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IPSY Glam Bag Plus — 2020 In Review

Megan K.
ByMegan K.Dec 25, 2020 | 11 comments
IPSY Glam Bag Plus — 2020 In Review

IPSY Glam Bag Plus in 2020

Some of my favorite products, the best brands I saw inside, and my hopes for this subscription in 2021.

IPSY was a subscription box I had never tried before I joined the MSA team back in 2018. It quickly became one of my faves because each curation (on all three tiers!) always included so many brands I had never heard of along with some familiar faves. The value of this subscription has always been great and the sheer variety of products always makes every unboxing feel like a fun surprise. Their original Glam Bag is one of my faves if you want to treat yourself at a totally reasonable subscription cost per month ($12), but I think this year the mid-tier IPSY Glam Bag Plus took the cake for my favorite level of this subscription. It has an awesome layer of customization (that only improved in 2020!) and the value is always great at $25 for 5 full-size items. There have been a few misses (hello coffee scrub and black eyeliner!) but for the most part, this subscription has been full of big wins for me all year and I have discovered a lot of products I have reordered and love. And it has added an extra layer of that self-care and makeup fun that 2020 really needed!

Gallery: My 2020 IPSY Glam Bag Plus Deliveries

About IPSY Glam Bag Plus

The Subscription Box: IPSY

The Cost: $25 a month (free U.S. shipping)

The Products: Full-size makeup and beauty products every month.

Ships to: The U.S. for free

What IPSY Glam Bag Plus Got Right in 2020


IPSY Glam Bag Plus had some major value for me in 2020. The range for my 12 months of 2020 is $92-$162.39 which is pretty nice for a $25 bag. With the subscription costing $300 for 12 months, the total value I received this year was around $1,557.20 (though there were 2-3 products I couldn't assign values to, so this is likely a little higher). This averages out to $129.77 in value per month!


Even though IPSY Glam Bag Plus is makeup focused, there was still a wide variety of product types in 2020. Here is a breakdown:

  • Makeup: 38
  • Skincare: 16
  • Bath/Body: 4
  • Haircare: 1
  • Tools: 2

Also, a heads up that this is a bag that does send sheet masks and these sets (there are multiples!) are counted as full-size items. I personally love them and use them all the time, but I know a lot of readers may not share my specific level of enthusiasm!


IPSY Glam Bag Plus is one of my favorite makeup subscriptions that allows you to choose items. In fact, ever since August 2020, you can pick three out of the five products that arrive in your bag! I absolutely love this feature. The available choices seem to vary from subscriber to subscriber (is this based on our profiles/product reviews?) and I have been told by several readers that if you don't like your choices on launch day, you should check back later in the day because they seem to change. I have always snagged my choices right away because I have very little self-control!

The IPSY App

I basically don't even visit IPSY on my laptop anymore. Their app is a really fun alternative that I have taken to. It allows you to review your monthly products in a snap and also on choice days allows for effortless selection.

What I Would Like to See in 2021

More K-Beauty! IPSY Glam Bag Plus has always been pretty great about sending cool Korean skincare but I always want more! And even more Korean makeup, please!

I think IPSY could benefit from better rewards for their point system. For example, I have over 6500 points I could spend (I accumulated these from reviewing products on the app!) but there are always super limited options in the points shop and even if I see something I like, it is usually sold out. IPSY could certainly do better here, especially since points expire. I don't think I have ever used mine.

IPSY Glam Bag Plus also has a little bit of a black eyeliner problem, though they are hardly the only subscription that sends way too many of these, IMO. I received 5 black eyeliners from this tier alone in 2020 (and even more in my base bag and Ultimate). And as someone who doesn't often wear it and also as someone who has marked that I do not want it in my reviews, I really would like to have a black eyeliner free 2021. I feel similarly about black mascara but I can hardly complain since I only received 2 of these in my IPSY Plus bags this year. But how cool would it be if in 2021 these black eyeliners and black mascaras got a little more colorful? Send me a cool teal or green or something!

