BoxyCharm Subscription Review
BoxyCharm is a customizable monthly beauty subscription box that sends members a combination of makeup, skincare, haircare and bath and body products, beauty tools and accessories. BoxyCharm is one of the main competitors to Ipsy (read my review of Ipsy Glam Bag Plus here) and is one of the most popular beauty subscription boxes in the U.S. It took a while for me to try BoxyCharm because I heard that it mostly sends makeup and I prefer boxes that send high-end skincare products. After I subscribed, I learnt that BoxyCharm actually does both, but I still have a few gripes about BoxyCharm.
How it Works
BoxyCharm offers three subscription plans and four payment options. The three subscription options are BoxyCharm, BoxyCharm Premium and BoxyCharm Luxe. The base BoxyCharm subscription sends members 5 full sized beauty items with an average value of over $175 for $25 per month. BoxyCharm Premium subscribers receive 6-7 full sized beauty items each month with an average value of over $215 for $35 dollars per month. BoxyCharm Luxe costs $49.99 (or an additional $25 if you upgrade from the base BoxyCharm subscription) and sends members 8+ full sized beauty and lifestyle products worth an average value of over $395 every three months. In addition to the monthly payment plan options for BoxyCharm and BoxyCharm Premium, there are also 3, 6 and 12-month prepaid options. The Luxe subscription is only billed quarterly.
BoxyCharm allows members to have multiple subscription plans but Charmers are limited to two subscription plan combinations: BoxyCharm and BoxyCharm Premium or BoxyCharm and BoxyCharm Luxe. BoxyCharm does not currently offer a straightforward way for subscribers to get both Premium and Luxe boxes, but they offer a work around on their website, which involves Premium members creating a BoxyCharm base subscription during Luxe months ((March, June, September, December) and then immediately upgrading to the base subscription to Luxe (read more about the specifics here). Subscribers with multiple subscription plans are billed separately for each plan, and subscribers don’t have to worry about getting the same items in each box.
When you subscribe to BoxyCharm you are given a 15-part beauty quiz which asks questions about your eye color, hair color and skin tone in order to match you with makeup that is best suited to your skin type and skin tone. BoxyCharm and BoxyCharm Premium give subscribers the option to choose 1 item in their monthly box during their Choice window. Likewise, Luxe subscribers can choose 1-2 items in their box during their Choice window.
BoxyCharm offers members the option of purchasing add-ons to their boxes, which are beauty and lifestyle products sold at member-exclusive prices every month during the Add-On period. Subscribers can purchase as many add-ons as they like, and add-on items ship free but separate from the BoxyCharm subscription box. Another perk of a BoxyCharm subscription is the Pop Up, where members get to shop more beauty and lifestyle products at up to 80% off every 3 months. Similar to add-ons, members can purchase as many items as they would like in the Pop Up but depending on product inventory for a specific item, customers may be limited to 1-3 per Charmer. Shipping for PopUp is free when you spend $25 net of any promotional credits.
Finally, Charmers receive Charm points for referring family and friends and for reviewing items received in their BoxyCharm which can be redeemed for beauty products.
