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Ipsy Glam Bag Design Process – Behind The Scenes!

Curious about how ipsy glam bag designs come to be? We got the behind the scenes details from their design team for you!

  1. They start designing way earlier than you might think. Right now they’re working on the summer 2020 designs!
  2. The first round of designs may include up to 16 very different options. They make samples of all the design options and narrow it down to pick the best of the best with the creative team.
  3. After they pick the best design, it’s time to focus on the details. The design team tweaks the colors, materials, and feel of the bag until it meets ipsy standards.

This is the original design for the January 2019 Glam Bag.


What do you think of the design process? What’s your favorite bag ever from ipsy?

ipsy is $10 a month. Sign up here.

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!

Posted in Ipsy & Ipsy Glam Bag Plus, Ipsy News, Subscription Box News| 63 comments

Comments (63)

  1. 16 options and *this* was the best design of them all? 😬 Of course everyone has different tastes, but this bag immediately went into my give away/donate pile.

    Anyway, this was interesting! I think it would be interesting to know more details. How many designers are there? How do they choose, and do they select the theme before or after the design? I also agree with others that it would be fun to be able to vote on the design, even if it’s at least once a year.

  2. Thanks for the post Liz. Like other people have mentioned I thought Ipsy got their bags from some type of wholesaler and stamped their name on it. I am excited each month to see what the bag will look like.

    My favorites are the Halloween bags. I’m currently using the December 2018 which is also great.

  3. March 2017 was my fav…a nude pink with a pink and black cross stick on one side, and the top folds over. It’s the only ipsy bag I’ve ever kept, actually.

  4. Super cool to get a sneak peek behind the scenes. I love the majority of the bags. My favorite characteristics are 1) top zipper, 2) larger the better and 3) a FUN zipper pull. No matter how the bag looks, it’s a great wrapper to the gifts within!

  5. Thank you for this post Liz! It was really interesting to find out the process behind the bags…i had no idea so much thought goes into it and that they are made by ipsy for ipsy! I think one of my favorites was Gudetama <3

    • Glad to hear you enjoyed the post! Gudetama is one of my all time favorites, too! 🙂

  6. I have so many favorites! But I would have to say my #1 is the gold sequin with the black tassel and black on back of the bag!

  7. I like the bigger bags to carry in my purse. I’m not crazy about the design but the black & white one where we were given colored markers to decorate it ourselves is one I carry a lot just because it’s a bigger bag. Also I like the ones made from vinyl like material because I can wipe them if they get dirty on the outside. The red Halloween one was pretty & I loved the clear one we got many months ago.

    I really wish Ipsy would offer the option of receiving a bag or a 6th item. I’ve got way too many bags sitting in a drawer with samples stuffed in them

  8. These comments are hilarious. So much spite over a simple puff piece. They were just trying to round out the experience.
    Funny how some think we all shouldn’t be yes men but then they had actually nothing to point out about the short article they didn’t like only they were “underwhelmed”. Pretty lame.
    My fav’s were Gudetama and the passport.

  9. My favorite is the clear bag with the popsicles on it. I use the bags to group together and organize samples. Being able to see through the bag makes it easy to find a particular item .

    • Oh, that’s one of my all-time favorites too; I carry it in my purse so I can see and get to what I need quickly. I also recently began organizing my stash by grouping them together in the extra makeup bags and boxes.

  10. Favorites: Galaxy print, Valfre Halloween print, ticket shaped bag, the ikat style printed canvas one, the Breakups to Makeup canvas bag, the one that looks like an envelope with the heart on it (nerdy one), the passport one, Gudetama, and then very simple ones like this month with a clean print that looks polished in a tote without a ton of clash, a tassel, sequins or some weird material.

    My least favorite is probably anything with sequins, or that horrible garish yellow one with the tassel from this year etc. The sequins seem fun in theory but they break, get dirty, and don’t look as nice quality. I want it to be cute and durable.

  11. My favorite is a halloween one from a few years back. Was pink with black print all over it. Second was the butterfly one.

