I first heard about ipsy, formerly known as My Glam Bag, from Little Chief Honeybee. For just $10 a month (shipping is free), ipsy sends you a pretty little makeup bag full of luxury cosmetic surprises. Since I like expensive makeup, I don't like spending a lot of money, and I'm tired of using the same old makeup, ipsy seemed like the perfect way to shake things up. My first bag arrived a few days ago, and I'm thrilled with it! Not only are the products beautiful, but they sent me $74 worth of makeup for $10!!!
Here's a breakdown of the value:
Be a... Bombshell lip gloss in Hot Mess, full size: $14.00
Mai Couture highlighter paper in St. Bart's, 25 sheets: $14.00
(a full size book of papers is $28.00 for 50 sheets)
Urban Decay 24/7 eye pencil in Zero, 0.03 oz: $14.25
(a full size pencil is 0.04 oz.)
NYX Pearl Eyehadow in Mink, full size: $3.00
Mirabella Prime for Face & Eyes, full size: $29.00
Bonus sample of Urban Decay BB (Not in stores yet)
Total Value: $74.25 (!)
Ipsy Cost: $10.00
So, is this stuff any good?
I was a little scared when I first saw the Be a... Bombshell lip gloss in Hot Mess. That red is so intense, I didn't think it could possibly look good on my face! Lo and behold, the angled sponge-tip applicator delivers a gorgeously sheer pinkish-red, with a finish that looks more like a stain than a gloss. If you apply a bit more, the color becomes brighter and the finish becomes shinier. It has no scent or flavor, and it's not sticky. Best of all, it healed my slightly chapped lips overnight. I love this gloss!
The Mai Couture highlighter paper in St. Bart's is just okay. I was excited when I first saw it, because I thought it was blotting paper. When I realized it's a cosmetic, I was confused. Was I supposed to rub the paper on my face? Apparently, yes. The paper is coated with an unscented, shimmering, pinky-bronze powder. I followed the instructions and swiped the paper over the tops of my cheekbones, down the bridge of my nose, on the tip of my chin, on the center of my forehead, and over my collarbones. I like the way it looks on my cheekbones, nose, and chin. The color gives me a beachy glow, and the shimmer is subtle. But highlighting my forehead makes it look greasy. And the powder is much too dark for my collarbones. Ultimately, using cream highlighter is more pleasant than rubbing scratchy paper on my face.
The Urban Decay Eyeliner in Zero is awesome. I've never used a luxury eyeliner, because I figured eyeliner is eyeliner, and what's the point of spending a lot of money on black pencil? But this is completely unlike my usual Cover Girl eyeliner! It glides on so easily, without tugging my skin at all, and it doesn't leave ANY bare, unlined skin. Urban Decay, you've converted me.
I was pleasantly surprised by the NYX Pearl Eyeshadow in Mink. I don't usually buy loose shadows, because I think of them as messy. But if you shake this pale brownish-gold shadow, then insert your brush into the cap, you'll get plenty of product on your brush with no mess. The pigment is rich, with a lot of shimmer, so it's for evening use, but I like it and look forward to using it more.
The Urban Decay Naked Skin BB is a little extra they sent me because I'm "a trusted influencer in the ipsy community" (LOL, what?!), and I'm sorry to say that it's the dud. I love beauty balm, because it makes me look fresh and awake even when I'm blotchy, bleary-eyed, and dying for coffee at 7:00 a.m. The Urban Decay BB is one-color-fits-most. It promises to perfect, protect, treat, prime, hydrate, and inhibit DNA damage. Umm, is it going to apply itself to my face, too? Fresh out of the tube, it smells minty, feels velvety, and has a beige-y color. On my face, it looks like I'm not wearing anything at all, and that's not a good thing. It doesn't have enough pigment to even my skintone, which is my favorite thing about beauty balm. After 8 weeks of use, it might make my skin look more toned and firm, as it claims, but I'll never know because this tiny tube contains just 3 - 4 uses. All I know is, I look blotchy, and after I used it twice, I broke out. I want my trusty L'Oreal BB!
The Mirabella Prime for Face & Eyes was so unassuming in its little gray tube that I overlooked it when I first opened the box. I didn't even try it until la few days later! But don't just a cosmetic by its packaging; this might be the best thing I received. This translucent silicone-based primer is a miracle worker. It has a velvety texture, no scent, and once you blend it onto your skin, you don't know it's there. But it made my makeup glide and blend beautifully. My favorite cream blush looks so much better with this primer under it, and my eyeshadow blends better and looks prettier. Such a smooth, perfect makeup application makes me look like myself, but airbrushed. Also? It erased my pores. Pores? Where are you? This is the kind of product I never would've bought without trying it at home and seeing the results firsthand. Now that I've tried it, though, I'll definitely continue using it!
Unlike Birchbox, ipsy isn't an individualized service. When I joined ipsy, I took a quiz about my style and what kind of makeup I like to wear, and I expected a personalized box. But it looks like all ipsy users receive the same box each month. I don't exactly feel like whining, "I WANT TO BE SPESHUL!" But I do wonder why they made me take a quiz. Perhaps in the future, the boxes will be more tailored to the users' personal taste?
My only other comment is that each ipsy shipment actually comes in a mini makeup bag, and that might become a problem. If I love ipsy and keep my subscription for a year or more, what am I going to do with all these mini-bags? I won't use them, and they seem wasteful. I wish ipsy would let us choose not to receive a bag. Perhaps after 3-6 months of no bags, subscribers would receive a beauty product "extra" as a way of saying thanks for for helping ipsy be a greener company? Or 12 months of no bag = 1 free month of ipsy? I hope they offer that choice in the future.
Overall, I'm very happy with this ipsy bag, and I can't wait for the next one!