Birchbox vs. Birchbox vs. Ipsy

I’ve got a big one for my first beauty box review–two Birchboxes plus an Ipsy bag! I received both of my Birchboxes and my Ipsy bag on the same day, so decided to review them together and then compare them.

October 2014 Birchbox vs. Ipsy

For the last several months, I’ve had two Birchbox subscriptions. This has been especially great since Birchbox has been doing the Pick Your Own (PYO) sample system, as I can choose two items I want and ensure that I do not end up with two boxes that are exactly the same.

This month, I selected the ModelCo Party Proof Matte Lipstick in Kitty for my first subscription and the Laggies box for my second subscription. The Laggies box was completely revealed on the PYO selection page. I had already tried and enjoyed a couple of the samples in this box, so I was happy to get them again.

I’ve been subscribed to Ipsy since June, and just have a single subscription. I avoided visiting Ipsy’s website during the past couple of weeks because I didn’t want to spoil the contents of this bag, and was delighted when I opened my bag.

Birchbox and Ipsy each cost $10 per month, with shipping costs included. Both subscriptions offer points in exchange for product reviews, and those points can be used to redeem items. Birchbox’s points are easier to accumulate and redeem, but Ipsy does come with a makeup bag each month. For October, 2014, the Birchbox theme is Fanfare, and the Ipsy theme is Beauty Candy. Please keep in mind that the sample values I provide are estimates.

Let’s get to the unboxings!

Birchbox 1 – Value: $27.30

October 2014 Birchbox

  • dr. brandt® pores no more® vacuum cleaner™
    • This sample is actually part of the dr. brandt® Exclusive Clean Up Nice Kit. I previously tried the dr. brandt® Pores No More® Pore Refiner (in fact, I ended up with two samples of it!), but was not thrilled with it. I felt that it actually drew attention to my pores and the uneven skin around them. However, I have noticed this with all of the pore refiners I’ve tried, and I know that they work well for plenty of people! Despite my bad luck with the pore refiner, I had the vacuum cleaner product on my wishlist–I have large pores that tend to quickly accumulate gunk (gross, I know), so I love trying new products to improve their appearance! I have high hopes for the vacuum cleaner, as I’d rather start out with nicer pores instead of trying to cover them up with pore-refining makeup.
  • ModelCo Party Proof Matte Lipstick – Kitty
    • I selected this lipstick because the color seemed like a pleasant pink, and I preferred it over the other PYO sample options. The sample is a great size, and I’m excited to give it a try. I’ve recently begun acquiring more matte lip products, but I don’t yet have one in this shade of pink, so it will definitely be used. The color of this lipstick is  pretty, but does goes on fairly sheer. It also seems to have a slight sheen to it.

October 2014 Birchbox Swatch

  • Lord & Berry Paillettes Eye Pencil – Sparkle Black
    • I actually received another eyeliner from this brand in a recent Ipsy bag, and I initially thought that this was the same shade, so I was a bit bummed. However, the eyeliner I received previously was black, while this one is black with small particles of glitter.  I like a bit of glitter every once in a while, so I’m happy to get this! It is a pretty small sample (about half the size of a standard travel-size eyeliner), but that actually makes it kind of adorable.
  • Harvey Prince Petaly Noir
    • This is the third Harvey Prince perfume sample I have received from Birchbox. The other two were the Ageless and Hello scents. While they were both pleasant, I was not blown away by either of them. This one isn’t a winner for me either. It has floral undertones that are very nice, but those are overshadowed by a more powdery scent.
  • BeeKind™ Body Lotion
    • This lotion features honey and chamomile extracts. I’ve got quite a stash of body lotion at this point, but none that have honey as a main ingredient, so I am happy about that.  I haven’t opened the bottle yet, but I did smell it through the foil cover, and you can definitely smell the chamomile in the lotion.

