ipsy (MyGlam): October 2012
Ipsy, stylised “ipsy” and formerly named MyGlam, is a $10 monthly subscription service founded by Youtube makeup guru Michelle Phan. While MyGlam had its fair share of disappointments and controversies earlier this year, they rebranded themselves halfway through last month in an attempt to change their image and up their membership. In doing so, they relaunched with an incredibly awesome bag this month, which makes a stark contrast to my Birchbox Goop review this month.
Please forgive the quality of my pictures this post. I have no clue what was going on, and my camera refused to cooperate so the pictures kind of look like they were taken by a drunk squirrel who them put them through Instagram. Don’t ask. And no, I was not actually drunk.
ipsy October 2012: featuring Couture Colour, theBalm, Be a Bombshell, Mirenesse, and Coastal Scents
Ipsy, like Glymm delivers its products in a cute bag every month rather than a box, and this month’s featured a beautiful black-and-white chevron makeup bag with a red zipper. It appears a little orangeish in my picture, but I can assure it’s a bright, true red and my photo just decided to Instagram itself against my will. Classic and retro at the same time, this is definitely a bag I plan on keeping for myself.
One of the best parts about the ipsy October bag is that it’s full of makeup — one of the biggest complaints Birchbox and a lot of other subscription services get. Many people subscribe to beauty services in order to try out new makeup, and then are disappointed when they end up cremes and facial products… well, I can assure you it wasn’t a disappointment this month as 4 of the 5 products were makeup items.
Coastal Scents eyeshadows: Peach Puff, Cherry Chocolate, Nude, White Silver
Coastal Scents eyeshadow quad: Coastal Scents is a company I’ve heard a little bit about prior to receiving this, but I’m not particularly big on eyeshadows so I didn’t care too much one way or another. That isn’t to say I’m not very happy to get this quad though! Ipsy had created 8 sets of quads with unique colors for this bag, and I received set #6.
I’m particularly happy these all came in quads because it gave us an organised set of colours to work with, which were guaranteed to match with each other. I’m not terrible at picking out colors for myself that work together, but it’s nice that someone else has confirmed it for you! Set 6 was actually my first choice too — when I do wear eyeshadow, I prefer nudes and neutrals.
Coastal Scents eyeshadows: Peach Puff, Cherry Chocolate, Nude, White Silver swatches
Of the four, only Peach Puff (the pink) was a matte and I had trouble with. It came off a little weird and chalky against my skin when I tried to swatch and took a bit to get the full pigmentation. I was a little worried because in the pan, Peach Puff seemed more warm-toned and orange-y and I was worried it wouldn’t work against my skin, but actually swatching it, I was pleasantly surprised how well it worked. The other colors went on much smoother and more easily, and I loved how pigmented and rich the colours are. Definitely using the combo for my eyeshadow in the future. I can’t remark on how long the last, but I’ve never seen any complaints about creasing with their product.
Overall, highly recommended, except for the matte which I will give a lukewarm recommendation to. I love the colour combination though. Coastal Scents also seems to be a great value — a lot of their sets are very cheap on their website, and for the lovely pigmentation, it’s definitely a steal. The pans we were sent were definitely samplers though; they’re about the size of a penny each, whereas if you pick colours from their website, the pans are $1.99 each and probably much deeper.
Full-sized product: $1.99 for each 0.04oz 1″ pan (sets are cheaper) / Sample value: $3.49 for 0.07oz of 0.62″ pan x4
Where to buy: coastalscents.com
Be a Bombshell Eyeliner
Be a Bombshell Eyerliner in Onyx: This is another brand I haven’t heard of prior to receiving this month’s bag, and boy am I happy to have found it. When I showed this eyeliner to my roommate the first time, she said it was like a sharpie for your eye, and that’s pretty much an accurate description!
Be a Bombshell Eyeliner
Be a Bombshell Eyeliner in Onyx
Be a Bombshell Eyeliner in Onyx
The eyeliner is very comfortable to hold in your hand, and like an actual sharpie, it’s thick at the base and extremely thin and pointed at the tip, making it extremely easy to use. This eyeliner allows you to draw extremely straight, precise lines on your eyes to finish with whatever style you want — me with my typical cat-eyes. It also dries quickly for a liquid liner, which is great for me because I’m impatient and my eyelids fold somewhat weirdly and usually ends up with me smudging eyeliner on my top crease. The finish is deep and beautiful, and long-lasting. It’s easily lasted for me as long as a 9am-midnight day without touch up, still being pigmented and unsmudged, which is amazing considering I also rub my eyes quite a bit (bad habit, I know).
