About Ipsy

By HighYa Research Team
Published on: Mar 19, 2015

Created by Youtube makeup tutorial maven Michelle Phan, ipsy is a monthly beauty and makeup subscription mailer service that delivers trending beauty products directly to your door, at up to 70% savings.

For several years, Michelle’s makeup tutorials have gone viral, as she clearly and simply explains how to duplicate her near-magic cosmetic transformations with a few products and some precise application techniques.

Now for $10 a month, Michelle’s fans and beauty product aficionados alike can become ipsy members and receive a mix of “deluxe” sample sizes and full-size products from popular manufacturers such as Urban Decay, NYX, and Smashbox, all packaged in a kitsch travel size makeup bag.

What ipsy Offers

To complement its subscription service, ipsy has created an online community where users can chat about products with each other, ask questions about techniques for application, and offer advice.

More tips n’ tricks are available by viewing ipsy’s beauty tutorials, which cover everything from contouring basics and how to use the products included in each month’s bag, to creating specific looks after your favorite celebs.

But you may be thinking: “Beauty product purchases are a pretty personal endeavor, so how does ipsy know what to send me?”

With a quiz, of course!

Ipsy’s service differentiates itself by offering a level of customization not seen with other monthly beauty subscription services. Upon signing up, users are directed through the “ipsy Beauty Quiz” which ipsy promises will help their team of stylists and curators best understand your personal style, and then tailor product boxes to your tastes.

The quiz walks users through questions such as, “Which describes your personal style best,” “Which ipsy stylist do you relate most to,” and “Rate your overall comfort with applying cosmetics.”

Designed to appeal to beginner makeup lovers looking to recreate Angelina’s famous cateye liner, as well as to those with RuPaul-level contouring ability, ipsy welcomes members of all experience levels to dig in and learn how to feel a little prettier.

» Related: The Best Beauty Box Subscription Services for 2019

Want to Feel Glam?

Ipsy’s monthly delivery of Glam Bags is available for $10 per month. Shipping and handling is free for US orders, while it costs $4.95 to ship to Canada. The service isn’t yet available for international orders.

Annual subscriptions are also available for $110, giving members who commit to a year-long subscription one month for free.

Subscribers won’t ever know what’s coming in next month’s bag, but hints are available by viewing ipsy’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

If you’re not happy with what’s arrived, unfortunately refunds for the contents of your Glam Bag aren’t available. However, if products have arrived damaged or missing, subscribers are directed to contact ipsy’s customer care at ipsyCare.

Ipsy also allows members to earn ipsyPoints to spend on special products released on their site. New members earn 100 points for signing up and active members can earn 250 points for referring a friend! There are lots of ways to earn ipsyPoints, and the complete list can be found here.

Ipsy’s subscription service currently has a wait list, but for eager members who can’t bear a few months of suspense, ipsy offers a program called “Skip the Wait” to “reward their biggest fans.” Members who gain referrals through likes and shares on Facebook, message invites to Facebook friends, as well as who subscribe to their Instagram and YouTube channels, will be moved from the Waitlist and set to receive their first Glam Bag the following month.

Although the term “subscription” is used to describe their service, those interested in signing up for ipsy should understand that this means your credit card will be charged monthly, and cancelling your subscription requires a call to customer service.

What ipsy Reviewers Are Saying

As with many beauty products or services, it can be difficult to tell which positive reviews are sponsored and which are possibly biased.

While a quick Google search for ipsy reviews yields a range of beauty bloggers who wax poetically about their monthly bags, with posts accompanied by professional-looking photos, member review sites reveal some less-than-positive experiences along with positive ones:

“I never received my ipsy bags for December or this month. I jumped through all the loops (free advertising and following) to get off the waiting list. I have been charged for two months, yet to no avail. I never got my bags, and when I told them, they refused a refund because it's "policy". So there's a policy covering them for STEALING my money? Not good. No thanks.” (Source)

“I loved my ipsy subscription in the beginning, (yeah u read it right LOVED).. I ended up cancelling it though because it seems that they just dont care.. I paid for my subscription every month and enjoyed getting my goodies.. it was like christmas every month BUT it got really old when they would start sending me the previous months bags because they "RAN OUT". They did this to me 2 times which was 2 times too much! I was upset and contacted them and they basically brushed me off! I think that since they made us wait for an invitation for about a month until there was availability then this shouldnt be happening! I sent over referrals after I joined and they got added AFTER ME and were receiving their correct bags. I thought if the problem would be corrected, maybe I would have stayed but after the initial response I received after I first contacted them, I WILL NEVER GIVE THEM MY MONEY AGAIN!” (Source)

Many reviewers who were disappointed with their ipsy shipments state similar complaints:

  • A lack of variety in the products and brands
  • Multi-month-long line when placed on the wait list
  • Missing shipments
  • Unresponsive customer service when attempting to cancel

Ipsy holds an A+ Better Business Bureau rating with 73 closed complaints (as of 3/16/15). Similar to reviews elsewhere online, some of the most common complaints also revolve around long wait list times, difficulty processing returns/cancelling subscriptions, and missing shipments.

Final Thoughts on ipsy

For cosmetics lovers with a real eye for trends and a desire to be on the cutting edge, ipsy appears to offer a wide variety of new products and a supportive community that helps members learn how to best create the looks they desire.

