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Ipsy Review – September 2015

Liz Cadman
ByLiz CadmanSep 15, 2015 | 44 comments


4 overall rating
1863 Ratings | 350 Reviews

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).



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!


Acure Unscented Argan Oil Cleansing Towelettes – Value $7

I love Acure products. They make great natural beauty products that aren’t too pricey. (And they are free of pretty much every ingredient you may want to avoid). I’ve bought these towelettes before, so I’m happy to have more!


ipsy NYX Eye Shadow Palette – Value $6

(Good to know for swaps – sealed with sticker).

An ipsy exclusive! I love getting palettes in subscription boxes, and these three shades are very wearable for me. The two lighter shades have shimmer, and the dark grey/black shade is matte. (Swatched below).

City Color City Chic Lipstick in One Night Stand – Value $5

(Good to know for swaps – sealed in plastic).

This lipstick is highly pigmented too. (Swatched below). It goes on smoothly, and I love the little logo detail on the lipstick:




Pixi by Petra Shades of Brow – 1.7 g Value $3.50 approximately

(Good to know for swaps – sealed in plastic).

I’m estimating on the value since the full size version is a 6-pan palette. This mini version includes two brow powders and a highlighter shade (all matte). I like the formulas – I think a blend of the two eye brow shades will be the perfect color for me. (Swatched below).

Temptu Highlighter in Champagne Shimmer – 7.5 ml Value $6.90

This highlighter has a pink undertones, and gives a rosy shimmer/glow. A little goes a long way, but the good news is that it blends super easily, so I should be using this sample for a while! (Birchbox also recommends adding a few drops to your body lotion for a shimmery look!)

Temptu related question – has anyone tried their airbrush makeup system? I’ve always been curious about it, but for $170 I never was curious enough to buy it!


Verdict: This box has a value of about $28. That’s actually on the lower side of values for Ipsy bags, but I’m still happy with it. I think I’ll use everything (I’ll sparingly use the lipstick – it’s a bit of a bold color for me). Plus I like the copper makeup bag this month!

What did you get from Ipsy this month?

IPSY Glam Bag ($12 per month) is one of the most popular and affordable subscriptions around, and our readers have selected it as one of the top beauty boxes for the last 5 years running! IPSY Glam Bag connects members with five makeup, skincare, hair care, and other beauty samples each month, plus ... read more.
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!

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!
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I would like this sub so much more if they let us choose at least one of the products in our bags! I hated everything in my sept bag & it’s such a letdown to get colors or products that you’ll never use! Especially when I see spoilers for products like Glamglow in other people’s bags! I’ve redone my survey 3 times & I still seem to get at least 50% products that I’ll never use each month. Thinking of dropping this sub & just going with glossybox & birchbox instead!


Hey, ladies. So I also got the NYX eyeshadow palette made “exclusively” for Ipsy. But then today I got my new ULTA catalog. On page 37, there is a photo of an NYX eyeshadow palette called “Love in Rio” that looks almost identical. I went to the website and there are a bunch of different versions of the palette, but it looks like for the Ipsy one they just grabbed three colors and put them together for an “exclusive.”

Thoughts on that?!


I was REALLY disappointed with my September ipsy box–this was my first month as a subscriber (ok, so I’ve subscribed to like 5 other boxes since, it’s a sickness, really!) and only 2 items out of the bag were usable for me, and they were just BLAH… I got a lotion that smelled HORRIBLE, a hair oil that doesn’t work with my fine/oily hair, a nude lipstick (I really only only wear pinks/purples) a brow gel (it was just ‘ok’) and the NYX palette everyone else got (this was the only thing I really liked from this month.) I didn’t really care for the style of the bag either. I signed up over a month ago, filled out the info, and waited patiently for my first bag…I think I will be cancelling this one! My birchbox and glossybox were SO MUCH BETTER!!!!


Is it AT ALL possible to still get this months box? I so want it.


