Best $10 Beauty Subscription Boxes – January 2019

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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!)

Items: 

Total Value: $43

This box has a variety of trendy products from popular brands. The item that was a surprise was the latte mix. Way to go on keeping it exciting (and a little odd), Sephora! The items are all usable but the lip crayon and the Sunday Riley definitely stood out. 

Review: Play! by Sephora January 2019 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!)

Items: 

Total Value: About $ 30.67

The January box sent a cute assortment of products, some of the brands are pricey and it’s fun trying them out. The highlighter was small but it might take months to use it up since only a little is needed. The concealer and mascara work well. The only disappointment was the mask. Birchbox was already contacted about it and they made it right! 

Review: Birchbox January 2019 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!)

Items:      

Total Value: About $30.89

The assortment in this box is nice. They completed it with skin care, hair care, and makeup. The value for the December curated box is around $30.89, which is really good for a $10 box!

Review: Birchbox Curated January 2019 Review

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


Ipsy ($10 per month!)

Items:   

Total Value: About $58

This bag’s theme for this month is “New Year, New Products – More Focus On You.” Brands are really stepping up their game in terms of ingredients and versatility. Almost all of the items here are good for other purposes. There are a lot of improvements in the subscription particularly the card and presentation. They kept the good stuff and added more features for the same price. They started this year with a bang!

Review: Ipsy January 2019 Review

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


The boxes this month are all awesome, but there’s one that really stood out, which is Ipsy! Everything improved from the info card up to the contents! The Birchboxes (both regular and curated) both have misses but still, they included a wide variety of products with lots of uses. As for Sephora, the inclusions are just fantastic. These boxes really started the year with a bang, and I hope they keep it for the months to come!

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

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  • Susan

    I used to love Sephora but the last two boxes were very disappointing. Previously I had received nice sized samples of high end cosmetics and good sized perfumes (enough to use at least 5-10 times) but these two made me quit. Instead of multi-use packages I got much skimpier sizes and where did the expensive brands go?