Saturday, November 23, 2013

Birchbox vs. Ipsy: A One Year Analysis by the Numbers

There are a lot of beauty box subscription services out there and they all bring something different to the table. Two of the most oft-compared are Birchbox and Ipsy, likely because they both cost $10 a month. I have now received 15 Birchboxes and 14 Ipsy bags, so it seemed like an opportune time to get into a nitty gritty comparison.

However, I quickly realized that there were a lot of different ways I could approach this comparison. I chose the four ways that I thought would be the most valuable for anyone who is trying to decide if they should join Ipsy or Birchbox. The following sections include:
  1. Test 1 - A t-test comparing the estimated retail values of the two boxes.
  2. Test 1 - A similar t-test where the products that were not valuable to me, personally, were eliminated.
  3. An addendum to Tests 1 and 2 that considers the value of points.
  4. Test 3 - A Chi-square test examining what happens if the two boxes simply go head-to-head.
  5. Test 4 - A comparison of the products I actually purchased after sampling them.
  6. My subjective thoughts and conclusions.
WHICH ONE?

Test 1 - Raw Value

The Description:  I calculated the value of my Birchbox and Ipsy the same way that I do every month based on approximate retail value. For example, if a full size product is 1 oz and retails for $30, a 0.25 oz sample would have an approximate retail value of $7.50. I then did a t-test to determine whether Ipsy or Birchbox sends out boxes with higher retail values.
The Benefits: It's an objective test. It could be re-created by anyone. There is no part of this test that is based on how I feel about the box, so if our preferences are different, this test would still be applicable to you.
The Disadvantages: Any of you who have gotten subscription boxes already know that you're probably going to get shit that can't use, at least some of the time. Someone could send me a bottle of Chanel Foundation, but if you send it to me in "Tawny Beige" it's disingenuous to pretend that it's worth $65 because I can't use it.  

Birchbox

September 2012
Kate Spade New York Twirl (0.05 oz), approximate retail value $1.18
A Twistband Hair Tie, approximate retail value $1.50
A Tili Bag, approximate retail value $0.71
WEI to go Sleepover Kit (1.0 and 3.0ml), approximate retail value $3.80
21 Drops Aromatherapy Blend in "Focus" (2 ml), approximate retail value $7.73
Birchbox and Color Club Custom Collection Nail Polish (.25 oz), approximate retail value $4.00
Total value of the box: $18.92

October 2012
Lulu Organics Lavender and Clary Sage Hair Powder (5g), approximate retail value $1.32
A Luna Bar in Lemon Zest, approximate retail value $1.25
Karuna Hydrating Treatment Mask, approximate retail value $7
Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre 24-Hour Miracle Cream (4ml), approximate retail value $2.13
Naked Princess Naked Shine Luscious Lip Gloss (0.008oz), approximate retail value $2.08
Total value of the box: $13.78

November 2012
Oscar Blandi Pronto Texture & Volume Spray (1 oz), approximate retail value $6.25
Miracle Skin Transformer Vanish Instant Imperfection Corrector (0.1 oz), approximate retail value $5.80
Chuao Chocolatier Assorted ChocoPod in Potato Chip, approximate retail value $1.14
Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme Petite Cologne Absolue (.05 oz), approximate retail value $3.75
Stila All Over Shimmer Liquid Luminizer, approximate retail value $6.67
Total value of the box: $24.01

December 2012
Thymes Body Lotion in Naia (1.5 oz), approximate retail value $4.05
Thymes Body Lotion in Lotus Santal (no size listed, about 0.15oz), approximate retail value $0.41
Keratase Nutritive Nectar Thermique (0.68 oz), approximate retail value $5.60
ModelCo Shine Ultra Lip Gloss in Berry Pink, retail value $16.00
Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream in Natural Glow (0.17 oz), approximate retail value $3.90
Total box value: $26.23  

January 2013
Lumiere d'hiver Clarifying Shampoo (1.75oz), approximate retail value $6.67
Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream (0.14oz), approximate retail value $3.48
Harvey Prince Skinny Chic (estimated at 2ml), approximate retail value $1.82
Lashem Double Trouble Mascara (estimated at 1ml), approximate retail value $4.76
TheBalm Hot Mama (1g), approximate retail value $3.11
Total Box Value: $19.84 

February 2013
Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle (estimated 1.25 oz), approximate retail value $4.12
Color Club Nail Polish in Wild Cactus (0.25 oz), approximate retail value $4.00
Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox Beauty Balm (0.1 oz), approximate retail value $2.13
Juicy Couture Couture La La Perfume (0.05 oz), approximate retail value $1.32
Ghirardelli Milk and Caramel Square, approximate retail value $0.42
Total box value: $11.99   

March 2013
Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream in Blueberry (0.75oz), approximate retail value $2.93
Madewell for Birchbox Nail Emery Board, approximate retail value $5
Benefit Stay Don't Stray Primer (0.09oz), approximate retail value $7.09
Evologie Intensive Blemish Serum (0.17oz), approximate retail value $11.90
Twistband Headband, approximate retail value $3.17
Total Box Value: $30.09      

April 2013
Nexxus Youth Renewal Rejuvenating Elixir (0.14 oz/4mL), approximate retail value $3.00
LaFace Laboratories PUR Purifying Face Wash (0.1oz/3mL), approximate retail value $0.64
Folle de Joie eau de parfum (0.06oz/2mL), approximate retail value $1.73
Mirenesse Glossy Kiss in Flirty Kiss (0.15oz/4g), approximate retail value $26.55
Simple Revitalizing Eye Roll-on (0.5oz/15mL), approximate retail value $10.99
Total Box Value: $42.91      

May 2013
Amika Obliphica Nourishing Mask (0.67oz), approximate retail value $1.60
Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner in Suman/Black (0.024oz), approximate retail value $5.25
Run Guyausa Tea (4 bags), approximate retail value $1.75
COOLA Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face (0.23oz), approximate retail value $4.33
Marvis Toothpaste in Classic Mint (0.5oz), approximate retail value $2.10
Total Box Value: $15.03      

June 2013
Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser (0.25 oz), approximate retail value $2.06
Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk (1.06 oz), approximate retail value $5.90
SW Basics Lip Balm Flights in Cinnamon, approximate retail value $3.75
Tweezerman Filemate Matchbox Itty Bitty Nail Files, retail value $7.99
Color Club Wanderlust in London Calling (0.25oz), approximate retail value $2.00
Total Box Value: $21.70

