Christmas in October: Ipsy Glam Bag Review

Christmas is slowly approaching, and I think I speak for all when I say that the excitement of opening gifts never gets old. There’s something about tearing open a perfectly (or mangled, depending on who gives it) wrapped present that releases the inner child in everyone. So my logic is, why should this moment pertain to just one day of the year? How about we move this to, say, once a month? That’s exactly why I decided to subscribe to Ipsy. For those who don’t know, Ipsy is a company created by YouTube makeup guru, Michelle Phan. Her aim is to give subscribers access to their dream products that they have difficulty finding. Subscribers take a quiz once they create an account that takes into account their hair color, skin type, makeup preference, and style. Then, for only ten dollars a month, Ipsy stylists get together to ship an adorable makeup bag filled with four to five customized goodies to each subscriber. Subscribers receive bags that contain a variety of products, from skin care to makeup, and all of it is customized to the subscriber’s profile.

This sounded like an amazing deal, so I signed up last month. I was eager to get my Glam Bag for October, and when it came, I couldn’t help but tear the package open right in the middle of my dorm’s Mail Room.

This month, my turquoise makeup bag contained five handpicked items for me to try out. I’m very impressed with how my first Glam Bag turned out, and can’t wait to see what November brings!


Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser

Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser

Ipsy’s description: Key ingredients strawberry fruit extract and hydrolyzed wheat protein make it a must-have for cleansing, hydrating, tightening, firming, and blemish control. The skin-softener exudes a light and refreshing strawberry aroma that brightens the skin and appeals to the senses."

This cleanser comes in a mini sample tube that holds 0.5 fluid ounces of product. It has a gel-like consistency, so I could maybe get around ten uses out of this product, which seems to be a fair amount for a sample.

Let me begin by saying that to claim that this product has a “light and refreshing strawberry aroma” would be a bit of an understatement. This product, as soon as the lid is removed, oozes a strong scent of sterile, plastic strawberries. It is strange, uncomfortable, and slightly off-putting. But once I got past the scent (which was quite a difficult task when it was literally sitting on my face) the cleanser itself works wonders.

I’ve found that most cleansers, actually all cleansers, leave my skin feeling tight and dry, and I practically run to my moisturizer after I towel dry my face. But this cleanser, for the first time in my entire life, left my face feeling fresh and flexible. I know that’s a weird term to use for skin, but it’s true. I felt like I didn’t need moisturizer at all (obviously I put it on after, for moisturizing is a must). That was an instant bonus that I noticed after just the first use.

I continued to use this product and even tried it as an exfoliant. Ipsy says that if this cleanser is left on the skin for five to ten minutes, it will exfoliate without stripping the skin. Again, this “exfoliating mask” was fantastic, and definitely left my skin noticeably brighter and softer. After a few days of use, I even noticed some pigmentation and acne scars disappear. I’m obsessed with this product, I have to admit.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5


Doll 10 Beauty H2Glo Highlighter

Doll 10 Beauty H2Glo Highlighter in Champagne

Ipsy’s description: Doll 10’s H2Glo Highlighter features a lightweight cream formula that glides on easily and blends beautifully to help you achieve a truly dewy complexion. Add a dose to your cheeks, brows, décolleté, or wherever impulse strikes, for a healthy hint of highlighting sheen.”

This highlighter comes in a small black compact and has 0.15 ounces of product. It sure didn’t seem like a lot, but once I started to use it, I realized that a little goes a long way with this product. For one, it smells lovely--like a sweet berry. I have the shade champagne, and it is a gorgeous light pink color that transforms into a gorgeous champagne glow on the skin. I have pink undertones in my skin, which I noted in my Ipsy quiz, so this color perfectly complements my skin tone.

To use, all you have to do is lightly (and I mean lightly) dab your finger on the product and dot it in areas you wish to highlight. It is absolutely perfect for highlighting cheekbones and under the eyebrows. This highlighter gives your face that angelic glow without it being too over the top. It is the perfect combination of subtle and shimmery, and all together makes your face look gorgeously dewy.

I am a highlighter fiend, but I have never found one that suits me. I haven’t been too successful with powder highlighters, and liquid highlighters seem to highlight only one thing: my dry skin. But this product is more of a strange solid cream that is intensely hydrating. It really does make my skin glow, and with such a subtle and easy application, I am absolutely in love.

Overall Rating: 5/5


Figs & Rouge Hand Cream in Mango Mandarin

Figs & Rouge Hand Cream in Mango Mandarin

Ipsy’s description: Figs & Rouge Shea Butter Enriched Limited Edition Hand Creams are deliciously fragrant & indulgent. These delectable creams soften, nourish & thoroughly pamper hands throughout the day, quickly absorbing to provide super-soft skin.” 

