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Birchbox Vs Ipsy – July 2016

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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 July 2016 (Check out the full Birchbox review)

Number of items: 5

Full-size items: 0

Deluxe size items: 0

Brands featured: Coola, Balance Me, R+Co, Marcelle, My Daughter Fragrance

Categories featured: Skincare (1) Makeup (2) Haircare (1) Fragrance (1)

Total Value: $24.50


Ipsy July 2016 (Check out the full Ipsy review)

Number of items: 5

Full-size items: 3

Deluxe size items: 0

Brands featured: Bare Minerals, Mellow, Not Soap Radio, Trust Fund Beauty, Shray

Categories featured: Makeup (2) Skincare (1) Haircare (1) Nail Polish (1)

Total Value: $44

Verdict: The winner for me this month is Ipsy. The Bare Minerals Matte Liquid Lipcolor is my new favorite product (I’m wearing it every day), and of course, the value and sample sizes are great, too. The Birchbox value for a $10 box is still pretty good (though not getting points for reviewing each product still stings a little), and I really like the R+Co Curl Primer and Balance Me Radiance Face Mask.

In general, I would recommend Ipsy if you are looking for full-size products, but keep in mind that they send a variety of price point items. (Some high-end, some drugstore).

Alternatively, Birchbox mainly sends out high-end items, but their sample sizes are smaller, and full-size items are somewhat rare.

What did you think of the July 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 think ipsy is good if youre really into makeup and want to risk getting some worse products for the sake of the makeup. Personally i really like birchbox as i like the options of choosing between two products e.g. the blush o the highlighter in the september box, and i like to recieve a wider range of products. i have very sensitive skin when it comes to foundatin so ipsy doesnt appeal to me as if they were to send me any face makeup i would most likely never use it as i know what works for me. receveing a varety of makeup/skin orinetated products as well as some nail products provides variety and gives me a lot more products i actually use.

  2. Personally I prefer Ipsy. I looked into Birch Box and it just didn’t seem like it would have products I’d be using. Ipsy sends brands that are along the more price convenient side, which I like. I always try out the items they send me at least once, even if I will never use it again. I have a few I never opened but that is more from just never finding a moment where I needed them just yet. And so far I have never gotten a repeat item from them. I think I only had one month where I was maybe a little dissapointed in the bag at first but then the more I used the items the more I realized I liked them. They send out stuff from Benefit, and NYX which are both brands I LOVE and can’t really afford to buy in the stores since I am on a budget and can’t really dish out 6 bucks for a lip gloss.

  3. I understand why many are dissapointed with BB because of their size. Me, on the other hand cancelled my Ipsy and kept my BB. I compared the 2 over 3 months and out of 15 items sent by Ipsy, I used 3. Where I used 12 of 15 from BB. For me I’m not so interested in who’s value is higher, but in who I get more use from. (That being said, BB has dissapointed me lately so I may just stop that too)

    • Overall I agree with this. I feel like Ipsy is REALLY heavy on k-beauty and other drugstore level brands that are not interesting to me (and when they do have a higher end item I’d be interested in, I probably wouldn’t get it). Birchbox is just a better fit for me, but the value has degraded a lot with the recent changes, so I’m not sure how much longer I’ll stick around for.

  4. Got today my August Birchbox and it is horrible to my opinion. Tiny samples that doesn’t even give me a chance to try for a few days and have an opinion on them since they are so small. Also products that doesn’t fit me at all. I don’t use hair products or antiaging. This month box really disappointed me, and I think I’m going to cancel.

  5. My daughter just got her August curated box today. Still waiting on mine. Good box this month! Worth it this month.

  6. Liz, Are you going to add sephora play! to this series? BB vs. Ipsy vs. Play?

    And whatever happened to that Macy’s box?

    • Great idea! I will do that starting next month!

      And not sure what’s going on with Macy’s 🙁

    • I got a message from the Macy’s box a few months ago saying something like “hold on it will be back soon”??? That was months ago. I think they malfunctioned a bit and do hope they come back. They all seam to malfunction a bit over time I just didn’t think it would be down so long. I was talking to a manager via email about advertising and they seamed a little discombobulated with structuring. I do hope for the best as it was all great high end stuff and I really thought it would give other boxes a run for the money I told him. Fingers crossed! Hope this info help.
      Thanks Liz for this comparison. I dropped BB when the point system went away cause I thought things where kind of skimpy as well and way less makeup in the mix. Now I know I made the right choice.

