ipsy, $10 per month US; ships to Canada for $10 + $4.95 shipping
ipsy is one of the most popular beauty subscriptions. At $10 per month, it's a great starter beauty box. ipsy tends to be heavier on makeup than skincare and has a mix of drugstore and higher end brands. I find ipsy's sample sizes to generally be bigger than Birchbox's. Each month, ipsy sends subscribers five beauty products inside a makeup bag, which has a different design every month. You can see the May makeup bag design above. Bags are customized based on beauty profiles that each subscriber fills out upon joining ipsy. The total value of the products subscribers receive is often higher than that of Birchbox, but Birchbox has a better points system than ipsy. You earn points by referring friends, reviewing products, and sharing posts on Facebook and/or Twitter. ipsy has a small selection of items that you can "buy" with your points. Check their points section regularly because the good products go very quickly!
Here's what I got this month:
- Pacifica Natural Mineral Coconut Eye Shadow Trio (deluxe sample, worth $7.04; full size costs $9.99)
- INSPR Eye Fluff Brush (worth $12)
- SOO AE 3 Collagen Essence Mask Set in Brightening, Collagen, and Propolis (worth $9 for three; 5-pack of any one type costs $15)
- Clark's Botanicals Smoothing Marine Cream (deluxe sample, worth $34.53; full size costs $115)
- Smashbox X-Rated Mascara (deluxe sample, worth $7.33; full size costs $22)
My May ipsy Glam Bag was worth $69.90! ipsy bags are usually worth $40-$60, in my experience, so this month's value was amazing! Because products subscribers receive vary, others may have received bags worth more or less than mine.
I usually don't say much about the makeup bags themselves, but this month's was extra cute! This might be my favorite makeup bag they've sent me. I love how it looks like a little envelope and has a button closure. This month's theme was Destination Chic, so the landmarks and planes printed on the bag were the perfect choice. I give away most of my ipsy makeup bags, but the May bag is all mine!
Pacifica usually isn't my favorite company, so I didn't have high expectations for this eyeshadow trio. I was impressed by this eyeshadow! You can see in the swatch below that it has great pigment. The lightest color was close to my skin color, so it doesn't show up very well, but the other two colors were really pretty. They had a nice shimmer to them. The eyeshadow held up for most of the day. I've tried Pacifica eyeshadow in the past and wasn't a fan, but they seem to have improved the formula. Pacifica is one of the more accessible, inexpensive vegan companies out there, so I like that their products are getting better.
The INSPR Eye Fluff Brush is great for putting on lid color or brow bone color. It puts a lot of shadow on quickly, so you will get some fall out. It's good for blending and basic application. If you need to do more intricate stuff, such as working in the crease, you'll want a slightly smaller, stiffer brush, but this is a perfect brush for most eyeshadow needs.
I couldn't believe ipsy sent out three sheet masks and counted them as just one item! I assumed they would send only one mask. Soo Ae is a Korean company carried by Target. You can buy these masks in 5-packs of one type for $15, but you can't buy them individually or in a mixed pack. This is a great way to try a few different types of Soo Ae's masks without buying multi-packs of each variety. I received the Collagen Essence Mask, the Brightening Collagen Essence Mask, and the Propolis Collagen Essence Mask. The regular Collagen Essence Mask is for hydration and fighting signs of aging; the Brightening mask is for evening out skin tone; the Propolis mask is brightening, anti-aging, and anti-inflammatory. Emily tried the regular Collagen and I tried the Propolis. The masks fit well and stayed on without any problems. There was a good amount of liquid in the package. They were hydrating and made our skin feel firmer. We haven't tried the Radiance mask yet. I am swimming in sheet masks as it is, so I wouldn't go out and buy more of these, but, if you're looking for a good, basic mask, Soo Ae is a great choice.
I had never heard of Clark's Botanicals until I got their eye cream in my Boxycharm several months ago, so I was surprised to see it in my ipsy bag this month. The Smoothing Marine Cream sample doesn't look very big, but it's worth $34.53! The full size version of this product costs $115! The Smoothing Marine Cream contains glycolic acid and algae and yeast extracts to minimize fine lines and wrinkles. It also contains jasmine absolute to rebalance the skin. Clark's Botanicals' website says that all of their products contain jasmine absolute because, they say, it is "antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and immuno-stimulating." This was a very moisturizing cream, but I certainly wouldn't pay $115 for it. I was hoping that reading Clark's Botanicals' story would help me justify their high prices, but it didn't. The cream has a light scent to it, but it goes away quickly after you apply it.
The last item in my May Glam Bag was the Smashbox X-Rated Mascara. I thought that I had tried this mascara before, but I checked and it was actually Smashbox's Full Exposure Mascara that I had tried. X-Rated is one of Smashbox's new mascaras. Smashbox says that is their most buildable mascara and I found that to be accurate. With one coat, it made for a great daytime or work look, and, with a couple more coats, I was ready for a night on the town. I liked that this gave me more length than it did volume and I had no issues with clumping. I've tried tons of mascara and this is one of my favorites.
I saved up my ipsy points and used 500 of them to get Trust Fund Beauty's Lipgasm Lipstick in Something Witty. When you use your points on an item, ipsy sends it out inside the pink mailer with the following month's Glam Bag. This wasn't technically a part of my ipsy bag, but I'll still review it. I love Trust Fund Beauty's nail polish and highlighter. Trust Fund Beauty made only nail polish, but they've recently branched out into makeup. I was worried their makeup wouldn't be as good as their nail polish, but I was very happy with the highlighter. I couldn't wait to try their lipstick! ipsy had a number of Trust Fund Beauty lipstick colors available for 500 points each, but, by the time I saw that they were available, the only color left was Something Witty, a bright pink. Trust Fund Beauty no longer has Something Witty available on their website. They have only four colors available on their site, so I assume they've sold out of the other colors they used to have available. The four they have left range in price from $9 to $15, so I don't know how much Something Witty is worth. It's strange that they are charging different amounts for different colors of the same lipstick.
I had high expectations for the lipstick. Unfortunately, this lipstick wasn't for me. The color was okay, but not my favorite. If there had been other colors available, I wouldn't have chosen this one -- I usually go for reds. Matte lipstick isn't my favorite, so that was part of the problem. The color didn't go on quite as smoothly as I would have liked and I had to apply it a couple of times to get enough pigment on my lips. I would love to try this lipstick in other colors, but this particular color didn't impress me all that much.
ipsy seems to be getting better and better! I loved their bag last month and I love it again this month. Everything ipsy sent me was a hit! I don't even think I can choose a favorite product because I liked all of them so much. The Trust Fund Beauty lipstick was what I used my ipsy points on, so that was separate from the May bag. The lipstick didn't quite meet my expectations, but it was okay. I would love to try the lipstick in a color that works better for me.
What did you think of your ipsy bag this month? Was yours as good as mine? Did you have a favorite product? Has anyone else tried Trust Fund Beauty's lipstick? If so, what did you think?