Subscription boxes – Birchbox, Julep Maven, Beauty Army

I’ve been getting a few of the variety of subscription beauty boxes for months now. My first was Birchbox. Until I started writing this review I didn’t realize that I’d been subscribing to it for over a year! I’ve gotten some great boxes and some very disappointing ones but I still enjoy the surprise of receiving a box like this for only $10 a month which includes shipping. Here’s a review of my first box. The boxes started off great and I received several great full size items like a Stila Puppy eyeshadow and a Laura Geller blush. There have been lots of deluxe samples like Zoya mini polishes, Nars multiple in South Beach and lots of skincare items. Sometimes there’s a food treat (a yummy Kind bar for example), sometimes something goofy like paper coasters that advertised a company. I did get to the point of wanting to stop but then the January box came and renewed my interest in the box. I received a full size Stila Smudge Stick in Moray (a green I needed!), deluxe samples of C O Bigelow Shampoo and Conditioner (Lavender & Peppermint), a mini Borghese Cura Forte Moisture Intensifer (a serum), and the cutest mini moisturizer in a wooden pot by TAY (Cucumber Day Moisturizer with Mango Butter). In addition there was a tiny packet of By Terry Baume de Rose. This box has renewed my interest in Birchbox.

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January Birchbox

contents of January Birchbox

I’ve been receiving Julep Maven’s  monthly box since August. It’s $19.99 a month (including shipping) and it’s been a pleasure for someone who loves polishes as much as I do. I’ve got a very nice selection of Julep polishes now plus lots of treatments from them including their Essential Cuticle Oil, topcoat and basecoat, Facial for Hands, SPF Handcream. The list goes on.   You take a style test that helps select your first box but you always have the option to change what’s in your box. I haven’t taken advantage of that yet but I probably will. The quality of Julep is terrific even if all the colors haven’t been ones I’d have picked on my own. My January box contained Pomegranate Body Scrub (I already have the Pomegrante Body Cream from a previous box), Julep Nail Therapy, plus 2 polishes in Maria (shimmering platinum rose) and Anne (ultra saturated tropical violet crème). I’m an “American Beauty”.  I love Julep polishes and I love getting this box!

Julep January American Beauty

Julep January contents

Julep January American Beauty information

The newest box in my arsenal is Beauty Army  which just launched in January. There was a mad rush to get in on this box so I never took their test. I don’t know if that would have mattered though. I was given a choice of 9 samples and able to pick up to 6 of them. Well of course I picked 6! The box itself is great and will be perfect to keep items in. The picture doesn’t do it justice since the words on it are black on black. It’s like a mini cigar box (do people still know what a cigar box is??). The items came wrapped in pink tissue. Unfortunately they are only samples although I did receive one full size item. I ended up with minis of Control Corrective Botanical Soothing Cream, Cell Ceuticals Neocell exfoliator, Strivectin –EV Get Even Brightening Serum deluxe sample, Chella Anti-Fatigue Eye Mask Kit single, Boo Boo Cover Up in Medium which is a teeny sample in a jar and a full size brown sparkly eyeshadow by My Face Cosmetics BlingTone called sp”ice”y. I’m most excited about the Chella Anti-Fatigue Eye Mask kit since Lisa reviewed it and loved it getting me jealous. The box was $12 which includes shipping. I’m reserving judgement on this since it’s too soon to know what they’ll come up with in the future.

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new Beauty Army box

information for Beauty Army

contents of first Beauty Army box

These boxes are the wave of the future. We’re going to see more and more as time passes. Knowing me I’ll try others since I can’t help but love getting something in the mail- even if I’m paying for it! If you know of others that you’ve had success with please leave a comment. I’m always interested in the latest and greatest. — Marcia


  1. I was very disappointed in Birchbox so I quit. I did get BeautyFix for about 2 years but the products didn’t seem to change and I grew weary of the same selection time after time. I’m looking for a new sample kit to try so I will be interested to hear your thoughts on Beauty Army.

