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Birchbox Vs Ipsy – March 2016


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 March 2016 (Check out the full Birchbox review)

Number of items: 5

Full-size items: 0

Deluxe size items: 1

Brands featured: Smashbox, Milk, PARLOR, Kiehl’s, Wilma Schumann

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

Total Value: $28

(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 March 2016 (Check out the full Ipsy review)

Number of items: 5

Full-size items: 3

Deluxe size items: 1

Brands featured: Living Proof, Mellow, NYX, Global Beauty Care, MeMeMe

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

Total Value: $44

Verdict: There isn’t a clear winner for me this month, but I’m loving a few products from each box. The Smashbox eyeshadow trio and the Kiehl’s cream from Birchbox are amazing, and the Living Proof dry shampoo and the Mellow bronzer from Ipsy are great, too. In general, I recommend Birchbox if you looking to sample more high-end (but smaller) samples, and Ipsy if you are looking for a mix of high-end and drugstore brand products (most full size).

One important difference to call out – Birchbox has a great points system. You get 10 points ($1) for every sample you review to spend in the shop, and these points can be combined, so if you subscribe for a year you would accumulate at least $60!

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


How do subscribers rate Birchbox?

Customer service
Retail value
Quality of products
Ease of canceling

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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!

Posted in Birchbox vs Ipsy| Tags: birchbox | ipsy | 35 comments

Comments (35)

  1. Do either of these subscriptions give you options for organics, sensitive skin products? I have very sensitive skin and I’m in my late 40’s. Are these products mainly for younger crowd? Thanks for any info.

    • Hi Peggy, I think that Ipsy is aimed for younger people, it’s some drugstore brands and then some high end brands. i am in my early 40s and definitely prefer Birchbox. Birchbox samples are smaller but if you like them you can buy them from their store and receive points which are good for money off your next purchase. Birchbox samples are high quality. However, if you’re looking for organic only check the subscription box list.

  2. I have changed my profile preferences I don’t know how many times and STILL get horrible samples. Finally in May, they got it. Closest I’ve been to being happy. I’m going to try Birch Box and see…

  3. You earn points for reviews on Ipsy too that can be redeemed for items.

    You get up to 200 bonus points for signing up, connecting your Ipsy to your social medias (which you can then disconnect later without any problem). And you earn 10 points for reviewing each item, and 5 points for sharing the review. With 5 samples per month you earn 5×15 points for the reviews. You earn another 10 points for reviewing the bag, and 5 for sharing that too. Sometimes the system glitches and the points don’t go on, but you email them and add the points to your account within a day.

    So that’s 6×15 points per month = 90 points per month. You can redeem 250 or 500 points for various reward items which then get included in your next month’s glam bag.

    I’ve only been getting Ipsy for 2 months to date, and just redeemed 250 points for a full size nail item that retails for almost $20 at Sephora. Pretty pleased with it. Yeah the brands are quite random, but I’ve not had a reaction to anything so far (I’m sensitive) so I’m pretty happy. And I mostly signed up because they’re known for putting brushes in them quite a bit and I can’t afford $30+ brushes @[email protected]

  4. I am glad I read this blog, I subscribe to Birchbox and have since Jan, and was thinking about also trying Ipsy but after reading comments I will decline and just stick with Birchbox, seems the better fit for me and have very happy so far.

  5. Will there be a comparison for April? 🙂

  6. I’ve had both at the same time and I cancelled Ipsy a couple months ago because my samples were always garbage. They’ve never even come close to the $50 range and not a full size product ever. The quality of Birchbox feels “less” this year than in years past, with tiny samples. The boxes are beautiful though!

    • How did you cancel Ipsy? I have been trying for 2 weeks. I can not log in. I was able the first 2 times on went on the site but now they cant identify me. They are taking money out of my account. I have e mailed them 3 times. One of the times i was not very nice but i am frustrated. They have a very poor business practice. I have a subscription with Birchbox and i have had no problems with them at all. Can you help me?

      • If you can’t log in anymore I would call the bank and report my card lost.. new card number= no more automatically getting billed

  7. I can see my birchbox picks! Fyi…

    • Thanks so much for letting us know!! 🙂

  8. I gave up my Ipsy because I never really used anything. I still adore Birchbox because they have higher end samples so I get to try things out first instead of splurging on one of my shopping binges on products that will just wind up under the sink. I recently got the Play invitation so you know I jumped right on that! No more going in on the small add ons at the checkout in Sephora, now I can just wait for the box! whoot!

  9. i have both… i had 2 birchboxes but just cancelled one this month because i am sick of the little samples and i’m sick of parlor what is up with it all of a sudden it’s an every month thing …. i like birchbox for the points but i also like ipsy a lot .. i think they take my profile into account ..and i like everything that they send now… it seems like they listen when you do your reviews because i no longer receive red lipstick… but if i could only have 1 i would pick ipsy right now!!!

  10. At one point, I had both. But I had dropped Ipsy a long, long time ago. Though they were more generous with their product sizes, I felt like the overall quality and product types I received wasn’t what I was looking for. I am picky about makeup and I ended up donating or giving a lot of products away. I enjoy trying more skincare, especially expensive products that I want to test before committing to a full size. I was able to find more products I enjoyed through Birchbox than Ipsy. Though the sample sizes are smaller, I feel like I get more out of the subscription in the end especially with their great points system.

    • I completely agree!! I also dropped Ipsy a long time ago but am still loving birchbox! Their points system is unmatched! I have 200 right now just waiting for a little haul!

    • If you enjoy trying facial products that work and are on the higher end you should definately try Arbonne. If you would like more information feel free to connect with me.

