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Ipsy Glam Bag Ultimate Review – December 2019

Megan K.
ByMegan K.Dec 26, 2019 | 24 comments

Ipsy Ultimate December 2019

Ipsy Glam Bag Ultimate
2.6 overall rating
211 Ratings | 10 Reviews

Ipsy Glam Bag Ultimate is a monthly makeup and beauty subscription box – each month includes 8 full-sized items & 4 deluxe samples, in addition to a beauty bag! 

My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).

About Ipsy Glam Bag Ultimate

The Subscription Box: Ipsy Glam Bag Ultimate

The Cost: $50 a month + free US shipping. Save with an annual subscription.

The Products: 8 full-sized products & 4 deluxe samples

Ships to: The US for free and Canada for $2.95

Our Ipsy Glam Bag Ultimate December 2019 Review


Here is our info card complete with all of our items.


This month our bag is a chic silver faux leather with a pink interior and zipper.

Now, on to the items!


111SKIN Cryo Activating Hydra Gel, 45 ml – Full Size! Retail Value $200.00

That retail value makes my eyes water! I am always a little hesitant when it comes to skincare that is this expensive because there is usually another product out there with a similar formulation that won’t set you back $200! In looking at the ingredient list, there is some good, skin-loving stuff in here! My favorite standouts would be the lotus extract because my skin seems to really respond well to products with lotus for some reason, and of course, the hyaluronic acid! This formula also has a lot of aloe in it, which is probably why it feels so light and gel-like. It has a really great scent and the texture after it is absorbed feels similar to when you pull off a sheet mask and massage in the serum. I really liked how this felt under my normal daily makeup. While I wouldn’t ever pay $200 for this product (or, really, ANY skincare product I don’t think?) it is high quality and feels amazing on my skin, so I am happy to see a full-size pot show up in this month’s box.


Complex Culture Contour Blush Brush – Retail Value $35.00

YAY! I am so excited to see this pretty brush in my box this month. I received a highlighter brush in my regular Ipsy bag and a bronzer brush in my Plus this month, and I absolutely adored both of them. They are some of the prettiest brushes I have ever seen and the brush heads are so dense and fluffy! This is a rather unique style because the bristles are in a dramatic arch that creates the perfect shape for blushing on highlighter and contour. I am obsessed with these and thrilled to have a third.


Morphe 8L Lo-Fi Sculpt & Shimmer – Retail Value $25.00

I never let myself get too excited for large palettes like this even if I am lucky enough to receive one designed for fairer skin. They are usually just still too warm for me. This one has 4 contour shades and 4 highlighters in a very sleek black plastic palette. I actually think 2 of those contour shades might actually work for me (specifically ‘Literati’ and ‘Donut’) though I might have to wait until summer when I get a little warmth in my skin from the sun. The swatches below are pretty heavy and I used my finger, but when I played with a larger brush it diffused the shades out well enough so that they just might work!

The highlighters are all lovely, and totally wearable for me year-round. I think my favorite would be the ‘Stardust’ shade because it is one of those subtle pearl shades with a pink flash. The other three are soft gold, champagne, and a pink champagne shade. All are on the subtle side though they are totally buildable if you prefer more and more! I really like this palette and though two of the shades might be a miss, I feel lucky that so many of them totally work for me and I am much more into this palette than I expected to be.

Top to bottom: Literati, Enemy, Donut, and Debutante

Top to bottom: Lit, Stardust, Supernova, and Cosmic


SKIN&CO Roma Truffle Therapy Face Gommage, 150 ml – Full Size! Retail Value $28.00

I have sampled this stuff before and it feels much more like a face scrub than a “gommage,” at least to me. If you grew up loving St. Ives Apricot Scrub, you will probably like this too, and it has the added bonus of being significantly less abrasive to your skin while still being very clarifying. It has black truffle extract which is great in an anti-aging routine and sweet almond extract which is full of fatty acids. I applied this and massaged for a minute, then washed away with warm water. It provides a nice clean and left my skin prepped for the rest of my evening skincare routine.


