Birchbox, Ipsy, or BoxyCharm: Which One’s Right for You?

Makeup subscription boxes can catapult you from “hey, makeup is kinda cool,” to “I need them to see me glow from outer space.” I know, that’s part of what got me on the makeup train!

I’ve had all three of the boxes in question: Birchbox, Ipsy, and BoxyCharm. There are pretty interesting differences between all three, and that’s what we’re going to discuss today. Different people will like different ones.

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Birchbox ($10/month)

One of my Birchboxes

This was the first makeup subscription I ever got. This box is great for beginners! This box gives you 5-6 samples of skincare, haircare, and makeup products. Sometimes, you get full sized products but most of them are  very small samples.

Over the months that I had this box, I noticed that it didn’t have much actual makeup. It focused on skincare and haircare. The box in the picture was my January 2017 Birchbox. It contained a shampoo and conditioner set, a hair oil, a shaving cream, a skin oil, and a brow pencil.

I did find some great products with this box! It was where I tried my first Benefit Porefessional primer. I also found several great moisturizers and one of my favorite fragrances ever.

However, if you’re more interested in makeup than skin or hair care, you’re probably going to want to give Birchbox a pass.

Ipsy ($10/month)

This one is better for people who are super into makeup: or want to be. You still get skincare, but this one is primarily makeup.


I’ve gotten some great eyeshadows and highlighters, and Ipsy is very good about giving brushes every couple of months as well. some of my favorite products from this bag include The Balm’s Mary Lou Manizer, The Coffee Scrub, a couple of City Colour Shadows, and the Glamour Dolls x Lisa Frank bronzer.

The two main issues I have with this box are , first, that the makeup samples are super small. Like really, really small. Makeup samples seem to be super small overall. However, they have more full sized products than Birchbox does. My other issue isn’t entirely an issue. The products all come in a makeup bag every month. Now that’s super cool the first couple of times. After that, you end up with a huge collection of makeup bags that you’re never going to use.

BoxyCharm ($21/month)

I’d recommend this for someone at an intermediate to advanced level. This subscription box is significantly different than the other two, as it contains 4-7 full sized products. The boxes are super worth the money!

The box in the picture is my most recent box. It was worth around $177 depending on which lipstick you got!

There’s a theme in this subscription that there are usually a lot of brushes overall. There’s usually some kind of lip product, and some kind of eye product. Most months, there is a palette of some kind.

The thing that’s really different about this box is that everyone gets the same one. Ipsy and Birchbox have new members fill out a survey to tell them what kinds of products and brands you prefer and tailor your boxes to you: Boxycharm does not. However, they also have strictly makeup and skincare: no haircare.

So that’s my guide to choosing a subscription box! Have you tried any of these? If so, what’s your favorite?

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