Friday, September 19, 2014

UnBoxing Match! September 2014 Ipsy vs. Birchbox vs. Beauty Box 5

Since when do Ipsy points expire??? Last month I finally saved up to over 1000 points and I've been waiting for something I wanted to cycle through but I logged on the other day and found that my total had dropped to 900. I mean I know about Birchbox points expiring but where was it ever mentioned that Ipsy points do? Anyways, mini rant/freak out over, I was again not impressed by the sneak peeks this month, but I was pleased that my Birchbox situation finally got sorted out and I was able to pick my own sample! Also tacking on a Birchbox Plus I was interested in, Birchbox was already winning in my book, but let's see how the rest of the samples might have changed my mind. Also Beauty Box 5 really dragged their feet this month and it took FOREVER to get to me.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with these services, Ipsy and Birchbox are two custom beauty subscription boxes that come monthly. Both of these cost $10 a month and each arrive with 4-6 different goodies ranging from sad little foil packets to full size products! Beauty Box 5 costs a little more at $12 and delivers the same amount of goodies. I would say that typically Birchbox consistently delivers high-end skincare and hair care products with a sprinkling of makeup while Ipsy goes more for the mid-range items and is normally a lot of makeup items and Beauty Box 5 is mostly drugstore with an even mix of products.

Initial Reaction: So my initial reaction was this isn't too bad, but once I actually went into each product page and figured it out I was not pleased. At this point I'm seriously considering canceling Ipsy. Overall I wasn't hoping for a high value bag because the Street Style theme this month implied drugstore to me, and the spoilers confirmed that.
1. $2.33 Nourish Organic Moisturizing Cream Face Cleanser is a deluxe sample size. This was the only product in this bag that didn't make me mad when I saw it, but then I realized it was Nourish Organic and got a little mad. I love trying new cleansers, those and face masks I won't hesitate to go for, but I'm not a fan of Nourish Organic. Everything I've sampled from them (from these boxes!) I haven't liked so I'm a little wary of this cleanser too (doesn't help that the funky smell is supposedly the norm).
2. $8 Alterna Haircare CAVIAR CC Cream 10-in-1 Complete Correction is a deluxe sample size. I was excited for a second but then I realized it was a leave in treatment. WHY! Hair masks yes, conditioners okay, shampoo I'll try it, but leave-in treatments I never will! I might try this as a pre-wash treatment but more likely it will get passed on.
3. $17.50 Crown Brush Infinity Shadow/Crease Duet Brush is a full sized product. So it's not too bad it's a nice quality brush and you can never have enough shadow brushes, but I hate dual ended brushes! How am I suppose to store this when I use a cup for my brushes??
4. $13 Hikari Lipstick in Cabernet is a full sized product. I mean this isn't the worst thing I could have gotten but I have more than enough red lipsticks in my collection. I think this will go straight into the give away pile.
5. $5 Pacifica Natural Water-Proof Eye Pencil is a deluxe sample size in Fringe. All I can say is at least this isn't a mascara. I have a ton of liner samples but at least I will eventually use them. This will just have to get in line with the rest. But seriously deluxe sample my foot...
Approximate Value: $23.75

