I love a subscription box. I do.
No, really, there isn’t a “but” coming this time, kids. I honestly love the concept with every fiber of my being. No matter the product, services like this work for me because while I don’t usually like surprises, I very much do enjoy opening a mystery package.
Even when the curation leaves a little be desired, I was raised to always be grateful. And I am truly grateful—because getting mail that’s not a bill or a catalog is freaking awesome.
I realize that eagerness in checking the mail every day says a lot about my age. But, you have to understand, I was the kind of girl who had a lot of pen pals (many of them from Star Hits, let that take you back — and can we talk about the OG FB — friendship books!). The mailbox was my gateway to the world and an escape from my boring suburban existence (though to be fair, most of my pen pals were from places just as suburban and boring, but with crappy weather). And then years and years went by and as an adult suddenly the post was far less exciting (and often actually terrifying.) Until… Birchbox.
I was an early adopter and cheerleader for Birchbox, until it started to suck. So, I moved up to the high rent PopSugar Boxes, which were also amazing at first, before I realized I wasn’t their demo — rich enough to find joy in wasting $75 on useless bougie trinkets, though they did manage to teach me the worth of good fashion scarf). I’m sorry to say that Loot Crate also started off a star before it faded into a sad place place strictly for Rick & Morty and Jurassic Park fans.
Ipsy (starting off as Glam Bag), however, has hung in for the long haul — since 2011— with their consistently curated product samples. Also, for $10 a month, it’s pretty easy for me to forget I even bought it. When the shiny bright pink envelope arrives at my door, it feels more like a gift than a gamble. Though most months, I’m a fan of the majority of beauty products and it’s a bona fide embarrassment of riches. But the $25 a month price tag on ipsy’s newest service, Glam Plus, gave me pause.
I get that the whole gist of the box services is to try new products. And I do try new stuff, all the time, but I’m the kinda gal who can put a full face on in 5 minutes. Makeup isn’t a priority for me like Apple Music or Netflix. But I figured that if got one good eye cream, I would come ahead on the deal — saving myself from going to Ulta where I would easily walk out the door with a $200 bill. That’s right, I never said I didn’t love makeup, I said it wasn’t a priority (and I inferred that I’m too lazy to worry about perfection). So, yeah, I committed.
The Ipsy Glam Bag Plus features five full-sized beauty products with a reported retail value of at least $120. Plus they chilled a little on the bags, so you only get one seasonally (every 3 months), that’s larger and nicer. Here’s what came in the inaugural offering:
Morphe High Impact Highlighter in Extra
I think maybe I’m not as into glowing as one would think. I’m also a little off put at prismatic effects on my, dare I say it, mature skin. Retails at $14.
Beauty By PopSugar Be Sweet Tinted Lip Balm in Blush Crush
I love the color and the sheerness (though apparently you can just keep piling it on for more pigment). It does have a weird texture to it though. Almost like sand…or maybe sugar. It was like I put on my lipstick directly after eating a donut. But if that’s why it lasted all day, then I can deal with some grit. Retails at $20.
Tarte Maneater Voluptuous Mascara
I love Tarte, so I’m excited to use it, but since you are supposed to only use mascara for 3 months, I’m not opening this until it’s time to bin my current one. Retails at $23
Smashbox Cosmetics Cover Shot Eye Palette in Bold Glitter
One of the reasons I like ipsy is that they quiz you on all sorts of stuff like coloring, age, trendiness, brand affection and application talent. Basically know your life story, so, WTF! Glittery eye shadow is just a no for a woman over 30. It went to straight to my most make-up forward teenage daughter, Anya — but I still haven’t even seen it on her yet. Also, I just came across this video and it tells you exactly why no one should ever think this would be the product for me. She is the anti-Jen. Retails at $29, though.
Purlisee Blue Lotus Seed Mud Mask & Exfoliant
Its shtick is that it tightens, brightens and exfoliates — and was created by Jennifer Yen who had been a villain on The Power Rangers! I used it twice (for 10 min-ish) and multiple compliments on my skin followed. Winner, winner, chicken dinner! What I really like about it is that it’s not messy or drippy. Retails for $48
Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in Carbon Black
There is no shortage of black magic marker-y eyeliner in my life. I didn’t intend to collect it, but thank god I did. Come the End of Days, come see me…my eyes will be lined perfectly. This is a nice addition to the family. It retails at $21.
All in all I was pleased. Yay!
Right now only regular ipsy subscribers are eligible to upgrade to ipsy Glam Bag Plus, but if you are interested in the regular ipsy (5 deluxe samples or full size items + a bag for $10), you can sign up here.