Posted by on in Beauty Subscription Boxes, Canadian Subscription Box Reviews, Ipsy Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews | 43 comments

Ipsy Review – September 2014

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Ipsy Review - September 2014 Street Style

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!

(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).

Ipsy Review - September 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

Delivered via: USPS

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

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

Ipsy Review - September 2014 Pacifica

HIKARI Lipstick in Cabernet – FULL SIZE Value $13

Pacifica 7 Free Nail Color in Red Red Wine – FULL SIZE! Value $9

I guess I like wine-inspired makeup because I am loving both of these shades! I’ve seen a few manicure photos on Instagram with this Pacifica shade and it is gorgeous!

Ipsy Review - September 2014 NYX

NYX Eyeshadow in Bling Bling Bling – FULL SIZE! Value $4.50

Crown Brush Crease and Shadow Brush – Retail Value $17.50, on sale for $7

This NYX eyeshadow isn’t as highly pigmented as some of the other shades I’ve tried from the brand, but that’s OK in the case of silver eyeshadow.

I always love getting new makeup brushes in subscription boxes (no matter how much I clean them, new brushes are always better than old ones!), and this dual ended one is very convenient.

Ipsy Review - September 2014 Briogeo

Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask – 1 oz Value $5

I like that this hair mask is phthalate and paraben free, but I’ve tried it before and it did nothing for my hair.

Verdict: I like this month’s Ipsy box much more than last month. I received about $40 worth of items, and I love that almost everything was full-sized! The makeup colors are all appropriate for fall, and even the bag is cute! (And it doesn’t have a chemical smell!)

What did you think of Ipsy this month? Which samples did you get?

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. If you buy something, MSA may earn an affiliate commission. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.


  1. I waited for a long time to get my bag (because I live halfway across the globe) LOL.

    My bag contained the following:

    1) Crown crease/shadow brush – I liked it because I don’t have a crease brush yet and it’s dual-purpose!

    2) Pacifica eyeliner – The shade is gun metal and I don’t have anything in color pewter yet. Haven’t opened mine but I did see an unboxing video with a sample swatch and it looked pigmented.

    3) Mitchell and Peach Hand Cream – I opened the bag and it smelled instantly of lotion. I thought the contents spilled inside. Haven’t tried it yet.

    4) Cailyn Lip Gloss – Not a fan of the color Love Affair. I find it too dark but let’s see if I can pull off a complete look with it.

    5) Nourish Organics facial cleanser – Now because of the humidity, it ended up more liquid-like than gel-like. But my face felt squeaky-clean after wash.

    It’s my first glam bag and I am so excited to see what’s in my next bag. I waited for about 2 weeks in the waitlist before getting my first bag. 🙂

  2. This is my first month with ipsy and to me it was well worth the wait of 4months! I LOVED the eyeshadow, the brush and the hair mask. I’m actually thinking about canceling my birchbox, but I may wait another month or two.

  3. My review of both my bags.

    The Cailyn lip gloss is not at all sticky. It is more like a stain but not drying. It is smooth and thin. Very different. I love the feel but but not so much the look. It kinda looks thin like bleeding into the lips. It is really different. The Crown duo eye shadow brush is nice but not as nice as I actually expected. The criminal powder feels soft on the face and works. The Hikari lipstick looks great and I like it. The lotion does not smell great but dies down quickly. It is not greasy but does not seem mousturizing. I love that it sinks in to the skin. 🙂 The bottle is cute. The nourish organic facial cleanser is just okay. Feels kinda tight afterwards but not drying nor hydrating but it is okay. The eye liner is smooth and brown and I love it as an eye brow pencil. My favorite item which I was not expecting to be my favorite is the Pacifica nail polish. It is cruelty free and the packaging and color is gorgeous! The NYX eye shadow is silver and shimmery. It is pretty but takes a lot to get a good color so it is just okay. The briogeo hair mask has good reviews and smells good and the packaging is cute. I have not tried it yet.

