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Ipsy Review – October 2016

This post may contain referral/affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.


Ipsy is a monthly beauty and makeup subscription box. Each month you get full-size or deluxe-sized products, plus a cute makeup bag. I think it’s one of the best value beauty subscriptions and a great way to build out your makeup collection on the cheap!

This is one of my top recommendations if you are looking for a beauty box – the value and sample sizes are amazing. (Check out my list of the Top Beauty Boxes for 2016 and our reviews of Cheap Subscription Boxes for more recommendations!)

(FYI – Just like Birchbox, Ipsy sends out many different variations of their bag each month – so my review is just one of the bag variations you might receive!)

My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).


The Subscription Box: Ipsy

The Cost: $10 a month (free shipping)

The Products: Full size and samples of makeup and beauty products. (Plus a makeup bag!)

Ships to: US and Canada

Delivered via: USPS

Check out all of my Ipsy reviews and the Beauty Subscription Box List!

Visit the Ipsy Swap Page to swap for any of the items you see in this review!


Each month, ipsy subscribers get a makeup bag in addition to their 5 items. I think this is my favorite glam bag of all time – the black and white illustrations on the pale pink background are perfection!

And look at this zipper detail:


A little ghost with heart eyes! SO CUTE!


This subscription also comes with a card each month. It showcases the theme, and gives you follow up actions for using your beauty products and sharing your ipsy bag on social media:


Now onto the items!


Lottie London Perfectly Precise Eyeshadow Brush – Value $15


This is a short, densely packed brush, and it can work as both as a shadow brush and a smudger.

I’ve been lucking out with getting makeup brushes in my Ipsy bags – I can never have enough!


Noyah Natural Lipstick in Smoke – 1.4 grams Value $5.60

This lipstick formula is fantastic (it doesn’t have that typical lipstick smell, which I don’t love), and the formula is super moisturizing. The pigment is great, the lipstick glides on so smoothly. The shade is described as a greyish lavender, and I’m surprised and happy to report that it worked well for my skintone! (Swatched in lower photo).


theBalm Shadow/Blush in Hot Mama! – .02 oz Value $1.70

I’ve always been impressed with the pigment from theBalm, and this blush definitely delivers. It’s a pink/peach shade, with a good amount of shimmer. (Swatched in photo below). I just wish these samples from theBalm were a little larger. This works well for eyeshadow samples, but this blush sample is tiny and a little tricky to use.


Ciaté London Fierce Flicks Eyeliner – FULL SIZE! Value $20

This liquid eyeliner has a felt marker tip that makes it super easy to apply:


This tip is great for precision and control – I was able to get a perfect line right on the lash line.

Here it is swatched (below the lipstick and above the blush):



pūr~lisse Daily Lip Nourisher with Mango and Shea Butters – 4.5 ml Value $6.75

This lip balm is paraben and petroleum free, and it is high shine! If you are looking for a glossy look without any stickiness, this is perfect!


Verdict: This box has a value of about $49. That’s great for a $10 subscription box (And that’s not counting the value of the makeup bag that I’m a little obsessed with!) Every item this month was a hit for me – I just wish that sample from theBalm wasn’t so tiny!

What do you think of the October Ipsy Glam Bag? What items did you get in your bag?

Written by Liz Cadman

Liz Cadman

Liz is the founder of My Subscription Addiction. She’s been hooked on subscription boxes since 2011 thanks to Birchbox, and she now subscribes to over 100 boxes. Her favorites include POPSUGAR Must Have, FabFitFun, and any box that features natural beauty products!
All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.


  1. Not sure what to think of the products I received.
    Lottie London eyeshadow brush $15
    TreStique-Mini matte lip crayon-sample (Belize Bordeaux) $9.33
    NYX Vivid Brights- Eyeliner-full size (gun metal) $6.99
    Tatcha pure cleansing oil sample-$4.80
    Sally’s box- Aqua Moist gel cream sample- no size need to look up because otherwise you have no idea what its for or where its intended to go since it all foreign. I don’t understand why the product face has english but turn around and no english!! And either it expired in may or that was the pack date…no idea of knowing. Its less than $4.00 in product so I guess I will just toss it. I can’t find a list of ingredients. The site is foreign as well and doesn’t allow access besides the front page photos.

    • The Sally’s Box Aqua Moist gel is a Korean product, which are normally marked with the manufacture date rather than the expiration date. There is some info about the product on Kbeautyholic dot com. Hope you find it helpful!

      • Jay, thanks so much for that helpful tip.

