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Birchbox Vs Ipsy – March 2015

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Birchbox vs Ipsy

The Birchbox vs Ipsy post series compares my Birchbox and Ipsy subscription every month to give you a good idea what you can expect from the two most popular beauty subscription boxes. (And since both boxes are $10 a month, it seems fair to stack them up against each other).

FYI – I pay for both of these subscriptions, and as a regular customer I get one of many variations available each month. So while one month alone might not be enough info to make a decision, looking at the results over several months should give you a good picture of what to expect with each box.

Birchbox Review - March 2015 Items

Birchbox March 2015 (Check out the full Birchbox review)

Number of items: 5

Full-size items: 0

Deluxe size items: 2

Brands featured: Whish, Dear Clark, Derma E. Supergoop, Laura Geller

Categories featured: Haircare (1), Skincare (2) Body (1) Makeup (1)

Total Value: $30

Ipsy Review - March 2015 Items

Ipsy March 2015 (Check out the full Ipsy review)

Number of items: 5

Full-size items: 1

Deluxe size items: 2

Brands featured: Skyn, NYX, Evelyn Iona, Pixi, Equitance

Categories featured: Makeup (3) Skincare (2)

Total Value: $50

Verdict: It is difficult to pick a clear winner this month! I like that Ipsy included mostly makeup this month (that’s what I expect from my Ipsy subscription), and I like the variety of products Birchbox included. (All the brands they included are great too).

Which beauty box did you prefer this month?

Written by Liz Cadman

Liz Cadman

Liz is the founder of My Subscription Addiction. She’s been hooked on subscription boxes since 2011 thanks to Birchbox, and she now subscribes to over 100 boxes. Her favorites include POPSUGAR Must Have, FabFitFun, and any box that features natural beauty products!
All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.

55 Comments

  1. I cancelled ipsy. I kept getting the same brands over & over. I have always liked Birchbox. I have been a Birchbox subscriber for about a year and a half and I’ve only gotten about two or three boxes that I didn’t love. With ipsy I subscribed for seven months and only got one glambag I did love. I now get Birchbox, Glossbox, & Allure Sample Society. I’m very happy with all three!

  2. Has anyone seen what they are getting in their birchbox this month? I just checked my account and had a question about one of the items. It’s showing a POP eye shadow pallette, I’m assuming I am not getting the entire pallette. Has anyone else received POP eye shadow samples and if so how big were they?

  3. I started both Birchbox and Ipsy last March; I dropped Ipsy after three boxes while I now have two Birchbox accounts and am contemplating a third.
    I just did not feel comfortable putting some of the products ipsy sent anywhere near my sensitive skin, and I don’t like brands of dubious origins…

  4. I’ve been with Birchbox since 2012, when they were first starting. So they will always be my favorite out of any others. I just started ipsy at the beginning of this year and I have loved them so far! You just can’t beat Birchboxes point program or their costumer service! My only wish is that Birchbox would start using different products. I love the ones they have though but sometimes it feels like the same products month after month. That’s just my opinion!

  5. Birchbox was a clear winner for me!M

  6. Both of my boxes were very different from Liz’s. This month Birchbox was the clear winner for me b/c I loved 4 of my items, whereas with Ipsy I only loved 1.

    • I just went to Birchbox to sign up. What is the Madmen box? It says I can opt for that for my 1st box

      • That’s the curated box this month, I chose the Madmen New York box this month. Each month you can choose one of your samples, I pick the curated box, or opt to be entirely surprised! I now have 2 subscriptions so that I can get one curated box and one “surprise me” box each month!

        • Nice!

  7. Are there any boxes similar to Birchbox and Ipsy that are only skincare? No matter how I tweak my accounts, I always get makeup, and it never suits me.

  8. Birchbox is handsdown winner to me. I picked the curated box in March and loved the Laura Gellar Blush (but I’ve been a fan for a while) and picked the Mad Men NY box (I will use every single thing in it). IPSY is hit or miss and there’s been a lot of miss lately. lol But they both have great customer service and while IPSY has changed their point system so people can get items at 500 points, Birchbox wins on that too. Between the points and free shipping for aces. It’s a win! I only spent $22 for their limited edition Vanity Affair box.

    • WOW! Yeah I just hope I get the points amassed before they discontinue this Limited Edition box! Im loving Birchbox a lot more than ipsy lately but Ill give it a few more chances. Glossybox I want to love but the lack of customer service and shipping times are really driving me insane. Ill just get a Net A Porter special edition box a few times a year and call it a win! 🙂

      In the end I think I will end up (subscription wise):

      *Birchbox – 2 Subs a month (one curated box, one surprise box)
      *Net A Porter 1-2X a year

      Note: Contemplating PopSugar Must Have Monthly but cant really see myself justifying the extra $40 a month right now. Sigh.

