MSA is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read the full disclosure.

Ipsy Review – September 2015


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?


How do subscribers rate Ipsy?

per month
Created with Sketch.

Never miss a post: get email alerts about Ipsy!

Enable notifications () to get the latest Ipsy spoilers, reviews, deals, and news delivered to your inbox.

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!

Posted in Beauty Subscription Boxes, Cheap Subscription Boxes, Ipsy Reviews, Makeup Subscription Boxes, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women| Tags: ipsy | 44 comments

Comments (44)

  1. 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!

  2. 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?!

  3. 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!!!!

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

  8. 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. ??

  9. 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 🙁

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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 🙂

  14. 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.

    • 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! 🙂

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

  22. 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!

  23. 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!!!

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

  24. 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.

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

  25. I’m still waiting for my bag. This was my first subscription and I have held onto it. This bag looks to be one of the prettiest, but I am getting frustrated. I’m getting my third eye shadow brush and that is ok. The eyeshadow palette is ok and the eyeliner is a better color than the last one. I am not sure about the scrub because my face is pretty sensitive. The real problem is the nail polish. My nails since chemo are fragile. They peel and split. Polish not only makes it worse, it would make it more obvious. I have tried to discuss this, but they have been very flip. With all the products they have each month, they should be able to substitute for a medical condition. I guess it seems like a small thing, but it is an in my face reminder of cancer. I feel like it is a customer service issue and having worked in that for many years I value it and feel that people have a right to expect it regardless of price. I will probably be dropping ipsy very soon. I get much better service from birchbox for the same price and their points program is way better too.

    • I must be fair. They are going to send me something I can use. I feel better.

    • FYI–
      I don’t know your routine for nails, but I found that when the seasons change, mine aren’t as strong. So, while I drink my coffee in the morning, I massage HARD AS HOOF on the top & under my nails. I leave on as long as possible. Sometimes I apply it at night while watching TV and leave it on all night. When I do a manicure, I use NAIL ENVY that comes in the bottle with the green printing. Once your nails strengthen, I use these 2 products on Weds night and Sun night. People often ask if my nails are real. THEY ARE!!!

  26. Received the Ipsy Nyx shadow (love), Vasanti cleanser (love), x nail polish, Tresique mini lip crayon in nude (love) and fake eyelashes. These eyelashes are hideously long…..will not be using unless I’m performing in a drag queen show. Love the bag though!

  27. I got my bag yesterday. I got the First Aid beauty Ultra Repair cream which I’m fine with even though I’ve had it before & it doesn’t work well. The nyx trio & I actually like this one compared to the last one sent out a while back. Trust Fund polish in the lavender shade – which is really pretty so that’s a plus. The Vasanti Cleanser – I’ve gotten this multiple times in Birchbox & I don’t like it. The last thing is the J Cat liner which is a gorgeous color, but at first swatch the product broke off… So either it’s an old product or a crappy formula. The bag itself is pretty.

    Overall this bag was a bust for me, I only kept this month because I was suppose to get a Real Techniques brush I redeemed for last month or the month before & it wasn’t in my bag. I’ll be emailing ipsy care.
    Unfortunately I have to keep the bag again for one more month to get the 2 products I redeemed points for today and the other day.
    After that I am done with ipsy forever. Especially now that I have the Sephora Play subscription!!

    • Same thing happened to me. I redeemed points for two products so I could cash out and cancel this sub because I haven’t really been impressed with it. When my bag came I only rec’d one product. I emailed C/S and they told me the same BS, that I was picked after my bag was curated and that I would get the second product next month. Never mind that my bag may have been
      “curated” but it didn’t ship until over two weeks later so I see no reason why it couldn’t have been included. Also they conveniently backed up the date I selected my product by 1 day in spite of the fact that I have a time stamped email confirming my points redeem and it was only 2 days after I redeemed my other product which was included. So one more month of Ispy and then I am done with them.

  28. I haven’t received my bag yet but I do know that I’m getting this eye shadow palette. I’m excited about that because I always like eye shadows. I got this highlighter from Ipsy awhile back and I like it too. Thanks for sharing your box!

  29. Ipsy NYX shadow, queen of the Brow brow gel, first aid beauty ultra repair cream, motd bronze eyeliner, and garnier fructis sleek primer. I’m not really overly excited for any of it. I thought the brow gel could be cool but my first impression is cheap packaging and brush. But I haven’t tried it yet so it may be a winner. I think this could be my last bag. I feel the quality and reputation of the brands I get with Birchbox are SO much better every single month. This month I got Davines (adore!) Juice Beauty peel (nice results my first use), malin and goetz face cleanser and lotion, Pop Beauty shadows, and English Laundry. perfume.

    • We are Birchbox twins this month! I think it’s one of my favorites yet – my perfume had completely spilled out but I didn’t really want that anyway.

      No sign of Ipsy yet though… Hopefully soon. I’m really just waiting for my 1 year sub to run out. I like Ipsy but don’t love it usually.

    • I have a twin Birchbox to you as well! I don’t normally like to get perfume samples but since this box has 7 samples it was okay and I actually really LOVE the scent of the perfume! I haven’t used the peel yet but I’m glad to hear you got good results.
      I also got the NYX shadow and the First Aid Beauty products you got in your ipsy. I am so jealous you got the sleek primer! I got another hair oil in my bag this month. Bummer 🙁

  30. Not thrilled with this month, but it’s $10. Got the same lipstick, eyeshadow and brow powder. My other 2 items were a Vasanti BrightenUp cleanser and a Crown concealer brush (happier about these 2 items)

  31. There is an ad on this very site that says “ipsy, over $55 worth of products every month”. You may want to contact them about that 🙂

    But I see that Ipsy is following the “made in China” theme, which makes me glad I unsubscribed.

  32. Ipsy is one of my favorite subscription boxes. It’s affordable there’s always atleast one item that I will use and it’s inexpensive enough to give away anything I don’t care for. This month I received the same NYX eyeshadows as you did which I’m happy about. I also received the same Pixi brow powders but I may give this away. Thanks for your review.

Please do not enter your email address in the Name field or in the comment content!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Remember to post with kindness and respect. Comments with offensive language, cruelness to others, etc will not be approved. See our full comment policy here.