Beauty Boxes 101

Wowsers! It’s already November of 2015 and I’ve been neglecting my poor blog. A lot has happened over the past year, including a permanent move overseas and a new baby, so forgive me if you had started following it and had wondered what the heck had happened to it. I plan to start making regular posts again and have some fantastic ideas planned for you (lots of reviews coming up).

One of the first things I had to get my grubby little hands on when I got back to Canada was a North American beauty box. After living in South Korea for so long, I just had to sample new goodies from the U.S. and Canada. I did my research and settled on three boxes: Glossybox, Ipsy Glam Bag, and Birchbox Canada. I have tried all 3 of them for a year now and here are my findings.


Beauty Boxes 101 - glossybox

Glossybox came in at the most expensive price point: 21 USD a month, and comes with 5 deluxe-sized samples for makeup, hair and skin.

They have you create a beauty profile straight away so that they can tailor your box individually. It is made up of 14 questions. After that you choose whether you want a month-to-month subscription, a 6-month subscription or a yearly subscription. I believe you can save money only on the yearly.

The regular box is quite large and a beautiful pastel pink color. The items are enclosed in tissue paper wrapped in a silky ribbon. It also comes with a trifold information pamphlet about the products, which tells you the product description, how much the full size product costs, as well as tips for using the product.

Sometimes they do a special design on the box or have a themed-box. October’s box was everything French. This was the box design. So cute!

October 2015 Glossybox front
October 2015 Glossybox front
October 2015 Glossybox back
October 2015 Glossybox back

The inserts are great (compared to ipsy and Birchbox). I love the little tips.

Glossybox insert for October 2015's box
Glossybox insert for October 2015’s box

Another great thing I love about Glossybox is that they are generous with full-sized products, which helps justify the price-point of the box. October’s box had 4 full-sized products!!

  • Le Soft Perfume perfume stick (Love love love)
  • Nuxe Gentle Exfoliating Gel with Rose Petals
  • Lollipops Make Up Paris Nail Lacquer in “Voyage a Paris”
  • De Bruyere Paris Red LipGloss
October 2015 Glossybox
October 2015 Glossybox

Last month’s box also contained 3 full-sized products: a Julep lip gloss, Nails Inc Uptown nail polish and a blush from Emite Make Up.

They did a really wicked one-off box last spring.



It came with a really cute makeup bag and some great products.

The Lip Tar was amazing (wasn’t a huge fan of the color). The Marrakesh Endz lasted me until last week and that’s something I’ll definitely be purchasing as it did wonders to smooth the ends of my hair (plus it smelled great).

And here are some other months’ boxes. Always love getting GlamGlow masks.

IMG_5043 IMG_5044 IMG_5061 IMG_5386

If you review the products you receive each month, you can get Glossy Dots which are their rewards points. Each month if you review all five products you can get at least 100 Glossy Dots. One thousand Glossy Dots gets you a free Glossybox which I just redeemed for November 2015’s box.

Now I’ll get into a few things I don’t love about Glossybox. First is you can’t buy the products you like directly from their website. You have to find each individual product on that brand’s website, which can be a pain. Secondly, you can’t go into the website and see any old boxes online (which you can with Ipsy)

And the last thing I don’t like is the price -especially for us Canadians. I just pulled out my AMEX bill to see what the conversion was and it was a whopping 35.44 CAD (26 USD with shipping to Canada). For that amount of money each month I could go out and buy a product I really loved.


I’m not sure if I’ll continue getting the Glossybox each month after I get my freebee box from my collected Glossydots. I really can’t justify the price, unless I’m getting tons of full-sized products EVERY month.

Get your Glossybox here.


Beauty Boxes 101 - ipsy

Ipsy is another US based company that gives 5 deluxe samples each month for 10 USD. Instead of coming in a box each month, it arrives in a beautiful makeup bag. The make up bags are always very cute and reusable (better for the environment!)

Before you get your first Glam Bag, you take the ipsy Beauty Quiz, which determines the types of products you’ll receive in your bags. Each month you also have the chance to give feedback about the selection of products which further refines your bag each month so that it suits your needs and wants.

I haven’t gotten too many full-size products from ipsy, except eye liner and makeup brushes. I’ve gotten quite a few mini eye-shadow palettes that were lovely though.

Here are some of the Glam Bags I received.

Glam Bag June 2015
Glam Bag June 2015
Glam Bag September 2015
Glam Bag September 2015

My favorite product I received from Ipsy was probably the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask, which was in the September bag. I woke up with silky smooth skin after applying it the night before. I have a feeling that sample will last awhile as you only need a tiny bit to smooth over your face.

I also hearted the Formula X nail color that I received in two of the Glam Bags.

