Fun Stuff

Ipsy: January Glam Bag

So here's the deal. I like girly things. I like sparkles, the occasional pair of heels (much to my husband's dismay), and I like playing with makeup (despite my lack of skills in that department). As a result, I tend to wander aimlessly down cosmetic aisles, randomly plucking a lipstick color that I think just might work for my coloring, and then find myself disappointed the second it touches my lips. Tell me that I'm not the only person with a bunch of makeup that isn't a good color. (And that's why I love photographing women's portraiture-it's a day full of makeup, gorgeous hair, and amazing outfits.)

decatur illinois glamour photographerWhen Birchbox came out a few years ago, I started seeing the haul that my Facebook friends were getting, and quickly signed up. The first box was awesome. There were flavored bags of tea, cute little makeup samples, and chocolate. It was a success. Slowly, my boxes seemed to become less and less "me," and the samples became tinier and more like leftovers that needed a home. Or they really thought I had terrible skin because they kept sending face serums, anti-wrinkle cream, cleaners, exfoliants, and other (semi-important but incredibly boring) samples.

Then Ipsy came out and there was a ton of buzz--you had to be on a waiting list to even get a subscription! Obviously, it must be legit.decatur illinois glamour photographer

Since Birchbox had been letting me down, I decided to make the switch. After all, they were both $10 a month and offered the same general idea, so why not? Once I filled out my style profile (which asks for your eye color, skin tone, hair color, makeup style, etc.) and got off the waiting list, we were in business. Right off the bat, Ipsy was so much more impressive than Birchbox. The samples were larger, some even full size, and you could tell that they considered my profile in choosing the samples that were sent.

decatur illinois glamour photographerI've been a subscriber since July of 2014, so I'd say that they're doing something right. In that time, I've found my two favorite mascaras, have gotten gorgeous eyeshadows, several eyeliners (liquid, crayon, and pencil), and a bunch of other fun goodies. Bonus-the sample sizes are so much bigger (some are full-sized products) and more in tune with my style, that I find myself buying fewer cosmetics (other than my foundation and mascara, which I'm committed to) because I've got so many options to choose from! And the bags that they come in each month are perfect for traveling-I use one for makeup, one for hair accessories, one for jewelry, etc.

I've considered cancelling my subscription several times, but there's something about getting that shiny pink package in the mail each month that I just can't seem to hit that cancel button. I'll admit, there are many unused samples in my bathroom closet. Some are there because they just aren't my style and others are sitting in the wings waiting for me to use up another product that I'm using now (like the bronzer that's about to finally see its day in the sun).

My January bag showed up last week, and since I've been thinking about blogging about Ipsy for months, I decided that there was no day like the present.

Take a peek!decatur illinois glamour photographer

1. Trust Fund Beauty Lip Gloss in Method to the Madness

I have been on the hunt for years for a lip color that doesn't make me look like a clown, and while I wish this was a lipstick instead of a gloss, I really love the color. It's a beautiful soft pink that just adds a hint of color without looking too over the top. It's also full-sized which is an added bonus. I approve.

Verdict: I approve.


2. Smashbox Cosmetics Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35

I'll admit that I didn't fully read the label on this one and assumed it was a primer, so I was a bit thrown off when I opened the tube and saw that it was tinted. Smashbox makes great stuff, and this isn't an exception. It provides a light moisturized with a subtle tint, perfect for those days when you don't want to mess with foundation and powder. Teeny tiny sample. 

Verdict: I'll use it, but probably won't buy it.


3. Pacifica BLUSHIOUS in Wildrose

So this one hasn't really been used yet (other than a quick spot on my hand), so I can't give much of an opinion. My initial impression is that the color is darker than I would normally wear, but it has a peach/gold undertone to it that may make it more suited to bronzer than blush.

Verdict: I'll give it a shot when I finish up my current blush, but not holding my breath.

decatur illinois glamour photographer4. Global Beauty Care Dead Sea Wash Off Mask

This one hasn't gotten a full blown test yet (mainly because I'm too antsy to sit for 15 minutes and then have to wash something off). I did a quick patch on my hand, and it did feel softer after I washed it off, but washing it off was kind of gross. Face masks aren't usually a joy to take off, but since this one is mud, it turns into more mud, and it's super slimy. I do like that the pouch is reclosable so you don't have to use it all at once.

Verdict: This will definitely be used, but I don't typically buy masks for myself.

decatur illinois glamour photographer5. Pretty Woman Nail Polish in I'm Not a Ballerina

I wanted to like this one. I really did. I've tried to buy a pale pink in the past and ended up with a color that reminded me of Barbie shoes. I painted my thumb first just to see how it looked on...and to me, it looks more lavender than pink. I typically wear darker nail polishes, so I knew that I might not like this since it was so pastel. It's a nice spring color, and it only took two coats to get full coverage, but I'm not a fan. 

Verdict: Maybe in a different color, but not a fan of this one.


The thing that I enjoy about getting my monthly Ipsy bag is that I get to try things that I normally wouldn't and if I don't like them, I'm only out $10. The only thing is this bag that I definitely won't use (unless it's to paint my nieces' nails) is the nail polish. 

Interested in trying Ipsy for yourself? I'd love it you used my referral link to sign up! (Don't worry, it doesn't tell me who used the code. I don't like people knowing if I use their referral link...but maybe that's weird.

If you have an Ipsy subscription, tell me what you think! Do you love it? What has been the best sample that you've gotten?

Also, if you made it this far, I have 5 invites to send out that will get you off of the waiting list and you'll get a free glam bag! Just send an email to with "Glam Bag!" as the subject! (There are only 5 available, so once they're gone, they're gone!)

decatur illinois glamour photographer