Battle of the Boxes. Ipsy versus Birchbox

The time has come. 

Let’s have a real chat about Birchbox and Ipsy.

This all started a few months ago when I kept hearing from readers, in the comments of my Birchbox posts, that Ipsy is so much better than Birchbox. I did a little research and signed up to receive it.

I am almost positive that Ipsy is the new name for the initial company called “Glam Bag”. And all I read about Glam Bag reviews is that they were awful. Shipping issues, duplicating payments, etc. So I stayed far, far away from Glam Bag when it first launched.
However, if Ipsy is the new rendition of the original Glam Bag, I’d say they got their mess together. I’ve been recieving my Ipsy bag for 3 months and haven’t had a single issue.  

A little background info before we begin:
I’ve been receiving a monthly Birchbox for about 2 years now. At the time my blog was becoming increasingly popular, so were my monthly Birchbox posts. Birchbox began to hear about this mysterious Small Things Blogger who would write up a review of their product each month. They noticed some traffic coming from my blog to their site. 

They reached out, thanked me, and asked if I was interested in being a guest blogger on their blog! I was thrilled, accepted, and so began an ongoing working relationship. I’ve worked on some other cool projects with Birchbox and even visited the headquarters when I was in New York City last year.

I’ve never been paid by Birchbox, I don’t receive my boxes for free, but I every once in awhile they will send me a special sample, or a limited edition box to review on the blog. I’m very grateful that we have a good relationship!

So, while my love for Birchbox runs deeper than my love for Ipsy, I’m going to truly review these two boxes from a Kate point of view, not a Small Things Blogger who has been talking about Birchbox for years. Are you with me? 

Similarities:
-both at $10.00/month
-both send 4-5 products, typically sample sized but sometimes full size
-both are personalized based on your beauty profile

Differences: 
-Birchbox leans towards the skincare/body care end of things while Ipsy leans almost entirely on the makeup end of the spectrum
-Ipsy arrives in a mailer, with a bag inside
-Birchbox arrives in a box
Here is a peek at my June Ipsy bag:

1. The bag is not my style, however I like the concept that I get a new tiny bag each month.
2. This is a gel liner, with a brush included (at the top). It’s a charcoal color, and I liked it just fine.
3. These eyeshadows are too sparkly for me, and look cheap.
4. A nude lip liner that is slightly too brown, but may work better on other skin tones.
5. Believe it or not, this is blush. It’s brown. It’s weird. I will not be using it. You can find the NYX line at Ulta, by the way.
6. This liner is great for brightening up your waterline! I liked it a lot!

It’s clear from this bag, and other bags I’ve recieved, that Ipsy does send more makeup products than Birchbox. But here is the thing: makeup is such a personal thing, and it’s really important to buy flattering shades/products that work for your skin tone. So it’s much more of a challenge to send makeup that will *hopefully* work for you. 
I’ve found that I’ve tossed more items that come in my Ipsy bag than I have from my Birchboxes.

And here is a peek at my June Birchbox:

1. A lovely dry shampoo. Can’t get enough of these–they are fantastic to throw in my travel bag. 
2. An exfoliating, foaming cleanser.
3. A cute twistband (again, love stocking up on these. I stash them in different places so I always have one accessible.)
4. The white polish from the Birchbox + ColorClub collaboration. I don’t wear white nail polish, but it would be good for a french manicure.
5. A really bright pink lipstick. Fun for summer, maybe a little bright for me though.
6. Cute postcards! I’m not much of a snail mail kind of gal, HOWEVER these are cute to even use as a card for a gift. 

So, contrasting this box to Ipsy, there is really only 1 makeup product. The rest is more skin/body care or “lifestyle”. I’ve found, based on my beauty profile, my Birchbox often contains hair prodcuts, skin care, and only a bit of makeup. And I really like it that way. I find that I’m more experimental with those sorts of things than makeup.

The conclusion:
Each month varies, and depending on your beauty profile the contents in your box will vary. It seems like if you are more interested in skincare, bodycare, hair products, and a few lifestyle products, Birchbox is the way to go. If you are more interested in makeup, maybe try out Ipsy.

As far as I’m concerned, I plan to cancel Ipsy in the coming months. Like I’ve said, I’ve found that the makeup just doesn’t fit my style, and I haven’t been excited about a bag yet. I also feel like it’s geared toward a younger market, but maybe that’s just me. 

So, I declare Birchbox the winner in my book. 
Do you subscribe to both? Which is your favorite?

Comments

  1. says

    Great analysis, especially you’re reasoning. I like makeup better so Birchbox was disappointing to me, way too many lifestyle items and my last box was the “pen” box so I didn’t renew. I did notice that Ipsy seemed to have a lot of drugstore makeup items (NYX is $1-4 at most stores I see it) whereas Birchbox has more luxury brands even if they aren’t makeup.

    • says

      The brands that Birchbox offers has always been an appeal to me as well. If I’m going to pay to sample products, I would rather them be higher priced brands since it’s pricier to purchase those full-sized products just to try.

    • says

      Totally agree with this! Also, I forgot to mention in my comment below – I love their points systems for reviewing the products. I review every month and my points build up quick for a nice $10 or $20 credit to apply to my next purchase!

    • says

      It seems pretty hit or miss for both. The ipsy nail polishes have always been decent quality (contrast to ColorClub which most people are saying is so bad you can’t use it.)

      I was always excited to get NYX products. If you don’t live near an Ulta (most of us don’t) they can be very hard to get. :)

  2. says

    Thanks for this review, Kate! I’ve been wondering what all the Ipsy fuss was about as I’ve often seen people threaten to cancel Birchbox for Ipsy. It seems that they have two different focuses though, and I completely agree with you that a box heavier on makeup products would be a much more hit or miss experience for me. I know many people complain, but I actually enjoy the “lifestyle extras” from Birchbox, whether it’s a small treat, razor, pen, or twistband…and they have made an effort to listen to their subscribers about the amount of fragrances they send (though you still can’t opt out completely), which I appreciate. I’ll continue to be a Birchbox subscriber :)

  3. says

    I have never subscribed to either but from the looks of it Birchbox seems to have a more broad range and useful products. If you already have a well established makeup collection that works for you and you love, I don’t see the point of Ipsy. I have been wanted to try Birchbox for awhile now since seeing your monthly reviews. I may try it soon! Thanks for this review. I find all your reviews to be honest and helpful! :-)

  4. says

    I recently decided to try Glam Bag/Ipsy as well. After 3 months, I cancelled it in favor of keeping my Birchbox subscription. I feel like Birchbox offers better quality and I do agree with you that makeup is a personal choice, so it is hard to find Glam Bag’s makeup products useful if they don’t work for you. After this month’s offerings, I was happy with my decision!

