Thursday, May 16, 2013

Ipsy May 2013 Review

It's officially subscription box acquisition time. Ipsy arrived in my mailbox yesterday afternoon. This is the first month where there has been substantial differences in who got what. I'm not sure whether or not this will be the permanent state of things (moving to a more Birchbox-like system) or whether they will revert back to their old methods. I think I may actually be hoping for the latter, since it cuts back on disappointment. For example, I would have loved to try the Anastasia Clear Brow Gel that was sent out in this month's bag, but I didn't get it. If I hadn't been hoping for it, what I got would have been less disappointing.


Alas, I got a bunch of stuff I'll never use instead.

Terrible picture, sorry.
Zoya Nail Polish in Julie, retail value $8.00

Fancy nail polish bloggers put so much effort into making their nails look impeccable, and I just sort of smear it on and peel off the weird bits after wearing it for a while. So... sorry about that.

Julie is a pastel lilac with an icy shimmer. It took three coats to reach full opacity. It's perfectly lovely and Zoya is a good brand, but I have so many nail polishes at this point that I have a difficult time getting really excited about it. Plus, the whole pastel-thing isn't really to my taste. It might be great with some nail art, though. It's a totally acceptable nail polish, it's just that I wouldn't have picked it up for myself.

Admittedly, since everyone got a Zoya nail polish and this was probably the most appealing of the colors that were sent out, I probably shouldn't complain much about it.

Pacifica Island Vanilla Perfume Roll-On, retail value $12.00


This perfume is perfectly adequate, but it is a little bit bland. It mostly smells like a marshmallow, which is sort of juvenile. Additionally, the scent fades almost immediately.

Pacifica Coconut Crushed Pearl Bronzing Body Butter Mini, retail value $7.00


This is a very dark, very sparkly body butter, meaning that it combines pretty much everything I don't use into one thing: it's a tanning product, it's a body butter, and it's sparkly. I spread some on my boobs to see what I looked like with sparkly bronzed boobs, and it just made my face look weirdly pale. I might be able to use it as a lotion to massage the eczema on the bottoms of my feet, because who really cares if the soles of my feet are sparkly and mismatched? It's more likely, though, that it will just sit sadly in my closet, neglected.


This product smells very vaguely like coconut, but in a soft, sad, non-committal way.

Yaby Concealer Refill in Honey (2g), approximate retail value $2.77


Honey? Honey?! Honey. There are lots of color descriptions that could hypothetically match the color of my skin. Honey is not one of them. I've had success with Birchbox kinda-sorta-almost matching the color of my skin. This... this is not close.

Yaby on the left, a concealer that is actually my color on the right. 
It seems like it has pretty decent opacity, but I am not putting it on my face to do any meaningful tests.

This, to me, is super irritating, because it is clear from the color they sent that they did not even try to match the color of my skin. I went into my profile and double checked and I definitely have my skin color listed as "light". I can forgive "Oh we tried but it turns out this color isn't quite right" but this clearly shows that they did not actually care.

Mirabella Shimmerati Glimmer Gloss, retail value $16.00


This is an absurdly priced lip gloss, that looks just like every other glittery red lip gloss that has ever been. The packaging, on the other hand, is unique and bizarre. The tube is wide, flat, and squishy. It doesn't have a doe foot applicator, but it just has a slanted tip opening a la $2 drugstore lipglosses. The width ensures that, if you ever got to the end, you would not be able to actually use up the product.


There's nothing wrong with the gloss itself. But, again... glitter. I'm not opposed to glitter in all situations, but a glittery fake-tanning product and a glittery red lip gloss do not a sophisticated look make.


Total Box Value: $45.77

Although that number seems perfectly adequate in terms of value, I didn't really like a single thing that I got. Even the bag was tacky.

Hypothetically, a few small changes could have changed my opinion of the bag substantially, as there was nothing actually wrong with the gloss or the nail polish. If they sent me a color of concealer that was anything vaguely close to my skin tone and if they had replaced the body butter with the brow gel, the mediocrity of the other products might have been forgivable. As it is, though, I am really very annoyed that I payed for this.

If for some reason this convinced you to try Ipsy (which I can't imagine that it did, but eh) and you're feeling generous, feel free to use my referral link here.

19 comments:

  1. Hahaha, I love reading your reviews of beauty boxes (even though I tried Birchbox and decided the whole endeavor wasn't for me) just because they're always so funny. Sorry everything was so meh! I love some Pacifica products, and the body butter of Island Vanilla is really lovely, but yeeeesh, both of those sound super disappointing. Why would they feel the need to bronze and sparkle a body butter?! I can't imagine there's a huge market for that, but then again, I don't think I know anyone who dances in Vegas, so maybe there's a bigger demand than I suspect.

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    1. Unfortunately, it seems that Ipsy tends to get the less popular products that various brands offer...

