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Ipsy Review – March 2018

Liz Cadman
ByLiz CadmanMar 17, 2018 | 46 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 month’s bag is a black and white design with pink zipper accents.

And Ipsy included two markers to color this bag as well:

The ink on these wasn’t the best. The green one was pretty messy:

Still fun, though!

Now, on to the items!

Benefit BADgal Bang Mascara – .1 oz Value $8

I’m so glad Ipsy included this brand new Benefit release in the bag this month! This is officially my new favorite mascara – it made my lashes SO LONG! (I love it so much I just bought more for backup.)

I was surprised to see it doesn’t get only 5-star reviews on Sephora, but it seems like some people had issues with clumping. I didn’t apply enough layers to have any clumping issues, but I only needed 2 layers to have amazingly long lashes. I actually said “Wow!” out loud when I first applied this.

I think the trick is to go slow, let the formula somewhat dry before applying the second layer (if you need it), and make sure to remove any excess product from the wand before applying.

Nip + Fab Exfoliate Glycolic Scrub Fix – 20 ml Value $2.65

I tried this and I loved it – it has a light grapefruit scent, and the micro exfoliant is gentle enough that I could use it daily. But after using it I looked at the ingredients and realized that it is made with microbeads.

Tarte Sex Kitten Eyeliner – .1 g Value $10

This eyeliner goes on smoothly, is super pigmented, and doesn’t budge once it sets. (It’s designed for tightlining, so it’s waterproof, too.)

(Swatched in lower photo.)

Steve Laurant Lip Oil in Orchid – FULL SIZE! Retail Value $18

This lip oil is tinted oil in the tube but goes on completely clear. The finish is glossy but not too sticky.

Here it is swatched beneath the eyeliner:

Not sure if you can even see the gloss in this picture!

Ahava Time to Clear Purifying Mud Mask – 20 ml Value $7

I’m sampled this before and I’m a fan for two reasons:

  • This is a 2-minute mask! (Yay for quick beauty treatments!)
  • It makes my skin feel super soft!

Verdict: This box has a value of about $45.65. I think that’s a great value, and I’m happy with the sizes of the items and the glam bag design this month, too! The mascara is such a great discovery for me, and almost everything else is a hit.

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:

  • Mascara:  $1.75
  • Eyeliner: $2.19
  • Lip Gloss: $3.94
  • Nip + Fab: $.59
  • Ahava: $1.53
  • 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 March 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 absolutely obsessed with the Benefit mascara. I had already bought the sample size and I loved it so much I immediately got a full size one. It is amazing. It’s my new go-to mascara!


Sorry, where does it list on the Nip+Fab ingredient list that there are microbeads? I read the Forbes article and none of the listed items appear on the Nip+Fab tube. Did I miss it?


I’m so confused; the ingredient list on Nip+Fab’s website lists the 3rd ingredient as polyethylene, but it’s totally different on Ipsy’s site.

Per Ipsy:
Aqua (Water), Hydrated Silica, Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Triethanolamine, Glycolic Acid, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Parfum (Fragrance), Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Salicylic Acid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Dehydroacetic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, CI 42090 (FD&C Blue No. 1) Benzyl benzoate. Limonene. Geraniol. Butylphenyl Methylpropional.

Per Nip+Fab
Aqua (Water), Triethanolamine, Polyethylene, Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycolic Acid, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Sodium Polyacrylate, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Xanthan Gum, Limonene, Parfum (Fragrance), Disodium EDTA, Salicylic Acid, Benzyl Benzoate, Trideceth-6, Dehydroacetic Acid, Geraniol, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citral, Linalool, CI 42090 (Blue No. 1)

So which one is correct?


I didnt like my ipsy at all this month.

Fan brush – I dont know how to use it. Tried it with different highlighters and it didnt pick up anything.
DLS highlighter – boring.
Glossier – Its not to bad but I dont like how I have to apply it. I dunno its weird.
Gold eyeshadow – I have told them for 5 months now that I HATE gold eye shadow and they still send me one every month.
Tarte eyeliner – o yay another black eyeliner…..

Im giving everything to my sister and the bag to my niece. The bag is cute but I think my niece would enjoy it more then me. I will get her real markers to use though. My birchbox and boxycharm need to hurry 🙁


I am right there with you girl. I got the exact same thing but no brush. I have been with Ipsy since last December and I have yet to receive any type of tools.
I promised myself to give them till June to see if they get any better. If not then I’m canceling.
You should totally try the Ricky’s Cult Crushes Box. Not that is well worth the money.


