Thursday, February 7, 2013

Ipsy-Review of December 2012 Bag

I thought I'd go briefly back in time and review my first Ipsy bag from December 2012. After this, I'll do the January bag and keep going as long as I get the bags. I figured I'd show a comprehensive review of all the bags I've received thus far, so if you're on the fence about subscribing, you have a chance to make up your mind!

Ipsy (formerly My Glam) is a monthly subscription service, in which you pay $10 a month to receive a make-up bag containing approximately 5 deluxe sample size and full size items. You can cancel at any time, so as long as you do it before the first of the month; your card is billed just after the first of the month. If you sign up for Ipsy before the first of the following month, you will receive the following month's bag. For example, if you sign up on January 22, you will receive the February bag. Ipsy is the brain child of Michelle Phan, the original beauty guru on youtube. Michelle and her team of stylists (namely other youtubers) choose the products that are including in the bag. Each bag also has a theme of some type. In addition to receiving the products, you also get a card containing discount codes from the brands provided.

This is the first subscription service I've ever received or wanted to do. I honestly just wasn't interested in Birchbox or any of the other subscriptions out there. Let's face it, I just want a bag that primarily contains make-up and nail polish. I don't mind hair or body products either, as long as it's kept to a minimum. However, Birchbox and a lot of other services have a tendency to do a TON of skincare samples and very little make-up. There also seems to be an abundance of small "crappy-sized" samples, like foil packets and perfume vials. I can get those type of samples for free at Sephora for goodness sakes! I'm happy to say I've received only large samples and full-sized items. Also, the value of the bag has always FAR EXCEEDED the $10 (note: The state of CA now has a tax on Ipsy boxes, mine was only 80 cents so no big deal). These boxes are simply a great way to get out of your comfort zone and try new products as a low cost. I've received 2 bags so far, and I'm not yet disappointed!

The ipsy website (and facebook page) show previews of items every month, so you have a general idea of what you are receiving in the next month's bag. One or two items may vary from one person's bag to another's, but it usually differs by shade or one item. Now I apologize for the essay I just wrote, but I just want to be thorough! haha. 

