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Ipsy Review – October 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).


This month the theme is Alter Ego, and the bag has two different sides:


This is one of my favorite glam bags in a while. (Yes to all things gold!)


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!


MICA Beauty Cosmetics Cream Eye Shadow in Bronze – FULL SIZE! Value $15

This is an Ipsy exclusive item. (I’m guessing it will launch at MICA Beauty soonish). The color is shimmery and super pigmented, but it is also very easy to blend, so you can keep the look a little subdued if you like. (Swatched below). I’ll probably use if for layering, since the straight-up copper look doesn’t work for my skintone.

TheBalm Meet Matt(e) Hughes Liquid Lipstick in Committed – 1.2 ml Value $3

I lucked out – this Committed shade is perfect for me! The formula has a minty vanilla flavor, and in one coat it gives you a matte finish. Here it is swatched:



Lavanila Pure Vanilla Perfume Roller Ball – 5 ml Value $12

I really like Lavanila deodorant, but I had never tried their perfume before. This is one of the few perfumes I’ve come across that is made with all natural ingredients. It smells exactly like how you would expect – it’s a sweet vanilla scent! Now I want to try their Vanilla Coconut and Vanilla Lemon perfumes!

BWC Premium Botanical Fragrance Free Lotion – 2 oz Value $1.50

This lotion is vegan, plus paraben and fragrance free. The formula is lightweight and moisturizing, and I’ll keep this in my purse as a hand lotion. I don’t like to wear too many competing scents – so this is a good fit for me.


Royal & Langnickel Moda Medium Eye Shadow Brush – Value $5?

(I couldn’t find this exact product on their site, so I’m estimating the value). This brush is vegan/synthetic, and it has a “silk touch” no-slip rubberized handle. I’m always up for getting more beauty tools in subscription boxes, and I think ipsy send out makeup brushes often.

Verdict: This month’s glam bag has a value of about $36.50. It’s a great value for a $10 makeup subscription (and that’s not even factoring in the value of the makeup bag). I like all my brands and products this month, so I’m happy!

What do you think of the October Ipsy Glam Bag? Which products are you getting this month?


How do subscribers rate Ipsy?

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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 | 71 comments

Comments (71)

  1. This review inspired me to use my points on the MICA eyeshadow!! That color is heavenly. I wish I had gotten one in my bag, too! Did anyone else have issues with the tweezers? Mine couldn’t even grasp my hair…

  2. I just recently came across a roller ball perfume I forgot I had. The lavanilla coconut vanilla and started wearing it since the weather has started cooling down…it has amazing stay power, I can still smell hints of it by the end of the night after putting it on in the morning…and I smell like a warm cookie lol…what’s not to love. But you really can’t beat the stay power of their perfumes

  3. I tried canceling my membership 3 months ago…why won’t it let me?

    • I recommend emailing [email protected] if you haven’t already – they should be able to help!

  4. I am beyond excited that Ipsy is partnering with Perfectly Posh! My two favorite things are coming together <3

  5. For those not liking the lip item “meet MATTE Hughes” lip stain it is a MATTE liquid lipstick, I don’t personally like liquid lipsticks or really lipstick for that matter, Birchbox had those liquid lipsticks in frighteningly neon colors a couple months back by stila, remember? My daughters don’t mind them, I like glosses & balms myself but just so you know the operative word is “matte”

  6. Well, it’s starting. At my peak, I got 10 sub boxes each month. I cancelled BeautyFix last week, Boxycharm yesterday and Ipsy today. I used to LOVE getting them all, even when they weren’t that great just because I geek out over surprises so much, but I think I reached my limit of makeup and beauty supplies, especially from the same ole same ole brands (Ofra, BellaPierre, Doucce, etc.). I have enough eye liners to pave my driveway and my lipsticks could reach to the moon. It’s just ridiculous and I’m snapping out of it finally. Unfortunately, all my other subs are longer prepaid terms, so I’m stuck with them til they lapse, but after that, it’s gonna be a bloodbath. haha I do still plan to get Sephora’s Play when they launch in my area because… Sephora!, and I will keep Allure (personal fave) and Birchbox (good rewards system). But that’s it! From 10 down to 3. I’m starting to feel FREE! 😀

  7. I cancelled my Ipsy sub a month a ago, so October is my first month without. I don’t regret it although this bag is cute. I was so tired of almost all garbage makeup. Birchbox makes me so happy.

