Birchbox vs. Ipsy August 2016

Battle of the beauty subscription boxes is back! Birchbox and Ipsy are both $10 a month beauty subscription services that include 5 deluxe sized samples and a collectible box/makeup bag. If you missed last month’s BB vs. Ipsy, you can check it out here!

In case you’re unfamiliar with my subscription battles, I like to rate them on two point scales.

First impression points: Each item has a potential to get 1 point including the box/bag that everything comes in. These points are awarded to products I’m keeping, anything I’d be willing to toss doesn’t get a point. Total of 6 points possible for the month.

Product stars: Each item (and the bag/box) can get 1-5 stars depending on how impressed I am with the quality of the items after trying them out several times. Total of 30 stars possible for the month.

Here. We. Go.


Birchbox, you had so much to live up to this month after screwing over your subscribers by changing your point system last month.

Let’s talk about the box itself. If I had to pick a word: ehh. I don’t like it at all. No first impression point (since it’s going straight in the trash). 1 star. 

My box was pretty battered this month. As you can see, the card that the info comes on was ripped and bent when I received it. Not technically Birchbox’s fault, but I wish they were still including tissue paper to keep the products a little more secure to prevent this kind of smashing in transit.

The jumble that everything arrives in.

August’s products layed out

Here’s an overview of this month’s lineup. So far, it’s not looking too good. Upon first impression, they’re all very small samples, and one of them is clearly broken and unuseable.

The first item this month is SkinFood’s Black Sugar Mask Wash Off. After reading the directions, my initial though that this was a face mask turned out to be false. This is an after cleanse face scrub. Not too thrilled about trying this one.

No first impression point, 2 stars. 

Next up is this Manna Kadar blush/eyeshadow/???

As you can see, mine came completely shattered to dust. I had to open it over my bathroom sink as not to get powder everywhere. It turns out a lot of people have been having theirs arrive broken as well. I’ve emailed customer service about the issue, and have a replacement on its way. As of now, I’m going to have to give it 1 star and no first impression point since it had to go straight into the garbage. (Possible rating change when they ship me a new one).

Next up we have the sample that I chose, R+CO’s Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste. This product is super intriguing, and definitely gets a first impression point. I dug right into it and it absorbs so much oil. However, it leaves an almost crunchy feeling to your hair with a little bit of white reside, so I’m docking it a star for that. (After I wrote my initial thoughts here, I found that over then next few days this product left my hair feeling crunchy and powdery and no amount of brushing could get rid of it. Yuck. 3 stars)

I discovered Beauty Protector’s products through Birchbox, and I actually ordered the full size leave-in conditioning spray from them after receiving a sample for it, so when I saw this Beauty Protector Protect & Oil hair oil, I was stoked. The smell is UNBELIEVABLE, and I love using oil on the ends of my hair straight out of the shower. 1 first impression point, 5 stars. 

Our last product from Birchbox is the Stila Stay All Day liquid lipstick in the shade “Patina”. If you know anything about makeup, you’ll know that this is not only an extremely popular (and expensive) brand, but an extremely popular product as well. 1.5 first impression points for a high end brand and 5 stars because these lipsticks have unreal lasting power.

Birchbox breakdown:

17/30 stars

3/6 first impression points (which means I’m only keeping half of this month’s box. Boo.)


This month’s Ipsy arrived super late, it didn’t ship until the 9th and I didn’t receive it until the 17th. That aside, let’s get into this month’s bag.

The bag itself is gorgeous this month and definitely gets its first impression point. I’m also awarding it 5 stars because this is one that’s going straight into my purse.

This month’s first product is the Beau Gachis makeup sponge. This wins my first impression point. I love it when Ipsy includes makeup tools, and I’m always down to try out a new sponge. 5 stars. 

Next up is the Pacifica Sundreams Lotus Infused Bronzer. This shade is way too dark to be a bronzer on me, so I’ll be using it as an eyeshadow instead. Although I’m bummed they didn’t take into account my skin tone that’s on my profile, I’ll still be giving it a first impression point as well as 4 stars. 

Our next sample is the Dermelect nail polish in the shade “Unscripted”. While I’m super excited to be getting a full sized nail polish, the color isn’t quite my taste. I was hoping for something a little more fall, but I’ll try it out on my toes for the end of summer anyway. It gets a first impression point and 3 stars.

Next we have the Marc Anthony Argan Oil Deep Conditioning Treatment. I love deep conditioners, and this one smells awesome. Plus, this really is a huge sample as far as hair samples go. One first impression point, 5 stars. 

Our final sample this month is Tarte’s LipSurgence Lip Crème in the shade “Wonder”. This is a super beautiful deep pink (almost red) shade that will be beautiful for transitioning into fall. 1.5 first impression points for including a high end brand and 5 stars. 

Ipsy breakdown: 

6.5/6 first impression points (I’m so excited that I’ll actually be keeping every item from this month’s bag!)

27/30 stars makes this an almost perfect bag! 

So clearly Ipsy won this month by a landslide. I’ve been so impressed with them after the last couple of months! Hopefully Birchbox can step it up or I might just be unsubscribing at the end of the year.

Thank you all so much for all of your lovely likes! Leave me a comment on what you received in your birchboxes and ipsys this month’s and stay tuned for next month.

Until next time! 💕


4 thoughts on “Birchbox vs. Ipsy August 2016

  1. Ashley Nicole.

    O.O I -wish- my Ipsy bag came that early. Mine wasn’t shipped until the 20th; I received it the 27th. I also experienced them giving me something too dark for my skin. The liquid highlghter they had this month was available in a light and dark shade: they gave me the dark shade.


    1. tayfair Post author

      That sucks! I can’t believe they make you take the quiz saying what skin tone you have if they’re not going to bother checking it before sending stuff out. 😒 I usually get my Birchbox around the first week of the month and then I sit and wait on Ipsy lol


  2. Pingback: Why I Cancelled Birchbox  | Disney Wife

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