Ipsy Review – January 2019


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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 2019 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 pale blue striped fabric exterior, bright pink accents, and a matching pink zipper pull.

And inside the bag is lined in pink, too:

Now, on to the items!

THEBALM COSMETICS Alternative Rock Vol. 2 Blush in Bare Minium – 1.5 g Value $2?

This peachy pink blush has a matte finish, excellent pigment, and it’s easy to blend. (For size reference, this is about the size of a regular eye shadow pan.)

ILLAMASQUA Colouring Pencil Lip Crayon in Lust – FULL SIZE! Retail Value $22

This is a cool red that went on smooth with great pigment. It had good staying power for a pencil liner, too. Here it is swatched beneath the blush:

(That blush swatch is heavy handed to best show color, but it blends out well.)

LUXIE BEAUTY 1010 Small Contour – Value $32?

I love this ProTools line from LUXIE! The matte black finish is makes it feel great to hold, and the indent helps, too.

The synthetic bristles are super soft, and this brush is great for blending out contour powder.

VDL Lumilayer Primer – 5 ml Value $4.33

First the bad news, this tube was practically empty. The good news? I did like the formula! It gives your skin a luminous finish that you can use as your primer pre-foundation, or you can use it without any makeup on top, too.

YENSA PUMPKIN TURMERIC 2-in-1 Radiance Polishing Mask – 15 ml Value $20

First, this smells great. (It immediately reminded me of Fall.) And second, I love a 2-in-1 mask. You leave it on for 10 minutes, then massage away with warm water and you get the added benefit of exfoliation, too. It left my skin feeling SO smooth.

Verdict: This box has a value of about $80 (not counting the makeup bag). I think that’s a great value, and I absolutely love the glam bag design this month, too! It’s got a fun pajama vibe!

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.

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

What do you think of the January Ipsy Glam Bag? What items did you get in your bag?

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 Beauty Subscription Boxes, Canadian Subscription Box Reviews, Cheap Subscription Boxes, Ipsy Reviews, Makeup Subscription Boxes, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women| Tags: ipsy | 38 comments

38 Comments

  1. I got my first Ipsy bag for January and am seriously underwhelmed.
    I was expecting it to be so much more.
    I got a mini mascara, the pumpkin mask, clear lipgloss that is sticky and smelly like plastic, a liquid highlighter which cakes horribly and a sparkly small eyeshadow brush that feels mega cheap.

    I am giving it one more month and then may cancel if it doesn’t get better.

  2. I wasn’t too thrilled about this month’s bag. I got the same exact eyeshadow color that I did just a couple months ago. I did love the lip gloss. The makeup remover was just ok. I’d rather stick to my grape seed oil. Overall not very thrilled as I usually am.

  3. I am very disappointed with Ipsy the past months, and I am only waiting to spend my points in sth decent before canceling. The past few bags were awful, and this month was the worse. I received 2 liners, 1 chapstick, 1 leave in sample and a nail polish (which i put in my preferences that I do not want). I know that $10 is cheap, but from these 5 items, I was not excited with any of them, so it was $10 that I would not spend in anything. Last month was the same thing… they sent me 2 blending brushes, and I lost the count how many of the same kind they sent so far. I also received a purple awful highlighter from that “nomad” brand, which i imagine is out of the market and is putting their products at ipsy. i already received a couple of the same brand and they are all ugly. I have been waiting forever to redeem my points, but they never put anything that I would want in the shop.

    • It sux you received bags that were overwhelmingly misses for you. 🙁
      Nomad makes some beautiful eyeshadows and palettes. I purchased the Marrakesh beauty palette for myself and as a birthday gift for my niece because the colors were so gorgeous.

