Ipsy v. Birchbox: Round Six | August 2013

Happy Subscription Sunday! Today I have Round Six of Ipsy v. Birchbox, and just as I suspected, things got very interesting this month. Now that I’ve been subscribed to each of these $10 beauty subscriptions for six months now, I have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Of course, there are always surprises, but overall I am starting to see some patterns emerge. Let me go ahead and share what I got for both Ipsy and Birchbox for the month of August!

IMG_2700First up, as always, is Ipsy! This month’s theme is Glamour Academy, and the cosmetic pouch is a purple color with gold lettering. I really like the bag’s design this month, but I’ll have to snip off the string on the side. On the right you can see a special bonus product I received for referring friends to Ipsy. It is a Lime Crime polish in the shade Crema de Limon. Unfortunately, I do not support Lime Crime as a brand, so I am unable to use this extra. (Find out why HERE).

IMG_2702Now onto the goodies inside my Ipsy bag! I’ll tell you more about each one from left to right.

  • Pixi Beauty Lash Booster Mascara in Blackest Black – $7.14 – This tiny mascara sample is actually worth a lot due to the full size retailing for $17. I love mascara, so I will definitely use this eventually. It is a nice size for travel!
  • Noya Cherry Lip Balm – $3.99 – This lip balm is kosher and natural, and smells quite good! It is just a regular lip balm — no color whatsoever. It’s always nice to get an extra lip balm, but I already have more than I can use.
  • Chella Dazzling Dark Brown Eyebrow Color Pencil – $18 – Normally I would be thrilled to get a full size eyebrow pencil from Chella, but this one is way too dark for me so I can’t use it. I’m not sure why Ipsy sent me a dark brown color when my profile clearly states I have light brown hair.
  • Pacifica Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream – $5.44 – Ipsy is not on my side this month! This BB cream is great quality, but it is too dark for my skin, and is extremely shimmery. I really don’t want to be walking around with glitter all over my face.
  • Michael Tood Jojoba Charcoal Facial Scrub – $5.29 – This scrub is my favorite item in this month’s bag. I love facial scrubs, and I’ve heard so many great things about Michael Todd products. Charcoal is also perfect to clear out pores, so I can’t wait to give this a try.


OVERALL OPINION: While the retail value of this month’s Ipsy is nearly four times what I paid for it, I can’t use two of the items because they are the wrong shade for me. That should not happen when we fill out personal profiles for the company to let them know what shades we are. I am excited about the Michael Todd scrub, and I will get use out of the mascara and lip balm. Overall, I’m pretty disappointed.


IMG_2705Next up is my Birchbox! August’s theme is Finishing School, similar to Glamour Academy I suppose! Everyone has school on the brain this time of year.

IMG_2707Here are the goodies inside. My first impression was utter disappointment at three foil packets. Let me tell you a bit more about the products.

  • Cailyn Gel Eyeliner in Black – $21 – Subscription services sure recycle brands! I got this exact same product in an Ipsy bag a few months back. Luckily I got purple last time, so I am super excited to have this in black. I really love this product because it is easy to apply and comes with its own brush! I don’t wear eyeliner often, but this is great to have.
  • Whish Exfoliating Body Wash – $2.75 – This is the second Whish product I’ve gotten from Birchbox as well! I didn’t like the shave cream, but this body wash sounds amazing. I’ll probably get a few uses out of it, and I like that this combines a scrub and wash in one product.
  • Dr. Jart+ Premium BB Cream – $4.42 – I get a lot of BB creams in these boxes as well! This one is my shade, and I will probably get a couple uses from this tiny sample. I won’t be able to buy the full size if I like it, however, because that is $39. It’s still nice to try out, though.
  • Miss Jessie’s Super Sweetback Treatment – $1.49 – This hair treatment is for curly hair, and is to help make curly softer and more manageable. Since I don’t have curly hair, I won’t be using this product.
  • Miss Jessie’s Original Rapid Recovery Treatment – $1.49 – This treatment is made for curly hair, but can apparently be used by any hair type to restore shine and moisturize the hair. I will give this one a go at least!
  • Whish Deodorant Swipes With Hair Inhibitor – $0.73 – The last item is a single use deodorant wipe from Whish that is supposed to wipe on your deodorant for the day and prevent underarm hair from growing. Sounds interesting, so I will try it. But I will stick to my regular deodorant!


