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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.

Ipsy Review – December 2017

Liz Cadman
ByLiz CadmanDec 15, 2017 | 34 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.

This is one of my favorite designs of the year – I love the ice blue and silver winter colors, and the band of glitter is a perfect accent!

(One word of warning though, there is a small amount of glitter fall out.)

Now, on to the items!

Barefoot Venus Wild Flower Mini Instant Hand Repair – Retail Value $6.50

This cream delivers on the “hand repair” promise! It’s a rich formula that absorbs almost instantly and doesn’t leave a greasy finish. I normally prefer unscented hand creams, but this floral one is subtle, so it doesn’t bother me.

Seraphine Botanicals Orange + Cream Lip Polish – FULL SIZE! Value $18

This might be my favorite item in the box. It’s ingredient conscious, and I love the orange creamsicle flavor!

Smashbox Always On Gel Liner in Fishnet – .03 oz Value $13.50

True to its name, this eyeliner glides on and stays put. The pigment is excellent, and it doesn’t budge once it sets after a few seconds! Here it is swatched:

Lottie London Nail Polish in riot! – FULL SIZE! Value $8

This is a micro shimmer blue nail polish that feels very appropriate for winter!

Here it is on:

I got nearly full coverage in one coat, but add two coats just to be covered. (It takes a while to completely dry.)

MAC In Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash – 1 g Value $1.77

This is a tiny mascara sample, but I like the formula! Great length and lash separation with multiple coats – not so much with volume, but the resulting look is natural, long lashes!


Verdict: This box has a value of about $47.77. I’m happy with that value, I love the bag itself, and everything is usable for me, too!

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. (Check out our Ipsy Spoilers to see what’s coming up next)

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

  • Hand Cream: $1.36
  • Lip Scrub: $3.77
  • Eyeliner: $2.83
  • Nail Polish: $1.67
  • Mascara: $.37
  • 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 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!
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I am on the waitlist and I do not use social media so I can’t skip the line. Does anyone know how long it takes to get off the list or is there another way to get started without social media?


I read a lot of your reviews and signed up for other subscription services because of your reviews. I looked so forward to this one but this one didn’t work out at all. I subscribed for a 3 month subscription and after paying my page suddenly said I was on a wait list BUT I can skip it if I share their site on social media. Uh. . . no! THAT wasn’t part of signing up. I just paid and nowhere did it say there was a wait list prior to paying nor they would hold my membership hijacked unless I shared or wait out the wait list. I e-mailed them and said there was nothing stating the wait list prior to paying and they reassured me my box will be sent sometime next month (of course no date given). I said I’m not waiting over a month for something to be sent out (and then wait for shipping time) when I just paid in full and I’m not sharing their site until I get the boxes to see if I like it or not. If I’m on a wait list I wanted to cancel then suddenly I get an e-mail stating there isn’t a wait list for 24 hours starting on Dec. 18th. I contacted customer service again saying if I can do that then keep my subscription. No response. I e-mailed back after another day and said I’m very confused as to what is going on with my account. The employee told me that the that offer ended on the 14th. I sent him a snap shop of the e-mail and now I’m done. Way too confusing, unprofessional, bad communication, no phone number to call. The worse subscription service ever.


I don’t dislike the tiny MAC mascara samples but I do mind getting them in the ipsy bag it’s like a company is cheating by giving you one of the normally “free” items and counting it as a regular item as ipsy is doing. Last time I placed an order online for MAC I was able to choose 7 of these mascara samples. It annoys me when the beauty subscriptions send sample size items that normally comes free with purchase. I wonder how much ipsy paid to get a crap ton of these little mascaras to put in this months bag. So now I have almost a dozen of these little things. Still they are good to throw into my purse (to be lost) and I get to try the different mascaras but is it really worth being included as an item in the ipsy bag? To me this would have been better as an extra freebie for the month.


Technically I think ipsy gets all of their products for free, so it’s just a matter of what brands are interested in parting with! I think ipsy likes to be able to advertise higher-end products, but these products don’t necessarily need the exposure (they make the most money if they don’t have to part with much product but still get a few extra buyers, given their prices) so higher-end products tend to end up sample-sized.

That’s honestly why I’m pretty okay with getting super cheap samples in my bags! A full-sized product, even if it’s only worth $3, is more exciting to me than $3 worth of super expensive mascara.

Vicki Landers

I always carry the black bag that looks like Ostrich leather.


I just googled hack ipsy and it came up. I sent the link, but I don’t see it here.


