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4 Hacks for Getting the Best ipsy Glam Bag!


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One of the top questions I always see in the comments on ipsy posts is about how to customize your glam bag samples. If you aren’t familiar, ipsy Glam Bag is a $10 a month makeup + beauty subscription box. You’ll receive 5 beauty products + a makeup bag every month. And ipsy also customizes your product selection to you. You might think this is based just on your beauty quiz you take when you sign up for ipsy, but there are lots of additional ways to customize. (I know because I reached out to ipsy for these tips!)

If you’ve ever wondered how to get a better Glam Bag, here are our tips:

1. Don’t just take the beauty quiz once. 

When you first sign up for ipsy, you’ll take a beauty quiz. But this is not a one and done situation. Every time you update your beauty quiz, ipsy takes note! If you are tired of receiving a certain category of product, a certain makeup shade, etc., make sure to update your beauty quiz often!

2. Review all your products and be honest!

ipsy takes into account what you think of each product they send you, so this isn’t the time to hold back if something wasn’t for you. And make sure to rate every single product every month – the more data points ipsy gets from you about the product the better bag they can make for you!

3. Don’t forget to update your skin tone shade.

Tanner in the summer? Make sure to update your skin tone shade in the beauty quiz if your skin tone color changes throughout the year.

ipsy best skincare subscription boxes

4. Adding your hair color in the quiz isn’t about hair products!

ipsy uses your hair color primarily to help give you the right brow product shades. So make sure the color you select matches the brow color you want!

What do you think of these tips? Have you done any of them? 

The ipsy Glam Bag subscription box is $10 a month – Sign up here!

And if you’re looking for more ipsy info, check out our ipsy spoilers and ipsy reviews!

Written by 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!

All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. If you buy something, MSA may earn an affiliate commission. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.

56 Comments

  1. Also, when you go to the account preferences and there’s an option to slow down samples and to, not complain about the samples but kind of say what’s wrong with them. Like, there’s an option to say the samples are too small or the same kind of samples keep showing up or you don’t know the brands. This usually leads to a sneak peek of what could show up in the next couple of months and you can say what you hope to get and what you would rather pass on. I’ve done it a couple times and I feel like they’ve really taken into account what I like from that as well as doing the beauty quiz.

    • Only some people have this. It’s not on everyone’s account.

  2. My tip is for brown girls. Make your profile shade one shade darker than your actual skin color. I did this and now I get makeup that I can actually use. Occasionally, I’ll get a blush or eyeshadow that is almost the same color as my skin, but overall my experience has been much been since doing this. I get great lipsticks!

    • Oh thank you! I got a gift subscription for a friend who’s never had makeup suited to her, it’s pretty much been whatever her adopted mom had or just lucked into in their rural area. I want my friend to feel as beautiful as she is. I’m tired of watching her “settle” so I will gladly take any tips or product suggestions so I can send her a little goody box for Christmas…or any other reason I can make an excuse to give her a gift. 😉😁

    • Thank you! I got a gift subscription for a friend who’s never had makeup quite suited for her. It’s always been either what her adoptive mother had on hand or just happened to luck into in their rural area. And let’s not even get into hair care products drama. I want my friend to feel like the beautiful woman she is. She’s not in a position to purchase for herself at the moment so I would gladly take any suggestions so I can send her some things every now & then to help her out

      • You’re welcome! You’re a great friend.

  3. I feel like the only people that get good bags must be bloggers and influencers. I never get anything like the spoilers, no matter how often I update my profile, take the test or rate upcoming items. I haven’t received any of the items I rate highly. I know they don’t promise you’ll receive them, but not a single one out of so many! I’ve done it all! Now, I have learned to ignore spoilers and I have no FOMO since im not a blogger. I unsubscribed. It’s better to save the $10 and hit the Sephora clearance section.

  4. Actually the biggest deciding factor in whether you like Ipsy, Birchbox, BoxyCharm, GlossyBox, etc…isn’t the your personal selections, it’s how you answer the How confident & knowledgeable you are about cosmetics question at the very beginning of the questionare. If you andwered 1. Not confident or just learning…as in you don’t spend a lot of time on any of it…then you will generally be happy with these boxes because they were designed for you, the novice, to get you to start spending money on it. You are the target audience for all of these boxes.

    If you selected option 2. That you are somewhat confident & knowledge about these products, then you have a 50/50 shot of tweaking & manipulating your selections to be happy with your box & occasionally find a few new products.

    However, if you picked option 3, that you know what you’re doing. Then you might ocassionally get lucky by tweaking your preferences but you are NOT the target audience for these boxes.
    Bottom line, they’re all businesses that constantly need to bring in new consumers and subscription boxes have proven to be a great way to do so.
    Just consider your own level of knowledge (or the person you gift one too) before ordering. Someone who already knows a lot about beauty products might get excited the first 2 or 3 times but would probably get bored & disappointed very quickly, no matter how many times they change their preferences.

