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Ipsy Review – December 2018

Liz Cadman
ByLiz CadmanDec 13, 2018 | 47 comments

4 overall rating
1863 Ratings | 350 Reviews

Ipsy is a monthly beauty and makeup subscription box. Each month you get full-size, deluxe-sized, or sample 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 one has a faux pebbled leather exterior on the back with a gold sequin front, and a zipper tassel pull.

And inside the bag is lined in pink:

I think this could easily double as a clutch – it feels like a perfect sparkly accessory for a New Year’s party outfit!

Now, on to the items!

MORPHE Lip Crayon in RSVP – FULL SIZE! Retail Value $9

This lip crayon is highly pigmented with a matte finish. It’s non-drying and wears down nicely to a berry stain look. Here it is swatched:

Trust Fund Beauty I Kaled It – FULL SIZE! Retail Value $15

This is a high-shine ivy green creme. Two coats for full coverage, but it took a while to dry.

I normally don’t wear dark colors, so this isn’t something I would pick out myself, but that’s one of the reasons I love subscription boxes – it’s good to push myself out of my beauty comfort zone!

F.A.R.A.H 35E Brush – Retail Value $10

This is a bonus item all glam bag subscribers received this month! Its a synthetic bristle brush designed for blending shadow. I love all things gold so this is a fab brush for my collection. It has an indent to make it easy to hold, too.

And my bag included another brush, too:

Luxie 243 Precision Blending Brush – Retail Value $12

I’m always happy to get Luxie brushes in subscription boxes! This one is made for precise blending at the crease of your eyelids.

Hey Honey Relax! Propolis & Honey Soothing Moisturizer – 12 ml Value $7.20

This moisturizer is designed specifically to soothe redness + irritated skin. I don’t have those skin issues currently, but I can always use hydration and a gentle formula, and this feels great. It absorbs quickly with no greasy finish, and I like the scent, too.

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads – 10 count Value $5.35

If you aren’t familiar with First Aid Beauty facial radiance pads, they’re a bit of a beauty cult classic!

The pads are formulated with the right amount of lactic and glycolic acid so that you can use them every day. They’re great for exfoliating, toning, and brightening skin – even on sensitive skin!

Verdict: This box has a value of about $58.55 (not counting the makeup bag). I think that’s a great value, and I absolutely love the glam bag design this month, too!

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Yes! As of publication, there was no ipsy waitlist. Check here to see what month you’ll get first. Make sure to sign up ASAP if you want to get the December Glam Bag!

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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Many of us do not want to use products on our skin which are made in PRC. The country of origin may vary by brand in some cases, but I have found out 2 specifics for those who want to avoid skin products made in PRC ( China).

1)- ” Hey Honey” Skin care products are NOT made in China, ever. They do use real honey ( Love what honey does to my skin).

2) Bad news is that Beauty Crop products are made in PRC ( China). At least I know some of them are. I got a Beauty Crop lip gloss in my Ipsy bag this month and it clearly states that the product was made in China.

I’m not judging brands here. Just trying to help sort through the many brands Ipsy sources and give factual info.


I wasn’t excited about the kale nail polish but I tried it and it’s actually pretty great! An excellent Christmas green. And I got the gingerbread moisturizer, how fun and Christmas-y is that? I do wish I could take a pause on blush because even though I said I don’t want any more I keep getting them but the color is actually really good for me. I don’t need this subscription but when they keep this kind of thing up I will definitely find 10 dollars in my budget for it.


I get 3 regular Glam Bags.. Already got my Glam Bag Plus, and it is perfectly curated with cool toned shadow in Plums, a berry blush and a lipstick I probably can put with a purely purple lipstick and tone down the strawberry reddish- pink in. ( warm colored pink).

I am getting 3 great cool toned regular Ipsy bags today, but 2 of them are identical. Each has:


BEAUTY CROP Lip Brulee in Rhubarb Custard

CATRICE COSMETICS Eye Shadow in Luminous Lilac

DELECTABLE BY CAKE BEAUTY Iced Gingerbread Hand Cream

IT COSMETICS Superhero Elastic Stretch Volumizing Mascara in Black

F.A.R.A.H BRUSHES Tapered Blending Brush 35E

Gold sequined makeup bag

I’d really like to trade for different shades but I’m not on the swap site/ list. First time there’s been a reason for me to swap anything, as usually, if I get a palette in warm shades, so does everyone else.


