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Battle of the Beauty Boxes: Ipsy, Birchbox and Julep

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Last year, I tried out a couple beauty boxes and I just realized I never shared my results. The three I tried were Ipsy, Birchbox and Julep and here's what I thought:


Ipsy 

I blogged about the first couple of Ipsy bags I received (to save you time, here is my favorite and my least favorite) but stopped posting for my last few. I got a lot of products I really love, a few I hated, but mostly products I felt "eh" about. I ultimately decided I'd rather spend $10 every month on products I choose myself, even if I don't get as much for the money, technically. (Although I'll get more for my money if I actually use the products...)

Pros

Some people don't like the bags (they have too many or something) but I really liked them and prefer them to the boxes from other subscription services. Not all of them were my taste, but makeup bags really come in handy for a bunch for storing a bunch of things, not just makeup.

Cons

I filled out the quiz and reviewed my products, but it still seemed they didn't take my preferences into consideration. There were some products that I elected not to receive (like fragrance) but still did. Also, I felt like I got a bunch of filler products from really cheap products.

Best Products

Ofra Eyeshadow/Highlighter in Bliss
Naobay Oxygenating Cream Moisturizer
Pixi Brow Powder
Promise Organic Ultra Moisturizing Argan Creme Facial Lotion

Worst Products

City Color Lipstick
MicaBeauty Cream Eyeshadow

Birchbox

While I only tried out two Birchboxes (and only paid for one because one was a free gift with my subscription...Birchbox also accidentally sent me two of one of my boxes so I got three for the price of one) I did really enjoy my experience with them. There were a couple duds, but overall, I found the products to be better fits than Ipsy, even though they are curated instead of "personalized."

Pros

Overall, I feel like you get a better deal with Birchbox. They don't dump in anything you could buy at CVS (not that I have anything against CVS!), instead giving you a bunch of high quality samples.

Cons

I do like the idea of the boxes being curated, but I wish they had them a bit more personalized. Maybe try what Julep does and let you switch out one product if there's something you don't like.

Best Products

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray
Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanser

Worst Products

Avene Thermal Spring Water (it's literally just water...)


Julep

I have a whole post about my Julep experience, so I won't go in depth here, but I think Julep is really great if you use a lot of nail polish and know your makeup preferences. Julep mostly sends out nail polishes, so if you usually go for buffed nails, it's probably not for you. Also, since you have the option to switch out some of your makeup products, it's best to know what you really like or want so you can make the most of your subscription. I tried out a highlighter, lip gloss and eyeliner and they were all fantastic.

Pros

I really love the fact that you can switch out a product if you don't love what you're going to get. I guess since the Maven box is just Julep products, they have a bit more flexibility than Ipsy or Birchbox does with all their brands, but it's definitely a perk!

Cons

Really the only thing I can think of is all the nail products. I personally like painting my nails, but again, if you don't, this is definitely not the box for you. Also, if you don't like the formula of the Julep polishes you won't like it either.

Best Products

Eyeliner
Polishes in general

Worst Products

Soft Focus Finish Polish

Overall, I would go with Birchbox if you're just looking to try out new products (or Ipsy if you're okay with getting some cheap products) and Julep if you know what you want. :)

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