Ipsy v. Birchbox: Round Five | July 2013

Happy Subscription Sunday! Today I have round five of my Ipsy v. Birchbox challenge! July was an interesting month for these $10 beauty subscriptions — the retail value of each was only $1 apart! My winner this month really comes down to the products themselves. Let me show you what I got, and tell you a bit about each product!


First up is Ipsy! July’s Ipsy theme was Beach Beauty. This time the cosmetic pouch was a transparent, pink pouch made out of beach ball material. While the pouch isn’t exactly my style, it is great for the beach since it is waterproof. It’s also perfect for those who work retail, and need a clear bag to bring to work.  IMG_2373


Here all all of the products! I’ll describe them for you from left to right.

  • Big Sexy Hair in Weather Proof – $7.80 – This hair product is supposed to prevent frizz in the humidity. I was excited to try it out, but unfortunately all it does is weigh my hair down and make it flat. It did manage my frizz, but sucked away any volume. I suggest this if you have very thick hair.
  • Derma E Microdermabrasion Scrub – $16.25 – I’ve been using scrubs religiously in the summer to keep my pores clean. This one is very interesting — I love the lemony scent, but it was difficult to rinse off  my skin completely. I ended up with some residue, and wasn’t a huge fan of that. It’s okay, but for the price I won’t be repurchasing the full size.
  • Coola Face Sunscreen – $4.87 – This is the second time I’ve received a Coola product in a subscription box, and I don’t like it! The problem is in the packaging — this tiny tube isn’t even filled. I’m lucky if I get one use out of it. If the sample was larger, I would be able to tell you more about the product, but I’m not a fan of receiving these tiny sunscreen samples.
  • Pop Beauty Pouty Pop Crayon in Coral Crush – $4.16 – This is my favorite item this month! I’ve never tried Pop Beauty, but I’m loving it. Basically this is a jumbo lip crayon that is between a lipstick and a lip gloss. The color I got is bright, but goes really well with my skin tone. I’ve already worn it twice!
  • BH Cosmetics California Collection Sampler – $0.35 – You read that retail price correctly — this little sample of three eyeshadows is only worth 35 cents due to the full size palette being $7.00. My issue is that I got three eyeshadows that don’t even go together (a dark purple, bronze, and gold). If I could create a complete look from this sampler, I would appreciate it more.
  • Nicole by OPI in Pretty in Plum – BONUS – As a thank you for referring two new Ipsy members, I got this Nicole by OPI nail polish. I’m not including this in the retail value, as it’s not a part of the actual subscription. Otherwise, this is a really nice bonus to get!


OVERALL OPINION: Out of all the products in my Ipsy bag for July, the only one I will use on a regular basis is the Pop Beauty lip color. I will use up the Derma E and Coola products, but I’m not too excited about them. While the retail value is triple my money, I’m not too impressed with these products. They just don’t fit into my lifestyle well.



Now onto my July Birchbox! The theme was Power Play, based off the hit show Suits. I’ve never seen the show, but as a law student I knew this box was for me! IMG_2375Here are all the products! Let me tell you a bit more about each one.

  • DDF Acne Control Treatment – $12.94 – This product came at the perfect time! I was experiencing some breakouts, and with the help of this product they are clearing right up! While this isn’t a miracle worker, it definitely got to work, and I could see improvements in my acne after a few uses. I love it!
  • Benefit It’s Potent Eye Cream – $6.40 – I was thrilled to receive this product! I’ve been wanting to try it out, and I’m so glad I got to. I must say I’m impressed — this cream is very moisturizing, and feels great. This sample is tiny, but it will last a while.
  • No. 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect – $7.00 – Another hair product! To be honest, I haven’t tried this out because I am already happy with the protectant I use. I’ll keep this one for travel, or for when I run out of my other one.
  • Birchbox Bobby Pins – $1.67 – These bobby pins are a cute product to get in my box, but I don’t know how often I’ll be using them. They are a bit oversized for my extremely thin hair, but I’m not overly disappointed with them. I love the cute pattern!
  • theBalm Instain Blush in Swiss Dot – $4.40 – I was thrilled to get this sample! I’ve been wanting to try blush from theBalm for a long time, but was afraid to pay the money and not like it. This one is a gorgeous shade — it’s very pigmented, but wearable. I’m so glad to try this one out!


OVERALL OPINION: Birchbox is sure stepping it up! I am really excited about three of the five products in this box. Two of them are samples I’ve been wanting to try for a long time! While I’m tired of getting hair products, I’m really happy with this month’s box as a whole.


There you have it! My winner for the month of July is Birchbox! While both Ipsy and Birchbox had very similar retail values, I plan on using the products in my Birchbox a lot more. For me, the monetary value is secondary. The products aren’t worth anything just sitting in my stash! It seems like the Birchbox survey really understands me — it has beat out Ipsy four times! I can’t wait to see what happens next month after being a member of both programs for six months!

You can join Ipsy HERE and Birchbox HERE. Each program is $10 per month.


Some of the above links are affiliate links. Subscription boxes purchased with my own money. All opinions are my own. See my Disclosure Policy for more information. 



  1. Lou says:

    Great review, some of the products in the Birchbox look amazing. Hopefully this is a sign that they will get better each month!

    • Adventures in Polishland says:

      I have to say that since Birchbox revamped its website a couple months back the boxes have been amazing!

  2. Cosmetic Sanctuary says:

    Great comparison! I was in love with Ipsy this month and use almost all of the products I got. Birchbox just disappointed me too many times to go back 🙁 Hopefully they do get better for all though!

    • Adventures in Polishland says:

      Thanks! It definitely depends on the individual when it comes to these programs. Ipsy is overall more makeup based, and I prefer more skincare items!

    • Adventures in Polishland says:

      I can understand that! It’s always fun to see what’s inside a mystery package!

    • Adventures in Polishland says:

      I really like Birchbox! I feel like Ipsy is the favorite in the beauty community, but Birchbox has been good to me! Let me know if you try it out.

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