Initial Reaction: This box, laaaaah-ve it. I used to hoard all my Birchbox boxes but I recently tossed most of them, this is definitely one I will hold onto because the special design they have in honor of their birthday is adorable!
1. $14.50 Macadamia Professional Healing Oil Spray is a travel size. This is the sample I chose for this month, I kind of wish I didn't pick one since none of them really appealed to me but it was the principle of the matter: this was the first month where I FINALLY got the email so I had to exercise my right to choose! I'm interested in trying more products from Macadamia so this seemed like a good start. My hair doesn't need the extra boost but it never hurts and maybe this will finally be a "styling" product that I like!
2. $6.50 Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel is a sample size. Despite this tiny sample size I love masks and peels so I was thrilled to get this! I use a mask everyday (somedays twice) so I'm excited to throw this into the rotation. 
3. $1 Harvey Prince Ageless Liquid Loofah is a sample size. So I'm kind of sick of the Harvey Prince brand, is there a way to opt out of this? Everyone is crazy about the smell but frankly I don't like it. Brand hating aside, I was actually excited to see this in my box. After reading a discussion on it in the Birchbloggers group I was very interested in trying it out but didn't want to purchase it, so here's my chance!
4. $2.75 TEMPTU S/B Highlighter is a sample size in Champagne Shimmer. Normally I would complain about liquid products but recently my skin has made the jump back to combination skin (whoohoo! a girl has never been more excited about dry patches in her life) so I'm able to wear makeup again and cream/liquid highlighters have been my new favorite find. This color is rosy and shimmery and is perfect for transitioning into fall.
5. $10.50 Acure Organics Day Cream Gotu Kola Stem Cell + 1% CGF is a sample size. I'm not crazy about the citrus smell or the fact that it's another facial moisturizer. My skincare routine is down to a science and while masks and cleansers are often rotated through, things that sit on my face for extended time like moisturizers usually don't. However this is a brand that I've been wanting to try out so I'll give this guy a shot. Out of the whole box this is the only thing I'm not crazy about.
6. $3 ChapStick Dual-Ended Hydration Lock Moisturize & Renew is a full sized product. This seems to be a bonus extra in my box this month it wasn't listed online but I absolutely loved the ChapStick they sent another month so I'm interested to try this new one out. The Hydration Lock line is a good one so I have high hopes for this.
*7. $40 Pura Vida Set of 3 Bracelets is a Birchbox Plus that I paid extra for so their value will not be added to the value of the box. I've been wanting some of these bracelets for awhile, I love how simple they are and the cause they stand behind so I was excited that this was offered as a Birchbox Plus and I immediately snatched up a set!
Approximate Value: $38.25

Beauty Box 5
Initial Reaction: This showed up extremely unexpectedly. It seemed to be taking a tour of the country for awhile and got delivered before the tracking had even updated. Shipping in general this month seems funky I have a lot of things coming and nothing when it says it will.
1. $4 My Beauty Spot Luxury Goddess Nail Polish is one full sized product from a set of six. It's kind of driving me crazy the amount of no name nail polishes that are getting sent. How am I suppose to refer to this at all? I'm not crazy about this color and I definitely have dupes in my collection as well as the fact that it leaked so there is dried polish on the bottle. I think this might get thrown out.
2. $4.50 Nicka K New York Eyelight Crayon in Silver is a full sized product. There were a lot of options and of course I get one I'm not crazy about. Usually I go for warm like golds and bronzes for my eyes so I kind of doubt I will ever use this. Another miss.
3. $4.50 Dr. Lin Skincare Acne Spot Corrector is a sample size. Now this I'm excited for! I am in need of a new spot treatment to use in the morning and with my recent switch to benzoyl peroxide I am thrilled that this product contains 5%! This came at the perfect time and just may be the saving grace to this whole bag!
4. $0.83 Natural Style by FUBU Deep Conditioner & Co-Wash is a sample size. This item is mildly interesting to me as I've just learned about the concept of co-wash. I'll try it out but this seems to be directed towards curly hair and I'm here with stick straight hair. I wish it wasn't foil packets though.
5. $1.99 Sally Hansen Toe Spacers is a full sized product. This is a really dumb item that I'm not pleased to get. It's cheap and unneeded. I also don't understand the need for toe spacers but maybe that's because I'm lucky to not have weirdly overlapping toes.
Approximate Value: $15.82

Despite the slow shipping, Birchbox wins this month hands down. Beauty Box 5 was full of cheap and disappointing items and such a low value this month. Ipsy just really disappointed me. I feel like ever since I updated my beauty profiles on these sites they've been getting worse. I'm seriously considering unsubscribing from these cheaper ones and just saving my money for the more expensive services like PopSugar and possibly subscribing to Sample Society.

What did you get this month in your subscription services?


  1. Great comparison. My Ipsy bag won't arrive till next week, but I have the same feelings on the dual ended brush as well. I also got the dual ended chapstick from Birchbox, I love it and my toddler son thinks it's the most amazing thing in the world lol

  2. I was just okay with this month's birchbox, but IPSY was just so disappointing I was so mad when I got it.