Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Ipsy Review - December 2014

Christmas came early this month! As far as Glam Bags go, at least. It usually takes about 3 weeks for Ipsy to reach me but this month it took just one week. Wowza.

What: Ipsy Glam Bags contain 5 deluxe samples and full sized beauty products in an exclusive makeup bag.
When: Glam Bags ship monthly on the 10th
Cost: $10/month
Fun Extras: You can review your products each month to earn ipsyPoints, which can be redeemed for monthly bonus items.

I didn't pay too much attention to the December spoilers so all I knew was that I'd get a Tarte mascara and an NYX lip balm. Both are things I could use so Ipsy looked to be off on the right foot. So let's start with those spoilers:

Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara (3ml sample value: $8.33)
Tarte is one of those brands that always has really pretty packaging. This sample was no exception. Instead of a plain blah black tube, it's a purple tube with a snake skin design. The "4" part in the name means that it lengthens, curls, volumizes, and conditions lashes. The only thing I noticed was an increase in volume, but not the 330% that they claim. Maybe more like 175%. And I guess the olive esters in this thing may have conditioned my lashes too, but honestly I don't know what conditioned vs. dry lashes look like. As far as curling goes, I have yet to find one that actually holds a curl. (On a side note, I finally found a curler that will actually curl my lashes; apparently I just needed to find one with a flatter surface) So okay I can finally get a nice curl going, but as soon as I apply mascara - this one included - it instantly weighs it down and I'm back to stick straight eye lashes. Aargh. One good thing, though: supposedly this isn't waterproof, but it was pretty darn smudge proof. I completely forgot I was wearing mascara and rubbed my eyes - and not a single smudge!

NYX Butter Lip Balm - Parfait (4g full size value: $4.00)
I have a billion lip balms and I thought I was doing a good job turning down new lip products, but when you start dropping dessert names all of that willpower goes out the window. This particular variety is called Parfait. What the hell, man? As if restraining myself from eating every seasonally-appropriate food dish isn't hard enough already. (Btw, said restraint is non-existent. I eat every single thing I can get my hands on. I just pretend I don't to feel better about myself) But who can say no to freakin parfait? Obviously I broke down and immediately threw it in my collection. It smells delicious and reminds me of those overly sweet-smelling Bonne Bell lip balms I used to hoard as a child. I don't care, though. I love sugary-sweet-scented things. This tinted my lips a nice raspberry pink color (though it's described as fuchsia with blue undertones) and left them moisturized all morning until I took a snack break. The only downside is that there's no flavor. Not that it's a deal breaker, but I was hoping that with a name as yummy as parfait there'd be a hint of sweetness to it. Oh well, I'll let the lack of taste slide because it smells so good.
NYX butter lip balm in Parfait. I have yet to find the blue undertone
Beauty Without Cruelty 3% AHA Facial Cleanser (2oz sample value: $2.80)
Beauty Without Cruelty is a company that specializes in 100% cruelty-free vegan cosmetics. This is a soap-free cleanser that gently removes dead skin and impurities with the help of AHAs (glycolic, malic, and citric acid). So I guess that means this might have some anti-aging effects too? This cleanser lathers well enough and has a clean scent, nothing out of the ordinary. But as with any product with AHAs, they can increase photosensitivity so just be sure to wear sunscreen after using it.

Infinity Shadow/Crease Duet Brush (Full size value: $17.50 $7.00)
This brush is dual-sided: one is an eye shadow contouring brush and the other is a crease smudge brush. I can always use new brushes so this is definitely a welcome addition. The synthetic fibers are SO soft and blend well. I wish I knew how to use smudge brushes correctly so I could create some awesome smokey eyes, but for now all of mine remain untouched. One day. At least I can still get use out of the contouring side for now.

Pixi by Petra Fairy Dust - Brightening Bare (0.6g full size value: $10.00)
Lately loose powder pigments with sponge applicators seem to be gaining popularity in the cosmetics world. I'm still pretty hesitant about using them because I'd imagine the fallout would be horrendous. The last thing I need at work is random spots of sparkle forming on my face as the day goes on. (I once got glitter on my face when using glittery paper at work and have since earned the nickname "Sheri Blossom" because now I apparently moonlight as a gogo dancer) This is a nice nude color that I think I'd love if I ever get over my sponge + shimmer powder fear. I suppose it's similar to shimmery mineral eye shadows and I have no problem using those, but the applicator scares me...we'll see.

The Bag
The first thing I noticed when I pulled the bag out of the mailer was the smell. It reminded me of licorice. Odd. Maybe it's just me. But other than that I'm pretty sure this is my new favorite Ipsy bag, main reason being because it's black. I'm boring like that. I also like that it's nylon both inside and out because I can easily wash out any spills or stains. It's smaller than the regular makeup bags in that it's not the regular rectangle/square shape. It could actually pass as a pencil case. Maybe I'll use it as that.

Turns out December was a pretty good month for Ipsy. My Glam Bag had about $32 worth of stuff spanning skincare, eyes, lips, and makeup tools. I can see myself using everything except the fairy dust so I'm pretty happy. I'm even more happy that it arrived two weeks sooner than I was expecting so all in all I think Ispy is closing out 2014 on a good note. I'm ready to see what next year brings!

If you want to subscribe to Ipsy, use my link to sign up for an account. You always get a higher valued bag than what you paid. There's most likely a waitlist, but you can get off the list by posting to Facebook and having a friend subscribe from your link.

Note: Post contains referral links. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.


  1. Mmm, licorice. I haven't subscribed to Ipsy in a while, but I think I'd be happy with this bag. I would certainly use everything in it!

    1. It is a pretty great bag indeed. I'm actually thinking of just keeping Ipsy and giving Birchbox a little break to save a little bit of extra $$. Not that I've had bad BBs, but I don't find myself wanting to buy any of the full sizes. We'll see.

  2. Well, now I can't wait for my bag just to see if mine smells like licorice, too! I like licorice :D No matter how hard I try, I cannot resist a lip balm. I wonder which color I will get! You got your bag quick!

    1. At least that's what it smells like to me, but of course my nose could just be whack from this cold I've been fighting. I still can't believe how fast it got here! Even Barkbox got here before the tracking number. Maybe DHL is stepping it up in preparation for the season?