Monday, August 18, 2014

August 2014 Ipsy Bag: Beauty Schooled

For those of you just tuning in, Ipsy is a beauty subscription service. For $10 a month, Ipsy sends 4 - 5 surprise beauty products to your door in a cute cosmetics bag. They even mail it in a shiny hot pink envelope! Seeing that envelope in my mailbox always makes me dance around like a little kid. If you don't want to get in a beauty rut, Ipsy is for you.

It was the best of bags; it was the worst of bags. I was thrilled to get samples of Urban Decay mascara and Dr. Brandt's primer, but not impressed by kiddie lip balm and two samples that are a) so small, they're difficult to use, AND b) manufactured by companies with which I am not familiar. Here's the underwhelming value breakdown for this month's bag.

Pores No More by Dr. Brandt (.25 oz sample): $11.25
Perversion Mascara by Urban Decay (.1 oz sample): $5.50
Silk Kajal eyeliner by Lord & Berry (0.02 oz sample) $7.00

Total Value: $27.74

The Urban Decay Perversion mascara might be the best lengthening mascara I've ever used. It doesn't thicken my lashes as much as I like, so I'll stick with my beloved Too Faced mascara for every day. But it made my  lashes long and feathery-soft, with zero clumping until I tried to put on three coats. There's just one problem: It doesn't remove easily with soap and water.

The Lord & Berry eyeliner is smaller than my pinky, and that sucks. It's so small, it's difficult to use. But the formula is a pleasant surprise. It doesn't smear quite as much as Urban Decay's 24/7 liners, and it's great on the waterline. I just wish it was larger.

The Absolute lip balm is not impressive. With a fruity flavor and packaging that requires you to stick your finger inside, it reminds me of products I bought when I was 11. I suppose it's fine, if you like children's make up, but it's not my style. I'm surprised that Ipsy Match recommended this product for an adult woman.

The Coastal Scents blush samples are so small, I can't actually use them. When I try, I wind up with too much product on a very tiny part of the brush, and no product on the rest of the brush. Packaging fail.

The Dr. Brandt primer is incredible. It's a mattifying primer that erases pores and makes your face look airbrushed. Those products often break me out, but this one has a breakout-fighting secret weapon: Tea tree oil. I've been using it for two days, and so far I love it. I may even use the 25% off discount for Ipsy subscribers to buy a tube.

To sum it up: I'm not thrilled by the tiny samples, but Dr. Brandt's excellent primer redeems the bag. And sampling two expensive, high-end brands is never a bad thing. So, what did you get in your Ipsy bag this month? If you got the Glam Glow Youth Mud, is it as incredible as they say? People say it's the Fountain of Youth mixed with, like, unicorn tears. Is it really that good, or is it just priced that way?


  1. I got an eyeshadow quad from coastal scents in my birchbox in June and I'm obsessed. I had never heard of the brand

    1. Their eyeshadow is awesome. I got a sample a while back (like last year?), and I really liked it. So it's a bummer that the blush sample is so small and hard to use.

  2. Big fan of green apple scented products! It's too bad it comes in that kind of packaging though. I hate dipping my fingers into them as well. I was also wondering if you had a review of Vain Pursuits? They're similar to ipsy but more specifically for skincare?

    1. Would love to hear more abt Vain Pursuits as well!

    2. I've never even heard of Vain Pursuits, but I'll check them out. Thanks for the tip!


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