October IPSY Ultimate Glam Bag Review

IPSY Ultimate $50 subscription. Lots of products, but is it worth it?

Okay this post is reviewing the IPSY Ultimate Glam Bag.  As a warning, there is the distinct likelihood that a rant is imminent.  Just a warning.  I was really looking forward to this box this month.  It is the first Ultimate Glam Bag IPSY released and it promised eight full sized items and four deluxe samples sized products. Their claim  about the Ultimate:

New Membership for even more beauty picks. Glam Bag Ultimate is a new subscription with 8 full-sized & 4 deluxe samples, personalized for you, for $50/month. You’ll get to choose one of your full-size products with the new choice feature! There will be a makeup bag, every month. You can now add up to 5 Add-Ons for your bag. Previously you were limited to 3.

Now to start off with, $50 is a lot of money to spend monthly so expectations are going to start off high.  According to all of the released information each of their three tiers were now going to receive a makeup bag each month where previously it was only the original glam bag that had one. It was also listed as a perk that the makeup bag offered with Ultimate would be more expensive than the one offered with the Plus level tier. I believe the Glam Bag Plus was to come with a bag valued at $8 while the Ultimate was around doubly that at $16. 

This was not the case as both Ultimate and Plus subscribers got the same bag this month. There were rumors of a production line error as the bags came from IPSY’s own Betty Boop collaboration, but there were no e-mails sent with an explanation (at least not to me) and absolutely nothing in the box or on the site explaining why the two tiers received the same bag. So right off the bat, I felt slightly cheated.

Adding to this feeling is the fact that IPSY neglected to put any retail value prices on their information card this month. When companies leave off the prices, I get suspicious.  All of the prices listed below are the ones I found elsewhere.  Some of the products, I couldn’t find a retail price for at all while others I had to hunt down. Now I would also like to say I really liked some of these products but this is not a product review.  It is a review of the box and if it is worth the $50 price tag.

Let’s move on to the full sized products first shall we?

First up are two sheet masks from The SAEM. It is the Natural Avocado and Shea Butter Mask Sheet Set. Now I have no problem with sheet masks.  I find them fun, quick and easy.  I have received many from IPSY. In fact I’ve received a two pack in my regular IPSY bag that only features deluxe sized samples. Occasionally I’ve gotten them as extras on top of my regular number of samples. So seeing them in the Ultimate bag listed as full sized products was not a pleasant surprise. When looking up the value I found that they are sold for $4 each at Walmart. They are sold for even less at beautynetkorea.com They offer a wide array of Saem products and a pack of sheet masks generally costs $1.90.  If you get them on sale they are even less. I bought a bunch during their last sale for $0.17 per mask. So even though these are decent sheet masks, I was not happy to see them as one of my full sized products.

The product I chose and was most happy to see.

My second product I was happy to see as it is the one I chose.  It is the Farmacy Green Clean Makeup Meltaway Cleansing Balm. It retails for $34 and is an excellent product.  Seeing it here as a full sized item made me very happy.  I have used it before and know I will use every drop of it in the jar. I have gotten a sample size from IPSY before and loved it.  It is also the type of item I expected to see.  I think giving full sized versions of products that were only given as sample sizes in other tiers is a really good idea. So I was very happy with this.

I was also happy with the BIORACE L’eau Hydrating Treatment Serum.  It retails for $68 on the Biorace site.  I have never heard of it and was eager to try something new.  My first impressions are positive, but as with all skin care, I’ll be testing it and get back to you with a full review.  But again, I was pleased to see this and look forward to testing it out.

looking forward to testing this out.

I was a little on the fence with the HUDA BEAUTY Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette in Topaz that was in my box.  (retail $27) It is a good palette and I will be working with it to try out looks, but these palettes are good quality.  I know this from previous boxes.  I picked the Mauve Obsessions palette up as an add on, but these palettes were in some Ipsy Plus Boxes.  While good, seeing it here also seems to be part of a trend.  Many of the products appear to be either leftovers from previous boxes or add ons that didn’t get sold or points perks products that didn’t get picked from the offerings list.  It makes me nervous.

My next full sized item was C’EST MOI BEAUTY Reflect Lip Gloss in Opulence.  It retails for $10.  It’s a lip gloss.  There is almost no tint to it and it is a little on the sticky side. Not my favorite and something I would consider filler in my Plus bag although I would be happy to see it in my regular IPSY bag. A little disappointing here.

Then we have the KALEIDO COSMETICS Obsidian Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner. (retail $8) Kaleido is a good brand.  I’ve used them before.  Currently I have several open liquid liners out and didn’t want to open another one just yet.  I put it away for later use.  But I’m sure it will be a good liner.  It is however a liner and another filler type item.

