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Ipsy Glam Bag Ultimate Review – July 2020

Megan K.
ByMegan K.Jul 24, 2020 | 28 comments

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 July 2020 Review


It looks like this booklet is, again, not a list of items. I do miss those because they give so much info! I am guessing because there are more and more custom variations, they might just not be including specific product booklets anymore. Only time will tell!


This month, our bag is a pastel box shape with a ’90s palm tree illustration.

Now, on to the items!


Awake Glow Pill Super Serum, 40 mL – Retail Value $39.00

This was probably the item in this month’s box that I was the most curious about. Aside from the adorable pill-inspired packaging, the ingredient list was stellar! Inside there is hyaluronic acid for hydration, niacinamide for brightening and balancing, and panthenol to soothe skin. This clear gel doesn’t really have a scent or change the way my skin feels immediately after application, but I am hopeful that with time I will see smaller pores and better texture. If you have oilier skin, this might be enough for a daily moisturizer within itself, but if you are dry, try this before your moisturizer!


Beauty for Real SHADOW STX 24-7 Eyeshadow Duo in ‘Midnight Marathon’ and ‘Ever Starstruck’ – Retail Value $38.00 ($19.00 each)

These sticks are nice, though not terribly exciting. I feel like eye crayons are always a chance for some bright or unusual color since they aren’t bound to a palette and I would have been happier with a random teal or lilac maybe. Those feelings aside, these shades are undeniably wearable. Midnight Marathon is a shimmering bronze while Ever Starstruck is a soft champagne. They didn’t quite last 24 hours (honestly, that would be too long) but they did stay very pretty on my lids for at least 6 with minor creasing. 

Top: Ever Starstruck, Bottom: Midnight Marathon


Ciaté London Watermelon Burst Hydrating Primer, 40 mL – Retail Value $28.00

I liked the way this primer felt, but absolutely hated the scent. It smelled like a watermelon and a bottle of hairspray had a baby (probably because this primer does have alcohol). Not for me. It did make my skin feel very nice and certainly hydrated, but I couldn’t get past the scent to make this a regular-use item in my collection.


FOXYBAE Replenishing Hair Mask, Set of eight 15 mL packets – Retail Value $28.95

I am used to hair masks making my hair super slippy which I don’t always love. I have a coarser texture that I like because if I just leave it alone, I often have almost decent waves! I also have loads of greys that are thicker and more unruly, but I have embraced them. This mask didn’t really make my hair feel very sleek. This is a plus on my end, but if you are expecting this mask to make your hair feel like silk, maybe leave it on extra long. What it did do for my hair was add luster, manageability, and a great scent. I also noticed that even though my hair wasn’t weighed down by this mask, I still had fewer flyaways and frizz. Surprisingly enough, each packet was enough to coat my long strands (I ignore my scalp when I mask) and I actually liked that the portions were individually packaged.


Laruce Essentials Brush Set

This is a new brand to me, and I loved the beautiful paper packaging they arrived in. They feel like pretty standard synthetic brushes with nice density and they are all vegan, cruelty-free, and hypoallergenic. I really like the matte-finish rubberized handles with the studded texture. They just look really cool and feel great in my hands. This set includes a flat foundation, angled contour, mini kabuki, shadow, and tapered blending brush.


Purlisse Beauty BLUE LOTUS 4-in-1 Cleansing Milk, 150 mL – Retail Value $36.00

I liked this cleanser so much more than the Purlisse watermelon version. It has a very soft creamy scent that isn’t overpowering. It also has a nice heavier cream/gel texture that really lathers well on my face. I thought it did a great job of washing my makeup away without stripping my skin, which is important to me because I am on the drier side and I often double cleanse with an oil-based cleanser before a cream.


Seraphine Botanicals Sakura + Sage – Vegan Eyeshadow & Blush Palette – Retail Value $42.00

What a pretty palette! It contains a blush, golden highlighter, and six shadows. The blush and highlighter are dreamy. They both have such a subtle but impossible to ignore glow. Application is a dream with a larger fluffy brush and it is super easy to get a naturally diffused finish from both. The eyeshadows are a little more hit or miss. Filigree and Carob are both dreamy. They apply with ease and have such an incredible shimmer! Sparkle also performs well but is a bit too ’90s frost for my taste. The mattes work better with a fingertip. I think they need to be warmed up to really shine, though Pecan was gorgeous on. Silver was the big let-down in this palette because it really didn’t want to leave the pan by finger or brush. Literally, I rubbed my finger on it over and over and barely got anything out to swatch, as you can see below.

Top: Azalea, Bottom: Dawn

Top to bottom: Filigree, Carob, Pecan, Sparkle, Chicory, and Silver.


Belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb, 10 mL – Estimated Value $7.60 (Buy a full-size 50 mL for $38.00)

I am a big fan of this cream. It is actually one of my faves for winter when my face is all sad and wind-chapped. It has all sorts of delights inside: panthenol, calendula, and soothing willow bark. It is certainly on the heavier end, but if you have dry skin that needs a calming and super hydrating cream for day or night, you are in for a real treat.


Catherine Malandrino ‘Special Moments’ Eau de Parfum, 0.34 fl oz – Estimated Value $11.00 (Buy a full-size 3.4 fl oz for $110.00)

I did not like this perfume. It smelled much more like a hair product than any scent I would ever wear. The notes are citrus, peaches, pink blossoms, and white musk but I ended up scrubbing this off my arm. I did mark my IPSY profile preferences to see perfumes frequently, but if they are going to be scents like this, I might reconsider.


JAYJUN Green Tea Eye Gel Patch, 3 pairs – Estimated Value $9.60 (Buy 10 pairs for $32.00)

JAYJUN is a brand I tend to really enjoy, and I also love eye gels! This trio was a welcome addition to my bag this month. Green tea has so many antioxidants which makes it ideal for skin. You can see little green tea leaf particles inside these gels and they immediately give such a cooling effect when applied. As usual, I stashed these in my fridge for even more chill and depuffing action.


The Coffee Scrub in ‘French Vanilla’

The last time I used this I had to deep clean my shower out after. It is a good exfoliator (especially on legs!) but the mess factor really gives me pause. I think I would feel differently if I were a coffee fan, but I am not. The smell here is yummy: pure coffee and sweet sugary vanilla. Does anyone ever exfoliate outside? Asking for a friend.


OFRA x NikkieTutorials “Glazed Donut” Highlighter, 10 g – Retail Value $35.00

FYI: This was my choice item this month!

I keep an OFRA highlighter in my school kit and I love the ridiculous glow it gives any look with very little product. When I saw this pearly white shade was a choice item, I pounced! This highlighter is A LOT. Seriously, go in lightly or end up having to remove the makeup off of one cheek because you suddenly look (quite literally) liked a glazed donut. I found this stuff is so reflective that it is actually easier to apply with light fingertip tapping instead of most of my brushes. When used lightly, I adore this highlighter so much! I am very happy with my choice this month.

I would really like a donut now.


Maëlle Filmstar Eyelash Curlers – Retail Value $9.00

So these weren’t in my IPSY app as something I would be getting this month. Not sure if they were just an extra or what was going on there. I don’t use eyelash curlers too often, but these feel sturdy and have a cushy silicone pad, so when I do I will happily reach for them.

Verdict: Whew! That felt like a lot of stuff this month. My total tally arrives somewhere around $284.15 even without the brush or the coffee scrub values. That is a lot for a $50 box. Granted, there were some misses this month. I did not like the perfume or primer, and the eye sticks were a little sleepy for my taste right now. Even without those items there was still plenty inside this month to feel like a pretty decent Ultimate bag. I plan on reviewing all of my items in hopes of even further customization next month.

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No. The next Ultimate shipment will be in August! 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 each of the 13 items has an average cost of $3.85 (this calculation does not include the bag!).

Check out all of our Ipsy Glam Bag Ultimate reviews and the best beauty subscription boxes of 2020, 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 July 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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Darn, I was hoping IPSY would post add-on spoilers that included the Sunday Riley so I could skip Ultimate and just buy the SR, but the video they did this morning didn’t include it. It was my choice item, so I imagine it won’t be in my add-ons unless I skip now.

I feel like Ultimate is too much filler product to be worth it, but I really want the SR and that alone justifies the price I guess. But if it ends up being in add-ons, I’ll be really miffed I couldn’t just buy it there instead of in Ultimate.

Anyone else feeling this way? Thoughts or predictions?


This is the first Ultimate box I’ve seen that really feels worth the $50. Every full size item would have been a winner for me, and a lot of the sample sizes, too. I actually picked up the Seraphine Botanicals palette in an Ipsy flash sale; the shadows are gorgeous (and generously sized!), but I do wish the silver glitter had been another matte, maybe in a deep pink or even olive color. As it is, it’s just not quite flexible enough to be a daily-driver palette for me.

The Foxybae masks look like something I need to try. I recently discovered hair masks are the secret to taming my thick, wavy hair. I have a bunch in my stash from various sub boxes, but once I’ve used those up I might pick up the FB ones. I like that they’re individually packaged – super handy for traveling.

Megan K.

An olive instead of that silver would have been dreamy!


You REALLY like describing eyeshadows as ‘dreamy’, huh? 🤣

Sharon in SE TX

I use to take oatmeal baths. I kept things from getting messy by putting the oatmeal in a knee high. I don’t know if this would work for a coffee scrub, but if you have an old knee high or stocking around the house, it’s worth a try.

Megan K.