    The bag itself is pleather like and very supple; not stiff. I think it is super cute and I can use one as a clutch in my handbag. 🙂

    I think I covered the 10 items from my bags! I really like about half the products so far and the rest are just okay. All in all I am Happy!

  4. I got my first Ipsy bag today! I got the same polish (red red wine), an Avon mascara, which I thought was kind of random. I also got a mitchell & peach hand cream- looks like it’s worth $17?!?! I’m not a hand cream fan, though. I also got be a bombshell- smooth criminal, and I got a Cailyn Lip gloss in basic instinct… which I will use! 🙂

  5. I’ve been pretty disappointed with Ipsy lately, but this bag was a lot better then last months at least. I felt the bag itself was much better quality then last’s for sure. I got the crown brush (which I have yet to use, but it seems to be a good quality brush), the Pacifica eyeliner in gun metal (which I LOVE), the cailyn lip gloss in the berry color (definitely not a fan of), the mitchell and peach hand cream (smells very nice), and the nourish organic face wash (I’ve been using it, but I could have done without it) I prefer more makeup oriented boxes so hopefully Ipsy steps it up again next month.

  6. People complain about being on the waitlist for like two months. I don’t use social media so when I signed up in MARCH I didn’t know I would not receive my first bag until SEPTEMBER.

    I wish I hadnt looked in my Glam Room ahead of time to see what I got so next time I will resist the temptation.

    I should be getting my bag today and it will contain: lipstick, nail poish, face cleanser, hand lotion, and face powder. I am not dissappointed. The lipstick shade is a little loud for my daily preference but I will try it.

  7. Last month was my first month with Ipsy and I was so disappointed. I really thought about canceling but I decided to give them one more month. I am really glad I did! This month was much better. I ended up with the lip gloss, which I gifted to my sister (not my shade…would have loved that cabernet lipstick!), the hair repair–which I’m making my son use on his rough hair LOL, Nyx eyeshadow in a deep purple that is perfect for me, the brush (love!!) and the Pacifica eyeliner in brown.

  8. This was my first Ipsy bag and I was happy with everything. I received the Smooth Criminal powder, Pacifica nail polish, lip gloss in the neutral shade, hand cream, and Avon mascara. I was particularly glad for the lip gloss. I like all makeup EXCEPT lipstick. I am a tinted balm or gloss girl, so this was a good choice for me. As far as a wait list, there was none for me. I shared on Twitter and FB (but not to individuals) and I was immediately told I was in.

  9. My only problem with my bag was the eye shadow. I love getting eyeshadow samples. However, I wish Ipsy would pay attention to skin tone. This is the second time I’ve gotten something that is the same color brown as me. I’m probably just unlucky and someone just tossed it in my bag.

  10. I am so totally stoked with this month’s grey/silver stud bag! Probably my fave so far from them. No funky smell and it feels nice 🙂 My bag contained the Hikari lipstick in Cabernet, Pacifica nail polish in Red Red Wine, BAB finishing powder, Nourish face cleanser in Cucumber/Watercress and Mitchell and Peach Flora No. 1 hand cream.

    I would have liked the brush and lipgloss instead of the lipstick and finishing powder. I’m outside a lot and lipsticks tend to totally dry on me. Tarte and Burt’s Bees sticks work well though. Also, even though my skin is medium I don’t think I can rock that deep color. I can always use a purse-sized lotion so I don’t mind that and a travel size face cleanser from that company is fine with me. I really like the Pacifica brand so I’ll try the nail polish for sure. Overall I feel like I definitely got my money’s worth.

    I had cancelled both IPSY and Birchbox after receiving them each for about 9 months. I cancelled other subs too and just kept PopSugar Must Have. I cancelled Birchbox because the items I was getting were so tiny and seemed to be the same things every other month. Since then they’ve revamped their website and box offerings but I don’t know much about how their points system works…I never used it. I don’t know if the samples are still the tiny sizes I used to get.

    I’ve since signed back up with Ipsy and was on the waitlist for about three months. How do people feel about the “new” birchbox? I might consider them again as it sounds like people are happy with them.

