Saturday, March 15, 2014

Birchbox vs Ipsy: March 2014

Its that time again! There is nothing more exciting than seeing these pink things in my mailbox! And there is nothing worse than being disappointed in what you got.. And I know a lot of people who have subscribed to Birchbox and have been bummed. And curious about Ipsy. So this post will be my final decision and final recommendation on which company I think is worth subscribing to. First I'll give a brief description of what I got in each and my overall thoughts. Then I'll break it down on which I think is worth the $10 subscription.

1. Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle Spray, full size $21.95
2. Harvey Prince Cherie Blossom Perfume sample, full size $55
3. Gilchrist & Soames London Collection Body Lotion, full size $16
4. Tea Forte Minteas, pack of 3 $9.99
5. Coola Tinted Matte Moisturizer, $36
6. Ghirardelli Cherry Tango Dark Chocolate Square

Overall thoughts: My main complaint/annoyance from this Birchbox was that a lot of people seemed to have this exact same box. I did a quick Birchbox hashtag search on Instagram and saw at least 20 people that had the exact same box as I did, no differences at all. This mainly frustrates me because Birchbox is supposed to be a completely customized box that is determined by the questionnaire you fill out when you join. I'll elaborate more on my thoughts on Birchbox at the end. The chocolate was yummy, and I really like the smell of the lotion- seems like a very high-end lotion. Haven't tried the detangle spray because I don't typically use them. I've used Coola sunscreen before, not sure how I feel about it being a tinted moisturizer, but I may use it on a day I'll be out in the sun (has SPF 30)

1. Pixie Flawless Beauty Primer, full size $9
2. NYX 'Love in Rio' Eye Shadow, full size $6 (this is full size)
3. Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lipstick in 'Get Ready', full size $18 (swatched left in picture)
4. Chela Indigo Blue Liquid Liner, full size $24 (swatched right in picture)
**here is a better photo of the Bare Minerals lipstick 

Overall thoughts: I think the bag itself is tacky. I will probably give it away or throw it in a drawer to hold tampons or something. There are only 4 items in the bag, which doesn't seem like much compared to what I've gotten in the past, and compared to what Birchbox sends. I'm going to nitpick for a second.. I won't use the eyeliner because its a very bright blue and I just don't do indigo eyeliner. I wish they had sent a more user-friendly color like black or brown. It seems like a really nice tip though. The lipstick is really creamy and shiny. A really nice sample.

should I subscribe to, Birchbox or Ipsy?

So I started asking myself this question, which one I would recommend to you guys and I realized that you may have a different preference on what kinds of things you get in your subscription box/bag. So I'll break it down in a pretty simple way so you can make your own decision.

Subscribe to Birchbox if...
- you like high-end beauty samples
- you like food-related extras like tea, chocolate, bonbons, etc
- you like things that aren't always makeup or skincare products. for example:
hair bands, decorative bobby pins, nail polish, pore strips, etc
- you like sample packets like shampoo or hand lotion
- you prefer skincare products, hair products, lotions, sunscreens, etc
over actual makeup items. (although Birchbox does sometimes include makeup)

Subscribe to Ipsy if...
- you like actual makeup items like eye shadow, eye liner, lip gloss, etc
- you don't mind cheaper brands that you could buy from WalMart, Target, CVS, etc
- you want/need small cosmetic bags in all shapes, sizes, and colors
- you'd prefer 3 or 4 full size items, over 5 or 6 sample size items

In other words
Birchbox: 5 or 6 high-end, expensive (usually) samples in small(er) sizes. Usually at least 1 foil packet of shampoo, lotion, moisturizer, etc, mixed with sample bottles of other skincare or hair care items, perfume samples, nail polishes, and an 'extra' which is usually food-related, like tea, chocolate, etc.
My main complaint- almost always something that I won't/don't use and just throw away

Ipsy: 4 or 5 inexpensive full-size samples. Usually a lip product in a smaller sized tube, an eyeliner, mascara, or eye shadow, a hand lotion, facial moisturizer, nail polish, etc. Almost always consists of makeup items only, although I have gotten some skincare products and hand lotions as well.
My main complaint- the products are usually items I could just buy for myself and aren't that expensive. For example, the NYX eye shadow or Pixie primer which can be purchased at Target for under $10 each

If you want to subscribe to Birchbox or Ipsy, click the
referral links above to join! 

Shew. I know this was sort of long, but I know a lot of people who have been disappointed with Birchbox lately and are thinking of switching to Ipsy. I personally still like Birchbox because I like trying high-end products, or different things like the tea flavored 'relaxation' mints I got this month, or the chocolate covered fortune cookie I got in December. But I really like that Ipsy gives full-size makeup items or decent sized, usable (vs foil packet) samples like the Bare Minerals lipstick or the full sized eye shadow.

I will stay subscribed to both for a few more months, because I like having the best of both worlds.
But I hope this helped you make a decision (if you were trying to decide) on which subscription box/bag is best for you. Let me know your thoughts on both and what you got in your Birchbox or Ipsy!


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