  5. says

    I love this post! I have not joined either one yet. I keep trying to decide which one I would like best and THIS post just did that for me. I am not much of a make-up person but LOVE me some hair products so I am thinking Birchbox will be my choice. Thanks for posting this!

  6. says

    Hi, Kate! I received the EXACT same loot in my Ipsy. This was the first time I was a little disappointed with it. Not because of the products they sent, but rather the colors (just like you said). I didn’t feel like the colors they sent me matched up with my beauty profile. On the subject of the glitter palette, I also thought it was eye shadow. I tried it on with an open mind and discovered it looked AWFUL. And I wasn’t even sure it was an eyeshadow anymore!
    So I went online and sure enough, I found it that it’s actually body glitter to be used for “body art”. On Ipsy’s site it specifically says not to use on the eye area (oops). I’m 28 years old… I’m not going to draw on my body with glitter, you know?
    Anyway, thanks for doing this very honest review!

    • says

      hahaha! I thought it was eyeshadow too! thanks for doing the research on this product. i’ll give it to my 12 yr old niece who probably will have more use for it than me.

  7. says

    Kate- Have you really filled out your IPSY profile? The bag I received this month was right on for colors for me. The Chella brow highlighter is a new holy grail for me! I have been a long time subscriber of Birchbox- like from the beginning and I think that some months are really skimpy, but I appreciate that you can always count on IPSY to send full size products. It is a personal choice and I am happy to keep getting both- but I thought I would mention about the IPSY profile in case that was helpful. Also those are not eye shadows- kind of misleading with the applicator though.

  8. says

    Whew when I read the title of this post I started to sweat a bit. I just subscribed to Birchbox on Monday and am awaiting my first shipment scheduled for June 26. After reading your post I am glad I did! Thank you.

  9. says

    Great review! I’m a Birchbox fan too! In fact it wasn’t until I started reading your blog that I even found out about Birchbox! I signed up right away and have been loving it ever since!

  10. says

    I’m so glad you did this review! Ipsy has been on my radar since I saw the Eleventh Gorgeous girls review them on Youtube. I agree with what you said. Makeup is much more personal than skin care or lifestyle items. Birchbox is definitely more my style than Ipsy.

    Have you ever gotten Glossybox? It seems like a more expensive version of Birchbox. I kind of want to try it… but it’s about twice the price!

  11. says

    I wholeheartedly agree about the Ipsy vs. Birchbox.
    After completing the questionaire for Ipsy I would have expected the products sent to be a little more shall we say personal. Well I received exactly what you received in your bag. Not my style(s) at all.

  12. says

    I love the quality if items I’m getting in Birchbox. I’ve seen a few reviews of ipsy and it seems like the full size products are products that are cheaper and I could probably get at a local drug store.

  13. says

    I recently cancelled Birchbox and just became an Ipsy girl. So far all the product I have gotten has been stuff that matches my beauty profile. I won’t necessarily use all of it all the time, but it is nice to have something in the drawer to pull out when I want to try something different. For example, the glitter eyeshadow – they aren’t everyday but maybe for a girls night or a concert. I love getting the extra makeup bags too. I was just not impressed by the size of the samples in Birchbox – it’s so hard to tell if you like something by only using it twice and then running out.

  14. says

    I have not subscribed to birchbox, but have looked at both subscription sites and what people get each month through them. I agree about customizing your makeup to suit you, but it’s the same with skin/hair. I have sensitive skin, and just because something is high end doesn’t mean i’m going to put it on my face, and same with my hair. I signed up for Ipsy b/c I have seen numerous bags and most all looked good & a lot of the items are full sized products vs sample sizes you could get at Ulta/Sephora type ones through birchbox. I agree though about this months Ipsy bag. They screwed up with this month’s bag for a “wild” side bag in my opinion. That body glitter is NOT my style, so i’ll prob. just give it to my niece.

  15. says

    Love the review, Kate! Any idea if Ipsy has a points/reward program similar to Birchbox? That program is really the only reason I continue to subscribe to BB. In all reality, if you get 5 products in your box and review them, you’re getting $5 back. So the box is only $5, not $10. I was curious if Ipsy had duplicated that system.

  16. says

    I’m an Ipsy subscriber and have been for several months and absolutely love it! Just putting that out there for full disclosure. :) One thing I wish you would have included in your review is the retail value of the products you got from each service. The products you got from your Ipsy bag retail for over $60! Not sure about your Birchbox products. Also, I know Ipsy does some sample products every once in awhile, but the vast majority of what you get are full size products. From what I’ve heard, Birchbox does a lot more sample sized products. I do agree with you that Ipsy seems a bit more geared towards the younger crowd sometimes. But even so, there has just been one product I won’t be using due to that (the glitter palette this month). Everything else I’ve gotten since I’ve started getting bags in February has been appropriate for me at 33 years old. Anyway, thank you for the review! I’m always interested to see people’s opinions on Ipsy vs Birchbox. :)

  17. says

    Thank you for being so clear and up front about your prior relationship with Birchbox. A lot of beauty bloggers are shady about that stuff. I appreciate how upfront you are.

    I’ve never been interested in Birchbox. I’ve never seen a blog write up where I’d be interested in more than one of the products. Which is a little odd because, like you, I feel like the ipsy bags skew quite young (the company is associated with beauty you tubers whose audience are mostly teens)

    I did have an ipsy subscription for 6 months. I canceled because I decided I’d rather be spending $10 on a piece drugstore make up I had researched. I do have lots of products from my bags that I use regularly, though. They even managed to do a decent job with the concealer, I got. (I’m surprised you got the brown blush, there were pink ones and from blog it seems like ipsy is much better than Birchbox at actually using beauty profiles.