  12. Back to the question that was asked in the review………
    My favorite was the butterfly one last spring (I think April 2018). I’m one of those people that has pink EVERYTHING (kind of a signature color sort of thing) and I’ve always been inspired by the symbolism with butterflies so that was just a PERFECT bag for me.
    I’ve loved and hated many of the bags over the several years I’ve been getting Ipsy, but it’s always interesting to see what bag they’ll do next.
    I also agree that I would love to see more of the design process and even some of the failed options for each month.
    My one suggestion for Ipsy is that I wish they would switch up the size/dimensions of the bags a little more frequently. A lot of the ones I use most are the ones that are “different” in size/dimension.

    • “I wish they would switch up the size/dimensions of the bags a little more frequently.”

      Great suggestion! I agree.

  13. I had no idea the create them in house either like a previous commentor noted they thought it was contracted out. I love the Gudetama one also and the Sept 2018 one. Looking forward to some unique ones this year.

  14. This is pretty cool. I knew they set them in advance but not THAT far in advance, cheezus! Also, my fav so far was probably the one that came with the markers. Such a cute concept.

  15. My fave was definitely Gudetama. So much so that when I lost it, I was so sad that I bought another one off Ebay.

  16. This January bag was not impressive nor did it seem wintery. I liked the Gudetama bag and the passport one. Of course, others may disagree.

  17. My favorite bags were the Gudetama bag and the Halloween bags. And I liked reading about the design process.

  18. Sept 2017 is my fave. The only one I’ve held onto really.

  19. Huh. I never realized they had them designed in house…just assumed they were generic ones they contracted and had their name stamped on. I guess I assumed that because the bags never feel that unique or well designed. I struggle to give them away month after month. I like to use a larger makeup bag with two compartments or an inner pocket. Judging from the amount of these I see at thrift stores, my only concern is that they will just add to clogged landfills when people tire of then.

    • Women’s shelters like these because they can make on-the-go toiletry kits. I mail mine regularly to Project beauty Share.

      • Wow, I’m so glad you shared that! That’s amazing, I’m saving that on my browser so I can start sending products and bags to them.

      • That is a great idea, thanks for sharing! I end up with so many bags I won’t use and can’t always give away to family or friends.

        As to favorite bags, I liked Sep 2018 and loved Oct 2018. The rest I either gave away at Christmas, or are still in a box piling up.

  20. I’m torn: I loved the passport stamp covered one from May 2018, adorable Gudetama, and the admission ticket. Hoping for some great 2019 designs, wasn’t very impressed with 2018’s.

    • Yes, Tammy, we have the same taste!

  21. My favorite bags were the Halloween 2017 and 2018 season… along with the December 2018 bag… the bags are cute and good for gifting…..

  22. So the next time one of them says on Instagram, “I picked theme XYZ for this month’s bag, because I’ve really been feeling XYZ *lately*” (as one of them did at least once, I recall) we’ll know for sure that she’s full of it.

  23. Might be a good idea for them to narrow some designs down, month’s in advance of course, and let their subscribers vote to pick the final bag. Could be fun.

    • I love that idea! 👍💡☑️

  24. It’d be cool if subscribers got to vote on one of the undecided bags (like customer selected bag month once a year).

  25. This is one of my favorite bags!

    • I really like this one too! I’ve kept a few for me and the rest I use for gifting.

  26. Our favorite is the Admit one bag because our family is really into movies. We thought it was clever.

    • I like this one too. It’s one of just a handful I’ve kept over the years. My favorite ever is the gudetama bag, but I know that one was polarizing!

  27. Cool! It would be interesting to see some of their unused designs for the same month!

  28. I thought this was neat, would have liked a sneak peek at upcoming trends, or more pics of the process and design boards from the past.

    • I’ll ask them about upcoming trends! Thanks for the feedback!

      • Dunno if you’ve firne this before but maybe (since most people don’t read the comments) do a post about what to do with the leftover bags? Personally I give them to women’s shelters filled with little toiletries (floss, tampons, pads, etc). But maybe folks have links they could share with you so there’s a compilation of options? Just an idea. 😀

  29. That’s crazy how far in advance they start designing! Super interesting

  30. This was an extraordinarily underwhelming post.

    • This was an unnecessary comment aimed towards someone who works very hard for your entertainment

      • Agreed. If you can’t say anything nice…

      • It’s her FULL-TIME JOB. This blog is a BUSINESS – a very high paying business for the amount of actual hard work that goes into it. Liz and MSA are not immune to comments and criticisms from her CUSTOMERS. If she producing weak content – which this is – she needs to know so she can improve.

