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Ipsy Review – April 2016

Liz Cadman
ByLiz CadmanApr 16, 2016 | 77 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!

This is one of my top recommendations if you are looking for a beauty box – the value and sample sizes are amazing. (Check out my list of the Top Beauty Boxes for 2016 and our reviews of Cheap Subscription Boxes for more recommendations!)


(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!


Each month ipsy subscribers get a makeup bag in addition to their 5 items. This month’s design isn’t my favorite, but it’s not bad!

Now onto the items!


Crown Brush C427 Duo Fiber Blush Brush – Value $9.50

I somehow manage to get makeup brushes in almost all of my ipsy bags and I’m always happy to have more! This one has two indents to make holding the brush easier too:



Jelly Pong Pong Cosmetics Blush + Contour Palette – FULL SIZE! Value $18

I was surprised to see that this is full-size since it is on the smaller side for a blush/bronzer – only 2 grams. I’m also a little bummed that it got a little destroyed in shipping, but I should be able to fix it with some rubbing alcohol.

The pigment is good, but not too heavy – good for building color but not accidentally overdoing contouring. (Swatched below)

tarte cosmetics LipSurgence™ lip crème in wonder – 1.6 g Value $12

Yay for tarte! This was one of the spoilers this month, and I finally got a tarte item in my ipsy bag! The color is pretty bold, but I can tone it down a little with doing just a quick swipe on my lips. Plus I love the minty flavor!

Swatched here:



Nth Degree Moroccan Argan Oil & Keratin Hair Serum – 10 ml Value $1.40

This serum/oil can be used on wet or dry hair, smells great, and gave my hair some shine – all good!

Adesse New York Organic Infused Nail Lacquer in Irina – FULL SIZE! Value $18

At first, I wasn’t too excited about getting another nail polish from Ipsy – even though I love a good grey/lavender creme! But then I read that this is a gel-effect polish and gets great reviews for not chipping, so I can’t wait to try it!

Verdict: This box has a value of about $59. That’s amazing for a $10 subscription box (And that’s not counting the value of the makeup bag!) I wish my blush/bronzer duo would have arrived in one piece, but besides that I really like every single item – I’m very happy with my bag this month!

What do you think of the April Ipsy Glam Bag? Which products did you get 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 finally cancelled my Ipsy after the February box. It just doesn’t feel like they look at your preferences at ALL. I’d gotten makeup brushes in so many bags, and I didnt check makeup boxes on my profile because I don’t want them.

I just got sick of Ipsy. I’ve already got Birchbox and they seem to cater to me more. Plus the customer service is AMAZING, and I build up points to spend really quickly.

Boxycharm I also love because they send out bigger products.

And ALLURE. Allure has to be my fav right now because they send the fanciest stuff in deluxe or full-size and they have so many extra boxes that they randomly send out as a surprise. I randomly got a SK-II mask and essence a couple months ago! That’s over $100 worth of product right there!


How much does the Birchbox cost? I have been looking for monthly boxes like these for a long time, but have always been skeptical of them. I was able to find prices of the others.


I loved everything I have gotten so far for months now except the tart lip color in my April glam bag…..they didn’t look at the color of my skin……very disappointing


I have been disappointed by my Ipsy bag for the past few months. If they don’t step it up in May then I will cancel. Mind you, the price is great and the bag is nice, but I would rather receive fewer items that I will actually use instead of five items that I do not use much of. BIrchbox, Glossy, and How to be a Redhead are kicking butts and I use to feel that Ipsy set the precedence.


I hadn’t heard the How to be a Redhead put out a box!!! OMG As soon as I red (get it? Red? Haha ok, sorry, im done.) your comment i rushed over and sure enough, there it was!

What kinds of things have you gotten in boxes? I cant find any reviews on here.

Tarte lip crayon,
Crown brush,
Skin & Co. Truffle Serum,
blush and contour duo,
starlooks blk eyeliner
.This was my first month and I love everything. I was super surprised to get so many things I loved and would use! Thanks ipsy!


<3 Tarte lip, Crown brush, Ren day cream, Trust Fund Beauty Highlighter, Pur-lisse sheet masks – used points for Nude serum as an add-on. Great haul.


I think the fun thing about these subscriptions is trying different things, including things that take you out of your comfort zone. It is a grab bag, you never know what you are going to get, I say enjoy it. If you really need a particular item, in a particular color, then your money is best spent going to purchase that item. If you are excited to try whatever you get, or gift it to someone else, this is fun to do! I have loved my ipsy bags, if I can’t use something, I pass it on. With what I do use, I certainly get more than my money’s worth. Love it!!!


really have not enjoyed the last few bags, glossybox is so much better that i am seriously considering canceling ipsy. also, does anyone who subscribes to ipsy have ENOUGH makeup bags? i don’t need or want any more. i emailed them to suggest they offer a sub w/o the bag, more items. they ignored this.


