Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ipsy: A Subscription in Review

Ipsy is a beauty subscription service that sends something along the lines of five deluxe samples to you in a sometimes-cute and sometimes-less cute makeup bag for $10 a month. It was created by Michelle Phan, a youtube makeup guru. Judging by the reviews I have found online, they had a pretty rocky start, sending out weird smelling bags and off-brand products. However, they seriously got their shit together and their bags have been consistently fabulous since I signed up in October.

It is also worth noting that they say that they customize the bag to your profile, but actually everyone gets the same thing, maybe in different colors. 

I have a sleeping boyfriend in my room and zero readers so far, so I am using the official ipsy photos of the bags for October and November rather than tracking down all these individual products to take lower quality photos of them.

I signed up in October mostly because of how adorable the little bag was. It's black and white and chevron and is crazy cute. I actually don't use it because I am worried that it will break since the bags are pretty flimsy. However, it sits on top of my makeup pile and looks pretty, and sometimes that is what you need out of a product.

I got different eyeshadow colors than the ones shown.

In the October bag, I recieved:
Coastal Scents Eye Shadow Quad (0.07 oz), approximate retail value $3.06
I got a bright yellow, an emerald green, a sandy brown and a dark brown. These were fun to try and they certainly added value to my bag, but I only used them maybe twice. I also never found any way to use the yellow that didn't make me look atrocious, but I imagine that someone with darker skin might have more luck. Someone mentioned adding water to the shadows to make them even more pigmented and that definitely worked but since the colors didn't work particularly well for me that made them less rather than more wearable.

Couture Colour Pequi Oil Treatment (0.5oz), approximate retail value $12.00
I forgot that I even got this. I never tried it. I wash my hair approximately never so I don't really need to add oil to my hair because my scalp has taken that job upon itself.

Be a Bombshell Eye Liner in Onyx, approximate retail value $14.00
I enjoy pen-style liners while they last... but they never last. This eyeliner was a GOOD look for me. But after five or six uses the color was no longer saturated and it is no longer usable. 

Mirenesse Lip Bomb Glossy Lacquer Stain, approximate retail value $35.10
This is the best lip product I have ever used and is certainly the best thing I have ever gotten in a beauty box. It is crazy saturated and lasts seriously all day. When I first got it I thought, "OHMYGODIAMGOINGTOBUYTHISINEVERYCOLOR"... but then I saw the price tag. I did buy it in one other color though! I received #4, a medium red, from ipsy and purchased #2, a vampy blood red. My one advice with this product is to blot a teeny bit after you apply it or it might end up on your teeth. 

theBalm What's Your Type? "the body builder" Mascara (0.11 oz), approximate retail value $5.50
I wasn't even aware until I got this sample that Covergirl wasn't cutting it. It looks great and it lasts all day. I bought the full size from the birchbox website.

The overall value of the bag was $69.71, a crazy good deal, even if not all the products are your cup of tea.

This is the look I created using October ipsy products. You know it is a good look when you use it as your facebook profile picture.

Next came the November bag. The bag itself was sort of an ugly brown and the zipper broke the first time I used it. Oh well, you can't win 'em all.

I did not get the Benefit mascara.

In the November bag I recieved:

Nailtini Nail Polish in Millionaire, approximate retail value $13.00
Meh. It's a glittery mess with long stringy pieces of glitter in it, which don't appeal to me. I will be re-gifting this, since I never even opened it.

Chelia Eyebrow Defining Gel, approximate retail value $18.00
I, along with many others (at least according to the internet), was convinced that there was nothing in this tube. However, the product did seem to have an effect on my eyebrows, so clearly it wasn't totally empty. (I was disappointed to get this because people more special than I received Benefit They're Real Mascara instead of this... But I ended up getting that sample free from Sephora! Turns out it is smudgy. Go with theBalm What's Your Type instead.)

BareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in Dare Devil, approximate retail value $8.40
This is a great lipgloss. I would consider buying a set of these if I stumbled across it and was in the right mood. It's sort of a nice minty flavor and it adds just enough color to be pretty without overwhelming. 

Starlet Peace, Love & Chocolate Eyeliner, approximate retail value $11.00
I got a weird reddish brown color for this eyeliner. It was a dud. The color didn't even look like eyeliner because it was so light and the actual pencil was so hard that it was difficult to use. Maybe if I was skilled in the ways of pencil eyeliner application I would be on board, but I am all about the little pots of eyeliner gel stuff.

Meet Matt(e) eyeshadow in Matt Batali, approximate retail value $3.83
This was a lovely purple-y brown that was very pigmented. I didn't have any matte eyeshadows before this, and I thought this looked quite nice. However, one month later and this is still my only matte eyeshadow.

The overall value was $54.23, although fewer of the products were things that I found useful. That being said, I am certainly also paying for the fun of trying this out and no one is going to love everything that they are sent.

This is the slightly-less stellar look I made using products from the November ipsy bag.

Overall, I adore this company and think that they are a lot of fun. If you are choosing only one beauty subscription service, choose ipsy.

I have received the December ipsy bag and it is sitting on the floor beside me... but I haven't tried any of the products. I will keep you updated!


  1. Wait a minute. You had no readers in December? Your blog only started less than a year ago?!?!


    Good. Then I am going to read ALL THE POSTS!!

    Also, you should write a book.

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