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Ipsy Review – November 2016


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 List!

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 is another great bag design in my book!

Look at this zipper detail:


The bag is made from a type of neoprene material, and lined in silver.



theBalm Mad Lash Black Mascara – 2.5 ml Value $5.60


I like theBalm, so I was excited to try this mascara! Unfortunately, it just wasn’t a good formula for me. I found it to be too goopy, and it didn’t provide enough lash definition.


Formula X Nail Polish in Huntress – 4 ml Value $3.50


This nail polish is a deep emerald green with a subtle iridescence. Here it is on:


That’s with only 1 coat, too!


SLMissGlam W20 Angled Eye Brush – Value $12?

I seem to always get makeup brushes in my ipsy bags! (I can’t remember the last time I actually bought a makeup brush!)


This one is extra cute too! Pink (cruelty-free) bristles and some sparkle, too!


NUXE Nuxellence DETOX – 15 ml Value $13

This is a great size for a serum sample! It should last me a few weeks. I like the formula, too. It absorbed quickly and left my skin feeling very soft.


OFRA Cosmetics Banana Powder Godet – Value $12

If you aren’t familiar with banana powder, Here are the basics from OFRA:

With a light banana scent, this pressed matte powder is versatile and can be used to:

  • Conceal dark circles underneath eyes.
  • Set concealer.
  • Highlight underneath eyes, the brow bone, the bridge of the nose, the middle of the forehead and the chin.
  • Complete your look as a luxury finishing powder.
  • Act as a light matte eye shadow shade.


I’ve tried this out for concealing dark circles and it was a no-go. I need a lot of concealer to cover up my undereye dark circles, so I would say this method only works if you really don’t have a lot to cover. I do like the powder for setting concealer and as all over finishing powder, though!

Verdict: This box has a value of about $46. That’s great for a $10 subscription box (And that’s not counting the value of the makeup bag!) Almost every item this month was a hit for me – and all the sample sizes are great, too.

What do you think of the November Ipsy Glam Bag? What items did you get in your bag?


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 | 70 comments

Comments (70)

  1. I just subscribed so I haven’t gotten anything but I am absolutely in love with this bag

  2. I was not impressed this month.

  3. I got a pretty lame bag tbh, made me go back and redo the quiz thing so I stop getting moisturizers.
    -Too faced better than sex mascara aka the only thing i like
    -purlisse blue lotus moisturizer i am so tired of moisturizers
    -a model co contour stick?? it smells great but i don’t contour so it’s useless to me
    -eyeko skinny eyeliner…i try not to complain about eyeliner since i use so much but this formular just kinda sucks
    -luxie 524t brush, seems like it’d be good for foundation. i cant really complain cause it’s worth $18

    • Oh man I love what you got! I would have loved the Luxie brush and the eyeko eyeliner is my fave!

  4. My sister got that mascara. I’m soooo glad I got the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara. I can’t say it’s better than sex, but it’s the best mascara I’ve ever used. I got:
    Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara – YAY!
    Luxie Beauty Luxie Rose Gold Small Duo Fiber Brush 524T – I would prefer an eyeshadow brush but oh well
    Hey Honey Good Morning Honey Silk Facial Serum – has a ton of aloe, boo
    Elizabeth Mott Color is Bae Lip Lacquer in Moxie Mauve – really glad I didn’t get the red one but it’s really drying
    Skone Cosmetics Brow Wand Eyebrow Pencil in Chocolate – Actually pretty happy with this. I got one from Birchbox in blonde from another company and this is a much better match. Still not sure why they gave a brunette a blonde eyebrow pencil….

    Overall this month wasn’t bad. One sister cancelled already and the other is going to but I’m holding on a little longer. Every time I think I might cancel I get a really good bag!

  5. I wore my Ciate liquid lipstick I got this month. I love to wear red lipstick and I wear it all the time. I laid down and took a nap with it on and when I woke up, I had it all over my face. I kept wiping and wiping and wiping and I couldn’t get it off. My face was all red and around my mouth it was all swollen.

    • I have used ciate products before and have never had a reaction to them. I am just wondering if I had a reaction to the red dye in the lipstick. My nephew is allergic to a red dye and so is my niece. They both break out in rashes if they are exposed to it.

  6. I like the silver! I was hoping for a silver one, and got the gold and like it too. It’s a cute bag. I’m trying to decide what to use the bag for. Maybe to hold a deck of cards? It seems smaller than usual.

