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Ipsy Review – September 2017

Liz Cadman
ByLiz CadmanSep 11, 2017 | 91 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 2017 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.

Black + gold accents = exactly my style, so I’m loving the glam bag design this month! The faux pyramid stud texture is a nice addition, too.

And you get a pop of blue with the lining:

Now, on to the items!

Gellusion Gel-Effect Polish in Capricorn – FULL SIZE! Value $11

This is a 9-free, cruelty-free, vegan nail polish brand.

The formula is designed to give you a gel-look without the gel manicure. I think the look is pretty impressive. Here it is on:

I like the winter berry color! (Two coats for full coverage.)

ColourPop Brow Boss in Light Brown – FULL SIZE! Value $5

This eyebrow pencil has a twist up pencil on one side and a spoolie on the other:

The shade is probably one shade too light for me, but it still worked. I loved the precision I could get with this fine pencil, too. (Swatched in lower photo.)

Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Radiance – .25 oz Value $9.75

Smashbox primer shows up a lot in subscription boxes, but I think this is the first time I’ve seen a Radiance version sample!

It gives a beautiful overall glow and would work well even if you don’t apply foundation after. (In fact, that’s probably the only way you can truly appreciate the glow, as my full coverage foundation covered it up!)

Pixi Beauty Blush Duo in Peach Honey – 4.5 g Value $4

(This blush duo is only available in full size when paired with a Kabuki brush, so to estimate value, I’m cutting the value in half. Assuming the full-size blush is $9, and the brush is $9.)

I like Pixi products, but I’ve found that they aren’t always consistent in pigment. In this case, the darker, peachy shade has much better pigment than the lighter shade.

Here are both of the shades swatched beneath the brow pencil and the primer:

Even with the minor pigment issue, I’m loving both of these shades!

Skin Food Black Sugar Mask – .36 oz Value $1

This is a pretty small sample by Ipsy standards, but I didn’t end up liking this mask, so it really wouldn’t have made a difference if they had sent the full-size version! When I read the name “Skinfood” I assumed this would be full of ingredients that were great for you skin to “eat up” but, not so much. (BHT, Parabens, and fragrance are all in the formula.)

My other issue with this mask is the scent. I was really hoping for a sweet sugar smell, but it just smells like a cleaning product to me. Those issues aside, it did exfoliate and moisturize my skin, so I have to give them credit there.

Verdict: This box has a value of about $30.75. That’s decent for a $10 beauty subscription box, but honestly, it’s a little low for Ipsy. With the exception of the mask, I like everything in this bag. It isn’t a WOW month, but it’s solid! (And they get bonus points for the super chic bag!)

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, if you sign up in this month, you’ll get next month’s box as your first box. (And Ipsy is often in waitlist mode, so sign up asap if you are interested.)

Value Breakdown: At $10 for this box, here’s what you are paying approximately per item:

  • Nail Polish: $3.58
  • ColourPop Brow Pencil: $1.63
  • Smashbox Primer: $3.16
  • Pixi Blush Duo: $1.30
  • Mask: $.33
  • Bag – Not counted toward value

Good to know: Ipsy sends out variations. You may get a completely different bag than me.

What do you think of the September 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!
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Are you giving a $20 valuation to the bag itself?


I don’t understand your valuation of this bag. Are you giving a $20 valuation to the bag itself?


I just received my first Ipsy bag and I’m pleased with it. I received the brow pencil in dark brown, Gellusion nail polish in Capricorn (so happy that I didn’t get the blue), Dirty Little Secret lip gloss in nude beach, Smashbox primer, and re:p facial mask. I really like the design of the bag. I signed up in August and was put on the waitlist. I was not expecting to get a bag at all this month.


This is my first Ipsy bag and I love it. I requested the TaRte mascara, which I received. My other items were
* egg face wash
*smashbox primer
* I line 247 black eyeliner
*pixi by Petra blush in beach rose

Minerva Chapa

I love my bag first time i ever had one i loved the sugar mask very nice and the polish omg wonderful so shinny im very happy with it


i got to say the glam bag (just the bag) is so hot this month!! 1 of the best they’ve made so far. My contents within the bag was okay. I received another brush that I don’t need. The egg white cleanser i requested, nail polish that I never get enough of. I was happy that I got the Elizabeth eyeshadow in gun metal and not the brown color. Oh, and I got the brow pencil but I don’t need it. So the bag is awesome, the content meh


Havent’s receive my bag yet, but already seen what’s in it. Been subscribe to ipsy for 5 months and I notice I accumulated 4 mascaras and 3 eyeliners and 4 shadows that are nude. This sept bag has another mascara, which I keep getting all the time.


