ipsy Glam Bag Review, February 2016

ipsy, $10 per month, ships to US and Canada (add $4.95 shipping for Canada)

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Here's cute little Nia the Holland Lop (2.5 months old now!) checking out the ipsy Glam Bag this month.  She is sad that she is now too big to fit into it.  My baby buns are growing up way too fast!

ipsy is one of the biggest beauty subscriptions out there and, at $10 per month, one of the most affordable.  It's a good introductory subscription.  People seem to usually start out with either ipsy or Birchbox and then branch out from there.  They were, in fact, my first two subscriptions -- first Birchbox, then ipsy soon after.  ipsy has a mix of lower end and higher end stuff, and tends to have a good number of full size or deluxe sample size items.  Birchbox focuses more on the higher end and is known for having teeny samples.  ipsy is heavier on makeup, Birchbox is heavier on skincare, although both have profiles for subscribers to fill out so that they can customize the mix of products they send you each month.  It's great for people just starting out with makeup who want to get a good feel for what they like and don't like before committing to buying expensive products.  Personally, I find ipsy to be very hit or miss.  Some months I love, some I hate, and a lot of months are somewhere in the middle.  ipsy comes with a makeup bag each month and it's often cute.

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The February Glam Bag is one of the cutest bags I've gotten from ipsy!  It looks like a love letter from an old video game on the front.  This was a great choice for a Valentine's Day design, but it's also something that could be used year-round.

My February ipsy Glam Bag contained the following items:

I believe the Chella lipstick is full size.  The size of the full size product is not listed on Chella's website, so I could be wrong.  If I'm right about that, my February Glam Bag was worth $49.86.  For a $10 bag, ipsy's values are always great.  I'd estimate my bags from ipsy average a $50-$60 value.  I don't recall ever seeing an ipsy bag worth less than $30.  If you subscribe to ipsy, do you know approximately how much the lowest value bag you've gotten was worth?

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First up, there was the Paula Dorf Eye Liner in Baby Eyes Enhancer.  I've included a swatch of this below.  As you might know, applying dark eyeliner in the lower waterline can make eyes look smaller.  To avoid this, a lot of people line the lower lid in a dark color and then use a white liner in the lower waterline.  The white makes the eye look bigger.  This Baby Eyes Enhancer liner works the same way.  Sometimes white liner can be a little too obvious and it can bring attention to the fact that your eyes are bloodshot, so white isn't the right choice for everyone.  That's where this comes in.  It gives your eyes a slightly bigger look.  It is very subtle on me, but it works and it stays on all day.  Paula Dorf also recommends using this to line the top edge of your lips to subtly draw attention to your beautiful Cupid's bow.  I have yet to try it on my lips because I think it would be too dark for my skin there.  I am not sure how well this would work for people who have dark complexions, but those with light to medium complexions will find this to be a useful product.

Swatch of Paula Dorf Eye Liner in Baby Eyes Enhancer on the skin of my forearm

Swatch of Paula Dorf Eye Liner in Baby Eyes Enhancer on the skin of my forearm

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Next up is the Luxie Flat Definer Brush 221.  This is a vegan-friendly synthetic brush that is great for smoky eyeliner.  When I'm doing a smoky eye, I generally use eyeshadow and a brush similar to this to line my eyes.  I actually needed a new brush like this, so I was happy to see this in my ipsy bag.  Good makeup brushes are expensive and I hate spending money on them, so I love getting brushes in my subscription boxes.  This brush worked perfectly for me.  It gave me a great line and made it easy to smudge it a bit for a sexy smoky eye.

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I thought I had used just about every type of primer there was, but I had never used an oil primer before.  Smashbox is well-known for their extensive primer line (I highly recommend their Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Foundation Primer), but this is their first time offering an oil-based primer.  If it were the summer, I wouldn't let this near my face because I have combination skin and my T-zone is an oil factory.  This winter, though, my face has gotten really dried out from the cold, so I gave this a try.  The oil is surprisingly light and didn't give me quite the coverage I wanted.  I really prefer their more traditional Pore Minimizing primer.  This is okay, but it's not something I would buy.  Has anyone with oily skin given this a try?  If so, how did it work for you?

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Promise Organic is sold only at CVS.  I believe I've gotten a product or two from Promise in my ipsy bags before.  The facial lotion is a lot thinner than I like my moisturizers to be, but it is hydrating.  I love the light citrus scent to it.  I find it a little strange that they call it Argan Creme Facial Lotion with Olive Oil.  While it does contain both argan and olive oils, those are pretty far down on the list of ingredients, so I don't think it contains all that much of either.  Aloe juice, shea, and jojoba are much higher on the list.  I suspect they want to capitalize on the popularity of argan oil and olive oil right now, but didn't want to spend a lot of money on the expensive ingredients.  That makes me lose a lot of respect for this brand.  I appreciate that they are trying to make organic beauty products affordable, but they shouldn't mislead their customers in order to do that.

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The Chella Lipstick Pencil in Passionate Pink was not my favorite product.  First, I don't like how they made the label on the pencil a weird red-orange color.  If you know the name of the color, you're fine, but if you're digging through your box of lipstick, you're going to see that and assume it'll be a red-orange color.  I think a black, white, grey, or taupe would have been more appropriate label color.  The pigment wasn't all that great.  I swatched it below and the picture is after I went over it twice.  On my lips, I couldn't see all that much color and it didn't last long once I had it on.  The one good thing about this product is that it felt moisturizing, but I have lip balm for that.  I don't recommend this product.

Chella Lip Pencil in Passionate Pink.  I had to go over it twice to get that level of color.  The color was very light and sheer after just one pass.  

Chella Lip Pencil in Passionate Pink.  I had to go over it twice to get that level of color.  The color was very light and sheer after just one pass.

 

I liked the Luxie brush and the Paula Dorf pencil, but the rest of the products didn't impress me.  The Smashbox primer wasn't as good as their other primers, so, unless you have really dry skin and could use the extra oil, I would suggest you pass on this one.  The Promise Organic facial lotion would have nice, but I didn't like that the name of the product is Argan Creme Facial Lotion with Olive Oil when those ingredients appear to make up very little of the formula.  Am I off-base with my complaint about the name of this product?  Finally, the Chella Lip Pencil did nothing for me in the way of color and didn't even stay on for very long.  So, needless to say, this wasn't my favorite ipsy month.  I thought the Glam Bag was cute, at least.  I liked two of the five things, so I got my money's worth.

What did you get in your ipsy bags this month?  Anything you loved or hated?