Posted by on in Birchbox vs Ipsy | Tags: , | 25 comments

Birchbox Vs Ipsy – October 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 October 2016 (Check out the full Birchbox review)

Number of items: 5

Full-size items: 0

Deluxe size items: 0

Brands featured: Glamglow, MAKE, Avene, ThisWorks, Oribe

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

Total Value: $43.20


Ipsy October 2016 (Check out the full Ipsy review)

Number of items: 5

Full-size items: 2

Deluxe size items: 0

Brands featured: Noyah, theBalm, Pur-lisse, Ciate, Lottie London

Categories featured: Makeup (3) Skincare (1) Tools (1)

Total Value: $49

Verdict: It’s a tough month to pick a winner! The curated Birchbox this month was fantastic in large part due to the GlamGlow, and I really like all the brands they selected. Ipsy was great, too. All great brands and products, and getting a makeup brush is always a win! Since it’s SO close for me this month, I’m going to let the makeup bag sway me and go with Ipsy as my favorite for this month!


You have to get bonus points for this little heart-eyed ghost zipper pull, right?


What did you think of the October 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. I love Ipsy but don’t like the bag issue. Only a few are keep able but I do donate the rest to goodwill. Birchbox just never wowed me so I quit it a while ago. I still get excited by Ipsy.

  2. I LOVED my ipsy bag in October but got totally different products. It was my best bag so far. Birch box was decent. November’s birch box was a real let down this month. Ipsy bag should arrive any day so I’ll be able to compare Novemberl, but by the poor quality of my birch box, I can already tell ipsy will win again!

  3. In the UK version of Birchbx you get a full sized item every month for example the spoiler for December 2016 is a full sized ciate eyeliner pen and in the november box there was a full size Wet brush. i think the US version is a bit of a cop out tbh, guess the UK is the place to be for birchbox.

    • How much is it ? If you don’t mind my asking

      • £10 with £2.99 P&P

  4. What another great fail month for Birchbox. I can’t compare as they have not sent my October box yet (it’s nov 13th) or the add on items I ordered in sept. They have however resent my oct box, but to no surprise, they have to return my money because now the add-ons items are unavailable…Huh? That’s not irritating, my pores could be weeks into a new product (Probably from IPSY).
    So I’m 7 months into IPSY, am yet to be disappointed, and 5 into BIRCHBOX, and highly disappointed 4 of 5 months. Honestly how can you decide on a product that is a dime sized amount? That’s 1 use ladies, hardly enough to sell you on ordering the product in the future. Just my opinion as a business person and shopoholic. They are great for travel, but you can most likely get them for free at sephora etc. I travel a lot, so I don’t really need them, and they go into an abyss of stuff I give away later (to someone who will also never order based on the amount of product). I have however decided after oct IPSY bag, (literally the bag, how cute is that sucker?!) and months of birchbox mediocrity..what if I got 2 IPSY orders..??? Duh! But, after I get that October birch and end my stupidity. I’m not helping internet companies screw over people who can’t do anything about it. I live on an island, I rely on them to send me what I paid for no matter the cost, it’s the principal I have eBay for getting ripped off ???

    • Amen! I hate my Burch Box!!

  5. I would get an ipsy sub but I don’t need 12 makeup bags. I don’t want to just throw them away (what a waste that would be!) but it seems like too much work to have to trade/donate/sell them every month.

  6. I prefer Ipsy because of the product sizes. A single use product let’s me know if I hate it or if I am deathly allergic to it, but isn’t enough to know it works. I have short hair and find most hair products to be only useful when packing sanitary product veggies for the food pantry/homeless. And at this point I am considering going door with a basket of complimentary mascaras and eyeliners, I’m just afraid I’ll be arrested for Subscription harrassment. All said, both offer great fun for half-hour surprise for 10$ a month….and I am worth it!

    • Funny autocorrect…veggies should be baggies.