  8. This was my first glam bag. I guess for $10 I can’t complain, but I also guess I had in my mind I’d receive more. I was super excited to receive the Matt(e) Hughes, but was so let down to receive such a tiny sample! I also got the mascara, which I will admit is better than decent. I got the face scrub which I have yet to use and the Exotic and Spicy fragrance as well. To which, I never have and never will wear fragrance on the regular.

    I supposed Ipsy does serve its purpose, I mean I had never heard of thebalm cosmetics before and now I’m sure I’ll be purchasing a full size Matt(e) Hughes if I happen to stumble upon one. But part of me would rather spend $25 on a subscription box I can customize or at the very least expect full sized products.

  9. I don’t subscribe to Ipsy (yet) but this bag was perfect!

  10. This is the fifth month I have received Ipsy. I find myself about every other month thinking that I need to cancel my subscription. In the past 5 months, I have received 2 bags that I actually have liked. Last months for me was exceptional. However, I truly think I need to cancel this sub as of this month.
    Of course I received the gold and black patent leather bag this was an extreme let down the contents:
    the Balm sample of eyeshadow in a highlight neutral shade.
    Peter Lamas exfoliating pumpkin facial scrub in a 1 fl. oz. sample
    Pur-lisse tinted BB cream in SPF 30 in a .34 oz travel sample
    Tarte energy lip gloss travel sample
    An unmarked sample of something. I have no idea if this is a hair sample or a perfume sample of some kind, it is a glass vial in a generic cardboard box.
    I would suggest like ipsy’s other counterparts in the beauty sub business they should consider giving a listing of the products on their enclosed theme card that way this would eliminate not knowing what is received in a generic cardboard box with a glass bottle sample.
    On another note, I will most likely use the BB cream as I received it many months back from another sub and liked it. Have plenty of scrubs and I like Tarte products.
    The one thing I have always appreciated about Ipsy is the beauty tools they send out. They apparently are not following our profile as I keep filling out I would like to receive tools monthly. However, they are few and far between. They also seemed to be marketing to a younger profile with each passing month. I am not sure if I will continue my sub with them as I can get much better products through Birchbox for the same price. Not worth the new bag every month.

  11. Ugh! I would have loved the Mica eyeshadow and make up brush!! But no… I received:
    Meet the Hughes (horrible color)
    Hand cream (don’t use)
    Dr Brandt microbrasion
    Dose nail polish -stormy
    BB tinted cream

    I paid for a yearly sub and unfortunately regretting that decision. My first two bags were great and now not so much.

    • I got my first Ipsy bag and was really disappointed. I got the makeup brush, the small perfume, dr. brandt microbrasion, bb cream, and small lip cream. Everything was sample sized, no full size products at all. I can get samples at Ulta or Sephora for free. I cancelled my subscription.

  12. How do you find the retail price for the products? I find the Full size products on their respective pages but can’t find the smaller/travel/sample size price that the bag brings… do you make an estimate or is it somewhere on the interwebs?
    for example, I got the microdermabrasion skin exfoliant 0.26 oz on my bag, but I can only find the full priced one!
    I’d be very helpful helping me figure this out… thanks! <3

    • Just do the whole cross multiply thing…if the full size is 3 oz and cost $50, how much is .26 oz of 3 oz?

      3 divided by .26 is 11.53 – therefore you would need about 11 samples in order to have the full 3 oz. size. So let’s start working with that number and imagine we have 11 samples in front of us that equal 3 oz.

      Now divide the 50 (cost) by 11.53 (number of samples to get to full cost) – it is $4.33. Each of these 11 samples goes for about 4.33 to make the full size cost 50.

      Hope this helps.

      • To take out a few steps – just divide the total cost by the number of ounces and multiply it by the size of the sample.

