Birchbox,  BoxyCharm,  Ipsy,  LipMonthly,  Subscription Boxes

Subscription Box Showdown

I need some candle suggestions, I went HAM on the spring scents when B&BW (I’m trying out an acronym thing) had their three wicks on sale. I picked up all of the staples, sweet-pea, lilac, gardenia, lavender – which is nice and all but my apartment smells like a floral nightmare. I need something woodsy to balance it out, skipping candles – I am just going to throw some cedar chips down.

I am switching things up for Sample Saturday, instead of posting about a sample I thought I’d share a round-up of subscription boxes and what I think so far. I am just touching on the main ones that I regularly post about on here so that you can check out the individual posts, if you would like.

Ipsy Glam Bag – $10/month – You get 5 beauty products and a bag each month. Ipsy doesn’t do full-sizes often, I think I have received a full-size eyeshadow and I count the brushes as full-sizes but that’s it. Some of their samples can be really small and sometimes you get deluxe sizes. I like Ipsy because they give you a decent variety of products from luxury brands, indie brands, drugstore brands and everything in between. I also love that I have received a brush in every bag so far. I have been turned on to a few brands that I have never heard of and some products that I just never thought to try. Their review system is – meh, their customer care tells you to be sure to review your bags to get personalized samples and I just don’t really know if that pays off. I review the bags for the points mostly that can be cashed in for various products. You also get a cute, functional bag!

A life without loveis like a year without summer.(1)

Birchbox – $10/month – You get 5 beauty products, all of the products that I have received have been sample size or deluxe sizes of hair care. They offer the option to customize your box; surprised, pick one sample or pick your whole box which I kinda’ like – I picked 1 sample this month as my boxes have been pretty lame. I get a lot of hair care from them which is weird as I didn’t really say much about my hair in my profile – I don’t think filling out my profile has done anything really. They do have a nice app that another blogger told me about and you can review your products but again – no idea what it does. The thing that I find interesting about Birchbox is that they have an online retail store where you can buy full-sizes of your samples and tons of other products. I feel like they are there to give you a taste of the brands so that you just buy the full-size, from them…? Which Iย  have, sometimes they run some really great sales and you can just have the products tossed in your next box. And I do mean tossed, when I imagine their warehouse I just see heaps of samples getting whipped into boxes – there is zero presentation. Also, what I am supposed to do with these boxes?

A life without loveis like a year without summer.(2)

Play! By Sephora$10/month – I literally have no idea why the waiting list for this is so long. You also get 5 products, Sephora claims that they will be deluxe sample sizes oh, and a perfume sample (can’t forget that). Their website claims that your bag will be curated and handpicked just for you – not buying it. I see a variations of about 6 different bags every month, again – you fill out a profile and again, no idea what that does. Being that this is Sephora’s box you do receive all luxury/high-end brands – which is fine but these are samples not deluxe sized samples, I don’t want to go down the whole false advertising road but come on ๐Ÿ˜€ I have received a few brands that I really enjoy, it is always nice to get a product that you already use to just toss in your bag. Out of all the boxes, I like their informational card the most as it is always informative and does add a little more quality to the bag. I could take or leave the drawstring bags, what do people do with these? They also throw in a point card that your can present in store to get some bonus points with a purchase. Overall, not worth the wait.

A life without loveis like a year without summer.(3)

LipMonthly – $12.95/month – 4-5 always full-sized lip products, 1 beauty surprise and a cute bag. I enjoy the variety of brands, being able to pick an item each month and all of the products are full-size. Yea, it is a lot of lip product but of really nice variety and if I don’t use something I can re-gift it in a goodie bag. I have been able to try a few new brands – some of them even being vegan and all-natural. The beauty surprises have been pretty great too, by far a fav bag to get each month. I have filled out my profile here as well, unsure if it makes a difference or not but have been pretty pleased with the products that I have received.

A life without loveis like a year without summer.(4)

Boxycharm – $21/month – 4-5 full-sized products and they state that each box retails at $100 or more. This is tacky – if I am curious, I can look it up but I don’t need that disclaimer. The boxes are generally the same and I don’t recall ever filling out a profile – also, ridiculous wait list. Fantastic boxes though, the quality of the products and overall selection surpasses that $11 cost difference. That is why I think it is funny that they even feel the need to state the retail cost, the quality is obvious as soon as you see the contents. Great brands, a variety or products and they do actually feel curated even if there are only a couple of variations. If you only sign up for one box, check this one out!

A life without loveis like a year without summer.(5)

I am fairly new to subscription boxes but I am enjoying them so far, one beef is just the marketing behind them. Rather than using fancy sound bites like, handpicked, curated, personalized – just tell me that I am going to get some samples, some I am going to hate and some I may like and some might be expired. I mean, it’s my money – I’d take a gamble on a box with that disclaimer. Also, the themes are a stretch – most of them make no sense and the products that go along with them even less. If you are interested in signing up for one and haven’t heard of My Subscription Addiction – check her out! You can read loads of reviews and see spoilers of boxes.

That’s my round up, thanks for stopping by <3






  • abbeycoseattle

    I love this! I do IPSY and I do feel like doing product reviews helps. I was getting way too many nail polishes and changed my profile settings and did lots of reviews and stopped getting them. I also felt like I was getting so many brushes that I had too many and changed my profile to say I didn’t want them and did stop getting them. So I think if you put time into reviews and editing your profile it does work okay. For $10 I like it and am sticking with it!

    • Stella

      Thank you ๐Ÿ˜˜ That’s good to know, if I keep getting repeats of something I don’t like – I will be sure to review! It’s one of my favourites as well – the bags are so fun and super reasonable. Thanks for reading!!

  • Selena Hannah

    I just subbed to the Walmart beauty box. I only receive the Sephora Play currently. I really love getting samples of high end brands and I’ve gotten some deluxe sized products. Mostly hair products though. I always at up the rough estimate of my Sephora bag and April was about $40 dollars worth of product.

  • Dee

    So far, I’m happy with my Ipsy subscription. Supposedly, you can email customer service and tell them up to 3 types of products that you never want to receive and then you should never get them again. I get the Morphe Brush subscription too and while I love the brushes, I’m considering canceling it after June. *shrug*

    • Stella

      Interesting, I didn’t know that. I like the variety so far, unsure if there is something I’d never want to receive. Yea – that’s a lot of brushes!

      • Dee

        For me, I don’t want nail polish or any hair care products because I don’t use either of them. I’m also leery of skin care products since I have some specific skin issues and have to avoid the most common ingredients. I haven’t emailed Ipsy yet but it might happen eventually.

  • starringpamela

    This is so helpful! I am not currently considering a subscription but I remember when I first started getting into makeup and was trying to pick one I was so overwhelmed by the options and there weren’t even as many as today. I think if I was going to go for one I would probably do Boxycharm based on your post!

    • Stella

      I know, there are so many boxes! I do really enjoy Boxycharm – the products are cohesive and good quality. I definitely recommend ๐Ÿ˜„

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