Monday, February 24, 2014

Out with Birchbox & In with Ipsy & Julep

I have given Birchbox six months and after a few meh boxes and seeing the Ipsy boxes my friends get and that seem much better I have decided to make the jump.  Rumor is that, it can be hard to get of the Ipsy wait list if you aren't willing to share via Facebook.  I did that and was signed up for next month's box right away.

Liz from My Subscription Addiction has a fun little series going on Birchbox vs Ipsy each month, that anyone interested in dipping their toes into the beauty subscription box world should check out.  I think it was Jennifer from Ramblings of a Suburban Mom, the other blog I read for updates and information on monthly subscription boxes, who wrote that Birchbox is the gateway drug to other subscription services and I think that may very well be true for me.  I love getting a little box of fun so much that I didn't want it to stop with the cancellation of my Birchbox membership.

This is my February 2014 Step and Repeat Birchbox:

Dr. Brant Exclusive Camera Ready Kit: The sample is for one of four products; I got Pores No More, which is supposed to minimize the appearance of pores & help absorb excess oil.  To be completely honest I haven't tried it.  This kind of thing never gets me overly excited.

Benefit Fakeup: This brightens and moisturizes your under eyes. I was so so hoping for a Benefit sample, at least one during my Birchbox run and I finally got one.  Hmmm...not what I was thinking of.  I don't really worry about my under eyes, they're kinda hidden by my glasses anyway and I am low key when it comes to base make up so I have never actually used an under eye concealer.  Ever.  Again a nice high end company maintenance product.  Where is the color?

OPI Sheet Tints in I Can Teal You Like Me: Oh gee, here's the color, LOL!  This is the second blue nail color product they've sent me!  I am not diggin' it at all, I am more of a traditionalist when it comes to nail colors and my profile pretty clearly states I am not into experimenting.  I'll be honest f the magenta color had been sent I probably wouldn't have loved it, but I would've liked it a lot more than this.

Agave Healing Oil Treatment: A hair treatment that helps hair build resiliency as it boosts vibrancy, shine, and color.  I did try this one out and liked it.  This would probably be helpful in the summer when my hair tends to get frizzy in humidity or when I air dry my hair for natural waves.

This month a Beauty Extra was included, a Benefit Big Easy foil pack that did not even contain enough to give it a single try.  Birchbox fail.  I thought it was kinda insulting and really my overall impression of the box would've been better if they hadn't even sent it.  Seriously, we're talking samples like you sometimes get inside of beauty magazines, a real joke for a service you are paying for.  Yes it came with a coupon but from the sample I definitely couldn't tell enough to plunk down 38 bucks for it.

In general the best products I've found through Birchbox during the last six months have all been for hair.  Specifically, I've really liked the Beauty Protector Protect & Shampoo and their Protect & Condition.  I felt like I noticed and saw an immediate difference in my hair.  The other best find for me was the 12 Benefits Instant Healthy Hair Treatment.  But really, I'm more excited about color and make up, I love lipstick, glosses & balms, nail polish, eye shadow...and I just wasn't feeling like I was satisfied so it was time to look at other options.

I feel like I do have several skin care samples still to try out, that are probably quite awesome, and higher priced companies are represented in Birchbox so it's time to try out Ipsy, since I'm hoping to stick with a lower price point for boxes.  My friend Wendy switched over and she loves it so I am hoping I will too.  Just to do a little comparison, shown above is a picture of the February Ipsy glam bag reveal from their site.  Like Birchbox there are variations of the bag each month so not everyone gets the same thing but I like how the samples are either full size or more generously sized.  Plus this bag-a-holic loves that you get a cosmetic bag each month.  Here is Jennifer's review of her February Ipsy from Ramblings of a Suburban Mom, which shows another variation.

Now sometimes she doesn't seem overly thrilled with her Ipsy bags but I've read obsessively looked at her archives enough to know I would agree with her that each month it is worth the $10 price.  I can't say I've always felt that about Birchbox so I think I will be happier overall with Ipsy.  Plus to be honest, thus far I've been so low maintenance with beauty products I don't need the super high end ones to help me some exposure to new brands.

Due to going back through Jennifer's archives, I'm now through May 2013, like a crazy obsessed blog reader while researching a better match for a beauty subscription service I've also decided to sign up Julep's Maven program.  See all her Julep reviews, here.  All those boxes she gets of beautifully colored polishes made me want some too!  It's eye candy for sure!

The introduction box is free with a code, shown on their site, and with shipping only $3.99.  I took their quiz and was a Classic with a Twist.  However, the nail colors for that looked a lot like what I already have so I opted to get the Bombshell Welcome Box, shown above, instead.  I'm a little nervous about that army green frost shade but I think it's actually neutral enough to be fun for fall.   And I gotta have that pink champagne metallic!  I love glittery polish.  I was very tempted to do some add ons when ordering but resisted so I can see if I like the polish.  Some reviews I read don't like the bottle or the polish so this is a great way to check it out.

And since I am down the rabbit hole & falling deeper into the subbing world I'll mention that I'm seriously considering giving Lip Factory a try next month so I can score their all lip product box and Glossybox is also on my list.  I think I'm going to wait and see how I like Ipsy, because those two are both double the price of Ipsy but it seems to really be a good value.  Now that I have a very active 2 year old little guy I just don't have the time to be browsing make up anymore, mainly because he throws an absolute fit when I try to shop, so I'm finding these are great ways to try new stuff that I wouldn't otherwise.  I'll be updating with how I like the new services, can't wait to get my boxes!


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1 Friends Said:

Katie said...

I'm with you on Birchbox. I signed up for 6 months or both BB and Julep. I loved the things I got in my Julep boxes and they were full size things I could actually try for a period of time. I cancelled Birchbox. However, not long after I cancelled Julep too because I didn't want to spend that much each month on nail products AND I was really excited to use that money for Dottie Box instead - which is BY FAR my favorite subscription box ever!

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