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Ipsy Glam Bag Ultimate Review – October 2020

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 October 2020 Review


No specific product info for me this month.


This month, our bag is made of black faux leather and has a gold illustration featuring makeup, moons, and eyes.

Now, on to the items!


Air Repair Skincare’s Super Hydrating Eye Cream, 15 mL – Full Size! Retail Value $24.50

I always feel like Air Repair products look a lot less amazing than their formulas already are. Seriously, if this brand got some hip packaging, it might be unstoppable! And the price is great for the eye cream inside this slightly boring tube. It has a heavier texture that absorbs quickly, which is important in an eye cream because you really don’t want to be rubbing that skin more than you have to. There is enough goodness here that I could take way too much time to list everything, but I will spare you with a few callouts: vitamin C, a TON of peptides, ceramides, panthenol, green tea, and oils from sweet almond, flax, rosehip, and loads more. If you have dry skin and you are concerned about hydration around your eye area, you are going to love this.


Barefoot Venus Instant Hand Repair in ‘The Vanilla Effect’, 30 mL – Retail Value $6.50

This cream was nice, though the tube certainly could have been larger. I liked the pretty metallic branding with its vintage flair. With winter coming soon, I am sure we will all be using even more hand creams and this nourishing shea and olive oil formula with its warm vanilla scent is a nice choice.


Catherine Malandrino Romance de Provence Eau de Parfum, 0.34 fl oz – Estimated Value $11.00 (buy a full size 3.4 fl oz for $110.00)

I was fully prepared to hate this perfume because every scent I have smelled from Catherine Malandrino has been a total miss for me. Shockingly, this one was alright. It is a bit more mainstream than the weird scents I like to wear, but not everyone wants to smell like an antique book combined with a fireplace. At least that is what Will tells me. This scent is decidedly sweeter and “normal” but it is still really kind of sexy. The top notes of currant and orange are given some sophistication with violet and jasmine, and the whole scent has a nice base of amber, caramel, and vanilla. While I wouldn’t make this a purchase, I am fine wearing it!


Dr. Brandt Skincare PoreDermabrasion Pore Perfecting Exfoliator, 2 oz – Retail Value $58.00

Though I much prefer Kate Somerville’s Exfolikate, this is a great backup that I like almost as much and enough to not make a purchase! This is absolutely a once a week thing for me, and it probably should be for most people. The micro exfoliators really do their job well! I am a big fan of exfoliation, but over-exfoliation is never a good idea. Inside this cream is a mix of aluminum crystals for exfoliation, salicylic acid for blemishes, and lentil seed extract to help refine your pores. Pores really never shrink. You kind of get what you are born with. BUT keeping them clean and clog-free certainly helps them look smaller. I like to apply a little bit of this stuff to my face and massage in small circles for a minute or so, focusing on the places on my face where dead skin likes to build up. Hello, nostrils, eyebrows, and jawline! After a nice massage, I rinse it with warm water and then tone and moisturize. With regular use of this and similar products, I have totally seen a massive difference in my skin texture.


Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow PHA +BHA Pore-Tight Toner, 40 mL – Retail Value $15.00 (Glow Recipe also sells a larger 150 mL for $34.00)

I am most certainly not immune to the charms of this much-hyped watermelon line from Glow Recipe. Everything from the packaging to the formulas is so fun! I was super excited to try out this toner because I really enjoy the scent and performance of the watermelon line. The first thing I noticed was that familiar watermelon smell along with the rather slimy texture of this toner. I don’t mean slimy in a bad, way, but slimy is an accurate word. That texture goes away once it is absorbed into your skin, but those out there thinking this will be watery? Not really. This stuff does a great job of being hydrating as well as providing exfoliation. The combo of PHAs and BHAs with treats like hyaluronic acid, aloe, and watermelon has been pretty effective for me but also very gentle. I think if you already love this family of products you are going to be thrilled with this and if you are new to it, this is a nice place to start since this smaller bottle is a very affordable $15.


Huda Beauty Emerald Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette – Retail Value $27.00

FYI: I picked this item!

I really love Huda Beauty products because the color stories are always on point and the formulas are really nice quality. That being said, I was kind of doubting this palette as I was swatching it. The shimmers were, expectedly, awesome, but the mattes felt kind of dull and the payoff just wasn’t there. I decided to throw together a quick (Poison Ivy inspired) look to test them out and found that they actually perform really well. I used a brush to create the looks below and though there was fallout, I had zero issues with color payoff. I originally chose this palette looking for a green that would be close to the truly stunning one Yennifer wears in The Witcher, and though I didn’t quite find a dupe, I still like these greens a lot.

Here are arm swatches of the shades.

I actually liked this simple look with just the 2nd and 3rd shades. It’s a great way to wear green every day.

