Posted by on in Birchbox vs Ipsy | Tags: , | 16 comments

Birchbox Vs Ipsy – November 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.

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.


Birchbox November 2016 (Check out the full Birchbox review)

Number of items: 5

Full-size items: 0

Deluxe size items: 1

Brands featured: Ardency Inn, Benefit, BalanceMe, No. 4, Juliette Has a Gun

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

Total Value: $42.30


Ipsy November 2016 (Check out the full Ipsy review)

Number of items: 5

Full-size items: 2

Deluxe size items: 0

Brands featured: NUXE, TheBalm, Formula X, OFRA, SLMissGlam

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

Total Value: $46

Verdict: It’s another tough month to pick a winner! I’m going to have to go with Birchbox this month since all products worked for me (even the perfume is growing on me). And with Ipsy, the mascara ended up being a disappointment. Both boxes are still a great value, though!

What did you think of the November 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. Ipsy! 💓

  2. @Samantha the Ciate eyeliner is available through Sephora

    • The only one I see on Sephora is a Chisel Liner, not the Fierce Flicks, and the tip looks slightly different. Perhaps they decided the rebrand, repackage, and rename it? It doesn’t really matter to me because I have gotten two other liquid black eyeliners recently, and I will not need any for quite some time. Thank you though! On Ciate’s site, it says unavailable, and when I looked for it about a month ago out of curiosity, it didn’t appear at all.

  3. I LOVE that TheBalm mascara. I thought I was absolutely going to hate it (their products are either a hit or a miss), but it works so great on my lashes. I hate the tube packaging though.

    • I loved the masscara too!!!

  4. Liz you give such great reviews, Thank you. I do agree I love to hear a review on ipsy vs play by Sephora.

  5. Liz-

    Will MSA be doing a review of the net-a-porter 2016 beauty box?


    • Yep! Review coming soon! (There were SO many products to try) 🙂

      • Fantastic ! I look forward to reading it!! Thank you!

  6. Not sorry to have left Birchbox. It may be time to start comparing ipsy with Play, not with Birchbox.

    Even with today’s 20% off deal, which makes an annual sub to Birchbox only $7.33 a box, I passed.

  7. Hi Liz, if it’s not too much trouble I was wondering if you could do a comparison between ipsy, birchbox and play! By sephora since they’re the same price.


  8. Both were disappointing for me in November. My Birchbox had very tiny samples, other than the full-size Chella eyebrow pencil. For example, I got a Coola primer tube that had barely any product in it and I’m not even sure if it has one full application, and I got Bumble & Bumble’s Hairdresser oil in a vial that looks almost as small as that little perfume sample in your photo. I agree that theBalm mascara was very disappointing. At first, I thought maybe it clumped like crazy because my mascara from the previous day hadn’t completely washed off, but I tried it a 2nd time, and it made my eyelashes look greasy! Which is new, but not good new. I was also disappointed in Ipsy because I have gotten a lot of the same types of products in the short time I’ve been with them (mascara, liquid eyeliner, and mauve liquid lipstick twice in 4 months). I hope for more variation next month. But, I liked the Ipsy makeup bag and think I got a couple of good products, so I guess Ipsy won for me.

    • I stopped birchbox because the samples were so tiny and the tubes usually weren’t full. I know they are supposed to be known for more higher end products, but what’s the point if there isn’t enough to sample? Most of their samples are nothing more than dressed up foil packets. One would think they would include a nice size sample of their own brand. Even sephora has some tiny samples. Ipsy does repeat a lot but their sizes are better and some of the bags are cute. I do like the birchbox boxes, I’ve used them for gift giving. I just put a coordinating sticker over *birchbox* on the box. I think an ipsy vs birchbox vs play would be interesting

      • I agree about Birchbox. I canceled cause the only thing I liked about the December box options was the box itself, lol. While Sephora samples can be small, I have been happy with the quality of the products they send. Ipsy has been really hit or miss for me, but I like their Ipsy Offers, except when I miss good ones, lol. I think out of the 3 subs, Sephora has sent items I would be most likely to repurchase. Birchbox only sent a couple items that I would consider repurchasing, and one thing that bothers me about Ipsy is that sometimes the products I get are not available for sale on the products’ sites, making me wonder if they were discontinued.

        • Ipsy sometimes has exclusive items from indie brands that just don’t exist except as promos.

          • A couple items that I got that weren’t available for sale on the brand’s website were the Ciate black liquid eyeliner and the Trust Fund Beauty primer. Those seem like odd items to only offer as promos. I suspect they were discontinued. I actually like those products decently, but even if I liked them enough to repurchase, I can’t.

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