July 2013
100% Pure Green Apple Nourishing Body Cream (0.198 oz), approximate retail value $0.37
Benefit Cosmetics Girl Meets Pearl (0.25 oz), approximate retail value $18.75
Number 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect (estimated 0.75 oz), approximate retail value $3.55
Benta Berry G-1 Moisturizing Face Cream (0.16 oz), approximate retail value $3.52
Birchbox Bobby Pins (2), approximate retail value $1.67
Total Box Value: $27.86 

August 2013
Dr. Jart+ Premium BB Cream SPF 45+ (5ml/0.17 fluid oz), approximate retail value $4.42
Jasmine Seven Fresh Feet Wipes (2 wipes), approximate retail value $0.66
ModelCo Party Proof Lipstick in Disco Fever (1 at 0.13oz), approximate retail value $8.00
Violet Oasis 100% Organic Argan Oil (4ml/0.14 fluid oz), approximate retail value $2.66
TanTowel Classic Formula Self-Tan Towlette (1 towelette at 0.25oz), approximate retail value $2.40
Total Box Value: $18.14

September 2013

Yes to Grapefruit CC cream in Light and Light Medium (estimated 0.1oz), estimated retail value $0.94
VOESH New York Collagen Gloves - Premium Manicure Hand Mask (1 set of gloves), approximate retail value $6.67
Yes to Blueberries Age Refresh Cleansing Facial Towelettes (8 wipes), retail value $2.99
Ruffian Nail Lacquer in Hedge Fund (full size at 0.17oz), retail value $10
Coastal Scents Eyeshadow Sample in Set 34 Thrill Ride (0.07oz), approximate retail value $3.06
Total Box Value: $23.66  

October 2013
TheBalm Stainiac in Beauty Queen (0.04 fluid oz), approximate retail value $2.27
Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle 'Protect & Shampoo' Daily Shampoo (estimated 0.75 fluid oz), estimated retail value $2.05
Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle 'Protect & Condition' Daily Conditioner (estimated 0.75 fluid oz), estimated retail value $2.05
Evologie Stay Clear Cream (0.33oz), approximate retail value $20.46
Chapstick Hydration Lock (full size at 0.15oz), retail value $2.99    
Total Box Value: $29.82

November 2013
Eyeko Skinny Liquid Liner (0.04oz), approximate retail value $9.14
Mighty Leaf Tea Pouches in Green Tea Tropical, Organic African Nectar, and Vanilla Bean, approximate retail value $1.99
Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator (0.71oz), approximate retail value $5.67
BeeKind Body Lotion (1.01 fluid oz), approximate retail value $1.89
Color Club Cocktail Hour Collection in On the Rocks (0.25 fluid oz), approximate retail value $4.00
Total Box Value: $22.69   

Birchbox Statistics
Data Set- $18.92, $13.78, $24.01, $26.23, $19.18, $11.99, $30.09, $42.91, $15.03, $21.70, $27.86, $18.14, $23.66, $29.82, $22.69
Mean Value- $23.07
Median Value- $22.69
Standard Deviation- $7.82
Range of Values- $11.99 to $42.91
Range- $30.92 

Ipsy

October 2012
Coastal Scents Eye Shadow Quad (0.07 oz), approximate retail value $3.06
Couture Colour Pequi Oil Treatment (0.5oz), approximate retail value $12.00
Be a Bombshell Eye Liner in Onyx, approximate retail value $14.00
Mirenesse Lip Bomb Glossy Lacquer Stain, approximate retail value $35.10
theBalm What's Your Type? "the body builder" Mascara (0.11 oz), approximate retail value $5.50
Total Box Value: $69.71

November 2012
Nailtini Nail Polish in Millionaire, approximate retail value $13.00
Chella Eyebrow Defining Gel, approximate retail value $18.00
BareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in Dare Devil, approximate retail value $8.40
Starlet Peace, Love & Chocolate Eyeliner, approximate retail value $11.00
Meet Matt(e) eyeshadow in Matt Batali, approximate retail value $3.83
Total Box Value: $54.23

December 2012
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero (0.8g), approximate retail value $12.67
Be a Bombshell Lip Gloss in Hot Mess, retail value $14.00
NYX Ultra Pearl Mania in Mink Pearl, retail value $3.00
Mirabella Prime for Face and Eyes, retail value $29.00
Mai Couture Highlighter "Papier" in St. Bart's (25 sheets), approximate retail value $14.00
Total Value of the Box: $72.67

January 2013
Argan Oil by Josie Maran Cosmetics (0.17oz), approximate retail value $4.17
Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Body Butter (2.5oz), retail value $7.00
Big Sexy Hair Spray and Play (1.6oz), retail value $6.00
Nailtini in Bloody Mary, retail value $13.00
Soho New York Eyeliner Brush, retail value $7.99
Total Box Value: $38.16  

February 2013
Lash Cards (4), approximate retail value $2.80
Pixi Flawless and Poreless Primer (0.5oz), approximate retail value $14.50
Mica Beauty Gel Eyeliner in Black (3g), approximate retail value $18.00
Pop Beauty Smokey Lash Kapow Mascara (0.17oz), approximate retail value $12.58
Coastal Scents mini quad in Candlelight, Gunmetal, Incognito and Ashen (0.07oz), approximate retail value $2.24
Total box value: $50.12  

March 2013
Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist (1oz), approximate retail value $3.38
LA Fresh Travel-Lite Makeup Remover Wipes (8 count), approximate retail value $1.49
Glam RX Mini Freestyle Palette, estimated retail value $4
Yaby Eyeshadow Refill (2 at estimated 0.02oz each), estimated retail value $1.54
Total Box Value: $10.41 

April 2013
Sation Nail Color in Love At First Byte, retail value $5.95.
Big Sexy Hair Powder Play (0.07oz), approximate retail value $1.98.
Be a Bombshell Blush in Sweet Cheeks, retail value $16.
Two Cosmetics Duo Eyeshadow in Heartache, retail value $5.75
Total Box Value: $29.68

May 2013
Zoya Nail Polish in Julie, retail value $8.00
Pacifica Island Vanilla Perfume Roll-On, retail value $12.00
Pacifica Coconut Crushed Pearl Bronzing Body Butter Mini, retail value $7.00
Yaby Concealer Refill in Honey (2g), approximate retail value $2.77
Mirabella Shimmerati Glimmer Gloss, retail value $16.00
Total Box Value: $45.77      