  18. says

    I also wrote a review on these last night. I cancelled my Birchbox subscription because I almost always received tiny products. But then they emailed in May and said I could still get my box if I “came back” so I did. I’ve now gotten two months of each box. My Birchbox boxes never looked like the ones I saw when I read other blog reviews about Birchbox. I have gotten three Ipsy boxes and have been much more impressed. I love the larger product sizes-gives me a much better chance of deciding whether or not I like a product. I could do without a bag every month, but so far I am much more pleased with Ipsy.

    • says

      Yes, I felt like that too about my birchbox never being like what bloggers got – almost as if Birchbox knows they are bloggers and sends them the good stuff. I remember getting fabric detergent samples…and a pen. Maybe one good, interesting hair or beauty product. My birchboxes just never made sense to me. But with my Ipsy box, I loved most of what was sent.

    • says

      All the birchboxes are put together in a large manufacturing factory, so I think it would be almost impossible for them to pick and choose special products for bloggers. As others have mentioned, your beauty profile makes a big difference.

    • says

      I had the exact same experience. I was getting things that didn’t even come close to matching my beauty profile with Birchbox. My friends and I were always so disappointed when we received our boxes and then looked at what the bloggers had received, on this blog and others. We never got any of the really cool stuff we saw online and our samples were always teeny (I have fully bought into the conspiracy theory that Birchbox caters to bloggers). I have since switched to Ipsy to try it for a few months. My first two boxes had many more useful items to me than the Birchbox ones and I definitely have a more “mature” profile, so it’s not about that. I haven’t received the one for this month so I don’t know if I’ll be receiving glitter yet, but I certainly hope not.

  19. says

    thank you! I’ve often wondered what ipsy is about but love my birchbox oh so much to switch! also, can you review for points with ipsy too like birchbox? that is my favorite part! getting makeup (kinda for free!) with your points!

  20. says

    In my Birchbox I was using maybe one item and storing or giving away the remaining 4. In ipsy I’m using 4 and storing or giving away one so it works well for me! :)

  21. says

    I prepaid both MyGlam (before Ipsy) and Birchbox for a year but never resubscribed to either when the time came. That being said, I LOVE Birchbox’s point system, each box you receive gives you points as well as each review for every product you receive in the box, it’s easy to accumulate points and by the time you know it, you have a huge chunk of rewards cash to use on their site! Did I mention Birchbox exclusive products? ;-) http://www.budziakbeauty.com/zoya-blogger-collection-by-birchbox/
    Birchbox has great customer service, if anything is wrong, they’ll do what they can for you. I’ve never had a problem with Ipsy though.

  22. says

    I used to get Birchbox, but canceled it because I was getting almost nothing I liked or thought I would use. I would see your boxes and the stuff looked great, but mine was nothing like it. I started Ipsy (have since cancelled because we moved, but might start it up again) and liked it much more. Now that you point it out, yes, it is much more makeup heavy and if you don’t want a lot of make up, it’s probably not for you. I may give Birchbox another try – maybe my profile was weird and they were just sending me really weird stuff for that reason. Who knows.

  23. says

    I’m on the ipsy camp. I had birchbox for a year and it was an utter disappointment for me. I agree that if you want makeup, go for ipsy. Birchbox was more lifestyle to me and just not worth it to me.

  24. says

    I subscribed to Birchbox after seeing your many reviews. I have gotten a couple of things I like, but often times are disappointed at the sample sizes – just because it seems like a lot of them are “free” samples to them. It advertises as sending Deluxe Sample sizes – we must have a different definition of the word “deluxe”. :) All that being said, I started in Jan, cancelled it before June’s bag, but after watching the Sneak Peak – signed back up b/c I HAD to have a new nail polish! ;-) June’s was my best box to date and I think the new beauty profile questions are a lot of the reason why. (but if they don’t send me a twistband soon – I’m going to hunt them down!)

    I signed up for Ipsy when I cancelled Birchbox and so June was my first month for that. (I’m SOOO bummed I missed out on the Zoya nail polish in May!!!) I actually love the bronzer blush that I got (great for summer!) and look forward to trying some of the other items. I agree with you though – they seem to lean towards a younger crowd.

    So for now – I’m utterly torn. I think I’ll continue to get both for another couple of months and see what happens.

  25. says

    I’ve been subscribed to Birchbox for over two years now, as well as GLOSSYBOX and Julep for over a year, and originally subscribed to “MyGlam” for a few months, then cancelled due to all the crazy problems they were having… but I resubscribed with them–now Ipsy–several months back and have been mostly happy since. I’ve had my share of experiences with various beauty boxes for comparisons. In my opinion, they are all very different and offer different perks and have their faults. I’m usually disappointed with the types of products and size of samples that I receive in my monthly Birchbox; however, I really adore their point system and find that overall the perks of that make the bad months worth sticking around for. I was initially thrilled with GLOSSYBOX, but have been more disappointed as the months go on… and for $21/month, I’m very close to canceling. I do feel like the products in the Ipsy Glam Bags do tend to be lower quality and a little more cheap/geared toward younger girls; however, I almost always have one product each month that I love and some months are absolutely stellar. I honestly think that, aside from Julep where I hand pick my box each month; Birchbox, GLOSSYBOX, and Ipsy are all equally bad about sending out wrong shades, despite filling out a detailed beauty profile on their websites.

    Overall, I feel like Birchbox is better geared to women who are interested and willing to really splurge on their beauty routines. A lot of women wouldn’t be thrilled with getting a foil sample of a $40 eye cream, for example, because they would never consider buying it in the first place. While Ipsy usually gives the casual beauty fan immediate satisfaction with larger samples and full size products that they can add to their small collection and continue to enjoy beyond one or a few uses.

    All in all, I definitely wouldn’t stay subscribed to so many beauty boxes if it weren’t for my blog. If I had to choose, I’d probably ultimately stick with Birchbox… though, for me (since I usually prefer receiving makeup over skincare, etc.) Ipsy would be a close contender.

  26. says

    I subscribe to Birchbox and received 3 months of Ipsy as a gift. After month one of Ipsy, I’m not sure whether I’ll be continuing after my gift subscription is up. I’m interested to dabble with the gel eyeliner, and I received a nyx blush/bronzer combo… but the glitter…. seriously?

