MSA is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read the full disclosure.

Birchbox Vs Ipsy Vs Play by Sephora – July 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 July 2017 (Check out the full Birchbox review)

Number of items: 5

Full-size items: 1

Deluxe size items: 0

Brands featured: Kiehl’s, Oribe, MAC, Juliette Has A Gun, Beautaniq Beauty

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

Total Value: $36

Favorite item in the box: Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser

This creamy, clay formula might be the perfect cleanser. It’s fragrance-free and gentle on my skin and didn’t dry my skin out either. Plus, I love that it is a foaming cleanser with a little grittiness from the clay to help with exfoliation. It does all the things!

Ipsy July 2017 (Check out the full Ipsy review)

Number of items: 6

Full-size items: 3

Deluxe size items: 1

Brands featured: TONLYMOLY, Chella, Tarte, Avene, OFRA

Categories featured: Makeup (3) Skincare (3)

Total Value: $49

Favorite item in the box: Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer 

Tarte is one of my all-time favorite makeup brands. They are ingredient conscious, and their formulas work SO well! And this bronzer is incredible. I usually opt for a matte bronzer so I can avoid an overly shimmery look, but this bronzer has just the right touch of subtle shimmer to give you a beautiful, natural glow.

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

Number of items: 6

Full-size items: 0

Deluxe size items: 2

Brands featured: MILK, Boscia, Bare Minerals, IT Cosmetics, Briogeo, Atelier

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

Total Value: $40

Favorite item in the box: boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding Intensive Wash-off Treatment


This mask was fun to use, but more importantly, it actually worked! My pores immediately appeared smaller and cleaner after removing it!

Verdict: Each box did such a good job this month! Great brands and products across the board! It’s a tough call to make, but I’m going with Sephora since it’s their best box ever for me. Each item was a home run, and I loved the sample sizes!

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 July? And what was your favorite product?


How do subscribers rate Birchbox?

Created with Sketch.

Never miss a post: get email alerts about Birchbox!

Enable notifications () to get the latest Birchbox spoilers, reviews, deals, and news delivered to your inbox.

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 | 15 comments

Comments (15)

  1. It’s july 23rd and I have yet to receive my Ipsy July bag, but I saw what items I will be receiving and you and I are receiving 4 of the same items. I’m getting a little fed up with Ipsy:/ even after changing my preferences and emailing them, im receiving the same items over and over. Thank you for this comparison! Im going check out your top 31 list:)

    • Funny it is the 31st if August abd I’ve yet to receive my July bag as well. Not happy but they are sending a replacement that will come after this month’s bag I am sure.

  2. This was the Sephora box I got, and I LOOOVE it!! One of the best ever.
    But I might have to give it to Ipsy if I’m picking from your 3 boxes! It’s just such a good selection & sizes. Ughhh, but maybe I’d just call it a tie with Sephora… lol

    With Birchbox lacking far behind.

  3. I got Liz’s Sephora box too, and I’m with her on that Boscia mask. I lt works amazingly! I am actually in love enough with it, to buy the full size.

  4. My Sephora box got lost in the mail. They gave me a refund with no issues which was nice, but I was REALLY excited about this box (I got 049) so I’m pretty upset…. I’d definitely rather get the box 😭

    • Im not on the swap site but if anyone wants to sell me your 049 box hmu lol

      • What does HUM mean? 049? I should know. I ‘ll look on the box. Anyway, I didn’t love the first box I opened, so went onto eBay and got the one I missed. It was nice to get the things I really wanted.

  5. Liz, I noticed you said in the Sephora Play box that you receive FIVE products PLUS a fragrance. That has never been true for me, I receive 5 total. What do you make of this? I’ve subbed to this box for a couple of years at least, now.

    • Nevermind :/ lol I forgot to count the mascara! But–I’m going to keep a close eye on future boxes and see if I really do receive 5 + 1. I guess I’m not very observant!

    • I’ve gotten Play for over a year solid. It has always been FIVE samples plus a fragrance. Now, I have had a month or two with something missing. But if you ever look at or keep the pamphlet, it will show you exactly what should be in your box, always a total of 6 items. And I think Play has only been around at the most 2 years. And to my knowledge, the five samples plus fragrance has always been their model.

      • I have received one of my Play! boxes without the fifth sample (indicated on the pamphlet in the box) before. I called Sephora’s customer service and they were very helpful and responsive. I was hoping they would mail me the product, but they said they had run out of it, so instead they refunded me my money AND let me keep the box that I received (still 4 awesome products & a perfume sample for free)! Only mildly disappointing part is that I didn’t receive my 10 points for the month. If your box seems incomplete I’d definitely call their customer service and see what they can do for you. Hope that helps!

  6. I received all three of these boxes, and for me, my favorite this month was Sephora. I dropped Birchbox after this month’s box, I decided it just wasn’t worth it to me. I did not receive a Tarte bronzer in either of my two Ipsy subs – I did receive one Tarte Deep Dive cleansing gel.

    As for Sephora, I received different products than above, but I was most pleased with the Madam CJ Walker Wonderful Deep Conditioning Masque, as I have waistlength thick coarse red hair that loves deep masks! It’s a good sized sample 1.25 oz tube, most people would get a few uses out of it, if I’m careful, I might get two. I also received Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask 1oz tube, Ren Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream, Clinique chubby stick in 06 Woppin’ Watermelon, and Mon Guerlain Eau de Parfum sprizter sample 0,7ml. I liked the fragrance, and about 1/2 hour after I had sprayed myself, had my partner smell it on me, and he said I smelled like an old lady :/ He said it smelled powdery, and that all powdery scents reminded him of old ladies. So I guess maybe the dry down isn’t so terrific on it. I can hardly smell it now.

  7. Love me some Sephora!

  8. I think Allure took it this month if we lump them in with this group!!

  9. Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore cleanser is the best!

Please do not enter your email address in the Name field or in the comment content!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Remember to post with kindness and respect. Comments with offensive language, cruelness to others, etc will not be approved. See our full comment policy here.