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.
- Foxy Bae Replenishing Hair Mask ($5.22)
- Hanalei Company Kukui Lip Balm In Island Mint ($6)
- Complex Culture Precision Eyelid Brush ($18)
- Wander Beauty Eyeshadow in Blossom (part of the Fling Palette available here)
- Girlactik Precise Marker Liner in Black Noir ($20)
- Sugar Cosmetics Uptown Curl Lengthening Mascara in Black
- PlayList Handle It Hand Cream in Raspberry Macaron
Total Value: About $49.22
The brush alone is worth more than the price paid for the bag and will last for a while to come. The liner and lip balm will also last for some time, and they are full-sized too. The rest of the items are also pretty usable! This is a good curation overall!
Review: Ipsy March 2020 Review
- Lapcos Hyaluronic Moisturizing Sheet Mask ($2.90)
- Rituals The Ritual of Ayurveda Shower Foam ($2.27)
- Dr. Botanicals Lemon Superfood All-in-One Rescue Butter ($14)
- Floss My New Favourite Gloss in LAX ($16)
- Mamonde Red Energy Recovery Serum ($6.67)
- Rodial Glamolash Mascara XXL ($29)
Total Value: About $70.84
There are a bunch of promising beauty products in this month’s Allure box! It includes face and body items plus two makeup products. The gloss and body cream are the standout items, but all of them are solid products that can be easily incorporated into any routine.
Deal: Get a FREE new member bonus item with your first box! Deal applies automatically, just visit and subscribe.
- Bella Pierre Kiss Proof Lip Creme in Incognito ($20)
- Hair Burst Chewable Hair Vitamins ($12.99)
- Rituals The Ritual Of Ayurveda Nurturing Shower Oil ($3.60)
- Grow Gorgeous Repair Strengthening Hair & Scalp Mask ($4.50)
- Bee Venom Rodial Cleansing Balm ($15.44)
- Elizabeth Arden Superstart Skin Renewal Booster ($11.39)
- Madara Organic Skincare Time Miracle Wrinkle Resist Eye Cream ($39.46)
- ELLE UK March 2020 Edition
Total Value: About $107
Haircare and skincare items dominated this month’s Lookfantastic curation. The spotlight goes to the eye cream which combats both puffiness and fine lines. The booster serum is also pretty promising, as it helps moisturizers and other serums to boost their results. There’s also a liquid lipstick that has a versatile color and formula!
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!
- Moschino Toy 2 EDP ($0.79)
- Amika Un.Done Volume and Matte Texture Spray ($3.54)
- Glamglow Glowstarter Mega Illuminating Moisturizer in Nude Glow ($14.70)
- Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eyeshadow in Metallic Taupe ($17.68)
- Fresh Sugar Mint Rush Freshening Lip Treatment ($11.20)
- Nars Powermatte Lip Pigment in Starwoman ($9.45)
Total Value: About $57
Play! by Sephora has make-up must-haves this month: a lip pigment, a lip balm, and an eyeshadow stick! Those three are high-quality and easy-to-use, ideal for an everyday makeup routine. The lip balm, in particular, is really amazing because of the cooling sensation and intense hydration it brings. There’s also a hair spray that gives volume and texture to fine hair, plus a perfume sample. The box felt full!
- Wander Beauty Double Date Lip and Cheek Rendezvous ($11)
- Floss Beauty My New Favorite Lip Gloss ($16)
- Davines Liquid Spell Reinforcing Bodifying Fluid ($18)
- Alterna Anti-Aging Priming Leave-In Conditioner ($1.36)
- Neon & Co. Treatment Oil ($4.02)
- Arrow Radiant Skin Moisturizer ($4.80)
Total Value: About $50
The curated Birchbox has a bunch of hair care items for a good hair day! There’s a bodifying fluid, leave-in conditioner, and treatment oil, and all of them are gentle on the hair and easy to use. There’s also a couple of makeup items: the lip and cheek duo and the lip gloss! It’s a fairly good curation!
- 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.
- Makeup Remover Pads
- Eyelash Curler
- Urban Decay Vice Lip Chemistry
- Beauty by POPSUGAR Be Racy Liquid Velvet Lip
- TONYMOLY Peach Punch Sherbet Cleansing Tissue
- Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara
- Calvin Klein CK Everyone Eau de Toilette (only at Macy’s)
- Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer
- Dolce & Gabbana Dolce Garden Eau de Parfum
- $10 Off GC
Total Value: About $30.75
Macy’s curation this month is for make-up fans! Many of the items are impressive, like the lippies, bronzer, mascara, and eyelash curler. There is even some make-up removing pads. The box also contains 2 perfume samples!
This March, Lookfantastic is taking the award for being the best under $20 beauty box! It definitely has a wonderful curation as it provided awesome skin, body, hair, and make-up products! It is followed by Allure and Play! by Sephora, which are both packed with usable items. The curated Birchbox and Ipsy are giving us also good products to try, while Macy’s is jampacked with make-up items that are definitely worth trying. Overall, every box put up a good fight! We are expecting an even closer fight in the following months. It’s okay if we have a hard time choosing a winner because it means that the boxes are doing their best to be on top!