Here's what I received:
Victoria Jackson Taupe Eyebrow Pencil (full size at 0.1oz), retail value $14.95
I am not usually a fan of brow pencils because I think the tend to create less natural-looking eyebrows. The color on this is so nice, though, that I am willing to suspend my prejudice. (Still, it could definitely be a hair softer.) The packaging is really luxe, also. Given the twist-up and the sleek box, I was expecting it to be valued much higher than it actually was.
|Victoria Jackson Brown Pencil on the left, Tarte Brow Mousse on the right.|
It's super difficult to travel with the Tarte Brow Mousse (because you need the brush and spoolie and it's just a big pain), so I usually travel with brow powders. From now on, I'll be bringing this instead. I would have happily paid full price for this product.
The only real problem with this brow pencil is that it doesn't seem to be very widely available if you want to purchase one.
Cailyn Tinted Lip Balm in Big Apple (full size at 0.14oz), retail value $19
Cailyn products have been sent out by Ipsy before, but I haven't recieved one. They have a great product design because the packaging contains a brush. At home, this won't matter, but 'on the go' it's a big perk.
The thing about this product that baffles me is the claim that it is a tinted lip balm when it clearly and indisputably is not. This is a lipstick. It's a matte lipstick. If this is a lip balm, I have no idea what a lip balm is. This isn't hydrating; it's actually pretty drying. It's also fully opaque. It's a tiny bit sticky, especially after it dries. It feels a bit like you have glue on your lips.
The color is a slightly warm, medium red.
I like this product okay, but I'm not really impressed. It performs none of the functions of a lip balm but isn't as well formulated as a nice lipstick. I definitely would not pay full price for this.
Starlooks Kohl Eye Pencil in Obsidian (full size at 0.08oz), retail value $12
This product needs a big "WOMP WOMP WOMP" after it. The Starlooks lip liner I received in June was really lovely and soft and gorgeous. This product, on the other hand, displays all the problems you might face using a pencil liner. If I use a pencil eyeliner, I want it to be really soft and creamy and pigmented. This, on the other hand, is hard, meaning it stratches up your eyelids when you use it. What's more, it looks faded from the moment you put it on.
|One swipe on the right. It took five swipes to get the color shown on the right.|
NYX Single Eyeshadow in Morocco (full size at 0.085oz), retail value $4.50
Until now, the only eyeshadow I'd tried from NYX was that horrible Natural Eyes palette that wouldn't show color if you layered it on three inches thick. Thankfully, this is nothing like that.
To my surprise, this eyeshadow was lovely. It's a shimmery, purple-y indigo. It's nice and opaque, and it blends easily.
I'm still tentative about NYX eyeshadow in general because that palette was so unreasonably bad, but I might be able to give them another shot, since this single is really excellent.
Elizabeth Mott It's So Big Volumizing Mascara (0.14 fl oz), approximate retail value $8.00
This mascara is adequate. It actually seems to give significantly more length than volume, which is strange, given that it is advertised as a volumizing mascara. It's really incredibly un-noteworthy in every way.
The advertizing, though, is atrocious. I know it's commonplace in magazines to have those crazily photoshopped ads where the model is wearing eight layers of falsies and we pretend that mascara can achieved that. Normally, though, you don't see that kind of shit on the internet. Seriously, though, look at this:
YOU CAN SEE THE LINE WHERE HER FALSIES END. THERE IS A DISTINCT END POINT TO HER FALSIES IN HER INNER CORNER.
Do mascara companies just all think we're completely dense...?
Total Box Value: $58.45
A look done with all the products I got in the September 2013 Ipsy:
Overall, I'm pretty pleased. The only thing I won't use is the eyeliner, but I speculate that I can probably find it a happy home. I was impressed by the brow pencil and the NYX eyeshadow, and content with the mascara and the lip product. For $10, this is pretty great.
It's worth noting: Ipsy changed their referral system this month to allow more choice in what bonus items you get for directing people their way. Now you get points when you refer people, and you can put those towards a bonus item in your next bag. Right now, though, there's not a lot of choice (there's a nail polish I've already received and a little NYX palette that's too neutral for my current tastes). Since the points expire, it's this weird gamble where you have to guess whether or not they'll get something better later on. Birchbox points also expire, of course, but their points system is so well-done that I can't imagine not having anything to spend them on.
They've also upped the amount of referrals you need to make to get a bonus. It used to be that referring two people got you a bonus item. Now, referring someone gets you 250 points. The current offers are 1000 points, meaning you would need to refer twice as many people to get an extra.
Speaking of blatant attempts to get extra free stuff: if you are interested in joining Ipsy, you're always welcome to utilize my referral link by clicking here.