Posted by on in Beauty Subscription Boxes, Canadian Subscription Box Reviews, Ipsy Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women | 42 comments

Ipsy Review – January 2014

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Ipsy Review - January 2014  Package

I always recommend Ipsy whenever anyone asks about an inexpensive beauty subscription box to try. Their value is always great – and you can’t beat $10 a month!

Ipsy Review - January 2014  Bag

Each Ipsy shipment comes with it’s own exclusive makeup bag. (I thought this one was cute, but unfortunately mine has a very strong chemical scent so I don’t think I’ll end up using it).

Ipsy Review - January 2014  Items

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

Check out all of myย Ipsy reviewsย and theย Beauty Subscription Box Directory!

Ipsy Review - January 2014  Scrub

Faith Aromatherapy Anti0Aging Sugar Scrub in Tahitian Monoi – 1 oz Value $2

Skiin Soothing & Smoothing Eye Cream – .25 oz Retail Value $25

This scrub is made with all natural and organic ingredients, and it smells amazing. I should be able to get two uses out of it too, so I’m pleased. I’m curious about this eye cream too – if you’ve tried Skiin products and recommend them, let me know!

 Ipsy Review - January 2014 Malin Goetz

Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Leave in Conditioner – 1.7 oz Value $3.60

Malin + Goetz Mojito Lip Balm – FULL SIZE! Value $12

I wish this lip balm had a better applicator, but I’m still really happy with it. It’s paraben-free and the mojito flavor is delicious!

Ipsy Review - January 2014 Eyeshadow Pencil

Elizabeth Mott Smooth Shadow Creamy Eye Pencil in Penny – .7 g Value $7

I swatched this on my hand and it has a beautiful copper shimmer color. This pencil is supposed to be smudgeproof and waterproof too!

Verdict: My Ipsy bag this month has a value of about $50 – not bad for the $10 cost! I think I’ll use everything in the bag this month too – so I’m very pleased with my samples.

What items did you get in your January Ipsy 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. I love SKIIN products. I use their blushes and pallets and a primer as well as a scrub. Honestly I have very sensitive skin and have always been afraid to try new products but skiin has been nothing but wonderful. While expensive it is worth every dollar.

  2. I’ve been with ipsy for almost a year now (started after cancelling my almost 2 year long subscription with birchbox due to lackluster boxes) and i’m shocked when people say they don’t like it! they consistently give me the best value for my money, and products i actually want to use. at this point, you can have my whole collection of makeup bags because i have too.damn.many. unsubscribing for the reason of not liking the bag itself alone seems silly to me when this bag definitely provides the best value in samples for the price.

    • Rachael, glad you have had a great experience. My reason for canceling the bag went beyond the bag smell. I think you missed that Ipsy’s customer service was poor. Also, they claimed this toxic smell was from the ink that is used in ALL their bags. I knew I would throw out every bag. No way would I pass them on to anyone.
      I did not bring up the items in the bag because that is part of the subscription. Some months you might get some good things and others you may not. I was underwhelmed with the items in my bag. Not only were the items not for me, I did not see the value of these items. The value could not possibly be $10. Plus, the items did not go with my profile. I looked at the bags people received in previous months and found that it was not worth continuing. I personally like that Birchbox takes the time to describe each item on a card with the price of the full-sized item. Ipsy’s card said something about 19 reasons. Underwhelmed again. The card was pointless. The Ipsy subscription box was not for me. I can easily spend $10 at a local store trying something new.

  3. This was my first bag with IPSY and I am not impressed. I send a message telling IPSY that the smell was overpowering and asking IPSY if this smell was normal. Here was their response.

    “Thanks for contacting ipsyCare. Sorry about that! The custom design on the January Glam Bag required more ink than previous bags, and in some batches it may still be settling. After a few hours outside the package, the scent should fade. Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns!

    We fully trust our partners to provide us with quality and safe products, and can assure you that the smell is not harmful.”

    I was not expecting an answer telling me the ink (Aka chemicals) used in all their bags are the same. The January box just required more ink and should fade. I really do not feel comfortable with this. I order from quite a bit and received much nicer bags. Not being able to use the one from IPSY takes away from the experience of getting this subscription. I am canceling my subscription.

  4. I am on the wait list, sounds like a good time to be waiting.

  5. This was the bag that finally convinced me to cancel Ipsy. They always have really great samples of things I’d love to try… I just never seem to get them! I end up with the mismatched foundation and the foil packets. When this bag showed up (after being stuck in Maryland for 5 days… um.) reeking of whatever toxic chemical the ink is made out of, I knew it was time to give up the ghost. Ipsy deleted all my comments on their facebook page too. A little shady.

