My Subscription Addiction
My Subscription Addiction
No results matched your query
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.

Ipsy Review – December 2016

Liz Cadman
ByLiz CadmanDec 13, 2016 | 65 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 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 bag is fuzzy with a gold metal ipsy logo plate and a metallic handle/zipper pull.

It’s designed to double as a going out clutch/wristlet.



And it is lined in gold!

Now, onto the items!


Cake Beauty Heavy Cream Intensive Hand Repair Balm – 1 oz Value $6.50

Based on the name of this product, I was expecting this hand cream to be rich and smell like cake batter – and I was not disappointed! The scent is sweet and indulgent, and this cream is heavy and provides a ton of moisture – and surprisingly it still absorbs quickly! Love it!


tarte tarteist Glossy Lip Paint in WCW – 1 ml Value $3.33


I’m ALWAYS happy to see tarte in a subscription box, even when the sample is pretty tiny! This Glossy Lip Paint is a gloss/stain hybrid, and I found that it delivered pretty well on each front. The finish wasn’t super shiny on my lips, but it gave me a lot of moisture with a hint of shine, and the color worked well too – great pigment! (It doesn’t have the same staying power as a typical stain though.)

(Swatched in lower photo.)


HIKARI Felt Tip Eyeliner in Iris – FULL SIZE! Value $15


HIKARI is one of those brands I’m never thrilled to see in a box. But, usually, if they are in a box that means full-sized items, so I can’t complain too much!

This liner is an easy-to-use purple felt marker. Here it is swatched beneath the tarte lip gloss:

ipsy-glam-bag-december-2016-0020 ipsy-glam-bag-december-2016-0015

Benefit The Porefessional – 3 ml Value $5

Another tiny but great sample!


This primer is a classic I’ve sampled many times before. The formula feels super smooth on my skin and does a great job of temporarily filling in pores so that they look invisible.


Ren Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask – 15 ml Value $16.50

I love the Ren line! Their formulas are free of ingredients you may want to avoid, and they are gentle on my skin, too. This is a 10-minute mask that was so gentle I forgot I had it on! The scent is a subtle sweet citrus, and it left my skin feeling SO smooth after I removed it. (I’m thrilled this is a larger, multi-use sample!)


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, too. My only complaint? I wish the Benefit and Tarte samples were larger!

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

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!
Join the Conversation

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.



Is it just me or did anyone else think the bag was going to be red? So bummed that it’s pink!


I just went to ipsy’s site to subscribe and give it as a Christmas gift for my niece (after reading this website’s reviews). AFTER they took my credit card information (for $110) and “signed me up” – they told me I was on some sort of “wait list” (for how long??). This is a GIFT! I don’t want to be on a wait list, and I am NOT willing to promote their company for them and expose my network. I think this approach is totally fraudulent and am reporting them to the Better Business Bureau. When I tried to cancel my subscription – of course, there is no way to do that. I have contacted the company – no phone available – and am awaiting a return reply (other than the auto – “we’ll get back to you”. Buyers beware, ladies.


I received:
*Tarteist Lip Paint-$3.33
*Beau Gachis Concealer Brush-$16.00
*Nyx Eyeshadow in Punk Heart-$5.99
*Hanalei Lip Treatment-$3.00
*Make Primer-$8.00
Total: $36.32
Not a great bag. I like the Tarte lippie. The brush is ok but i’ve been getting brushes every month. The Hanalei is too thick and smells and tastes weird. The Make Primer I do not like at all. It leaves a tacky residue and my foundation clumps up. The Nyx Eyeshadow is a pretty pinky purple and I like it.


I haven’t seen any bag twins yet! I got:

Ofra Bliss shadow/highlighter (love!)
INSPR duo brow highlighter (seems like a good product, just not for me)
Nudestix concealer in Medium 4 (great color & coverage, not crazy about the stick though)
Tarte Maracuja Oil (love!)
Hanalei Lip Treatment (just right for dry, cold days)


My bag was very different from yours. I got the same lip stain from tarts, a make up concealer brush, nyx (bedroom eyes eyeshadow, eyeliner (mine was black from Auroa), and a hair care item. I love the eyeshadow, eyeliner, and lip stain. I haven’t used the hair care item yet, but so far I love everything!

Miss E

I might be the one person who absolutely LOVED theBalm MadLash mascara. I got it in my Nov bag & have been thrilled with the results – lashes for miles, lots of volume & it’s conditioning so no stiff, dry feeling. While it doesn’t have much of a curling effect, it gives me that ‘stick-straight, stiletto’ look which is fab for a slightly 60’s vibe & I have other brands for when I want the curl. I swapped the ModelCo Contour Stick I got last month with a friend for her MadLash since I don’t contour & she’s brand-loyal to her Maybelline Great Lash. I’m so happy to have 2 deluxe sizes & I kinda wish I’d gotten another in my Dec Ipsy, though I like the products I received this month. (Btw, I swear I don’t work for theBalm. I’m just a run-of-the-mill mascara junkie!)

