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Birchbox Vs Ipsy Vs Play by Sephora – April 2018

$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 2018!

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 2018 (Check out the full Birchbox review)

Number of items: 6

Full-size items: 0

Deluxe size items: 1

Brands featured: Eyeko, Acure, Davines, Clarins, Jane Iredale

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

Total Value: $32.38

Favorite item in the box: I liked everything in this box, but most items I had sampled before, so nothing stood out as my favorite.

ipsy best skincare subscription boxes

Ipsy April 2018 (Check out the full Ipsy review)

Number of items: 5

Full-size items: 2

Deluxe size items: 2

Brands featured: Smashbox, Bellapierre, Trust Fund Beauty, Delectable, Biorace

Categories featured: Makeup (3) Skincare (2)

Total Value: $72.98

Favorite item in the box: Bellapierre Banana Setting Powder

A full-size setting powder that will last me for months? Yes, please! This yellow setting powder is designed to help counteract redness and discoloration. (Great for setting concealer for undereye circles, too.)

Play! by Sephora April 2018 (Check out the full Play! by Sephora review)

Number of items: 6

Full-size items: 0

Deluxe size items: 0

Brands featured: Make Up For Ever, Purity, Urban Decay, Kiehl’s, Dr. Dennis Gross, Elizabeth & James

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

Total Value: $31.83

Favorite item in the box: Urban Decay Hi-Fi Shine Ultra Cushion Lip Gloss in SPL 

This SPL shade is described as a “holographic candy pink with iridescent sparkle.” It goes on sheer, has a minty flavor, adds shine without a lot of stickiness, and the holographic shimmer is beautiful. Here it swatched above the Make Up For Ever foundation:

Verdict: Ipsy is the winner for me thanks to the value and the samples sizes. All boxes were great this month, though!

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?


How do subscribers rate Birchbox?

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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 | 16 comments

Comments (16)

  1. Sooo I haven’t gotten my May Sephora play but I got an email to see what’s in the bag..

    – Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick In Patina
    – Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet
    – Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Pore Minimizing
    – Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask
    -Devacurl Supercream Coconut Curl Styler
    -Gucci Bloom Parfum

    I’m so excited for this, I’ve never tried most of these…only the Stila but in a different color and I love the formula! I’m so glad to see that origins mask too!! I was gonna buy it but now I can try it first!

    • That is my favorite shade of Stila Liquid Lipstick! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

      • Your welcome! The shade looks beautiful, can’t wait to get it! 😊

    • I just got my Sephora May bag and didn’t get most of the items you mentioned (and would have loved them). I am really on the fence with Sephora…. so may try Birchbox for a while as well.

    • Are these all $30 each for a month’s ssubscription????

  2. Can I asked what’s considered deluxe size for these reviews? Does it need to be a certain amount compared to full size?
    I thought all of Sephora’s products were “deluxe samples” according to them at least! Just curious 🙂

  3. I love these! Are you still
    Doing it for beauty fix vs. boxycharm vs. glossybox?

  4. I loved the Makeup Forever sample in my April Play! box. I went out and bought the full size. It’s so soft and blurring- a very luminous finish!

    In my April ipsy, my favorite was the Oaui Finishing Creme- it makes my dry ends look nice and smooth. And I really liked the Paula Dorf bronzer. Very subtle.

    I really enjoyed my April boxes! Thank you, Liz 💗

    • Glad to hear you got great April boxes! 🙂

  5. For me, I think this was one of Birchbox’s best curated boxes I’ve seen in a long time (or maybe ever) despite that Eyeko liner which made it 4 months in a row I received an Eyeko liner in a sub box (5 months in a row this month since I got one in a Lookfantastic box, I think). Not complaining though (just thought it was funny) since that’s what happens when you’re a box addict. 🙂 That Davines shampoo & conditioner is one of my faves, and I love that Clarins moisturizer (that little sample lasts a long time!).

    • Luna, I don’t get Birchbox, but I always look on with envy! I adore Clarins products- going back to when I worked cosmetics counters at the mall. I hope you are having a great day 💗 I’ve been sick and didn’t get to send you my long note 😂

  6. I didn’t like any of my products. I did swap for the lip gloss and that is a new favorite of mine.

  7. How do you use the banana setting powders?

  8. Ipsy has been awesome for me the last few months. Such a great value. I think they are really trying to step it up.

  9. I can’t answer for the other boxes but I’m done with Play! This month consisted of a broken Becca highlighter which would have made me look like the tin man and a few little items that I will never use. What a waste of money. Sephora, I can get all these items as giveaways at other retailers for free! Not that I would bother …

    • You are getting discouraged with Play! too?!?! I was extremely disappointed and same here I barely attempted to open my Becca Highlighter, which was a great color for me, and it went EVERYWHERE!! It is NOT an easy thing to remove from a lot of surfaces either. It ruined my bag as well, which I actually liked that it was actually a different color other than white for a change! I emailed them and still haven’t gotten a response either, which frustrates me more, because I was missing items as well. I have only been hesitant to cancel due to the popularity and waitlist of this box, but I expected much more for their “anniversary” box.

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