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IPSY Glam Bag vs. GlossyBox

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Beauty products can get expensive, so any opportunity for a discount is always exciting. Most beauty subscription boxes send a selection of beauty products each month for far less than retail value. IPSY Glam Bag and GlossyBox are two options that can introduce you to new products every month at a significant discount. IPSY Glam Bag offers a selection of deluxe samples, and GlossyBox comes with both samples and full-size items.

IPSY Glam Bag is the best subscription box for your money. With this service, you’ll receive a makeup bag full of deluxe sample products each month, all catered to your product preferences. You can try out new brands for an affordable price and improve your skincare and makeup routines.

How Does IPSY Glam Bag Work?

IPSY is a monthly subscription service for beauty products, including makeup, hair care, and skincare items. Each month, you get 5 sample products related to your beauty needs and preferences.

Every order comes in a unique makeup bag, and it’s usually related to the season or the holiday. Spring bags are bright and cheerful, fall bags tend to be warm colors and cozy materials, and there are some very festive bags for the holiday season.

When you first create an IPSY account, you’ll be asked to complete a detailed survey about your makeup and skincare preferences. They ask about your eye, hair, and skin color, so they can choose shades flattering to you. They also ask what kind of products you use most, and your main skin concerns.

Usually, you’ll have to wait until the following month after you first sign up for the Glam Bag to get your first bag. IPSY Glam Bag actually lets customers choose one item each month to add to their bags, and it’s a great way to make sure you get items you’re interested in. On the 2nd or 3rd day of the month, you can make your choice from a selection of 10 products related to your interests.

Once you have your bag, you can log on to your account and review products for loyalty points and to get a more relevant selection of items in later bags.

IPSY Glam Bag Pros

  • Catered to your preferences
  • Quality brands
  • Choose one item yourself
  • Worth $50+ in retail value

All IPSY bags are curated according to your beauty profile on their website. The profile covers your favorite makeup colors, your own skin and hair color, and your favorite products to use. The customization means you have a much better chance of getting useful, exciting products.

IPSY features quality brands and popular items. There are some brands that are favored by beauty boxes, like Sunday Riley, Huda Beauty, NARS, and more. If you’re more used to the products found at drugstores, you can use this to get more familiar with trendy brands that are well-reviewed.

IPSY Glam Bag is rare in the amount of customization available. Everything is curated for you, but you also get the chance to choose one item for yourself. Each month, you can choose from 10 possible options.

IPSY Glam Bag Cons

  • Only sample sizes
  • Choice items sell out fast
  • Shipping can be slow

Glam Bags only come with deluxe sample sizes. You won’t get any full-size items, so you can’t expect them to last through too many uses.

You can choose one item per month, but IPSY’s choice items always sell out quickly. It’s best to make your choices as soon as possible, because certain popular, higher-value items will sell out quickly.

The shipping issues are something I’ve noticed as the pandemic has gone on. IPSY uses a courier service to send items to USPS, and many customers (including me!) have had packages sit in warehouses for days or weeks before entering the USPS system.

How Does GlossyBox Work?

GlossyBox is a monthly beauty box subscription. Each month, you’ll receive 5 beauty items in a striking package, and often there’s a bonus product included. There are a few potential variations each month, but usually there’s a hero product that every subscriber will receive, like an eyeshadow palette or facial lotion.

GlossyBox is known for always having gorgeous, unique packaging that fits their monthly theme. The company celebrates its birthday every August, and they put together a festive collection of products that match the pink outer box. The theme aspect has a fun novelty element, and can introduce you to items you might not think to try otherwise.

This box is a great gift option in my opinion, but because of the varied product selection and lack of customization, it might not always hit the mark for your interests.

GlossyBox has brand scouts all over the world, and they try to highlight the best beauty products available. You can expect at least one full-size item per box, and usually there’s one especially high-value hero item. That can be anything from a facial serum to an eyeshadow palette.

GlossyBox Pros

  • International brands
  • Curated according to themes
  • At least one full-size item per box
  • $60 or more in value

GlossyBox includes brands from around the world in their boxes, so you can try items you may not be familiar with. It’s a fun way to expand your beauty horizons. One month, they even had an Around the World of Beauty theme, with products from four different continents.

Each GlossyBox has a theme. Some are more literal than others, like their Aloha box with a Hawaiian theme. Some are abstract, like The Power of Beauty, which came with face masks, lip care, micellar water, and lotion.

There’s at least one full-size item in every GlossyBox. A lot of beauty boxes focus on samples, so it’s nice to get at least one item to try out over a longer period of time.

Each GlossyBox comes with at least $60 in value. Often, they’re worth more than the minimum, and it’s nice to have the guarantee that you’ll always get about 3 times what you paid for the box.

GlossyBox Cons

  • No customization
  • Often includes low-value beauty accessories

There’s no way to customize your GlossyBox subscription. The boxes do vary from customer to custom, but the selections are mostly random. The GlossyBox website says they may take your customer preferences into account if there’s a relevant item to your interests, but there’s no guarantee. There are only 10 or so possible items for each box, so there may not be any products that match with your profile.

A lot of GlossyBoxes come with beauty accessories that aren’t worth as much as other items. These include sponges for makeup, head wraps, and makeup brushes. A lot of customers aren’t as excited by these items, though.

How Much Do They Cost?

IPSY Glam Bag is the cheaper option by far, but it doesn’t include full-size items. GlossyBox is more expensive, but you’ll get some larger products.

IPSY Glam Bag

IPSY Glam Bag is just $12 a month. If you sign up for a full year, you can get each bag for $11, for a total of $132.

IPSY also has an add-on shop every month, available for a short period of time each month while the company is packing orders. The shop has discounted items that will be shipped for free alongside your regular subscription items.


GlossyBox is $21 per box on a monthly basis, but you can save if you sign up for a longer period of time. An annual subscription will cost you $18 per month, if you pay on a monthly basis.

The cheapest subscription plan available costs $17.50 per box, but it’s paid up front as a $210 sum.

What Kind Of Products Do You Get?

Both of these are beauty bags with a focus on makeup items, but IPSY Glam Bag is catered to your preferences, and GlossyBox is curated around a theme.

IPSY Glam Bag

IPSY Glam Bag comes with 5 deluxe beauty samples each month. You’ll get product types ranging from hair masks to blush to facial serums. The Glam Bag mostly focuses on makeup, so it might not be the best option if you want lots of skincare.

All the items in your makeup bag will be catered to you in terms of color and product type. If you have thin hair, you might get volumizing products, and if you mention loving nail polish, they’ll choose that item for you over another option.

IPSY Glam Bag often features trendy brands, so this is definitely a box that will help you keep up with the beauty world.


In each GlossyBox, you can expect 6 beauty items of various types and brands. The box mostly features makeup, but you’ll find occasional skincare items and hair products. The specific products that go into each box are determined by the theme that month. However, you can usually expect a lot of makeup and color cosmetics.

GlossyBox tends to feature beauty accessories on a regular basis, including brushes and sponges. You may also get hair masks, sheet masks, and other single-use items.

Final Thoughts

GlossyBox offers a wide range of brands, and each box is centered around a fun theme, ranging from the retro aesthetic to wildlife. The subscription sends out a wide variety of product types every month, from brands around the world. However, it’s $9 more expensive than Glam Bag and offers only $10 more in value on average.

IPSY Glam Bag offers you some control over your items by letting you choose one, and the others are selected for you according to your profile. This subscription will help you learn about brands every month for a low cost, and you’ll learn more about trendy companies and products.

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