxes were recommended by beauty experts and bloggers - and what customer reviews said about them too. Having collated all that information, we picked the beauty boxes that we thought would make the best buys.

Advertisement

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.