Sephora unveils beauty box service rivalling Birchbox

Beauty retailer to offer subscription service

Mickael Denet via Wikimedia Commons

Beauty retailer Sephora is launching a subscription box service, challenging current market leader Birchbox.

The service will be rolled-out across the US, starting with a trial run this September in Boston, Columbus and Cincinnati. Other locations will follow in 2016. Called 'Play! By Sephora', the service will include five 'deluxe-sized' products from a range of different brands including its own brand, Sephora Collection.

The service will cost $10 a month and will include coupons to use in store as well as application tips, Spotify playlists and other customer benefits. Each box is also said to have a theme, with the first set to be "Uncover the Essentials". WWD has reported that the first box will include Sephora Collection Rouge Infusion Lip Gloss, Marc Jacobs Beauty Gel Crayon Eyeliner, Ole Henriksen Sheer Transformation Face Créme, Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil and Glamglow Supercleanse Facial Cleanser.

Future themes for the boxes are said to be "Secrets to Dewy Skin" and "The Exclusives". The company has also said that some boxes will include additional sample-sized products, similar to those often sent with current online orders. In September's first box, consumers can expect to receive a number of fragrance samples alongside their five full-sized products.

Birchbox launched five years ago, also marketing its service at $10 a month – although it also offers a $20 deluxe version. The company has recently unveiled plans to expand into bricks and mortar stores. Other beauty box competitors include Glossybox and Ipsy.