7 Subscription Boxes I've Tried / Mainly Marta :: A Motherhood + Lifestyle Blog



What started as a digital diary to document a newfound journey as a stay at home mom / wife has quickly evolved into my own little corner on the internet where I share all that life brings my way -- the good, the bad, and those "aha!" moments. All with a hint of sarcasm, a dash of truth and bold European wit. Thanks for following along!

7 Subscription Boxes I've Tried

In my 50 facts About Me post, 
I mentioned that I went through a subscription box phase.
& I promised to write a post on all the boxes I've tried, 
so this is me making good on my promise.
Subscription boxes are small boxes that are filled with goodies whether it be food, makeup, clothes, or anything else that you can think of. These boxes are shipped to you either monthly or seasonally. 
Here are the 7 boxes I've tried and my thoughts about if they're worth it or not. 
⇉ click the title of each subscription to be directed to their official page & learn more about their subscription plans 
ipsy [$10 a month]
this was my first subscription box ever, so naturally, I was very excited for it. ipsy is a little makeup bag that comes to your door with four to five beauty samples in it. After you receive a bag (or as ipsy would call it a "glam bag"), you go online to their website and rate the items you received  The idea being that the more items you rate, the better they can cater to your makeup style when sending you future samples. As an extra incentive, the reviews rack up points that you could redeem later on full size beauty products. At first I really liked this subscription, but the excitement wore off when they kept sending me samples of colors that I hated like purples, greens, and bright reds -- even though I was an avid reviewer. I was also annoyed that they never sent me a palette or something big, like the products they advertised in the emails they sent me for each month. I always happened to get really small samples which made me feel like I wasn't getting my money's worth. I would check the hashtags on Instagram every once in awhile and I saw quite a few people get really cute palettes and colors, but they just weren't coming my way.. so that made it even more disappointing. I ended up subscribing to ipsy for a whole year because it was cheaper in the long run (you get a free bag if you subscribe yearly), but I started to getting annoyed with it by month five. I finally decided it was time to canceled it around month eight -- thinking they'll refund me the remaining four months, but instead, I received the remaining four bags in my subscription period and then the bags stopped coming. Another thing I really disliked was the actual bag they sent each month. I know that's something that everyone loves about ipsy, but I just felt like a hoarder when I stuffed yet another little bag (that I found practically useless) in my drawer. I kept the first bag and opted to give the bags to my mom and little sister who surprisingly found good uses for them, but if I am going to be honest, I really would have preferred a cardboard box that I could recycle. I will say that through ipsy, I found my favorite exfoliator and the glam bag did expose me to a few products that I really loved using, so even though I canceled my subscription, it wasn't all bad -- I just wanted bigger products. 
{Rating: 6/10}


e.l.f play beautifully box [$19.99 every 8 weeks]: 
I actually really loved this subscription. The e.l.f. play beautifully box is a cardboard box filled with only e.l.f products -- which is nice because the packaging and aesthetic is always on point! The brand e.l.f stands for eyes, lips, face and they are known to be a really affordable makeup line. It's an added bonus that this makeup brand happens to be infused with minerals, is vegan and cruelty free! I used to always pick up e.l.f. brushes at Target because they were always so affordable and sturdy, so when I saw an advertisement for this box, I thought why not try it? I received 11 items in the play beautifully box and I used every single one! I was so excited to get my second box, so when eight weeks rolled around, I anxiously ran to my mailbox to see if it came. Sadly, it never did. I saw that they had charged me for the box, so after a week of the "estimated shipping date," I contacted customer service who kindly responded saying that they never even sent my box because of some server/technical issues they were having and asked me to be patient -- which I was for another three weeks. I ended up contacting them again, to ask if they sent my box yet and they told me they were still having issues. I decided cancel my subscription right then and there asking for a refund because I was fed up with waiting. They gave me my refund and that was the end of my relationship with the e.l.f play beautifully box. The box itself was great, but the the shipping issue really just made being subscribed seem pointless.
{Rating: 5/10}


Walmart Beauty Box [$5 every spring, summer, fall and winter]:
I heard about this box when I was browsing YouTube on day and I wanted to try it out. $5 four times a year seemed like a reasonable price to pay for beauty samples right? Wrong. I know I only paid $5 for a box, but I was extremely disappointed with this subscription -- I ended up canceling it after receiving the 3rd one. I think the only actual "beauty" products I received was a Burt's Bee's red lipstick which I didn't even like and a CoverGirl mascara I already owned. Most of the box is composed of packets of shampoo and conditioner, little lotions that are good to place in your purse for a few applications here and there, little Dove travel samples you can get at your local 99 cent store, and really tiny packet samples of the more expensive stuff like eye cream or mineral bath soaks. The little packet samples are frustrating because they are good for one use only and I never am convinced a product truly works after just one use! I need to see how it makes me feel after several times using it. The beauty box also tosses in a few coupons that I never used. I just felt like the box was pointless because I never stumbled upon a product that I loved or wanted to go out and buy. 
{Rating: 2/10}


