Unboxing the IPSY Glam Bag X for August 2022

This was an interesting box to unbox this month. First let’s cover the basics. Once a quarter my IPSY Glam Bag Plus is replaced by the Glam Bag X. The upgrade is about $60 now. I pay $65.84 for this quarterly box once all of the taxes and other charges are added in. IPSY has been slowly increasing their prices. I’m hoping that this was the last increase for a while.

I am in an interesting place with IPSY. I have the Glam Bag Plus for most months and I also have BoxyCharm. While they are different subscriptions, since IPSY bought Boxy there have been many more overlaps and I am trying to decide if I will be keeping both going into the new year. As a result what I am going to do with IPSY is keep the Quarterly and skip the month’s between. My hope is that this will allow me not to get so many overlaps and maybe make me fall back in love with IPSY or at least decide if I want to let them go. So this August I am reviewing the IPSY Glam Bag X and will not review IPSY again until November when it is once again time for another Glam Bag X.

the add on bag that caused the box change

This month, My IPSY didn’t come in the trademark bog (it was inside) but in a brown box. I always get a bit twitchy with changes, mostly because it means the order was adjusted. This time it was my own fault. During add ons I added a purse. I was hoping it was the tote I wanted it to be and not something smaller, but then I forgot about it. My add on was the Henny + Lev Danielle Tote Bag. And if it an actual Tote bag. It was also the reason I had the larger box. I am actually quite impressed with it actually. It is vegan leather and feels like decent quality. The smell is quite strong so I am letting it air out a bit before use. I plan on taking it on my trip and will let you know how it performs, but first appearances are quite positive. I will admit i was a little shaken by the reviews since almost none of them were positive. But I will give it a fair shot. I am glad though that I paid $18 (or possibly $14, can’t remember) instead of the $130 retail it is listed for. I can say that looking at it I would put it in the $20-$25 price range not the $130 price range. But maybe it will blow me away with use. we shall see.

But that was an add on, shall we see what the actual bag content’s look like?

As always IPSY makes some selections for me and lets me choose a few others. Let’s take a look at some of the Items they chose for me. The first is unsurprisingly, a Key’s Soulcare Item. This Glam Bag X was curated by Alecia Keys so I would be surprised if her brand’s items weren’t in it. The Item chosen for me was the Keys Soulcare Reviving Aura Mist (retail $25). It is in a really nice deep purple glass bottle and has a nice looking spray. The mist is nice but the scent is heavy. While I love thermal water facial sprays, I am not so sure this is a product i will really enjoy. I will give it a fair trial, but it isn’t really my sort of thing. And I am not sure why IPSY chose this for me. But it does look nice.

The next item IPSY chose for me I was thrilled with though. It is the They’re Real Magnet Mascara from Benefit Cosmetics (retail $27). I know for years Bad Gal Bang was my favorite from Benefit, but I do like most of their mascaras. I was okay with the regular They’re real, but when i got a sample size of the Magnet version I fell in love. I am thrilled to have a full sized version of this in my collection. I have a few other products to use up and clear out, but then I am so diving into using this. I was very happy for this one. And I think part of that is not only do I know I love this mascara but I am actually running low on mascaras. Sometimes they overwhelm with mascaras, but for a while now I haven’t received any so I am pleased. Good timing on IPSY’s part there.

The next Item IPSY Chose for me was the Ole Henriksen Truth Serum (retail $55) I have actually used this before but have not purchased it in a while because I have gotten so many vitamin C serums that I wanted to try out. I remember I really loved this serum and in fact it was the serum that made me want to try out other vitamin C serums. And I also have to say that this is a really good time for this serum as well. even though I have used sunblock when I have gone out, this summer has taken a toll on my skin and I remember this serum being really good at helping to fade dark spots brought out by the sun. I am very pleased to have this serum and thrilled to have an Ole Henriksen product in any subscription.

The next Item I am cautiously optimistic about. It is the Grown Alchemist Hydra Repair Day Cream. (retail $6). I’ve tried a couple of products from Grown Alchemist and they were okay but not super fantastic. I do like the look of the paint tube like container, but the last product i used (a night cream) was okay but not something I would repurchase. I also feel the same about their body cream. However neither was bad, just not fabulous. So perhaps the day cream will surprise me and exceed expectations or it will meet expectations and just be an adequate day cream. I’m not upset about seeing it because I know it will at least be adequate and I have hopes that it could be fantastic.

The final item chosen for me by IPSY was The One Baby Eyeshadow Palette from Lawless Beauty. (retail $25). Recently I tried my first Lawless Beauty Product and I rather liked it. I am very pleased to have another product from the brand to try out. This is a small eight pan palette and I have to say the colors in it are very much the ones I use. which makes me even happier about trying it out. Trying out a formula from a brand to know how they perform is so much nicer when they are shades that you would normally use. And these look like ones I would use. I’ve gotten my hopes up before based on sight in pan, but I am really hoping this palette performs. It is a good size, so fingers crossed.

And now we get to the three items that I chose. I will say my choice wasn’t that great this month. A lot of the items were ones I received in the past so I decided to skip them. I did end up with several items I am pleased about though, I just wish it was more of a choice than it was. I also have to say part of the disappointment was because of the pamphlet that IPSY sent with the box. In the pamphlet for the IPSY X they just list all of the possible products instead of just the ones you received. There was an entire page of Key Soulcare products, most of which I would have preferred over the Mist they chose for me but the real upset was the page featuring Pat McGrath Lipsticks. None of them appeared as any option in any of my lists or even add on choices. I know there was probably a limited number of them but the shades are gorgeous and the full page featuring them makes me feel a little cheated. It’s one of those things that i think I would rather not have known was in someone else’s bag.

But bag envy aside, let’s look at the three items i chose.

The first was the Patrick Star O/S Turn up the Base Versatile Foundation Powder. (retail $33). I was quite happy that I got to choose this actually. While I didn’t care for the eyeshadow Palette I tried from the brand, I have heard great things about this powder foundation and I really like the light buildability aspect of it. If it works out well I will be thrilled. I do like powder foundations when they work. Some end up looking very powdery so I have my fingers crossed this will work out well for me. We shall see. And part of me hopes it works out not just because I want it to work out but because it is a lovely package that I would love to keep around.

The second Item I chose this month was a Laruce Brush Kit (which is not actually listed in the pamphlet, nor are several of the items I was given as choice items this month. It is on the Laruce Website though and retails for $50). I actually chose this for two reasons. One I have several brushes that I really need to get rid of. Actually it is sort of a disgrace. I have quite a few brushes and I sort of rotate between containers and switch things around but never really get rid of any. I just put the ones that are wearing out in a different jar. I know, hoarder like. I need to sit down and just have a brush clear out.

But I chose these brushes because I want to have some new replacements on hand and I do like Laruce brushes. (I also chose a set of Luxie brushes in the Fab Fit Fun box this season for exactly the same reason plus I love Luxie brushes and am hoping a new set will help convince me to let go of some of the ones that have spent years in my makeup kit and have earned a retirement.)

The second reason I chose this set was because I wanted a travel container for my brushes, specifically one that can stand up and function as a brush holder while I am out of town. I don’t like having to corral brushes so I thought this would work. I have to say while the brushes are the Laruce quality I expect, the container does feel like cheaper plastic than I would have expected. It will work, but I strongly suspect it will not be too many trips before the plastic cracks. It looks nice, but the plastic is awfully thin.

And finally, the last item I chose was the Honey and Jasmine Mask from The Organic Pharmacy. (retail $74). Because you know I can’t pass up a good face mask (and it was the only interesting option in that tier). It is a bit of a pricey mask and it is a company I have never heard of. I don’t mind paying a lot for good, and good quality masks, but I love the option of trying them out before I spend the money on them. Just because it is expensive doesn’t mean it will work for my skin. Of course I have fallen in love with some pretty expensive masks this way. We will see if this Honey and Jasmine mask ends up being one of them

And so my darlings that was my Glam Bag X for August 2022. It is a bit of a pricey subscription tier, but it is quarterly. I couldn’t pay this cost every month and I don’t think it would be worth it to me every month. Quarterly this subscription does work for me. And this quarter was really nice. Even though I do have product envy from the pamphlet that came with the box, my products are for the most part ones I will use. I’m not to sure about the Aura Mist, but I am willing to give it a try. Everything else I am looking forward to using. So this month is was well worth the $65 cost I paid for the box.