  9. Well you actually picked your box at Birchbox so that makes it very different. If u like all the items sent in your glam bag Hey! IPSY found those awesome products for you, you didn’t have to pick a “special box” to get all good products like u did with Birchbox. Plus I think like most people that’s been subbed to Birchbox for awhile will tell you their regular boxes are not that great or they get repeat items, that’s how I feel. IPSY excites me so much more for some reason, after 1yr being a member with IPSY I can honestly say I’ve never been disappointed and overall have a more exciting unboxing with them. I subbed to multiple Birchbox & IPSY accts all set up with opposite profiles so I can see & judge their process. I can tell you I have received ALOT more duplicate products with my Birchbox subs, NEVER with IPSY! I guess the Debate continues but think about this if Birchbox didn’t offer these “special boxes” would u be happy with just your regular monthly box????

    • I thought you weren’t supposed to receive duplicate items from Birchbox unless it was a sample choice you picked? Unless you mean you did because you have multiple accounts? I’ve had Birchbox for almost a year but April will be my first glam bag. I’m excited to try both, but from what I have seen you get more bang for your buck with Ipsy, but the brands at Birchbox are a little more lux, and the points system at BB can’t be beat. It also seems like Ipsy is more geared towards makeup, whereas Birchbox is skincare and makeup.

      • I understand what your saying completely! I was a #1 fan of Birchbox and frankly I still really like Birchbox. And I got duplicates (I should say I got the same exact product just different scent or color) on a single acct. I think maybe another reason I like IPSY more now is their updated software, the stylist at IPSY does events, & their having a huge beauty blowout in NYC Oct. 2-3! I like being able to relate to a particular stylist and get great info from them plus I love the offers they put out on Tues. – Wend. – Thurs., you can score some amazing deals. If u use Twitter IPSY care is SO convient if u have an issue. But then Birchbox had great customer service, I did experience my 1st big issue with them they can’t seem to fix it right not to long ago so that lowered my opinion a bit. ANYWAYS..I guess the Debate continues! Lol

        • You should’ve be getting dupes in your BB, I got a product once that I’d received within the last 3 or 6 months and they gave me like 100 extra points for it. I didn’t notice it they did and told me about it and issued me points.

          • WOW! I didn’t know that! Thanks!!! That should help me for sure!

      • By the way I hope your 1st Glam Bag is Awesome!

  10. I was an ipsy member for a year and a half (just canceled after February) and I’ve been with birchbox for a little over a year. Birchbox is the clear winner for me because ipsy always sent me the same brands and items every single month. JCat and be a bombshell are not impressive brands for me along with so many others. I never got the glam glow or beauty blender like others received despite 18 months with them. Items started to be all the same so I just canceled despite it being a great value, the value for me was gone. Birchbox sends out more variety and I get to choose an item or box that I want every month so I can never complain about having an entire box I don’t like (which would happen for me with ipsy). And with the points system, 5 reviews and a twitter share gets you $6 back in points so I always felt great about that, not to mention their customer service is AMAZING, if something leaks you will get a whole new box shipped and 100pts ($10) back to use in the shop. I always felt valued with birchbox and with ipsy it was never personalized (lipgloss every month despite having it off my profile, same with black eyeliner and eyeshadow). Ipsy is amazing if you are just starting out with makeup, birchbox is amazing if you want makeup, skincare, and points to get exactly what you want in full size too.

    • Ok that sold me! Is it too late to get the April Birchbox?

      • Your first box wont be personalized to your survey, its the welcome box but you will likely get amazing items anyway (they will start using the survey with the 2nd box on). You can sign up anytime and your first box will be sent shortly after and if you sign up now you will be able to pick a sample choice (or curated box) for May next month around April 23rd or so. So YES you will get an April box, but you will not get the one Liz got. Click on any link up above that says birchbox to join! Hope that helps 🙂

  11. Just cancelled my Ipsy after about 6 months. All I ever seemed to get was cheap eye shadow and cheap lip gloss/lip paint filled with ingredients I would never put on my face or body. The bags were cute, but not that compelling for me.

    Birchbox on the other hand has an immense points system and the best customer service I’ve ever seen. I’ve found more beauty and skin must have’s through Birchbox than I ever could have guessed. I’ve been tweaking my profile lately to see how things change, so I can forgive an occasional miss. I’m very intrigued about signing up for another sub and how that all works out! I’d never even though to do that and I’ll be doing some more research there, for sure.

