GLOSSYBOX: A Monthly Beauty Treat or Consistent Disappointment?

Glossybox – Why I gladly canceled my subscription

The front of the glossy box

Glossybox – Beauty/Makeup delivered to you monthly.

Remember when beauty box subscriptions were all the rage? Me too. A few years ago it was all about Birchbox, Ipsy, Glossybox, Boxycharm, and FabFitFun. Instagrammers were showing off their monthly hauls, Youtubers were filming and critiquing boxes, and bloggers were comparing and contrasting different beauty subscription companies.

Hearts of Glossybox covers

My first and only experience in this field was with Glossybox. After a little research I chose Glossybox because it was highly rated and supposedly it was supposed to be more on the ‘luxury’ side. I also read that Glossybox has more full size products in their boxes than the other companies at the time. Plus your products are delivered in a chic, pink box with tasteful wrapping. What could be better?

A glossybox black ribbon inside the box

What I really wanted to accomplish when I joined a beauty subscription program was to be able to sample the most popular beauty & makeup products on the market. That way if I really enjoyed the sample sizes then I could go out and purchase the full size product at Sephora or Ulta. I was hoping to try Tom Ford, Drunk Elephant, Huda Beauty, BECCA makeup, NARS, Peter Thomas Roth, Sunday Riley, and GlamGlow (You know, basically all the cool kids on the block) I guess that was too much to hope for for about $20 a month. AND that is why I gladly canceled by subscription to Glossybox because I never received any of those name brand products. Sometimes I’d receive a box with four unrecognizable brands and one tiny sample of a name brand product. Basically almost every single box I received was a disappointment, and for about 6 boxes I spent over $150 dollars, which includes two limited edition boxes that were extra.

Glossybox Subscription Prices:

 (FREE shipping).

  • 1 monthly recurring payment of $21.00
    Free US shipping
    One upfront payment of $58.50
    Free US shipping
    One upfront payment of $111.00
    Free US shipping
    One upfront payment of $210.00
    Free US shipping

Inside view of a glossybox

I do like their website, it is very user friendly. There is an option where you can see the items that were included in past monthly boxes, which is an indication of what your boxes will look like. You’re able to earn loyalty points, which eventually, you can earn a free box. I also like that there are opportunities to purchase past boxes that you may have missed out on or you want to buy an extra one because you liked it so much. They also have seasonal, holiday, and special occasion boxes (V Day, Christmas, Mother’s Day).

contents of a glossy box

↓↓ The Glossybox Menu. This is actually pretty useful. It explains every piece that is included in your most recent package. Not only does the menu describe the products it also informs you about the brand and how expensive the full size products are if you were to purchase them on your own. Also they give you tips on how best to enjoy your product. I can’t picture my glossybox without their menu, because it also lets me know that I’m not missing any of the 5 products.

A glossybox menu

Glossybox Subscription – ⊕ Pros & ⊗ Cons

  •  Nice monthly gift.
  • Pretty pink box.
  • Limited edition boxes have adorable artwork.
  • Holiday & Seasonal boxes.
  • Good for tweens, teens, and college girls.
  • For about $200 a year you can give as gift to niece, younger sister, family member/friend & they’ll receive a pleasant surprise once a month.
  • Takes the guesswork out of shopping for someone.
  • Very girly.
  • Affordable for teenagers/college student to purchase on their own.
  • Website is user friendly
  • Good for blogger/Youtubers on a budget. You’ll get a monthly box of content to use and produce for blog posts and videos.
  • If you are not a makeup or beauty snob and you don’t care where your products come from, then you’ll enjoy your Glossybox experience.
  • Free shipping.


  • 99% of the products were cheap & crappy.
  • It became a monthly disappointment.
  • Unrecognizable brands & products.
  • Sloppy presentation.
  • Damaged/Disheveled packaging.
  • Monotonous. Received the same type of products every month. Like, I don’t need a mascara every single month. Or I got a hand lotion every single month.
  • Didn’t like the products.
  • Didn’t like the brands.
  • The full size products were almost always a disappointment.
  • Not ideal for women in their late 20’s or 30’s or older.
  • The products can’t be repurchased at your local Sephora/Ulta/department stores because they are not major brands. Which means you’ll have to hunt them down online, and deal with shipping hassles.
  • The whole experience felt cheap.
  • Glossybox created their own inferior makeup line, with cheap/flimsy makeup products.
  • Special edition boxes need to be purchased separate from monthly subscription, they should just be included in your subscription.
  • Products looked damaged or tampered with.
  • ⊗ Waste of money.
  • Not LUXURY at all.
  • I didn’t subscribe to Glossybox to financially support their fledgling and inferior makeup line.

