Monday, August 1, 2016

Sephora Play! vs Birchbox - Updated Comparison

 I've been a subscriber to both Sephora Play! and Birchbox for about a year - the entire time Sephora has had a box.  I love both of them, and will continue to subscribe to both, but I figured it might be useful to break down the differences, so that if you only want one, you can choose a bit more easily


Frequency/cost // 10 dollars per month
Number of Samples // 6 (one is always a fragrance)
Customization // None (boxes are themed though, typically around seasonal needs etc)
Packaging Type // Fabric bag, decoration varies each month
Who it's good for // Lovers of Sephora brands, people willing to tolerate samples they can't use
Major Pro // Sephora uses newer products, and because they only send samples of products they sell, I always recognize the brand, and am generally thrilled to get to test the products out.  In the year that I've had it, only a handful of products have been things that I can't use due to complexion or hair type. I have purchased the full size of 13 products (about a product per box, which is impressive).  Highlight samples include Sunday Riley Good Genes, a Sephora brand beauty blender, BITE lip pencil, Bumble and Bumble Don't Blow It
Major Cons // I'm lucky in that I fit most of their samples - I imagine that women of color or women with skin or hair that are in the extremes (dry or oily) would not benefit from as many samples.  Also, the fragrance in every box is probably not everyone's cup of tea - I rarely love or use those samples. You receive a card worth 50 BI points in each box, which is great, but I hate that it can only be redeemed with purchase, and you can't redeem more than one at a time.


Frequency/cost // 10 dollars per month (get the option to earn rewards points worth 5 dollars per month)
Number of Samples  // 5
Customization // Yes - you take a quiz when you sign up
Packaging Type // Decorative boxes (vary every month)
Who it's good for // Anyone, as long as you're willing to experiment with brands
Major Pro // Birchbox has cornered the customization market - each box has products that are specific to my skin and hair, which is great.  I'm also a huge fan of the packaging.  The other major pro is the rewards program - you earn points for reviewing products, and the points convert to dollars that can be used on anything in the store (the selection is enormous and brands are great).  I've only purchased the full size of 3 products, but do typically use up all the samples.
Major Con // Typically, I'm not as excited to use the samples I get as I am with Sephora.  I've also received similar or the same products in a lot of boxes - Coola sunscreen has come every month since April. Luckily, I like the product, but it's getting vair old. Typically, I recognize about half the brands in a box.

Overall, I'm a huge fan of subscription boxes in general, and recommend them if you can afford 10 frivolous dollars per month.  You can subscribe to Sephora here and Birchbox here

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