Battle of the Boxes: Ipsy vs. Birchbox

Caitlyn McCreight/Iowa State Daily

Caitlyn Mccreight

We can get basically have anything from clothes to food and medicine delivered to our doors nowadays. However, monthly beauty subscription boxes/bags have become quite a trend recently.

These $10 a month boxes/bags allow subscribers to receive five beauty care sample items, which could include moisturizer, makeup, beauty tools or hair care products.

Two of the most well-known monthly beauty subscription boxes/bags are Ipsy and Birchbox. Both subscriptions are similar in price and allow subscribers to take a quiz to help customize their box/bag to their preferences. But they also include differences that could help people decide which to choose. 

“I like the opportunity to try new products that I wouldn’t normally purchase,” said ISU graduate Jessica Hale, 24, who received a yearly Birchbox subscription as a gift. Also to try different shades of lipsticks, blush, etc. 

“They have a lot of different products on their website.” 

Birchbox not only offers monthly boxes for women but also for men. The company also has other products you can buy right off its website such as notebooks, clothing, jewelry, candles and water bottles. Those items aren’t typically a part of the monthly subscription box and cost extra.

“I like the small makeup bag that all my makeup arrives in each month,” said Elizabeth Heiderscheit, sophomore in psychology, who has been subscribed to Ipsy for one year. “It’s like a little present each month.”

“I do wish that I could have the option to choose some of my own products that go into my bag.”

Neither Ipsy nor Birchbox allows you to choose your own products for your box/bag. But that could take away from the surprise factor when you receive it each month. Both boxes/bags also provide similar brand name beauty care products.

However, both subscriptions allow you to rate the products after you receive them. This allows you to rack up points that you can trade in for extra gifts and narrows down preferences for future bags.

“I don’t think one is necessarily better than the other,” Heiderscheit said. “I think it just depends on your own personal preferences.”

With the differences that each monthly subscription box/bag has, there are just as many similarities. And whether you choose Ipsy or Birchbox, I don’t think either one will disappoint.