  11. I’m always happy with Birchbox & Ipsy. They both say that the more you review the better they can better match your preferences, but they’ve been so good, I down want to do anything that will screw up their selection process for me! 🙂

  12. I subscribe to both. I am a long term subscriber to Birchbox but was not aware of the value of the points system until I started coming on this site. I just started Ipsy 3 months ago. My most recent glam bag had over $70 worth. of products, more than the bag the reviewer got, so I truly don’t think they give the reviewers higher value items on purpose. I have never tweaked my Ipsy profile because so far I have been quite pleased.

  13. Honestly, I think they hand pick the box/bag they send for reviews. I never get items like the ones above. My Birchbox was just tiny samples this month. I don’t even look at the spoilers because I know they will not be there. I’ve tried changing my “profile” and no luck.
    Sample envy.

    • Sorry about the sample envy! 🙁 In this case, the Birchbox I received was the curated box (I picked that instead of sample choice) so there was no variation in what I could receive. Hope that helps a little! I definitely recommend getting the curated box every month if you can if you want to see the value you’ll be getting up front.

  14. I had both but dropped Ipsy. They are the same price, but totally different to me. I loved how Ispy offered more makeup and full size items, but I thought Birchbox provided better quality products that I was more likely to purchase for myself. And they have a great points system.

  15. I think Ipsy is a better subscription if you’re not picky about colors or brands and you’re looking to build a collection and try a lot of items. Birchbox is better for finding items that you like and would want to buy, particularly since you can use your points to buy anything, which makes it a better fit for what I’m looking for in a sub box. Also, the point system and product matching for Birchbox are far superior to those of Ipsy.

  16. I subscribed to both last year but I chose to drop Birchbox & keep Ipsy. I absolutely love Ipsy! ??

  17. I had both for awhile but I ended up keeping Birchbox and dropping Ipsy. I was getting too much Be a Bombshell stuff from Ipsy, or things that smelled off (pop beauty lip gloss, BaB mascara, one of the bags from 2014 or 2015). Or like, Ipsy would have an awesome spoiler and then I wouldn’t get it. Etc.

    But then again, I think I am outside the target demographic for Ipsy and am probably just the type of customer Birchbox is looking for. I spend a ton on skincare now. And I don’t feel as bad tossing a small sample (Make face gloss, anyone?) if it doesn’t work for me.

    • Agreed. I feel like Ipsy is for the younger and more make-up oriented consumer and I’m definately more of a skin/hair/body care person who sometimes wears makeup which Birchbox is better at accommodating to. I feel like I accumulated a lot of clutter of makeup items that didn’t work for me when I subscribed to Ipsy and felt bad just tossing a bunch of cosmetics that I tried once, but I also don’t want to give away used products. It just felt very wasteful, not so much from an economic standpoint as it’s only $10, but just an environmental one.

  18. I subscribe to both but I love Birchbox the most. A great points system and their customer service is the best. I have never dealt with Ipsy CS so I don’t know about it.

  19. I almost always prefer my Ipsy bag over Birchbox, but I still like Birchbox. As others said, Birchbox’s point system also makes their box a great value.

  20. It’s the point system that keeps me with birchbox. Their tiny samples don’t usually impress me. There’s usually only 1 product I like (plus the cute box lol) but for $5 it’s (factoring in points) it’s hard to get rid of it. I use more from the ipsy bag but I so wish they’d match birchbox point system!

  21. That’s so true I have both subscription and about to cancel ipsy their point system sucks! While Birchbox is way better and like she says box ends up costing me only $5 after the point redemption. Can’t beat a beauty box for that price plus they boxes are so cute I collect them all.

  22. This was my first month for Birchbox. For one, I love the beautiful box. I don’t like the sample-palooza feel of it but I can see where getting 2-3 add-on gifts a year would be a perk. For $10 a month on each, I like the surprise and anticipation factor. Also, my daughter and I split stuff up so nothing goes to waste. I will get rid of Walmart’s box, which is a waste, to me. I think I will keep both Ipsy and Birchbox for now. There is enough I like about each to keep it going.

  23. I feel that comparing ipsy and birchbox in some ways isn’t fair based on the point systems. Birchbox has an amazing point system that essentially makes your box 5 dollars a month since you get the 5 dollar credit in their store. Ipsys points are a pain to get, don’t buy you much and your only able to choose from a very few select items. I also think that Ipsys match system is a load of hooha, but that’s another post lol.

    • Ooo – good point about the points!! 🙂 I’ll add that to the post!

    • I totally agree about Ipsy’s match system. I am tired of getting nyx, pixi, etc all the time when there are other brands that I’ve never heard of before. I’m also annoyed by the price variations between subscriber’s bags. Mine average $25-30 and never hit a $70 range.

      • I definitely agree with you about Ipsy. I have been getting their cute little bags for 6 or 7 months now and my bags average $25-35, though a couple were higher value. I have read advertisements though about full sized products and values over $50 per month. I have had several months of all or mostly sample sized products and way less value than the advertised $50. It is also difficult when they have an eyecream I would really like to try listed as a spoiler ( I am probably one of the older subscribers) and instead I receive a funky shade of eyeshadow (or two) and I don’t even wear eyeshadow (as I have said in my profile, and also several reviews).

      • I am a little over ipsy bixes! Been getting them for many months. Never much in that match my profile. And my makeup brushes are always bent. Stuffing them in the bag! I just emailed them. I’ll see how they take care of me! I’ve never got anything extra! Don’t even have points! I know I’ve been with them for 8 or 9 months!

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