Feel Brilliant Charcoal Sheet Masks, set of 4 – Retail Value $35.00

I review a ton of sheet masks, so when I get a pack of 4, I really hope they are good! Thankfully, I really loved these. They are the fabric type of mask that is black from being infused with clarifying charcoal. Sometimes these charcoal types can be drying to my skin, but these were just magical and left it feeling moisturized instead. Covered in a clear serum, they fit my face well and feel extremely cooling and calming. Really happy to have 4 of these to help undo all the indulgence I foresee this holiday season with sweets and champagne!


Girlactik 3-in-1 Lip Sparkle Balm, 2.80 g each – Retail Value $34.00 ($17.00 each)

I was over the freaking moon to see these pencils inside my box! I received the ‘Twinkle’ shade in my December Macy’s Beauty Box, and I have been obsessed ever since. I know the swatches don’t look like much. This is the type of formula you need to see in person because it is mainly clear. The magic is in the micro shimmer that is somehow so much more sophisticated than anything this glittery should be. The particulates are very tiny! The ‘Periwinkle’ shade has lilac shimmer, and the ‘Twinkle’ shade is pink. They are almost electric in person. They are so beautiful alone but also look stunning layered with your favorite lip color. You can even use these on your lids or cheekbones. I had planned on buying both of these after that Macy’s bag, but I am glad (for once) I waited and just magically got more in a box!

Top to bottom: Periwinkle, Twinkle


Illamasqua Illustrator Pen Eyeliner in ‘Black’ – Retail Value $28.00

I know, I know. We probably all have enough black eyeliner to last us for a really, really long time. That being said, I really like this one. It has a great marker tip and the black is blackest black! It feels super smooth and like a true marker, and the flexible tip allows for a thin or thicker line. In addition to this lasting all day on my eyes, I actually drew a few lines on the back of my hand, wore them all day and then slept with them on. They were barely smudged in the morning so this stuff really lasts.



Fluide Liquid Lipstick in ‘Candy Bar’, 2 ml – Retail Value $16.00

I really wanted to like this liquid lipstick, but I can be overly picky about matte lipsticks because I just prefer satin finish in general. This one feels a little too “slippy” at first for my taste. I know that might not make much sense, but it just feels thin and watery and like it moves around on your lips as you wait for it to dry. While this formula wasn’t for me, I actually did like the chocolate shade with its pink undertones. As far as browns go, it is incredibly wearable!

This reads a little more rose-chocolate on my skin, but I have loads of pink undertones.


Pixi Beauty Mesmerizing Mineral Duo in ‘Naturally Nude’, 1.5 g  – Estimated Value $3.13 (Buy a full 5.76 g size palette for $12.00)

I generally tend to like the Pixi brand. The packaging is cute, the formulas are solid, and they are always more on the natural side, which suits me just fine. This champagne and bronze duo is very pretty and wearable, and super smooth! They make lovely eyeshadows but you could also use that champagne as a highlighter too.

As with most of the Pixi products I have tried, the pigment is great!


Color Club Nail Polish in ‘Rocky Mountain High’, 15 ml – Retail Value $8.50

This is the season for vampy burgundy nails, so this bottle seems entirely appropriate for this box. It is kind of a sheer jelly style formula, and I needed two coats for decent coverage. It did dry pretty quickly and stayed really shiny for days after I applied it. I like that such a pretty color was sent this month, instead of anything really wild.

Sorry everyone, back to my normal nails for a while. The ridge you see in my nails is not due to the polish, but rather to my former acrylic overlays. I also made a bit of a mess but most brushes feel too big for my super small natural nails.