        Don’t be fan girl. Be a critical-thinking consumer of content.

      • There’s a big difference between providing constructive criticism and just being “extraordinarily” rude and nasty about it with a one-liner.

      • Doesn’t consumer imply you pay for this? It’s free. Everyone won’t like every post. As you can see, many readers did enjoy this. It’s bonus from a site that pretty much does reviews and spoilers. And do you actually know how much Liz earns and/or how much she works? Lotta assumption here.

        As a critical thinker of content, I don’t feel the need to sh*t on posts I don’t like. I just keep scrolling, unless the content is just pissy, like your comment.

      • You paying for this content? No. So you’re not a “customer”. Your comment added nothing to the discussion. Might want to just scroll past next time.

    • I think it was super cool and that someone got up on the wrong side of the bed huh? There’s always gotta be someone who try’s to spoil the fun….

    • I agree with you Lm – I was expecting more from this post. Maybe MSA should consider not doing useless posts like these and put the effort into actual reviews? (before anyone attacks me, I’m entitled to my opinion)

      • I… am actually speechless. Just… I’ve seen some not-so-nice comments on MSA before but this… THIS!! 🙁

      • Really? You have not been around very long if you think that.

      • Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But ya know what, if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all.

      • I will have to politely disagree with you. People shouldn’t be censored into only saying “nice” things. This website makes money from its readers so constructive criticism is essential. I don’t think the initial comment nor the comment you’re replying to are providing much constructive criticism. However, that doesn’t mean that only positive comments should be encouraged. Perhaps what should be encouraged is a more involved discussion about how MSA can improve their posts or reviews by focusing both on the positive and the negative aspects.

      • Exactly the point I was trying to make….sharing a negative comment without constructive feedback behind is not helpful. It’s trolling.

      • While you politely disagree with me, I will enthusiastically agree with you. 🙂 I understand the concept of constructive criticism, and like you pointed out, I don’t see any constructive criticism in the previous posts. So maybe I should elaborate – “If you don’t have anything nice to say and you’re just being negative for the heck of it, say nothing at all.” That doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, I’ll have to work on that.

        I’m sure Liz appreciates feedback that is actually thoughtful and constructive. I just get sick of everyone’s pointless negativity on this website. I’m so glad no one follows me around at work and constantly poops on my parade.

      • Elizabeth and Kara, I agree! ☹️

      • I know everyone is entitled to their opinion. Liz just showed how Ipsy picks their bags and asked what our favorite bags were. Why would anyone want to write something negative about that?

      • Maybe you should consider not taking the time to post your unhelpful opinions and put more effort into improving your attitude or contributing positivity to the world.

      • But the world needs all kinds, not just yes-people. The comment about it being underwhelming is pretty innocuous. And it rings true for me. The post is fine, I was just expecting more, like some production photos or rejected bag ideas, something juicier. It’s perfectly fine to voice an opinion and not have a resolution.

      • I actually chuckled to myself when reading your response because I realized the irony…anyone I work with would happily tell you how I’m the opposite of a yes-person. I guess the difference is that I save “speaking out” for things that actually matter, not just to point out how I disliked a post and imply that it should therefore not exist. Many people here have admitted they were unaware that ipsy actually designed their own bags and enjoy sharing what their favorite one has been…so I guess it did have some point and was informative to some.

      • LOL @ Alison’s comment. “I’m going to say something extremely negative that I know will cause backlash, but don’t attack me.”

        Can’t take the heat? Get outta the kitchen!

      • I don’t think it’s useless. If it’s sponsored content, it covers the blog running and I love reading it so I’m good with people being paid to run the site and create content. Also, if Ipsy has people read the contents to see what we liked and didn’t like, good! I’ll get more of what I like!

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