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Ipsy Review – May 2017

Jira Sai
ByJira SaiMay 13, 2017 | 103 comments

4 overall rating
1863 Ratings | 350 Reviews

Note from Liz: I’m so happy to introduce our newest reviewer to the MSA team! Welcome, Jira!

Ipsy is a monthly beauty and makeup subscription box. Each month you get full-size or deluxe-sized beauty products, plus a cute makeup bag. I think Ipsy is perfect for anyone who likes to discover and try new beauty items before committing to full-sized products!

(FYI – Just like BirchboxIpsy 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) or $110 for yearly subscription

The Products: Full-size and samples of makeup and beauty products (including makeup, skincare, hair care, and nail care), plus a makeup bag!

Ships to: U.S. and Canada

Delivered via: USPS

Check out all of our 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!

Ipsy’s theme for this month is ‘Summer Friday’, and everything was chosen for those ‘fun in the sun’ moments!

The bag design was inspired by pool floats and ice cream, my favorite dessert! I also like the fact that it’s transparent and water resistant! This is my 4th Ipsy glam bag and I think they keep getting better!

Now, onto the items!

Mellow Cosmetics – Creamy Matte Lipstick in Nude – FULL SIZE! Value $13

I’ve never tried any products from this brand before, but from a quick search, Mellow is a makeup brand from New Zealand. Their products are Cruelty Free, Vegan, and Paraben Free!

This lipstick provides great pigmentation with a matte finish. It feels comfortable on my lips and also has an impressive lasting power.  (I had noodles for lunch and I didn’t need any touch up afterwards.) It has a sweet vanilla scent, but doesn’t really linger. If you are not a big fan of liquid lipstick, I think this lipstick is a good substitute. The shade is definitely far from being ‘nude’ like its name suggested though. To me, it looks more like mauve-ish pink tone, which is very wearable on me!

(Swatched in lower photo.)

Urban Decay – Afterglow in Sin2.4 g – Value $9 (Full size 6.8 g Value $26)

I can’t help but notice that subscription boxes have been sending a lot of highlighters lately, but I love Urban Decay products! I own a few of their Naked Palettes and lipsticks, so I’m very happy to try their highlighter.

This highlighter is said to last for at least 8 hours, and it did just that on my oily-combination skin after I set my makeup with a setting spray. It has a beautiful champagne gold color which gives me a perfect natural glow without being glittery. It was so natural that I had to pack it with my fingers to make it visible in the photo down below.

I popped this little pan into my magnetic palette. From the above picture, you can see that it’s about the same size as my eyeshadows from Makeup Geek and Colourpop.

(Swatched in lower photo.)

Starlooks Artist Edition – Luxe Longwear Star Stamp + Liner Pen – Full size? Value $19 (or $10.07 with their subscription program)

This eyeliner is so unique and creative! You get a black felt tip applicator on one side and a cute tiny star stamp on the other. Other stamp patterns like smiley faces and hearts are also available on their website.

To be honest, I prefer brush tip applicators for my liquid eyeliner, so it was quite a challenge for me to ‘wing’ my eyes using this. I ended up getting a much thicker line than I normally would. With that said, I think the formula of this liner is really good. It was matte and lasted all day on my eyes without budging.  The star stamp is a fun addition, but with my age being close to 30, I don’t see myself wearing them anytime soon. (Maybe Halloween?)

Here are the swatches of Urban Decay highlighter, Mellow lipstick, and the Starlooks eyeliner:

Adesse New York – Organic Infused Gel Effect Nail Lacquer in Surfer Girl – FULL SIZE! Value $18

Another full-size item? Yes, please! From a quick look at their website, all of their products are made in New York and are named after famous locations and people here, too. (Madison Square and Belvedere Castle, for example, how cool is that?!)

This nail polish is 5 Free, Cruelty-Free, Paraben Free, Sulfate Free, Vegan, and the formula is infused with organic bamboo extract, argan oil, and shea oil. It is said to “give your nails the ‘plump’ look of a gel manicure without a UV or LED lamp.”

Here’s how it looks on my medium warm skin tone. It wasn’t the easiest nail polish to work with, but after 2 coats and a top coat, I really like the result! The formula made my nails look smooth and even, despite the fact that I have an uneven nail surface! The color is fun and perfect for summer as well.

Luxie Beauty – Luxie Dreamcatcher Precision Foundation Brush 660 – Value $23

All the brushes Ipsy sent me so far are right up my alley! This gorgeous light blue foundation brush is no different. I love everything and anything in pastel!

Like the other Luxie brush I received from Ipsy, the bristle of this brush is so soft! It has a round semi-flat shape that works well with liquid foundations. I tried it with my Tarte Water Foundation today and really like the natural-looking yet flawless result this brush helped provide.

