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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Battle of the Boxes: March 2015 - Ipsy, Birchbox and Sample Society

Hello there lovelies!

This month, I received three subscription boxes: Birchbox, Ipsy, and my newest subscription - Sample Society. In my experience, subscriptions 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 of which box I am happiest with most often, and which has the most bang for the buck. I like to compare products received and overall value vs. cost of the subscription. Which brings me to Battle of the Boxes -  a comparison of my Ipsy,  Birchbox and Sample Society subscriptions! To make cost-comparisons a little easier, I'm going to round the estimated value to the nearest quarter dollar. Read on to see which box comes out on top for the month of March!

Frist Up, we have 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 the month of March was "Floral Fantasy".

Dr. Brandt Anti-aging Mattifying Lotion - $9 value
Purlisse 4-in-1 Cleanser - $6.50 value

The Dr. Brandt Mattifying Lotion is perfect for my oily skin, and will really come in handy as the warmer months approach. Not only do I like that it is mattifying, but the anti-aging claims don't hurt either! As for the Pur-lisse cleanser, I'm always willing to try out something new, so we'll see how it works!

NYX Butter Lipstick in Hunk - $6 value (Full size!)
Vintage by Jessica Liebeskind Highlighter in Crystal Pink - $7.25 value
Boo Boo Coverup Concealer in Medium - $10 value

Though I've tried the NYX Butter Glosses and Butter Balms, I have not yet tried the Butter Lipstick, so I am excited to try this out! It looked really dark in the packaging, but once swatched I see that it is a really pretty berry shade that will be great for any season! The Vintage Highlighter is a very pretty pink that may or may not be too pink for me to use as a highlighter; however, if it doesn't work out, I can always try it as an eyeshadow. I've heard great things about Boo Boo Coverup, and I am looking forward to giving it a try. Right now, the medium shade is too dark for me, but I should be able to get away with it come summer.
Top: Vintage Highlight in Crystal PinkBottom: NYX Butter Lipstick in Hunk

Total estimated value for Ipsy  - $38.75

Next 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, or even a fully curated box. 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).
I chose to go with the curated box , which was titled Beauty Solutions, so I knew ahead of time what would be in my March Birchbox.  Let's check it out:

Dear Clark Volumizing Toner - $4.25 value
Whish Body Butter -  $3.50 value

I feel rather indifferent towards the Whish Body Butter; I have received many body lotions in my subscription boxes, so this will be added to the collection to be used in the future. The Dear Clark hair tonic is nothing to get excited about either, as I also receive a gazillion  many hair care samples. It has a strange smell I'm not sure I can get over, but I will still give the product a chance...you never know what your next great beauty discovery will be!

Laura Geller Beauty Baked Blush-n-Brighten in Pink Grapefruit - $9.50 value
Supergoop Advanced Anti-Aging Eye Cream - $6 value
Derma-e Evenly Radiant Brightening Day Cream - $7 value

I pretty much picked the curated Beauty Solutions box for the Laura Geller blush. I've always wanted to try Laura Geller products, and the Beauty Solutions Birchbox was my opportunity to do so without shelling out the extra money (I have an annual subscription to Birchbox, so the box has already been paid for). I have completely fallen head over heels in love with this blush, so once it's used up I will purchase the full size, as well as try out other products. The Supergoop Eye Cream is a win, as I enjoy trying out new eye creams to see what works best for me. Unfortunately, I probably won't get a ton of use out of the Derma-e Day Cream, since I have to use an oil free moisturizer during the day, so I will probably pass this along to someone else.
Swatch of Laura Geller Blush n Brighten
Total estimated value of the Birchbox: $30.25

Lastly, Sample Society

Sample Society is a $15/mo beauty subscription curated by beautybar.com and Allure magazine. With this subscription, you tend to see more high-end products in both full and deluxe-sample sizes. Each month, you receive 5 products, a mini-mag explaining the samples you received, and a coupon code for $10 off a $50 purchase from beautybar.com. While there is no points system for this subscription, you can save $5 off your first box by using the code 5FORYOU, bringing the cost of your first box to $10.

I was able to see a full sneak-peek of the contents of the March box before I ordered, so I knew I was going to receive some awesome products!

Oscar Blandi Texture and Volume Spray - $9 value
Malin + Goetz Mojito Lip Balm - $6.75 value
Juice Beauty Green Apple Age Defy Moisturizer - $18 value

 I've never heard of Oscar Blandi until now, but it seems like a nice brand, and who doesn't like a little extra volume from time to time? As for the Malin + Goetz Mojito Lip Balm and the Juice Beauty Green Apple Age Defy Moisturizer, I had received them both in other boxes, and I am so happy to have backups because I love them both so much ( I mean it, I adore them!)! 

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara - $8 value
 Cargo Cosmetics Essential Lipgloss - $16 value (full size!)

The Benefit Roller Lash Mascara was the product that first caught my eye when I looked into trying out Sample Society. I really wanted to try it before buying a full size, so I figured the sample size was a good way to do that. This Cargo lipgloss is really nice and creamy, with a fruity scent. It feels comfortable on my lips - not too sticky, but not too thin either, and seems to lasts for several hours on my lips.
Cargo Essential Lipgloss in Gobi
Several different shades of the Cargo lipgloss were sent out, and I received the shade Gobi. I sort of wish I had received a different color, as this shade is an exact match to my skin tone and it looks a little strange worn on its own, but it might look pretty applied over a nude lipstick.

Swatch of Cargo Essential Lipgloss in Gobi

Total estimated value for the Allure Sample Society: $57.75

And the winner is...

For the month of March, I feel like all my subscriptions put up a good fight in both the content and value divisions. However, when it comes down to it,  I'm going to have to hand the title over to the newest contender, Sample Society! Not only did it have the highest total value ($57.75 vs $30.25 and 38.75) , but it came with so many products I love and will get a ton of use out of! Well played Sample Society!

Interested in trying out one of these subscriptions for yourself? Follow this link for Birchbox, or this one for Ipsy. Don't forget to use the code 5FORYOU if you'd like to try out Sample Society! *

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

Thank you for checking out Battle of the Boxes... live a beautiful life! 


*This post contains referral links


  1. I like your comparison of the three boxes! You got a great selection of products but Sample Society is definitely my favorite. I've never tried Oscar Blandi before but I've heard a lot of good things about it!


    1. Thank you Molly! I loved my sample society box - I hope the next one is just as good!

  2. This was such a great idea! Thanks for the in depth comparisons.That sample society box actually looks really good! I'm surprised it even had the Roller Lash when it's such a brand new product!

    1. Thank you Michelle! I was so happy to receive the Roller Lash, which is part of the reason I decided to give Sample Society a try!

  3. I love my Birchbox and the reward system, but I really want to try out another subscription. We don't have the best choice here in the UK though!

    Nicole ♥

    1. I agree with you Nicole, Birchbox has the best points system! As time goes on, I believe more and more subscription services will become available in the UK, so just keep you eyes peeled!


Thank you so much - your comments are always appreciated!