In-Depth Ipsy Glam Bag Review

As I mentioned before, I signed up for the Ipsy subscription service in November. I also mentioned that I would do a review of the service, so here I am. This is a comprehensive review of the entire service overall, so get ready for some opinions.


Michelle Phan (of YouTube fame) announced in November of 2011 that she was launching a beta beauty subscription service called The service was wildly popular, with many people on the wait list behind the 100,000 beta subscribers. When Phan noticed that subscribers liked posting photos and videos of their bag contents and makeup looks where they are utilized, she incorporated socialization into the service.

This is how Ipsy (launched September 2012) was born. It features the appeal of a beauty subscription service and the draw of a community of beauty enthusiasts around it. Ipsy boasts “stylists” (read: other big names in the YouTube beauty world) that help pick out items for Glam Bags each month and post videos using each month’s make up.

What You Get

For $10 per month, you get a makeup bag with 4-5 deluxe sized and/or full sized products. Products featured in the bag run the gamut from make up (think mascara, eye shadow, blush, etc.), to hair care (leave-in conditioners, hair spray, etc.), to skin care (face serums, masks, BB creams, etc).

Each month, there are usually between 14 and 18 possible products, each one from a different brand. 4-5 are chosen for you via the IpsyMatch customization service launched in May of 2013. Even for the items you do not receive that month, Ipsy gives you a discount code or offer especially for Ipsy members to shop these brands.


IpsyMatch, a feature that Ipsy launced in May 2013, takes the results from the Beauty Quiz you take upon signing up for the service as well as reviews for your Glam Bags and their contents and uses them to choose items each month that you are more likely to love. From what I’ve seen on the Ipsy chats, most people like the idea of IpsyMatch but are frustrated that they can’t opt out of an item or two that they would never use (examples: false eye lashes, blush, etc). Ipsy is a quickly evolving and increasingly sophisticated service, so this may be coming in the future.

Who Is Ipsy For?

After receiving 4 Glam Bags, I would say Ipsy’s target market skews younger, due to it’s heavy use of various social media platforms to display information not immediately found on their website such as item sneak peeks and monthly contests and giveaways.

I would also say that Ipsy is great for those who want exposure to different brands, types of makeup, and colors. This is not a subscription for those who are pretty set in their beauty ways. The service really emphasizes exploring different looks, styles, brands, etc. That said, even with the IpsyMatch functionality, you may find what I call a “wild card” item or two. I don’t mind, because I like the idea of being able to play around with products I may not normally pick up for myself.

Overall Impression

I really like the Ipsy subscription service overall. I’ve received some face serum, nail polish, and eye shadows that I really love and wouldn’t have normally been exposed to. I love stalking Ipsy’s Instagram to find out that month’s Glam Bag item sneak peeks. I like the social component of Ipsy’s website. I like that the contents each month’s bag are normally worth at least $15 more than what you’re paying.

I am assigning a score of 8/10 for the service and I would be pretty darn likely to recommend Ipsy to those who really like make up or subscription services.

The reason I didn’t assign a 10/10 would be because there is no option (at least yet) to opt out of receiving a certain type of product or two. There is also no option as of yet to skip a month of service or otherwise suspend it. If you wanted that flexibility, you would have to completely cancel your subscription, and then rejoin and possibly wait on the wait list later.

Feel Like Joining?

If you want to know more about Ipsy, just go go

You can also follow my referral link (if you do, I get points towards the occasional extra item in my Ipsy bag) here.

Yay for marathon writing! I hope that my in-depth review was helpful.