As we are nearing my December evaluation of subscription boxes, I will be playing with this subscription, as I mentioned earlier. I will be skipping September and October and I am making a conscious effort not to purchase anything from the IPSY flash sales or add on pages during those two months either. Part of it is a test run for seeing how I feel about letting IPSY go. Part of it is a break from their sales page. I do like their sales page and now that Boxy has a $25 minimum for their sales page to get free shipping, I want to see if maybe keeping the regular $13 bag just to have access to the store might be a route I want to go with in the following year instead of the one I am on. Basically I am trying to find out what I want to keep and what I can do with out. Either way, there will be no IPSY reviews until November and the next Glam Bag X. It will be interesting to see if I get withdrawals or relief from it’s absence.

Unboxing the Ipsy Glam Bag Plus for July 2022

That’s right my darlings, it is time to unbox my IPSY Glam Bag Plus for July 2022. This subscription was $28 but this month there was a $1.99 fee added to it. With taxes my cost for this subscription is $32.91. I actually don’t mind the additional charge, however there has been quite a lot of overlap from the IPSY and BoxyCharm (mostly because IPSY bought Boxy) and I have been trying to figure out how to deal with it as far as my personal subscription list goes.

While I love subscriptions, I do pay for these myself and I really don’t need subscriptions that repeat products. For me a lot of the fun of subscriptions is trying something new. So for me, I plan to keep the quarterly Glam Bag X and skip the months between. The Glam Bag X comes in August so it won’t look like much of a change, but I will be skipping IPSY in September and October (then getting X in November and Skipping December). In December I always sit down and decide what subscriptions are going with me into the new year and which I am leaving behind. I am hoping that by going to quarterly I will skip some of the repeat products. In addition, I can put the money i would have spent on the IPSY Plus into trying out other subscriptions. This is the plan and we’ll see how it goes.

But first, there is the July IPSY Plus. Are you ready to see what was in this month’s bag?

First there are the two items that IPSY chose for me. The first of these is the Murad Oil and Pore Control Mattifier Broad Spectrum SPF 45. It is basically a sun screen for oily skin. It does make the pores bur out a bit and looks great under makeup. I have actually used this before. I find it an interesting product.

While I am a bit more oily in the summer time than the rest of the year, I can only wear this sunscreen a few days out of the week. I am simply not as oily as it wants me to be. If you have oily/or acne prone skin then this is a fantastic product. For me, I can wear it if I know I am going to be sweating, but I can’t wear it that often or it will dry out my skin. It is a great product, I am just not it’s target audience and I will be passing it on to a friend. which I am okay with.

The second item IPSY chose for me was the Skylar Coconut Grove rollerball Perfume. I like roller balls for perfume actually and Skylar is a nice brand. I am a bit hit or miss with their scents. Some I really like others I really don’t, but they are a quality scent. I actually want to try out their Scent Club because they seem to feature scents there that sound like ones I would like. This roller ball is the size of the ones that come in their scent club and I think it is a really good size. (Plus i like actually seeing the size in person before signing up.)I am always happy to try it and since I long ago figured out that the perfumes I don’t like, my mother loves and visa versa I have someone I can pass it onto if it doesn’t work out for me. I am happy to give it a try.

Now we get into the items I actually chose. This month my selections were not good. And thins is actually one of the reasons I will be skipping some months. Most of the choices were simply for items I have either had in IPSY or in Boxy. If nothing else, I am hoping that skipping a few months will allow the selections to become more varied. There was essentially one item in each category that I wanted to try. there was one foul up this month, which I will cover first and then get into the rest.

You may notice that there is pictured the Soleil Mini Heat brush in the picture. Yeah, this was not my choice. I chose the LUCE facial Cleansing tool. I contacted IPSY and they are sending out the correct item to me so hopefully it won’t be a problem. It was just a minor moment of disappointment. I actually have this tool. I’ve tried it twice and really need to sit down and figure out if I am using it wrongly, if it is designed for different hair than mine or if it is just a useless bit of kit. I have long hair that is kind of thick. I suspect that it may work better on finer/thinner hair of a shorter length. It is a tool I will be testing more of and This particular one will be staying in the package and be passed on. If you have actually used this tool and have any thoughts, feel free to send them to me. It is one of those tools that make me feel very inept.

But moving on, my second selection was a trio of MOTD eyeshadow brushes. I like their brushes in general.. They are soft and tend to last a while. In all honesty though, I really do like the handles and that was why I chose them. Well that and it was the non repeat item in the category. I think they are very pretty and I am hoping that having a new trio of brushes will encourage me to go through my brushes and purge some of the ones that have really seen the end of their days. I have been putting it off for a while and I do have some that really need to go.

And finally there is a makeup item this month. It is a Bronzer from Kim Chi Beauty. I love the powder we had from the brand and I am looking forward to trying out the bronzer. It comes in a plastic heart with a mirror inside. I like that the compact opens and closes easily. I ran my finger across the powder and it is buttery soft and it looks like it will be a good shade match for me so I am looking forward to giving it a try.

To be honest, this was a pretty good month for my where IPSY was concerned. Yes there was the mix up, but it will hopefully be remedied. The Murad doesn’t match my profile but it is a good product that I can easily pass on to someone else. Everything else I am pleased to have a chance to try. My main problem at this point are the repeats and lack of choice. Last month nearly everything was a repeat from Boxy Charm. As IPSY tends to introduce new products with the Glam Bag X I am hoping my decision to skip out on the months between will help remedy some of that overlap. At least that is the hope.

I know that next month’s Glam Bag X Creator is Alicia Keys so I am looking forward to seeing what arrives with that bag. I’m guessing there will be at least one item from the Keys Soulcare line. As I have tried a few items and really like them. I am quite pleased with the choice and hope to try something new. After all trying new things is my favorite part of subscription boxes.

Unboxing the IPSY Glam Bag X for May 2022

It is May and May is an IPSY Glam Bag X month.  The Glam Bag X is a Quarterly upgrade.  For the Glam Bag X months the cost is $55 .  In these bags there are eight products, three of which you get to choose from a set list.  This month was interesting for me.  In their choice items they generally feature a makeup bag.  As I remember when the makeup bag came as a standard part of IPSY instead of a choice item I generally don’t choose it. This month I actually chose the bag as one of my items. It is listed as retailing for $18.

There are two reasons that I chose this bag from the items offered.  The first is that there were no other items in this selection category that I actually wanted.  I can’t remember what those options were, and I actually need to start writing them down each month as part of my evaluation of the subscription process, but I do know that none of the other items appealed to me. 

inside the bottom of the bag

The bag, while I am not really a florals sort of person, did sort of appeal to me.  I think it is more the shape rather than the print.  I like the under bag storage area for makeup brushes and I really like the clam shell shape with the flat bottom.  It means I can stash a small palette flat if I wanted to which is sometimes nice. The bag itself is nice and something I will get use out of.  I still wish it had been more of a choice rather than the only option I was interested in for that category.

Since I started with the choice Items, I’ll go ahead and continue with them.  My next choice item was the Sunday Riley Pink Drink Firming Resurfacing Essence (retail $48).  To be honest I have no idea what else was in this category because I was going to choose this regardless. 

I really enjoy having an essence in my skin care routine and in general I like Sunday Riley Products.  The ones that aren’t targeted for my skin type clearly don’t work for me but the items that are targeted for my skin type I really love. From everything I have read about this, it seems like I am the target so I have high hopes for this product and can’t wait to try it out.

The third item I chose was the Let Me Glow Illuminating Serum from Keys Soulcare (retail $26 ).  I have the mask from the Keys Soulcare line that is going to be put through its paces starting next week.  It was going to have its first use post this Friday with Face Mask Friday but I am having to postpone until next week). And I am interested in seeing how the brand performs.  I know it had a lot of hype when it came out and the glass containers are lovely and feel very luxe.  My skin loves niacinamides.  I can’t wait to see how it performs.