    The only thing I got twins with you is the Balm mascara. I haven’t tried it yet, but I was really excited about it. I am still on the hunt for a fave mascara. So many of them irritate or weigh down my lashes. So far the least irritating one for me is Neutrogena Healthy Lash, but it takes so many coats to show up on my lashes. I love how weightless it is though!!

    I got the Luxie brush-it is like a very thin stippling brush. So far I’ve used it for powder, but it’s not great for that. I think it will be great for highlighter.

    Got the mauve Mott liquid lipstick and love the lasting formula & fruity scent, but red would be so much more me!

    The clear base coat nail polish is actually a treat! I need to read more about it, but it if it is actually good for my nails, I’m happy!

    The last item is the Mint cream which I really wanted, but it smells slightly strange, kind of off. I have other scents of Delectable hand cream, and I love them. Thankfully this one has a lighter scent. The lemon cream is amazing if you want to smell a vanilla-lemon cake. Mmmmmmmmm.

    • I got the silver and wanted the gold lol. I use the bags for all kinds of things like mini first aid kits. Holds bandaids, alcohol pads, Tylenol… Lego holder for kids when we are traveling. Jewelry holder when we are traveling as well. Love them!

  7. Wondering what your favorite foundation is? I need help. I get boxycharm and ipsy so my makeup stash is growing but I have the hardest time getting foundation right. I am pale but have red tones, and even the palest shades of drugstore stuff run so dark and orange on me. It makes me self concious! Please tell me where to go for help and what kind you love.

    • Im really pale too with pink undertones and I have the same problem. Ive found that maybelline fit me has a shade thats light enough and revlon colorstay whipped has one too. Or the burts bees bb cream. I have more of a hard time finding a concealer that is light enough. Hahah. But i know that kat von d has some really light concealer and foundation.

      But Im also curious what liz will say. 😀

    • I like bare minerals ready foundation, it, and make up for ever. You should go to either Sephora or Ulta Beauty. One of the people there could help you out and help you find which one works best for you and they can help you find the shade you need.

    • I’ve always had trouble finding the right foundation too. I recently got Sephora brand 10hr wear in pink porcelain. Absolutely love it.

      • Go to sephora and try their color match. They also have a great return policy. You can return your foundation as long as there is at least 70% left. So if it doesn’t match no harm done

    • I have a really red undertone too and the only foundation I’ve found that works for me is the Nars Sheer Glow. They color matched me at Sephora and gave me a color with a yellow undertone. I was skeptical but it actually neatrualizes the red in my skin. I don’t know if it’ll work for everyone but it’s worth a shot to go get a tester size and try it!

  8. I just signed up again for the ipsy bags last month and it was great. Loved my bag!, but the November bag was horrible. I did not like any of the products except for the actual bag. I left just because I signed up for the sephora Play which I absolutely love. I am going to give them one more try with the December bag if its another missed I will cancel my subscription yet again. Maybe if a brush might have been included might of been an ok bag…..

  9. I emailed Ipsy to ask for a brush next month and they also let me pick another item( from my cs rep favorite picks). So some possible items to get next month are
    -NYX Prismatic Shadow in Bedroom Eyes or Jaded
    –Ciaté London Liquid Velvet Matte Lipstick in Pin Up
    –City Color Cosmetics Be Matte Blush Trio
    –Hanalei Lip Treatment
    –tarte cosmetics Maracuja Oil
    –OUAI Wave Spray

    Personally I’m excited for the Ciaté London Liquid Velvet Matte Lipstick in Pin Up. Finally a non red lip item!

  10. I received the following:
    Tarte Maracuja Oil
    Top Faced mascara
    Eyetini eyeshadow in Firestarter
    Leaders Insolution face masks (two)
    Naobay eye contour cream
    Overall…pretty happy with this month’s bag 🙂

    • I wasn’t happy with Ipsy at all this month. I have been loving the last few months but terrible Nov.loved the bag just not the stuff

  11. I quit Ipsy a long time ago, but I have been thinking of giving it another go. Maybe I’ll try for January or February. Has the points program improved at all? I don’t make a lot of referrals, and it was hard to get enough points to get anything before they expired with just reviews.

    • I’ve only been a member for a month and a half (got my second bag a couple of days ago) and I already have over 300 points. I might get something with those points or wait a couple more months to get 500 points to get an even cooler product. Seems pretty reasonable to me though!!

