I've always loved the concept of beauty subscription boxes. So much so, I used to have to restrain myself from watching unboxing videos when other customers received theirs before me. During the days leading up to delivery day, you could always find me glued to my laptop, refreshing the tracking page, debating if I would be getting a sheet mask, lipstick, or hand cream that month. TL;DR: Beauty boxes makes me feel like my birthday falls twelve times a year. They also give me a chance to discover new products and independent brands at a fraction of the cost.
For me, my love affair with makeup started when the term “vegan” had no relation to beauty. Fast forward to 2020, where clean ingredients and eco- conscious packaging are a constant topic of conversation. Brands are becoming more transparent, making enormous strides at eliminating toxic ingredients, and consumers (myself included) are taking a more active role with what they put on their face and body. But naturally, delving into a pool of products and ingredients I had never heard of was both overwhelming and intimidating. I determined the best way to learn more about the clean beauty industry is to revert back to subscription boxes.
If you're looking to make the switch to clean, cruelty-free beauty, or you're just curious about discovering diverse products, read on for a review of six non-toxic beauty boxes that will help you get your start.
Kinder Beauty Box
The name says it all. This box encourages consumers to be kinder to the environment, animals, and ultimately, themselves. Each box includes $75 to $165 worth of vegan beauty products, with a promise of at least two of them being full-size. I love that the brand makes kindness their mission from start to finish, from the non-toxic products they curate for their boxes, to the eco- conscious soy-based ink they use on their packaging, to the fact that they give a portion of sales to animal rights and environmental causes. In my box, I received five products and was impressed to see that three of them were full- size: a hydrating night serum, a natural, everyday lipgloss, and a handcrafted vegan bath bomb that smells divine.
Think of Petit Vour as your guide to a more plant-based lifestyle. Both a retailer and beauty box, Petit Vour houses over 10,000 cruelty-free, vegan beauty products as well as a large selection of ethically-produced clothing and accessories. The subscription box is based off of a beauty profile (which took me less than one minute to complete), and if you fall in love with a product in the box, you can purchase a full size directly from their website. Thanks to this box I reconnected with a brand I'm already familiar with (and adore), Pacifica, and also discovered Clove + Hallow, a makeup brand that uses only 15 ingredients or less in their products.
The best part about this box is I kept every last product (sorry, Mom). Founded by breast cancer survivor Justine Lassoff and longtime vegan Katie Bogue Miller, Love Goodly is a bimonthly box that includes four to five full-size, nontoxic, cruelty-free beauty products, as well as an occasional eco style accessory, wellness product, or healthy snack. I received a mix of skincare and makeup products in my box (which I prefer, as I can get overwhelmed with too much skincare). My favorites were a mascara from 100% Pure, a sheet of 40 blemish patches, and an anxiety oil that features a mix of essential oils to help relax and soothe.
Laurel & Reed
Laurel & Reed proves you don't have to compromise luxury in the name of clean beauty. The brand offers multiple subscription plans (three month, six month, and yearly), and each box features four to six full-size products. They promise a minimum total value of $100, but upon further investigation, the value of past boxes have been upwards of $250. I received four products in my box, my favorites being a coconut water mist and a sea salt shimmer spray. Though a heftier price tag than the other boxes on this list, everything was beautifully packaged (as if it were a special gift), and the products I received felt extremely luxe (especially when it came to their packaging).
Starting at $44/month
For those who need options, Vegancuts offers three types of vegan boxes: a snack box, a beauty box, and a makeup box. I'm big on themes, so of course, the fact that each of their beauty boxes have a theme ("seize the night," "minimalist makeup," and "poolside glamour" were past ones) made me excited to dig in. The theme for my box was "leaping bunny approved brands," and it included five skincare products from brands that are free of animal testing at all stages of product development. There was a mix of deluxe- and full-sized products for nearly every step of my skincare routine: a cleanser, an under eye mask, and a face serum, and thankfully, they were all a good match for my dry skin type.
Starting at $23/month
Makeup aficionados, Medusa's Makeup is the box for you. While this box does include an occasional skincare item from their sister line, Love Byrd, Medusa's Makeup delivers four full-size makeup products from their vegan beauty brand. Their mission is to create products that solve everyday beauty dilemmas through innovative products. This means colorful, printed packaging, neon offerings, and duo-chrome finishes. I was met with immediate excitement when I first opened my box. It was loud, unique, and unexpected because in my eyes, clean beauty can have the tendency to be somewhat—dare I say—boring. This box proves that nontoxic beauty is not only accessible, but it can be sexy and fun at the same time. Their bestselling liquid eyeshadow was in my box, and it's quickly found a permanent home in my makeup station.
Starting at $17/month
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