The Battle of the Beauty Box: Birchbox v Glossybox

Beauty boxes have taken off in a big way. In fact, with so much choice, it’s hard to know which one to go for. So with the help of my good friend Kirstie, I’ve taken two of the most popular boxes head-to-head to see which comes out top.

Kirstie opted for a three month subscription to Glossybox which was £38.25, while I went for Birchbox. Birchbox don’t offer a three month subscription so I paid for three separate monthly boxes. The price is still pretty comparable at £38.85 in total (each box was £10, plus £2.95 postage and packaging).

September

Kirstie and I ordered our boxes on the same day. Kirstie’s Glossybox was the first to arrive within a couple of days and my Birchbox arrived a few days after that.

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The packaging on both is lovely, with both boxes of good enough quality to reuse. The Birchbox has a pastel theme with a cute chevron pattern, while the Glossybox is a classic post-box red. The Glossybox has tissue paper tied with ribbon inside which the Birchbox doesn’t have, however Birchbox picks up points for the quirky sliding drawer design which allows you to stack the boxes once you’ve collected a few.

Overall, it’s a tie with each box picking up 4/5 for gorgeous presentation.

Presentation:  Birchbox ♥♥♥♥♥  Glossybox ♥♥♥♥

The Birchbox contains a total of five items; a haircare product, a skincare product, two body products and a make-up item, plus a free bracelet. The stand-out product is the gorgeous Model Co Highlighting Trio consisting of bronze, pink and cream shades. Also welcome is the shower oil by one of my favourite brands, Nuxe and the Almond Body Butter by Whish smells good enough to eat. The skincare item is a micellar water (Bioderma Hydrabio H2O) and the haircare product is a volumising spray (Batiste Stylist Oomph My Locks XXL). The bracelet is sweet, but not something I’d wear, so a bit of a wasted gift for me.

The Glossybox contains a total of six items, two skincare products, three make-up items and a nail product. The skincare products consist of two face masks – one from the new range by The Body Shop which are being advertised everywhere at the moment (Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask) and the other is Vitamasques Hydro Face Mask. The mascara included (Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara) is a waterproof version of one of the most highly recommended mascaras on the market. Other make-up items are GOSH Long Lasting Lip Marker and Rodial Smokey Eye Pen. In addition, there is a nail product in the form of Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy Diamond Top Coat, tapping into the DIY gel nail trend.

Both boxes have a good range of products, but Glossybox picks up an extra point for having an additional item and such on-trend products.

Products:  Birchbox ♥♥♥  Glossybox ♥♥♥♥

The total value of the Birchbox comes to £22.70 (not including the free bracelet), more than justifying the spend on the box. Four of the five items are relatively low value at under £2.50 each, but the full-size highlighting trio is worth a whopping £17.

The total value of the Glossybox is more than double that of the Birchbox at £52.38. Only one of the items is less than £7 in value, and the full-size eye pen is worth £17, the mascara worth £11.40 and the hydro face mask and top coat worth £7.99 each.

Glossybox wipes the floor on value for money, with lots of high-end items.

Value for Money:  Birchbox ♥♥♥♥♥  Glossybox ♥♥♥♥♥

Overall: Both boxes are beautifully presented with some quality products but Glossybox takes the lead this month thanks to its outstanding value and on-trend products. Birchbox 10/15, Glossybox 13/15.

September Winner: Glossybox with 13/15

October

The Birchbox arrives first this month, followed by the Glossybox a few days later. The packaging on both is as in September albeit with different colours and themes. This time the Birchbox is themed around star signs, which is a sweet idea and especially nice as my birthday falls this month. As Libra is an air sign I get the air box, which is a dark blue with little silver stars. The Glossybox is a lovely pastel pink with black accents.

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Again, each box picks up 4/5 for gorgeous presentation.

Presentation:  Birchbox ♥♥♥♥♥  Glossybox ♥♥♥♥

The Birchbox contains six items; two haircare items, a make-up product, two skincare products and an eyebrow brush. The best product is the full-size Lord & Berry Lip Crayon which is a great colour but I’m also very happy with the NKD SKN fake tan. Although inexpensive, the eyebrow brush is welcome as I don’t currently have one. I also have a hair elixir (Number 4 Fluoro5 Elixer Restore & Repair Oil) and a facial mist (Doux Me Pure Spring Mist). Due to an error, I get the same volume spray from Batiste that I received last month. I’m told this will be corrected in next month’s box which seems a little presumptuous given that I’m on a month-by-month contract.

The Glossybox also contains six items; a skincare product, a bodycare item, three make-up products and a haircare item. It’s hard to pick a single stand-out product as five of the six are fantastic. These include; Bee Good Honey & Camelina Facial Exfoliator (both ethical and British), Rituals The Ritual of Sakura Magic Touch Body Cream (which smells divine), Universal Beauty Secret Flush Soothing Cream Blusher & Lip Stain Duo, Trifle Cosmetics Lip Parfait Buttery Lip Cream and PS…Pro Longwear Lipliner. The sixth product is a mystery shampoo. It is worth mentioning that four of the six products are full-size too.

