Shopping subscription gifts for mom? Of course you are, because the gift that keeps on giving is the very best gift of all. In truth, mom probably adheres to the “thought that counts” mentality, which means you can’t fail as a gifter unless you forget her day completely. Which you would never do.

Anyhoo, subscription gifts are so fun because they deliver variety, surprise, and an ongoing celebration of mom’s special role in your life. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that subscription gifts get expensive. A $50 box might be out of your budget for one month, let alone three. So I went on the search for the best subscription boxes that are suitable gifts for Mother’s Day (or suitable gift boxes for mom’s birthday, for that matter) — with price points of $20 or less per month. Here they are, nine clever subscription boxes for women who beauty, plus five more for the mom who appreciates something different.

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Gift box with tag that reads,

9 beauty subscription gifts for mom

1. My Little Mascara Club

My Little Mascara Club subscription gift for mom.

My Little Mascara Club solves two major mascara woes — your pricey tube dries out well before it’s empty and your mascara doesn’t stay on your lashes. To address the drying out issue, My Little Mascara Club packages its lash formula in mini-tubes that last one month. The mini tube has another advantage, too. It’s easier to use a short wand vs. a long one. Try it for yourself and you will agree.

As for the mascara staying put on your lashes, I’ve never used a mascara that does this better. Truly. I’ve spent way too much of my life cleaning mascara off the inside of my eyeglasses, my sunglasses, and non-lash parts of my face. I’d honestly come to accept that this was just a thing to accept with mascara. But I was wrong. This stuff is the real deal.

My Little Mascara is also 100% vegan + cruelty-free.

You can buy My Little Mascara Club products (for mom or yourself!) on a one-time basis, but also on a subscription plan, starting from $9 monthly. You can choose one of two mascara formulas, along with add-ons like mascara shaping combs or mascara remover. Once you kick off the subscription,  you get access to a mascara concierge who sends you an email reminder before every refill. You can change the order, skip it, donate it, or cancel it outright.

2. LookFantastic

LookFantastic subscription box.

LookFantastic is an online British luxury beauty retailer that’s been around since the late-1990s. The shop is known for freebies with purchase and other member perks, so the beauty box offering fits right in.

You can buy the LookFantastic beauty box in increments of one, three, six, or 12 months, ranging from $16 to $19 monthly. Each box includes six brand-name products that value in total at least $60. A recent box includes:

  • ESPA Refining Skin Polish 15ml – worth $11.81
  • Sachajuan Styling Cream 125ml – worth $31.80
  • Emma Hardie Brilliance Facial Oil 5ml – worth $9.70
  • Starskin DREAMKISS™ Plumping and Hydrating Bio-Cellulose Lip Mask – worth $6.20
  • Luvia 308 Detail Shader Brush – worth $14.20
  • Wet n Wild Lipstick Sandstorm – worth $5.40

These subscriptions auto-renew, which adds an extra step when you’re gifting them. After you sign up for the term you want, log in to your account and turn off auto-renewal. If you don’t do this, mom will keep getting her boxes indefinitely — which is great for her but bad for your checkbook.   

3. Birchbox

Birchbox subscription box.

Birchbox has three gift subscription plans:

  • Three months for $45
  • Six months for $84
  • 12 months for $156

When you buy from Birchbox’s gift page, you pay the full amount for the subscription upfront — but then you don’t have to worry about auto-renewal.

The monthly box contains five premium samples along with tips for using them. Mom can try the samples and then easily order a full-sized version of any product she loves.

4. Ipsy Glam Bag

Ipsy subscription box.

The Ipsy Glam Bag includes five luxury makeup and skincare samples. To sign up, you do have to complete a beauty quiz — so make sure you know mom’s skin tone, eye color, hair color, and her comfort level with makeup. You also select brands as well as color and frequency preference for certain product types like cheek color, eyeshadow, eyeliner, and lip color. That makes the Ipsy Glam Bag a nice, custom gift option when you know a lot about mom’s makeup needs.

The Ipsy Glam Bag is $13 monthly and you can cancel or turn off the auto-renew at any time. There’s also an option to get five full-sized products monthly (instead of samples) for $28 monthly.

5. Walmart beauty box

The Walmart beauty box ships quarterly, for $7 (plus tax) a box. As with Ipsy, you do have to complete a beauty profile for mom, but this one only takes a couple minutes.

Users say the Walmart box is a great value for the price, since it usually contains one full-sized product along with at least four samples. Walmart’s own website is a little vague on the details — which hopefully means the box under-promises but over-delivers.

You should know that Walmart did skip its Summer 2020 box last year, which presents a bit of risk if you’re buying the box as a gift. You don’t want mom to get jipped after all.