  6. I was so hoping to get that Malin + Goetz lip balm but didn’t!

  7. I found my Ipsy bag kind of underwhelming this month. I got the mojito lip balm (like it but giving it to my husband since he’ll get more use out of it, I’m not a fan of the applicator either), the soy leave in conditioner (big fan of it!) proactiv wipes (eh, it is supposed to be part of their system, not sure about using 4 wipes individually), the eye cream (this I like), and the shimmer stick (which isn’t adjustable, so all you get is what you see poking out), and an AWFUL smelling bag (I’ve hand washed the bag about 4 times now and it’s starting to get better, I actually quite like the design for traveling, since it’d be bright enough to see in my bag, but we’ll see). I’ve been a subscriber since May, and this is the first bag I have NOT loved, so it’s still a big fat PLUS in my opinion.

    • You can actually sharpen the shadow stick! Just like a regular eye liner. Makes the value a little more worth it ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Becca!! Thanks!! So excited about that prospect!

  8. Was totally underwhelmed with Ipsy and this was my first bag. I got the Deep conditioner (nice size though), packets of Proactiv wipes, face cream, eyeliner, and Mica lip balm (I just don’t like the ones where you have to apply it with a finger…just kinda nasty to me). Overall was not impressed. And the bag was just kinda blah.

    I’ve cancelled this and Birchbox. I’m going to concentrate my money on bigger boxes like Saffron and Glossybox and leave those two behind.

  9. I received the same items that you did, and LOVED every single one. I will use every product, and the scrub is amazing (yes, mine leaked a bit too, but according to other readers you can call them and get a new bag at no extra charge).

    • Ipsy bag twins! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m so glad you liked everything too!

  10. This might be my last Ipsy bag. They would have a great service if they could somehow customize colors and products a little better. It’s not really a good value to get a $16 Em lipstick, if the color is horrendous. So, I didnโ€™t like a single thing in my bag this month, and I find myself thinking that I am not really using anything from past months, except for a moisturizer sample and the Delectable hand lotion. This month I got the lip gloss in tan, foundation, foundation brush, face wipes, and a small face lotion (got Glossybox so I am full up on really good moisturizers). I love your site, and canโ€™t wait to see your swap service, have yet to have anyone follow through on Ipsy swaps through their site. ๏Š

    • Thanks for loving the site! ๐Ÿ™‚ We’re almost done with the swapping platform, and hopefully we’re building enough feedback functionality into it so you can feel confident with who you will be swapping with!

  11. I actually didn’t like what came in my bag this month ๐Ÿ™ This is what I got:

    Benefit The POREfessional – This is probably the only thing I like but won’t get much use out of since it is a small sample.
    Malin+Goetz Mojito Lip Balm – Has a nice scent but weird applicator. I believe this was the only full size thing I got.
    Balanced Guru Balm Me Up Organic Sweet Cocoa & Tangy Body Balm – smells awful and very oily. Boo!
    Absolute! Makeup Cleansing Tissue – smells awful. I couldn’t wait to put my moisturizer on to cover the smell.
    yaby Liquid Foundation – I don’t wear foundation… just my MAC Studio Fix.

    • We got the same bag. I have been getting Ipsy for over 6 months now and this is the first bag I have really disliked.

    • Received the same as you, too. Not thrilled, not disappointed. Not bad enough to cancel, but a little jealous of what others received. At least my bag doesn’t stink – lol.

    • I got the same bag, and I too am underwhelmed. I’m not big into skin care products, so most of what I got is stuff I’ll never use. I don’t care for the smell of the body balm anyway. Same with the makeup wipes, and that was the one of the only things I probably would have tried. I have a foundation that I like, and I don’t care for liquid, so that’s out. I’ll try the lip balm and will hopefully like it. I can’t even keep the bag itself due to the smell.

      This is my fourth bag, and the first one I really haven’t liked, so I’ll stick with Ipsy for now. I’m hoping for better things in February.

  12. This month I received an E. M. smooth shadow pencil, Mica Gloss in Fiesta, Absolute wipes, Leeanni 3 in 1, and the Sexy Hair conditioner. Overall, I am pleased with the products I received and how quickly the bag arrived! One product didn’t interest me so I just gave it away to someone who’d like it. Getting an assortment of makeup, skincare, and haircare while seeing new brands is like a breath of fresh air! My Ipsy cosmetic bag had that strange smell though I think the smell is fading. Definitely looking forward to the February Ipsy bag!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. The bag smelled TERRIBLE! I thought it was cute and I sent the bag to my daughter…she will love it!

