Sunday, May 25, 2014

Ipsy May 2014 Review

Ten dollars invested, ten dollars of random crap sent to my house. Thanks, Ipsy. It's the life of a subscription box addict.

Here's what I got this month:


(Note: The canvas, leaf-covered bag would have been pretty cute if it didn't have the word "Ipsy" scrawled all over it.)

Pacifica Natural Beauty Mineral Eyeshadow Duo 2 (0.07 oz), estimated retail value $3.92


As a duo of dusty plum and burnished white-gold, this eyeshadow looks nice, in theory.

Unfortunately, the duo is not actually being sold in stores or online. After testing the quality, it's not difficult to determine the reason.


This eyeshadow has pigmentation that borders on embarrassing. It takes some serious scraping to reveal a hint of color. What's worse, the tarnished effect on the light golden highlight, which might have looked striking in a highly pigmented eyeshadow, reads as muddy and unflattering here. It looks like I contaminated my eyeshadow with dirt.


Here's how it looks on my face:


This definitely does not tempt me to purchase any Pacifica makeup.

Hang Ten Classic Sport SPF50 (1 fl oz), approximate retail value $2.17


This piña colada-scented sunscreen formulated by Coola is lightweight and has a great texture-- no greasiness detected. The one ounce sample, though, is only a single full-body use. It's also sold in relatively small tubes, making it too pricey, ounce per ounce. I wouldn't buy this unless I got the product at a substantial discount.

Derma e Microdermabrasion Scrub (1 oz), approximate retail value $15.00


This scrub is incredibly harsh. Not only is loaded up with citrus oils for some reason (the tub smells like a carton of Sunny D), the abrasive aluminium oxide crystals make this the gooey version of sandpaper.


I would use this on my feet, but not my face.

Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask (2.03 fl oz), approximate retail value $1.92


This conditioner has a distinct candy corn scent, but no distinct difference from less expensive conditioning products.

Olive Natural Beauty The Olive Lip Balm in Refreshing Rosemary (0.07 oz), retail value $5.95


This lip balm has a minty rosemary scent and no other distinguishing qualities.

Bonus: TokyoMilk Dark Femme Fatale Collection Lip Elixir Lip Balm in No. 36 Salted Caramel (full size at 0.7oz), retail value $7.00
Bonus: BareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipstick in Light It Up (full size at 0.12 oz), retail value $18.00


Last month, I got a TokyoMilk La Vie En Rose balm as a bonus for making referrals. This month, they inexplicably sent me a second one-- this time in Salted Caramel. Although the scent is a little darker, stronger, and more artificial than any caramel you might eat, the similarity is otherwise remarkable. I also got a full size BareMinerals Marvelous Moxie lipstick, which I have been totally unable to open because the unnecessarily complicated triggering lever is stuck.

Total Box Value (without bonus items): $28.96
Total Box Value (with bonus items): $53.96

I'm really happy with the bonus items I received for making referrals, but I'm not happy with the rest of the box. I also have a really difficult time finding the bonus items in time to redeem my points for them, which means I am racking up referral points much more quickly than I am spending them. Additionally, Ipsy's point system is pretty useless for non-beauty bloggers (most of you are probably not making high volumes of referrals, meaning that it's hard to hit the 1000 point threshold of a reward) so the box really needs to be good even when you take out the issue of bonus items. This box wasn't.

If you are somehow tempted to join Ipsy, you are always welcome to use my referral link by clicking here.

33 comments:

  1. I got the "Jersey Shore Sun Sans Tan" sunscreen. I applied some on Thursday while I was getting ready for work. Unfortunately, I do not work at a Clown Training Centre, nor The North Central Texas School for Stereotypical Mimes. It went on bright white and STAYED that way. I had to scrub it off.

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  2. At least you didn't get the canned water. I was so pissed that I was sent canned water that I unsubscribed. Goodbye, Ipsy.

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    Replies
    1. I've read this like 5 times and it still says "canned water." ????

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    2. I was sent Avene "Thermal Spring Water." The ingredients are literally just water and nitrogen (for adding pressure).

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    3. I got that too. But it's expensive French "soothing" water that is totally different from normal water, obviously. It's good for sensitive skin. You know, because it's just water. It does feel nice sprayed on a hot face, but I can't believe there are people out there paying $9 for that.

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    4. I seriously can't like this comment enough. It's noncomedogenic water guys.

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    5. I've read other reviews about the stupid canned water that rave about it. Mine sucks. But I was happy with the rest of my box, and it was certainly worth $10.

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  3. I got 3 different items than you, and they weren't any better. I wasn't very impressed with this month's box.

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  4. According to my little 'cheat sheet' on my Ipsy profile, I was supposed to end up with the eyeshadow this month in my bag as well, but alas, no eyeshadow. After reading your review, I guess I'm glad no eyeshadow and that I didn't make the effort to complain. I feel like Ipsy gets it right (really really right) a majority of the time, but when they suck....well, it's pretty bad. Hopefully next month will be better.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I got the same shadow and you are not missing out. I am going to try it once more wet, but I think it is destined for the landfill.

