Jeni Tries To Wear Make-up: Reviewing My First Ipsy Glam Bag, December 2013

This is not a sponsored post. I have no affiliation with Ipsy and we pay for our own subscription.

I’m significantly unfashionable by choice. I just don’t care anymore, although I used to.

I own a solid set of business casual clothes, one little black dress, and a pair of dress shoes. When I’m at home, I wear hoodies and leggings and, when I go out, I wear my favorite Raygun shirts. I never wear jewelry except for my wedding rings and my pierced ears grew over a decade ago.
For some reason, Ipsy Glam bags piqued my curiosity and I wanted to try them out. Each bag costs $10 per month and arrives in the mail filled with four-five samples ranging from hair products to cosmetics. The items are supposed to correspond with a quiz you fill out regarding your preferences when you register for the bags online.

Then, you have to provide your credit card information and join the waiting list. My waiting period lasted for a month and ended with an email stating that I could receive a December bag if I sent out a Facebook message promoting Ipsy. I hate sending these types of promotional updates and tweets, but dang it, I wanted my Ipsy bag.

Here’s my December haul, unpacked.

The theme was Celebration.

Here are my thoughts on each product:

This is a full-size stick that’s supposed to be a combination eye shadow, lipstick and blush. 
I’m skeptical about it’s use on eyes. . .but I really like the color and it’s flattering as a lipstick. I’m not sure how comfortable I am smearing on a moist product as a blush, especially one this pigmented. The product absorbs right into the skin and appears completely matte. There’s no oiliness or feeling of moisture, simply color.  

Bright red. The pencil glides on smoothly and is very concentrated. For kicks and giggles, I applied a light coating of the pencil and ended up with clown lips. Celebration indeed!

I think I can use this more like a stain if I apply it very lightly with my fingertip.

I think the best way to describe this nail polish’s color is how Jake and I describe the color we just painted our bedroom: Gurple.

I don’t typically wear nail polish because I cook and bake frequently which chips polish. We weren’t allowed to wear nail polish in culinary school, anyway, due to sanitation rules, so that’s what I got used to. I’m also a perfectionist, so when my polish chips, it drives me nuts and I feel obligated to fix my nails.

This polish’s quality seems decent. I tested it on a nail and it covered well for a first coat and dried quickly.

When I worked at a corporate office, I wore nail polish, but refused to wear conventional colors like pink and red. It just made me feel too normal. I love strange colors like this, though I gravitate toward brighter, gaudier ones. I wouldn’t have chosen this on my own, but when I noticed it matches our gurple paint, it grew on me.

This Pop Beauty eye shadow palette seems to be full-size, though I can’t find an exact replica through their website. I like that the colors are neutral earth tones with a little shimmer. I can wear them every day without feeling like my face appears caked with make-up. The shadows go on lightly which is acceptable by me. Like I said, I’m not comfortable wearing flashy make-up, nor do I have any idea what I’m doing.

These eyelashes are my least favorite product in this month’s bag because I have no interest in wearing fake eyelashes.

My eyes are sensitive and wearing contacts causes me enough grief. I stopped wearing mascara and liquid eyeliner because every brand I tried flaked off into my eye. Now that I don’t wear mascara, I still find myself running to the sink all to often to rinse dust and eyelashes from my contacts.

Unless a professional assists me in applying these eyelashes, I will either puncture my eyeball, adhere a contact to my cornea, or glue my eye shut.


  • I have new products to try that I wouldn’t have sought on my own. 
  • It’s fun to get mysterious packages in the mail filled with random samples. 
  • I received full size products.
  • Points: You earn 100 points with each month’s bag, plus 10 after completing a per brief survey reviewing each product. Once you reach 1,000 points, you can choose from one of a few bonus samples that Ipsy will add to your bag. 


  • I wish I had received something, anything besides fake eyelashes. 
  • I can tell that some of the cosmetics are going to arrive in random colors that may not always flatter my skin and hair tones.  
I will re-take the quiz that creates my profile of preferences and see how it affects my next bag. Also, I’ve found a local friend who also receives Ipsy bags so we can trade things we don’t like.

Do you subscribe to a monthly subscription service? What are your thoughts?

Update (1/18/2014): I use the Color Stick every day as a blush. It actually blends really well and the color is subtle. I also use it as a lipstick when I want a very light color. I also use the eye shadows almost daily and really like the nail polish. For one thing, I love the color and the polish dries quickly. Looks nice after two light coats. I never use the red lip pencil and still haven’t touched the eyelashes. 


  1. Rhubarb and Venison

    I’m a bit of a product junkie too – save the lashes for Halloween! I signed up for Stitchfix a few weeks ago, which is like this but clothing. Should get my package in January, we’ll see…

  2. Katie Olthoff

    I think this looks fun! I don’t do a good job wearing make-up because I’m ALWAYS running late! But maybe this would be a fun way to use more of it!

  3. Katie Olthoff

    OOh! Just though of an idea! Can I get this as a gift for my sister? I’m off to check it out!

  4. Jeni Flaa

    I think it would make a great gift. You can cancel it at anytime, too.


    I didn’t get the eyelashes in mine and I am very glad!!! I would not know what to do with them! I got a little sample size of the perfume Snow instead. The other products I got were the same with different colors. My fingernail polish was a nice festive red and not gurgle! I liked all of my stuff this time, too. My lipstick was not too red. I went in and checked my profile and I am getting way more lip products than I thought I would with the way I filled out my profile===that was not even something I checked so I am not sure how they fill these bags but I am loving getting the little surprises. Makes me think I need to do a post on mine, too! Can I be a copycat????


    I think my last comment disappeared into outer space so please forgive me if this posts twice!!! I got almost the same products except the false eyelashes . Thank goodness! I would not have a clue how to use those. Instead of that I got a small sized perfume called Snow which is nice.and light. The other products were the same just different colors—my nail polish was a nice festive red that I will wear and not gurple. I loved this post and am thinking I may be a copy cat sometime and do the same with my next Ipsy bag. 🙂

  7. Jeni Flaa

    Of course you can! I love reading about people’s mystery subscription boxes. I think it’s a lot of fun. I love lip products and could have a million which is ridiculous.

  8. Val

    I love all these new programs where you can get clothes or make-up or whatever on a regular basis of your choosing. I’m with you on the fake eye lashes and not really wearing make-up!

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