I finally joined the subscription box bandwagon, but only for Ipsy as it seems to genuinely deliver value, and is almost universally ranked better than Birchbox on the comparisons I've seen. This was my first subscription bag, and honestly I'm very pleased. At $10.89 a month after tax, I think it's a fun way to try out new products, and at a very fair price point assuming you actually use everything they include. I've definitely spent more on just a single product, and here you get at least one full-size item, plus several samples and a cute little bag (one can never have enough bags in my opinion).
Since I joined while they were running promos for the free Em by Michelle Phan mascara, I also got a free full-size of the lash gallery mascara. I get that the Em brand hasn't exactly taken root and thus they're probably just giving away the old, unsold products, but I'll take it! Awesome value, and even without the mascara I would have been pleased as I got a full size The Balm eyeliner in a deep purple shade called Scott. That alone would retail for the price of the bag, so throw in the cute glasses bag plus all the other little items and I'm thrilled.
Below is a snap of all the items in my bag. I will update this review with impressions / thoughts once I actually start using all of these items.
Hanalei Sugar Lip Scrub
I was initially least excited about this item, because I'm not a lip scrub user as I generally don't think they do much except irritate the lips. Yet I had to change my mind once I actually tried this. Unlike other sugar scrubs, this one is surprisingly not gritty, and features a delicious lemony scent and sweet taste. You're meant to scrub and wipe off with a tissue rather than rinse off, and I found it to be gentle and very moisturizing. It leaves a hydrating layer afterwards, which goes away after a few moments. And my lips looked very hydrated and plump, which is always a great thing. I like!
The Balm Mr. Write (Now) Eyeliner Pencil in Scott
When I first previewed my Ipsy bag online, it looked like they had selected the yellow /gold shade of this eyeliner for me, which would have been awful as there's no way I could have used that on my Asian complexion. But it seems like Ipsy does take into account your profile details, and luckily I received this very usable, deep purple color, which is quite flattering against dark eyes and which I can't wait to start using.
The product features a pointed tip, and I'm not sure about how it sharpens but assume the cap is self-sharpening. It was incredibly easy to use and glided very smoothly on the skin in my trial-run on my arm, so we'll see how it holds up on the eyes. Generally I'm quite pleased.
(Sorry for the blurry swatch!)
Pixi by Petra eyeshadow dual in Lavendar Bloom
This was another product that I'm surprisingly pleased with. Again, the colors are perfect for my Asian-toned skin and eyes, and will go beautifully with The Balm liner. They swatch beautifully as well, especially the bronzey-champagne shade. The lavendar shade is more matte, while the champagne is a nice shimmery color that I can probably wear everyday.
Burt's Bee's cleansing oil: Interestingly, I was just about to buy this product in CVS, but luckily did not as now I can give it a trial run. I haven't tried many cleansing oils, but as I'm always on the hunt for one that will be effective at removing all of my makeup I'm excited to give this a shot. Will keep you posted!
Skone Eyeshadow smudger brush: To be honest, I don't foresee much use for this. The bristles are really short and were quite hard to work with in my quick trial run. They were also quite hard and uncomfortable. We'll see if it softens up, but for now I'm not impressed.
Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have any thoughts on subscription boxes / Ipsy!