I actually think this is a great idea! Thank you 😊


Yes! More eye gels please Ipsy! I agree about the perfume; to me it smelled very young and inexpensive, like a body spray geared toward kids. The Juliette Has A Gun vanilla sea salt that I received last month in my glam bag, though? Gorgeous! So the perfume went in the donation pile. I didn’t even need to actually spray it, one whiff said enough. The primer is also one I won’t use as I don’t do fragrance or drying alcohols on my face. Everything else in my bag I was super happy to receive, my favorite being the Glow Pill Serum—I agree, the formula is amazing.

Megan K.

I am literally wearing a pair of these gels as I type! Eye gel life! Glad you also loved the Glow Pill. ♥️


I don’t have the ipsy ultimate bag. I’m just here for Megan’s review which never disappoints. Loving your reviews (as usual). ❤️


Hi Megan! I’m not now nor have I ever been an Ultimate subscriber. Your box sounds pretty darn good considering all the shade that’s been thrown at Ultimate since it’s rocky inception. I just wanted to comment on how much I enjoyed your thorough products reviews and humor! Well worth my time to read! Thanks!

Megan K.

Thank you so much for leaving such a kind comment Patsy. I am glad you found the review helpful and fun. That is the ideal pairing!


The Maelle curler was a bonus item sent this month to try to make up for the fact that the Laruce brush set is a repeat item for many people. Not sure why you received it if you didn’t actually get a repeat. Is the coffee scrub maybe a repeat for you?

The Laruce brushes were already sent in the February glam bag plus AND the June glam bag ultimate. Sorry if you have brushes marked as “rarely” in your profile, kids — apparently you WILL be getting these at some point whether you want them or not (and sometimes even if you’ve already got them)!

I hate zombie items so much.


I pour the scrub into a bottle of body wash & use it that way, definitely minimal mess.


Wow, thank you so much for sharing this tip! I’m going to add a bit of scrub to a body wash bottle tomorrow to try this. I have a ton of scrubs, and the most difficult is the Watkins Lemon Sugar scrub…it is so dense that it’s nearly impossible to squeeze out of its plastic tube. The Josie Maran scrub is also difficult, and another candidate for your idea. I can’t wait to try this, thanks again!

Megan K.

I think this is gread advice for loads of messy scrubs. Thanks for sharing! I will have to try this for sure.


Best review ever – seriously read this aloud to my husband who died laughing with me. It was honest and totally on point. Please don’t ever stop.

Megan K.

You got it MJ! 😊


Hi Megan! if you were wondering I exfoliate outside all the time there is a drain in my backyard that goes to sewer before I realized that I messed up my bathroom lol

Megan K.

I think I would just have to spray myself off with the garden hose. But, I mean… if i just pretend I am at the pool…


I got the ipsy plus which I love and I received the glow pill serum, the glazed donut highlighter, the ciate watermelon serum, tart surfer curl mascara and ittse magnetic interchangeable eyeshadow pallette. I let them choose for me coz by the time I got to choose, everything was gone. I’m glad I did cut this one was a winner!. All this for $25.00! It was better than this month’s boxycharm. I also added on Sunday riley luna serum for about $18


We are Plus bag twins except for the serum. I got an Ahava moisturIzer instead. I think what would bug me about Ultimate is that at least 4 of the full sized products in the review have also been sent out in plus – the Glow Pill serum, watermelon primer, OFRA highlighter, and the Purlisse cleanser. Other than the sheer amount of products, it just doesn’t feel ultimate or special. I would rather spend 1/2 the price on plus, especially now with the new customization.


I loved the smell of the primer and perfume!! I love fruity, sweet scents!!! ❤️

Megan K.

I tend to like masculine leaning smells. My husband says I always smell like a campfire!


I got the same box without the perfume and the highlighter. It’s all quite boring really, except I love the Ciate primer. I’m gifting almost all of it. And I was disappointed with the bag. Between the shape, size and overall design, it’s not very useful as a bag in my opinion. I stuffed an old shirt in it so I could prop it up on my vanity. It came to me last night that because of the material, it might come in handy as a little cushion to use in the bathtub while I soak too. So not a total loss at least.

I got the eyelash curler extra too. I stumbled upon an email explaining to me that they included it in my box to make up for the repeat products they sent me this month. (I had 3)


I was expecting the bag to be a lot larger than it is. I almost bought it as an add-on to replace my current travel toiletry bag, but judging by the photos here it wouldn’t have been anywhere near large enough for a full size cleanser or shampoo/conditioner set.


So glad I didn’t buy the hair masks by them. I’m someone who likes the slippy. I have super thick hair. Annnnd now I wanna donut too! Lol

Megan K.

Donuts for all!


I always loved using those coffee scrubs at the shower at the gym.Sigh. Much easier to rinse the stall down. I just can’t do it at home. Too messy!

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.