This is NOT a sponsored post. I pay for my own subscription to ipsy. 

It’s that time again.

I just received my ipsy Glam Bag a couple days ago. I left my profile preferences the same this month and was surprised when the bag was filled with skin care products. The little postcard that reveals the theme said, “19 Reasons 2014 Will Be Amazing,” and listed 19 brands.

I opened my bag to find these products.

Here are my thoughts on each one:

These are very affordable tissues. Although they’re not a product I’d purchase on my own, I will give them a try. My only hesitation is the smell.

I checked out the IPSY sight where Glam Bag subscribers can leave reviews and one of the first ones said, “The wipe smelled like a cheap glass of wine, had I been hungover, it would have made me even more sick!”

These wipes do smell nauseatingly tutti fruitti. I would agree with this reviewer if she was referring to Boone’s Farm.

I like that this is an organic product in which I can actually identify some of the ingredients, unlike most of the others.

The body balm has a curdled texture but melts into the skin.

At first sniff, the balm smells pleasantly citrusy, but once you rub it into your skin it smells like rubber.

I also think it’s a little oily. I really don’t want to smell like rubber.

The color doesn’t suit me well. I wonder if including foundation samples in these bags is like trying to buy someone else clothes, as in it’s best to let a person pick out their own.

I only purchase foundation from stores that let me try them so I don’t waste my money on the wrong color. I typically buy mine from MAC and like their Face & Body Foundation since it’s so light. One bottle lasts me over a year so I think it’s $35 well spent.

First, this is a full-sized product which is pretty spiffy.

The mojito description is a little misleading because it smells and tastes faintly of mint. I imagined a mintier, limier quality.

I didn’t take a photo of the balm because it’s a clear gel. It slides onto the skin very smoothly and I will definitely use this on occasion.

However, I try not to use lip balm too often. My herbalism teacher cautions against regular use of lip balms because your body becomes dependant on them. When I’ve regularly used a lip balm in the past, I have to use it more and more frequently for my lips to stay moisturized.

My 2¢ is that when you are dehydrated, your lips seem to become chapped first so stay hydrated and try not to use lip balms sparingly.

Update 1/19/14: This lip balm does last a very long time. Even through a shower!

This product is supposed to “minimize the appearance of pores and fine-lines.” It’s oil-free and contains Vitamin E.

The reviews seem to be mostly positive, though I typically don’t use seek these types of products. I’m not that concerned with my pores or fine lines and am curious how this product supposedly minimizes them. Is it like a putty that fills them in?

I’ve never given the appearance of my pores a second thought, or anyone else’s for that matter.

Final Thoughts
I love the concept of receiving random products each month for only $10. However, I learned I’m not very interested in skin care products. My skin care routine is very simple. I rinse my face at night with warm water and apply moisturizer. In the morning, I moisturize and apply sunscreen before cosmetics.

When I was an herbalism apprentice, my teacher shared that she noticed a client had strikingly beautiful skin. When my teacher asked what her secret was, she replied that in her culture, women just rinse their face with warm water at night. I’ve been doing this ever since with good results, however, my skin leans towards being too dry rather than oily.

The dry North Dakota winters were especially harsh on my skin and the only product that worked for me was emu oil. It sounds like a strange thing to smear on one’s face, but I was desperate for solutions last winter. I’m loyal to a product that’s made from Minnesota emus and is certified by the American Emu Association (AEA).

This is only my second ipsy bag. I will have to tinker with my profile so I don’t receive as many skin care products.

On the plus side, I can always give away the products that I don’t want or trade them with another ipsy subscriber. Plus, who doesn’t like receiving mail?

Do you subscribe to any monthly sample boxes? If you receive ipsy Glam Bags, what were your favorite and least favorite products?