Peg – to be honest, I’m a little bit addicted to the thrill of the chase & the gamble of it all, lol! For example, based on my profile & past product ratings, I had a pretty good feeling that the Ipsy algorithm would match me with the Juice Beauty SPF this month, so bam! done! box paid for right there, since the retail value of that is over $30 and the Ipsy bag is only $25 (and I get the kick out of having accurately predicted what Ipsy would assign me). Plus, Ipsy is really good at making their subscription an ~experience~ with the best product description pages of any sub (honestly, Ipsy usually does a better job than the brand’s own websites, including sizes/weights, full ingredients, & how-to’s), their daily deal sales, their 4x monthly sales, the bag customization, their blog spoiler drops, their Instagram video teasers, etc. I absolutely do get hyped sometimes for products I never would have considered otherwise. (Sometimes that’s a bad thing, & the product ends up being a disappointment, but sometimes it’s a good thing and I find out something new.) Right now, for me, all that stuff tips me in favor of Ipsy… BUT I am keeping my eye on them 👀👀👀. For example, I have seen people get 3 known private-label junk products in one bag, and if my monthly bags start to get to that point, I likely would cancel the sub.
Kenley – Yes, BoxyCharm does the same thing, & that’s actually how I initially heard about some of the practices! The Storybook Cosmetics eyeshadow palettes that were sent a couple years ago are private label product inside packaging provided by Storybook, and there was a bit of controversy about it. Boxycharm has also historically been WAY worse than Ipsy about this… sometimes the ingredients that Boxy lists on their website are from the genuine product, and then the Boxy version of the product they send you has different ingredients listed on the packaging. Don’t worry about the Farmacy, though — folks have checked the labels & ingredients carefully, & apparently every time, the Farmacy ingredients in the Boxy version ARE exactly the same as the ingredients to the genuine article. In some cases, the “BoxyCharm exclusive” label is there more to prevent people from returning the product to a store for retail value.