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Beauty gurus and influencers alike have been known to spout their love of the latest and greatest beauty subscriptions, but unfortunately as Canadians we aren’t always able to get in on the fun. While boxes like Sephora Play and Birchbox unfortunately don’t ship to Canada, there are still some other, equally fun subscriptions that do.
To see what our options are like north of the border, I tested out five beauty subscription boxes to compare what you get inside, and whether they’re actually worth it.
What it is: Four times a year, FabFitFun ships out a seasonal box of goodies loaded with all things fashion, beauty, and wellness.
What you get: Each box contains over $200 worth of full-sized products from top name brands, including fitness gear, jewelry, purses and skincare, and more. Each box offers members the option to choose which items will be included or keep them a surprise, as well as the ability to shop for add-on items for even more fun.
How much it costs: Sign up for either a seasonal plan, which costs $50 USD per box, or an annual subscription for $180, which offers a $20 savings over the course of the year.
The verdict: I’ve been a FabFitFun subscriber for a couple of years now, and although not strictly a beauty box, there are enough skincare, hair care and makeup options to choose from that it does feel like one. I think this subscription is a great choice if you’re not a fan of shopping, but still want to try out new brands and products. The price does run much higher than many other subscription boxes but the value for what you pay really is there, making it well worth the cost.
What it is: A beauty subscription service that’s perfect for the fragrance-obsessed, Skylar Scent Club delivers a new, limited-edition scent to your door each month.
What you get: Each delivery contains one travel-sized roll-on fragrance, with the catch that these scents aren’t sold anywhere else. Each exclusive fragrance is selected to suit the season, ranging from bright and vibrant for the summer, to warm and rich scents for the winter. In addition to the monthly perfume, Scent Club members also save 10% on all regular Skylar purchases.
How much it costs: Available as a month to month purchase for $20 USD, there’s also the option to bundle your order for either a three, six, or 12 month subscription to receive added savings.
The verdict: If you or someone you love is a big fan of fragrances, this subscription service is a must-try. It can be hit or miss, since choosing a scent is such a personal preference, but each travel-sized fragrance comes in an adorable box, which means that even if you aren’t a fan of that month’s scent it still makes for a lovely gift for someone else. And if a scent’s description doesn't seem like your cup of tea, there’s also the option to skip a month, or swap it for a rollerball of one of Skylar’s six signature scents.
What it is: A monthly subscription from The Detox Market, Canada’s number one source for all things green beauty.
What you get: Each month’s box includes a selection of products from a featured brand, and includes at least $110 worth of product. Past boxes have included cult classic brands like Kjaer Weis and Indie Lee, as well as newcomers like Naturopathica and Captain Blankenship.
How much it costs: While a single month’s box starts at $80 CAD, you can also subscribe in three or six month increments, which lowers the cost of each box down to $65 or $58 per month.
The verdict: I love that the Detox Box offers a great value for the products you receive, as well as the opportunity to test out a range of products from a single brand at a time, however, it’s definitely more of an investment than some other beauty box subscriptions. Since there’s not an option for add-ons or personalization, this one-size fits all approach may also be a turn-off for some potential subscribers.
What it is: A personalized selection of beauty products specifically tailored to your preferences for a sampling experience unlike any other.
What you get: Each month, members receive five deluxe samples from a selection of over 300 beauty brands, along with a travel pouch to keep all your goodies in while you’re on the go. Sign up by completing a beauty profile, which is then used to provide products recommended just for you.
How much it costs: Each month’s subscription costs $12 USD, making the Ipsy Glam Bag an affordable monthly treat. If you’re looking to splurge, there’s also the Glam Bag Plus, which offers five full-size products for $25 USD per month.
The verdict: If you’re looking to try out a wide variety of products (seriously, there’s everything from skincare to haircare to makeup) but don’t want to spend very much trying them out, IPSY is a great, affordable choice. I also like that when it comes to your subscription, the more products you test and review through your account, the better it gets at predicting and sending products you’ll actually want. My only issue with IPSY is that every delivery includes a makeup pouch, and there’s really only so many of those that one person actually needs.
What it is: A subscription box that brings together the best of cruelty-free, non-toxic, and plant-based beauty products, all in convenient sample sizes.
What you get: Each box includes an assortment of four beauty picks, including a diverse mix of makeup, hair care, body & skincare curated to match your unique beauty profile. Each month’s box contains over $50 worth of product, but there’s also the PV Plus Box, which contains over $100 worth of product if you’re looking for a more luxurious subscription.
How much it costs: Subscribe to the Petit Vour Beauty Box for $23 USD a month, along with the option for a three month, six month, or 12 month subscription that offers extra savings on each box. As for the PV Plus Box, it starts at $28 USD per month, and also can be bundled in three or six month subscriptions.
The verdict: This box is almost like a hybrid between the IPSY Glam Bag and The Detox Box, since it combines indie green beauty brands in a more wallet-friendly sample format. I love that all the products included are vegan and cruelty-free, making this a great subscription for the socially-conscious shopper.