However, makeup is such a personal thing, and it’s really important to buy flattering shades and products that work for your skin tone and type, making it much more of a challenge for ipsy to send out products that will work for everyone on their subscription list. Because of this, while you might find many of ipsy’s products work with your skin type and personal style, there will likely be a few you’re dissatisfied with.

Also, keep in mind that there are several other popular beauty-based subscription services available, including BirchBox, Beauty Box 5, Wantable, and many more. So get out there and explore!

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Read 36 Ipsy Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Consumer Rating: 2.1
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 6 4 star: 3 3 star: 0 2 star: 6 1 star:  21
Showing 1-11 of 36
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  • Just got my 1st order!

    • Ohio,
    • Aug 15, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Love love love my Ipsy bag! They really paid attention to the survey I submitted as to what I use and the colors I like! NAILED IT! I love every single item they sent. Can't wait to try them all out! Very impressed.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Products didn't show and they are never like the personalized products

    • Kansas City, MO,
    • Jul 1, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Not worth even $10, if you don't receive the product you pay extra for. And can't use the products they send. I've kept even for as long as I have hoping it would change. Now I'm just left with a bunch of product I can't use.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Don't buy into this "beauty bag"

    • California,
    • Jan 17, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    It's all lies. First, you fill out a beauty survey, next, you get nothing that is on your survey. You end up with 10,000 eyeshadow brushes and 9,000 ugly lipsticks/glosses. Eyeshadow you don't request because you don't wear eyeshadow. Broken items and no help from "customer service."

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 8 out 8 people found this review helpful

    This company is a scam

    • Atlanta, GA,
    • Jan 15, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Forking over your money to Ipsy is a GAMBLE. You may or may not receive what you ordered. If you do run into any issues, "IpsyCare" will refuse to do anything for you. They acknowledge the orders have not shipped, but they will not refund you. They will not make sure you get your order. I am missing an order from nearly two months ago and my most recent ones still haven't shipped either (orders placed about two weeks ago). I thought the missing order was a one-off, but it WAS NOT. Please do not believe the good reviews online. Ipsy gives their customers points for leaving positive reviews. They are NOT reliable.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Worst customer service

    • Georgia,
    • Jan 8, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    WORST! Don't waste your money, I got better products from PlayBox. The last two boxes I had I got duplicate eyeliners and customer service just argued with me about it until I gave up! Why would I make up being sent two crappy $5 eyeliners? I don't know if they just reserve the worst products for new subscribers or what.

    Also, the survey they give you means nothing...I specifically said no hair tools (does my hair look long enough for wands or straighteners?) and my last box had, you guessed it, a flat iron as the "high-value item." Good luck unloaded unwanted items on eBay, there are so many postings (maybe other unhappy customers?) listing items that they are worth next to nothing. I'd suggest skipping the subscription, and if you see a product you want, go on eBay and buy it cheap. So happy it's my last month this month!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Okay in the beginning, bad at the end.

    • Hamilton, OH,
    • Nov 23, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I originally got excited for Ipsy for its affordable price and the fact you get a bag every month. The first couple were okay, stuff I was wanting to try out. But then it turned into products I either don't use or colors I prefer not using. It truly feels like they don't care about your preferences and just give you what they have in stock. I would not recommend Ipsy to anyone.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Not good with shipping

    • New York,
    • Oct 20, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I signed up and paid at the beginning of the month, and even though it said it shipped, supposedly it will take weeks to get to me, which means I'm not going to get it until the following month, even though I paid at the beginning of the previous month. The pushback date keeps changing, so I'm sure it will be even longer than what it says now. If I paid for a certain month, I should get it that month, not months down the line.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    I would never do this again!

    • Winchester, CA,
    • Oct 13, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    The only reason they get one star is because you have to give them something...I bought this as a one time gift for a friend. Before the year was up, I emailed Ipsy and told them I do not want to renew, I bought it as a one time gift. They said no problem..your subscription will not be renewed, and then, of course, a few months later I was charged $119.63. I have proof that they sent me an email canceling after the one year was up, and they still won’t give me back my money.

    I can’t believe even though I have the confirmation email say that they would not renew my subscription they will not refund me. I wish I knew how to attach the email so I could show you my proof. I would never recommend this to a friend.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Continued charging after cancellation

    • Cherry Hill, NJ,
    • Oct 7, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    It was great quality stuff until I went to cancel my subscription and they kept charging my account! I had to cancel FOUR separate times (they also make it nearly impossible to do so), and I was somehow still being charged. I stopped getting bags back in March 2018 but was charged every month through July 2018! I called and emailed Ipsy’s customer service several times with no response.

    I finally had to call our bank and report them as a scam so they could cut them off from the source.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 2 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Worth the money

    • Texas,
    • Oct 2, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I've been getting my Ipsy bag for over a year now, and I love it. I feel I get more than my money's worth every single time (I haven't had to purchase mascara or eyeliner in the entire time I've been getting the bag!). I hardly recognize any of the brands, but they have all been super great quality. There's always plenty in each sample to use more than once, and many times you get a full sized product. And the bags are so cute!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Disgusted

    • Castle Pines, CO,
    • Sep 9, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Not only is Ipsy a complete ripoff with pathetic "samples" from mostly unheard of brands, but canceling your membership is comparable to leaving the mafia. I’ve never been so disgusted with a company. Don't do it!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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Showing 1-11 of 36

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