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  2. I really loved my Ipsy box this month, but mine was really different from yours. I got the Zoya polish in Neely, it's a soft sea-foam green and I love it. I Also got a Pacifica roller ball perfume, but mine was in Island Gardenia, and smells wonderful. I agree with you though, that it does fade pretty fast. I was actually glad not to get the brow gel, because I own it already, instead I got a 1oz bottle of macadamia hair oil.. it smells so great, and makes my hair really soft. Instead of a red mirabella gloss, mine was a light, sheer mauve-y gloss from Juice beauty. That one also smells delicious. And my concealer was a tiny bit dark, but not nearly as bad as yours. I'm using mine as a dark circle corrector, because it has a bisque tone. I really like this bag, I may have been more impressed than normal though, because I opened it right after my horrible, awful, disappointing birchbox.

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    1. I am super jealous of everyone who got that Cargo blush in their Birchbox this month...

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    2. I ended up with toothpaste, a pen, a tiny eyeliner, a tiny cucumber spf moisturizer, and foil packets of shampoo/conditioner. I canceled today, this was the last straw. A blush would have at least been something I could use!

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  3. I agree completely with you about sparkle tan lotion and bright red sparkle lip gloss not making for a sophisticated look. And that honey-colored stuff when you are so pale? What on earth?

    The funny thing is that otherwise we're at opposite ends of the spectrum on product preference. I really like this month's bag pattern, desperately want the marshmallowy vanilla perfume, and am annoyed because I'm pretty sure I'm getting the brow stuff. I'll be happy to trade you the brow gel if you like.

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    1. Let me know if you get it...

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    2. Robyn, are you still interested in trading? I got the brow gel and the Yaby concealer in buff.

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    3. Absolutely, Keira! Do you know what you want?

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    4. I actually really like the bag itself. I'd be happy to trade the brow gel for the bag if you still have it. If not, we can work something else out. Do you want the concealer, too? If so, you can pop in a random mystery thing to trade for it. I like surprises. e-mail me at urban.exotic@gmail dot com and we can exchange addresses. :)

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  4. I agree, I think I would have been satisfied by this month's Ipsy had I not seen the other options.

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  5. That gloss packaging looks to my inexpert eye like an attempt to rip off the Hourglass schtick (http://www.sephora.com/prodigy-hydrating-lip-gloss-P256901?skuId=1323328). However, I tend to avoid $26 lip glosses so I cannot attest to the level of squishiness of the Hourglass packaging.

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    Replies
    1. Huh. You are surely correct. I have an Hourglass lipgloss but it has a doefoot applicator and is not squishy. The one you linked to looks similar to the Mirabella one, though.

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  6. Adore your reviews, as always. I got a sparkle (non-tan lotion), blue nail polish, Juice Beauty gloss (given to friend - but good color - I just don't do gloss), hair serum, and concealer (in a usable color). Sadly, I threw away that mini-compact a couple months ago. In a typical Ipsy month I seem to get at least 2 things that I like and will use (lotion, hair serum - gloss good but I give it to my gloss-hoarding friend, nail polish used once and chipped too easily and will be moved along, concealer will go in my oh-shit kit for emergency travels.)

    Overall, I have been much happier with Ipsy than I was with Birchbox. I cancelled Birchbox a few months ago, and reconfirm the wisdom of that decision each month when I see their contents reviewed online.

    Does anyone else throw "excess" make-up away even when it is new and has only been used a few times. If I don't like it, and it sits for a bit, I toss it. Maybe it is just the minimalist-declutterer in me, but I don't see the point in having the stuff hang around.

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    1. I tend to be equally unhappy with Ipsy and Birchbox, but the Birchbox points system makes it a substantially better deal for me.

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  7. I almost unsubscribed from Ipsy just because of this month. I got stuff that I will never use. I gave 4/5 things away and what I kept what that hair serum to try. What's keeping me going is that it is only $10.00 and it does give me something to look forward to. I updated my beauty profile, maybe that will help.

    Also, don't they know pale is the new tan? :P

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  8. uhm. i think that was supposed to be my bag. I got a concealer that was like WHITE OUT on my skin. I don't think I could even use it as a highlight because I'm so dark now. My thing online says I have medium toned skin too, so I don't know how they effed that one up. I hope they don't give out face samples like that again. Stick with the trends that work, Ipsy.

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    1. My guess is that they just didn't care.

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  9. I was so disappointed with that bag too. I understand the value of the product is more than $10 but if you have no use or they don't match your complexion, the products are useless even if you got them for free. I wanted the Urban Decay eye shadow and I didn't get it. This month there is the clown glitter and first thing in the morning Ipsy said it was for eyes/eyeliner and when people started complaining that it's scratchy and chunky they said it was for body art only.
    Today I cancelled my bag and I mentioned it on Ipsy's Facebook page they deleted my comment and blocked me. Needless to say I have unliked them, I'm not going to renew or refer anyone to them. So immature on their behalf. How would you know if you have satisfied customers if you don't care about the feedback, negative or positive.

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