ipsy: August Glamour Academy

I was all set with a manicure for today’s theme, but when I was looking at the pictures, I hated it. So I’ll get back to that later this week and instead give you a look at this month’s ipsy bag! Ipsy is a beauty subscription box that I’ve reviewed before, and you can read their FAQ here.

formul8edphrase ipsy aug look

A simple look using Chella Brow Pencil, Mica eyeshadow in Bronze, and Pixi Lash Booster Mascara

BAG ITSELF (ipsy costs $10/month)
The theme “glamour academy” is back-to-school beauty, and so the bag has a stamped motif of a school-like crest. The royal purple and gold colors give the vinyl bag an indulgent look. The products didn’t really seem to fit the theme, unless you consider that they’re beauty “basics”: mascara, cleanser, lip care, eyeshadow, etc. But since that’s basically what ipsy sends every month, I don’t really know what they were going for. I like this bag, even though purple’s not my color, but it’s a bit too tall to comfortably carry in my purse.

formul8edphrase august ipsy bag

Photo courtesy of ipsy; click for larger image

PIXI LASH BOOSTER MASCARA (color: black) (full size: $17, available in black and blue-black)
I think this was the “everyone gets” product this month. I’ve heard Pixi Beauty is a good brand, although I’ve never tried any of their products before now. I have mascara issues: I have long lashes and I prefer them to look defined, not lush, so finding a mascara formula I like is sort of my never ending quest. Unfortunately, Pixi Lash Booster isn’t it. It’s okay, but gives me uneven and clumpy coverage. That could mean anything, including that the sample was old, so your mileage may vary. It didn’t seem to “boost” anything, and I couldn’t really figure out what made them label it lash booster. Although, I learned from some makeup artist’s blog (whose name I totally can’t remember, sorry!) that there’s no regulation on mascara naming, so companies can basically make any claim they want about the mascara’s name and properties and don’t have to prove it. So my quest continues.

formul8edphrase pixi

Photo courtesy of ipsy; click for larger image

MICA COSMETICS MINERAL EYE SHADOW (color: bronze) (retail: $14.95, available in a variety of shades)
This was a full sized sample, and after getting it, I retook the beauty quiz at ipsy to try and avoid getting more eye shadows. It’s not that I dislike them, but I have so many. This one is loose pigment, which I’m not a huge fan of, since it’s a bit messy and leads me to overapply. I like the pigmentation and shimmer, although I think I’m a little too old to be wearing too much sparkle as a regular look. It wore pretty well throughout the day. This color is perfect for me, and I’m happy to use this product, but I won’t buy more, especially if ipsy continues to send me eye shadows every month.

formul8edphrase mica

Photo courtesy of ipsy; click for larger image

MICHAEL TODD TRUE ORGANICS JOJOBA CHARCOAL SCRUB (full size: $18 for 3.4 fl oz.)
This was an either/or with a MT pumpkin mask that I really, really wanted. So of course I got the product I didn’t want. But I was pleasantly surprised by this scrub. The microbeads are large enough to feel but milled finely enough to not completely abrade my skin. I don’t know if the purified charcoal actually does anything, but my face felt smoother and cleaner after using it. This is the first product ipsy has sent me that I’m going to buy full size, along with the pumpkin mask I wanted.

formul8edphrase Michael Todd

Photo courtesy of ipsy; click for larger image

CHELLA BROW PENCIL (color: Dazzling Dark Brown) (retail: $18, four colors available)
Ipsy sent a Chella highlight a couple of bags ago that I use every day, so I wasn’t disappointed to get the brow pencil. It’s not really a pencil but a cream formula in a pencil holder, and it dispenses in a thin tip that’s perfect for stroking in brows. I think many people forget how important filled-in brows are to completing make-up, even if you’re going for a natural look. This product has a smooth consistency that made it easy to fill in and define my brows to give my face a more balanced appearance. I probably won’t buy it, since it’s full sized and will last long enough that my coupon will expire, but I recommend it.

formul8edphrase chella

Photo courtesy of ipsy; click for larger image

NOYA LIP BALM (vanilla) (retail: $3.99, available in four flavors)
This was the biggest disappointment in the bag. It’s a good lip balm with a mild taste, and it’s a kosher product, but it’s no better than any of the sixteen lip balms currently stashed all over my house and car. Additionally, it comes in a ton of needless cardboard packaging, which I consider wasteful. What makes me really irritated, though, is that this was an “either/or” product against the new Urban Decay lipsticks, which retail for $22. So the subscribers who got lip balm got a much lower value for their money than the others. Also, who needs to sample untinted lip balm? That’s hardly an edgy or interesting product that fits the ipsy ethos of trying new looks. Ugh, here’s hoping they don’t do that again.

formul8edphrase noya

Photo courtesy of ipsy; click for larger image

As if the lip balm wasn’t enough to make me side-eye ipsy this month, they also sent out the exact same nail polish overstock that they did last month, although fortunately they made an effort to keep people from getting it as a repeat product. They sent out overstock NYX blush from two months ago as well. The fact that Julep does this with their mystery boxes is what made me stop buying those, so I’m disappointed to see ipsy do it too.

Overall, I like the products in this bag and feel like I got my $10 worth, and I’m looking forward to next month.

DISCOUNT CODES (includes products I didn’t get in my bag):
Pixi Beauty: PIXI+IPSY for 20% off any purchase
MICA Beauty: IPSY25 for 25% off any purchase
MICHAEL TODD: AUGIPSY for 30% off any purchase
CHELLA: BROWPENCIL for 20% off any purchase
NOYA: IPSTER for 20% off any purchase
URBAN DECAY: IPSY for free shipping with lipstick purchase
SMASHBOX: IPSY for a free full size Full Exposure Mascara with any full-size Photo Finish Primer purchase
CITY COLOR COSMETICS: IPSY0813 for 20% off any purchase
NYX: IPSYCHEEKS for 40% off Tango with Bronzing Powder
PACIFICA: IPSY20 for 20% off any purchase
NAILTINI: hot4ipsy for 30% off any purchase

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