Friday, October 21, 2016

September 2016 Ipsy Glam Bag - Glamazon - Unboxing & Review!

The September 2016 Ipsy Glam Bag is here (...it's been here for a while) and my bag had a very good variety of samples, including brands and products that I have and have not tried before.
Admittedly, most of my excitement from this bag comes from the nail polish; if all my bag included was the polish I would be happy, and if my bag didn't include the polish...I might not be quite so pleased with it. That's not to say that most of the products aren't good, they're just not to my personal taste.

The Ipsy Glam Bag is a $10 a month makeup/beauty subscription that sends five deluxe size to full size samples in a unique makeup bag. As far as $10 beauty subscriptions go, this is one of my favorites; if you don't mind getting a mix of drugstore and high-end products and are more open to trying less mainstream brands, this is a good service (if you prefer high-end products and want more consistency, the Play! By Sephora service might be more up your alley).
The theme for September 2016 is Glamazon, and the bag matches it beautifully. This is a very heavy, sturdy bag and the design feels very glam and Greek-inspired. I'm actually kind of shocked at how nice the majority of the Ipsy bags are, especially since Ipsy doesn't seem to have to cut any corners to help offset the cost.
Out of all the info cards in my subscription boxes, the Ipsy cards are the lest informative, but they do have interesting graphics/photos and they feel very professional; it would feel off if they didn't include them.
The theme this month, Glamazon, feels very rebellious; a lot of my recent boxes have had themes like 'minimalism' and 'multi-tasking' and included items to help you save time or create a more natural look. Ipsy, however, wants to encourage us to take our time, to dial up the glam, and really put time and effort into looking--and feeling!--good.
I kind of  like starting with the most disappointing samples and ending with my favorites, so I'm going to start with the Eau Thermale Avene Hydrance Optimale Hydrating Serum. I do like Eau Thermale Avene as a brand, especially their water mist, but this serum fell flat for me ingredient-wise. This serum has alcohol, which is something I try to avoid entirely in skincare products and the third ingredient is a silicone (along with a handful of other types of silicone peppered throughout). The full size is 1.01 oz for $38 (it comes in an opaque pump bottle, which is a plus), making this 0.1 oz sample worth about $3.76.
Next up is the Living Proof PhD 5-in1 Styling Treatment. If you've read some of my previous posts, you'll know that I dislike any and all Living Proof products because of their scent. I really hate how the whole Living Proof line smells (it's like a spicy, soapy citrus) and I don't like to use any of the products because of it. It wouldn't be so bad if the smell faded, but it lingers all day long and I will smell it until I wash my hair again. That being said, I've heard that this is a great product and that a lot of people would have been very happy to receive it in their bags, so I don't want to hate too much on it. The full size is 4 oz for $27, making this 1 oz sample worth about $6.75.
We're starting to cross the line from 'products I won't use for sure' to 'products I may or may not use'. This is a deluxe sample of Too Faced's Lip Injection Extreme. This is a clear lip plumping gloss with both instant and long-term benefits. It also has some regular skin/lip care ingredients like avocado and jojoba oils, which is a plus. Generally, I don't like plumping lip products because they are irritating by nature (that's how they plump, though some are more painful to use than others; I'm assuming since this is the 'Extreme' version, it's going to be on the more painful side), but I might get some use out of this one since it's clear and something I can use before applying color. I am a little worried about much it's going to tingle, though... The full size is 0.14 fl oz for $28, making this 0.05 fl oz product worth about $10.
One of my least favorite aspects about the Ipsy Glam Bag is they often sample products from smaller, online-only brands. Normally, I love sampling products from different brands, and I'm all for supporting smaller companies, but a lot of these brands use a selling tactic where the products have very high retail prices, but they are almost constantly on sale; the sale price is the price the brand actually wants to sell their products at and the 'retail price' is just an inflated number to make you think you're getting a deal. If you tell someone a product is $10, they may buy it, they may not. If you tell someone a product is $20, but it's currently on sale for $10, they are much more likely to purchase it, even though it's the same price as the 'not on sale' product. Not of the smaller brands sampled are like that, and there is a higher overhead cost for a smaller brand that does increase their prices, but it's something to consider.
Tangent aside, this is a swatch of the Seraphine Botanicals Guava Butter lip and cheek stick. This product is 91% natural, vegan, and it has shea butter to help moisturize. It only comes in this one color, which is a warm peachy-pink. As far as lip and cheek products go, this is a nice one; the color is flattering and sheer enough to work both as a cheek and lip tint, though it is a little glossy. This is the full size of this product at 0.14 oz and it retails for $24 (to put this in perspective, a NARS Multiple is 0.5 oz for $39 and a Bite Beauty Multistick is 0.17 oz for $24)
When I said that I would be happy with this bag if this polish was the only item I got, I was being serious. Not only do I love nail polish in general, I'm a huge fan of Trust Fund Beauty polishes. Their formulas are excellent (smooth, opaque, and fast drying), their color selection is varied, and they have a pretty amusing Instagram account.
I've gotten a couple Trust Fund Beauty polishes in subscription boxes, and the polish I got this time around is called Champagne Socialite. I was initially worried that I already had this polish, but it turns out I have Champagne Problems, which is much more gold. Ipsy described this polish as a 'bronze metallic', but the Trust Fund Beauty website describes it as a 'rose gold metallic', which is much more accurate.
Just...so gorgeous! I highly recommend checking out Trust Fund Beauty's polishes; they do make lip products, but I haven't tried them yet (hint hint Ipsy), so I can't say how they perform compared to the polishes. This is a full size product and is worth $15.

Overall, I got five samples--two were full size products and three were deluxe sample sizes--for a total value of around $59.51. Out of all my lower priced subscription services ($10-$15), Ipsy consistently has one of the highest values, along with the widest variety of brands sampled (from drugstore, to mid/high-end, to 'online-only' smaller companies). If you're looking for a cheap beauty thrill each month, definitely check out the Ipsy Glam Bag!

Thanks for reading! <3

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