June 2013
Starlooks Lip Pencil in Tipsy (2.4g/0.08oz), retail value $12.00
Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter (1.4g/0.05oz), retail value $18.00
Psssst! Instant Dry Shampoo (1.76oz), retail value $3.50
J Cat Sparkling Cream Palette in Suzie (0.1oz), retail value $4.49
NYX Rouge Cream Blush in Natural (0.12oz), retail value $6.00
Total Box Value: $43.99

July 2013

BH Cosmetics California Collection Eyeshadow Sample (estimated 0.09 oz), estimated retail value $0.62
Pop Beauty Pouty Pop Crayon in Coral Crush (0.1 oz), approximate retail value $4.17
Coola Rose Essence Tinted Moisturizer (0.23 oz), approximate retail value $4.87
Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Beach Spray (1.7 oz), approximate retail value $8.88
Nailtini Nail Polish in Mai Tai (0.5 oz), retail value $6
Total Box Value: $24.54   
   
August 2013
Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in 69 (0.03oz), approximate retail value $7.33
Mica Beauty Shimmer Powder in Bronze (full size at 0.1oz), retail value $14.95
Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (0.25oz), approximate retail value $9.75
Michael Todd True Organics Pumpkin Nutrient Rich Facial Mask (1oz), approximate retail value $10.00
Pixi Lash Booster (estimated 0.1 fluid oz), estimated retail value $6.80
Total Box Value: $48.83  

September 2013
Victoria Jackson Taupe Eyebrow Pencil (full size at 0.1oz), retail value $14.95
Cailyn Tinted Lip Balm in Big Apple (full size at 0.14oz), retail value $19
Starlooks Kohl Eye Pencil in Obsidian (full size at 0.08oz), retail value $12
NYX Single Eyeshadow in Morocco (full size at 0.085oz), retail value $4.50
Elizabeth Mott It's So Big Volumizing Mascara (0.14 fl oz), approximate retail value $8.00
Total Box Value: $58.45     

October 2013
Ole Henriksen Truth Creme Advanced Hydration (0.25 fluid oz), estimated retail value $6.72
Nourish Organic Coconut and Argan Body Lotion (1 fluid oz), estimated retail value $1.25
Buxom Lip Polish in Dolly (0.07 fluid oz), estimated retail value $8.87
Big Sexy Hair Blow Dry Volumizing Gel (1.7 fluid oz), estimated retail value $3.39
Zoya Nail Polish in Mason (full size at 0.5 fluid oz), retail value $8.00
Total Box Value: $28.23

November 2013
Em Cosmetics by Michelle Phan Lash Gallery Lengthening Mascara in Black (full size at 0.236 fluid oz), retail value $20
Starlooks Gem Eye Pencil in Amethyst (full size at 0.08oz), retail value $14
Be A Bombshell Lip Crayon in Hot Damn (full size at 0.09oz), retail value $14
Pixi Beauty Bronzer in Subtly Suntouched (0.11oz), approximate retail value $5.50
GlamGlow YouthMud Tinglexfoliate Treatment (travel size at 0.5 fluid oz), retail value $19
Nailtini Nail Lacquer in Caviar Cocktail (full size at 0.5 fluid oz), retail value $13 
Total Box Value: $85.50   

Ipsy Statistics
Data Set- $69.71, $54.23, $72.67, $38.16, $50.12, $10.41, $29.68, $45.77, $43.99, $24.54, $48.83, $58.45, $28.23, $85.50
Mean Value-$47.16
Median Value- $47.30
Standard Deviation- $20.45
Range of Values- $10.41 to $85.50
Range- $75.09

T-test Comparison:
A t-test showed that the difference between the two services was extremely statistically significant, t(27)=4.25, p=0.0002. Ipsy tends to send out boxes that have higher retail values, and that difference is robust. 

Test 2 - Personal Value         
 
The Description: This test is similar to Test #1, except that I eliminated the products that didn't add value to my box. A product added value if I was glad to have received it. A product I wanted to try would add value (even if I didn't end up liking it). A product I didn't expect to like but ended up enjoying would also add value. As a side note, I am only including products that gave me value outside of blogging. For example, it was a Juice Beauty product I received from Birchbox that originally inspired my "Beauty Bullshit" series. For the purposes of this test, that doesn't count as value (even though I hope those posts are valuable!).
The Benefits: This test takes into account the fact that subscription services are sometimes going to send out crap without asking me to come up with subjective values for products.
The Disadvantages: There is no objective measure for "crap". There is someone out there who likes products that I hate. If you have a different idea about what is crap, you may find that your results are different. I can only tell you what I didn't like and didn't use. 

Birchbox Test #2

September 2012
Kate Spade New York Twirl (0.05 oz), approximate retail value $1.18
A Twistband Hair Tie, approximate retail value $1.50
A Tili Bag, approximate retail value $0.71
WEI to go Sleepover Kit (1.0 and 3.0ml), approximate retail value $3.80
21 Drops Aromatherapy Blend in "Focus" (2 ml), approximate retail value $7.73
Birchbox and Color Club Custom Collection Nail Polish (.25 oz), approximate retail value $4.00
Total Personal Value: $17.03

October 2012
Lulu Organics Lavender and Clary Sage Hair Powder (5g), approximate retail value $1.32
A Luna Bar in Lemon Zest, approximate retail value $1.25
Karuna Hydrating Treatment Mask, approximate retail value $7
Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre 24-Hour Miracle Cream (4ml), approximate retail value $2.13
Naked Princess Naked Shine Luscious Lip Gloss (0.008oz), approximate retail value $2.08
Total Personal Value: $8.32

November 2012
Oscar Blandi Pronto Texture & Volume Spray (1 oz), approximate retail value $6.25
Miracle Skin Transformer Vanish Instant Imperfection Corrector (0.1 oz), approximate retail value $5.80
Chuao Chocolatier Assorted ChocoPod in Potato Chip, approximate retail value $1.14
Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme Petite Cologne Absolue (.05 oz), approximate retail value $3.75
Stila All Over Shimmer Liquid Luminizer, approximate retail value $6.67
Total Personal Value: $24.01

December 2012
Thymes Body Lotion in Naia (1.5 oz), approximate retail value $4.05
Thymes Body Lotion in Lotus Santal (no size listed, about 0.15oz), approximate retail value $0.41
Keratase Nutritive Nectar Thermique (0.68 oz), approximate retail value $5.60
ModelCo Shine Ultra Lip Gloss in Berry Pink, retail value $16.00
Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Repair CC Cream in Natural Glow (0.17 oz), approximate retail value $3.90
Total Personal value: $20.46 

