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Ipsy Review – May 2018

Liz Cadman
ByLiz CadmanMay 17, 2018 | 67 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 2018 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 has a travel/passport theme, with a solid back:

Now, on to the items!

KOKIE COSMETICS Nail Polish in Fresh Picked – FULL SIZE! Retail Value $6

This formula is 3-free and made in the USA.

The color is a pale pink creme with a high shine finish and full coverage in two coats.

Here it is on:

I really love this shade! It lasted for two days without any chips – probably would have lasted longer if I had remembered to put on a top coat.

HUDA BEAUTY Faux Mink Lash in Jade #13 – FULL SIZE! Retail Value $23

I am SO thrilled to see Huda Beauty in Ipsy glam bags! (Ipsy is also sampling a Huda Beauty lip liner this month. You can see all the possible samples here.)

These lashes are double stacked and arranged in a criss-cross pattern to enhance root volume. (FYI – these do not come with lash glue.)

TONYMOLY Painting Therapy Pack – 10 ml Value $2.17

This clay mask contains bamboo charcoal “which helps to extract impurities and break down dead skin cells so skin is cleansed from the inside out.” You leave it on for 10 minutes, remove with water, and you’re done! My skin felt so much softer and smoother after using this.

APHRODITE Olive Oil Face Scrub – 15 ml Retail Value $3.99

This brand is new to me, and I like it! The formula is 97.6% natural, and ingredient-conscious. The scrub is also gentle is enough that it should be fine for sensitive skin, too.

FIRST AID BEAUTY Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum – 7.5 ml Value $9

First, the bad news. This tube is mostly air. The good news? The formula is lovely. It’s a soothing gel that absorbs almost instantly and provides hydration. (Another ingredient-conscious item, too!)

Verdict: This box has a value of about $44.16. 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! Every product worked for me this month!

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)

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

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.
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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Rachel Marie Beverlin

I’m sorry but my bag was absolute crap this month. There was nothing I liked and the sample sizes were WAY too small!! The brown eyeliner with one use was the worst item of all. This month I feel like I didn’t get my moneys worth so I canceled and I’m going with another box instead.


Blah. Nice bag, but the contents: distinctly indifferent. I got the brown shadow and brush –which I count as one item–the eye pencil, the olive oil scrub and a tube of hydrating mask. Nothing exciting (nor even playful), like lashes, or a lip or cheek olor. Pretty underwhelming for a first box, especially with the scope of products they test every month.


I think I would fall down to the floor in shock if they legit sent me amazing lashes like that!!!!

I wondered who were the lucky few who got them. Lol


I received a smushed brown gel eyeliner pencil (don’t recall the name at the moment) normally I would email ipsy about the damaged item, but I’ve emailed them in the past and they are good with replacement of items. I’m not sure if they’ll replace the damaged item, oh well I guess I can use the eyeliner brush from Boxycharm to scrap out the glob of eyeliner to try.


I took this month’s bag on vacation to hold my cosmetics and it works great – it seems a little more roomy and durable than the average IPSY bag. I also received the Huda lip liner this month and took it – I love it! It’s very smooth/creamy and has a great color for me. I haven’t tried the other products from this month yet (veneffect microexfoliant, trestique blur stick, Mott shadow in the teal, some C gel masks) but overall I thought it was a nice variety with a few types of things I hadn’t received yet from IPSY.


I really enjoy that teal shadow, too! It was a great item & I’ll likely use it all. I like I can put it in my magnetic palette without the usual fuss. ☺


Oooh thank you for that tip!! I just bought a z pallette and didn’t know there was metal under the plastic part. I’ll have to try it. I got the teal shadow as well and was happy about that for once.

Liz’s fingernails always look so pretty when she paints them and shows them to us. Not sure the trick to it, but it always seems to look like a professional paints them, and it looks like a nice thick layer on there. Heck, I do mine and let them dry for 20 minutes and even sometimes use that dry stuff that comes in can, even bought a small “cure” light and mine looks streaky, and I always end up with smudges and bumps. Lolol. I don’t know what in the heck I am doing wrong.