If you got the Madlash & are a bit disappointed from the reviews, I really encourage you to give it a chance – It’s kind of a ‘wet look’ mascara but that opens up my eyes; makes them look bigger & wide-awake esp if you contrast with a matte shadow and/or winged liner (I find curling mascara defeats the purpose of a thick wing). A general tip about mascara I got from Wayne Goss (my fave YouTube MA, he’s amazing!) has been invaluable to me; wiping the excess off the wand with gift-wrap tissue before application REALLY cuts down on clumping & flaking. I know it seems duh-simple or like you’re wasting product but I get so much more out of all my mascaras now. Using gift-wrap tissue works better than regular tissues as you won’t gunk up the wand or the formula inside the tube itself with tiny fibers. It’s also the BEST for blotting your lipstick. This Xmas, save all the tissue from presents (not wrapping paper – I mean the thin colourful sheets people stuff into gift-bags. You also get tissue like this in shoe boxes or when you buy from Sephora), fold them all up in an Ipsy bag for safe-keeping & use throughout year. Thank me later! 🙂


I’m a mad lash fanatic too!!! I traded my better than sex for it and…
Got one the following month!!! WIN

Briana Lynn Coelho

I loved the madLash also-was surprised when I read so many poor reviews. I’ve been using it almost daily and when I saw it would be in the December bag was kind of hoping I’d get it again too lol also the tarte maracuja oil!!! My November bag was fantastic!! December was good also!


I’m in love with the balm mascara too!!! I got the better than sex….traded with my daughter and got another in my december bag!!! Score!!!!!!!


Miss E, I am with you all the way! I LOVE the Balm Madlash so much I ordered the full size! It is now my go to mascara. It is the bestat giving thick beautiful lashes!! I hadn’t heard of the gift wrap but I am going to try it!

Miss E

Yaaaay girl! Becky, gift-wrap tissue has SAVED so many of my mascaras from the trash. Check out Wayne Goss on YouTube, he’s amazing. I don’t work for him either but he’s taught me how to apply eye-liner to my hooded eyes, how to use highlighter & has an fantastic attitude. His wink at the end of every tutorial is worth it. 😉


I love that mascara and have bought the full size of it.

Diana Navarro

I wonder If I missed my bag twin in the comments…First, I LOVE my items and the bag is delicious. Second, this is what I got:
~Be Matte Blush
~OFRA EyeShadow/Highlighter
~tarte Marula oil
~hanalei lip treatment and concealer brush

I want to go out tonight just to try the some of these 🙂

Ranessa Austin

i got everything but the highlighter i got mascara instead closest to me i’ve seen


Mine has not come yet but I too am getting the Cake cream, the Tarte stain and the Benefit item which I am excited about. This will be my fourth bag and I will be getting my third felt eyeliner, which I am bummed about- I wish I was getting that purple you got though, I really love it! I hope to get the cinnamon shade because I have two black and do not use them. Still, I hope my bag comes today as I look forward to the rest.


My bag consisted of
OFRA Bliss Eyeshadow/Highlighter
Mint Pear makeup sponge
Tarte Maracuja oil
Hanalei lip treatment
Aurora eyeliner in blackberry
It was an ok bag for me but I was really wanting the porefessional. I love that stuff!


Except for the bag itself, I got totally different items:
– beau gachis makeup brush
– hanalej lip treatment
– M princess eye shadow
– Tarte maracuja oil
– mascara


I received…
Hikari Cosmetics
Felt Tip Liquid Eyeliner in Iris – I’ve never used a purple liquid liner before, so this should be fun! 🙂

NYX Professional Makeup
Prismatic Shadow in Fireball – amazingly pigmented. Can’t wait to try!

Moonlight Primer

Jersey Shore Cosmetics
Peppermint Moisture Rich Hydrating Balm – super hydrating, already love it.

tarte cosmetics
tarteist™ glossy lip paint in wcw – love the shade, perfect for winter.


Bag twins!! At first I was disappointed because it didn’t seem worth the money this month (a chapstick, little lipgloss and single pan eye shadow), but when I went item by item I realized this is going to be the first month I use every single sample. And I’m obsessed with the chapstick; has to be my favorite thing in the bag.


Almost your bag twin, except instead of the Jersey shore lip balm I got the Nip + Fab serum. Even received the same color of eye shadow! I haven’t tried the purple eyeliner yet, but I love the color of it and also the Tarte lip paint color! The primer is tiny but hopefully it doesn’t take much so I can get some uses out of it.