  11. My plan was always to cancel ipsy after the September bag… and nothing has tempted me otherwise.

    I got the same hair mask, eye shadow, an brush as you Liz (I’m happy about the brush too!), plus a gloss and yet another eyeliner. I loathe the bag so will gift everything but the eyeshadow and brush to my son’s GF.

    It’s not as awful as last month, but it doesn’t thrill me, so buh-bye ipsy. I now have 2 birchbox and 2 sample society and love both so I’m all good with that.

  12. This will be my first truly nice eye shadow brush. I have a few nice powder or blush brushes but no real eye shadow brushes and when I saw this I was so hoping I would get it. That with the bag pays for itself. As for the criminal powder I needed a finishing powder and happy about that. The lipstick will be the darkest shade i own but I’m happy to try it. I’m always happy to get new eye shadow and this will be my first NYX product. The nail polish I’ve seen from reviews and it looks gorgeous and the packaging nice. I’m always looking for new face cleansers and lotion/hand cream so yay! The other items look nice too. I’m suoer happy I opted to get two bags and they gave me an extra 250 points for that account. Along with the reviews and shares, this is my second month I have 500 points. No other referrals so I’m happy about that.

    I made my accounts polar opposites and selected non adventurous for both and changed up stylists and changed up brands. I did everything complete opposites and my bag was matched perfectly and I received non of the same items duplicated with my bag (this is my first month with two bags) they also rating the items accordingly helps the match too. I also just selected natural for my second account and classic, trendy and sultry for my other. In that quiz I also put that I was not into makeup so that I would receive more skin care and opposite the other account. I would re take the quiz and check everything carefully. They have matched me really well. Again also review the items as if you receive eye liner review the item as not interested.

    NOTE: Everyone received eye liner or nail polish this month so if you have both unselected you will receive either or. Same with the lip products. Some months it’s impossible for ipsy to match everything when there is a month that at least 1-2 products we will all receive one. Does that make since? Also make sure your quiz is set to non adventurous and a few other tricks to the quiz. If you need help contact ipsy care. Good luck! 🙂

    • I somehow missed getting a lip product this month and had both lipstick and glosses unselected, but it was either the stick/gloss/or blush this time around. So happy when they throw in a third option for us non-lippie gals!

  13. I got the same bag and love it! It might be my favorite bag thus far, in terms of functionality of each item within my lifestyle.

    As for those complaining that their specific preferences aren’t being honored, as far as I’m aware, Ipsy has never claimed to do that. Their products are sent out in pre-determined groupings, not each individual product chosen individually for each person. I would recommend re-taking the quiz to see if your assigned box changes.

    I don’t believe the wait list is some sort of “business model,” rather, it seems to be that their customer base is growing faster than they can keep up with. They’re human. I was on the list for 5 months and have been happy to receive each of my 6 bags. If there is even 1 item in each bag that is desirable, the service essentially pays for itself.

  14. I loved my ipsy bag! I got the pacifica eyeliner (which i am wearing) and cailyn lipgloss (also wearing today)…and the eyeshadow brush (used today). I got three full sized products! Wow!

  15. I’m wearing both the Pacifica eyeliner (I got it in Fringe – I think it’s brown??) and the Hikari lipstick in Cabernet today. At about six hours after application, both are still on, but WOW, the lipstick REALLY dried out my lips and the eyeliner is still there but starting to smudge under my lower lid.

    I also got the Nourish facial cleanser and the Alterna caviar CC hair cream and both are just kind of *shrug*.

    As for the duel-ended eyeshadow brush, I can never have too many, so that’s cool.

    This month’s bag didn’t make me jump for joy or anything but it didn’t make me wail with disappointment either. I’m just relieved that I didn’t get nail polish (I have enough to start my own nail studio at this point) or black eyeliner in this one.

    At only $10 a month, I remain an Ipsy fan. I think it’s always great fun and decent value for about the only subscription box/bag that’s in my price range right now. I gave up on Birchbox last year and have never regretted it.

