Trying to decide if Glossybox is right for you? Read our in-depth Glossybox review for the inside scoop!
With so much to do and so little time, subscription box businesses have been popping up to help you out. This box boom means that you can get everything from groceries to pet toys to shoes shipped directly to your door on a monthly basis without ever leaving your house.
One of the earlier pioneers of this concept is Glossybox, a beauty subscription service first founded in Berlin. Starting up in 2011, this company has experience to bring to the table, but is it the best way to get your beauty fix?
We’ve rolled up our sleeves and done the work so you can fill your bag without racking your brain. Read through our Glossybox review to see if this subscription is right for you!
What is Glossybox?
Glossybox is a beauty subscription box that offers makeup, skincare, and haircare. For a monthly fee, you receive a surprise box filled with 5 deluxe-sized beauty products handpicked for you.
After you’ve picked a plan, Glossybox asks a brief questionnaire about your beauty preferences. This helps them pick products for your box that are best tailored towards your beauty needs.
Pricing varies depending on how long you commit for. If you just want a monthly subscription that you can cancel anytime, it will cost $21 per month.
However, if you commit to 12 months, it will cost $18 per month. You can also pay upfront to save (they offer gift subscriptions as well).
- 3-month paid upfront subscription: $58.50 ($19.50 per box)
- 6-month paid upfront subscription: $111 (18.50 per box)
- 12-month paid upfront subscription: $210 (17.50 per box)
Our Glossybox Review
I personally haven’t actually tried out the subscription, but our editor Laurice had tried them out for quite a few months. So, keep reading for her experience actually trying out a few boxes.
Overall: ★★★ 3 stars
“I subscribed to Glossybox for 3 or 4 months and overall, I wasn’t very impressed. The value isn’t there at all, I have no idea how their boxes can be worth $60 or more. Having tried nearly every other popular beauty subscription out there since then, there are much better options out there.”
Unboxing: ★★★★ 4 stars
“The only part I really liked about Glossybox was the unboxing experience. Each comes in a very thick, sturdy box that just feels so luxurious to unbox. That said, this type of luxurious packaging is the case with most subscription boxes, so I wouldn’t get too excited about this.”
Quality: ★★★ 3 stars
The products themselves weren’t impressive. I received a lot of small, niche brands that I had never heard of before and didn’t work very well. Only one or two products in each box were decent and there were a few higher-end brands every so often, but nothing to write home about.
On top of that, the “deluxe” product samples were typically very small. They did send occasional full-size items, but these were typically cheaper products that didn’t perform well. They also didn’t seem very customized to my beauty preferences.” – Laurice
My Glossybox Review
Although I haven’t tried out the subscription, I did find a lot of information on their website that I wanted to give feedback on.
My initial feelings toward the website were mixed. The presentation was slick, but I noticed a couple of discrepancies. A banner at the top of the first page claimed to send five products, but other boxes had been described as sending six items.
The value of each box was also listed differently on certain pages, with the initial Google advertisements guaranteeing a minimum value of $75 per box while the FAQ page only guaranteed a $60 minimum value.
These did concern me a bit, but I decided to keep an open mind. After all, I don’t necessarily mind a one-product difference if a company does what they promised, and Glossybox promised quite a bit.
The list of available brands was extensive, containing niche brands that I hadn’t heard of but plenty of heritage house cosmetics as well. There are plenty of designer brands I would love to have in my makeup bag, but I also like the more out-of-the-box stuff from smaller brands, so Glossybox seemed like my cup of tea.
That said, I can be ridiculously picky when it comes to even the smallest tube of lipstick, which I’m sure a lot of you can relate to. Even if I’m only paying $18 a month, I want to make sure that the people picking out my products are putting in their best work.
To get more info, I went exploring and saw that they offered the chance to fill out a beauty profile on which they would apparently base my selections. Intrigued, I supplied an email and answered the 14 questions they offered.
The profile was fairly extensive, asking for my skin tone, hair, and eye color, skin and hair concerns, and rounding out with a few preferences regarding my style and favorite colors.
However, it seems that Glossybox doesn’t really hand-pick items specifically for each individual. Based on previous boxes, it looks like everyone gets around the same products.
Allergens + Ethics Preferences
The one thing I can say I find lacking in the profile is that there’s no option to select any allergens or ethics preferences such as sustainable packaging, vegan, or cruelty-free.
Given that the profile supplied a sensitivity option for the skin concern question, it seems odd that they wouldn’t ask you what your skin was sensitive to.
Glossybox is also no stranger to working with vegan brands and even supplies their own line of sustainably packaged and vegan skincare, so the fact that they don’t allow you to specify that you want only products addressing those concerns seems like a pretty big oversight. Imagine Blue Apron asking whether you can handle gluten, but not offering any gluten-free options. Weird, right?
As somebody who has recently gotten more conscious about what’s in my cosmetics, I was already quite disappointed that I couldn’t request sustainable brands. They can already be pretty hard to come by, so I would love a subscription service that went out of its way to connect me with sustainable cosmetics.
If this is something you’re interested in as well, some good alternatives could be the Petit Vour Beauty Box (all vegan), Kinder Beauty Box (read our review!), or even AllTrue if you’d like a larger box.
Other Customer Reviews
Before we finish up, what do other customers think of Glossybox? We didn’t have a great experience, but we’re just one person, so we did some research and will be sharing the top feedback we found on the subscription.
Aside from the things we mentioned above (small products, poor customization, not worth the value), another main complaint we noticed from other Glossybox reviews was bad customer service. This was true across both Glossybox and other brands underneath the parent company (the Hut Group), including Lookfantastic and SkinStore.
“My boxes were usually small samples, often brands I’ve received at hotel stays. I wasn’t happy with customer service, either.” – sakurasunset on Reddit
“I subscribed to Glossybox, but canceled due to terrible customer service as well as missing/broken items. I still receive Look Fantastic which is from the same parent company.” – cyclicalconsumer on Reddit
Overall, most customers had to say that Glossybox:
- Doesn’t send great brands or products
- Isn’t worth the price
- Needs better customer service
To sum up our Glossybox review, this brand has obviously gotten the presentation down, but if you really want a beauty subscription box, there are better ones out there. There’s a nice range in what Glossybox could offer, but they miss the mark in so many key ways.
The boxes are almost carbon copies rather than hand-picked, you have no control over ingredients or allergens, and the relatively small price tag isn’t small enough to compensate for the tiny amount of product that you get in each sample. You can get a better experience at a better price somewhere else.
If you’re looking for an alternative, try out the Ipsy Plus–it costs $25 per month and provides five full-size products every month. We have had much better experiences with this subscription!
Here are some better alternatives if you’re looking for a great beauty subscription box!
- Ipsy Plus (read our review here!)
- Boxycharm (also our review!)
- Kinder Beauty Box (for a cruelty-free option!)