THEME: Unzipped – all about self love and how sexiness is an expression of “you.” I really like the idea behind the February Ipsy bag, because focuses on authenticity and self-love. That being said, this month was a mixed bag of emotions (kind of like my life right now), but with regard to this review, I’m talking about the products (and bag).
BAG: The teaser for this month’s bag got me super excited. Light pink with a sexy little lace detail at the top. Well, I think it photographs better than it actually looks (and feels) in person. The texture of the bag reminds me of a pair of pants I had as a kid – like a cross between velvet and corduroy aka attaches to every linty thing in your purse and wrinkles easily. The back of my bag already had creases on it when it arrived because of how it was packaged (and you can see in the photo some creases along the sides).
As far as the lace detail, I don’t like how it’s only sewn at the top where the zipper is and not at the bottom. If it was, it wouldn’t snag or get caught on every little thing. The zipper’s a cute plastic pull and the inside appears to be a makeup resistant (or at least durable) material. All in all, I’m not a fan of the bag. It’ll stain and crease and just be a hot mess after one night out (or in, if I just use it as a makeup bag at home).
-HEY HONEY: Come Undone Face & Eye Daily Makeup Remover
- I’m all about a good makeup remover; you know, the ones that don’t burn if you get them in your eye trying to take off that last bit of liner? Ipsy says that this is a “skin cleanser, makeup remover, and eye makeup remover all in one.” It does all of this, but the only thing that weirded me out is that it comes out like vaseline – clear and sticky. If you add some water, it foams into a “milky” cleanser. It does have a faint iridescence (not my favorite) – I like my cleansers as close to/as basic as soap.
- I do like that it’s paraben-free and made with 100% natural ingredients, so if you’re into that, this is a good one to try.
- At Ulta, this has a retail value of $32 for 40mL; this sample has an estimated value of $9.60 for 12mL. That seems a bit steep for a makeup cleanser, but each to their own. I probably wouldn’t have paid $10 for the small sample tube I got, but hey, that’s the price of the whole Ipsy bag, so that’s value (I guess).
-SAND & SKY: Brilliant Skin Pink Clay Mask
- First off, I really like the inclusion of an Australian brand. I enjoy trying beauty products from down under, but the shipping is usually prohibitive, so I try to hold off (unless it’s a must-have I can’t find here in the states or I’m buying a few products to justify the expensive shipping).
- This face mask is made with pink Australian clay (so #millennial) and supposedly “draws out toxins from your skin, absorbs dirt and oils, and fights damage caused by pollution.” Sounds great, right? So I tried it on my hand before applying it on my face (always, always do this if you’re prone to allergic reactions and/or sensitivity). Well, it came out like calamine lotion (you know, the gross pink stuff you use for bug bites), and then it dried into an uneven white substance. It’s not as “tightening” as other clay masks I’ve tried, but it does have a subtle scent and washes off super easy.
- Ipsy says that it’s a great mask because it’s “packed with nourishing ingredients like aloe vera, mangosteen, and organic licorice that help tighten pores and brighten your complexion.” I’ll have to try it a few more times to test this out, but so far, not bad, but not like OMG AMAZING like I’ve had with other face masks (more on that later).
- Another perk of this brand is it doesn’t animal test (but IMO, all brands should be on this level).
- This item on the company’s website (and Birchbox to double check for US retail prices) has a retail value of $49.00 for 1.96oz; that means this sample is worth an estimated value of $11.25. IMO, that’s not a great value because the tube I got feels like it’s half empty and could easily only be like one or two full-faced uses. Le sigh. At least it’s a fun brand to try out!
-HALEYS BEAUTY: Re: Fine Prime
- Okay, I was ready to continue hating on products, but this one legit blew me away. I’m not usually a fan of primers or foundations, because girl, I KNOW MY FACE. What works on my friends’ faces may not work on mine and vice versa, so I was super iffy about Ipsy putting this in my bag. Well, you heard it first here, I’m sorry, I was so wrong, I really, really like this product.
