Ipsy Bag: July 2015 Review.

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To round up my July subscription box/bag reviews, I wanted to end with Ipsy. Over the past few months, I’ve grown increasingly frustrated with the company- who I’ve been subscribed to for roughly two years now. For every decent product I receive, I tend to get double the amount in disappointing or poor-quality samples. I’ve mentioned in the past (more than once, I’m sure,) that for $10 a month, I do not expect to be blown away over and over again- but I like diversity in brands and in the types of products/samples I’m given- and despite the fact that I re-take the preferences quiz and satisfaction review surveys fairly often in an attempt to mix it up a little- I still get the same products by the same brands and with the same results.

Last month, after another disappointing bag- I had said I would give Ipsy one more chance to keep me interested before I opted to continue with my subscription or try something else. This was a similar “three strike” rule I had adhered to back when I was subscribed to BeautyArmy, and I never regretted canceling that subscription after giving them multiple chances to get it right.

July’s bag, a multi-colored and pretty Summery pattern, contained one full-sized product and four decently sized samples. I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best as I tried each of them!

What I Received:

Eau Thermale Avène Cleanance Gel Soapless Cleanser

tarte deluxe Amazonian clay waterproof bronzer

Be A Bombshell Cosmetics Lip Balm in “French Kiss” (*Full Size!*)

Octavio Molina Hair La Playa Salt Spray

City Color Cosmetics HD Powder


Product # 1: Eau Thermale Avène Cleanance Gel Soapless Cleanser ($20)

I had to do a little research online before I tried this cleanser since there wasn’t a lot of information written on the small bottle or on Ipsy’s website. When I think “soapless cleanser,” I think of cleansing oils- which can be hit or miss for me and my sensitive skin. Fortunately, this product worked just like a regular face wash- including lathering up nicely- but without the parabens. I did like the way this cleanser made my skin feel, and any tightness following my rinsing it off my face was quickly resolved with a lightweight moisturizer and daily SPF. I think the only downside to this cleanser is the fragrance. This wash smells really, really strong- like straight-up perfume- and can be overpowering and worrisome to those like me who are prone to bad reactions or break-outs, especially when it comes to added or artificial fragrances.

Would I Purchase?: Maybe. So far, I haven’t experienced any horrific reactions or painful blemishes with this cleanser- despite it’s potent scent- and it does make my skin feel clean (although a little tight/dry) after each use, but I’m not 100% sold on it yet and I don’t know if this is something I would necessarily re-purchase right away when I already use cleansers that not only thoroughly clean my face, but condition it, too.


Product # 2: tarte deluxe Amazonian clay waterproof bronzer ($30)

I’ve said it before and I will happily say it again- I love tarte Cosmetics. I love their products, their pigmentation, and their packaging. Although applying bronzer on my skin type (see: pasty) is like playing “will it turn me orange?” Russian roulette- this product went on smoothly and gave me a subtle hint of natural-looking sun-kissed color without appearing like it was caked on. It was easy to blend with the golden-hued blush I’ve been using as of late to give me a healthy glow, and a little goes a long way- so I know this sample will carry me through the end of the Summer!

Would I Purchase?: Yes! tarte has done it again. I really love this bronzer. It’s light, easy to apply, even easier to blend- and stays in place all day without making me look like an Oompa Loompa. While this sample will last me quite a while, I would definitely consider re-purchasing a full-sized compact next Spring/Summer when I want to look like a golden goddess without having to actually tan!



Product # 3: Be A Bombshell Cosmetics Lip Balm in “French Kiss” ($14)

Ipsy, we need to have a heart-to-heart about your somewhat excessive use of ‘Be A Bombshell Cosmetics’ products. I’m not saying that it’s a terrible brand or that all of their products are bad. I’ve received a few that I’ve enjoyed in the past, and their price points are pretty reasonable- but not everything I’ve tried has been particularly high in quality, and I’d like to get through just one month (or two) without finding another lipstick or eye shadow from them in my bag when I open it. Part of the reason I signed up with Ipsy to begin with was to try new brands and new products- so to continually receive things from ‘Be A Bombshell’ over and over is a bit frustrating.

