Sephora PLAY! vs Birchbox vs Ipsy – September 2017 Battle of the $10 Beauty Boxes!

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It’s the Ipsy vs. Sephora Play vs. Birchbox $10 Beauty Box showdown!

Ipsy vs. Sephora PLAY! vs. Birchbox

BOX BASICS: All three subscriptions are just $10 per month, so it’s easy to draw comparisons. All three of these beauty boxes also ship out 5 samples (Sephora PLAY! also sends a bonus fragrance item and occasionally you’ll get a small extra in Birchbox).

CUSTOMIZATION: All three subscriptions also ask you to complete a basic beauty profile. Ipsy allows you to rate items for ipsy match and has started allowing a limited number of subscribers to select an item, but that feature isn’t yet universal. Birchbox also allows you to rate items but doesn’t alter your profile in response to your ratings.

REFERRALS & POINTS: Both Birchbox and Ipsy offer referral points; redeem points on full-size products in the Birchbox shop or on selected samples in the Ipsy bonus section. You earn points on the monthly Sephora subscription plus you can redeem a PLAY! card in-store for an extra 50 points on any purchase.

VARIATIONS: All three of these boxes also send out multiple subscriber variations – we’re showing what we’ve reviewed here, and we would love to hear your experiences in the comments!

Our thoughts? You’re most likely to get items you’ll find in Sephora in PLAY!, including some cult up and coming goodies. That’s a no brainer. Ipsy is a mix of influencer faves, some prestige products, and some drugstore. You won’t often find drugstore products in Birchbox – but you may find some interesting natural beauty brands.

PLAY! by Sephora ($10 per month!)


Total Value: About $45

This month was a little odd with the surprise lack of fragrance choice, but I couldn’t have been happier for my personal variation – with 2 fantastic face creams, a high end pricey lipstick,  and the fun sparkly shadow!

Review: Play! by Sephora September 2017 Review

Birchbox ($10 per month!)


Total Value: About $33

A really nice value box with 2 great pencils for tuning up for party season, a generous sample of Briogeo, lip gloss, and remover to take it all off!

Review:  Birchbox September 2017 Review

Birchbox Curated Box ($10 per month!) –  Your Time To Shine Curated Box


Total Value: About $37

This curated box was frankly a little weird, with 2 different and opposing hair products. I loved the shade of the Pixie gloss and the Lip Masque was just plain fun!

Review: Birchbox September 2017 Your Time To Shine Curated Box Review

Ipsy ($10 per month!)


Total Value: About $36

The curation/influence of Soko Glam’s Charlotte Cho lent this month’s bag a fresh K-beauty focus! With some full-size items, this bag is always a bargain – but the other bags gave it a run for its money this month!

Review: Ipsy September 2017 Review

Despite the total oddness of not getting a fragrance sample in all Sephora boxes this month, I’m calling it for Sephora! I think subscribers were happier with their box variations this month and not everyone loves fragrance in their beauty boxes. Birchbox seemed to have a nice high value, and I really enjoyed testing out the ipsy exclusive ColourPop glossy lip – not an expensive product by any means, but a cute and fun exclusive color!

What did you think of this month’s Sephora PLAY!Ipsy, and Birchbox? Did you have a favorite?


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