  5. In general, I tend to review the *types* of products I like getting better than ones I don’t, even if I didn’t love the one I got specifically. I love getting eyeshadows, so I always rate them 5 stars, but if I didn’t like the color I rate it as “meh” for that. But I’ve noticed since doing that, I get the kinds of things I really love getting in my bags, and don’t see much that I hate (I rated enough bronzers and highlighters as 1 star and have not seen one in months!). I also try to let myself be open to getting things I wouldn’t try otherwise. That’s the whole point, right? Some things I really thought I would hate or be bored by ended up as my favorite products. Don’t look at Ipsy as a way to get that one specific thing: you will be disappointed. Try new things! Explore! For 10 bucks a month, it’s okay to get a few duds when you also get some really great things that you’d know nothing about otherwise. Have fun!

  6. Great tips. I do several of these and I have noticed my bag as improved a lot.

  7. If you go to Account, then membership, you will see

    Skip a Month
    Adjust Glam Bag Frequency

    AND THEN….

    Improve Glam Bag Products.

    Click this and they give you a bunch of possible next months samples to “rate” ahead of time to help pick for your bag!! I just discovered it last month!!!

    • Only some people have it. I used to have it but they removed it from my profile after a month. It’s been around for ages, but there is no rhyme or reason to who gets it.

      • Have you guys tried logging in through the website and the app? One of my accounts only let’s me access my “improve glam bag picks” through the website, not the app. The other one I can see it in both. Dont know why….

        • Looked on both. Isn’t on either for me. 🙁

    • Thank you for this!! I never knew that existed 🙂

    • Thanks so much I found it and it was Super Helpful.

  8. oh, I love ipsy, and its true about updating your profile, I do this everytime, to get different items…..and ipsy does care about your profile….they are the best beauty box to me….

    • I had been getting Ipsy for about a year around the 7th month I realized I just wasn’t excited anymore and from the 7th month up until I cancelled arouND the 12th month I had 5 or 6 bags sitting with just about each months products still in them. For the 10$ though I just kept saying to myself it’s only 10 bucks next month will be better. Finally I decided to cancel. Then the whole glam plus started to circulate around and as much as I didn’t want to have to have re-sub to the 10$ a month I had no choice. So I went into my setting and re-did the beauty quiz all over and to my surprise when September’s bag arrived I was reminded all over again just why I loved Ipsy! I was so impressed that even though I was able to upgrade I made a second account so I can still get the 10$ bag as well. Again October’s bag was amazing not one single item I won’t use. So I really believe they try there best to go by the profiles. If you notice a month where your not as happy go to your profile and change some things up. Make sure your doing your reviews and like posted above be honest. I’m really excited for next month’s regular bag. I really want the Juno sponge and the spoilers I seen for the Glam plus look amazing as well. I’m ready to cancel Boxy and just stick with Ipsy 🙂

  9. I don’t want brow products so I say I have red hair and I don’t want skin care so on top of opting out of what I could I also say I am in mid 20s instead of 44 I actually am. Has worked so far.

    • You’re clever! I love those ideas 🙂

  10. I have very blond hair, and very dark eyebrows. I wanted to make sure that because I had blond hair listed in my profile that I wouldn’t get blond brow products and wrote ipsy to ask if there was any way to make sure I would get dark brow products. This is what they told me.

    “Thanks for writing in to ipsyCare. Right now we do not have a way to customize the color of brow products you receive since our ipsymatch system does take things like hair color into consideration. However, I’ll be sure to share your feedback with the rest of our team so we can explore solutions.”

    ‘They do not take things like hair color into consideration.’
    So why do they even ask?
    To make you think they do. That’s why.

    • Emily Rose, you’re in an outlier and they’ve told you so in their own terms.
      If you aren’t already opted out of 2 categories of products, I’d opt out of brow color items and go buy my own to match dark brows.

      It’s not really unreasonable for them to not curate very dark brow products with very light hair. They DO take hair color into consideration. Whoever told you they don’t is misinformed at Ipsy. OR they only got light brow colors for a specific month.
      This also happens sometimes. They are sent certain colors and have to send them out to some of us, regardless of hair coloring. Look at all of the samples available in the section ” Past Glam Bags”. This always gives me a good idea of what they had to work with total.

      As someone said, lots of lip colors. I almost always get mascara and a lip color and mascara is not a product I wan to get. My ” don’t send” list is for Shampoos and Facial Powders because I really can’t stand those 2 products in my bags. I wish I could add mascara but they are adamant about 2 products per subscription.

