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Subscription Showdown: Birch Box vs. Ipsy Bag

Posted on Posted in All Beauty Posts, Beauty, Reviews

Two months ago, I decided to dive in and give the fad of monthly subscription boxes a try. I had heard of many different beauty boxes I could get so I set out to find some information on which one was best. There is a lot of posts like this, but everyone has a little different opinion. So, rather than just picking one, I decided to purchase both BirchBox and Ipsy Bag for 2 months and then aim to cancel the one I was least happy with in the end. I am going to do this in 4 different sections:

  1. Packaging
  2. Products
  3. Price breakdown
  4. Final decision

So, let’s get into it.

1. Packaging

As you can probably tell from the name’s of the monthly subscriptions, the BirchBox comes in a box and Ipsy bag comes in… you guessed it…. a bag. The boxes for Birch Box are nice and they definitely make the boxes fun and creative but you can only hoard so many of them before you realize you have no use for them. The little makeup bags that encase the Ipsy bag belongings are adorable. I love that the packaging itself is another little gift. The patterns are always fun and it was just a fantastic idea on their part. Although, just like the BirchBox, how many makeup bags is too many makeup bags?

Winner: Ipsy by a landslide. Even though at some point you will be drowning in makeup bags after a couple of months, I appreciate that it is something you can easily reuse. You can put pens, hair elastics, snacks… whatever you want in these bags and if you really do have too much, give them to friends and they can put them to good use.

2. Products

Without a doubt, the most important comparison I can make of the subscriptions is the actual products you receive. Let’s break it down. I am not going to do reviews of every individual product but if you would like a more in-depth review on any of them or just have any quick questions, comment down below and I will do a review for you.

I am going to tell you which brands I have heard of before receiving these boxes/bags, products that I enjoyed and ones I would re-purchase. The reason I have ones I liked AND ones I would re-purchase is because that is a very different measurement. I can like a product and use the whole thing but not feel like it was special enough that I want to actually go out and spend my money on it.

July Ipsy Bag- 5 products

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  • Nicka K NY HQ Quad eyeshadow
  • Teeez Cosmetics Read my lips lipstick
  • Crown Brush Pro Tweezers
  • Pur-lisse gentle soy milk cleanser
  • Coolway beachy salt spray

Brands heard of: 1 (Pur-lisse)

Products I liked: 2 (Nicka K eyeshadow Quad, Pur-lisse cleanser)

Re-purchase worthy: 0

July Birchbox- 5 products

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  • Stila look at me liquid lipstick
  • Amika undone texture spray
  • Coola classic SPF 30 cucumber moisturizer for face
  • Dr. Brandt microdermabrasion skin exfoliant
  • Juice beauty Stem cellular CC Cream

Brands heard of: 4 (Stila, Amika, Coola, Dr. Brandt)

Products I liked: 2 (Stila, Dr Brant exfoliant)

Re-purchase worthy: 1 (Dr Brandt exfoliant)

July winner: Birchbox


August Ipsy Bag- 5 products

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  • Starlooks Luxe long wear eye liner pen
  • Hikari Cosmetics Lipgloss
  • Batiste dry shampoo
  • OZ Naturals Amino herbal hydration mask
  • Trust fun beauty nail polish in Elegantly Wasted (lol)

Brands heard of: 1 (Batiste)

Products I liked: 3 (OZ Naturals mask, Batiste dry shampoo, Hikari lipgloss—note: I’m not a lipgloss gal, but the color was beautiful )

Re-purchase worthy: 1 (Batiste dry shampoo but in the hint of brown option, this one leaves a white residue in dark hair, excellent dry shampoo though.)

August Birchbox- 5 Products 

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  • Beauty protecter protect & detangle
  • Supergoop! Daily correct CC cream SPF 35+
  • Dr. Jart+ Dermask Vital Hydra solution sheet mask
  • R+CO death valley dry shampoo
  • theBalm Cosmetics Balm desert bronzer

Brands heard of: 2 (Dr. Jart, theBalm)

Products I liked: 3 (Dr Jart sheet mask, R+CO dry shampoo, theBalm bronzer)

Re-purchase worthy: 1 (Dr. Jart+ sheet mask)

August winner: Birchbox


Price Breakdown- I know that the price of products shouldn’t be the main reason to favor a product over another but I know when I am paying for a monthly box, I would rather get some higher quality products to try out.

I tried my very best to get the prices of the travel sized products received but it was harder than expected/some just were not possible so I just took the full size prices to give you an idea of if the product is high end or drugstore. If I could find the actual price of the travel item, it will be there.

July Ipsy= (Nicka K Eyeshadow Quad $4.99) + (Teeez lipstick $22) + (Crown brush tweezers $17.46) + (Pur-lisse cleanser $35) + (Coolway spray $6) = Approx. $85.45

July Birchbox= (Stila lipstick $24 ) + (Amika spray $24) + (Coola Moisturizer $32) + (Dr. Brant exfoliant $78) + (Juice Beauty CC Cream $39)= Approx. $197

August Ipsy= (Starlooks eyeliner $19) + (Hikari lipgloss $13) + (Batiste dry shampoo $5.61) + (OZ Naturals mask $21.99) + (Trust fund beauty nail polish $15)= Approx. $74.60

August Birchbox= (Beauty protector $21) + (Supergoop $32) + (Dr. Jart $6) + (R+CO dry shampoo $29) + (TheBalm bronzer full size $21, given a very small amount)= Approx. $109


Final decision:

So, what monthly subscription box am I still receiving every month and what did I cancel? I decided to keep going with… Birch Box!

I actually went back and forth for a couple of reasons. I like how Ipsy gave you more makeup products and I got to try out brands I’ve never heard of but I decided that I have SO much makeup so it is kind of nice to get more variance with the products I receive. I liked how Birchbox there was some brands I have heard of so I know they are sending some good brands but there is also always some that I don’t. It’s a nice mix. I also really like that birch box sends out face products as well because that is something I don’t really tend to spend money on.

Lastly, I really wanted to stick with Ipsy because it was created my Michelle Phan who started on YouTube and I had watched her before she got really famous and I watch a lot of YouTubers but I knew that wasn’t a reason to stick with the service.

Birch Box just has more to offer me and the products tend to be of higher quality, which I appreciate. Can’t wait to see what products I receive in the months to come with Birch Box. I will be posting about every box I receive from now on with reviews of the individual products included.

Hope this helped you out.

Until next time,


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