Again, I was given another product with stellar qualities that are overshadowed by a ridiculously potent scent. My sample size (a fairly large one at that) came in the scent “Mango Mandarin” and I am so torn over it that it actually drives me crazy. I have been going back and forth constantly over my final opinion on this product, and I swear it’s because of that smell.

However, I will agree with the latter half of Ipsy’s statement. This hand cream has done wonders to my skin. Instead of being oily and slick, this lotion has more of a watery texture when it is rubbed in. It truly does absorb quickly and sinks into the skin, leaving it soft, supple, and beautiful. I can’t decide if I necessary enjoy the texture of the cream, with its almost sweat-like feel (appealing, I know) but it does the job.

I do wish I had been given the other sample scent, Rose Berry, because that seems much more appealing and less overpowering. However, I will continue to force myself to use this product despite the scent because it has changed my hands for the better. This is the perfect product to throw into your purse when you’re on the go and need a hand cream. Once the scent fades away on your hands, it really is a fantastic product.

Overall Rating: 4/5


Starlooks Lip Gloss in Guilty Pleasure


Ipsy’s description: Starlooks Lip Glosses are created with a truly moisturizing, luxury, non-sticky formula. This neutral-rose, yet glamorous shade provides the perfect glisten for any lip look and complements any skin tone!”

Lip gloss. Those two words make me shudder. I cannot understand the concept of lip gloss for the life of me. It is sticky, gross, and acts as a spider web to my poor, unsuspecting hair. My lips feel heavy and gross when I wear lip gloss and I end up wiping it off after five minutes of pained wear. I do not wear lip gloss.

That being said, the Starlooks lip gloss that came in my Glam Bag is quite beautiful. It is very moisturizing and the color definitely complements my skin tone. I would argue with the non-sticky claim, but maybe that’s just because I’m biased. The lip gloss itself has a lovely vanilla scent to it that makes me want to eat it, not wear it. The color payoff is gorgeous. I’ve found that lip glosses tend to be very sheer, but this lip gloss is so pigmented, it is absolutely gorgeous. It pairs perfectly over a nude lipstick to create a beautiful pinky-nude color, which I’m a sucker for.

If you’re a lip gloss addict, this Starlooks gloss is definitely a contender. If I were to actually wear lip gloss, I feel like I would wear this color religiously. Guilty Pleasure, the color of my sample, is an absolute must-have. The next time I try to overcome my fear of lip gloss (and ultimately fail) I’m sure that I’ll be pulling out this lip gloss to give it another shot.

Overall Rating: 2/5 (unbiased opinion: 4/5)


Skone Cosmetics TATOOED Waterproof Eyeliner

Skone Cosmetics TATOOED Waterproof Eyeliner

Ipsy’s description: “Tattooed Eyeliner is the perfect liquid liner to line your top lid, or create a sexy cat eye. No need to reapply – it lasts ALL day!”

I have to give a shout out to Ipsy for this product. I live and breathe liquid liner. I think I might actually drop dead the moment that NYX discontinues my pride and joy, my precious baby, their Collection Noir Liquid Black Liner. I think this product has made me biased towards liquid liners because nothing ever compares. I notice my friends using felt pen liners, so I try them out and always walk away disappointed. However, this Skone eyeliner has changed my outlook on felt pens.

Now, I would definitely argue that this liner is not waterproof, nor is it long-lasting. There are much stronger liners out there, especially of the Kat Von D and Stila variety. But this pen, for its value, its fantastic. The tip does not dry out easily, as is my problem with most felt tip pen liners. It is sharp and precise, and draws the most perfect line close to the lash line. Before my 9 am class, this is perfect. When I don’t have time to sit down and pay close attention to making a perfectly thick line, I’ve found myself reaching for this liner.

The pigmentation of this liner is not the best. I’ve found that I’ve had to layer it a few times in order to get a true black. It also rubs off on my eyelids after a few hours of wear. Perhaps I just have oily eyelids, but I do have to reapply often throughout the day. However, the application is so easy and flawless with this liner that it almost makes it worth it. Almost.

I don’t see myself purchasing this product in the future, but I do think that it’s a great addition to my makeup collection. I love the application, and it’s perfect for winged liner. Perhaps I’ll purchase it later on down the line, but I’m not sure that I will find myself using it enough to justify the cost. But overall, I’m incredibly impressed with this felt liner pen.

Overall Rating: 4/5


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