I canceled my Birchbox subscription almost two years ago, but I clung onto my Ipsy subscription until last October. There were a lot of reasons why: I liked trying out new products (and, more importantly, I generally liked what Ipsy sent me); many of Ipsy’s products were deluxe or even full sized compared to Birchbox’s paltry samples; and at $10/month, and it was the best bang for my buck in the monthly beauty box world.
I don’t regret being an Ipsy subscriber for two years. I’ve liked most of the products that I’ve received and have used some of them.
But that’s the problem.
“Most” of the products. “Some” of them.
It rarely, if ever, was “all.”
And, in short, that’s why I canceled my Ipsy subscription.
There’s a risk that comes with signing up for any sort of surprise monthly subscription. That’s part of the appeal — gimmick, even. Surprise monthly subscriptions are counting on the fact that those who sign up for the service are looking forward to trying out items that are only revealed during the unboxing and not a moment before. I never knew what was in any of my Ipsy bags until they arrived in the mail; I refused to “share” Ipsy stuff on Twitter and Facebook for exclusive sneak peeks for my specific bag (more on that later).
There were definitely some Ipsy bags where I used and loved every single product. Offhand, I’d say that was maybe two or three bags? That’s a very small amount of the 25 bags I received as an Ipsy subscriber. (I didn’t blog about my July, August, September or October bags this year. I didn’t have it in me anymore to do so.) I never had a bag where I didn’t use anything, but it got to the point where I found myself asking, “Is this worth it for me to pay $10 a month for a bag that has SOME items I’ll use, rather than putting it towards a full-sized product I know I will use and love?”
Increasingly, the answer became no. The breaking point was last September’s bag, where I opened the bag, looked inside at the contents, and tossed the entire thing aside. IT WAS SUCH AN UNDERWHELMING BAG. Most notably, the item that “broke” me was a dinky, miniature-sized black eyeliner pencil from Lord & Berry, an unknown-to-me brand. I was completely unimpressed by the size; Lord & Berry’s marketing team should have researched items Ipsy subscribers have received in previous bags (a quick Google search will yield hundreds of results) to realize that all eyeliners received in the past have been full size. Then, after a quick swatch on my hand, I realized the eyeliner SUCKED. It was crumbly and had a weird texture that made me afraid of putting the pencil anywhere near my eye. Other subscribers said the same thing about the eyeliner on the Ipsy website, too.
I wanted to cancel my Ipsy subscription right then and there, but I had thousands of Ipsy points I had earned thanks to referring new subscribers. I wanted to redeem those points for the freebies Ipsy offered — all full-sized makeup items — in exchange for points. Then I discovered that two thirds of my points HAD EXPIRED. If Ipsy ever emailed me notifying me that my points were about to expire, I never got it. Logically, it makes sense that points expire at some point; I was just never aware of that fact. So then I got mad that two thirds of my points were gone, and I immediately cashed in all of my points for whatever items I could.
Those items arrived, along with my final Ipsy bag. When I saw the signature metallic pink padded envelope in my mailbox, I thought to myself, “That’s it for Ipsy.”
When I logged into my account to cancel my subscription, there were numerous pop-up boxes asking me to rate the items I received. If I also “shared” my ratings on Facebook, I would be given five Ipsy points. God, I hate that kind of stuff. I DON’T WANT TO SHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA. It’s so annoying! Ipsy had also recently started to offer subscribers with the option to preview the contents of their specific bag (each subscriber received different items each month from that month’s selection) as long as they shared information about Ipsy on social media. Again, NO. What annoyed me the most was I’d often get that popup box asking me to rate what items I received in my bag BEFORE THE DAMN BAG EVEN ARRIVED.
After much clicking of “confirm” when asked if I really wanted to cancel my subscription, and acknowledging the fact that I was okay with passing up future bags that were scheduled to include products from theBalm, Yes To and Urban Decay (all brands I love, but I’d rather put the $10/month fee to a full size product from those brands anyway), AND ignoring a pouty Michelle Phan who asked if I was sure I wanted to cancel, I was able to cancel my Ipsy subscription.
And you know what? I have no regrets.
I’d rather put that $10/month to full size products I love. (Or to something else entirely.)
I’m not sure if I’d ever sign up for a monthly beauty subscription box again (although I will say that I’ll likely be forever tempted to sign up for luxe-sounding Glossybox). They were fun for a while, especially as I was starting to get into the world of makeup and skincare. Now, though, I have a sizable collection of both and know what brands and products I like. Sure, $20 might get me two Ipsy bags filled with a total of 7-8 deluxe sized products (with maybe a full sized one thrown in). Or it could get me a full sized Urban Decay eyeshadow single or a stila stay all day liquid liner. To me, the choice is clear!
(I’ve also conclusively decided that I’m not a fan of Michelle Phan. That’s a different subject altogether, but it’s nice to be putting my money where my mouth is and not supporting her by canceling my Ipsy subscription.)