Birchbox vs. Ipsy

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Which Beauty Box Is Better: Birchbox or Ipsy?

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?

Birchbox


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:

  • Jouer Cosmetics Crème Highlighter – Jouer is one of my favorite brands, and I love this cream. It’s a shimmery gold highlight that gives me a lovely blended glow.
  • TPSY Lip Crush Lip Oil – This is a sweetly scented oil that really hydrates your lips and gives them a subtle pink shade. It also has a lovely sweet taste!
  • Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray – This texturizing spray is great because it is also a dry shampoo. I also love this brand because their entire line has a gorgeous beachy scent.
  • Smashbox Super Fan Mascara – I’m so impressed by this sample! It’s the biggest mascara I’ve ever received in a beauty box, and Smashbox products are top quality.
  • Peter Thomas Roth Potent C Bright & Plump Moisturizer – This is a lightweight yet creamy moisturizer with a powerful concentration of vitamin C. I’ve only used it a few times, but I’m noticing my skin looks brighter and firmer already.
  • Georgette Klinger Vitamin C Cleansing Gel – This is a gentle cleanser that helps protect against signs of aging. Using this alongside the Peter Thomas Roth moisturizer has made my skin so soft and clear!

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!

Ipsy April Bag

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:

  • Vasanti Cosmetics Eyeshadow Blend It Out Brush – I’m pretty disappointed that one of my five products is an eyeshadow brush. This is a small, standard brush and is no different from the brushes I already own. I don’t wear enough eye shadow for this to be worth it.
  • Tarte Base Tape Hydrating Primer– I always love getting tarte samples! This is a makeup primer with healthy ingredients, and so far it has helped keep my makeup in place!
  • Jelly Pong Pong Cosmetics Lip Oil in Watermelon – The consistency of this is similar to the lip oil I received in my Birchbox, but the color is super red and not really good for daily use. It is really conditioning, though.
  • Sugar Cosmetics Kohl of Honour Eye Liner -Kohl eyeliner tends to smudge really easily so I don’t wear them often. This one was no exception. It would be great for a smokey eye look, but not for everyday wear.
  • 111Skin Y Theorem Repair Serum – I can’t find a lot of information about this serum, but from what I read it has amino acids to help improve skin elasticity. I did notice it made my skin feel soft!

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!

Compare and Contrast

Products

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.

Winner: Birchbox
Personalization
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.

Winner: Birchbox
Packaging
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.

Winner: Ipsy
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.

Winner: Birchbox

 

The Verdict:

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!

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by Insider Envy Staff

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