But if drama is what you crave, bring in the shimmers!


Kiss & Smink Matte Creme Lip Crayon in ‘Marietas’ – Retail Value $20.00

Kiss & Smink is one of those brands I never see anywhere outside of a subscription box, but I have liked everything I have tried. This really pretty matte crayon is in a really wearable pink shade and the formula itself feels great on. It has that matte look without the flaking or uncomfortable dryness of some. The flipside is that this isn’t the most long-lasting formula, but I will take it. This is a very easy shade to just toss on and go.

A nice pink!

And here it is on.


Lovecraft Beauty Blush Palette, 15 g – Full Size! Retail Value $39.00

I am someone who absolutely loves blush, but I never feel that excited about blush palettes. I know this doesn’t make a ton of sense, but here we are. The trio of shades inside this one is very pretty and wearable. All three are matte and the colors range from a sheer ballet pink to a peach to a moody dirty pink. All work great with my fave large blush brush and I have nothing to complain about. I just didn’t find it terribly exciting.

Top to bottom: Altheda, Dauphine, and Oscalia.


Morphe M448 Pointed Powder Brush – Retail Value $10.00 (currently on sale for $5.00)

Morphe E52 PremiumTapered Brush – Retail Value $23.00 (currently on sale for $11.00)

I own many, many makeup brushes. And I love and adore them all. I think we all have that one thing we hoard when it comes to our beauty stashes, and brushes are probably mine. I loved both of these. The smaller pointed powder brush is an absolute DREAM for blush but especially highlighter powders. It just lays that stuff down on my cheekbones perfectly. The larger brush is ideal for a nice loose powder finish or a diffused and sheer blush application.


Naked Cosmetics Loose Pigment in RF-01, 1.5 g – Retail Value $14.99

Naked Cosmetics Loose Pigment in SN-02, 1.5 g – Retail Value $14.99

Naked Cosmetics Loose Pigment in BB-03, 1.5 g – Retail Value $14.99

Naked Cosmetics Loose Pigment in BB-05, 1.5 g – Retail Value $14.99


Build a Custom 4-pigment Kit for $39.99

Something about this quad of pigments reminds me of the makeup I wanted in the 90s that my mom wouldn’t buy for me. I think it is the stackability? Anyone else know what I am talking about? I am going to admit that something about the shimmering loose pigments feels a little like the makeup I wore when Ki was much younger too. I would have liked these miles more if they were pressed. I just don’t like having a bunch of loose powders floating around in my bag and I honestly don’t get the point when I compare them to pans. Sure, these loose powders look phenomenal when applied with a large brush, especially on collarbones, but these were just ok. What am I missing here?

Top to bottom: RF-01, SN-02, BB-03, and BB05


OFRA Pressed Blush in ‘Charm’, 10 g – Retail Value $29.00

I always enjoy OFRA products. They make some truly amazing highlighters and their blushes are gorgeous too. This one is a nice pink with a dirty-peach sort of vibe. I think this would be gorgeous on anyone and it looks so natural and fresh on my cheeks. This is a great example of how I love a blush single right after I was ‘meh’ about a blush palette. Why am I like this? Do you prefer a single shade or do you like a nice palette to mix and match?

I will totally wear this.


The Balm Will Powder in ‘Worth the Wait’, 2.2 g – Estimated Value $5.50 (buy a 10 g multi blush palette for $25.00)

My final item is one that I wish was a larger sample. I seriously loved this stuff. It is like a blush + highlighter combo, but really, be light-handed here. I wasn’t and I looked like I was made of metal my first attempt. Be gentle and this super reflective highlighter goes from chrome to glow, adding just a hint of pink. The formula is like butter and it looks SO pretty when combined with that OFRA blush. I am bummed I can’t buy this in a single because it comes in, YOU GUESSED IT, a blush palette.


Verdict: My Ultimate this month has a total value of $308.49 which is pretty wild for a $50 bag. Not everything was a home run this month, though there was certainly enough here to make me feel like it was a good month. My favorite items (Huda palette, OFRA blush, Glow toner, and Dr. Brant exfoliator) made this a great assortment. Sure, there was a wee bit of filler, but the majority of the items here were things I will happily use regularly and the brands were a nice mix of power players and smaller labels. All in all, this delivery was a good time!

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No. The next Ultimate shipment will be in November! 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 the approximate cost per item:

  • AirRepair Skincare Eye Cream $3.96
  • Barefoot Venus Creme $1.05
  • Catherine Malandrino Perfume $1.78
  • Dr. Brant Pore Treatment $9.37
  • Glow Recipe Toner $2.42
  • Huda Beauty Eyeshadow Palette $4.36
  • Kiss & Smink Crayon $3.23
  • Lovecraft Beauty Blush Palette $6.30
  • Morphe Brush Duo $5.50
  • Naked Cosmetics Pigment Set $6.46
  • OFRA Blush $4.69
  • The Balm Highlighter $0.89

each of the 12 items has an average cost of $4.17. (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 September Ipsy Glam Bag Ultimate? Which items did you get?

