Saturday, November 15, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: Subscription Boxes

As I get older, I'm finding that it's getting harder and harder to shop for my friends and family.  It's easy to buy for kids, since they always want a certain toy, book, movie...anything, really.  But if you're friends and family are anything like mine, the holidays become a time where all you hear is "I don't really need anything."  Humility is fine, but it's the holidays!  It's the perfect time to indulge in or ask for things you wouldn't normally purchase for yourself, and I think subscription boxes fit perfectly into that category.

I've compiled a list of some great boxes tailored for all different types of people.  I haven't personally tried all of them, but I've seen reviews on other blogs and I thought they looked like good deals!

Conscious Box - $9.95 a month for the Taster Box, $19.95 a month for the Plus Box
I was a Conscious Box subscriber for over a year (read my reviews) and I loved it!  They send the best natural, non-GMO products each month and their shop has all of the products available at discounted prices.

Daily Dose of Green - $15 a month or $165 a year (one month free)
I subscribed to this box for quite a few months and really enjoyed it (read my reviews).  I was always impressed by the variety of items they sent.  You fill out a survey as well and they send you specific products tailored to your needs and interests.

Eco Emi - $15 a month for the Variety box, $22 a month for the Beauty box
Eco-Emi is another box I was subscribed to (read my reviews) that I thoroughly enjoyed.  They now have two separate boxes, the Variety option is a lifestyle box (7-8 samples) and the Beauty box contains 4-5 full-sized and deluxe makeup and skincare samples.

Yuzen Autumn 2013
Goodebox - $19 a month, $18 a month for three months, $17 a month for six months
I only tried one Goodebox when they first launched, but they have vastly improved in my opinion.  Not that they were ever bad, but now they feature many more brands.  The nice thing about their service is that you can gift subscriptions in increments of one month, i.e.. one month, two months, three months, etc. up to six months.

Petit Vour - $15 a month, $45 for three months, $90 for six months (US pricing)
I love Petit Vour because they send only vegan and cruelty-free beauty (read my reviews)!  A lot of their items are from luxury brands, so the box always has a high value.  They also ship internationally, with $23 a month for Canada and $30 a month elsewhere.

Yuzen - $33 a month, shipped quarterly
Yuzen boxes are always gorgeous.  Their packaging is wonderful and the items inside are even better (read my reviews).  They feature the best eco-conscious products to "nourish the body and soul."

Golden Tote - $49 for 2-3 items, $149 for 5-7 items
Golden Tote is a really fun way to shop.  Each month they release specific clothing, and you can choose one item to be in your tote.  Then the rest of your items are surprise items that are hand-selected by the Golden Tote staff to match the style profile you fill out when you sign up.  If you choose to gift a tote, you have to create a style profile for the recipient.

Just Fab - $39 a month
Just Fab features shoes, accessories, handbags, and apparel for only $39 with a VIP membership!  Each month, stylists choose items for you in your showcase based on your style preferences, and you can choose to purchase an item or skip the month if you don't see anything you like.

Image courtesy of Golden Tote
Stitch Fix - $20 a month
Stitch Fix sends five items to you each month picked based on your style profile, and you can choose to keep them at a discounted price, or send them back if you don't like them.  Returns are free and easy.

Fabletics - Starting at $49.95 a month
Fabletics, a sister company of JustFab, is for the athlete in your life!  They have a huge range of athletic wear for everyone from yogis to joggers and beyond.

Gwynnie Bee - $35 a month (for one item, prices increase from there)
Gwynnie Bee is a clothing rental/purchase service for plus-sized women (they carry only sizes 10-32).  Subscribers add clothes they like to their virtual closet, and then they'll receive a box with these styles that they can either wear for a time and return or purchase at discounted prices.  There's no limit to the number of boxes you can receive a month.

Plated - $60 per shipment
Plated is a meal delivery service that allows you to select complete dishes from their menu each week.  You can choose plates for 2, 4, or 6 people and skip any weeks you'd like.

