Thursday, March 14, 2013

March 2013 Ipsy Bag: Ipsy, We Need To Talk.

My March Ipsy bag arrived on Tuesday, and I'm a little confused by it. For those of you who haven't heard of Ipsy, it's a beauty subscription service. For $10.00 a month, Ipsy sends you 4 - 5 surprise beauty products in a cute cosmetic bag. Often, you get real winners that make you fistpump like a champ. Josie Maran Argan Oil and Urban Decay eyeliner? WIN! But sometimes, you get a bag that just leaves you scratching your head. This was one of those months. WTF, Ipsy?!

None of this stuff totally sucked. Okay, I'm lying. Receiving an empty compact made out of cardboard totally sucks. If I want to carry an empty compact, I'll carry one of the compacts I bought during that weird 7th grade phase where I collected vintage makeup compacts from antique stores. They're like little works of art, I tell you! But I digress. The cardboard compact is stupid. And I'm a little leery of the wipes, because they're chock full of parabens. On the whole, this bag just doesn't have the WOW factor that other bags have had. Or the dollar value. Check it out:

Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist, 1.0 oz.: $3.26
(a full size bottle is $22.00 for 6.75 oz.)
LA Fresh Travel Lite Makeup Remover Wipes, 8 per pack: $1.99
Two Yaby eyeshadow pots in Seashell and Azalea Petal: $6.58
Empty Glam RX Palette: $3.00
(I'm guessing on the price; they don't actually sell empty palettes. But a larger palette with four makeups is $16.50)

Total Value: $14.83
Ipsy Cost: $10.00

IPSY, YOU'VE SPOILED ME. The other bags I've received have been worth at least $39, so this is underwhelming.

Want to know more about the individual items?

I was pretty excited about the Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist, because I've been wanting to try this brand. They focus on organic ingredients and clinical results--two things I can get behind! They don't use parabens, petroleum, pesticides, propylene or butylene glycols, phthalates, sulphates, PEGs, TEA, DEA, GMO, silicones, artificial dyes, or fragrances. I've been using the mist liberally for two days, and in these two days, my clogged pores have cleared up. Nice! There's just one thing: It smells VERY strongly of tea roses. And tea roses kind of smell like old ladies. I want to get used to good, natural smells instead of fake perfumes, so I'm trying to adjust to the scent. Keith says it doesn't bother him,* but I think I smell like grandmas.

I'd never heard of Yaby Cosmetics Eyeshadow, but I'm always game to try new colors on my eyes. These colors are subtle enough for the library, so I wore them to work today. At first, I had trouble building up to the color I wanted. I thought the pigment was too thin, and I was disappointed. If you're having that problem with YABY, I have to words for you: WET APPLICATION. When I applied these wet, they looked fantastic and stayed put ALL DAY without any fading or creasing. I like them!

I'm leery of the LA Fresh Travel Lite Makeup Remover Wipes, but don't blame LA Fresh. I don't like to use any wipes on my face! I think wipes are too scratchy, and they sting. But I wanted to try these at least once, so I used them to remove my makeup before I went to the gym last night. I looked like a lobster afterward! I don't think these are for me. I'll probably put these in my car and use them to wipe my hands after emptying the recycling bins.

Now let's talk about how much I hate the GlamRX Palette. This empty compact is about the size of a credit card. It's made out of cardboard and it has a magnetized interior that can hold tiny pots of makeup. That would be great if I regularly bought tiny loose pots of makeup, except OH WAIT I NEVER DO THAT. Some annoying Mary Sunshines on the Ipsy forums were like, "Don't hate on this! It's SO USEFUL for holding bobby pins and crap when you go out!" When I go out, I usually keep my bobby pins in my hair, so I'm still not impressed. The worst part is that GlamRX sells an ingenious version of this with four small makeups for $16.50. If they'd sent that, I would've been SO HAPPY. It's like they're teasing me!

Finally, I can't talk about this month's Ipsy bag without discussing the bag itself... Because it's cute. It's really, really damn cute. Anchors, rope, and crisp stripes? I'm likely to use this as a clutch! Still, I wish they would give us the option of NOT getting a bag. Right now I have four little Ipsy makeup bags cluttering up my bathroom, and they're getting annoying. I'm just going to end up sending them to Goodwill, and it seems wasteful. I'd rather NOT get a bag, and receive more/nicer beauty products instead.

I'm not going to unsubscribe because of one disappointing bag, but I hope next month's bag is better. I've been observing the Ipsy forums for a while now, and I think I've figured out the magic formula that makes a perfect bag. Here's the thing about the Ipsy bag concept: When we open the bag, we want to be immediately WOWed. And it's the lip products, nail polish, and fancy brand names do that for us. So each month, I'd like to see ONE big brand name like Tarte, BeneFit, Bare Minerals, etc. In addition, I'd like to see one lip product OR one nail polish in each bag. The December 2012 and January 2013 bags followed that formula, with great success. I can haz lip gloss?!

* Actually, Keith said he can only smell the wine I'm drinking right now!


  1. I have already decided when I get a consistent paycheck again that I will join ipsy. You have convinced me, even with this not so stellar grab bag. At least the little anchor bag is cute, right?

    1. The anchor bag is super cute, yep. The disappointing contents were an anomaly; future bags should be better!

  2. I subscribed because of your rave reviews, Jen! I was pretty disappointed with this bag also. I'm probably going to continue subscribing for a few more months just to see how things pan out.

    1. I feel kind of bad for that! I hope they didn't give away all their good stuff at once, and now they're left with, like, lash combs and cotton balls to give us. At least the bag itself was cute?


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