Unlike eyeshadows, I pretty much do wear eyeliner every day, and this has become my new go-to eyeliner that I grab in the morning. It’s made my every day makeup routine so much faster and easier. Overall highly highly recommended. If you’re on the market for a new eyeliner, I suggest this. I know I’ll be grabbing more of these — and in different colours — in the future.
Full-sized product: $14 for 0.1oz / Sample value: full size! for $14
Where to buy: beabombshellcosmetics.com
Be a Bombshell Eyeliner in Onyx and Mirenesse Lip Bomb #2 swatches
Here is a swatch for the eyeliner so you can see the pigmentation. The other red swatch is for the Mirenesse Lip Bomb, which I will be reviewing next.
Mirenesse Lip Bomb #2
Mirenesse Lip Bomb #2: I have to admit, I cheated a little here. Ipsy sent out the Mirenesse Lip Bomb in three colours: #2 (a red), #4 (a fuschia), and #9 (a nude pink); I actually received #9, but I’ve about 5 different nude lip glosses already so I ended up giving it to someone and receiving their red in return. Diplomacy in action at its best, I’d like to think! Ipsy had relaunched with the promise of more customisation… unfortunately, part of the problem was that most of us who signed up the first time didn’t even remember what we put down and we couldn’t change it, and the other part was they didn’t succeed that well! Ah well: at least I got my first choice in eyeshadow quads and I was able to get the lip bomb I wanted in the end.
Mirenesse Lip Bomb #2
Mirenesse (pronounced something akin to mirror-ness) is an Australian brand I also hadn’t heard of prior to receiving this, but it’s not a completely unfamiliar name in the beauty world. Please forgive my first two photos in which the lip bomb looks slightly orangeish again. As I said: drunk squirrel on Instagram. The picture below and the swatch on my arm above most resemble the real-life colour: a deep, true red.
Mirenesse Lip Bomb #2
Mirenesse’s Lip Bombs are definitely one of their best products, acting as both a lip gloss and a lip stain, and is extremely dense and highly pigmented. I’m not even joking — the amount on my arm for the swatch? More than enough to colour your whole lip completely red. It really does wonders. For a chronic lip-licker like me, it still manages to stay on and pigmented for hours, which even a lot of pure lip stains can’t seem to do for me.
According to the brand, it’s also a product you can mix with other lip bomb colours to get a variety of effects — which makes more sense when you think about the fact that they have gold and silver coloured Lip Bombs too!
The one qualm I have about the product is the product’s wand — maybe I’m not that good at it or something, but I always feel like it manages to get outside the borders of my lips when I put it on. Because of the staining quality and denseness of the colour, sometimes the edge of my lips are a little red. Oops.
Still, overall, highly recommended. I’m no good with lipsticks, accidentally smearing it everywhere and licking it off (why I always wear vegan lipsticks), so this is something I need in my life. You could probably do with it too. I’m definitely interested in purchasing more of these in a variety of colours at a future point.
Where to buy: mirenesse.com
theBalm What’s Your Type? Mascara in “The Body Builder”
theBalm What’s Your Type? Mascara in “The Body Builder”: As Rykea said in her October Glymm review, mascaras do one of two things: lengthen or volumize. Considering the brother to this product is theBalm’s “Tall, Dark, and Handsome”, I’m pretty sure this is meant to be the volumizing one of the two.
I also have to confess again, I didn’t use this product. Oops. Can’t really review something I haven’t used. There’s a good reason though; I currently already have two mascaras open, and mascaras only have a shelf life of about 3 months before they start to become goopy, clumpy, and diffiicult to use. Unopen and unaired ones are fine… so let’s just call it a matter of pragmatism. And what busy on-the-go girl doesn’t operate under pragmatism?
No recommendation can be made, but if it makes a difference, theBalm is a pretty trusted brand, and from what I’ve read of other people’s comments, they seem to love the product pretty well. I’ve heard it’s a good mascara for touching up your lower lashes especially. I’m sure when I get around to trying it, I’ll enjoy it verily.