  2. These subscription boxes are gaining prominence here in SG too! I think they make nice surprises but I have too much to give them enough attention, although they’d certainly be something I’d go for, once I’ve culled my stash substantially.

  3. Oh, the US boxes seem to have more full sized makeup! That’s so awesome. 🙂

  4. I gave up on BB after 3 months–all I was getting was little samples, no makeup, kindof disappointing. I’m rethinking it tho….seeing your pictures doesn’t help 😉

    I’m going to be doing a HUGE review of subscription boxes since I subscribe to *a lot*. Email me (or sign up on my blog) if you want to know when it’s up.

  5. Cindy (myfuel) says:

    I’ve never tried any of the subscription boxes, but have been interested for a long while now. Reading about disappointing boxes and items is what keeps me from trying.

  6. Love this comparison. I can’t wait to sign up for Beauty Army.

  7. I just tried a new one called Green Grab Bag which has natural, organic products for $12.95 monthly. Packaging was beautiful. Was not overly thrilled with my first month only because several of the samples were those free, envelopes tear away types that only give you one or applications. Other products were I will try it one or two more months to give it a fair shot. I like natural & organic products.

  8. I had a short subscription to Birchbox and got too many perfume & lotions! I took a break to see what 2012 would bring and am ecstatic that alternatives are popping up everywhere. I just signed up for MyGlam and can’t wait to see what I get. Beauty Army is definitely next on my list and Loose Button from Canada as soon as the open up to the US!!

  9. Tina, I don’t wear fragrance but it always makes a nice gift or stocking stuffer. I donate sample sizes to a charity’s fundraising effort (they make goodie bags for the attendees) so even though I don’t use some of the samples, they go to a good home.
    I hadn’t heard of Loose Button before. Thanks for the mention.

  10. I don’t know if I’ve heard of Green Grab Bag but I’ll keep an eye out for it. Thanks for the info.

  11. Cindy, there’s always a treasure inside even if they aren’t all perfect.

  12. Thanks for the information. I can’t wait to read your post.

  13. Cindy, I love opening the boxes. It’s like a mini Christmas once a month.

  14. I had just cancelled my BirchBox subscription for January and of course something nice comes in it. It had gotten to where I was receiving repeat’s of items, the boxes were getting later and I was missing some of the best items in my boxes even though they showed up what I was shipped. I may give it another few months and try again, I was pleased with them earlier in my subscription.

    I love my Julep boxes and will have to try more of the ones you have listed.

    Thanks for bringing us an update on them.

  15. My first Deborah Lippmann polish was a mini that I got in a Birchbox. I was pretty impressed. I love it when I get polish. Not so happy when I get perfumes because there’s allergies in our home, and everything in between is mostly a bonus. Glad Birchbox got back to worthwhile because November and December had me a little worried.

  16. The January Birchbox was the best in a long time. They had a survey a while back and I think they listened!

  17. Oh, i’d have loved a Lippmann polish. I do love my two Zoya ones I’ve gotten in the box though.

  18. I just signed up for Julep Maven and I am in love with their stuff, I also have a BirchBox subscription and I was happy with my first box. If I get more money for subscription boxes I plan on getting Beauty Army 🙂

  19. beautyin says:

    I recently quit Beauty Army. It really didn’t have anything special. But watch for Glossy Box because we are going to review that soon and it’s fantastic! A much better buy.

  20. Check out another monthly subscription box – Lucid Box – it’s jewelry for only $26/month!

    monthly jewelry subscription box

  21. I just got in on Birchbox this month and so far I’m not impressed, but I’m going to give it at least another month. I’ve been getting Cravebox for a while and love it. I’m most excited about Popsugar’s Must Have bag which I received last month and am excited to get again.


  22. Becky I came so close to ordering the new Popsugar bag but I was worried about what it might contain. I think I might give it a one month shot though since there’s a $10 off coupon for the first month. I sure hope it’s cosmetic related.

  23. beautyin, I don’t know if it will have cosmetics in it this time, but it did have some last month. Take a look at my blog post to see what was inside:

    I thought it was well worth the money.


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