Birchbox Vs Ipsy: May 2014

BoxesI know this is super late in the month, but was sick all last week and it seemed like it took forever for my Ipsy to arrive! But better late than never, amirite? For those of you who don’t know about either of box subscriptions, Birchbox and Ipsy are both beauty subscriptions for $10 a month. Birchbox tends to feature smaller sample sizes that are often more higher end brands and incorporates more of a variety than just beauty. (Lifestyle, skin care, etc)  Ipsy features more full size-luxury size samples of often times more drugstore-lower end brands. Ipsy tends to favor strictly beauty options, but has recently surprised me with some great skincare samples! I will include my referral links down below!

Okay, that said, let’s get to the box battle!

First Up: Bichbox

Brands: Marcelle, Supergoop!, Pixi, Nexxus, SmartyPants  |  Box Value: $18

For the past couple of boxes, I have been truly unimpressed with Birchbox. Everything I received seemed like freebies I could get by asking any Sephora employee for a sample to try. It was very discouraging–especially since it was of things that really weren’t hitting it for me! So I didn’t even look forward to the itty bitty tests Birchbox was providing! This box was happily a step up from what it has been–and actually had a full sized item! (GASP! For once!!) Though I must admit that after this box, my 6 month subscription ended and I chose not to continue it. I was really hoping it would blow my mind for me to keep it, but it didn’t. Let’s look at the products:

birchbox2Case in point of freebies you could get at Sephora: the Nexxus Color Hair Trio. Honestly, for a color hair care product, this sample would in no way tell me if it could do what it says. So I had to base the product on a one wash trial–and that didn’t even hold up for just cleanliness standards. I couldn’t wash out the serum very well with the shampoo/conditioner and my hair ended up being super greasy and weighed down, definitely not my cup of tea. I have very thin hair, so I don’t know if that was a factor, but still…

Though on a happy note, the second product pictured was the full size item of pixi’s shea butter lip balm. Now, I have recently fallen in love with pixi products, (mostly because I’m a target-a-holic) so I was extremely excited to see this in my Birchbox! (especially since I usually get pixi products in Ipsy) And that excitement didn’t fade when I tried it! The color payoff is AWESOME and it LASTS–all the while keeping my lips feeling amazing. (Gotta love hydration!)  Here’s a preview of the color–it looks a little purple-y in that picture, but it’s really a more bright/bold pink which I am in love with!

birchbox1Most of the other samples were too small for me to see if I would actually like them–the vitamins only had 2 in the sample which didn’t taste all that great and were gummy…not a fan of that. And the sunscreen MIGHT cover my face like…once. So I guess I can save that for a day out adventuring.

Though those didn’t hit the mark, I LOVED the BB cream. It was actually a decently full tube, so I have already gotten a few used out of it and it leaves my skin glowy and smooth. PERF for summer, amirite? (Goodbye cream foundation, hello bb cream!) Now when all is said and done, I will say the one good thing that Birchbox has is a really decent point system (if you can find it and you actually get new featured products vs old ones which always seemed to be my lot in life…) and I was able to review a couple of items in my birchbox to gain some points which I finally could redeem! (Every 100 points = $10 to spend in the Birchbox store) So as a fare-thee-well to Birchbox, I used my $10 on the Marcelle BB cream. (Still cost me $17! It was indeed a splurge, but I forsee it being a go to this summer!)

Don’t get me wrong, Birchbox may still be for you. I just couldn’t see myself renewing at this point. Maybe in the future…But if you would like to check it out now, try this link: (PS Birchbox also has a really great referral point system!)

 Next up to bat: Ipsy


Brands: Avene, Balanced Guru, Boo-Boo Cover Up, Pacifica, Hang Ten,  |   Box Value: $48.50

Okay, like I said before, Ipsy has more full sized-luxury sized products that prove to be a total bang for your buck! And this month didn’t disappoint! I’m so excited to gush, so let’s get to it:
ipsy2So, at first glance I was not really excited about the Avene Thermal Spring Water spray. Water in a can? Doesn’t sound appealing even with “healing attributes”. (It’s supposed to be good for your skin after say a sunburn or dry effects..) Though I tried it and I have to retract my first thoughts. It’s actually pretty nice and kind of acts like a refreshing toner (which I’m all about…don’t even get me started on my LUSH obsession) so I mark this product as a win.

Then there’s the Hang Ten sample…I mean, once again, it’s sunscreen. I appreciate the try but I wish it was specifically face sunscreen or a moisturizing tinted sunscreen for the face. Since it is neither, I see it as only so-so, BUT the sample size is much more generous than Birchbox’s was, so not all is lost. Speaking of good sample sizes, hello hair oil! The Balanced Guru sample was a full on travel size version (I know, I checked!) and will probably last me an entire year before I’m even close to done! (Hair oil goes a long way for me. Re: thin hair) The biggest downfall: I’m not a huge fan of the lemon grass smell, but I can probably get past that if I mix it with another product.


 Once again, here’s what I’m talking about–full size!! Horay!! So I’m going to be honest, I laughed when I saw the name of the Boo-Boo Cover-Up, but I instantly felt stupid when I used it. I LOVE this stuff. It’s a little thicker so it really covers up the troubled areas and it’s a nice smooth consistency. Oh, and get this, it’s made in Canada. (Which maybe explains why it’s on the pricier side?) I like trying things from other countries!

The pacifica eyeshadow duo (which I can’t find on their site, but it has to be a full sized product if not a really hefty luxury sample) was not particularly of colors that I use too often and to be honest, didn’t have that great of a color build up. But if I can’t use them, I know a couple people who can and who would appreciate the decent sized product. View thecolors here:


Last, but not least, my favorite thing about Ipsy is that when all is said and done, you get a reusable makeup bag with every one. This month’s was a cute “green” themed burlap bag. I loved it especially since it fit more products than past ones so I could stuff more in it for my purse! (I use them as on the go makeup bags!)


 Ipsy also has a point system, but it takes a little more to achieve their 1000 points for a product goal. (Though they recently upped some of the point earning by giving you facebook sharing points, points for “created looks” and of course referrals.)

Another downside: they choose the 1000 pt product for you, so you can’t just shop for them like with Birchbox. Ipsy usually changes them every month though, so once you have the necessary amount, just hold out for when something you love comes along! If you’re intersted in trying Ipsy, here’s a link you might find helpful!

The Verdict

 This was surprisingly more tough than I thought it would be mostly because Birchbox gave me 2 really great products that I am in love with currently. BUT, I have to give it to Ipsy. Ipsy gave me a bunch of wonderfully sized products to use that I was even surprised to find that I liked, plus the value is just so hard to beat! What about you? Do you think you would have ruled the other way? Or if you are a subscriber, what did you get in your bags/boxes? I’d be happy to hear!! Also, if you have any subscription services you think I would like to try, let me know!