Birchbox 2 – Value: $28.16

October 2014 Birchbox

  • Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle
    • This is one of the samples that I received in a previous Birchbox. My hair is very long, very thick, and very easily tangled, so this product does sound ideal for me. However, I’ve found its consistency to be a bit thick, which makes me worry that it’ll make my hair appear oily. Because of this, I have actually used very little of the product. Its vanilla scent is absolutely amazing, though.
  • TOCCA Crema de Mano Luxe – Bianca
    •  This is also a repeat sample for me, and is the one that I am least excited about. I’ve managed to get quite a stash of hand creams over the past few months, and it seems like it’ll take ages for me to get through them all. The Bianca variety has a green tea and lemon scent, which is very pleasant. However, it does not feel particularly moisturizing. In fact, my skin felt a bit tighter after I tried using this hand cream. I have a sneaking suspicion that the lemon may be to blame for that. I’ll have to use the first sample a bit more to be sure, but I think this second one is going to end up in the swap pile.
  • Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator
    • This is my third repeat sample in the Laggies box, and it’s the one that convinced me to choose the box! It definitely makes my skin feel clean and renewed, and a little goes a long way. The full-size product will be on my shopping list once I’ve finished this sample!
  • SAGE + fasten Onward Eau de Parfum
    • I think what I like most about this sample is that it is actually a little rollerball. It smells very nice, as I learned as soon as I began to open my Birchbox–the sample had leaked during transit. Since it is in an opaque bottle, it’s difficult to tell how much of the perfume actually leaked. However, Birchbox customer service is awesome, and I should have a replacement on the way soon!
  • ModelCo Power Lash Long Wear Black Mascara
    • Like many people who’ve been getting beauty boxes for more than a few months, I have a pretty sizable collection of unopened mascara samples at this point.  I will certainly give this one a try, but it’s going to have to wait at the back of the mascara line.

Ipsy – Value: $42.64*

October 2014 Ipsy

  •  Épicé International Purifying Exfoliant
    • This exfoliant is supposed to remove dirt and dead skin cells while promoting collagen production. That sounds great to me! It is next on my list of facial exfoliants to try.
  • Cirque Colors Nail Lacquer – XX
    • This is a wonderful confetti nail polish that will be fun to wear during the holidays. The confetti does go on a bit sparsely, so it looks like it would take two to three coats to get good coverage. According to the Ipsy description, Cirque Colors nail polishes contain essential oils that leave a subtle scent behind when they dry. I swatched mine on a piece of paper, and did detect a subtle fruity/floraly scent once it was dry.
  • noyah lipstick – Fall Deeply in Mauve
    • This is a semi-matte lipstick in a dark, dusky pink. It is a small sample that would be perfect to keep in a handbag on a night out. I love how opaque this lipstick is–the swatch below was just one swipe.

October 2014 Ipsy Swatch

  • Figs & Rouge Hand Cream – Mango Mandarin
    • As I mentioned above, I already have quite a few hand creams squirreled away, so I’m going to hold off on opening this one until I’ve used up one or two others. The other available scent was Roseberry, and I think both the Roseberry and the Mango Mandarin sound great, so I would have been fine receiving either scent.
  • Skone Cosmetics TATTOOED Waterproof Eyeliner
    • I believe I only have one black liquid eyeliner in my collection at this point, and I don’t particularly like it, so I was happy to receive this in my Ipsy bag! This stuff is tough–I swatched it on my arm, and loved how easy it was to get a clean line, but neither makeup remover nor coconut oil took it off easily.

I am pretty happy with all three of these subscriptions this month. In fact, in comparing them, I think it is a tie! Of course, looking at what other subscribers received always causes box/bag envy. I saw that some Birchbox subscribers received a Beauty Blender this month, which I was jealous of. Looking at the possible Ipsy items this month, there is only one that I see that I would have liked more than the items I got, and that was the Albertini Warm Love Pumpkin Exfoliating Mask–at this time of year, I just want pumpkin everything! I also really love Ipsy’s makeup bag this month. I had been hoping for a teal bag during the summer, but it works for fall too.

Here’s Theo surveying the goods, looking for the perfect one to play with.

October 2014 Birchbox vs. Ipsy

What are your thoughts about these items? If you subscribe to Birchbox or Ipsy (or both!), what did you think of the samples you received this month?

*The full size of the Épicé International Purifying Exfoliant costs $32 for 3.3 ounces, but the company does have .5-ounce samples available for $1. I used the full-size product’s price to calculate my Ipsy bag’s value. Otherwise, the bag’s value would be $34.94.

Disclaimer: This post contains referral links.

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2 thoughts on “Birchbox vs. Birchbox vs. Ipsy

    • I’ve been really happy with the boxes these past few months! They seemed to have stepped up their game (I’ve gotten far fewer foil packs lately!). I’m also thrilled with the nail polish, both this month’s Ipsy bag and lasts month’s were hits for me.

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