This is what was in my bag, at first I wasn’t too happy but now that I received it, I am okay with my bag but it is definitely not one of my favorites! The lip balm is actually not bad, it’s super thick & hydrating. I am tired of brown eye shadows, this plus like my third one. I love the brush. I like Trestique alot and was happy to try out the blur stick. And I actually am super happy with the eye serum, it works great! It is very hydrating and is non oily! But the sample size is super tiny. The smallest sample I have ever received from them! I did look it up and a full size bottle is $98. But here is what was in my bag this month:
*Dr. Lipp- Lip Balm
*Nomad Eye Shadow- Brown (Super small)
*SLMISSGLAM- Eye Shadow Brush
*Trestique- Mini Matte Blur Stick
*Akar Cosmetics- Eye Serum (Super small bottle)


So sad. Got the POP eyes shadow in the color Goldy and NYX in beigy color London. Anybody want to swap? Would love the teal shadow and a pinky lippie instead.


I got the concealer colored NYX , 111 rose gold skin mask which I tried and was not a fan of , Tarte powder, Deco Miami polish in blue really pretty and nipple ointment. So not my best bag but still better than Cult Crushes this month.


I can’t think of anything much worse than cult crushes for this month lol. That box is awful! I wish I could get a refund tbh. I’ll never use the highlight or soap. I might use the paw paw if it’s not a gross scent. The micellar water I’ll use if I ever run out of my current supply – if I don’t lose that tiny bottle before then. I’ll probably use the brushes just bc I’m so dang lazy and never want to wash the ones I already have! Although I could be nice and gift them to my mom bc she hardly has any. Actually I’ll do that. So, yeah, 1 donated item and 4 more pieces of clutter. Joy oh joy.


I’ve noticed that people they know to be reviewers get bags with more luxury brands, and better products.
I was very unhappy with the orange toned NYX lippie, awful on my skin tone and not a color that’s attractive to me, period.
The rest of my bag was pretty good this month. Really liked the mermaid teal eyeshadow (I was sick of all the brown/bronze/gold eyeshadows, too. I like natural looking makeup but I already have sooo many shades of brown/gold already), setting powder (thanks for the heads-up about the flashback issue for photos, etc), the adesse blue nail polish (which is fine with me as I have many, many pale/sheer pinks or “French manicure” pinks), and the TonyMoly painting mask which I have yet to try.
While I wasn’t a big fan of the bag itself this month, I can see the appeal. It’ll be donated, along with extra products, or products not right for my skin/skin tone to a local D.V. shelter.


I didn’t expect to like the turquoise Nomad shadow as much as I do, but it’s so cute!


I feel that may be very true. I’d love to have the bag featuring all these items. I’m slightly disappointed with the bag I recieved.


I received;

– ADESSE NEW YORK Nail polish in Oh, Cabana boy. Now I don’t now why I received this color (blueish) I will never use it. Great that it’s full size though. Another issue I had that it wasn’t closed properly and everything in the bag smelt like fingernail polish. It didn’t leak but I think it started to dry up.

– NOMAD COSMETICS in Cohíba. This is useful to me

– FIRST AID BEAUTY Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum. Happy about

– APHRODITE Olive Oil Face Scrub. Happy about

– M.A.D. SKINCARE Delicate Skin Cleansing Gel. Happy about.

Skin care heavy item, which I am happy with.


for the 2ns month in a row when i get my pin mailer its tapped shut with packing take wth its like someone is peeking in my bag too see what i got them tape it shut. its soo annoying last month one of my items was missing but thankfully ipsy replaced it but nothing was missing this month thank goodness. hopefully next month no tape, and sadly i get my mail to a po box

Leslie Belt

I have had that happen to me a couple of times and both of my daughters have had it happen a couple of times. I thought the same thing at first, someone’s went thru my stuff, but EVERYTIME it’s in the same tape and I must admit taped back very poorly.


Did you redeem points? My mailer is taped shut when point rewards are included because those are added in different part of warehouse or something.