    • Same here. I had Ipsy for 6 months and got cheap lip glosses every single month, despite rating lip glosses extremely poorly. I’m so glad I dropped it for birchbox (who haven’t sent me any lip products in the last 3 months btw!). Plus I was so tired of ipsy making me spam FB for points (not really making me but you gotta spam if you want points). Which brings me to their crummy point system. 6 months later all I could get was a teeny sample of ayres cream. And then they had 1-2 really awesome HG products every month hat they advertised and barely anyone got them, at least I never did. And and I was on the wait list for 8 months. I only wish I would’ve unsubbed sooner. On the other hand, I know people who have been really happy with them so I’m glad. It’s a pretty good starter sub if you’re new to makeup or are open to all makeup.

  12. I agree, Birchbox is also my clear winner. I have been subscribed to Birchbox for over a year and Ipsy for over 6 months and every other month it seems I am highly disappointed in Ipsy. I almost always get a lip gloss though I have never selected it in my profile, yet I never have gotten a lipstick (besides when it is the item everyone gets) which has always been selected. Same for eyeshadow, so I feel that they never look at my profile. Birchbox on the other hand one time send me a darker than normal for my skin type sample. THEY emailed ME and gave me 100 points (a free box basically) as an “I’m sorry”. It’s a no brainer for me and I plan to cancel my Ipsy soon.

  13. The Points system in Birch is definitely a win, but I keep getting 2 or more hair products each month so Ipsy wins the curation choice for me.

  14. I dumped Birchbox a few months ago because I never received makeup or anything even remotely close to what my profile says I like. Ipsy has not been perfect, and January and February were awful for me. My March bag was completely different than yours. I got concealer and a Dr. Brandt primer, for instance. There is nothing in the Birchbox picture above that I’d want, and for me, other than new, pretty lipstick, Dr. Brandt basically trumps everything else.

  15. I don’t have ipsy (I’m not into makeup), but what I love about Birchbox is how ridiculous cheap it is after you’ve had it for a while. I’ve now gotten to the point where I’m paying $2.50 per box by taking advantage of the review points + extra sign up points. So if a box sucks from now on, who cares?

    • How are you getting it to $2.50 per box? I’m intrigued!

      • Me too! I just resubscribed to get the Mad Men box and I’d love to know how you manage that.

      • It’s a bit complicated, so bear with me. And really, it’s tricking the system, so I’m not sure how ethical this is – though I’m sure Birchbox knows that this can be done and I don’t think it’s against their policies.

        There are often promos that give you 110 points when you sign up with Birchbox, and then you can earn 50-60 points a month by reviewing products. So what I did was sign up and after 2 months I had 200 points. I used those plus $10 to buy a 3-month gift subscription to another account. So by then I had spent $30 for 5 boxes ($6 a box).

        That gift subscription gave me 150 points. Birchbox offered me 110 points to sign up for a subscription from that account. That means that I paid $10 and got 160 points (the 110 from signing up and 50 from reviewing the items). This gives me a total of 300 points which I can use to buy another 3-month subscription and repeat. That means that for $10, I’m getting 4 boxes.

        Now, it may very well be that my math is wrong and I’m really getting 3-boxes for $10, but even if each box is $3.33, I can’t complain.

        • Do you go back and forth between the same 2 accounts, or create a new account each time?

          • So far I’ve only done it once, but I think I will gift the 3-month membership to the original account and hope I’ll once again be offered 100 points to subscribe.

    • What do you mean by “extra sign up points”?

      • There are often promo codes that give you 100 points when you sign up for a new subscription. Right now you can use JILLIAN I think.

        • GAP10 should be working too! 🙂

          • If you have an existing account can you unsubscribe and re sign up for the monthly member ship using the code ?

  16. It’s not really fair but Birchbox wins every month for me. I have 3 accounts and usually pick the curated boxes and/or multiple sample choices I’m excited for. And ispy is always a let down because I never get the “good” products. In fact I’ll probably be cancelling ipsy after April’s bag.

    Also, now that Birchbox is pumping out these gorgeous boxes, it trumps ipsy bags.

    • Ipsy’s big “thing” is having their subscribers share what they get on social media.. but then you are right, I will often see what friends get and wonder why I didn’t get the “good” stuff!

  17. I’ve received Ipsy and Birchbox for only two months now and Ipsy is the obvious winner. I know the whole point of both is really to try new things so I try to keep that in mind. However, so far Birchbox has sent me things that don’t tie to the kinds of products I want to try. The one product I found that I like is not for sale anywhere. What is the point in sampling a product you can’t then buy?

    Ispy, on the other hand, has sent me some things that I never would have bought for myself like a bright pink blush and bright pink lipstick (in separate months) but I tried them and I loved them.

    I really want to like Birchbox so I’m keeping the sub for now. I’m kind of shocked at how much I hate it considering that it seems like everyone else loves it. Maybe it will get better over time but it really doesn’t seem like they consider your survey at all.

