Consumer Reports tests beauty box subscriptions

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Consumer Reports' ShopSmart signed up for eight beauty box subscription services to see which gives the most beauty bang for your buck.

It's said that good things come in small packages - so what do you really get when you buy a beauty box subscription?

Consumer Reports' ShopSmart signed up for eight services.

Packaging ranged from eco-friendly to pretty color-coordinated boxes.

"In many cases, we took a short quiz so they could tailor the products for us. We answered questions to point to classic, rather than a trendy style," said Jody Rohlena, ShopSmart editor.

The services cost between $10 and $25 a month and contain about four to six samples per box.

It includes everything from hairspray to nail polish to beauty tools.

How did the boxes stack up?

"The best ones are a great way to try new products. But in our informal tryout, we found that some give you a lot more for your money than others," said Rohlena.

Beauty Army, for example, costs $12 a month, but ShopSmart got mostly tiny samples - the kind you might get free in a department store.

Others gave more beauty bang for the buck. At just $10, Birchbox delivered generous sample sizes, perfect for taking on a trip.

And GlossyBox was the hands-down favorite. It promises five luxury beauty products each month for $21.

"GlossyBox really delivered. The box was beautiful, and so were the products inside. They were full sizes, in colors we actually would use - a real value for the money," said Rohlena.

With GlossyBox and most of the other beauty box services, you can stop getting them whenever you want. But you often get a discount if you sign up for several months at time.
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