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Monday, January 26, 2015

Battle of the Boxes, January 2015: Birchbox vs Ipsy

Hello there lovelies!

This month, I received my three subscription boxes all around the same time (which never happens). I subscribe to Glossybox, Birchbox, and Ipsy. I'm usually always pleased with my Glossybox; it  has a good mix of full sized and higher-end items, and for $21/mos I am always happy with the value. I don't include it in the battle of the boxes, because it is in a higher price bracket and I like to compare subscriptions that are of equal price to see which gives you the best bang for your buck.

My Glossybox for the month of January - a $70 value

Birchbox and Ipsy, however, can be very hit or miss. Most of the time I'm fairly content with the items I receive for $10/mo, but I do have to admit there are times I've been disappointed with the contents of the bag, and  even an occasion or two that I've felt that there wasn't a single item I could use. I often debate about cancelling one of my subs, but then they go and send me an awesome box, and I am once again sucked into subscription box bliss. However I do still plan to (eventually) cancel one of my subs, so I like to compare month to month and get an idea with which box I am happiest with most often. Which brings me to Battle of the Boxes -  a comparison of my Ipsy and Birchbox! Read on to see which box comes out on top for the month of January!


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! Also, another fun perk that Birchbox introduced a few months back is the option to pick one of your samples each month. I like this option, because you can be sure that you will like at least one of the items you receive each month (provided they offer a sample choice you like).


The January theme for Birchbox is "Let's Do This" - the perfect mindset for taking on a new year!


This is a great palette with beautiful colors and good pigmentation. 
 I love to receive these samplers because they are perfect for my travel bag.

Not gonna lie, this stuff kind of freaks me out... but I can understand the concept behind it. 
It is a thick balm, not unlike Vaseline, that keeps your lips feeling hydrated for hours.


 This was my pick for the month of January;
it has a nice, fresh scent and is very moisturizing. 
I've gotten in the habit of regularly applying hand cream,
 so I will definitely get use out of this. 

 This is small sample of pricey color-safe shampoo -
 probably only enough for 1-2 washings.
 It didn't come with a coordinating conditioner, which I dislike, 
however it is great for travel, and I'm sure I have a foil packet of 
conditioner stashed somewhere that I can use with it. 



This is a nice little bottle of Argan Oil, that can be used for hair and skin. 
I am not a big fan of oils, but should I suddenly become a convert 
I have plenty in my stockpile to choose from. Because of that, 
I will be passing this one along to someone else.

This month, the total value of items received in my Birchbox is  $14.50. This wasn't the best month for me, as I received many items I won't use, and the samples were all really small. However, I am usually quite happy with Birchbox, so an off month here and there isn't the end of the world.


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.



The theme for this month was "Fresh Start"  to symbolize starting with a clean slate in 2015. 
I think I see a trend in subscription box themes...


A natural daily moisturizer with peptides, hyaluronic acid,  aloe, cucumber and 
botanical extracts that provides hydration while fighting fine lines. 
The packaging is great - it's a reusable packet!
I will definitely give this a try to see if it will work with my oily skin.

Jouer Lip Enhancer - $8.00 value
This is a lip treatment with Vitamin E, Shea Butter and Jojoba Oil.
My lips are always dry in the colder months, so this will come in handy.


Pacifica does not sell single shadows, so I'm making an educated guess on the value of this one. 
The product itself is a soft pearly beige color without much pigmentation.
 It will work OK as a brow or inner corner highlight.

Full size product! The shade I received is a really pretty shimmery gunmetal color. 
I'm not the biggest fan of loose pigment, but the sifter top does not allow too
 much product out at a time, which makes it easier to use.



Big fan of brushes right here, so I am always thrilled to receive one in a subscription. 
The bristles feel soft, and I think it will work well as a lid shader.


The total value for Ipsy this month is $49.50. That is awesome for a $10/mo subscription! Many of the samples were deluxe or full sized, which is always nice, and I will use most of the items I received!

And the winner is...

 For the month of January,  I'm going to have to hand the title over to Ipsy - not only did it have a much higher total value ($49.50 vs $14.50 - a $35.00 difference!) , but it came with a makeup brush - which had me from the start - and I will get use out of all of the products. Woo-hoo Ipsy!

Interested in trying out one of these subscriptions for yourself? Follow this link for Birchbox, or this one for Ipsy. 

What boxes do you currently subscribe to? Which is your favorite this month? 

Thank you for checking out Battle of the Boxes, and remember to live a beautiful life! 

~Jessica










23 comments:

  1. I've yet to actually try a monthly subscription box, so I might have to try out Ipsy! It looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

    Leather & Lipstick

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like Ipsy - it's more makeup focused, and you get more full-sized products! At $10/mo, you cant really go wrong!

