Finding the right beauty products through conventional methods (read: over-the-counter drug stores) can be a struggle for women of color. With women of varying hues, oftentimes choosing the perfect foundation or shade of red lipstick is a game of trial-and-error. Essence magazine’s Smart Beauty research study revealed that African-American women spend $7.5 billion annually on beauty products, while paying 80% more on cosmetics and twice as much on skincare products than the general market.
Five years ago, Birchbox helped revolution the beauty industry by introducing a new way for women to experience products by offering a monthly product subscription box complete with 5 deluxe-size samples for a mere $10. Since then, there have been several beauty box services to hit the market specifically targeting the beauty needs of women of color.
Here are five we think are worth a look:
1. Essence Beauty Box: The legendary lifestyle publication, Essence, recently launched a beauty box chocked full of products for brown beauties curated by the magazine’s beauty experts.
Subscription options: Monthly ($15); 6-months ($90); 12-months ($165)
What you get: 5 sample or trial size hair and beauty products
Featured brands include: Smashbox, Eden Bodyworks, CURLS, Tarte, L’Occitane, Kimo Bentley, and Ginger and Liz
Cancellation policy: You can cancel your subscription at any time. The cancellation takes effect at the end of the month. Read the FAQs.
2. Onyx Beauty Box: In addition to their beauty box, Onyx offers subscribers and online lifestyle destination with video tutorials, beauty advice from industry experts and giveaways.
Subscription options: Monthly ($25)
What you get: 4 to 6 luxury sample-size hair, skincare and makeup products
Featured brands include: Coco Curls, Kinky-Curly, Brvelle, Herban Body Care, and Gleam by Melanie Mills
Cancellation policy: You must cancel your account by the 29th day of the current month if you don’t want to be charged for the next month’s box. Read the FAQs.
3. CurlBOX: Naturally curly girls this subscription box is for you! CurlBOX experts hand pick products for a variety of hair textures and patterns.
Subscription options: Monthly ($20 + $5 for shipping)
What you get: 5 to 7 natural hair product samples
Featured brands include: Shea Moisture, Ouidad, Deva Curl, and Brown Butter Beauty
Cancellation policy: You must submit your cancellation request before midnight (eastern standard time) on the 20th of the previous month if you want to cancel and/or receive a refund. For example, to cancel for December, you’ll need to notify CurlBOX by November 20th. Read the FAQs.
4. Our Shade of Brown: This company has not only created a beauty box that delivers quality brands, but also a web home that allows you to get beauty tips and advice, as well as purchase full-size versions of products.
Subscription options: Monthly ($10); 12-months ($110)
What you get: 4 to 5 premium-sized product samples
Featured brands include: Hair Rules, Essie, Juicy Mist, and Pooka
Cancellation policy: Month-to-month subscriptions can be canceled at any time. Yearly subscribers cannot cancel until their 12-month subscription has expired. Read the FAQs.
5. Bonnie Box: This box doesn’t require a subscription and targets women with textured hair and emphasizes “co-washing, styling, sculpting, and finishing.”
Subscription options: $25 per box (as needed)
What you get: 5 deluxe- and/or full-size hair products
Featured brands include: Twisted Sista and Tre Luxe
Cancellation policy: Not applicable.
Love, peace & beauty,