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Birchbox vs Ipsy – February 2014

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Birchbox vs Ipsy

This is the third post in the Birchbox vs Ipsy series! (To recap last month, based on your votes, Birchbox was the winner for January!)

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 - February 2014 Items

Birchbox February (Check out the full Birchbox review)

Number of items: 5

Full size items: 0

Deluxe size items: 3

Brands featured: Juicy Couture, Ruby Wing, Beauty Protector, Dr. Brandt, 32 Oral Care

Categories featured: Haircare (1), Mints (1), Nail Polish (1), Perfume (1) Makeup (1)

Total Value: $22

Ipsy Review - February 2014 Items

Ipsy January 2014 (Check out the full Ipsy review)

Number of items: 5

Full size items: 3

Deluxe size items: 2

Brands featured: ZOYA, Pacifica, POP Beauty, City Color, Eyetini

Categories featured: Makeup (3) Lotion (1) Nail Polish (1)

Total Value: $43

Verdict: For me, Ipsy was the winner this month. Everything was either full size or deluxe sized, and they included 2 of my favorite brands – ZOYA and Pacifica. My Birchbox on the other hand felt a little light this month, especially in comparison.

Which subscription was your favorite this month? Any new product discoveries you recommend?

[yop_poll id=”12″]

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 gave BB a 6 month try out period, overall I thought it was lacking. I did discover some great hair products but since I was happy with the ones I had and the new ones are not replacing what I was using it’s a wash. I was in dire need of a makeup/color update but they only sent me really weird colors. This month I got my second blue nail polish and so I decided, I’m out. I signed up for Ipsy and since I was willing to share on FB I’m already on the list for the next one. I have been fairly impressed with the Ipsy bags I’ve seen so I am hoping for the best.

  2. While I would love to try Ipsy, I’ve given up on the waitlist. Two months!? No thanks. I quit the waitlist today. I’m not on FB and that seems to be the only way to “jump” the line.

    • I was having the same problem (loooong wait list) so I ended up making a dummy facebook account, agreeing to use it with Ipsy so that I could start getting bags, and then deleting the FB account. It was really easy and took about five to ten minutes.
      It really annoys me how some companies rely on FB too much (for contests, perks, etc) and alienate their customers who dislike social media.

    • I have been on the wait list since JAN 11. Since I canceled my FB account I have no options apparently. This seems a little odd to me.

      • Almost worthy of BBB complaint.

      • Haha! Seems odd to me as well since I see lots of people canceling their Ipsy subscriptions on several blogs I follow. You would think there would have been room for us by now 😉 Oh well, I’ll just take my money elsewhere.

        • I canceled after February so someone can have my spot!

  3. I like my BB this month but without a doubt, even with late shipping GlossyBox is phenomenal. I shop at Sephora and only buy medium to high end brands and GB samples have great value. Soo worth the extra $11.

  4. Ipsy won for me this month. But my BB was not bad either. The breath crystals they sent were weird. I’m not trying them. I can’t even get my boyfriend to try them.
    I don’t mind the size of BB items because I know that’s what they have and what I signed up for. And it’s 10 bucks!

  5. Ipsy is without a doubt every month! I just re-subscribed to birchbox, but after seeing the contents of my box, I will be cancelling again! The 100 point US weekly offer was the only reason I decided to try them again, and I am sorely disappointed! My ipsy bag was good, would have been great if I had gotten the Pacifica sample instead of the eyelashes! I’ll try them, maybe falsies have gotten easier to apply 🙂

    • I recently started wearing fake lashes and as long as you have tweezers and duo lash glue. They are very easy to apply.

  6. I won’t subscribe to Ipsy because on the whole the products are not up to a quality that I want. I prefer the samples in BB, but I’ve been very disappointed with them in the past. There’s too much variation month to month. Julep has NEVER disappointed me. I was “Grandmothered” in, so I can skip whenever I want, but so far I haven’t wanted to skip at all. Every month they come up with something else I absolutely have to have. I may or may not quit BB (I love the points system for the shop), but I can’t foresee myself quitting Julep.

  7. I am happy with my BB and my Ipsy this month! Last month I was ready to cancel bb, but they made me glad I didnt this month.

  8. I just signed up for Birchbox and got my first box, the US weekly. I was not impressed. I got some kind of deodorant cloth(?), a sample of Benefit eye cream, a sample of hair oil, some kind of bath salt(?) which I’ll never use since I like showers and a small bottle of an Opi top coat in a bright red. Yeah, not impressed

    • The deodorant towels aren’t for body use but to be used on clothing, say after a night in a smoky bar or a greasy spoon type restaurant. You wipe them over your clothing to neutralize odors. They actually work great. So great I ordered a full size package.

  9. Ipsy is always the winner in my books, and Birchbox is alway the loser.

  10. I loved my BB this month. I got totally different stuff than others. Yay for me! But your Ipsy box looks fun. I’m scared of ipsy, they have brands I never heard of that seem like drugstore brands..but I like the fact they include a bag every month, I think that is cute.