I got the fan brush too. Its good for contour makes perfect lines all my other brushes apply it too thick. Might be good for dark blush too but I agree its not good for highlighter not sure why it
is marketed that way.


It’s really good for setting powders! I never knew what they were used for until it came with the setting powder. I also use them to gently get if eyeshadows mascara of my face!


I WANT to love Ipsy. But I never, ever get the good stuff. And when there are color variations I get the darker/uglier color every time. I’m done with my Ipsy sub for now. There are too many other good ones to keep wasting my money.


Me either I get 3 Ipsy bags and never get any of the good stuff. I put I want makeup only. And it’s always the opposite I canceled after this month sick of throwing my money away for crap I will never use.


I agree 100%


I rarely get the same products as you guys do. Which is ok because I hate skin care . I got
Glossier in original how boring they had flavors and sent me plain?
Mellow lipstick in Chocolate. I know some people wish they got this I was happy when I looked at it then I put it on…. Its color of dark chocolate almost black very goth . I am not able to review it because I received Mellow lipstick in May so says already reviewed. I emailed Ipsy and they said reviews are not live yet and they want people to try products first . Funny other products could be.
I got a pretty fan brush great for contouring.
2 priming sheet masks
And DLS highlighter in mauve
I am just happy I didn’t get eyeliner!! :p


I’ve changed my profile to light pink gloss , or light pink lip stick or plumper. And that I like samples of mascara, eye liner. And brush I have so many brush you get a brush every month. I love my bag pit I wish they would look at profile I changed it. But getting tried of getting a brush every month is stupid & I not know to stop my bag & go with other. And I would of loved to have the mascara this month but received other. Been unhappy I have tried to stop bag but it wouldn’t did it. So let’s hope they read this & change things I have wrote & said.


I love that Ahava mask. The sample size is nice and big too! I’ve used it twice and there’s still a ton left. It’s cool that I can put it on, brush my teeth, then take it off. Really convenient timing!


I threw the lip oil out after one use. It is made of mineral oil. I try to avoid mineral oil and petroleum in skincare and makeup products and definitely don’t want to be ingesting it with it on my lips.


I was so not impressed with my selection this month:

Hikari eyeshadow in Shine – it certainly does that, and it has decent staying power, but high-wattage gold is hard to work with.

Mellow lipstick in Nude – their nude is a pink, but since it’s lighter than my natural lip color and matte, it’s my lips but deader. Plus, it reeks of coconut – ugh. And the assembly that holds the lipstick bullet popped out when I took the cap off. It snapped back in and stayed, but not impressed.

Glossier Dotcom balm in Mint – I know people are gaga for this company, but it’s an unremarkable product.

Tarte Sex Kitten eyeliner, another black eyeliner yay (snark)

Veneffect cleanser, works okay, not outstanding.

Should really pause or cancel. The meh products plus the unpredictable arrival dates are stress I don’t need.

Mandy G.

Ipsy has products which fit my profile, but send me almost totally opposite items. I have dry mature skin and got:

Teeny tube of Goldfaden Facial Detox CLARIFY AND CLEAR mask with Sulfur and Camphor for troubled skin (haven’t had troubled skin in 40 years!). I need moisturizing, soothing products. SERIOUS PROFILE MISS

Cheap and tacky looking metallic brush- I do not have brushes checked, as I buy professional quality brushes. PROFILE MISS

Teeny black ” Sex Kitten” Tarte eyeliner that fits in my palm- I do not have eyeliner checked as a prefered product- PROFILE MISS

A ” Tini” brand single eye shadow, MADE IN CHINA, which eliminates it right there, and in the most garish brown imaginable. I cannot wear brown eyeshadows. Ever. I have put my color choices and my personal coloring on every beauty profile and update it often. PROFILE MISS.

Andalou 1000 ROSES body lotion 50 ml: Smells like 1000 dying roses made it into the tube. I’d be called ” Granny” if I wore this very strong rose stink cheap lotion. Also, need I say it? Body Lotion is not on my profile as a product I want to receive: PROFILE MISS.

They’ve had months and months of me rating my bags and products. I am shown the same tired 60 products over and over and asked if I want them in my bag and I always answer the same.

