Is Ipsy or Birchbox Worth It? Depends On Your Needs.

I’m a bit of a subscription box junkie. I think I’ve made it my personal goal to try out as many as I can. Which in retrospect was probably not a healthy habit to start. But, it’s a fun endeavor and with me blogging about it, I can hopefully give insight as to whether the subscription is worth the money and cluster it may cause in your cabinet, bedroom, or kitchen. 

In 2017, I tried this thing called Ipsy, then in 2018, I tried Birchbox, their competitor (Birchbox started first I think). If you’re considering either this is definitely the quick read you can sift through to determine which subscription is for you, or if it even is for you at all!

My background: I love skincare and makeup, but I wear makeup minimally. As I’ve gotten older (now I’m 25) I don’t experiment with a lot of different eyeshadow, blush, and lip colors. I tend to stick to a tinted sunscreen (I haven’t worn makeup foundation for almost 2 years), use a colored balm stick, like “Tinted” on my eyes cheeks, and lips, mascara, then maayybe some highlighter on my nose tip, and corners of my eye, and call it a day! 

When it comes to skincare, I have a set routine that I find works for me, so I try not to change it up too much. The reason why I don’t use these anymore is that I just don’t find the need for it. It was great when I wanted to explore, but now I know what I like when it comes to skincare and makeup. But I know that you (or whoever reads this lol) might be experimenting still. Or, you just like collecting makeup and skincare samples! Either way, here are some positives and negatives of each. 

Ipsy pros: 

  1. If you are someone who wears minimal makeup, the products last you a while, they’re small and easy to carry. 
  2. There is less plastic and paper waste with their reusable bag (however many still argue that the bags are still wasteful as there is a new reusable bag every month). 
  3. The company helps support beauty bloggers and content creators. 
  4. The company highlights small to medium beauty brands and helps them grow.
  5. It allows the consumer to determine what beauty products and brands are worth the hype instead of beauty brands controlling the narrative on what products consumers should buy.
  6. You get to sample a lot of different brands and see which products you like or work well with your skin.
  7. Each bag is tailored to your skincare/makeup needs, preferences, skin tone, hair color, etc. so it removes the homework on your part to research full-sized makeup products that work for your skin tone, hair color, etc.
  8. It’s slightly cheaper than it’s competitor, Birchbox which is $15 a month. 
  9. There’s a rewards program if you review your Glam Bag products.
  10. There’s a subscription plan for samples, one for full-sized products, and another plan for both.

Ipsy cons:

  1. You might accumulate a bunch of makeup, and a bunch of bags as well, adding to clutter in your bathroom cabinet.
  2. If there are samples you don’t like at all, you might have to either throw them away or feel obligated to finish them if you don’t want to waste it.
  3. Trying on too many different makeup products could be bad for your skin.
  4. To earn points in the rewards program, you have to take the time to leave reviews, which is more hands-on than Birchbox, where you just earn points from spending money

Birchbox pros:

  1. There’s a good range of beauty products, that include skincare, haircare, body care, and fragrance. In my experience using them, skincare, haircare, and fragrance and makeup are represented equally, whereas Ipsy had more makeup typically. That could be a pro if that’s what you’re looking for!
  2. There’s a rewards program where you earn points if you buy full-sized products from Birchbox.
  3. Birchbox offers coupon codes to discount their subscription.
  4. If you spend $300 in a calendar year you can become a part of the ACE rewards program where you could get free standard shipping on full-sized orders, and you would pay $10 a month as an ACE member. 
  5. There’s a box for men called Birchbox Grooming if you want to get it for your partner, or as a gift for your father!

Birchbox cons: 

  1. Sampling different products on your skin could generate a negative reaction on your skin.
  2. Their boxes waste more paper.
  3. It’s more expensive than Ipsy–until you become an ACE member.
  4. You accumulate a lot of hair, skin, and makeup products if you don’t use them at a rather fast, monthly rate.
  5. It’s slightly less personalized/tailored to your likes and needs (in my opinion).
  6. You only get samples and have to purchase a full-sized product on Birchbox, there are no plans for full-sized products.

I would say weighing the pros and cons of both, I think Ipsy is great because it has different Glam Bag options for sample-sized and full-sized makeup products, they support makeup bloggers and small makeup brands, not to mention, they’re slightly cheaper. But, if you are looking for variety in your bag with skincare and hair care, and maybe you want to sign up your husband or boyfriend–then Birchbox is a better option for you. It’s all about which one addresses your needs. I for one liked Ipsy because I got to try out different makeup items without buying full-sized items, which made sense for me as an infrequent makeup wearer. It was hard for me to really enjoy some of the skincare samples from Birchbox at a monthly rate because I dealt with bad acne at the time and didn’t want to put too many skincare products on my face.

And believe it or not, I still have a Birchbox sample in my makeup bag. Should I throw it away? Lol. I told ya’ll I don’t wear much makeup.

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