A collage of glossybox blush

↑↑ The products shown in the pictures above are the main reasons I decided to officially cancel my Glossybox subscription. Have you ever heard of the makeup brand ‘doucce’? No. Or have you heard of the ‘Glossybox’ makeup brand? No. Exactly. Glossybox has decided to start their own makeup line. Really. Talk about spreading yourself too thin. Glossybox, why can’t you just focus on being the best ‘luxury’ beauty subscription box company on the market? Why must you insist on creating a makeup line as well? I hypothesize it’s because it’s cheaper to produce a 0.10 cent blush palette with the ‘Glossybox’ logo on it, and then pass it off as makeup in our monthly packages. So, rather than actually work and collaborate with legitimate ‘quality’ makeup brands, Glossybox produces their own cheap makeup line, and we’re stuck with their crap every month.

Look at the images above, there is a magnetic blush palette with one blush shade in it without an applicator and one other single blush shade that was packaged in an entirely different box. Those two items were part of my five products in my box. The ‘Glossybox’ blushes were horrible, flimsy, and ridiculous.

Glossybox products

I didn’t subscribe to Glossybox so I could financially support their inferior makeup line. So what were my expectations at the beginning of this journey? I simply wanted to sample ‘legitimate’ quality makeup & beauty products every month at a reasonable price, sadly, that is not what I got out of my experience with Glossybox.

A glossybox collage of makeup

Another infuriating fact about Glossybox is that the entire experience becomes monotonous.

I pretty much knew exactly what I was going to get every single month:

1. Nail polish 2. Mascara 3. Lotion 4. Lip gloss 5. Hair or face product.

It never deviated from that, ever. I don’t need a mascara every single month. I wouldn’t mind getting nail polish every month if it were pretty shades from Opi, Deborah Lippmann, Ciate, or Essie. Shampoo and conditioners – can’t I just buy travel size ones from Target? And if you are going to give me shampoo and conditioner, why can’t it be a great brand. The majority of products that were sent to me I will ‘NEVER’ use. They might become useful for future blog posts or something. Some products I will use for when I’m traveling, because they do come in convenient sizes.

More Glossybox products

↑↓ JOSIE MARAN – Argan Enlightenment Illuminizing Powder Veil. This highlighter was included in my ‘Love Is In The Air’ box and it was the super star of the entire batch. It’s a full size product valued at $30. As a Glossybox subscriber you’ll find full size quality products like this one included in your package from time to time, very rarely, and usually only in the limited edition boxes.

– Btw, even if you’re a Glossybox subscriber, the limited edition boxes must be purchased separately. That’s right, so on top of your regular monthly fee, you’ll need to pay an extra $30 – $35 for a limited edition experience. Wow! How’s that even fair?

A Josie Maran highlighter

↑ I haven’t used this highlighter yet, but as soon as I do, I’ll post about my experience with this $30 Josie Maran beauty product. I was impressed that it was carefully packaged.

↑↑ I’ve already lost count how many times I’ve received damaged or disheveled packaging. It’s almost always with the sample sizes. Like, the major beauty stores couldn’t get rid of their samples and so they end up in our monthly boxes. They always look like they’ve been tossed around, and it makes me wonder if they’ve been used or tampered with?

Also, when I open my Glossybox their signature black bow is not always tied, like all the products were thrown in without concern of presentation. It just makes the whole experience feel cheap.

A single eyeshadow from Glossybox

↑↑ Look at this tacky eyeshadow that was included in one of my ‘special’ edition boxes. What am I supposed to do with a single eyeshadow? No palette? No applicator? It came in a cheap, plastic wrap. What am I like 12 years old? How am I supposed to carry this around in my makeup bag without damaging it? Seriously, I can’t even begin to describe my frustration. And Glossybox advertises themselves as a ‘luxury’ beauty box subscription?!? Look at that single eyeshadow above or the cheap nail polish bottles below, do they scream ‘luxury’ to you? Ugh.

A couple of Glossybox nail polishes

↑↑ All the nail polish bottles that have been included in my monthly packages have been a major disappointment. Cheap, no name brands. Seriously, have you ever heard of Morgan Taylor or Color Club nail polish brands? No, well, join the club. Even if I really liked one of these nail polishes, I can’t just walk into Ulta, Sephora or Target and purchase another one, because they are not easily, accessible major brands.

How much more expensive could it really be to include Opi, Deborah Lippmann, Essie or Ciate nail polish brands? I would have loved if my boxes included well known nail polish brands, then If I enjoyed the shade I would have purchased another one.

