Beauty | November 2018 Ipsy Review

Well, November came and went all too quickly. One minute it was my birthday and the remnants of Halloween festivities, the next it was bar exam results and endless celebrations. Full disclosure: I’m not complaining, it’s just been a month of non-stop activities. I had this review almost ready to go, and then before I knew it December snuck up, and well, now you get this review!

I was a hot second away from not renewing my Ipsy subscription, but then I realized the almost 1000+ points I’d been accruing each and every month would be erased. (Ipsy gives points for reviewing each item you get and the overall bag experience). While I certainly don’t think the $110+ tax subscription renewal was worth the points, I had faith that Ipsy was going to step up its game given its recent release of the full-sized Ipsy Plus bags in October.

In true business fashion, Ipsy lets you redeem the points as long as you’re an active subscriber, and whatever item you request won’t come in the current bag that’s on its way…but the next one. This helps cut down on people who cash out their points and then cancel their subscription. Smart, right?

Anywhoo, I renewed because even though I’ve been trying out other beauty subscription boxes, I still like Ipsy because all the items aren’t full-sized like Boxycharm or Fab Fit Fun (two boxes that come to mind), and they’re also not one specific kind of product, like nailpolish only, for example.

I have noticed that Ipsy’s been trending towards less full-sized options and more sample sizes (it used to be the opposite). For example, in this month’s bag, I received a MAC product that’s on par in size to the freebies you get with any online MAC purchase. To me, the whole point of these bags is to get something I can’t get myself (like an exclusive sample or a deluxe/full-sized version for a better price), but we’ll see how this bag shakes out once I do a price breakdown.

THEME & BAG: The insert throws around #Friendsgiving and #blessed, so I’d hazard to guess this bag is themed for Thanksgiving. That being said though, the bag’s color and design do not correlate to said holiday; it’s purple with black hearts and a golden metal zipper that says “Ipsy.” The theme falls a little flat IMO, but I do like how it has a bit of a non-traditional shape. The bag has cinched corners and an arched zipper, so it’s a bit bigger than a normal rectangular pouch. The inside is hot pink and lined with a material that’d be easy to wipe or clean if you spill something.

Zero points for the theme, but it’s a cute bag that I could see either keeping or gifting.


DERMADELI: Pumpkin Seed Serum
    • Initially, I was super stoked to try this product because (1) serums are great to add to a skincare routine because they can penetrate several layers under the skin and really make a difference in things like dark circles, firmness, and fine lines; and (2) how seasonally apropos to have something pumpkin-related?!
  • Well, this serum actually smells like pumpkin seeds, so if that’s your jam, cool; if it’s not, I’d recommend using this on the backs of your hands or somewhere the scent won’t be as noticeable, because it’s strong. On the plus side though, pumpkin seed extract is considered a superfood, so it’s very useful to help reduce inflammation and irritation caused by acne.
  • Ipsy suggests putting this on before you makeup, but the scent was too strong for me to put it anywhere near my eyes or nose.
  • On a positive note, this brand is vegan and cruelty-free, so that’s always good in an industry that still has brands that aren’t.
  • Full-sized this item is 1 fl oz and retails for $35; this sample is 7 mL, which is about .24 oz, making this worth an estimated retail value of $8.40.
M·A·C:  Strobe Cream in Pinklite
  • Again, like the product above, I was stoked to see MAC in my Ipsy bag…until I realized the sample is identical to samples you can get from MAC for free with any online purchase (not sure about in-store because I’ve only bought from them via the interwebs). I mention this little aside because it bummed me out to see there wasn’t much thought put into this sample, and a full-sized version wouldn’t have been that splurgy of a product to include. All that said, this is a great product.
  • It’s infused with an iridescent pink hue that adds that dewy, filter-like finish (who doesn’t love that).
  • You can wear this alone or paired with foundation and/or highlight. Personally, I like to use it as a highlight (or even as an eyeshadow base).
  • Full-sized this item is 1 fl oz and retails for $12. This sample is .2 fl oz, so it’s worth an estimated retail value of $2.40.
CIATÉ LONDON: Mini Translucent Setting Powder in Hideout
    • I think this is the tiniest powder (other than a solo eyeshadow) that I own. The formula is very light and blendable, which is great to avoid caking and creasing.
    • Ipsy says this can double as dry shampoo, but I’m loyal to the ones that I use…so if someone tries this, let me know if it works!
    • The totally translucent shade works on all skin tones.
  • Full-sized this item is 15 g and retails for $22; this sample is 1.5 g, so it’s worth an estimated retail value of $2.20.
PIXI BY PETRA: LipLift Max in Honey Sheen
  • I have a love/hate relationship with lip plumpers. They look great, but I could do without the initial burn and irritation that causes the plumping.
  • Ipsy says this lippie is made with aloe (to heal), jojoba (to moisturize), and chamomile (to soothe). These are all great ingredients in my book, plus the shade included is a nice champagne hue, so very flattering on lots of skin types.
  • Full-sized this gloss comes in a 2.7 g tube and retails for $14. This sample is 1 g, so it is worth an estimated retail value of $5.19.
YOUTH TO THE PEOPLE: Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream
  • Three cheers for a moisturizer! This one is made from kale leaf extract, which is rich in vitamins C, E, and K. All of these vitamins help to nourish, brighten, protect, and soften your skin. The spinach leaf helps rejuvenate skin and boost radiance.
  • If you’re looking for a moisturizer that’s not heavy or greasy, this is a good choice…just a little pricey IMO.
  • Full-sized this item retails for $48 for 2 fl oz; this sample is .25 fl oz, so it’s 1/8 the quantity of a full-sized version and worth an estimated retail value of $6.


Overall, I’m not super impressed with this bag. I like almost all of the items in this one, except the pumpkin seed serum, so that’s a plus. I also really like the bag and could see using it as a clutch or small bag inside of a larger purse. What I don’t like is the price point and how it’s nearly two and a half times worth less than last month’s bag; this is probably because there isn’t one full-sized item…or even one that comes close.

Here’s hoping the year finishes out strong with the December bag; a girl can hope, right?

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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