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.
- Aromatica Calendula Juicy Cream (Deluxe sample, $5.33 value)
- Kokie Cosmetics Be Bright Illuminating Concealer in Light (Full size, $8)
- bellápierre Cosmetics Mineral Lipstick in Incognito (Full size, $20)
- Space Case Cosmetics See From Space Highlighter in 1A (Deluxe sample, $6.43 value)
- Oryza Beauty Nude Shimmer & Contour Eyeshadow (Full size, $19.95)
Total Value: About $59.71
The April 2020 Ipsy Glam Bag included 4 makeup items and one skincare item. The curation is pretty cohesive! You can use all of the makeup items in one routine and they all look great. The products in this box may be very different from what others received because the items depend on the subscriber’s answers on the Ipsy beauty preferences quiz!
Review: Ipsy April 2020 Review
Deal: Get FREE month of Refreshments when you subscribe to any Ipsy subscription – that’s up to $15 value! Deal applies automatically, just visit and subscribe. FYI, Refreshments is an add-on subscription to your Ipsy membership. Must cancel after trial if you don't want to be charged.
- Purlisse Matcha Green Tea or Watermelon Sheet Mask ($8)
- Eva NYC Mane Magic 10-in-1 Primer ($6)
- Lué by Jean Seo Balance Hydrating & Calming Serum ($15)
- Akar Skin Balance Toner ($30, buy 0.5 ounces for $15 each)
- Dr. Jart Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment ($5.20)
- Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Perfume ($19.83)
- Thrive Causemetics Lip Filler Long Wearing & Plumping Lip Liner in Kackie ($20)
Total Value: About $104.03
Allure sent a fantastic assortment of products in the April Beauty Box! It was tad heavy on the skincare but they also sent perfume, makeup, and hair care. The color-correcting treatment was a standout item. Although the lip liner color may not everyone’s cup of tea, the formula is quite excellent so it’s still a win.
Deal: Get a FREE new member bonus item with your first box! Deal applies automatically, just visit and subscribe.
- Starskin 100% Camellia 2-Step Oil Sheet Mask ($10.80)
- MineTan Coffee Scrub ($2)
- Bellapierre Peach Blossom Palette ($12.50)
- Vintage Cosmetics Company Tweezers ($9.99)
- Ameliorate Transforming Body Lotion ($5.77)
- Erno Laszlo Hydraphel Skin Supplement Hydrating Toner ($4.50)
Total Value: About $46
Lookfantastic reminds us to take care of our skin through this month’s curation! Most items are skin-friendly and really promising, especially the 2-step sheet mask and the scrub. The mask is refreshing and hydrating, the extra step is really worth it. The scrub, on the other hand, does a great job of revitalizing the skin while exfoliating dead skin cells. There’s only one makeup item, the eyeshadow palette, and it’s also usable!
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!
- TokyoMilk Dark Everything & Nothing Eau De Parfum (approximately $1.75)
- IBY Beauty City Limits Eyeshadow Nightfall ($2.38)
- NatureLab Tokyo Perfect Smooth Blowout Lotion ($3)
- Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment ($12.20)
- IPKN Moist and Firm Beauty Balm SPF 45 – Light Medium ($5.08)
- Smashbox Cosmetics Always On Liquid Lipstick – Stepping Out ($6.24)
Total Value: About $31
The regular Birchbox has products that are great for full-face makeup! There’s a BB cream that provides full coverage, a subtle eyeshadow for a natural look, plus a gorgeous deep nude matte lipstick. They even included a blowout lotion to keep hair smooth and shiny. With the inclusion of a skincare item, this is definitely a well-rounded curation.
- Verb Ghost Shampoo ($0.50)
- Verb Ghost Conditioner ($0.50)
- Origins Dr. Andrew Weil Mega-Mushroom Relief & Resilience Soothing Treatment Lotion ($5.25)
- Belif Moisturizing Eye Bomb ($9.60)
- It Cosmetics Secret Sauce Anti-Aging Moisturizer ($7.93)
- Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara in Black ($8.82)
- Bare Minerals Mineralist Lipstick in Honesty ($10)
Total Value: About $42.60
Play! by Sephora never fails with their well-balanced curation. This month, it’s a combination of haircare, skincare, and makeup products. The standout items are the mascara and the anti-aging moisturizer. The mascara has a great formula that adds a dramatic effect to the lashes, while the anti-aging moisturizer delivers moisture minus the oiliness. The rest of the items are pretty high-quality as well!
- Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Capsules
- Jumbo Hair Clips
- Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum Complexion Correcting
- Pur Cosmetics Lit Mist Blue Light Defense Illuminating Setting Spray
- Coola Sunless Tan Anti-Aging Face Serum
- Coach Dreams
- Coach for Men
- Lancome Idol Deluxe Mini
Total Value: About $69
This month, Macy’s packed their box with a bunch of skin-loving products. The ceramide capsules are interesting, as well as the anti-aging serum. There are also 3 perfume samples: 2 from Coach and 1 from Lancome.
Allure takes the crown this month because it contains a fantastic assortment of products plus it has a high retail value. The box may be heavy on skincare but they also included some perfume, make-up, and hair care items. Aside from the pretty glam bags, Ipsy also consistently sends excellent items like this month’s concealer, lipstick, and eyeshadow. Lookfantastic and Play! by Sephora both carry a promising selection of items, and some are even from popular brands. The regular Birchbox has enough items for a full-face make-up and they were all good. Macy’s got cool perfume samples, and aside from beauty products, they included a set of hair clips as well. Overall, we feel great with all the boxes, and we’re the real winners this month for being able to try amazing products!