When it comes to beauty products I am hesitant to try new things because my skin can be a bit temperamental. Thus, I hate spending money on full size products. Alternatively, a fantastic solution is having the ability to receive sample sizes each month and then purchase full-size after falling in love. After seeing so many ads online, I knew the two major subscription boxes for beauty samples were Birchbox and Ipsy. Subscription boxes are all the rage these days. Similarly, what I liked most about these two, they’re super affordable and won’t break the bank.

I am nowhere near an expert on beauty. In fact, any time I walk into Ulta or Sephora I find myself wandering around the store aimlessly because I don’t even know what I’m looking for. So consequently, I end up walking out empty-handed and feeling defeated and completely frustrated. Does anyone else ever feel this way? There are SO MANY beauty products on the market today that it can be overwhelming. As a result, I decided to leave it up to the experts to tell me which products would be best for me.

In this post, I’m going to give you my full review and let you know which subscription box gets my vote in the end.


First, let’s start with what they both offer. Birchbox and Ipsy are monthly subscription boxes that contain five carefully curated beauty samples that may include makeup, hair care, skin care or nail products. Secondly, before receiving your box, both websites prompt you to take a quick beauty survey that will assist their merchandising teams in personalizing your box. Additionally, both subscriptions allow you to select one sample from the Sample Choice options each month. On top of that, I mentioned earlier that they’re both very affordable! So much so that if you didn’t like a sample you shouldn’t feel guilty about tossing it.

Furthermore, they both allow you to cancel your subscription at any time should you wish to (just be aware of their billing cycle so you won’t be charged for the following months box). Lastly, they make it super easy to purchase full size products if you happen to fall in love with their samples.

Alternatively, here’s where they start to differentiate…

Round 1:

Birchbox will cost you $15 (+tax)/month while Ipsy is $12 (+tax)/month. Again, both are very reasonable so I was quite eager to receive and compare both boxes.

So far…Birchbox and Ipsy are tied!

Round 2:

Birchbox appears to have a better Loyalty Program for earning and redeeming points.

Each time you shop with Birchbox, you automatically get rewarded! Even better news: The more you shop, the closer you’ll be to qualifying for their VIP Aces tier, which gives you access to exclusive added benefits.

Earn 1 Point for every $1 you spend by shopping and gifting subscriptions (that’s 
10% back
 on purchases!)
Earn 1.3 Points for every $1 you spend by shopping and gifting subscriptions (that’s 
13% back
 on purchases!)
Free Standard shipping on orders $50+Free Standard Shipping on 
all orders
Free two-day shipping on $150+ ordersFree two-day shipping on $100+ orders
Pay $10/month for a Birchbox beauty subscription*
Early Access to Sample Choice
Frequent Ace-clusive promotions and surprises
Priority customer service
*As an Ace, you will be billed $10 per month for the duration of your Ace status.

With Ipsy, there are four ways you can earn points (earning points is easy and you can redeem them at any time):

  1. Refer a friend – Earn 600 Points when your friends sign up for IPSY within 24 hours of receiving your unique referral link.
  2. Write a product review – For every product you review in your online Glam Bag, you’ll add 15 Points to your account. 
  3. Follow Ipsy on Social Media – Head to the “Points” section of your account, and you’ll see three social platforms that you can follow for 10 points each.
  4. Review your Glam Bag – Review your entire bag experience every month, and you’ll earn 10 Points each time. 

For me, Ipsy makes it so easy to earn points, however, Birchbox offers more perks for earning points.

Birchbox takes the lead.

Round 3:

Birchbox offers you a Welcome Gift for joining. Who doesn’t love a free gift with purchase? Just wait until you see what my free gift was…keep reading to find out!

Having said that, Ipsy was also supposed to send a free gift for joining. However, I never received anything. Even if they had sent the free gift (which was supposed to be a cosmetic bag), Birchbox sent a better welcome gift. So for this reason…

Birchbox remains in the lead.

Now, on to the fun stuff!!!

Let’s take a peek inside at the products.