Another great Ipsy bag! I got the Glam Glow mud treatment which I can’t wait to try. The cream blush in a gorgeous pinky plum color. I wore it today and I love it. I may buy the full size. Vasanti scrub which I already know I love from Birchbox so I’m thrilled to have more. A face cream that smells fabulous and left my skin super soft but I can’t remember the brand name. Last utem was the Trestique lip crayon in a gorgeous blush pink nude color. I absolutely love it and will definitely buy the full size. I have been with Ipsy for almost 18 months and have loved every bag I’ve gotten.


I received my first ipsy subscription box the other day and I am not pleased. They only product I will actually use is going to be the NYX eye shadow. I don’t wear red lipstick or nail polish, my skin is super duper oily(face) so I have no use for the moisturizing facial mask and moisturizer. I’m cancelling my subscription today.


There’s a new Birchbox promo for your first box for only $5 when you use code 5BOX. That’s an awesome deal.


I cancelled my ipsy last month. The sea salt spray in last month’s bag had leaked out and ruined all the other products along w/the bag. Emailed ipsycare & they sent another bag. It took 2 weeks to get here & the sea salt spray had leaked again & ruined the bag & other products. Again. I like Michelle & all the other girls, but ipsy is just not for me. ??


I just got my last Ipsy bag today. The bag is really great, but it’s ruined from an exploded Argan oil sample, and I’m kind of heartbroken. I received the queen of the brow sample, the same lipstick, the nyx palette and that treacherous hair treatment. I’m not too excited about any of these, truly. Birchbox sent me better samples this month – sea salt spray, perfume, eye liner and some fantastic eye shadow. Ipsy has had a few months to wow me and it hasn’t happened.


I’m getting an argan oil in mine too (sounds like we have the same bag contents otherwise, too). Hopefully it’s not exploded! I’m sorry that happened to yours 🙁


Ipsy seems to have more and more organic/natural/vegan products and I like that. It’s actually a great incentive for me to sign back eventually.


My first IPSY bag ever, and I LOVED IT !!!

Only thing, I wish I got the Glam Glow to try that out instead of the NYX b/c I already have over 15 of their eyeshadows, and I already have dupes in my collection for this trio. Still good to have on-hand. I got the Annabelle lashes which are perfect b/c I love dramatic lashes. The matte crayon is pretty awesome, nail polish looks good… only thing I need to try is the vasanti exfoliator, which might work out better for me in the long run since my exfoliator went missing.

ellen levy

I haven’t been impressed with Ipsy either. I stiil haven’t received my bag at least 2 of the products I won’t use. Iam waiting to hear from sephora about there play subscription. That’s the one Iam gonna switch to . Iam also going to generation beauty next month ,lots of makeup goodies from that event so I probably be canceling Ipsy soon


Yay my bag just got delivered by the mail man! I think my favorite part about subs is just getting stuff in the mail 🙂 I got the NYX trio (love the brown colors), Naobay cream (nice citrus smell), Not Radio Soap hand/body lotion (like someone above said I wish I could eat it the coconut milk, mango, & vanilla smell is divine), J.Cat MOTD eyeliner in bronze (nice deep bronze color), and Queen of the Fill brow gel in light medium (never used brow gel before, we’ll see how it works). All in all, pretty good bag…and yes, the bag is super cute! I also cashed in some rewards and got the trestique mini shadow crayon in venetian gold which is a beautiful color. Also got the target beauty box today so it was like winning the lottery!


‘like winning the lottery!’ Hilarious and I can totally relate 🙂


Liz, do you mind if I ask what age you used when you signed up? I’m not sure if it makes a difference in what you get or not but I always love everything you get in your bag. I would have loved to get the wipes and cream shadow.

Liz Cadman

I’m guessing I used my real age (30), not sure what my makeup/beauty routine preferences were though. (I believe you take a 10 step survey when signing up). I’ll see if I can dig up that info too! 🙂


Birchbox normally wins out for me because they send me way more non-make up face products, but ipsy wins hands down this month. The bag is really cute, plus, I got the trust fund nail polish from last month, motd bronze eyeliner, the nyx shadow palette, a double sided shadow brush, and eau thermale avene moisture mask. This may be the first ipsy bag where I’ve actually used everything.


