Ipsy December 2017 Review

I wanted to start this post with a brief apology about my incredibly sporadic posting over the last couple of weeks. I’ve been drowning in work a bit and have been too tired to come home and do a lot of writing. I am never particularly good at meeting my goal of one post per day (in fact, I’m laughably bad at it), but I usually do a little better than this.

This is one of those rare occasions where I actually really like bag that Ipsy came in! After months of weird, tacky anchors and plain plastic purses, I’m quite excited about the cute little rows of squares and black patent finish.

Here’s what I got this month:

Pop Beauty Bright Up Your Life Trio in Smokin’ Hot (0.15oz), approximate retail value $7.20
PopBeauty is my makeup brand arch-nemesis. I have hated everything that I have ever tried from them. Or, at very least, I did until I tried this trio. To be clear, I would never purchase the full sized version of this
palette. It’s not ridiculously expensive at $24,
but the shadows feel like something you wouldn’t be shocked to get from
the drugstore. They’re powdery and you have to build ’em up to get the
pigmentation you want. However, I realized as soon as I got this trio
that I am woefully understocked on gray eyeshadow. I don’t have any
colors like this.

The trio contains a frosty eggshell with white glitter, a graphite-reminiscent silver with white glitter, and an almost-black-but-not-quite with white and blue glitter.

The pigmentation is totally usable (HIGH PRAISE, I KNOW).
Be a Bombshell The One Stick in Flustered (full size at 0.26oz), retail value $16
I always have to raise my eyebrow at multi-use products. I feel that a lip/cheek dual-use product will always pale in comparison to a quality lip product and a quality cheek product. This isn’t an exception. According to the Be a Bombshell website, you can apply ‘The One Stick’ “to eyelids, cheeks or lips for the perfect pop of color anywhere!”. I’m not even going to show you the greasy mess that happened when I tried to apply this to my eyes, so I’ll talk exclusively about cheek and lip application, since the person who said you can put it on your eyes clearly had no idea what they were talking about.“Flustered” is a warm red with pink glitter. It’s more vibrant than something that I would have picked out for myself, but it’s still fairly wearable on my cheeks with a shitload of blending.
On my lips, this product feels greasy, almost like I covered my mouth in greasepaint. It’s also fairly sheer on the lips, adding just a hint of color.

Unblended Swatch
Blended Swatch

I think I would have really liked this product as a cream blush if I had gotten a different shade. As it is, it kind of looks like I have a sunburn when I wear it. Unfortunately, it’s been my experience that colors on the Be A Bombshell website are atrociously off, so I don’t feel confident making a purchase sight unseen.

It’s also worth noting, if you do consider purchasing a full size for this, that 0.26oz is pretty small for this sort of item. $16 for 0.26oz is $61.54 per ounce, which certainly doesn’t sound bad. However, NARS’s the Multiple is a full 0.5oz. At $39, that’s a hardly-more-expensive $78 per ounce. But, like… you get NARS. (If you don’t intend to use it up, though, obviously it’s better to stick with the cheaper option.)

NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick in Iris (full size at 0.14 oz), retail value $4.00

I love NYX. I really do.

…But this lipstick is horrid.When you are talking about a makeup product being a “peach” color, that has a specific meaning and that meaning doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with real peaches that you actually eat in real life. If I called this a peach, I would be talking about the color you get when you open up a peach in the summer, and you have golden fruit inside. …Now, imagine that the golden fruit was frosty.

I am not normally one to shun lipstick colors. I’ll happily wear purple, blue, black, or orange. This color, though, is just not flattering on me. If it was really, really opaque, and applied smoothly, it would be wearable. Sadly, the formula is thin and you can see my actual lip color poking through. That plus the color is an awful combination. It just looks like I have a disease and really chapped lips at the same time.

Nicka K New York Nail Color in ??? (full size at 0.5 fl oz), retail value $4.99

This nail polish was not labeled, so I can’t tell you what color is. If you love it and want to buy it, too bad for you. It’s a gorgeous cherry red.

Signature by English Laundry Pour Homme (estimated 0.27 fl oz) and Pour Femme (estimated 0.27 fl oz), estimated retail value $22.87

As you can see by my perfume-soaked cardboard container, the dudely version of this perfume unscrewed itself and leaked all over my ipsy bag in transit. Only a tiny bit remained. (It’s possible that the lady version was also a little leaky, since the bottle sure wasn’t full.)