    We’ll see what July holds! :) So far, Birchbox is winning for me as well! :)

    Kim
    Carried Away in…K!

  27. says

    Great post, Kate. I love your honesty (not like you aren’t honest otherwise).

    I stopped my Birchbox about a year ago because I read so many blog reviews on theirs and mine were lame in comparison. Yours are consistently awesome with a few doozies thrown in.

    After reading this post, I would have reached the same conclusion.

    And if you need a place for those postcards…. I’ll gladly receive. :-)

  28. says

    I just cancelled my Ipsy subscription. It was fine but I prefer Birchbox as you get reward points and you can buy the products directly from their website. I recently signed up for Sample Society by Allure magazine. I received my first box this month and I think it I will like it! It is definitely higher quality brands and the samples are great. Plus, you get a $15 credit each month to use towards products from your box. Some of the brands I received were Philosophy, Murad, and SmileGlo.

  29. says

    I have been getting birchbox for a few months now and am pretty pleased so far. The quality of products they send is key. I have found at least one item from each box that I will buy or have sought out.

    Amber
    FACE IT Catalog

  30. says

    My problem with Birchbox (I was subscribed to them over 6 months,) was that I was continually getting crappy boxes. None of what they [Birchbox] talked about in their videos ever came in my boxes, and so many bloggers that posted about their boxes would get really great products. It’s really frustrating and disappointing.

  31. says

    Thanks for the review! I didn’t know the boxes were only $10, I might have to try them out. Birchbox definitely seems a little more high end. I had 2 subscriptions to baby boxes (Citrus Lane and Blumm). I liked both but ended up staying with Citrus Lane for their variety of great brands.

  32. says

    I have done birchbox, I have done & still do ipsy, & for a while I was doing both. Here’s the thing about birchbox for me, it seemed like they just completely ignored my profile. The first two boxes were great! I loved the products that were sent, and the size seemed generous to me. The next 3 were just ok. Maybe one product each month that worked for me, the rest just seemed random. The last 3 were horrible!!! The things that they sent were the complete opposite of what was in my profile. I have very dry skin and they were sending me things for oily skin, I also have strait hair & they were sending me products for curly hair, just things like that. Add to that all the perfume samples I hated & I decided birchbox had to go. I’ve been doing ipsy for 6 months now & this month was the first one I felt fell a little short of the mark. However even this month had things I will use and appreciate.

    Maybe birchbox has improved over the last few months, but I’m afraid to take another chance quite frankly. My boxes were never like yours & your boxes were the reason I tried them. I can understand a previous poster’s frustration. It does seem as if those that promote birchbox get much better boxes then I did…

  33. says

    I absolutely LOVE Birchbox!! I’ve had a subscription for 4 months now and I’ve loved every box! I actually heard about them from your blog as well, so thank you for that!

  34. says

    What great timing on this post. A few friends and I have been debating this issue all week and I am so glad to hear your opinion as well. They are both a big fan of Ipsy but I feel too loyal to cheat on my Birchbox lately. I am still tempted to order a box and see what kind of goodies arrive at my door. We have also been discussing Stitch Fix, but that is a whole other issue. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Sara

  35. says

    I’m a Birchbox subscriber and so far, I’ve loved it! Yes, my first box had 2 damaged/leaky items, so that was a bummer. My second box was perfectly in tact and had great items (nearly identical to your June Birchbox). I also love the points system Birchbox has and I can accumulate a $10+ discount pretty quickly by doing reviews and making purchases. I bought a full-size version of the Klorane Dry Shampoo and got it for FREE using my points. LoVe!

  36. says

    I like Birchbox as well, and much for the same reasons as you do because makeup is so personal and while I have received a few makeup items from BB, they have been things I have liked so I’ve been lucky. I didn’t like the glut of perfume samples I was receiving (one I love though) so I noted in my profile either this month or last that I want to receive less fragrance. Additionally what I do like about BB is their simple website, availability of tutorials and videos, point system for referrals and reviews that leads to $$ off, and their customer service. Even if a company is 110% amazing, if the customer service stinks I won’t touch it. I haven’t tried other boxes personally, but I have a few pals who have and it seems that as a BB subscriber, I end up better. Finally, any items that I don’t like or want, I give them to friends. Someone can always use a sample!

  37. says

    I’m a big fan of BB, and while it’s true that not every item is to my liking, the majority of the products are great. I collect the products that don’t work for me, and I bring them to friends at work.

    I like being able to review the products for points, and when I have had issues with customer service, they’ve been extremely helpful.

  38. says

    Helpful post! I actually just signed up for Ipsy this week because I definitely am more experimental with makeup than with skincare, and as you said, Birchbox skews a bit towards skincare/etc and Ipsy towards makeup. Honestly, I used to be a Birchbox subscriber, but after a year or so I felt I wasn’t getting a $10 value out of my box. I was getting boxes of 4 items, and 2 of the items would be single use, or would be something stupid I’d never use, like a “friendship bracelet” or a single hairband. I found I never would commit to buying a product I only got to use once, and I have enough hairbands that I like already. Hopefully Ipsy works out better for me, but your perspective is definitely helpful to those interested in either of these or both!

  39. says

    I get both Ipsy and Birchbox and Birchbox definitely dominated this month. I did get a more flattering pink blush and coral lipliner in my glam bag than you did. Still I LOVE that exfoliating cleanser that Birchbox sent and even bought the full size. I got dry shampoos in both bag/box so that was useful.

    That glam bag sparkle palette was the worst! What’s even more ridiculous is that on the glam bag website it says “not for intended use with eyes.” So I’m just supposed to smear this stuff on my skin!? What am I 12?!

  40. says

    I subscribe to Birchbox and like you, I tried Ipsy for a few months and then cancelled it, mostly due to the random brands they would send whose makeup was cheap and childish. I also subscribe to BeautyBox5 and it is awesome! I read about it in a Glamour article where they compared several subscriptions and they said that you receive at least one full size product per month. BeautyBox5 has a wider range of products than Birchbox, allowing you to sample drugstore brands as well as higher end products. I let my 3 month BeautyBox5 subscription expire and after one month without it I renewed my subscription because I missed it. If you are looking for another box to try I would suggest BeautyBox5, considering we both loved our Birchbox’s this month and received the exact same items I figure we must have some beauty preferences in common. Have a great day!

