Ipsy VS Birchbox

August 14, 2016

If you have Facebook, Pinterest, or Pandora, you have probably seen the monthly beauty subscriptions Ipsy and/or Birchbox advertised. Birchbox is a box that is filled with five random beauty samples that are tailored to you. Ipsy is the same, but it comes in a bag instead of a box. Both of these companies have you fill out a questionnaire about your skin type, the coloring of your skin, hair, and eyes, and what kind of beauty products you like when signing up. Both are also $10/month.


So, this may be a long one, but I'm going to compare Ipsy and Birchbox and do a full review on both of them! I have been subscribed to both of these for two months, so I feel like I can adequately compare them.  



This is what the Ipsy package looked like when it came in the mail. It also said "To:  The Vivacious Allison Owings", which I thought was cute and a nice touch. 

This is everything inside the package. The Ipsy makeup bag is so cool. It's metallic and is a pretty nice quality and size for the price. The "Hot Summer Nights" insert was just an advertisement telling you to check out the Ipsy website. The actual makeup bag is also a different pattern each month!

These are all of the things I received in my glam bag! Below, I am showing swatches of the products that can be swatched and doing a mini-review on them! All of the pictures are taken in natural light.

Luxie Beauty Rose Gold Small Angle Eye Brush 215 - this is a full size brush that retails for $10. This is a great cream or gel eyeliner brush. It gives you a thin line, which makes a cat eye easy!

tre'StiQue Mini Highlight Stick in Maldives Luminescent - this is a mini size highlighting stick, but it has a lot of product in it and I think will last for a very long time! It is a beautiful champagne color, although it looks silver-y in the picture. The product in general is very comparable to Benefit's Watt's Up but I like this better! It blends very well over powder while I think Watt's Up kind of breaks up over a powder product. 

Palmetto Derma Rejuvenating Antioxidant Mask - this is a sample size of this face mask.  I can probably get six uses out of it.  It's promises are that it "soaks up impurities — turning the tables on daily skin damage." I do not know if I agree with these claims. Honestly, my skin doesn't feel different after I use it.

theBalm Cosmetics Meet Matt(e) Trimony Eeyeshadow in Matt Kumar - this is a full size, matte, burgundy eyeshadow.  This shadow is part of a palette that retails for $42, and it is not available as a single eyeshadow.  It is such a pretty color and a smooth formula!

Ofra Cosmetics Lip Liner in Maya - the color of this is very similar to the color of the eyeshadow. The pigment does not seem to be the best, but it is a full size product which is nice. This retails for $13.


My favorite things about Ipsy:  the bag is nice and reusable, and you get full size products (three out of five this month)!



This box came inside just a regular cardboard box. This is the BirchBOX! The logo is metallic and I think they do a different print every month.  My July box was a different print than my June box and both were super cute. 

note: the brushes have nothing to do with Birchbox. they are just decoration

This is what you see when you open the box. The packaging is sooo cute. I am a sucker for creative packaging!

This insert talks about the theme of the month's box. This was the June box and the theme was magic!

 On the other side of the card is a list of the products you received, including descriptions of the products and how much a full size retails for. This was super nice to have.


These are all the samples I received in the June box! I will link them below with swatches and mini-reviews. These are in the order they appear in the box.

Balance Me Congested Skin Serum - retails for $30 and I might have to buy it.  You know something becomes a must-have for you when you HAVE to take it on vacation. This promises to balance your skin's pH and decrease your breakouts. I have been using this for a month and a half and I still have product left! It does do what it says! 

Smith & Cult the Shining Lip Lacquer in Her Name Bubbles - this wasn't actually part of the Birchbox. It was part of a deal that if you signed up for a Birchbox subscription in June, you received a full size for free. It retails for $22. I do not like this at all. The longevity is terrible, and if you have hair that comes past your ears, it will get stuck in this lipgloss -- bleh!

Whish Shave Cream with Vitamin K - loooveeed this! If it didn't cost $24, I would buy it. I do wish this sample would have came with more product in it. I only got two uses out of it. Comparable to EOS Shave Cream.

Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow - not a favorite. I got about 5 uses out of this sample. It had very little coverage and I would probably use it as a primer, if I even used it all. Not worth the $24. It had a greasy/slimy feeling which isn't nice, especially during the summer

The Beauty Crop PBJ Smoothie Stick in Raisin the Roof - this was a the only full size product in the Birchbox! It retails for $14.95. This has a verryy strong berry smell, but I did not mind it. I do not like the color or the pigmentation, but I tried this same product in Guava Nice Day (more purple-y) and I love it!

Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask - this is another blah product. This sample had about four uses in it. It is a nice deep conditioner for your hair, but my other hair masks from the drugstore are just as good and way cheaper! The full size retails for $36!


So, judging by quality of samples and bang for your buck, I would say Ipsy is my favorite! I actually canceled my Birchbox after I realized how much I liked Ipsy. Birchbox gives more skin and hair products while Ipsy gives you mostly makeup products with skincare or hair products here and there. Also, unless you can figure out a creative way to use the Birchbox, the packaging is a waste. I feel bad throwing away such a nice, cute box. The Ipsy bag is cute AND reusable! One down side to the Ipsy bag is that you may be put on a waitlist. They do have options to skip the waitlist, basically doing free advertising for them, but that's ok!


I know I only took photos of one month of each of the subscriptions, but Ipsy really is better. My second month of Birchbox came with samples of all hair and skin products and one makeup product. Bummer for me. All of the products in that box weren't anything I would consider purchasing. My second month of my Ipsy bag was a hit! I got products I am excited to try and some new favorites (let me know if you want to hear about them)!


If you're interested in signing up for Birchbox or Ipsy, click them to go to the website and get ready for a fun month of samples!

Please reload

August 1, 2018

July 26, 2018

June 1, 2018

Please reload

About Me

Lover of all things girly and summery, I created Always Carolina blog to creatively share beauty tips and products, style inspirations, and travels.