$10 Subscription Throwdown: Ipsy vs. Birchbox

I’ve been receiving Ipsy and Birchbox for about a year now and I’m totally addicted to the fun little beauty samples they supply. They’re both only $10 each box/bag and they each provide five beauty samples per month. With so many similarities, which subscription should you choose?


Birchbox has an immediate perk on the dollar bill side of things. If you buy a 12 month subscription, you only have to pay $110/year, which provides one month of the beauty box for free. Every month comes in a designed cardboard box (hence Birchbox) which I always end up recycling right away despite the cute colors and illustrations.

Sometimes Birchbox really hits the nail on the head with fun, exciting products, many of them high-end. One month, I received Dr. Jart’s Ceramidin Liquid and never looked back. With this service, you can try out all sorts of beauty products before committing to the full-sized, pricier alternatives at Sephora. Most samples are small as advertised; if you travel often, you’ll never have to buy another travel-sized item again.

Birchbox also offers subscribers the opportunity to opt in for a special predetermined box each month. It’s great to know what you’re getting ahead of time, but you have to be quick on your feet to get this offer. The special boxes run out quickly, sometimes only an hour or two after the alert e-mail is sent out.


Other times, the beauty box can get repetitive with the same brands and very similar products, and recently I’ve seen an increase in drugstore makeup. I can’t even tell you how many BB creams I’ve received over the last year- way too many. Another downside to Birchbox is that they give out perfume samples pretty frequently (up to 3x a year out of 12 boxes is a little too much for me when I could just snatch them up for free at the mall).


Ipsy, on the other hand, comes in an adorable little bag each month that you can save and use later for travel or for storing your makeup. This is a great perk at first, but it can become a bit of a nuisance after a year- you’ll have products and bags piled up with nowhere to put them…especially if you’re a bit of a beauty hoarder like I am.

Ipsy will sometimes throw in makeup brushes and full-sized samples. Every month’s glam bag manages to feel new and unique with products that I’m always excited to try out.


Here’s a look at what I received from both subscriptions this month. Lots of goodies, for sure!

Though both Ipsy and Birchbox are exciting to receive in the mail each month, my heart inevitably belongs to Ipsy. If you have $10 a month to spare and you crave sampling the best and the brightest beauty samples the world has to offer, Ipsy is the way to go.

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Author: Nicolette

Nicolette is a writer-of-things from the east coast who cries over happy things and drinks too much coffee.

5 thoughts on “$10 Subscription Throwdown: Ipsy vs. Birchbox”

  1. I enjoy Ipsy but I totally agree with you…after the first year you run out of space to keep all of the makeup bags. I turned into a bag hoarder! (aside from a makeup hoarder! haha)


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