January 2013
Lumiere d'hiver Clarifying Shampoo (1.75oz), approximate retail value $6.67
Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream (0.14oz), approximate retail value $3.48
Harvey Prince Skinny Chic (estimated at 2ml), approximate retail value $1.82
Lashem Double Trouble Mascara (estimated at 1ml), approximate retail value $4.76
TheBalm Hot Mama (1g), approximate retail value $3.11
Total Personal Value: $19.84 

February 2013
Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle (estimated 1.25 oz), approximate retail value $4.12
Color Club Nail Polish in Wild Cactus (0.25 oz), approximate retail value $4.00
Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox Beauty Balm (0.1 oz), approximate retail value $2.13
Juicy Couture Couture La La Perfume (0.05 oz), approximate retail value $1.32
Ghirardelli Milk and Caramel Square, approximate retail value $0.42
Total Personal value: $10.25

March 2013
Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream in Blueberry (0.75oz), approximate retail value $2.93
Madewell for Birchbox Nail Emery Board, approximate retail value $5
Benefit Stay Don't Stray Primer (0.09oz), approximate retail value $7.09
Evologie Intensive Blemish Serum (0.17oz), approximate retail value $11.90
Twistband Headband, approximate retail value $3.17
Total Personal Value: $6.10    

April 2013
Nexxus Youth Renewal Rejuvenating Elixir (0.14 oz/4mL), approximate retail value $3.00
LaFace Laboratories PUR Purifying Face Wash (0.1oz/3mL), approximate retail value $0.64
Folle de Joie eau de parfum (0.06oz/2mL), approximate retail value $1.73
Mirenesse Glossy Kiss in Flirty Kiss (0.15oz/4g), approximate retail value $26.55
Simple Revitalizing Eye Roll-on (0.5oz/15mL), approximate retail value $10.99
Total Personal Value: $28.28    

May 2013
Amika Obliphica Nourishing Mask (0.67oz), approximate retail value $1.60
Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner in Suman/Black (0.024oz), approximate retail value $5.25
Run Guyausa Tea (4 bags), approximate retail value $1.75
COOLA Classic SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer for Face (0.23oz), approximate retail value $4.33
Marvis Toothpaste in Classic Mint (0.5oz), approximate retail value $2.10
Total Personal Value: $9.58    

June 2013
Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser (0.25 oz), approximate retail value $2.06
Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk (1.06 oz), approximate retail value $5.90
SW Basics Lip Balm Flights in Cinnamon, approximate retail value $3.75
Tweezerman Filemate Matchbox Itty Bitty Nail Files, retail value $7.99
Color Club Wanderlust in London Calling (0.25oz), approximate retail value $2.00
Total Personal Value: $13.71

July 2013
100% Pure Green Apple Nourishing Body Cream (0.198 oz), approximate retail value $0.37
Benefit Cosmetics Girl Meets Pearl (0.25 oz), approximate retail value $18.75
Number 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect (estimated 0.75 oz), approximate retail value $3.55
Benta Berry G-1 Moisturizing Face Cream (0.16 oz), approximate retail value $3.52
Birchbox Bobby Pins (2), approximate retail value $1.67
Total Personal Value: $1.67

August 2013
Dr. Jart+ Premium BB Cream SPF 45+ (5ml/0.17 fluid oz), approximate retail value $4.42
Jasmine Seven Fresh Feet Wipes (2 wipes), approximate retail value $0.66
ModelCo Party Proof Lipstick in Disco Fever (1 at 0.13oz), approximate retail value $8.00
Violet Oasis 100% Organic Argan Oil (4ml/0.14 fluid oz), approximate retail value $2.66
TanTowel Classic Formula Self-Tan Towlette (1 towelette at 0.25oz), approximate retail value $2.40
Total Personal Value: $13.08

September 2013

Yes to Grapefruit CC cream in Light and Light Medium (estimated 0.1oz), estimated retail value $0.94
VOESH New York Collagen Gloves - Premium Manicure Hand Mask (1 set of gloves), approximate retail value $6.67
Yes to Blueberries Age Refresh Cleansing Facial Towelettes (8 wipes), retail value $2.99
Ruffian Nail Lacquer in Hedge Fund (full size at 0.17oz), retail value $10
Coastal Scents Eyeshadow Sample in Set 34 Thrill Ride (0.07oz), approximate retail value $3.06
Total Personal Value: $16.05

October 2013
TheBalm Stainiac in Beauty Queen (0.04 fluid oz), approximate retail value $2.27
Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle 'Protect & Shampoo' Daily Shampoo (estimated 0.75 fluid oz), estimated retail value $2.05
Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle 'Protect & Condition' Daily Conditioner (estimated 0.75 fluid oz), estimated retail value $2.05
Evologie Stay Clear Cream (0.33oz), approximate retail value $20.46
Chapstick Hydration Lock (full size at 0.15oz), retail value $2.99    
Total Personal Value: $29.82

November 2013
Eyeko Skinny Liquid Liner (0.04oz), approximate retail value $9.14
Mighty Leaf Tea Pouches in Green Tea Tropical, Organic African Nectar, and Vanilla Bean, approximate retail value $1.99
Vasanti Brighten Up! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator (0.71oz), approximate retail value $5.67
BeeKind Body Lotion (1.01 fluid oz), approximate retail value $1.89
Color Club Cocktail Hour Collection in On the Rocks (0.25 fluid oz), approximate retail value $4.00
Total Personal Value: $20.80   

Birchbox Statistics
Data Set- $17.03, 8.32, 24.01, 20.46, 19.84, 10.25, 6.10, 28.28, 9.58, 13.71, 1.67, 13.08, 16.05, 29.82, 20.80
Mean Value-$15.93
Median Value- $16.05
Standard Deviation- $8.08
Range of Values- $1.67 to 29.82
Range- $28.15

Ipsy Test #2

October 2012
Coastal Scents Eye Shadow Quad (0.07 oz), approximate retail value $3.06
Couture Colour Pequi Oil Treatment (0.5oz), approximate retail value $12.00
Be a Bombshell Eye Liner in Onyx, approximate retail value $14.00
Mirenesse Lip Bomb Glossy Lacquer Stain, approximate retail value $35.10
theBalm What's Your Type? "the body builder" Mascara (0.11 oz), approximate retail value $5.50
Total Personal Value: $57.66

November 2012
Nailtini Nail Polish in Millionaire, approximate retail value $13.00
Chella Eyebrow Defining Gel, approximate retail value $18.00
BareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in Dare Devil, approximate retail value $8.40
Starlet Peace, Love & Chocolate Eyeliner, approximate retail value $11.00
Meet Matt(e) eyeshadow in Matt Batali, approximate retail value $3.83
Total Personal Value: $12.23