6. Petite Vour

Petit Vour beauty box.

Petite Vour is a retailer of cruelty-free beauty brands that publishes a list of all the ingredients they prohibit in its store. These are cryptic, multisyllabic compounds like formaldehyde, sodium lauryl sulfate, and methylisothiazolinone. If you can’t pronounce it, it’s probably better to keep it off your face, right?

The Petite Vour beauty box specifically has a subscription gift program, which means you don’t have to cancel to cap your Mother’s Day spending. Your options are:

  • Three months for $54
  • Six months for $108
  • 12 months for $180

Each box includes four makeup, hair care, body, or skincare products valued at $50 or more. After you buy the gift subscription, mom has the option to customize her shipments by specifying her color preferences, skin type, and skin tone.  

7. Scentbird

Scentbird subscription gift for mom.

Scentbird could be the right choice if you’re looking for a subscription box for your older mom. This gift will send mom her choice of fragrance each month in an 8 mL container designed to last 30 days.

When you buy the gift subscription, you simply choose the plan, pay, and provide mom’s email address. She’ll get access to Scentbird’s catalog and she can start picking her shipments. There are more than 500 options.

Scentbird’s gift box plans are:

  • Three months for $44
  • Six months for $84
  • 12 months for $144

8. Facetory Lux

Facetory subscription box.

Facetory Lux ships your giftee seven K-beauty sheet masks for just under $20. At that monthly price, you can subscribe to one, three, six, nine, or 12 months of shipments with no auto-renewal. This gift subscription box has a full five-star rating from 36 users.

I’ve used Facetory sheet masks in the past and loved them. The sheet mask is such a fun way to try out different K-beauty brands and pamper your skin at the same time.

9. Bombs and Bubbles

Bombs and Bubbles subscription gift.

If you don’t want to mess with picking mom’s skin tone or favorite colors, a mom crate of bath bombs might be the low-maintenance gift you need. Each shipment includes up to six full-sized, handmade, creatively designed bath bombs that are vegan and cruelty-free. Subscribers love the fun designs and delicious scents.

The Bombs and Bubbles subscription is $16 monthly renews automatically until you cancel. Decide how much you want to spend, then set up a calendar reminder for yourself so you cancel it before blowing through your budget.  

5 non-beauty subscription gifts for mom

In case your mom isn’t the type of who loves beauty, or she’s already experienced every beauty box out there, here are a few non-beauty options.

1. Single Cup Club

Single Cup Coffee subscription gift.

If mom loves her coffee, she will adore the Single Cup Club monthly coffee subscription box. She gets 15 K-cups monthly with a variety of light, medium, and dark roasts. Each box typically has one flavored coffee and three unique blends from artisan roasters.

Your gift options are three months for $11.65 monthly, six months for $10.49 monthly, or 12 months for $9.92 monthly. Despite being positioned as gift subscriptions, these do renew automatically — so remember to cancel at the appropriate time.

2. Cloth & Paper

Cloth & Paper Subscription Gift.

Ah, the lost art of hand-written notes and planners! Help mom get organized with the Cloth & Paper monthly shipment that includes up to seven writing tools.  She might get premium pens, brush pens, or markers.

You can subscribe for three months at $20 per month. Remember to cancel or turn off auto-renew!

3. Simple Loose Leaf Tea

Simple Loose Leaf Tea subscription gift.

With Simple Loose Leaf Tea, you can choose the tea subscription that’s just right for mom. Choose from the original sampler box, herbal decaf box, green tea box, or black tea box. Each shipment has four loose leaf teas for mom to explore and enjoy.

The monthly price is $15 and you’d have to cancel once you reach your total gift budget.

4. Spice Madam

Spice Madam subscription box.

Foodies and party organizers will love the Spice Madam box of culinary spices from around the world. Each shipment includes spices and blends from a featured destination, along with up to six different recipes designed to up to eight people. Plus, she’ll also get a themed music playlist.

You can subscribe monthly for $20 or prepay for three, six, or 12 months. The six- and 12-month plans are discounted slightly to $18.33 monthly. These, like most of the other subscription gifts, default to auto-renew. Look for the option during checkout to turn off auto-renewal.

5. Gourmet peanut butter cups

Mothers Day Gift Guide 1

For the mom with a sweet tooth, a monthly chocolate subscription is an obvious choice. Jessie’s Nutty Cups has an affordable option, too — a monthly shipment of handcrafted peanut butter cups.

Pricing ranges from $17.50 to $19 per box, depending on the length of the subscription term. Mom will receive eight peanut butter cups with each shipment, in various flavors like coffee or brownie caramel. Remember to turn off auto-renewal during checkout.