  16. I really wish i could get this one in the uk 🙁
    Anyone know if they have any plans to ship internationally?

  17. I received the same items but two bags this month as Follows.

    Ipsy #1 Pacifica eye liner, NYX eye shadow, biorgeo hair mask, Crown brush duo and Cailyn lip gloss

    Ipsy#2 Nourish organic face cleanser, Mitchell and Peach hand cream, Be a Bombshell criminal powder, Pacifica nail polish and Hikari lip stick.

    I haven’t received my bag and unsure of the shades as you can receive a multitude of shades of NYX and two different shade eye liners and two different shade lip glosses. So I’m not sure of the shades due to come but I’m super exited about the variety and the bag is super cute. I’m actually really surprised I received no duplicate items. I will post how I like the products when they arrive. 🙂

  18. The spoilers were so promising – several items I would have loved – no such luck 🙁

    Happy about the hair mask and the bag itself. Sad about another eyeliner and eyeshadow (had both marked off). Not sure about the brush. The lipstick was HORRIBLE on my pale complexion! I gave it away to a friend. The eyeshadow was swapped for a 2nd hair mask 🙂

    Product-wise, last month was so much better for me

    • I have another hair mask if you wanna swap for something!


  19. I got the Hikari lipstick in a dark brownish red color that I can’t wear. The hair mask and some other stuff. Not very memorable but it’s my first bag and I’ll stick it out for a while to see what treasures they have to reveal 🙂

  20. I am so annoyed with Ipsy. I signed up again for this month’s bag (just for the Pacifica polish – which I didn’t get) and cancelled again after seeing what I got. I have put on my profile that I don’t want blush, eyeshadow, or hair styling products and I have gotten one of each of those items every month since I signed up and nothing that I’ve listed as wanting to get. I think they take your profile and give you the exact opposite of what you listed. I just signed up for Birchbox and am loving them so much more than I ever liked Ipsy.

  21. I’ve canceled Ipsy after 3 months. (I received this big, but it will be my last one. I liked the bag itself, and the Pacifica nail polish, but everything else was very meh.) I just find that most of the samples feel cheap, chemically, and kinda crappy. I’ve added a second Birchbox subscription instead. They seem to be stepping up their game, I much prefer high end samples, and I’m doing a lot of shopping on their website now. I’ve gotten great deals on very high end products due to their generous points system.

  22. I canceled ipsy after 2 months with not interesting bags and I am happy I did it. I am Birchbox and glossybox fan. Now also sample society. 9 different boxes in total, but no more ipsy

  23. I usually don’t use red lipsticks, but this one has enough purple in it to balance things out. And I may even keep the nail polish!

    I also got a Mitchell and Peach hand creme (too flowery for me), a Be a Bombshell Smooth Criminal powder (don’t have use for that type of product) and an organic cream face cleanser. Not in love with all of the products, but will keep enough to make this worth it!

    • I recieved the exact items as you did. I thought it was a decent bag even though I wasn’t in love with everything!Definately worth the cost of the bag.

      I also really liked the bag this month. Its a good size and feels nice to the touch.

      • I also received that same bag! I tried the face wash and was hugely disappointed 🙁 I have other Nourish Organic products that I like a lot, so maybe I was expecting too much from it.. But it was runnier than I thought it would be, so when I squeeze the tube it shot out in a big mess. The next issue was the smell. I know this is going to sound harsh, and a bit gross, but the scent reminded me of baby spit up. It was hard not to gag while rubbing it into my face. The Mitchell & Peach lotion is nice but I don’t really need another lotion. I was happy with the rest of the items though! This was my first bag since re-subscribing and it didn’t make me regret my decision.

  24. You received an awesome bag!

    For a second, I was sad I had unsubscribed, but then I remembered that I probably wouldn’t have gotten any of these products. I looked on Instagram at all the variety of bags, and most of them are so-so. Smelly hand cream, tiny perfume sample, boring liner. I probably would have gotten all of those because before I had unsubscribed my last few bags were TERRIBLE and didn’t match my profile.

