This bag was kind of a let down...I had really high hopes since the December bags have been traditionally awesome, but this was a bag that I am considering passing along to a friend in its entirety. Meh.
Date of arrival: Ummmmmm December 12, I think. Which is a step in the right direction, DHL.
Packaging: Beloved pink bubble mailer and generic Celebration! theme card sans mention of it being Ipsy's birthday. You can win a 1 year subscription if you tag ipsy in FB or IG photos this month. I think the black quilted patent leather bag is super cute, but I wish the red lining was pink (seriously, who am I anymore?)
Contents and mini reviews: I received a Pop Beauty eyeshadow Bright Up Your Life...trio (I always want to say quad) in Smokin' Hot, be a bombshell The One Stick in girl crush, Julie G Textured Nail Color in Sugar Plum Fairy, J cat Beauty's The Big Lip Pencil in Red Rose, and a Mirabella eye blender brush.
Here are some swatches...the be a bombshell goes on REALLY light, I had to go over it several times before I got any color payoff. I do like that it's an eye / lip / cheek product; it would be good to throw in a bag for after the gym. I just hope it's not too sparkly for cheeks. The J cat went on pigmented in one swipe, but was also easily wiped off my hand in one swipe so I'm guessing it's not terribly long lasting. It's not the worst J cat product I've seen though (remember glittergate?)
I wish I was able to tell you more about this month's products (or to at least photograph the rest of them outside the packaging), but I am seriously so unimpressed by this bag that I don't know if I'm keeping anything besides the brush and the bag. I AM SO FREAKING TIRED OF ALL OF THESE BRANDS. Pop Beauty and Pixi are owned by the same company, and I have tried tons of both lines thanks to Ipsy (they did end up sending me the missing Pixi bronzer from last month's bag). It's okaaaaaaaay but none of it is great. I have also tried a ton of be a bombshell and mirabella via Ipsy. They are definitely higher quality than pop/pixi, but at this point I have a feel for the brands and if I want more I'll buy more. Pinky promise. J cat is pure junk and I'm not interested in getting any more. The only brand that hasn't been shoved down our throats is Julie G. I LOVE Julie and am a long time viewer (she's a YouTube beauty guru), but if I want to try her nail polish I'll hop in my car and hit up Rite Aid. It's only a few bucks, I can swing it. And Julie G is somehow affiliated with Jesse's Girl, which we have received already. I can only assume that Michelle will continue to send Julie G stuff our way in the hopes that Julie will pimp em cosmetics on her channel. It would not be the first time we got a ton of unwanted beauty guru nail polish (I'm looking at you and your excessively bright Circus line, Andrea's Choice!!!)
I'm sorry if this is overly ranty, but if we keep getting the same tired brands I will definitely NOT resubscribe in May. Or maybe I'll hate subscribe (TM Erica) so I can continue ranting about it and donate it to the Battered Women's Shelter. When you ignore the brands and the fact that I don't NEED any of this, it really is a lovely bag for SOMEONE. Just not me.
Value: This bag rang in at $56.18. Ipsy contines to provide good value, but only by working with the same brands over and over (that are likely overpriced). A
The full size Smokin' Hot Palette is $24 for 10 shadows, so this sampler is worth $7.20
The One Stick is $16
Julie G polish is $3.99
J cat lip pencil is $1.99 (hahaha)
Mirabella eye blender brush is $27 (it's a really nice, soft brush, but really?)
Overall impression of the bag: I think we have pretty much covered that I'm ready for Ipsy to send some new brands. Ignoring all that, there was nothing at all wrong with this bag. The products may not be exciting, but they are nice, and there continues to be tons of full sized item. I'm happy with the bag and the brush. I'd give the bag a B if it was a standalone, but I'm going to knock it down to a C- for not having any new brands.
Overall impression of the service: I would drop them to a B+ due to the same old boring brands, but I am happy with the fact that they sent me my missing product last month and that the shipping speed has improved two months in a row. Ipsy hangs on to the A-, but just barely.
Ipsy subscription information, if my glowing review (ha) swayed you at all: (referral link here, past reviews here)