Makeup, makeup, makeup! Never enough makeup! Although I don’t usually wear that much makeup, I still have an obsession with beauty products. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve loved looking through the duty-free magazines on my summer family visits to Japan and trying to coax my mom into getting me something. I always loved drawing, so I was particularly lured by the magic of eyeshadows. They came in pretty colors and let me use my eyelid as a canvas 🙂

I’m not usually into monthly subscriptions (because it always adds up!), but I’d seen so many posts about Ipsy through the years that I gave in and started subscribing in April 2016 (10 bucks a month + tax depending on the state, five deluxe sample and/or full-sized products). It was a fun pick-me-up that I could look forward to every month!

I actually stopped my subscription to Ipsy last month to try to justify buying the Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Face Wash Gel at Sephora (It’s a ridiculous $38, but supposed to last suuuuuper long, like a year, and I really loved it when I sampled it), but that was mostly a budgeting issue rather than anything wrong with Ipsy. I am a little curious whether Birchbox might have been better for me, though (because of the brands they feature and the aesthetics of the packaging).

All of that being said, I still had a lovely experience with Ipsy and learned about some GREAT brands/products. I also rediscovered wonderful things about companies I already loved! In terms of $$, if you have ten dollars to spare, you get your money’s worth every month! That is something that I appreciated. Often, just one product (out of your five) would more than makeup for the ten dollars spent!

Today, I want to share with you the highlights of my Ipsy experience, so that you can either subscribe for yourself or simply buy the best products individually!

Below are ALL the brands that I got to try in my 11 months. The products included eyeshadow, eyeliner, blush, hair products, nail polish, primer, lip balm, lipstick, face mask, lip/face scrub, mascara, face oil, brushes, and even tweezers!
Tarte
Trust Fund Beauty
Moroccan Oil
Smashbox
Urban Decay
IT Haircare
BeFine Food Skincare
Eyeko
Pure Brazilian
Indi Beauty
Too Faced
Adesse
Hikari
Ren
Purlisse
F.U.N. Lacquer
Biobelle
The Organic Pharmace 

Probelle
Jor’el
Mellow Cosmetics
Jersey Shore Cosmetics
Aurora
Cake Beauty
ColourPop
Julie G
Crown Brush
Elizabeth Mott
theBalm Cosmetics
This Works
ML Cosmetics
NYX
Formula X
Pixi by Petra
Be a Bombshell Cosmetics
Noyah

The brands on the left (in bold) were my favorites, and I actually still need to try the products I got from Ren (face peel), Purlisse (mud mask), Biobelle (face sheet masks) and The Organic Pharmacy (eye cream).

Of these faves, here are my Best 5 Beauty Picks!

  1. Tarte – Maracuja Oil
    • A face (but also hair/body) oil that is good for all kinds of skin types! I have combination skin (some parts oily, other parts dry) and I loved this from the first application! Great for hydration and gives a great glow. You only use a drop or two at a time so it lasts for a long time. The smallest size comes in at 0.5 oz for $15 at Sephora.
    • I loved Tarte even before Ipsy. Try their Amazonian Butter Lipstick (the Tulip shade is lovely, $17) and LipSurgence lip crème (I got this in one of my first Ipsy bags).
  2. Trust Fund Beauty – That Glo Tho Highlighter
    • I don’t even use that much highlighter and I loved this for a healthy extra glow to your face!
    • This was one of my favorite discoveries. It was also a plus that I always felt like I got my money’s worth whenever this brand came in my bag. The highlighter retails at $20; but, I got this along with 4 other cool things in my Ipsy bag for only $10!
    • I also received their liquid lipstick and nail polishes. All great!
  3. F.U.N Lacquer – TGIF Nail Polish
    • This was another pleasant Ipsy discovery. I get super skeptical of brands I’ve never tried (especially when their packaging and website is a little.. 90’s?), but THIS NAIL POLISH IS AMAZING. And I say that as someone who has waaaay too much nail polish to begin with (and again, doesn’t even paint her nails too often).
    • The TGIF color is this beautiful golden, sparkly, holographic formula that mesmerizes you when you put it on. I literally stared at my fingers for minutes on end, admiring how wonderful it was.
    • I’m being super honest when I say I think this is amazing. This is now my second favorite nail polish ever (my #1 favorites are the ones by Dior, whose bottles go for $27 a pop). At $11-16, F.U.N Lacquer is a great buy!
  4. Eyeko – Liquid Eyeliner
    • Probably the best liquid eyeliner I have ever tried. To be fair, I’m more of a pencil eyeliner kind of gal, but I have tried several liquid eyeliners in the past. It’s easy to use and gives a satisfying color from the get go! A friend (who I convinced to subscribe – don’t be friends with me if you don’t want to be convinced of buying things ;)) also loved this eyeliner.
  5. IT 12-in-1 Amazing Leave in Treatment/Pure Brazilian Leave In Conditioner
    • Okay, I’m cheating with this one. My #5 pick is actually TWO different brands of leave in conditioner. They’re both fabulous and I can’t really tell which one is better for my hair. I just know that my hair is always happy after using either of these products.

Happy shopping and beauty finding!