ipsy, $10 a month, $4.95 extra to ship to Canada
ipsy is a monthly subscription that sends customers five beauty products per month in a cute little makeup bag. All subscribers get the same makeup bag, but the contents of subscribers' bags are customized based on a beauty profile they fill out. ipsy is heavier on the makeup, has a younger demographic, and tends to have bigger samples than Birchbox, but often is heavier on the lower end brands than Birchbox is. It's a great way to discover some of the good drugstore brand products out there. I'm always up for finding less expensive alternatives to my beauty products and ipsy is a great way to do just that.
My January ipsy Glam Bag contained the following items:
- the Balm Cosmetics Mr. Write (Now) in Scott B. Bordeaux (full size, worth $17)
- Mitchell and Peach English Leaf Body Cream (small sample, worth $8.72; full size costs $52.29)
- PEEK Beauty Expresso Natural Stain Brow Powder (half size (?), worth $11)
- City Color Cosmetics Eyeshadow Trio in Falling Leaves (full size, worth $5.99)
- Pur~Lisse Blue Lotus 4-in-1 Eye Adore Serum (deluxe sample, worth $31.25; full size costs $65)
My January ipsy bag is worth an amazing $73.96, if my calculations are correct. The Balm eyeliner was full size, the City Color Cosmetics palette was full size, the PEEK Beauty brow powder was probably around half size, and the Pur~Lisse serum was about half the size of the expensive full size serum. With the Mitchell and Peach body cream, I had to convert the full size price from British Pounds to US Dollars because Mitchell and Peach is based in the UK, so the price of the full size was accurate on the day I converted the price.
This month ipsy had a theme! It was All Eyes on You. As far as I know, this is the first time ipsy has had a real theme, but correct me if I am wrong about that. The Glam Bags were heavy on products for the eyes this month and the bags themselves fit the theme well, too.
Every ipsy subscriber got the Balm's Mr. Write (Now) in either Scott B. Bordeaux or Jac B. Bronze. I was very happy that I got Scott B. Bordeaux. Several months ago, I got a bronze eyeliner from ipsy and I liked it quite a bit, so I didn't want to get another eyeliner in almost the same color. I've never had a wine-colored eyeliner before. I love this eyeliner so much. The deep red really brings out my green eyes. It stayed on perfectly all day. Be aware that you'll need some good makeup remover to get this off.
While I have liked some of the Balm's products, I am a little put off by the heteronormative names of their products. Almost every product they have is named after some guy or is about being boy crazy, so I do feel a little left out as a lesbian consumer of cosmetics. The products they have named after women seem to be about being sexy for men because they often have a man in the background looking at the women. Is this the biggest issue facing lesbians? Far from it, but it does reinforce heteronormativity and makes me (and probably other femme lesbians) less likely to buy their products.
I'm never excited to see a Mitchell and Peach product in a beauty box. It seems more like something I would find in a hotel bathroom than something I would buy. The lotion is thin and water-based, so it didn't leave my parched hands feeling any more moisturized. It has a leafy scent to it that I didn't hate, but certainly didn't love. I would pass on this.
The size of this Peek Beauty brow powder was marked on the back of the tin, but I couldn't find how big the full size was anywhere. The full size has two different colors, but this has only one. I estimate it is about roughly half the size of the full size. The tin the sample is in is very cute. Its top slides completely off, making it easy to access the powder. The powder is a medium brown. I found that the powder filled in my brows really well and my brows looked amazing all day. I'm extremely happy with this product and highly recommend it.
The City Colors eyeshadow trio looks brown above, but it is very orange and red in real life. It coordinated well with the Bordeaux eyeliner. I've tried other City Color stuff before and wasn't the biggest fan, but I was impressed by this shadow. Red and orange are underutilized in eye makeup, so it was nice to get a palette that was a little different. Pink, red, and orange are so easy to mess up when it comes to the eyes, so I understand why people are wary of giving them a try, but using the right shades in the right places can give you a really gorgeous look. If you don't use the right shades in the right places, though, you run the risk of looking like your eye is infected or hurt in some way. Red and pink look absolutely fabulous on green eyes because the complementary colors really bring out the green. If you are green-eyed, I highly recommend playing around with red, pink, and even some oranges to see what you can do.
I'm glad that in addition to eye makeup, ipsy also gave me some pur~lisse eye serum. The eyes are usually what will show signs of aging the fastest because the surrounding skin is so delicate, so keeping that skin in top condition is crucial if you want to prevent wrinkles from forming. This serum will also brighten and reduce puffiness. This will be your best friend if you are not getting quite enough sleep. You want to apply serums after washing and toning but before moisturizing for optimal results. I've found this serum has helped make me look a little less tired. This is a generously sized serum sample (and a little goes a very long way with serums), so I love that I can use this for several weeks to see how well it works for me before spending $65 for a full size serum!
I used 1000 of my ipsy points on the Buxom Big & Sexy Bold Gel Lipstick in Rogue Red, an orange-based red. It's full size and worth $22. I've heard a lot of good things about Buxom, but have never tried their products. I had some ipsy points that were going to expire and there weren't many options available at the time, so this is what I had to go with. I didn't include it in the main picture above because it wasn't a part of my January Glam Bag, but since I used my points for it, I figured I'd throw it in the review.
First, I was really impressed with the tube. It's a heavy, magnetized tube, so if you throw it in your purse, the top won't come off and all that gross bottom-of-purse-dirt won't get stuck on your lipstick. The color was matte and a little orangier than it looked in the ipsy picture, but my favorite lip color, OCC's Manhunter (sadly, no longer available), is an orange-based red, so I gave it a try. It went on really smoothly and wasn't drying at all. Normally, with my OCC lip color, I use a liner because liquid lip color is much more prone to bleeding on me than a regular lipstick is. I've almost never bothered using a liner with regular lipstick, though, because the formula is thick enough that it never bleeds on me. The Buxom lipstick really bled on me, though! I'm guessing it is because it is a gel lipstick, but it feels quite solid, so I wasn't expecting bleeding. I haven't had a chance to try it with liner on, so I'm hoping that will fix the problem. The color was okay on me, but I think the shade would look gorgeous on a women with a warm-toned, darker complexion.
I loved everything in my ipsy bag except for the Mitchell and Peach lotion, so it was an exceptional month for ipsy. I enjoyed the eye theme. For subscribers who don't use much in the way of eye makeup, I imagine this was a very disappointing month. Three out of the five items were eye makeup, the fourth was eye serum, and then there was the completely unrelated lotion. I liked that ipsy went outside the box for some of the eye makeup color selections. After the fiftieth black eyeliner and fortieth taupe eyeshadow, I was ready for some different colors and ipsy delivered! It was definitely a risk ipsy was taking there, but it worked for me.
What did you think of ipsy's All Eyes on You Glam Bag? Did you like the colors you got in your bag? Did you love the theme or hate the theme? I can't wait to hear about what you thought of your January ipsy bag in the comments!