  7. I have been with both for over a yr in a half birchbox is always sending hair stuff that I can’t even use so this month is my last month with birchbox I have talk to them till I am blue In the face and I still keep getting the se stuff it’s like they don’t care if they lose you ipsy I have never been dissapointed in

    • Same here.. I have short, straight hair and I’m 30 years old. They keep sending me anti-wrinkle creams and hair products for dry frizzy, curly etc hair. I’m sure they are great products but they don’t apply to me. I keep updating my profile but no change. I love trying products I’ve never used or heard of but I’d like them to applicable to me. I give them to friends.. I prefer Ipsy by a landslide!

      • Just fyi cuz I’m an esthetician and hair stylist. Using anti wrinkle when your 30 is imperative, unless u wanna be a wrinkly mess when your40. I’m26 and I use anti wrinkle daily (you are suppose to use anti wrinkle BEFORE you get wrinkles lol)). And curly hair products work amazinggg with straight, short hair ( which i have as well)- depending on the product and look your going for- it can really change your life. So just a tip especially about the wrinkle cream- use that! I know your point that they didn’t follow your skin needs lol. but just a tip for amazing hair and skin before you need botox!

      • If you’re 30years old you should definitely be using anti-wrinkle creams & anti-aging products. All about maintenance & prevention. Don’t wait for deep, canyon wrinkles to form before acknowledging them.

    • I have a similar problem with Birchbox, I feel like they do not ever look at my profile because I always get the samples that I wouldn’t want and when I see all of the samples for the month I just don’t understand why they don’t send me different things! it’s like they send the opposite of what’s on my beauty profile, but they did introduce me to a lot of great brands and it is only $10 and I can cancel anytime and when it comes to Ipsy I just love their makeup bags and once in awhile I’ll get something in there that I actually use and purchase the full size (the same with Birchbox) but I Honestly Love Beauty Box 5 and the target Beauty boxes. I really want to try the Allure box does anyone know anything about that?

      • I also get the Allure box and I really like it. There is a nice variety of items great sample sizes and often times full-size items. It is one of my favorites and I get about 7 different boxes right now and have tried about 12!

  8. Wait a minute! I get both Birchbox and Ipsy and I have been really busy and didn’t realize that there’s no more points! Is that for both? Why would they stop that? It was one of the best parts and other people’s reviews are helpful! Where the hell have I been?!?

    • Hi! Don’t worry! The point change only happened with birchbox, in May or June sometime I believe? There was quite the debacle over it, with many subscribers leaving. They sent out an email letting people know that the points for reviewing products in your birchbox would be removed, but the points you already have are not going anywhere. You can now redeem your points in any increment ( not just the 10,20,30 dollar increments, etc. ).

      If you really want to, You can look up birchbox in the search space on this site and find the threads of the details, people’s ire, and why they supposedly did it.

      Ipsy is the same though!

      • Thanks, I had no idea about the points!

    • Ipsy still has the points system, like always. Birchbox has changed theirs.

  9. I have had Birchbox for a year now and I have also subscribed to Ipsy as well and I would have to say that Birchbox provides a larger variety including more skin and hair care items than Ipsy, which in my experience was mostly make up, but the make up bags with Ipsy are always so cute. I am disappointed with the reward point change recently with Birchbox. It was a great option that set them apart from other boxes and provided a great way to share opinions and get points to cash in for your favs, but they points for reviewing products is limited now and I will probably be dumping them as a result. Really bummed!

    • I agree with you 100%! I have both Ipsy and Birchbox, I feel like Birchbox gives better items but I love the Ipsy bags not too much what’s inside of them all the time but just the bags but with this whole points system changing I might get rid of Birchbox myself because to be honest the target Beauty Box and Beauty Box 5 put Ipsy and Birchbox to shame!

