Ipsy September 2016 Review

I know I’ve had some months where I have been a little bit whiny about getting shit from Ipsy that have no interest in. Thankfully for everyone involved, Ipsy has been stepping the fuck up. My September bag is really impressive, and I didn’t even get the Butter London nail polish I was hoping for!

Here’s what I received:

Victoria Jackson Taupe Eyebrow Pencil (full size at 0.1oz), retail value $14.95I am not usually a fan of brow pencils because I think the tend to create less natural-looking eyebrows. The color on this is so nice, though, that I am willing to suspend my prejudice. (Still, it could definitely be a hair softer.) The packaging is really luxe, also. Given the twist-up and the sleek box, I was expecting it to be valued much higher than it actually was.

It probably shouldn’t be shocking that I liked this product, given the similarity in color to my favorite bow product: the Tarte Amazonian Clay Brow Mousse in taupe. It’s a teensy bit darker and a little bit cooler in tone, but it’s pretty close. It’s a bit harder to apply because it’s a pencil, but the effect when I am finished doodling on my brows is the same.

It’s super difficult to travel with the Tarte Brow Mousse (because you need the brush and spoolie and it’s just a big pain), so I usually travel with brow powders. From now on, I’ll be bringing this instead. I would have happily paid full price for this product.

The only real problem with this brow pencil is that it doesn’t seem to be very widely available if you want to purchase one.

Cailyn Tinted Lip Balm in Big Apple (full size at 0.14oz), retail value $19

Cailyn products have been sent out by Ipsy before, but I haven’t recieved one. They have a great product design because the packaging contains a brush. At home, this won’t matter, but ‘on the go’ it’s a big perk.

The thing about this product that baffles me is the claim that it is a tinted lip balm when it clearly and indisputably is not. This is a lipstick. It’s a matte lipstick. If this is a lip balm, I have no idea what a lip balm is. This isn’t hydrating; it’s actually pretty drying. It’s also fully opaque. It’s a tiny bit sticky, especially after it dries. It feels a bit like you have glue on your lips.

The color is a slightly warm, medium red.

I like this product okay, but I’m not really impressed. It performs none of the functions of a lip balm but isn’t as well formulated as a nice lipstick. I definitely would not pay full price for this.

Starlooks Kohl Eye Pencil in Obsidian (full size at 0.08oz), retail value $12This product needs a big “WOMP WOMP WOMP” after it. The Starlooks lip liner I received in June was really lovely and soft and gorgeous. This product, on the other hand, displays all the problems you might face using a pencil liner. If I use a pencil eyeliner, I want it to be really soft and creamy and pigmented. This, on the other hand, is hard, meaning it stratches up your eyelids when you use it. What’s more, it looks faded from the moment you put it on.

I think this product is really unimpressive. There are a lot of great eyeliners out there, so there is no reason to waste your time with such an inadequate one.

NYX Single Eyeshadow in Morocco (full size at 0.085oz), retail value $4.50

Until now, the only eyeshadow I’d tried from NYX was that horrible Natural Eyes palette that wouldn’t show color if you layered it on three inches thick. Thankfully, this is nothing like that.
To my surprise, this eyeshadow was lovely. It’s a shimmery, purple-y indigo. It’s nice and opaque, and it blends easily.

I’m still tentative about NYX eyeshadow in general because that palette was so unreasonably bad, but I might be able to give them another shot, since this single is really excellent.

Elizabeth Mott It’s So Big Volumizing Mascara (0.14 fl oz), approximate retail value $8.00This mascara is adequate. It actually seems to give significantly more length than volume, which is strange, given that it is advertised as a volumizing mascara. It’s really incredibly un-noteworthy in every way.

The advertizing, though, is atrocious. I know it’s commonplace in magazines to have those crazily photoshopped ads where the model is wearing eight layers of falsies and we pretend that mascara can achieved that. Normally, though, you don’t see that kind of shit on the internet. Seriously, though, look at this:


Do mascara companies just all think we’re completely dense…?

Total Box Value: $58.45

A look done with all the products I got in the September 2016 Ipsy:

Overall, I’m pretty pleased. The only thing I won’t use is the eyeliner, but I speculate that I can probably find it a happy home. I was impressed by the brow pencil and the NYX eyeshadow, and content with the mascara and the lip product. For $10, this is pretty great.

It’s worth noting: Ipsy changed their referral system this month to allow more choice in what bonus items you get for directing people their way. Now you get points when you refer people, and you can put those towards a bonus item in your next bag. Right now, though, there’s not a lot of choice (there’s a nail polish I’ve already received and a little NYX palette that’s too neutral for my current tastes). Since the points expire, it’s this weird gamble where you have to guess whether or not they’ll get something better later on. Birchbox points also expire, of course, but their points system is so well-done that I can’t imagine not having anything to spend them on.