And now we get to the items that IPSY chose for me.  The first up is the Dew of the Gods Claydate Healing Face Mask (retail $42).  You know I love a good clay mask.  It is also spot on for my profile.  So IPSY knows that I love a good clay mask.  I can’t remember if I’ve tried any products from Dew of the Gods.  I think they had something in Boxycharm a while back.  I don’t think it ended up in my box thought.  I do know it is listed as a clean brand so that makes me very happy to give it a try.  I have noticed though that most of my masks are now in the hydrating category. 

I think I used up most of the masks that fell into the detoxifying category.  They tend to be the ones I reach for first.  Soon I am going to need to do a mask inventory and see what I have.  I might need to do a sample sized round up to clear out some of the smaller tubes and then find out what I am missing.  But that is for later.  For now I am pleased with this mask in my Glam Bag X. I like it when IPSY remembers my profile.

The next item made me smile slightly because it makes me feel like the universe is listening to me when I’m not paying attention.  This product is the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Wild Oat Hydrating Toner (retail $24).  Recently I said that I was pleased to get a toner in a subscription box because it isn’t a category that is often stocked and that I end up picking up on my own.  Now it seems that it is stocked.  For the first time in a long time I have more than one toner.  I’m used to having extras of other categories (I have eye creams galore at this point) but almost never extra toners.  Now I do.  I like First Aid Beauty and look forward to trying out the Oat based toner. As most of my toners tend to be witch hazel based it should be interesting.

And now we move into makeup items.  The first of these is the Sunset to Sunrise Eyeshadow Palette from Iconic London (retail $62).  I really like the colors in this palette.  They are very spring moving into summer wear and look light and fresh.  I have tried a lot of Iconic products but never their eyeshadows.  I am very much looking forward to trying this out.  There are 20 pans and it looks like it will be fun to play around with.

One of the things I love about subscriptions is that I get to try out brands I have never heard of and products that I might not buy on my own.  This month there is a product called Lip Treat by TYS Beauty (retail $30).  From the description it sounds like it is a nourishing lip plumper.  It has peppermint and ginger extract in it as well as vitamins B and  E. 

Which I can’t lie makes it sound like it is committing a crime.  But also like it will be hydrating to the lips. So maybe it breaks into your lips and hydrated, like a burglar who does your laundry and refills your ice trays. I do like lip plumpers even if I am not always a fan of lip glosses so it will be interesting to see where this falls during use. I’ll keep my fingers crossed. But it is a brand I have never heard of and I look forward to trying them out as well.

Finally we have a brand that I know well and a product I have used several times in the past.  It is the Wander Beauty Glow Ahead Illuminating Face Oil (retail $42). I have used many tubes of this and am always happy to have another one.  And this is actually it’s time to shine.  In the summer time I tend to go more with tinted moisturizers than actual foundations and I also layer fewer products on top.  Putting a drop or two of this on my skin , letting it absorb for a minute and then moving on to the tinted moisturizer, gives a great subtle glow to the skin and a little extra moisture for the days when you are going to be spending time in the sun. It is a great product and I am thrilled to see it.

As far as Glam Bags go, this was a pretty good one for me.  The selection categories weren’t that great but I did end up with things I like.  I’m always going to be a little salty that the bag counts as an item.  But it is a nice bag and it is one that I will happily use. It irks me more that there was nothing else in that category that I was interested in than it does counting the bag as an item though.  Even with the slimmed down choices, I really did end up with some great products. As I will use them all, I consider the value worth it, but for those looking for monetary value, let me do some quick math. 

The bag was $55 and the value of the products inside comes to $292.  For me, that was a decent value for the money.  It is even better since I will use all of the products inside.  This month there were some old favorites and familiar names.  There were also some new to me products I am looking forward to trying out.  It did lean more heavily towards the skincare, but I really don’t mind that. There was enough makeup to keep me from feeling overwhelmed so yeah, I am over all happy with this month’s Glam Bag X from IPSY.

Keys Soulcare

The IPSY Glam Bag X November 2021 Unboxing

Good morning and look what arrived on my doorstep! It was kind of a surprise actually as I never received a tracking e-mail of any sort. Plus the Postman seemed to have approached the door on little cat’s feet, sneaking up to the door, dropping off the package and racing away before anyone knew he was there. I almost tripped over the box when I opened the door. I think we have a ‘holiday mailman’ right now as our usual one always knocks when leaving a package, even if he doesn’t wait for an answer.

No knock this time.

This month was the IPSY Glam Bag X. The X for this month was Huda Katan. It was an interesting mix of products. The X months are quarterly and instead of the normal $30 price it is $60. This is the first year that they have done the X and this is the fourth quarter of the year so I’ve had one full year of the subscription to decide if I want to keep it. The First one was excellent, the second one was barely so so and the third one was really good. Before I make my decision on the subscription (which I will make in December) let’s see what November holds. Honestly its hard to tell.

The first item out of the box this month it the PMD BEAUTY Clean Smart Facial Cleansing Device in Warmth (retail $99, although the site has a 40% off with code FRIENDS40 – I saw the code when I picked up the link and have no association with PMD). I actually have one of these and I really like it. Mine is getting a bit worn out so I was contemplating getting another vibrating facial tool. I like the silicone covered ones and actually I was looking at the Foreo. Partially because they are having a large sale right now and partially because I kind of like them better. I’ve been eyeing several of their tools for a while now and will probably still go for the UFO masking tool. Especially now that I have the new PMD cleansing tool. I can pick up the UFO tool and not worry that I need to replace the cleansing tool. So for me it was actually quite timely.

The second item is the HUDA BEAUTY Glow Coco Hydrating Mist ($35). I’ll admit, the first thing I thought was that it was going to smell like coconut. But I don’t think coco is short for coconut. I don’t think it is short for cocoa either. It has a somewhat perfume-y scent. The spray is a very fine mist which I like and I really don’t mind the scent too much. However it is one of those sprays that when I use it on my face I have to curl my lips in first because it actually tastes like perfume. It will be interesting to see how it performs. Not my favorite, but I do like the spray. Perhaps it will wow me.

The CÉLA Masque De Glacier Clay Mask (retail $40) was the third item chosen for me. I am perfectly fine with this as I love masks and I really like the brand Cela. I’ve had several hand creams and body lotions from them before and they always feel fantastic on the skin. I haven’t tried any face products but I do love clay masks. So I’m pretty happy with this.

The fourth item that Ipsy chose for me was the RARE BEAUTY With Gratitude, Dewy Lip Balm in Honor (retail $16). It is a clear lip balm. There is no scent to it and it has a nice case. Would I have chosen it? No. But I haven’t tried anything from Rare Beauty before so it is nice to try something from a brand not usually featured. I am pretty well stocked on clear lip balms at the moment so it isn’t all that exciting, but I will at least get to try the formula.

The next three Items I did get to choose from a selection of items. The selection was okay. Not fabulous, but not absolutely awful either. There have been some months this year where it was clear there were some shipping issues. This was not one of those months. They had a decent selection for each category. So what did I choose from the list?

I chose the WISHFUL Thirst Trap Juice HA3 Peptide Serum (retail $47). I have been wanting to try this serum for a while now so I was thrilled it was actually part of the selections. I’m actually thinking of rolling it into my routine right away as I really miss having a hyaluronic acid serum in the line up. Lately I have been using a lot of brightening products. I like the vitamin c products, but I really miss my hyaluronic acid.

The ACEOLOGY Firming Treatment Mask (retail $69) was the next item I chose. I just finished a different mask from this line and I have a sample of at least two others. While I am generally not a huge fan of peel off masks, the Aceology ones have started to win me over. I’ve enjoyed the ones I’ve tried and am happy to have a full size of another. And I am kind og glad it is the firming one. The other two I tried were the Lifting and the Brightening ones. They both worked really well so that gives me high hopes for the Firming mask. I may have to use it this week to see how well it performs.