  4. Received my first Ipsy bag and I must say if this is the norm, I will be cancelling quick. I got none of what was reviewed either.
    My box contained a blush in almost a black color, Jersey Shore chapstick, black mascara by Wonderwand, black eye liner by Eyeko (profile states I do not wear liner) and a contour brush that is broken (bdb- which isn’t worth a penny for real) I am not sure if they think I am a goth grandma or what but….this was the first time I have done something like this for myself & such a let down. Rather have spent on a toy for the grandbaby

  5. I added the Ofra for a friend and the Hey Honey serum & Dr. Brandt eye cream for myself. Super excited for those, but also excited about my regular bag. Now if it would just get here! My delivery date is currently saying the 23rd. I’ve never had a bag arrive this late.

  6. New Ipsy point rewards up.

  7. I’m getting that Illamasqua liner too! Also chose the Luxie brush as a $3 add-on, and feeling pretty swell about it.

    I didn’t read all the comments on the other Ipsy posts, so I’m not sure if it’s been discussed, but how many other people were able to add full-size items from Ipsy Plus to their bags for $12? I snagged both the Tarte blush palette and the Ofra highlighter, and honestly I’m way more excited about either of those than I am for my regular Ipsy bag.

    • I added the Ofra for a friend and the Hey Honey serum & Dr. Brandt eye cream for myself. Super excited for those, but also excited about my regular bag. Now if it would just get here! My delivery date is currently saying the 23rd. I’ve never had a bag arrive this late.

  8. Cute makeup bag. Illamasqua makes the best black liquid eyeliner EVER so I wouldn’t be disappointed to try anything of theirs.

  9. I just haven’t had good luck with ipsy. I’d love this bag, but all my items look disappointing (wrong colors for my skin tone and opposite needs for my hair care). I hope I’m pleasantly surprised when my bag actually arrives.

  10. I cancelled all my subs the day after Christmas including Boxycharm and Ipsy plus and this is the only sub I kept. I consistently get items I will use and over all, and I only ever swap the bags.

  11. I liked my items this month. I love that a was blush brush was included since I received blush in my bag this month. I will use everything except the Naked Cosmetics Heavy Metal eye shadow. I received the following..

    Firma Beauty Blush Brush
    Hempz lip balm
    Naked Cosmetics Heavy Metal eye shadow
    Ciate London Wonderwand mascara
    Alternative Rock Blush in Bare Minium

  12. Hate to say but my bag just got shipped, and i wouldn’t be up set if it got lost in transit!!!!!! Felt same with Ipsy plus this moth as well. Ever since they started the box the quality, customer service ect is not the same. You can tell they are overwhelmed. Got the lip Pencil box, it was empty..

  13. I got 2 Laritzy lipglosses in my Dec bag instead of the Luna by Luna highlighter. They sent me a full size OFRA highlighter in Rodeo Drive as a replacement which was fine. The only knock was that they told me they would send me a Luna so I’m guessing they either ran out or didn’t care. The email with the tracking info was a dead link and no tracking number was given. I’m a little concerned at this sloppiness and the slow response. When I had an issue with an item in my Birchbox, they sent me a replacement immediately and the shipping was fast.

    • Sounds like you lucked out then. The Ofra highlighters are amazing, and the Luna one I have, not so much.
      I’m sure it was an accident that they put in two of one item, and not that they didn’t care.
      Seems like they did you right after the mix up.

      • I’d rather have the full size $35 highlighter too xD

        • Yes, the Ofra is great! I haven’t used Luna before either so I didn’t know how they compare. I also meant that they didn’t care to inform me that they weren’t sending me the Luna like they said they would. It took me 2 weeks to get the replacement in addition to getting the Dec bag pretty late. And I’m definitely not a fan of the Laritzy gloss.

          • I just received my bag and instead of the brush from my bag and the 2 I did as add on they sent me 3 of the Luxie ones 🙁 first time reaching out to CS so we will see how it works out

          • My bag finally arrived today also and it was missing my Luxie brush add-on, lol. I emailed them, waiting to hear back.

