Product Reviews: Ipsy vs. Birchbox

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wearing the eyeliner and mascara I got in my Birchboxes

Hey babes,

how’s your Sunday going? I apologize for no posts from me or from both of us this week! I came down with a cold and only now am feeling like I have a voice back. This next week will be back to a normal posting schedule!

I heard last week that Birchbox was having a deal where you signed up for the October box and got a few box with it. All for the price of $10. Which I didn’t know Birchbox was the same price as Ipsy! Since I’ve been disappointed with the past two bags I’ve gotten from Ipsy, I decided to give Birchbox a chance. Both of my boxes came yesterday and I must say I’m pretty much sold on switching to Birchbox. But, let me explain the differences between the two companies and what I like or don’t like.

Ipsy

I first heard about Ipsy from my cousin who started posting about her Glam Bags about a year ago I think. I didn’t think much of it until Riley and I started thinking about this blog. So in July I got my first Ipsy Glam Bag. I fell in love with it. The bag was an adorable summer print and it was a soft almost linen like fabric.

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That Octavia sea salt spray is hands down one of the BEST sea salt sprays I have tried yet. I still need to get some more since I ran out (then tried to find other sprays to replace it – nothing compared!). I still use those tweezers (my favorite ones now) and the Bliss highlighter/eyeshadow. This was definitely a huge success of a bag. The only thing I didn’t like in this Glam Bag was the moisturizer. I never used it and when I tried it, it felt weird on my skin.

I figured since the first bag was so good, Ipsy must be pretty awesome. I got my second bag in August; I hated the bag itself but I absolutely loved all 5 of the products!

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I am still squeezing the bottle of the Marc Anthony Argan Oil hair treatment to get every last drop. This was another success! Then I got September’s bag.

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I only liked two of the products in this bag. And my bag came with slices in it. Like someone had cut open a box with all of the bags and caught the tops one with a box cutter. This is when I started looking around for other options. My bag for September also took an entire week longer than usual to get to me.

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This is my October Glam Bag. I got it this week and haven’t really played around with the products yet. Being sick and getting new things kind of doesn’t mesh very well. The bag is okay, I’m not terribly fond of the matte lip color from The Balm Cosmetics. I like Mica Beauty Cosmetics, but haven’t tried out the bronze eyeshadow cream yet. And I have absolutely no clue what the Go Away Gloomy Day stuff is. I need to get on Ipsy’s site and see if I can find information about it.

Okay, so here’s a break down of how Ipsy works.

PROS

  • 5 products and a makeup bag for a flat fee of $10 each month
  • customizable bags – beauty profile can be changed whenever and you can pick what kinds of products you want or don’t want
  • earn points for reviewing your bag
  • points can be used to get individual products up for grabs that month
  • referring someone earns you 250-500 points (500 only when Ipsy is having a promotion)

CONS

  • the customizable part isn’t always reliable – neither Riley or I have had much success with changing the products we wanted or didn’t want
  • earning points only goes so far – it’s hard to rack up enough points to actually get a product
  • referral system only benefits the referrer – the person using the referral link doesn’t get anything
  • bags aren’t always the best material nor will last
  • samples will really only be as big as the bags allow
  • Ipsy doesn’t have an online store but provides discount codes to use at different product’s home pages – although half the time the codes do not work

 

Birchbox

I have heard whispers of Birchbox over the past few years, but again hadn’t paid attention. I knew it was bit like Ipsy but when I saw they were doing a deal with 2 boxes for the price of one, I decided to jump on it.

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This is October’s Birchbox. While yes, it doesn’t come with a makeup bag, I was impressed when I opened the box. The packaging is quite classy and I didn’t feel any loss for not having a bag. Not feeling a loss probably had to do with the samples being almost full sized. Here’s the bonus box I got as well.

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I have been wanting to try Harvey Prince Hello perfume and was so thrilled when I opened the box and saw I had gotten a sample!! It smells as good as I’ve heard it does. Again, I didn’t feel like I needed the bonus of a makeup bag. Both the eyeliner from the bonus box and the mascara from the October box are quickly becoming favorites.

PROS

  • 5 samples for a flat fee of $10 a month
  • almost full sized samples, greater variety
  • refer someone and both you and friend get $5 – friend gets $5 off first box and you get 50 points=$5 to spend in the store
  • Birchbox isn’t just for women – they have a man’s box too
  • Birchbox also isn’t just for makeup and beauty products – they offer snacks, fashion tips, and home items as extras for their boxes
  • review your box and get 10 points for each product. 10 points = $1
  • Get 100 points = $10 to use in the store (that’s referring two people or reviewing two boxes worth of points)
  • Birchbox has a store where they have monthly/weekly deals and a whole butt load of products that ship free each week
  • Often gives out 20% codes off order of $25+

CONS

  • no makeup bag
  • they messed up and sent me two of the same boxes which actually what I was supposed to be getting. I got a total of three boxes; two October boxes and my bonus box. I still liked the box a lot but I don’t know what this means for future boxes.

I really don’t have any more cons for Birchbox. I will probably find more later, but so far my consensus is Birchbox outweighs Ipsy. Even if only because of Birchbox’s referral system. It bothers me when I refer someone to Ipsy they don’t get anything, only I do. With Birchbox I’d love to refer everyone just so they get that first box half off. So I am about 99% sure I am switching to Birchbox instead of Ipsy. At the very least, I’ll switch to Birchbox for a few months then see how it still compares with Ipsy after that point.

Let me know if anyone has had the opposite experience or why they like Ipsy better than Birchbox! Also, I am currently trying out another company called Le Tote. It is a company a lot like Stitch Fix but has a different way of doing their boxes. I will let you all know once I finish my month of Le Tote about how the two companies compare with each other!

Enjoy the last day of your weekend!

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