Wednesday, April 10, 2013

UPDATED Ipsy (MyGlam) April 2013 Review

"Ipsy Day" is one of my favorite days.  I just LOVE seeing the hot pink envelope in my mailbox!  This month I was tormented because my tracking number had my package in Georgia for several days; Ipsy switched to DHL this time; and for me, it's NOT a win.  For some reason, any bag that ships to me, with nail polish in it, takes forever.  I wonder if it is a coincidence?
I LOVE these pink envelopes! Ipsy changed them up a bit this month- they put their logo on the bottom :)
Wait a minute, you don't know about Ipsy?  Ipsy is an awesome beauty service that sends you 4-5 deluxe samples or full size products to your door, monthly, for $10 each month, shipping included (US residents). I've had good bags and awesome bags from Ipsy, and so far NO really bad bags, and the value of the items is ALWAYS more than the $10 I spend on it.  Ipsy is one of my guilty pleasures, and I have a love/hate relationship with the anticipation and the mystery factor that surrounds each bag.

This month, the mystery factor is upped a bit.  Ipsy releases sneak peaks for the items in the bag, and half the fun of Ipsy is playing detective to find out what awesome brands we will get!  This month, Ipsy has released, via their sneak peeks, that every product in their bags are "either/or" products.  I'll try to cover both options as best I can, as far as pricing goes.
First look in the bag!
I always love that first peek inside the bag; it's almost like Christmas!

card no. 1- Oooh- an invite to Generation Beauty in LA?!!
The first card in my envelope is an invite to Generation Beauty.  I'm not going to go; it's WAY to far for me to justify it to my family.  Now, if it were in Baltimore or something...I still probably wouldn't be able to go.
If YOU want to go to Generation Beauty, the code IPSYSUB will earn you 60% off your ticket, making it $60.

Pretty In Pink!
This month's theme for Ipsy is "Pretty in Pink!"  Love it!

All of the Sweet Deals!
On the back of the card, Ipsy always lists the brands in the box, along with the special deals that they have arranged for us.

April's bag
I love the bag this month.  The bag itself is white canvas, with a hot pink pleather band and zipper.

Inside the bag

I love that Ipsy bags have unique linings. This one has pretty pink stripes and white stripes, with the Ipsy logo.

Be A Bombshell blush in Sweet Cheeks; .17 oz (full size).  Retail value $16 (available HERE; coupon code IPSY30 will get you 30% off your order and a free full size pink shadow (in Lucky, Always a Bridesmaid, or Miss Priss), while supplies last; offer is good until 4/30/13).
In the past, I've tried out the Be A Bombshell line before; their lip gloss and eyeliner are both fantastic.  I am super excited to try out their blush as well!  I don't really own many blushes (maybe three or four?), and I love trying out new things, so this is awesome!  There are two color choices that Ipsy sent out; Beach Please (matte bright pink) and Sweet Cheeks (a shimmery rose pink).  I received Sweet Cheeks.

Swatch of Sweet Cheeks

I swatched the blush, and it's a pretty, light shimmery pink.  I wasn't sure if I would like this shade on me, but I think it's a great color for springtime.  It isn't matte; this blush seems to have a little bit of a shimmer in it, but not too much.  Love it!  I had been hoping for the darker pink blush, if only to try it out, but I really think that this suits my coloring very well.  The packaging is cute too; I love the clear window with the Bombshell silhouette; and the matte finish won't show fingermarks (with a three year old, finger marks are EVERYWHERE!).  Great find, Ipsy!
GRADE: 5/5

In January I received the Big Sexy hair volumizing hair spray, and really liked it (or rather, my daughter liked it; she used it up fast!).  I'm excited to give this a try!  Ipsy had two options to send out this month: Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Nourishing Styling Treatment,with Argon Oil, and Big Sexy Hair Powder Play Pow!  

The sample I received is....

Big Sexy Hair's Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Nourishing Styling Treatment; .85 fl oz. Retail value $4.44 (available HERE; coupon code 108888 will get you $5 off your $25 Sexy Hair puchase at or in Ulta's store, good through 5/10/13).

Sexy Healthy Hair Soy Renewal Nourishing Styling Treatment is a styling product that is made with Moroccan Argoan oil.  Used on wet hair, this product can help reduce blow drying time; used on dry hair, it can help reduce frizziness (my arch enemy!).  Argan oil is also great for hair, and will help make it shiny. I tried this on dry hair (just a few tiny drops), and it instantly tamed my frizzy curls.  So far, I REALLY like this!  I'm not much of a blowdry person (my hair doesn't do well with it, I turn into a puffball), so I'll likely use this to help with the frizz.  The sample size of the Soy Renewal Nourishing Styling Treatment is .85 fl oz; full size is 4.2 oz with a retail price of $21.95, giving the sample size a retail value of $4.44.
GRADE: 5/5 (frizz control!)

