Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Breaking It Down: Birchbox vs. ipsy (formerly myglam)

Hello my loves!  Thanks for popping on over to my little blog.  I've been going through and adding a couple changes here and there to make it more "official".  You'll see there's a brand spankin' new bar up at the top there with some fancy navigation buttons.  I'm going to be populating that over the next couple days.  Things are getting serious!

I wanted to do a post about ipsy vs. Birchbox.  Whenever I tell people about these services, they usually only want to subscribe to one and they want to know which one is better.  That is always a personal opinion and I don't want to make that decision for them so I always give them my two cents about who I feel like the individual services are for and why you may or may not like one over the other.

Are you thinking of starting up with one of these?  Then keep on reading to figure out which will suit you better!

In my eyes, ipsy is geared toward a younger audience (I would say maybe 35 and under).  I also think that if you're looking for a service that is primarily going to give you makeup, this would be the one to go with.  Most of the bags are makeup based and that's more than likely because they are tied to several different YouTube Beauty Gurus who help you put a look together using the products that were in your bag.  You very well can't put a makeup look together without makeup!  All the products also come in adorable bags that you can keep and reuse.  They encourage individuality and often feature bags that subscribers have glammed up!

They also use a lot of brands that are marketed toward the younger makeup audience.  Urban Decay is often featured in these bags whether it be as an extra goodie for certain subscribers or as a sample for the general populous.  A lot of "indy" (read:  not well known) brands are featured as well so if you are into trying different brands that aren't as main stream, this provides that opportunity to broaden your makeup horizons.

Again, ipsy is partnered with many a YouTube Beauty Guru and is founded by one of the original gurus in Michele Phan.  I think that it's fun that subscribers are able to connect with the YouTubers and that they can feel like they're a part of something.  I know when I first started watching these Gurus and getting into makeup, I would feel like I would have to go out and get every product that they were using in their videos, and that not only was frustrating but putting a pretty deep hole in a pocket that didn't need another one.  Now since they are using products that subscribers have, it's a little easier to be able to pull off some of the looks that you love.  Plus I think that seeing everything put in action gets the products that you get in your makeup rotation a little more often.


I feel as though Birchbox is targeted at a more mature audience, but is still something that can be easily enjoyed by a younger subscriber as well.  If you're wanting to get into one of these subscription services for makeup, however, I wouldn't go to this one.  Mainly I seem to get a lot of skin care products, hair products, fragrance samples and the like.  And when I do get makeup samples, it isn't too much to bat an eyelash at.  The past couple ones that I got were Sumita Eye Shadow Pencil that didn't really transfer too well onto my eye and an eyeshadow primer from TheBalm which I haven't even started using yet since I still have to work my way through my Urban Decay Primer Potion. 

I do enjoy getting to try the different skin care products however.  I was able to find a Holy Grail (*heavenly harps and glowing lights*) eye cream which is the Algenist Complete Renewal Eye Balm.  Had it not been for Birchbox we never would have met and fell in love like we did so that's a plus!  I also have perfume to last me probably for the rest of my life for all the different seasons and tastes that I will go through. 

I also enjoy that Birchbox has a shop on their website with frequent sales and "freebies" when you spend a certain amount of money.  They also have it set up that for every dollar you spend on their shop you get one point, and when you reach 100 points, you get $10 off.  They'll have days when you get double points as well, which is always a plus! 

Their customer service is also quite fantastic.  I remember a long time ago a bunch of subscribers' boxes (mine included) were postponed from being mailed because they were waiting on a sample.  I think we ended up getting our box two weeks late, but they gave us 100 points to make up for it.  They also sent me a cute little gift on my one year anniversary of being a Birchbox member!  It's the little things.

Birchbox also has a YouTube channel where they show you how to use certain products that you get, as well as their Intern Diaries videos that range from beauty how-tos to DIY projects for your home.

And that's my summary.  To be honest, if $20 isn't going to break your bank subscribe to both!  In the world of beauty samples, the more the merrier I say!