A shade of the dramatic, where different is all there is.

My First Glam Bag by ipsy

So I know I’m a little late posting this,  I should’ve got this up last week when I received it, but I wanted to make sure I shared it with you all anyway.

As you can see, I subscribed to another beauty box, widely due to my love/hate relationship with Topbox.  I wanted to give ipsy a try and see how the value compared.

“ipsy” was started by Michelle Phan, one of the most widely followed YouTube Beauty Gurus in the world.  She has nearly 3 million subscribers to her YouTube channel and currently has over 727 MILLION total video views.  So she created ipsy to select and share some of her favourite beauty products for people to try.

If you are living in the US of A, you can subscribe to Ipsy for just $10/month, shipping included.  For those of us north of the border in Canada, we have to pay $14.95/month.  But given that I currently pay $12.00/month for Topbox, I figured if the value was there, I wouldn’t be upset about the extra $3.

My first Glam Bag (January 2013) from ipsy was shipped in bright pink bubble wrap packaging, so it got my attention right away.  It was small enough to fit in my small apartment sized mail slot too, so that is always a bonus!

my first "glam bag" by Ipsy (January 2013)

Inside, I found a small black cosmetic bag and a full-size make-up brush.

January ipsy glam bag

You get a different cosmetic bag each month with ipsy.  I was actually impressed that they took the time to brand them too.

ipsy Glam Bag review

It was amazing how much fit in this little bag.  Here are the complete contents of my January ipsy Glam Bag:

ipsy glam bag for January 2013

SOHO Eyeliner Brush

The first item being the full-size eye liner brush from SOHO with an ergonomic design.  This brush has very short, dense bristles and is designed for applying dry or wet eyeliners or can also be used to fill in eyebrows with shadow.  It retails for about $5-$8 depending on where you snatch it up.

ergonomic eyeliner brush by SOHO

Bloody Mary Nailtini

The “Tiny Beauty Lounge” features cocktail inspired cosmetics.  So they have nail lacquers, eye shadows and lip glosses that are all inspired by your favourite cocktails.  You’ve got to check out their website, its pretty cool!  This is a totally new brand for me too, so it is fun being exposed to new things.  That is what beauty box subscriptions are all about!  This full-size “triple free” nail polish from their line of “Straight up Color Nail Lacquer” retails for $13.00.

Nailtini straight up nail lacquer "Bloody Mary"

"Bloody Mary" nailtini

Big Sexy Hair Spray & Play

Big Sexy Hair products are available for sale at Canada in salons but in the US I see they are available for sale at Wal-Mart as well.  The full-size 10 oz version of this hair spray retails for $33.00, which makes this 1.5 oz sample valued at $4.95.

Spray and Play by Big Sexy Hair Products

Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Body Butter

Described as “Sparkling, juicy blood orange with notes of red raspberry and spicy sweet Italian mandarins.  The scent of Mediterranean beach.”  This body butter is 100% vegan and cruelty free.  It has a very refreshing and fruity scent, but isn’t overpowering.  The cream itself is thick and rich the way a body butter should be.  I see myself getting a lot of use out of this body butter over the remaining winter months.  This body butter by Pacifica is available for sale in two sizes, the smallest being the 2.5 oz version I received in my Glam Bag, for $7.00.

Body Butter by Pacifica in "Tuscan Blood Orange"

Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil

This product is a huge cult favourite in the beauty industry and I was really excited to receive it in my Glam Bag.  I’ve had Argan Oil before, but only ever used it on my hair.  This one is promoting multiple uses:

  • Daily Moisturizer (apply on clean face)
  • Hair Treatment (apply to split ends)
  • Body Moisturizer (apply to skin)
  • Nail Treatment (apply to cuticles)
  • Bath Oil (add to your bath)

I really love the eye dropper applicator too.  Whenever I’ve used Argan oil in the past, it seems to get everywhere, but this dropper is great!

Josie Maran’s highly sought after Argan Oil is available for retail in 3 different sizes at Sephora, allowing me to calculate the value of this sample to be about $6.12.

Argan Oil Sample by Josie Maran

eye dropper argan oil (Josie Maran)

So there it is – my January Glam Bag by ipsy!  Total value of $36.07.  I paid $14.95 and got a lot of cool items I’m excited to try from brands I’ve never tried before.  I’m especially excited about the Argan Oil by Josie Maran and the Nailtini nail lacquer.  The hair spray and body butter are less “exciting” and are mainly just useful additions that will get used regularly until they are gone.  🙂  So I have no doubt I will get my money’s worth out of this Glam Bag by ipsy!

ipsy glam bag review

ipsy vs. Topbox

Topbox seems to do a better job of customizing their boxes to the individual.  The box variety from ipsy is very small (usually just a different color/model of one item, with all other items identical).  For this month, I believe the only variation was what type of SOHO makeup brush you received.  But, ipsy mainly gears themselves towards makeup, with less skin care offerings.  So depending on what type of samples you are wanting to receive, ipsy may be the better choice for you.

