Unpaid [2023] Ipsy Bag Review + Read before you order

Today I’m sharing my unpaid ipsy glam bag review and we’re talking all about the IPSY beauty box subscription, the different types of glam bags, and sharing reviews to see if it’s really worth it. Spoiler alert: Yes, yes it is. This post is NOT sponsored and may contain affiliate links. Try IPSY HERE. 

A few years ago I got an Instagram ad for a beauty subscription box called IPSY. It boasted higher-end beauty products at a very low price.

Usually, I click right through the Instagram ads but I’d been eying some designer beauty products so I swiped up and ordered a box for myself for Mother’s Day.

Five years later I’m on my millionth box and sharing all the details. 

Unpaid IPSY Box Review: Initial Thoughts: 

I was really impressed with my first two bags.

In my first bag, I loved three out of the five products, liked one, and didn’t care for the fifth. It came to about $100 worth of products I’d use and one lipstick in a deep shade I’ll gift to a friend or save for an occasional party. 

In my second bag, I was excited about the timely Tula sunscreen. The rest of the products are things I’ll use (no more dramatic deep red lipstick). I also got my first taste of shopping IPSY Flash with my second bag, the flash sale for add-on products. I snagged a Kate Somerville serum for $16 (retails for $98), a summer lip color, a brow pencil I’d been needing, and a highlighter all for an additional $33. 

What is IPSY?

IPSY is a monthly beauty bag subscription filled with 5 deluxe samples or full sized items, depending on which subscription you join. Born out of the YouTube beauty movement (spearheaded by makeup artist Michelle Phan), ISPY is the most popular beauty subscription box with over 3.5 million subscribers. 

How does IPSY work? 

When you join IPSY, you are invited to take a quick 2 minute beauty quiz to build your first Glam Bag.  The beauty quiz includes questions about your beauty preferences, skin tone, hair color, and eye color. They also ask about your favorite makeup brands and which products you’d like to receive more of, and try to take each of these answers into consideration when building your unique bag.

For example, I shared that I would prefer skincare products to makeup or hair products, that I liked neutrals, and that I have normal combination skin. So far I’ve received a mix of skincare and makeup but no hair products. 

At the beginning of the month (for subscribers) IPSY opens up that month’s glam bag and lets members choose one product to be included in their bag. After that, your credit card is charged. IPSY then fills the rest of your bag with products based on your beauty quiz and past product reviews and ships out your bag. 

Before checkout you also have the chance to purchase add-ons through the IPSY Flash sale. These products are sold at a big discount and ship for free with your ISPY bag. 

How much does IPSY cost?

There are three different monthly subscription bags you can purchase. Each gives you the option to show IPSY Flash, a flash sale of beauty products, each month. The Glam Bag with 5 deluxe samples is $12 a month, the Glam Bag Plus with 5 full sized products is $25 a month, and the Glam Bag Ultimate is $50 a month. 

Add-ons and kits range from $3 – $100 and are always sold at a deep discount. 

Is IPSY Worth It? 


If you’re interested in trying out new beauty products, experimenting with higher end brands, or just replacing some key products in your makeup bag, IPSY is AWESOME. 

I currently subscribe to the Glam Bag Plus at $25 a month. Each month there are at least two or three products that I love and use (mascara, eyeliner, primer, moisturizer, bb cream, sunscreen) that are combined worth far more than I paid for the bag. 

That said, you likely can’t use all the products up as fast as you get new ones so unless you want A LOT of product lying around, consider skipping months. 

I think IPSY is also worth it just to get access to ISPY Flash product sales, the add-ons you get the option of buying each month, and other member-only sales on the IPSY website. You get access to these no matter which level of subscription you purchase. I bought a Kate Sommerville serum I had been looking at for $18 that retails for $98. They almost always have basics like eyeliner, mascara, primer, and moisturizer along with ever-changing options for haircare, serums, makeup, etc. 

What are the different IPSY bag options? 

IPSY Glam Bag

The IPSY Glam Bag is a monthly makeup bag that includes 5 deluxe-sized beauty samples, customized based on your beauty quiz answers. Based on your preferences, you’ll receive a mix of makeup products, haircare products, skincare products, and nail products. 

Each month you get to pick one product (from a selection) that will come in your Glam Bag. The other four will be selected as a result of your beauty quiz. 

The Glam Bag is a $50+ value for only $12 a month for monthly members, and $132 a year for annual members.    

IPSY Glam Bag Plus

The Glam Bag Plus is the second membership offering, and features even more opportunities for personalization and full-size products. 

The Glam Bag Plus features 5 full-sized products personalized for you from your beauty quiz. These products can be hair care products, skincare products, nail products, and of course, makeup products, depending on your beauty quiz results. The Glam Bag Plus also comes with a cute little makeup pouch each month. 