My Favorite Brands and Products from IPSY Glam Bag Plus in 2020

IPSY Glam Bag Plus had a TON of great brands this year. Some of my faves? PLAYA, Touch in Sol, Sweet Chef, Flesh, Huda Beauty, and many, many more.

I do have a few super-super faves from this year though. I still use these all the time and I would repurchase any of them:

Dominique Cosmetics Sweater Weather Palette – Listed Value $29.00

From my February review:

Swoon! To all my readers out there who have been lamenting the red/orange/warm palettes that seem to be everywhere, this is a breath of fresh air! Although this palette is winter themed, I personally think these shades couldn’t be more perfect for spring. The pastel vibes are giving me life. Everything was actually really well pigmented and super smooth, save for the dark ‘Messy Bun’ shade which required a little more romancing to really shine. I think my favorite shade might be that charming periwinkle. It looks truly adorable alone all over a lid with a candy pink pout.

Touch In Sol Pretty Filter Lipstick in ‘Seoul Rose’, 3.5 g – Retail Value $16.00

From my February review:

I have liked every single Touch in Sol product I have tried, but those were all skincare. I was stoked to see this lipstick from them in my bag. I am really impressed with it. Imagine a matte finish with a satin feel, and loads of hydration. Now also imagine you can use this as a sheer tint or a totally bold opaque look? This lipstick can seriously do it all and this color is a stunner. It is the perfect sort of formula for trying out that Korean gradient lip look trend. I kind of think I need all the colors available in this formula, STAT.

Girlactik Skin Glow Duo in ‘Sunset’, 8 g – Full Size! Retail Value $26.00

From my May review:

Finally, our last item is by a brand I like more and more as I try items from them. US-made Girlactik has some really great formulas and these creamy sheer highlighters are no exception. These pack a ton of sparkle, so a little goes a long way. I like to use them on a bare face to add dimension and shine to my cheekbones, the tip of my nose, and above my cupid’s bow. I also thought they were gorgeous on my eyelids and collarbones. One color is more of a nude light and the other is a pale peach shade with golden shimmer inside. Both also smell wonderful!

Thrive Causemetics Lip Mate High-Shine Reviving Topper in ‘Effie’, 6.8 ml – Retail Value $24.00

From my June review:

I am always happy when I get a product I love from a brand I love! I am a gloss addict. Before mask-wearing became a thing, it was my go-to for an effortless no-makeup look. My face might be bare, but at least I have lip gloss to make it looks like I tried, just a little! I still find myself wearing glosses often and this one is a stunner. It is filled with (hard to photograph) iridescent shimmer in blue, orange, pink, and purple. While it is pretty clear on the lips, those sparkles give loads of dimension on bare lips or when layered over a color. I also love the hollow style doe-foot applicator that snatches up the perfect amount of gloss.

NACIFIC Fresh Herb Eye Cream, 1.01 fl oz – Full Size! Retail Value $30.00

From my June review:

I have loved every NACIFIC item I have tried and this cream is no exception! It is an eye cream but I thoroughly enjoy applying it to my whole face. The texture is a creamy gel that absorbs easily and leaves a softness and no film behind. Inside is niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and adenosine, and together they plump skin, lock in moisture, and help with fine lines. This citrus-scented gel is also perfect for tossing in the fridge for an extra cool application.

Playa New Day Mist 3-in-1 Styler Refresh, 5.4 fl oz – Retail Value $24.00

From my July review:

I LOVE this stuff. It’s great for me because I wash my hair like every 3rd day but I often need a little refresh and volume in between. A few spritzes of this mist on my hair (I flip my head upside down) and it looks refreshed, volumized, and beachy. And the scent is so good! It’s beachy, but not tropical, with notes of neroli, sandalwood, just a touch of coconut, and musk. I get asked what perfume I am wearing all the time!

Huda Beauty Demi Matte Cream Liquid Lipstick in ‘Feminist’, 3.6 mL – Retail Value $20.00

From my August review:

Huda makes some of my favorite lippies and some really great eyeshadows, too. I was thrilled that this was her demi matte formula. It gives an almost matte look with none of the dryness that I often experience with a true matte finish. The shade is also really gorgeous! It is a nude pink with enough pigment to make me look effortless instead of washed out. And they staying power? Stellar.

