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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Battle of the Boxes: Birchbox vs Ipsy, October 2015

Hi There lovelies!

Battle of the Subscription Boxes

I received two  subscriptions this month: Birchbox and Ipsy. 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. If I do ever decide to whittle it down to just one sub a month, I want to know which box I am better off keeping; therefore, I like to compare month to month and get an idea of the sub I am happiest with most often, and which has the most bang for the buck. I like to compare both products received and overall value to the cost of the subscription; to make cost-comparisons a little easier, I round the estimated value to the nearest quarter dollar. Without further ado, let us begin this month's Battle of the Boxes -  read on to see which box reigns supreme for the month of October!

First up this month is Ispy:



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 250, 500 or 1000 points (depending on the rewards available). There is a theme each month, and for the month of October it was "Alter Ego". To go along with the theme, we received a cute bag that was black patent leather on one side, and metallic gold on the other.  Let's take a peek at what was inside my October Glambag:

While I'm not a nail polish person, when I do use it I prefer long-lasting gel polish (who has time for polish that chips within a day?!). The gel Effects polish applies easily, like a regular polish, but has the staying power of a gel manicure - up to 2 weeks - all without the harmful UV lamp! This is right up my alley as far as formula goes, and though the shade ( a midnight blue) isn't my first choice, I'm sure I can get some use out of it.

This is a pricey little exfoliant - a 2 oz tube costs $78.00! I like to exfoliate a few times a week, so it will be fun to try this out and see how it works compared to my other (less expensive) face scrubs. 

I like to complain about hand cream, because it seems like I get it in so many of my subscription boxes. However, I have come to accept getting rich, good-smelling hand creams as I have recently taken up the habit of applying it at night and occasionally during the day. This is a moisture-packed cream that smells like creamy coconut, and I like how it absorbs into the skin.

Committed is said to be a pinky nude, but when swatched (below) it seems to be more on the orange side. This stuff dries super matte, and once it sets it does not budge! I scrubbed and scrubbed, and it still left behind a stain that didn't come off for a good 12 hours, which is crazy amazing. I'm not a huge fan of this shade, but the vanilla-mint scent and its infallibility make we want to buy a full size in a shade I like!

This is an automatic eyeliner in a color that I surprisingly don't own, so I'm pretty happy to have it! 

Skone Eye Pencil in Plum, Meet Matte Hughes Liquid Lipstick in Committed

Total estimated value for Ipsy: $42.00

Now let's see about Birchbox:

Sample Choice

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 awhile back is the option to pick one of your samples each month, or even select 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 (provided they offer a sample choice you like). This month, I chose the Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara as my sample choice - let's see what else I got:

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray - estimated value $10.00
This multi-tasking spray is part dry shampoo, and part texture spray. I love both products, so a 2-in-1 is amazing!

Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara - estimated value $10.50
Stila Huge mascara is said to give falsies a run for their money. I'm obsessed with dramatic lashes, so I can't wait to put this to the test!

Many people will look at this and think: "it's just water in a spray bottle"...which it is, but to me this really does refresh skin, set makeup, and work great to dampen brushes for wet eyeshadow application. Now, I don't know that I will purchase it once I use up this sample, but for now I think it's fun to use! 

I think these masks are awesome! They are easy to apply (just take them out of the package and press them against your skin, molding them to the contours of your face), and even easier to clean up (remove mask, throw it away, and tap remaining product into you skin). I've tried several different versions, and the cucmber breeze if hydrating and refreshing!

Lucky is a "nude petal-pink" according to the description, though to me it seems like a tan color (just like the Meet Matte Hughes lipstick I got in my Ipsy bag). Maybe my perception is off, but I'm not a fan of the shade either way. This nifty product is a primer, lip stain and a gloss all-in-one, and from the reviews people seem to love it...but this shade does nothing for me. 

Total estimated value for Birchbox: $36.00

And the October winner is:

When it comes down to value, Ipsy once again rose to the occasion and trampled Birchbox with a value of $42.00 vs $36.00. However, Birchbox did step up their game this month with a higher value (last month the value of my Birchbox was an estimated $18.25, so $36.00 is a big improvement).  Most of the time, I proclaim the winner to be the highest value subscription, but this month I am happy to say that my chosen winner is Birchbox! The difference in value is $6.00, but I am more excited about the items I received in my Birchbox!  4 out of the 5 items in my Birchbox I am super happy to have recieved, whereas I am only really happy with one of my Ipsy products (the eyeliner); the other 4 items are just "eh". Well played, Birchbox!

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... live a beautiful life! 


*The winner of Battle of the Boxes is based solely on my opinion of which subscription has the better  content and overall estimated value. As always, all opinions are my own.
**This post contains referral links


  1. looks like you got some great items from both boxes...that's usually not the case for me lol

    1. Overall I was happy with both subs, which isn't usually the case for me either! It's nice when most of the tiems are things i will use :)


Thank you so much - your comments are always appreciated!