OFRA COSMETICS Sitting Pretty Midi Palette (retail $35) was one of my options so I chose it. I like Ofra products in general, but the large highlighters and blushes take up a log of space when traveling and to be honest, I am never going to make it through one of those large highlighters. The small golden one in this palette is the perfect shade for me and I know I will wear it. I also like the travel size of the palette. And I have a larger palette from Ofra where the pans are all the same size so it will be easy to mix and match since the products all pop out of the palette. Having a reusable travel palette that fits the smaller Ofra Pans I have is always a good thing. Plus they are good products in general. And it is really nice to see makeup making a reappearance in the IPSY bags.

And finally, my last selection was the PATRICK TA BEAUTY Major Glow Softening Lip Masque in She’s Juicy (retail $22). I know, I am still working through the Laneige lip mask (and lusting after the holiday Gingerbread scented one), but I plan to keep this one on my desk to use throughout the day. And yes I know I kind of complained about the clear lip balm, but I really like the look of the container and it smells of delicious vanilla. Plus my desk lip balms keep getting knocked over and rolling under stacks of paperwork. Or hiding in desk shadows. Or simply getting knocked off the desk and disappearing into neverland. Personally, I think Tinkerbell may be stealing them. I like the square container that will stay where I put it. It won’t roll anywhere and maybe I’ll catch Tinkerbell or her minions in the act if they attempt to pilfer it.

And it is really pretty. Gold and frosted glass.

So that was my IPSY Glam Bag X for November. All in all it was a pretty good bag. Were there a couple of items I may not be too thrilled by? Yes. However even though I am not thrilled, I will still use them. A clear lip balm, unless it is super slimy, will almost always get used and As long as I tuck my lips in so that I don’t have to taste the perfume, I have no objections to the scent of the Huda Beauty Hydrating Mist. It is a pretty good month over all. Which means that of the four Glam Bag X boxes this year, only one was not great. The others were well worth the extra money. It will make this an interesting though process when I sit down to have my personal discussion with myself about next year’s subscriptions. There are several new ones I want to try, some not even beauty products related. I think that as my stockpile of subscription box skincare has grown, my desire to branch out has as well. So it will be an interesting sit down this year to see who stays and who goes. But for now, I am very happy with this month’s IPSY. It met my profile, had a decent selection in the choice categories and gave me products that I am happy to try out and I feel are well worth the value of the box. November was a good month for IPSY.

In case you were wondering about what I was talking about with the UFO Masking tool, I’ve posted links below. It just looks like so much fun to play around with. But hey, when do I not like masking…well anything. Also Foreo just launched an Imagination DIY Face Mask. I’m not sure how that works, but it is something i will definitely be looking into.

UFO 2 and UFO 2 mini by FOREO

IPSY Glam Bag Plus September 2021 Unboxing

That’s right my darlings. We have reached the section of the month where unboxings sort of take over as subscription boxes start to arrive. This month has been strange as subscriptions that have been running late arrive early and the ones that usually arrive early are running late.

Apparently several of my packages have decided that they really like Smyrna, TN and have no desire to leave. I have no idea why. But it is one of the mysteries of the postal service.

The bag

One of the subscriptions that has been running late in the past few months is IPSY. Which is why I was surprised when my Glam Bag plus arrived mid month instead of towards the end. But arrived it has. Now normally I don’t say much about the draw string bags that now come with the IPSY Glam Bag plus subscription. It used to be actual makeup bags, now it is just a drawstring bag. I only mention this one because it actually feels a little less cheaply made than many in the past. I will actually be keeping this one and adding it to my travel kit. I like to keep underwear in small bags when I travel. I also was take too bags, one for clean and one for worn. And If I am traveling for a longer stretch I put a plastic ziptop bag inside the bag for the worn underwear just to keep everything super fresh until I can get to a laundry.

But that is besides the point.

What is to the point is that this is a $25 per month subscription. Or at least was. In October the price goes up to $27 per month. I have to say that given that IPSY hasn’t been spectacularly fabulous in the past few months, I’m not really sure how I feel about the price increase. I’ve had an IPSY subscription for a really long time, in one form or another and when I work out my end of year subscription evaluations and decide what subscription is going through with me to the next month, I never really considered dropping IPSY completely. This year that may change.

But on to the September products. In the Glam Bag Plus you receive five full sized products. Two they choose for you and three you pick from a selection. Let’s start with the two products they chose.

The first is the Murad Clarifying Oil Free Water Gel. In general I like Murad products. Currently in my skincare line up I have a Murad Toner that I am absolutely loving. The thing is, this moisturizer is designed for acne prone skin. While I am currently using an acne clearing product in my line up, I typically only need them once a month for hormonal break outs or if my skin has a reaction and breaks out. At the moment I am settling both at the same time, but that is a different story.

Because of this I tend only use acne fighting products once a month and rely on pore clearing masks to help with any clogged pores in the interim. The Clarifying cleanser from Murad is one that I will reach for periodically and it works really well, but I can only use it two days in a row before my skin dries out too much for me to use it. It is from the same line as this cleanser so I suspect it will be the same. I will hold the moisturizer until the current acne fighting one I am using (Neuralyze renewal complex, if you are curious) is finished, but that will take a while. It is a great brand, it is a pricy brand, and if you have acne prone skin it is a fantastic line of products. I’m not entirely certain it is going to be for me.

I know that is a lot to say about the first product, but for the moment it is important. One of the things that I always liked about IPSY is they pay attention to the beauty profile and your choices. I went back and looked and deliberately chose rarely for acne fighting products. Now one can say it is a fluke and perhaps I will end up enjoying it. However the second product they chose for me was also an acne fighting one.

The second item in my bag this month is the Neogen Dermalogy Intensive Blemish Care Foam Cleanser. Again, I like Neogen. I’ve tried a moisturizer from them that I really love. And to be fair I did put that I love cleansers because it is my most used category of skincare products (I also put that I love moisturizers for the record which I suspect is why they sent these). It’s the intense blemish control that I have issues with. So I will plan to try both of these when it seems appropriate, but suspect that before that comes around I will be passing them along to a younger relative who has this as more of a concern.

So now on to the three items I chose. I’ll be honest, while I do like the items I chose, the selection this month was awful. I literally chose the one product in each category that I thought would be okay.

The first is a Radiance Enzyme Scrub from the brand Juara. It is supposed to minimize pores, brighten, exfoliate and smooth. And I think by now we all know I love my exfoliators both chemical and physical. I try to limit them so I don’t scrub myself into a bad skin place, but I do enjoy them. Plus I don’t know all that much about this brand. I used a hand cream from them and while it worked nice I remember the scent being strong enough to make my eyes water. so it will be nice to try out something else.

The next item was a lip balm from the brand Mischo Beauty. I vaguely recall trying something from them a while back, but I can’t actually remember what it was or how I felt about it. I think it might have been a nail polish. This tinted lip balm looks good, has no scent to it and is in a shade that I very often use. So it could be a very good thing.

Lipstick swatch above, blush swatches below

The final item in the bag this month was a set of liquid blushes from the YC Collection. I was very relieved to open them and find they had do foot applicators. When I looked at them on line they just have liquid dots of product next to the contain so I was worried it would be just a liquid pour. I’ll be honest though, the swatches doo not enthuse me. They both look a little orange in tone. I love blush in… well pretty much any formula though, so I’ll try them out, but I’m not so certain these colors will work for me. Perhaps once blended they will surprise me.

I did choose two add ons this month as well and to be honest, those are the two products I am the most excited about receiving. Well, I say two products, but I mostly just ordered two of the same thing. It’s the Tatcha Rice Cleanser. So at least I know I’ll have one cleanser I can use in this lot. It just more than likely won’t be the one IPSY Chose for me.

I know not every month is going to be fantastic with every subscription box. However it has been a rough year for IPSY. I hate sounding down on subscriptions, especially one that I have really loved for so long, but there may be some serious end of year reevaluation where my subscription is concerned if this sort of trend continues. There are after all many other subscriptions out there. Perhaps, it is time for a change.


August 2021 IPSY Glam Bag X

It is time now for the Quarterly IPSY Glam Bag X box.  Each quarter IPSY has the possibility of upgrading your Glam Bag Plus to an IPSY X.  There is a price increase though.  On the Glam Bag X months you don’t get your regular Glam Bag Plus.  The total cost is $55 ($60.36 with all applicable taxes for me). This is the first year of the Glam Bag X and the third box they have done.  The boxes come out quarterly releasing in February, May, August and November.  I’m pretty sure the months were chosen so that they didn’t conflict with the Boxyluxe Months. Each quarter IPSY partners with someone for the box.  The first box was with Patrick Ta, the second with Khloe Kardashian and this third box is with Halsey.