I guess I’m not hard to please, a lipstick and a brush is enough to make it a good bag for me. But after every review I feel like they’ve been getting better and better, this month being the best so far. Check it out: Buxom liquid lipstick, Ren Day Cream, Lab Blending brush, Purlisse sheetmasks? AND a Nudestix cheek and lip pencil!!!! So happy.


Me too girlfriend I got the buxom and nudestix… Purlisse mask which I love purlisse and a full size highlight trio and awesome nail polish!! I have to say being a beauty box expert and subscriber of many…. Ipsy is the best bang for your buck! It blows birchbox away as far as full size products and I think ipsy and boxycharm are the king and queen of beauty box subscriptions! Just saying I’m in serious love with ipsy for over two years and I love the little bags they are great for gift giving!!!


You bag was exactly what I would have wished for. Would you care to share what your profile is? If this is representative of what they usually pick for you, I want to be just like you!

Renee H

I got the very same bag. Light skin tone, hazel eyes, dark brown hair, Styles – classic, professional, sultry, and formal; Stylist – Christen; Somewhat comfortable, somewhat adventurous; I have almost all brands checked that you like/want to try; Makeup you love – eyeshadow, brows, concealer, powder, brushes/tools; Other products you use the most – exfoliants, masks, lip balm; Skin concerns – oiliness & large pores; Hair – needs volume, dry, split ends.


I went to check because I have never changed or retaken the quiz since setting it up. Here it goes: eyes-brown. hair-dark brown. Skintone-medium. Looks- classic, edgy, bridal, simple. Very adventurous. Stylist- desi, christen, lustrelux. Loved products- lipstick, primer, brushes& tools. Most loved skin, hair, and nailcare: moisturizer, mask, serum, exfoliators, face oil, eye treament. Skin concerns- fine lines, oily &large pores. Hair type- needs volume, frizzy(contradicting?). Thats all of it hope it helps.


I was very happy with my bag this month. (No mascara and no hair products are always a reason for me to celebrate!) Here’s what was in my Ipsy this month:
City Color Highlight Trio compact (cute!) $8.95
Luxie Tapered Highlighter brush #522 $24.00
REN Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream 1.02 oz tube $27.00
Tarte “Wonder” (poppy) LipSurgence lip cream 0.56 oz stick (half of full size) $12.00
Skin & Co. Truffle Serum 0.17 oz. tube $12.50
Total value of my bag was $84.45, I like all the products (‘cept the Tarte is a little too bold a color for me, like Liz also said, but I’m thrilled with my bag!


I cancelled ipsy because I was getting too many tools and brushes, which I can’t use due to allergies. I emailed ipsy (many times and with multiple follow-ups) and they gave me some guidelines that others may find useful. 1. You can’t deselect items. Even if you don’t check a category you may still get that item. Like with the brushes. They stated their goal is to get you to try items you might not try otherwise. To me this was unacceptable.
2. The fewer categories you check the better your chances of receiving items in those categories. So if you really want eyeshadows; only check eyeshadow, not eyeshadow , lipstick, and liner.
3. The products you review on the ipsy site have an impact on what you receive. This may actually work against you. For example, if the first 2x you recieved red lipstick you liked them and reflected that in your review, surprise you have increased your chance of receiving another red/bold lipstick.
I tried their suggestions and found I recieved more items I liked. But I had to give poor scores to products I liked but did not want more of; which made me feel bad and made the reviews not as useful to others.
I agree with others ipsy needs to expand thier brand selection.


Just joined ipsy this month and my bag was pretty good. I’m just wondering what you put on your profile because your bag sounds amazing and you have had great luck and some of these other people have horror stories. Lol. I hope it’s not too personal.


Thank you so much for all the info! I just started my subscription with ipsy so I will apply this technique to get items that I will really love!


I canceled after getting this bag. I’ve received one too many nail polishes I won’t use. I need to use up some products anyway. In the meantime, I hope to get off the wait list for Sephora.


Just joined
Sephora and I was doing a comparison of last five months ipsy vs sephora and ipsy seems to NEVeR send stupid perfume samples and you get three full size items always. I got $90 bag from ipsy in April 2016 it was amazing!!


There isn’t a wait list anymore. You can go and subscribe now!!!!


Boo. I just tried again and got the ‘no spots available’ message. Hopefully I’ll get signed up soon.


Hi Liz,
I had received a broken eyeshadow once, and even though I took a whole month to let them know, they were very understanding of it, and sent me a replacement immediately! You could email their customer service. Hope this helps!