The “Pour Homme” version smells kind of woody and musky, whereas the “Pour Femme” version smells like generic white flowers. I had a hard time picking out any specific notes, which might be because I have a terrible sense of smell (literally today, the building next to us caught fire and my boyfriend asked, “Do you smell something burning?” and I was like, “No…”), but I suspect it’s because they are pretty boring. I find it deliciously ironic that a perfume called “Signature” is boring as hell.

Happily, these are pretty darn large for perfume samples. The sizes weren’t labeled, but since the bottles were exactly the same size as a Julep nail polish, I feel pretty comfortable in my size estimation.

Bonus: BeautyBlender (1), retail value $19.95 and BeautyBlender BlenderCleanser (estimated 0.5 fl oz), estimated retail value $1.50
This was a reward for making referrals, not an official part of my Ipsy bag. I redeemed 1000 Ipsy points to receive this item. I already like beautyblenders, so I was happy to snatch up a new freebie, especially given that Ipsy generally sends out bonuses that aren’t exactly exciting.

Total Box Value: $55.06 not including bonus, $76.51 including bonus

Here’s a look I created using the items in my December Ipsy:

These aren’t colors that I would have put together on my own!

And here is the exact same look, except I subbed out the NYX lipstick for the Be a Bombshell “The One” stick:

Overall, I feel this box had a lot of “almost but not quite” in it. For example, I would have liked “the One” stick… if I’d gotten a different color. Ditto for the NYX lipstick. I loved the giant perfume sample from English Laundry, but the smell was a bit of a snoozefest. The Nicka K nail polish was lovely, but they didn’t bother to tell me what color it was. I wouldn’t have needed all of these things to be changed to be happy with this box, but a couple changes would have moved my feelings all the way from “moderately happy given that this subscription box only cost $10 a month” to “generally ecstatic”.

If you are interested in joining Ipsy, you’re always welcome to use my referral link by clicking here.


1. These were basically all of my feelings on this month’s bag as well. The nail polish has a number on the bottom that I looked up and the shade is apparently “Ripe Apple.” But yeah, definite packaging issues. I liked The One Stick as well, and I got it in that same shade, but hell if NARS is only that much more expensive I might as well save up for that instead. It’s also laughably huge and idk why. Oh well, at least it works on my skin.

2. Thank you for finding out the nail polish shade!

3. I felt “almost not quite” about my bag too. The Pop trio was OK… but I wish I’d received it in the color you did. Would have liked The One Stick… in a different color. Would have liked the lip pencil I got… again, in a different color. Also, this is at least the 5th blog review I’ve read saying that the English Laundry samples broke or leaked. Yay? Oh well, onto next month’s bag…

4. Clearly they were not made for shipping!

5. I selfishly wish that you would post every single, but having a life outside of the internet is totally understandable =P

6. *every single day

7. I do my best, haha.

8. I have to admit to checking multiple times a day for new posts. lol

9. That NYX Lipstick looks super disappointing…. I normally love NYX lipsticks.


10. I’ve only ever tried the matte ones, but I love all of those…

11. I got that bombshell stick in a glittery light pink shade, and it was also terrible. Nearly invisible pink grease on my cheeks and goopy ugliness on my lips. I think it’s just a fail product.

12. I got the Sunset version of the Be a Bombshell One Stick. It’s a rusty red with gold glitter; definitely oranger than on their site. I’m just a teeny tiny bit more ruddy than you in skin tone, and it’s a nice enough color on me. Just don’t care for cream blush.

13. Actually, that Nyx lipstick doesn’t look as terrible as I expected after what you said! Don’t get me wrong, I still have absoutely no inclination to purchase it, but you’re working it pretty damn well in that photo given what you said it was like! Respect!

*doffs hat, with flourish*

14. I wish you stamina and discipline! I know it takes substantial time to write a high-quality post like the ones I’m accustomed to seeing from you, so writing several per week seems quite a feat to me.

I’m curious about the efficacy of the BlenderCleanser compared to other cleaners you’d use for similar materials…

Nice job on your nails! Is it just my imagination or are you more skilled at nail polish application than you used to be?

15. I love the nude lips.


16. I loved last month’s Ipsy but these colors were all wrong fo me…the gray shadow trio, the one stick in a violent shade called Sunset which looked, on me, somewhere between a clown and a prostitute, an awful shade of NYX lipstick. And please, NO MORE FAKE LASHES!