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Beauty Box Battle: Ipsy vs. Birchbox

Ipsy and Birchbox are the queen companies of beauty subscription boxes and I've been dying to try both of them out! I decided to sign up for both for three months to see which one was the better option. Check out my first impression on not only the companies, but also the products that came inside. Hopefully this will help give you a better insight on which service would be better for you!

August

Birchbox

The August Birchbox had a simple yet pretty box to represent the end to summer with its shifting pink, purple, gradient sunset and silhouetted palm trees.

  • Coastal Scents Blush and Bronzer Palette: Coastal Scents generally runs middle of the road as far as quality goes. I liked the shade of blush and how pigmented it was, but on the flip side the bronzer seemed like it was lacking pigmentation.
  • Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Cream: I have not been using this product long enough to notice or develop an opinion. Sounds like it does all great things though to help boost moisture retention with ceramides. 
  • Marcelle City Multi-Protection Tinted Cream: I like the idea of this product protecting your skin against pollution and harmful UV rays. I'm not impressed with the coverage. 
  • Number 4 Super Comb & Protect: I noticed a difference in my hair with how tangled it gets, but without using heat I can't say how it works for that. I'm also not sure how this product compares to others like it because my hair generally needs something to help with detangling.
  • TOCCA Stella perfume: I kept going back and forth if I sort of liked this fragrance or if I really didn't like it at all. The blood orange citrust scent that I love is what had me on the fence, but I've come to the conclusion that with everything else mixed together it has an "old lady smell".

 

Ipsy

The Ipsy glam bag had the killer "good vibes only" quote on it. I thought the background was interesting with it's similarity to Birchbox so I was curious to track the similarity in designs and themes.

  • Juara Rice Facial Cleanser: I thought this was a nice cleanser and it smelled good. Long term I haven't noticed anything that makes it better than what I already use. I prefer a cleanser that doesn't just cleanse, but tones and gently exfoliates as well.
  • The Balm Voyage vol. II Kuwakaribisha shadow/luminizer: I'm a fan of The Balm so I thought this was a very pretty shadow and highlighter that you could toss in a bag for travel, but it wasn't a unique shade or formula in my opinion.
  • Seraphine Botanicals Liquid Coal Waterproof Liquid Liner: The formula was smooth and the application was nice, but it didn't last any longer than any other liquid liner I've used.
  • Yadah Silky Fit Concealer BB Cream: The formula was thinner and easier to blend, but the coverage was average.
  • No. 7 Sundays Nail Polish: I thought the color would be a really pretty peachy pink, but instead it was the same color as my nails and pretty boring. It also didn't last but a day before it started chipping terribly.

September

Birchbox

The September Birchbox was a black and white floral pattern with a gold metallic background. Loved this design! 

  • Amika Un.Done Texture Spray: I was not loving this for my hair type and style. It made my hair feel dry and coarse. It tangled and was extremely hard to brush though kind of like hairspray. It changed the texture of it by touch, but it didn't do anything for me in terms of appearance. The best thing about it was the cute design of the container.
  • Daily Concepts Facial Micro-Scrubber: This was such a great addition to my skincare routine! I normally use a skincare brush, but this is perfect for traveling to help with exfoliation and deep-cleansing. 
  • Lored & Berry Strobing Pencil: I had never seen a product like this before so it took me a second to get use to the idea. I prefer creams and powders for highlighting and strobing, but this is a nice little guy for just adding a pop of highlight onto your cupid's bow or the inner corner's of your eye that require less and are not as easy to get to.
  • Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow: At this point was pretty much BB Creamed out after getting one in every shipment so far. Average, but gave a nice golden glow sans the name.
  • Vasanti Eye Wonder 2.0 Super Powered Eye Cream: I have not been using this product long enough to notice or develop an opinion. The description really talks it up though "this eye cream uses a mix of peptides, botanicals, and vitamins to hydrate under eyes and reduce dark circles."

Ipsy

I was totally digging the September glam bag theme: #GirlBoss. The bag itself was edgy and fierce in an amazing way.