Hi Ladies,

Does anyone feel that Ipsy favors more (sends the best items) to the people who have a lot of followers via social media accounts, bloggers, review products, etc….?
I had Ipsy about a year or so ago, and I always felt like I got the short end of the stick, I would always see pictures of other people’s bag and they always received the best products, my bag always seemed to lack. They got the whole pie I got the leftovers, lol.
I would review the products, but I’m not on any social media platform, and I wondered if that always hurt my chances of getting a really cool bag, anyone else feel the same?

I want to get another low cost monthly makeup subscription again, and I’m waiting on Sephora play – so I am debating about resubscribing to Ipsy, but I’m unsure. Thank you for any feedback!


I can tell you with absolute certainty that does NOT happen. I have 0% social media and I get amaIng bags every month. It’s about your profile and reviews which they pay special attention too! I got buxom …nudestix…purlisse…highlight trio.. Nail polish worth about $90 this month and I sent them an email thanking them again! They do sometimes send out something I don’t like but I just re gift it and move on to the other wonderful products!! I like my bag better than Liz’s most of the time so please know ipsy absolutely does not favor bloggers. They treat everyone equal!


No, I don’t feel that way. I’m a nobody on the internet and my bag is almost always identical to what’s reviewed here. I’ve been subscribing for over a year now. I do feel that way about some other boxes, though.


I was told the secret is less is more when it comes to the quiz. Initially I said I love everything and I got crappy bags. Then I went back and said I only like tools and nail polish and picked Michelle as my favorite vlogger/stylist. This seemed to make all the difference. Supposedly if you have too many things selected you end up saying you don’t mind weird cheap crap like false eyelashes and hairspray.


I don’t think having social media makes a difference. When I started with Ipsy over a year ago my bags were awful. I always got stuff that I specifically put I don’t like in my quiz (hair products, perfume samples) and never got anything that I loved, like lipstick, which is something they always have at least one to send out every month. I was about to cancel my sub when I started reviewing the products on ipsy’ website wondering if it make a difference and I can honestly say that the more I reviewed, the more I started liking to loving my bags. This month I received the Tarte LipSurgence, City Color Highlight Trio, the Pur-lisse Beauty masks, ProBelle nail polish and the Crown Duo Fibre brush. I will use everything in this bag compared to when I look at the bags back before I reviewed, I would use maybe a couple or none of the products I got.


I always reviewed my bags, from Nov. 2014 to Nov. 2015, and still got a bunch of stuff I hated (brands I hate, lip stains that were a horrible shade for my skin tone, products that reaked, etc.). I did get a few things I liked (e.g. brushes, a Spellbound nail polish, etc.), but there were some months when I liked nothing at all, so I had to cancel. I have and like Birchbox, but I’d like to get Sephora or Macy’s too since Birchbox sends mostly skin stuff and I want more variety. And I like Target too but can never seem to order before it sells out.


I do not have any social media presence (not even a Facebook) and my bag was not too bad this month. I got an annoying black eyeliner but everything else works for me. I got the same Tarte product, the Trust Fund highlighter stick, a L.A.B blending brush, and a decent face serum.


I only comment here and have a private IG and sometimes I get stuff I’m not huge of, and other times they hit the nail on the head. I’ve had the sub since Oct 2011 I believe.


I’m just a 47-year old gal with no social media beauty following & they’ve been rocking my bag for the past 6 months I’d say. It took them a while to get a better groove from my reviews, but it worked!

So no, I don’t think there’s any “favoring” going on. But I do have to wonder about the complaining & “expectations.” It’s a $10 sub box. What do the complainers really expect out of it?!?!?


If you receive a damaged item from Ipsy, just email their customer service and they’ll make it right. They are very easy to work with 🙂


I agree! I’ve emailed them before just to say something was defective or something, just an FYI, not even asking for a replacement, and they’ve always taken care of me. They’re great…especially for a TEN dollar box! Love Ipsy.

Kaitlynn Marie

I got the tarte, brush and same nail polish and my sister tried it. I thought it looked more purple online, but I love that it’s more of a slate color. The color looks great on.


I love my items this month (bag itself not so much).
*Tarte lip crayon $12
*Trust Fund highlighter $20
*Luxie Brush $24
*Ren mositurizer $27
*Briggeo overnight hair treatment 0.33 oz sample $4.62 calculated based on full size 2 oz selling for $28
$87.62 value is absolutely amazing for a $10 bag and I like everything in it a lot. i know subscriptions like this can be the luck of the draw but this is my 4th bag and they get better each month. I have not tweaked my profile – fingers crossed that they keep this up!