Only need a small amount of the porefessional primer so you will get multiple uses out of it. Dab a small amount and spread. It spreads smoothly and easily.


It might be interesting to note that the Tarteist glossy lip paint is the same one that you get in a duo set for $12, which if you priced the value based on that would make it a $6 item. It’s because I already have this duo set that my mom will be receiving the one from my ipsy bag. Also the size of it makes it really easy to throw in a travel makeup bag.

Tarte Tarteist Creamy Matte & Glossy Lip Paint Duo at ULTA—


It’s the BEST BAG EVER! I love my fuzzy pink bag. Its even better than the galaxy bag.


I really like the bag too! It’s so pretty, and I like that it’s more of a deeper hot pink color. I have no idea what I’d use it for, but it’s cute!


My bag consists of:
Royal & Langnickel angle shader(brush).
Aurora intensely precise eyeliner(blackberry) – not a huge fan because I find it doesn’t stay wet long enough to apply a smooth layer.
NYX eyeshadow in Bedroom eyes.
Tarte glossy lip paint(doesn’t have a name for the colour, but I think it’s the same as pictured above) – favourite part of the glam bag!!
And lastly, Marc Anthony Argan Oil conditioning treatment for hair. Probably try it out this week.


I’m your bag twin. I do agree that the eyeliner didn’t say wet, but once it’s on it looks great!


bag twins! <3


Hi Liz!
I’m curious as to why you don’t like Hikari products. Is it the coloring of the products you receive, or the quality, or are you just “done” with getting Hikari items in your sub boxes (I know it’s hard to even go two months without getting something from them if you sub to multiple boxes)? Just asking because I’ve gifted virtually all of the Hikari products I’ve received (only because I don’t wear much makeup), and everybody whose used them, loves them. They say the products I’ve given them is really good quality, and the color payoff is really nice. I know we all have different tastes, and I’m just curious as to why you don’t like that brand. 🙂


I think I’ve read before it’s because of the formula and the ingredients they use


I, too, am not enthusiastic about getting HIKARI in my bag. All of the products I’ve received from them have been really bold colours that I’d never wear, so I end up gifting them. Thankfully the rest of the bag usually is good enough that I don’t feel like I’m wasting money.

Gabriella M Davidson

Man, I really wanted that purple liner. I got one in black instead :/


Not sure what your coloring is, but purple eye makeup looks really pretty with brown eyes. I occasionally wear purple eyeshadow and eyeliner and get compliments. I can’t speak to the Hikari brand, but if you have brown eyes, try purple eye makeup sometime!


same with green/hazel!!!


Overall, I like my bag. I got:

– Ciate Liquid Velvet in Pin-up (my choice and I hope the color works on)
– NYX eyeshadow in Bedroom Eyes (I was hoping for Fireball, but this is a really pretty bronze shade so I look forward to trying it)
– Porefessional primer
– REN renewal mask (good stuff, but hoping to swap because I already have this)
– Marc Anthony Argan Oil Conditioning Treatment (hope to swap; not really big on hair treatments)

Elle Em

Bag twin!

What do you think of the REN renewal mask? I haven’t tried it yet…


I think it’s good and worth trying. It kind of smells like fruit snacks, lol. I put mine up for swap because I have the same exact REN product from a Sephora Favorites set and have accumulated many masks recently from subscription boxes and Sephora.


How do you get to choose your sample for ipsy?! Please, do tell!


You can contact CS and request a product. I didn’t get an email. I wrote to them and opted out of categories and requested the tarte lip paint.


They were “trying something new out” last month and emailed some customers (I think ones that complained about their previous glam bag) asking what items we wanted. I initially didn’t get that email, but I had contacted them requesting that I never get a mauve lipstick again, which they said they can’t filter (WHY?!), so they offered to throw in the Ciate, which they called a “red,” but it’s more of a berry shade. When I saw the initial spoiler of products that indicated each person would get one of those items, I contacted them again and asked that they never send a face oil or toner to me. I don’t know that they will regularly allow us to pick an item going forward, but you can definitely contact them and name the items you don’t want. They agreed to never send a face oil or toner, and to put a hold on sending mascara, eyeliner, or highlighter for 3 months, and they said I can follow up if I change my mind about which products I don’t want.


I was excited about the purple eyeliner, but I feel like the colour goes on a little too grey. I wish that the purple colour was just a bit more noticeable!


Same. I thought it would be a dark purple but it was lighter than expected. Disappointed. Also, I had a hell of a time trying to remove the plastic wrap. Half of it is still on there.


But… is the bag red or pink? It looks red in some pictures and pink in others. Mine will be here tomorrow right after I leave for vacation!! 🙁

Elle Em

It’s one ugly pink hairy bag!


