When I was looking for a makeup subscription under $15, Ipsy was the best match as most makeup heavy at a reasonable price. To give you some background, Ipsy sends it’s subscribers a pretty (most of the time) make up bag with 5 items (full size or deluxe samples) every month for $10 + tax. Most of those items are make up, with occasional inclusion of hair care or skin care product, or a make up tool. It seems that number if skin care and hair care samples they include in their bags is increasing. There is significant variation between bags in each given month. They do ask you to fill out a quiz about you style and preferences to optimize your bag. Reviewing products you received is supposed to fine-tune your bag even further. However, from my personal experience, as well as from what I read in various forums, the algorithm they are using has a lot of room for improvement.
Ipsy offers a point system, that allows you to accumulate points by reviewing items you got in your bag, sharing your bag content on Facebook, referring people, etc. Any accumulated points expire after one year. Points can be redeemed for perks, which are usually samples/products sent in previous bags. At first, I wasn’t impressed with their point system – you had to accumulate 1000 points to redeem. It would take most of people almost a year to accumulate that many points. However, recently Ipsy started offering 500 point, and even 250 point perks, as well as additional ways to accumulate points.
A few words about their wait list. It’s annoying. It make me feel like Ipsy is playing hard to get. You can wait for a spot to open up. Or you can skip the wait, by going through a series of steps, like sharing the fact that you subscribed on your social media accounts, following Ipsy and their stylists. When I tried to skip the line for the first time, in June, they also asked me to email invitations to join Ipsy to certain number of people, which I absolutely refuse to do. So I stayed on the wait list for a bit longer. When I tried again in July, emailing invitations was no longer necessary. So I successfully became a subscriber. Later it turned out that while trying to skip the wait list for the first time, I accidentally created a duplicate account. I didn’t realize that until I got “you are now off the wait list” in the beginning of September . Thanks to that mishap I found out that just waiting it out would have taken me about 3 months. That was the only time (thankfully) that I had to contact Ipsy Care. I explained that duplicate account was created by accident (totally my own oversight), and that I really don’t want two bags. They kindly agreed to cancel second subscription and issue a refund, even though they normally don’t do cancellations after the first of the month. This would have won Ipsy a few “cool” points on my books, if the whole process of skipping the line wasn’t such cluster. It made me feel that all Ipsy cares about is getting some free publicity out of it’s subscribers. I know it is possible to create a fake Facebook account just for sake of skipping the line (and earning points by sharing your bag once you become a subscriber). I also know that Facebook allows to make a post visible to author only. That’s not the point.
There are two additional perks that come with Ipsy subscription are IpsyMe offers and discount codes. IpsyMe offers are usually bundles of products from brands Ipsy works with. More popular offers sell out pretty fast. I got a great deal on Paula’s Choice Anti-acne (verify name) set via IpsyMe Offer. I still regret missing on bundle by IT Cosmetics, which sold out while I was trying to decide if I really need it. Discount codes are sent out at the end of the months for brands that were presented in this month’s bags. Most of the codes I’ve seen so far can be used regardless of whether this brand was presented in your bag or not. Discounts are usually 15% – 30%.
Bottom Line: Ipsy bags can be really hit or miss. So the jury is still out on how much I like this subscription. I’m keeping it for now, but I’m prepared to cancel if amount of misses reaches the critical mass.