    Now I am subbed to 3 birchboxes, take advantage of their epic points system, unsubscribe and resubscribe as soon as I see a new code (which is often), and am super happy with all my high end samples.

  25. I love my Ipsy bag this month. First, I love the bag, it’s simple, and flexible, this is probably my favorite bag from them. I also got the brush, and I think it’s awesome. I got the Deep Hair Conditioner Mask, that will be interesting to see. I got a Pacifica eye liner in dark brown, Cailyn Lip Gloss in Basic Instinct (It looks subtle on but it’s super super pink/red), and Dress to Kill Fashion Victim Nyx eye shadow, it’s opposite of your silver and in iridescent black.

    I cancelled my Julip subscription and will just stick with Ipsy from now on, sometimes they are a hit or miss, but this month was all hit for me =)

  26. Wow, I wish I got this box! The only same item was the hair masque. I got some Pacifica dark silvery eyeliner, finishing powder, a weird color lip gloss, and Harvey Prince Hello perfume, which I like, but this is my third sample of it from subscriptions! Yours looks way better :/

  27. I’m one and done with Ipsy. Not because the products are bad, they’re fine, I’ll use them (except for a horrible smelling perfume sample that leaked but was fortunately encased in a tiny Ziploc). But because I hate their ridiculous business model. I was on the waitlist so long I honestly forgot I was even on it. I didn’t do the FB share because I don’t do FB, but it wouldn’t have mattered. If someone wants to give a company money, they should take it happily and not make customers jump through hoops for the privilege.

    • I did the Facebook share and then they wanted to go into my email contacts and send messages to my friends. That’s when I decided the waitlist was fine.

      • I emailed them and told them I don’t do FB and thought it was discriminatory to give preference to FB members. I also strongly asked how long was the waitlist and explained that I did not wish to put my cc up on an account that may never get used. That is unnecessary and possibly unsafe. They made me a member without the waitlist.

  28. I didn’t get the briogeo

  29. I was hoping for the nail polish. I got a brown eyeliner instead. I love the new brush, I feel I can never have enough new brushes. I love the lipstick! I feel it’s a perfect fall color. My bag also included face cleanser and caviar cc cream for my hair. I also liked the actual bag this month. The little studs are a fun detail.

  30. I’m curious, I know that some companies use the same manufacturing but just slap their name on it (I am too tired right now to think of examples! but I think I learned this while subscribing to Ipsy) and looking at your Hikari box, I thought it looked exactly like a Be A Bombshell box, down to the little sticker with the shade name. Since I haven’t enjoyed many of the items from BAB, I wonder how the lipstick you received compares?

    • Interesting! I immediately went to find a Be A Bombshell product to investigate.

      I think you are right. Here are my findings so far:

      Both are from Jonesboro AR and Made In PRC
      The packaging is also VERY similar (the only difference I can see is that Be a Bombshell is matte black and Hikari is shiny black).

  31. I subscribed to several boxes to see which one I like best. I ordered Birchbox and Ipsy on the same day and have rec’d two BB’s and no Ipsy yet. They took my money a month ago. I am cancelling Ipsy.

  32. My bag also has the eyeshadow brush, which I was stoked to see (I’m in agreement with Liz that there’s nothing better than a new, clean brush). Other than that, nothing else is the same. Here’s a rundown: lip gloss by Cailyn (never heard of but in a wine color), face cleanser by Nourish Organic, Pacifica eyeliner (silvery shade), and Mitchell and Peach hand cream. I’m entirely happy with all of it. I’ll use everything and I really like the bag design too!

  33. When i first signed up, i was on the wait list, but once i shared on FB, i was immediately off the wait.

  34. I’ve been on the ipso wait list a little over a month now. Does anyone know how long is normal?

    • Because I don’t use Facebook, it took me three months to get my first bag. I almost cancelled because I don’t understand the business model behind this extremely long wait list. Once I got my first bag, I was glad I hung in there.

    • I don’t have a Facebook and I signed up in June, was put on the wait list and finally got an email that I will be receiving my first bag this month but I have yet to receive it so hang in there. It will be awhile.

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