Saturday, March 8, 2014

February 2014 Ipsy Bag Review: "The Look of Love"

Because I find myself reading a lot of other Ipsy subscribers' reviews, I decided that I might as well try my hand at my own critiques. What is this "Ipsy" of which I speak, you might ask? Ipsy is a beauty subscription service, from which I get a monthly shipment of 4-5 deluxe-sample or full-size makeup, skincare, and haircare products. For only $10 a month (shipping included), this is a fun little surprise for me, and the value of the bags is always way more than $10 (as you'll discover below). It's a good way to expand my style horizons, since I've been doing my makeup pretty much exactly the same way since the Spice Girls were a thing. I don't love every product, but I've loved enough in each bag so far to make it totally worthwhile... plus, each shipment comes in cute makeup bags, which are proving to be great for organizing some of my little odds and ends. Off we go...

The goodies.
The theme of the February 2014 bag is "The Look of Love," which kind of makes me want to hurl as a single girl on V-Day, but whatevs. Pink it is! The bag is pretty plain on the outside, but the interior is a fun pink leopard print, so there's that.

The contents:
  • 'Tini Beauty's Eyetini Cordial Cream Shadow + Base in One in "Violette" (full-size item, valued at $18): BOOM, this one item nearly doubles the cost of the bag! I typically fail at putting on regular eyeshadow, much less cream shadow, so this is going to require some experimentation, but the color is really soft and pretty.
  •  Zoya's nail polish in "Odette" (full-size item, valued at $9): In the interest of transparency, I must confess that I originally received this polish in the pale pink color "Dot," which just didn't float my boat, so I traded with someone for the far-more-me "Odette," a beautiful neutral lavender sort of shade. I haven't gotten a chance to do a mani yet, because as a nurse, it's impossible to keep polish looking nice when you're using hand sanitizer 1,358,569 times a shift, but I'm planning a full "paws and claws" for my upcoming vacation in a few weeks.
  • Skyn ICELAND's Fresh Start Mask with Ice Age Mud (sample packets, valued at $6.50): This item is currently socked away until I find myself in one of my "needs a spa day" moments, but all the reviews I've read have been glowing. I'm actually hoping I don't like it THAT much, though, because it's not cheap!
  • J.Cat Beauty's false eyelashes in style no. EL15 (full-size product, obviously, valued at $3.99): Unless you count the ridiculously OTT feathers-and-glitter styles that I've occasionally slapped on for Halloween, I've only tried to wear falsies once before, and it didn't go well... they just seemed so unnatural-looking to me, and they're a pain to put on. I'm going to try again on my next special occasion, though, armed with the new-found knowledge that these will look much more natural if I snip them in half and only use them on the outer halves of each eye. We shall see!
  •  Pop Beauty's Plump Pout Mini in "Fuchsia Freesia" (deluxe sample, valued at $8): more on this little item to come in a sec.
So, my February Ipsy bag added up to $45.49... none too shabby for my $10 investment! This was my second bag from Ipsy, and I've heartily approved of both so far, so I definitely foresee myself sticking around for a while. If Ipsy sounds interesting to you (assuming that anyone ever reads this), please use my referral link to go check out their website. (Full disclosure: if you do sign up using my referral link, I get some points that I can use towards products in the future... but I wouldn't recommend it if I didn't love it.)

However, this bag also brought with it a maelstrom of drama, all wrapped up in a tiny pink tube. When I opened my Pop Beauty lip gloss, I noticed an odd chemical sort of scent, but went ahead and tried it on my lips. Loved the color and the consistency of the gloss... but after a while, instead of dissipating, that scent evolved into an extremely potent gasoline/"burnt rubber" sort of stench. Into the trash with it! After reading a few other subscribers' reviews and seeing that I wasn't alone in this issue, I contacted Ipsy's customer service to let them know about the issue, and they swiftly sent me a replacement Pop Beauty gloss and also threw in a Buxom Full-On Lip Polish in "Dolly" for my trouble. Nice, right? However, the replacement Pop item smelled even worse than the first... epic fail. I contacted CS again to let them know that the replacement was also bad, and despite telling them that they didn't need to send me anything else in return, they sent me a mini Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in the shade "Anarchy." While all this was happening, I also contacted Pop Beauty directly to ask about the odor, and they sent me a super-generic reply and a full-size replacement gloss. When it arrived... it smelled like delicious vanilla cupcakes! None of the funkus of either of the minis.

The replacements.

So... problem solved and everybody's happy, right? Negative, Ghost Rider! It turns out that some of the eagle-eyed Ipsy subscribers had taken photos of the mini gloss packaging before opening them, which included a list of ingredients that didn't match the ingredients in the full-size items. Additionally, it was determined that the minis were manufactured in Taiwan, while the full-size items are made in the good ol' US of A. (For the full play-by-play, check out Zadidoll's breakdown of the situation.) Pop Beauty is insisting that the minis are safe to use, despite the fact that they smell like a burning jetliner, so people are up in arms and some are even contacting the FDA and whatnot. I just trashed both of my minis and called it a day, but I definitely don't see myself purchasing anything from Pop Beauty in the future. (I am, however, wearing the full-size gloss as I type this... hate to see it go to waste!) And I'm not letting this put me off Ipsy, since the problem is with another company's product, not their service... I just feel sorry for their customer service agents who are having to do all this damage control!

In other news, this happened:


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