Beauty |October 2018 Ipsy Review


It’s been a doozy of a month, but I always love these posts because I love breaking down products for you to see if you’re getting good value for your money. Subscription boxes can sucker you in because they seem all inclusive and say they’re such a bargain, but sometimes they’re really not worth it.

I was hesitant to write this review because I wasn’t that excited about the October Ipsy bag; I was also on the fence about renewing my subscription. I’m pretty sure I felt the same way last year (about renewing), but given the last few Ipsy bags have impressed me with full-sized products and new brands I wasn’t familiar with, I think it’s safe to say I’ll be committing to at least one more year of Ipsy reviews (or at the very least, paying for another year’s subscription with the occasional review). Yes, I do pay for Ipsy reviews because I know it’s a popular subscription; not everything, in fact a lot of the products I review I pay for with my own dinero.

Ipsy still hasn’t said anything about the Ipsy Glam Bag Plus option (the sub box with all full-sized items that just rolled out a month ago). Apparently some subscribers have been getting it, others are on a 15k+ waitlist…and the rest of us plebeians are just chilling with these $10 bags (or $9 and some change if you renew for a year). I’m not complaining, but I think their roll-out of this product has been frustrating, to say the least.

THEME:  Again, obscure at best, but the hashtag included on the card says “#IpsyAfterDark,” so when paired with the mascarade-ish bag, I’d hazard to guess this month’s theme is going out/Halloween themed.

BAG: It’s a red, polyvinyl rectangular bag with a plastic zipper and a metal pull. There is the imprint of a mask on it, which is similar to the red bag they did last year (this post). Other than the mask design, there isn’t much personality to the bag; the inside has a black material that looks wipeable and has a “made in China” sticker

Inside the bag you’ll find it’s lined with a black material that looks wipeable and a “made in China” sticker (kind of disappointing, considering they’ve customized tags in previous bags to have cute sayings).


YENSA: Tone Up Primer

  • Ipsy says this primer is great for color correcting, blurring imperfections, and giving skin a subtle glow.
  • The formula comes out colored like foundation, but when you rub it into your skin, it blends with ease and creates this photo finish that looks really nice and dewy.
  • As far as I could tell, the primer doesn’t have any scent and goes best under foundation, but before a setting spray.
  • Full-sized this primer comes in a 30mL tube for $35; this sample is 7mL, so it has an estimated retail value of $8.17

111SKIN: Space Defence Bright Eye Lift Gel

  • Well, this is probably one of the most expensive samples I’ve ever received in an Ipsy bag. I’m not a fan of the container it comes in, because you can’t see how much is left; it does look like a mini of the full-sized version, so that’s cool.
  • This eye gel is super lightweight, helps keep concealer smooth and crease-free, and minimizes fine lines. Talk about some of my top skincare faves all wrapped into one product!
  • It has a really nice linen scent and if the full-sized version wasn’t $141.82, I would order this in a heartbeat, because it makes my under eye circles non-existent. At this price point, this sample is worth an estimated retail value of $47.27But hey, this sample alone is worth the price of almost half a year of an Ipsy subscription!

THEBALM COSMETICS: Take Home the Bronze in Oliver

  • In case you haven’t been introduced to this brand, they’re an accessible brand with the cutest packaging! This bronzer can double as either a warm glow, or a fierce contour.
  • As an added bonus, this is a cruelty-free and vegan line. Ipsters received this product in one of two shades: Oliver, or Thomas.
  • Full-sized this product is .25oz and retails for $17.50. This sample is worth an estimated retail value of $3.50 at .05oz.

CITY COLOR COSMETICS: Glow Pro Stellar Highlighter in Nebula

  • If you’re dressing up as a smurf for Halloween, look no further! Jokes aside, this highlight is very blue. It has a really great iridescent shimmer, but not something I’d wear to the office.
  • Ipsy says that the formula is a hybrid cream and powder combo, but when I swatched the shade, it made me a little standoffish to even wear it.
  • This brand is cruelty-free, but this color is not sold individually; it comes in a four color palette that retails for $8.99. This item therefore has an estimated retail value of $2.25.

TARTE: Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape Contour Concealer in 12N Fair Neutral

  • This is probably one of the most widely-used concealers in the beauty industry…a cult favorite, if you will, and for good reason.
  • It has a matte-finish that’s both blendable and buildable, so be sure to apply it with your foundation, before any setting powder.
  • The shea butter, mango seet butter, and licorice root extract help to make this a super nourishing product (I’m a fan of that).
  • Tarte’s a cruelty-free brand (woohoo), and an insider tip to using this product: a little goes a looong way.
  • Full-sized this item comes in a .33oz tube and retails for $27. This sample is .0337oz, so it has an estimated retail value of $2.77. It’s a bummer this wasn’t a full-sized version, like the Smashbox concealer I got in this box.


Overall, I’m kind of lukewarm on this bag. The bag itself isn’t anything special or creative, and the products are, for the most part, nice but not wow-worthy. I will say, they’re more than itsy-bitsy sample-sizes, but nothing in the bag was full-sized this month (unless you count the smurf highlight, but that doesn’t retail solo, so I wouldn’t count it). The eye cream is what makes this bag’s total value so high, because everything but the primer (so the other three items) are at or around $3 or $4.

If you subscribe, what’d you get this month? Anything a great find? Definitely something to donate? 

This Ipsy subscription is paid for by 2LWithIt; all thoughts, opinions, and photographs belong to 2LWithIt.

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.

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