I think Ipsy knows me better than I know me. I saw my spoilers of the NYX eye shadow trio, Formula X cherry red nail polish, a Crown two sided brush, J. Cat Beauty metallic eye liner, and Acure brightening scrub and I was skeptical. HOWEVER; once I actually received the bag I LOVED every thing in it. In theory I didn’t need any of these things. In reality I was lamenting I needed a great eye palette for my travel bag (because packing and unpacking is miserable). The two sided brush is going on vacations with me too. The metallic eyeliner is impeccable. The brightening scrub makes me feel impeccable. And the nail color is so spot on for October it hurts. Advantage, Ipsy.

Yona Williams

I am lovin’ the makeup bag shown here.


I got ipsy a while, but it felt so wasteful to be using only one or two items of a whole bag of giant makeup bc the other items were cheap off brands or weird colors. . I would have called this bag a success bc I’d have used the wipes and brow product but that still feels wasteful to me. With birch box the brands are better so even if I get a weird color I’ll try it to see if I like the formula. And it’s less wasteful to have a small sample you don’t use vs a whole item. Oh well, each sub works for some and not for others.


I like Ipsy so far. This month I got the Temptu, Pixi brow trio, City Chic lipstick, Not Soap Radio hand lotion and Glam Glow flashmud. The bag is cute too. What I don’t want, I just give to my sis or a friend. For $10 it’s a win win.


I’m on an Ipsy break while I’m exploring other subs but I’ve had great luck while I was subscribed. The bag is super cute this month. I would really use that one. I think Ipsy is a great starter sub- price point is right on and lots of variety of items. I don’t know when/if I’ll be back but I think if you’re looking to try new stuff and you’re not already loaded with samples this is a good place to start.


Nyx eyeshadow palette (boring) the tiniest, cutest little nail polish I’ve ever seen (in a nice cherry red), glamglow mud mask, makeup of the day eyeliner (bronze, lovely, and huge), not soap radio hand lotion (smells so good, wish I could drink it). Liked this month a lot, and the bag is lovely.


I got a really nice eyelash curler, eyeliner, eyeshadow, and I don’t remember what else. 🙂


This is my first month not getting Ipsy in almost 2 years- I was wondering if I would regret cancelling but I don’t. That bag is super pretty and I will miss the bags as organizational tools but I felt like the products were getting cheaper ad cheaper bad quality. I know it’s only $10 but so is Birchbox and they send only nice brands not made in China junk I could buy at drugstore for $1.99 myself. It’s disappointing because when I first signed up it was my favorite and much better!

Jennifer Welch

I’ve tried the Temptu airbrush system and sent it back because I didn’t like it. It’s kind of a pain in the butt & it takes just as long to do it the “old fashioned” say. Plus I didn’t really like how it looked on my skin. BUT if you are interested you can buy it, brand new, on eBay for $50!!!

Liz Cadman

Thanks for the info. I think I’ll stick with my beauty blender application! 🙂

BB is the way to go!


I have the Luminesse version of the Temptu system and like it a lot. The Temptu pods are system-specific so they aren’t as versatile if, for example, you are traveling and don’t want to take your airbrush system with you. But in terms of effect I really like the smooth finish you get from both brands. It’s easy to control how much product you apply. I’ve even gotten the hang of using it for eyeshadow (that took some time and left me looking like a blind drag queen applied my makeup after my first few attempts). What I really love is the Luminesse airbrush tanning system. They sell a conversion kit for the makeup system so you don’t have to pay for a new air compressor. It’s my all time favorite self tanning device. It gives the best color, lasts the longest and is hands down the easiest to apply without needing any help from hubby to get the middle of my back.

Liz Cadman

Looking up the Luminesse airbrush tanning system now – thanks for the tip! I didn’t know about it!

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Our reviewers research, test, and recommend the best subscriptions and products independently; click to learn more about our editorial guidelines. We may receive commissions on purchases made through links on our site.