Sharon in SE TX

You should report it to the post office. We use to get taped mail a lot and we found out someone was indeed opening the mail and returning it.


Got a giant hole in my bag along seam…

Products: 2 freckle sheet masks, the FAB serum, adesse pink polish, a lord and berry lip pencil, and air repair hydrating most which I’ll toss in my purse for summer. Not a bad bag, not a great bag.


*frecipe not freckle haha


Is it just me or has anybody else noticed that the bags themselves the last couple of months have been really cheap quality vinyl and not the nice bags that we’ve gotten in the past? I’ve stayed with Ipsy since the very beginning, just because of the cute bags. I used to also get the Allure box, Glossybox and Boxycharm, but eventually cancelled those and stayed with Ipsy because of the bag. If this trend continues, I will probably cancel and switch back to Boxycharm. Their value is much better for the price.


I thought this bag was the cutest in a very long time. My other favorite was the water proof summer one (wish they would do another without ice cream cones lol)) and I liked a December redish pink that had a strap on it to use as a small purse (wish the strap would have been longer though to slip over my hand and use as a wristlet)…and the Halloween one with witches and stuff would have been good if it wasn’t pink…lolol….but this bag seems classy and kinda fun for summer and the inside colors look really good.


It’s so funny, I think the last two months’ bags have been the highest quality I’ve seen since I’ve been a subscriber, in over a year. The butterfly one was just gorgeous, with rose gold accents, and the material feels much more substantial. I guess it really is just a matter of preference! The previous bags have all felt cheap to me.


The zipper on the butterfly bag broke the first time I used it…


My bag had open seams and wasn’t fully sewn leaving a hole along the zipper :/


My bag was Ok. I got the hideous nude Nyx lip cream (I’m super pale so it looks terrible on me) , the teal eyeshadow (looks pretty but haven’t tried it yet), the Tarte powder, a scalp mask and the rose gold sheet mask. Has anyone tried that sheet mask yet? How was it?


It was awful, my not very long fingernails tore right thru it every time i tried to adjust it. It left me sticky and I had to to rinse off..

However i put some of it on the back of my hands and it felt pretty good


I was not a fan. It is gel so feels weird, and it is huge did not fit my face it is also a heavy mask so it slides down your face. I looked like a monster from a Scooby Doo movie while I was wearing it.


I got the Tarte powder like lots of you, the gold POP shadow-which frankly had no pigmentation on the lid and I already threw it away, and the big item was a $25 Sheet Mask!!!! Going to try it tonight.


maybe instead of throwing things away to degrade in a landfill somewhere, you can collect your unwanted items and donate them to a women’s shelter.


Nice! Total score!


I found my bag to be quite decent this month. I got the SLMISSGLAM sponge. I have so many I really didn’t need another, but I can live with it. I also got the Tarte finishing powder. I love Tarte products so I was happy with it. I also received the Nomad eyeshadow which was fine by me since I seem to be one of the only ones who absolutely loves neutral colors since it is really all I use. I received the M.A.D. cleansing gel. I love cleansers!!! and I have never tried this brand before so I am quite happy with it and I received a green tinted moisturizer. I have redness on my cheeks so I’m hoping this works like it is supposed to and tones the redness down. I haven’t used it yet.


I think nearly everyone got the Tarte powder and the pink sponge. Every unboxing I’ve seen had at least one of them if not both lol. Fair warning – the Tarte powder does produce flashback so if you’re in a lot of pics with flash or videos with lighting you might not want to wear that powder on photography days.


Flashback Mary


I didn’t get either of those things in either of my ipsy bags this month. I did get miss glam eyeshadow brush in both…which i’m fine with. I also get both tealy eyeshadow options….perfectly happy with those.


I wanted that Tarte powder SO bad and even have powders as one of the few things listed in my profile, but I didn’t receive it, nor the sponge…. which would have been nice. I wasn’t happy with my Ipsy this month unfortunately… =(


Did y’all know you can email ipsy and opt out of getting certain products? I opted out of getting highlighters (bc of pores, textures and other skin issues) and cleansers (bc I’m lazy and mainly use wipes lol) and it was so easy! They said I couldn’t opt out of specific colors like I couldn’t say no gold highlighters, I could only say no highlighters at all. I was able to opt out of 2 whole categories just like that. I wish I could have said no hair products but that was too wide of a spread.