  2. I received my bag and was a bit disappointed to see that some people received an eyeliner that was up there in price yet some o us received the essence felt tip eyeliner worth $2.99 (I did) I also received The balm cavana boy blush (I have this in a full size and in The Balm of Your Hand palette so I do not need that tiny little sampler) as for the rest I received the mememe brush, purlisse lip nourisher and the trestique mini matte crayon. This has been the worse bag I have received to date…

  3. I’m ok with my bag – I like 3/5 contents. However, I didn’t receive anything from the guaranteed “all bags have 1 of these items + 4 more” group (I was hoping for the Tatcha cleansing oil – it’s my favorite). I saw a few ppl comment that this had been the case with their bags as well this month, including at least one person who contacted CS about it and was able to select the item of her choice from that category. I decided to contact CS too, and sent a polite message inquiring about the absence of a “guaranteed” sneak peek item in my bag. I got the following mildly cagey response:

    “Thanks for reaching out, and please accept our sincerest apologies for the discrepancy!

    Estée Lauder Night Repair Treatment is supposed to be on our list of featured October products, and our marketing team is working on updating the site.

    The Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II is a prestigious skin care serum that targets key signs of aging: dryness, fine lines, wrinkles and dullness. At $16, it’s actually the highest value sample of the assortment!

    I hope you love it! If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.”

    Now, I’m not really sore about not being offered an item from the guaranteed category (though a consistent response and resolution to the same problem from CS would be nice), and I DO like the Estée Lauder serum. What bothers me about this response is the claim that the serum *should* have been on their list of featured products that was released almost a month ago, and the marketing dept is just working on updating this NOW? Isn’t a major point of that guaranteed featured spoiler list to encourage new subscribers? Updating a promotional advertisement retroactively seems a touch dishonest, to me.

    Am I overthinking here? I have a tendency to do so. I’m really not upset about the products, and as far as underhanded advertising goes, ipsy has nothing on Glossybox…but this response definitely earns them some major side eye.

  4. I’m pretty happy with my bag this month. I got:
    *Tatcha Pure cleansing oil (love!)
    *Teeez lipstick full size in Romantic Red (absolutely awful! It’s like a neon orangey-red; makes me look like a clown. The packaging is great and the formula/smell/taste is great, wish they had picked a more neutral color)
    *Makeup Forever Ultra HD foundation (nice product and perfect shade, but I don’t wear foundation 🙁 )
    *Purlisse lip nourisher (this is one of my favorite lip balms, I have purchased it before, so YAY!)
    *Kookie nail polish (full-size) in Heavenly (love, love, love…fabulous shade, couldn’t have picked better!)

    And oh, the bag…super cute!! Overall pretty happy since my roommate is trading me one of her items for the awful lipstick (she’s using it for Halloween, lol)!

  5. I got the smoke lippie, kokie nail polish in heavenly, dead sea mud mask, tattoo liner in trooper? and a concealer corrector pencil full size in light 2. Did anyone else get the concealer? Not even sure what brand it is? Says that it is distributed by nudestix… and I <3 the little ghostie zip!

    • I received the concealer stick in medium-4. I love it. It is perfect for my skin tone and blends easily. I think the brand is nudestick. Do you like yours?

  6. I am very happy with my ipsy this month (although i’m never unhappy with it..)

    Kokie Heavenly nail polish $6 (very pretty color, i’m always down for new polish)
    Trust Fund Beauty Gimme Good Face Primer $6.49 (Primers always come in handy)
    Ciate london fierce flicks liner $20 (Very excited to try this, i’ve never used a felt tip liner before and when i swatched it on my hand it went very smooth with bold color.)
    Purlisse Daily Lip Nourisher $6.75 (chapstick type products don’t make me excited, but i will use it since my lips are constantly dry)
    The Balm Cabana Boy Shadow/Blush $1.70 (This is the only product that i am just not really feeling, the sample is comically small and blush isn’t really my thing.)

    Total: $40.94 I would have loved this bag even if it was just the Eye Liner.

    • We are bag twins! I’m very happy as well..but I do have a question about the primer. It is only the second primer I’ve received, but is it normal to have a clear primer? I thought they would be more like foundation (that is what my other primer was, a light beige color, which worked great for me). Are lots of primers clear gel, like this? Just curious to hear from all you make up pros!

      • I have a Smashbox primer and a similar item from Lancome and they are both clear. They smooth the skin and allow your foundation or powder to go on smoothly and help to keep a matte finish through the day. I also have tried the Benefit Porefessionals that has a light color to it and accomplishes the same thing. I feel both work well.

        • Ok, thank you for that feedback, that explains a lot!

