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Ipsy vs. Play! by Sephora: Which Beauty Box is Right for You?

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Although I’m a long-time subscriber of Ipsy, I recently put my subscription on hold after finally (FINALLY!!) getting off of Play! by Sephora’s waiting list. Because Sephora’s beauty box is a slightly lower price ($10/month) than Ipsy’s Glam Bag ($13/month), I wanted to give it a try. Here’s a comparison of Ipsy vs. Play! by Sephora, featuring the two most recent shipments I received from each one.

The Products

Ipsy Glam Bag: $36.50 Total Value

The theme of this Glam Bag was “Hot Summer Nights.” The products included:

Ipsy Subscription Box

I’ll be honest, I was already getting a little tired of Ipsy when I received this Glam Bag—it just seemed like I was receiving the same types of products over and over again. So instead of consistently getting a variety of new products to try, I was basically just stock-piling nail polishes and makeup brushes that I would probably never use.

However, this month’s products surprised me a bit. For one, there was no nail polish (!!). There was a makeup brush, but this one seemed to be of higher quality than some of the other ones they’ve sent. And there was an angled eye brush, which is something I can actually use. Additionally, I think I’m actually in love with the mini highlight stick. For someone who couldn’t learn how to contour to save my life, this is the most amazing shortcut I’ve ever seen—I will definitely be buying a full-size one once I run out. I appreciate receiving a lip liner rather than yet another lipstick. Even though I don’t really like receiving individual eyeshadows, I did like the matte shade of this one. All in all, not a bad month for Ipsy.

Play! by Sephora: $45 Total Value

The theme of this box was “The Eye Openers.” All of the products came inside an adorable drawstring bag that had an illustration of a winking eye and said “Wink outside the box.” The products included:


I. Love. This. Box. Everything about it. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever received a subscription box where every single product is something I used and loved—until now. I really liked that all of the products could be used together and followed a common theme. It also helped that I just really liked all of the products. This box could get me (and my wallet) in trouble! Also, I appreciate that all of the products can be found at Sephora, which is where I like to shop for my makeup anyway.

The Value

Ipsy’s $36 value for a $13 price tag is certainly not bad. However, even though the sample sizes are smaller in the Sephora PLAY! box (and there weren’t any full-size versions like there usually are in Ipsy), the value still exceeded that of Ipsy’s. I attribute this to the fact that the products in Sephora’s box are generally higher value (and therefore higher quality) products than what is usually included in Ipsy’s monthly bag.

Ipsy vs. Play! by Sephora: The Final Verdict

Even though my relationship with Ipsy has had its fair share of ups and downs, I think it’s finally time to sever ties. In the showdown of Ipsy vs. Play! by Sephora, Sephora PLAY! has officially stolen my heart, and I don’t think I will ever recover. I’m usually not so definitive in my decision, but in this case, I think that there is a reason that Sephora’s box has a waiting list—and it is definitely worth waiting for.


Last modified on May 25th, 2023

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