I first started my subscription in October of 2012. At that point in time, the items sent out were fantastic for me. I love liquid eyeliner, mascara, hair oils, etc. My first bag was a hit. The best part? The bag only took 3 days to get to me from the date it was sent out. December was okay but I only used one item out of the five. I decided to cancel at that point mainly because I needed to save up money for college (boo for being a broke college student). I skipped January and regretted it immediately and tried signing up again for February. I was put on the wait list for February and March and finally got my subscription spot again in April. Since then, I haven’t really been as happy with the subscription program. I stayed subscribed with hopes that the bags would get better but it felt like there were more “bad” bags than good bags.
My biggest reason for canceling – color selection. I want Ipsy to try choosing better colors for everybody. The color choices that they normally send are best suited for light skin. Those who are very pale or very dark usually end up with a very unflattering shade. I’m on the darker end of the color spectrum and the colors that Ipsy chooses for me are very Nikki Minaj. I’ve also been getting frustrated with the shipping carrier that Ipsy chooses to do business with. Another reason to cancel is because the value usually isn’t there for me when it comes to items I’d actually use. Even if my bag usage is over $10.00 retail value, I don’t consider it a good deal. I would honestly rather spend $10.00 at Ulta or at my local drugstore. My last reason for cancelling is the repetitiveness of products and brands. I want Ipsy to stop sending the same types of items over and over.
I will definitely re-subscribe again if Ipsy switches their shipping carrier. I also hope that Ipsy will start creating bags with a good mix of products on a regular basis (skin care, makeup tools, accessories, etc). When there isn’t a blush, a poorly colored lip product, and a nail polish in every other bag, I’ll probably come back. Even if the variety isn’t there, I will re-subscribe if Ipsy implements a good point system like Birchbox has.
Overall, the value is there at retail for all of the items and I still recommend Ipsy to those who aren’t picky with colors, aren’t jealous (bag values differ from person to person by quite a bit), and to those who are patient with shipping. If you love the thought of trying out new products and colors, definitely give Ipsy a try! I do recommend it for those who are makeup junkies. Actually, I highly recommend Ipsy over any other subscription service for $15.00 or less.
- You get a bonus makeup bag. I actually really love the bags most of the time. | No cons here since these are technically freebies and I do generally use the bags.
- Tracking is provided with your bag. | Although tracking is provided, the services used to ship the products are TERRIBLE. Expect your wait time to be around 10 business days if you’re not a neighboring state to NC. DHL likes to keep packages at each location for days before transferring it to the next location. Once the bag is tendered to UPS, it sits at the UPS facility for days. Also, I’m lucky if my package is scanned more than once throughout the trip from NC to WA. My local post office is the only reliable shipping service (USPS). USPS can scan an item and have it immediately sent out for delivery, unlike other locations that will scan it and let the item sit for days before actually letting the package move. The bag for August didn’t even reach me until September.
- Customer service is decent. | It used to be better. Ipsy used to respond in less than 24 hours to emails but now the wait time is around 3 days. The responses used to be better as well but now the responses are cut and paste. It’s usually not very helpful. Also, CS is only available via email.
- Decent sizes – usually full size or deluxe sized. | Can’t complain here. However, I feel like a lot of the full sized items given to us are “throwaway” products/colors that companies send to Ipsy; products/shades that don’t seem to be selling well. It’s usually things with obvious hints of orange – bronze/copper, orange, red-orange, coral. Perhaps I’m just really unlucky.
- Brand selection is decent. | Can’t complain too much, though I will admit that I dislike seeing J.Cat, Nailtini, Starlooks, and Nyx items being given out regularly.
- Variety is okay. | I think Ipsy needs to work on variety of items. Just this year alone, they’ve given four full sized blushes and four full sized nail polishes. I’d personally like to see more items that get used up quickly being repeated such as hair products (serums, sprays, powders, colors, etc). I’d also like to see more skin care. They’ve given me two scrubs and I’m getting 3 facial paper masks in my September bag which is great. But I’d like to see things like peels, skin brighteners, toners, makeup removers, cleansing oils, regular cleansers, etc. I’d even like to see accessories thrown into the bags (pins, headbands, decorative hair ties, etc).