  • Colour Pop Lippie Stix in Matte X: Such a gorgeous color with a matte finish! You can't go wrong in general with the bargain steals that Colour Pop has, but when you get a full size product like this in your glam bag you know your bag was worth the money.
  • Adesse New York Organic Infused Nail Lacquer in Deception: Unsure about the color - it wouldn't be my first pick. At first, I didn't like it, but it's grown on me. It took two coats and wasn't super fast drying, but it has held up pretty good. At least the majority is still on the nail after a week of wear.
  • Luxie 207 Medium Angled Shading Brush: As a makeup brush junkie, this was a pleasant discovery! Super soft and does a good job at blending!
  • E Nature Birch Juice Hydro Sleeping Pack: I have not been using this product long enough to notice or develop an opinion. Although I can guess, I'm really not sure what it does. At least Birch Juice sounds interesting?
  • Elizabeth Mott Pop! Goes the Shadow in Gunmetal: Although pretty, it's still a standard shadow color. For having oily eyelids, I was impressed with it's durability to last as long as it did. 

October

Birchbox

The Birchbox this month had a colorful foliage/rainforest design. It wasn't my favorite design and I wasn't sure how it fit with October.

  • Eyeko Liquid Eyeliner in Black: I have oily eyelids so I'm really not sure if it's just me or the product, but it didn't last any longer than others for me. I'm not sure if it was the shape of the tip or the material, but it seemed to pull at my skin making it difficult to get precision.
  • Lavanilla Vanilla Coconut Fragrance: A very natural smelling fragrance. I could definitely smell the vanilla and the coconut. I didn't mind the smell, but my husband didn't care for it. 
  • Lipstick Queen lip pencil in the shade Nude: I loved the shade of this lip pencil and the smooth formula. Although it wasn't budge-proof, it did last a while on my lips. 
  • Embryolisse 24 Hour Miracle Cream (moisturizer): I didn't notice this specifically make a difference with my foundation like it suggests it will. As a moisturizer, it was okay. 
  • Beauty Protector Detangling Spray: I loved this product and noticed it made a huge difference! I'm not sure if it's the fact that my hair is one of the most neglected things or not because outside of dying it my hair doesn't get much TLC, but I definitely noticed a difference! The question is how does it compare to other products like it on the market? I can't answer that one. 

Ipsy

The October glam bag was a dark, red lace pattern with a cute little bat zipper pull for a Halloween touch. 

October Products:

  • DLS (Dirty Little Secret) Eyeshadow in the color Bronzed: it was sub-par to me - a pretty color that I could probably find in any neutral palette. I couldn't see what would make me choose the DLS brand over something else.
  • MDM Flow in the color Retro: I was impressed by this transfer-proof lip color! It was a super pretty shade and it really was transfer proof! However, it was not water proof and was gone after two hours of wear from eating and drinking. It still doesn't come close to outshining LipSense!
  • Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner in the shade Perversion: So creamy and smooth-gliding! Perfect for smoking and smudging! I have yet to find an eye pencil that stays on me and this one was no exception. Not sure if it's just me or the product. 
  • Hey Honey Trick and Treat Concealer: I received it in the Normal to Dry formula which is not my skin type, but it didn't seem to make a difference. It was a nice feeling formula, but it wasn't as much coverage as I'm used to.
  • Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream: The name "cracks" me up! Are you rolling on the floor yet? Ha! It has a really nice smell, but it seemed and felt like regular lotion to me. First impression doesn't make think it's anything special, but I think it's going to take more time using it to see if really makes a difference. 

Birchbox Overview

Pros

  • Shipped in a professional box
  • Personalized mailing label - a nice touch
  • Inserts that tell you about the products and how much they cost
  • The online customized profile was very detailed and easy to work around.
  • Emails telling you when it was shipped out with a tracking number

Cons

  • The products weren't customized toward my preferences even though they were supposed to be.
  • The samples weren't worth $10 in my opinion and were samples you'd get as giveaways in stores.
  • The samples were odd brands I hadn't heard of for the most part.

Ipsy Overview

Pros

  • Comes in a super cute, quality made makeup bag
  • Full size products 
  • Products that were department store brand

Cons

  • It came in a bubble mailer instead of a professional looking box, but it is advertised as a glam bag and I'd rather have the cost put into that instead of what it ships in.
  • I really liked the inserts in the Birchbox and think it would be a nice touch if Ipsy had them too.

The winner ....

I really felt like I got my money's worth with the Ipsy Glam Bag. The products were tailored toward my preferences, they were full size, and didn't just have new brands but higher end brands for diversity. It was all wrapped up in a super cute makeup bag to boot! I'm all about presentation and even though Ipsy wasn't on par with the professional quality of shipment like Birchbox was, I'm way more interested in the product I'm paying for inside and Ipsy was a winner every time for me. 

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