Ipsy: first impressi0ns


I have added quite a few subscriptions to my list after my first experience with a reoccurring box (which was Marzia’s once-every-three-months box). They include a cancelled Scent Trunk subscription, a monthly vitamin box, an inexpensive monthly tea taster, and most recently: Ipsy

I’ve always seen these “glam bags” and thought it would be really neat to test out 5 random beauty products every month, but I never felt fully compelled to subscribe til I started watching Alexandria Ryan’s YouTube channel. In her videos, she does everything from unboxing any beauty subscription box/bag you could think of to trying all of it on! She makes each one entertaining and so easy to binge watch. Her “science” experiment with her 3 different Ipsy bags is the first thing that hooked me and what ultimately got me signing up for my own. If you’d like to see what I mean, her YouTube channel will be linked HERE she recently reached 200k subscribers and totally deserves more!

I signed up sometime in December and didn’t think I’d receive that month’s products, but I did anyway! I also got January’s pretty early on, so I saw it as the perfect opportunity to try all of the things I got and not only show them to you, but give you my honest reviews (just like Alexandria). This will be double the length of my future 1-bag-per-month Ipsy posts, so prepare yourself for a long one. Here goes…

December’s bag

I was immediately intrigued just by the look of the bag itself. The gold sequins on one side and the leathery material on the other (shown up close in the header image) is stunning. The products inside had me very impressed with my first bag as well. Ipsy’s holiday gift to its members was a bonus item in their December bag, so there were 6 things to try!

Grace & Stella Dead Sea mud mask

The first item I wanted to test was the skincare one. It was nice to see variety in my first bag, it wasn’t all makeup or no makeup. I really enjoyed this mask! The instructions say to leave it for 10 minutes and in that time it doesn’t fully dry down to a crackling, dusty mess on the skin. This made it not only comfortable to wear for those minutes, but it was also super easy to take off. So the two turn offs I usually have with non-sheet masks, this mask passed!

Farah brush

The first brush of (hopefully) many…after using this to try on the products I’ll mention later in my post, I realized one of the many reasons why I’m so awful at applying eyeshadow: I never had good brushes to use! I love how lightweight the handle is and the bristles are super soft. I didn’t notice any shedding with the first few uses. The head of it is a great size for eyes and it applied both loose & pressed powders wonderfully. I’m looking forward to wearing eyeshadow more often because I have this (:

Steve Laurant loose powder in rose gold

Speaking of, I received this beautiful shade of pigment from a brand I’ve always wanted to try. It’s my first ever loose powder, so I know I’m bound to make a mess with it eventually…but luckily I didn’t with my first application! I’ve learned from Alexandria that this type of shadow typically applies better over a stickier base. Me being the person who doesn’t wear face makeup- I opted for a light layer of face lotion. It worked way better than I expected and went on well with the Farah brush. The pigmentation is very metallic and I love the color I got this in. Perfect for brightening up the inner corners!

It Cosmetics Superhero mascara

I’ve come out of my comfort zone in the past year or so, learning to like trying new mascaras instead of playing it safe with only using the one I know I love. With that said, I was excited to test out this little sample from another brand I haven’t tried before. The spoolie is straighter than the typical one I use, so it was a bit of an adjustment applying. The color is a deep black and I didn’t notice a single clump in my fantastically separated lashes. I’m very impressed with this mascara!

Lottie London AM to PM liner in mocha

I’m not the biggest fan of non-liquid liners since adopting the classic cat eye as my signature look, but I always need something else to use on my upper waterline (if that’s what that part is called). So I was interested to see how this sample came out. The stick surprised me in that it doesn’t twist up, so whatever pokes out the top is all you get- either that or mine is broken. The formula of this liner is super creamy though and it also surprised me how easily I could just wipe away mistake marks I had made, it didn’t smudge around. This worked for where I needed it, but I do wish the shade was as dark as the colored band on the outside…

The Beauty Crop Lip Brûlée lip creme

When this says “high shine” they mean HIGH SHINE! This insanely pigmented lippie packs an equally crazy punch of color as it does glossy glow. I love the berry shade and the doe foot applied so smooth. It’s comfortable to wear (from when I first tried it on), but I do worry that I wouldn’t be able to wear this on any day with even a light breeze. I’m not sure how well it would hold up throughout the day as I haven’t given it the full 24-hour test, but I have a sneaking suspicion it would move around if I ate, drank, or even talked too much. Overall, I’m looking forward to trying it again for a longer time period than just to take photos (and get first impressions).