  41. says

    I used to have both and I found with Birchbox I never liked more than 50% of the products I got in each box, I was giving away things or simply throwing them away. With Ipsy I liked everything I got every time. It was all makeup related which was fun to play around with new things that I wouldn’t normally buy on my own. I stopped both subscriptions just because I had too much extra stuff that I wasn’t using on a daily basis. Both are good but Ipsy gets my vote for the favorite of the 2.

  42. says

    I personally prefer getting makeup rather than skin care stuffs, but I don’t care for the off the wall brands that seem to come in the ipsy bag. I do appreciate the hair product samples that come in Birchbox. I prefer Birchbox over ipsy because for one, how many small makeup bags does one really need?? And two, you get points through Birchbox which gets you free stuff! I had enough points saved up by last month to get $90 worth of hair products, including that Amika Obliphica hair mask you like so much, the Oscar Blandi thickening mousse, and some Orofluido oil. I paid nothing for that order! So even if you don’t care for the samples sent in your Birchbox, at least you get points for reviewing them.

  43. says

    I love my Birchbox and first heard about it through your blog. I agree that sometimes the samples are rather small, but there’s always a high-end item that is sometimes full-size, that I always love. I received a lip/cheek pencil in my June kit and it’s lovely, and is worth way over $10. And I get to try brands I have never heard of. I have a new subscription to Ipsy, so I will try it and see if I like it. BTW, Kate, I love your blog and your videos – my hair has never looked better!

  44. says

    I love the actual value of the products received in the Ipsy bag. The bag was worth $63 , with the Cailyn liner coming in at $21 just by itself. I agree some of the things are a bit out there…but all in all, I’ve consistently enjoyed Ipsy more than Birchbox. I just wish they had a points system like BB.

    http://www.mskimikiwi.com

  45. says

    I subscribed to Ipsy two months ago at the insistance of my friend that it was SO MUCH BETTER THAN BIRCHBOX. However, I was less than impressed and have already canceled my membership after two bags. Birchbox can have it’s disappointments, but people have to remember it’s a $10 subscription service and it’s impossible to please everyone. But their samples are usually very high quality and they do their best when it comes to personalizing the boxes for each customer. I was just really disappointed in the lack of personalization for the Ipsy products and the fact that I only really liked one thing out of each bag. I mean, the lip liner and the blush are unusable for me this month because of the colors. And believe it or not, the “glitter eyeshadow” is actually body glitter and not for use on the eyes…

    And this may seem kind of nitpicky and shallow, but I’m really unimpressed with Ipsy’s website and the lack of design and professionalism. For an online company, the website should be much more put together and aesthetically pleasing.

  46. says

    I was getting glossy box for a while and a lot of the products were full-sized rather than sample sized. They were mostly higher end and some I had never heard of but on several occasions, I ended up purchasing the products I had received even though I would never have bought them on my own. And the boxes themselves are so pretty that I saved them and use them to store crafting supplies. It was a bit too expensive for me to renew – my original subscription was a gift – but if I had spare cash, I’d probably do it.

    I also got birch box when it first came out and canceled it for the same reason you stated about Ipsy. I felt that a lot of the products did not fit my skin type and I’m more interested in color cosmetics because my skin is very sensitive to skin care stuff. I don’t like to experiment in that arena!

    • says

      Julep Maven. http://www.julep.com/maven.html
      I subscribed for 1 month… I actually found a coupon code that made the box $.01! I canceled because 1) I didn’t have the money and 2) I was unimpressed with 1 of the polishes… it wasn’t drying correctly. The box is a great value though and if you aren’t fond of one of the polishes you can gift it.

  47. says

    I unsubbed from Birchbox a few months ago after being disappointed by many boxes. I’ve been subbed to ipsy for several months now and loved it…although this recent box was terrible. Seriously, what was up with the shadows and blush? Guess you can’t win ‘em all!
    The Grass Skirt

  48. says

    I’ve subscribed to Birchbox in the past, and for the most part I liked what I got! I just got my first Target box in the mail yesterday (it was their first “trial” box, I figured $5 is a good deal and Target usually gives out coupons!). I was pleasantly surprised – I received a Venus with Olay razor, Sally Hansen nail strips, and a few other cool items I’ve seen and wanted to try. It also included a $3 off $15 beauty purchase at Target. I’m excited to see what they’ve got next and after reading your review I think I may try Birchbox once again :)

  49. says

    I used to subscribe to Birchbox, but I cancelled my subscription after 6 months. It was fun, but I felt that I was tossing too many of the products which I felt was very wasteful especially if it was a full sized product. I realized too that I really like the brands I currently use (which is pretty much Renee Rouleau, Bobbi Brown, and Laura Mercier), and I really don’t want to switch it up. I continue to follow Birchbox on Facebook and shop their site to see the new products. (By the way, not a fan of their rebranding). I have kept my Julep Maven subscription because I know what I am getting and have the option to skip it if I’m not interested.

    • says

      Hi Caitie! I am a new subscriber to Julep Maven. Much the same as you do with BB and Ipsy, you complete a beauty profile when you begin. Each box will come with one to two things of polish and usually some other kind of beauty/lifestyle product. Based on your profile (mine is Classic with a Twist) they will send you a starter box. My first box came with a classic pink pearl polish and a traditional red polish, along with a nail file, and a glycolic hand scrub (that I really like). Each month by the 20th they will send you an e-mail to let you know what your next box will have. You can opt to keep your original box, try a different beauty profile, like Boho Glam or Bombshell, gift to a friend, or pass that month. My June/July box has two gorgeous shades of polish (sheer coral and a taupe crème) along with a bottle of Beach Tonic – a dry body oil.

      Granted this is only my second box, so Mandy might have more info – but thus far I’m pretty excited about Julep. I like the option to skip a month so that if you don’t like any of the options, or just do not want any polish that month, then you can.

  50. says

    I’ve decided to cancel my Ipsy bag because of the low quality of the products. This month sent me running! I am now subscribed to the Allure beauty box and so far have liked all the products.