Omg I wanted those lashes so bad! Of course I didn’t get them 😭😭😭 but I got ok items except for the NYX lippie in Cairo, that thing was terrible! I gave it to my kid for play makeup! I got the tiny sponge (which if used dry for concealer isn’t so bad) the Tarte powder (I don’t do pics so it’s ok for me) the pow or pop eyeshadow in mermaid teal (it’s got a duochrome kind of shift to it, kind of a blue/green/gold. I love it!) and a face spray that has zero directions and I’ve got no clue what to do with lol. The shadow is def 100% my favorite item, the powder & sponge are ok, the spray is an idk and the lippie is trash. I tinkered with my profile a bit to try and fix it & reviewed the products too. Hope for better luck in June!


Did you go on or use the app? They have directions, or at least tips, for how to use your goodies! I do always look at them even if I know how, and they didn’t put any on for the Tarte powder, but all my other items had tips.


I did, but it still didn’t make sense. How can it be hydrating and a toner at the same time? That’s an oxymoron, isn’t it? Especially for such a simple product.


I hope I get lashes in a future bag. I’ve been with them over a year and a half, now. Time for some lashes! Lol


I wanted the lashes so bad. I’m jealous


I usually like my ipsy products but this mo mth was HORRIBLE!

The nyx chalky nude lippie 😣…any ideas for an alternate use?…maybe to tone down some darker winter colors by mixing? Maybe as an eyeshadow? (Is that safe) maybe as concealor???

Tony moly mask was TINY and very perfume-y
Nail polish …mehh
Tarte finishing powder…other than branding i dont think its different from any other powder..more mehh
And a tiny tiny face scrub gel..mehh mehhh mehhh

Cancelled when they stopped letting us chose one item…miss those days. Ive only gotten 2 bags since and they have both been TOTAL disappointment. $20 down… calling it quits for good and saving my $$ for bigger boxes (FFF, Marg. E)

Lee Ann

I also received a nyx nude lip color, Tony Moly, mascara and eyeliner. I got a charcoal mask, eyeliner and mascara in my sephora box this month. This was a complete waste of a ipsy box for me. I agree the smell of that mask was overwhelming.


I feel like I’ve been really lucky with Ipsy up until this bag. Usually I like/love most or all of what I receive, but this month was just…the complete opposite of what my profile suggests I want. Hoping it improves next time around 🙂


Does anyone get two bags per month?? I’ve been toying with the idea…

Leslie Belt

I get 3. My profiles are filled out a bit different and I still sometimes get 3 matching bags. Sometimes only 2 double items….but I ALWAYS get the same item more than once. (Never a good item either!)


I get 2 bags and have a similar experience, usually get a couple double items. I keep considering canceling one, but I do get items I like in each bag sometimes so I don’t know which to cancel.

Amanda Ciraldo

I got 2 this month for the first time because I need 2 of those bags to make gifts for certain travel lovers I know.
My older account gets a lot of skincare/face makeup.
On my new account I changed up the hair/skin color on the profile just slightly, and got more makeup. I will admit it’s a good mix with both bags. But I couldn’t do it every month, or I’d be too overloaded with product to get any other subs!

Jessi C.

I got 2 bags this month with completely different profiles I’m happy with both, I got 3/4 the products I really wanted. I always do my reviews and change my preferences based upon the spoilers. I still sometimes get meh bags, but I’ve been mostly pleased with my ipsy sub.

Sharon in SE TX

I received the TONYMOLY Painting Therapy Pack too and I was very happy about it because I had never tried any of their products before. The best thing in my bag is the NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Monte Carlo.


Very disappointed in my bag. The NYX lippie is a nude color, and the sponge seemed to be a bit on the small side. I also ended up with three masks, 2 pomegranate and one Acai berry.

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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.