December 2012
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero (0.8g), approximate retail value $12.67
Be a Bombshell Lip Gloss in Hot Mess, retail value $14.00
NYX Ultra Pearl Mania in Mink Pearl, retail value $3.00
Mirabella Prime for Face and Eyes, retail value $29.00
Mai Couture Highlighter "Papier" in St. Bart's (25 sheets), approximate retail value $14.00
Total Personal Value: $12.67

January 2013
Argan Oil by Josie Maran Cosmetics (0.17oz), approximate retail value $4.17
Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Body Butter (2.5oz), retail value $7.00
Big Sexy Hair Spray and Play (1.6oz), retail value $6.00
Nailtini in Bloody Mary, retail value $13.00
Soho New York Eyeliner Brush, retail value $7.99
Total Personal Value: $7.99

February 2013
Lash Cards (4), approximate retail value $2.80
Pixi Flawless and Poreless Primer (0.5oz), approximate retail value $14.50
Mica Beauty Gel Eyeliner in Black (3g), approximate retail value $18.00
Pop Beauty Smokey Lash Kapow Mascara (0.17oz), approximate retail value $12.58
Coastal Scents mini quad in Candlelight, Gunmetal, Incognito and Ashen (0.07oz), approximate retail value $2.24
Total Personal value: $34.74

March 2013
Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist (1oz), approximate retail value $3.38
LA Fresh Travel-Lite Makeup Remover Wipes (8 count), approximate retail value $1.49
Glam RX Mini Freestyle Palette, estimated retail value $4
Yaby Eyeshadow Refill (2 at estimated 0.02oz each), estimated retail value $1.54
Total Personal Value: $0.00

April 2013
Sation Nail Color in Love At First Byte, retail value $5.95.
Big Sexy Hair Powder Play (0.07oz), approximate retail value $1.98.
Be a Bombshell Blush in Sweet Cheeks, retail value $16.
Two Cosmetics Duo Eyeshadow in Heartache, retail value $5.75
Total Personal Value: $21.75

May 2013
Zoya Nail Polish in Julie, retail value $8.00
Pacifica Island Vanilla Perfume Roll-On, retail value $12.00
Pacifica Coconut Crushed Pearl Bronzing Body Butter Mini, retail value $7.00
Yaby Concealer Refill in Honey (2g), approximate retail value $2.77
Mirabella Shimmerati Glimmer Gloss, retail value $16.00
Total Personal Value: $0.00      

June 2013
Starlooks Lip Pencil in Tipsy (2.4g/0.08oz), retail value $12.00
Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter (1.4g/0.05oz), retail value $18.00
Psssst! Instant Dry Shampoo (1.76oz), retail value $3.50
J Cat Sparkling Cream Palette in Suzie (0.1oz), retail value $4.49
NYX Rouge Cream Blush in Natural (0.12oz), retail value $6.00
Total Personal Value: $39.50

July 2013

BH Cosmetics California Collection Eyeshadow Sample (estimated 0.09 oz), estimated retail value $0.62
Pop Beauty Pouty Pop Crayon in Coral Crush (0.1 oz), approximate retail value $4.17
Coola Rose Essence Tinted Moisturizer (0.23 oz), approximate retail value $4.87
Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Beach Spray (1.7 oz), approximate retail value $8.88
Nailtini Nail Polish in Mai Tai (0.5 oz), retail value $6
Total Personal Value: $8.88
   
August 2013
Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in 69 (0.03oz), approximate retail value $7.33
Mica Beauty Shimmer Powder in Bronze (full size at 0.1oz), retail value $14.95
Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (0.25oz), approximate retail value $9.75
Michael Todd True Organics Pumpkin Nutrient Rich Facial Mask (1oz), approximate retail value $10.00
Pixi Lash Booster (estimated 0.1 fluid oz), estimated retail value $6.80
Total Personal Value: $17.33

September 2013
Victoria Jackson Taupe Eyebrow Pencil (full size at 0.1oz), retail value $14.95
Cailyn Tinted Lip Balm in Big Apple (full size at 0.14oz), retail value $19
Starlooks Kohl Eye Pencil in Obsidian (full size at 0.08oz), retail value $12
NYX Single Eyeshadow in Morocco (full size at 0.085oz), retail value $4.50
Elizabeth Mott It's So Big Volumizing Mascara (0.14 fl oz), approximate retail value $8.00
Total Personal Value: $19.45  

October 2013
Ole Henriksen Truth Creme Advanced Hydration (0.25 fluid oz), estimated retail value $6.72
Nourish Organic Coconut and Argan Body Lotion (1 fluid oz), estimated retail value $1.25
Buxom Lip Polish in Dolly (0.07 fluid oz), estimated retail value $8.87
Big Sexy Hair Blow Dry Volumizing Gel (1.7 fluid oz), estimated retail value $3.39
Zoya Nail Polish in Mason (full size at 0.5 fluid oz), retail value $8.00
Total Personal Value: $6.72

November 2013
Em Cosmetics by Michelle Phan Lash Gallery Lengthening Mascara in Black (full size at 0.236 fluid oz), retail value $20
Starlooks Gem Eye Pencil in Amethyst (full size at 0.08oz), retail value $14
Be A Bombshell Lip Crayon in Hot Damn (full size at 0.09oz), retail value $14
Pixi Beauty Bronzer in Subtly Suntouched (0.11oz), approximate retail value $5.50
GlamGlow YouthMud Tinglexfoliate Treatment (travel size at 0.5 fluid oz), retail value $19
Nailtini Nail Lacquer in Caviar Cocktail (full size at 0.5 fluid oz), retail value $13 
Total Personal Value: $38.50    

Ipsy Statistics
Data Set- $57.66, 12.23, 12.67, 7.99, 34.74, 0, 21.75, 0, 39.50, 8.88, 17.33, 19.45, 6.72, 38.50
Mean Value-$19.82
Median Value- $15.00
Standard Deviation- $16.93
Range of Values- $0 - 57.66
Range- $57.66

T-Test Comparison:
It turns out that when you take out all the shit that I didn't want to get in the first place, there is no statistically significant difference between the values of the two boxes, t(27)=0.4325, p>0.05

Addendum to Tests #1 and 2 - The Issue of Points

You'll note that I did not include points in Test #1 or Test #2.