      • Primers come in all kinds if colors,especially if they are targeting some problem areas.

  7. Oh my! We got the exact same bag! I really liked mine as well, although didn’t think the lipstick in Smoke really matched my skin tone all too well BUT I combined it with something else and I fell in love. Awesome 🙂

  8. Gahhh! I wish I would get a brush!!! I literally have brushes/tools and maybe 2 other things clicked on my beauty profile, I have been a subscriber since January and I have only gotten 1 brush! 1! I want them, NEED them. But never ever get them. -_-

    Anywho, I havent gotten my bag yet. But Im getting……
    MUFE Foundation (yay)
    Ciate eyeliner (more eyeliner woo -_-)
    Kokie Nail Polish (yay ishh)
    Trust fund Primer (I’ll try it)
    Pur Cosmetics Mudd mask (I’ll try it)

    Also I used my points and got Benefit Gimme Brow!!! Im excited!

    • Check the opooste of what you want. They send you things you don’t want lol. I don’t have brushes checked but for them twice in 4 months lol

      • Haha! I agree with this! I have nail polish checked and hardly receive it but I do not have brushes or eyeliner checked & always receive those!

      • I think it comes down to how “adventurous” you are. If you checked that your adventurous and interesting want to try me things they will send you items you don’t have checked. If you say you’re set it your ways and not very adventurous then you’ll get more of it what you have checked.

  9. I received the noyah lipstick in currant. At first i was disappointed because i wanted the smoke but after i tried the currant i was happy. It looks great on me. I also got the balm hot mama blush but it is so small you can’t really use it as a blush. I got the concealer pencil in medium and i love it. It is my new favorite concealer. The brazilian leave in treatment smells great. I also got the kokie nail polish but after i contacted ipsy about how many nail polishes i get and can’t use they put a note on my account to not send any more polishes and they sent me a free gift to make up for the mistake. So in the end I am a happy with my bag.

    • What free gift did they send? I contacted them regarding the ingredients in the Kokie and they sent a gloss sample, so also happy since lip products are the only make-up I have selected. Received the Tre’stique in Bordeaux and like the color more than I had thought I would.

      • wow really? i have on my profile that i don’t use blush… and yet i’ve gotten blush in four out of my last five bags. i wrote to them asking why, since i always leave feedback and my preference is on my profile.

        they responded that the point of ipsy is to experiment, and my profile preferences don’t guarantee i won’t get what i don’t want, and that i should donate it to a friend.

        what is the bloody point of a preference profile if they don’t regard it at all?! and i would think it’s a waste for the manufacturers who use subs like ipsy to promote their products to potential buyers… it’s wasting their resources to send samples to people who are not in the market for their product!

        thank god for the MSA swap boards, because i’m running out of ppl to unload blushes on, lol

        • When I first contacted them the said the same thing to me. That I should review the nail polish and say I don’t want it. I responded that I have done that several times but it has not made a difference and I continue to get nail products. I explained that I am not being picky but I have a medical conditions that prohibits me from using any products on my nails and it usually the only full sized item I get and can never use. It’s also the only thing I don’t have checked on my profile. That’s when they added a note to my account saying I can’t have any nail products. It was really nice of them to do that.

      • I haven’t received the gift yet. They sent a tracking number and it should be here Monday.

  10. I absolutely love my bag!
    theBalm Cosmetics Hot Mama Blush (samples so small, but the color is really nice)
    Trust Fund Beauty Gimme Good Face – Face Primer (yah! lorac’s so sensitive primer just isn’t doing it for me anymore. Now I get to try a new one)
    tre’StiQue Matte Lip Crayon in Florence Fig (YAH! Finally a non red lipstick. I mean red is nice, but a girl can only have so many reds before she needs another color)
    Promise Organic Nourishing Coconut Milk Face Lotion with Hibiscus (I can smell it through the seal. Smells good, but I don’t know if I’ll keep it)
    Lottie London Perfectly Precise Eyeshadow Brush (A girl can never have to many brushes!)

  11. I’m at the frustrated & ready to stop Ipsy point… I’ve never received items worth more than $25:( And this month is the same. Value is way low in comparison to what I’m seeing anyone else receive every month…..

    This month:
    Essence superfine eyeliner pencil – 2.99
    Trust Fund primer – 6.49
    MeMeMe blush brush – 11.00
    the Balm Cabana Boy – 1.70
    Pure Brazilian leave in conditioner (1 oz) – 1.95
    Total…. $24.13

    Samples… and drug store brands. And this is month-after-month. So sad…..