They’ve also upped the amount of referrals you need to make to get a bonus. It used to be that referring two people got you a bonus item. Now, referring someone gets you 250 points. The current offers are 1000 points, meaning you would need to refer twice as many people to get an extra.

Speaking of blatant attempts to get extra free stuff: if you are interested in joining Ipsy, you’re always welcome to utilize my referral link by clicking here.


1. I might be wrong but Im pretty sure the eyelashes on the model is actually a photoshop brush just stamped where it would be on her eye?

2. Oh, possibly. I’ve had falsies look like that before, though. Either way, it ain’t mascara.

3. The eyeliner wasn’t terrible, actually. I used it to tightline, and it didn’t melt as badly as I was expecting.

4. Eyeliners have to be soft as hell for me to tightline with them, or I’ll end up stabbing myself in the eye.

5. I’d have to agree! I found my eyeliner to be extremely soft and buttery, with great color coverage. I wonder if it may be an issue with how it was shipped or something? For me, out of me bag, it glided on smoothly and richly. Weird.

6. Hm. Mine definitely felt like a $2 eyeliner you’d get at the drugstore and then throw away, haha.

7. I got the exact same bag as you and i have to agree, the eye brow pencil is definitely the best product in the bag. I was initially bummed because I already got the dark brown Chella brow pencil in the last bag but this one actually matches me better. The mascara was kinda shitty in my opinion, and it seems like they never give out decent mascara samples. Hopefully they step that part up in the future!

8. Ipsy mascara samples are usually AWFUL. I didn’t think that one was nearly as bad, but that’s sort of damning by faint praise. In comparison to that Pop Beauty one and that Pixi one…

9. Can you do a brow tutorial someday? Also, VICTORIA JACKSON? Does that have anything to do with Tea Party Crazy Wingnut Victoria Jackson? If it doesn’t, man that is unfortunate!

10. Do have specifics for what you would want in a brow tutorial? Just shaping advice?

Also, no! They’re different people! If you google “Victoria Jackson”, the makeup company doesn’t show up until four results down, and that’s the only link on the first page! Bummer for them.

11. Brow tutorial… yeah, kind of. Just that I don’t know what to pick – brownish eyeshadow, what kind of brush, is pencil better, should I draw on with them combed over or brush them up, should I make an effort to draw on the skin BETWEEN brow hairs or just do the lazy thing I sometimes do where I let the pigment just kind of darken the hair that’s there, and how do I do it without accidentally looking like my 8th grade Bostonian Spanish teacher with her brows drawn on with a magic marker?

And re VJ. That is seriously unfortunate. Needing some mega web presence rehab there. We could help!

12. My Ipsy bag this time makes me want to cancel. I received 3 Freeman Paper masks, cheap ugly lipstick from J Cats, NYX eyeshadow in Cryptonite (i.e., black), and the mascara and eye pencil in your bag. Value is about $30 or less. Very disappointing.

13. They’re hit-or-miss, for sure.

14. Your bag looks lovely. I got the Cailyn lip “balm”, JCat lipstick (the nude, which really just looks like concealer on my lips), Starlooks eyeliner, NYX eyeshadow in ‘Purple’ (really awful pigmentation, so I might have to try it wet), and the mascara.

15. The nyx singles are pretty fabulous and the round trio palettes are pretty great quality too but i hate the large palettes! I dont get why they do that but the singles are amazing and worth hoarding:)

oh btw thanks to you i bought the nyx hd eye primer and looove it. Since you helped me ill in turn recommend the above and beyond full coverage concealer. I freakin love this shit applied with a dense fluffy concealer brush

16. For me, the Calyn lip balm was more of a traditional stain than anything! I found it to be extremely drying on my lips, but the coverage was good and it lasted a while. Kinda on the fence on this one, but it’s absolutely not a balm. 😀

17. I’ve only ever had luck with the single NYX shadows. Iced Mocha is a staple for me. The palettes, for some reason, are not nearly as good quality.

18. I’ve only ever had luck with the single NYX shadows. Iced Mocha is a staple for me. The palettes, for some reason, are not nearly as good quality.

19. Pssst, you can email NYX customer care and they will send you a replacement color of eyeshadow (and you get to keep the one you got).

There was a thread on MUT (makeuptalk) and so many people were dissatisfied with their colors (many of which had been DISCONTINUED) that NYX created an account to appease people.

This offer is only for Ipsy subscribers though. When (if) you email NYX just put “Ipsy + MUT color swap” in the title.

Just a heads up.