Nature Box - $19.95 a month, $17.95 for three months, $16.95 a month for six months, or $15.95 a month for a year
I love Nature Box; they have such a huge range of delicious snacks!  You can pick five snacks for the $19.95 charge, plus you can add on as many more as you'd like for an additional fee.  You can also choose to be surprised and they'll send you a random assortment of snacks.

My March 2014 Nature Box
Graze - $6.99 per shipment, $25 per box for the Graze Big Box
The original Graze box contains for mini snack packs that are perfect for anytime you get a craving.  The Graze Big Box contains larger bags of the same snacks.  You can't choose exactly which items to receive, but you can rate each snack and select "never send" for any you don't like.  You can get boxes once a week, twice a month, or once a month.

Vegan Cuts Snack Box - $19.95 a month, $39 for three months, $100 for six months (1 month free), $199 for a year (2 months free)
The Vegan Cuts Snack Box is perfect for the eco-conscious foodie in your life (or anyone who really just loves delicious snacks!).  They send 7-10 items each month that are all vegan, from cookies to tea and beyond!  Read my review for their October 2014 box.

Orange Glad Sweet Box - $19.95 a month or $31.95 a month for the Double Treats box
I was gifted a three-month subscription to Orange Glad last Christmas and it quickly became one of my favorite boxes (read my reviews)!  They send 4-5 gourmet desserts each month and they are absolutely heavenly!

JewelMint VIP Box - $29.99 a month
Each month JewelMint will send a box full of jewelry valued at $80+.  You can also just sign up for their standard service, which allows you to purchase pieces each month that are picked based on your style profile, or you can choose to skip that month (prices vary).

Your Bijoux Box - $35 a month
Your Bijoux Box sends three pieces of hand-curated jewelry.

Cate & Chloe VIP - $39.99 a month
The Cate & Chloe VIP box sends $200 worth of designer jewelry to your door.

Necklace from my fourth RocksBox
Formio - $18 a month
Formio sends four accessories plus a clutch, all curated to be worn together and based on your style preferences, and you can choose to either keep and purchase them at discounted prices or send them back after you've worn them for a little while.

RocksBox - $19 a month
RocksBox works the same way as Formio.  You pay the $19 a month fee, and for that you get an unlimited supply of designer jewelry.  You can choose to keep the pieces and purchase them at discounted prices, or send them back and get a brand new box.

Kiwi Crate - $19.95 a month, $18.50 a month for six months, $16.95 a month for a year
Kiwi Crate is a really fun box that sends hands-on crafts centered around different themes.  It also comes with a mini magazine with illustrations and information about the craft.

FabKids - $29.95 per outfit with VIP membership
FabKids is another brand that's under the same umbrella as JustFab and Fabletics.  Each month you can choose a full outfit for boys and girls, or you can purchase outfits individually without the VIP membership.

Green Kid Crafts - $19.95 a month, $18.95 a month for six months, $17.95 a month for a year
Green Kid Crafts sends 3-4 Creativity and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) kits that help kids learn while having fun.  Each kit centers around a different theme.

March NerdBlock Jr. Girls box
Nerd Block Jr (Boys and Girls) - $13.99 a month + shipping
Nerd Block Jr. is a box full of toys for boys or girls.  The girls box contains stereotypical "girly" toys, while the boys box contains stereotypical "boy" toys.  You can purchase either for your child, regardless of their true gender.  Click here to read my review of the March Girls Box.

Kiwibop Postcard Pals - $3.99 a month, $3.79 a month for biannual, $3.59 per month for annual
Kiwibop Postcard Pals is one of the more unique subscriptions I've found.  Your child's first kit will include a welcome package with their first four postcards, stickers, and a fun activity.  Then each month after they'll receive four more colorful postcards packed with information on a wide variety of subjects.

Citrus Lane - $29 a month, $27 a month for three months, $24 a month for six months, $22 a month for a year
Citrus Lane sends a box full of 4-5 of the best products for your little one (toys, books, snacks, and more).  You also get to choose the box based on your child's age, so you know you'll always receive products appropriate for them.