For the purpose of this addendum, I'm going to explore what happens if you add in the value of points. Both Birchbox and Ipsy have points systems, although Birchbox's point system is more established and more valuable. I intend to ignore the issue of referrals since the average person is probably not making a buttload of referrals.

Ipsy offers 250 points for referrals and 10 points for product reviews. However, it is 1000 points to actually redeem something. Since your points expire in a year, people who aren't making referrals aren't going to be able to redeem their points for anything. (Approximately 50 points a month times 12 months is only 600 points...) Thus, for the purposes of this analysis, Ipsy points are worthless. 

Birchbox points are worth money in the Birchbox store. 100 points are worth $10. You get 10% back in points for shopping in the Birchbox store, 50 points for making referrals, and 10 points for giving feedback on products. Although you can only redeem points in intervals of 100, each of those product reviews has an approximate value of $1. 

So, when you add in the value of points, your estimated box values change slightly. For example, in Test #1, the data set for Birchbox becomes: $24.92, $18.78, $29.01, $31.23, $24.18, $16.99, $35.09, $47.91, $20.03, $26.70, $32.86, $23.14, $28.66, $34.82, $27.69.

I conducted two t-tests to see whether my results for Test #1 and Test #2 changed when you added in the Birchbox points, and they did not. Ipsy still came out ahead in Test #1 and there was still no statistically significant difference in Test #2. With that, I adore the Birchbox points system. 
 
Test #3 - Head-to-Head

The Description: Instead of trying to calculate value, I just did a basic head-to-head for each month that I have been subscribed to the two services. I then ran a Chi-square test to check for statistical significance.
The Benefits: This eliminates all the worries about whether or not I really got X-number-of-dollars-of-value out of Y product. It's the most basic way to compare services on a multitude of levels. Which did I like better?
The Disadvantages: Again, this is a highly subjective test. There also isn't a lot of statistical power in only 14 months worth of data.

Ipsy and Birchbox, Head-to-Head

(Obviously, I can't do September 2012, since I didn't get an Ipsy that month.)

October 2012
Winner: Ipsy
The Mirenesse lip lacquer and theBalm Body Builder mascara are still favorites of mine.

November 2012
Winner: Birchbox
I still use the Oscar Blandi Texture Spray that Birchbox sent (I bought a full size), I bought a million Chuao chocolate bars, and the Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme is on my list of things that I will perpetually lust over.

December 2012
Winner: Birchbox
I purchased a full size of the Thymes Body Lotion and I still use that ModelCo lipgloss when I am lazy or in a rush. (I used it in my three-minute makeup challenge video!)

January 2013
Winner: Birchbox
I got personal value out of all the products sent in my Birchbox, whereas Ipsy was largely a bust.

February 2013
Winner: Birchbox
The Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle is one of my all-time favorite products, and Wild Cactus by Color Club is the most perfect shade of green polish.

March 2013
Winner: Birchbox
I hated everything I got in that Ipsy. Although my Birchbox wasn't killer, I did purchase that Whish shaving cream in the full size... and I just recently re-purchased it in the almond scent. I also use that Twistband headband all the time and may purchase more of them for lazy weekend days.

April 2013
Winner: Ipsy
This was a close one, but I loved all the shimmery pink products from this Ipsy bag!

May 2013
Winner: Birchbox
Neither box was particularly good, but I did like the Sumita eyeliner I received from Birchbox (and I did end up buying it in green).

June 2013
Winner: Birchbox
Both boxes were awesome this month. From Birchbox, I ended up purchasing the Suki Exfoliate Cleaner (I re-purchased this one, as well), the Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk, SW Basics Lip Balm Flights, AND the Color Club Wanderlust Collection. From Ipsy, I still regularly use Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter (and would purchase) and the NYX Rouge Cream Blush. For sheer magnitude of "shit I loved", though, the win has to go to Birchbox.

July 2013
Winner: Ipsy? I guess?
Both of these boxes were AWFUL. However, the Beach Spray from Ipsy wasn't the worst thing in the world. (With that said, I still use the bobby pins I got from Birchbox and I have no idea what happened to the Ipsy spray.)

August 2013
Winner: Ipsy
An Urban Decay Revolution lipstick sample and a Michael Todd mask? SOLD.

September 2013
Winner: Ipsy
The discovery of the Victoria Jackson brow pencil was more valuable than the products I received that I enjoyed from Birchbox.

October 2013
Winner: Birchbox
Most of the Birchbox Products weren't huge wins, but most of Ipsy products were awful.

November 2013
Winner: Ipsy
I was super excited about the GlamGlow, the Pixi Bronzer, and the Starlooks Gem Eye Pencil.

Birchbox Total Wins: 8
Ipsy Total Wins: 6

I probably don't have to actually conduct the Chi-Square Test for y'all to know that that isn't going to be statistically significant, but I will anyways. Clearly, with 14 months of data, the null hypothesis would predict that Birchbox would win 7 times and Ipsy would win 7 times. My Chi-Square test showed that we could not reject the null hypothesis, c2(1, N = 14) = 0.286, p = 0.5930.

To be fair, 14 data points isn't very much. One of the brands would have had to win 11 times for significance to be detected in such a small sample size. Still, even if we don't worry about the p-value, I feel super comfortable attributing this slight difference to chance. There doesn't seem to be a marked difference in which box I, personally, prefer.

Test #4 - What Did I Actually Buy?

The Description: This is a simple list of the products that I purchased after sampling them from Birchbox or Ipsy. I debated exactly how I wanted to operationally define this category because 1. I have purchased a ton of things from the Birchbox shop that I didn't sample in my box and 2. There are two things I purchased after sampling from Ipsy that I'm pretty sure I would have purchased either way. I ended up listing everything that I purchased after sampling that I had not already tried prior to the subscription service.
The Benefits: One of the reasons that I use subscription services is to find new, amazing products that I might otherwise never have encountered. This is an easy way to see whether Ipsy or Birchbox is facilitating that process more effectively.
The Disadvantages: This does not apply to people who subscribe to Birchbox or Ipsy for reasons other than finding new HG products.