  12. I always love my Ipsy bags. I got the silver bag. My products were Elemis marine face cream,Elizabeth Mott liquid lipstick in mauve,The Balm mascara,Skone eyebrow pencil in chocolate I think it’s full size and Tarte maracuja oil. I am very happy with everything. That clumpy spider lash look is very trendy right now so I think that’s the purpose of The Balm mascara is to create that clumpy eyelash look. All in all another great Ipsy bag!

  13. I have mixed feeling about my bag this month. I got: Eyeko Skinny Eyeliner, theBalm mascara, Elizabeth Mott Color is Bae in Moxie Mauve, Hey Honey Good Morning Facial Serum, and Formula X in Huntress. I did the math, and it’s supposedly a great value at $49.79 worth of products. However, I reviewed the lipstick poorly because I do NOT want any more mauve; does not work on me, and they keep sending it. I would have preferred the red. It’s a shame, because it seems like a decent formula. I’m also not sure how I feel about the nail polish color, but I’ll try it. I’m a little disappointed about the eyeliner and the mascara, because they just sent a liquid eyeliner to me last month and a mascara the previous month. I know I got my money’s worth and I will use most or all of the products, but please, Ipsy, more variation from month to month! Few people need a new liquid eyeliner and mascara every single month!

  14. Liz,

    I was wondering if you have found anything that conceals under eye circles well? I feel like I have tried everything and nothing works very well for me. I’m a redhead with fair skin and I think it is just my light skin that makes the darkness more noticeable. I’m not tired and don’t drink much or smoke. So I don’t think there is anything that will fix the problem but if I could just find something to cover it up I would be happy. 🙂

    • I have dark circles too, but medium skin. For a while, I used Smashbox undereye BB cream, but it’s a little too heavy and settles into fine lines I didn’t previously know I had. I recently tried Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind Eraser for Dark Circles, and it seems more subtle (less creasy) and works well for the price. Would definitely like to find whatever is the best product out there.

      • I just used some of my 100 points from Sephora from IT concealer. It covers really well.

    • The very very best thing I’ve found to conceal my undereye circles is Tarte’s Shape Tape! It’s hard to find as it’s an Ulta exclusive and they’ve been out since the summer, but I have stalked Tarte’s website for restocks and gotten lucky once, as well as got some from QVC’s website. The stuff is amazing!! I was using IT’s Bye Bye Undereye which I thought was great until I tried Shape Tape!

    • Heather, I have light skin too. Sephora talked me into the tarte rainforest of the sea- wipeout color correcting palette. They also taught me how to use it. I must say it is one of the best investments I have ever made. I use the orange or the yellow and it really works. If you don’t want to invest in that you could just buy the two colors.

  15. I cancelled Ipsy this month so this will be my last bag for a while (not sure how long I will stay unsubscribed). The products overall just seemed irrelevant to me and the sample sizes were so small. My 19 year old daughter gets Ipsy too and we would compare bags and her stuff always was so much better!

    I am much happier with what I get from Birchbox and Sephora play, at least for now.

    • I always thought it would be fun if my sister got ipsy, but she doesn’t really wear a lot of make up, except for mascara and maybe eyeliner. She just started a job, so she might wear now, but I thought it would fun if we both got it and we could go through our bags together and trade, if we possibly got something didn’t want.

  16. I love my bag this month !! Except for this mascara….I was very disappointed with it…
    The bag it self is great !
    I got :
    – Doucce, Freematic Blush in #49 Zen Orange : I love blush and I didn’t have this color !
    – Leaders Cosmetics USA, Aloe Soothing Renewal Mask & Aquaringer Treatment Mask : @ sheet masks, YES !
    – ELEMIS,Pro-Collagen Marine Cream : very expensive cream : the sample worth 42$ !! Exiting to try that !
    – tarte cosmetics maracuja oil : I’m in love with the packaging !!!
    – The balm Mascara…was happy but at the end, not so great…
    Very excited samples to try…I needed it those day…

    • wow this is like a dream bag…so envious

  17. I got my box last night and was excited.

    I got the gold bag, which for me is a little sad because I prefer silver ove gold, but it’s still cute.

    I used the brush this morning and am really happy with it. It picks up eyeshadow so much better than my older shadow brush. I also got the moisturizer and it is nice. Great smell to it, as well. I got the primer, which feels almost as great as the smashbox one I love.

    I have yet to try the Balm mascara and brow pencil. I was in a rush this morning and used my other mascara and no brows today. 🙂

    • If you want I’d switch my silver bag with you!

