Friday, October 10, 2014

6 Months of Ipsy Bags in Review

Since I cancelled my Ipsy bag after I received my September bag, I thought I'd do an in depth look at what I received and if each bag was really worth it in the end, plus I'll explain a little more on why I chose to cancel my subscription. My six months are from April to September, so basically just spring, summer, and the beginning of fall. Though after seeing the sneak peeks for this month's bag I'm doubly glad I cancelled.

Let's start with April, which was my very first month. I received 5 items that month, four makeup and one tool (yes I'm calling fake eyelashes a tool, deal). The bag was not a real winner, but I do use it to keep my cords organized in my bag since it was large enough to hold a phone charger and my son's LeapPad charger with room to spare for another charger if I need it. The Lollitint, which I didn't originally like finally grew on me but I would still not purchase it just because the color was never great on me. I still like my Urban Decay eyeliner, but I won't be purchasing a new one just because of how expensive they are ($20!). The City Colors eyeshadow/highlighting mousse I don't use as much as I though I would, it's probably my second least favorite highlighter I own and it sucks as an eye shadow. The Cailyn Tinted Lip Balm, while a perfect color for me, is just so drying it really only gets used once a month. And I'll never use the eyelashes, they just aren't my thing. So while I do use and like some of the items I received, overall it wasn't a stellar bag looking back.

May was one I was originally unhappy with when I first saw what I was receiving. Only two makeup items, and one of them I couldn't use due to allergies, so I was seriously bummed. I still haven't used the wipes, though I'm less bummed about them now than I was. They will eventually get used, I'm just saving them for a trip out of town. I ended up really liking the Eve NYC hair conditioner and discovered my Ulta sells them for waaaay less than Ipsy listed it as, so next time they go on sale I'll be picking some up. Haven't used the Jersey Sun Shore sunscreen, but I'm always happy to receive sunscreen. Still love the Boo-Boo Coverup, use it at least twice a week, highly recommend it. I ended up swapping the eye shadow for something I really wanted so that worked out in the end I suppose. And the bag is lovely, I used it to hold sunscreen during the summer and now I use it to tote nail stuff around. Overall I ended up liking this bag more than I originally did, so that's good.

June was the month that my bag came busted so I got my usable one on like the very last day of the month which was pretty frustrating. I will say that Ipsy's customer service is pretty good about replacing broken things. The bag was lovely and I used it for a while as my purse makeup bag, but it was SMALL. Like it squashed a makeup brush of mine and I had to downgrade to just the bare necessities for a while. This was also the month that had the awful Be a Bombshell mascara, which I've dubbed The Worst Mascara in the World! The replacement bag had an Elizabeth Mott mascara which I haven't opened yet. The perfume went straight into the trash, it was so gross smelling and would melt plastic (seriously) so there was no way it'd go on my skin ever. The Ofra eyebrow pencil has been used, it's just really heavy feeling and not my favorite eyebrow thing I own. The NYX butter gloss is still in the liking column, I just wish they'd given me a different color. It's a nice neutral color but I tend to lean towards brighter or more exciting colors than pale pink. The beach spray was the real winner out of the bag, I actually just finished the damaged bottle that came in the original bag. The price on it was great, the smell was great, and it did it's job well, a win all around. So overall this was a meh sort of bag, didn't love it but didn't hate it either.

The July bag was not a big hit at all and is actually when I started thinking about cancelling. The bag itself was just super boring, though it was big. I'm currently using it to store my hair ties and bobby pins because its hard to lose a hot pink bag. I was so surprised they didn't do something more for the bag, hot pink with scalloped edges just seems lazy design wise to me. Especially after the last bag. The Hang Ten tanning spray was such a huge miss on so many levels for me and a lot of other people. First, allergic to it. Second, after May being all about sun safety it seemed strange that this month would be pro skin cancer with a tanning spray. And third, some bags actually got sunscreen so it was doubly strange to have this item. Sun safe or sun bathing, pick one cause you can't have both. The bronzer is in my swapping pile, I have too many open already. The Tint and Sass was a hit, really love it as a cheek stain and it being a full sized item was awesome. The Marrakesh split end cream, not deep conditioner like I originally thought, wasn't bad and I am using it, but it just smells weird. Like hippie shop plus mildew, not something I want my hair to smell like. Not sure it is really making a difference, but it at least isn't hurting my hair. The big item of the month was the BareMineral's 5 in 1 cream eyeshadow, and this was a huge let down for me. The color was so close to my skin tone I could use it as concealer. I'm currently using it as primer in my makeup bag, because what else is it good for? This bag was basically one huge let down for me.

