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Subscription Boxes on a Budget

subscription boxes

Subscription boxes have become a big hit lately.  There are boxes for makeup, dogs, clothing, shaving, crafting, and on and on.  Since they’ve gained such popularity, it’s almost difficult to know which one(s) to choose if you’ve decided to jump on the bandwagon.  I’m not an expert like some bloggers I’ve read, but I can certainly point you in the right direction of a couple that I’ve had the pleasure of using.  🙂

First up – Ipsy.

This was my very first selection in the world of subscription boxes.  If I remember correctly, I saw a friend’s post about one on Facebook, and after I got a feel for the setup, I signed up within minutes.

Here’s what I love about Ipsy:

subscription boxes

  • It’s only $10 every month – nothing extra for shipping or tax.
  • It allows me to try beauty brands that are new to me.
  • They try to match you with products according to answers provided in the beauty profile.
  • The mix of products is always good – I’ve gotten hair products, moisturizers, beauty tools, and nail polish in addition to traditional makeup.
  • All products come in a super cute bag that’s perfect to stuff in your purse – I rotate mine frequently.
  • I have a handful of friends that get Ipsy bags, too, and whenever we get a product that may not quite fit our tastes, we can trade with each other!

Cons about Ipsy:

  • You have the opportunity each month to earn Ipsy points that you can apply toward free products.  Bad thing is these points expire after one year.  When I first signed up for Ipsy, there were products that were at least 1000 points – it takes a LONG time to get to 1000 unless you’re a super awesome referrer to their program (referrals earn you 250 points).
  • Shipping time is great for some and longer for others.  Ipsy will charge your billing account on the first of every month like clockwork, but it may be 2, if not 3 weeks before you get your bag.

Some of my favorite products that I otherwise would’ve never purchased if not for Ipsy:

Next up, the Walmart Beauty Box.

I heard about Walmart’s subscription boxes by browsing on Instagram one day.  They had not been out for long, and as soon as I saw the price…  well, it was a no brainer.  😉

Here’s what I love about the Walmart Beauty Box:

subscription boxes

  • $5 – yes, it’s seriously only $5!
  • The products are ones that can easily be obtained at Walmart.
  • The mix of products is a cross between sample size and full size.  I have averaged at least 1 or 2 full size products in every box.
  • There’s always coupons included, both for the products included as well as for other beauty products.


  • The subscription is quarterly, not monthly.
  • There’s no “beauty profile” like Ipsy, and honestly, probably my biggest complaint.  I’ve received black nail polish (yuck!), peach lip balm (not my color), and self-tanning lotion in a dark shade (also not my color).

Some of my favorite products:

So, let’s recap…

While both subscription boxes can’t sustain me for all of my beauty needs, it definitely keeps me from wandering the beauty aisles at the store wasting money on additional things.  As a result, when I do need to purchase makeup, it’s for foundation and pressed powder – nothing more.  What I now don’t need to buy at the store is eyeliner, eye shadow, mascara, blush, nail polish, lipstick/gloss, beauty tools, and occasionally, even perfume.  For someone that’s not very brave with makeup ordinarily, this system has been working very well for me.  I can get adventurous once in awhile, and if it doesn’t work out, I can either trade with a friend, or chock it up to a loss (rarely has the latter been the case).

  • 2 beauty boxes – one for $10, one for $5
  • Average cost per month for both = $11.67
  • Add that to my average cost for store purchases (around $12), and I’ve kept my makeup budget to less than $25 per month.  If I have a coupon for my usual purchases, I save even more.  🙂

Next on the horizon?subscription boxes

I just discovered that Walmart has started a second subscription box for baby products.  Considering that I have a baby on the way in about four months, this couldn’t come at a better time!  The setup is the same as the Beauty Box as far as price and frequency.  It looks to be very new because the third trimester option is already on back order.  Can’t wait to see what will be included, and once it arrives, I’ll be sure to share my thoughts on it!  🙂

What about you?  Are there any subscription boxes that you love receiving every month?


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