      Delete
  2. I love the Dr.Lipp nipple balm it works wonders, but I can never find it, I love your review thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy to share Debbie Ann! I think the nipple balm is growing on me...

      Delete
  3. The Ipsy box is a lot nicer this month! I love the idea of subscription boxes but for the most part I end up disappointed with them. I like surprises but I'd rather use my money to buy something I actually want (even if the value is lower than a box).

    http://mollyandstacie.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear you Molly, which I why I go back and forth with cancelling...for the money I spend on subscription boxes, I could get a nice palette or other fancy product each month!

      Delete
  4. Love this post! I don't have a subscription box, I'd love to get the Ipsy bag but they don't ship outside of the US and Canada I believe. And I can't get my hands on nice subscription boxes that ship to Belgium :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry Yasmine - maybe some more will come available to you soon! Or, you could put the money aside and try out trial size kits of your choosing from time to time...that would be fun too!

      Delete
  5. I just ran across your review on BB fb page and i actually like it (i read a lot of them)! I'm subscribed to Boxycharm, Ipsy and BB and although there were differences between our bags Ipsy definitely beat BB.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Markita! I've had months where BB came out on top, but Ipsy was the clear winner for January! My friend has Boxycharm, and she loves it, so I often debate about trying it out. Maybe I will to compare to Glossybox...

      Delete
  6. Great review! I would totally agree and say Ipsy won out, hands down. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Katie! Ipsy really was great this month!

      Delete
  7. I am a huge fan of Ipsy....love them. Great review and i agree.
    I tried to follow your blog but for some reason it says try again later.I will continue to try. Love your blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Patience, I truly appreciate that!! Were you able to follow? If not I will look into it...

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  8. I am a huge fan of Ipsy However, I haven't tried but a few I really like this review. It was great to have them in one post. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi there! Great review! Hey, was wondering... I see a lot if reviews about Ipsy waiting lists, trying to cancel, and having to bother your friends in Facebook. How dies that work? Would love your feedback. Not sure which one to go with. Iosy sounds good, except reviews. BB seems more simple of a process. I like bigger samples too. And to wait months for first box if Ipsy? I'm way too impatient! Lol! What are your thoughts! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nicole, thanks for reading - hopefully I can answer your questions! So, for Ipsy there is a waitlist, but it doesn't seem to be too bad (most people I know have only had to wait a month at most). Also, you don't have to share your reviews and hound people on facebook if you don't want to, but it is an option if you want to rack up more points. A friend of mine just joined, and she doesn't even have any social media accounts; she can still review the products on the Ipsy website, but she just won't get the extra points for sharing. With Birchbox, you get the points for reviewing, but it is a much more in-depth review than Ipsy, so it is slightly more time consuming. With Birchbox, you do not share reviews on social media, but occasionally there is an opportunity to share your box on FB and get bonus points. Now, when it comes to sample sizes, Ipsy comes out on top. You typically get at least 2 full-sized products, and the samples are a good size. Birchbox is a little more hit or miss, with the samples usually being tiny and hardly any full size products. However, Birchbox really does have the better points system, as you can earn points by shopping on their site and doing reviews, and the points can be redeemed for anything in their shop. With Ipsy, you can rack up the points, but it is pretty hard to redeem them, as the rewards run out quickly, and are not always that great. I have points that I am just waiting to use on something good (one time they did offer a full-sized bottle of Too Faced Born This Way Foundation for 1500 points, which was amazing, but that doesn't happen often.). All in all, I like both subs for different reasons, but ft I were to cut myself down to just one sub, I'd have to go with Birchbox, if only for the points system. You can always try out both for a month or two, and cancel the one that you don't like... I have cancelled Birchbox without a problem, but signed back up within a month lol. I have not tried cancelling Ipsy yet, so I can't attest to how that works. Whew, that was a long response! Hope it helps!

      Delete
  10. Hi there! Great review! Hey, was wondering... I see a lot if reviews about Ipsy waiting lists, trying to cancel, and having to bother your friends in Facebook. How dies that work? Would love your feedback. Not sure which one to go with. Iosy sounds good, except reviews. BB seems more simple of a process. I like bigger samples too. And to wait months for first box if Ipsy? I'm way too impatient! Lol! What are your thoughts! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi there! Great review! Hey, was wondering... I see a lot if reviews about Ipsy waiting lists, trying to cancel, and having to bother your friends in Facebook. How dies that work? Would love your feedback. Not sure which one to go with. Iosy sounds good, except reviews. BB seems more simple of a process. I like bigger samples too. And to wait months for first box if Ipsy? I'm way too impatient! Lol! What are your thoughts! :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Whoops, forgot to check the notify me bo . Got it

    ReplyDelete
  13. Whoops, forgot to check the notify me bo . Got it

    ReplyDelete
  14. Whoops, forgot to check the notify me bo . Got it

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much - your comments are always appreciated!
~Jessica