I recently cancelled my Ipsy subscription after a year and a half of receiving those enticing pink envelopes in the mail once a month. I joined Ipsy to force me to try new things, and they accomplished that in droves. I decided to cancel recently because after subscribing to Play! by Sephora, I decided that I just didn’t need ten samples arriving at my house each month. I wanted some full-sized products, and Boxycharm’s recent boxes drew me in. I was not disappointed or upset with Ipsy, even though I was less than thrilled with my most recent bag. I would recommedn this service to anyone wanting to branch out and try new things. It was a hard decision to cancel. I truly loved Ipsy, and I will always have a soft spot for the subscription box that got me started on my makeup journey.
So I’d like to thank Ipsy for what it’s done for me in a Top Ten list of makeup items I’ve learned about through Ipsy, some funny makeup fails, products I’ve come to love, and most of all, what I’ve learned about myself as a result of this subscription box.
So to send my subscription out with a bang, here are my Top Ten Best Ipsy Moments:
- I learned what liquid lipstick is. Seriously, when I started Ipsy, I had no idea that this product existed. In one of my first bags, I received a Cailyn Pure Lust Extreme Matte Tint Liquid Lipstick in Narcissist. It was a lip product that came in a tube and had a sponge (I now know it’s called a doe-foot) applicator. I assumed it was a gloss. (Yes, I know it says “extreme matte tint,” but I didn’t really read the package at the time.) So I put it on, and it almost immediately dried down to a thin matte finish. WTF? I rubbed it off and tried it again. Same thing. I was so confused, convinced I’d gotten a dud, and threw it back in the bag in disgust. I don’t know when I became aware that liquid lipsticks were a thing, but at some point I pulled it out and tried it again. Ah, got it. Liquid lipstick. Now I will say it is still a little too bright pink for my taste–I wish the shade had a hint for brown in it–but I love Ipsy for introducing me to this product, even if it took me months to know what I had.
- I discovered my love of hair oils. In a year and a half of subscribing to Ipsy, I probably have 4-5 little bottles of hair oil. I came to love this product–as a leave-in conditioner, split-end mender, overnight hair treatment, you name it. I love their smell, the silky feel in my hands, and the ease of use of the sample size of hair oil, particularly for travel. My favorite might be the most recent Obliphica Seaberry Hair Serum for Medium to Coarse hair. I may love it because of the purple packaging. Or the sugary sweet scent. If you’ve ever tried Kenra products, it smells very similar. It is one of my favorite products for an overnight leave-in on wet hair. My hair is soft and manageable and holds curls perfectly the next morning without losing volume or being weighed dow. I think it’s a great hair oil, and it’s become one of my staples.
- I discovered my new favorite line of hair products: Brigeo. I received their Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-In Spray treatment in my very first Ipsy bag; I think the theme was Jetsetter or something travel-related. Sure enough, I was going on a trip the next week, and I took this leave-in with me. It smells amazing, feels light on the hair, and works perfectly as an overnight treatment, since I tend to let my hair air dry. (It works if you dry your hair after showering as well.) Their products are almost entirely natural, free of parabens and sulfates, and cruelty-free. They are on the affordable side of higher end products: still more than drugstore, but not luxury pricing either. I bought the full size, and have since received hair masks and volumizers from this line. The Blossom and Bloom volumizer is already on my wish list. I recently received some Sephora emails about “discovering indie brands,” and Brigeo was one of them. Hah! This made me feel great, as I’d discovered them a year before. You know, because I’m so on top of trends and all.
- Ipsy Offers: I already miss the daily Ipsy offers. I’d check them every day around 11 (when they became available in my time zone) and I got some great deals! My favorite has to be the set of 4 Colourpop Lippie Stix for $12! This was my first venture into Colourpop cosmetics, and I think their Lippie Stix might be my favorite lip product of the moment. I love the shape and ease of application, and every formula, from matte to sheer, is just perfect. The range of shades is amazing, though verging on overwhelming, and is always expanding. I just love this product, and I cannot thank Ipsy enough for making good products available through their Ipsy offers. I’m still kicking myself for not buying the Meet Matt(e) Trimony palette when they had it for $20 this summer!
- I was introduced to high end mascaras. This may sound silly, but I’d been a drugstore mascara devotee (and still am, really) until Ipsy kept sending me mascara samples, often from Smashbox and Benefit. While I still have not bought a full size high end mascara, I love the samples, and if I do buy one, it will be Smashbox X-Rated mascara. That stuff is incredible. And someday I may bite the bullet and buy Benefit’s They’re Real primer and mascara. Used together, my eyelashes look twice and long and thick as they ever have with another product. I love my drugstore finds, but Ipsy has opened me up to many new possibilities that I would not have tried otherwise.