    • Girl you need to try Ipsy they always have the cutest stuff and I love every little makeup bag we get each month.

    • While Ipsy does offer good brands sometimes, I frequently get brands that are lower quality than I would even purchase at the drugstore (which I rarely, if ever do.) I ALWAYS get several products that I have told them I do not want in the past, through the profile survey, and the monthly product reviews. I had three months of low quality bags, which, while the “value” was much higher that I paid, I would never have bought the products in the bag, and will not use the majority of what I received. $40 of lower price point brands are not worth a penny if you wont ever use them. The whole point of subscription boxes is to discover new brands and sample new products that you are INTERESTED in, at a significant discount. If you are not interested in the products, then it is not a good deal. While some people might be content with receiving several lower price point products at a discount, if you are looking for consistently higher end products, Ipsy is definitely not the subscription to choose.

      • I don’t know about higher end with BB. I don’t consider OPI, Pixi, and NCLA to be high end and have gotten all 3 in the last three BBs. I’m also not discovering new products since I’m at least generally familiar with most everything in the BB store, either from straight up buying it in the past or receiving it in another sub box. I’ll take a full size Zoya polish over a teeny tiny jelly OPI any day. My big issue with BB is they are not deluxe size samples, at all. I know the difference and when my BB box looks like my free Sephora samples that I get for free, I can definitely tell. My last BB had a teeny OPI polish, a paper sample of hair oil that wouldn’t put a dent in my thick, long hair, a mini bath milk (smaller than the full size, so too small to get an idea how the full size would be in the bath since the mini did nothing at all), one clothing deodorant wipe (which I happen to like and have bought before but given how cheap they are, I think 2 would have been better and deluxe), and a Benefit eye cream. It came in a small glass jar, which is nice, but wasn’t even 1/4 full and literally had enough for a single application. So again, not enough to truly sample. Had the 5 items been legit deluxe size, I would have no complaint. But the last 3 bags haven’t had deluxe sized anything. I’m always surprised to hear the “ipsy sends “low end” items” argument or “they’re already known brands” argument when in fact I’ve discovered more new lines with ipsy than I ever have with BB. That being said, I like high end and drug store line products equally and would never turn my nose up at a free full size product regardless where it originated. I’m a longtime la prairie and Clarins user but that doesn’t mean I would say no to a new line item from CG. That to me is being short sighted. BB is as much about brand loyalty as ipsy and send the same brands over and over, just different products from a given line. So that cuts both ways for both subs. If you happen to discover a new line you love, then you’d be thrilled to try another product from that brand. But if you weren’t impressed with anything, then you wouldn’t be doing back flips. But I don’t think it makes those who like ipsy over BB low end consumers (that’s often how the negative statements about ipsy come across, though I’m sure they’re not intended that way) I say to each their own. They’re both $10 subs that are advertised to include deluxe samples. One stays true to the statement and the other rarely, if ever, does. I’d rather receive new, indie brands in full or truly deluxe sizes than foils from a “high end” (often already well known) line. At least I can legit test the deluxe size samples. Can’t do the same with a foil packet. I love shopping the full BB site but honestly have never gone back to buy a single thing I’ve gotten in my sub box. It’s the exact opposite with ipsy. My primary complaint with ipsy is that sometimes the brands are so new you can’t find the lines anywhere yet (like how it is with From the Lab).

  11. My Ipsy and Birchbox both rocked this month! My this or that items for ipsy were eyetini shadow and NuMe hair mask, so mine had a great value. I think my birchbox edged out slightly though because of the Hello perfume sample that I immediately became obsessed with and the HUGE same of DDF moisturizing dew. I had a great month!

  12. Anyone else find it strange that US Weekly “sponsored” or as I like to call it hijacked our Birchbox subs. But didn’t offer a magazine subscription or even a one off magazine?

    • They did offer a magazine subscription for new subscribers.

    • Exactly! What was the benefit to me as a Birchbox subscriber? None. An issue of the magazine or some kind of custom mini magazine would have made this more unique. I was disappointed that new subscribers got a bunch of free issues as part of the promotion, while we existing subscribers didn’t get anything.

      • There was a discount on subscriptions for existing Birchbox customers.

  13. Ipsy defiantly looks better this month . I gave up on BB a few months ago, and Ipsy because everything was geared to the younger group. I loved the makeup bags, although a few I received were very smelly like gasoline smelly. I did resign with Ipsy because they are one of the few that actually do give makeup –

  14. Ipsy was definitely the win for me this month. Love the lipgloss (it lasts several hours) and I like the blush- (it may be a cheaper brand but it has a good amount of pigment in it, so it really works quite nicely on me). Its not that BB wasn’t ok, but they hyped up the US Weekly edition so much, I thought it was going to be amazing. I dunno, I think I will give both another couple of months and then maybe drop them and use that $20 to go to Blush Mystery Beauty box. Ive been looking at all your reviews and it they look pretty great every month.