Here is the look I completed using everything from my May Ipsy bag, including foundation brush, highlighter, eyeliner, and lipstick, and a close-up look of this star-liner.

Verdict: This box has a value of about $82 (and that doesn’t count the value of the makeup bag)!!  That’s amazing for a $10 beauty subscription box, and I think it’s my favorite glam bag yet!! I was a bit bummed at first for not getting the Estée Lauder foundation, but I think the other products made up for it. I also really appreciate that Ipsy seems to take my feedback seriously and curate the products they send me accordingly.

What do you think of the May 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.
Jira Sai
Jira Sai
Jira discovered the world of subscription boxes when she first moved to New York in 2017 (subscription box is not a thing in her home country!). Thanks to MSA, she's now subscribed to almost 10 beauty and lifestyle boxes, with FabFitFun, BeautyFIX, and Clean Beauty Box as her favorites. Ps. Her boyfriend thinks that she's only subscribed to Ipsy, so please keep this a secret between us ;-)

Jira Sai
Jira Sai
Jira discovered the world of subscription boxes when she first moved to New York in 2017 (subscription box is not a thing in her home country!). Thanks to MSA, she's now subscribed to almost 10 beauty and lifestyle boxes, with FabFitFun, BeautyFIX, and Clean Beauty Box as her favorites. Ps. Her boyfriend thinks that she's only subscribed to Ipsy, so please keep this a secret between us ;-)
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Mary Fasig

Signed up, got past the waitlist. Received a notice that bag has been shipped and would be here by 15, (shipped on May 8) – Today is June 2, no bag has come. Does not appear it will be delivered. I have cancelled my subscription.

Seems sketchy – not impressed


I love the mellow lipstick, I have the same one and it looks very nude on me.


My bag is NEVER as good as the ones you guys at mysub get!


Hello. How long does it take for you to get your first bag?


If ur off the waitlist then u will get ur bag sometime this month, u can ck whether its been shipped or not frm ur acct page and if it has been shipped then u can track it and find out the day it will be delivered, hope this answered ur question 😀


Did anyone else notice a strong odor with the bag? It’s very cute, but smells. I’m hoping the smell will dissipate. I love my IPSY, and the month would have been perfect except for the odor.


Hello. How long does it take for you to get your first bag?


Yeah, the bag stinks, but it’s the normal clear plastic smell. It will get better.


I honestly didn’t notice any particular (or offensive) smell, and I had two bags this month.


I got 3 full sized products in this month’s bag which hasn’t ever happened-the Luxie brush (which I love) the Adesse nail polish (it’s ok-you need several coats to get an even, opaque result) and a CAILYN lippie. I’ve been a subscriber since Jan 2017 and my first 2 bags were less than impressive but they’ve really kicked it up. I might opt out of lipsticks because I’ve got way too many, and mostly all the same shade (from subs). I love getting brushes-can never go wrong.


What color is the Caitlyn lip color?


Hi Everyone, I tried an unusual tactic with Ipsy. I’ve been unhappy with them for a while but everyone else seemed to be getting pretty good bags. I’d been a subscriber almost since the beginning, since early 2012. What I did was sub to a second bag. My happiness level went WAY UP! Between the two bags, it seems like I’m now getting a really good spread of goodies! I originally thought my first account was totally screwed up with the answers or something, and I might quit the first one, after I’d tested the second. But for now I’m delighted with both!

First and original sub:
UD Afterglow Sin
Beauty & Pinups Fearless Hair Rescue Masque
Starlooks Pro Luxe Pen – Artist Edition
Pacifica Palette – Island Life
IT Superhero Mascara

Second sub:
UD Afterglow – Sin
Jelly Pong Pong Eyeshadow Duo in Supercharged
Adesse Nail Lacquer – Surfer Girl
Cailyn Pure Lust Extreme Matte Tint + Velvet
IT Superhero Mascara


Did you set up completely different profiles for the two subs?


I also have 2 accounts and keep all answers different for the 2 accounts and have no received duplicates yet and I love it! I do keep all my review answers honest.


Honestly, I would subscribe just for the bag. It’s so cute and unlike previous bags!


I too love that you both swatch and model the makeup. Always great to see. And I laughed at your profile where you said your bf only knows you’re subscribed to Ipsy. Mine only knows about Glossybox, so he assumes all my stuff is from Glossybox, and he’s always asking me how much it costs. He would flip just to know Glossybox is $21/month, let alone if he knew how much I really spend on subs. But it’s my money – I work a part time second job just so support my beauty and subscription habits.


OMG I could make a house payment with what I spend! Totally addicted!