- Color selection is okay. | While Ipsy usually gives a variety of colors out for makeup products, a lot of the colors seem like unpopular colors and “white girl” colors (hopefully this isn’t offensive to anybody). Lip product colors are usually corals, nudes, bright pinks, and orange-reds. I’ve said this over and over but I wish Ipsy would give more colors that are universal – deep reds, plums, mauves, etc. I subscribe to try brands, types of products, and the formula. I don’t want to subscribe to test different colors. I can do that at Sephora or Ulta. The same goes for blush and shadows – blushes have been orange, bright pink, and “bronze” shades mainly.
- Customization. | Ipsy is hit and miss with customization. Ipsy did great during June and July for me but the rest of the months were duds. I usually get unwearable shades of everything since it looks really tacky on my deeper skin complexion. Also, with the customization also comes unfair bag values between Ipsters. Bag values vary and some Ipsters may get up to DOUBLE the value of your bag, which is totally unfair (especially since I was always on the cheap end of this spectrum). I would be fine if my bag value were less but I used more items, but if my items are poorly customized for me, then I want to have one of the more valuable bags.
- Referrals. | Ipsy used to have it so that for every two friends who signed up using your referral, you would get a surprise bonus. This was hit or miss since some people would get an Urban Decay shadow while others got a bracelet or a nail polish (unfair values). Now you have to make the equivalent of four referrals but you can choose your bonus gift or skip the month and use the points up when there’s a bonus you actually want. I actually think this is great! Plus Ipsy is working on ways to get points without referring friends.
- Cancelling is extremely difficult. | It’s hard breaking up with Ipsy. When I went to cancel my subscription, I had to verify three times to cancel PLUS got an email to confirm my cancellation. I cancelled twice but the Ipsy site still said I was a subscriber. I also emailed CS who told me they would cancel the subscription for me but I’m still showing up as a subscriber. If I want to cancel a subscription, it should be easy to do. There are plenty of other girls who would LOVE to finally be an Ipster and I really want somebody else to take my spot.
Below is a list of all of the items I’ve received from Ipsy and all of the items I actually used.
This is mainly for myself so I can make myself feel better about cancelling Ipsy.
The unmarked products are ones that I didn’t end up using or liking.
- Couture Color Pequi Oil Treatment Sample
- Coastal Scents Eye Shadow Quad
- Mirenesse Lip Bomb
- Be a Bombshell Eyeliner Marker
- The Balm Body Builder Mascara
- Loved the actual bag that the items came in
- The Balm Meet Matt(e) Eye Shadow Sample in Matt Batali
- Starlet Intense Eyeliner in Black (wasn’t very intense, wasn’t very creamy)
- Nailtini Polish in Millionaire
- Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie in Dare Devil
- Chella Brow Defining Gel
- The actual bag was just okay. I would have loved it if my zipper didn’t snag.
- Nyx Loose Pearl Eye Shadow in Charcoal (really hate dark shadows. I’m an Indian girl so I use a ton of black liner and usually use bright, bold colors instead of smoky eye shades)
- Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Pencil
- Mai Couture Highlighting Paper (coral shimmer)
- Mirabella Eye and Face Primer (in favor of dry skinned people)
- Be a Bombshell Gloss in Hot Mess (red-orange gloss, looked like an unpopular color that they pawned off on Ipsy)
- The actual bag I received this month was gorgeous! To this day, it is my favorite bag.
- Two Cosmetics Eye Shadow Duo in Heartbreaker (mediocre quality pink shadows)
- Sexy Hair Soy Renewal
- Sation Nail Lacquer in Of Corset I’ll Call You (very sheer)
- Be a Bombshell Blush in Beach Please (hot dolly pink)
- The actual bag was very pretty and simple. If Ipsy had to stick with one bag design, I think this one would have been the perfect one.
