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Birchbox Vs Ipsy Vs Play by Sephora – April 2017

$10 Beauty Subscription Box Breakdown!

The Birchbox vs Ipsy vs Sephora post series compares my Birchbox and Ipsy subscription every month to give you a good idea what you can expect from the three most popular beauty subscription boxes. (And since all 3 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 31 Beauty Subscription Boxes for 2017!

FYI – I pay for 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 April 2017 (Check out the full Birchbox review)

Number of items: 5

Full-size items: 0

Deluxe size items: 0

Brands featured: Benefit, Tocca, Vasanti, Bumble and Bumble, Derma E

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

Total Value: $22

Favorite item in the box: Benefit Double the Lip in Lusty Rose 

I absolutely loved the color, pigment, and finish of this lip liner/lipstick duo. Plus, it’s a really great sized sample for Benefit!



Ipsy April 2017 (Check out the full Ipsy review)

Number of items: 5

Full-size items: 2

Deluxe size items: 1

Brands featured: Glamour Dolls, Jesse’s Girl, Ciate, H2O+, Luseta

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

Total Value: $31

Favorite item in the box: Glamour Dolls x Lisa Frank Angle Blush Brush 

I grew up on Lisa Frank, so this makeup brush made me all sorts of happy! Now I need an entire set!


Play! by Sephora April 2017 (Check out the full Play! by Sephora review)

Number of items: 6

Full-size items: 0

Deluxe size items: 2

Brands featured: Smashbox, Marc Jacobs, Kate Somerville, Make Up For Ever, Sephora, Peter Thomas Roth

Categories featured: Makeup (2) Skincare (3) Fragrance (1)

Total Value: $41

Favorite item in the box: Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream 

This product is new to me and I am a little obsessed with it! It’s a gel/cream hybrid formula that absorbs almost instantly, and leaves skin feeling incredibly smooth and soft! I even applied a bit over makeup when my skin was feeling dry, and it worked great.

Verdict: My favorite this month is Ipsy. Sephora was a good value, but most of the products weren’t new discoveries for me, and Birchbox felt a little familiar, too. I really loved the Glam Bag for Ipsy, and the Lisa Frank brush really made me happy! (Plus all the actual beauty products were great and good sizes, too.)

Of course, my favorite box varies every month, so here are my general suggestions for which box to pick:

Birchbox: Birchbox allows you to pick one of your samples or the curated box for each month, so if you want to have a little more control over your box, this is a good choice. They also have a ton of great high-end brands. If you are concerned about the value of your boxes, I recommend going for the curated box each month – the values with those boxes seem to be consistently good.

Ipsy: This will likely be the highest value out of all 3 boxes every month. It’s also the best of the 3 if you are looking for full-size items. The one thing to keep in mind is that Ipsy samples both high-end, mid-tier, and drugstore brands, so you’re going to get a mix of price point brands.

Sephora: I recommend this box for the brands – if Sephora carries the brand, it may appear in the box, which means they have a ton of inventory to pick from, and you’re going to get great brands across the board. Sample sizes may be small for some products, but you get 5 beauty samples PLUS a fragrance sample.

What was your favorite box for April? And what was your favorite product?


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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, Birchbox vs Ipsy vs Play! by Sephora| Tags: birchbox | ipsy | play by sephora | 25 comments

Comments (25)

  1. I like ipsy better then birchbox. Ipsy gives bigger n better bueaty items PLUS a cute different make up bag every month. I tried birch box a few month then dropped it.

  2. My Ipsy rocked this month! I was a Birchbox charter member and I finally dropped it last year. It used to be sooo much better. I’m really loving ipsy and I like the diversity of the brands. I still get glossybox also, but I take a break now and then resubscribe when they have a really terrific offer

  3. My favorite this month was ipsy! I also received the Lisa Frank brush and it makes me so happy. My favorite item this month was also Sephora Play’s Cloud Cream. It bums me out that the full size of the product comes in a jar (I’d much rather it be a tube).

    • Am with 3 different beauty boxes. Ispy., Lip. Monthly and recently The Birch Box. My favorite this far is Ispy although I wasn’t to happy with it this month but I love the brush! Not sure if am going to stay with the other two. I found myself giving most of the products. It looks as though Sephora may have a good . I also had essence but discontinued their box.

  4. Are there no Play spoilers this month?

    • This was the curated box this month – so if you didn’t pick the curated and your profile doesn’t match to any of these, you might not get any of them.

    • Me either!!!! I’d have loved them!

  5. I have become a quality over quantity girl and Sephora has been my favorite for a while. I got the same box as you and I love the Exfolikate (already purchased the full size during the Insiders Sale) and the Peter Roth cream A LOT. Both did amazing things for my skin. I already have used up a Smashbox primer, so this is also in rotation, love the eyeliner and the makeup remover is handy for travel. I always use what is given to me by Sephora and have gone on to buy quite a few full sizes. I also like how they explain how to use the products in different ways.

    • Agreed re: Play…….Ipsy is junky to me, and Birchbox has seen it’s better days at this point, at least if you’ve been subscribed for any length of time at all.

  6. The only reason I’m keeping Birchbox at this point is because I’m an ace and get free shipping and earn points for free stuff.And they’ve really been carrying some great stuff lately

  7. Ipsy has been my favorite for a long while,full size samples.New brands I’ve never tried .I liked it so much a few months ago I added another bag for my alter ego

    • Ipsy is the best I’ve had birchbox and I psy for A year and a half and I psy is always better I may get one item I like from birch box but with ipsy I usually get 3 out of 5 I like and ipsy always has brushes I have gotten around 10 brushes from them and who doesnt live that hopefully this helps someone

      • I have had Ipsy and Birchbox for about 16 months. I have been underwhelmed by Birchbox items. They don’t seem relevant. I do like that I can shop with points & get free stuff. I generally find myself more enthusiastic about the products I get from Ipsy. I just wish they had a similar store/rewards program.

      • They do have a rewards program! I haven’t stacked up many points yet but if you do your reviews (and other ways to earn), you can earn free stuff from ipsy too! 🙂

  8. My Sephora box had a higher value than the one you had, but not by a huge margin, but I did love the box. The bag was ugly though. Looked like the Wendys girl.

    • Ha! The Wendy’s girl! That is spot on!

  9. Im way bigger on skincare than makeup, but the things ipsy sends me are Gorgeous!. Honesty what puts them above the rest is their AMAZING customer service.

    I liked sephora in the begining. They havent done tools in a loooonnnngg time, and for most products i can just go into the store and ask for a sample myself so no FOMO since i canceled about a yr ago. You can count on Quality with Play though. I would actually USE up my samples then, while with Ipsy I “save” aka throw into the stash under my bed bc although they are awesome, they arent always “me” . but to be fair, Play was my first beauty sub, so I didnt have an inventory greater than TJ maxx at that point.

    Birchbox…it just kinda slips under the radar for me…”feels familiar” is right..and like i said, im all about skin care :O

  10. I let Birchbox choose all my samples this month, and they did an amazing job! I think from now on, unless the curated box blows me away, I’m going to keep letting them choose.

    • I did this twice and both times were horrible,I usually pick the curated box unless it sucks then I pick the best of the three sample choices

  11. Love this feature: pkease do it every month!

  12. Definitely Ipsy❤️

  13. Agree that ipsy won this month. And the bag was a unique, creative design – I was impressed!

  14. Ipsy was great this month.

  15. Ipsy wins for me too! I love my Ipsy.

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