In December of 2016 I decided to try out a beauty and makeup subscription service. After a lot of research, I settled on Ipsy. I was placed on the waiting list and after about a week I was notified that I’d been accepted, so I filled out my beauty preferences and awaited my first bag: the January 2017 Glam Bag.
Six months later, here I am and I’m ready to tell you about my experience with Ipsy, the pros and cons, and my favorite products. Lastly I’ll tell you if I plan to continue my subscription.
Starting with January’s bag, I was pleasantly surprised by the variety. There were a few items in my bag that really delighted me. As a makeup and beauty novice, I’d not experimented with a few of these products, so it was exciting to suddenly have them. That’s something that strikes me immediately: through Ipsy I’ve been sent products that I otherwise would never have purchased myself, and certainly not at full price.
Take January’s bag, for example. One of the items included in my bag was a small mica powder pot that runs about $14.99 from the maker, Naked Cosmetics. Considering each Ipsy bag only costs $10 USD with free shipping, the powder itself made up for that cost, and it wasn’t even the only product I received. I tallied each product’s original price tag per each brand’s website, and had I purchased each product individually, my bag would have run about $60 + shipping. Out of the starting gate, this impressed me.
February’s bag continued to please me by including this gorgeous blush brush from Luxie. I had very few brushes and didn’t really understand why I needed brushes and why each brush had its own function. My Luxie Rose Gold Face Blush brush was the first high end brush I ever owned and comes in at a whopping $18 when sold individually. Just like my January bag, one product alone made up for that $10 cost. And much like January’s bag, total cost of every product in my bag came out to just over $50 + shipping.
By March I was starting to understand what to expect from Ipsy and how it worked. Firstly, you get about three full sized products and two sample sizes or “deluxe” samples. There are other subscription services that give only full sized products, but those do cost a bit more. If you don’t mind the samples then you’ll be perfectly happy with Ipsy. My favorite product from my March bag set in motion a trend that I’ve continued outside of my subscription. I was sent a deluxe sample of Tarte‘s Tarteist Lip Paint in Rose. This was my first Tarte product and it exceeded every possible expectation. I’ve since purchased several full sized Tarte Lip Paints because I believe so much in the formula. And it all started with my sample of Rose, which I use all the time and still have plenty of.
April’s Glam Bag was the first time I was a little disappointed. While I loved the Theorie Marula Oil Transforming Hair Serum (I’d always wanted to try a hair serum), I received a nail polish color that just wasn’t my taste. After each Glam Bag you’re prompted to review it and give your thoughts, so next time Ipsy can pick something better suited for you. I tested out telling Ipsy that I didn’t like that particular product and waited to see what would happen in May.
May rolled around and brought with it another round of awesome products and my favorite product is the Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pencil. The color is amazing and the formula is super buttery. Yet another purchase I would never think to make, but I’m now obsessed with it. However…the nail polish was back and in a hilarious twist, it’s a similar color to the one I said I didn’t like back in April. Uh oh. When I did my review I let Ipsy know again that I didn’t love that color, hoping by June I’d be free of the polish debacle.
June did not disappoint! No polish could be found AND I loved every single item in my bag, but especially the City Color Cosmetics Shimmer Shadow in Beach Cottage. The color is to die for and despite it being a single shadow, it’s quite large. I adore this color so, so much. And honestly, everything in my June Glam Bag was amazing. AND this was the first time I really loved my actual bag too. Each bag had its own character, but my tastes run a bit darker. I freaked out when I saw the June Glam Bag and it’s now in my purse, where it shall forever remain.
So, nitty gritty. Pros and cons time.
Affordability – $10 a month and free shipping, plus access to coupons and deals for other beauty products because of your membership (more on that in another post)
Variety – A lot of interesting and unique products, ranging from hair care, to skin care, to makeup, to nail polishes.
Personalization – Ipsy hand picks products for you based on your eye color, skin tone, skin type, hair type, hair color, and other preferences. You’re almost certain to love at least one thing in your bag, and if you don’t, you do get to let them know so they get it right next time.
Sample Sizes: If you hate sample sizes, this isn’t the bag for you. While they don’t bother me, I know some people don’t want to deal with them at all, and I get that.
No Gift Subscription Option: Initially I wanted to gift someone a 3 month subscription to Ipsy as a giveaway, but right now that isn’t an option. It seems a bit foolish not to make that option available to members, seeing as it’s a great way to widen the customer base and besides…who doesn’t like money? Maybe that’s something Ipsy can address sometime soon. It’s a missed opportunity.
You‘re At Their Mercy: What you see is what you’re gonna get and while you can review your bags and fill out your personalization survey, ultimately you are at the Ipsy Team’s whim. And if you’re paying $10 a month for makeup, surrendering your monies to strangers for products you may not like might not feel like the best idea.
Overall I am incredibly happy with my Ipsy membership and yes, I do plan to continue receiving products. I love the membership so much that I signed my sister up for one, so every month she and I both get a bag and if there are products in each other’s bags we don’t like, we trade. So, find you a girlfriend or family member to do this with you and you will definitely enjoy the experience that much more.
In my next post I’m going to talk about the points system and deals section of the Ipsy membership and show you some of the awesome products I’ve snagged for cheap because of Ipsy.
I hope you’ve found this post educational and it’s helped you make a decision about Ipsy or other subscription services!
Have you tried a monthly beauty box? Do you have any that I should check out too? If so, let me know in the comments down below and I might just order one!