Miss Professional Nail's Sation nail laquer in Love at First Byte; .50 fl oz (full size). Retail value $5 (available HERE; coupon code IPSY30 will get you 20% off your purchase, until 5/31/13.)
I'm not a HUGE polish girl, but I do have quite the collection of nail polish.  Miss Professional Nail packaged two different shades of polish especially for Ipsy; Of Corset I'll Call You (lavendar-rose) and Love at First Byte (peachy pink).  I received Love at First Byte.

swatch of Love at First Byte
I'm not really a peachy person, but I won't ever NOT try something just because I THINK I won't like it.  Plus, peach is a big color this spring.  I gave this polish a try, and it seemed to be really, really thin.  One dip of the brush covered four nails; and I needed at least two coats to get even slightly opaque coverage.  I'm still not sure about the color, but I'll give it a test run for a couple days, and see how it's lasting power is.  I might pair this with a teal and see what kind of results I get.

There has been a bit of controversy about this nail polish; it's advertised as "3 Free", but I read that it was tested, and was not (although it didn't contain formaldehyde).  I WILL say that the testing was a RANDOM sampling, and not either shade that Ipsy sent out this month.  I just thought, in the vein of full disclosure, that I would share all that I know about this product.  These polishes retail for $5 each, but I've seen them for less than that, and more.
GRADE: 2/5 (very sheer, thin consistency, not a color I would choose)

This leaves us with the last either/or item: Two Cosmetics Eye Shadow Duo OR Mica Beauty's mineral eye shadow.  I received....

Two Cosmetics Duo Eye Shadow in Heartache; 1.1 g (full size), retail value $6.99 (available HERE; coupon code IPSTER will get you 25% off your purchase and a free lip gloss, while supplies last, code expires 5/20/13).

Two Cosmetics is a new brand to me, but I love the concept of their eye shadows.  The Duo eye shadows have a shimmer shade on the left, and matte on the right- both of the same color.  The shade that Ipsy selected for us, Heartache, is a great color for most skin tones; maybe a highlight color, or crease blending color.  

Swatch of Heartache; left is the shimmer shade, right is the matte shade.
 This shadow duo was advertised to be the same pigment; with one of them shimmer and the other matte.  These look different in the pan, and when swatched the difference is really noticeable.  The shimmer shade needed more layers to achieve this level of pigmentation, but the matte shade swatched very easily.  The shadows are silky to the touch, and hopefully will perform well with a primer.

There has been controversy surrounding Two Cosmetics from a few years ago.  I read about it on the  Makeup Talk forum; apparently the company had formerly sold a product as an eye shadow, when it had not been approved for use around the eye area.  Two Cosmetics eventually corrected this on their website, but it took them quite some time to do so.  I am NOT saying that the eye shadow duo is a bad product, or that Two Cosmetics is a bad company, or that you shouldn't use it; just that perhaps a quick glance at the ingredient list would be a smart idea, as it is with ALL products.  Two Cosmetics did correct the error, and props should be given to them for doing so.  Again, in the interest in full disclosure, I wish to share what I know about this product.  Ipsy spoke out about this on their facebook page: 

"Two Cosmetics ensures ipsy that customer safety & service are their top priority. With respect to the paintwheels, the company has removed those products from their website based on customer concern and feedback and has proactively messaged around the product. The eyeshadow duo included in the April Glam Bag is an eyeshadow that is safe for use in the eye area. If you have any further questions, please contact ipsyCare and we'll be happy to help you!"

 GRADE: 3.5/5 (just your average eye shadow.  I'm still a confirmed UD junkie.)

I'm always as thorough as possible with my blogging research, so here is the information on the OTHER product that I didn't receive, but some subscribers did (images pulled from manufacturer's websites, and credited below):

Big Sexy Hair Powder Play Pow; Image credit: Sexy Hair

Big Sexy Hair's Powder Play Pow! is an awesome powder product that helps add volume to any hair type.  As an owner of very thin hair, this is something that i am definitely interested in!  Powder Play works by sprinkling it on dry hair, and it helps to lift the roots of the hear, giving you the appearance of thicker hair.The sample size of the Powder Play Pow! is 0.07 oz; full size is .53 oz with a retail price of $15.95, giving the sample size a retail value of $2.10.
MICA Beauty Mineral Eye Shadow in Earth; 2g (deluxe size), the full size (2.5g) retail value $14.95; this sample has a retail value of about $11.96 (approx. half size, no weight listed) (available HERE; coupon code IPSY30 will get you 30% off your next purchase until 4/30/13).  Image credit to: MICA Beauty
Color sample of Earth; Image credit to: MICA Beauty
I received the MICA Beauty gel eye liner in February's bag, and it was really great.  MICA Beauty's eye shadows are mineral shadows: no preservatives, dyes, chemicals, or any of the other nasty stuff we shouldn't have on our face.  The shade that was sent out is called Earth; a light and shimmery pink. I would have really rather have had this shadow than the Two Cosmetics, but it's all good- I'm pleased with the contents of my bag.