I’m glad other were happy but I was so disappointed with my bag the past 2 months and December’s. I finally canceled. Sad to go but I’d rather stick to boxycharm with full size and less variations. I always get the worst items and my past 3 have been awful colors and products I can’t even use. The first 8 months I got such awesome bags but they got worse and worse the longer I stayed with them and I finally decided for the new year it wasn’t worth it anymore. Decided to sign up for glossy box and cancel ipsy and sephora because id rather get full sizes as the sample sizes also seemed to shrink recently to barely usable sizes. I loved both subscriptions in the beginning but the quality and sizes are seriously lacking lately. So sad. It seemed like they strayed further away from my profile and didn’t even listen to my reviews of items I didn’t like as I got sent the same shades and products again and again even after leaving bad reviews. I’ll probably sign back up in a few months and them maybe I’ll get good bags again. Seems like they treat their new customers better than their loyal long term customers.


My bag was free this month because they didn’t ship my bag until the 29th. They also let me pick 2 items the holiday mask trip and a lilac eye shadow. I was also able to add on the 111 skin serum. I am pretty happy with my items I received 6 like everyone else and I am so happy they are sending me Ciate glitter lipstick and Pacifica highlighter. I am going to sparkle this Christmas!! My bag is suppose to come around 18th.


They have really nice CS people.

Ipsy must have gotten boatloads of that lilac eyeshadow. I’m getting it in all 3 of my regular Glam Bags. 🙂


I got my Ipsy bag on the 10th this month, my bag had 6 items but i purchased 2 add on items that didn’t come in my bag this month, I can sooooo upset!!!! I got 2 add on items in November which i received everything last month but NOT this month!!! I emailed them, and this is the first time it took them 4 days to get back to me. Normally it takes a day or so. This is ridiculous!!!! So mad!!!!


My glam bag was pretty good for me this month:

Steve Laurent Loose Powder in rose gold: So loose powders aren’t something I frequently wear since I often apply makeup on the go, but I do love collecting them for the rare days I can do more elaborate makeup. I have a bunch from a few months of the Notoriously Morbid Vanishing Cabinet that I love. This shade of rose gold is gorgeous! It’s not ‘too’ shimmery and sparkly so it works for daytime, but it probably could be used wet for a more intense look. I would have been happy with the olive shade too since it’s a lighter bronzier green.

Finding Ferdinand Blush in Skinny Dip: I like getting blushes from Ipsy because the sizes are usually pretty generous (deluxe or full size, even.) Some work better than others. This one is decent, and a nice cool mauve color I don’t have yet, so was a good pick. It didn’t seem that buildable to me, though, so is more just an everyday wash of color blush than one that will work for evening looks.

Gimme Brow in #3 neutral light brown: I’m happy I got this! I love little brow products I can throw in makeup bags for on the go, and this is a perfect size. I haven’t tried it yet, though, so hopefully it’s good!

Bonus Farah brush: Used a couple times for putting all over shadow as a base. It’s not my favorite of my brushes, but it seems pretty good, and how fun to get a bonus item!

Murad renewing eye cream: Fairly sure I have some samples of this, and a ton of samples of other eye creams, so wasn’t super excited. However I do like eye creams, so it isn’t a bad pick either.

TLW Frizz Fighter: Not my favorite choice but I do have some frizz. However, once I read the info this seems more of a heat protection frizz fighter – such as for people who curl their hair. So I am not sure if this is the best hair item for me, I might pass it on. I prefer detanglers!


My bag was finally shipped the other day!! I’m supposed to get it the 18th! I joined on the 4th and at first they said my bag would be January, but I emailed and they started this month!! Yay!!


Both of my daughters got 5 items which included 2 brushes, plus 3 Holiday Themed face masks in addition – they were super happy about the masks 🙂 I havent gotten my Ipsy this month yet, I am getting 6 items, 1 brush, no face masks.


I got my glam bag plus today and there was a large sequin covered bag, and I don’t think we’re supposed to get another bag til January, so I think that’s our special holiday treat. Mine is navy and silver.


I actually think I got the same bag from the Ipsy shopper offer they had recently. It was large with mostly blue sequins and silver trim.


This is different from the one oh Ipsy shop…it’s a solid blue color without any trim. It’s pretty, but you have to wipe all the sequins to be proper side up when it first comes.


Guess the “surprise” is spoiled now.


Lily, you do realize you’re on a website that’s main purpose is to provide spoilers whether that be from the admins or subscribers. Why the surprise?


I think we all get the same bag this month.


Was I supposed to get 6 items this month? Because I only got 5 and one of the items was the brush. My mom and sister also only got 5 items with the fifth being the F.A.R.A.H brush.


I got the brush as one of my items, pictured in the preview, and only received 5 items total, 3 of which I have zero use for. I never use highlighters, white nail polish or lip color with GLITTER b/c I am not in my teens or 20’s. I guess the subscribers who were pre selected for that brush got screwed out of a 6th item. IF Ipsy is going to send a bonus item out, then they should get their act together & make sure everybody gets something….and only send glitter to people who request it. Bah-Humbug.