Is there a second review for this month coming?

orpha harper

I look forward to my ipsy bag every month, I already know what’s coming but its still exciting. its like someone is sending me a present every month, call me silly, but thats how I feel. I most agree with some of the girls, there are times that am not excited about the product, but some make up for the others, and then I just shrug and say, Uh well, lets see what comes next month…LOL…

keep it coming :0)

Pixie B

I I am posting a review simply because when I was looking I wanted a real review. I tried Ipsy for 3 months and honestly I couldn’t find it worth the money or the hassle. Maybe for younger girls but if you’re in your 30’s I was not pleased. Just my opinion. Thank you

Jennifer Suzanne Rothnie

My first Ipsy bag this month- I loved it!

I didn’t special request anything, but got both products I was hoping for (Tarte mascara and smashbox radiance primer.)

It was nice to get the full size pixie blush- it’s not a color I would have thought to try on my own, but it looks great! Great pigment and consistency on darker peach shade, but lighter shade not as well pigmented and rougher.

Also got Elizabeth Mott in toasted -was dubious until I tried it! Gorgeous shade, smooth and silly application. Stayed on all day (although I had smashbox photo finish lid primer underneath.)

Haven’t tried the two Manefit masks yet.

Overall, great first impression from Ipsy and great value for bag and products!


My bag was shipped the 10th was suppose to arrive the 16th. I noticed tracking never updated finally this morning it reached the very first destination (Raleigh N.C I live in Mi. ) and delivery changed to the 20th now!! Its not even stuck in Stow yet!!


Almost the same exact thing happened to me and I’m from MI too. Make sure it’s not your post office because it was for me and I ended up going off on Ipsy all to find out it was my post office. They really need to work on their tracking updates and what not.


That’s interesting to hear about your experience with the skinfood mask! It typically has really good ratings online.


I was thinking of getting it at one point, but then started reading the reviews on Amazon, and many said that it’s very oily and feels like putting vaseline on your face.


I’m not sure I had the same experience tbh. I really enjoyed it! But I recommend for people who got it who don’t want it on their face, use it on your hands. Give a good scrub with it on your nail beds and stuff, and your hands will be SO SOFT after. You know, if you’re looking for a different use for it. I bet it would work for feet too, but I just used a dollop for my hands. Used it twice, since I got it and I think I could manage to get two more uses for that purpose. ^_^


I received my bag, I was absolutely disappointed by it. The “sample” sizes were horrid and much too small to be considered samples. The only things I actually enjoyed besides the bad was the eyeshadow brush and the sheet masks. I’m going to give Ipsy one last shot for October and if it disappoints me i’ll cancel and stick to my BoxyCharm.


This is my second ipsy bag. I received:
-Eva-nyc zero gravity volume powder
-Beauty for Real black eyeliner
-Ciaté black magic wonderland mascara
-Colourpop VIP ultra glossy lip
-Neogen white truffle serum (requested)

I’m pretty excited about the serum and the volume powder. I get 3 sub boxes, so I’m swimming in mascara and eyeliner. And I love the color of the lip gloss.

The bag is great! Overall, I’m happy.


Has anyone received the Colorpop lipgloss in Ipsy VIP who also received the Vasanti lipgloss in Supermom a few months back? I’m wondering how similar they are. I’m hesitant to open mine and try it out because then I can’t swap it, and they look very similar in the tube 🙁


Hi, I received both. To me similar formula but I’m not an expert and like them both. The ipsy VIP color is a brighter pink. I thought maybe to pink for me then tried it and it was not bad. Two different colors I swatched they do look similar in the tube though. Not sticky imo I like both. Good luck.


All new point rewards are up!


I kinda love mine… I got the Luxie brush, the Smashbox primer, the Elizabeth Mott eyeshadow in Gunmetal, the Skin Food (meh), and the Beauty For Real pencil in a really pretty beige-ish color with shimmer. But my pencil won’t roll up or down, I think it’s broken. I’m going to ask for a replacement.

As a side note: Is anyone else experiencing loading issues in the app… specifically when you access your account info? I’ve reinstalled twice, but it keeps getting stuck loading my account. The rest of the app works fine.


Yeah, mine keeps asking me to update the app, but there is no update to download.

The Rach

I uninstalled the app then reinstalled it. After doing that 2x, it magically worked!
Good luck!


I’m on the fence this month. When I saw my preview I was really excited. But now that I have it in my hands I’m not so much. I got the Adesse nail color in Deception, which I love. Great fall tone and I love this brand. I got a Luxie angled shadow brush, another win. Two Manefit masks that are okay. But the two other items, Smash box primer and Pixi blush are total duds. I have oily shiny skin so anything with shimmer just makes me look like an oil slick. Plus the sub boxes and their non stop highlighters… I’m over it. I feel like I get 3 a month. Where one of them could last me up to a year, I have about 30 different ones. Oh well. I do at least really love 2 items and the bag, so it’s still worth it.


I got the exact same bag! Immediately put the nail polish on, love it! My pixi blush arrived crushed so I emailed Ipsy support and got a reply within the hour that they will be sending me a replacement product.