Topbox only ships once a month, so if your subscription starts mid month, you will be waiting until the following month to have your Topbox shipped.  Whereas ipsy ships at different times of the month.  I signed up on January 13th and still received a January glam bag.

On that same vein though, about mid-month ipsy actually shows what was in their glam bags that month directly on their website.  So by the time I subscribed, I knew EXACTLY what items I was going to receive (kind of takes the fun out of it).  But now of course, February will be a surprise.  🙂  And I can’t wait!

ipsy supplies coupons online for each of the items featured in the glam bag, so if you want to go out and buy the full-size products, you shouldn’t have to pay full price.

For a packaging stand point, I’ve always thought the Topbox tubes were really cool, but for me I actually think the ipsy cosmetic cases are going to get more use in my house, than the Topbox tubes will.

And lastly, I wish ipsy featured the item list card with their glam bags.  Topbox features an itemized listing of what you received (telling you a little bit about each product and brand) as well as the value of the full size products.  I find that very helpful when calculating the total value of my Topbox each month.  If I want to do the same with ipsy (like I did above) I have to go on-line and search for each individual product to find the costs first.

Overall, I need a couple more months of ipsy glam bags before I can tell you whether I like them better than Topbox.  But so far, they are off to a great start.  I love the items I received and I really believe it was worth the $15 this month.  So if you live south of the border and only have to pay $10…WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!?!?

And if you are already an ipsy subscriber, I’d love to hear how long you’ve been a subscriber and what your experience has been like!

Thanks for reading!



24 responses

  1. I love my ipsy bags! I think this was my third month and I wasn’t too excited with it since I have tried some of the products BUT the past two bags I got were great and the value is there.

    February 2, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    • I’m glad to hear that you are happy with your subscription. Everyone I talk to about ipsy, seems to be happy with them! I can’t wait to see what we get for February!! If my ipsy bag is amazing and my Topbox is sub-par, it might be time to cancel it.

      February 2, 2013 at 2:28 pm

  2. Here are my posts about ipsy. Take a look at what was shelled out!
    November: http://wp.me/p2wsMJ-cw
    December: http://wp.me/p2wsMJ-f4
    January: http://wp.me/p2wsMJ-jI

    February 2, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    • Thanks!

      I love how their website shows their glam bags back for months and months. It was an easy sell when I went snooping around there debating subscribing. It’s a really nice touch and reassuring for the months to come. It doesn’t look like they have had any crappy months at all!

      February 2, 2013 at 2:39 pm

      • I am very happy with the bags. And we are in February! Woohoo!

        February 2, 2013 at 4:13 pm

  3. Rachel

    Love the scents Pacifica has. They have great tropical smells… The coconut is great.
    Fairly certain I’ve seen the hair spray for purchase in Canada. If I spot it, I’ll let ya know where.

    February 2, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    • Ohhh I love coconut scents! And I am really happy with the formula of this body butter. It is rich and hydrating which is perfect for this time of year with it being so dry. I have some lotions that you can apply and then not even notice any difference five minutes later. And this one actually seems to do its job!

      As for the hair spray, that would be cool Rache, thanks! Now that I have it, I will keep an eye out for it too and I will update my post if I can find it anywhere.

      February 2, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    • Hey Rache! I just saw some BigSexyHair products for sale at a salon in the mall. So they must be available all over the place here. I’ve updated my post! Thanks for the tip hunn! xox

      February 9, 2013 at 11:17 am

  4. That argan oil certainly caught my eye! I was so psyched about Pacifica till I actually got the chance to try some of their lotions on my arms when I was in the US (end of 2011). They ALL turned out smelling really funny on me, and I just haven’t plucked up enough courage to try again. Maybe my body chemistry just isn’t a fan!

    February 2, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    • With it being SO dry here in the middle of winter, I’m always looking for ways to cheat nature and get some extra moisture, so I am really excited for this all-in-one hot fix Argan Oil!

      As for the Pacifica body butter, I really only noticed the scent when I first put it on. And I have some lotions, where you literally can’t wear perfume with them because the scent they have is so strong…and lasts forever. So I’m glad it wasn’t the case with this one. The scent was quite strong at first though, so perhaps that is what you were experiencing when you were trying them out? Who knows! Like you said, maybe someday you can work up enough courage to give them a go again. Or perhaps they’ll work in some subtler scents to their collection. 🙂

      February 3, 2013 at 1:23 am

  5. I loved my Ipsy bag this month. January was my second month’s subscription. I’ll definitely continue. It initially was a Christmas gift. (3 month subscription) I’m wondering if I should cancel my Birchbox because I’m tired of getting such small samples, and so many of them are foil packs and fragrances. I can’t use the fragrances. I have way too many already, and I’m not a huge fragrance person.

