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My Last Ipsy Bag…

…And Why I Gave Up On Beauty Subscriptions

2016 was my year of upping my makeup game.  I went on a quest for the most perfect, holy grail, ride or die products that would work perfectly with my skin type, harmonize with my coloring, and fit my budget.  On the daily, I am a minimalist, using high SPF BB creams, eyeliner, and tinted lip balm.

My Last Ipsy Bag - Why I Gave Up On Beauty and Makeup Subscriptions by Dawn Devine ~ Davina -

My belly dance makeup kit was old, tired, beat-up, and expired.  My brushes were chewed up, my makeup bag was broken, and it was time to examine my skin care regimen, cosmetic application techniques, and choice in products. I set my goals, started with a whopping (for me at least) budget of $500, and an additional $40 a month, on average. Why did I set such a big budget?  Because I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I didn’t know how many products I would buy and try, love and keep or ditch after using for a while and discovering something better.

Davina aka Dawn Devine - My Last Ipsy Bag - Why I Gave Up On Beauty and Makeup  Subscriptions |

I went to the source of all makeup information on the web, YouTube.  I discovered a huge community of ladies and gentlemen covering every aspect of makeup from amateur to pro, young to old, dry skin to oily, deep to pale. There is practically something for everyone!  I was so inspired I even tackled a #31DayBellyDanceMakeupChallenge and put the evidence up on YouTube.
One of the things that many of these YouTubers were suggesting to “new to makeup” viewers was signing up for a beauty subscription service or two.  When more than a dozen folks suggested the same things, I decided it would be a great idea.  So I signed up for several different services throughout the year.
My Last Ipsy Bag - Why I Gave Up On Beauty Subscriptions by Dawn Devine
I began with Ipsy and Birchbox at the beginning of the year.  At first, Ipsy was a ton of fun!  I got a cute little bag, lots of interesting samples from brands I hadn’t heard of, lots of indy and indy brands that I wouldn’t have experienced without their service.  Birchbox, however, seemed to send higher end products, randomly chosen, that didn’t suit my needs or lifestyle.  But worst still, in three months, I received boxes with broken items.  When I received the third box with breakage, I decided it was too much hassle to get broken things replaced, and really, in three months, there wasn’t a single Item in a box that I wanted to rebuy.

So I canceled Birchbox and joined the mailing list to get the Sephora Play Box. I also purchased a Target beauty box.  I REALLY liked the Target beauty box, but it sells out within MOMENTS of being on their website.  It’s not a subscription service, so you have to know when it’s going on sale and jump immediately.  I tried to get two more and failed both times.  Target Beauty Box, you’re just too inaccessible for me!  I still continued on with Ipsy, going to their site, answering their questions to try and steer the products towards my needs.

My Last Ipsy Bag - Why I Gave Up On Beauty Subscriptions by Dawn Devine
In the summer, after waiting many months, I finally got into the Sephora Play Box.  I love Sephora, it’s like a temple to the gods of makeup, and their employees are their acolytes helping people find their inner glamazon. However, after receiving the Sephora box twice, I realized that it was just a little too rich for my blood.  I loved trying the products, but I wasn’t going to be buying a $40 cleanser or $80 moisturizer! It was fun to get, but it wasn’t progressing my quest to find products that I would actually repurchase. Although Sephora Play is the same price as Ipsy, it’s geared to folks with bigger budgets!
Sephora Play Box - My Last Ipsy Bag - Why I Gave Up On Beauty Subscriptions by Dawn Devine
In late summer, I decided to try Boxycharm.  The appeal of this service is that you pay a little more, but then you receive full sized products. From the very beginning it was a great box for me. They sent a nice combination of products, most of which I would definitely enjoy using, even if I decided never to repurchase, I could really try a skincare or hair product long enough to know if I like it.  Most of the items are on the pricier side, so I probably won’t try most of them, but when a box is sending full-sized eyeshadow palettes, you’re getting a pretty good deal.  I pre-bought half a year, when it’s finished, I’m going to let it lapse because I’ve resorted to giving my friends these full sized makeup eyeshadow palettes!


Contents of a BoxyCharm Subscription Box | My Last Ipsy Bag - Why I Gave Up On Beauty Subscriptions by Dawn Devine
So here I am, it’s January 2017 and my year of makeup quest has ended.  So today I canceled my Ipsy subscription.  After a year of Ipsy, I realized that I didn’t “find” anything I want to repurchase!  I also seemed to collect an epic collection of mascara minis, hand cream samples, and eyeliners to work through!  I found myself giving way so many things I simply don’t use in my world, like nail polish and sheet masks.  I got a lot of oddly incompatible products. I wound up giving the curly hair products to my curly hair friends. The skin-care samples were too small to use for any length of time to see if they would work.

While I initially loved the little bag that comes with every Ipsy mailing, I found myself being overrun by these little bags. Some were cute, but others were not to my taste, and all of them were about the same size.  I only need a few bags in that size, so I found myself giving them away at the holidays filled with mini and full sized products I received throughout the year.

Things I'll never use | My Last Ipsy Bag - Why I Gave Up On Beauty Subscriptions by Dawn Devine
Overall, what I learned is that I would rather have that $10 – $20 cost of the subscription in my makeup budget so I can choose exactly what I want and need for my collection. The tiny thrill of opening an unknown package in the first quarter of the year, by August had turned to an overwhelm of samples and minis. I now have a bowl of samples sitting in my living room waiting for friends to visit and partake, like a calorie free candy bowl for makeup lovers!
What journey am I on this year?
I’ll let you know in a few weeks once I dial into my 2017 quest!
Here’s wishing you glamor in 2017!
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
January 15, 2017
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