See our comparisons of the Best Beauty Subscription Boxes under $20!
BOX BASICS: All subscriptions are under $20 per month, so it’s easy to draw comparisons.
CUSTOMIZATION: Most subscriptions also ask you to complete a basic beauty profile. Ipsy allows you to rate items for Ipsy match and has started allowing a limited number of subscribers to select an item, but that feature isn’t yet universal.
REFERRALS & POINTS: Ipsy offer referral points; redeem points on selected samples in the Ipsy bonus section. You earn points on the monthly Sephora subscription plus you can redeem a PLAY! card in-store for an extra 50 points on any purchase.
VARIATIONS: Play!, Ipsy, and Birchbox send out multiple subscriber variations – we’re showing what we’ve reviewed here, and we would love to hear your experiences in the comments. For Allure, LookFantastic, and Macy’s, everyone typically receives the exact same items, although sometimes Allure Beauty Box has variations.
- Hempz Original Herbal Body Moisturizer ($1.84)
- Ciate London Glow-To Illuminating Blush in Pinch Me ($8.13)
- PUR 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Makeup in Light ($15.80)
- RealHer Eyeshadow in Incomparable (part of a palette found here, $3.11 value)
- Araceli Ojos Perfectos Liquid Eyeliner in Coffee/Café ($16)
Total Value: About $44.88
The Ipsy January 2020 Glam Bag is an excellent curation. It’s a makeup heavy month and the items didn’t disappoint with their quality. The colors are all adorable as well! The pressed mineral makeup and the liquid eyeliner are definitely the standout items!
Review: Ipsy January 2020 Review
- Nature Lab Perfect Shine Oil Mist ($4)
- Kate Somerville Exfolikate ($12)
- Vitabrid C12 Dual Drop Serum ($20.67)
- akar SKIN Pure Lip Restoration ($30)
- Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Water Cream ($4.55)
- Tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara ($23)
Total Value: About $94.22
Allure sent a lot of face products this month, with five of the items for use somewhere on the face, and the sixth item for the hair. The two full-sized products this month were the mascara and the lip balm, and the lip item alone was worth twice the cost of the box. The exfoliator is pretty awesome, it works well without irritating the skin. The hair oil was also surprisingly good! The rest of the items are quite fun to try!
Deal: Get a FREE new member bonus item with your first box! Deal applies automatically, just visit and subscribe.
- Lord & Berry Ultimate Lip Liner – SIMILAR ($16.92)
- Glov Moon Pads x3 ($10.28)
- Mio Skincare Shrink To Fit ($12.60)
- Ecooking Moisturizing Serum ($26)
- Jon Hansford Expert Colour Care Everyday Shampoo ($4.44)
- Jon Hansford Expert Colour Care Everyday Conditioner ($4.44)
- Australian Body Care Tea Tree Oil Blemish ($10.40)
- ELLE UK January 2020 Edition
Total Value: About $85
This month’s Lookfantastic box is filled with an array of feel-good products! They addressed several beauty concerns in this box, from skin dryness to blemishes and cellulite, and even treating colored hair! It’s really a well-rounded curation. There are also some standout items in this box, the serum and the blemish stick!
Of Note: While this box is $22 per month it has free worldwide shipping and if you subscribe to a year you’ll get it at $15 per month (plus you don’t have to pay upfront!). Always a mini Elle magazine plus a nice mix of UK beauty brands. Sizes are smaller but if you don’t live in the US & are willing to pay for a year upfront, this is a great choice!
- PHILOSOPHY Amazing Grace Eau de Toilette ($1.25)
- KAT VON D Tattoo Liner in Trooper ($20)
- GLAMGLOW SUPERMUD® Activated Charcoal Treatment Mask ($25)
- SMASHBOX Photo Finish Foundation Primer ($21.95)
- Tarte Babassu Foundcealer Skincare Foundation SPF 20 ($6.50)
- BELIF The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb ($7.60)
Total Value: About $82
Everything in this month’s loot is a win! The primer takes the spotlight with its excellent formula that works under makeup but also makes the skin look great as is. It even helps with minimizing pores! The box also included a bunch of skincare goodies with promising effects that adhere to this month’s stress-free beauty theme, as well as a fantastic eyeliner and a perfume sample!
- Oribe Signature Shampoo ($2.3)
- Oribe Signature Conditioner ($1.49)
- Oribe Straight Away Smoothing Blowout Cream ($5.29)
- Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Cream ($5.2)
- Oribe Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse ($8.8)
- Oribe Après Beach Wave and Shine Spray ($10.48)
- Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray ($22)
Total Value: About $55.56
The curated Birchbox is all about hair care! All the items came from Oribe and everything was nothing short of amazing, and they all smell fantastic too! They all work so well with fine hair, especially the Beach Wave and Shine Spray. It gives the hair an effortlessly gorgeous look all the time!
- See special savings on your subscription! Deal applies automatically, just visit and subscribe.
- Save 15% off on $30+ Birchbox shop orders! Use coupon code FIRST15.
- Created For Macy’s Jade Roller ($32)
- Burberry Her Blossom Eau De Toilette ($1.64)
- Versace Eros FlameEau De Parfum ($1.02)
- Ahava Seakissed Hand Cream ($9.2)
- Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum ($16.33)
- Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment ($5)
- Clinique Moisture Surge ($12)
- Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye ($12.40)
Total Value: About $89.59
This month’s Macy’s box is packed with great skincare items! There are two promising products in the box, the lactic acid treatment and the night repair cream. Both of them are easy to use and skin-friendly. The perfume samples are also pretty awesome, as well as the jade roller!
It’s a well-rounded box, so our winner for this month is Lookfantastic! It gave us feel-good products that also addressed a bunch of skincare concerns. Allure and Macy’s are tied on the second spot as both gave us useful and high-quality products. Play! by Sephora also didn’t disappoint with its stress-free beauty-themed curation, while the curated Birchbox is filled with products from Oribe. Ipsy is still great as it contains mostly make-up that we can work with. Overall, it’s another amazing month for the under $20 boxes! We’re looking forward to the next months!