    The only thing that I was bummed about with my January Ipsy bag was the color of Nailtini lacquer I got. Mine was a sheer nude color. Not a fun color at all. I would’ve loved the red you got. (I already have 17 reds, but what’s one more. I use them all) I got a concealer SOHO brush and I love it. I already have 2 eyeliner brushes by SOHO. The regular and an angled. They are my favorites. I will need more SOHO brushes, they are reasonably prices and work very well.

    Maybe my excitement over the Ipsy bag was due to the fact that my Birchbox samples are usually so small. Tiny stuff comes these boxes. The last shampoo sample was good for one use. The hair oil I got was good for one use. I got a foil pack sample of lotion. Out of the last 10 months, I’ve only got 2 full size products. I’ve already gotten 4 full size products in 2 months. I might have to drop Birchbox.

    February 3, 2013 at 12:16 am

    • Sounds like Birchbox is just full of disappointments for you Rebecca! I really do have a love/hate relationship with Topbox too…so after the February hauls, I think I’ll be able to decide if it is worth paying for both, or just dropping down to ipsy. Time will tell! I’ll keep an eye out for your Birchbox review and see if you end up in the same boat!

      AND let me add, I feel your pain about the shampoo/hair samples. I absolutely despise them! Thankfully I haven’t received any in my Topbox *knocks on wood*. I have quite long hair, so I always require a lot of product…and I’m sorry, but one use isn’t going to convince me to go out and buy your full-size product.

      February 3, 2013 at 1:28 am

      • It’s a love/hate relationship with Birchbox. Sometimes the boxes are good. Sometimes the boxes are bad. I’m just getting tired of some regular elements of the box. I have an entire cocktail glass full of perfume samples now. It’s overflowing. I must have over 40 of them. Between Sephora and Birchbox, I couldn’t possibly use any more. (Birchbox is the major offender)

        I do love that I’ve discovered some amazing products through Birchbox that I use devotedly. The Balm products, Be Fine Products, Eyeko Skinny Eyeliner, Model Co. Lipgloss, Miss Jessie’s Curl Cremes, Lipstick Queen Invisible Lipliner. I didn’t know about these products before Birchbox, so that’s why I keep up with the dreaded tiny samples and foil packs.

        The other great thing about Birchbox is that if I give reviews about the samples in my box, and every time I purchase something from the BB store, I get points. Every 100 points is worth $10 in the BB store. I once saved up 400 points and got an entire box full of free product when they were offering free shipping. So I can’t totally hate on Birchbox.

        I do like the size of Ipsy products, but they aren’t as high end . . . yet.

        February 4, 2013 at 12:15 pm

        • Sounds like a fair assessment! I love the idea of the store and the points and getting free stuff. You know me and free stuff/GWP/value packs!

          I also hate perfume samples, I don’t have near as many as you, probably about 20 or so, but yes, I feel your pain. I’ll never use them all considering I don’t even wear perfume daily. Its a rarity for me to put it on at all…so they don’t get much use and are a definite waste of a sample in my monthly subscriptions.

          Are there ever perfume samples with ipsy? I didn’t notice any and I’m crossing my fingers for “no”.

          February 4, 2013 at 4:59 pm

        • I’ve only had 2 bags so far, but I haven’t got any perfume yet. We’ll cross our fingers together.

          February 4, 2013 at 6:16 pm

        • Sounds good! I can’t wait for February’s to arrive. I’m so excited! It is much better when you don’t know what you are getting!

          February 4, 2013 at 11:10 pm

        • Agreed!

          February 4, 2013 at 11:26 pm

  6. I will check out the Nailtini website….cocktail inspired makeup sounds awesome!

    February 3, 2013 at 11:59 am

  7. Yeah! You got it 🙂 Surprised there wasn’t a waiting list…you got lucky 🙂

    February 4, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    • Oh, that’s awesome, I didn’t realize that there normally was one! Yay! 🙂

      February 4, 2013 at 4:56 pm

  8. MissMangue

    Thanks for the post i’ll check ” ipsy” later maybe they have something I like.

    February 11, 2013 at 3:12 am

    • You definitely should! Looks like they have a lot of lip products and eye liners, so if that sort of thing makes you happy, you should be in heaven.

      My February Glam Bag just shipped today and I can’t wait to see what I got! It can’t get here fast enough! hehe

      February 11, 2013 at 4:54 pm

  9. Pingback: “Red Carpet Ready” the February Glam Bag by ipsy | eyemasq

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