        Sample .26 oz
        Full size 3 oz
        Retail cost $50
        total $50 divided by 3 oz times sample .26 oz is $4.33

      • For example:
        BWC Premium Botanical Fragrance Free Lotion
        Liz got a 2oz sample
        The full size is 11.95 for 16 oz
        divide the full cost 11.95 by 16 ounces and multiply by the 2 ounce sample you got is $1.49

      • Thank you ! I didn’t even think of this, haha. <3

  13. i love everything in my bag. i received:

    argon face serum
    Laura Geller baked blush in tropical hues (awesome color)
    Bwc lotion fragrance free
    meet matte hughes lip gloss
    skone cosmetics eyeliner

    im happy with all of it

  14. Just got my bag today. First impression is good. I think the liquid lipstick is way smaller than I was anticipating. Although, I don’t know why I anticipate on sizes at all. So far, I really like it (except for the fact it’s scented)! I like the eyeshadow (same as yours). I’m excited to try the pumpkin face scrub and the hair mask I received. I got the Emite Make Up Tweezers. There’s a little rubber piece, I’m guessing to go over the end of the tweezers but it had fallen off and was next to the tweezer ends. I just had to use tweezers to get my tweezers out of the tube they came in. #FirstWorldProblems (FYI – this post contains the word ‘tweezer’ 5 – now 6 – times 🙂 in case you were wondering) LOL

  15. Here’s what came in my bag today:
    Nourish Organic Argan Face Serum .5 oz tube
    Ayers Hand Cream Lemongrass & patchouli tube .7 oz
    Emite Make Up pink tweezers
    Aurora “Inky Dinky” dark purple gel effect nail lacquer .42 oz.
    The Balm Meet Matt(e) Hughes “Committed” .04 oz small tube lipstick

    I like everything but the color of the nail polish – ugh! It’s like a black/purple. Good for Halloween, I guess, but I’d never normally wear a color like this.

  16. amazing I got nothing pictured in the review above except the pink lip gloss which the smell is not pleasant at all. . . This is my second ipsy bag I cancelled a couple of months ago because it just wasn’t satisfying. Hopefully things will be better next month because this bag will def keep me subscribed!

  17. Did anybody get the Gel brow pencil? How do you get more of the pencil’s tip to come out? I can’t figure it out. I tried twisting the other end (spoolie) but it won’t twist/turn. I’m afraid mine is defective.

    • Email them! They will hands down replace it if you think anything is wrong with the product. I emailed them about an eyebrow pencil where the spoolie broke off after day 2 of using it and they shipped me one the very next day.

  18. I got almost the same, except for a cleanser I got a scrub by Peter Lamas – Pumpkin Scrub. And I got tweezers instead of a brush.

  19. I’m just curious but since more than one reviewer works for MSA now, will there ever be reviews for different variations of Ipsy and Birchbox as reviewers receive them? I mean the probability of each of you receiving the same box is small. Again, just curious. Thank you for doing a great job as always.

    • Thanks for the idea! I like it 🙂

  20. Does anyone know that if you redeemed points for a product does it take your bag longer to be shipped?
    My bag hasn’t shipped yet and the ship date keeps changing…

    • No but if you didn’t order before the first of the month you won’t receive it until next month.

    • it took about a week longer to receive my bag when I redeemed my points

  21. One of the worst bags I’ve gotten! I got a purple eyeliner (hell no), a lotion that smells like terrible patchouli & the face oil that I can’t use b/c I have oily skin & it makes me break out. Ugh.

    • Mine haven’t been anything I’ve wanted for the past two months! Ipsy might be on the chopping block….

  22. The only reason I peek before I get my bag for Ipsy is because you get points for it. So, I know I’m getting the same Balm product and the bronze shadow. I’m glad to see your review because I wasn’t sure about a creamy shadow (I’ve always used powder). I was also hoping for the other Balm product but seeing that it’s not that bad is reassuring 🙂 Thanks much!

  23. My bag has always been $11; I think because of added taxes. I guess it’s these California prices.

    I have had this ipsy services since April, and for the first time caved like everyone else and checked online to see what I’m getting when it arrives on Thursday (also, I feel like now it’s taking longer and longer to arrive :/ )

    MicaBeauty Eyeshadow in Bronze
    theBalm Liquid Lipstick
    Dr. Brant microdermabrasion Skincare
    Emite Slant Tweezer
    Lavanilla mini roller ball

    I will admit that at first I wasn’t excited about this bag. However, I think I was more upset that I spoiled it for myself, lol. Someone posted above about the texture of the lipgloss, which disappoints me if it’s like the Starlooks Satin Finish Lip Gloss I first got in April, which is sticky. But I’m glad I didn’t get another nail polish. I think I’ll start reviewing the products.