What I Bought After Sampling From Birchbox:
WEI to go Sleepover Kit
Oscar Blandi Pronto Texture & Volume Spray
Chuao Chocolatier Assorted ChocoPod
Thymes Body Lotion in Lotus Santal
Beauty Protector Protect and Detangle
Color Club Nail Polish
Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox Beauty Balm (I ended up hating this, but I did buy it.)
Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream
Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner
Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser
Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk
SW Basics Lip Balm Flights

What I Bought After Sampling From Ipsy:
TheBalm What's Your Type? "the body builder" Mascara
Mirenesse Lip Bomb Glossy Lacquer Stain
TheBalm Meet Matt(e) Eyeshadow Palette
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil

It is immediately apparent that I purchased more based on Birchbox samples than Ipsy samples. (Additionally, I strongly suspect that I would have bought Meet Matt(e) and the UD 24/7 Liner either way.) I went ahead and did a Chi-square test on this data as well and found that I do clearly purchase more based on products that I received in my Birchbox, c2(1, N = 16) = 4.00, p < 0.05. To me, this suggest that Birchbox sends me more products that impress me and that they are making a bigger impact on my beauty routine.

In Conclusion, My Totally Subjective Feelings

I think that the statistics clearly demonstrate the feelings that I have always had about these two services. When Ipsy is good, they're good, but they send out a lot of crap alongside their nicer products. Birchbox sends out smaller samples, but they are much more consistent and they are more likely to send you something that you feel the need to purchase.

I would recommend Ipsy to someone who is looking for a monthly makeup gift, and I would recommend to Birchbox to someone who is looking to discover new products to love (and purchase).  Personally, I fully intend to stay subscribed to both services.

If you would like to join Birchbox, please feel free to use my referral link by clicking here.
If you would like to join Ipsy, my referral link is available here

37 comments:

  1. That Sumita eyeliner might be my favorite thing Birchbox has introduced me to. It works better for me than my UD pencils! That Protect and Detangle was nice. I just did my daughter's nails in two different color club shades. I like your summary. I ended up quitting Ipsy because I kept getting different variations of the same products I already own. Although it might have been worth more $$, it was not "worth it" to me.

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    1. Yeah, it's super hard to quantify things like that!

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    2. I am currently unsubscribed to Ipsy, too. I just kept seeing the same brands over and over, and I wasn't LOVING them. Every time I miss them, and want to go back to them, I look through the most recent bags and see stuff I already have :/

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  2. As someone who is currently trying to decide which one to subscribe too, this post was REALLY helpful. Think it's gonna have to be Birchbox for me. Thanks for the analysis!

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  3. I'm cracking up because I'm reading your blog while on break from writing my (technically faux) research proposal which uses a t-test. and your blog is way better than a stat book. Now my roommate is going "Why didn't we do our proposals on makeup? Why can't we run chi squared on fun stuff like makeup!?"

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    1. Are you taking some psych classes?

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  4. I'm not currently on the market to sign up for a subscription service, but I must comment on how much I love this post. As someone who spends a lot of my time coding statistical analyses, I'm curious to which program you used?

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    1. I usually use PSPP, which is the open source version of SPSS. I learned all my stats on SPSS. I'm not very program-loyal though, and I've used a few different ones for this blog.

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  5. Very interesting post. I tend to like the items I've received in Birchbox & my favorite is the Evolvh shampoo & conditioner. They're damed expensive if you have to buy full size & I've been able to track down some sample bottles. Still need to try the Beauty Protect.

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  6. Hmm, while I heartily support evidence-based research in all forms, I'm a little confused by the statistics used. Admittedly, it's been a while since I took a statistics class, but it seems like your data might violate the normality assumption required by a t-test. While you provided the mean and median for your values, I thought that means were more...meaningful when applied to normally distributed data (those that aren't skewed and without outliers), while medians are better used for the opposite. If your data were completely normally distributed, the mean, median, and mode would be equivalent, right? This isn't to say that your conclusions aren't necessarily statistically valid, but my impression is that the results may be misleading compared to the results of a non-parametric test, like a Mann-Whitney U-test (lies, damn lies, and statistics).

    All of that being said, my gut tells me that I'll be keeping both by Birchbox and Ipsy subscriptions for the time being, because the personal value of having not one, but two days a month where I get awesome surprises in the mail (I lie, there are more boxes I sub to) is well worth $12 or so to me. Subscription boxes brighten my day a hell of a lot more effectively than, say, Zoloft, at a similar price point. :)

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    1. You are totally correct that a t-test is not the most powerful statistic I could have chosen given that I don't have perfect normal distributions here! It just seemed kind of irrelevant to deal with a Shapiro-Wilks test or whatever for the purposes of this blog post. I decided that, since most of the data was in the middle and all my means and medians were pretty damn similar, that was normal enough for my purposes.

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    2. Agreed, I think the conclusions reached would be pretty similar. The means and medians were actually pretty similar in Test 1, but I think the distribution might have gotten a little more wonky in Test 2, as some boxes came in with values of zero.

      The awesome thing is, by providing your raw data, someone could go back and re-run the tests if they want to see the actual differences between various statistical tests. I, for one, am content with your analysis.

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    3. Haha well if you ever want to re-run my stats, you are more than welcome to do so!

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  7. This is a very valuable comparison, thank you for sharing. There is one thing that troubles me about test #4 though... I think Ipsy sends more full or large-sized makeup items that wouldn't necessarily get used up as quickly as the sample sizes Birchbox tends to send, which could potentially reduce the number of items on the "What did I actually buy?" list. I loved the sparkly Starlooks pencil in this month's bag for example, but I'm not going to be buying another one anytime soon because I have that and 800 other eyeliners to use up. Just a thought.

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    1. This is definitely a totally valid point! As it stands, I could imagine myself purchasing the Chella Highlighter (MAYBE) and another shade of NYX cream blush. I did it this way just because I can't go into the future and find out what I end up purchasing!

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    2. This was my thought too. When you think about it, you may love a makeup product received from ipsy and not feel the need to re-purchase it for many months.. in a way, aren't you therefore saving yourself money in the end, making the subscription more valuable?
      Great post, wish we had Birchbox in Canada!

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    3. In some ways, I think companies like TheBalm are doing themselves a disservice by providing such awesome deluxe samples, as I will probably never need to purchase a Matt(e) Batali eyeshadow again in my entire life...or a Mary Lou-Manizer, even though I love both products. The same goes for a lot of nail polishes and eye liners that I will likely never use up, but still love. In a weird way, I'm more likely to buy a product where I was dissatisfied with the color of the sample, because it means I'll go buy the full size product in a color I like, e.g.. Urban Decay Revolution samples in garish colors, or basically all the lipstick samples you get in over-the-top bright colors.

