Beauty | January Ipsy Review

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THEME: Game Face (hence the rustic photo setting…#diditforthegram)

BAG: Ugh, Ipsy, WHY? I love the idea of putting on your “game face” & how that can be inspirational…but this bag literally feels like a gym sock/kitchen sponge hybrid. The materials feel cheap, it makes a squishy sound when you touch it, and can easily get caught on literally anything in your purse. For me, it’s a bobby pin magnet, and not in a “cute, I was missing these” kind of way.  I don’t like the colors of the back and the shoelace zipper pull isn’t that effective (I use the metal zipper itself because the shoelace drags in different directions). Also, not a fan of the neon (note, it does not photograph well). The bag does have a lot of room and the lining is slick so it’s be great to put makeup or toiletries in. Other than that, this was a complete miss for me. There is no value calculated for the bag.

CONTENTS: I was excited for 3/5 of the items in my bag…which isn’t a slam dunk (look at me and all these sports references), but it’s not a complete penalty (hehe another pun). 

-CIATÉ LONDON: Fierce Flicks Liquid Eyeliner

  • This is probably my third or fourth black eyeliner from a recent Ipsy bag, so forgive me for my lack of enthusiasm. I really like this brand, but a girl can only do so many things with black liners (maybe I should start using them as calligraphy pens. Is that a thing?).
  • Even though I’m griping about how many black eyeliners I have, this is really a great one with its precise tip (hello, symmetrical cat eyes) and long-wearing formula that doesn’t smudge (easily).
  • At 1.7 mL/.05 fl oz, this item is full-sized with a retail value of $19 (found on Sephora’s website).

-PREVENTIVE MEASURES 101: After Hours Lip Balm in Passion Fruit

  • This is probably my favorite item in the bag. It’s made from a moisture release technology which is supposed to keep “your lips hydrated for hours.” I don’t know about hours, but it glides on nicely and does smell like passion fruit (makes sense since it’s made with fruit oils & other antioxidants).
  • This would be nice solo or paired with a lipstick. I also really like chapsticks like this when doing makeup (keeps the foundation off them if I’m dabbing my beauty blender all over the place).
  • This item is full-sized at .15 oz/4 g with a retail value of $8 (Preventive Measures website).

-KOKIE COSMETICS: Kissable Liquid Lipstick in Mad About Mauve

  • Bleh, I hate liquid lips. I think they make my lips look like dried up buttholes…so I don’t even bother (although I will say I tried Huda’s a few weeks ago and really like that formula, so maybe I shouldn’t be so judgy).
  • Ipsy says that this liquid lippie dries differently (compared to other matte formulas); the coloring is a pinkish-brown nude that’s probably very flattering on a lot of skin tones. The jury’s still out if I’ll try this or gift it (because no one wants to be gifted a used lippe and I’d feel so shitty if I tried it, hated it, and then it sat in a drawer until it full-on turned into lipstick…is that a thing?).
  • This is a full-sized item at 7 mL/.24 fl oz with a retail value of $6 (Kokie Cosmetics website).


  • Ever since I started watching Jaclyn Hill on YouTube (years ago, hey girl, hey. #biiiitch), highlight is like liquid gold. You can put it everywhere, anywhere, all the freaking time.
  • I really like Thebalm’s packaging – super cute & this one is is part of a series of women with criminal records (Mary is a “womanizer” or maybe an “manizer” if that’s a thing, you do you boo).
  • The product itself is a warm honey shade that has just enough shimmer to be an eyeshadow, a highlight for cheeks/brows/cupids bow…hell, even lips and shoulders!
  • This brand is also cruelty free, so that’s a great reason to give them support.
  • Full-sized this item is 8.5g and retails for $24; the sample I got was 1.05g, so the estimated value is is $2.96.

-BRIOGEO HAIR CARE: Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo

  • Typically I’m not a big shampoo lover because once I have a brand that I like, I commit to it (I mean, have you seen how big some bottles are?). I was also a little weirded out because this shampoo has a super minty scent (like toothpaste minty)
  • The texture is gray and gritty with pieces of Binchotan charcoal, which is supposed to clear up “blockages out of your scalp and hair follicles.” Not totally sold on this, but it’s a great travel sized bottle…so there’s that going for it.
  • I really like Briogeo hair care, so I’ll probably try this out (at least give it a chance beyond a sniff test).
  • 8 oz/236 mL retails at Sephora for $42. This sample would then be an estimated value of $5.25.

TOTAL VALUE OF BAG CONTENTS: $41.21. This is a pretty good value for a $10 purchase. I was really surprised to get 3 full-sized items. That’s a nice surprise because a larger quantity of an item lets you try it for longer (so maybe I’ll end up falling in love with the exfoliating shampoo and the liquid lip, ya never know). In reality though, I’ll probably gift them to my beauty-loving friends.

All in all, meh. Don’t like the bag and I’m starting to think Ipsy doesn’t even care what you say in their “personalization” survey. I don’t have eyeliners or shampoo or liquid lips checked, but sure enough, I got all three.

If you subscribe, what’d you get? Discover any new brands? Any meh products?

Until Soon,


Author: 2LWithIt

Spoonie Adventures in Books, Beauty, & Bullshit I'm a twenty-something year old recent law and business school grad living with a chronic health condition. Follow along on my shenanigans.

6 thoughts

  1. The calligraphy pen thing… you might be onto something there. I have been thinking about going back to Ipsy after a year off but after seeing this I think I’ll pass. Underwhelming at best. Not to mention I’m pretty sure they are only sending full size products because they are getting destroyed by Boxycharm

    1. Boxycharm is definitely a better value because everything’s typically full-sized. My only qualm is it’s more than double the price, doesn’t come with a bag (I really liked some of Ipsy’s latest ones (not this month), but the Gudetama was a good collab. I know subscription boxes are hard to cultivate because of how broad the user base is…but it was better when you could at least request and be guaranteed 1/5 items. Always looking for recommendations of other subscriptions or even companies that are coming up with cool things! Lately I’ve been loving Trader Joe’s beauty section – everything from bath bombs to lip scrubs (did an instagram post on it a few days ago). Thanks for stopping by & glad I’m not the over one feeling meh about Ipsy!

      1. You make a valid point about the price. But I would rather pay $30 and get stuff I’ll used instead of $10 and get some foil packets I could have got for free from sephora lol . Stupid ipsy

  2. Did you see the big flap Ipsy got into with Jeffree Star recently? They were selling a counterfeit to his Beauty Killer eye shadow palette, and he got justifiably angry. They also apparently were selling a counterfeit Jaclyn Hill palette and claimed to be shocked, shocked at these mistakes. I love it when law and beauty collide in a messy fashion. I actually subscribe to Sephora’s Play box, and I absolutely love that. It’s products only – no lifestyle items – and I have been really pleased with the sizes received and products tried. I always offer that up as an alternative to Ipsy. I used to get Birchbox, and I enjoyed that, but you know how short my hair is (pixie) and they just sent me too many hair products for me to want to continue that. Love the reviews; glad I discovered your blog!

    1. I didn’t see that! I know counterfeit beauty products are pretty common, especially when made in China with ingredients that’re banned in the US because they cause allergic reactions and/or are super harmful to the body. I’ve heard good things about Sephora Play. Do you use the point card that’s included in the box? I’ve also heard good things about Birchbox and actually really like the founder – she’s on a version of Sharktank and helps new businesses start up with seed funding. So happy to hear you enjoy the reviews. Would love any feedback as far as other beauty or other products you’re interested in seeing coverage of!

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