  51. says

    I joined BirchBox because I saw you talk about it recently, Kate. I got my first box yesterday and at first thought “ehhh could be better’ than I looked again and really like most of the things in my box this month. Then I heard about Ipsy and last night was doing the Ipsy vs Birchbox debate in my head, I don’t want to do both. I think I will stick with BB for a few months and see what I get, I think I’ll really like it though. P.S. do people really wear complete glitter eye shadow like that??? Yuck.

  52. says

    I got Birchbox for approximately a year and finally cancelled when I continued to receive hair bands and awful snack bars. Oh, and who can forget the tea bags? Really? I totally believe bloggers were getting the better boxes also! Signed up with Ipsy and even though I am a “mature” client I am loving their bags I’ve received so far. I do spend money on the more expensive makeup (Lancôme, Este Lauder) and nothing I got in Birchbox was comparable. I believe in the time I was signed up with Birchbox I only received ONE full-size product. Ipsy sends full-size items frequently. I do like getting things in my Ipsy bag that I’ve never tried before, and it’s nice to be able to go to the corner drugstore to get some of the things I really like! Ipsy wins for me!

  53. says

    I did the EXACT same thing. Have been a BB subscriber for over a year and started hearing about Ipsy on their facebook comments so decided to try it out. I have canceled my subscription to Ipsy because the products just weren’t a good fit for me- products felt cheap and skewed younger I think as well. Love my BB and I’m more of a skincare/bodycare kind of gal than makeup. Glad to see someone else did the same thing I did!

  54. says

    I just recently cancelled my ipsy subscription for the same general reason – the makeup is cheap and doesn’t match my coloring, or is something I would never ever use (like glittery eyeshadow). I feel like Birchbox just gets me :)

    But don’t knock that white nailpolish! I got the same one in mine, and was also disappointed, but after trying it on it has a little bit of a peachy undertone and it grew on me! (I also went to the site and bought the full set for $8.00).

  55. says

    I know I’m a late commenter. Oops! Anyway, I just wanted to say THANK YOU! I have been going back and forth about Birchbox and seen friends with Ipsy and didn’t know if either would be worth it. And even though you declared Birchbox your winner I went with Ipsy, because that’s more up my alley. I’m not into trying new skin products as I struggled with acne in the past and my Proactiv does exactly what I need it to and I don’t use any new products out of fear of messing it up haha! Makeup, on the other hand, I am very experimental with. So thank you for clarifying!!

  56. says

    I hated Birchbox. I subscribed for a year and it just wasn’t my thannnng! Too many mini-perfume samples for my taste. ;)

    I love my Ipsy bag each month! This month I got dry-shampoo, which I think it’s funny that you got that in your Birchbox! HA! I love that that they send me organic beauty products, too. I love the Juice lipgloss and the organic moisturizing oil by Josie Maran… which is pricey at Sephora.

  57. says

    My June Birchbox did not have the dry shampoo, hair tie, or the exfoliating cleanser. I much prefer this one to what I received – which really didn’t have much. It would be nice to let people select their samples for the month. I would use the hair tie MUCH more than the tiny tiny packet of lotion I received, for example.

  58. says

    I have never heard of either one of these products until i started following your blog, so far i am a fan of the birch box which i plan to sign up for so thank you for introducing this product.

  59. says

    I love my Ipsy subscription because I want makeup. Sometimes I love a product. Sometimes I don’t. And the small makeup bags are great!

  60. says

    I have tried both boxes and i tend toward more of a makeup girl at this stage in my life, on thing i love about ipsy is I personally got the cailyn gel liner($22) and the highlighter($18) and those were worth any items i might not use, i however got lucky and loved the blush color and lip liner color i received, they matched my coloring perfectly, but the sparkling palette is officially for halloween or something lol, now with birchbox i didnt hate anything i received but i didnt love one item either. Someone did mention glossybox and it is a bit more expensive but theres always promos out there and it really does feel like a nicer version of birchox, more fullsize anyway. The biggest thing is there is literally a box out there for everyone nowadays so research and find your perfect match

  61. says

    I’ve had three months with Ipsy so far and I feel like I’m getting my money’s worth. That glittery stuff is body glitter (people still use that?) and it says not to use near the eyes. I learned that the hard way. I got better colors in my bag last month than you did. I still want to try Birchbox.

  62. says

    haha Melanie, lol… I actually first started signing up for ipsy and I LOVE IT!!, I just recently signed up for Birchbox, and I receive my first box this month… hopefully it was worth it… if not.. I may give it another go.. but I may end up just signing up for 2 Ipsy boxes, so I get a chance to get everything I want LOL

  63. says

    I receive both of them. I have to say I always liked birch box. I have purchased items they have sent but the last three boxes have been extremely cheap in my opinion. Ipsy is def more makeup and its harder when I’m getting a make up item but I do like experimenting. There items I feel are a big cheap compared go birch box but I do like them both if birch box goes back to there better products I rave and send tons of people to both. I noticed that I never get my points and its very hard to do reviews on birch box to review to the point where u want to give up.

  64. says

    I just got my first ipsy bag today. I luv the little make up bag, I can never get enough of them. I luv them for travel and to change out along with my different handbags. Normally, I usually take advantage of the Clinique gift bags at Macy’s. Every few months I will need a bronzer or face lotion. So, I get to purchase something I know I will use and I get 4 to 6 free items free. Usually they have 2 different color sets to choose from, so I am able to choose the one I prefer. At the end of the year I spend about $75 but, I need the main item that I am purchasing. So, it works for me. I will keep ipsy for another month and see how that goes. I might just stick with the Clinique deal

  65. says

    I’m currently torn between which one to subscribe too. That’s actually how I came across your post! haha. I don’t really buy make up stuff because I don’t have alot of knowledge and I buy other stuff such as “grooming” and “lifestyle” products (as birch calls them) on an as needed basis. I may go with Ipsy, and if I can afford to both. I think its always fun to get something unexpected in the mail, other then bills that is… :)

  66. says

    I signed up for Ipsy but have been on waitlist for a month. They told me to share on my Facebook page, which I already did, that I had subscribed and that they would remove me from the waitlist. It seems they didn’t notice that I had already done so. I’m unhappy and I’ve never even received anything from them yet. I asked via an email to have my account deleted and credit card info deleted (as they say in their privacy and terms). Never heard anything from them yet. Very disappointing.