      • The funny thing is, I asked about this whenever I found out I was getting a colored brow product from them, as they had a dark brown and blond color, and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t getting the blond. They sent me the brown. I was happy, but I imagine someone who was a natural blond wouldn’t be.
        Brow products are some of my favorite makeup items and I’d hate to have to opt out of it because they couldn’t send the right color. It just doesn’t seem like that hard of a thing to get right.
        Also, where are you getting your info from that they do take hair color into consideration?
        I’m sure an Ipsy representative would know, and if not, than how can you listen to anything any Ipsy representative says? Why is just the one I talked to wrong?
        I’ve seen soo many people given items they blatantly couldn’t use.
        If you feel like they tailor to you well, that’s great. But in the nearly 2 years I was with them they managed to give me maybe 2 bags I felt like I could use all of the items.

        • I feel I’m missing something here your comment with the Ipsy copy paste reply says they take hair color into consideration.

          “Thanks for writing in to ipsyCare. Right now we do not have a way to customize the color of brow products you receive since our ipsymatch system does take things like hair color into consideration.”

          • Good catch!

          • I was wondering the same thing???? Confused?

  11. I have tried everything to get them to stop send skin care products for complexions with acne. I am 61, and this month received the blackhead removing mask. No matter what I do, they continue to send me inappropriate for my skin products. I have emailed, rated things low, changed profile, but they still send whatever they want. This month was the worst bag I ever received.

  12. It seems to make a difference if you review your products ASAP. I have been getting two bags for a year and a half, and recently I experimented by reviewing one bag (always the same bag) right away, usually by the 15th of the month. The other bag I review at the end of the month. I seem to get better matches in the bag I review early. ipsy doesn’t usually have the same number of all products, like they might have 7,000 Manna Kadar lippies, but only 2,000 Huda lippies. So it seems to be that if you review early, you might get the less numerous Huda lip (assuming you like the type and color, etc), and you are more like to get the types and shades of items you want.

    I recently choose nothing (in my profiles) in the hair and perfume categories, so fingers crossed that I don’t get any. I’ve never gotten the survey a lot of people get asking which particular products I’d want. I have contacted ipsy a few times and asked if I could opt out of certain categories for a few months or forever. I will never get a bronzer again, hurray! And a few months that are mascara-free.

    When ipsy Plus was announced, I was able to sign up (via the special MSA deal) with my primary bag. I also started a third bag so I’d still be getting two regular ones a month. This is my second month for my third bag, and I hit. the. jackpot!! Eyeshadow, lip balm, lip gloss, blush, and highlighter all in shades I love (the more “adventurous” the better).

    I hope this helps someone!

  13. I do all of this and it doesn’t seem to matter. I have received a liquid lipstick or lip gloss every single month for 8 months straight— I rate them all 1 star and have deselected all lip products. Yet month after month I get one 🙁

    Literally every single product in my October bag is from product categories that i explicitly deselected in my profile 🙄

    • Email Ipsy care and tell them you hate it and are very disappointed you keep getting it. It worked for me!!!

      • I did. They told me to review my products and that I only receive products based on the ipsy personalization match thing. Okay sure hahaha

    • Joy when you review your lip glos… tell them that you dont like lips gloss and that youprefer sheet masks or a particular item that you really want to try. I have done that many of times and my products have gotten so much better… I have been getting so many good products. Keep telling them what you dont want and emailing them also hemps to get you the bags that you want too. I hope that it helps.

      • That is such a good idea! I’ve never told them which items I would prefer. I’m going to try that! Thanks!

    • Have you tried wroting in to opt out of two items? That should help! Message help.ipsy.com

      • I actually did. I opted out of mascaras and perfumes as I have allergies and am super sensitive to both. They’ve been awesome with that! I haven’t received a single one of either since my request. I wish I could opt out of three things lol

        With all of this said, I’ve been subscribed for 3 years and have received some great products over that time. It just doesn’t seem to be related to my personalization or profile stuff. Oh well!

  14. I want the extremely cool shades of lip, eye, blush and light neutral foundation ( eye colors in the grays, soft plums, the icy colors). I have gray hair that’s professionally colored brown hair and highlighted with light blonde. My eyes are green but my contacts are lavender.

    SO, when I fill out the coloring section, I put that my skin is Light ( never fair because I’m trying to find new skin foundation formulas and Fair knocks a person out of most Ipsy shades). I put that my hair is gray ( which it would be if not colored), my eyes are violet and I check ALL the eye shadow colors except the one wheel on the far left which is the traditional UD ” Nakeds” colors.

    I do not ever check the cheaper skin products of cleansers, toners, brushes, or lip plumper ( plumpers don’t work on me). I check 3 color products I like most ( eye shadow, lipstick, foundation) and the 3 skin care items I want the most which are Moisturizing cream, facial serum, and facial oils. ( I have mature skin which can’t handle a lot of AHA/ Glycolics/ Retinoids, especially in the winter).

