June 18, 2013

Let's Review: Ipsy

What Mandy Thinks: "Let's Review" post
Makeup was not something I grew up wanting to play around with.  My mom rarely wears any makeup besides occasional lipstick and blush for special occasions, so she wasn't the go-to person for makeup advice.  I rarely wore makeup in high school, but the "emo" side of me liked the dark eye liner look every once in a while.  College and adulthood and all that junk pushed me towards a change in the way I looked at makeup.  It wasn't a "mask" but another artistic self-expression I kept myself away from for fear of being "too girly."

A little over a year ago, my roommate at the time found a company called myGlam, a makeup subscription service that sends makeup samples and sometimes full-size makeup and beauty products monthly through their signature "glam bags."  Their subscription window opens and closes quickly so once they opened it again my roommate convinced me to sign up.  I was skeptical at first since I wasn't sure if I'd just end up getting a lot of makeup I didn't need or ever use.  Once the bags came in however, it'd feel like Christmas!  I've since learned and practiced makeup techniques thanks to finding items every month I would have never thought to buy myself, and I always have a friend around who would gladly accept samples I didn't want (which doesn't happen often).  myGlam has since changed their name to Ipsy and are even getting more customizable (there's a survey / quiz on their website they base your bag on for types of products that are important to you, your skin color, skin type, etc), and I can't get enough of these glam bags!  Check 'em out at ipsy.com.

What Mandy Thinks: Image of ipsy bag source ipsy.com: "June's 'Glam Bag.'"
June's "Glam Bag" products
Price: 9 out of 10
If you've heard of Birchbox, then it's basically the same service, but with better stuff for cheap!  There's at least one of the five for six items per month that is worth the 10 buck monthly fee if not more.

Products: 9 out of 10
Each bag comes with a variety (see right image for June's as an example).  There's always makeup like blush, eye shadow, lip or eye pencils, mascara, foundation, etc.  There's also beauty products like lotions, makeup brushes, hair oils, face wipes, nail polish, and even eyelashes and perfume samples. Their website has a list of all their glam bags thus far, so you'll see what I mean.

Shipping/Handling: 8 out of 10
The bright pink padded envelope is easy to spot, it gets to me the same day of each month, and it fits inside my tiny apartment mailbox, but I only have one tiny issue.  This is not a dig on Ipsy themselves since they can't completely control how the products get to you once they're in the post office's hands.  I've only had one problem with an item getting to me broken, (a blush similar to the one in the picture got all over everything), but it was the only item in that particular bag I wouldn't have used so it worked out.  Besides that one issue (that was mostly my vengeful mailman's fault for smooshing it into my mailbox so hard), I haven't had any problems with the bag getting to me or any other products damaged. 

Availability: 6 out of 10
My first glam bag was the April 2012 bag when the company was still fairly new.  There wasn't any newsletters or much activity on their Facebook page so I would have zero clue what was in the bag when I received it.  It felt like opening a Christmas present every month, not knowing what I was going to get, and I loved that!  Now, their Facebook page has "sneak peek" photos of the items and sends out newsletters and blog posts about the bag BEFORE I EVEN GET IT IN THE MAIL.  I'm sure they just pick an arbitrary time to post these thinking "most" people have already received their bags, but I get mine on the 17th-ish of each month, days after most of my Ipsy friends get theirs.  I find myself cringing and hiding the "Your Glam Bag Is Here!" emails with an image similar to the one I have here that TOTALLY GIVES IT AWAY before I open it.  I guess some of you Ipsy people like knowing what you get beforehand, but I like the mystery of it.  I'm a winy baby with this because it's like showing me the present you got me before wrapping it up!

Overall Rating: 8 out of 10  (NOTE: I don't make any of my ratings 10/10 because I do not want to argue perfection, there's always something to improve on.  These are all of course based on personal preference.)


- High quality products I actually want to use

- Each bag has variety, and if you do their survey / quiz thing your products would be more tuned to your needs

- The price is awesome

- The cute bags change every month, useful for travel and other storage use

- Each bag comes with coupons codes so you can buy more of those products or just get a discount at the particular company's website

- Free shipping, mailed to you like any other letter so there's nothing to sign or need to pick it up / wait for it like most packages.

- They send an email to you once it's shipped.


- Just the one blush explosion incident I had a few bags ago, but that's not their fault in the slightest.  If I had contacted Ipsy directly they may have helped me or whatever, so if something like this happens with a product I would have liked, I'll see what they can do.

- I would only wish they pack these bags a little safer for the fragile products since the thin bubbles of the envelope didn't help much in the blush explosion haha.  Maybe add extra bubble wrap to the fragile pieces inside?


- Whether you're cool with it or not, most of the time the products are spoiled for you via social media around or before the time you get your bag in the mail.  Ignore their "sneak peaks" to keep up the surprise.

- Everybody gets their bag "around the same time," but not on the same day, but that's a postal service / location thing they can't control, I totally get that.  My former roommate gets her bag before any of my other Ipsy friends.  She's in Redwood City, I'm 20 minutes away in Palo Alto and get mine three whole days after her.  My sister in Nevada gets hers a few days after me!

So with my "sneak peek" ranting aside, I'm still in love with Ipsy and don't see myself leaving it any time soon no matter how poor I'm getting.  What has your experience with Ipsy been like?  How would you Birchboxers compare their service to Ipsy?

Disclaimer:  I am not being paid by anybody to say any of this stuff, and I only mention brands / details / spoilers because of personal preference.  I am trying not to get sued, thanks.


  1. You can email them if you have a problem with your bag and they'll fix it right away, they're really good about it. If you get a damaged product, they'll send you a new one.

  2. That's what I've heard, which is great! For me though I don't see the need since it was a product I was going to give away anyway haha. I have crazy pale skin so the color was way too bright for me. I wonder if its too much to request sending a new one in another shade?


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