May 2013 (two bags):
- Yaby Concealer Refills in Vanilla and Buff (I’m dark skinned on my Ipsy quiz and these were both way too light even for highlighting)
- Zoya Nail Polish in Gie Gie
- Zoya Nail Polish in Blu (I personally didn’t like this color but it was great that Ipsy gave out a NEW product that people were pumped to try by a trusted brand)
- Pacifica Roll-On Perfumes in Tahitian Vanilla and Gardenia (yuck to both; out of all of the fragrances Pacifica as to offer, these two are the ones I disliked the most)
- Juice Beauty Lip Gloss in Champagne
- Anastasia Clear Brow Gel Mini (it honestly felt like I was using hair gel on my brows. My brows became really hard when the gel dried.)
- Mirabella Color Sheers Lipstick in Pixie (of all of the colors, I get a coral. Because it was a coral, this was a miss)
- NuMe Finishing Serum
- The bag itself was tacky to me. I like plain and simple.
June 2013 (two bags):
- Starlooks Lip Pencil in Tickle Me Pink – very creamy but it wasn’t my color. It takes a lot of work to make this shade wearable.
- Starlooks Lip Pencil in Tipsy (another coral)
- Nyx Mosaic Blush in Paradise (bright pink when all colors are swirled together)
- Nyx Blush in Dusty Rose
- J.Cat Sparkling Cream Palettes (I don’t know what J.Cat was thinking by having Ipsy give these products out in their bags to promote the new company. These cream palettes were terrible.)
- Cailyn Gel Eyeliners in Iron and Purple
- Pssst Dry Shampoo
- J.Cats False Lashes (I have naturally long lashes and these lashes were shorter than my real ones, lol)
- The bag itself was tacky to me since I dislike animal print. However, the quality of this bag was (and still is) the highest quality bag I’ve received.
- Pop Beauty Lip Crayon in Coral Crush (for crying out loud, another coral)
- BH Cosmetics California Collection Sampler (nice to try a popular product but the quality of these shadows were really powdery, lacked pigmentation, and the color combination for the trio was very odd)
- Coola Unscented Sunscreen (super tiny sample and despite it being for sensitive skin, it made my skin tingle unlike any other sunscreen I’ve used)
- Sexy Hair Weather Proof Humidity spray
- Derma E Microdermabrasion Scrub
- The bag itself is adorable! It’s my second favorite bag.
- City Colors Cheek Stain in Pink (bright pink, cheap quality, not even a stain)
- Pixi Lash Booster Mascara (probably the most useless mascara I’ve ever used)
- Noya Lip Balm in Vanilla (wasn’t bad but c’mon. It’s a lip balm. Who doesn’t already have 20 of these hidden everywhere?)
- Michael Todd’s Charcoal Scrub
- Pacificia Alight Mineral BB Cream (I’m oily skinned, this is a glittery sheer tinted moisturizer that is a “one shade fits most” color.)
- The bag itself looked really tacky to me. I hate the way Ipsy used this bag to advertise themselves by slapping their name everywhere.
- Nyx Eye Shadow Single in Hot Crystal; a cream shade with large glitter chunks (poor pigmentation, definitely a “fail” color since not many people would buy a color like this or even want to use it if it were free, 16 out of 20 shades are discontinued shades from Nyx, meaning these are “throwaway” products pawned off on Ipsy)
- Cailyn Tinted Lip Balm in Big Apple
- Elizabeth Mott’s It’s So Big Mascara
- Freeman Facial Mask x3 – They’re okay. The serum is great but the masks don’t fit the face very well.
- Starlooks Eyeliner in Obsidian (I do like this. However, I have about 20 kohl eye pencils from Ulta since they always have their eyeliners on sale for $1.00. Eye pencils are the last thing I need, lol.)
- Em Cosmetics Paper Sampler (The only reason I stayed subscribed for September was for the chance to get an Em product. I really wasn’t expecting something like this. I hate paper samples.)
- The bag itself is okay. I love the blue color but it is a little tacky with the kimono-esque design.