Birchbox vs Ipsy: Which Subscription is Best?

We’ve all been there; we’ve seen a new makeup, hair, or skincare product but are unsure whether we’ll like it. Then, we hesitate to spend the money on it because what if we don’t like it? However, that’s where Birchbox and Ipsy come into play. But which one is best to choose?

Ipsy is the best subscription because you get more value for your money and a new glam bag each month. They have a wider variety of upscale brands and tend to include more surprise full-sized products in their packages. They’re more makeup focused, but if you’re looking for a wider variety, Birchbox is great too.

Now, this doesn’t mean that Birchbox is a wrong choice, per se. They both have their pros and cons. Let’s take an in-depth look at both so you can better choose what’s best for you!

What Products Do You Get: Birchbox vs. Ipsy

What makes or breaks a subscription box is what products come with it. If you’re only getting a handful of lotion samples, chances are you won’t want to subscribe to the box, right? Let’s see what each offers:

What Products Do You Get with Birchbox?

Birchbox is more hair, skin, and makeup-focused. However, you’ll also get some body care items and perfume samples. Although, what you end up with in your box depends on your subscription.

For example, if you signed up for a customized subscription, they’ll send you items based on your preferences.

What Products Do You Get with Ipsy?

Ipsy, on the other hand, includes all items beauty related. This includes everything from makeup, skincare, perfume samples, and even nail polish. What’s neat is they also include beauty tools like makeup brushes.

Samples vs. Full Size Items: Birchbox or Ipsy?

Another factor that sways someone’s decision on which subscription box to get is the size of the items. Here is what you can expect from each:

Does Birchbox Have Full Size Items?

With Birchbox, you can expect primarily sample-sized products; however, they do throw in a couple of items that are larger than the sample size but not full. Although, among the 5 to 6 products you get per month, you may find a full-size item in there every once in a while.

Does Ipsy Have Full-Size Items?

The product sizes Ipsy offers also vary monthly, but they mainly send out sample sizes. Although, it’s not uncommon for 1 to 2 full-size products to make their way into your bag.

But what’s cool about Ipsy is that even though they only send out five items each month, they come in a cute little makeup bag, and the bag differs from month to month. So, this is a massive bonus if you collect makeup bags!

Advantages and Disadvantages of Birchbox

Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of Birchbox:

Birchbox Pros

  • Aesthetically pleasing packaging: Everything comes in a mini gift box, which is excellent to repurpose for gifting someone for the holidays or their birthday.
  • Variety: There’s a nice variety of items, from makeup and hair to skincare and fragrance-based products.
  • Each package has a monthly theme: This keeps it fun and not boring!
  • Great personalization: They listen to what their subscribers want!

Birchbox Cons

  • Products can be repetitive: Sometimes, you get the same product back to back, which is annoying.
  • Personalization doesn’t include a color option: People prefer certain shades when it comes to makeup and don’t consider that. So, you might end up with a bright, bold lipstick you’ll never use.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Ipsy

Here are some of the pros and cons of the Ipsy subscription:

Ipsy Pros

  • You get to try new brands: It’s always fun to try new brands, but you might not want to spend the total amount if you aren’t sure of it.
  • You can get a full-size product: The sample sizes are pretty generous, but it’s always a bonus when you get a larger product.
  • The price is terrific: Ipsy is $12 per month and an excellent value for what you get.
  • You can customize your package: You don’t get a random assortment of products (unless you want it that way.) You can choose your color preferences and products you don’t want or won’t use.
  • They have excellent customer service: If you have a broken product, contact them, and they will send you a new one! Or if you have issues with your subscription, they are quick to help you.

Ipsy Cons

  • You might get something you don’t like: This is the risk with any subscription box. Sometimes, you will end up with products you might not use despite your customization.
  • Sample sizes can be a bit skimpy: This is rare, although it does happen and is something you should consider.
  • Makeup bag overload: Some people love this, while others might be annoyed. You’ll end up with more makeup bags than you know what to do with.
  • Sometimes, they send you two of the same thing: They have a large subscriber pool, so that you might end up with two of the same product in one bag or back to back.
  • Ipsy has a waiting list: It can take a couple of months for you to start receiving your subscription.

Cost: Birchbox vs Ipsy

Both Birchbox and Ipsy are very affordable, but one is better than the other. Let’s take a look at the price point of each:

How Much Does Birchbox Cost?

Birchbox is a little more expensive than Ipsy at $15 per month. However, signing up for a longer subscription might be less. But it’s worth the price as it includes many luxury brands.

How Much Does Ipsy Cost?

Ipsy costs a little less than Birchbox at $12 per month; this is for five items per month and a fantastic makeup bag that changes each month. You’ll also get a few high-end brands mixed in with drugstore brands.

Value: Birchbox vs. Ipsy

So, we talked about the cost, but what is the value of the product you’re getting in these subscription boxes? It would be ridiculous to think you’re only getting $15 or $12 worth; otherwise, what’s the point of signing up? Well, let’s take a look.

Is Birchbox Worth It?

With Birchbox, you’re paying about $15 monthly for a box with around $30 of product. So, that’s not too bad! You’re at least doubling your money, and any gain is a positive in our book.

Is Ipsy Worth It?

Ipsy has a bit more value as you pay $12 per month, but the value of products you get ranges between $30 and $50 per month. However, when they throw in a full-size product, this value can pass $50 worth.

Personalization: Birchbox vs. Ipsy

Both subscription boxes offer a personalization option where you can choose what interests you so that you have the chance to be a bit more satisfied with your box.

Are the Product Selections Personalized for Birchbox?

With Birchbox, there are two subscription choices you can choose from: the sample box or the curated box. If you choose the sample box, you can choose one sample item you want to try, and Birchbox surprises you with the rest.

Additionally, with the curated option, you’ll get to see all the items before your box even ships so that you know what you’re looking forward to.

Are the Product Selections Personalized for Ipsy?

For Ipsy, they have 40 different products they choose from each month, and they look at your personalized profile to help them get ones that align with your preferences.

You can update the preferences in your profile at any time if you change your mind and see something you like. They do a great job at choosing based on your personal preference.

What Brands Do You Get: Birchbox vs. Ipsy

All kinds of brands come in these nifty little subscription kits. Let’s look at some brands you might see when you get your box or glam bag.


With Birchbox, you can expect to see products from brands like:


With Ipsy, you’ll see products in your kit from brands like:

Which is Better: Birchbox or Ipsy?

These subscription boxes are unique in their own little ways, which is why there are so many subscribers for both! However, if we had to choose just one of these that we felt was the best, we would go with Ipsy.

With Ipsy, you get a bigger bang for your buck and a fantastic new makeup bag each month. And for those who love makeup, this is the jackpot for makeup products, tools, and, sometimes, fragrances. Plus, they tend to throw in some full-size products more frequently than Birchbox.

But that’s not to say that Birchbox isn’t a great subscription. If anything, you could subscribe to both and get a wider variety of products each month! It’s a win-win situation.

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