    I do NOT check one single HAIR product. I don’t want the shampoos, either wet or dry samples. I also got some really awful hair balm in September that smells like a small rodent died nearby when it arrived.

    I communicated with Ipsy Care and have opted out of Shampoos and Facial powders ( because I do not want any shampoo samples and because I do not want highlighters or bronzers ever.)

    I fill out their ” Improve your products” thing almost every day. A few things will change and I don’t want to miss the good plummy shades I love most in fall and winter. No matter if you say you don’t like the color, the brand, the fact that it’s not organic, they still show the same 10 products for the next month’s bag. A few new products come up every few days. 😉

    I hope this helps someone. I have loved my Ipsy bags since I redid my whole ” checkmark” system and played with the color wheel until I got pure icy colors in my coloring.
    Those who want golden shades should do the exact opposite of course. 😉

  15. My glam bag this month I noticed was all based on stuff I favorited to try in the shopping section if that helps anyone…I’m trying to figure out how to get the glam bag plus too

  16. I upgraded and then opened up a new account to get the monthly bag and I got the best bag ever. Everything in it was what I would have picked if I had the choice to pick. This is the first time this has happened from Ipsy.

    • I always felt like my first bags were my best and they gradually got less and less exciting. I thought maybe it was just because the excitement wore off but I do think my first bags actually did match my profile better and there were more and more “I wish I had gotten…insteads” as time went on.

  17. Oh yes. This is something I’ve learned to do. What I do is look at all the spoilers for that month & take note of what items I want & then go to my profile & move things around. Also, since I don’t want anymore highlighter or blush, for example, I check that I don’t use them. I’ll also play around with color preference too. This has worked out pretty well so far. I know someone has to get the wing eyeliner, again. But, it can prove successful if you stay on top of it.

    • I try to do that too and it usually flops. My best attempts have been when I choose a max of four different product categories. Then I’ll get at least one thing that I’m excited about. Often still not the majority of the bag though 🙁

      • You have to be more open to products for the service to work well for you. They’re not your own shopping service, rather a sampling one! Tbey send variety and things you DON’T prefer as to provide discovery and many have found products and brands they now love and would have never found any other way!

  18. I just resubed to see if they have changed haven’t subbed in two years. Will keep these tips in mind.

  19. Do we know when the November Glam Bag Plus spoilers will be released? I’m trying to decide if I want to stay with plus or go back to the original bag!

    • I miss my regular bag, so I resubbed and will try both for a while.

      • I signed up for for a second Ipsy account to get a regular bag too. I always get a good mix of makeup and skincare and for $10 it’s more usable items than Play or Birchbox sent .

    • There’s a couple up on Reddit, from nessi_saltares who emailed & complained about October.

      They were given choice of including: IT COSMETICS Naturally Pretty Palette Vol 1, FIRST AID BEAUTY Face Cleanser, OFRA COSMETICS Highlighter in Rodeo Drive

    • There’s some already posted!

    • Thank you everyone!

  20. I loved Ipsy for the first 18 months. Then they started sending me anything they wanted- nothing close to my profile. Many were repeat things- how many baby blue and purple nail polishes or teal eye liner does one person need? I consistently updated my account and left reviews.
    I finally gave up and use the money to buy quality products that I will actually use.

  21. These are great tips! I will be trying them out!

  22. I do this religiously and my bags still aren’t any good most months. I have been a subscriber for a long time. This does not work for everyone.

    • Have you tried writing in to opt out of two items?

  23. Good tips! I’ve also found (maybe I read this here?) that if you see a spoiler for the next month that’s something you really want, go in and edit your quiz so it’s mostly that item. Like a concealer from Tarte, uncheck most everything except “Tarte” and “concealer.” I mean, still leave a couple things checked maybe, but focus on the one item you really want.

    • Agree- I’ve had the best results when ‘tweaking’ my profile and the survey answers to match with spoiler products I want. For example, if there are two lip items in the spoilers and I just want one, then tweak my profile for brand and shade. Or if there are several face items in the quiz (like cleanser, moisturizer, and serum) make sure to only click ‘yes’ on the one I want most. There’s always a chance I will get something I said no on, but I’ve found being ‘picky’ with the quiz (even saying no to items I’d like to up the chances of the one I would love) tends to get me a better bag overall. I also make sure to unmark liking the brands that correspond to spoiler items in my profile if it’s not a product I want, even if I like that brand in general.

      • I try that all the time and at first it seemed to work but there are often products in the same “category” that are items that haven’t been spoiled and options that I really don’t want. That’s what I’ve been getting lately.

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