Beauty Box Face-Off: Ipsy vs. Birchbox – September 2016

The Match-Up

Ipsy I’ve been a subscriber for a little over a year. It’s alright but lately I’ve been less than excited about the samples I’ve received. I’m not planning on unsubscribing but I would like for them to up their game a bit. [Monthly – 5 sample products + makeup bag – $10 – free shipping]

Birchbox This is my first box from Birchbox and I’m pretty excited! So far, I like how I got to pick one of my items already and also all the options you have each month, such as add-ons with free shipping, and a fixed box where you can see everything in it. Let’s see if it can beat Ipsy in it’s first showing! [Monthly – 5 sample products – $10 – free shipping]



Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment:img_2412

First impression: I’m really excited to try this out. I’ve been eyeing a couple of their products recently but haven’t made a purchase yet, so this will be a great test.

Review: I really love this! It smells amazing and felt really light going into my hair. After blow drying, my hair definitely felt a lot smoother and looked shinier. I’m also impressed with the size of this sample. I have fine hair so this should last me a decent amount of time. This sample has me wanting  to buy all of their products!

tarte cosmetics tartiest lash paint mascara

img_2424First Impression: I always love getting mascara in a beauty box and I didn’t think I could ever have enough of them. However, after receiving about 5 in the past couple weeks, I’m in mascara overload!

Review: Pretty good. A little bit clumpy when I first put it on but after a few layers it started to even out. It gave my lashes some good length and volume, but it didn’t do anything special for me. I wouldn’t pay for a full size but it’s nice to have as a backup sample.

img_2421Seraphine Botanicals Guava Butter Lip & Cheek Stain in Pure Guava

First Impression: This is going to be an interesting box match-up because I know I’m getting a lip and cheek stain in my Birchbox. Anyways, I love the packaging this came in – so pretty! The color looks great for transitioning to fall.

Review: The color was a bit more sheer on my lips than I expected. It’s a really nice shade and even though it is sheer it’s also very buildable. When I tried it on my cheeks it was just a bit too dark for me. I would probably never use this as blush but I still love it as a lip color.

img_2414ulta3 Nail Color in Sizzling Red

First Impression: I’m not a huge fan of the color red. However, this is kind of a brighter, pinkier red so it’s not too bad. Also, I’ve been really into Jamberry nail wraps recently so I haven’t had much need for my nail polishes. This could come in handy though for mixing and matching with nail wraps or during the holiday season.

Review: I already have nail wraps on so I’m not going to try this out right now, but I’m sure it’s a quality polish, I trust them.

img_2415Dr. G Daily Safe BB in Fair

First Impression: I’m always worried about products like this matching my skin tone. I wanted to try a small amount on my hand just to check and it took me a solid minute just to get anything out. When I was finally able to get a drop out it seemed like it actually did blend in pretty nicely.

Review: Unfortunately, I think there must have been something wrong with my sample. It seemed like a pretty small size as soon as I saw it but then it seemed like it was just all air. I don’t think there’s even enough product for me to really test it out on my face, which is disappointing because it seemed like it could actually work with my paleness. 😦 Oh well.


Overall: This is a surprisingly good bag from Ipsy this month. One of the better ones I’ve received in a while. I would say a solid 3/5 were hits (styling treatment, mascara, lip/cheek stain), the nail polish was okay (but love that it’s full size!), and the BB cream was a fail (but only because I couldn’t even try it).



Beauty Protector Protect & Blonde Toning Shampoo / evo Fabuloso Platinum Blonde Colour Intensifying Conditioner

First Impressions: On any other day I would have been thrilled to receive these in a box, however I got the Brilliant Blonde Kit as an add-on, so I literally got both products minutes before opening this. I’m still really happy because I love blonde haircare products but it was just less exciting to only get three new samples. 

Review: The shampoo was great. It’s a really deep purple but it didn’t leave my hair tinted at all. It also smells really good and sugary, and left my hair feeling very soft. There wasn’t a super noticeable difference in the look of my hair but I do already use a blonde enhancing shampoo daily. If I’m really looking though, my hair does look a bit brighter after using this shampoo. The conditioner was easy to use because there’s only a three minute wait time. My hair felt super soft after conditioning with this and it definitely looked brighter and shinier.

img_2551Milk Makeup Lip + Cheek

First Impressions: This was the product that I selected to receive so I was pretty excited about it. After swatching it, I love how sheer and blendable it is which makes me think I’ll like it more as a blush than a lip color. It also has a nice sheen, so it seems like it could almost be a blush/highlight combo as well. One thing I will note is how much bigger my Ipsy lip & cheek stain was – it’s almost quadruple the size! I think I like the color of this one more though, so that kind of makes up for it.

Review: I love this! I want to use this as blush everyday for the rest of my life. It’s gives a perfect natural flush that lasts all day.  As a lip color it also looks very natural but because it’s so sheer you need to put on a few layers to get some good color. I’m probably going to buy this full size as soon as I can convince myself to spend another $24 on makeup I don’t need.

img_2554dr. brandt pores no more cleanser

First Impressions: Part of me feels like getting face cleansers in beauty boxes is kind of boring, but part of me also loves trying them out. I always need sample size cleansers for when I travel and I’m going away in a few weeks, so this will definitely come in handy.

Review: It was a fine cleanser. It has a very strong spa-like smell, which I’m guessing a lot of people will either love or hate. Personally, I like it. This cleanser has a nice, silky lather, however, it left my skin a little dry.

Air Repair Complexion Boosting Moisturizerimg_2555

First Impressions: I don’t love moisturizer. In fact, I kind of wish my skin had less moisture. I’m trying to get more into it though because I know it’s probably still good for my skin.

Review: It was a pretty standard moisturizer. I’m not blown away by it but it did its job. I think it would need a bit more than a few tries to really show it’s complexion boosting power. I wouldn’t buy it, but it is good to have for travel.

Overall: I like that I got things that compliment each other, like shampoo/conditioner and cleanser/moisturizer. I’m trying to look at this box as if I didn’t have doubles of the hair products and I think it’s a really solid box. I’m not that mad at having double shampoo and conditioner because I know they’ll both get used easily. I also got a free Stila liquid lipstick and I love it!


Ipsy had more variety with nails, hair, eye, lip, cheek, and face products but it also had a faulty sample which I couldn’t really try at all.

Birchbox had more complimentary products that could be paired up. As far as product size goes, I think both were pretty good, however, Birchbox’s lip & cheek stain was much smaller than Ipsy’s.

And The Winner Is…



If each product is a possible star, then products I’m excited about will get a full star, just okay products will get half stars, and products I’m really not happy with won’t get any stars. Using this system, Birchbox gets 4/5 stars and Ipsy gets 3.5/5 stars. It was pretty close between them – so close I was about to call it a tie but then I decided to go with the simple star system.

I love the hair products and lip & cheek stain in both. I might even give a slight bump to Ipsy because I love mascara and nail polish more than cleanser and moisturizer. Also, the size difference in Lip & Cheek Stain evens things out more as well. Both boxes were really good this month so I’m very happy and impressed!

What did everyone else get in their boxes this month and what were some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

-xo Kate


2 Comments Add yours

  1. McKenzMorgan says:

    love that still lip color

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Never seen anyone else do this post idea! Lovely job!

    Liked by 1 person

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