LOVE+CRAFT+BEAUTY Warm Rituals Eyeshadow Palette – Retail Value $35.00

From my October review:

The color story of this palette is really lovely, and it feels very different than a lot of others I have in my collection. It is an assortment of 3 shimmering shades and 3 mattes. The shimmers outperform the mattes (just look at them!!) but the mattes were still super smooth and wonderful for building up natural shadows. The star of this palette for me was ‘Pyrite’ for sure. It is such a gorgeous green and it brings out the green in my mostly brown eyes beautifully.

tarte Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape Setting Powder in Translucent, 12 g – Retail Value $34.00

From my October review:

This was another instant win. I really like this powder! I have been really focusing on my skincare routine and aside from some mask related spots, it’s looking pretty good! I really only need some powder like this to soften out a little of my natural redness and this stuff does the job fine! (of course, I also use a highlighter too!) I love the way this loose powder is contained under a mesh net to keep me from spilling it everywhere. It feels like literally nothing on my face but makes a huge difference in how my complexion looks.

HAUS Laboratories Le Riot Lip Gloss in ‘Chaser’, 5 mL – Retail Value $18.00

From my October review:

I love this stuff. It is a super shiny and sheer burnt red-brown shade that is just a little vampy but wonderful for fall. I love it on my lips solo but it would totally add some drama to your favorite cream lipstick. You can see that it does show when you have pressed your lips together (you can see a line on my upper lip in those pictures) but it doesn’t really bother me in person. I also was wearing a pretty thin coating in those shots and with a little extra this isn’t an issue at all. The texture is a little heavy but soft and slick rather than sticky. It also doesn’t really have a scent. I would happily add a few more of these to my collection.

Changes to IPSY in 2020

IPSY Glam Bag Plus launched their newest customization back in time for the August 2020 box. This allowed users to select three out of five products each month. This change also arrived with a new drawstring pouch design for each month instead of an actual makeup bag.

A hugely massive and notable change is that IPSY purchased BoxyCharm in October 2020. BoxyCharm and Ipsy will continue to operate as separate subscriptions and we don't have any other details yet, but I will totally be keeping an eye on this and what it means for both subscriptions in 2021.

In November, IPSY also announced the launch of IPSY Refreshments, an add-on service delivering makeup wipes, hand cream, and other basics.

IPSY will be ending its Ultimate tier with the last delivery being in December 2020. The new IPSY tier will be the newly-announced quarterly IPSY X and it launches in February. Click here for more deets!

Who do I recommend IPSY Glam Bag Plus for?

Anyone who loves beauty and makeup surprises each month with a wonderfully high value for a $25/month cost. IPSY Glam Bag Plus is for anyone looking to add to their collection of makeup, skincare, and even bath and body products. This box has more new brands (to me) than BoxyCharm but the quality is generally always really great and there is a "fun" factor here that many other subscriptions can't match.

What were your fave IPSY Glam Bag Plus products this year? Let me know in the comments!

Did you have a favorite box this year? Show it some love by casting a vote in The 2021 Subscription Box Awards!

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IPSY is a personalized beauty subscription. Members take a short quiz to personalize their beauty preferences, then choose between two memberships. Glam Bag subscribers receive 5 deluxe samples for $13 per month, while Glam Bag Plus subscribers receive 5 full-size products for $28 per month. IPSY fe... read more.
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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Cat Johnson Hoffmann (Chrystya)

I agree w many of Megan’s views on rhe GBP. I also hate black eyeliner, got way too many my first year. I love Korean Beauty too, wld like more. I love that Touch of Sol bright lipstick too. I bought more when I had the chance, still want to get even more. I love PeriPera (I think) brand Airy Lip mattes that I get off Amazon, would love: to try more soon via ipsy. If you let them dry first, they last me all day, work as a stain basically, I have to use olive oil or a remover to get them off. I have Breast Cancer Recurrence, have been getting Ipsy while I go thru the hell that is chemotherapy. This has helped me to feel beautiful and feminine at a time when I do not feel that way naturally at all. It’s been severely difficult and Ipsy has helped so much.
I also love all Haus and Wander beauty products – esp their eye shadows, I’ve gotten to try. I loved the month recently when I selected all foundation items w the choice and loved each one. Wander Beauty Foundation, Anastasia, Make Up 4Ever, Tarte shape tape concealer which is already my fave, so it’s great to have more. And many surprise items that have been so fun to try. Thanks for improving my life during a hard time Ipsy! I really appreciate you!!!
Thank you Ipsy! -Cat