I was so excited to get this clear, waterproof bag and was so disappointed when it arrived. it came wrapped in tissue paper but the UD highlighter had “paint” from the pattern on the bag on it. there was also transfer from the “paint” on the clear parts of the bag. i could easily scratch the paint off the design with my fingernail. i don’t know if anyone else had this problem but i would be careful using this bag. i don’t think the design is going to last long!


Great review and I love the nail polish on you. Now I’m excited about getting it! Thanks! 😉


Welcome, Jira! 🙂


I’m pretty new to ipsy, this was only my second bag, but I’m totally blown away by the value of this bag! My April stuff was good but I LOVE my May products. I got the Luxie brush, the highlighter/ bronzer duo, eyeshadow palette, hey honey lip balm, and Pixi eyeliner in the gold color. I figured the value to be over $70! I wish I had signed up for ipsy a long time ago!


I too, have only been a subscriber for two months and wish I could have subscripted earlier. I haven’t received my bag yet but whn I look on the site it tells what I’ll be receiving Wens. I’m so excited, The Luxie Brush, bronzer/highligher duo, IT Superhero mascara, cream eyeshadow(single) and lip balm. I can’t wait to review ALL the products.


Is it just me or we can no longer review each product?! I dont have the option under each product as before!! does that mean they cancelled the points for reviewing like birchbox did? :O
I can review the whole bag for 10 points but not the individual products

Rishana Hurtado

You should email them and see why,because I can still review each individual product. You’re definately getting less points that way,as you’ve pointed out. That stinks! 😊


You can but it takes a few days after you receive your bag to review. It might be to give us time to use the products for a more accurate review. That’s just my opinion b you should be able to review it now


Sandra the individual rating will be available when everyone gets their bag, no they did not get rid of it.


Oh, good.
I thought it should already be out… Glad to hear its just not available yet 🙂


Yeah, I was trying to figure it out when another commenter said she could upvote/downvote stuff on Ipsy, but I wasn’t able to find any such options…


I wish they would send you multiple bags to review so we can know the value of the bags that have the substitute products. I did not get the full sized nail polish but instead a travel sized hand lotion. I think these substitutes would dramatically bring down the value of the bags. My full sized Mellow Cosmetics – Creamy Matte Lipstick was replaced by a lip liner crayon. I don’t think my bag was anywhere close to $82.


I agree- I wasn’t happy with my bag at all and truly feel like they don’t read my reviews.


Some months have a lower value than because they don’t have one standard bag with substitutes (like Boxycharm does). Instead, they curate your bags to fit your personal profile and your reviews of products. If you prefer more nail polish and less hand lotions write in and let them know. You can also tell them that you don’t want up to three categories of products. Their C.S. is fantastic and they really aim to please!

I have had bags as low as $40 and as high as $85 but it seems like they try to even it out if they give you a lower value bag the month before. For a $10 bag it is a steal regardless, in my humble opinion.


Hi! What do you mean we can write to them to not receive 3 categories of products? Can you please explain because I would like to write to them! Thank you


My bag is almost identical to yours, but I didn’t get that cute eyeliner. Instead I got the Jelly Pong Pong eyeshadow duo, which retails for $22.95! I also found the nail polish a little hard to work with, but the color is so beautiful that I don’t mind. This was my first Ipsy bag, and the total cost was just shy of $86, so I’m overall extremely happy.


I agree…I didn’t get this nail polish, but I have had this brand sent to me in other boxes. It’s really thick and hard to spread, takes forever to dry. I almost never hate a nail polish, and I hate this brand. Too bad since they have so many beautiful colors, but I’m glad this one isn’t in my bag. Ipsy overall is great though, and I am so glad to have it.


I got a terrific bag this month! I received the Luxie foundation Brush, the Pacifica eye shadow palette, the Mellow lipstick, a small bronzer/highlighter duo from MannaKadar and a really nice deluxe size of Hemp pomegranate scented body lotion. I’ve purchased it previously and it smells amazing! I was super happy with all of it!


The bronzer highlightet combo is full size believe it or not I got it as well.


I really liked my items this months too! I got the IT Mascara, the leave in conditioning spray, pixi eyeliner pencil, UD highlighter, and a BB cream… not bad.


I cant wait to get that eyeliner, but im with u….i will be 40 this year and am a bit to old to wear it on my face so i was thinking of stamping a cple stars on my feet when i wear flip flops or cute sandles 😀😉

Miss E

I’ll be 42 (the ‘meaning of life, the universe & everything’ age!! I wish…) at the end of the month & when I didn’t get the stamp eyeliner in my bag – I bought it. Starlooks has or had an-almost half off deal without subscription when I purchased, so I got the heart stamp too. 🙂 The code is ‘Artist10′ if anyone’s interested & it’s still available. I’m not great at drawing things (that are supposed to look like actual THINGS) freehand with make-up so for people who are all-thumbs like me, it’s great!

