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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?

August Birchbox


This was one of my favorite Birchboxes! 

First of all, let me explain that I typically buy the cheap single blade razors at Costco. When I saw this razor I was like, “cool!”
When I opened it up and actually looked at it I laughed at the sheer number of blades on this thing. It’s intense. But let me tell you. . . my legs have never been smoother. Never been softer. And never been shaved with 5 blades at once. With 1 swipe this razor won my heart. . .too far? Okay.

The Pixi blush? Pretty awesome. It’s not as pigmented as my Mac blush, so I have to use a few swipes to achieve some color (as opposed to barely touching my cheeks with my Mac blush), but I do like the color. 

I’m anxious to try this brightening cleanser! Who doesn’t want brighter skin? My skin has been dull and dry, so maybe this will do the trick.

Lastly, there was some soap and perfume. The perfume is good, and I have yet to try the soap but I’m sure I’ll like it. Who doesn’t like soap?

If you have any questions about Birchbox, click here to see my other boxes OR here to learn more!