      • If Fran doesn’t want to trade bags, I would. 🙂 Like the gold bag, but I’m much more of a fan of the silver.

      • Shay, I would love to switch my gold bag for your silver bag.

      • I just can’t figure out how to email you. LOL

    • I got Better Than Sex mascara! So happy- it’s what I use and love! It was sample size but still. This was my first bag so wasn’t sure what to expect!

  18. I love the bag and everything else except they again sent me mascara. I have taken that off my list in my favorites and likes for Ipsy but they still send it to me. I don’t need anymore. I probably have enough mascara for the next 2 years. Wish they would quit sending mascara.

  19. Does anyone know how I can get Ipsy to quit sending me an eyeliner every single month? I do not have it checked because it’s something I rarely use.

    • Reviewing the items after you get them is super important to how they curate your bag. That’s how I got them to stop sending me hand creams ?

    • They have a new feature where if you email CS to stop sending eyeliners, then they’ll stop sending those products. For how long, I’m not sure.

  20. I’m so jealous of everyone that was happy with their bags. Mine was 4 out of five items that I either said were not a concern of mine or left unchecked because I didn’t want them. Volumizing hairspray, red matte lipstick, the orange blush, the banana powder, and the balm mascara. The banana powder didn’t cover my under eye circles and settled in my fine lines, like I thought it would. The mascara was the only thing I might have used and I didn’t like the formula.

    What was worse was when I tweeted IpsyCare the response I got was that they “may” use the profile as a guide. That was it. No we’re sorry you had a bad experience, just a one sentence response about how it was pretty much my tough luck that they didn’t use my profile to make this months bag. I decided to cancel my subscription based on the dismissive customer service. I’m so disappointed.

  21. I love my bag this month! They did a much better job curating after I contacted them about curation. I got:
    *theBalm Mascara
    *ModelCo Contour Stick
    *Tarte Maracuja Oil
    *SLMissGlam Eye Brush
    *NAOBAY Eye Contour Cream
    I love the NAOBAY and the Maracuja Oil.

  22. For the second month in a row, I’m excited to receive every item I got from ispy this month.

    But some questions: How is the monetary value of each sample decided?
    Also: What is it with mascara? Between ipsy and other boxes, I get almost one a month, despite not checking that I want them on my profile.

    I got: gold bag. I’ve loved every ipsy bag but one (the girls spelling out IPSY) since I started in May.
    ~ Starlooks rose gold cream eye shadow. LOVE the color. I’m tempted to try it as a lippie. Seems like it would be too goopy for eyeshadow.
    ~ pur-lisse Blue Lotus moisturizer. I don’t have a set skin care routine, so trying out all these products is great.
    ~ Absolute New York lipstick in Dark Red. I laughed when I read the name because I’m more used to names like Siren, ER, Cherry Bomb, etc. I haven’t yet found a red that looks okay on me, but I’ll keep trying.
    ~ eyeko eyeliner. I guess I’m getting a lot of eyeliner too, but I really love the felt tip pen style. For the first time, I might actually be able to get a line that doesn’t wobble all over my lid.
    ~ Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara. I’m really liking Too Faced products, and when I opened the box, I liked them even more: on the flap inside, it says, “Was it good for you?” Cracked me up.

    Is there a trick to opening boxes without ripping them? I’m having a really hard time, and some of these boxes, like this one, I want to keep.

    I LOVE finding out ahead of time what I’m getting… and then since it takes at least a week to get to me, I forget what the coming products were, so I get to be surprised again when I open my bag!

    • Sometimes I can use a slim metal nail file to slide under the box flap to get them open. Usually works to avoid damage. Occasionally like to give away a few products and want to see them first, but don’t want the boxes damaged, so they don’t look like raggedy, old rejects that I’m passing out lol.

    • I received that starlooks eye shadow from them before and it’s horrible. It cracks as an eyeshadow and I had the same thought about using it as a gloss and that was a bad idea! Very shiny and dry.

  23. This nothing to do with ipsy but the constellation on the glambag reminds me of the supermoon tonight? Maybe the theme bag was meant to be?

  24. After a couple bummer months, I’m so pleased with my bag! I’m excited to try 4/5 products.

    I have a strong preference for silver in general, so I was hoping to receive that version of the bag, but NGL, I’m really digging the gold, especially on the bag lining.