      So, if Ipsy and BB keep on sending me samples I like in colors I don't like, I'll actually be spending even more money than I would have spent on makeup otherwise, on top of the cost of the sample subscriptions! *faints*

      I was surprised that Ipsy value was so much larger than BB value, because I associate Ipsy with lower-end brands (NYX, etc.). I think this is because Ipsy is more likely to send out full-size products, while BB sends out more sample sizes, so the individual item values are often higher for Ipsy bags. I'm definitely more excited about BB brands, though.

      Hey Robyn, is it possible to set up simple polls on a blog? It would be interesting to see what percentage of your readers' November BBoxxen and Ipsy bags got used.

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  8. I feel like as Birchbox has the ability to collect thousands of reviews on sampled products, it would be really cool to send a follow-up survey 6 months later for a few BB points to find out the fate of the sample: was it tossed/traded/gifted, or do they still have it around, or finished the sample, or repurchased the full size? If I saw a little pie chart where 75% of the product samplers had repurchased the full size, I'd buy that product unsampled without hesitation.

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    1. This would probably be pretty doable using reddit/r/beautyboxes or something as a sample group. Nothing would ever get that high, though, I'm sure!

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  9. I bought a whole bunch of super awesome Whish products from Birchbox including the hair inhibiting gel. I was wondering, how do hair inhibitors work? Do they work at all? I would love to see a beauty bullshit or how does it work on that subject! Please please please! :)

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    1. You are the second person who has asked about that! I'll add it to the list, for sure!

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  10. I was previously subscribed to Glossybox and Birchbox, but recently cancelled as I didn't like the products I was receiving. I am still subscribed to Beauty Box 5 because their cancellation process requires more work than clicking a button. Ha!
    I wanted to subsribe to Ipsy, based on what I have seen of the bags here on your blog, but they don't accept foreign credit cards, and I'm not based in the US (but have a US mailing re-direction service I use).
    ANYWAY, I was wondering what your bathroom cabinets look like in terms of storage of all your product? My cabinets are as neat as I can make them, but I'd love to come up with some better solutions.
    Also, what do you do, if anything, with all of the Ipsy bags you receive? I feel at least with BB, GB, and BB5, the cardboard boxes can be recycled if I don't have alternative uses for them. Make up bags are a lot harder to deal with, I think.

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    1. Not sure how Robyn deals with subscription box overload, but I know that after subscribing to a bunch of boxes for a few months I quickly started accumulating more mascara, eyeliner, perfume samples, etc. than a single person could use in a lifetime. I like to try everything out once, but if I get another brown eyeliner that's scratchier/less pigmented than the eleventy brown eyeliners I already own, I just toss it rather than having it add to clutter. If it's something I'm sure I won't use (styling gel), I give it away or toss it.

      For items that are sealed and the countless makeup bags, you might consider marking one of your cardboard boxes "donations" and bringing it to the local women's shelter when it's full. The local women's shelter here loves (fresh, new) makeup samples, as a little lipstick and mascara gives people tons more confidence when going on job interviews, etc.

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    2. My Ipsy boxes are in a shoebox under my vanity! If I can convince myself to clean up my space enough that it looks presentable, I can post pictures of my makeup storage system, haha. It's not elegant, FYI.

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  11. This is why your blog is so great...Plenty of people can compare monthly sub boxes...this is clearly by far the most comprehensive, intelligent breakdown of the 2 subscription services I have ever seen! thanks for all the great info.
    I do want to add, it's not really relevant since it was a smalllll part of your analysis- but it's worth mentioning that the ipsy points weren't always 1000 to redeem! It used to be MUCH easier to redeem things...so for the majority of your subscription I think the ipsy points could have been more beneficial to say, someone who is comparing them NOW.
    I know.......irrelevant. Just something I thought might hold a LITTLe weight...it obviously doesn't effect peoples' choice to subscribe in the future hah but it did (possibly?) effect your last year.

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    1. Yeah, it was easier in the past. I also preferred them just sending me stuff, instead of having to worry about what I want to spend my points on before they expire...

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  12. First, the stats and SPSS talk is giving me flashbacks to my dissertation (I haven't recovered even though it has been 14 years). Secondly, my issue w/ boxes is that I really can't use up the products that arrive, and many of them end up being duplicates that I toss or give away (e.g. *another* mascara sample, black eyeliner, pinkish blush, etc.). Thirdly, I think a valid point would be if it is worth getting the boxes at all vs. using the money to purchase products that you want at Sephora or Ulta or what have you, where you additionally can get GWP or samples. I have unsubscribed to both Ipsy and Birchbox at this point because it is just too much stuff - and 1/2 or more of it I either don't want or have a ton of similar products already. That said, I like getting boxes of goodies in the mail and have my eye out for other possible subscription boxes.

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    1. I think that's totally up to your own judgement. Obviously I personally think that it is worth it, or I wouldn't be subscribed. But you can add up the numbers all day and if someone doesn't like the service, it doesn't matter what the calculated value is on the box!

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  13. Thank god for everyone on reddit who recommended me to your blog haha. Thank you for the statistical break down; it honestly does help. I'm always interested in seeing a more logical presentation of why I should/shouldn't buy xxx product and a 12-month break down definitely helped! Are you subscribed to any other beauty boxes atm?

    Also, I just wanted to comment I found your BB cream myth post refreshing. =) Although my blog is dedicated to Korean beauty, in that community I find way too many people believing the hype and not thinking critically.

    samplehime.blogspot.com

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  14. I'm curious to know if you were able to regift//give away any of the things you didn't like in either box each month. I only have an Ipsy subscription (but I'm thinking about getting a Birchbox for the summer months), and I essentially share it with my mom. She's way more adventurous with makeup than I am, in terms of what types of products she uses (my mom uses way more eye makeup than I do because eyeliner scares me) and has different taste in colors (example: i love nail polish, but last month I didn't like the ZOYA color i got, but my mom loved it). If it was just me using the products, Ipsy would seem less valuable to me, because there's probably only 2 or 3 things in each box I actually use... but between my mom and I, everything gets a home in a makeup bag.

    A kinda funny side note: I joined Ipsy to try to be more adventurous with makeup, but so far the two things that I would purchase are not makeup... :P

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  15. Join me on Ipsy and subscribe for only $10 a month to get your glam bag. You can cancel at anytime (which you won't want to after seeing the great products you get). You get great goodies from nail polish to eye shadows and everything in between. Use this link http://www.ipsy.com/r/cjgu to automatically get 100 ipsy points!

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  16. Great post! Found it while trying to decide if it's worth to add Ipsy subscription to the Birchbox subscription I already have. I love your statistical approach to this issue. Very informative and highly amusing :)

    ReplyDelete

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