One of the first beauty related things I did after moving to the US was subscribing to beauty boxes. I find it to be a great way of discovering local brands and products, without spending too much. To start off I decided to go with Ipsy and Birchbox, because they are similarly priced. I’m thinking of giving them both a go for three months and then making a decision of either unsubscribing or keeping the accounts active for longer. How about I take you on this journey with me?
The first round of the Ipsy vs Birchbox battle, featuring July boxes, starts now!
Both boxes cost only $10, which instantly sounds like a great value for money. The shipping is free in both cases and the only difference is that Birchbox does not charge tax (at least not for the delivery to Texas). So far there is no clear winner.
Birchbox seems much more straightforward in their subscription process. You simply need to create an account, provide your address, payment details, fill in your beauty questionnaire and you’re all set. On the day of my subscription they also offered a free MAC lip product. Depending on the date of your subscription (and the availability of the box), you’ll get your first set of samples either the same month or starting from the next one. I actually subscribed closer to the end of the month and still received the June box.
With Ipsy, I didn’t like the fact that after filling in all my details (very similar process to Birchbox) I was only placed on a waitlist and there was no guarantee that I will actually receive a box in near future. There is an option to skip the queue if you spread the love and announce on all your social media channels that you’ve joined the Ipsy family, but I was not interested in sending spam around. Luckily, the waitlist period didn’t last long and I got my first box in July. Still, the process didn’t make me feel like I’m a valued customer…
I will continue comparing different features of the boxes in the next month’s post, but now, let’s talk about what interests you the most – the content of each box.
Birchbox offering for July included two hair products, two skincare items and one makeup product. Only one of those was full size. Here’s the full list of products:
- Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle (full size: 8 oz, $23.50; sample size: 1 oz, $2.94)
- Klorane Dry Shampoo With Oat Milk (full size: 3.2 oz, $20; sample size: 1 oz, $6.25)
- Derma E Anti-Wrinkle Vitamin A Glycolic Scrub (full size: 4 oz, $13.75; sample size: 1 oz, $3.44)
- Marcelle Hydra-C Energizing Hydrating Gel (full size: 1.7 oz, $27; sample size: 0.24 oz, $3.81)
- The Beauty Crop Blush Duo in Papaya Don’t Preach (full size, 0.11 oz, $10)
The total value of July Birchbox was $26.44. To be completely honest the content didn’t excite me much but I was happy with the variety of samples. I’m not crazy about receiving dry shampoos (especially since I also got one in the June box), but I will definitely give both skincare products a go.
Moving on to Ipsy, here’s what was in this month’s box:
- TonyMoly I’m Real Green Tea Mask Sheet (full size: 0.7 oz, $6)
- TonyMoly I’m Real Lotus Mask Sheet (full size: 0.7 oz, $6)
- Puretem Purevera Emulsion (full size: 4.39 oz, $24; sample size: o.5 oz, $2.73)
- Seraphine Botanials Lychee + Gold Healthy Glow Rose Gold Blush (full size: 0.11 oz, $14)
- Ofra Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Gold Rush (full size: 0.07 oz, $10)
- Ciate Wonderwand Ge Kohl Liner (full size: 0.04 oz, $18, sample size: 0.028 oz, $12.60)
The total value of the Ipsy bag in July was $51.33, which is twice as much as the Birchbox (while the cost is similar). Personally I was very excited about this bag as there was no “fillers” like dry shampoos or soaps. I can see myself using every product and I’m particularly excited about the TonyMoly Masks and the Ofra shadow since I haven’t had a chance to try those yet. The blush shade may be too pink for my liking, but I’ll give it a go anyway. If I like the formula I may get another shade later. Can I also say that the bag design this month was very cute! Just look at this sunny side up bum 🙂
Ipsy vs Birchbox Round 1 results
To sum up, the winner of the first round is Ipsy. Their box contained more products, more full size items and overall a more exciting selection (although it’s just down to my personal preferences). Not to mention a much better return on investment of your $10 – I’m actually very curious how they managed to create a box of this value and still make profit. I’m looking forward to seeing what will the next month bring.
Are you subscribed to any beauty boxes? What did you receive this month?