    • Note that you can go back to day one and review! it also does help with the samples you receive.

  24. I’m new to Ipsy, can anyone share how they know what will be included in their bag before they receive it? Thanks in advance!!!

    • Hey Sara! Ipsy sends you an early access email before they send you the tracking information (at least for me). Also, you can just log into your ipsy account and click on this month’s bag.

      • Thanks dear! I appreciate your response. In this case, I think my first bag must cone in November as I don’t have the option :/

    • You can see what’s in your bag a few days before they ship it if you log into your Ipsy account and go to the My Glambag section.

    • You’ll normally recieve an email stating you can look at spoilers to see your items early. As for knowing when you’ll get it you will recieve an email stating it has shipped with a link to track your package. I hope this helps.

    • Sorry almost forgot you can also log into the site and if spoilers are up you can see them by sharing what you are getting to facebook.

  25. My first box is supposed to arrive Friday so I’m excited to try the products. I would have loved to receive the LaVanilla perfume but instead of getting another frangrance that doesn’t sound appealing. My Sephora Play box will be arriving soon so I’m sure I will like something out of one of these.

  26. This month is going to be an ok month for me. Not my favorite, but not horrible. I really like the bag as well, so that’s a plus!

    I’m getting:

    1. Tweezers -this is the item I’m most excited about, assuming it’s a quality pair. I put on my profile that I love receiving beauty tools, yet this is the first tool I’m receiving in the five months I’ve been subscribed. I keep wishing for brushes!
    2. Body Scrub – an ok item I can definitely use, but I’m worried about how my sensitive skin will react
    3. Nail Polish – it’s a pretty color (it’s the dark, stormy color), but I’m loving the nude look more lately
    4. TheBalm Liquid Lipstick – I wanted to try it, but I’m allergic to mint
    5. An argan oil face serum – I can’t use oil on my face…I always break out within a day.

  27. So dissapointed this month 🙁 I am getting yet another nail polish ( how do I make them stop?!) A dr. Brandt exfoliator ( got it from birchbox last month) the BWC lotion ( could not care less) and a bb cream ( don’t use). This is the first time that I will use less then 25% of my bag. My only hope is that I like the lipgloss (as above). Would kill for that bronze eye shadow. If someone has it and does not want it, I will give 2 products for it!! Let me know 😉

  28. So dissapointed of my bag this month. I am getting the BWC lotion ( could not care less about it) a dr. Brandt exfoliator ( really good product, but I got it last month from birchbox!!) Another nail polish (seriously, I dont know how to make them stop sending me nail polish!) The BB cream ( I don’t use) so the only thing I might use this month is the lipgloss (as above). I would kill for that bronze eye shadow 🙁 if someone got it and does not want it… Please let me know! I never got any of the bronze makeup products… There was a beautiful pancil some people got last month too… Sigh.

    • I got both the bronze pencil last month and I’m getting the bronze shadow this month. Will gladly swap with u as I won’t ever wear a bronze color.

    • I would be happy to swap! I don’t see myself using that bronze shadow. What products (even previous months) do you have that you want to trade?

  29. I’m getting the same eye shadow, lipstick, and perfume. I’m also getting tweezers and the Dr. Brandt exfoliator. All in all, I’m pretty happy with my bag. It’s worth almost $50, and I’ll use just about everything. 🙂

  30. Aside from that ugly bag and brush, this was a pretty good bag. The lip product is in a very pretty color!

  31. Does anyone else hate the liquid lipstick? It looks and feels like poster paint. It instantly dried on (and dried up) my lips, but at the same time looked totally gummy and clumpy. Clumpy lipstick?!? *shudders*

    • I also did not like the liquid lipstick. 🙁 I was excited to receive it, and so disappointed with it! I found it very stick while it was ‘drying’ on my lips (took a while), and then it dried my lips out horribly. I also don’t like any peppermint in any lip products — it is a known irritant and can cause chapped lips (just check out beautypedia)! WTF.

    • I had the same problem. It felt sticky at first then dried cakey and feels thick and drying on my lips. Maybe a balm underneath would help? Not a fan of this product.

  32. Looks like I’m getting the same brush, shadow and liquid lipstick, plus a body scrub and an argan face serum. LOVE this month’s bag and all the samples are right up my alley. Very pleased.

