Target, Ulta and Walgreen's have expanded their beauty aisles in the past three years to include more makeup, hair care and skincare options for women of color. But even these major retailers fall short of meeting every need. That's where beauty subscription boxes fill a void.
Beauty subscription boxes have completely transformed the way we shop. Instead of wasting money on foundations that mightmatch our skin tone or styling creams that may give us pillow-soft curls, these membership services are a guilt-free way to sample these products.
While there are plenty of beauty subscription boxes sold online, very few are curated with women of color in mind, or come packaged with more than one sample that addresses their concerns. Thankfully, we've come across a select few that have managed to get it right, including CurlBox and the new Essence Beauty Box.
According to Essence Beauty and Style Director Pamela Edwards Christiani, "getting these products into the hands of women who may not have known where to find them or knew that they were for them," was a major reason why the publication finally entered the realm of beauty subscription boxes.
She added, "Here we are with years of beauty experience. We touch and feel everything. We want our audience to have that same experience."
Want to try beauty subscription boxes? Here are five that cater specifically to women of color.
Essence Beauty Box
Curated by its editors, consumers will find five products inside the box that span the hair, makeup, skincare and fragrance categories and features at least one item from an indie-owned black brand. The debut Essence Beauty Box is sure to gain lots of fans, as it will include Ginger and Liz Argan Oil remover wipes, Fekkai Hair fragrance spray, Eden Bodyworks Coconut Shea hair oil and L'Occitane hand cream.Cost: $15/month (free shipping)
Having worked in the fashion departments at Vogue and Harper's Bazaar and artist development at Arista Records, Cocotique Founder and CEO Dana Hill has an eye for uncovering gems. And that's exactly what you'll discover inside the deluxe beauty boxes she curates each month. They are filled with 5 to 8 sample size and full size haircare and skincare products from tried-and-true labels, including Black Radiance, SheaMoisture and Alikay Naturals. Then, you can purchase full-size items of the items you love online at Cocotique -- a rarity when it comes to beauty subscription box services. Cost:$20/month (free shipping)
The affordable and easy-to-use products tucked inside this beauty subscription box have completely taken over our Instagram feeds, as natural hair bloggers praise its offerings.Getting onto its cult list is a part of the thrill, but once you're locked in, you'll get access to the latest and greatest brands. Loaded with 5 to 7 sample and full size products from the likes of Ouidad, Carol's Daughter, Pantene and more, this subscription box is a godsend to women whose local beauty supply store isn't just up to par.Cost: $20/month (plus shipping)
Women of color have turned to CurlKit since 2011 for guidance and inspiration on how to style, treat and maintain their tresses when overwhelmed by all the options in stores. Experimenting with the 6 to 9 sample and full-size products inside this monthly subscription box, kinky, wavy and coily-haired individuals are sure to discover something that works for their hair texture. And if you absolutely love it, you can buy it in their online shop.
Onyx is way more than a monthly beauty subscription box, it's a movement! Appealing mostly to multi-cultural millennials thanks to vloggers like Jessica Pettway and Jackie Aina, this service gets trendy and trustworthy products into the hands of a vibrant community.Each month, subscribers receive 4 to 6 full and deluxe size makeup, skin and hair products by Lotta Body, Cantu Shea Butter and more brands. Plus, they can buy the full size goods on the website through amazing flash deals. Cost:$20/month (plus shipping)