With the increased price, there are increased expectations, at least on my part.  The first box (IPSY X Patrick Ta) was fantastic. The second box (IPSY X Khloe Kardashian) was a major let down. Let’s see what the third box with Halsey is like, shall we?

The first item in my IPSY X this month was the Herbivore Botanicals Emerald Deep Moisture Glow Oil (retail $48).  Herbivore is one of those brands that I have heard a lot of people rave about, but I honestly don’t know all that well.  There was an Herbivore Mask in a previous Glam Bag X.  I used it a couple of times but haven’t really used it enough to get a real feel for it.  I am happy to try something else out from the brand though.

The second item in this month’s box was an About Face Light Lock Highlighter.  (retail $32)  I was sort of expecting something from About Face as that is Halsey’s  brand and it would be quite strange if something form her product line wasn’t in the box. 

The packaging is beautiful.  I really like the cap that goes over the dropper.  It just sort of makes it feel a little more lux.  It also makes the liquid highlighter bottle rather large.  The highlighter itself is a lovely golden color, which tends to suit my skin tone better than many silver toned ones.  I am actually really looking forward to trying it out. 

The third item was the one I was most anticipating.  It is the Tatcha Silk Canvas Filter Finish Primer (retail $52). You know I love a good primer.  I have actually used this one before and really enjoyed it.  The last time I had this primer I used every speck of product before finally letting it go.  It is great under foundation, but I really liked it when I didn’t feel like wearing much makeup so I would just apply it and dust powder over and call it good. I am thrilled to have another one of these primers in my collection.   

The Nue co is a brand I have used before and rather like. This box had the Barrier Culture Cleanser.  (retail $42). I have never tried the Nue Co’s cleanser and am looking forward to giving it a go. I am always up for a good cleanser and it is one of those skincare categories that always gets used.  I may skip a serum now and again, but I always use the cleanser.

One of my choice items in this month’s box was the Laniege Lip Sleeping mask in Berry (retail $22). I have used the Laneige lip masks before and really like them.  In fact the one I used last was Berry.  It would have been nice to try the Apple Lime scent as I haven’t given that a go, but even though it was an option in the grand scheme of things, only the berry was in my choice section. 

But even without the scent choice, I am happy.  This is a mask you need so little of to coat your lips, so the product lasts a really long time.  And it comes with the cutest little silicone spoon to apply it.  With this mask I like the spoon not only because it keeps the mask from contamination by fingers, but it also lets you take out a smaller amount.  When I try to apply this mask with my fingers I always end up with too much and end up wasting it.  The little spoon is the perfect size for applying it cleanly and easily. 

This month I received a Fenty Beauty Mascara.  It is the Full Frontal Mascara.  (retail $ 24).  Those of you who read my daily posts know that I just finished up a tube of this mascara and sent it to the empties bin.  It is an okay mascara.  It isn’t fabulous.  It is a mascara I will use if it is here, but I won’t go looking for it when it runs out.  I will add it to my unopened drawer and eventually put it into circulation.  I am okay with having the mascara in the box.  It isn’t my favorite item, but it is a decent product.

Surprisingly, the last two items in my box this month, both choice items for me, weren’t even listed in the newspaper/pamphlet they sent with the box.  The first of these was the Elemis Skin Buff (retail $41).  I love Elemis and I am a big fan of exfoliators, so you know when I saw it on the list of options, I swooped in. 

I’ve used this product before and really liked it.  It is gentle enough to use once a week, at least for me.  I wouldn’t use it every day, but for a once a week exfoliation it is fantastic.  I will admit that the box looked like it had been through the wars by the time I excavated it from my Glam Bag X.  The box was crunched and beaten.  The product inside was fine so there aren’t any problems, but the box did look rough.

Finally there was the Saints and Sinners Hair Velvet Leave in conditioner.  (retail $20). I’ve tried one product from Saints and Sinners and I remember liking it but I can’t remember what the product was.  I think it might have been a heat protector, but I’m not entirely certain.  I am looking forward to trying out the leave in conditioner.  I really like leave in conditioners actually.

I thought it was a little strange that two of my items didn’t make it into the product information sheet.  However I really liked this box.  It is one of the better boxes we have received in a while.  It had a good mix of skincare, haircare and makeup.  In the selection categories, there were multiple products in each category that looked like items I would want to select.  In the past the options weren’t all that great.  This month was different.  There were options and I had to actually think about what I wanted to choose.  In addition the items chosen for me were based on my profile. 

The value ended up being $281 so it was well worth the cost of the box.  However more importantly to me the box contained products that I like and want to use.  There is nothing in this box that I won’t try actually.  There are a couple of things I am thrilled to receive.  In addition the box felt special. It felt luxe to receive.  As this is the first year of the category, I know there are going to be some bumps along the way.  I planned to give the box a full year to see how I felt about it and to decide if I wanted to continue on with it.  After May I was mostly certain that I was going to let this box go at the end of the year.  Now I am not so certain.  It was a fantastic box and I am very happy to have received it. IPSY has had a bit of a bumpy year this year, but the Glam Bag X from Halsey for the month of August, gets two thumbs up. Hopefully this is the start of an upward trend.

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Unboxing the April 2021 Ipsy Glam Bag Plus

IPSY, oh IPSY.  This was not your month. With the IPSY Glam Bag Plus the cost is $25 and you get five full sized items.  Two are picked for you and three you get to choose.  The subscription tier comes with a drawstring bag instead of a makeup bag.  In my opinion it is not really worth mentioning. So that is all I will say about it.

So we are going to jump into the products.  We’ll start with the items IPSY chose for me.  The first item was a set of Beau Gachis eyeshadow Brushes.  Now this is nothing against the brand.  I actually have several of their brushes already in my collection.  They are nice brushes.  Quite sturdy and durable. Work well with pigments. 

However, last month IPSY chose a set of eyeshadow brushes for my box. And in one of the tiers where I could choose an item the only item I hadn’t received in that column was a set of eyeshadow brushes.  So last month I received two sets of eyeshadow brushes and this month I get another set.  One set has already made it to my mom who wanted new eyeshadow brushes so I’m good, but still. I like brushes and in fact could use a few new face brushes.  I’m pretty set on shadow brushes at the moment.

When I first saw the line up on April 2nd I sent them a message and the reply essentially told me that I needed to check my beauty profile. The message made it sound more or less like them choosing eyeshadow brushes for me two months in a row was somehow my fault.

Which I didn’t appreciate.

It made me feel quite a bit salty in fact.

The brushes are fine though.  I will either eventually use them or the set will end up in a Christmas stocking. It isn’t like brushes expire, so I’m essentially fine with that.  I was just annoyed by the e-mail exchange.

On a happier note, the second item they chose for me was the Pixi by Petra Flawless Beauty Primer.  You know I love Primers and I have tried several items from Pixi that I like.  However I tend to stick to their skincare. 

I really like their Clarity Toner. I’ve gone through two bottles and it is on my list to repurchase once I work through the few toners I have in my collection. I had to deliberately not repurchase it while I work through some other products. I also have an eyeshadow duo from them that I like (but tend to forget about and need to use more). I am pleased to try some more makeup products from the brand.

Now we get into the three items I chose. The selection wasn’t as poor as it was last month.  I didn’t have any problems choosing.  There was no agonizing over options.  Each tier had one product that I was like, ‘Yeah, that’ll do.’ I chose nice products that I will use and am looking forward to trying out, but usually there is a bit of a choice debate and often I will go into the add ons and purchase one of the items I didn’t choose when I had to make my decision.  That wasn’t an issue this month.  I didn’t buy any add ons and my selection was easy.

I chose the Nue Co’s The Pill All in 1 Serum.  It is a serum that runs heavily to hyaluronic acid which my skin loves.  At the moment I am using the Vitamin C Powder from The Nue Co and I Am really liking it, so I have high hopes for this this serum and look forward to testing it out.

