Sunday, February 14, 2016

January 2016 Ipsy Glam Bag - All Eyes On You - Unboxing & Review!

Hello! I hope you're having a warm day!'s been below 0°F here far too often this last week and I'm pretty much over winter. Let's distract ourselves with an unboxing! I want share with you my January 2016 Ipsy Glam Bag!
Some nice goodies this month; nothing too disappointing, but some things are better than others.
Quick run-down of the Ipsy Glam Bag: $10 a month beauty subscription service; five deluxe sized/full sized products; more likely to get full size products, but also more likely to be lower quality; tends to have more color cosmetics than other comparable services; there is a point/rewards system but the points expire and you can only use them towards specific offers which can, and will, sell out; a unique makeup bag each month.
Speaking of unique makeup bags, I really like the one we got this month. I like the Andy Warhol/pop art theme and the emphasis on the sunglasses fits the theme "All Eyes On You" well.
Ipsy's info cards are pretty uninformative; they just tell you how to tag them on social media to be entered for a chance to win a free year of Ipsy.
I normally give Ipsy a pass on having uninformative information cards since there seems to be a bigger variety of products in their bags (meaning there are a lot more combinations of items and everyone gets something different; Birchbox has a variety of items as well, but there are a few set different variations so they're able to make actual info cards), but this is the first time (the to best of my knowledge) that they mention on specific product. Occasionally, there will be one (presumably sponsored) product a month that almost everyone gets, but I think this means that every single Ipsy subscriber got a Mr. Write(Now) eyeliner from theBalm. Weird, but it's a full sized product from a good brand, so it works.
 I also built up enough points (250) to get a reward, so I got this box of Shadow Shields. Nothing else in the offer "shop" interested me and I didn't want my points to expire before I could use them. I do have a lot of issues with fallout during my shadow application (to the point where I just do my eyes first, then clean up before I do the rest of my face), so I was interested in giving these a try to see if they'll help or not. I've heard...interesting things about this product, though, so I don't have high expectations. Regardless how things turn out, they were basically free.
Onto my actual samples! I think a good place to start would be with the product everyone got: the Mr. Write(Now) eyeliner from theBalm.
You could have gotten one of two different colors, and I ended up with Jac (the full name is Jac B. Bronze), a, uh, bronze. The other color was a purple (I believe it was Scott B. Bordeaux, but I'm not 100% sure).
...sorry for the fuzzy picture. This is a mechanical eyeliner, and you twist the barrel to raise the product up. The packaging feels sturdy, the mechanism moves smoothly, and you can twist it up and down. There are far too many mechanical liners that only go up; if theBalm can make on that goes down, so can everyone else.
It's a metallic bronze, but there's not glitter. I like using bronze in my lower lash line since it adds some dimension, but it's not harsh; sometimes darker colors can emphasis my under eye circles and just make me look tired. These lighter, shimmery colors help add brightness and make me look alert. This is the full sized product and it is worth $17.
Ah, another Mitchell and Peach product; I think I've gotten a body wash from them before (I know I've gotten something, I just can't remember what). I'm pretty sure this is a brand that supplies toiletries to hotels, which makes it less appealing to me. This is a body cream in the scent English Leaf; there's a whole line of products from Mitchell and Peach in English Leaf, including bath oil and an eau du toilette. It is described as a blend of "natural extracts including soft citrus, coriander leaves, basil, mint and floral oils from the Mitchell Estate. It possesses an uplifting, aromatic freshness redolent of ‘mown meadows’, with a hint of musky cedar wood to lend complexity and depth". It also says that it has shea butter and English honey. The scent is actually pretty nice, though unique, and I feel like it's one of those scents that you'll either love or hate. It's one of those lotions that leaves a dry, papery feeling to my hands, but it fades away after a bit. The full size of this product is 180mL for about $51.36 (Mitchell and Peach is an English brand so the prices on the website are in pounds), making this 30mL sample worth about $8.56.

Next up is a City Color Eyeshadow Trio in the color Falling Leaves.
I've gotten quite a few City Color products from Ipsy, and they're all pretty good, especially for the price. City Color is a very inexpensive drugstore brand, though I haven't seen it in person at any of the places I normally shop (you can buy it from their website; I tried to find a retail location but I couldn't, so maybe they're online only). This is a trio of warm shades, including a matte burnt orange, a metallic bronze, and a metallic champagne highlight.
The colors are flattering and complement each other well, and they swatch nicely, but they smell like very cheap makeup. It's hard to explain, but if you have experience with drugstore makeup, you'll know what I mean. It's not repulsive, but it is unpleasant. I also never find myself reaching for drugstore shadows because I have so many higher-end palettes. At least this is a trio and not a single so it's easier to use by itself, but I have a lot of shades very similar to these that I prefer to use regardless. This is a full size product and it retails for $5.99.
I can't decide if I like the brand Pur-Lisse or not; so far, all the products I've tried from them have worked well, but they are very expensive and, even though they are good, I don't think they're that good. Case in point: this is a sample of the Blue Lotus 4-in-1 Eye Adore Serum. The full size is 0.5oz and retails for $65; this sample is 0.24oz, which means it's worth $31.20. I know there are way more expensive eye serums out there (the La Mer one is $240 for 0.5oz, but that's because it's La Mer and possibly magic), but I don't associate Pur-Lisse with luxury, specifically because it's been showing up in a lot of subscription services (I actually got another Pur-Lisse product in my February Allure Beauty Box).
If this product looks familiar, it's because I've gotten it before, just in a different color.
This is the TreStique Mini Matte Lip Crayon in the color Florence Fig. Last time I got this product, I got the color Chile Red, which is the other color Ipsy was sampling this month (when I got Chile Red, Ipsy was also sampling this color).
This lip crayon has some pretty clever packaging, where it looks like a pencil when closed, but it's actually a mechanical, rounded bullet. I don't mind getting another color of the same product, but I was upset to find that I couldn't review it and earn points since Ipsy already counted my other review! The points you earn from reviewing on Ipsy are pretty incidental, but it's still frustrating to lose out on them.
Florence Fig is a deeper, mauve nude and it's a color that I think works well on a lot of different skin tones. Again, I don't mind getting almost the same product since it is a different color, but the fact that Ipsy won't let me review it because they consider it the same product so why would they even put it in my bag? You can purchase a trio of these mini matte lip crayons from TreStique for $32, so this single mini is worth about $10.67.

Overall, in my February 2016 Ipsy Glam Bag, along with my Shadow Shields that I purchased with reward points, I got two full sized items and three deluxe sized samples (one of which, according to Ipsy, I've gotten before and was unable to review for points). The total value of this bag is $73.42. That's an amazing value for a subscription box, especially one that costs only $10, but it also highlights another problem that I have with Ipsy; a lot of the brands/products sampled are significantly overpriced. It's a common retail tactic to list the suggest retail price as one thing, and then to constantly have the product on sale/special to entice people to think they are getting a deal, when in reality the "sale" price is the price the company actually wants to sell the product for. I don't think it's wrong, nor underhanded since it's a pretty transparent practice, but it does lead to inflated Ipsy bag values and I think it's important to be aware of that.

Thanks for reading! <3

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