The Best Mail-Order Grooming Kits For Guys

Subscription boxes are selling faster than BMG music-club memberships in 1996 (though whether anything beats the 12-for-1 CD deal is still up for debate).

The concept — a custom package of lifestyle luxuries and necessities ranging from condoms to organic popcorn delivered to your door — has become a bankable model for the grooming industry.

Makes sense; who wouldn’t want an expert to select the best serums and face washes for your skin type and effectively save you from the endless lines at Sephora? Check out these services that will stock your Dopp kit.

BirchBox Man

The Goods: Deluxe-size samples of scrubs, pomades, and colognes from tried-and-true brands like Kiehl’s and Baxter of California, plus goodie prizes like a Men in Cities woven-cotton belt.

The Strategy: Fill out an online profile about your grooming habits and physical traits (e.g., bald? Hair gels are nixed). Every month, expect a themed box of four or five items tailored to you. Anything you fall in love with can be bought in full size on the site (which also offers free shipping).

The Price: $20 a month

Dollar Shave Club
The Goods: Choose from one of three types of the upstart brand’s signature blades: the Humble Twin, the 4X, or the Executive.

The Strategy: Four or five cartridges a month land on your welcome mat, making last-minute drug-store runs obsolete. Founder Michael Dubin also recently added, uh, butt wipes to the line. (Seriously. Watch the promo video.)

The Price: Blades are $US1, $US6, or $US9 a month, depending on the style; wipes are $US4.


The Goods: Think full-size bathroom essentials — deodorant, toothpaste, and shampoo — that you blow through quickly. There’s a solid selection of nightstand necessities, like condoms and Chapstick, as well.

The Strategy: Build a customised “pack” online that can be sent to you once or every three months.

Urban Cargo

The Goods: Expect a mix of mainstream and up-and-coming indie brands. Past boxes have doled out Evolution Man moisturizers, Wash With Joe body washes, and Hanz de Fuko hairstyling products.

The Strategy: Fill out a questionnaire about your hair and skin and receive a batch of products every three months that treat your problem areas. Each shipment comes with a $US5 credit toward the online store.

The Price: $US17.95 (quarterly)

• • •

3 Non-Grooming Boxes We Can Get Behind

Each quarterly parcel offers an assortment of luxury products, like a customised suede document case made by Loden Dager, a personalised, engraved cologne bottle from New York — based perfumery Le Labo, and a Kaweco ceramic fountain pen.
$330 a parcel

Fancy Food Box
Devour the small-batch assortment of cookies, teas, and sauces that come from artisanal favourites like the Brooklyn Salsa Company and Salt of the Earth Bakery.
$39 a month

As with Rent the Runway for ladies, members choose from pre-worn designer ties, pocket squares, and cuff links from major brands like Hermès, Prada, and Gucci, then exchange the item when they’re ready for a new one.
Starts at $US15 a month

— by Kristen Dold

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