ipsy Glam Bag Review: April 2014

Ipsy Post Card

April’s ipsy Glam Bag theme is Beauty Rocks. 

Besides the musically themed bag, I’m not sure how cohesive the theme carries over to the cosmetics.

In case you are unfamiliar with ipsy, it’s a monthly subscription service in which you pay $10 a month and receive a bag of 4-5 beauty samples in the mail. The samples are supposed to correspond to the results of an online quiz regarding your beauty preferences. Each item comes with a discount code or special offer that adds a free gift to a purchase.

This is my fifth ipsy bag. There’s always one sample in each bag I don’t like, but overall, ipsy’s a cheap thrill that has introduced me to many products I use each day.

I’ll unpack my April bag and share thoughts on each sample:

Ipsy Bag.jpg

First, a product I’ve never tried in any form.


dr. brandt claims this exfoliant mimics professional microderm abrasion treatments which supposedly diminish fine lines, wrinkles, soften skin, and eliminate dead skin cells.

The only experience I’ve had with an exfoliating product is St. Ives Apricot Scrub. I’v never liked it because the particles are too large and harshly scrape my skin. Therefore, I was apprehensive about trying this.

This morning, I applied it to my face and rubbed very gently, avoiding the areas around my eyes. The package recommends you use this twice a week and slowly massage it onto your skin for one-two minutes. I found this length of time too excessive and rinsed it off sooner.

I have to admit that my skin is delightfully soft. There’s a lot of empty space in this tube, but I think I can still get at least 3-4 more uses out of it (you only need a dab). I like this product, though $78 is too steep for a full-sized product, even with the 20% discount.

eye shadow.jpg

I also like this eye shadow. Champagne is a neutral, shimmery color I can use as a base or to highlight. Be careful. The powder is very delicate. I accidentally nicked it with my nail and a chunk went flying.

eye pencil.jpg

I also like this eye pencil. Having dark hair, I prefer black eye liners. Typically, I buy black eye shadow and apply it with a small or angled brush dampened with water. I’ve never had success with eye pencils or liquid liners because they smear or flake-off into my contacts.

The reviews on the ipsy site are mostly positive for this product and I can understand why. The pencil glides on smoothly and seems to be mostly waterproof. The test line I drew on my hand yesterday is still there even after a shower and many hand washings. And, it hasn’t smudged around my eyes this morning.

This pencil is not quite a full size but I see it lasting a long time.

Shadow Brush.jpg

This shadow brush is the lowest value item but it’s a practical one that I need.

My current shadow brush is years old and looks like a mess. I remember former art instructors telling us not to give our paintbrushes headaches. Oops.

The fibers are very soft and when I tugged on them, they remained firmly secured.

Lip Pencil.jpg

Now, for my least favorite product this month. A lip pencil.

I conducted an internet search investigating the purpose of a lip pencil. They supposedly help people define the lip shape, prevent feathering, and ensure there is color on the lips after lipstick wears off.

This is not a product I seek and I’m not concerned enough with these issues to buy a product that specifically addresses them. I gave it a try. The nude color is a little peachy and doesn’t compliment my skin tone or dark hair and eyes.

On a positive note, the product glides on smoothly and is made of a more moisturizing substance that differs than those old-fashioned lip pencils you have to sharpen. I remember playing with my mom’s lip pencils during middle school and high school.

Concluding Thoughts
I like most of the products in my April bag and will use them regularly. A hooray for no fake lashes, BB creams, or foundations!

Although my ipsy reviews are getting a lot of page views, I am feeling the urge to try a new subscription service. I just signed up for my first month of NatureBox which offers half-off your first box (the lowest-price box contains your choice five bags of snacks for $20). While I enjoy my ipsy bags, I can’t eat my ipsy bags and we’re always looking for snacks we can take to work. I read mixed reviews about NatureBox, so I’ll share what we learn soon.

I’m also considering cancelling my ipsy subscription and trying a Memebox, a Korean beauty subscription service. The least expensive boxes cost $23 plus $7 shipping. If you sign up and get a referral email from someone with an account you will receive a $7 credit. As a Korean, I’d be curious to try Korean products and see if the colors jive better with my complexion.


  1. Monica Jertson Cateron

    Very good review. Since you’ve already received several bags, have you found you have a stockpile of stuff you might not use ? That’s what I would be afraid of- or I’d end up with loads of eyeshadows. As for the microdermabrasion cream- Mary Kay makes an EXCELLENT microderm cream with a soothing after-balm that’s waaaay cheaper than $78 and I love it. If you happen to know any MK consultants in your area ask for a sample !

    • Jeni Flaa

      Thanks Monica and thanks for the recommendation. I thought I’d hate the microderm but am fascinated by how soft my face is. I’m finding I have several things I don’t like. I’ve been able to give a couple items to people who said they would like them. What I can’t use are a set of fake lashes, a BB cream that is orange and a super bright red lip pencil.

  2. Cathy

    The St. Ives Apricot Scrub is horrible. I’ve been making my own sugar scrubs (1 part vegetable oil to 3 parts sugar + a few drops of essential oil). I use that mostly as a body scrub but do occasionally use it as a facial scrub as well.

    • Jeni Flaa

      I should try the scrub! That’s a great idea.

  3. Katey911

    I love love love the Urban Decay eyeliners. I’m cheap but find those are worth the cost.

    • Jeni Flaa

      Good to know. People seemed really excited to get these in their bags. Love it!

  4. Katie @ On the Banks of Squaw Creek

    Yeah – so…since I got the bare minerals lipsticks after last month, I’ve noticed they feather a lot around my lips. So I thought a lip pencil would help and I was stoked when I got this one. But guess what? It feathers around my lips, too. Maybe I just have super feathery lips?

    • Jeni Flaa

      Dang it! Maybe this lip pencil isn’t the highest quality. I don’t have that issue with my lips but I think the skin around my eyes is oily because eye liner kind of feathers and runs. This one has been pretty good at least.

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