I spent quite a few months researching, and reading reviews and talking to people who already subscribe to beauty boxes. I settled on ipsy Glambag for my first subscription. The price is good, at $10 a month, and they give you more room to personalize your subscription with a questionnaire about what types of products you like and would be interested in receiving. I did the one year up front for $110, which is basically like getting one month free. ipsy comes in a makeup bag every month, instead of in a box. Who doesn't like a cute little makeup bag?
I will be reviewing my ipsy bag monthly for the next year, March is the first month I received my bag, so this is where we are starting. First off, let's take a minute to admire the packaging it came in:
Is that not adorable? Bright pink bubble mailer! Come on now, how do you not smile when you find that in your mailbox? I was excited from the first glance. After I got settled in and got my photo taking device at the ready, I opened that pretty mailer up to find:
A seriously cute makeup bag! I love the colors. Kind of a robin's egg blue with reddish orange roses. My pictures are kind of crappy, I had to take them from my tablet. My computer decided to take a dirt nap so can't use my camera right now. I took a macro shot with flash to give a better idea of the color:
After admiring the bag I moved on to the contents. *Remember, these bags are customized to each user. If you were to join, your bag would be different than mine. They have about 40 different items each month that they use to fill the bags, five items per bag. The items change every month.*
The first item, is Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer, in Hydrating. I really like how this made my foundation look. It made it look smoother. I have a couple dry areas on my face that tend to look flakey when I have foundation on. This primer did help my foundation lay a little better in those areas, better than some other primers I've tried, but I still looked flakey and cakey. This is an issue with my skin though, not the product. The rest of my face looked smoother and more even. I like it a lot.
The second item, is Marc Anthony Nourishing Argan Oil of Morocco 3 Day Smooth Perfect, Perfect Blow Dry Smoothing Cream. Say that five times fast. I was a bit surprised to find this in my bag, because I specifically noted on the questionnaire that I don't want hair products. I'm very picky about what I put on my hair. I rarely use any kind of product, and I don't heat style. If it weren't for the fact that smoothing cream is the only product I ever use on my hair, even though that is rarely, I would be kind of irritated that this was included in my bag. Since I don't heat style I used it on my hair while it was damp and allowed my hair to air dry. My hair doesn't look greasy, which is a concern with smoothing creams as they almost always contain some kind of oil. This has argan oil and shea butter, but it is super light, and while I do notice an extra sheen to my hair it does not look greasy. Even though I air dried instead of blow drying, it still smoothed out my waves quite a bit more than I expected. My little frizzy flyaways are quite well smoothed down as well. I think I'm going to dust off my blow dryer and give it a try as a blow out cream, just to see how long I can get a smooth style out of it.
The third item, is Vera Mona Lotus Eyeshadow, in the color Clover. I had never heard of Vera Mona before, and I'm quite impressed with this eyeshadow. It has a satin finish, that is very lovely. The shadow itself has a beautiful silky feel and is highly pigmented, it also blends very nicely. The color... I'm in love. It's a gorgeous peachy color. I can definitely see this becoming a regular color in my current rotation. I'm quite fond of orange colors right now, I think the play quite nicely with my grey eyes. Vera Mona has definitely made my list of brands to look into a little more.
The fourth item, is a Beau Gâchis Paris Eyeshadow Brush. This is a nice brush. It's fluffy and soft but picks up product quite nicely. It also lays down product with very little fallout, which is always nice. This is another brand that I had never heard of before. A quick scan of their website shows that their prices are on low side of average for high end brushes. Considering the quality of the brush I received, they are worth a second look when I'm in the market for brushes. Since this is the only "full sized" item I received in my bag, it is the only item I can properly put a value on. This brush has a $12 price tag, which is more than I paid for the whole bag, so it makes the bag a good investment.
The fifth, and last, item is a Nudestix Lip + Cheek Pencil in the color Mystic. I love nude lipstick, and I love that this one pulls a double duty as a lipstick and a cheek color. It's super creamy and feels soft on the lips. The color payoff and coverage are excellent. For me this is going to have to serve as a cheek color, because it is the same color as my natural lips. You couldn't even tell I had anything on. I do like it a lot and I'm already shopping for another color.
In all I'm a bit underwhelmed by my first ipsy bag. I'm not letting it deter me though. I logged into the site and did reviews on the items, because that helps them get a feel for what you do and don't like and what kind of items you are interested in receiving in the future. I'm already excitedly looking forward to my next bag. I really love the experience of getting to try brands and items I've never tried. I live in a small town and don't have access to makeup stores to try things out. I think I might try out one of the more expensive seasonal subscriptions after trying this also, so look for that review in the future!