About Ipsy

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.

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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24 Consumer Reviews for Ipsy

Average Consumer Rating: 2.1
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 4 4 star: 2 3 star: 0 2 star: 5 1 star:  13
Showing 1-11 of 24
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  • My experience with Ipsy

    • South Carolina,
    • Aug 18, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I don't understand why so many are having this issue. I've been with Ipsy since May of last year. I never had to sign up and be on a waitlist.

    Within the year of having Ipsy, I've received one broken product, which I emailed their support after reading on their page what to do if you don't receive an item or receive a broken item. They were quick to email me back and sent out a new one very quickly. I've also had two bags not arrive on the time they said it would one last year and on a few months ago and emailed them again. Again they quickly emailed back and sent out a replacement bag, no questions asked. Both times I ended up receiving a replacement bag and later my original bag, so I ended up with two.

    Ipsy's bag timing is a little late. I got my bags the last week of each month for the longest time and the date was not guaranteed. I moved in December and now get them on the 10th every month.

    I've not always been happy with my bags. But there have only been two times where I looked at the size and thought "what the heck." I started Ipsy last year because I had no makeup. And didn't have the funds to be buying a bunch of it. I have now a very large collection of makeup all from my Ipsy bags. Lots of full sizes as well as good sized samples. I suppose if people are huge makeup people and are using it every day then the sample sizes are probably not going to last long at all. But I don't use makeup every day. Actually, even when I do most of the time, it's just a light eyeshadow and mascara. Unless I'm taking pictures for Facebook, I don't use much at all. I've received three small mascara samples, and those have lasted me for a year and I'm still using two of them, LOL.

    I've put my bag on pause for a total of three months. They never charged me. Also completely canceled for one month. I never had any issues.

    Now they do push you to share and to invite. I've never invited anyone. I just ignore their asking.

    As for sharing, you earn points which you can redeem for full sized extra products each time you review. If you share your review to Facebook or Twitter, you get more points. Simple thing to do is put your Facebook post with the review so only you can see it. Twitter I don't use so I don't know. Or after you post it to Facebook, just go into your app and delete it. I personally do not care about sharing my reviews. I don't think my friends and family really care either.

    I really like my Ipsy bags each month. Yes, there are duds. But I have grown my makeup collection from non-existent to abundant. I've been able to experiment with products and learn what I like.

    I am 28 years old and the majority of my life I've rarely worn makeup. Usually just a lippie and a sheer eyeshadow. Never experimented either. Now I love makeup. I have a good amount to choose from.

    And the biggest thing is I don't have much money. I don't buy myself things. I suppose I have a minimalist outlook. Even when my bf tells me to take his card to buy myself something nice, my brain puts need over want so I end up buying something we need in the house, or if I don't need something I get something our furbabies need or my bf needs. I come home with what I get, and my bf's face palms every time, LOL.

    Ipsy is the only thing I get myself each month that I do not need. And I look forward to getting my pink parcel in the mail.

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

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  • Junk products. Don’t review your preferences. Automatic recurring subscription.

    • Fairfield, CA,
    • Aug 16, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Scam. You never get anything good. You advise Ipsy what you don’t like, and it still keeps coming. Watch the annual recurring subscription. If you don’t cancel prior to your current subscription you have to pay for another full year. Products are absolute garbage!

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

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  • 2 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Worth it!

    • Chicago, IL,
    • Jul 11, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I want to start off this review by commenting on how many bad reviews there are, with so many consumers complaining they didn’t yet everything they wanted in their bags! You’re only paying $10 a month for these products, and the whole concept of this is to try new things. These products are worth a lot more, and you get some really good quality brushes, etc. I don’t always get everything I want, but at least three or four out of the five I’m super happy with and the others are good to try out. I guess it’s super hard to please everyone.

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

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  • 1 out 10 people found this review helpful

    So sad...I loved my Ipsy bag.

    • Paola, KS,
    • Jul 10, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I started getting Ipsy 2 and 1/2 years ago. I loved the bag, best bag in the $10 lane. I unbox on social media so I'm familiar with Allure Beauty Box, PLAY! by Sephora, BOXYCHARM, Lola Beauty Box, YesOhYas, and of course, Ipsy.

    Ipsy always got me! I loved everything in my bag, every month. The profile rang true for me, they sent me samples I could and did use, many times purchasing the full-size products.

    In their promo vids and the postcards they sent with the bags, often times were men in makeup. I am not a man, and their target customers are women.

    The month of June sent me over the edge - tons of promotions and testimonials about gay men and makeup, none of which I can relate. I am a housewife in the Midwest, and I want to see what the product will look like on me. Or someone with a bone structure like me (a woman).

    June is autism awareness month, but Ipsy chose to make it all about pride month. My bag and the contents of it was all about LGBTQ and companies who are part of that "community," and some proceeds of the June bag went to support the LGBTQ.

    Further making me feel that Ipsy does not know their customer. My guess would be that they lost a lot of business after last month's bag...they lost me and that was my favorite bag

    I don't need your agenda shoved down my throat...I just wanted the bag I loved and to feel included in Ipsy because that is my favorite bag.

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

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    • Aug 13, 2018

      Lacey L.

      Pretty sure they didn't lose a lot of customers. You are the minority in Ipsy's consumer base. Most of us are all for LGBTQ rights and LGBTQ awareness. Ipsy has a theme each month. Please tell me how Autism Awareness would fit into a beauty theme? It wouldn't. I have nothing against Autism Awareness, and in fact, I think that is an extremely important thing to raise awareness for because just like LGBTQ people are misunderstood and called names and are subject to ignorant people behind hateful so are children and adults with Autism.