  33. The perfume is the only similar item I got in my bag this month. I scored a mini Tarte (a favorite brand of mine) lip gloss, Delectable full-size coconut & cream hand cream, theBalm eye shadow, and Pur-lisse BB tinted moist cream SPF30. I think the perfume is the only thing I wont use, as I don’t care for vanilla scents – after the popularity in the 80s, it all smells cheap to me now.

  34. I’m one of the few people I know of who actually has her ipsy preferences set to request/prefer perfume and fragrance items, yet I haven’t received any perfume since my first bag back in August (and at the time I didn’t have any preferences set). That’s unfortunate for me considering I really like Lavanila perfumes, so I would’ve loved to receive that this month. Instead I received, among other odd things, a pair of tweezers even though I have my preferences set to say I don’t want/need any beauty tools.

    Makes me wonder if I should just erase all of my preferences on ipsy since it seems to be the luck of the draw for me regardless, and perhaps I’ll actually get more items I actually like that way!

    • Ipsy really uses your reviews more than your profile and unfortunately it can take a while before you start getting more of the products you want. Be careful how you answer your reviews because even if you like the product but don’t want more like it you’ll probably get more like it because you gave a good review.

      • Ah, I see. Thanks for clarifying. I just did the math on the value of my ipsy bag this month and it’s $70, which is pretty amazing. Those tweezers alone sell for $35 (or 31 Euro), so maybe they’re really good/better than the several pairs of tweezers I already have…lol.

  35. I really would like the lavanila perfume, if anyone has it and would like to swap please hit me up and we can work it out ! Thanks

  36. I really like the vanilla perfume and the brush in this bag. The alter ego bag is fun too. 🙂

  37. I haven’t received my bag yet, but received tracking email should be delivered tomorrow. I’m receiving the following:
    Eyeshadow Brush, like Liz
    Exfoliating Pumpkin Facial Scrub, sounds interesting and festive fall
    Sunrise Hand cream, OK
    Aurora Nail Polish, not a fan since I sub to Julep, but ok
    theBalm cosmetics, Meet Matt Hughes, excited to try this

    Overall happy with this months selection, for $10 (that’s the cost of 1 lunch at work) the

  38. I love Ipsy & have never had any complaints. For $10, it’s such a great way to for newbies, like myself, to discover the make-up world one sample at a time =)

  39. Sigh… ipsy has become a “war of attrition” for me. I don’t dare unsubscribe, because re-subscribing has become so complex and so annoying. ipsy is so obsessed with All Things Social Media, and bothering your friends with inane “look at my bag” comments, and I’m not. So I keep going, but Birchbox gives me more pleasure these days. 🙂

    • I totally agree. Really hate the pushy-ness to share everything.

      For Facebook you can change this by setting Ipsy sharing to “only me” then none of your friends see the posts, and Ipsy keeps giving you points. Not sure about other platforms.

  40. I love ipsy its my second bag. being a full time mom and a full time student doesn’t give me the time to just go out shopping for make up. So this is a good way for me to try new things and and stock up on make up and other goodies. i am seriously addicted to this website. Love it! Great job Liz!

    • Thanks so much! 🙂

  41. Lol my bag is coming today and I got exactly all the same products! I’m so excited I love how you show all the shades!

    • Bag twins! 🙂 Hope you like everything too!

  42. I just signed up for ipsy for the first time in two years. I’m a little sad I forgot how it worked and I won’t get this bag but Novembers. Everyone seems so disappointed with ipsy. I mean come on its 10 dollars a month and it comes with plenty of samples and deluxe makeup. I canceled Boxycharm for ipsy and I am excited to see what will be in my Novemeber bag.

  43. Mine is still on the way, but I got the same liquid lipstick and rollerball perfume. I ended up getting tweezers for my tool (meh), a hand cream (meh), and a baked blush. We’ll see how it goes, but Birchbox is a clear winner for me this month.

  44. I got the same exact bag…happy you like it, haven’t received mine as of yet

    • Hoping my bag is different, as I dislike most of these items. It’s on the way. It seems I have gotten a lot of copper-toned eyeshadows from them over the past 10 months, and I don’t wear lipgloss or perfume.

      Still, at $10 a box, it seems worth it to keep paying for the chance of getting something I love…

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