Posted by on in Birchbox vs Ipsy, Birchbox vs Ipsy vs Play! by Sephora | Tags: , , | 13 comments

Birchbox Vs Ipsy Vs Play by Sephora – October 2017

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$10 Beauty Subscription Box Breakdown!

The Birchbox vs Ipsy vs Sephora post series compares my Birchbox and Ipsy subscription every month to give you a good idea what you can expect from the three most popular beauty subscription boxes. (And since all 3 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 31 Beauty Subscription Boxes for 2017!

FYI – I pay for 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 Behind The Scenes October 2017 Curated Box - Unboxing

Birchbox October 2017 (Check out the full Birchbox review)

Number of items: 5

Full-size items: 0

Deluxe size items: 1

Brands featured: Stila, Comfort Zone, Kiehl’s, Matrix Biolage

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

Total Value: $32.80

Favorite item in the box: Comfort Zone Hydramemory Cream Gel

This product is new to me and I’m a fan! First, the sample is completely full! (If you’ve ever gone to sample a little tube and found it to be mostly air, I’m sure you can appreciate this, too!)

The cream/gel hybrid formula is super light, absorbs quickly, and gave my skin such an amazing finish – with no silicones!

Ipsy October 2017 (Check out the full Ipsy review)

Number of items: 5

Full-size items: 2

Deluxe size items: 0

Brands featured: Context, IT Cosmetics, Smashbox, Rimmel London, BLAQ

Categories featured: Makeup (3) Skincare (2)

Total Value: $62.17

Favorite item in the box: Context Vitamin C All Day Eye Cream

This formula is lightweight, hydrating, absorbs quickly, is fragrance free, and ingredient-conscious! Pretty much a dream eye cream! (Plus, full-size!)

Play! by Sephora October 2017 (Check out the full Play! by Sephora review)

Number of items: 6

Full-size items: 0

Deluxe size items: 0

Brands featured: Sephora, Becca, Make Up For Ever, BareMinerals, Philosophy

Categories featured: Makeup (4) Skincare (1) Fragrance (1)

Total Value: $28.32

Favorite item in the box: There a lot of products I like in this box, but the BECCA First Light Priming Filter is new to me, and I love that it is a silicone-free primer.

Verdict: I think Ipsy is the winner this month! All boxes were great this month, but Ipsy finally sent me some high-value full-size items again!


Of course, my favorite box varies every month, so here are my general suggestions for which box to pick:

Birchbox: Birchbox allows you to pick one of your samples or the curated box for each month, so if you want to have a little more control over your box, this is a good choice. They also have a ton of great high-end brands. If you are concerned about the value of your boxes, I recommend going for the curated box each month – the values with those boxes seem to be consistently good.

Ipsy: This will likely be the highest value out of all 3 boxes every month. It’s also the best of the 3 if you are looking for full-size items. The one thing to keep in mind is that Ipsy samples both high-end, mid-tier, and drugstore brands, so you’re going to get a mix of price point brands.

Sephora: I recommend this box for the brands – if Sephora carries the brand, it may appear in the box, which means they have a ton of inventory to pick from, and you’re going to get great brands across the board. Sample sizes may be small for some products, but you get 5 beauty samples PLUS a fragrance sample.

What was your favorite box for October? And what was your favorite product?

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.

13 Comments

  1. Sephora.com says SephoraPlay includes a bonus fragrance each month, as does this post. Is this really true? I did not receive a fragrance this month, which is why I’m asking.

  2. Hi, the Becca First Light Priming Filter is NOT, in fact, silicone-free. However the Backlight primer IS silicone-free. Generally if it ends in -cone or -xane it’s a silicone/silicone-based ingredient.

  3. Cancelled ipsy. Had to throw away 3 of the 5 products sent. Nail polish was dried out and really ugly ash color, MDM flow glued my lips together, and Neon & Co hair oil made my hair so brittle it was breaking off!

  4. Benefit is recalling the Gimme Brow product due to a bad batch. If it was in your Play box Sephora will either refund your money or credit you 100 pts.

    • How did you find this out? And is that from the September box?

    • Thanks for the heads-up Anna! I just googled it, it’s all over the net.

    • I just called, I was told the play samples were not included in the recall?

      • So, I called back on the VIB line and a very nice gentleman refunded my the $10.81 I paid. I guess my recommendation to anyone dealing with this- keep calling until you get a resolution. It seems like the beauty advisors are not all on the same page.

        In the grand scheme of things, $11 isn’t much, but if one person is offered a resolution, all Play! Subscribers should be offered a similar resoltion!

        Anna, thank you for posting about this!

        • I received it in Sephora Play and in Macy’s. Let’s see if any of them would try to make things right for me.

          • Elena, call the VIB line- they seemed more willing to try to resolve the situation.

            I do feel bad, though, because before calling the second time, I emailed them, and several hours later, I received an email reply stating I was being credited 100 points. So, I’m getting a refund plus points, and I feel guilty.

            I used to work for Macy’s back when it was still Foley’s here in Texas, in the cosmetics department. Back then, at least, every effort would have been made to satisfy the customer. So I’m hopeful you will get a resolution which will make you happy!!!

    • Yikes! This was a new product for me and I really liked it. Was going to buy a full size.

    • Is this true?

  5. I love the Context eye cream! Finally, something that helps with my undereye puffiness – even when I am sleep-deprived with a newborn wanting to nurse round the clock! I also got the Hey Honey concealer in my bag. Haven’t had much time to put makeup on, but tried it a couple times and together with the context cream really does keep the eyes looking fresh/bright without a caked-on makeup look.

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