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Written by Megan Kirkland

Megan Kirkland

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.

Posted in Beauty Subscription Boxes, Ipsy Glam Bag Ultimate Reviews, Makeup Subscription Boxes, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Women| Tags: ipsy glam bag ultimate | 26 comments

Comments (26)

  1. Just thought I’d point out that Ipsy’s site now says December will be the last month for Ultimate.

  2. Great review of a nice bag. I actually love those Naked pigments. I’m not usually a fan of loose pigments either, but these stay tightly closed in my makeup bag. I apply them wet as eye shadow with my fingertips.

    • I will have to try this! I think I just hate how clumsy (and spill prone!) I can be haha

  3. I love your glasses

    • Yes, they are awesome!! Cute specks!

      • Yes, I love reading your reviews Megan! I also think about my bags and receive very similar items as you do! I thought that the Naked Loose Pigments were a duplicate from my Glam Plus bag in the summer of 2018. I almost didn’t open the 4 pack sleeve, so I could gift it to someone that would enjoy it…I am glad that I did peek because now I have 8 similar but different shades and they are now stacked in a cute way on my makeup table, lol! I was not a huge fan when I got the first set, but read a review to apply with a wet brush and pack a single shade on my lids…WOW, gorgeous! Side note: I totally almost lost the whole pot while packing my lid (keeps autocorrecting to KID, LOL) with the wet brush in one hand and the open pot in the other. What a mess that would be!

        On the blush palette vs single Ofra (I’m slightly Ofra obsessed with the single blushes and highlighters often received thanks to Ipsy 🙂 I use to love the palettes, but recently fell in love with a single blush from KALEIDO Cosmetics. Now I’m leaning towards the singles =)

  4. That perfume costs over $100 and is made in China… sounds like ripoff to me….

    • That perfume smelt terrible on my skin, lol. I remember growing up my best friend had the best smelling perfume that was called sunflower I believe. I bought it and it smelt like hamster pee on me, lol. It’s crazy how what works well on one person can smell so, so different on someone else, haha!

  5. I kind of like blush and blush/highlighter palettes. The shades are typically complementary, so I can use for a quick and lazy eyeshadow look. I have that Ofra blush and I actually often use that as a base (transition? I don’t know. Whatever the first layer is called lol) shade for eyeshadow.

  6. For the naked pigments I’ve found the best way to use them is to either pack them in place with a glitter primer underneath or to foil them. When used this way they are stunning.

    • Cyrina, please, what is foiling? I have one of these Naked Cosmetics thingies from a previous ipsy bag and no idea how to do the stuff (or me) justice here. 🙁

      • It’s where you take a bit of pigment and mix it with a bit of water, setting spray, or liquid fix and then apply it. It basically gives of a super metallic/foil finish. I prefer a flat eyeshadow brush for applying as it pays it on well and can apply like a liquid liner too.

      • I usually take a bit of pigment and mix with some setting spray to create a paint like consistency and then paint it on my lids. A flat brush works best for this. It really creates a metallic shine that is super pretty.

      • Wow, thank you, Cyrina! I’ll use setting spray and a flat brush like you recommend. It’s such a pretty mauve and perfect for this season.

    • wow! thanks for the tips Cyrina. Looms like I have some practice this weekend. 🙂

  7. I was obsessed with Stagelight loose shadows in the 80’s!!!

  8. I got the same Lovecraft blush palette & Ofra blush. None of them work for my skin tone. I wasn’t happy Ipsy sent me 4 blushes in the same month. How many blushes does one person need, especially in the same month? Evidently Ipsy decided I needed 4. I would agree that there seemed to be a lot of filler items this month.

    Also, I don’t think the bag is leather

    • Good catch Anita! I have corrected it to faux leather.

    • And I keep wanting blushes and never get them:(

  9. Wow, what a haul! I’m just a standard Ipsy bag subscriber, but I’ve been impressed with the Ultimate more and more lately. I adore that lip color on you!

  10. I’ve really been enjoying my Ipsy subs the past few months. Ultimate is hitting its stride.

  11. That lip color looks amazing on you my dear! And this gal is missing The Witcher bad since they pushed back production.

    • Thank you!! Glad to find another Witcher fan on MSA ♥️

  12. Wowzers that was fast! They sent my plus out morning of the 3rd too! They are on it this month

    • This is the October box review! I hope the November ships fast!

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