Bonjour! Heavens to Betsy, it’s finally officially sweater weather! My summer went by in a blur. It was so dang hot and I spent what felt like the past six months in our apartment sitting by our very loud air conditioner unit waiting for the calendar to flip to September. As soon as August ended, I excitedly and irrationally expected the air to instantly turn crisp. The reality is that September is the month of never knowing how to properly dress each day due to unpredictable temperatures. That being said, I am still thrilled that the crisper air part of fall has arrived. But I think most of all that I am super stoked to turn off our insanely loud air conditioner and be able to actually hear our television.
Ipsy’s Got a Brand New Bag (Insert James Brown’s Song)
There have been so many new subscription box services popping up all over the place that it’s difficult to keep up with the new companies on the block. If you do a quick Google search on “subscription boxes”, you can find everything from monthly bone boxes that include real specimens to slime boxes that will deliver all things squishy-related to your door.
Since Ipsy’s launch in 2011, they have had quite a bit competition pop up since they hit the market. Boxycharm (find out the details here) is one of their competitors that is beloved by the beauty masses for their subscription service. It includes five full-size products for $21 a month with each box’s value totaling at a minimum of $100. Compare that with Ipsy which has always offered five deluxe sample or full-size products along with a cosmetics bag for only $10 a month. But it almost seems unreasonable to compare the two services as the value of each subscription services is like comparing apples and watermelons. Each company offers different products and sizes at different price points due to the retail value. So you basically pay for what you get.
When I saw that Ipsy was offering an upgraded subscription called Glam Bag Plus, I was intrigued to see if it was going to give you the same bang for your buck that Boxycharm offers.
Find out more about Ipsy here.
What the heck is Glam Bag Plus???
For $25 per month, you will receive five full-size products that will always have a total retail value of $120. Starting with your first box, you will receive a deluxe makeup bag. You’ll then receive a different deluxe makeup bag on every third shipment. Ipsy has just started Glam Bag Plus so there are limited quantities and a waitlist. However, I was only on the waitlist for a little over a week when I received the fabulous e-mail that I would be receiving my first deluxe Glam Bag in the month of October along with six products instead of the standard five. Music to my ears!
There is a slight catch. If you want to keep receiving the original Ipsy Glam Bag with the 5 deluxe sample/full-size products, you need to set up a separate account. I found this as a bit of a bummer at first since I’ve had my original Ipsy membership for years. It just feels weird not to receive the usual cutesie bag each month so I’ll be deciding in the future if I want to get back to my original Ipsy comfort zone.
A Fancy Schmancy Bag
The first Glam Bag Plus carryall bag is a cutie. It’s a decent size bag that feels like it’s made of a suede-like material with a faux leather card pocket. It’s the perfect size to toss in your phone, makeup and cards. I prefer to carry a smaller bag like this when going into a store or restaurant so I don’t have to lug my suitcase-size purse with me. I am a bit ridiculous and irrationally think that I need to carry every single item that I MAY need while I am out in public. The reality is I pretty much only ever reach for my phone, a lipstick and possibly some candy.
Smashbox Cover Shot Eye Palette in Bold Glitter
Holy moly! I adore this little palette! I’ve long been a fan of Smashbox Cosmetics. Their items consistently perform very well, even if they are pretty pricey at times. Smashbox’s Cover Shot Eye Palette will set you back 29 bucks. You can find 13 different palette options at Sephora.
The packaging has a fun holographic shimmer pattern but when you flip open the lid, the eyeshadows are magical! The eight shadows in the palette are vibrant mattes and packed with glitter. When I swatched each shade on my arm, I was hoping it wasn’t an over-spray of glitter that sat only on top of the shadows. But I am happy to say that the glitter runs throughout the entire shadow.
These shadows felt dry, almost chalky, during swatching. I was concerned that they would end up being patchy on my lids. I primed my eyelids with NYX’s High Definition Eye Primer and started to apply one of the brown shades to my eye crease using a brush. It blended easier than I had expected. I then used my finger to apply the deep pink shade and the color payoff was fantastic. These shadows are buildable and blend surprisingly well into the other shades. I had seen some reviews online of people complaining about lots of fallout from the glitter. I really didn’t have much fallout at all. I did tap off any excess shadow from my brush before applying it to my eye but even when using my finger, I had very little fallout which was easily wiped away with my powder brush.
