Birchbox vs. Ipsy: Which is Right for Me?

A year ago I discovered the wonderful world of subscription boxes. It seemed like every week, and new box was coming out, full of stuff I wanted. Makeup, snacks, geeky toys, dog treats, even underwear! I decided to delve into the subscription scene, and signed myself up for Birchbox. I waited impatiently for the first box to arrive. I wasn't thrilled with the contents.

There was some nail polish, some perfume, and a couple of other items. I tried them all and reviewed them, hoping that my next box would be better. Every month was the same. Products I liked in theory, but just didnt really work for me. Eyeshadows that were too glittery, nail polish in a color I'd never wear, hair oils and creams that did nothing to tame my frizz, and on and on. When the odd sample arrived that I actually liked, the full product was always out of my price range. So while it was fun to play around with some of the samples, I felt like I was never going to discover something I could use in my every day life. So, I cancelled my subscription. (I do miss those nifty cardboard boxes, though.)

I took a break from boxes for a while, until I saw some of my friends talking about Ipsy. Ipsy and Birchbox are the same price per month, but I felt like Ipsy was targeted at an audience much more like me. A lot of the samples you get in your Ipsy bags can be found in drug stores, or your local Ulta or other makeup store, and they're all fairly reasonably priced. So far, I'm much happier with the samples I've gotten through my glam bags. I'll show you what I've been receiving, and let you know a little bit about my favorite products!

January Glam Bag



(MALIN+GOETZ) Mojito Lip Balm - $12 at 
This balm is minty and citrusy, a perfect combination for spring. It's a little glossy without being sticky. I'll definitely be keeping it in my purse this spring!

Hey Honey - Take It Off! Exfoliating Honey Peel Off Mask - $29 at 
I definitely felt fresh and clean after using the mask, but I'm not big on peeling masks, so I likely won't be purchasing the full product.

Coastal Scents - Liquid Eyeliner - Currently on sale for $2.21 at
This liner has become my new everyday liner. the applicator is great and accurate, and the liner is dark and opaque, as well as easy to remove in case of mistakes. And the price? Unbelievable! 

Pacifica - Natural Mineral Coconut Eye Shadow - $14 for a palette at
I love love love this shimmery shadow! So fun and perfect for sunny spring days! I'll definitely be purchasing a palette in the near future!

Laura Mercier - Primer - $34 at
As someone who doesn't often use primer, I'm not an expert at its qualities. I did feel like it makes my skin "grip" my foundation a little better though, and a little bit goes a LONG way. 

The Bag

I LOVED this bag. I thought most of these products were perfect for me and my routine!

February Glam Bag


The Contents

CARGO Cosmetics-Mini Lip Gloss - $16 at
This gloss wasn't for me. The texture and color were all wrong. I'll likely be tossing the sample.

Mitchell and Peach-Fine Radiance Face Oil - £30 at
I don't love face oils. They never really absorb into my skin well, and don't ever feel more effective than a cream to me. 

Luxie Beauty-Large Angled Face Brush 504 - $16 at
This brush is soft and lovely, and is great for blush! I also love that it's vegan and cruelty free.

GLAMGLOW-BRIGHTMUD® Eye Treatment - $69 at
I will admit that my dark circles and under-eye puffiness were reduced after using this, but my dark circles aren't terribly noticeable anyway. At $69, I can't justify purchasing the full product.

ModelCo-BLUSH Cheek Powder - $22 at
I would have loved to try this blush, but...the whole thing fell apart as I removed the plastic wrapping. I never wear blush though, so it wasn't such a big loss. If I contacted ipsy, they might have replaced it, but it just wasn't worth the effort for me.  That blanket will likely never be the same though. 



The Bag

I didn't love anything from February's bag. I had high hopes for some of these products, but they just weren't for me. Oh well. There's always March!

Do you subscribe to any boxes? What's your favorite? Are there any you'd like to try? Let me know in the comments!

Julia Rose