July Review: Birchbox, ipsy, and Sample Society

I know, I know- I’m so late to the subscription box party! I’ve been subscribing to Birchbox for a little over a year now, and have enjoyed most of what they sent me. I’ve gotten a few lackluster boxes recently, though, and decided to see what else the work of beauty subscriptions had to offer. The verdict is still out on ipsy…I’ve had two boxes now that haven’t wow-ed me. I just got my first Sample Society box, though, and love it! Check out my reviews for this month, and tell me about your subscription experiences!

Birchbox Review

Monthly delivery for $10/month
Includes 4-5 beauty and lifestyle samples

This month my box included a Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream, Cynthia Rowley Lip Stain, Marcelle 8-in-1 Power Serum, 100% Pure Gingerade Shower Gel, Harvey Hello Body Cream, and a free year subscription to Women’s Health Magazine. Birchbox is kind of hit or miss for me, but this month was really a hit! Travel size shaving cream is perfect, because I can never pack it when I’m flying, and I think the magazine subscription is great. I don’t love getting foil packets, but I’m sure that I’ll use all of the samples, so I’m pretty satisfied with Birchbox this month.

Ipsy Review

Monthly delivery for $10/month
Includes 4-5 full sized or deluxe sample products, flus a makeup bag

This month my box included Clear Clinic Laboratories Clear Spot Treatment, bareMinerals 5-in-1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow, POP Beauty Sunkissed Bronzer, Pixi Beauty Tinted Brilliance Lip Balm, Pur-lisse Daily Moisturizer SPF 30, and the pink cosmetics bag pictured here. I’ve heard so many good things about ispy, but haven’t really been wow-ed- last month I receive a full sized mascara that was unusable, due to its incredibly potent chemical small. This month, I don’t love the tiniest eyeshadow, or the tinted balm that actually doesn’t have any color. I suspect that the Spot Treatment is mostly alcohol, and it really dried out my face; on the other hand, since it was so liquid (texture of water) it went under makeup well. I am, however, happy to see a full sized bronzer, and I love having purse sunscreen. So, again, I’m not wow-ed, but not upset…I think that if my box is equally underwhelming next month, I’ll probably cancel.

Sample Society Review

Allure Sample Society
Monthly Delivery for $15/month
Includes 4-5 Full sized and deluxe beauty and makeup samples

Apparently, this subscription was only recently re-launched, and is new and improved. I can’t compare to the old version, since I just started subscribing this month, but I’m really impressed! This month I received a Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris Aqua Universalis Eau de Toilette sample, Laura Mercier Highlighter Powder, L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Liquid Lipcolor, Fekkai Intense Fortifying Masque, and Butter London Nail Lacquer. I could do without the perfume sample, and I didn’t love the L’Oreal color that I received, but the full sized nail polish more than made up for both of those! Also, the highlighter is a pretty substantial size, and I’m really excited to try to hair masque- my hair seems to love Fekkai products. Overall, I’m more than satisfied with this subscription so far- hopefully they keep including awesome products in generous sizes.

So- tell me about your subscription experiences! Amazing, awful, or somewhere in between? Or, is there an amazing box I need to try?

  • Birchbox has really been bumming me out lately, I think I’m going to jump on the Sample Society bandwagon and see if that’s any better! Glad you posted this roundup.

    • You know, before this month Birchbox had really been bumming me out too- way too much perfume, and then some body wash that felt like it was a hotel leftover. This month was much better, I thought!

  • I’m debating signing up for a sample program once I’m back at work again but I feel like they made me mad more often than anything, hah. Totally intrigued by the Allure box!

    • Erin

      What, after all of your sample killing? Just kidding- and the Allure box products were really great this month! I’ll let you know if they keep up the good work next month 🙂

  • Sara

    Oh man, I’m so excited to read these reviews because I’ve been thinking about jumping on the subscription box bandwagon too!! The Allure box definitely looks and sounds the best as far as value, but I have to say I love the BirchBox packaging and I’m a big fan of Women’s Health Magazine! Thanks for the scoop!

    • Erin

      I would say the Allure box is probably your best bed to try- the birchboxes have been a little hit or miss, and the Allure seems more high end. Either way, though, it’s always fun to get a present in the mail 🙂

  • The Birchbox and Allure boxes look awesome!

    I subscribed to Ipsy for a short time (maybe 6 months?) and while I understand that people liked the larger sizes, the products always seemed to be mostly drug-store brands. It didn’t feel like a treat to get the box. It felt too random.

    The nailpolish in the Allure box is enough to get me excited, but the rest of the goodies in that one look fantastic!

    • Erin

      Agreed- the ipsy is definitely feeling low end and unintentional. Next month’s Allure box also looks great, and getting mail is so much fun! Plus, you can cancel any time…and I just turned into a subscription box salesman 🙂