Space Case Cosmetics Seen from Space Highlighter, 2.5 g – Full Size! Retail Value $9.00

This packaging is so cute! I really like this highlighter too. It is subtle and much more pearly than it looks inside the pot and not one of those highlighters with definite sparkle particles your eye really notices. It applies really beautifully with a fluffy brush and gives a natural glow to my cheeks and forehead. I also liked this dusted on my collarbones and neck for a more formal holiday look.

I very much appreciate how subtle this formula is.


Banila Co Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm Original, 7 fl oz – Estimated Value $1.33 (Buy a full-size 100 ml for $19.00)

Finally, our last item is a mini pot of cleansing balm. Balm cleansers are fantastic for removing stubborn and waterproof makeup. This balm is solid but begins to melt easily when your fingers touch it, turning it into an oily liquid that feels great on your skin. I like to apply it and then rub in circles over my face. You can literally watch the makeup dissolve. You can wash your face as normal then, or if you are somewhere without water, simply wipe the balm away with a cloth and go!

Verdict: This box has a value of around $422.96 which is A LOT of value for $50. I feel like Ipsy Ultimate is getting better and better each month, which is a relief since I was really unsure about the first bag. There were some big wins for me this month! Namely, the brush, Girlactik balms, highlighter palette, and sheet masks. I also loved the highlighter, eyeshadow duo, and nail polish. The liquid lipstick is probably the only thing I won’t use and will regift, but 11 out of 12 ain’t bad! Even the big-ticket item was a win for me because the ingredients are great and it smells and feels awesome on my face. I am super happy with this month’s selection and love how much value was inside.

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Possibly! As of publication, there was no Ipsy waitlist. Check here to see what month you’ll get first.

Value Breakdown: This box costs $50 so here is what you are paying approximately per item:

  • 111Skin Hydra Gel $23.64
  • Complex Culture Brush $4.13
  • Morphe Palette $2.96
  • SKIN&CO Roma Gommage $3.31
  • Feel Beauty Sheet Masks $4.13
  • Girlactik Balm Duo $4.02
  • Illamasqua Eyeliner $3.31
  • Fluide Lipstick $1.89
  • Pixi Beauty Shadow Duo $0.39
  • Color Club Polish $1.00
  • Space Case Highlighter $1.06
  • Banila Co Cleansing Balm $0.16

Alternatively, each of the 12 items has an average cost of $4.17 (not including the bag!). I counted the set of 4 masks and the pair of lip pencils as single items, but if you split them up the estimated cost per item drops even more!

Check out all of our Ipsy Glam Bag Ultimate reviews and the best beauty subscription boxes of 2019, as recommended by our readers!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

What do you think of the December Ipsy Glam Bag Ultimate? Which items did you get?

Ipsy Glam Bag Ultimate is a monthly makeup and beauty subscription box - each month includes 8 full-sized & 4 deluxe samples, in addition to a beauty bag! (Shipping is free to the US, and an additional $4.95 to Canada).
Megan K.
Megan K.
I love natural/vegan beauty products, Korean skincare, unique jewelry, and weird candies from far away places. When I am not waiting for my next exciting box you can find me painting or taking photographs of interesting people. I never leave home without pug hair somewhere on my shirt and a bold lipstick on my smile.

Megan K.
Megan K.
I love natural/vegan beauty products, Korean skincare, unique jewelry, and weird candies from far away places. When I am not waiting for my next exciting box you can find me painting or taking photographs of interesting people. I never leave home without pug hair somewhere on my shirt and a bold lipstick on my smile.
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Wow I thought I was the only one this month but I guess no one got there stuff! I get all three glam bag , plus , and ultimate. So it’s really annoying that i will be billed for January tomorrow and still haven’t got DECEMBER! plus all my add ons to each bag ugh so upsetting this has happened more than not I am re thinking this whole ipsy thing :/


Can someone please tell me if the Girlactik lip pencils we got this month can be sharpened?


Yes, they can be sharpened with a normal sharpener with a large hole. I use a $3 sharpener on them and it works fine.