I did also get a second serum.  It is the Vitabrid C12 Vitamin C Dual Drop Serum.  I have a cleanser from Vitabrid in my to try drawer and I thought a serum to go with it would at least give me two things from the brand to try.  I’m going to pair them up and eventually roll them into the line up.  I’ve never tried the brand before and really only seen it here so I am curious to see how it performs.

And now we reach the final item.  I chose the Honest Co’s Cream Foundation. I figured I had plenty of skin care so it would be nice to try out.  I love testing out foundations and I do like cream foundations.

Oh what’s that you say, you didn’t see it in the unboxing of products shown above?  That’s because when I opened my box they did not send the Honest Co Foundation, they sent the Item Beauty Bronzer in Cheek Money.

If some of you think this sounds familiar, you apparently have a better memory than IPSY. I received this exact bronzer several months back.  To do a quick recap, the packaging is lovely.  The product is horrible and the lovely compact now resides in my purse so I can use the pretty mirror without worrying about what happens to the poorly performing product.

And I sent a message to customer service.  I am waiting for a reply.  You know it is bad when you contact customer service twice in one month.

Normally I like IPSY.  They are one of my tried and true subscription boxes.  I almost never have any trouble with them. I have had the subscription in one form or another for over four years and not counting this month I’ve had to contact their customer service team three times. 

Once for a broken eyeshadow, once for a broken lipstick and once because my box held four repeat items out of the five in the box. 

All three were positive experiences.  The broken items were replaced asap and upon realizing that most of my box was repeat they apologized and I think gave me points.  I appreciated the apology more than the points to be honest, although points are always nice. I’m hoping my beginning of April e-mail from them was just a one off with someone having a bad day.  As I really do enjoy IPSY I’m willing to shake off one bad month.  The products (baring the Item Beauty Repeat) are all ones I am looking forward to trying out, so it isn’t a bad month, it was just customer service that got under my skin. Despite all of my grousing, it was a decent, if not spectacular month.

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Ipsy Glam Bag X February 2021 Unboxing

The First Glam Bag X: February 2021

The Postal gods have been appeased. My sacrificial offering of three forever stamps and a postcard depicting Thor did the trick and my IPSY Glam Bag X bag finally arrived.  This is the first bag for the new quarterly tier of IPSY.  It is $55 per quarter.  The months you receive the $55 bag are February, May, August and November. I am pretty sure they chose those months specifically not to interfere with Boxycharm’s Luxe Months (those are March, June, September and December). In between the Quarterly months, you would be signed up to receive your regular $25 Glam Bag plus.  At the moment, you can’t sign up for Glam Bag x without being an IPSY Glam Bag Plus Member.

For this bag, you are allowed to choose three items of your eight full sized items.  The first item I chose was the actual bag.  In that category, there wasn’t much else I wanted and I thought the bag looked cute. 

I like the shape, I like the red and the gold lips.  I like the bump out at the bottom and the way it expands.  I do not care for the letter decal on the back. I didn’t notice that when I chose it. 

On the small Ipsy Glam Bags it looks cute.  On this it just limits its usefulness.  However, with a few cotton swabs and some nail polish remover, the gold lettering on the back does come off.

The bag is better without it and more versatile. At least I will use it more that way.   It is somewhat cheap feeling though so I don’t know if I would choose the bag again moving forward. Its retail price is listed at $18 although I think that is a bit high for the bag. It feels more like $8.

The second Item I chose was the Saints and Sinners Illuminati Divine Shine Holographic Serum.  (retail $27.50). I’ve never heard of the brand before.

I chose it partially because I was intrigued by it and partially because it was the best item in my selection. I am always happy to try new things for my hair.  I’ve certainly never tried a holographic serum so it will be fun to give it a try. I also find the shape of the bottle oddly pleasing. I’m not entirely certain why, but I enjoy the shape.

The third item I chose I am actually really excited by.  It is the Private Doctor Define Minus Serum.  (retail $49).  It is a relatively new launch I believe, but I’ve heard good things about it and am very much looking forward to trying it out.  At the moment I am testing out the Unicorn Essence Serum from Farsali, but this is definitely going in my line up of products to try. 

While I was very happy to have the chance to pick this, the selection of items offered to choose from this time around wasn’t the greatest.  Flipping through the newspaper like booklet that came with the Bag I saw several items that weren’t in my selection at all. I’m going to check my profile and see if anything in there limited some of those items from appearing. I’m sure it was a cost issue as well on the part of IPSY so that all the bags have approximately the same value, but I think I will be fiddling with my profile to see if that helps with my selection process. Over all I am happy with the items I selected, but I wasn’t thrilled with the selection choices. If the selection had been better in the category where the bag was, I would certainly have chosen another option.

And now for the items chosen for me.  The first was a Patrick TA Blush (retail $32).  I think you could either get the blush or an eyebrow waxing kit.  I am very happy with the blush, especially as I don’t use wax on my eyebrows. I always think that heavier eye brow products tend to make eyebrows look more like stickers plastered on the face and I find the look somehow rather repellant. Admittedly as it has been about a year since I have had my eyebrows threaded and I am just awful with the tweezers, my brows aren’t exactly looking spectacular right now either. But that is another story. I didn’t get the eyebrow kit, I received the blush.

I am always happy to have a new blush to try and I have never tried the Patrick Ta formula. In addition the packaging is gorgeous.  I can see the metal finish collecting fingerprints, but it is really pretty and it is a huge blush so it will last for quite a while. 

The next item was the Pat McGrath Labs Fetisheyes Mascara (retail $30). I won’t open it until I am ready to try it, but I have had this mascara on my list to try out for quite some time. So I am thrilled to have it in the bag to try out. 

I was also very excited to see the Huda Beauty Rose Gold Palette Remastered.  I’ve tried the smaller Huda Beauty Obsessions Palettes and I really loved the formula.  I had my eye on the Huda Beauty Rose Gold Palette for a while but as eyeshadow palettes have been accumulating through various subscription boxes, I didn’t actually get around to ordering it.  I am so looking forward to playing around with it. So many of the colors speak to me. And yes I did swatch the copper shade as soon as I had it out of the package. I just couldn’t help myself. The shimmer was so soft and buttery as well as highly pigmented. I am going to have some fun playing around with this one.

Next up was the About Face Paint-it Matte Liquid Lipstick (retail $22).  There were several shades available and I received the shade Take Aim.  It swatches pretty well and like the blush and eyeshadow palette it will be going into my next week’s makeup bag to play around with. 

I may even crack and add the Pat McGrath mascara into the bag as well instead of waiting for it. I know I planned to have the number of mascaras I keep open lowered but I so want to try this formula.  I will try to resist, but I don’t know how good the resistance will be.

And finally the last item in the bag is the Complex Culture Sonic T-Bar Facial massager. (retail $58).  I am used to my Foreo and really like the vibrations on my skin when I am working product in.  I’m not sure about the T bar though.  That will be interesting to play around with as well.

Over all I am very happy with the products, both the ones I chose and the ones that were chosen for me.  I was a little disappointed in the variety of the selection and if I had to choose again I wouldn’t have chosen the bag.  I would have chosen one of the other products even if I wasn’t as enthused by them. If nothing else they could be passed on.

Otherwise, I am very excited by all of the items in my box.  I like the newspaper like brochure as it actually conveys more than just basic price.  It describes how to use the items and tells you a little more about them, which I find very appealing.

I am also very excited about one of the items that was in my box, but not a part of the actual Glam Bag X.  If you switched from Ultimate to Glam Bag X early enough the gift was a 111Skin Y Theorem Day Cream.  I switched early enough to be on that list.  I tried a sample size of this moisturizer last year and in my first impressions and really liked it. 

The cream actually made it on to my list for products I wanted to try in a full size so I am thrilled to now have it in a full size. I will definitely be scheduling a full skin care trial. So that was an extra bonus. 

Over all I was very impressed with this bag and I am very pleased that I am signed up to receive it quarterly.  I know I sound just a little surprised, but after the ups and downs of the Ultimate bag, I wasn’t entirely certain what to expect.  However if they manage to keep this level of products for the Glam Bag X, I think this is going to be a quarterly upgrade that I keep.  This was a very good month.


