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Birchbox vs Ipsy – January 2014

Liz Cadman
ByLiz CadmanJan 24, 2014 | 27 comments

Birchbox vs Ipsy

This is the second post in the Birchbox vs Ipsy series! (I loved reading all of your comments on last month’s box – and based on the vote, Ipsy was the winner of December!)

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 - January 2014 Items

Birchbox January (Check out the full Birchbox review)

Number of items: 5

Full size items: 2

Deluxe size items: 2

Brands featured: Juicy Couture, Burt’s Bees, Nail Rock, Inika, Beauty Protector

Categories featured: Haircare (1), Skincare (1), Tea (1), Perfume (1) Makeup (1)

Total Value: $33

Ipsy Review - January 2014  Items

Ipsy January 2014 (Check out the full Ipsy review)

Number of items: 5

Full size items: 1

Deluxe size items: 4

Brands featured: Malin + Goetz, Faith Aromatherapy, Skiin, Healthy Sexy Hair, Elizabeth Mott

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

Total Value: $50

Verdict: Even though Ipsy’s value was higher, I personally was more excited about my Birchbox this month. The Inika eyeshadow was a big win for me (it’s a great natural makeup brand), and the Nail Rock polish is fun too. I also expect Ipsy to be mostly full size makeup products, so it was a little different to get several skincare samples this month.

Which box was your favorite this month?

[yop_poll id=”11″]

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!

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!
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I have been getting Birchbox for over two years. It feels like a Birthday gift once a month. I guess since I don’t expect a whole lot for the $10, you have to figure in the shipping fees…The boxes for me have had some great stuff some months and some okay stuff on others but overall, super fun. I am currently on a waiting list to try out Ipsy. Though after reading all of these reveiws, it may be a bit young for me. I guess I’ll try it for a month or two and get back with you all!


I can totally see why our BB won over Ipsy but my Jan BB really stunk so if I had gotten both the same BB I received and the Ipsy you got it would’ve been more of a tie for me.


I canceled my Birchbox over a year ago and haven’t looked back. I see they are still putting the same old, same old in the boxes! I liked my Ipsy bag this month – I’ve always wanted to try the yaby foundation!


I really enjoyed my birchbox this month which is a hugeeee deal for me because last month it was terrible and it was my first month getting it. When I was opening up last months box I could literally hear all the samples rattling around in there, which was a big downer because I could tell it was going to be really tiny samples. But this months box rocked. I liked everything I got in it and I am really excited to try out the nails rock caviar nail set because I have been wanting to for a while. My ipsy however, since this is my first month getting it and I have no other way to judge it, was kind of a letdown. I expected more just based off of reviews I’ve seen online comparing the two sub boxes but I’ll give ipsy another chance, just like I did birchbox. I don’t expect to love everything every month but it’s nice to enjoy at least one or two of the items in each. For $10 I think it can be hit or miss but if you don’t put too much anticipation on it and just get them for fun it’s great.


I ♡ my birtchbox this month! Everything was perfect for me and a good size. I gave away almost everything and the bag from ipsy. I was really disappointed in the colors and products.

Name *Melody

I get both Ipsy and Birchbox. I think it is time for me to cancel. I do not seem to find $10 worth of stuff from each box that I can use. I also think that Ipsy is a little too “young” for me. Maybe I need to find a subscription box that is more expensive for the cost of both Ipsy and Birchbox.


I liked Birchbox better this month. I love the Inika eyeshadow. The color is gorgeous for my skin tone! And I think the Nail Rocks is fun even though I never would have bought it for myself, I got the velvet and I was happy with the color. I also got the Burt’s Bees day cream, which I also really like. The Fekkai glossing cream is pretty nice, I’ve used it before. I also got the Juicy perfume, which was the only thing I did not like in my box.

As for Ipsy, they keep sending me the wrong colors for my skin tone (medium-deep/tan), so while I do get more makeup and full sizes with them, I can’t use most of it! (I’m excited to swap!) This month, I got the Mica lip balm in natural, which looked awful on me. It was like my natural lips minus the mauve tone with beige added in, so it washed me out and I looked sick. Also it was not moisturizing. I also got the shadow pencil in penny, again not a good color for me. Coppers look bad on me. The Alterna dry shampoo, which I will try at some point. And the marula oil, which was the only thing I’m actually excited to try, but the sample is very small. Oh, also the cleasing wipes, which I guess I will use but they’re boring!


I cancelled IPSY right after I recieved this month’s bag. The value might be a bit higher, but I’m bored of getting the same brands over and over again! My bag this month seemed super random – the ProActive + product really re-inforced cancelling it. I haven’t used any of the products yet from last month or this month, whereas I’ve been using and loving everything in the Birchboxes!! (I recently redid my profile and found I got better matches). Also can’t beat the BB point system – I think of it as a $5 purchase every month as I get $5 back for reveiwing the 5 products!


I totally agree! I canceled Ipsy this month too. They are awful at personalization, and the higher value/full size products is a waste if they don’t work for me. Birchbox has rocked the past few months and I have used every single item!