MY BANK ACCOUNT WAS HACKED. WHEN I SUBBED IT STARTED WITH A MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION THEN IT DROPPED. THEN I CANCELLED. I CALLED THEM. Weird Customer Service. Then I opened a email from them about my Account being cancelled. More charges. I’m very Upset.


This is the Ipsy thread. IPSY has not been hacked!

If you’ll post about your upset on the ALLURE Beauty Box thread, I ( and I’m sure some others) will share past experiences with you about account compromises. They are why I use a debit VISA card with a limited balance rather than a credit card for my sub boxes.


Ohhhh, so that explains all the brushes! I got those two brushes in one bag, and the FARAH brush in the other, plus the FARAH trio in my Plus bag. Now I feel a lot less grumbly about all the brushes!


I’m getting the exactly same bag as yours!
I don’t do my nails but that deep green shade Looks nice.
I wasn’t really excited about my bag this month but after read your review, I can’t wait for mine!!!

Thank you for all hard work and may you have fantastic holidays🎅🏻🎄✨💕


I got the two brushes and the Hey Honey moisturizer, too. I can definitely use both brushes and that moisturizer is really hydrating…and I like the gentle honey scent.

My other items included teeny tiny Benefit Porefessional sample, and the Tinct nailpolish in Aarhaus (purple). I liked the color, but the polish formula is disappointingly thin and translucent.

My absolute favorite item this month was the Delectable Iced Gingerbread hand cream by Cake Beauty. It smells divinely delicious. I finished up the sample of Pistache cream from last month (which also smells incredible), so this gingerbread cream totally filled the void!


I felt disappointed this month. My bag wasn’t terrible, just unexciting. Like Liz, I got the FAB pads & Hey Honey moisturizer, which I’m happy with. I also got the Ciate glitter flip burgundy lipstick, the Steve Laurent loose shadow in olive, & the Lottie London black eyeliner pencil. The colors of these are really poor choices for me. The lipstick went in the trash after I tried the formula because I would never wear that color, & I didn’t even bother trying the olive shadow. Will pass on to someone else. The eyeliner will probably go bad before I get to it, given all the other black eyeliners I have samples of that I never use (not going for that sultry smokey-eyed look at the elementary school where I work, lol), & is only worth $1, anyway.

The bonus brush felt cheap to me (it started to bend as I was taking it out of the bag & it caught on the seam! yikes!), & I’ll be passing that along to someone else, too.

Even though the bag is not my style this month, it seems very well-made compared to some of the other bags we’ve been getting lately, & I think it will be a cute way to give my mom one of her little advent gifts (I’m doing the 12 days of Christmas for her this year).


Is there a reason that you always leave a sliver of your nails unpainted? Is it a review/comparison thing? Just something I noticed so I was wondering if there was something to it that I didn’t know about.

Christine Martinez

I was wondering the same thing


I think what you’re seeing is the glossy flash from the studio lighting?


Still waiting for mine to ship, got
November’s the first week of this month the, the NC warehouse is not my friend.


Same, haven’t received mine either yet. It’s not supposed to come until next week. I don’t understand why they’re shipping so late now.


There was a bad winter storm around NC, so a lot of their packages went out late. I got an e-mail from ipsy about it, and it was also stated on DHLs tracking page.


They must know who they are sending bags to bc I didnt get 6 items either. Just the minimum. Lol when I saw your picture of items I was surprised. No complaints here tho. I love my goodies.


Well now I want to resubscribe.


That nail colour is fantastic! My bag hasn’t been shipped as yet which means I will not be getting it until after new year, I’m in canada and we are having a massive mail strike….


I’m having bittersweet feelings this month. I didn’t get a bag for the first time in almost three years. I really do have so many samples to go through so it’s logical. It was still a sad decision to me though.


Me, too.


That brush wasn’t an extra for everyone? It’s listed as part of my regular bag? I’ve only got six items in my bag, like normal. Not seven. So was I ripped off?


The regular Ipsy glam bag only has 5 items.


Normally you get five in an ipsy, so having six is an extra! It isn’t listed as the bonus item on our account pages as far as I could tell (I could be wrong) but it’s the one item everyone got.


I didnt get the brush as an extra, I got a hair cream for frizzy hair


Ipsy bags only have 5 items.

Teresa Bachmeier

I received 6 items this month!


I don’t think people can still get this bag. I referred someone on the 2nd and they are getting January’s as their first.


They can contact customer service on the app to ask for December’s glam bag.


Liz, your reviews are my absolute favorite!

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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.