You also have the option to choose one of your 5 full-size products. 

The Glam Bag Plus is a $120+ value for just $25 a month for monthly members.


ISPY Glam Bag Ultimate

The Glam Bag Ultimate is IPSY’s newest membership offering (launched in October 2019). Designed for the beauty obsessed, this bag includes a mix of full-size and sample products so you can treat yourself to a little bit of everything. 

The Glam Bag Ultimate features 8 full-size products and 4 sample- size products, plus a themed makeup bag. Based on your results from the beauty quiz, you’ll receive a mix of hair care products, makeup products, skincare products, and nail products from both well-known and indie brands (including Ipster cult favorites). 

Glam Bag Ultimate is a $250+ value for $50 a month. 


What is IPSY Flash (add-ons)?

After you choose your product for your upcoming bag, you’ll be able to shop bundles priced at $3, $5, $16, and $20. Some of these deals go lightning fast so keep an eye on your email and shop as soon as possible. 

This is where you’ll see deep discounts on some well known high end beauty brands. 

How to cancel IPSY

Your IPSY membership will automatically renew, but you can cancel any time with no hidden fees. I like that IPSY Flash offers come out at the end of the month, right before your membership renews. This gives you the chance to see the Flash deals and see if you’re interested in adding any to your upcoming bag but also serves as a reminder if you want to skip a month or cancel (although usually the deals convince me I don’t want to skip that month). 

To cancel your membership: 

  1. Log into your IPSY account and go to Account → Edit account settings → Membership (or click here after logging in). 
  2. Click “Manage Membership”, then “Help me stop my membership.” 
  3. A pop up will ask if you want to Skip a Month instead. If you don’t want to skip, click “Continue cancellation.” ISPY will email you a link that you must click to confirm your cancellation. 
  4. Make sure you’re logged into your IPSY account, then click on the link in the email they sent you to finalize your cancellation. 

If you do not click on the link in the email, or are not logged in to IPSY.com when you click it, your cancellation request will not be processed. 

**You must confirm your cancellation via email by 12pm PT on the last day of the month if you don’t want the upcoming month’s Glam Bag. If you confirm your cancellation after 12pm PT, your membership will not end until the following month. 

***If you cancel your annual membership, you’ll still get the rest of your Glam Bags for the year, but your membership will not renew for another year.

What kind of products can you expect in an ISPY bag?: 

All of ISPY’s bag combinations are similar in overall value, and each one is worth at least $50.  Glam Bags will always include some well-known brands and products, as well as up-and-coming or “indie” brands. They offer a mix of products that are considered “high end” and others that are more affordable.

The same goes for the Glam Bag Plus. It also depends on the preferences you put in your beauty quiz. You have the chance to tell IPSY if you’d prefer to receive more makeup, skincare, or haircare products. Now that IPSY has updated their process, you get to pick 3 out of the 5 products in your Glam Bag Plus. For each of your selections they give you a few products to choose from. 

Here’s what I got in my last few Glam Bag’s: 

May Glam Bag Plus 

June Glam Bag Plus:

July Glam Bag Plus:

August Glam Bag Plus

notes: I chose to have two different SPF moisturizers included in this August bag. I LOVE the Dermedicine moisturizer and have really liked the clear brow gel (a new to me product). I also really like the new update to IPSY bags that you get to pick 3 of the 5 products! 

September Glam Bag Plus

October Glam Bag Plus

My highest value box yet! 

Unpaid IPSY Glam Bag Plus Review Final Thoughts: 

I love getting to try out high-end beauty products at such discounted prices. I think IPSY works really well for me because I’m not incredibly picky. I don’t have a list of designer makeup products I swear by and want to repeat. I’m looking for a great black mascara and I’m happy with trying a new $20 each time. I want to use a primer but I don’t know which one I’ll love and DON’T want to pay for a high end one I might end up hating. 

I have found that after a few months, I started getting more product than I need with the Glam Bag Plus. I’ve gotten a mascara in each of my bags (although, to be fair, on the third bag I picked a mascara because I have really been wanting to try Tarte products) and I do not go through a tube of mascara in thirty days. I decided to switch my frequency to every other month and keep a stash of unopened IPSY products in a box under my sink. Whenever I have a girlfriend with a birthday or who needs a pick me up, I look through it and see if there is something I can gift. I’m thinking of going back to a monthly delivery just to have a few extra bags of product to gift around the holidays!


You might also like: 

An honest review of the IPSY Glam Bag. #makeupsubscription #IPSYglambag #makeuptips #glam
An honest review of the IPSY Glam Bag. #makeupsubscription #IPSYglambag #makeuptips #glam

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  3. Hi Elisabeth, do you have an instagram account I can follow you on?
    Michy I.

    1. Hi Michy,

      I am on instagram @elisabethmcknight