I’m sure Glossybox went with the cheaper nail polish brands to cut costs and ensure major profits. Consequently, me – the customer, I was completely turned off by their cheap strategy. I would still have a Glossybox subscription to this day if I could recognize quality brands in my packages.

A bunch of glossybox products

↑ How many major brands can you recognize in the picture above? Not too many, right? If you are lucky enough to get Lancome, Estee Lauder or a Clinique (name brand) product, it’s never a full size product, it’s almost always a sample size.

When you’re given a full size product, it’s almost always an unrecognizable brand. So you’ll most likely not be able to walk in to your local beauty store and purchase it again even if you wanted to, you’ll have to go online and order it (shipping/tax hassle).

Limited editions of glossybox covers

The boxes that I have loved the most have been their cute limited edition boxes. ‘The French’ glossybox (shown in the pictures above and below) was filled with French beauty products. The ‘Love Is In The Air’ box (shown above) was their Valentine’s Day special edition. I specifically bought them because of the cover design, and I use them for storage in my bathroom. All in all, even these two boxes turned out to be a disappointment, except for the adorable artwork. If I were ever to purchase another Glossybox ever again it would be for another limited edition box that has a unique design.

A glossybox

Glossybox was a disappointing beauty experience.

I don’t think I’m ever going to join another beauty subscription program ever again. It’s a nice concept. I like the idea that once a month I’ll get a package in the mail just for me. But, I’d rather just go to Sephora or Ulta and buy their sample size products near the registers, that way you’re purchasing name brand popular products and you’ll know that you can repurchase them there and not have to hunt for them online.

Art on front of Glossybox


What’s your favorite beauty subscription box? Are you a fan of Ipsy or Birchbox? What were your experiences? Let me know in the comments section below.




Maria in gold letters






  1. August 13, 2018 / 10:41 pm

    Hmm, that’s not good that they counted the blush product as two items! I’m a UK Birchbox subscriber and I know what you mean, it can sometimes feel like the brands just give us the things they can’t get rid of! I’m generally fairly happy with Birchbox though and we get a lot of smaller brands who are cruelty free, vegan etc so it’s always nice to try them ? Great post x

    • August 14, 2018 / 1:38 pm

      Yes, the blush products were such a joke. I think I probably would have kept my subscription if Glossybox didn’t insist on including their tacky makeup products in the boxes. I’m glad I’m not the only one that feels that we sometimes get products that brands just wanna get rid of. I might give Birchbox a go, if I do, you know I’ll be blogging about it. Glad to hear that you’re happy with your subscription. Thanks so much for the positive feedback, lovely. I sincerely appreciate it. Hope you have a beautiful day.

  2. September 12, 2018 / 2:48 pm

    I canceled my Glossybox order, too. I got tired of samples of bunk products, just like you did. I was paying for junk! Look Fantastic out of the UK is not very good either. I do like BoxyCharm though, and the $99 per season Box of Style curated by Rachel Zoe. I am currently waiting for a Bordeaux caplet, some mascara, serum, and a black pleather belt! I will be blogging about at least some of these items this fall!

    • September 18, 2018 / 3:37 pm

      Oh good, I’m glad I’m not the only one that canceled their Glossybox subscription. I’ve gotta try BoxyCharm, I’ve heard good things about them, thanks for letting me know. Hope you enjoy your next box, lovely!

  3. September 18, 2018 / 4:24 pm

    Oh wow, Glossybox is a very gorgeous, chic beauty box! I’ve only subscribed to Ipsy and I had the similar experiences you had with Glossybox. I expected to receive more full-sized samples from brands I was familiar with. Instead, I got more sample sized products from brands I had never heard of before. I got the Ipsy subscription as a birthday gift but after that one year, I was not wowed enough to continue my subscription. I would like to try FabFitFun, though!

    • September 19, 2018 / 10:09 am

      I’m sorry to hear that your Ipsy beauty box was a lousy experience. I don’t understand why they fill our boxes with unfamiliar brands? What a waste. I have seen a lot of positive pics/posts about FabFitFun, and I agree they look like they’d be worth a shot. I hope you enjoy FabFitFun if you ever try them. Thanks for the feedback, lovely!

  4. May 15, 2019 / 12:51 pm

    Hey Maria, I love you Glossy Box. you always come with something creative.

    • May 17, 2019 / 11:24 pm

      Thank you so much for the positive feedback! I sincerely appreciate it 🙂

  5. August 21, 2019 / 12:41 pm

    I love your Glossy Box, please keep sharing more intrusting stuff like this. :*

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