The result that these shadows give is stunning. From far away, they almost appear as having a metallic finish. Up close, they are super glittery and leave your lids looking like a glimmering rainbow.
Tarte Cosmetics Maneater Voluptuous Mascara
Tarte is another brand like Smashbox that is pretty consistent with producing tried and true quality products in a pricier price range. The Maneater mascara has a “triple-black” formula that is supposed to create a rich, deep black set of lashes. The wand is thin and flexible with a spikey applicator that reminds me of Benefit’s Roller Lash mascara.
Maneater lengthened and fattened up my lashes while separating them without flaking or clumping. The spikey brush allowed me to coat every tiny hair with product. I did have a very tiny amount of product transfer to my lower eyelids. I don’t hold it against this mascara though since I pretty much have some transferring every time with every mascara I wear. It’s my sad tale of mascara woe.
Find Tarte’s Maneater mascara here.
LXMI Pure Nilotica Melt Nourishing Balm-To-Oil
A beauty product that is completely made from one ingredient? Does it exist? Yes. It’s called coconut oil. Just kidding. LXMI’s Pure Nilotica Melt is a balm that transforms to oil once you massage the product on your skin. It’s made from Nilotica Fruit Butter and can be used anywhere on your body (get your mind out of the gutter you dirty birdie).
It’s a balm so you may have to knead the packaging slightly before squeezing the product out of the tube. Once the balm melts into an oil, it is easily absorbed by your skin without feeling greasy. You can toss this on your nails, hair and even your lips. And how cute is the packaging?
Find LXMI’s balm here.
Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in Black
Eyeliner is one of those makeup products that people seem to be super passionate about. Some people love gel liners while others will only use a felt tip liner. You can understand why makeup lovers are so picky about their personal preference for how they will apply the perfect winged liner. A good or bad eyeliner formula can completely make or break your look.
If you are fanatical about a felt tip eyeliner, then you may love Eyeko’s Skinny liquid liner. The applicator tip is well made and retains its shape with repeated use. While the tip is thin, it’s not soo thin that it takes you a day and a half to get the perfect width for your cat eye. The formula is super rich and pigmented yet it stays in place for hours without smudging, cracking or flaking.
Find Eyeko’s Skinny Liquid Eyeliner here.
Beauty by Popsugar Be Sweet Tinted Lip Balm
Popsugar started out as an online beauty and lifestyle magazine that launched back in 2005. They’ve been branching out into creating luxury subscription boxes along with their own beauty brand. You can snag their quarterly box for $75 (ouch) but the retail value of each box is worth at least $300 (yowzers!).
The Be Sweet Tinted Lip Balm in the shade Blush Crush is made from natural waxes and contains some healthy ingredients. Your lips will be protected from the sun with an SPF of 15 while its hibiscus flower extract helps with preventing signs of aging and increases elasticity.
The shade is a sheer mauve that has just a kiss of color with one or two coats. Add more coats for more color. It smells and tastes like a tasty dessert but I felt as if it was ever so slightly grainy which dissipated after wearing the balm for a little while. Is this worth the $20.00 retail price? Hmmmmm…not to me. But overall it’s a tasty little lip treat that left my lips looking a little luscious and feeling softer and hydrated.
Find Popsugar’s Be Sweet Tinted Lip Balm here.
Morphe High Impact Highlighter in Extra
Morphe tends to suck me in with their relatively affordable pricing and large range of products. I’ve procured quite a few Morphe brushes, eyeshadows and lipsticks from Morphe and for the most part, I dig their goods. Their High Impact Highlighter has such a creamy feel to the touch and blends effortlessly. This peachy gold shade adds a lot of sheen to my cheekbones without chunks of glitter. I really love that it doesn’t accentuate texture or sink into my fine lines. It’s long wearing and never patchy. You can snag this highlighter in 6 shades.
Find Morphe’s High Impact Highlighter here.
Final Thoughts: Is Ipsy Glam Bag Plus the Bees Knees?
OK! Overall, this box is a big hit with me with a total retail value of around $140, not including the value of the carryall bag. I am going to ride the Plus wave and see if the boxes continue to knock my socks off. Did you get Ipsy’s Glam Bag Plus? If you did, were you wowed or woeful?
Sign up for Ipsy Glam Bag Plus or old school Ipsy here.