Unboxing the IPSY Glam Bag X for May 2021

And the subscription box arrivals continue with IPSY.  As a warning, I wasn’t as positive with this one as I usually am and there are some small rants throughout. While I love IPSY, I had a few issues.

This month was the IPSY Glam Bag X Month.  IPSY has recently launched a quarterly upgrade to the Glam Bag Plus.  The Quarterly bags come out February, May, August, and November.  Those months instead of paying $25 for the Glam Bag Plus, you pay $55 ($60.36 with taxes).

Even though it is quarterly, that is a steep price for a beauty box and so I tend to judge it more critically.  The first box was in February 2021.  It was a collaboration with Patrick Ta and I have to say IPSY hit it out of the park with that one. It was fabulous. And it also set expectations pretty high for future boxes. There was no doubt in my mind that the box was worth the price. 

This month, I’m not so sure.  For Each Glam Bag X they choose someone to partner with.  February was Patrick Ta and May was Khloe Kardashian. 

I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan.  I never watched the show.  I tried once and couldn’t really make it through the episode.  It just isn’t my thing.

I’m even less of a fan after the whole freak out about the release of an unphotoshopped photo came out. But even though she chose these products and I have a hard time not rolling my eyes at the blog posts on the site dealing with Khloe’s Beauty Tips, it is really about the products. Therefore I am going to put her out of my mind completely.

So does this feel like a special $55 quarterly bag.

Let’s see.

Normally, I would start with discussing the bag, but in the IPSY Glam Bag X if you want the bag you have to substitute it for one of your products.  As all their other tiers come with bags as a standard feature I find this to be a little cheap on their part, which isn’t a good way to start out thinking of an upgraded bag. But that was their choice.  I chose not to get the bag this month.

The first Item out of my Glam Bag X Box this month was the 111 Skin Gold Radiance Booster (retail $135).  Okay, here is the deal.  I like 111Skin.  I really enjoy several of their products.  A few of them I find overpriced, but they are in general good products.  I actually have several 111SKIN Serums in my skin care drawer.  Many of them came from IPSY. 

In the $25 bag. 

While I like 111SKIN and they are an expensive brand, they are seen often enough in the regular bags that I would have thought that they would try a different brand in the Glam Bag X.  Or at least make this a variable.  I believe this serum was something everyone received in their Glam Bag X.  While I’m sure it is nice, I wasn’t excited by it simply because we see so much 111Skin in IPSY already.

The second item in my bag this month was the Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt (retail $53 – Although if you like this product currently it is on sale at the Skin store for $37, this link will take you to the site of the sale). I have tried samples of this hair and scalp scrub many times and I do like it.  The first one I had included too many chunky salt crystals to get through my hair and too my scalp, but the second and third samples I tried didn’t have that problem so I am guessing the first was just a bad mix.  

I like this scrub and am happy to have it in a full size.  I actually chose this scalp scrub from the list of options.  In the list of options for that category it was the only item I actually wanted to try or that I hadn’t tried before. This was kind of a standard theme for choice.  Sadly it has also been happening in the last few regular IPSY Glam Bag Plus bags as well. 

In the second choice category I chose the Sunday Riley CEO Glow Vitamin C and Turmeric oil (retail  $40 although I’m guessing it isn’t the real retail full size as that one retails for $80 -$90 on most sites – I lurk the sales to pick up this oil). I really like this face oil.  I have used it before and I am happy to have another bottle of it. It is very good face oil. And actually in the summertime when my hands get really roughed up by working in the garden, I tend to put a little bit on my hands before bed to smooth out the roughness. Not much just a drop or two to rub in especially around the joints and fingertips. It is kind of one of my summertime faves. So again, I am happy to have it.  I am less than thrilled by the fact that it was the only option in that category that appealed to me.

Chosen for my by IPSY was the Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Brow Pen (retail $22). As I’m sure all of you have noticed in my Daily posts where I talk about the makeup I chose for the day, most of my brow dilemmas involve finding a professional to tame them back rather than attempting to fill them in.

While I do use brow products, I favor powders and pencils to neaten up lines.  Admittedly as my bangs are too long and in need of a bolder trim then I gave them this weekend, they spent a lot of time hidden. I tend to forget brow products all together.  This brow pen, while I’m sure it’s fabulous, is not something I am going to use.  I will pass it onto my mother who back in the day plucked her eyebrows down to a thin line and has been trying to build them up ever since. She’ll either love it or look like she took a magic marker to her face.  Either way, I won’t be using it. While getting products that you don’t typically use is often the fun of subscription boxes, in my profile I have always had rarely marked for brow products and that is only because there is no never category. As I generally love ABH products and have quite the collection of other products i use frequently, this just isn’t one of them. It is a little frustrating to see a brand you like finally available in a subscription box and then get the one item category that doesn’t work for you.

