First up, Birchbox:
Birchbox is a monthly subscription service that costs $10/mo and provides you with 4-6 samples hand-picked for you and delivered right to your mailbox! When you subscribe to the service, you fill out a questionnaire that helps them pick items suited to your needs and style. This is one of the original subscription boxes, and it has one of the best points systems: for every 100 points earned, you get $10 to spend in their shop. It's easy to earn points through reviewing the products received, shopping in their store and referring friends!
They usually have several different themes for the boxes each month, and the one I received was "Wet Paint"; each box includes a card with a description of each item in the box, as well as the cost for the full sized item. The items I received were:
Pixie She Butter Lip Balm in Honey Nectar - Full sized product, $8 value.
I've been wearing this lip balm every day since I got it; it is super moisturizing, it has a nice sweet scent and a barely-there color which makes it perfect for daily use. It is my first Pixi product, and it makes me want to try other items from this brand.
Davines OI/ Oil Absolute Beautifying Potion - 1.69 ounces, $17 value (Bonus OI/Shampoo and OI/Conditioner included, a $2.75 value)
I am a big fan of the Davines line of haircare products - I have received several samples, and I have loved them all! I would definitely purchase them, if I
wanted to spend the money ever run out of samples! The Davines OI/ Oil Absolute Beautifying Potion is rather pricey - the full sized product is $41 for 4 ounces, so this 1.69 ounce sample is a great product to receive!
Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox BB Beauty Balm - .2 ounces, $5 value
The name is quite a mouthful - try to say it 3 times fast! This product seems to only come in one shade, and it is a little light for my end-of-summer tanned skin, but it should work for me as the tan fades. I'm always on the lookout for a BB Cream to use on my casual, no-makeup-look days, so we'll give this a go and see if it's my next favorite thing.
Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream - .1 ounce, $1.25 value
This product is just "meh" for me. Plain skin cream does not make me happy, especially when it is such a puny sized sample that I cant't even apply it to my body more than once. SMH.
Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser Mini Starter Kit - 1 ounce, $7.50 value
This was my Birchbox "pick your own item" choice, and I am so happy with it! I had heard of this cleanser before, but never really thought of trying it until now, and I must say I am hooked and will be purchasing the full size!
This box has a total value of about $41.50, which - for a $10 subscription - is pretty awesome! While only one item is full sized (the Pixi lip balm), I feel that(with the exception of the Yu-Be Cream), the deluxe sized samples will last me awhile and really give me the chance to try out the products.
Next up, Ipsy:
Ipsy is a monthly beauty and makeup subscription that contains full or deluxe sized products, all packed into a cute makeup bag that suits the theme for that month. Like Birchbox, it costs $10/month, and the items vary from bag to bag based on your beauty profile. You can earn points by reviewing the products you receive and making referrals, and those points can be redeemed for select items when you reach 500 or 1000 points.
Ipsy's theme for September was "Street Style"; unlike Birchbox, Ipsy does not include a card with the description and value of each item.
NYX Hot Singles Eyeshadow in the shade Arrogance - Full sized product! $4.50 value.
This shade is described as a violet smoke; it's really pretty, and I can't wait to create a fun purple smokey eye with it!
Crown Brush Deluxe Infinity Shadow/Crease Duet - Reg. $17.50, currently on sale for $6.99.
This is a great brush to have as it is a multitasker, and the bristles are nice and soft; I will be adding this to my travel bag!
Hikari Lipstick in the shade Cabernet - Full sized product, $13 value.
I'm loving this wine shade right now - perfect for fall!
Pacifica Natural waterproof Eye Pencil in Fringe - .026 ounces, $3
It is is nice to receive a product that is both vegan and cruelty free, with no phthalates, parabens or petroleum. Fringe is a coffee brown shade, which is neutral and easy to wear.
Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask - 1 ounce, $5 value.
Not the most thrilling item in the bag, but I am interested to see if it does anything for my recovering, over-processed hair.
This bag had an overall value of about $37.50, which is pretty good considering that it costs $10 to purchase! This bag contained 3 full sized items, and 2 deluxe sized samples. I am very pleased with 4 of the 5 items, and the fifth (the conditioner) is still an item I will use, so for me this is a win!
It was a stiff competition this month, as both bags had a lot of items I will use, and many of the products were full sized; however I think that, after comparing the two subscriptions, for me the winner of the September 2014 Battle of the Boxes is: BIRCHBOX! Were you surprised? I am, because normally I would go for the box that has more makeup items, however I just love the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser, the Pixi Lip Balm, and the Davines hair products! These are items I will use daily until the samples run out, and then I will purchase the full sized products. Great job Birchbox!
Interested in trying out one of these subscriptions for yourself? Follow this link for Birchbox, or this one for Ipsy.
Do you subscribe to either beauty box? If so, did you have a favorite this month?
Disclosure: this post includes referral links