IPSY Gam Bag Unboxing January 2021

This month I decided to subscribe to the IPSY Glam Bag.  I had this subscription for a while, and then I had the Glam Bag Plus.  Then when I switched to the Glam Bag Ultimate I dropped the regular IPSY Glam bag as the Ultimate had both full and trial sizes.  With the demise of Ultimate I returned to having the Glam Bag Plus (although I did also sign up for the quarterly Glam X).  When I returned to Glam Bag Plus I found that there was no makeup bag, but just a drawstring bag, which I find disappointing.  In addition, I will confess that the makeup bag for the January and February Glam Bags looked really cute.  I also kind of like having sample sizes on hand to try out before I commit to full sized products.

I know, I just like trying things out before I purchase the full size. Plus, they are great for travel. And I have hopes that someday I will travel again! So the bag is hopeful.

And I really was very disappointed by the drawstring bag.

So I signed up for the regular Ipsy Glam Bag.  It is $12 per month. They do have deals if you sign up for an entire year.  I am not certain how long I will be keeping the subscription and I didn’t like that you had to pay for the entire year in advance, so I am on a month to month plan.  So what was in my January Glam Bag?

Well, first there is the makeup bag itself.  While it has the same Dream it theme as the drawstring bag of the Glam Bag Plus, the bag is made of a rubberized plastic material.  It is nice to the touch and feels quite sturdy.  It is the same rubberized plastic both inside and out so that if anything spills cleanup is easy. 

It has a clear plastic zip tag and quite frankly I really like it.  While I do use these bags as makeup bags when I travel (I like to separate my foundation out from the rest of my products if nothing else and these are fantastic for that) I also like to use them in my purse.  I find it easier to compartmentalize items in my purse, so I use several of those small makeup bags to keep things neat and orderly. I have one that is just pens and a small notepad. If nothing else it lets me find a pen without upending the entire bag which is just super fabulous.  It really makes finding things in general a lot easier, but having the fabulous ability to grab a pen instantly when one is needed can not be overstated. 

While I keep the bags I like the most and trade them out when the bags either wear out or no longer suit me, the ones I don’t like I send to my mom.  Her church runs a soup kitchen and they also create small toiletry bags for the homeless and while they get a lot of donated product like toothpaste, brushes, mouthwash soap and shampoo, they often run out of bags and have to resort to zip top plastic bags.   They always put the bags I send to good use.

(And please ignore the state of my nails in those photos. I am testing a nail polish to see how long it lasts without a top coat and then with a top coat. so they are a bit of a mess. I tried keeping them out of the photos as much as possible. Also the links below will take you to the brand pages where possible. Except for the Rose hip oil, I could only find that advertised on Amazon. These are not affiliate links. The IPSY link is my referral code and if you sign up, I believe I get points.)

But while the bag is fantastic this month, it is what is inside that counts.  Although honestly the first product I received was actually outside the bag.  The first item in my January Glam Bag was the Slmissglam P30 Angled Blusher Blush in Lilac.  It is the only full sized item in my bag and it retails for $19.50.  Like all Slmissglam brushes it has a glittery handle.  I’ve used the shadow brushes before but never the larger ones.  I am actually looking forward to trying it out.  At the moment I am doing a brush trial of Laruce brushes (I ended up with two five piece sets of them so I put the two sets together and am testing them as a brand.  I will have a Tool Talk Post about them up soon). Once I finish my trial I will put this in rotation and see how I like it.

So now we sip into the bag.  The first item I pulled out was the Youth to the People Kombucha +11% AHA exfoliation Power toner.  I’ve tried several items from YTTP and I really like the brand a lot.  At the moment I actually have a moisturizer sample that I want to try as well.  I might test them together actually.  I think toners are the unsung category of skin care.  They are often forgotten and overlooked but I have to say I really do like them.  And anyone who has read my posts for any length of time knows I enjoy exfoliation, so I am very happy to see that as well.  I look forward to combining the toner and exfoliation benefits of AHAs and seeing where they take me.

The third item in my bag this month was from a brand I had never heard of before.  It is Clara’s New York Moisturizing Rosehip Oil Serum.  I know roeships are generally high in vitamin C which I like and this serum also has vitamin e which is great for softening scar tissue.  At the moment I am still using my Malin +Goetz Recovery oil (which I love) but I look forward to trying out this oil and seeing if there is another brand I might want to check out.

The one actual makeup item in my bag this month was the Jules Smith Beauty Power gloss in Bling Berry.  I’ve seen Jules Smith Beauty in a number of bags, but it has ever made an appearance in mine.  I swiped the gloss on my hand and it is basically a clear gloss with a rosy hue to it, which I kind of like actually. 

So many glosses lean towards bright pink and I like the deeper tones. This also smells like berries which is nice a well. I look forward to trying it out and seeing how it wears.

Finally we come to the final item and it is the Glow on 5th Hydrate + Renew Replenishing Night Cream. I have never heard of the brand but I am always up for a night cream. And the one I’m using now isn’t exactly my favorite.  It works well enough to finish out but it is so aggressively floral that I do not think repurchasing it is in my future.

Over all I am very pleased with my Glam Bag this month.  I think because it is a $12 bag I am less concerned about the retail value of the products.  At the $12 price point it is just a fun subscription that gives me products to try out and a cute little makeup bag.  According to the pamphlet, which actually lists out the products, my bag was valued at $50+. Technically as the brush is valued at $19.50, it alone more or less pays for the bag.  Quite frankly I don’t think the brush is worth $19.50, just from the way it feels in my hand.   It is pretty, but I would price it much lower, personally.  However I would say that the bag itself I would probably price at around $12. Which means I feel like I broke even before I looked at any of the products.  That’s actually a nice feeling. 

And I have to say I really like the low key kind of subscription.  For a $12 bag, I don’t expect a whole lot and tend to be really pleased with most of the items in the bag in general. The higher priced subscriptions I really want to see value for my money, but the little one is just fun.  This time around it was more skincare heavy than I might perhaps want, but all of the products in the bag are ones I am interested in trying out.  I received some brands I have tried before and liked, some I’ve heard of but never tried and some brands I have never even heard of.  It is a good mix and even though I would like more makeup, I am very pleased with my Glam Bag this month. I am also looking forward to next month’s bag.  The bag is a red envelope style bag.  In the photos it almost looks like it might be a faux leather look (although I am sure it is plastic).  It is red and has a set of gold lips at the clasp. It is quite frankly adorable and perfect for valentine’s day.  

Yesterday was the choice day for the Glam bag and with this tier you are allowed to choose one item.  I chose the Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel Daily Cleansing Powder. I’ve seen it on the Amore Pacific Most loved skin care heroes list but haven’t paid much attention to it. It’s a lot of words in that name and I will be looking up details but in addition to liking cleansers and finding a cleansing peel powder interesting, I absolutely adore Amore Pacific.   Every product I have ever tried of theirs I have really liked and in fact their Oil free Moisture Bound Refreshing Hydra-Gel and Moisture Plumping Nectar Cream are two products I routinely stalk on line hoping to catch a sale  I think the Hydra gel is $100 while the Plumping Nectar cream is $160.  Last time the Plumping Nectar Cream went on sale I pounced and nearly cried when the jar was empty. Since I had other creams I wanted to try I couldn’t justify an immediate repurchase, but it is on my list and I still lurk on the website. 

I could be wrong but I don’t think I’ve seen Amore Pacific in subscription bags before.  I hope this is just the start. I really hope so as those moisturizers worked so well for me I would love to try out more of their products before purchasing them.  I will be looking into the details of the Treatment Enzyme Peel Daily Cleansing Powder and anticipating its arrival. As it is already the end of January, the wait shouldn’t be too long. Fingers crossed.

For those already looking towards Valentine’s day, you might want to check out Under Club. I am a member of their regular underwear subscription service (and highly recommend it as they are quality garments this link will take you to my unboxing review if you are interested) but they also have an online store and have some adorable sets that have just been released. the link below will take you to their site. They are very reasonably priced and have a wide variety of sizes. I really like that they don’t make me feel excluded just because I am of a larger size.