- I learned what to look for in a facial moisturizer and cleanser. I used to choose my cleaners and moisturizers practically with my eyes closed. Whatever was on sale and seemed functional is what I would buy. This is fine, but certainly won’t bring you joy or make you look forward to any sort of skincare routine. Thanks to the many samples of cleanser and moisturizer, Ipsy taught me what different products could do, and now I know how to make better choices whether I’m at Target or Sephora. And I look forward to my skincare routine, morning and evening, rather than slapping products on my face and thinking “good enough.”
- I tried turquoise eyeliner. One month last summer, Ipsy broke the subcription box mold and sent a turquoise eyeliner, instead of the usual black. It was an Ofra liner, and I fell in love with it. I had been wanting to try a turquoise liner, but didn’t know where to start. Enter Ipsy. I wore it all the time, and with neutral shadows it was just the right amount of a pop of color to make me feel fun, carefree, and easygoing, none of which are typical qualities for this Type-A stressball. Since then I’ve ventured into new shades of eyeliner, new eyeshadow colors and combinations for day and night, and I credit that Ofra liner from Ipsy for starting me down that path.
- Highlighter? What’s that? I received my first ever highlighter in an Ipsy bag. It was the Jelly Pong Pong Liquid Gossamer. I had no idea an online beauty community existed at the time, so I did not know the joy of the highlight, powder or otherwise. The Jelly Pong Pong Illuminator was a cream highlight, but thankfully applies quite well over powder (since goodness knows I didn’t know what to do with it), unlike some cream highlighters that get patchy. But I knew I loved how it made my cheekbones look, and while it never really made it into my regular routine, I always smiled and patted some on whenever I pulled it out of my makeup drawer. So it has a special place in my heart for introducing me to what is now one of my favorite products. (The first highlight I bought was the NYX Strobe of Genius palette–7 highlighter shades in one palette! This was one time no one could accuse me of treading lightly!)
- Two words: Facial Oil. I’m very lucky to say that I’ve never really struggled with acne, yet I spent my teenage years terrified of oil. I powdered my face, like all teenage girls I think, until I looked like a ghost, for fear of even a hint of oil shining through. I worried about french fries and potato chips, and slathered on Clean and Clear like my life depended on it. So when Ipsy sent me the Nourish Organic Argan Face Serum, I had another WTF moment. Not quite as strong as the liquid lipstick WTF, but up there. So you’re saying, Ipsy, that I’m supposed to put oil all over my face? To say I was skeptical is an understatement. But in the end the amazing apricot smell won me over and I tried it. My skin glowed, I woke up the next morning and my face looked plumped, and over time I actually had fewer breakouts than I had before! I mean, just all the good things. I was hooked. I haven’t run out yet–probably because I’ve tried a few others for comparison and you need so little they last forever!–but I plan to buy this one again soon. I’ve now learned that you can use it alone or over moisturizer to seal in its effects. Even with my dry skin, I can wear this one to bed on its own and wake hydrated and glowing. Thank you, Ipsy! Cause we know I’d never have tried that on my own. And an honorable mention goes to the Burt’s Bees Facial Oil Cleanser I received a few months later. Nourish Organic paved the way, and now this cleanser is another favorite. My skin feels so soft and clean after using it. It a great waterproof eye makeup remover as well.
- The most important lesson I learned from my first venture into subscription boxes: You don’t have to try so hard to be in control. I loved getting five products I did not choose for myself each month. It wasn’t up to me, so I could sit back and try new things without pressuring myself to get it right. If the product sucked, it was Ipsy’s fault, not mine. Just kidding. But it allowed me to relax when I needed it most.
So in the end, my Ipsy subscription accomplished its goals: I learned so much about makeup, tried products I’d never heard of or would never have bought otherwise, and pushed myself to a place I could not have imagined when I started my subscription. In a life ruled by “no,” I learned to say “yes.” Instead of turning things down for fear of failing, I accepted challenges on the chance I might succeed. (Yes, I am indeed talking about more than makeup here.) And succeed I did, especially in learning that one failed attempt is not the end. There’s always another opportunity, another month, another bag. Makeup wipes off. Mistakes can be amended. Not everything is as serious as I thought it once was. And all those balls in the air? More like helium balloons. They don’t come crashing down if you let go a little. In some ways, you find more joy when you let go.