Confessions of a Beauty-holic:  Birchbox vs. Ipsy?

Resident beauty-holic Jamie de Guzman shares her take on two leading beauty product subcription services:  

Maybe you're obsessed with beauty products like I am. Maybe you want to try new products but don't know which products are right for your particular skin type, hair type, etc. Or maybe you just love getting free samples.

If you're any of the above, subscribing to BirchBox or ipsy might be something you'll want to spend a mere $10 a month on, and I'm here to give you an honest opinion of what to expect from both.

Both companies send you a box of five samples tailored specifically to your personal interests and needs. Upon subscribing, you fill out a questionnaire or beauty quiz to create your beauty profile. They'll ask about skin type, skin color, hair color, etc. This helps them create a package each month made just for you. The purpose of both sites is to expose you to products and allow you to try them out before buying them. If you love them, you can go back and purchase full-sized products!

I originally subscribed to BirchBox because I thought the concept was ingenious being the cosmetic hoarder that I am; one that I wish I had thought of myself! Then a few months later I accidentally discovered ipsy created by Michelle Phan, the beauty guru who got me obsessed with make up in the first place and I decided subscribed to it as well. I told myself I would eventually cancel one, but I am still currently subscribed to both. Oops.

What I love about BirchBox: They send out more premium, high-end products, which makes every box a new learning experience for me. Although it may have started as just beauty product samples, they have definitely branched out to grooming and lifestyle products as well. On top of the beauty samples for face, hair, and skin, I've also received things like earphones, headbands, and snacks. They have a long list of brands from longtime favorites to up-and-coming hidden gems. Every time you shop, refer friends, and write reviews on products you receive points that you can redeem later on to save on full-sized products!

What I love about ipsy: You'll receive deluxe samples and full-sized beauty products that come in a super cute make up bag. I believe their list of brands is much shorter, but so far they are all brands that I am familiar with or intrigued by. However, they are strictly beauty products, and because of ipsy I haven't had to buy an additional new mascara or eyeliner yet!  Its such a steal, if you think about it. With a membership to ipsy, you can receive up to 70% off through members only offers from your favorite brands. I've definitely already taken advantage of this.

Both sites have gotten really popular so you have to request an invite or be put on a wait list to subscribe. Membership is free, and the only thing you have to pay is $10 a month for the box. You can cancel anytime if you decide its not right for you.  

But here's the truth: I've definitely received more fragrance samples than I can handle, a handful of samples I probably won't use, and now have more than enough make up bags to last me for a year. However, if you're creative and resourceful you can always use these products when you travel and leave your full-sized products at home, or make your own little gift bags for friends such as I have. They'll love you for it.  So you might as well spread the love!