Ipsy February 2012 Review

Ipsy finally arrived in my mailbox today. Although a lot of beauty bloggers have been giving them a hard time for this month’s offerings, I think that is was consistent with the quality levels of previous Ipsy bags. It didn’t blow me away, but I am happy to have spent my money on it.
The bag and external packaging.
The bag itself was another not-very-interesting one. It’s made of black, high gloss plastic.
Lash Cards (4), approximate retail value $2.80

Lash Cards

So, I guess the idea of this product is that you stick it on your eye and it helps your mascara go on more easily. For me, it was just a big distraction. I don’t really have a lot of difficulty associated with mascara application. Furthermore, even if I did have difficulty, this would be a terrible solution, as it is hard to hold and maneuver.

It’s also worth noting that, although the individual lash cards are not very expensive, using them regularly would dramatically increase the cost of your makeup routine. For example, let’s say you use theBalm’s What’s Your Type mascara every day for three months. That’s a $19 mascara, which calculates out to about 21 cents per day. If you use the Lash Card as recommended and trash it after two sessions, you are adding an extra 35 cents to your routine every day. Your $19 mascara just became a $50.40 mascara.

If you do have consistent problems with mascara smudging, the best recommendation is simply to do your lower lashes before you do your upper lashes. If that’s not enough, re-purpose an old gift card. Don’t spend such a large amount of money on such an unnecessary product.

Pixi Flawless and Poreless Primer (0.5oz), approximate retail value $14.50

Pixi Flawless and Poreless

I may never understand why Pixi chooses to package their products like cleaning supplies in ‘hospital green’. Luckily, this primer was nice enough to make up for it. I thought it had a great balance between a dewy and a matte finish, and it did a nice job of smoothing everything out despite my atrocious skin. This was by far my favorite product of the lot.

Mica Beauty Gel Eyeliner in Black (3g), approximate retail value $18.00

Mica Gel Eyeliner

I am a big fan of gel eyeliner. I feel that it is by far the easiest eyeliner to apply, and it tends to have fantastic pigmentation and last-ability.

However, the Mica Beauty Gel Eyeliner is significantly more pricy than my usual gel eyeliner staple, Maybelline Lasting Drama by Eye Studio in Blackest Black. At full price, Maybelline costs $9.99 for 3g ($3.33 per gram), whereas Mica costs $29.99 for 5g ($6.00 per gram). That means that the Mica Beauty gel liner retails for 180% the cost of the Maybelline version. If I am going to pay for that high price, I expect a better lasting product

Unfortunately, that did not happen. At application, the Maybelline version was darker, more matte, and more opaque. The Mica Beauty version had almost a demi-matte finish and a much thinner, slimier texture. However, the kicker was the four hour wearability test. Maybelline had no problem lasting the full four hours without budging. The Mica Beauty Gel Liner flaked and faded significantly during that time. I expect my eye makeup to last much longer than four hours, so this is not an acceptable result.

Given the problems with wearability, I have to recommend skipping this particular gel liner.

Pop Beauty Smokey Lash Kapow Mascara (0.17oz), approximate retail value $12.58

Pop Beauty Smokey Lash Kapow

With a name like “Smokey Lash Kapow”, you expect drama. However, this simply is not a dramatic mascara. It did not add significant length or volume. It wasn’t clumpy or anything, but it wasn’t noteworthy, either.

Pop Beauty Smokey Lash Kapow on human eyes.

Coastal Scents Mini QuadWorse yet, this was super smudgey. I came to look at my face at the end of the day and the mascara had somehow managed to migrate to my cheeks. I have never had anything like that happen before.

Coastal Scents mini quad in Candlelight, Gunmetal, Incognito and Ashen (0.07oz), approximate retail value $2.24

Coastal Scents Mini Quad

I liked these colors. There were silver shades that were not already represented in my makeup collection.

Although Coastal Scents’ quality is certainly far from stellar, I find that if you use the shadows wet, you are able to get a much more pigmented effect. It makes blending more difficult and has the potential for damaging your shadows, so I would steer clear of this technique for more expensive products, but given how cheap Coastal Scents’ palettes are, I wouldn’t worry too much about any potential damage getting them wet might inflict.

Total box value: $50.12
Although it’s certainly not the perfect subscription service, Ipsy is definitely worth my $10 a month.



1. Oh good, I thought I was the only one that had issues with that mascara. Didn’t even last an hour on me. Completely appreciate the mica liner test. Now I don’t know what to do with these two products since I won’t be using them. I’d feel like an ass if I gave them away too. My Ipsy rejection drawer is filling up

2. Just started following you and I love your reviews! I just cancelled my Birchbox and am wait-listing for Ipsy. Can’t wait to try a new service!
3. I was so excited to see your Ipsy post tonight! I felt the same way about the mascara – by the end my first three hours at work you couldn’t even tell I had put mascara on.

4.  I loved this bag. Sure the lash cards are a serious waste of time, the rest of the bag I though was totally great. I didn’t have a gel liner and was surprised at how much I loved the Mica liner. I may have to try that Maybelline one, but I have a feeling this Mica one will last me a while!

5. Lovely clear swatches, thank you! I love your grounded opinions on beauty so much I’ve nominated you for a Liebster Award! To see the rules and my questions for you head to my blog post 🙂 x

6. Gosh, at first I thought the Lash Cards were some fabulous innovation that would prevent clumping and automatically separate the lashes. Turns out it’s just a card 🙁 Thank you for correcting me.
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