Best $10 Beauty Subscription Boxes – December 2018!

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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 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!)


Total Value: $46

This is such a good subscription if you want to pick up the best, or the most raved about products that are available at Sephora. They have a good balance of makeup and skin care products to try out in this box. This month’s total retail value is about $46, and it’s such a thrill getting them for $10! 

Review: Play! by Sephora December 2018 Review

See Play! by Sephora spoilers + past Play! by Sephora reviews or sign up for directory notifications when we post about this subscription!

Birchbox ($10 per month!)


Total Value: About $66.53

The December box focused mostly on lip products this month, but they still included something for the brows and hair. The trio that came: lip scrub, matte lippie, and lip gloss, are all moisturizing and hydrating on the lips. The color combination of the matte lippie and the nude gloss are awesome. The hair masque and the brow liner are worth a try as well. They tried to give us variety and at least they are trying to mix things up a little bit.

Review: Birchbox December 2018 Review

See Birchbox spoilers + past Birchbox reviews or sign up for directory notifications when we post about this subscription!

Birchbox Curated Box ($10 per month!)


Total Value: About $37

The curated box is really enjoyable! There’s almost always some hits and misses since every product won’t appeal to everyone. The highlighter worked well and the thermal spray is ideal for those who love experimenting with their hair. The Sunday Riley product was worth more than the price paid for the box, and the only downer was the clumpy mascara.

Review: Birchbox Curated December 2018 Review

See Birchbox spoilers + past Birchbox reviews or sign up for directory notifications when we post about this subscription!

Ipsy ($10 per month!)


Total Value: About $61

This bag’s theme for this month is “Be merry. Be bright. Be bold. Be you.” and the curation focused on making the skin nourished and providing usable makeup products. The face masks are great because they address specific skin conditions that tend to crop up during winter. The liquid mineral strobe, the lip oil, and the lilac eyeshadow are all easy to use, getting one’s holiday makeup needs easily covered. Ipsy just kills it every month!

Review: Ipsy December 2018 Review

See Ipsy spoilers + past Ipsy reviews or sign up for directory notifications when we post about this subscription!Thes

The boxes’ contents are perfect for the cold season, but there’s one that definitely stood out. It’s Ipsy, as it is true to its promise of making us merry, bright, and bold. The products covered all our holiday needs. The Birchbox regular box comes in a close second ad the moisturizing lip products they sent are really amazing. These beauty boxes are everything you can ask for and more! And we can try everything for only $10, it’s really a fantastic and fabulous deal!

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


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