Since Birchbox, the original beauty box, was founded in 2010, plenty of competitors have sprung into the market. From 2011 onward Birchbox’s main competitor was Ipsy, as both were monthly beauty boxes offering 5 samples, priced at $10/month. However, in April 2019 Birchbox raised their price from $10 to $15 in order to improve their box experience with better, bigger samples, faster shipping, and more customization options. In August, Ipsy also raised their prices and added some new features to stay competitive with Birchbox. With these changes to the Birchbox and Ipsy experiences, I had to find out for myself: how do they stack up?
The first thing I noticed about the April box is that there are SIX samples instead of the usual FIVE. The second thing I noticed is that the samples are ALL from very high quality brands and seem to be a larger average size. The samples I received were:
Overall, I love the new Birchbox. I’m really excited about the products I received, as it was a great mix of skincare, hair care, and makeup products. I also love that these products were personalized to my unique needs. Next up, Ipsy!
This review is of a $10 April Glam Bag. Now, for $12 a month, Ipsy will send you five products in a pouch every month. I really like this touch; the April bag has a super cute lemon pattern, and even though it’s pretty small, I’ll definitely use it when I travel. The samples I received from Ipsy are:
Overall I’m less impressed by the brands and products in Ipsy, but the pouch is a cute touch and it is $3 cheaper than Birchbox. Read on to find out which beauty box wins!
Overall, the products from Birchbox were far superior to the products from Ipsy, and there were 6 products instead of 5. Birchbox had more products, better brands, and bigger sizes. Also, they were a great mix of skincare, hair care, and makeup as opposed to the very makeup-heavy mix that came from Ipsy.
Both beauty boxes have profile quizzes that you fill out before your first box arrives, but only one of them truly felt personalized to my answers. The Birchbox products were perfect for my hair and skin type, and took note of the fact that I don’t wear a lot of makeup. The Ipsy products felt very “one size fits all” and leaned way more into a bold makeup look that doesn’t fit my style. Birchbox is the winner here in my book. Both boxes now allow you to choose one of your samples every month, but Birchbox has far more customization options including curated boxes and the option to swap your box for points in the swap.
While the Birchbox boxes are cute, and I love the tissue paper that comes inside the box, the Ipsy bag has more practical uses. Ipsy wins this one.
Value For Money
While Ipsy is the cheaper box, at $12, I think Birchbox ultimately wins on value for money. The products are larger, of better quality, and I’m going to use everything that came in the box. 3 out of the 5 products I received from Ipsy (the eyeliner, red gloss, and eye shadow brush) don’t really fit into my routine, whereas the Birchbox products do. I’d rather spend $15 for 6 products I’m really excited by, than $12 for a disappointing mix. Plus, Birchbox is actually only $13/month if you sign up for an annual plan.
And the winner is…Birchbox! While the Ipsy bag was cute, their products didn’t feel personalized and the products were small and mostly from brands I haven’t heard of. I won’t use at least three of the products in the Ipsy bag, which is a pretty big waste. The Birchbox products were all personalized to my profile and are a much better mix of skincare, hair care, and makeup products that I will actually use. If you’re looking to get the best beauty box personalized to your unique beauty profile, I suggest Birchbox!
by Insider Envy Staff