So if you’re anything like me, you’ve been totally obsessed with monthly beauty subscription box services. They’ve become absolutely huge within the last two years. The first time I remember hearing about subscription services was in early 2011. I was talking to my roommate Ashley about Birchbox, and we were saying how we weren’t sure if paying $10 a month for “samples” would be worth it.
I’m currently subscribed to only two monthly beauty box services: Birchbox and Ipsy. I’ve had pretty differing experiences with both. They both have their good and bad qualities, things I love and hate.
My friend Leila was the one who finally got me subscribed to Birchbox (more about her, later!) in the fall of 2012. I really loved it at first– I loved the points system, the customer service was great, and I really found use for most of the samples I was getting each month. But over time, I feel like the quality has gone down quite a bit. Each month I receive at least one perfume sample (which ended up getting tossed anyway, wasteful) that I could get for free at Nordstrom or any other department store, and as each month progresses I feel like I am getting less beauty products for my money. I’m not the only one, either…if you take a look at Birchbox’s Facebook page, you’ll see multitudes of less-than-satisfied subscribers. It’s time to step it up, Birchbox.
Ipsy, on the other hand, I have loved from the beginning. I subscribed to Ipsy in the fall of 2012 as well, and I’ve been happy with every single month’s offerings. One of the things I love the most about Ipsy is the cute little makeup bags they send each month. April’s bag looked a little like this:
Ipsy has always been great about sending full-sized items in their monthly bags. For $10 a month, the same price as Birchbox, I feel like the value is so much higher because of the full-size items you consistently receive. I can’t speak about their customer service because I’ve never used it, but so far I only have good things to say about the company and the products they offer. The full-sized Zoya nailpolish I received last month? YES, PLEASE!!
I’ve turned Leila and my friend Dominique onto Ipsy, and I think they’ve been pretty happy with the offerings so far, as well! If you’d like to sign up to Ipsy using my referral link, you can click here.
I am also a former subscriber of the Pop Sugar Must Have box. PSMH is a little different than your typical monthly beauty box, because it includes lifestyle, fashion, entertainment and food items. Since it includes so many things, the price is considerably higher– $35 per month. I have only recently unsubscribed, but I have gotten some great boxes in the past. Especially during the winter time, I would consistently get items that I was very impressed with, including Bodum clear glass mugs and a Tea Forté tea gift set. Nice things that I had multiple uses for– perfect.
I unsubscribed this month from PSMH because I started to feel like nothing in the boxes were truly a “must-have”, as the service claims. They were nice things, but my life wouldn’t be dramatically different if I didn’t own them. The service started out very strong, but I feel like with Birchbox, the quality of the items greatly declined in recent months. I really liked PSMH and will probably resubscribe in the future if I see the quality going up again in their boxes.
My friend Leila and I, disillusioned with the declining quality in our monthly subscription box services, decided to start our own beauty box together. We call it Beauty Pals, and we basically send each other a package each month filled with beauty items we love, and we know the other person will love too. Here’s what Leila sent me this month:
Such great stuff, including Physicians Formula Cover RX concealer (which is amazing, by the way, and a pretty good dupe for my Tarte Maracuja Creaseless concealer), a custom-made Creme Brulee, Vanilla and Caramel shimmer body wash, Lumene Vitamin C+ Day Cream (which remindes me SO much of Origins Vitazing moisturizer!) and an ahhh-mazing Rimmel Apocalips liquid lipstick, on top of a bunch of other amazing things. I love everything. Best beauty box ever!
What monthly subscriptions are you currently getting? Do you love them and find their offerings consistent every month, or have you had issues with quality as well? Let me know, cuties!