This balm unfortunately falls under the aforementioned “not particularly high in quality” category. The color, a baby pink- was not flattering with my complexion at all- and the formula was more waxy in texture than it was softening and hydrating. I noticed small, thin flakes of balm after each application that just sort of rested on top of my lips (similar to pieces of dry skin for lack of a better example) rather than rubbing in smoothly. Overall, it was a let down.

Would I Purchase?: No. I’m better off just using regular or tinted chap stick than I am using this balm. The not-pale-friendly-at-all color aside, this product didn’t moisturize or even stay on my lips for a long time before it all but slid off- and is definitely not worth the $14.


Product # 4: Octavio Molina Hair La Playa Salt Spray ($15.50)

When it comes to sea salt sprays, I pay special attention to the ingredients. There are certain brands that, while drying (when used without proper conditioners or other hydrating styling products,) are color-safe for my red curls- and vice versa. This spray, with an unusual fragrance that isn’t “beachy” like other brands- has pretty much every ingredient possible in it to fade my red to orange in no time at all- which is why I waited to try this product until I was just a few days shy of getting a color touch-up at my salon to see how it made my hair look and feel.

This spray, while already being harmful to my color- is also extremely drying. I tried this product in my hair both on it’s own, as well as with a rich curl-cream- and my hair was left dry, frizzy, and crunchy both times. I think I’ll scrap this product and stick to the sea salt sprays that I’ve grown accustomed to over the years, instead.

Would I Purchase?: No. Between the color-compromising ingredients, the overly drying finish, and the fragrance I wasn’t really keen on- this product was a dud for me. It might work better for those who have virgin hair, but steer clear if your hair is color-treated or highlighted (or if it’s prone to frizz or split ends!)


Product # 5: City Color Cosmetics HD Powder ($5.99)

I’ve been using a Laura Mercier finishing powder for a really long time now. It’s lightweight, keeps my makeup in place, and helps hide blemishes and imperfections. I’ve been running low on my current jar as of late, so this sample of transparent powder arrived at a good time so that I could try it for a few days and compare it with what I’ve been used to.

I don’t know if it’s just the style or size of the sample, but this product was kind of difficult to shake loose. Even though it’s advertised as a “high definition” powder- it isn’t ground as fine as my Laura Mercier one, which made the application process a bit difficult in terms of getting the product on my brush and applied evenly to my skin.

The powder doesn’t discolor my fair skin and hasn’t caused any kind of breakouts or reaction- which is nice- but it didn’t do much in regards to keeping my makeup in place. After a few hours, I noticed that my pores were still visible and that some of my foundation had started to run- which never happens with my LM powder. This powder was, unfortunately, another bust in the bag.

Would I Purchase?: No. At $5.99 for a full-sized tub, this powder would seem like a steal to most- but it’s a pain to get the product out of the container and only holds makeup in place for a short amount of time before it all but vanishes and shine returns to more oily areas. I’ll be sticking with my Laura Mercier powder and re-purchasing another full-sized container of that, instead.

With one of the products out of the five I received being a big win for me, and another still having me on the fence as to whether or not I’d commit to re-purchasing a full-sized bottle- that leaves three unsatisfactory samples/products.

Ipsy, it’s been a lot of fun- it really, really has- but I think I need a break. I can’t go through another month of Be A Bombshell or hair care/styling products that I simply can’t use.

I’m going to be canceling my subscription over the next day or so. That’s not to say I won’t return to Ipsy eventually, but like BeautyArmy’s downfall way back when- the company needs to really focus more on the quality of what they’re sending subscribers as opposed to arranging samples for pretty photos on Instagram and hoping we won’t notice it’s the same products every month.

I’ve got another subscription service I’ll be checking out for August- so I’m hoping that’s a more fun review to write!


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