December 2012 Ipsy Bag featuring (1) Urban Decay Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero, (2) Mirabella Prime For Face and Eyes, (3) Mai Couture St Barts Highlighter Papier, (4) NYX Ultra Pearl Mania in Sky Pink Pearl, (5) Be a Bombshell Lip Gloss in Hot Mess
  1. Urban Decay Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero- Deluxe Sample
    • Size: 0.8g or 0.03oz
    • Full Size: 1.2g or 0.04oz, $19
    • Value of the Sample: $12.67 (this sample is not sold individually, so I did some math! lol)
    • I actually have a couple of these deluxe sample sizes (from Urban Decay sets), so I've tried this before, though I am more than happy to have a back-up! This is one of my favorite pencil eyeliners of all time! The shade is a black, though not the deepest black in Urban Decay's line-up (Perversion is the blackest black). I actually really like a softer black or brown for the daytime, so I do not mind! These pencils are very long wearing; once the pencil sets, there is no budging throughout the day! Perfect for those of us who have oily eyelids or need something more waterproof. This also wears well in the waterline. 
    • Repurchase?: Maybe. After I use up my back-ups, I would consider repurchasing. However, I have a dupe for this that is much cheaper (I'll make a post on this later).
    • Pleased w/ Ipsy?: Yes! This is a great (and useful!) item to receive! All boxes received this color. This one item is worth more than the whole Ipsy bag!
  2. Mirabella Prime For Face and Eyes-Full Size!
    • Size: 12.85g or 0.45oz. $29
    • This is a clear, silicone-based primer for usage on the face and eyes. I have not yet used it as an eye primer, but it works well as a face primer in terms of extending the wear of make-up. I am working on using up another primer, so I haven't used this primer extensively.
    • Repurchase?: No. While I do like the product, $29 is kind of expensive.
    • Pleased w/ Ipsy?: Heck yes! This is worth way more than the cost of one Ipsy bag! Everyone received this item in their bag.
  3. Mai Couture St. Barts Highligher Papier-Deluxe Sample
    • Size: 25 Sheets
    • Full Size: 50 Sheets, $28
    • Value of Sample: $14
    • These are sheets containing sheer, shimmery powder. The pigment is slightly pink-toned, but with no glitter. It's meant to be used as a highlighter you can rub on your cheekbones, brow bone, cupid's bow, or anywhere you'd like to highlight. It's a similar concept to oil-absorbing sheets, except you are adding something to your face instead of taking oil away. It's an effective product and very travel friendly.
    • Repurchase?: No. While effective, it's expensive, and I'd rather use my Mary Lou Manizer or Tarte highlighter.
    • Pleased w/ Ipsy?: Yes! Another great value. Everyone received this item in their bag.
  4. NYX Ultra Pearl Mania in Sky Pink Pearl-Full Size!
    • Size: 0.06oz or 5ml, $3 (according to NYX website, price may vary)
    • I love this product! It's a loose pigment, a light pink shimmery pearl color. It's shimmery, but has no chunky glitter. It's very pigmented and looks positively lovely on the lid! My swatch isn't the greatest, but I promise it's a lovely product! The color is actually like a pinker, more pigmented version of the Mai Couture highlighter! The only negative is that the packaging is a bit messy and inefficient (Am I supposed to dip my brush into the vial or tap some product out?). But for the price, I have no room to complain! 
    • Repurchase?: Yes, if I run out. I also wouldn't mind trying out some other colors. This is coming from someone who dislikes loose pigments!
    • Pleased w/ Ipsy?: Yes. While this is not a high-end item like everything else in the box, I love NYX! The shade of this varies with each bag; maybe about 10 variations? This is the only item that varied in this month's bag.
  5. Be a Bombshell Lipgloss in Hot Mess-Full Size!
    • Size: 3g or 0.11oz, $14
    • This is a wonderfully pigmented red lipgloss! I'm actually not a huge fan of lipgloss; I dislike the stickiness and the frequent lack of pigment. This lipgloss, however, I LOVE! It's a fairly opaque glossy red with no shimmer/glitter. It has some pink tones to it, but overall, it's almost a true red. It goes on great and wears well, even leaving a slight stain. And you do not need a lipstick underneath it to achieve opacity! Score! You can apply it on both upper and lower lips to achieve a bright red look, or apply it sheerly for just a hint of color.
    • Repurchase?: Yes! If I run out!
    • Pleased w/ Ipsy? YES. Everyone received this shade in the bag.
The included card, front.
The theme seems to be holiday-related. A red lip, shimmery lids & cheeks definitely conveys the holiday flare. And black liner always goes with red lips. As for the primer, I don't know. haha!

The included card, back.
The monthly discounts. Very good discounts indeed, though I didn't take advantage. I was too busy enjoying the holiday goodies I had already received!

The bag
I simply love the idea of receiving bags with monthly subscriptions instead of boxes. I will actually use these bags! December's bag is a glistening silver-grey on the outside, and pink Ipsy-logo printed on the inside. It's cute and has a pencil-case type of feel. I'm using it to store samples and back-ups of unused mascara, eyeliner, and primer.

Swatches from top to bottom: Be a Bomshell, Mai Couture, NYX, and Urban Decay
Just so you know, I swatched the red lipgloss more heavily on the left and more sheerly on the right. And yes, I know you can barely see the highlighter! My bad!

Me wearing the lipgloss and eyeliner.
Price Breakdown:
  1. Urban Decay Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero- $12.67
  2. Mirabella Prime For Face and Eyes- $29
  3. Mai Couture St. Barts Highligher Papier- $14
  4. NYX Ultra Pearl Mania in Sky Pink Pearl- $3
  5. Be a Bombshell Lipgloss in Hot Mess- $14
Total Value: $72.67 !!!

Overview: Well the value of the bag far exceeded the $10 I paid, so I am definitely pleased! I also received 3 full size items and 2 large sample sizes! Also, everything is make-up! Good job Ipsy and wonderful first impression!

Disclosure: These products were purchased by me for review purposes. I was not paid or compensated in any way. All opinions are my own.


  1. Aw, I'm pretty jealous haha :P I signed up in time for January's bag - while it didn't meet my interests, I can't complain about the value. Can't wait for February's bag!

    1. Yeah January wasn't my favorite either. I just reviewed it today actually. But February's looks amazing!!