I am tired of products MADE IN CHINA; tired of not getting ONE quality brand name item of any size worth using; and basically getting a bag that’s lacking in item value.

I’d say my bag had a RV of $4.00 max, and I am not counting the super tacky bag, either.

Note- These are my feelings about these products for MY skin and MY usage. I totally understand that some people can receive the same items and LOVE them. I am not judging anyone else’s bag, their loves, their tastes, or anything, just addressing my own bag as I toss it in the trash.


I couldn’t of said it any better girlfriend. Thank you for making me laugh even though you probably weren’t trying to do so. This is the same reason why I do not subscribe for now. Omg and that bag….Ugly art project I must say. Ohh boy!


Ditto! I’ve canceled my ipsy sub too! Same type of products and none that I’ve marked on my profile! I’m sticking with birchbox but ipsy is soooo way off on what they’re sending me that it’s not worth the hassle. I had FOMO- but after so many misses and zero hits-they’ve cures me! Check out QVC TILI boxes now on auto delivery. At least you know exactly what you’re getting and can skip a box if not interested. $20.00 for each box.

Brittany C

Its a $10 shipped bag, so, its probably best you canceled. For what you are wanting, you need to up your budget for the beauty boxes in the $49.95-80/month group. Thats like going to McDonalds and expecting a Ruth’s Chris meal for the same price lol! I really enjoyed Ipsy in college, but I canceled for the same reasons. I now get Boxycharm and am more happy than not. Some are misses, but I have always received the amount I paid in an item I’ll use, so any misses are passed on to family or friends that love them. I feel more satisfied with Boxy over Ipsy (after a few years of Ipsy, loved them in the beginning).

Mandy G.

I get MANY other beauty boxes.
I think my point about them not curating to my profile is valid.

Narrowed the choices down to a very manageable number and type of items. They still sent cream for acne troubled skin, and I’m in my 50’s and said I have dry sensitive skin.

I hate getting cheap brushes and they were sending one every month. Nothing I get is even a brand name ( except the little eyeliner) and I definitely didn’t have eyeliner chosen.
All the bag lacked was bright red lipstick with that little stub of black eyeliner.

I remember when they went out of business once. The bags had become a lot like the one I just got. Totally RANDOM ” stuff”.
I’m happy for those who get the name brand good items, like the review shows, but I never get them in products I can use.

When I email them and point out the problems with my items, then they offer me products I will like and use, but like you said, it’s not worth $10 a month to even bother any longer.


I enjoyed coloring my bag way too much. 🙂 I got green and orange, which I initially thought was a terrible combo but I wound up actually liking it!

I got the lip oil too and I don’t know why they bother with different colors. It’s completely clear! I was hoping for more of a treatment effect but it just seems like a slightly less shiny gloss. 🙁

I can NOT believe they sent a product with MICROBEADS!!! That’s really upsetting! >:(

Brittany C

The new Dove exfoliating body polish has microbeads :/ I got it in I think the Target box and it said some sort of crushed nut so i thought that was the exfoliating part but nope, microbeads! Perfect, teeny round balls when I checked closer. Super misleading

Diana Navarro

I enjoyed coloring the bag a lot, I’m still on it. I think I liked that more than some of the products.


Me too! XD


Ooo I got 3/5 of the same items as Liz! Lol.
I got the Nip+Fab glycolic scrub, but super dissapointed they use micro beads as those end up in the environment easily. Thanks for linking that post about them!
Also received the Tarte sex kitten eyeliner, the lip oil in orchid (very excited about this one!), the good night PM mask, and Furless loose pigment in sinister (also excited to try this though I don’t usually like loose shadows).


I clumped way too much of the Benefit mascara on and it was so wet. My technique is to save my favorite wand after I’ve used up a mascara, clean it off and use it to separate my lashes. Or I dunk my favorite wand into the tube and do it that way. Formulas play into mascara greatness but I’ve found that’s it truly the wand that makes a mascara.


Crayola markers or even colored pencils will work fine to color this months Ipsy bag unless you plan to wash it.


I think I might test my gel pens on it. I have about a 100 with 4 different finishes so that would definitely highlight tje bag better than the two markets sent. However, I commend Ipsy on sending out a coloring bag and something to color it with. It’s such a fun and unique idea and beey open to self-expression much like makeup itself.


i tried coloring my bag with the two markers provided by ipsy (green and orange) but it was like a gangrene, carotenemia, cirrhosis society that made me more sad than the actual contents of the bag.

sadly, i think this is my last month with ipsy.