- Ipsy says that you can wear it alone to even out skin tone/to minimize pore appearance, or under foundation as a primer. I love this kind of verstatility, and to boot, the packaging is so rad (even though I couldn’t figure out how the hell to open it at first). It kind of looks like an elongated piece of gum and the top slides right off like a marker. No fuss, no mess aka perfect for me because everything else in my life is a hot mess (kinda sorta, really).
- If I had to compare this to other products I’ve tried, I’d say it’s a cross between some OG Chanel liquid foundation and Lancome. It glides on so smoothly and doesn’t cake or crease (major props for this). *Apparently* the tint in the formula looks good on “all” skin tones, but if you wear a darker shade than pale AF (aka me), I’d try to find this in a store to try it on first before investing in a full-sized version.
- The primer only comes in one shade, but on Haleys’ website they’ve also got a lot of different kinds of foundations that look like they’d pair nicely with this as a base.
- The full-sized version of this is 8mL and has a retail value of $12; this sample at 7mL is worth an estimated value of $10.50. It’s almost full-sized, so that’s pretty cool (but, like, WHY did Ipsy hold out on that extra mL. I would’ve been down for a full-sized product. So far, not even one. Wa wa wa).
-MARSK: Loose Eyeshadow in Foiled Again
- I have a love/hate relationship with loose eyeshadows. I think it’s super cool how versatile they can be – eyes, lips, cheekbones, etc. The one major downside I’ve found is if I don’t seal the cap 100%, it freaking gets EVERYWHERE. Like, every nook and cranny of my makeup bag. That being said, this is a pretty sweet silver shade.
- You can apply this dry or wet; dry creates more of a subtle shimmer, while wet can make for some super sexy smokey eyes. Extra bonus, this is a cruelty-free line (so yay, save all the creatures from being tested on).
- Full-sized this item retails for $22.50 at 1.2g; this sample is 1.2g, so full-sized (woohoo). I’m not sure I’d pay close to $25 with shipping for a single eyeshadow (I got a whole theBalm cosmetics palette on sale for that, but again, it’s fun to try a new brand and I’ve already gotten my money’s worth in the previous products, so getting a full-sized shadow is a good deal, if you can make use of the product (or find a friend who’ll love it)).
-LUXIE BEAUTY: Blending and Shading Eye Brush 249
- As much as I dislike getting brushes in my Ipsy bags (because that means one less product I get to try), I really like this one. It’s a double-tipped brush that’s tapered on one end (great for powder shadows) and fluffy on the other side (wonderful for blending).
- The brushes have white tips, so just be aware they’ll absorb whatever color shadow or cream you use, and even after washing, may not go back to a perfect white. The pink/rose gold combo is cute, but IMO seriously overdone in the beauty industry.
- The bristles are synthetic, so that’s great if you’re conscious about that.
- It’s too cute to not show off. The rose gold handle is très chic.
- This brush isn’t listed on Luxie’s website, so I’d estimate that it is full-sized (because it’s not a tiny brush), but most of their brushes range for an estimated retail value of $14.
TOTAL VALUE OF BAG CONTENTS: $67.85
All in all, two out of the five items were full-sized (three if you count the primer that’s almost full-sized). The bag was a miss for me, but I think I’ll use all of the products, or at least give them a few chances. I’m not sure if the brush isn’t listed because they’re testing out how it’s received, or it’s of lesser quality than ones they usually sell.
Who knows, but I’d say for almost $70 worth of products (not even counting the bag), this month was pretty decent. If anything, the message is really beautiful, because we can always use more self-love…amidst a breakup or happily in love. What I’m learning these days is you can’t attract your best mate until you love yourself completely, so that’s what I’m doing, starting with this bag, its contents, and the message behind it all.
Hoping your February is off to a positive start, wherever you may find yourself on the spectrum of love.
This Ipsy subscription is paid for by 2LWithIt; all thoughts, opinions, and photographs belong to 2LWithIt.