    • That is my biggest frustration with Ipsy too.

      • I just cancelled ipsy because of that same reason. That, and they ignored my preferences. I’m going to save my money now and load up on black friday makeup deals when they come.

    • Well the Pure Brazilian leave in conditioner is worth $6 on their website. My bag barely reaches the $30 mark, and $7 is from an eyeliner from a brand I hate. The blush sample that’s too small to use and eye shadow from a super cheap brand, you can buy a whole palette for $3….

  12. That lipstick looks awesome I love those kinds of shades,wish I was getting it.I am getting that blush and lip moisturizer.

  13. Liz is your bag different from the reveals a week ago. If so does that happen often?

  14. At first based on the online reveal I thought the bag didn’t look so good. However I just got it today and it is well made and so cute. The bag has a pink pearl shimmer and I love it! The zipper is adorable and I am keeping this ipsy bag for my collection.

  15. I got my bag today.

    Ciate liner
    Indi lip scrub
    Lottie eye brush
    Trestique lip crayon
    Makeup forever hd foundation

    Love the foundation! I got a sample from Sephora and have been using it the past few days. I’m happy to get another sample of it. The shade was a good match. I’m very happy with the eye brush as I love getting makeup brushes. The liner is going to a niece. Trestique is like be a bombshell to me. I never
    like the trestique items I’ve gotten. I got the darker shade. The bag was way cuter in person. Love the ghost zipper. Overall a decent bag for me.

  16. I didn’t care for the bag design at all but that little ghost on the zipper is soooo cute. Those little details can make a really big difference some times. Now Im looking forward to having it. And it finally shipped! Yay.

    • The lil ghost zipper is the cutest!! 👻

  17. I received my first box and I love it!

    My bag had no bad smell and was uber cute!
    I received the Tatcha Pure Cleansing Oil and used it last night. Worked great!
    The Patchology Eye Revive is a miracle worker.
    I actually need eyeliner and received the Ciate Fierce Flixs eyeliner, I look forward to trying it out.
    The Lottie eye shadow brush I will put to good use. I have only one brush and it is not for eye shadow. I loved the color.
    Finally, I received the Cosmoholic lip gloss that smells like chocolate! Awesome. I love the little mirror on the side to put my lipstick on.

    My daughter just turned 13 and was so excited over my bag, I got her a subscription too. 🙂

  18. My bag is enroute, so I haven’t received it yet…but I have a question in regards to the retail values. I always enjoy the reviews because if I have any items that are the same as Liz, I can easily tell the value. But, if my items don’t match, I often have a hard time telling the value. Is there some place that you can see the values for each listed? Even if they are the full-priced item, I could do the math to figure out the sample size value. Just curious! Love the reviews, they are so helpful!

    • If you click on the item on the ipsy reveal page it will lead you to the website. You can also try googling the item and if it’s a sample do a little math. 🙂

      • That is what I was doing, but I’m not able to find some items…the one I am most curious about is the Gimme Good Face Primer, I can’t find it via google or on the Trust Fund Beauty website! Ah well….

        • The highest price the sample is going for on ebay is $10…. I hope that helps.

          • That does help, thanks!

    • Even when your bag is still enroute you can log into your account and see what they’re sending and google if it isn’t a brand you know.

  19. I received nearly the exact same bag, 4 out of 5 same items except I received the Tatcha cleansing oil which was a $4.80 value so my bag value nets out at $52.15

    I was a little peeved when I saw my bag reveal online but in-person, the bag is so cute (especially the little ghost zipper pull) and most of the products are decent sizes.

    I didn’t enjoy the smell of the lipstick and it is really pigmented so you need to go lightly unless you are rocking a 90s grunge look.

  20. I was a little bummed that I got eyeliner again and missed out on the nail polishes but my bag’s value was great this month!
    *Ciate eyeliner full size $19
    *Teeez lipstick full size $22
    *Lottie shadow brush $15
    *Purlisse lip nourisher $6.95
    *theBalm Cabana Boy $1.70
    Total: $64.65
    And this is not including the cute bag!

    • That’s a great bag!!

  21. I LOVE my ipsy bag this month! I got the following:

    Makeup Forever Ultra HD Makeup
    VINTAGE Eye Shadow in Vanilla/Expresso
    NYX Vivid Brights Liner in Gunmetal (awesome)
    Noyah Lippie in Smoke
    Aqua Moist Gel Cream

    This month’s Halloween bag is so cute too. Mine has zero odor and I got my bag yesterday.
    I’m happy happy!

    • Wow u have an amazing one. How did u fill out ur profile if u don’t mind me asking?