  15. I was thinking about canceling Ipsy because it seems to be a bit “young” for me. But, I did like the lipgloss and love nail polish (having I got light pink and not sure how that is going look). Birchbox was a disappointment this month. It seems my samples were so small. I got shampoo, conditioner, face spolighter, StriVectin eye cream and hydromilk moturizer. Small samples, no “lifestyle” addition. I keep getting shampoo and conditioners even though I have changed my profile multiple times. Any suggestions on a bit more mature (than Ipsy) makeup subscription?

    • I just signed up for Lip Factory and got my first box. I’m not thrilled with the fake lashes (Ipsy sent me some this month, too, although my Ipsy bag has yet to arrive), but there were two full-size lipstick products, a full-size mascara, and an eyeshadow (single color). The lipsticks weren’t necessarily colors I would’ve picked for myself, but I tried one at random this morning and I like it a lot.

      Anyway, I’m 36 and sometimes Ipsy feels a little “young” for me, too.

      • I’m 38 and love ipsy products. To each their own. Unless we’re talking about clip in neon hair, it would be difficult to convince me a blush or nail polish was too young for me.

        • Blush would have been good. I didn’t get blush this time, though. I got the pink nail polish which is way too pastel for me (although maybe I can layer it with glitter on my toes and make it work). I keep getting things like anti-acne products. Maybe I need to go in and update my profile.

          I don’t hate Ipsy by any means. I was actually basically happy with what I got this month or else I can do something to make it work (except for the eyelashes). And I kept Ipsy and dropped Birchbox and have been happy with that decision.

  16. Even considering the ridiculous eyelashes in Ipsy, it was far and away better than Birchbox. The only usable item from them is the nail polish, and it is so tiny that it might last one mani-pedi. I’ve cancelled Birchbox…again.

    • I think if you’re not an eyelash user you wouldn’t like them. But speaking as a frequent user, they were actually very good quality and looked great. Nothing I would call ridiculous by any means.

  17. I was super excited for the US Weekly Birchbox. It ended up being such a disappointment though. Ipsy totally crushed it this month! I LOVE the Zoya nail polish this month.. a real pretty light pink.

  18. I feel like Birchbox and Ipsy are 2 very different types of boxes. Even though Ipsy seems like a much better value, it’s almost always all makeup (and a lot of times cheaper brands), and I prefer getting high end skincare samples. I’ve been debating whether to drop Birchbox for Glossybox but I do like the Birchbox price and the points system.

    • I’ve been a glossybox subscriber for about 6 months now. Although it’s more expensive, it’s A LOT better than bb. I’ve never been a bb subscriber but based on friends and others’ reviews of it, I knew I’d be greatly disappointed on wasting my money on such small samples. Two bags of teas with foil packets? No thanks! gb always sends mod to high end products from around the world and mixes skin care and beauty. Plus, their products are always either deluxe or full sized.

      • I’m yet to get even one true cosmetic item in a Glossybox. In fact, I’m STILL waiting for my Jan box. Hence why I dropped them. Again. They have great LE boxes like the la prairie last month but it’s like comparing apples and oranges between ipsy and glossy. Especially with glossy being more than twice the price. And having awful shipping issues.

  19. I was happy with my Birchbox this month… I cancelled Ipsy a few months back b/c I was unhappy with it and needed to make a choice, but seeing the items that came out in this month’s glam bag made me want to re-sub! I feel that Ipsy trumped BB this month for sure.

  20. Totally agree! I loved Ipsy this month, Birchbox was such a failure.

  21. I’m going to try Ipsy for the first time next month. But here’s the thing, I really, really hate that they include a makeup bag every month. It’s the reason I haven’t subscribed yet even though a lot of folks like it better than Birchbox. I have way too many makeup bags as it is and absolutely can’t stand to think of it going in the trash. Such a waste! I wish there was a way to opt-out of getting a bag.

    • I save my makeup bags and use them to give gifts in. You could also donate them or give them to a friend.

    • I got a tip from online – I put samples and products from my bags/boxes that I know I won’t use in the bags and donate them to a women’s shelter in my area. It makes me feel good, and I know it’ll be appreciated!

    • The bag is the entire point of Ipsy. The company started out as “my glambag” so yeah there’s gonna be a bag every month. I don’t see how an extra item is a deterrent just as the previous commentor said, give them as gifts or keep them in stead of some older makeup bags that may be worn out. There are plenty of makeup subscriptions that just come in a basic box if thats what you’re looking for.

      • Agreed! I always seem to find something to store in the bags no matter what. Donating them is also a great idea. I guess I’ve never been dissuaded from buying something because they threw in an extra. To me that would be like refusing to shop at Sephora because they send free samples.

  22. I was excited for the US Weekly box thinking it would be better than usual. So much for that…total bummer. My box 2 deluxe samples and 3 use once or twice samples.

    • Exactly! I want what they advertise: deluxe samples. Not paper and foil packets I get for free in the mail in direct marketing mailers.

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