Birchbox vs. Ipsy – April 2014

Birchbox and Ipsy Glam Bag for April 2014.

Throughout life, we are posed with difficult questions: Backstreet Boys or Nsync? Dogs or cats? Fresh Prince or Full House?

And in the beauty world, no debate has been as complex as the ever so pressing issue: Birchbox or Ipsy?

Now that I have subscribed to both, I am excited to compare the two and share my thoughts on the products I received in April. It was a pretty good month for both beauty services, but there can only be one winner!

Before jumping right into the products, I wanted to touch on a few things in case you’re unfamiliar with Birchbox and/or Ipsy. They are beauty subscription services that provide you with samples (usually 4-5 items) for $10 a month (free shipping!). The products are supposed to be catered toward your preferences based on the information you provide when you sign up.

Birchbox for April 2014.

For both services, there is a monthly theme. For Ipsy, it was influenced by the musical festivals of the season. For Birchbox, it was all about rainy days – influenced by the saying, “April showers bring May flowers.” (Though I live in Southern California, so that’s not quite the case!)

Birchbox for April 2014.

While Ipsy’s makeup bag is like a free bonus, one thing I enjoy about Birchbox is the information card that overviews the products. It is really helpful, so I just wish the Ipsy glam bag came with one as well.

Now, onto the products! Let’s start with Ipsy.

City Color mousse eyeshadow in white gold.

City Color mousse eyeshadow in white gold.

The most interesting product in my glam bag was probably the City Color mousse eye shadow in White Gold. I’ve never used mousse eye shadow, so the consistency was new to me. It was creamy and blended well. I used just a tiny amount in my inner corners and dabbed some on my cheekbones for highlight. A little bit goes a long way so this will probably last me a while.

Would I purchase? No. I still prefer pressed eyeshadow.

Urban Decay 24/7 glide on eye pencil in black velvet.
Urban Decay 24/7 glide on eye pencil in black velvet.I was super happy to receive Urban Decay’s 24/7 Velvet Glide-On Eye Pencil and even happier it was in black, and not a forrest green or icy blue.

Urban Decay glide on eye pencil in black velvet.
Urban Decay 24/7 glide on eye pencil in black velvet.

The formula was amazing! The product glided on like butter and it was so pigmented. I have oily eyelids and was certain this would be a hot mess on me, but after five hours it pretty much stayed put! It had only smudged around the outer corners of my eyes. Because this eyeliner is ideal for a smokier look (which I don’t do), I liked using this most as a tightline. And if you do want to smudge this liner, work fast!

Would I purchase? Yes.

Benefit Cosmetics lollitint in candy orchid.

Aside from Urban Decay, I was also pleased to see another brand I like in my Ipsy bag. This is Benefit’s lollitint which is a “candy-orchid” color. It can be worn on your lips and cheeks.

Benefit Cosmetics lollitint in candy orchid.

Application was tricky. I followed Benefit’s instructions on dotting and blending out the product on my cheeks, but it was far too liquidy and sheer on my skin. I found that it also peeled off my foundation which left me with a huge patch on my face.

Benefit Cosmetics lollitint in candy orchid.

If anything, it stained my fingertips more than my cheeks. Bummer. As for my lips, it was still way too sheer. And it tasted awful.

Would I purchase? Absolutely not.

Cailyn Cosmetics tinted lip balm in acid pink.

Y’all know I love trying out lip products, so I was happy to receive Cailyn’s tinted lip balm in “Acid Pink.” And I finally realized why the container was shaped that way.

Cailyn Cosmetics tinted lip balm in acid pink.

Ta-da! A lip brush. I usually don’t apply my lip products with a brush, but this was very necessary.

Cailyn Cosmetics tinted lip calm in acid pink.
Cailyn Cosmetics tinted lip balm in acid pink.

Look at that pigmentation! Although this is supposed to be “tinted,” this is that presidential limousine type of tint, if you ask me! This lasted pretty much all day on me and did not bleed. I only touched up after five hours because that’s what I normally do.