      • I think it all depends on what you are looking for. I was not impressed with Beauty Box 5. Even though it’s more money per month, I’m really liking GlossyBox.

        • I am dying to try glossybox! Right now I have so many subscriptions I can’t really afford it but I’m starting to get sick of getting samples that do not match my profile so I might be getting rid of Ipsy and Birchbox and I just may sign up for the glossybox yesterday I signed up for the fabfitfun I really hope it’s worth it but like I said before the target Beauty boxes are hands down my favorite everything in there is a great size and usable! 🙂

  10. I signed up with Ipsy in May. I never received my bag. The promised it was mailed (nothing) and then they said it would be mailed in June (nothing) then July (nothing) and admitted they never sent anything… and now that say they have no record of my order (mind you they said this on the replied email showing their messages to me earlier about my existing account.) I cancelled. I still have not been refunded, its only 10 bucks but its a principle thing now. I have no need to sign up with them again.

    • I’m so sorry you had such a cruddy experience with Ipsy, because I have never had a problem with them, and I love their bag! Unfortunately, a negative customer service experience can sour us on a subscription.
      Ipsy is my favorite of the boxes/bags for makeup. Birchbox is better for high-end skin care products (lotion, serums etc), in my view.

  11. Forgive my ignorance! What are the requirements for something to be considered “deluxe sized”? I personally would consider most of the items in BB deluxe size, except the perfume. I figure if it has multiple uses it’s deluxe sized (although I guess I just contradicted myself with the perfume, haha).

    • Thanks for posting that question!! I was thinking to myself the same thing…can’t wait for the answer!!!

    • Great question! I should have defined that in this post! My personal definition is a sample that is at least half the size of the full-size version.

      Sample sizes aren’t particularly uniform, but in my head, this is the hierarchy:

      Full Size
      Deluxe (Possibly Travel Size)
      Sample Size
      Single Use Sample (Likely foil packet)

      Let me know if that makes sense, or if you have any suggestions for a more uniform approach to evaluating sample size! 🙂

      • I agree with you, Liz. I canceled Birchbox this month after a year because the samples are so small and they stopped giving points for reviews. The sample sizes from Birchbox may last a week but I wouldn’t call them deluxe sized either, although definitely better than one use foil packets.

      • That does make sense! Thank you!

        BB does have some terribly small samples, this seems like a fair way to compare.

        • Birchbox told me that a deluxe sample was a product that could be used more than once and could be properly closed between uses.

    • Yeah, I’d personally consider atleast three of those deluxe size, and it’s pretty hard to compare BirchBox and Ipsy. If you look at the base cost/quality of the products, birchbox is almost always higher. That being said, you can’t deny the value numbers, but if they arnt items your gonna use the value may as well be zero. Ipsy tends to lure people in with promises of high end, and then hands the 15 out they have to bloggers. Now I’m not a huge fan of Birchbox lately, I’m just saying it’s not a fair comparison as the value is in perception. If you prefer high end skin/body/hair products your probably going to prefer Birchbox no matter what the rival values are. I personally was with Ipsy for 4 months and never liked a single bag, I cant even think of a single item I used or was excited about honestly. But I’ve found some holy grails with Birchbox.

      • Maybe you have been lucky with Birchbox. My box values have usually been around $25 and I have been subscribed with them for a year. The only way I seemed to get a little higher value, either in my personal opinion or by manually computing the value of products received, was to order the curated box and that wasn’t a lot better. My Ipsy computed values were always higher, although I often received products I wasn’t really interested in. Also even though values were higher, they weren’t as high as Ipsy advertises. I canceled both.

        • I think when people talk about the higher quality brands, they are referring to the fact that Birchbox will never send you something from Jcat, Be a Bombshell, City Color etc. Sometimes I am actually worried to use a product Ipsy sends. I’ve never felt that way about Birchbox. That said, I do feel like Ipsy is upping its game a lot lately, while Birchbox is trying to annoy us all into usubbing.

      • I agree completely, and this is why I’m struggling to decide whether or not to keep Birchbox. The “value” of the items is usually just ok, but I have honestly discovered several products through Birchbox that I absolutely love. I sure miss the points system though.

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