My First Ipsy Bag {January 2016}

Dear Ipsy,

We need to talk.

It’s the first date and you’re already becoming a pain. And I mean that literally! I could have overlooked the ugly outer appearance, because let’s be real, I couldn’t take you anywhere this month without being embarrassed. No, you can’t meet my friends. You’ll make me look like an airhead. But what you are on the inside is just wrong too.

Let’s start with the eyeliner.

Two options, a golden color and a purple. Yay Vikings? No. I was hoping for golden, but I got purple, and it’s even rather pretty, and then… it broke, when I tried to put it on. It wasn’t out far, I barely pressed, I warmed it up first. And it still broke. Are you kidding me? You can’t hold up to the use you’re meant for?

Then I try to feather out the broken line that “Mr. Write (Now)” left me with, and you SCRATCH MY EYE. Not the eyeball, but the very sensitive, thin skin right under my lashes. It HURTS. Your touch is like cruel and unusual punishment. Maybe with a little tender love and care (ie: a good soak in conditioner via google search advice), you won’t be so mean to someone you supposedly want to live with. But really. OW.

Oh the eyeshadow! It’s a lavender duo right? So how come the bronzeish shade is the only one that stays on MORE THAN 5 MINUTES!? I love bronze, it’s a gorgeous color, I’ll definitely use it, but don’t tell me you’re going to be a pretty lavender duo and then faze me out with bronze.

And you gave me oil… face oil… for Normal to Dry skin. OK, Well I have normal to oily skin, but we’ll try it. It feels nice and doesn’t feel oily when I tested it to remove my swatches. Maybe you aren’t so bad after all, but we’ll see if you make my skin as bipolar as you’re appearing to be.

The only thing about this date that was remotely pleasant was the kiss. hanalei lip scrub. Feels nice, you don’t have to use a lot of it, softened my lips that were feeling a little dry due to fever. And you taste yummy. (you are supposed to lick your lips after… right? 😉 )

You’ve got one more chance. One more chance to show you’re worth the effort and worth the wait. But I’m having major trust issues with you, Ipsy!!!



(well… now that the venting is over and you’ve all theoretically gotten a good laugh!)


We’ll get serious. Because Ipsy isn’t (from what I can tell) a bad subscription. And I’m NOT saying don’t get it.

About Ipsy: Ipsy is another $10.00 a month beauty subscription bag that comes in the mail. They ship you 4-6 deluxe to full size samples every month, along with a cute or chic makeup bag that your products are inside, all wrapped up in a bright pink bubblewrap envelope. Samples are somewhat customized to your beauty profile, and come from a variety of well known to indie brands, ranging from high end to drugstore prices.

First Subscriber Impressions: I’m not impressed with this Ipsy bag. It’s my very first bag and seeing all of my previews I went back and forth, I was originally disappointed, and then I looked more thoroughly at the products and I decided to be excited, and now I just feel dumb. I WANT to love this bag. There’s THREE full size products in this bag!!! But they made it so hard to love.

In The Bag

theBalm Cosmetics Mr. Write (Now) in Scott B. Bordeaux
The color of this is actually gorgeous, and at first it slid on smooth before the tip broke off. It does go on a lot more smoothly if you put it in your bra while doing the rest of your face to warm it up, or if you have a heater nearby, drop it in front of it and it’ll melt enough to glide on without breaking. I had high hopes for theBalm and this didn’t meet them. Good color, average formula for a twist-up eyeliner. NOTE: I’d expect something of this quality to retail at around $5.99, my value is what I’d be willing to pay for it again.
Rating: 3/5
Sample Value: $17.00
My Value: $2.99
Will I buy it? Not very likely, but I will use it up.
Retail Price: $17.00

Skone Cosmetics Smudger Brush
I don’t use brushes that often, but this is one of the few types of brushes I’d use, so I was excited to get it. I was NOT happy when it hurt the thin skin below my lashes while I was (yes, gently) feathering out the liner. It is MUCH softer and more pleasant to use after soaking it in a conditioner for about 10 minutes. I will use this brush, but I don’t think you should have to condition your brushes before you can use them.
Rating: 3/5
Sample Value: $15.00
My Value: $3.99
Will I buy it? I’d try another brand.
Retail Price: $15.00

Mr. Write (Now) in Scott B. Bordeaux, along with the Pixi by Petra eyeshadow swatches.
Mr. Write (Now) in Scott B. Bordeaux + eyeshadow swatches.