Such a disappointment this month. Ipsy really dropped the ball on mine this month. I’ve been with Ipsy for 2 years and this bag makes the top 3 worst ever. The bag is cute but again, that really cheap, loud crinkly lining? I just don’t get it… Keep your profile updated. Do your reviews. I do but it does not seem to be helping at all. I’m glad I spent 500 points on a tiny 10ml tube of bb cream that used to be 250 points last year. Otherwise, I would only be keeping 1 thing besides the bag, the tiny tube of Tony Moly. The rest, 1 repeat mask-stocking stuffer, LUXIE eyeshadow brush-stocking stuffer (yes, I know, it’s a LUXIE brush! Awesome! I know! But I don’t wear eyeshadow… But the eyeshadow brushes just keep coming…) trestique mini eyebrow pencil in AMERICANO- it’s so dried out it’s just not possible to use. Plus, the shade, espresso would have been the right match. I actually had to heat it up like cheap eyeliner just so I could swatch the color. It’s completely useless. NYX eyeliner in burnt sienna- I don’t use eyeliner either but they just keep sending it! I don’t get it. And the brand? Not quite sure how Ipsy could put down cheap cosmetics AND those who use them but turn around and send them out to subscribers. I don’t really care that it’s full size. I seriously can’t even give this thing away. Lol! Time to have a little chat with Ipsy… I really don’t want to cancel and give up on my first and favorite sub but if I’m going to be spending $10 per month on something, there needs to be more than 1 item I can use. Looking back, this seems to be happening about every 3rd bag. Any suggestions on what to say to Ipsy would be appreciated.


I received the Americano shade last time and the shade actually worked out for me. It wasn’t hard either maybe I got lucky.


Write to them and request to opt out of the shadow and liner and shadow brushes or whichever 3 things you use least. You can opt out of 3 things.


Thank you liina. I thought we could opt out of something but did not know we could opt out of 3. I appreciate your time and advice.


Sounds like you should email them and tell them you want to cancel since there’s no pleasing you.


I’ve been really happy with my ipsy bag lately. I also got the nail polish and lip polish but havent tried it yet.


I swear I could scream. I would’ve taken any item from this bag. Instead I got a bright red lipstick and a purple Nyx eyeliner and neither can I even GIVE away, lol. I’ve actually written to beg customer service for nail polish since it’s the one item I’m always looking to sample new brands for but I have yet to see any at all. In my beauty profile I made sure from the beginning I only checked “neutrals” for lips and eyes, and still I get RED or some other weird, totally unsuitable color. I’m skipping January because of the ugly bag, but if February comes and goes and still absolutely nothing I’ve expressed interest in, I’ll have to let ipsy go. I wonder if they realize how many of these unwanted items just find their way into landfills? It’s like a form of littering.


The only match I got was the mascara. I really like my bag I got the colors I wanted and a full size perfume worth $39. I got the shimmer shadow in Its a Girl which I really wanted and the Steve Laurent in Pink although its pretty clear on. I put my city color shadow over the gloss on my lips though and it makes a pretty lip color too!


My luxie brush was bent and messed up. Also, the lip scrub is so greasy and hardly any “scrub” to it. Maybe mine is bad? Those were 2 items I most wanted and am completely disappointed.


If the brush is bad you can email ipsy care and get a replacement.


Thanks, Jenai! I sent a pic.


My Lucie brush was snapped in half. I sent them a photo and I already have tracking on a new one. Let them know, they’ll make it right.

Vicki Landers

I have 2 sub’s. In one was Promise Organic Milk Daily Scrub, a Luxie Precision Shader or Shaper brush, a Rodial mascara, the Chok Chok green tea watery cream and Smashbox pencil eyeliner in Fishnet. Other bag: I Love Extreme Crazy Volume mascara by Essence, another Promise Organic scrub, another Smashbox liner in Fishnet, another Luxie brush, and a Lisa Frank Glamour Dolls eye-shadow in Stargazer Shimmering eye-shadow.
Read online today how to “hack” the Ipsy profile and get more of what you really want. It isn’t actual hacking. I guess I’ll see next month if I get more non repeat products.


Please share!!!


Please share the link for the hack. Thanks!!!


I wanted the lip scrub so bad. Instead I got a coconut coffee body scrub. I’ll be passing that on.


I only got 4 items and one was a Lisa Frank eye shadow. Is this a joke? Not impressed.


I loved the bag this month.


I loved my bag this month – totally different from yours – but i had my fingers crossed I’d get the purple/red metallic eyeshadow, and I did!!! Immediately put it on for my holiday party last night, it’s a shade unlike any I own already 🙂


I got that shadow too, but was afraid to try it cause it’s so dark lol.


Yeah, I am pale and that shadow made me look like I was sick with allergies. 😟


I love this bag too! The colors are beautiful 😍 I did get completely different items from yours and my fave this month was the full size Ofra ☓ Ipsy – Ipsy Unzipped..the color is perfect for my skin tone and their formula is so comfortable that I forgot I was wearing it lol 😂 great review Liz and I’m loving the value of my Ipsy bag lately, I think I’ve got the hang of their system now 😍✨💖


I wanted the Ofra in Ipsy unzipped but got the Smash box red lipstick. Not a shade I can wear! My mom could though so I passed it off to her.


Bag envy! That hand cream is my absolute favorite in the whole world, would have loved more!! I got the Lottie Riot polish and lip scrub like you, but also the Smashbox lipstick, Luxie shadow brush, and Pixi eyeshadow duo instead. The latter three are currently up for swap. I think it’s because I’m opted out of eyeliner that I didn’t get your bag, darn. Glad you got a good bag and thanks for the review! ^_^


Only reason i subscribed was the bag


I agree. That hand cream is amazing and th scent is a sweet subtle floral. I envy you too!


For once I love the nail polish color and I didn’t get it!
I’m actually okay with what I did get though!

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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.