Beauty Box 5 - Year in Review

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What is it? Beauty Box 5 
How Much? $12/month, $30/quarter, $99/year  plus $3 shipping per box 
What's in it? 5 samples from your favourite beauty brands 

Beauty Box 5 was my first ever beauty box subscription. It's been quite a fun year since I signed up for my first box in January 2013. I've received over 100 parcels, reviewed dozens of subscriptions services, tried oodles of new products, and written 1000's of words on this blog all about the experience.

With my first year subscription coming to a close, it's a good time to do a year in review post to analyze the Beauty Box 5 subscription service. I last wrote an analysis post about BB5 when I was four months in to the service, but never found an opportunity to write a follow-up post. You can see my first BB5 analysis here.

Past Reviews:
1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12


First up, is a look at the shipping times. From February to August, BB5 promised to ship boxes by the 15th of the month. They changed the time line for the September box and beyond, moving the shipping date up to the 8th of each month. 

This is actually an improvement from my previous analysis post. Previously only 1 out of 4 boxes shipped on time, and the average days in transit was over 19 days, where as now it's dropped to 15.7 days. Moving the shipping date up by a week did help quite a bit.


Beauty Box 5 promised 4-5 products every month from "your favorite beauty brands". When I look at a beauty box, I like to see variety of products, variety of brands, and a mix of full-size and sample sized products. Beauty Box 5 is good about including the occasional full size product. Nearly a third of all the products I received were full size.

One of my biggest complaints early in my year with BB5 was the lack of brand variety. You can see it in the first half of the year in the chart below. They improved in the second half of the year, but there was still more brand repetition that I would prefer.

Out of 62 products received there were:
  • 5 from La Fresh and H2O+
  • 4 from Jean Pierre Cosmetics, Coolway Hair, and Brazen Cosmetics
  • 3 each from Swissco, NuBar, Be a Bombshell, and Aveeno

When it comes to product genre, BB5 is fairly diverse. The majority of the products fall into the Makeup or Bath/Body categories. Of the 22 Bath/Body products, 9 were facial care products, and 4 of those were anti-aging products. Beauty Box 5 does not include any fragrance samples (thankfully), and after some complaints about the number of foil packet samples, they have not included any foil packets since July.


When I signed up in January 2013, a year subscription cost $100. In June 2013, they changed the pricing and made it only $99 per year. My monthly pricing is based on $100/year. Product values are listed  retail values, as found online at major retailers. All figures are in US dollars.

No matter how you look at the chart, the value of BB5 is great. Considering each box costs less than $9 (with a year subscription), it can't be beat. However, the actual retail value month-to-month is very inconsistent. Despite a couple high months, there were also a couple low months. Overall, the average monthly estimated retail value is $34.56.

  • On time shipping 27% of the time
  • Just over 2 weeks shipping time from Texas to BC
  • Total number of product received: 62 (out of 60 promised)
  • Top products received: Makeup (14), Bath/Body (22), Tools (10), Hair (6), Foil Packets (6)
  • Number of products used since receiving: 13
  • Number of products given away since receiving: 16
  • Average retail value per box: $34.56
  • Total retail value received: $414.72
  • Amount spent: $100

There you have it. A full year of Beauty Box 5 in a nutshell. Overall, I am happy with the service. I hadmajor complaints and zero customer service issues. Everything seemed to run like clockwork. I've already signed up for another year subscription, so there will be no interruptions to my service or my posts. My February box is already on the way (and shipped on time!).

I still maintain that Beauty Box 5 is the best value box on the market, and a great starter box for those new to the world of subscription boxes.

If you enjoyed my post and would like to sign up for Beauty Box 5, please consider doing so using my affiliate link!


  1. I really enjoyed this post! I have been addicted to Subscription Boxes for a few months now and I really enjoy your site, it's nice being able to see Canadian reviews and know what we can get here! I just subscribed to BB5 when they had their $20 off a year subscription. It was way too good of a deal to pass up. I'm excited to start receiving them. They definitely seem like a pretty good value. I like that their shipping times have gotten better and it's neat to see that they are including more full size products. Thanks for all your reviews!

    1. I'm glad you found the review helpful! Enjoy your subscription box journey :)

  2. Thanks for the update, I just signed up for this with the promo code you gave out, I'm excited for a lower cost box to add to collection!

    1. That promo was unreal. Can't go wrong with a $7 a month box!

  3. I absolutely love your spreadsheets and details! I've subscribed to quite a few boxes lately (for the first time) and I'm excited to see them arrive!

    Btw, my mother is a beauty subscription box addict and the best, in my opinion, is New Beauty Test Tube. It's a shame it doesn't ship here.

    1. There are SO MANY boxes from the US that I would give my left arm to get a hold of.

  4. How do you like the Cool Way brand?

    1. I liked the Coolway Boost at first but the smell started to turn me off after a while. It went from being lemony to chemically. The shampoo did nothing for me. I still use the spray occasionally if I'm going to heat style (and if I remember).

  5. Holy analysis! This is awesome! I did like BB5, but got really really fed up of seeing the same brands over and over again. I've recently been thinking about going back though, so who knows.

    1. I was annoyed with the repetitiveness too but now that I've broken it down like this I see that it wasn't as bad as I thought... except for 4 months in a row of Brazen. I hope that never happens again.

  6. I was subscribed to this for a while, but I cancelled it (just after the bronzer and Coolway box, I think)... I paid monthly, and comparing it to ipsy, which was a similar price, it just didn't hold up in terms of value and quality/quantity, for me, so... still glad I cut back, but this is an awesome review of what you have received. Those are some awesome charts right there.

  7. I just subscribed through your code ... thanks for the info :)


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