BoxyCharm [$21 a month]:
BoxyCharm is a makeup subscription that I absolutely love. You receive 4 to 5 full sized products in each box and sometimes they throw in a bonus product! The boxes usually have a retail value of $100+ and you're paying less than a fourth of that -- what a bargain! Each box I've gotten thus far has had some type of palette in them whether it be a Z-Palette with a few trays inside, an eyeshadow palette or a bronzer highlighter duo. Thanks to BoxyCharm, I don't even buy make up anymore. I just wait for the box to be shipped to my house and then I cater my look based on the products I receive. All the products you get are either by established brands or makeup brands that are emerging in the beauty realm, so you get the best of both worlds. Another thing I love about BoxyCharm is that even if you receive some products you may never use, they are always going to be full size which makes it super easy to give away or regift. (I've always felt super awkward giving away small samples as a gift..) I also like that everyone usually gets the same thing each month, so if you want to watch someone unbox it online, you know that you're getting the same products they are. I've been subscribed to BoxyCharm for 6 months so far and as each month comes, I am always left thinking that the latest box is my favorite box! I don't plan on unsubscribing any time soon, and I would definitely recommend BoxyCharm to anyone and everyone who is thinking about subscribing!
{Rating 10/10}


GlossyBox [$21 month]:
GlossyBox is a subscription box that claims to be filled with 4 to 5 "luxury" beauty products. When I subscribed to this box, I enrolled in the 12 month plan because it saved me $42 dollars which meant that I'd get two boxes for free. I was pretty intrigued by the idea of "luxury items," but at the end of my subscription period, I was found myself being glad that it was finally over. While GlossyBox exposed me to a few brands that I ended up loving, I had a few mishaps during my time with them. For starters, I received a box with only three things inside, and if it wasn't for the information card they send you with each box, I wouldn't have known something was missing. The item that was missing happened to be the prettiest eye shadow and when I contacted customer service, they told me it was out of stock. To make up for it, they sent me a list of products that they had in stock, and had me choose one that I'd like which they sent to me in the next box. Another issue I had was that they sent me a few damaged items. I received a nude lipstick that fell out of the tube the moment I opened it, an eye shadow stick that had the cap jammed on so tight which made it impossible to open and unusable and a lip/cheek stick that had the bottom fall off durning application. I didn't even bother contacting customer service again. Instead, I canceled my subscription and patiently waited for my current period to be over. I will say that each month, you get this pretty blush pink colored box (unless it's a special edition box) that is sturdy and reusable. I used them as boxes for Christmas presents last year! BUT that is probably one of the only upsides to the box. Many of the products inside the box can be kind of a disappointment. I honestly wish I had done a bit more research because they don't really live up to their "luxury" advertisement. For $21 a month, I expected all products sent to me to be full sized, but quickly noted that many of them were just samples. I was so excited about this box at first, but that excitement quickly dwindled down.
{Rating: 4/10}


FabFitFun [$49.99 per seasonal box]:
FabFitFun is a seasonal lifestyle box which means you only get four boxes per year. FabFitFun is probably the biggest subscription box I've ever gotten in the mail, averaging about 7 to 8 items in each box. The items can range from beauty, fitness, fashion, to home decor. If you buy the box every season, you pay $49.99 per box, but the retail value of each box is $200+ and it really ends up being a great deal. Because the boxes are seasonal, I subscribed to a whole year for $179.99 -- making your first box half off! So far, I've been loving this subscription because it truly becomes an experience! fabfitfun has a magazine online that has all kinds of cool articles about the items they send in the boxes, and a many other things ranging from health, beauty, home, fashion and much more! They also have such a sweet little community that allows you to chat with other FabFitFun members! People share their excitement for the boxes, suspicions and requests for items they might receive and the staff of FabFitFun sometimes ask for member opinions about certain items and ideas on the community boards. Another neat features are select and add-on items. Select items are like a sneak peak into your box where you can choose certain elements about those products. For example, in a fall box, they sent everyone a blanket and they gave you the option to select the color you wanted or you could have chosen the surprise option! I find the select option so much fun because they cater to your preference with some items and surprise you with others! Add-Ons are items that you can add to your box from the fabfitfun shop -- at a discounted price. Items on the shop are usually seasonal, but I've also spotted items from past boxes as well! It's a great way to stock up on items you love without paying full retail price! They also sell "Editor's Pick" boxes which is a contemplation of all of the boxes of the year -- giving you some of the community's favorites items all in one box. You can pay a little extra if you like the element of surprise and add a mystery bundle to your seasonal box!  This subscription is so much fun and the creators are always adding fun new things that end up making everything about their boxes unique. FabFitFun was a subscription that I was hesitant about at first, but it is also one that I will be renewing when my period is up!
{Rating: 10/10}


BlessBox [$29.99 a month]:
BlessBox is a box I've just subscribed too -- or rather a subscription box that my husband gifted to me for my birthday this year. I stumbled upon BlessBox on Instagram and they launched their first box (ever) in December of 2016. I mentioned that it looked super cute to my husband and he took note! This month's box (pictured above) will be my first box, so my initial reaction to this box is that I looooove it! I really like that it incorporates beauty, style, home and make up. I cannot wait to see what else it BlessBox has in store! 
{Rate: 10/10}



Out of seven boxes, I currently am still subscribed to three: BoxyCharm, fabfitfun, and BlessBox. The subscription box phase has slowly dwindled down, and now I am just enjoying the products I've accumulated. I think subscription boxes are a lot of fun, but sometimes you're left feeling like you're not getting your money's worth, so I'd suggest to do some research before you subscribe for the yearly ones! What subscriptions have you tried and loved? Which ones did you end up canceling? I'd love to hear about your experiences!

 Note & Disclaimer 
the rates given in this blog post are my personal opinion. 
there was no compensation given to me for writing these reviews.
the reviews are not meant to offend, encourage, or discourage anyone 
from subscribing to any of the subscriptions listed in this post. 


Anonymous said...

I've only tried ipsy. I think your rating is on point. I will finish the year and then I would like to try boxy charm. ☺

Marta said...

DO IT. I promise you, you won't regret it. I haven't gotten a box where I didn't get things I didn't like. It's a super big PLUS that they are full size!

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