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Birchbox Vs Ipsy – January 2016

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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).

If you are interested in finding other great beauty boxes, check out our Top 15 Beauty Subscription Boxes for 2016!

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 January 2016 (Check out the full Birchbox review)

Number of items: 7

Full-size items: 0

Deluxe size items: 2

Brands featured: TONYMOLY, RE:P, Goodal, IPKN, Manefit Beauty

Categories featured: Skincare (6) Makeup (1)

Total Value: $20.40

(FYI – this is the curated box from Birchbox. Subscribers get to pick one sample and be surprised by the rest, or get a revealed curated box).


Ipsy January 2016 (Check out the full Ipsy review)

Number of items: 5

Full-size items: 3

Deluxe size items: 1

Brands featured: Pur-lisse, theBalm, Hikari, Mitchell and Peach, Beau Gachis Paris

Categories featured: Makeup (2) Skincare (2) Tools (1)

Total Value: $80

Verdict: Ipsy is the winner for me this month – the $80 value is insane for a $10 beauty subscription! Plus the eye cream, theBalm eyeliner, and makeup brush are already in heavy rotation in my beauty routine. (Who knew after all these boxes I would be delighted by an eyeliner?)

I still am happy with Birchbox this month, though. I knowingly picked the curated box for this month, and I love that I got to sample so many new Korean beauty brands. (Sometimes it can feel like I see the same brands every other month, so this was a great change!)

What did you think of the January Birchbox and Ipsy boxes? Which one was your favorite?

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.


  1. I signed up for Birchbox at the beginning of January, and I loved what I got! I didn’t get the curated Korean box, but my box came with a full size gel eyeliner in a beautiful golden black color, a very small sample exfoliating gel peel, a small sample Supergoop cc cream, a good sized Oribe texturizing spray, and a leave in conditioner spray. The eyeliner is amazing! It’s waterproof, and it literally lasts at least 24hrs without smudging at all! The gel peel is just ok, the cc cream makes my skin look almost flawless, the Oribe spray is so much better than my dry shampoo I already have, and the conditioner leaves my hair soft and shiny. I’m really impressed! I gave in an also ordered the Ipsy, so this month I’ll be getting both.

  2. I use to be subscribed to Ipsy. They hardly follow my preferences. When I emailed them I would get an annoying response of your bag is this financial value and you only paid $10. I couldn’t even use over half of the stuff and almost the rest of It I would never use. So to me the value just wasn’t there.

  3. I genuinely loved both of my boxes this month. The Ipsy value was insane (about $80) AND included my favorite mascara. And I do loved trying out the K-beauty products in my BB.

    It’s close, but the excitement of discovery gives BB the edge. 🙂

  4. I loved the Korean curation box from BB. I wasn’t expecting to. Anyway, I put the goodal cleanser and goodal toning water to the test against my Chanel Hydra Intensive moisturizer and toning water. Goodal wins hands down. I am shocked. Can’t wait to get my hands on it. For the record, I have really dry and currently flakey skin(thanks, to old man winter). I wonder if this is still good on normal or oily skin?

  5. For me this month was a hands down tie. This was my first Ipsy and my first foray back into Birchbox after a break. I didn’t get to choose my Birchbox because I didn’t sign up until mid month, so I was very pleasantly surprised to receive the curated Korean box. My Ispy was not quite as high value as Liz’s. Everything was the same EXCEPT I received a less expensive make up brush from Coastal Scents and a less expensive eye shadow trio from City Color Cosmetics instead of the Hikari shadow. These two items changed the total value of my box, but my value was still well over $50. I like and will use every Ipsy item, but I ADORE every item in my Birchbox. In particular the lip stain, which I thought would look dreadful on me. It goes on so perfectly, tastes and smells yummy, and I will probably have to order one when I run out. It does not dry the lips out and looks great matte or glossed. I have been following this Birchbox versus Ipsy for a while to try and choose one. In the end for me, the points system made the Birchbox a no brainer while the high value of the Ipsy also made it a must have.

  6. Well, I’ve only been subbing for a month and I signed up for both, lol. So far, I’m loving them. You’ll never hear me complaining about it, I’m grateful for the goodies. 🙂

  7. Birchbox was my hands down favorite for Jan. I’ve been subbed to ipsy too long it seems as my bags for the last 6 months have been womp, womp, womp….I get tons of repeats (both brands and identical products in back to back months). I’m yet to ever receive a spoiler item other than ones identified for everyone in a given month. And the product categories for me have never changed. So finally after 2.5 years continuously subbed I cancelled. I was basically paying $10 to give away everything but the bag. While I love sharing it’s hardly my primary goal in subscribing. Birchbox for me this month knocked it out of the park with the K beauty curated box. The only thing I didn’t like was the Tony Moly since the color was hideous on me and very dry even after applying lip primer and gloss on top. Other than that and the boring sheet mask (which I know is a K beauty staple) everything else I loved so much I already purchased ear of the full size products. I’m in love with Goodal!

    • I loved that Goodal too! I think it is out of stock but I will be purchasing it too. This month was my first Birchbox. I loved it! 🙂

    • I also loved that Goodal. Unfortunately, it was all sold out by the time I looked into buying it full size.

      • darn. Didn’t see this and did a duplicate comment. :/

  8. IPsy, hands down this month. 4 out of the 5 products are full size! My total bag value was really high. I love both of these subs though. I hope iPsy continues to wow me, really looking forward to this month’s bag due to their spoilers/cute bag!

  9. Hi! I am following all the posts since I am trying to decide which one to choose to subscribe to, since I live in Canada. Well, Birchbox decided for me.

    So, information for everyone living in Canada, from BB website: “We are so sad to let you know that we have made the difficult decision to put our Canada operations on hold.
    We love our Canadian customers, but with the current exchange rate and high shipping costs, we can’t create the Birchbox experience at a price that is fair to you. We will do what we can to make that a possibility; until then, please know that we sincerely appreciate your support and enthusiasm for Birchbox, and we plan to take good care of our Canadian subscribers as we wind down in this market.”

    I guess ipsy it is…

    • Seriously. And if there are any Canadian subscribers out there who have prepaid for the year, apparently they are going to “refund” you in Birchbox points that you must use in their shop before it closes at the end of April. Not cool, BB. If this applies to you, I’d contact them and demand a real refund on your credit card!

      • That’s terrible! It should be a straight up refund, not credit.

  10. The winner for me was also ipsy as opposed to the Korean box. Ipsy did an extremely great job this time everything for me was perfect and put a smile on my face. The Korean products were nice but still ipsy definitely won.

  11. I had a hard time deciding which box to sign up for and I ended up choosing Ipsy because of the makeup bag. I’m happy with my choice.

    • Thanks!!

    • Neither of my accounts was showing anything until I used this link. Both of my boxes are up. Thank you!

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