I really like the bag! Unique and fun for the holidays. 🙂


Mine was a red tone. The strap was more pink than red.


It is HOT PINK and has a weird furry texture. I don’t like it. I’m not even sure I would have liked it when I was 13-years old, and I definitely wouldn’t take this out in public as an adult. It would possibly be perfect for Elle Woods, but not my style.


I’m gifting it to a girly 10 year old. She will like it. And you are right, I don’t think even a young teen would like it. When I first saw the bag thought it was it red velour. When I zoomed in I saw it was pink and hairy.


I LOVE that hand cream! I got it in Ipsy last year and I wanted to cry when I ran out! It smells amazing!!!


I got:
Mint Pear Beauty Blending Sponge – $20
Marc Anthony Argan Oil Conditioning Treatment – $2.99
NYX Prismatic Eyeshadow in Jaded – $5.99
Tarte Maracuja Oil – $6.90
Ciate London Liquid Velvet in Pin Up – $5.70
Total: $41.58

I love everything I got, though the shadow I am iffy on the color, though it should be nice on me as a pale redhead with amber eyes. I just am unsure how I feel about green and sparkly. I have a similar color so it may be gifted. I got the Maracuja oil last month and it was actually the item I requested again for this month’s choice as I adore it.

Jennifer Williams

Hi…how do you request a certain item??? Have I missed something?


I had been vocal via email three times this past year (subscriber since 2011) and leave long reviews on my bag in it’s entirety with requests like “it would be great if we could choose ONE sample a month” or “it would be great if we had an option to click ONE item we didn’t want to receive i.e. Mascara or black eyeliner”…I received an email giving me a list of 5 items I could opt to pick one of that would be guaranteed in my bag, the shadow and the lip product were part of the list too but I really wanted the Maracuja oil against as it was fabulous last month or month before for multiple uses. I really hope they allow us an opt out for one type of item for say 3 months, like you can click a “no” on one item for three months. I would love if they kept allowing people to choose one sample you know you’ll love one every month guaranteed. I think it’s the simplest way to ensure everyone gets one thing they want to try, as I never got the item I’d hoped for from the guaranteed one of selections. I also love that they updated their quiz to include color preferences and such as well. I think if Birchbox (which I loathe) can do a sample choice then Ipsy should be able to, they are loads better with way more subscribers. I’m glad to see Ipsy switching it up a little and have gotten my first great bag in a bit. While it’s not perfect, I love 3/5 and am happy with the 4th and will at least TRY the 5th. Seems like a good direction. I definitely won’t be canceling my subscription any time soon! I also appreciate how the bags have gotten very cute this year (loved the cosmic, the Halloween, enjoyed November’s), don’t like this month’s, but I consider it a bonus anyhow usually.

Definitely contact customer service when items don’t fit your profile or categories. It’s still a discovery serving and $2 per item plus bag is still great even if you end up giving a couple away or saving them for gifts. I only contacted when 0/5 and 1/5 were matches this year. The replacement item they sent me (I chose glamglow thirstycleanse) prompted me to buy the largest size $39 retail during the Sephora Rouge sale this year. Absolutely my holy grail dry skin exfoliating every day wash!


Just contact them. I emailed and asked for the tarte lip paint and opted out of bronzer, eyeliner and highlighter.

Enithea Francis

I would like to know too, do tell !!!


I’m getting the purple liner too! My bag should be here today. I’m really excited!


With the exception of the black eyeliner and mascara I liked the products. Black is too harsh. The purple would have been a nice change. The bag is cute but I think it’s a little girlish. I know a young girl who will love the dressy feel and color of the bag.


I gifted the furry bag and the eggplant Tarteist, but am very happy with the rest. I got the hand cream, the porefessional primer, an eye brush from Mica Beauty, and a full-size mPrincess loose mineral eyeshadow in a gorgeous shimmery brown.


I’ve finally gotten my matches to almost match up with yours! All the same here except I’m getting a Marc Anthony curl cream instead of the hand cream.


Looking forward for this bag. They finally took me off waiting list after two month and sent me an email that my bag is on it’s way.

You Might Also Like

Alltrue — Win a FREE membership!
Alltrue — Win a FREE membership!
July 23, 2021
FabFitFun Fall 2021 Box – Full Spoilers
FabFitFun Fall 2021 Box – Full Spoilers
July 20, 2021
We Relaunched, We Listened, We’re Making Changes: A Note to MSA Readers About Our Latest Site Improvements
We Relaunched, We Listened, We’re Making Changes: A Note to MSA Readers About Our Latest Site Improvements
July 21, 2021
FabFitFun Fall 2021 Box – Customization 1 Spoilers
FabFitFun Fall 2021 Box – Customization 1 Spoilers
July 20, 2021
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.