Birchbox - $10 a month, $30 for three months, $60 for six months, $110 for a year (1 month free)
Pretty much everyone knows about Birchbox, but I'm including it anyway because it's such a great deal.  This is a great starter box for anyone who's new to the subscription box world, and it features deluxe samples from high-end brands.  You can fill out a beauty profile to ensure that you receive samples relevant to your lifestyle and needs. *Note: if you choose to gift a subscription, currently they only allow 3-, 6-, and 12-month gift increments, but if you'd rather gift only one month you can just sign up with your recipient's address and cancel after one month. (Read my Birchbox reviews).

Beauty Box 5 - $12 a month, $30 for three months, $60 for six months, $99 for a year
Beauty Box 5 is so named because they send five full-sized and deluxe samples to your door each month.  Their items range from cosmetics to skincare and accessories, and more!  Read my reviews.

Glossybox - $21 a month, $60 for three months, $115 for six months, $220 for a year
Glossybox is a bit more expensive than some other beauty subscriptions, but they send more full-sized products from high-end brands (each box contains five products total).  I have only received one Glossybox (read the review), but I was impressed with it and continue to be impressed by reviews I see on other blogs.

My May 2014 Birchbox
Vegan Cuts Beauty Box - $19.95 a month, $59 for three months, $100 for six months (one month free), $199 for a year (two months free)
The Vegan Cuts Beauty Box is the sister box of the Vegan Cuts Snack Box and is just as wonderful.  Each month they send 4-7 full-sized, cruelty-free products ranging from skincare to cosmetics.

Boxycharm - $21 a month or $231 for a year
I have tried two Boxycharm boxes (read my reviews) and really loved them.  They send 4-5 full-sized beauty items and are one of the more underrated beauty boxes in my opinion.

Square Hue - $14.99 a month + $5 shipping US, $9 shipping to Canada
There are a lot of nail polish subscriptions out there, but Square Hue is my favorite (read my reviews).  Their formula is phenomenal and the price is great for three polishes a month.

Bespoke Post - $55 for a gift card (digital or physical), $135 for a box and gift card
Bespoke Post sends a "Box of Awesome" each month that contains a limited edition collection of products that are built around a specific story or theme.

Mantry - $75 a month
Mantry is "the modern man's pantry."  Each month they send a box of 6 full-sized, premium curated food items that are made in the U.S.A.

Loot Crate - $13.37 a month + shipping
Loot Crate is a box for geeks and gamers (and it's a great gift for women gamers as well).  Each box contains $40+ retail value with items centered around a specific theme (read my reviews).

Nerd Block - $19.99 a month + shipping
Nerd Block is similar to Loot Crate as it is geared towards geeks and gamers.  Each Nerd Block has a t-shirt, and the items are centered around a specific theme.  They also have Horror Block and Arcade Block (read my reviews).

My August 2014 Loot Crate
Wet Shave Club - $29 a month, $24 a month for three months, $22 a month for six months, $19 a month for a year + shipping to Canada or other international
Wet Shave Club makes shaving easy.  The starter box comes with a safety razor and shave brush, as well as all the accessories needed for a good shave (read my review here).  A lot of men I know don't take the time to shop for things like shaving accessories, so this is a great way to treat them to high-quality products that they don't have to go out and get themselves.

Birchbox Man - $60 for three months, $110 for six months, $195 for a year
Birchbox Man gift subscriptions function the same way as the women's boxes.  Birchbox Man is a great way to introduce the guy in your life to luxury skincare and more, or indulge the man who already appreciates good grooming (read my reviews).

Five Four Club - $60 a month
Five Four Club is a luxury men's clothing subscription that sends $120 worth of clothing each month.  After filling out a style profile, you'll be matched with a personal stylist who will select items to send you each month.  Boxes contain an average of 2-3 pieces.

Bottom Line: This list obviously is not all-inclusive!  There are tons more subscription services out there for any interest, and I encourage you to explore beyond these to find the perfect gift for your friends and family.  I do hope that this was helpful in getting you started, and that you find one or two that caught your eye.

Feel free to comment below with any boxes I didn't include that you recommend!

*Disclaimer: This post contains some referral links.

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