Inside Birchbox:

  • Davines – The Renaissance Circle Mask | Full-size, $10
    • Reparative mask for you hair, which is infused with babassu butter to bring dull or damaged hair back to life
  • Eyeko – Brow Liner – Medium | Travel-size, $12
    • One of Birchbox’s Best-sellers – this waterproof brow pen fills in sparse spots to make your eyebrows look naturally fuller
  • IT Cosmetics – Secret Sauce Moisturizer | Full-size, $68
    • This is great for all skin types and is a mix of 7 clinically advanced, fermented ingredients that help increase absorbency and maximize hydration
  • Marcelle – Xtension Plus Curl Mascara | Full-size, $15
    • Another Best-seller – this mascaras uniquely shaped wand is designed to hug your eye’s natural curve so it can reach every las with its curling and lengthening formula
  • Sand & Sky – Australian Pink Clay Porefining Face Mask | Full-size, $49
    • Detoxify and brighten your complexion with this mask made from Australian kaolin clay, organic aloe vera, and Kakadu plum
  • ARROW – Nourishing Lip Oil – Color Enhancing Pink | Full-size, $16
    • BONUS item – this oil adds moisture to lips and locks it in with a blend of aloe, coconut oil, and shea butter while adding a subtle tint by reacting to the pH level of your skin

Notably, for my welcome gift, Birchbox sent me an additional beauty sample box that had 6 beauty samples !!! Score !

Inside BONUS Birchbox:

  • Amika – Bust Your Brass Cool Blonde Shampoo | Full-size, $24
    • This violet shampoo cuts out harsh brassy tones. Ingredients like avocado oil help to hydrate rather than strip
  • Amika – Bust Your Brass Cool Blonde Conditioner | Full-size, $24
    • Care for your color with this shea butter and sea buckthorn-infused violet conditioner that boosts blonde hair to look and feel healthier than ever
  • Anatomicals – The Buff Stuff Citrus Body Scrub | Full-size, $5.50
    • This body scrub buffs and polishes using walnut shells to gently remove dead, dull skin
  • Dr. Botanicals – Pomegranate Superfood Regenerating Sleeping Mask | Full-size, $9.90
    • This sleeping mask, rich in vitamin C and pomegranate, is a perfect hydrating overnight treatment for thirsty dull skin
  • Lise Watier – Magnifix Makeup Setting Spray with White Tea | Full-size, $26
    • A Best-seller – this spray helps extend the wear time of your makeup, and doubles as a facial mist, infusing skin with antioxidants like white tea to refresh and shield it from external aggressors
  • ModelCo – Instant Brows Brow Pencil | Full-size, $18
    • Another Best-seller – this pencil helps fill any sparse areas on the brow with a soft and buildable formula
BONUS gift

I just learned something new!… Did you know…

According to Birchbox:

Your skin regenerates every 27 days and a proper skincare routine can maximize this process!

How cool is that !?

Ok, moving on…

Inside Ipsy:

  • Laruce Beauty – LR222 Kabuki Denim Blue Collection | Full-size $30
    • This mini makeup brush does it all – it’s perfect for buffing concealer under your eyes and around your nose, and for blending on eyeshadow
  • IT Cosmetics – Superhero Elastic Stretch Volumizing Mascara | Full-size, $25
    • Considered a top-rated brand – this mini mascara is made with an exclusive Elastic Stretch Technology to lengthen lashes, while biotin and collagen lift and plump
  • Foxybae – 12-in-1 Magic Daily Leave-In Mask | Full-size, $19.95
    • Leave-in hair mask that has all the benefits of a wash out mask, no rinsing needed. It infuses 12 different butters, oils, and proteins into every strand to help fight frizz, prevent breakage, strengthen, and add major shine
  • Goldfaden MD – Bright Eyes Dark Circle Radiance Concentrate | Full-size, $55
    • Hydrating eye cream with is made with rice bran extract, soy peptides, and organic red tea to brighten and smooth under eyes, minimizing puffiness, and more
  • Violet Voss – Single Eyeshadow in Bare It All | Full-size, $18
    • Smooth, super pigmented, and long-lasting
  • Cosmetic Bag – How cute is this makeup bag!?

Obviously, I am really excited to try all of the samples I’ve received. I thought both Birchbox and Ipsy did a fantastic job at selecting products based off my beauty quiz. However, after taking everything into consideration… I have decided it’s a KNOCKOUT!


Drumroll please…


To sum it up, I compared the two boxes and I gave Birchbox some major points for the Bonus Welcome Gift. Aside from the free gift, I also felt like I was more familiar with the products that they sent and they had a solid Loyalty program. Although Birchbox is 3 dollars more a month I have no problem paying the extra.

So there you have it, the battle of the boxes!

Now please excuse me so I can go sample all these awesome products!!!

Birchbox + BONUS

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