Pixi by Petra Mesmerizing Mineral Duo in Lavender Bloom
It’s pretty colors, the darker, bronzier color is a lot more pigmented and stays on significantly longer, while the actual lavender of the duo seemed to fade away and got completely overrun by the darker shade. I’m sure it’s adjustable and that you just need to put on more of the lavender, but for some reason I always expect equal coloring. Lucky for me, I actually prefer the bronzier colors on my skin since oranges are the opposites of blues and make my eyes pop, so this will be one that I use semi-regularly. Just not what I expected from a ‘lavender’ duo.
Rating: 3.5/5
Sample Value: $6.00
My Value: $1.50
Will I buy it? No.
Retail Price: $6.00

Burt’s Bees Cleansing Oil
SAMPLE = 1 oz
This product actually did nothing bad for me. But it scares me a little because it’s meant for normal to dry skin and I’m very acne prone lately. I am using it, I’m using it as an eye makeup and swatch remover because its so gentle, and I will be trying it on my face because gentle products are supposed to reduce acne too. I love Burt’s Bees, so I’m not really upset about getting this.
Rating: 4.5/5
Sample Value: $2.66
My Value: $2.00
Will I buy it? Depends on long term results.
Retail Price: $16.00

hanalei Sugar Lip Scrub
SAMPLE = 0.17 oz
This feels so yummy on my lips. A sugar scrub isn’t something I’d normally purchase on my own because I’ve made them at home and they work the same for me, but it feels decadent and it’s really handy. And tastes SO good. Fruity and sugary. A good prep for before lipstick that won’t make it slide as much. I can imagine it would be great if your lips are very prone to bad chapping.
Rating: 4.5/5
Sample Value: $4.15
My Value $1.50
Would I buy it? It’s good but not something I need enough to purchase it.
Retail Price: $20.00

Additional Value

Ipsy does have a points system, and you can get some pretty good rewards. You earn 10 points for each product in your bag that you review, and another 5 points per product if you’re willing to share the review as you post it to Twitter or Facebook. You can earn an additional 5-10 points each for answering questions, reviewing your bag experience, accessing your sneak peaks, as well as other small activities that come up on their site.

It’s hard to determine the value. With the current available rewards you could spend 750 points to get a $34.00 palette, or 1500 points to get a $25.00 palette, depending on the brand and the cost to them, I suppose. So that’s somewhere between 22 points for $1.00, and 60 points for $1.00.

Their ‘rewards’ for points vary greatly and are often sold out, so it’s something to jump on when you have enough. Points expire one year after the date they are earned.

Overall Assessment

Total Sample Value: $44.81
Total Personal Value: $11.98
+ Ipsy Points: $1.41 – $3.86
+ Bag Value: $1.00
= Total Value: $14.39 -$16.84
Opinion: I’m on the fence with Ipsy. I’ve seen amazing bags and terrible ones. And I think this month everyone was about as torn as I am, either you were severely disappointed, or really excited. Out of all the bags (I did look through all of them), this is the only one they’ve ever produced that I would feel Embarrassed to be seen with. Even in a suitcase.

Conditioner DID soften up the Skone Smudger Brush a hell of a lot, and I think it will be a lot more functional for me now, but I think that when you get products, you shouldn’t have to hack them to get them to not cause you physical harm.

I will use everything in this bag… but some of it will require the DIY hacks for me, like putting the eyeliner in my bra while I do the rest of my makeup to truly soften it up.

I think every subscription box is going to have hits and misses, and I’m sure a lot of people loved the exact products that I’m struggling with, heck maybe my Minnesota weather messed around with the formulas. I Am disappointed for my first month, but I will be giving Ipsy 1-2 more months to give it a good test run against my Birchbox and Beauty Box 5 subscriptions.

Let me know what you thought of your Ipsy this month or what you think of them in general! I’d love to hear from you.

Sign-up for your first Ipsy Glambag, or check out my other Ipsy bag reviews!

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8 thoughts on “My First Ipsy Bag {January 2016}

  1. On point!!! Don’t worry the bronzy eyeliner is just as bad,it like rubbing chalk on your kid for a really long time with no pigmentation at all. By all appearances this bag had some potential but after testing everything I’m thoroughly disappointed 🙃

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Both were pretty damn funny!! I’m glad (if also sad) that I’m not crazy, for feeling like everything had so much potential for matching up but just… Didn’t work. I am actually wearing my liner today, it’s not as bad on the waterline and warmed up 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope your new bags get better. I have had ipsy for just over a year, and in the beginning I was so upset that I was getting bags that didn’t live up to my expectations-especially when there were so many great items in other bags! Then I noticed after a few months that a lot of the items were junk-made in China low-quality brands (not even drugstore worthy!) and I was about to cancel, but they did a complete turnaround last spring/summer. I got an amazing, high quality lipstick (my thing!) and started getting bags I could actually use and enjoy. I believe it took at least 5 months of reviewing for them to know what I will use, and at the same time, they offered less junk. I did notice they have started offering more cheap fill-ins again though…like a bottle of Aveeno lotion you can get for 50 cents to a dollar in a travel aisle, and they still offer some junky (to me) made in China brands that aren’t even in drugstores, but there are always enough things that pleasantly surprise me and make me love this adventure and treat! I hope you get what you want this time!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yikes!! I’m so sorry you didn’t like your first bag! Definitely stick it out for a couple more bags and tweak your profile a bit! That’s what I did and I’m getting happier with each bag!
    I do agree that the bag itself this month was not cute


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