  67. says

    Thank you for the review of the two. I was a subscriber also too BB but, have cancelled. It just want for me. I subscribed to Ipsy and just love it. It’s really a hit or miss with any if these boxes/bags. Like you said, it’s just really what you prefer. Makeup or skin care. Thanks again!

  68. says

    Thank you for the review of the two. I was a subscriber also too BB but, have cancelled. It just want for me. I subscribed to Ipsy and just love it. It’s really a hit or miss with any if these boxes/bags. Like you said, it’s just really what you prefer. Makeup or skin care. Thanks again!

  69. says

    Thank you such a lot for this article! I actually have recently united to become associate Arbonne adviser, however it absolutely was when abundant analysis into the corporate practices, ingredients used, and when investigation a minimum of twenty different brands of beauty companies’ merchandise (I have purchased nearly all of them at thusme purpose so simply had to open my rest room cabinet) with “natural” or “organic” somewhere around their name. What I found is that all of them use preservatives in some type, and none are literally all pure or all natural. I come back from a really holistic background, wherever I virtually simply used vegetable oil and vegetable oil on my face and body, thus was hesitant to create the switch in any method. That being same, my skin was moisturized, however still obtaining wrinkled, blotchy, and saggy. In victimization Arbonne, i’m obtaining the results i would like, while not carrying the rose coloured glasses of basic cognitive process that this is often specifically as safe and natural as say, olive oil. What i prefer regarding Arbonne particularly is that ar|they’re} perpetually winnowing out the not thus safe ingredients for ones that are additional safe. additionally, ar|they’re} conjointly shift to ingredients that are additional property. they’re still victimization some vegetable oil derivatives, that angers Maine, however square measure finding out replacements, that i prefer. By being concerned and providing feedback to the corporate, additionally to education to the regular population, I want i’m really during a superb position to assist promote positive modification for the environment and for our health. So no, I won’t be promoting their sun blocker merchandise simply however, however am assured that terribly shortly, the required changes are going to be created wherever I will with confidence promote them.

    Cosmetics Products

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  71. says

    so, here is my two cents as well….

    that is a fair assessment. Ipsy is almost all makeup, though the last few boxes i have received have also had *something* else. and, at least one, if not 2, of the 5 items is give away or toss. HOWEVER, they do tend to be very close to, if not full size products. i’ve tried some colors this way i haven’t wanted to put money on and gotten some fun looks out of it. i have also tossed some product.

    for my birchbox, they HAVE to be sending better products to bloggers who in turn review them and drive traffic to their site. my box usually contains a fragrance sample (like they used to give out at department stores), and two VERY small facial lotions….LIKE VERY SMALL…and something else. the box that you have reviewed looks similar to the UPGRADED box that my husband surprised me with.

  72. says

    I love ipsy! For the March 2014 Glam Bag I received the bareminerals lipstick, the bora bora eyeshadow quad, the chella blue eye liner, and the vita liberata luxury tan. I absolutely love getting new makeup every month!
    Join me on ipsy and subscribe to the Glam Bag! You get 4-5 beauty products every month delivered to your door, for just $10. Check it out here: http://www.ipsy.com/r/73vu

  73. says

    I love ipsy! For the March 2014 Glam Bag I received the bareminerals lipstick, the bora bora eyeshadow quad, the chella blue eye liner, and the vita liberata luxury tan. I absolutely love getting new makeup every month!
    Join me on ipsy and subscribe to the Glam Bag! You get 4-5 beauty products every month delivered to your door, for just $10. Check it out here: http://www.ipsy.com/r/73vu

  74. says

    So I just ordered birch box before I read this article, which is very well written, and I like what I chose with little knowledge. I’ll come back and let people know what I thought!

  75. says

    I started out using Birchbox cause a girlfriend of mine received them and i found them quite cute and liked the ideal of getting a box of name brand make-up/beauty care “samples” each month for $10.Well after bout a year or so i realized that the boxes just seemed to get worse and have smaller items each time.Both my friend and I both agreed that that they we’re losing that flare they used to have.So i did some researching,alot of researching actually,and compared each monthly make-up/beauty bag I looked at.And out of all of them for the price and product size,Ipsy knocks the rest out of the picture.They offer you a monthly bag for $10.00,with 4-5 “FULL SIZE” items.Yeah every once in a while you may receive a colior or shade you dont’ like but that’s why they have you do a extensive quiz and once you receive your bag do a review on your items.That way they can better make you to the color/shades or product you want or like.But like I tell my fellow ipster’s on those shades,colors,or items they don’t like or will never use,is to donate to my outreach program.Which is called Outreach True Beauty 101, it’s a new program which is still in the start up phase.Our goal is to help those who have either lost everything due to lose of home or other(cause place will help with cloths & ect,but not make-up for these women or girl).AND ALSO WE ARE GOING TO HELP TEACH TEEN GIRL HOW TO DO THEIR MAKE UP FOR THE SKIN TONES,EYE COLOR AND ECT.WE’LL ALSO BE GIVING THESE GIRLS WHO ARE UNABLE TO BUY MAKE UP FOR THEIR SELVES FREE MAKE-UP.WE WANT TO BOOST THEIR CONFINDENCE & SHOW THEM THAT THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL INSIDE AND OUTSIDE. AND A BIG OTHER WE’LL BE DOING IS DOING FREE MAKEOVERSAND HELP BUILD THEIR SELF CONFINDENCE IN THEIR SELVES.

  76. says

    SO ANYBODY WANTING TO HELP US HELP THESE LADIES FEEL FREE TO DONATE ANY UNWANTED IPSY OR OTHER MAKE-UP,BEAUTY ITEMS,MAKE-UP BRUSHES,& ECT.OR ANYOTHER MAKE-UP YOU MAY HAVE LAYING AROUND YOU KNOW YOU”LL NEVER USE.WE NEED ALL COLORS & SHADES.OUR ADDRESS IS : OUTREACH TRUE BEAUTY 101 , 26214 1st street , Spring,TX. 77373 . IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS CONTACT US AT OUR EMAIL :outreach.true.beauty.101@gmail.com or you can reach me personally at jessicagilbert81@gmail.com. And thank you to those that feel it in your hearts to donate,thank you so much for helping us to help these ladies,god bless you.