I thought the bag was ugly, and the minty smell and tingle of the tarte was awful. Loved the Trust Fund highlighter and the Purlisse sheet masks. Will gift the Starlooks black eyeliner, because I have plenty, and the Crown Brush blush brush, because I already have three blush brushes, and I think the Luxie blush brush ipsy gave me before is better. Not a bad month (80% of my items were full size), but not outstanding. Tarte seems way overhyped to me.


Love my Ipsy bag!!!
I got Morrocan hair oil, Jor’el Parker mud mask, l.a.b. Blending brush, Ofra shadow (so pretty!!) and the Tarte Lipsurgence. And it all matched perfectly with my bag haha oranges and teals >.<


I was way happier with my 2nd month. A good tip to point out. I thought I only had 4 items and I was good. For some reason I didn’t throw the shipping envelope out yet….THANK GOODNESS. I happened to log into my ipsy and pull up the glam bag to try and learn more about the products an it showed I received a brush. I thought um…..there was not a brush in my bag (last month it was in the cosmetic bag) so I grabbed the envelope and squeezed it…and the brush WAS IN THE ENVELOPE at the bottom, not the cosmetic bag. I received…
Crown blush brush
Tarte Lipsurgence in wonder
Starlooks cream eyeshadow in rose gold (hmmmm…and couldn’t find online anywhere, in strange package because I’ve never seen one like it. Will open soon, it looks similar to a mini lip gloss packaging or liquid eyeliner…not eyeshadow….vey interesting to me)
Ren skincare global protection day cream
Moroccan oil- hair


That Ren sample is awesome. I got it too, and it’s 3/5 the full size (RV $45), so works out to $27 for the cream alone!


I know, figured the RV right away and was shocked. The creams seem to be coming…just when winter is finally over ?. I’m excited to have gotten this versus the cream in the Boxycharm and I really wanted to get it so that was my win. I don’t mind the price as long as the product works. I just got a few things from the Kate Somerville line at Sephora (talk about price…cough, lol). I really needed a change in my skincare on my face and so far so good with the gentle exfoliating wash,Mega C serum, and I think daily deflector 50spf moisturizer. I also got a few murad treatments for nighttime.


Best thing about ipsy are the brushes. I got the Luxie highlighter brush and its a nice soft brush. The only other item I liked was the skinn eyeliner, really brightens my eyes.
I also received the Nth degree and tarte; my hair is already shiny on its own so don’t need that and the tarte crayon I’ve had full sizes of before and they were not my faves. In addition also received a nomad shadow which is sitll in its package.

Hoping to swap those 3 for something I will use instead.

For next month I hope they include a lip tarteist, they are so good and I love minis since they easily fit in my small bags.


That’s awesome.. I was really hoping to get the skinn liner to try. I got a Luxie last month, love it. Was hoping for the Luxie again ? But didn’t get either. Still happy with what I did get.


Yes how many black eyeliners can one person use,unless it’s a different color I don’t need anymore .Although I always pretty much enjoy my ipsy bag


I am glad that some people liked the Tarte crayon. It’s a horrible color on me altogether. I have changed my profile to the opposite that I am…perhaps I’ll get some items that I’ll keep for once. I am wondering if the problem is with their questionnaire, or I just don’t know how I am supposed to describe myself. I’ll give them one more try, and if it’s bad agsin, I’m out.


i received the same brush .. the tarte lipstick… nth degree hair serum… trust fund that glo tho… and the ren daily calming cream…. i thought the tarte was going to be more of a pink tint when i looked up the color of it but i am still totally happy other than that… i really like ipsy and every month when i look through the stuff there is maybe one thing that i would change …i couldn’t be happier with it!!!


Sounds like we got near identical boxes, I got the two Purlisse masks instead of the hair serum…the value on the other four items adds up to $68.50 which is insane. I think this month was my highest value Ipsy ever.


same here… i love my ipsy bags they seem to get better every month for me.. my first 3 months were kinda shaky but after that it’s been awesome… they still haven’t hit the right color lipstick/gloss for me but i still can’t complain..


Compared to my POPSUGAR box I’m not mad 10 bucks I will continue. Although I don’t get it I scroll down to see what else was given out and I’m like that’s more me than this. I hv taken the quiz over & over. The things I get I hv not been happy or wowed but I’m hoping it will get better. But after getting my popsugar box all is forgiven.


Just wondering how much do people use as the RV for the bags by themselves?


In terms of swaps? I don’t give them much value, I take into account how common it is to find one or if the design is particular nice (like the cosmic one for me was great, or the more lovey floral prints). I list the ones I don’t want and if someone requests one I usually just disregard it with a larger swap or ask for a smaller sample item, since it’s only a $10 sub and no way to really assign a value to the bags.


Wow I can’t type tonight. *particularly and *lovely

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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.