May 2017 Birchbox vs. Ipsy vs. Play!

Honestly, still my favorite things to get in the mail.

We might be well into the first week in June, but I’m definitely not skipping May’s beauty subscriptions. I’m a little late this round, because May was incredibly busy. I had an exciting job assignment, celebrated a birthday, and some fun family Memorial Day weekend festivities.

As for the beauty subscriptions, May was a mixed bag. Some things that didn’t excite me weren’t necessarily because they were bad. It was more about not being the right fit for me as a beauty consumer. Anyway, no need to ramble! I’ll let you see for yourself.

Birchbox is headed more in the right direction.

So May’s Birchbox definitely had some good stuff. I did do the “pick one, skip one” option again this month. The result was just alright. I got the right category of product I wanted, but not necessarily the sample I was hoping for. Again, I wish I hadn’t gotten a hair sample because I just have so many hair products. I’m not really in the market to hoard a bunch of styling products. This month, I got:

  • *The Beauty Crop Fabulous Flocking Lashes Waterproof Mascara (USD $19.90): I have to appreciate that I got a full size mascara. I’m in a bit of a mascara slump at the moment, so I don’t mind having some pop up in my beauty subscriptions. Based on the description, I’m not sure it’s going to be as volumizing as I like, but I won’t know until I try it!
  • *OUAI Wave Spray (USD $26.00, full size): I already love the wave spray! It’s good for giving my hair the texture it needs, especially when I’m adding more waves to air dried hair. I’m going to pass this sample on only because I already have the full size and two backup samples. Still, I really like this for bringing out natural waves.
  • *Manna Kadar Cosmetics Glo Illuminator (USD $29.00, full size): Right now, I’m really into mixing liquid illuminators into my BB cream and foundation. I find it gives me a really pretty glow to the skin that looks very natural. I was actually hoping to get MAC’s Strobing Cream as the highlighter sample in my box, but instead was given one from Manna Kadar. This looks pretty, but my one concern is that it may be too pink for me. I’m still keeping it, though, to see how it works out.
  • *Nanette Lepore Eau de Parfum (USD $80.00, full size)Oh dear. Birchbox just cannot get perfume samples right! This smells like a grandmother. It’s a comforting scent, but not one that I want to wear.
  • *Whish Firming Body Cream (USD $36.00, full size)I love Whish’s body products and really enjoy them when they end up in my box. I’m a little skeptical of firming body lotions that claim to treat cellulite. Still, this could be a nice body cream.
What I’m Keeping vs. What I’m Passing On

Overall, I think Birchbox is finally heading in a good direction for me. It’s still not as good as it use to be, but this is not a bad box. Out of this box, I’ll be keeping the lotion, illuminator, and mascara and will pass on the perfume and hair styling samples.

If you want to subscribe to Birchbox, you can do so **here.

Ipsy’s offerings.

May wasn’t my favorite month for Ipsy. Again, the samples weren’t bad. They just weren’t the best match for my beauty needs.

  • *Urban Decay Afterglow Powder Highlighter in Sin (USD $26.00, full size): I love Urban Decay and have heard that their individual highlighters are top quality. However, Sin is actually an eyeshadow color in the original Naked palette. Since I already own that palette, I can just use the shadow as a highlighter if I wanted to. This would be a great sample for someone who doesn’t own the Naked palette, but it’s not the best fit for me.
  • Jelly Pong Pong Supercharged Super Intense Eyeshadow Duo in Electric (USD $22.95, full size)This is a really pretty, shimmery eyeshadow duo. And it’s actually the full size of what you would get from this brand, so that’s really nice. However, I’m going to pass this on since I have so many colors similar to these. I’m trying to keep my collection under control, so I’d rather give this to someone who would really use it.
  • Beauty & Pinups Fearless Hair Rescue Mask (USD 32.00, full size): I do use hair masks to condition, but I’m staying away from products with dimethicone. This has that as an ingredient, so I’ll be passing this on.
  • Royal & Langnickel MODA Precision Angled Brush (USD $5.99, full size): I love getting tools, and I’ve been loving the brushes from this brand that have popped up in my past subscriptions! Definitely glad to add this to my collection! This is a relatively affordable line, and I believe they’re now being carried by some Wal-Marts, so definitely check them out if you see them!
  • Caked Makeup Lip Fondant in Low Key (USD $16.00, full size): Ipsy coming through with the full size products! I’m a lipstick addict, so I’ll gladly add another to my collection. This muted terra-cotta is just up my alley. I really hope it’s a good liquid lipstick formula, because I’d hate to give it up!


The good thing is that I’m happy with the items I’m keeping. It really wasn’t a bad bag. Still, it wasn’t the best month because I’m passing on three out of the five samples.

If you want to sign up for Ipsy, you can subscribe **here.

Guess who’s back in my good graces?

After a bad month in April, Sephora is back it offering what I believe to be the best $10 beauty subscription out there. This month’s theme was showing off brands that are new and gaining popularity at Sephora. Maybe it’s because they have a broader access to brands, but I really loved what Sephora sent me:

Sephora did such a good job, I’m keeping everything I got down to the perfume sample. Seriously, if this is available in your area, I recommend you sign up for the waitlist. It’s a great choice when considering subscription services.

Who won this month’s battle of the $10 beauty subscriptions? For me, the clear winner was Play. Birchbox did improve, but not enough to beat out Sephora’s offerings. Ipsy wasn’t the best, but I’m sure they’ll do better in the months to come.

How about you guys? Did you like what you received? Were your samples different from mine? Let me know!

*Links marked with an asterisk (*) are MagicLinks affiliate links. I don’t receive any compensation for my product reviews. However, if you choose to buy products through these links, I will earn a small commission.
**Links marked with a double asterisk (**) are referral links to subscription services that any subscriber would get. I don’t receive any monetary compensation for my posts on subscription services. If you sign up through my link, I will receive reward points but no monetary compensation.

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