Ipsy’s makeup subscription bag is worth the hype and your money

Two 17-year-olds tried the subscription service and enjoyed the high quality product, but wished a wider variety of shades were available.

Makeup subscription bags haven’t been around for that long but have been getting a lot of buzz lately. Companies like Ipsy, Fab Fit Fun and BoxyCharm select products and send them out to customers on a monthly basis for a fee. 

Both myself and a close friend, 17-year-old Isabella, have subscribed to Ipsy for over a year and we consider the product worth the hype and the money. The high end products and variety that take you out of your comfort zone are great. 

New subscribers fill out Ipsy’s “Beauty Quiz”: 12 slides of multiple-choice questions to best describe your complexion and makeup preferences. Then, based on that information, they select products from a wide variety of brands such as Tarte, Tom Ford, Kat Von D, Yves Saint Laurent, Too Faced and 35 others, sending a different collection to the subscriber each month. The service costs  $14 US monthly or $150 US yearly.

Although the quiz is useful in general, the shade picking is a little more difficult to get on point. The six shades you choose from are Fair, Light, Medium, Tan, Dark, and Deep, but that might not be enough variety to satisfy all individuals. According to Isabella, “the shade matching isn’t as accurate as it could be.” And in reality, there are way more than six shades of skin, so at times, the shades are a little off. This is especially an issue when it comes to foundation and concealer.”

An upside to the quiz is that you get to choose your skin concerns such as redness, fine lines, oiliness, acne and so forth, and hair concerns such as frizziness, split ends or lack of volume. Naturally my hair is curly and frizzy, but Ipsy introduced me to an effective hair treatment product that I now order regularly.

You also get to choose between how often you would like to receive certain products, although, “never” is not an option. Personally, I’d rather not receive eye-shadows or fragrances, but since I can’t opt out, those products get gifted to my friends or just remain unused at the bottom of my make drawer.

A subscription service like this can save you a lot of trips to Sephora. Isabella found that she didn’t need to go to buy makeup as often with Ipsy. This was very convenient as they would give her different types of products and brushes. “I’d never run out,” she said. 

“The products are also high end or just a great quality overall,” Isabella said.

Ipsy isn’t just focused on makeup but other beauty products as well, such as perfumes, hair products, face washes, masks and others. Isabella reports especially enjoying the makeup wipes the kit introduced her which have become a regular purchase for her. 

Beyond the products, even the bags themselves are interesting. The bags are often seasonally themed. This month’s spring bag featured flowers and butterflies. During February — the month of Valentine’s Day —  the bag featured lipstick prints. Another had a blocky Tetris theme. “The bags that are provided are very unique and useful,” Isabella said. 

Overall, the subscription service is a great way to expand your makeup knowledge and take you out of your comfort zone. Even if you wind up with a drawer full of unwanted perfumes.

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