Monthly subscriptions have been on the rise, especially popular with millennials. Brands like Birchbox, Loot Crate, Adore Me and many more give their customers the ability to discover and try new products while subscriptions like Blue Apron and Graze make specific items — like food — more accessible.
Since I'm a makeup freak, I decided to try Ipsy, a personalized monthly "Glam Bag" created by YouTuber Michelle Phan. I had been subscribed to Michelle in the past and respect her a lot as both a makeup guru and a businesswoman. Watching the launch of Ipsy — then called "MyGlam" — I had always wanted to try it but never got around to subscribing.
Fast forward to March 2017 when I received my first glam bag! On the first of each month, they charge you ten bucks with free shipping. The bag itself comes around the middle of each month and contains five products along with a cute makeup bag. The products are usually a mix of full size and sample size.
Their two minute beauty quiz asks you about your facial features, how comfortable you are with makeup, which brands and products you're interested in, your favorite colors and scents, and your skin and haircare needs. I have to admit this was pretty fun since I'm a sucker for quizzes but I noticed that I would always have to change my preferences. If you live in a four season climate like me, your skin color probably changes with the months. While I may be a tan/olive in the summer, I can turn into a light in the winter without warning.
My first bag — March — came in a cute pale pink bag with a cool textured pattern on one side. The French/spring themed kit included a Neogen cleanser, a Tarte liquid lipstick, a Marc Anthony hair mask, a PUR concealer and a So Susan blush. I didn't know which products were full sized and which were sample sized so it was hard to judge if I got my money's worth. Luckily, I was impressed by all of the products, especially the liquid lipstick that didn't dry out my lips at all.
Ipsy gives you the option to review the products online in exchange for points towards rewards. This also helps them customize next month's bag to suit you better. On both the website and the app, you can enter giveaways and watch tutorials on how to use the month's products.
April's bag was carnival themed and looked like a ride ticket! Since I said I wanted more cleansers, they gave me one by H20+ Beauty along with an Elizabeth Mott shadow and highlighter, an EM Cosmetics liquid eyeliner, a Glamour Dolls blush brush, and an Adesse New York lip balm.
The highlighter became a favorite — and a staple — of mine along with the lip balm. However, I was a bit skeptical about the inclusion of the eyeliner because Michelle started EM Cosmetics too. I understand that she would want to promote her own products, but I hope the subscription doesn't become only promos. Ipsy's website shows you other products that you could have received so you can check up on that, too.
The May Glam Bag came in a cute clear case with an ice cream pattern on it. The products contained an Urban Decay highlighter, a Jelly Pong Pong eyeshadow duo, a Beauty & Pin-Ups hair mask, a Pixi by Petra eye pen and a Caked Makeup lip fondant. The highlighter quickly replaced last month's fave — it literally lasts all day — and I was also a fan of the lip fondant. I was kind of salty when they gave me another hair mask and eye liner, though, because I didn't say I wanted more of them. Be careful because you will get same types of products!
I'm still waiting on my June Glam Bag to arrive, but you don't have to. Ipsy gives you the option to view your bag a week or so before they ship it out. You can't change the products but it gives you something to look forward to. I choose not to peek because then it feels like Christmas every time I see that neon metallic pink bubble wrap envelope in the mail.
I've had a good experience with these bags so far so I'll be continuing the subscription. Feel free to try it too! Be sure to do your homework though because Ipsy is in competition with both Birchbox and Play by Sephora. Ipsy seems to be the highest value and gives out the most full-sized products out of the three, but Birchbox gives you more control and Sephora has more brands.
Whatever you choose, remember that it isn't permanent! These boxes allow you to cancel your subscription at anytime without charge. So, go out there and have fun with your new makeup finds!