Got my first glam bag today. Not impressed. The bag was the best thing. The eyeshadow brush I’ll use. The masks are okay. The eyeshadow looks like something from the dollar store. Same with the color pop lipstick and the blush. Giving it another month then deciding if going to continue with Ipsy.


This was a great ipsy month for me. I think the bag design is just meh, but they really delivered with the content.

-ColourPop Lippie Stix- Love the color and the matte x formula

-Luxie brush- Love Luxie and I can always use more eyeshadow brushes

-E Nature Sleeping Pack- I’m a big fan of Korean skincare (switched to a Korean multistep routine in January and it’s done wonders for my skin) and I’m actually almost out of my usual sleep mask. This is a good sample size and I’m looking forward to trying it.

-Elizabeth Mott eyeshadow in Gunmetal- Thank GOD thy finally didn’t give me a brown eyeshadow (aka literally the only color that I never wear). This actually swatched nicely and I may use it.

-Adesse nail polish- This color made me gag online (not in a good way), but it’s more of a tolerable gray irl. Probably won’t wear it still, but I don’t hate the color as much as I thought I would.

3/5 full size products ain’t bad


OOOoh you got lucky with that Elizabeth Mott. It’s pretty.


I got my glam bag last night. I like it. What I most enjoyed receiving was the makeup bag. Immediately put my stuff in it and placed inside my purse. It makes the perfect match. I got face masks, a pixi blush, a liner, the tarte mascara and the smashbox primer. This was a good bag for me.

Trish Bell

Sorry. Just to clarify both the actual value and the glam break down value are extremely helpful.
Thanks so muchly.

Trish Bell

Thank you so much for the itemized break down. Please make that standard info if your able to. It helps me in trades and also to decide how high to go on eBay when purchasing an item I didn’t receive in my glam bag but wanted to try. ( sometimes the prices are crazy ) so this would really be helpful.
Thank you so much.


I don’t want to start an angry chain, I just wonder sometimes why people feel the need to come here, a place that is not an official ipsy site, to complain about what they got in their bag or to announce that they are unsubscribing. Just unsubscribe and go. The comments are not reaching ipsy officials, just people who came here to read about the products and spoilers. Anyway, I just wonder why people always drop a note saying they are cancelling when they should really just tell ipsy people, through ipsy cares or their official facebook or wherever. Seems kind of like pointless whining. Anyway… sorry if this starts a comments war. Maybe me complaining about that here is the same as people complaining about not liking their $10 glam bag.


This is a discussion board. About subscription boxes. That’s why people do it.


I have to disagree. I find all the info great as I’m researching which subscription to try. I have bought other products/services & I know if I say the word cancel it’s usually due to frustration. These things are to give us a little bit, something to get excited about. So I’m definitely not trying to add stress or disappointment. Not being hateful, just wanted to express my opinion that all types of reviews. Have a great day & stay beatiful!!


I agree. I love ipsy it’s ten dollars and fun. If I don’t want my products I give them away.
I’m tired of the complaining also.


I really appreciate those negative comments, honestly! I go to sites like this BECAUSE I want honest opinions, so that kind of feedback helps me (a) decide if I want to subscribe to a box that I’m on the fence about and (b) put a finger on what’s been bothering me about a box I do subscribe to. Sometimes a box is great except for a few factors, or it’s been doing something differently, or I’ve been making a mistake that’s leaving me dissatisfied and end up finding a solution here. I definitely don’t see a point in comments like “I HATE IPSY,” but hey, if ya gotta get it out, ya gotta get it out, and better here than to some poor customer service stranger.


I do understand that for sure. I think for me it’s the comments that are just “I hate my bag, cancelled!” or something. Not helpful and I wonder who they are complaining to or what they hope to get from it much of the time beyond the satisfaction of shouting to other people who may be dissatisfied. I also like honest criticism and feedback, and that’s why I read the comments too. Anyway, I appreciate the levelheaded responses and lack of flame war here, even if others disagree with my original post. I love when people can calmly bring up points I may have missed, thank you. ^_^


I agree with you. I don’t understand why they post those things on Ipsy’s facebook page either. Nobody cares. If you aren’t happy with it, cancel your account. I feel like the ONLY reason they post it is to see if CS will offer them something to stay. Smh.


If you look closely Liz always has an open ended question like “what did you think” on her reviews. The purpose of the forum is to share opinion! I counter with “why do you come here to read these comments if get on your last nerve”? Just ignore the forum and tell Ipsy what you think and move on.

Sharon Seneker

Yes, and go on and on about a cosmetic or bag they don’t like that cost less than $1.70 each (dividing 5 items + bag into $10)!


I have the bag, the blush and the cleanser up for swap. I kept a nice brush and something else. Don’t remember so it must of have been useable but forgettable. Might be time to let Ipsy go.

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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.