  77. Milly falo says

    http://www.ipsy.com/r/bbkh
    Please use my referral code link above to join ipsy. It’s a monthly beauty bag filled with exclusive brands for only $10!! It’s a steal considering these beauty bags retail for up to $90!!! Thank you.

  78. Lorry Hess says

    I have seen these ads come across my Facebook news feed and am very intrigued! I think I will give both of them a try since I like the concepts of both companies. Too bad there wasn’t a company that offered both in a box/tote/beauty bag etc.

    • da says

      https://www.birchbox.com/invite/skipthewaitt

      if you are planning on signing up use the code “BBSATURDAYFB” for a free kate spade necklace or “BB100″ for free 100 points

      it would mean the absolute world to me if you guys can use my link i have been eyeing the benefit lollitint and truly cant afford it full price on a college students budget. #pleaseandthankyou xx

  79. Valerie says

    I enjoyed this article and all the comments as well. I have never really been a makeup or even beauty care person. however I have been intrigued by ipsy and may actually try both ipsy and birch box for a few months. I also think that my Daughters ( 20 and 21 ) will love ipsy and may get them as gifts. I looked at the websites for many of the different boxes listed on here and feel that most of them certainly have products that would appeal to most everyone. like you stated previously in the comments there is no way for any of these boxes to be perfect for every person because like everything else they are put together on production lines.

  80. Leslie says

    I currently subscribe to Birchbox and have been a subscriber since March. I absolutely love it. I look forward to receiving my monthly boxes and have loved experimenting with the products. I fell in love with two of the samples that I received so far and ended up buying the full size products through Birchbox. I have recommended Birchbox to several people and know they will love it just as much as I do!

  81. c clarke says

    You spelled receive incorrectly in your article. I before e except after c……I did enjoy reading about the differences of the two companies. It was helpful.

  82. Lizziechick says

    .I just received my first bag from ipsy. It contained products I will definitely use.
    I am a “mature ” woman and enjoy experimenting wi th makeup. Probably because
    I never used any when I was younger. But now I need a little help. I really was delighted to get the SPF 50 sunscreen by Hang Ten., the grey polish by Nailtini, the 2-tone eyeshadow (cream and brown), the Pro blending brush and the Pur-lisse moisturizer. The bag is cute, too. I’m happy with ipsy so far

  83. Laura says

    I am new to Birchbox. So far I like it. I’ve only received 2 boxes so far, April and May and I am so looking forward to June. I keep reading how great Birch Box point system is. I don’t know how to do this nor do I see anything in there website about it except to refer friends. I’ve been reading on blogs though that there are other ways. Can someone please confirm this and explain to me how? I’ve been reading how people are reviewing products for money, is this true? If someone could please help me I’d appreciate it.

    Thank you,
    Laura

  84. Shapri says

    I love Ipsy glam bag better and I’m subscribed to both. I feel that Ipsy sends me more items that I’m most likely to use over what Birchbox sends me.

    Join me on Ipsy and subscribe for only $10 a month to get your glam bag. You can cancel at anytime (which you won’t want to after seeing the great products you get). You get great goodies from nail polish to eye shadows and everything inbetween. Use this link http://www.ipsy.com/r/cjgu to automatically get 100 ipsy points!

  85. says

    generic latisse is strong and impressive lash serum that has dual benfits of use bimatoprost sprouts eyelashes within 4 weeks of its use and also this lash serum works as a glaucoma drug to treat intraocular pressure in the eyes

  86. Katie Forster says

    Birch box is so much fun! Something inexpensive to look forward to every month and you get to try awesome beauty products tailored to your skin, hair, makeup preferences, etc. Feel free to skip the waiting list by using me as a referral by clicking on this link below

    https://www.birchbox.com/invite/rx8fc

    Happy birch boxing !

  87. says

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  88. Rachel S says

    There are two new codes that can be used this month (June), not sure how long they last? But they are used to receive an extra sample your first box for new subscribers! One is for a bottle of Whish Shaving Cream in Acai Grapefruit and the code is SUMMERSHAVE, the other is for Cynthia Rowley Beauty Creamy Lip Stain in Nude and the code is SUMMERLIP. I have sampled both of these products and both are great!

    You can use those codes at checkout whether you use a referral link or not, but if anyone is looking to skip the wait list and help a girl out with some referral points, feel free to use my link: http://birchbox.com/invite/monthly .

  89. says

    An interesting discussion is worth comment. I do think that you should publish more on this
    issue, it might not bbe a taboo subject but usually folks don’t
    speak about these topics. To thee next! Kind
    regards!!

    • Laura says

      Why wouldn’t it be ok for someone to compare one box subscription box to another? I find nothing at all wrong with this.

  90. says

    So a friend was telling me about GlossyBox and I’ve been debating between that, Birchbox and ipsy. If you have a code I would love to try one.

    Thanks!

    Rebecca

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  94. Katie Forster says

    I received a 3 month subscription to birchbox as a gift and it has certainly been the gift that has kept on giving! I enjoy looking forward to them each month so much that I decided to share the excitement with all those friends that I could never decide on an appropriate gift for. Perfect for friends, and family members, you can customize your box so that you get products to your preference, for example, it will give you a little questionnaire in the beginning about your skin type, color, and my favorite: “what’s one thing you could never have too much of?” Then you choose between several answers like “lipstick, perfume, nail polish, etc”. And the best thing about birchbox is you get points when you refer friends, review products and use promo codes. The only downside is that there is a waiting list to begin your subscription, but you are all more than welcome to skip that list by using my link : https://www.birchbox.com/invite/rx8fc
    Oh and one more thing, not sure how long it’s good for but type this promo code at checkout to get $10 back in points : WOMENSHEALTH100
    Happy birch boxing!!

  95. Kasey says

    Does any one have a current promo code? I’ve been debating on the birchbox and from this post it sounds like it’s definitely worth getting! Thank you!

  96. Mandy says

    Ive Been thinking of doing one of these for years. Thank you I think birchbox is the right choice. I might even save money getting samples instead of buying countless item that I end up not liking.

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