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Is Ipsy Worth It?

ipsy quarterly review glam bags
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Confession: Ipsy is currently one of my favorite subscription boxes. However, that hasn’t always been the case. I’ve had a semi-love/hate relationship with Ipsy over the past few months, and actually even came really close to cancelling my subscription at one point — but I stuck it out, and now I’m glad that I did!

Ipsy is a monthly subscription box that contains beauty and makeup products that range from sample to full-size. All of your products arrive in a different cute makeup bag each month (which is an added bonus). The subscription costs $10 per month and includes free shipping via USPS.

If you’re considering signing up for Ipsy but aren’t sure what to expect, here’s a comprehensive review of the past three Glam Bags I’ve received. Though Ipsy sends out many different variations each month (when you sign up, you’ll take a comprehensive quiz about your likes and dislikes to customize your Glam Bag), this will at least give you an idea of the kinds of things you may get in your own Glam Bag and help you decide if this subscription would be worth it to you.

October Glam Bag Value: $44.53 Total

The theme of the October Glam Bag was “Alter Ego,” as evidenced by the two different sides of the makeup bag — shiny gold on one side, patent black on the other. The products inside my bag included:

This was my very first Glam Bag, and I was really excited when I found the shiny pink envelope inside my mail box. Since Ipsy sends out a preview email about a week before it ships, I knew that I would be receiving theBalm Cosmetics’ Meet Matt(e) lipstick, which I was excited about (I am a complete lipstick addict), but I had no idea what else would be inside the bag.

My first impression of the products was fairly positive. I was excited to try the Nourish Organic face serum because I really love trying different facial moisturizers (Ipsy definitely listened to my preferences with this one). I also loved the color of the Dose nail polish and the Skone plum eyeliner. However, it turns out that my attraction to these products was really only in theory. Though the idea of plum eyeliner intrigues me, it’s just not something that I will realistically wear on a regular basis (I just prefer plain black eyeliner), so I made sure to mention that I wasn’t really a fan of colored eyeliners in my reviews of October’s bag. And nail polish is just not something that I use very often either (I’m a habitual nail-biter), so this was another thing I made sure I mentioned in my product reviews.

Though I usually wear darker lipstick, I really liked theBalm Cosmetics matte liquid lipstick once I tried it on because the color was perfect for my skin tone (which is very, very fair), and it lasts forever. However, since this was one of the products that everyone received regardless of their personal profile, it’s not something that works for everyone. Two of my co-workers are also Ipsy subscribers and weren’t as impressed with the lipstick (but I gained two extra tubes as a result, so I wasn’t complaining).

The only product I wasn’t too stoked about was the Balanced Guru body scrub, because the texture and smell really turned me off. I have yet to try it, and I immediately adjusted my preferences to make sure I wouldn’t receive products like this in the future.

Overall, the products I received in this bag weren’t bad for spending only $10. Though I didn’t *love* everything, it was definitely worth the money. I was excited to see what I would get in the next month’s bag now that Ipsy was getting a better idea of what I liked and didn’t like based on my product reviews.

November Glam Bag Value: $55.89 Total

The theme of this month’s bag was “Beauty Blast,” and came in a very colorful nylon makeup bag with a space-y/galactic pattern. The products included:

I was really amazed at the total value of this month’s bag (worth more than five times what I had paid for it!). I was also really excited to try several of the things I received in the November Glam Bag. I had been dying to try Smashbox’s mascara for a while, and it didn’t disappoint! I really liked it, and it may even convince me to cheat on the mascara I’ve been in a committed relationship with for years (Laura Mercier’s Full-Blown Volume).

This is one of my favorite things about Ipsy: since products like mascara are such expensive things to experiment with, it’s pretty awesome that I was able to try a $22 product for more than half the price. I also really liked the Beaute Basics eyeshadow pencil — because of my skin tone and blonde hair, I’ve always gravitated toward gold eyeshadows, and I also used to use an eyeshadow pencil similar to this that I loved but was discontinued.

I already have a set of makeup brushes, so the blusher brush probably won’t ever be used (which is something I definitely should have mentioned in my product reviews). One thing that surprised me was the Feeling Beautiful face masks. I’ve never really used face masks in the past, so I wasn’t too excited about receiving these at first. However, I’ve since tried them and I will admit, Ipsy has officially changed my mind about face masks. They are now my Monday night go-to while I watch The Bachelor and drink a glass (or a bottle) of wine — it’s the perfect way to relax after a stressful day, and my skin loves me for it.

As I’ve since learned, the best way to get the most out of Ipsy is to review your products as soon as you receive them and have a chance to try them out. However, I didn’t get around to reviewing this month’s products until after I had already received by December Glam Bag — which is probably why I wasn’t a huge fan of my December bag. When I did finally review November’s products, I stated that I enjoyed three out of the five products I received — the mascara, eyeshadow, and face masks — but the other two items I probably wouldn’t get much use out of.

December Glam Bag Value: $47.70 Total

The December bag was a quilted shiny patent red and the theme was “From ipsy with Love.” The products include:

At first, I wasn’t very impressed with this bag. I don’t know if I was just in a bad mood that day or what, but I basically snubbed my nose at everything I received in this bag when I originally opened it. I didn’t like the Pacifica Power of Love lipstick because it smelled like Crayons and felt really dry on my lips. I was disappointed that Ipsy sent me more nail polish even though I told them I didn’t use it. The brown sugar scrub seemed weird to me (it smelled like dessert but I was supposed to put it on my face?), and I didn’t even know what the brow brush was supposed to be used for (not to mention I probably wouldn’t have received it if I would have given Ipsy timely feedback about the last makeup brush they sent me).

This is when and why I decided that I was going to cancel my subscription if the next month wasn’t good (spoiler: it was…stay tuned!).

Fast-forward a few weeks: I got over myself. After it sat on my bathroom counter for a while, I actually decided to try the lipstick and realized that the smell wasn’t too bad once you adjust to it, and I really liked the color and the matte finish. I tried the brown sugar exfoliating scrub and really liked it — it made my face feel so clean! I realized that the point of receiving a beauty/makeup subscription was to actually try new things instead of being stubborn and staying stuck in my old ways.

The Verdict: Is Ipsy Worth It?

Now that I’ve started truly trying everything in my Ipsy bags with a completely open mind, I’ve found that I usually like most of the products they send me. Also, I’ve found that the longer you get Ipsy, the better your monthly Glam Bags become. January was the best one I’ve received yet, and I think it’s because I finally realized the importance about diligently filling out my product reviews each month.

If you’re genuinely in the market to try new makeup and beauty products and don’t want to spend a lot of money each month, Ipsy is perfect and consistently a great value for the low price. But if you already have all of the products that you use religiously and aren’t willing to try anything new, you might be wasting your money.

Last modified on September 16th, 2020

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