Ipsy has a great online setup where you can see all the past bags you ordered as well as each product in them. They don’t do a product insert leaflet like Glossybox does. They also have so many awesome giveaways each month through Instagram. You can’t buy the products online but they do do offers. Right now you can get Strangebeautiful 4play Nail Quad for 1/2 price.

They give points for doing reviews on the products and give rewards for the points when you acquire at least 250 or 500. I haven’t redeemed any points as of yet, but I have my eye on the Amazing Concealer (1000 points) which I would love to redeem my points for.

I just checked my credit card statement and it comes out to 20.59 CAD for the October bag which I did not receive (a Canada Post Glitch). I’m hoping to get a replacement any day now. So the price is almost double for us Canadians due to our low dollar right now.


I probably won’t continue with Ipsy either as the price is just too high with not enough full sized products.

Get your ipsy Glam Bag here.


Beauty Boxes 101 - birchbox

Birchbox is one of the pioneers of the beauty box industry and wasn’t always available to Canadians. The cost is 10 CAD plus $4.95 shipping, which sets it at the lowest price point of the three.

In the past it hasn’t been customizable, like ipsy and Glossybox are, but they have just started making improvements which allows users to make some product choices. We’ll know more over the next coming months.

What’s great about Birchbox is that every product in the box is available for purchase in the online store. What’s more, they usually offer free shipping on all of the month’s featured products.

They also have a point system for reviewing products from the box. I’m up to 324 points which translates to 32 CAD in the store. You cannot however redeem point for free boxes like you can with Glossybox.

I’ve only purchased one thing from the store, which was the Moisturizing Sea Salt Spray by Parlor. I had sampled it and loved it so much that I ordered the full-size bottle. I had no problems with shipping – in fact it was free!

My favorite product out of Birchbox was the beauty blender. It came in my first box and was a full-sized blender, so I was really happy with it.

Beauty Blender
Beauty Blender

These are a few of the Birchboxes that I received:

IMG_5387 IMG_5055The Verdict

For 14.95 CAD I’ll probably be keeping Birchbox around for a while longer. Not a huge fan of the shampoo, conditioner and body lotion samples but do like some of the samples I receive every month.

Get your hands on Birchbox here.

November Boxes Just In !!!

As I was writing this post my November 2015 Ipsy, GlossyBox and Birchbox just came in. Let’s see what goodies I’ll be sampling this month:

ipsy Glam Bag November 2015
ipsy Glam Bag November 2015
Birchbox November 2015
Birchbox November 2015
Glossybox November 2015
Glossybox November 2015

A few stand-outs: the Makeup Paper Travel Blush looks interesting; I’ve been hearing good things about Living Proof – the dry shampoo is something I’ve been wanting to try; and from Glossybox, the Beauty for Real the flesh-tone lip pencil is something I don’t own and looks promising.

When you receive multiple boxes you are bound to get repeats and this month was no exception. I’ve tried the Skyn Iceland Firming Eye Gels, which are lovely and I’m already using the Lait-Creme Concentre, which is a great base for makeup.

Here is a list of other beauty boxes that deliver to Canada:

LookFantastic Beauty Box (based out of the UK) Cost: $30.60 / one month

TopBox (by invite only- you are placed on a waiting list for the next available spot) You get four samples for 12.00 CAD a month.

Beauty Box Five (5 deluxe samples, shipped from the US) 12 USD a month plus 3 USD shipping)

Wantable (makeup) 4-5 full-sized products each month for 46USD (includes shipping)

Luxe Box (7 deluxe or full-sized samples that comes every three months) 26 CAD (free shipping)

Lip Monthly 12.95 USD for 4-5 lip samples or full-sized lip products, free shipping (Get your December 2015 bag for $5.00)

Petit Vour (4 cruelty free and vegan samples for 23 USD + 8 USD shipping)

Vegan Cuts Beauty Box (19.95 USD + 8 USD shipping for 4-7 new products to try)

The Lipstick Crate (23.99 USD for 4 full-sized lip items + 8.99 USD shipping)

*I have heard that Glymm does not ship to Canada anymore

If you know of any other great boxes feel free to leave a comment and I can update this page – thanks!




2 Comments on Beauty Box Subscriptions 101 (The Canadian Edition – ipsy, Glossybox and Birchbox)

  1. Claudia Omoreanu
    January 17, 2017 at 12:14 pm (6 months ago)

    Birchbox Canada is closed. There is a nice note about exchange rates to CAN.

    Thanks for all the comparisons and tips! Love your website!! I currently subscribe to IPSY but I would like to support a Canadian company.
    Thanks so much,

  2. Nisha khan
    February 22, 2017 at 11:47 pm (5 months ago)

    How do I join Ipsy I live in Montreal Quebec canada I have tried to join but the zip code does not accept me contact me in how to join your company SK


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