If you want to see images of the alternate color choices for the Be A Bombshell blush and the Sation polish, just let me know, and I'll pull them from the company's websites.

Financial Recap:
Since there are varied values on a couple of the products, I'll include the breakdown so that you can do your own math to put an accurate value on your own bag:

Big Healthy Hair Soy Renewal Nourishing Styling Treatment (blue bottle): $4.44
Big Sexy Hair's Powder Play Pow! (red bottle): $2.10
Sation Nail Lacquer (either color): $5.00
Be A Bombshell Cosmetics Blush (either color): $16.00
MICA Beauty Mineral Eye Shadow in Earth: $11.96
Two Cosmetics Eye Shadow duo in Heartache: $6.99 

Total for MY bag: $32.43
Out of pocket: $10 (shipping included)
Any way you slice it, no matter what bag you received, this is a great deal!  2-3 FULL SIZE products- awesome!

I'm going to say now, that I'm really tired of seeing people upset that Ipsy sent only 4 items this month; they advertise 4-5 deluxe or full size items monthly, for the $10 fee (plus shipping if you are in Canada).  I think the value of this bag is excellent- Ipsy has just been spoiling us with 5 items each month, here lately.  This is NOT my favorite bag; I think December's is still my fave; but it's a solid bag, and well worth the $10 fee.  Ipsy's marketing has been a bit unusual this month, and they changed up the shipper (DHL's tracking is NOT as good as UPS MI, and it took about a day longer); hopefully the fact that they are trying to change things up means that they are working towards better service for their subscribers!

Primer: Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Illuninating Moisturizer; Foundation: BareMinerals in Light, Original; Blush: Be A Bombshell in Sweet Cheeks; Bronzer: Benefit in Hoola; Lips: Clinique Different lipstick in Shy; Eyes: Primer: UD Primer Potion; Shadow:Two Cosmetics duo in Heartache; Hard Candy Stroke of Gorgeous felt tip eyeliner in Nautical; Mascara: Tarte "Gifted" Amazonian Clay in black.

Close up of my eye makeup :)

Loving this mascara- LONG lashes and NO raccoon!

Wordle: Untitled

 Have you gotten your glam bag yet?  What was in YOUR bag, and what was it's value? Happy with it?  Upset?  Agree with me, or disagree, I would LOVE to hear from you! 

Disclaimer:  The products listed above were purchased by me, with my own money.  I was not asked nor required to write this review, and the thoughts above are my own.  The links are NOT affiliate links, and go directly to the company's websites.  I was not compensated in any way for writing this review.


  1. I loved my bag as well. I thought that it was made better then the other 2 I have received. I've only been receiving for 3 months now, I had to wait in December to get on the list, so therefor I missed out on the Dec bag. I love the items included in this bag. The blush is nice, however it's a little to pink for me. Now, if I had a great tan, it might look wonderful..:) Great Review. I love the oils, they are so nice on the hair, Hoping that I love this brand as well..

    1. Hi, Amy!
      I'm so glad you loved your bag!
      With the blush, try using a really really light hand; just tap your brush on the pressed powder, and then apply to your face. Maybe this is one of those things that you need to be super gentle with? I hope it works out for you :)
      Thank you!

  2. I liked the bag. I'm not really a blush person though. I was so glad that I got the Sexy Hair Soy treatment. I have thick coarse hair and the volumizing one wouldn't have been too useful to me. I think it's great that they carry the Sexy Hair stuff that is a salon brand. I wasn't crazy about the volume hairspray in the previous bag. I thought it made my hair stiff. Glad you liked the bag as well :)

    1. Hi :)
      I have to be in the mood for blush, it's not something that I use every day. It's nice to have a new one to add to my stockpile though- it might become my new favorite :)
      I'm glad that the soy treatment made it to you also- volumizing powder would be a waste! Either of the hair products would have worked for me, my thin hair is frizzy. I'm glad I subbed to Ipsy because of things like Big Sexy Hair- I'd never heard of them before, and have found some new faves :)

  3. I keep forgetting this subscription is only $10! I think it's worth it! (At least it was this month.)

    1. Hi, Lisa :)
      For $10, it's an insane and totally awesome deal. Even if I don't like something, I can pass it along to a friend who does :)

  4. I'm still waiting for my tracking information. I usually have my bag by now, but no worries just yet! Your post definitely made me excited for my bag!

    1. Oh no! I hope your bag arrives soon! I can't wait to see what you received :)


Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and visit! I read all the comments and try to reply to everyone. It's the least I could do- it's very...Average.