OVERALL OPINION: I am pretty underwhelmed by this month’s Birchbox. I will use nearly everything inside, but I wish I would get to try out some new brands and products. These subscription services keep sending the same things! I also wish Birchbox would stay away from foil packets. Three in one box is too much. I will say I am very pleased with the eyeliner, though.


There you have it! My winner for the month of August is Birchbox! To be honest, I’m really not impressed with either subscription service this month. I really don’t understand why I am receiving products that do not match my beauty profiles, and I wish new brands would get involved. After six month of both services, I am very close to canceling Ipsy. Not only has Ipsy only won one round of my battle, but I tend to use up my Birchbox products more. I’m just afraid to miss out on something good!

You can join Ipsy HERE and Birchbox HERE. Each program is $10 per month. Be sure to let me know which one you liked better this month!

This post contains affiliate links. Subscription boxes purchased by me. All opinions are my own. See my Disclosure Policy for more information.
BH Cosmetics eyeshadow collection


  1. Angela Hoffmann-Truelove says:

    I get both of these boxes too – but I just started Birchbox again after stopping the subscription late last year. I was becoming underwhelmed by the Birthbox. This time when I started back up with Birchbox, I changed my options with age/income/etc to things that don’t apply to me (higher stats) after reading in another blog that she got better stuff when she did this too. My Birchbox this month was the best Birchbox I’ve ever received! My Ipsy bag was filled with the same stuff you have, except the eyebrow pencil. I received a Chella face mask thing instead and a full size City Color cheek stain. As for the Birchbox, I received a completely different box than you did. I got a full size Sumita eye pencil in a dark grey color (I would have preferred brown or black but it’s still a GREAT eyeliner), two packets of Kerastase shampoo, a triple sample pack of Benefit three step face system, Pur-lisse sample of skin serum and a full size Stila lipcolor in red. I’m hoping that the Birchbox wasn’t just great because I restarted my subscription! We will see next month….

  2. Donna says:

    It really annoys me that they just ignore the profiles. Why have them if they don’t even seem to try to match?

    Worse, I just signed back up to Birch Box because I want to try that nail polish they’re offering in September only to be told I’ll get this month’s box which the site says ships out on the 26th! What!? How is it an August box if I won’t get it until September.

    I’m just disgusted with the whole thing now. I’m >< this close to cancelling both and just sticking with Squarehue, Bondi and Cult Cosmetiics polish subscriptions. I am rarely disappointed by polish.

    • Adventures in Polishland says:

      This is the first time my profiles were ignored, so I’m hoping it’s just a glitch! I love Birchbox, but they send out a lot of varying boxes every month, so you never know what you’re going to get.

  3. Cosmetic Sanctuary says:

    Birchbox always seemed to ignore my profile and after well over a year, I had enough. I’ve been far happier with Ipsy. While Birchbox seems to come out with decent stuff from time to time… overall – I wouldn’t go back 🙁

    • Adventures in Polishland says:

      I’m not sure when you cancelled, but Birchbox came out with a brand new profile a couple months back. It has been pretty good, but the hair treatment was definitely a glitch this month! I’m glad you like Ipsy!

  4. Aleeya Ann says:

    I just want to say I LOVE how you compare these, break them down, and you are so real in your opinions. There is no fluff, there is no kissing up, you are just plain out honest on your opinion of each.

    MAJOR KUDOS to you!

    Posts like these really make me stop and think about products, what you get, subscriptions, and make me think long and hard about my earned money. I ponder do i want to or not to spend my money on subscriptions, as well as which ones I do or dont want to.

    Love your honesty, keep it coming! ^5 🙂

  5. Julia says:

    You can actually use the super sweetback treatment for other types of hair, too! It’s just super moisturizing, softening treatment that is supposed to help stimulate growth. It can be confusing because miss jessie’s is a curly hair brand, the description can be misleading.

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