      But the simple fact is there is countless brand supporting the LGBTQ community. It's a marketing tactic as well because the LGBTQ community already uses makeup. And the LGBTQ community is already very known to everyone to be beauty conscious. Marketing wise Autism Awareness is not an Ipsy bag theme.

      Also, most of Ipsy's base is very happy to see them including everyone, not just women because not only women wear makeup. We are very happy that Ipsy is making a statement when it comes to equality. A man having different bone structure does not make it any harder to see the outcome of the product. Women have different bone structures. Some women even have a more masculine bone structure. I bet that doesn't bother you because what offends you is the LGBTQ community and men wearing makeup.

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    I would not recommend Ipsy to any makeup lover!

    • Bradenton, FL,
    • Jun 26, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Okay, so I love makeup. For years I’ve gone to all of the popular makeup stores, dropping hundreds of dollars on the newest products, and loving every minute of it. So of course when I heard about Ipsy, I was all for it. Ten dollars a month for "top of the line" beauty samples? Hello! Sign me up!

    Taking the beauty quiz was probably the best part of my whole experience, selecting all of my favorite brands and products I wanted to receive was exciting! So you can imagine my disappointment when I received my "glam bag." My first impression was that the makeup bag was cheaply made BUT very cute (hey, $10 a month what did I expect right?). However, I did expect to receive at least one product I had marked as being interested in, or a brand I had actually heard of before.

    So, save your money people! It’s a scam.

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

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  • 3 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Charged money for no subscription

    I subscribed to Ipsy two months ago, and they put me on a waitlist I guess. Then they charged me for April and I received my first bag, but I got no confirmation email with a tracking number, which they promise to send out. Now I got charged for May, and I decided to get this month's bag and cancel my membership because I don't like the products, plus you can get way better deals on full-size items, for example, BOXYCHARM, my roommate subscribes it.

    So I went to my Ipsy account and it says that I don't have a membership and that I'm not even on waitlist and there is no billing information. So that leaves me with the impossible to cancel my membership, and they will keep charging me money.

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

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  • 6 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Don’t give them your money.

    • Bowling Green, KY,
    • Mar 31, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    For two months straight they have taken my money but haven’t delivered their bag. I have emailed their customer support everyday trying to figure out why I still haven’t received anything and they keep telling me they will send me a replacement immediately.

    I still haven’t received anything from them and they refuse to refund my money even though they know that the Shipping website/tracking number they gave me says it was never sent/invalid.

    This is the most ridiculous company. I have since canceled my subscription. Thought it was just me until several people I know that have subscriptions said they’ve gone through this never-ending loop with them as well. I wouldn’t advise anyone to subscribe to this.

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

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  • 0 out 2 people found this review helpful

    Nice makeup bags

    $10 monthly is one of the most affordable subscriptions. I estimated how much the bag and shipping would cost them, including their pay for the staff (online workers, warehouse, and office advertising staff), and dealing with the brands for the "deluxe" and full-size sample size products. I would understand that they are a business too and they have to earn too. And you wouldn't have a five out of five votes for the five products on your bag. In two years of my subscription, I am happy with the three items but not ALL five. Anyhow, it's good to be updated with beauty brands in the market, and you can try what's really worth buying.

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

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  • 6 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Never got anything

    • Virginia,
    • Mar 8, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was charged $10 twice and never received anything from them except an inbox flooded with emails! Nowhere to complain except here in the reviews and they did not offer any kind of refund, just an optional opt-out.

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

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    • Mar 25, 2018

      Jacqueline Sweet

      I’ve never received mine either! I disputed, and started a fraud claim against them.

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  • 15 out 17 people found this review helpful

    My goodness

    • Dallas, TX,
    • Jan 15, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Before you order, you kind of fill out a questionnaire about what you are looking forward to and what best fits you. My goodness, I was moped with brown eyeshadow and pink lip products. I am a very dark skin tone as I stated to Ipsy. As we all know dark skin and bright pink lip products does not look good on us! Very disappointed. What was the point of the questionnaire if no one was going to read it?

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

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  • 16 out 18 people found this review helpful

    What the?

    • Ohio,
    • Dec 21, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have done many, many monthly subscriptions and this one is hands down the worse.

    I subscribed for a 3-month subscription and after paying, my page suddenly said I was on a waitlist BUT I can skip it if I share their site on social media. Uh, no! THAT wasn't part of signing up. I just paid and nowhere did it say there was a waitlist prior to paying, nor that they would hold my membership hijacked unless I shared.

    I emailed them and said there was nothing stating the waitlist and they reassured me my box will be sent sometime next month (of course no date is given). I said I'm not waiting over a month for something to be sent out when I just paid in full, and I'm not sharing their site until I get the boxes to see if I like it or not. If I'm on a waitlist, I wanted to cancel, and then suddenly I get an email stating there isn't a waitlist for 24 hours starting on December 18th.

    I contacted customer service again saying if I can do that then keep my subscription. No response. I emailed back after another day and said I'm very confused as to what is going on with my account. The employee told me that the offer ended on the 14th. I sent him a snapshot of the email, and now I'm done.

    Way too confusing, unprofessional, bad communication, no phone number to call. Definitely, buyer beware.

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

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