IPSY reveal

Photos by Catey Sedor

My September glam bag from IPSY was one of my best yet, which made me very pleased since September is my birthday month. Who doesn’t want a killer makeup look on your birthday? If you aren’t familiar with the brand, IPSY is a monthly subscription service that delivers customizable glam bags to your door every month. It gives you complete control over the types of makeup products you like, including hair, body and nail care products as well. 

Their preference quiz is based on how often you would like to receive certain types of products and they use these preferences to select your five beauty products every month. They always come in a cute monthly-themed bag, and on the second day of every month you’ll be able to see all the items they put together for you. As an extra customization feature, they let you select one of the five items to go in your glam bag. This can be anything from mascaras, eyeliners, eyeshadows, hair gels, nail polish, etc., so that you’ll always have at least one product to really look forward to. 

I’ve had to update my preferences a few times, when I noticed I was receiving a lot of moisturizers and face masks that I didn’t need. It’s nice they give you the option to change your preferences whenever you want and it goes into effect for your next glam bag if you do it before the deadline. The best part, in my opinion, are the add-ons. You’re guaranteed to receive five products with every glam bag, but if for some reason you feel like adding more or you aren’t pleased with what they selected for you, they offer a range of products that could be as cheap as $3 that you can add to your glam bag. You can add as many products as you want and they even have some full size options for $12 to $15. 

I will admit that with all of their add-on options it’s so hard to stop myself from adding more. What normally would be a $12 monthly makeup bag turns into a $15 or $18 monthly makeup bag because of all the add-ons I choose. It’s such a fun process though, getting to customize your bag and always having new products to look forward to every month. Some of the products I’ve received in these bags have changed my makeup game entirely. So let’s dive into what the month of September brought me: 

Photos by Catey Sedor

Doucce Freematic Blush 

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars 

This blush shade is beautiful for fall. I’m not huge on blush, and usually like to keep it pretty subtle with baby pink shades, but this muted peachy tone just reminds me of the fall season and looks good with every fall makeup look I’ve created so far. It’s decently pigmented and glides on smooth. I find I don’t need a lot of product on my brush to pick up this pigment, and it pairs well with my Physicians Formula Sculpting Bronzer in the shade Toffee. It’s been my go-to blush since I received it! 

Benefit Cosmetics Porefessional Hydrate Primer

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I’ve tried the Benefit Porefessional Matte primer before, but I like this hydrating one better for this time of year. Though we’ve only just started the month of October, my skin is already drying out. This primer doesn’t feel tacky on my skin and provides that little extra moisture underneath my foundation for long-lasting wear. I’ve been loving it under my Catrice Ultra HD foundation with my Mario Badescu spray on top for a fresh face in the fall. 

Doucce Freematic Highlighter

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

This highlighter has a beautiful frostiness to it, which I love. I tend to lean towards cooler toned highlighters rather than warm because my skin tone is more pale. This highlighter applies very evenly but has a decent amount of fallout. I also noticed that it isn’t very long-lasting. If I do my makeup in the morning, it’s barely noticeable by the end of the day. It’s still a usable product so long as I reapply throughout the day. 

Tarte Big Ego Mascara (I picked this)

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I always opt for mascara when I pick my one product out of the five. This one did not disappoint, as Tarte mascaras never do. Tarte’s mascaras really are top tier. This one has a thick brush that separates my lashes and gives me the full look I want without looking clumpy. It looks like I’m wearing false lashes and it stays on all day. No spider lashes, no flaking. I have no complaints with this one. 

Pixi by Petra

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I’m usually not the biggest fan of eyeliner pencils because I prefer precision and pencils just get dull really fast, but I was impressed with this Petra liner. It’s this golden brown, coppery shade that’s perfect for Autumn. I use it for more smoked out looks instead of as a precise liner. I did notice that because the formula is so soft, it dulls quickly and after one or two uses it has already lost a significant amount of its sharpness. If you don’t mind having to sharpen your liner pencils often, this liner is great for smudged out and smokey fall makeup looks. 

These are the add-ons I got in my September bag:

Maelle Beauty Clearly Brilliant Tinted Lips in Berry

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars. 

I’m on a desperate hunt right now for more lipsticks and I prefer ones that have an easy application. Liquid lipstick is pretty much out of the question right now with masks, so lately I’ve been preferring something I can just quickly swipe on my lips for a little pop of color and call it a day. 

This Maelle Beauty lipstick has a crayon-like applicator and the formula is lovely. It glides on smooth, is intensely pigmented for a lip tint and is fairly long-lasting, even with my face mask absorbing most of the product. I took away one star for this one because the color is a bit brighter than I anticipated. The pink is very bright and I worry it’s a little too Barbie for me. 

Marc Anthony True Professional Strictly Curls Curl Defining Lotion

My rating: 2 out of 5 stars

I have naturally wavy hair that can get decent curls when I actually try to bring them out. I picked this curling cream for my add-on because I had used a Marc Anthony leave-in conditioner in another IPSY bag and absolutely adored it. I used every last drop of that one, because the coconut smell was amazing and the product was so hydrating for my dry, damaged hair. 

I was a bit disappointed with this one right away, because the smell was off-putting. I prefer sweet scents over citrus scents and this one has a strong lemon smell that reminds me of Clorox wipes…there I said it. After I finally convinced myself to try this product despite the smell, I was fairly impressed with how it defined my curls. It definitely reduced the frizz and enhanced my natural waves a bit more. I’m not sure I would ever repurchase this one again, though. I didn’t think it performed well enough for me to get over the Clorox smell.  If you like citrus scents, this shouldn’t be a problem for you! I just had such high hopes for another Marc Anthony product after the first one smelled so incredible. 

Aside from my last product, which technically was an add-on and not included in IPSY’s original glam bag selection for me, September was a good month for makeup! I think I finally got my preferences quiz perfected so I’m receiving all the products I want. I’ve used all of these products consistently since I received them and I know I’ll definitely be repurchasing the mascara, primer, blush, and possibly the Maelle Beauty lipstick, but in a different shade. I can’t wait to see what my October glam bag brings! 

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Hi, I’m Maria McGinnis, a senior journalism student from Stow, Ohio. I’m also the editor in chief of A Magazine. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty, and culture. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine.

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