Would I purchase? Yes!

Kiss false eyelashes in Shy.

Lastly, I got these Kiss lashes in the style “Shy.”‘ I haven’t tried these yet because I haven’t had anywhere special to go, so I didn’t want to waste these in case they weren’t reusable. However, I do like that they came with the glue included and I like that they are more natural looking. Can’t wait to try ’em!

Birchbox time!

KIND healthy grains maple pumpkin seeds with sea salt.

In three months, this was my first time getting food from Birchbox. I know some people don’t like receiving snacks (I think there is a way to cancel that option), but fortunately this was a good experience for me. These were a nice balance of sweet and salty, though I didn’t like the texture much – reminded me of stale granola.

Would I purchase? Maaaybe.

Davine's OI All In One Hair Milk.

Next up is Davine’s OI All In One Milk which claims to add shine, softness, silkiness, body, and moisture to your hair without weighing it down. I sprayed this on after a shower and although it did leave my fine hair with softness and shine, the smell was just way too strong; it reminded me of Axe body spray. It lingered for two hours and nearly gave me a headache.

Would I purchase? No.

Atelier Cologne perfume in Cherie Blossom.

Another reason people tend to shy away from Birchbox is because of the frequent perfume samples they receive. I don’t really mind getting perfume, and there is a way to limit the amount Birchbox sends you. This month, I got Atelier Cologne’s Cherie Blossom and I love it! Very fresh and citrusy and the scent warmed up on my skin the longer I wore it.

Would I purchase? Yes.

The Color Club nail polish in Breakfast At...

If it isn’t already obvious, I have an obsession an appreciate for nail polish. However, I was disappointed when I received this Color Club polish – not because of the color or the brand, but the finish. It’s a “luxe pearl” which is a frosty kind of finish that I can’t stand on my nails. So much so, I didn’t even want to try this at all. Huge miss.

Would I purchase? No thanks. Luxe pearl = yucks, hurl.

theBalm Cosmetics How Bout Them Apples cheek and lip cream in Pie.

Finally, we have theBalm Cosmetic’s cheek and lip tint in “Pie.” Okay, can we please talk about how cute this little thing is? Love the concept as well. As for the product, it was super smooth and blendable; I could lightly swirl my finger in the pan and it would give me enough color to put on my cheeks. This also didn’t drag on my skin or peel off my foundation, which was impressive for a cream product. Because the color is a little more red than I’m used to wearing as a blush, I preferred this on my lips.

Would I purchase? If it wasn’t part of a palette, maybe.

The Final Verdict:

Overall, I would have to say this month’s winner is Ipsy. I felt like the products were more suited to my personal preferences and they were things I was actually interested in trying/using. I also thought that for $10, Ipsy’s April glam bag had better value; the eyeshadow and tinted lip balm were both full sized items. Also, the Urban Decay liner was an amazing size for a sample. If this month is any indication of how future glam bags will go, I think this will be a long term relationship I have with Ipsy.

How did your Birchbox/Ipsy turn out? Let me know in the comments! Also let me know if you’d like to see more posts like this in the future! :)

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7 responses to “Birchbox vs. Ipsy – April 2014

    • My suggestion is to get off Ipsy’s waiting list; it could take several months before you receive a glam bag. I was on the wait list too, but I got impatient after two months and decided to skip the wait. You just connect Ipsy to your Facebook account, and you can disable to feature that lets Ipsy post for you. Worth it, in my opinion!

  1. I just received my April Ipsy today (there was a shipping problem), and I am happy with it. This is my fifth month, and I think it’s more than worth the $10 cost. Even when I dont like the product, I can find a friend who will!

    • This was my first Ipsy, so I’m glad it was a good first impression. But I did hear it was a good bag for everyone in general, so I’m trying not to get my hopes up too high. What goodies did you get?

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