I’m always surprised to see people not liking their Birchbox because I have a lot of fun with my subscription! It’s too bad that’s not consistent among customers. If really like to try Ipsy too, but can’t bring myself to tau scribe because they send a bag every month. I have waaaaay too many cosmetic bags, and feel really guilty throwing things out. I’d rather just not get them in the first place.


I’m with you on the bags! I subscribed to a year of Ipsy over the summer and will not be renewing when it’s up. I find I only liked one or two of the bags and most are cheaply made or smell like chemicals.


I have been a Birchbox & Ipsy customer for eight months now. Each month I consider canceling Birchbox. One box is good, the next is so-so. I have changed my profile so I am hoping it will improve. Also I watch the preview video & find that I don’t get most of what is being shown. I understand that they rotate products, but is still disappointing. Ipsy December bag was awesome! I liked January & will use most everything in it . Better value in my opinion.


I just canceled my Birchbox subscription after receiving this month’s box. It just wasn’t what I was looking for anymore. I did try Ipsy and will give that a try for a few months. My Ipsy box wasn’t terrific, but I think it was overall a better match for me than Birchbox had been.


I still prefer IPSY 🙂

Jillian D

If I had gotten your Birchbox this month, I would have been much happier. I tend to think that because you write such popular reviews that they send you the better samples. I never get a full size in my Birchbox anymore and I’m constantly getting things my profile says I don’t want or I can’t use. Shampoo and Conditioner full of sulfates and alcohol on my color treated hair? Not going to happen. Anyone in the beauty industry knows that a person who color treats their hair can’t use that, so two of my five samples this month were worthless to me. Another one of my samples was tea, another was a TINY pod of body cream. Not even enough for one use. I was mad that I didn’t get the “find” this month because in a previous spoiler video they said everyone gets a find when they decide to do one. I guess that’s not true anymore either.

The Ipsy products thus far have not appealed to me. I want high end stuff I can’t find everywhere. Although this month looked better than months past.

I decided to try Petit Vour. I adjusted my Birchbox profile AGAIN and decided that if February improved, I’d hang around. If not, I’m finished.


I got the exact same box the reviewer did. I never review the boxes so it has absolutely nothing to do with it. I love Birchbox but I am a slightly older customer. I definitely feel Ipsy is for the younger/makeup wanting crowd. I love skin care and hair care so Birchbox is for me. I cancelled my Ipsy after 1 month. I knew it wasn’t my thing.

Name *

I realize that more than one person gets the same box. However, I find it hard to believe that they would send someone whom they know reviews their product something that wasn’t their best. They would not have sent the box I got this month. I’m not sure how they decide who gets what, but it seems like certain people are consistently getting a better value, while others (like, me) are consistently getting items of lesser value. Why take the time to fill out the survey if it isn’t going to be acknowledged?


You did get one of the better IPSY bags this month with both the eyeshadow pencil and the Malin+Goetz lip balm. My bag was ok, but I traded most of my products. The only win for me this month was the hair mask. I would have loved your bag. I thought IPSY was much better this month than previous months since they tried some new and higher-quality brands. Birchbox won for me this month.


I only get Birchbox. But after the last 2 months reviews of Ipsy, I am considering a switch. I have gotten Birchbox for years but I agree that lately it has been only ok. I am getting a big collection of dry shampoos that I don’t even use. And nail stuff that is only ok with me.

Sneaky Burrito

I’ve only gotten 2 months of Birchbox and 1 of Ipsy, but Ipsy has been a better match for me. Birchbox keeps sending me hair products that I’ll never use (hair spray when I wear my hair straight and dry conditioner when I shampoo and use regular conditioner every day) and highly-scented body butters (I have sensitive skin and prefer unscented lightly fragranced products) and while I have liked the tea and chocolate they sent me so far, I don’t really feel like I signed up for tea and chocolate.

Well, I signed up for too many boxes anyway, so I just canceled Birchbox.

Sneaky Burrito

“…unscented OR lightly fragranced products…” (It’s too early in the morning.)


Thank you for doing these reviews!! I love it!!!


Ipsy is always the WINNER in my books.


I think last months amazing bag spoiled me, wasn’t too happy with my ipsy this month 🙁


I have tried Birchbox and Ipsy, I think almost every time Ipsy wins (in my opinion!) For the same price I think its great you get a little make up bag with Ipsy, I feel like that alone is worth half the cost of the box! Birchbox definitely needs to start stepping it up, little tiny samples of perfume just don’t cut it for me!

I love your reviews btw! I am a college student so I live on a budget and your reviews help me choose which box is a good investment, currently only getting Ipsy since Popsugar upped their prices! 🙁


p.s. I got the same Ipsy bag as you and I am loving the leave in-conditioner and the lip-balm!

Our reviewers research, test, and recommend the best subscriptions and products independently; click to learn more about our editorial guidelines. We may receive commissions on purchases made through links on our site.