Who doesn’t want Christmas once a month (and twice in December with the real deal)? For a beauty/makeup junkie, beauty subscription boxes offer exactly that – of course, for a fee which typically ranges between $10 – $40 a month, depending on the service. Beauty subscription services over the past few years have become increasingly overabundant, and sometimes it is hard to decide which one(s) can actually be worth the money. This was a major debate for me, as well, looking to decide whether to subscribe to ipsy or Birchbox, both of which are popular “miscellaneous” beauty boxes. I spent some time doing research, mainly watching beauty videos on YouTube (some of the most helpful and charismatic were EleventhGorgeous, which you can check out here. They do monthly head-to-head battles between Birchbox and ipsy which are great for comparisons) to help me decide in my quest for the Holy Grail Beauty Box. From the numerous videos I watched, the general consensus was that ipsy offered a greater range of products at better sizes versus Birchbox (both are $10 a month).
So, I decided to go with ipsy. Ipsy is a company that offers four to five deluxe samples and full-sized products per bag each month. The company was created by another popular beauty YouTuber, Michelle Phan, under the name “My Glam Bag.” At the beginning, the bags weren’t that well-received, as many internet folk claimed that they were receiving discontinued full-sized products and miniscule available samples. However, the popularity – and quality – soared to new heights after she revamped her company under a new name “ipsy, beauty by you.”
I’ve been a subscriber for a couple of months now, and I’ve got to say, I’m pretty impressed. I’ve gotten a wide range of products and brands that I actually like and will use. The cool thing about ipsy is that, when you sign up, you take a mildly extensive survey about your beauty style, likes, and habits so that they are better able to match you with products that you will actually enjoy, since every bag they create is different. Pretty neat.
Another cool thing about ipsy is that, each month, the beauty and makeup products arrive in a cute little makeup bag. This is a nice added bonus because the majority of other subscription services (like Birchbox) are packaged in disposable boxes. These bags are great for keeping in your purse, or even traveling with to keep products organized.
This month, though, the makeup bags were even cooler because they were specially designed by Rebecca Minkoff. I’m a big fan of her handbags, so it was a happy surprise to see that she collaborated on the design of the bag! The theme of the June bag is “Pretty in Paradise,” and the pineapple print definitely set the tone for the products inside. (Fun fact, she actually used the same pattern from one of her favorite dresses, the Dev Dress).
The first product I received was a deluxe sample of Carol’s Daughter Sacred Tiare anti-breakage and anti-frizz styling cream. I didn’t actually get a chance to test out this product, as it is supposed to be applied to damp hair and then blow-dried (which I rarely ever do) straight. It’s the consistency of a typical hair cream and smells a little floral. I’m not big into hair products, but it’s nice to try out, which I hope to do eventually. Plus, it’s made in Brooklyn, which is cool.
The next product I received was definitely my least favorite product of the bag. This is a Realtree for Her perfume sample, and while it is much larger than most perfume samples (I would say about x2 the size), it arrived with most of the product leaking into the bag. Luckily, the ipsy team was smart enough to package it in a separate plastic bag so it didn’t get all over the other products, which I appreciate. The ipsy website describes the scent as a mix of pomegranate, persimmon, orchid, lotus blossom, champaca flower, amber, violet, and mahogany wood. To me, it just smells very strong and overpowering. I like perfumes that are more citrus-y, so this wasn’t up my alley.
The next product I received was the Nicka K New York Shimmer Eyeliner in Blue. I really loved this product! I’m not big on wearing eyeliner on the day-to-day, especially not turquoise, but this is SUCH a beautiful color for summer. The way it sparkles in the sunlight is absolutely gorgeous. The formula is great, as well. It is very pigmented, and the brush (which is kind of like a felt tip, but only a bit stiffer) made it incredibly easy to apply. I’m not very good at applying liquid eyeliner, so any help I can get from the brush is A-Okay with me. I’ve never heard of this brand before, but I definitely am a fan of this product.
This next product I also really enjoyed. It is the OFRA Universal Eyebrow Pencil (this actually retails for $13.00, alone worth more than what it cost me to buy the bag. Oh yeaaaahhh). The pencil is very smooth and creamy, which makes applying it/blending it to my eyebrows a dream. However, I have pretty dark brunette hair/eyebrows, and the pencil’s color was almost a tiny bit too dark for me, which makes me question universality of this “universal” pencil. My sister also received this in her ipsy bag; she has brunette hair slightly lighter than I do and found it too dark for her. This is pretty much useless for anyone who is blonde. Despite the fact that there is only one color choice, I thought this was a great product.
Saving the best for last (duh.), I received a NYX Butter Gloss in Éclair. I don’t think I can scream loud enough from the hilltops about how much I love this product. I already own two other colors (Apple Strudel, which is a pretty coral, and Cupcake, which is a hot pink), but this was a nice neutral addition to my collection. I don’t tend to gravitate toward pale pinks like Éclair much in my beauty shopping, which is why I like the idea of beauty subscription services so much. You get to try products that, otherwise, you wouldn’t have even glanced at. The NYX Butter Gloss applies exactly like the name states. It’s smooth, not sticky (sticky lip glosses are the bane of my existence. I can’t even look at MAC Dazzleglasses without cringing), not too thick. The color applies evenly and lasts for a reasonable amount of time for a lip gloss. Totally love.
Overall, I would rate this bag between 3.5 and 4 stars. Not too shabby for $10.
If you are interested in signing up for ipsy bags, you can sign up here!
Let me know if you have tried any other subscription services and what you think of them!
(Just in case you’re feeling a little less sparkly than usual: Matthew 5:14-16. Jesus loves you! (and, duh, me too!))