Where to buy: thebalm.com
Pequil Oil Treatment by Couture Colour
Pequil Oil Treatment for hair by Couture Colour: I’ll admit, I’m very spoiled in that I have lovely hair, which is a saving grace considering my horrible skin. My hair is very thick, dense and healthy, and is a deep jet-black that dyeing it without subjecting it to bleach is kind of out of the question. Considering the number of people who work so hard to get and keep my hair deep pigmentation, why work hard to get out of it?
I shampoo and condition it on average every other day (more if I go jogging), and am now using dry shampoo in between. I air dry 99% of the time, and curl it with heat maybe once or twice a month at most. More often than not, if I want my hair curly, I’ll use my Garnier Fructis curl sculpting cream gel, which is nourishing (and smells great!). In general, I don’t beat my hair up very much. So the whole spiel of bragging about my hair is pretty much to say: I’m super lazy about taking care of it beyond what’s necessary. My hair is pretty soft and healthy in general, so I’m possibly not the best person to review this product since it’s also probably not something I would’ve picked up myself.
Couture Colour’s Pequil Oil Treatment brags on its website: “Dull, damaged hair is 600% stronger with a 250% improvement in shine after one application. Works its magic on every hair type, every day, in so many ways: as a pre-shampoo treatment, pre-blow-drying for smooth, sleek hair, post-blow-drying to calm frizziness, flyaways, or any time for extra softness, shine.”
After washing my hair and using the treatment, it did seem to make my hair slightly silkier in texture than normal, but that might’ve also been due to the fact I tried out a new shampoo. I can’t actually confirm or deny if it calmed any frizziness or flyaways. I don’t think I had much fewer flyaways as a result. I suppose my hair does have a tendency towards coarseness sometimes, and it definitely feels marginally silkier. Though the areas of my hair that didn’t get the oil rubbed in (around the nape of my neck) also seem just as soft and silky right now, and the oil does make my hair feel a little denser, despite their claim otherwise. It does make my hair slightly more oily than it usually gets after one day. If you’d use it, I’d suggest more towards the ends or middle than your roots.
Still, I will give it a tepid recommendation. It does smell reasonably good though, if nothing else. Those with more hair problems due to colour treatment, blow drying, curliness, or otherwise might well benefit from this product.
Full-sized product: $32 for 60mL ($0.53/mL), $50 for 120mL ($0.42/mL) / Sample value: travel size, $12 for 15mL ($0.80/mL)
Where to buy: couturecolour.com
Overall box value: $70.13 (!!!) not including the chevron bag for $10!
Overall, I’m extremely pleased with this month’s box, a stark comparison to Birchbox. This has little to do with the value of what I received, but rather the fact that I found use in everything in my bag. Now if you don’t understand my disappointment in my Birchbox this month, this is why. I highly doubt that future ipsy bags are all going to be this high in value, but the more important part is that I not only received multiple makeup items, some of which were full-sized, but I found multiple highly recommended items I’ve already managed to adapt into my beauty routine and will continue to purchase… and isn’t that the purpose of a subscription service?
I’ve included where to buy links since ipsy doesn’t offer the option of purchasing the products through its own website. This means we miss out on the redemption of points by reviewing the product, like with Glymm or Birchbox, but the generous-sized products in their bags more than make up for that. Combined with the fact that they provide coupons for use on the official product’s website, it gives ample opportunity for saving. I’m actually not convinced this is a bad strategy for business, at least from the consumer point of view: right now, Birchbox’s biggest problem is that they are driven to make you purchase from their website; what is actually received in the boxes is secondary. However, ipsy’s purpose goal seems to be working with the companies to ensure you get a great product — that way, when ipsy’s portion is done, it’s all up to the original company whether or not you will purchase from them. That way, they are able to just focus on the subscription part of the service.
I hope ipsy can keep up the momentum, and I’m already looking forward to next month! I also hope they set up a referral system soon… but that might be making things complicated on themselves, and it seems like simplicity working well right now.
(There are no referral or affiliate links in this post. Ipsy is a $10 monthly subscription service for the US, and has now expanded to Canada, for an additoinal $4.95 shipping fee! Look foward to both my and Rykea’s ipsy bag reviews next month!)