Birchbox OR Ipsy – October 2014

I’m late. I’m late for this very important date.  It’s my monthly square off of the beauty samplers.

Both services offer a monthly $10 membership where subscribers receive a selection of beauty product samples that is customized (somewhat) based on personal preferences.  Birchbox comes in its namesake box while Ipsy’s Glam Bag is a limited edition cosmetic bag each month.

Each month, I review “the box” versus “the bag” and the overall haul to see which one wins for value and quality.

Birchbox

The October theme was Fanfare, a Hollywood-inspired glamour sampling that arrived in the signature brown box (aka the Birchbox).

Birchbox Contents October 2014

Birchbox Packaging October 2014

My box contained:

  • Kerastase Cristallliste Lumiere Liquide -Prime
  • ModelCo Party Proof Lipstick
  • clariSEA Rapid Detox Charcoal Exfoliant: Face
  • Ellovi Vanilla Butter
  • Lord & Berry Paillettes Eye Pencil
  • Macadamia Professional Flawless Cleansing Conditioner

Ipsy

The October theme was Beauty Candy.  The handpicked selections for me arrived in a turquoise quilted bag.

Ipsy October 2014

My bag contained the following:

  • Ayres Patagonia Body Butter
  • Epice International Purifying Exfoliant
  • KISS iENVYbyKISS Lashes
  • MicaBeauty Mineral Eye Shadow
  • Starlooks Lip Gloss

 

My Product Thoughts?

Favorite product of the month?  I am head-over-heels in love with Macadamia Professional Flawless Cleansing Conditioner from my Birchbox.  Completely unexpected… as I mentioned in September, I don’t really get along with these nut oil based hair products.  My baby fine hair gets overwhelmed.  But I was blown away by how well this works.  At least I was once I got over my “thought it was dry shampoo” mishap while running late for the airport one morning.  This product did everything to make me dislike it – including having super small print that I couldn’t read, even with my glasses, so I couldn’t figure out quite how to use it.  But once I did?  Wow… I’ve ordered the full size because it makes my hair look AMAZING… and I can go three days without washing.  (Three days!  With short hair.  Amazing!)

Tried it before and glad to get it again?  I got two things in my Birchbox this month that I’ve previous gotten from Ipsy.  And that was okay because I loved both.  One was the clariSEA Rapid Detox Charcoal Exfoliant – I love how clean this makes my skin feel so I was happy to have another sampler.  And the ModelCo Party Proof Lipstick means I now have one in my cosmetic bag in my purse and one on my bathroom counter.  Brilliant.

Thanks but no thanks?  The MicaBeauty Mineral Eye Shadow in my Ipsy bag was a turquoise glitter powder that I can’t imagine wearing unless I was doing artistic makeup for an event.  Totally not me.

Didn’t think I’d like it but?  Given my oft-stated dislike of hair oils, I expected to hate the Kerastase Cristallliste Lumiere Liquide in my Birchbox but it actually left my hair with a nice sheen.

Great staple for my bag?  The Lord & Berry Paillettes Eye Pencil in my Birchbox is nice.  I don’t normally do matte liners but this one produced a very thin precise line.  I tossed it in my travel bag for days when my normal black liquid liner might be overkill.

Great color?  I loved the Starlooks Lip Gloss color in my Ipsy bag.  The texture was not my favorite for a lip gloss, but it didn’t have the unpleasant smell or feel that some lip glosses do so I can actually use this.

Stashing it for?  I adore fake lashes (heck, I am the girl who gets extensions every three weeks) and sometimes want to go for super drama.  The iENVYbyKISS Lashes are gorgeous in the box and look lush.  These will go in the drawer for my next special occasion.

Similar products, different opinions?   I got Ellovi Vanilla Butter in my Birchbox and Ayres Patagonia Body Butter in my Ipsy bag.  I loved the vanilla smell of the Ellovi product but the Ayres is creamier.  I wish I could combine the texture of the Ayres with the smell of the Ellovi.  That would be heaven.

Other comments?  Overall both sets were a good value this month.  I didn’t have a single “I hate it” product although there were a couple I wouldn’t have grabbed for myself.

 

The Verdict

Birchbox for the win!  For those keeping track, that’s two months in a row for Birchbox after three Ipsy wins in a row prior to that.  This month Birchbox just lined up better for me in terms of products but it was pure luck.  I didn’t expect to like either hair item and then did – and two other items were previous favorites I tried earlier through Ipsy.

At the end of the day, I like that I have both subscriptions – on a typical month, I get to try ten different products and have plenty of samples to take on the road when I travel.

 

Want to try them?

If you are interested in trying out Birchbox, I have a referral link you can use.

If you are interested in trying out Ipsy, I also have a referral link you can use.

Both sites are known to have waiting lists to join but past experience has shown that following their instructions to “share your excitement” on social media may bump you from waiting to confirmed quicker!  Both arrive mid-month for subscribers.

See September’s Birchbox vs. Ipsy review here

See August’s Birchbox vs. Ipsy review here. 

See July’s Birchbox vs. Ipsy review here.

See June’s Birchbox vs. Ipsy review here.

 

Disclaimer:  I *do* receive referral points if you subscribe to either Birchbox or Ipsy using my referral link.  Those points allow me to exchange them for free product.  I only provide referral links for services that I have personally tried and/or would spend my own money on!

– See more at: http://jetsettershomestead.boardingarea.com/2014/09/27/birchbox-or-ipsy-september-2014/#sthash.jYM3bPaF.dpuf

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