Ok. . . so I just received July's Ipsy bag yesterday which reminded me that I didn't take care of this review yet. There are lots of reasons for that (my last post explains a bunch of them. . . since then I was hospitalized with a post-op infection and am, sadly, still battling illness. . . plus, new baby stuff!) but one of them definitely is that I'm finding this sub a little lacklustre these days. I still get excited when other subs arrive. I get excited when Asian Beauty hauls show up on my doorstep. I don't get that excited about this one anymore. I think it's still a great sub for great value but maybe not long term. . . a gateway sub?
Ipsy, is a monthly subscription service which sends you 5 make-up, skin care or hair care items per month packaged in a make-up bag. The products are often deluxe sample sizes but there are usually a few full-size items as well. The cost is $10 per month with free shipping if you happen to live in the States but for those of us in Canada, add $4.95 shipping as well as exchange. There are savings to be had if you subscribe to a longer period, though. I paid for a year up front which worked out to $184.33 Canadian funds, or $15.36 per month - of course that was also at a time when our dollar was stronger.
If this review piques your interest in Ipsy, please consider using my referral link :) I'd appreciate it! There is usually a waiting list but they often offer ways to skip the line.
Here is what came in my Ipsy bag this month:
BioRepublic Sheet Mask Trio ($14.95 value - sets of three of the same type are sold for this price on their website)
So I love sheet masks. And these ones are. . . okay for $5. Seriously. They have tons of essence, the variety is nice (cucumber, aloe and green tree) and the fit is good. I would totally buy these. . . for less than half the price since I can get equally good masks for much, much cheaper from my usual sources. Again, these aren't bad masks - quite the contrary! - but that price is just ridiculousness.
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer (1 fl. oz. sells for $36, 0.25 fl. oz. sample has $9 value)
*sigh* I wish, just once, that I could try any other Smashbox product. I like the brand. They seem like they have nice products. This one could be nice too. . . if I hadn't already tried lots of samples of it. I don't use primer much. When I do, I really like CoverFX's version, personally. . . so I might use this but I might not.
Lavanilla Body Butter in Pure Vanilla (6.7 oz. sells for $19, 0.85 oz. sample has approx. $2.40 value)
I wish I liked this more. The texture is lovely and it absorbs well into my skin. I like the idea of the company. But I'm not a fan of the scent. It's described as an "adult vanilla" and, while I appreciate that it's not sickly sweet, it also doesn't smell great to me. Oh well, I can always use lotion!
J. Cat Beauty Liptitude Hydrating Lip Stain (FULL SIZE - $5.99 value)
So I really liked the J. Cat lip paint that we got a few months ago. This, however, is garbage. I think I got the colour "Hikalicious" but it doesn't say on the product itself. I don't hate the colour but the formula stinks. For some reason, it never seems to dry at all and gets all over everything - fingers, glassware, husbands. . . and then it doesn't come off of those things :(
Further, while I was trying to figure out what colour I had received I noticed some of their other colour names: "Peekaboob"? Not classy, J. Cat! "Fappening"? err. . . no. If you don't know what "the fappening" is or what the verb "to fap" means, you could google it. . . or you could trust me when I say that I'm not putting anything near my lips with that connotation. So, despite my original interest in the company based on the lip paint, I probably won't purchase anything from J. Cat in the future - they just don't seem like "my" kind of business, you know?
tre'StiQue Mini Eye Shadow Crayon in Marimoto Pink Pearl (approx. $10.50 value - 3 minis sell for $32 or a full size for $26)
Well, this is probably the best of the colour options for me - a pinky shimmer - but it does tend to blend right into my skin tone. I do like the formula so this will make for a good base colour to build upon. At least it's not a warm neutral like everything else Ipsy sends me.
Swatches with and without flash as I couldn't decide which looked better (neither, probably). Lip stain's on the top, eye shadow crayon on the bottom:
Overall Verdict: Sadly, I'm counting down the months until my year-long sub is up. While I do think it's great if you're just starting out, I think I'm on Ipsy-overload. This month's value was good - around $43 - but I find the value is always good on paper. What is mattering more and more to me is whether the value is good to me personally. I will use the eye shadow crayon and primer but would never have purchased them. I will also use the lotion and the sheet masks because I go through those items like water and these are decent versions of each. . . but again, not revolutionary. And I will throw out the stupid lip stain and try to avoid classless J. Cat products in the future. All told, not a great month but at least the makeup bag is kind of neat.