My Glam Bag Plus is also missing. It shows shipping label created almost 3 weeks ago and nothing. I had 5 add-ons as well now some of the add-ons and the items in my bag are unavailable. They said they’d refund me $5 only after I contacted them about 5 times. Then they said they’d refund me $9 of the $12 I paid for my sold out add-on. I have problems with them not including add-ons or my bag being lost every month for months now. Had my subscription for several years, but I’m getting fed up thinking about cancelling. Their customer service stinks they usually send me some excuse that doesn’t address my issue.


I just received my January 2020 flash sale box , I thought my December box finally arrived but no. I think they didn’t have enough stocks so they cheated us, I don’t believe DHL would lost so many packages at once, unless their warehouse got robbed.


Got emails saying my regular glam bags will be here December 30th almost time to get billed for January and haven’t even got December bags it’s so stupid! At least I got my glam plus boxes already a week ago!


While I am still underwhelmed, I will say I see steady improvement.


We had mostly the same box. I was very disappointed with the grommage. I was expecting a consistency similar to the Arcona cranberry grommage with I love and get amazing results from and it feels like more of a cleanser with scrubbies in it. I love the 111, of course and been using it sparingly in small amounts over my Murad face clearing lotion and it’s been a great combo for my skin. The Morphe palette was okay. I will definitely experiment more with it. And those brushes!! I got them both this month and they speak for themselves quality wise. Very, very luxe in feeling and performance. October was a disappointing experience across my bags overall but I’ve been exceptionally happy with November and December and I can’t wait to see what’s coming for January.


gommage. No R.


My own fault for not looking at the value of the cleansing balm. I paid 3 for an itty bitty amount as an add onlol lesson learned


Ipsy ultimate is my first Ipsy subscription, so I am happy, and no repeats for me.


I just don’t understand why Ipsy thinks that an “ultimate” experience involves them offloading a ton of overstock products from previous months. The Girlactik sparkle balms have been recycled in about 4 boxes already since last spring. The Pixi duo has appeared in glam bags almost as often, & the Space Case highlighter is from October. The Feel masks were in glam bags a YEAR ago (though I can kind of understand sheet masks as a repeat…. hopefully they get used up quickly).

I don’t see how paying $50 for leftovers (that I didn’t get in my regular glam bag because they don’t fit my profile) is a good idea.

Emmy Lou

I couldn’t agree more, Marion!


Me either, I don’t get the appeal of this box, unless if the choice item is worth $50 to you. Maybe they think ultimate means the bag with the most product, like quantity over quality?


That’s definitely what it is, but not what many of us were expecting based on the marketing. I didn’t sign up until this month because I liked the spoilers, but I’m 100% going in knowing that I will probably get 1 or 2 “hero” items and then all the same stuff in the regular and plus bags. There has been some improvement, though, so I’m crossing my fingers.


Great box!


I wish I could be thrilled. My bag is lost and the replacement won’t include the 111 Skin. Also was forced to keep the $12 bag to redeem my point item and it wasn’t even with my regular and is lost with my Ultimate. My add ons were incorrect for the regular bag I got so, I’m just done. Only gifts to myself this month for Christmas and my birthday and I got nothing but charged for a huge let down.


I saw a lot of people got scammed this month, same issue, shipping label created but the box never made to DHL, and after 10 days, you write a complain letter, they send you a replacement of a bunch of crap to make up for the box that’s “missing”, or refund you 5 dollars. They shipped out my January flash sale items from the same place, it got updated in DHL system after 1 day, what about the holiday delays?


my bag is also lost(never sent), replacement does not include things out of stock.


I do think GBU is a great value. You get so much stuff!


Question: you wrote, “The liquid lipstick is probably the only thing I won’t use and will regift”. Does that mean that you swatched the applicator onto something else and then applied the product from the something else?

Megan K.

No, I use directly out of the tube. My mom is usually the recipient of most lipsticks I don’t like 😉


That works! 🙂


Box twins! I was thrilled with this month’s GBU.

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.