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 plus a beauty 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!)
- Tom Ford Black Orchid Eau De Parfum ($3.75)
- Sephora Lashcraft Big Volume Mascara ($5.72)
- Peter Thomas Roth Hungarian Thermal Water Mineral-Rich Atomic Heat Mask($2.84)
- Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly ($5)
- Stellar Monika Deol Brilliant Primer ($7.50)
- NudeStix Intense Matte Lip Pencil In Kiss ($24.99 full size, $15? for the sample)
Total Value: About $40
This month’s Play! by Sephora has both skincare and makeup samples from big brands. The Tom Ford Black Orchid scent was a standout. The lipstick-plus-cheek-tint-in-one and the mascara are great for everyday wear, and the primer makes makeup stay longer. The box has the value of almost $40, but a substantial amount is in the Nudestix, which is a pretty frequent product. It would be nice to see more value in some of the other goodies but for $10, there are no real complaints!
Birchbox ($10 per month!)
- Hero Cosmetics Mighty Patch ($2.16)
- Air Repair Protect + Prevent Hydrating Serum ($3.64)
- Ittsé Eyeshadow Magnetic Single In Metamorphosis ($9)
- Kiehl’s Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash ($5.20)
- Oribe Mystify Restyling Spray ($8.67)
Total Value: About $29
The September box was amazing with all those contents! They provided skin products that reduce the appearance of blemishes and add extra confidence! The warm-colored eyeshadow is perfect for the upcoming season too. Everything is useful, so this box is pretty much a win! At almost $29 value this is a great deal for a $10 beauty box!
Review: Birchbox September 2018 Review
Birchbox Curated Box ($10 per month!)
- Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil ($7.59)
- Number 4 High Performance Haircare Soothing Balm ($5.88)
- [comfort zone] Hydramemory Cream Gel ($8.07)
- Mellow Cosmetics Liquid Lip Paint In Ibiza ($8)
- Proenza Schouler Arizona Eau De Parfum ($2.40)
Total Value: About $31.94
September curated Birchbox had some hits and misses, but then, that’s how it usually goes down. The biggest problem with this box is that it sometimes goes against one’s beauty profile. But then again, it’s $10 a month and we can pass some items to others who would find it useful.
Ipsy ($10 per month!)
- Luxie Beauty Harley Quinn Detail Flat Definer 110 ($10)
- TrèStique Mini Lip Glaze in English Rose ($10)
- Hanalei Matte Bronzer ($9.99)
- Lord & Berry Line/Shade Eye Pencil in Flash Purple ($2.37)
- Apto Healing Turmeric Mask ($8)
Total Value: About $50
This bag’s theme for this month wants us to break the rules and smash the things that were expected of us. They really want us to break out of our shell and truly go all out in expressing ourselves. For $10, they included almost $50 worth of products (including that unique black pouch), and the inclusions are all usable!
Review: Ipsy September 2018 Review
We agree with Ipsy’s theme for this month that “Nothing can stop me(us)!” Everything can be used to bring out the best in all of us, or even aid in enhancing our look. The regular Birchbox comes in a close second as they provided skin-loving products that we all need! There are hits and misses with the curated Birchbox and Play! but there are still good items that can actually make up for the whole box. Still, it’s a battle between $10 boxes, and we’re happy with what we are getting, high-quality items from well-known brands for less… We definitely have no complaints!