Hello there, M again. I've returned in a less geeky form to report on Ipsy's"Glam Bag" - a makeup samples subscription pouch. Why a makeup subscription? Because I am in West Africa and the local stores don't carry products I'm familiar with (or that I'm convinced are genuine/not melted/not expired) but I occasionally like to pretend that I am a mature, makeup-wearing professional who cares about her appearance. Why a pouch? Because I barely wear makeup - not out of any holier-than-thou-I-wake-up-this-fabulous feeling, but because applying it takes too much time out of my morning 'stare into space until the caffeine kicks in' routine. Also, if I don't end up liking it, it was cheap and there's not much of it.
So, Ipsy. For $10/month, you get a pouch of 4-5 sample size makeup/skin/hair items. You take a little quiz at the beginning that asks about your makeup use, preferences, etc. Do note, there isn't a 'I hate this no no no never send it' button, so you can't 100% control what they send you. You are asked to review the products once you get them both a) to hopefully improve their choices for you next time and b) to, presumably, help ipsy get more samples by providing market data to their clients/suppliers. Reviewing the products also gets you Ipsy points, which you can use on their site. Ipsy also runs deals on various full size products on their website. NB: The referral links on this review get me Ipsy points if I decide to splurge on pretties.
Ipsy does ship to DPO, but they seem to ship towards the middle/end of the month (or at least mine did), so while this was the 'June' bag, I got it June 29th, just in time to try it out at all the July 4th events.
It comes in this wonderful/horrifying/sparkly/fuschia mailer. I'm sure a few eyes in the mailroom were turned, but hey, it's fun. The wait was not fun, but I already was able to find out what was in it, kind of, as Ipsy lets you preview your "glam bag" if you share it on FB ("pro" tip - set it up to share visible only to you).
Inside the sparkly mailer is a little pouch. Each month a different pouch and this is the most restrained/boring of the lot. According to next month's preview, the bag is some crazy 70s montage of teal and orange that would be at home at Urban Outfitters. Hideous, but easy to find in the cavern of my purse, whereas this little discreet number is invisible. Still, handy to have a supply of organizers.
But, to the goodies! Inside I received (left to right):
- Altchek MD Eye Hydrating Pads (2): In theory, these little guys stick on your face and after half an hour or so your dark circles miraculously disappear. I tried them before a big party, and saw no change. 1 out of 5.
- J. Cat Beauty Liptitude Hydrating Stain: I should caveat this review by saying I hate pink. It is anathema. Also, I'm pretty sure that this shade would only work on blondes, and I'm a brunette. That said, it was hydrating and creamy. 2 out of 5.
- Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Foundation Primer: I don't normally wear foundation/coverup/etc. Only for fancy pants parties, like the Embassy's 4th. I liked this well enough, and thought it did a good job of filling in the lines on my face so that the powder I dug out of the back of my makeup drawer went on smoothly, and it made me feel like a ninja/spy/sneakthief, sure that the fingers I'd used to apply it would no longer leave fingerprints as they were so smooth. Cue Mission Impossible theme. I would recommend it to anyone who has the time to apply full makeup on a regular basis. 4 out of 5.
- tre'StiQue Mini Shadow Crayon in Marimoto Pearl: Ok. This is LOVE. Love love love love love. It's a great shade, just a bit lighter than my skin tone, and shimmery. A great 'nude' simple shadow. But the best part? It's a crayon. No fussing with brushes in the morning, just scribble on your eyelid. Done. I would actually buy this, despite the full sized sucker being $28. 5 out of 5.
- Aurora Intensive Eyeliner Pen: This is also love, of a slightly less intense variety. I already liked and had liquid liner, but this glides on very smoothly, and is easy enough to make thin and graceful rather than 'I gave myself a black eye because I applied eyeliner before imbibing caffeine.' 5 out of 5.
Verdict: Ipsy's glam bag is fun, especially if you're only kindof into makeup. A couple of 'meh's but the eyeliner and the shadow crayon have been my go to every day since receiving it.
- Value for money: 8 - 2 useful things and it's only $10. Points taken off for getting me hooked on expensive eyeshadow crayons.
- Quality: 8 - 4 out of 5 of the samples were high quality (disappointed in you, eye pads)
- Fun: 9 - it comes in a sparkly pink mailer for crying out loud