Birchbox drops points this month for sending a duplicate product, while Glossybox steams ahead with five outstanding products.

Products:  Birchbox ♥♥♥  Glossybox ♥♥♥♥♥

The total value of the Birchbox is £10 higher than last month at £32.15. Four of the products have a value of less than £5 each, while the facial mist is worth £8 and the highest value item is the lip crayon at £12.

The total value of the Glossybox is slightly less than last month at £47.65 but still £15 higher than the October Birchbox. Only one of the products is worth less than £5, excluding the mystery shampoo which it is not possible to put a value to. The highest value product is the cheek and lip duo at £15, followed by the lip parfait at £12.95 and the facial exfoliator at £10.50.

Birchbox picks up an extra point this month for the increase in value but Glossybox still represents far better value for money overall.

Value for Money:  Birchbox ♥♥♥♥  Glossybox ♥♥♥♥♥

Overall: Both boxes continue to be beautifully presented. Birchbox has dropped a point for having a duplicate product of its September box but gained a point for improved value for money. Glossybox remains in the lead with great products and fantastic value. Birchbox 11/15, Glossybox 14/15.

October Winner: Glossybox with 14/15

November

The Birchbox arrives first again this month, followed by the Glossybox a few days later. The packaging on the Glossybox is exactly the same as last month. The Birchbox packaging is the same style as October but with a stunning peacock feather design and really has the wow factor.

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Birchbox gets 5/5 for presentation with an original and beautiful design. The Glossybox picks up 3/5 – while it’s lovely it is exactly the same as last month.

Presentation:  Birchbox ♥♥♥♥♥  Glossybox ♥♥♥

The Birchbox contains six items – one of which is the replacement product for the duplicate product in last month’s box. The six products are as follows; three haircare, one skincare and two make-up products. Again, it’s good to see a quality brand such as Nuxe within the box, although a bit of a shame to receive products from the same brand twice within three months, as part of my reason for ordering a beauty box was to try different brands. The Beauty Protector shampoo is also a premium product and is great for blonde hair like mine – a benefit of Birchbox allowing you to tailor the box to your personal colouring and preferences. The Lip Tamer is quite an interesting product as it preps your lips and promises to prevent lipstick budging. I’m not particularly fussed about the dry shampoo, and despite the brow pencil sounding promising (I am slightly brow obsessed) it is way too hard to create nice soft strokes with and I doubt I’ll use it. The Hair Wonder Balm sounds intriguing and is something I’ll use.

The Glossybox contains five products; one skincare, one make-up, razors, pillow spray and a blending brush, plus a free Ferrero Rocher. The stand out product is the 111SKIN Bio Cellulose Facial Treatment Mask, a limited edition product for this season that contains real crushed gold. The De Bruyere Beaute Pearly Eyeshadow Pencil was used at Victoria Beckham’s Autumn/Winter 2016 show and comes in a lovely shade that will suit most types of colouring. The razors aren’t particularly exciting but will always come in useful as will the blending brush. Although only a small size the This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray is a lovely product and not the sort of thing you would necessarily treat myself to so is very welcome.

The Birchbox has a couple of premium brands which are very welcome, although there is not as much variety as I’d like on previous months contents. Glossybox once again has a fantastic range of products with some luxury and unusual items.

Products:  Birchbox ♥♥♥  Glossybox ♥♥♥♥♥

The total value of the Birchbox is pretty consistent with last period at £34.20. No individual item is worth over £10, with three items worth between £7-£9 and the other three worth under £5.

The total value of the Glossybox is also consistent with the previous month at £46.73 and is over £10 higher than the November Birchbox. Two of the items are worth over £10 each; the face mask is worth a whopping £20 and the eyeshadow pencil worth £13. Two of the products are worth over £5 each, with the remaining product worth about £1.

The scores are consistent with October due to the values being so similar individually and in comparison with one another. Glossybox still represents far better value for money overall.

Value for Money:  Birchbox ♥♥♥♥  Glossybox ♥♥♥♥♥

Overall: Despite the Birchbox packaging this month being the best we have seen from either brand, Glossybox just manages to remain in the lead due to yet another box of fantastic products which give great value. Birchbox 12/15, Glossybox 13/15.

November Winner: Glossybox with 13/15

Overall Results: If you haven’t tried a beauty box before, either brand is definitely worth a try and represents good value for the £13 ish cost per month. Kirstie and I both really enjoyed receiving a beauty box each month as a fairly inexpensive treat to ourselves and both of us have decided to continue with a beauty box of some type each month, albeit I think we’ll both switch up the brand from time to time.

From the three month trial of Birchbox and Glossybox, Glossybox wins with an impressive 40/45 overall, compared to 33/45 for the Birchbox. Despite the price of the beauty boxes from each brand being so comparable, the Glossybox consistently manages to deliver better value for money as well as interesting and varied products.

Overall Winner: Glossybox with 40/45

A massive thank you to Kirstie for her help with writing this blog. If you know of a great beauty box I should try then get in touch in the comments below, or via my Facebook page or my Instagram (secret.diary.of.a.beauty.geek).

Beauty Geek x

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9 thoughts on “The Battle of the Beauty Box: Birchbox v Glossybox

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