I think that is where the annoyance lies actually.  Because I’ve been trying to figure out why this month’s bag has just caused a low grade annoyance factor, despite having good products from great brands.  I think it is because IPSY used to be really good at pairing items with your profile and for the last few months they sort of went off track.  I suppose I hoped that for their quarterly upgrade they would actually pay more attention to the profile than they clearly did. It was made a little worse by the newspaper pamphlet that came with the box this month.  It lists every item you could possibly get and several items that not only weren’t chosen but weren’t in my options are in my profiles top categories. I think I would have been a lot less frustrated had I not seen that.

Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

However now you get a break from my whining because the next product they chose for me was the Herbivore Botanicals Prism AHA + BHA Exfoliating Glow Facial (retail $58) which is very much in my top categories.  I am so looking forward to trying this for my Friday Face Mask this week. It is a brand that I have been looking into for a while and have wanted to try, and it is a product that I really want to use. With that product they hit the nail on the head. It was in fact the highlight of the bag this month.

Next up is the Mac Love Me Lipstick in Bated Breath (retail $21).  Again, I love MAC as a brand and I love their lipsticks. They tend to crop up fairly often so it is a little less exciting to see it in the Glam Bag X.  In addition, it is not an unusual color.  I  actually have at least five lip products in almost exactly the same shade.  I’ll wear it, but again, I wish they had gone a little more towards rarely seen products and brands for the Glam Bag X.

This month they also had an eyeshadow palette. It was the One/Size Patrick Star Visionary Palette (retail $42). Now, I like Patrick Star and wish him well, but this is a really boring palette.  The Olive Green Shimmer (second row next to the bright blue) is the only shadow I don’t have multiple versions of.  It actually looks interesting.  And yes I have been known to keep eyeshadow palettes because of one shade. 

I haven’t tried the palette yet so it could perform magnificently and I could end up loving the palette.  But to be honest looking at it, it is just kind of boring. Plus, there is the bottom edge.  If you look at the picture you will see that the bottom edge isn’t straight.  It is by design, the top of the palette has the angle in the other direction. So when closed there are points on either corner instead of a flat bottom edge.  As I stand my palettes up in the drawer, I suspect this is going to end up really annoying me after a little while.  But again, perhaps it will perform fabulously and I will love it and end up thinking the edge is quirky and fun. 

But at the moment it is a bit of a disappointment.

Finally, we come to the last item.  Again I chose this.  This item was in my final choose category and again, there was no real competition for choice.  I went with the Riki loves Riki Riki Cutie lighted makeup mirror (retail $60).  The mirror charges with a USB cable which is nice.  The mirror has three light settings:  On, Bright and Seen from Space, which is also nice. 

The plastic feels very cheap and thin and to carry it there is a cloth sleeve to slide it into. It feels like a $20 mirror not a $60 one and while it is currently in my purse, I’m taking bets as to where the mirror or the plastic surround get cracked first.

And that was my IPSY Glam Bag X this month.  I know I did a lot of complaining this month.  I hate when I do that.  In general, I am able to positively spin most bags.  This month just had so many irritants. And to be completely honest if any of these items showed up in my $25 bag, I would have been thrilled with the month.  I would have been a very, very happy camper. 

And I think that is a good chunk of my annoyance.  It felt like a $25 bag, yet I know I paid $55.

There is no doubt that monetarily I got my money’s worth, these are expensively priced items.  However, I suspect many of these items will be in add ons next month.  What I’m trying to decide is if it is worth keeping the Glam Bag X or just stick with the Glam Bag plus, wait a month and pick up the one or two items that interest me in the Add ons.

That is actually the point of the mini rants as I try to gure out how I feel about the subscription as well as the products. while I will use and evaluate the products separately, this is ultimately about the Glam Bag X.

It is only the second month of this tier’s existence.  Usually I give a subscription three to four months before I make a decision regarding cancellation.  Mostly because even the best bags have an off month.  Because this is quarterly I will give it the full year and then decide if this tier is going to follow me into 2022.  And as annoying as May was, February was fantastic.  And in general I really do like IPSY.  The past few months have been a bit rough, but I’ve had at least one tier of their subscription box for quite a number of years and in general really like them. So for now I will keep the subscription, watch the add ons to see what filters in and hope that August mimics February and that May was just a one off.

And in case you are interested: The Skin store’s Memorial day sale has started (hence the lower price on the Christophe Robin. Brands like Grow Gorgeous and Skinceuticals are also on sale.)

Memorial Day Sale! Up to 50% + 10% Off

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