Charu Suri May 22, 2012
Imagine a box full of hand-picked beauty products at your doorstep every month. This was the brainchild of Birchbox co-founders Hayley Barna and Katia Beauchamp, who wanted to sift through the clutter of beauty products and cherry pick new items that actually worked. The box is an affordable $10 per month, and provides subscribers with sample sizes of the latest and greatest products. The company earned over $7 million in sales in 2011—proof that the model is working and demand exists. But like any entrpreneurial success story, the competition is starting to heat up. Recently, Glossybox debuted in the U.S., offering generous-size products and an international trends beauty report for $20 a month. The experience looks and feels luxurious, and the items come from brands that cost well over the price you pay for the box. What are consumers saying about the beauty box trend in general? Beauty blogger Adina Zilberman says, “I would only pay for a subscription service that offers full sizes, because trial samples can be free and are easily obtained if you know how and who to ask. Why waste time on single serve packets when you can't really get an idea about the product from one use?” Beauty expert Grace Gold agrees. “I'm surprised that the idea of paying for samples has taken off so successfully. We're talking about samples!" she says. "I'd much rather save the bucks to buy something I want during a store or website promotion, when a gift or nice collection of samples are included,” she says. There’s no doubt, however, that some consumers love this trend. “I loved Birchbox from the start and the price was intriguing too. I liked the way the box looked visually and how it tended to feature newer brands,” says beauty junkie Nicole Levine. Jeanine Morris, founder of agrees: “I think they're brilliant.” We’ll only see beauty boxes get better and more niche, and prices becoming attractive enough for people to purchase. If you think about it, $10-$20 a month is less than your latte money. If that brings in exciting new products, what’s not to love? Would you pay for a monthly beauty box subscription?


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