I do like the idea of stamping your feet when wearing sandals; such a cool & creative way to use this, Christine!!! But I’m not gonna let my age prevent me from wearing ’em on my face, and I say that to encourage, not to reproach anybody for whom this is a concern. You like it?!? You do it, Girl! 🙂

The inner ‘Fop’ in me who LOVES the concept of powdered wigs, bustles & fans just LEAPED at the chance to use this for elaborate beauty marks, which works with the Rock Chick I still am (while now contributing to my 401K & needing a full 7 hours sleep a night during the week. Hahahaha) While I’m sure there’s 20-year-olds who wouldn’t feel the stamp was for them. It’s not age, it’s simply what appeals to you. Make-up, esp your downtime make-up, is supposed to be FUN! 🙂 If it appeals to you, to hell with what other people think – and they’ll probably think you’re cool. And if they don’t, well, they can look the other way! I mean; Sorry Cosmo – I’m gonna be buried in my leather jacket & mini skirt. 😉

And I think it’s pretty awesome of Ipsy that they don’t exclude us Over 40 Gals from the more adventurous products just because we ‘passed’ some non-existent ‘age-limit’. I love how inclusionary they are as a company; their MAs are all different cultures & races & genders (How cute is that Gabriel guy?!?) Actually, it’d be great if they had a Featured MA who’s a bit older too but maybe they’re working on that. 🙂


Miss E ….i just want to thank you for your response to my comment, its a dreary rainy (extremely hectic) friday morning for me and you put a huge smile on my face….i needed that! So from the bottom of my ❤….Thank you!
(U never know when u might touch someone’s life and make a difference, and u deff did 😉)


I see a lot of people posting how they can’t use the stars because of their age? I am 43 and I would have worn it on my face. If you don’t like something then don’t wear it but don’t let age stop you.


Well, where would you go though with a star (or stars) on your face? I’d say this is one of those things that doesn’t work for real-life activities at any age – only maybe a party or a rave.




Great review & very informative! I just signed up, so i’m not sure if I’m getting this bag, but I hope if I do I get the star eyeliner!


I believe with Ipsy you get signed up for the next months bag. So, your first bag would be June. You have to sign up by the 25th (I believe) of the previous month. So, in order to have received May’s bag, you would have had to sign up by April 25th.

It’s a great subscription though, definitely worth the money!


I signed up in early March and my subscription was due to start April, but emailed them saying I loved the March bag design and asking if I could start early and they let me start in March! Not sure how late into the month they’d be able to do that though – this month’s bags have already shipped after all! 😮

My bag was the same as Jira’s but with Trestique mini lipstick in Tuscan Wine instead of Mellow lipstick, great because nudes never work for me 😀

Jira Sai

Hi Vanessa, thank you for your comment! I hope you get this bag too 🙂


Hi Jira, this review was really great! I love that you went into detail about each item by giving us information about the company and your personal experience after using the product. Such an informative review instead of just saying “this is the item”. I really appreciate it, thank you!

Jira Sai

Hi Catherine, thank you for your kind feedback 🙂 I’m glad you liked this review, and I hope you like your bag too!


Welcome Jira!! Great review. Wish I had gotten that star stamp. ;P


Would haved loved to receive that star stamp eyeliner! Great review !
I received my first ipsy bag the other day and I am loving ipsy so far. I received a mask, the mellow lipstick, the same brush, the mana kadar highlighter/bronzer duo, and the Pacifica eyeshadow palette. Overall, I am very pleased with my first ipsy bag. Hope they continue.


I bought a heart and star tattoo stick made by milk from Sephora a few weeks ago and love them! They are so fun to play with! They’re around $11 for anyone looking for them. They seem to be higher quality than the starlooks brand,
just going by the pics in the review.


Great first post, Jira! I really like your overall look photos at the end.

My bag was almost the same. I had the Pacifica shadow palette instead of the Mellow lipstick, which is definitely due to the fact that I’ve downvoted the lipsticks I’ve received & upvoted shadows in every review. I feel like the algorithm is working for me. I’ve been very pleased these past few months.


How do you upvote or downvote individual products on Ipsy?


By using their ratings system in my reviews. “Upvote” and “downvote” probably aren’t the best terminology. I use the “love it!” and “not for me” choices as much as I can, rather than “like it” or “just okay.” (Are these even the ones they use now? I can’t remember offhand. I think it might be just 3 review choices now.)


Great review! So jealous you got the star stamp liner! I’m already 30 but it’s so darn cute, I’ll need to swap for it!


I love the star stamp too. I’m 38 but would totally rock it!

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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.