The look

Using all the products in my December Ipsy bag, I was able to create a look I very much enjoy! I’m a big fan of the simple eye and bold lip. I used the loose pigment with my new brush in just the inner corners, then the mascara, and finally the brown liner on that upper waterline. Then I put on the high shine lip creme to finish it off…what do you think of this look? Let me know in the comments (:

January’s bag

Another fabulous bag of goodies from Ipsy. I’m loving the color scheme and the pattern on this month’s bag! This time it arrived with the standard 5 items, but I like them all. I was able to use everything that came in January with last month’s products to put together a look formed from 2 Ipsys…

Goldfaden MD skin balancing mask

A stark contrast to last month’s thick and dark formula, this mask is pretty much clear and super slippery to the touch. It smells citrusy and although the packaging says “you may feel a tingling sensation” neither Justin nor I felt anything close (which is a major plus in my book). This one wore for 10 minutes as well and my skin felt truly refreshed after rinsing!

Ella Eden eyeshadow in willow

I was very happy to receive a pressed powder this month as the previous loose one was still a daunting task for a newbie like me. I absolutely adore the shade I got (the other one was purple and that would’ve been lovely too). It paired so well with the rose gold I already had on. I applied this with the Farah brush too and I managed to build it up on the crease easily. I was also able to blend it out better than I have a lot of other times before. I’m not sure if that’s because of the shadow or the brush- my money’s on BOTH.

Eyeko liquid eyeliner

From first impressions, I can say I have a love/hate relationship with this liner. On one hand, I’m very glad I received a liquid liner instead of another solid stick. On the other hand, I’m SO used to the skinny felt tip of my everyday liner- not this thing. Don’t get me wrong, it applied true black and covered the shadow completely. It didn’t pull across the lid when I was drawing in my wing…but I did have to wipe the end of my wing off just once and redo it because it came out way thicker than my usual flick. Hazard of a stiffer tip I guess!

Illamasqua lip crayon in lust

That bottom corner photo was taken after I applied the lippie, so just imagine the perfectly sharpened tip it came as. This is a product I can see myself using til the end goes dull, then never touching again. That’s a sad thought, but I’m terrible at sharpening these makeup pencils (whether it’s an eyeliner or lip liner). This was another product that showed up a lighter shade than what’s on the product packaging itself. I do still love the shade I received and it applied very creamy which was a nice surprise for something so sharp! I wore this one longer than December’s lip color, so I was able to watch the progression of it throughout my night. In the first few hours, it did start to fade out to the edges of my lips- but I think I could’ve easily reapplied it to the center or even thrown a gloss on and salvaged the look. I’d never even heard of this brand before, but I’m hoping I’ll get more products from them in future bags…

Color Club nail polish in Williamsburg

That place is right down the road from me! A really neat name for a polish though I’m not quite sure why it’s called that. Again, I was impressed by the variety in my second bag from Ipsy. I did see the other color I could’ve received and I was a bit disappointed I didn’t get the oxblood shade. But this blue is gorgeous and still quite a deep lacquer. Mine in particular was possibly damaged during transit as I noticed a drop or two of dried polish around the top & it was somewhat dry on the inside of the cap. The brush was very frayed when I took it out, so it’s also possible mine was damaged PRIOR to being sent to me. Enough Debby-downers though, let me tell you how it wore. This stuff applied completely opaque, I’m talking ONE coat and my nails were totally covered with no see-through spots or streaking. The unfortunate brush problem made painting my nails messy and as a dark blue polish, it smeared all over my fingers as I tried to clean up the edges with remover and Q-tips. It dried extremely fast and hasn’t chipped throughout my first workday wearing it. Looking through the bottle, it looks much more glittery than it appears on the actual nails. The subtle shimmer is just the bit of cutesy a navy shade like this needs…