I subscribed to both BoxyCharm base and Luxe on November 1 and I received my BoxyCharm base box on November 19. I was waitlisted for the Luxe subscription and wasn’t charged for my Luxe subscription until I was removed from the waitlist on November 13. Unfortunately, more than 2 weeks after I received my BoxyCharm base and 3 weeks after being charged for the Boxy Luxe subscription, I still have not received my Luxe starter box. On the bright side, my November BoxyCharm base box arrived in a black box with BoxyCharm written on the front of the box and contained the following items:
Natasha Denona Peak Palette (Boxy Exclusive) - $48
Beauty Creations Esmeralda II - $13.99
Moda Ultimate Eye Sculptors (Boxy Exclusive) - $15.00
What I Liked and Didn’t Like
I liked the BoxyCharm’s beauty exclusives that I received in my box, for example, both eye shadow palettes in my November box were BoxyCharm exclusives and the Natasha Denona Peak Palette in particular was very pretty and versatile. But the thing I love most about BoxyCharm had nothing to do with the subscription box. Instead, I fell in love with the BoxyCharm Pop Up. A few days before the Pop Up opened, I received an email reminding me of the date and time the Pop Up would open and encouraged me to create a wish list of items that I was interested in purchasing to make the experience go a lot more smoothly. On the appointed date and time, I purchased far more skincare items than I had on my wish list because of all the good deals and I was able to read product reviews from other Charmers to help decide which products to buy. Here is a list of the things I purchased from the BoxyCharm Pop Up:
Elemis - Peptide4 Adaptive Day Cream - $18 (retail $62)
Perricone MD – Cold Plasma Plus+ CBD Advanced Serum Concentrate - $24 (retail $159)
Perricone MD – Cold Plasma Plus + Advanced Eye Cream - $18 (retail $110)
Sol de Janiero Brazilian Bum Bum Cream - $3 (retail $10)
Avant Skincare – 8 hour Radiance Renewal Sleeping Mask - $6 (retail $107)
Kate Somerville – Kx Active Concentrates Vitamin B3 + Vitamin C Serum - $24 (retail $98)
Kate Somerville – Kx Active Concentrates Bio-Mimicking Peptides Serum - $18 (retail $98)
Byroe Tomato Serum – $9 (retail $150)
Elemis Pro-Collagen Quartz Lift Serum – $49 (retail $177)
SATURDAY SKIN Pore Clarifying Toner - $9 (retail $30)
Elemis Frangipani Favorites - $29 (retail $85)
The one negative comment I have about the Pop Up is that putting things in my online shopping cart didn’t mean that I had secured the item, so when I returned to my cart to complete my purchase, some of the items were no longer available. I think BoxyCharm should allow members to hold onto items in their cart for a minimum of 5 minutes, while they continue shopping, because had I known that I wasn’t actually reserving the items in my cart, I wouldn’t have taken such a long time browsing through other items and missing out on the products I really wanted!
Aside from the Pop Up there were a number of other things I didn’t like about BoxyCharm. First, I disliked how long it took for me to receive my Luxe Starter Box, BoxyCharm attributes the delay to COVID, but I have received subscriptions boxes that ship from the UK, France and Canada and none of them have taken as long to arrive as BoxyCharm Luxe Starter Box, so the problem is not entirely due to COVID. Another thing I really disliked about BoxyCharm is how difficult it is to get in contact with customer service. BoxyCharm uses an automated system on their website to answer frequently asked questions but even after you manage to get the bot to allow you to send an email to customer service, you are sent an automated email response that basically tells you the same thing the bot did! And then, if that automated email still doesn’t answer your question, you have to respond to the automated message! Basically, you need the patience of Job to be able to deal with BoxyCharm’s customer service.
Another thing I disliked about BoxyCharm is the sheer volume of emails they send to new subscribers. Most of the emails were about shipping delays, but after the first 2 weeks, I stopped reading the emails because judging from the subject line, I knew the emails didn't contain shipment tracking numbers for the items I had purchased from the Pop Up. But by ignoring BoxyCharm’s voluminous emails, I missed the notice of the date and time of my Choice event, where I get to choose 1 item for my November box. This was very frustrating because I missed the chance to choose the 111 Skin - Hyaluronic Acid Aqua Booster for my box and instead, I ended up receiving 2 eyeshadow palettes, which is definitely not something I wanted. This leads me to another dislike, which is the fact that subscribers are sold on the ability to customize their BoxyCharm but that is not my experience. For instance, in my Beauty profile, I checked the box indicating that I wanted “mostly skincare, little makeup” and that of makeup items I preferred lip gloss to eyeshadows. I have since changed my Beauty profile to remove eyeshadows all together from my preference list, but I am still at a loss why BoxyCharm would send 2 items from the same category. In the end, I gifted both eye shadow palettes.
Finally, I disliked how complicated the subscription levels are and that there isn’t a straightforward way to get both Premium and Luxe subscriptions. Subscription boxes should be easy to understand so that members know exactly what to expect. I think the subscription plans could be simplified by sending all new Luxe subscribers the Luxe Starter box, which can be shipped as soon as they join, eliminating the need to wait weeks for their Luxe starter box.
I recommend BoxyCharm to those who want a subscription box that sends primarily makeup with a few skincare and/or haircare items. However, this is offset by the ability to purchase skincare items as add-ons or during the Pop Up, which happens every 3 months, at deeply discounted prices.