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    2. I tried it again yesterday literally dipping my brush into UDPP then picking up the product and applying as much as I could to my face on one eye, did nothing to the other eye. I could see it as applied, but once I put my glasses on and had my eyes open, it was damn near impossible to tell which side was coated in makeup except for some stray gold sparkles. Pretty pathetic.

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  5. The only product I honestly enjoyed this month was the Calvin Klein fragrance and even that was kind of a dud. I loved it at first but it disappears within 10 minutes of wearing it. Bummer of a bag this month!

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  6. I got a moisturizer for dry skin. I am not sure who I even know with dry skin. I also got the honey mask and peeling masks are always entertaining in my book. But that eye shadow -- I have naturally dark-ish eyelids and even piling the stuff on it was almost impossible to distinguish from the eye with no makeup at all. And a brush, which was decent enough and will get used. The sunscreen will go on my kid, who is tiny enough I will get a few uses out of it.

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  7. I love your beauty box subscription posts but I certainly do not miss subscribing to them. I guess I like the feeling of knowing where my money is going.

    http://beautystatute.blogspot.com/

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  8. On another note, do you like the Tokyo Milk lip balm? I'm considering getting one and I want to know if you like it.

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    Replies
    1. I bought two and I think they're pretty decent. I have the Salted Caramel and Bourbon Cherry. They smell AMAZING. The caramel one especially, but they don't taste the way they smell- just kind of a hint of sweetness on the lips-, and the smell does dissipate after a while. For me, this is a good thing. YMMV and all that jazz. They're a wee bit more greasy then I tend to like in lip balms (I'm a chapstick girl for the record) but they are hydrating.

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    2. I bought the Salted Caramel balm full-price probably two years ago. There's still over half left, and I was using it as my dedicated nightly balm for a couple months too. That should tell you how much I dislike using it.

      It seems like it's about 90% petroleum jelly. It doesn't stay on the lips, just slides around (even if I use only a little).
      It smells/tastes really good (I have woken up in the night to a cat licking it off me), but feels gross sitting on my lips. YMMV though.

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    3. OMG, I literally bust out laughing (several times) with that cat comment! The visual was too much. I've got 4 cats and I can totally see that happening. I know this post is way late but couldn't help but thank Emily for an awesome laugh.

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  9. That Pacifica duo reminds me of a new NARS release, Kauai! That one is so freaking buttery and beautiful.

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    Replies
    1. Too bad the Pacifica is nowhere near a dupe :(

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    2. I LOVE Nars Kauai- I had reservations about spending that much on a duo but it was just so dang sparkly, I couldn't stop obsessing. Money well spent.

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  10. Did anyone get the item from too faced in their bag? Its displayed on the site but nobody I know even got one >_<

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    Replies
    1. I got it! It's the chocolate bronzer. It's completely matte and not at all orange, and it's a really good contouring color for me.

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  12. I got the eyeshadow as well (still getting boxes until my sub runs out) and had a litttttle more luck with the gold color, but not much. Brushes weren't doing anything so I had to rub it really hard with my finger and then pat it on from there. When I took the "purple" to the crease, it was pretty much a poorly pigmented muddying grey. But then after wearing it for a couple hours, I noticed little gold glitter all over my face. So while the initial fallout on the gold was minimal, the actual fallout is RIDICULOUS. Sigh...Ipsy...

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  13. I had a similar lackluster reaction- my review is on my blog Baroque In Babylon- should it interest you to see more boring crap. I hope next month is better!

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  14. Wow, that eyeshadow is really bad. That's a bit surprising because, as far as I know, the Pacifica quads that they were selling at Target weren't half bad.

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    Replies
    1. I have a different duo, and I like it a lot.

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  15. I must admit, although each item in the box seems functional (except maybe the eyeshadow), I kind of glazed a bit until Lipstick! and Caramel! crossed my radar :-D Those last two are definitely the best, even if the lipstick doesn't want to open without a fight.

    Re: the scrub: much as I like Freeman products generally, I once tried a tiny bit of their body polish (green tube) in the store. Holy crap - it has actual whole macroscopic crystals (like, we're talking 3mm > x > 10mm here), and I actually cut my finger a bit on one of them, it was that sharp. I have great respect, well-tinged with pity for whoever uses that scrub! Either that or I managed to test the one freak tube with monster exfoliant in it...

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  16. I actually have one of the Pacifica eyeshadow quads in Mystical and I received the duo from Ipsy that contains two colors from that quad. It doesn't even seem like the same product. The shades actually look different to me. The purple shade in the duo you got is supposed to be from the Mystical quad but it doesn't look like the same color. It's supposed to be Moonbeam, which is a grayish lavender, but it actually looks more like the deep indigo in the quad (which has the weakest pigmentation). I have no idea what happened with these duos. I'm not saying the quad is the best eyeshadow I've ever used, but they're definitely nicer than the duos suggest.

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  17. I got the golden pacifica eyeshadow quad and was initially really excited because they swatched amazing and the light pink color called opal had a bright pink duochrome in the swatch. But once on the eyes I couldn't get it to look like anything but a sheer chalky mess. Suuuuuper disappointing.

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