Wednesday, January 16, 2013

January 2013 Ipsy Bag: Classic Winter Must-Haves!

I love ipsy! My second Ipsy bag arrived on Monday, and it's just as good as the first. I had a pretty good day, but as soon as I came home and saw that big pink envelope, it became an awesome day. For those of you just tuning in, Ipsy is a beauty subscription service. For $10 a month, Ipsy sends subscribers five surprise luxury beauty products. Most are large sample sizes, but some are full size. Ipsy spoiled us so good this month, with moisturizing oil and lotion for dry winter skin and a pretty neutral nail polish that we're all going to LOVE wearing after all those Christmas reds. And the bag is worth almost four times what we paid, JACKPOT!

Here's a breakdown of the value:
Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil, 5 mL.: $4.80 (based on the $48.00 price for a 50 mL bottle)
Nailtini Straight Up Color Nail Lacquer in Frappe, full size: $13.00
Pacifica Perfume Tuscan Blood Orange Body Butter, 2.5 oz: $7.00
Big Sexy Hair Spray & Play Hairspray, 1.5 oz.: $6.00
SOHO Crease Brush: $8.99

Total Value: $39.79
Ipsy Cost: $10.00

But is this stuff good? Oh yeah.

I was most excited about the Josie Maran Argan Oil. It was the first thing I tried! I'd been touching icky books and then washing my hands over and over at work, and the backs of my hands were close to cracking. Just a few drops of Argan oil made my skin supple again. I added another drop to my hands, rubbed them together, and ran them over the ends of my hair to tame split ends. The oil is very dry, so instead of feeling greasy, it makes skin and hair feel smooth and healthy. And I like using the eyedropper to mete out the oil; it makes me feel like a glamorous chemist. A glamorous chemist with gorgeous skin.

Next, I tried the Pacifica Perfume Tuscan Blood Orange Body Butter. I'm warning you: This stuff smells so good, it'll make your mouth water. You'll immediately start craving fresh fruit and beaches. You might even mix up a fuzzy navel. This vegan-friendly cream left my skin feeling happy. And unlike a lot of fruity creams that smell good in the tube but gross on my skin, it made my nose happy, too. After wearing it a short while, the sharp citrus smell wears off and leaves a sweet, delicious raspberry scent behind. My only concern is that it contains shea butter, which always breaks me out. I'm going to have to be very careful to keep my hands away from my face.

Let's have a serious talk about that Big Sexy Hair Spray & Play Hairspray. Hairspray is one of those things I didn't think could possibly be special, so I've been using Aquanet (in the purple can) all my life. If it was good enough for my uber-glam Grandma, it was good enough for me. But no longer! Yesterday I had the best ponytail of my life, sans hairpins, and it's all thanks to the Big Sexy Hair Spray. The mist is ultra-fine, and it kept every hair in place all day long. I repeat, without a single hairpin. It holds longer without looking slicked-down or weird. And when I took my hair down, the parts I'd sprayed looked bouncy like a shampoo commercial. Damn you, Ipsy! Now that I know about this great, expensive hairspray, how can I go back to Aquanet?!

I was glad they sent me the SOHO Crease Brush because brushes are one of those unsexy utilitarian beauty items that isn't fun to buy. But quality brushes always make a big difference! I've been using the same two tired Sephora eyeshadow brushes for a long time, and it was such a treat to use a new one. The SOHO Crease Brush is so big that it didn't work very well for applying darker shadow in the crease. It went all over my eye! But this big, fluffy brush is perfect for blending colors together after they've been applied, and the ergonomic handle feels good in my hand.

I don't often wear polish on my hands, because don't have the patience to let it dry. Also, my work causes it to chip so quickly that it never seems worth the work. But when I got the Nailtini Straight Up Color Nail Lacquer in Frappe, I wanted to try it at least once. News flash: You really do get what you pay for! $13 nail polish dries faster and is MUCH more durable than cheaper polish. Two coats created a sheer and natural look, with no streaks. And after a full day of work, there aren't any chips--or if there are, they don't show because the color is so pale. Win!

There's one other big thing worth mentioning: Ipsy members get coupon codes to use when they purchase additional items from the brands featured in their bags. Many of these discounts remain valid for months. So even though I just became an Ipsy member last month, I can still use the Ipsy discounts from the November bag: 20% off Starlet Cosmetics, a free gift from Benefit, 30% off Chella, and 10% off Bare Minerals. Nice!

Even though I'm not a huge nail polish fan, there wasn't a single dud in this month's bag. With Ipsy, the anticipation is almost as fun as the products themselves. I'm already looking forward to next month's bag! And the excitement is contagious: Now Keith wants to get a men's subscription box. Cute.


  1. You seem to have such good experiences with IPSY and I'm totally tempted to join. I just don't know if its worth it for me. I'm not really great at spending money on makeup stuff and even if I like something I won't splurge and buy it at full cost. Perhaps I should be less of a makeup Grinch.

    1. Oh, I know! I usually use Aquanet and Wet and Wild nail polish, so these luxury brands are such a treat. I'm already debating whether I should buy them again. I love it, BUT. But, but, but. MONEY.

      I subscribed because I felt like I was in a beauty rut. I'd been doing the same old routine with the same old products for far too long. It's so much fun to try things that you'd never be able to use otherwise!

  2. ugh. You make me really want to try ipsy. As soon as I have a steady paycheck again...I think this will be one of my first splurges. I am just paranoid that I will end up with so much stuff that I don't need.

    1. Go for it! It's a great way to treat yourself and celebrate a new job. Even if a few of the items in the bag are duds, you should get enough stuff you like that it will be worth the cost.

      I'd planned to put the items I didn't want to use in a pretty Ipsy bag and use them for a blog giveaway, but it looks like that's not gonna happen cuz I like it all!


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