  25. I received the gold lined bag with these products:

    – benefit POREfessional
    – ModelCo contour stick
    – theBalm Mad Lash Mascara
    – Nuxe Nuxellence Detox
    – Elizabeth Mott Lip Lacquer Color is Bae in red chili

    I have become a benefit junkie so I’m loving this month’s bag!!

    (My bag came to about $52 in products if anyone cares. LOL)

  26. I’m hoping I get the brush. I can always use a new one. Regardless, that’s a lot of stuff for only $10.

  27. I’ve used that banana powder in the inside corners of my eyes just to brighten and open my eyes. I got it in a Boxycharm box before. I’ve hit pan on it. But a little goes a long way. My bag hasn’t arrived yet.

    • I received a full size jar of another brand’s banana powder in another sub box in the past few months (sorry I can’t remember the brand & which sub box it was – I have chemo brain right now LOL). I remember thinking, “Huh???? What do I do with this?!?!” So I Googled the product & it said to use banana powder to “set” your look. So I whipped out my biggest fat brush & did just that one day.

      Go figure. I feel so old with all of these new products & trying to keep up with them all. LOL

      • I know what you mean about all the new products out there. I’m completely baffled by some of them. That’s why I subscribed to my subs in the first place and now I’m loving it.

        I hope you are feeling better.

  28. Liz you and I are bags twins but I’m hoping for the bag with the gold designs.

    • Yay for bag twins! ? Hoping you get the gold!!

    • I got the gold and it’s really pretty. I feel like they really stepped it up with the design this month. This is the first bag where I’m actually enjoying the bag itself and not just the products. 🙂

  29. I LOVE the bag itself this month. This is the first bag that I will keep and use. My products were kinda’ “meh”, but at least the bag was nice.

    Dear Ipsy gods, please keep putting out stylish and attractive bags!

  30. It figures. I subscribe for several months and cancel due to meh product and disliking every bag.
    The last 2 months have great bags and the assortment looks better. I’m thinking of resubscribing because I believe someone commented about their bags getting better once they did that.

    • I saw the same comment (about bags getting better after resubscribing) and was thinking about doing the same thing. Plus, I saw that they added more to their “questionnaire” regarding what you like/don’t like. Which could definitely help make it more personalized.

      If you do resub, I hope it gets better for you! I know my bags were getting TERRIBLE toward the end. Things that I just absolutely hated! I have oily skin, so shimmery blush, illuminating foundation, heavy moisturizers…they don’t exactly do it for me! haha

  31. Have not gotten mine yet, but I am getting 3 of your products.
    The balm mascara, nail polish, and ofra powder.

    My other two items are the Elizabeth Mott Color is Bae and Indie Le CoQ-10 toner.

    This month the item I’m more interested in is the nail polish. Would of liked the brush since its cute and functional.

    Will be swapping everything else.

  32. Sure wish I always got brushes. However, I did get one this month YAY! This is only the second one I’ve gotten though… and I joined in January… I NEED them soo bad, but I never buy them. I’m always like “nahh, ipsy always has brushes, maybe I’ll start getting them more often.”

    hahaha. Whatever though. Cant complain with its only $10. Still love ipsy.
    I got the gold bag with…..
    -Better Than Sex Mascara
    -Lip Balm
    -Luxie Brush
    -Eyebrow pencil
    -BH Cosmetics Foil Eyes to go.

    • You should e-mail customer service & ask to receive a brush in December.

      • Hmmmm… Do you think they would actually give me something I request though?

      • Yes! Starting with the bags that come in December, you can email ipsyCare to request a specific type of product for the next month and/or ask to opt out of a type of product. I sent them an email earlier this month. I asked to opt out of any eye creams (to avoid issues with my eczema) and to ask for a type of beauty tool next month. They sent me back a response that they would not ever include another eye cream and would send me a makeup brush next month.

        As of now, these requests will only be honored through emailing customer service and are not done through the profile page. The profile page is used to pick out your best matches, not to “opt out” of certain kinds of products. Also, when you email customer service, you can request types of products but not sub-types of those products. For example, you can request to get an eye shadow, but you can’t request to get only brown eye shadows. You can also ask to not get eye liners, but you can’t ask to not get any black eyeliners.

        Hope that this was helpful! (^-^)/

      • Yay! Time to ask Ipsy for some brushes!

      • Thats awesome! Thank yoy for letting me know about.this!! How did you find that out? So this is something we do every month if we want to? Or could I tell them I always want brushes?

      • A thread on the forum was posted about this about a week ago. I think that’s how a lot of people found out about this.

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