      • Haha! I toalyy just thought there was a comma missing and you gave veggies with lady products! Didn’t even notice, until you pointed it out ??? #goodkarma❤️

  7. Thanks for bringing this series back (even if only for the month of October). It was really helpful when I was trying to decide which box to subscribe to back in April. 7 months later and I’m still pleased (Kimberly B hit the nail on the head). Hopefully someone else benefits from these.

  8. I started ipsy in May and Birchbox in September. I get a different vibe from each one. ipsy seems to be about having fun, hanging with your girls, trying new techniques as well as products. Sort of reminds me of the vibe of NYLON magazine. Birchbox seems more polished, refined, and older; definitely career woman. Even though I fall into a mature age bracket, the younger, playful vibe speaks to me, and I like ipsy better.

    But also, the tiny Birchbox sizes, ugh. I haven’t gotten my November box yet, but it sounds like it’s not much better. For October I got Oribe hair mousse, Marcelle mascara, Embryolisse moisturizer, Dr. Brandt exfoliator, and a teeny tiny tube of Dr. Lipp lip balm. I don’t use hair products; am already drowning in mascara from ipsy and BB; but I’m happy to get the other two.

    I realized I have a ton of questions, so I guess I’d better go see what the forum’s all about.

    • The Oribe products are a surprising favorite discovery from Birchbox and I also was not a hair product person. Agree wholeheartedly on the mascara (and liner!) deluge.

  9. I prefer birchbox just cuz I’m more skin care and don’t like make up brushes and don’t like they count as full size items. I canceled both then resubbed a week later ppl I’m so weak

  10. I generally like Ipsy more. I didn’t renew my Birchbox when my year was over last month.

  11. I LOVED October’s Birchbox!
    Glamglow, Oribe, and the pillow spray were awesome… so great that I didn’t even care about the teeny tiny lipstick they included. I was even going to buy another curated box, but it was sold out 🙁

  12. I’ve tried about a dozen birchboxes over 3 attempts and never felt the love. Too much haircare was one big issue. Trying ipsy for the first time and hoping it’ll go better but I’m worried that beauty boxes are just not for me.

    • Same here. I did Birchbox for two years straight and had to cancel after getting sick of tiny foil packets & perfume vials they give for free at stores and too many hair are samples. Went to Ipsy 2.5 years ago and I feel I at least get my money’s worth.

      • *care not are, lol.

  13. I felt like they both were great for me last month, and this month is a mix of things I want to try and things I couldn’t have cared less about. One thing that makes me have mixed feelings about Ipsy: I’ve noticed that some of the products they have sent to me are not available on the brand’s website, so it seems like I’m getting clearance items sometimes. This kind of makes me worry about the quality and how well the product did when it was on the market, and it is frustrating in case I like something and wish I could buy it again, but can’t. Usually, as long as I like enough items in the bag/box that equal beyond the $10 cost in value, I’m satisfied enough.

  14. I always like Ipsy more. Both good boxes/bags. I got the glam glow product it dried my face out so much. I Do like the Avene products. It’s seems like I get the same brand again and again from Birchbox. Ipsy is more of a surprise. I only got two uses out of the dry shampoo. My Ipsy was totally different. With Ipsy I like getting some higher priced items and lower priced items. Birchbox does send me brands I don’t like. I’ve did the survey’s I’ve emailed them. The only thing that helped was canceling and resigning up with a new account and making myself 27 years younger. With Ipsy they helped me with a problem one time and it was fixed. Ipsy has better customer service. Birchbox seems mass produced with repeat boxes to a lot of people and doesn’t care. One month never got a box. Complained it was never sent. Given a complimentary box. They said it was on them. But it wasn’t I paid for it. It took a month and half for the box to show.up. Hope the new account keeps working.

    • Yikes! Sounds like we are in the same Birchbox lol. ?

  15. I’ve been doing ipsy almost a year now and sometimes im not absolutely thrilled with what I get . But I tried birchbox and hated it , got one box and canceled . It made me appreciate ipsy so much more . It helps to switch up on your answers for the profile .

  16. I’m obsessed with theBalm and I have renewed love for new makeup brusjes so Ipsy for sure.

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