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


“Red Carpet Ready” the February Glam Bag by ipsy

Red Carpet Ready glam bag

In honour of the Academy Awards, this month ipsy put out a Glam Bag called Red Carpet Ready.  Focusing on the creation of a smoldering smoky eye this glam bag helps you on your way to creating a sexy look for your evenings out.

ipsy February 2013

The little bag this month was very slim, sleek and ultra glossy.

Red Carpet Ready

The items this month were all very small in size, so there was a tonne of room to spare inside this months glam bag.  And honestly, my impression of this glam bag by ipsy was less than impressive.  Let’s take a look at what I received:

February 2013 Glam Bag by Ipsy

It was neat that I received all products from brands that I haven’t tried before and “Coastal Scents” being the only one I’ve ever even heard of.  Please forgive my ignorance.  Unfortunately, that also meant, there wasn’t anything I was super excited to try either.

Flawless & Poreless by Pixi Beauty

Pixi Beauty is a line of cosmetics founded by the very famous beauty blogger Petra.  Started in the UK, the website has a site for the UK as well as their US customers.  They ship internationally and have a shipping calculator in their shopping cart to let you know what charges you can expect.  She also has an entire line of Tinkerbell products on her website due to a collaboration with Disney, for all of you fairydust lovers.

This face primer called Flawless & Poreless is said to “creates a seamless, silky canvas with a beautiful no-shine, cashmere finish. The formula’s skin-loving ingredients clear and unblock pores to allow for utterly flawless, long-lasting makeup application.”

face primer

I’ve never been able to tell much of a difference between high end facial primers.  NARS, benefit, tarte all seem to feel and work the same with my skin…so I really wish that if I was going to try a product from Pixi Beauty that it had been something a little more telling or unique to their line.  Regardless though, I have no doubt this tube of facial primer will get used eventually.

The 30 mL full size version retails on their website for $29.00 US, making this 15 mL deluxe sample a $14.50 value.

primer for your face, by pixi

Black Gel Liner by MICA Beauty Products

The next item I pulled out of my February Glam Bag was a black gel liner by MICA Beauty Products.  Definitely unfamiliar with this brand I had to do some research.  Turns out that MICA started in 2001 and launched their line of 100% natural cosmetics, entirely cruelty free.  They currently have a presence in 15 different countries throughout North America and Europe.  If anyone has used their products before, please let me know what you think below, because they have some really cool items on their website and I’m wondering about overall quality and value.

Micabeauty Ultra Smooth Gel Eyeliners make it easy for anyone to apply eyeliner without dealing with smudges, uneven lines, or fading.”

They come in 6 beautiful colors too: black, brown, bronze, green, blue and purple.  Being a big fan of gel liners already, I already have too large of a collection (2 black, 1 brown, 1 purple and 1 blue), so it will likely be some time before I have to reach for this one.  If only I’d gotten the green one!  😛

gel liner by MICA beauty

I hate that ipsy never includes a card stating the items you are actually receiving, or how much product of each.  I mean, this gel liner looks pretty big, I thought it was full-size, but the packaging on  MICA Beauty’s website looks totally different (with a built-in application brush), so I’m guessing it isn’t full-size.  But I have no way or knowing that for sure.  Even on ipsy’s website where they profile the items you received and show you how to get preferred discounts for the brands, no where does it mention size of the samples received.  If I’m wrong about this and just don’t know where to look, can one of you lovely readers fill me in?  Because it’s driving me nuts.  I can only guess that this product is about 2.5-3g (based on similar products this size).  The full-size version of this product is 5g and retails for $30.00 US, giving this sample a rough estimated value at $15.00 to $18.00.

MICA Beauty - black gel liner sample from ipsy

Coastal Scents Eyeshadow Quad mini

I had heard of Coastal Scents eyeshadows before, but had never tried them.  They aren’t known for being super high quality, but their low price point and decent quality makes them a good value.

The quad I received features 4 monochromatic shades perfect for a sultry, sexy, smoky eye. There is a decent amount of product in each, more than enough for several uses.

eyeshadow sampler from ipsy (Coastal Scents)

Candlelight, Gunmetal, Incognito and Ashen.

Gunmetal, Candlelight, Ashen and Incognito eye shadow samples from ipsy (Coastal Scents)

The two darkest shades were a little too similar for my liking, whereas another mid tone shade would’ve been ideal.  They do feel nice and creamy though, so I’m interested in trying them out in a look.  Here is a swatch of the shades:

Candlelight, Gunmetal, Incognito, Ashen swatches

Ashen is really pretty and a unique addition to my collection, I don’t have something quite like that one.  And what’s cool, is their website does sell the colors individually in pan form, so I can always grab just the one shade if I’m interested.  This mini quad holds 2g of product and is valued at $3.07.

Smoky Lash KAPOW mascara by POP Beauty

Pop Beauty is again, another line I wasn’t familiar with.  Starting out in London, POP beauty has now extended into the US market as well.  “Famous for bright colors and innovative formulas.”  

The mascara mini is Smoky Lash KAPOW, in shade “Smoky Black”.

Smokey Black mascara - KAPOW

Personally I found their website the least user-friendly of the bunch, with no search capabilities and poor product information.  For the life of me, I couldn’t find the size of the full-size mascara.  And if you click on “application” or “ingredients” the window where you can actually purchase that item, disappears making it impossible to purchase from the individual product page…without going out and going back in.

So, in order to calculate this sample’s value I had to do some more estimating.  My other full size mascaras range in size from 7-9mL, so if we call the average full-size mascara 8 mL, I can estimate this samples value at $11.04.

Smoky Lash KAPOW mascara by POP beauty


The last item I pulled out of my February Glam Bag was this pack of Lashcards.


So the idea is, you put the lash card in between your lid and your lashes while you apply your mascara.  To prevent smudging and clumping.

Personally I think the idea of these is okay, but in reality, who is going to spend this much money on lash cards on a regular basis?  They aren’t reusable  and to use them everyday would be an exorbitant expense.  And really, if you  have a nice quality mascara (or even some of the drugstore brands are awesome) you don’t have these problems anyway.

This sample set includes 4 cards.  Normally you can buy packs of 10 for $6.99, making this samples value about $2.80.

lashcard.com, ipsy

Total value of February’s “Red Carpet Ready” was roughly $46.41.

So overall, okay products this month, but nothing that I can’t wait to try out either.  Am I alone in not really liking the “Red Carpet Ready” bag?  Did other people really like this month’s Glam Bag?  Please let me know your thoughts below.

February 2013 Glam Bag by ipsy "Red Carpet Ready"

Thanks for reading!


For a look at last month’s Glam Bag, click here.  If you are interested in subscribing, click here.

My First Glam Bag by ipsy

ipsy glam bag review

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!