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Beauty Box 5 vs. Ipsy: Battle of the Beauty Boxes

Beauty Box 5 vs. Ipsy: Battle of the Subscription Boxes
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Disclosure: The following product(s) may have been sent to Earn Spend Live in exchange for a review. All opinions are the author’s own.

Update 3/19/18: Beauty Box 5’s website has closed down, they have not updated their social media accounts since August 28, 2017, and they are not responding to customer emails. 

Though Ipsy and Birchbox are the cheapest available beauty subscriptions, they are also usually limited to tiny sample-sizes rather than the deluxe and full-size items that are offered by their significantly more expensive counterparts such as GlossyBox and BoxyCharm.

Beauty Box 5 is another beauty box that I have recently discovered, and for only $12 per month, it offers a happy medium between the two with a mix of full-size and sample/deluxe-sized products in each box. For only $2 more than Ipsy, is it the better option?

First Impressions

While I love the cute little bags Ipsy sends their products in each month, I must say that I was also pleasantly surprised by the box my first Beauty Box 5 shipment came in. The tiny blue box filled with blue and pink confetti was about a fifth of the size of most subscription boxes, which I love! While this may be irrelevant to some people, the fact that it doesn’t take up too much space is definitely a selling point for people like me who receive 5+ subscription boxes each month.

Though I can theoretically get more use out of the unique Glam Bags Ipsy sends each month, in reality, I have ended up collecting a stockpile of makeup bags that I won’t throw away because it seems wasteful. On the other hand, I guess it never hurts to have these bags — even if you don’t use them for your makeup, they could be used as small gift bags, travel jewelry containers, or even to hold paper clips or other office items in a decorative way on your desk at work.

The Products

For the sake of comparison, I am going to take a look at the products I received from both subscriptions for the month of February 2016.

Beauty Box 5 February Box Total Value: $53.50

The theme of the February box was “Birthday Sweets,” in honor of BB5 celebrating their fourth birthday. The products included:

  • Manna Kadar Beauty 3 in 1 Shadow, Highlight & Blush (in Fantasy): full-size/$19 value
  • Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Eye Shadow Primer: $10 value ($20 for full-size)
  • Starlooks Custom Lip Liner (in Sultry Sangria): full-size/$16 value
  • Epic Blend Premium Lip Balm (in Blueberry): full-size/$3.49 value
  • Hemp Nation Kiwi-Mango Body Wash: approximately $5 value ($17 for full-size)

Beauty Box 5

I love that most of the products in this box were full-sized instead of samples. I also appreciate that there’s a wide variety, from eyes, to lips, to full-body products. My favorite thing in this box was the eyeshadow primer — I personally can never have enough eyeshadow primers, and this one is very high-quality!

Ipsy February Glam Bag Total Value: $66

The theme of the February Glam Bag was “Pretty in #IpsyPink,” and the products inside included:

Ipsy Glam Bag

Similar to BB5, most of the products in this month’s Glam Bag were full-sized, which is nice. In my opinion, the best products in this month’s bag were the primer oil (Smashbox never disappoints) and the face wash, which has a nice peppermint smell and I’m STILL using, nearly 4 months later.

The Value

The average value of both Ipsy and BB5 are definitely on the higher-end of the spectrum compared to most other subscription boxes I’ve tried. Some of the more expensive boxes like BoxyCharm and GlossyBox were slightly disappointing because even though you are paying twice as much for these services, the average monthly value of these boxes (around $40) turned out to be around the same (or sometimes even less) than the average value of the cheaper boxes.

Though Ipsy technically won in value for this specific month, Beauty Box 5 is still looking pretty darn good, considering this month’s value turned out to be almost five times the price you pay for the service.

The Verdict

The biggest advantage to subscriptions like Ipsy is the fact that it is a personalized service, while BB5 sends the same products to all of their subscribers each month. However, I will say that there seems to be both benefits and drawbacks to each option. For example, though Ipsy tries to curate each month’s Glam Bag to your specific wants and needs, this doesn’t always end up being the case. There have been many months that I see what products other people have gotten in their bags and wished that I would have received something different than yet ANOTHER nail polish (after telling Ipsy on multiple occasions that I don’t like receiving nail polishes). It seems that with a one-size-fits-all approach, you tend to receive more of a wider variety each month, rather than the same types of products over and over again.

Ipsy is definitely an amazing value for the money, and it’s nice that each bag you receive is designed with you in mind. However, since Ipsy relies so heavily on your reviews of the products each month, if you don’t have a ton of free time, it might be easier to choose a service like BB5 that doesn’t require as much work and still consistently sends high-quality products. In the end, both Ipsy and Beauty Box 5 are excellent choices if you are looking to subscribe to a monthly beauty service.

Last modified on September 16th, 2020

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