Valentines Day Exclusive

IPSY Ultimate December 2020 Unboxing

It has arrived! Let us all dance and sing.  My final IPSY Ultimate bag has made it to my house and oddly enough it made it safe and sound. Not a single thing was broken.  I’m guessing it just decided it wanted to spend the holidays in Atlanta.  Perhaps it took in the sights.

Regardless of the sightseeing adventures, my final IPSY Ultimate is here. And it isn’t only my final IPSY Ultimate.  IPSY has cancelled the Ultimate Tier.  I have to say it had its ups and downs. It started off poorly, but did get better before shipping issues took over. The last few months I think they have had problems getting product in as well as shipping boxes out. 

Hopefully that will settle down soon.

So let’s take a look at the last IPSY Ultimate bag.

First the bag itself has sort of a faux lamb’s wool exterior.  I kind of like the bag but the interior is that thin parachute type material and while most bags are lines with it because it is easy to clean out if something spills.

For some reason I don’t like it paired with the bags exterior.  I don’t know if it is the rustling sound or what, but somehow the combination  feels somewhat off.  Perhaps filled and in use it will work out.  I’ll have to see.

The first item I pulled out of the ultimate box was one that I chose.  It was the ARTIST COUTURE: Diamond Lights Finisher in Nebula (retail $25).  It is a shimmer shadow that can also be used as a highlighter, body illuminator or lipstick topper. To be honest, I didn’t choose it because I found it exciting, it was just the least blah of the choice items.  It was not a good month for choice. But perhaps once I use it, I will ,love it.  It certainly looks pretty in the little pot.

The CLARITYRX: Glimmer Of Hope™ Shimmering Facial Oil (retail $48) was my second item this month.  It is supposed to deeply nourish skin while also fighting dullness, sun damage, and unwanted texture. It has lots of good things in it.  I don’t know what it smells like yet as I left it sealed for the moment.  I am currently using the Malin + Goetz Recovery oil and want to finish that up before moving on to another product.  And once you open skin care the clock starts ticking on the expiration date. So it remains sealed until I use it.

The COMPLEX CULTURE : Full Time Eye Shadow Palette – The Party Edit (retail $28) was the full sized eyeshadow palette in my box this month. I have to say I am sort of on the fence about it.  I haven’t tried the shadows so I can’t speak to the quality yet but in the pan it doesn’t look like there is a lot of range.  It looks like a lot of brown and silver.  Which is fine, I wear a lot of brown and silver at the moment.  And perhaps it will be a fantastic formula.  Plus the shadows may look different when they apply.  I’ll have to schedule it for a try out soon and see how I feel about it.  The packaging is really nice though.  It is sleek and feels substantial. So fingers crossed the shadows perform well.

My first sample size this month was the CRABTREE & EVELYN :Smooth + Refine Body Lotion. I know it is supposed to be a deluxe sample, but to be honest it seems really small for a body lotion sample.  I think it has enough product for one use so I will take it into the shower with me and after bathing use it up in one go. Perhaps it will be fantastic. We shall see.  I just find really small body lotion samples kind of amusing.

swatch on hand

This month there was a DOSE OF COLORS: Stay Glossy Lip Gloss in the shade Happy Hour (retail $17).  While I love the matte lipstick formula for Dose of Colors (although it is a little drying), I haven’t tried out their gloss formula so I am happy to give it a go.  The shade is not fantastic, but I will at least get to test the formula.  Later I’ll blend it with another color if the formula works out so it won’t go to waste. But that pink with orange tones is not really my shade.

swatched on hand

While it is hard to get excited about a black eyeliner, I have not tried the ESTATE COSMETICS: Precision Liquid Liner (retail $12) before so I will happily give it a try.  I have tried several powder products from Estate before and quite frankly, none of them worked out for me.  Perhaps I will like the liner better.  I swatched it on my hand and it didn’t bleed into the fine lines of my hand so I have hope for it. I just have a lot of black eyeliners and I don’t wear a lot of eyeliner any more.

The FIRST AID BEAUTY: Ultra Repair Oil-Control Moisturizer (retail $32) is I believe supposed to be one of the full sized items in the bag.  It is not the full size from the First Aid Beauty Website.  It is larger than a deluxe sample. I will certainly be able to get a full skin care trial out of it, but it is not the same size as the ones pictured on the website. Either way, I tried a sample of one of the First Aid Beauty moisturizers (although I don’t think it was this one) and I will enjoy trying out a more in depth test of the product.  I am always sort of hit or miss with First Aid Beauty.  Somethings I really, really like, others just aren’t for me.

The FLORENCE BY MILLS :Built to Lash Mascara in Black (retail $14) is supposed to be a lengthening mascara and I do like lengthening mascaras.  I am putting it aside to be opened once I use a couple more of the open products up. It shouldn’t be too long a wait as I have several that are soon to depart my dressing table. It is nice to have a mascara waiting in the wings.  And as I have yet to try anything from Florence By Mills it will be interesting to try the brand out.

One thing I can’t complain about with the KENRA PROFESSIONAL :Platinum Restorative Reconstructor (retail $28) is size.  This is a really large tube of keratin infused hair mask. I have several hair masks I am trying to use up at the moment, but once I clear out a little space, I will be circling in for a long test with this one. Quite frankly I am rather excited about having it arounf to try as I have heard good things about the brand from friends.

I can’t actually say the same for the MURAD: Clarifying Cleanser.  I’ve heard that it can be quite drying.  However I have never tried it before and at the moment I am trying (and really enjoying) a Murad Toner, so perhaps this will work well as a combination. 

Or my skin could be different from the friend who complained of dryness.  We shall see.  Even though Murad has been around a while, it is not a brand I have much experience with.  I think it is because the historian in me sees the name and thinks Ottoman Empire rather than skincare. I’m sure it is just my brain linking them, although I will have to look it up at some point just to prove it to myself. It will be interesting to see how this cleanser performs for me.  And to be honest, subscription boxes don’t send a lot of cleansers or at least they haven’t to me, so I am pleased to have a cleanser appear in my box.

I am also happy to see a Primer, but that is because I love primers. The STUDIOMAKEUP: Silk Hydration Face Primer ($30) was in this month’s Ultimate box and I am looking forward to trying it out.  I did receive an eyeshadow Palette from the brand  but as the colors were all ones I had in my collection and it was a palette that appealed to my mother, I passed it on to her.  She apparently loves the formula. I think it might be her go-to palette at the moment.  Hopefully the primer will perform as well for me.

Another category I am always happy to see represented is powder. While loose powder occasionally appears in subscription boxes, pressed powder is a rarity, at least for me.  I’m not entirely certain why.  For me it is an everyday item and one that I will consistently use up. In my box this month was the Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder from IT cosmetics.  It is a sample size, but it is a large enough size that I should be able to form an opinion about it before it runs out. And having a new powder to test out may keep me from automatically replacing my No. 7 right away, as it has sadly journeyed to my empties bin.

So that was my last IPSY Ultimate.  The Retail Value was $222 for a $50 bag. Which is fine.  The products are ones I’ll use although some of them weren’t the most exciting items I’ve seen.  I am looking forward to the hair mask most of all.  However good or bad, this subscription is ending.  I have shifted over to the Glam Bag Plus (January will be my first month receiving this) and I signed up for the quarterly Glam Bag X.  At the moment it is making the same grand claims that IPSY Ultimate made when it was first released.  I hope they learned from the Ultimate and will be as fantastic as the claims make it sound.  Because last year I kept seeing really nice samples that I wanted to try out appearing in the regular $12 IPSY bag (but somehow never making it to the Ultimate).

I did sign up for the regular Glam Bag.  I don’t know how long I will try it out. I may keep it a few months and then cancel or it could become a staple.  In January I always feel the need to shake up my subscriptions.  By March I should pretty much have my subscription line up for the year squared away. I just always try new things at the first of the year. Many will fade away before spring.  It will be interesting to see what IPSY stays  now that things have shifted.  At the end though I have to say that even though there was a lot of hatred aimed at the Ultimate Glam bag, over all I did rather like it.  Due to circumstances that were beyond their control they sort of ended on a slightly down note, but it was a subscription that overall was quite positive for me. Hopefully it will remain positive moving forward. Fingers crossed.

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