Curated experiences have long been coveted by those who want to reap the benefits of those in the know. It should come as no surprise then that subscription services are thriving, as clients crave affordable, effective, and trendy beauty and wellness solutions curated by a variety of experts. Beauty Bar Sample Society ($15 a month), for example, features five deluxe-sized beauty samples delivered each month. The mix of skin, hair, makeup, and fragrance products are chosen by Allure’s beauty editors and wrapped up in a glossy red box along with a $10 gift card to spend on any $50 Beauty Bar purchase each month.
One of the most recognized and popular subscription services, Birchbox provides members with a box filled with a selection of four to five beauty, grooming, and lifestyle samples from both up-and-coming and well-established brands. According to Fast Talk, “In less than four years, Birchbox has grown from 600 monthly subscribers to more than 800,000…they’re changing the way we shop.” Available for men and women, the subscription involves a beauty/grooming profile to help the company better match individual needs, such as style and skin type. Members can also earn Birchbox points by purchasing full-size products in the Birchbox Shop, inviting friends to join, and provide feedback on the samples received. Points can then be redeemed for the purchase of full-size products and gift subscriptions. “In the beauty and wellness markets, there’s an abundance of choice,” says co-CEO and cofounder Katia Beauchamp. “With tens of thousands of product and brand launches per year, the beauty landscape can quickly become overwhelming to a consumer. The trend is driven by consumers’ realization that there are now more efficient ways to get exactly what they want without having to try too hard.”
Those seeking out eco-friendly brands can opt for Goodebox ($18 a month), which lets members sample four to six trial-sized health and beauty products. The natural products are selected based on the member profile, which reveals members’ product interests, skin and hair type, color preferences, and more.
Spa Heroes ($39 a month), another service focused on delivering eco-friendly products, comes from the spa industry’s own Jeannie Jarnot, a former spa director who wanted to help consumers discover products with good-for-you ingredients. “Consumers care about value, quality, convenience, and making responsible decisions about their health,” says Jarnot. “Beauty and wellness subscriptions like ours deliver all that and more. In the case of Spa Heroes, we take the guesswork out of buying non-toxic beauty products by committing to deliver products free of a defined list of harmful ingredients and by having spa industry experts vet each product. You don’t find that in a store.” The service relies on spa experts and industry influencers who are privy to the latest developments and technology in skincare, bodycare, haircare, and more. These Spa Superheroes then determine each month’s Spa Heroes. Consumers who sign up get a full-sized hero product, a 15 percent discount at the online store, subscriber-only discounts on limited small batch releases and other healthy finds. According to Jarnot, convenience is certainly a factor in driving the trend, as is putting consumers on the inside track to discovering new products. Says Jarnot, “It’s like belonging to a special club—there’s a sense of community.”
From Birchbox to Spa Heroes, these subscription services are transforming the way consumers discover, sample, and shop for beauty and wellness products. We predict it won’t be long before spas get in on the action with their own subscription services.