Birchbox versus Ipsy

Which cosmetic box is worth your buck? We tried them both so you don’t have to


Stock Image/Pixabay

Kelly Wynne, Features Editor

Over the past few years, makeup trial company “Birchbox” has made finding new cosmetic products a breeze, but competition may cut the company’s life short. Similar website “Ipsy,” launched two years after Birchbox, provides makeup enthusiasts with better deals.

When signing up for either website, users are asked a series of questions ranging from personal style to skin type and eye color. These questions are made to target what products an individual may benefit from. Each user agrees to pay $10 per month or subscribe for one year at a time.

Both Birchbox and Ipsy provide subscribers with discounted full size products. Their websites serve as stores for not only trial boxes, but also all of the brands that they send out in samples.

I subscribed to both sites for one month to compare the boxes. Birchbox automatically sent me a welcome box, which had five miniature products inside. When I say miniature, I mean good for one or two uses. The lipstick they gave me would probably last a week. At first glance the box was very well put together, but because I was so excited to get my trials, it was a bit of a let down seeing I had paid $10 for less than a week of beauty.

I canceled my subscription, but even after that, I received a second box (which I’m pretty sure I had to pay another ten dollars for). Inside were products targeted for me  individually, which was better than my welcome box. They included what I had requested, but the sample sizes were still a let down.

When my Ipsy box came in the mail a few weeks later I expected it to be similar to what I experienced with Birchbox. What I had forgotten is that every month, Ipsy sends you a makeup bag with your purchase. The last thing I need is 50 makeup bags lying around my house, but it was still a nice surprise. Ipsy also sends close to real sized products. I received eye shadow with five colors that was similar to the size of one I would buy for $30 at a department store.

If you would prefer sample sizes to see what works for you before you commit to full sizes, Birchbox may be better for you. But after seeing both, I decided that Ipsy was a better use of my money.