    • We love Birchbox because of the sample choice & pre-curated box options. And the points & coupon code system is amazing. Basically if you know how to use Birchbox right, it’s one of the best sub boxes out there. When I first joined BB, I didn’t understand the hype, but now I totally do & I have 3 accounts!

      • I’m giving it time. I was able to get my choice of curated box for April (despite the mess of not receiving the choice email early like they promised if you shared) so I’m hopeful. I do see how the point system is cool but until I find a product I want it doesn’t do me a lot of good. I really do want to like. Hopefully, it will grow on me like it did for you.

      • I’m very interested in Birchbox. Jenny, how do I set my account up to get the most benefit?

    • This is interesting because I feel like Ipsy ignores my profile more than Birchbox does! But I wonder if I just sense it more because I see what my friends get all the time.

      But I know what you mean about Birchbox sending you stuff you can’t buy. One month they sent a delicious tea, and they are almost always out of stock on it! I have found it elsewhere, but it’s so much more expensive to ship that I don’t want to spend the extra money.

    • I’m so glad you said all that! Your like me, ipsy just has products I like better, maybe because I’m into makeup the most!! I find makeup fun unlike a small sample of lotion or hand cream that u typically get from birchbox. I have had 2 birchbox accts. & 2 ipsy accts. since August 2014, I can tell you if it wasn’t for the speciality boxes they’ve been doing lately I would close my 2nd birchbox acct. Ipsy always has more full size products and average of 40-50$ in value. I also feel ipsy match works very well and I think that’s part of why I like it. Plus, in case u didn’t know, ipsy has offers every week on Tues, Wend. , thurs. these offers are picked out by the stylist you picked in your survey, I have Desi as 1 of mine and her specials are freakin AWESOME! You get a great value on these offers, they are priced to sell so watch out they sell out fast!! And if they sell out they usually offer u a promo code for that company’s product showcased in the offers. Ipsy has a TON of great promo codes to buy ur specific product from the vendor themselves. The depate continues!! But nice to hear your opinion!!

  18. I seem to be in the minority, but Ipsy was my clear winner for March. Half of my Birchbox was hair products, one of which was a foil packet. I only kept one of my Birchbox samples from March. Ipsy sent me a full-sized highlighter and lipstick plus a great eyeshadow (which, I think, was also full-sized) and a Dr. Brandt product. It wasn’t even close.

  19. I get Ipsy and Boxycharm. I am considering dropping ipsy for Birchbox. My only concern is I’ve heard Birchbox sends out a good bit of foil packets. I’ve liked some of Ipsy but have also given away alot to a teenager. Which do ya’ll prefer?

  20. I’ve been a member of both for two months and so far Birchbox is definitely the winner for me. Their points system alone is so totally awesome/better than any other beauty subscription service I have. I also like being able to pick one of my products each month (the sample choice)! 🙂

  21. It was Birchbox for me, I hated my Ipsy bag this month didn’t keep anything from it. I got the curated box for BB and loved the Laura Geller blush. I’m praying my April Ipsy bag is soooo much better, the spoilers look amazing, but I’m sure I’ll get the crappy nail polishes. I’ve been with Ipsy for nearly a year and only really liked 2 or 3 bags from it.

  22. Birchbox! I cancelled my Ipsy as all I was getting was tons of makeup and usually the majority of it was eye make up. A girl can only use so much eye shadow!

  23. Definitely Birchbox…The quality of the products is much better in my opinion…

  24. I thought Birchbox was the clear winner. The word “value” should not describe the overinflated prices that these companies charge for their products. I would prefer “cost”.

    Sadly, ipsy has been very lackluster for me in the past three months, whereas Birchbox was exciting and fun.

  25. Are the other three Birchbox items just considered samples? What constitutes a “deluxe” item?

    • That’s right. I think of a deluxe sample as something that would also likely be classified as travel sized, and last for quite a few uses. So the dermae and Laura Geller items were deluxe sized to me. Hope that makes sense!

      • That’s my problem with BB, that I never received legitimately “deluxe” samples. The points are nice but only if you plan to actually shop their site. For those who buy elsewhere regularly that benefit is a moot point. After a year of primarily foil packets and one use samples I bid Birchbox adieu and just kept ipsy. I know I will use their makeup bags. Shipping boxes no matter how colorful, not so much.

  26. Birchbox is the winner to me. I’ve already gone through the Whish lotion which had great texture. I’m half way through Derma E. I love the blush color, it’s beautiful. I’m excited for the eye cream and tonic once I finish the one I’m on. For IPSY, I agree with you about the makeup expectation. The evelyn iona is great and the perfect color for me. I really liked the bag this month, but too many foil packets for this month even though I love Eslor.

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