  14. This Ipsy bag was just so so. I also have that strong plastic smell in my bag. As for it’s contents:
    – Briogeo deep conditioning mask
    – Mica tinted lip balm in Fiesta
    – Mott Smooth Shadow in Pearl
    – Nourish Organic Face Lotion
    – 4 Proactiv Mark Fading Pads

    I wish the Pearl shadow was a full size because I like that color. I also like the size of the hair mask. I guess my haul is ok, just used to getting one full size item and the bag not smelling like plastic.

    • Yea, compared to previous bag options, this month’s ipsy bags seem a little light in full size items.

    • That’s the bag I got.

    • This is the bag I got and I loved it! So excited to see MIca Cosmetics in a beauty subscription box, I hope we get more of their products in months to come. I also love and use Proactiv, and the wipes were new to me as well as being a product that I needed. I can never have enough deep conditioners as my hair is color treated. I would have enjoyed the sugar scrub others received more than another moisturizer, but it is from a brand that is new to me and looks like it might be good. I didn’t notice a smell to my bag, but I’m not that sensitive either. I feel like I got a great value on products I will use with this month.

  15. The skiin eye cream is pretty good. I’ve used the samples I got as moisturizer instead (I don’t have issues like puffiness or anything) My skin is dry, sensitive, and oily and have several breakouts from just using daily cleanser alone. It works well, no negative reactions. Plus a little goes a long way~

  16. I guess I’m weird, I love the “chemical” smell of the bag haha. It reminds me of new inflatable pool toys.

  17. Ahh so jealous, I wanted that Malin Mojito lip balm so badly but i got the Mica Beauty tinted lip balm instead, oh well.

  18. The skiin eye cream is good.

  19. I wish I got the sugar scrub and the eye pencil. I got the face lotion, foundation brush, Epice exfoliant, tinted lip balm, and the liquid foundation.

    • Wait for swaps ! Maybe someone will post some items from Ipsy. I really wanted the eye cream but didn’t get it so I am crossing my fingers and holding off opening or trying anything that I am not head over heels mad about.

      I got the same items as Liz M.

  20. Mine had a chemical smell too! It was terrible and made my whole bathroom stink, I have never had that happen with an ipsy bag before.

    • I came here to comment about the exact same thing. This was my first Ipsy bag and I am relieved to find out that the smell is not normal. I left it in the living room overnight and the smell has mostly dissipated unless you stick it right in your face.

      I got the eye pencil, some face lotion, lip gloss, some Proactiv dark spot corrector wipes, and a deep conditioning hair treatment.

      I’ll try everything in my bag although I might try cutting the wipes into smaller pieces and putting them into a ziplock bag to keep them from drying out because I don’t really need to use them over my whole face. And the hair treatment container is a bit small for me (my hair is thick and goes down to my waist). But I’ll treat the ends, at least.

      • Good idea on cutting the wipes down! I too only need it for a small area.

      • I’m getting the exact same bag – Ipsy twins! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Great idea for the wipes….thanks for sharing!

  21. Hoping I get that eyeshadow stick! Looks neat! The mojito lipgloss also looks fun as well!

  22. I couldn’t agree more on that applicator tip for the lip balm, what is that?! But I am loving all the samples in subscription boxes coming from that brand. What a treat! They smell amaze.

    I thought the chemical scent was from the salt scrub because it was completely leaked all over the bag and everything else (which happened last month with perfume – 2 ruined bags in a row). But you’re right, it is an awful smell! How could they not notice when packing ’em up?! It had to of been disgusting with them all in one room!

  23. This review makes me glad I cancelled my Ipsy subscription. I have had several bags with that strong chemical scent -why? But that bag is super cute! I was with them for several months and got many of the Big Sexy hair samples which I don’t love, small skin care samples and yes they do throw in a full size makeup item here and there and that certainly is worth it, but the colors I received were not for my skin tone. I don’t now how that comes to $50 worth of product. I don’t see the value.

  24. I just unsubscribed from Birchbox and ordered Ipsy and Sample Society, because they looked like a better value. Now, I have to wait a whole month before I get my first taste! Going to try to decide between Ipsy and Sample Society after checking them out. I have a feeling it is going to be a tough choice!

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