ipsy vs. Birchbox, December

Wednesday, January 28

This is the third installment of a long-winded series, in which I try to choose between two monthly subscription services (referred to hereafter as "subs"): ipsy & Birchbox. Currently subscribed to both. Trying to keep one and lose the other. But which one is best for me? (View October here. November here.)

November's post ended with me saying "I'm about ready to cancel my Birchbox, but who knows, December could be a whammy!" Well, it really was! Birchbox sure packed a punch last month. It's almost like they knew I was seriously on the fence...

I am still really enjoying both of my monthly subscriptions, which gets me no further to the end of this noble quest (l o l). Mostly I love trying the new products, and getting to experiment with my look. I think I'm doing a decent job trying everything/using everything up, which was the rule I made for myself for getting these subs. Plus it makes for a thorough beauty day on Sunday. What's beauty day? Just like it sounds. It sounds kinda vain, I guess. But the self-care is nice and really sets me up to start the week. 

Ok, here's what I got last month!
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ipsy (products left --> right)
Pixi by Petra Fairy Dust in Brightening Bare- I tried this out as both an eyeshadow and a highlighting shimmer, and I think the color is just too light for me. Also the applicator is super weird. Kinda meh.
CoolWay Boost Repair Mask- I use hair products very minimally, so it would take a life-changing product to make me a believer. I believe this is intended for use in between shampoo and conditioner. The texture felt very "clay-y" and it was hard to get out of my hair. Also I noticed no benefit after my hair dried. *Disclaimer* I have horse hair, basically, so it might work better for you. 
*Nyx Butter Lip Balm in Parfait*- I love this bright, punchy pink shade! Since it's a balm, it goes on smooth, and with little effort in application. Also smells great! 
CrownBrush Shadow/Crease Duet Brush- Great addition to a Glam Bag, especially because I only own one eyeshadow brush. Perfect for stashing at work, in my car, or at Hunter's house for touch-ups on the go. "Beauty friend Emma's" tip of the month: eyeshadow brushes can be as cheap as you want. Just invest in a foundation brush.
Tarte Lights, Camera, Action 4-in-1 Mascara- Super disappointed by this, especially when comparing it to my Birchbox mascara sample. Isn't Tarte supposed to be, like, a great brand? This mascara is totally meh, and after a couple uses, already seems to have run out (I realize it's a sample size.) I would buy Maybelline Great Lash over this any day!


*Winner of this bag! Lip products are usually my favorite, and the other products really didn't do much for me.

This actual bag kinda sucks. I guess "holiday party black satin" was the theme behind it, and I know all the bags are cheap; but this one seemed worthless. If it's gonna be cheap, it's gotta be cute. That's essentially a life philosophy of mine. 
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 Birchbox (products clockwise)
Number 4 Hydrating Conditioner- This was exactly what I needed when packing for Hawaii. I only washed my hair a couple times, since I was in the ocean every day, but I have to say, this conditioner was pretty awesome for my surf & turf tresses. 
Beauty Protector Oil- This is the only product of all of them I haven't used yet! I just chopped my hair, so the ends are in pretty good shape. But I'll plan on using it soon!
Ruffian Nail Lacquer in Red- I was excited about this initially, but a little disappointed. I used this on my toes for Hawaii, and while it looks bright and fun, it took several coats to get the color I wanted. I realize I was on the beach, but it faded & chipped pretty quick. I received this polish in nude a few months ago and loved it, so not a total waste. 
Number 4 Hydrating Shampoo- I also took this to Hawaii with me and loved it! I don't usually notice a huge difference between shampoo/conditioner because my hair is really coarse, but this worked as well as any. Maybe better.
*Mirenessee iCurl Secret Weapon 24 Hour Mascara*- LOVE. The curled brush makes the application so easy! It leaves my lashes curled almost like I used a curler. Love the pigment as well. And, this is waaaaay better than the ipsy Tarte sample in every way!
Acure Organics Lip Lush in Shmexy-  I like this a lot. I had it on hand the whole time I was in Hawaii. It smells good, goes on easy, basically clear with a hint of color.

*Favorite of the month! At $24 a pop, this mascara might actually be worth buying. I've been using it quite a bit. The color, brush, consistency, and even packaging are perfect.

How adorable is this box? I've only kept a couple Birchboxes, because I don't know what to use them for, but this was too special to throw away. Good work all around, Birchbox. 


The victor: Birchbox. The plot thickens! They absolutely blew me away this month, and I liked every part of it better than my ipsy. So nothing is getting canceled...yet.

Did any of you get one of these subscriptions this month? Maybe you had a different reaction to one of these products? And most importantly: which subscription should I keep?

If you are interested in signing up for ipsy OR Birchbox (or both ;) for $10/month, you can find my referral links here: ipsy //Birchbox.

5 comments :

Amy Fashion Blog said...

I actually loved all my items I got in my Ipsy bag for December. It sure is a hard choice on which one to keep.

Alissa said...

YES! "If it's going to be cheap, it had better be cute." Motto for life.

Jasmin Charlotte said...

Ah the beauty boxes in the US are so much better in the UK! Would love those items, totally understand why you want to subscribe to both! x

Jasmin Charlotte | UK Lifestyle Blog

Sara Strauss {Sincerely, Sara} said...

It's definitely a tough decision! I love Ipsy, but some months are better than others. This Birchbox looks great! Now I want to try the mascara you got!
~Sara

Larissa said...

You are right, this month the birchbox seems to be much better! I think ipsy looks a little boring this time. And the birchbox BOX is so pretty! Ahhhh, these luxury problems ;-) I know them so well too...
Have a wonderful weekend!