Birchbox vs. Ipsy Unboxing: July 2016

I know this is literally a month late but some things got in the way of me posting it and I felt like better late than never. As I briefly talked about in my last Birchbox unboxing, I was considering cancelling my subscription and instead replacing it with Ipsy (due to their recent review for points changes).

Both Birchbox and Ipsy are $10/month beauty and makeup subscription boxes. Ipsy allows you to gain points towards money off of a purchase by reviewing products (something Birchbox used to do until this past month). They each send somewhere between 4-6 products a month and those can range from skincare, to hair products, to lipsticks, and more.

What better way to compare the two then to do a side-by-side unboxing?

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Starting off with Ipsy, here are the products I received this past month.

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1. Meet Matt(e) Trimony Eyeshadow (in the shade “Matt Kumar”) by theBalm Cosmetics. I’m not sure if this eyeshadow is sold on it’s own, but it’s in a palette of 9 colors (available here), that costs $42. So we’ll just say this eyeshadow sample is worth almost $5. So the color is a pretty cranberry red and it swatches pretty nice on the hand (see below) but not as well on the eyes. I’m not too crazy about this sample but I’ll probably end up using it.

2. Mini Highlight Stick (in the shade “Maldives Luminescent”) by tre’StiQue. The full size costs $34 (here and here) and the sample size is worth about $6.50. This is probably one of my favorite samples from the bag. I loooove highlighters (who doesn’t?) and this one has great pigmentation and a great creamy consistency.

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Top: Meet Matt(e) Trimony | Bottom: tre’StiQue Mini Highlight Stick

3. Rose Gold Small Angle Eye Brush by Luxie. So the good samples pretty much end here. I’m not hating on getting a brush necessarily, but I have no use for this one. It’s perfect for brows, but I religiously use brow pencils and I also don’t really line my eyes (and when I do, it’s rarely with something that requires a brush). I’m assuming this is the full size (worth $10 here) which is nice, but it’s kind of a bummer that I have no use for it.

4. POWERLASH Black Mascara by ModelCo. The full size retails for $20, and this sample size is worth about $7. Okay, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE getting mascaras in subscription boxes. But, you’ll see later, because Birchbox sent a much more impressive one, I judged this mascara a bit harshly. The brush is not impressive and it is very much NOT flake free like it promises.

5. Delectable Ultra Nourishing Hand Cream (in the scent “Lemon & Cream”) by Cake Beauty. The same size bottle retails for $5.50 at Target. So this hand cream does smell really good! And it is very moisturizing… But a hand cream? I just can’t get too excited about it. And the price tag is meh.

Okay now on to Birchbox! Here are the products I received for this past month.

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1. Water Drop Hydrating Moisturizer by Dr. Jart+. I’m super excited about this sample because for once, a Dr. Jart+ sample product is of decent size! The full size retails for $36 (also here) and the sample is worth about $11. I am also always in need of facial moisturizers and love this brand, so this sample is probably one of my favorites out of both subscriptions.

2. Radiance Face Mask by Balance Me. The full size retails for $34 and the sample size is worth about $7. I’m always happy with getting masks (a girl can never have too many right?). The sample size is pretty small, so getting the full effect probably won’t happen. But it’s all natural and does make my skin have a glow to it which is a bonus.

3. Ultra-Gloss Lip Pencil (in the shade “Punch Line”) by LOC. This product costs $12, only at Birchbox, and they sent the full size! I absolutely love getting anything full size and the color they sent me is GORGEOUS. It’s a light fuchsia and the color doesn’t swatch that great on the hand but is so beautiful on the lips. And bonus, it’s moisturizing. I’m not really a fan of LOC’s eyeshadow sticks but their lip pencils are perfect.

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LOC Ultra-Gloss Lip Pencil

4. Muguet (Lily of the Valley) Eau de Parfum by Molinari. UGH BIRCHBOX. By now you all probably know how much I hate getting perfume samples (I just think they’re completely useless and I hate the sample bottles). The only plus is that this one actually has a spray. I’m not a big fan of the scent though so that basically means this sample was a bust for me. The full size is worth $65 so the sample is worth a little less than $1.

5. X-Rated Mascara by Smashbox Cosmetics. Okay I lied, this is hands down my favorite sample. The full size costs $22 (available herehere, and here), and the sample doesn’t say how many mL it is, but I’m estimating it’s about half, so worth $11. The brush reminds me a bit of Too Faced’s Better Than Sex mascara, which I love, but it’s even more black. I am obsessed with this mascara and want to wear it every day.

So I have a dilemma…. I can’t bring myself to get rid of Birchbox. I don’t know why everyone loves Ipsy so much because, even without the possible review points, I still gravitate more towards Birchbox. Honestly I think my Ipsy subscription is rigged because I feel like it was such a disappointment and everyone else loves it.

Although Birchbox had my absolute least favorite sample (the perfume), it also had my FAVORITE sample, the Smashbox mascara. On top of that, I LOVED 4 out of 5 samples from Birchbox whereas I only really loved 2 out of 5 from Ipsy.

On top of that, when I calculate how much each box is worth- Birchbox wins by a landslide. The total comes to about $42 while the products from Ipsy total about $34. I am actually so impressed with the products in my Birchbox that I can’t help but think that the change in taking away points for reviewing products resulted in them sending better samples.

I’m still torn about what to do, and I’m going to give Ipsy one more chance but I don’t know if I can bring myself to cancel Birchbox just yet. If you had to choose between one, which one would you rather pay for (keep in mind they’re both $10/month)?