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Instead of giving someone a single gift this holiday, how about a year’s worth? Subscription boxes are a great last-minute present idea that don't require you to leave the house. Just head to any of the websites listed below to set up monthly deliveries of clothing, accessories, beauty products — hell, even home goods — all packed in a convenient little box and brought straight to the recipient's door.
We combed through the dozens out there to find the boxes that are actually worth paying for, so you can give your favorite person (or yourself) months of surprises. It’s a perfect way to extend the fun of gift-giving long past the holidays and a great way to kick off the new year.
One of the original beauty subscription boxes (it's been around since 2010), Birchbox is still a great gift pick — get it for that friend who's obsessed with collecting Sephora samples, as everything comes in mini sizes. With subscriptions starting at $10 a month in three-, six-, or 12-month increments, it's an inexpensive gift and a good way to test out luxe makeup, skincare, fragrance, and hair products before buying something full-sized.
Each box contains products customized to the recipient's hair type, skin type, and color preferences from brands like Milk, Ouai, Clinique, Oribe, and Wilma Schumann. Birchbox offers a similar box for men, matter-of-factly titled Birchbox Man, which starts at $60 for a three-month subscription.
Birchbox is also offering discounts on gift subscriptions through December 25th, with a PDF to download and print so you still have something physical to give.
Clothing, intimates, accessories
Wantable's subscription boxes are available in five different categories: style, intimates, makeup, fitness, and accessories. The style and fitness categories are both monthly try-on services, where you receive five to seven pieces per month, purchase what you want to keep, and send back the rest (the $20 "styling fee" gets applied toward your final purchase).
The accessories, makeup, and intimates categories are more traditional subscriptions, where you receive a curated box of gifts each month (although you're always free to return anything you dislike). When you sign up for one, you'll be presented with a lengthy quiz on your preferences and sizes, during which time you can pick and choose from pre-made mood boards and opt out of certain items if, say, you hate bandeaus or prefer delicate chains to big statement necklaces.
The popular beauty brand offers a monthly box for either nail polish or skincare and cosmetics (you can also choose to receive a mix of both categories). Selections are based on a quick quiz that covers your makeup preferences, skin tone, and eye color when you sign up.
You can pay $24.99 if you choose to be month-to-month, or sign up in three- or six-month blocks for $19.99 or $16.66 a month, respectively. Everything is Julep-branded and full-size; expect to receive a rainbow of nail colors and products like cream-to-powder blush, tinted lip treatments, cleansing oils, and more.
Plus-size options have been getting better in recent years, but the industry still has a long way to go when it comes to making it easy for women above a size 14 to find chic, well-fitting clothing. Enter Gwynnie Bee, whose clothing rental subscription service is the only one of its kind (it's focused on sizes 10 through 32).
Gift subscriptions start at $49 for a two-month subscription for one item at a time, and go up to $149 for a three-month subscription for three items at a time (during the month, you can borrow as many times as you like). The clothes that arrive — from brands like Rachel Antonoff and Melissa McCarthy Seven7 — are based on availability; you can request particular items that you'd like to receive next via a "My Priorities" section, and if you fall in love with a particular outfit, there's an option to buy the garment directly.
Full-size beauty products
Another full-size skincare and makeup service is Boxycharm. The company's $21-a-month box comes filled with products from well-established brands like Tarte, Cargo, and Butter London, as well as smaller companies like Skyn and Manna Kadar. Each month's box contains four to five products. Like many of the other boxes, longer subscriptions come at a small discount: You can pay $59 for three months, $116 for six months or $231 for a full year.
Clothing and accessories
The priciest but also the most luxe on this list, The Zoe Report Box of Style ships four times a year, as opposed to monthly, at $99.99 a box. Each shipment contains a range of items tailored to the season, from clothing to accessories to makeup, chosen by a team of editors.
Expect brands such Soia & Kyo, Michael Stars, Shaffer LA, Ouai, Juice Beauty, and Clinique. The boxes are all reflective of Rachel Zoe's particular California glam look, so it's a great gift if you know your recipient loves things like fedoras, caftans, and big sunglasses — but maybe not the pick if you're unsure of her style.
With Rocksbox, you get three pieces of jewelry a month in the mail to borrow at a time, from brands like Slate, House of Harlow, Kendra Scott, and more. Picks are curated from stylist recommendations and items you add to your Wish List on the Rocksbox website.
Gift packages range from a three-month membership for $49 to a year's membership for $149. Send the box back for three new pieces as many times a month as you wish; if you fall in love with a piece and decide to keep it, Rocksbox will charge your card for the purchase at a discounted member's price.
Beauty specifically for women of color
Founders Delali Kpodzo and Myriam Bocobza created Onyx to fill a gap they saw in the beauty market for black women's hair products and resources. Now expanded to include skincare, makeup, and nail products as well, Onyx offers subscription boxes in single-month ($25), three-month ($59), six-month ($115), or yearly ($225) bundles.
Each box contains four to six full-size hair, skin, makeup, and lifestyle samples curated especially for women of color from brands like Carmella Marie, Cargo, Biao, and others. As a bonus, the included products are featured in free video tutorials on the website for inspiration in how to use them.
Bespoke Post curates monthly boxes filled with small-batch goods for men — although many of them will likely appeal to ladies as well. The contents cover all kinds of categories, from personal grooming to home goods to barware, and are centered around a different theme every month. Past themes have included boxes titled "Refresh" (herbal-smelling shampoos and soaps; "Drinker's Detox" vitamins; Marvis toothpaste); "Copper" (ginger syrup; an ice-crushing mallet; copper Moscow Mule mugs); and "Dwell" (a cozy throw and handmade incense).
Boxes are $45 and you can skip any box that doesn't appeal — each month you get five days to preview it online and decide if you want it before it ships.
Clothing (including maternity) and accessories
Le Tote's fashion rental service is like an upgraded clothes swap: Every month, members can borrow a variety of clothing and accessories from brands like French Connection, Free People, and Rebecca Minkoff for a flat fee.
Subscriptions range from $39 to $69 per month, depending on how many items of clothing and/or accessories you'd like to keep at a time. Offerings are tailored to members' preferences, and you're able to preview and edit what you'll receive each month before it ships. Le Tote offers a maternity clothes subscription as well, which is a genius way for moms-to-be to have fun with their look without ending up with a closet full of clothes they'll only wear a few times.