August was actually a good month, I got basically all makeup which is what I wanted from Ipsy. The bag was actually really nice this time too, basically a pencil case. I'm currently using it to carry my son's crayons and stuff when we go places. The Klorane Dry Shampoo was used and loved, though the price tag was too high for me to want to buy more. The lip balm is a current favorite, it's in my pocket as we speak. The Urban Decay mascara is what I'm currently using. I love it but not in love with the price tag so it will be my special mascara that I treat myself to for like Christmas . The eye shadow, while not a color I'd pick, is nice and I use it. Haven't used the primer yet, but I'll use it eventually. This was a great month and I wish they all were this good.

September was my last month, and while it wasn't a terrible bag I wasn't as happy with it as September's. The bag was nice, currently using it as my makeup bag. The hair conditioner stinks so I haven't used it yet, kind of bummed about that. The eyeliner is brown, which is so not my color, though the formula is really nice. A brush is a brush, I'll use it but not digging the double ended aspect (makes it hard to store). The lip gloss I like, I use it often and the formula is great. And the eye shadow is really nice too, so that helped this month not suck. Overall it was more of a meh month, but leaning towards good.

Onto why I cancelled my subscription, besides the lack of awesome months. First is just how friggin long it would take the bags to reach me EVERY SINGLE MONTH. Shipping would take over a week and a half and I was always in the last batch they sent out so I never ever got my bag before the 20th ever. Typically about the 22-25th is when it would arrive, which is a long time to wait for something. The replacement bag arrived fairly quickly, so I know they have the ability to send stuff quickly. I'd get my bag then like 5 days later be charged for my next one, not a system I liked.

The last few months their billing department starting doing some shady behavior, which is honestly the real reason I cancelled. I'd get an email saying my card info was no money in the account, I'd go check and see the money sitting there or the charge would be pending. There was never any issues on my end, so I have no idea what was going on. But when it happened more than once in a row I decided that was to much and I cancelled. They wouldn't even acknowledge that they had made a mistake, which really grated on me. The whole thing just felt shady to me.

Now this may sound paranoid and I realize that, but all of the "issues" with my account started happening after I started talking about canceling my account. I know several of the members of have mentioned that their accounts were cancelled after they voiced negative feelings about their Ipsy bags on the official Ipsy forums, and I know for a fact that Ipsy deletes negative comments. Do I think there's some weird makeup conspiracy going on? No, but I find it peculiar and a tad unsettling.

Overall I got some good things out of it, and at least earned back the $60 I spent on it. Would I ever resubscribe? No, not unless a different company was handling it. I really like the concept of getting a bag full of makeup sent to me every month for $10. And I think for the bulk of the subscribers it's working for them, but I'm on a tight budget and I don't have room for the kinds of issues I was experiencing with Ipsy. I'd rather spend my money somewhere else.


  1. I'm so glad I didn't subscribe to Ipsy! Have you tried Birchbox? I've really been please with them lately :)

    1. Loving Birchbox! My second box just arrived today actually, and I love everything I received.

    2. This is also my second month as a Birchbox member. I'm very happy, and I love their point system. Plus, I really enjoy their videos, which surprises me!

  2. Interesting thoughts and I really appreciate you sharing them =) I am about to get my first Ipsy bag in the next couple of weeks, I'm on a month-to-month so I can cancel if I don't dig it. I am on a budget so I have to decide which boxes to keep. I know for sure I love Birchbox - their reward system is fantastic, I've already saved so much money buying this I wanted via Birchbox using my points. I also just got off the BoxyCharm waiting list, so giving that one a shot but at $21 a month, if I keep it than Ipsy will probably have to go.

    1. glad you found it helpful, hopefully you have a better experience than I did. Good luck with BoxyCharm :)