Do my eyes deceive me? Did I receive an ipsy bag that is startlingly badass? Although it seems frivolous to complain about a service that costs $10 a month, I feel an obligation to let you know when things are shitty. The nice converse, though, is that I get to let you know when things are awesome, as well. This ipsy bag was pretty awesome.
The bag itself, a gold, metallic snakeskin, is tacky in a sort of lovable way. I adore my faux fur jacket and my pleather circle skirt in the exact same way.
Em Cosmetics by Michelle Phan Lash Gallery Lengthening Mascara in Black (full size at 0.236 fluid oz), retail value $20
Although I was quite pleased with my bag, I am starting this review off on a sour note: I would like to propose a new rule of thumb. When you consider purchasing a new mascara, check whether it has been sampled on ipsy. If it has, DO NOT BUY IT. It is almost amazing how terrible ipsy mascara samples are.
I've written previously about my issues with Michelle Phan's recently launched makeup line, Em Cosmetics. Supposedly, though, ipsy subscribers flooded the subscription service with requests to try the new line. Each bag included a full-size product from Em. There was a lip balm, a lipstick, an eyeliner, and, what I received: one of the most dreadful mascaras I have ever used.
I was expecting to find that the Em Cosmetics mascara was generic and unexciting. Sadly, that would be a big step up. Although it does add length, I swear that it looks like it subtracts volume. It looks like I have tiny little skinny lashes. What's more, it made my eyelashes crispier than a bag of Fritos... and then it was impossible to remove. Wearing this mascara basically commits you to having awful-looking lashes for two days in a row, since removal is 48-hour-process.
This strongly discourages me from trying any other products in this line, even though I recognize that the mascara is probably a point of particular weakness. It's unfortunate that the product teams did not realize that this was an unwise choice for a sample. Since mascara isn't something one can sanitize and find a new home for, I am going to have to just throw this in the trash.
Starlooks Gem Eye Pencil in Amethyst (full size at 0.08oz), retail value $14
The Starlooks Gem Eye Pencils are metallic-finished pencils that can be used as eyeliners and, if you're careful not to stab yourself, as eyeshadow. They're smooth and creamy... and, best of all, beautiful! Amethyst is a frosty, metallic lilac. I was so mesmerized by its prettiness when I received it that I spent half an hour swatching it, removing it, and then deciding I needed to see it one more time.
I don't love this as an eyeliner, but it's perfect on the inner corners of the eye or smudged into some light eyeshadow. It might also look nice on the lower waterline.
Be A Bombshell Lip Crayon in Hot Damn (full size at 0.09oz), retail value $14
This pencil is very waxy, but it's quite pigmented and it lasts a long time, which may compensate for the Crayola-reminiscent texture.
Hot Damn is a warm, orange-y, maraschino-cherry red. It has the slightest hint of shimmer when you look at the tube, but it looks matte when applied. The color reads a little bit on the young side, to me.
Pixi Beauty Bronzer in Subtly Suntouched (0.11oz), approximate retail value $5.50
I am not a bronzer person. I've embraced the pale. What's more, most bronzers are either too dark on my skin, or they need to applied with a super light hand to be wearable. Bronzers also tend to lean very warm, which can look orange and muddy on cooler tones. Happily, this bronzer is not like that.
If you have cool-toned, fair skin and are interested in a bronzer, I would definitely pick this up. It's not cool-toned, per se, but it's definitely pretty neutral. The color looks really believable on light skin tones. The hint of shimmer adds a radiant glow.
If you are not fair-skinned, definitely don't buy this color, since it won't show up on your face.
GlamGlow YouthMud Tinglexfoliate Treatment (travel size at 0.5 fluid oz), retail value $19
I've actually received a slightly smaller (0.24 fluid oz) sample of this product from Sephora in the past. I find that GlamGlow products are really overpriced given their ingredients. The main ingredients are montmorillonite, a major component of bentonite clay, and magnesium aluminum silicate, or kaolin clay. You could probably buy bentonite clay and kaolin clay, add some water and neutralize the pH as needed with raw apple cider vinegar, and make something similar for WAY less money (just make sure to test the pH before putting it on your face!). For those of you who don't trust your DIY skills, there are plenty of products that use these ingredients that are in a more reasonable price range-- just look for bentonite and/or kaolin on the label. With that said, I love mud masks and I am happy to take GlamGlow's samples!
Nailtini Nail Lacquer in Caviar Cocktail (full size at 0.5 fluid oz), retail value $13
This is a gunmetal nail polish that was opaque in two coats. I have no strong feelings about it.
Total Box Value: $85.50
Overall, I was very happy with this bag. I will be able to use everything except the mascara, and I was particularly entranced by the bronzer and the Starlooks pencil, which were worth it on their own.
Here is what my November Ipsy products looked like on my face all together:
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