The look with December’s lip

This is the full look using everything in both December & (almost all of) January’s bags. I added eyeshadow to the crease and outer corner areas, carefully applied a wing with the liquid liner, and left the lip creme on to see which month’s lippie looked best…

The look with January’s lip

The lip liner crayon shade is just a tiny bit lighter than the previous month’s lip color, but pretty much the same berry tone. I think after adding the extra shadow and cat eye, toning this look down with a less glossy & less pigmented lip was a better match. I concur it was a successful experiment using every product in 2 Ipsy bags! Crazy how well the color schemes between them worked together AND that they came with exactly all the products I’d use to create a makeup look (not mad in the slightest that I got multiple lip items). Would you consider trying this with the next beauty subscription you get? Let me know what box you get each month in the comments (:

Curious about the shirt?

It’s merch from UK Milestones Red Lights album. Their first and last full album before they broke up last year (so sad). If you’re interested in listening to any of their music, they’ve released an EP called Equal Measures that includes one of my faves Call Me Disaster. The Red Lights album also has some amazing tracks on it if you like the EP

Curious about the hair?

Keep your eyes out for my next post this coming Friday where I’ll be sharing my experiences with a few different haircare and styling products I’ve been testing out recently. Care for a tiny spoiler? Not every expensive item is worth the money, and sometimes the free stuff can surprise you

The nails

Of course, the day before I plan to paint my magically perfect nails- I break a thumbnail down to a nub at work. I didn’t clip the rest all the way down, but I did file them a tad shorter so it wouldn’t look too weirdly uneven. This nail color reminds me a lot of a Chanel navy shade I received from a giveaway a while ago. This Color Club one just has the extra glitter and I’m sure it’s a lot less pricey!

Thank you so much for sticking with me through this two-month long unbagging of my first ever Ipsys. If you’ve made it this far, I hope I at least inspired you to watch Alexandria’s videos because there’s a lot less reading involved (:

*Edit. Please let me know if you found this post in your Reader, I’ve still been having issues with them not showing up

17 thoughts on “Ipsy: first impressi0ns

  1. This post did show up on Reader, for me! I thought I was the only one having issues with my posts not showing up as soon as I post them. It’s so annoying – hopefully we’ll both be able to fix it soon!
    I love the concept of monthly subscription boxes like these, and really wanted to give Ipsy a try – but unfortunately it’s not available in my country. Is it true that it’s only $10?
    You got some pretty nice items in your glam bags! I love the first look with the bold lip! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really appreciate the feedback on publishing issues! It’s only seemed to happen when I post from a draft and only sometimes, so I’m hoping the next update will resolve it cause it’s nice to write stuff ahead of time. Thank you so much for your compliment on the look (: that’s definitely a lip color I’d wear again with an understated eye. I’m sorry to hear Ipsy is unavailable for you, but yes it is just $10/month. Maybe there’s something similar you could get where you live!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved this post! I have recently subscribed to a box similar to this. I get what you mean about the love hate relationship with the eyeliner as I have the same one, it has really good colour pay off but it quite hard to get a good wing I find! I loved the eye look you created with the shadow ❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow such an amazing haul! I’ve always wanted to try an ipsy subscription box because its a great way of trying out new things. Plus that lip brulée lipstick looks AMAZING ON YOU and I love the eyeliner too! The colours of your eyeshadow also suit you so well :’) xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Girrrrrrl, thank you so much! This is such a lovely comment (: I hope you can try Ipsy or something like it too- would be awesome to see the looks you’d create with the random products they send

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Of course! You’re so welcome :’) Ahh I would actually love to honestly! Sometimes I worry about the cost of shipping to europe so i’ll have to look into it! And you’re so cute seriously thank you :’)

        Liked by 1 person

  4. You look great with reds. I cannot pull off shades of red eyeshadows. I got that eyeshadow brush in one of my recent bags, but I actually didn’t like it. I didn’t think it applied my shadow that well at all. I have another brush that I received in an older bag that applies shadows so much better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a lot! I used to only wear purple hues in high school and then didn’t wear eyeshadow for so long after, so it’s nice to play around with it again and try different shades. I’m hoping to get more brushes in future bags- I’ve never had good ones, so I’m looking forward to that (:

      Liked by 1 person

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