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The Tarte powder in deep translucent is a favorite Ipsy item for me also. Ipsy is my first beauty box and i love the new customization but I’m on product overload so I am doing every other month for 2021.

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Plus is my fave beauty box. I love all the great skin care options and what Ipsy selects for me. I love all the lip glosses, too; definitely a fan! Too many great products to highlight any in particular. They definitely need to step up their points product selection. I’ve managed to grab a few good items, but the selection overall is disappointing. I could do without the drawstring bag. I would love to be able to swap that for a sixth item, or a free add-on. Are you listening, Ipsy? I’m going to try X for the first month just for kicks, 2021 will see me skipping Plus for the first time only due to having a lot of items to use.

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Megan K.

Whittling down my faves was def a challenge!
And totally agree on the points. I am closing in on 7000 of them without any interest in redeeming them.

I am signed up for the X bag so I am excited to compare notes in February! 🙂

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Although I only stayed for two months (what am going to do with 6 different shadow palettes considering I only go out to work on weekends) I do love the Murad Retinal Renewal Night cream and the TrèStiQue mascara for November’s plus bag. I love anything Murad especially anti-aging beauty supplies. I certainly don’t have almost $100 to plunk down on Murad items retail. The TrèStiQue mascara also from November plus bag has a built in eyelash curler. The entire thing is almost as big as a can of hairspray. I joke but it really is bigger than most mascara tubes. My second bag in December was a disappointment. The bag itself is soft, pretty and large enough to carry extras in your purse like shades, a pair of camp slippers and so forth. The items were multiple palettes of shadow and then there was bronzer and other misc. make up. I did choose a shadow brush and got that. I just don’t wear a lot of makeup. Concealer, and brow/mascara & liner sometimes. I do insist on lipstick whenever leaving the house. Earrings & lipstick due to the boomer in me. I think Ipsy is a great deal financially for younger women who work, or leave the house every day. But $300 a year for an almost 60yr old. No, I spend maybe $15 every couple years or so when something runs out. Now that I have 2 months of Ipsy & do FabFitFun (I quit & rejoin them as well when items run out) I have a nice little stockpile of makeup and Murad & other brands of anti-aging products. As long as I don’t open until ready to use, I can quit every subscription and won’t need to buy anything for at least 2 years, the makeup; 5.

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The Girlactik highlighter duo is marked as the cherry farmacy balm.

Great list! I wish I was more adventurous with my make up, but love hearing others’ recommendations.

I love skincare suggestions as well and wish there were more!

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Megan K.

Thank you! Potatoes for brains this week! <3

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Only a makeup artist would need so many palletes. After seeing how much stuff this is I’m glad I nixed my beauty boxes. Way too much clutter imo. Great for ppl starting out w zero beauty items to build up their stock.

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GBP has only ever assigned me a palette once. You get what your profile and reviews indicate are items that matter to you, and that’s very personal. I prefer skincare, which I can use up in a month or two through daily applciation, and that’s typically what GBP gives me since they instituted ultra-personalization.

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Hey Megan, I think some of the description paragraphs got placed with the wrong photos.

I totally agree with your comments about Ipsy Glam Plus. I find things I like that I never expected. I just resubscribed after a few months break. I’m still on product overload but …..

Happy holidays!

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Megan K.

Thanks for the catch Jillann! I wrote a few of these 2020 retrospectives back to back and my brain is basically potatoes. I caught the text under the eyeshadow palette. Did I miss anything else?

I appreciate you taking the time to read and hope you are having a beautiful holiday season <3

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