The mascara I fell in love with when I got a trial then I kept using it and it got very clumpy and the full size one just didn’t go on the same and be sure to remove it all before bed if the smallest bit gets in your eye it burns SOO bad! Lol


I was wondering if everyone got the same color markers; both of my bags have blue & green. I have a good collection of Sharpies so I’ll just use those.

Does anyone know if reviewing your bag earlier in the month helps you get items more in tune with what you like? The past couple months I’ve been a little disappointed with what I get, in both my bags, but when I look at all of the items possible for the month, I see so many things I would have loved! Maybe because I usually don’t review mine till the very end of the month, some items I might’ve liked the next month have already been allocated to other ipsters. This month I did my reviews today. We’ll see what happens. I apologize for sounding grouchy/whiny. I know I’m getting an incredible deal for $10, and I like swapping, so that’s okay. Maybe I actually do have too much makeup (gasp!!).

Bag #1
1. Hikari eyeshadow in Shine (brown)… I’d gotten Envy (green); I have a gazillion browns.
2. Glossier balm in mint… and my lips are sensitive to mint, so no.
3. Clark’s Botanicals Overnight Cream… has a scent my husband (who has asthma) can’t take.
4. Aurora lip gloss… neither nudes nor darks work for me
5. Eyeko mascara… I can’t help rolling my eyes because there are very few mascaras I’ve ever seen results in that were different from other mascaras. Sigh. But this review makes me consider swapping for and trying the new Benefit mascara!

Bag #2
1. Hikari eyeshadow in brown again
2. Contour Cosmetics lip pencil… I LOVE lip pencils, but even the lighter color (which I got) is too light for me
3. City Color highlighter… I do love highlighter, so this is cool
4. Meg PM mask… the one item I haven’t tried yet. Tonight I hope! I do like sheet masks
5. Tarte eyeliner… oh joy, another black eyeliner. See mascara above. Plus, I can only do liquid or felt tip because my eyelids are old and crepe-y.


No matter how many reviews I did, I never got colors that were flattering when there were variations and I kept getting the same category over and over and over. I finally quit because the bags kept going downhill. It was like they cared for the first bag or two and then figured eff it, they’re gonna hang around anyway. 🤷‍♀️


I review every month and change profile, etc. it has never done one bit of good and I’ve been with ipsy a long time. I always see items I would love and that fit my profile, but never get. Some people say it helps, not sure how Ipsy chooses who they look at and who they ignore.


Why would changing your profile all the time help?

Logically that’s a restart.


I’ve definitely found my bags have gotten better as I’ve done more reviews. From what I’ve seen, ypu can review the current month plus the previous 3 – so it’s worth going back and reviewing any previous months that you can.


I look 4ward to my ipsy bag each month, thanks Ipsy, for the beauty bags.


I have had five months of mostly products I would never use. I don’t think the computer is matching anything. I don’t check items in the survey and I always get them no matter how much I tell them I don’t use those kinds of products. Not sure what happened. When I first started I got better items. It seems the longer we buy the worse it gets.


Wish that March’s bag came with more/better markers. I liked the idea of this month’s bag and would’ve liked to color in the whole thing but don’t trust two little cheap markers to have enough ink. Somehow I don’t seem to have other colorful markers of my own.


This bag this month shuck me! I’m a Artist and I like makeup also. Well a year ago I posted a sketch and its in color but looks very close to the bag design. I call it the Crowd posted on Instagram my name is Xrazorstylist and also on YouTube I explain it and how freaked out I am. I take it as a sign from above that I’m headed in the right direction now!

Diana Navarro

Enjoyed your artwork. Yes, keep going.


Thank You


Your art is absoulety AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m not even saying this lightly. Very interesting!!! I wish I could paint or even draw, but I’m lucky to be able to draw a straight line right. Wow. That one with people in the bottom left corner like under water while the sea critter swam …oh my gosh, I could stare at that for hours just looking and imagining things in my mind. And the one with the critter sticking it’s tounge out with the person next to it is cute. (Your real dog is a cutie too haha) you should be very proud of your gift!!!


Thank You


That lip oil is my favorite find this month. I absolutely love it.


I got the mask and mascara and loved both too! This month was a hit for me besides the city color highlight palette. But it was full size!

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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.