  14. For the only the second time in two years, I got the exact same 5 products (and same shades) in my two bags, oops! This month didn’t have a ton of items I love (there were only 2 add-ons I wanted, gasp!), so they still did a decent job. Almost all of my profile questions are answered differently, of course, but it’s hard to love a perfect lippie on only one account’s feedback/review and not the other! Still, ipsy and ipsy Plus remain my fave of all beauty boxes.

  15. I feel that Ipsy dropped the quality of the products for the last three months. The add-ons are fun but I feel that Ipsy lower the quality of the products so consumers purchase the extra items. As a right now I have my subscription in pause and considering to cancel. Hopefully, Ipsy can get this feedback and go back to quality products.

    • In what way do you feel the quality of product has dropped?

      I personally feel like this month in particular was great — very few private label “filler” brands (no Be A Bombshell or Hikari in sight! 🙏).

      • I got that pretty large size sample of Clinique makeup removing balm, a full size lipgloss and nail polish from good brands, a makeup brush and the Tarte foundation. The quality definitely hasn’t gone down for me *shrug*

  16. I’m still waiting on my bag! I got 2 add-ons (for the first time). I’m excited!

    I love TheBalm, & I’m hoping to get the eye shadow they’re sending out next month from the Alternative Rock Vol 1 palette.

  17. My comment that I posted over an hour ago isn’t showing. I would like to know why it did not post, please.

  18. I got the same Illamasqua lip pencil in the color plum. I really like it, but mine didn’t come in a box? That’s weird.

    Jealous of that Luxie brush, though. I got the BDB foundation brush, which is okay but nothing great.

    • I bought the brush for 3.00 in add ons 😊

  19. I did add-ons on this one and was about to write that it’s still in the “assembly” phase (it was earlier today) but I just checked and it looks like it’s on its way to DHL. Fingers crossed it arrives intact with all three add-ons.

    How’s it going with others that ordered add-ons? Have you received yours yet, were all items accounted for?

    • I ordered 2 add ons and still do not have my bag. Tracking says shipped (or maybe just label printed) Jan 10 and expected delivery Jan 16. But, nothing since then. No tracking updates at all. When I don’t have add ons or points redeemed my bag ships from Texas and it is always here quick. But it shipped from NC and it is always so much slower. I’m hoping it wasn’t lost.

      • That’s a little troubling. On the DHL tracking page, can you/have you tried the ‘Receive Status Updates’? If you can’t get any further information off the DHL tracking page I would email Ipsycare and ask if they could look into it.

        It has also been my experience that the bags which have add-ons arrive much later. Mine isn’t due to arrive till Jan 24. My Ipsyplus, which did not have add-ons, arrived (I think) on January 13. So that’s kind of my plan going forward, to only do add-ons on one bag. I hate waiting till the end of the month to get teh presents. 🙂

        • Yes I did click on the receive updates on dhl last week and still nothing. I think I will email them but they will probably just tell me to wait. The DHL tracking page still only shows as label printed on the 10th and nothing else.

          • My bag was sent out on Jan 9th, and hasn’t updated, hasn’t arrived. I emailed customer service, and they were going to send a replacement bag, but i haven’t gotten any tracking info for that either, which they said i would get within 5-7 days. Also, I had added the color pop palette but they said it was sold out, but it was an add on again this month.

      • Sorry, I tried replying to you hours ago. For some reason, it got filtered.

  20. VDL is known for cheap samples. They did a thing with Topbox where they were claiming to send out a deluxe sample of one of two primers. They sent everyone a foil packet that was almost empty. Barely one use.

    I’d let Ipsy know about the bottle being almost empty.

  21. Liz, have you ever thought of a like button below or near the product you are reviewing? I would “like” that brush in a heartbeat…good bag. I’ve been on Ipsy pause for months but for that brush…

    • We also had the option to add it onto our glam bag plus or the Ipsy bag for $3! I got one and it’s so so so soft!

    • That brush is the reason that I unpaused my account, and to my shock it was in ipsys picks for me…so that was pretty awesome

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