      • Ok geeze, I had to go look around the website to even see my profile. I seriously can’t remember when I filled it out-it’s been that long ago. I’ve been with Ipsy since it was the original My Glam bag-then it switched over to Ipsy. I have just about everything checked as products I want to try & I have curly frizzy hair with skin issues such as redness & dry/wrinkles as a concern. I never picked a You Tube stylist because I have no idea who any of them are!

        I honestly think if you stick with them long enough you simply cycle thru all kinds of different offerings. I never post reviews, No-I guess I have when they send me hair oils full of silicone & chemicals! Ugh.

        Any items I don’t want I take to work for anyone to try-we have a basket in the Ladies Room and I know from all the different items that end up in there-peoples tastes and wants are totally crazy varied! Sorry I can’t give you a better answer, but the whole thing is pretty much a mystery to me too even after all these years!

  22. I REALLY love that bag design! Is this Ipsy still available if I order now?

    If not, is anyone not wanting theirs?

  23. I got a shipping email days ago, but mine is still in the label created stage, hasn’t actually shipped which is super disappointing!!

  24. Is the lip color shown above actually “smoke”? It doesn’t look like smoke, it looks more like “currant news” or even more so “deeply in mauve”. I could be wrong but I was just curious because I really like the color and I’m interested in either purchasing it or finding it in the swaps. Ipsy had several lippies I was interested in this month and I at least did get one of them, the Florence Fig color by TreStiQue. I absolutely love it, so glad I didn’t get the other TreStiQue color. I’ve liked everything I’ve tried by that brand.

    • That lipstick color reminds me a lot of one of my all-time favorites, Model Co. in Dusk Till Dawn. That lipstick has a great formula, but it does have scent/flavor.

    • I’m pretty sure that lipstick isn’t Currant News, only because I received Currant News and it’s a lot deeper than Liz’s lipstick. (Oh, how I wish I would have received Liz’s shade.)

      I also really liked the bag itself… it was so much cuter than I thought it would be! Even though I always like Ipsy’s bags when they’re revealed, I always think they look so much better in person when I actually receive them. 🙂

    • I just double checked and it is smoke. It looks a little different in these pics (and in real life) than it does on the website for that lipstick. Hope that helps!

      • Thank you so much for the response. I really rely on the swatches people post for that very reason, often times the actual color looks so different than it does in the tube. Thanks again.

        • Happy to help! 🙂

    • Right! Currant news looks extremely dark on the ipsy model and smoke looks like a light greyish color on the ipsy model. IMO neither look like the shade shown here, lol. I just don’t know. I wish I would have gotten Liz’s color too. Looks really perfect.

  25. I got one of my ipsy bags yesterday. I also received the Hot Mama blus and Ciate eyeliner. My other products were a lip scrub and an iridescent chrome nail polish. The polish was a good sized too. I had to email them about an eyeshadow as it arrived completely shattered. ipsy CS has already replied to me saying a replacement is on the way. I’m overall happy, definitely completely worth $10!

  26. That pink tint on the bag is perfect! It did smell really bad when it arrived but it has since calmed down.

    Still having a hard time getting my profile right so I end up swapping most items. So quick question about the reviews…do I have to agree to post on facebook for my reviews to be considered?

    • You do not need to agree to post on facebook for your reviews to be considered, but you will get an additional 5 points for sending them out through Facebook or Twitter.

      • What she said. But you can change your “audience” to “only me” before you post and then no one else sees the review and you still get the points. I usually go out and delete them after too because I don’t like to crowd up my page.

        • Smart idea Julie!

        • Good tip! I’ll have to look into how to do this. Thanks!

  27. That bag is pretty cute. Almost makes me want to sign up again. But I always get Be a Bombshell stuff…

    • Me too, Be a Bombshell (and other made-in-China brands) is why I quit!

  28. I received the Ciate eyeliner as well, but I’m not happy with it. I need to apply more pressure than other brand liquid liners just to get the liquid on my skin. Because of this, my line looks ragged and messy. 🙁

    • My eyeliner, I barely touch my skin and it applies a beautiful crisp line. I wonder if yours is dried out a bit? I was shocked at how dark it comes out with the lightest stroke. You could contact Ipsy customer service.

      • Wow I must’ve gotten a bad one. It gets dry by the time I’m almost done with one eye.
        Is it better to tweet to ipsycare, or is there a phone number thats better? I’m new so I dont know the best method to get in touch.

        • Email – they should get back to you quickly! 🙂

          • Thanks Liz! I did and they are sending me a replacement. Great, fast support!

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