Moving on we come to the F.A.R.A.H BRUSHES Midnight Pro Trio.  I like Farah brushes.  I love the handles and the colors are nice. The bristles are a little too soft and this trio is really only good with loose powders.  They did not want to work with pressed powders or cream products. But overall I was happy seeing them.  I could not find the price for this exact set, but in general sets of three brushes retail for about $34. They are less useful than I expect from this brand, but I was not mad seeing them and seeing them made me less annoyed by the filler items.

The Betty Boop Blush palette was very disappointing.

The last of the full sized items included was the BETTY BOOP™ x IPSY Cheek To Cheek Blush Palette.  It is a pretty package with mediocre product inside. Seriously, the packaging is the best part.  It claims to be buildable but on my skin, I really had to work with it to show any pigment. If you have fairer skin than mine, you might be okay with this.  I am over all fine with IPSY putting their collaborations in the box as long as they are good products.  This one seemed to trade on the nostalgia value of Betty Boop rather than provide good products. This month they came out with the whole line and you can buy the entire box of products.  You can’t buy individual ones at the moment so I have no idea what this product would retail for. That really annoys me.

That covers the full sized items included in this box and as I have not been terribly subtle, I’m sure you realized I was a bit peeved by this point. But then we get to the sample sized products.  Ready?

First up is PAPA RECIPE Eggplant Clearing Mud Cream Mask.  I have to say, I love this mask.  I loved it when I picked it up using my points several months ago.  The full sized product retails for $15 for 100 ml. Since I couldn’t find a sample for sale I resorted to baic math and the sample size (15 ml) would more or less have a value of $2.25. If you see the full sized version, I highly recommend picking it up. It is a really good product. If they had included a full size of this product instead of the sheet masks I would have been super happy.  But they didn’t.  They decided to eliminate surplus. So I am not happy.

Good products, but we’ve seen at least two of them before, possibly all three. Their inclusion made it feel more like a rummage sale.

Next is the CELA SKIN Crème de la Crème – The Very Best Cream.  It is body lotion. A sample size of body lotion.  On my profile I checked rarely send me lotions like this. I suppose this is my rarely moment. It is good cream though. The full size retails for $30 and contains 75 ml worth of product. The sample size contains 30ml worth of product.  Again using basic math we get a value of $12 for the sample.  Do I think a full size would be worth $30? If you are splurging, maybe.  It smells nice and sinks into the skin well. I will toss it into my purse, use it until its gone and then think nothing of it. Because its hand cream and that’s what you do with it. But I’m not mad at it.

COLOURED RAINE COSMETICS Eyeshadow in Champagne Life was the next sample sized item in my box.  It’s a good shadow.  Highly pigmented and shimmery. I’m working on a system to keep myself from losing single shadows in the bottoms of drawers. However as much as I am looking forward to seeing how long this shadow lasts on the eyes, I believe it too was a selection from previous months in the regular IPSY bag. At least I have another single shadow from them in my drawer. It retails for $6.99.

Finally, we come to the L.O.C.K. COLOR Unicorn Glow Hydrating Primer a full sized version is $12 for 30 grams worth of product.  The sample size contains 10 grams so the base value of the product would be $4. I actually like this primer, especially on days where I am wearing only powder and no foundation.  It blurs the pores and is super light weight.  It is also just sticky enough to hold on to the powder I apply. I know this because I picked it up as a sample from IPSY before. Again, had they included a full sized version of this product, instead of the lip gloss or eyeliner, I would have been very happy. As it was, I sighed and tried not to frown.  I tried thinking happy thoughts about using the nice primer sample again.

That was my October IPSY Ultimate Glam Bag. I have to say, the level of annoyance is high.  From what I have been able to determine, the value for my $50 subscription box is $214.24. While that is a decent value for the money it felt very much as though IPSY was just cleaning out their shelves.  And even though most of the products offered could be found cheaper than offered, I used the higher prices to come up with my figures. I’m sure that by including the $68 serum, whoever chose these items justified using some of the other products, but it still made me feel like I was getting the bottom of a discount bin. Which is not something I expect from a $50 box.

After realizing how I felt about this I looked around to see if I was over reacting and found out that I am not the only one who seems to have issues.  I saw a lot of instant cancellations for people.  However given the reams of negative feedback from the box that IPSY received if the product reviews posted are any indication, and the fact that this was their first Ultimate glam bag I am willing to give them another month to see if they get better. Perhaps this month was just some form of growing pain. Perhaps they will realize a $50 subscription is not the place to dump previously unsold stock. One can only hope.

Also IPSY has in the past had a habit of following a really bad moth with a really good month. Its been a while since they’ve had a bad month but for a long time it was almost alternating good months with bad, at least in my opinion. And perhaps this month was just suffering from the curse of October. No one seemed to have a very good month, subscription box wise this month. And if they don’t get better, I can always change my subscription after I receive the November box.  So one more month to test. But still seriously annoyed.

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