The Ugly Side of Ipsy Beauty Bags

Monday, March 16, 2015 160 , 4

The Ugly Side of Ipsy Beauty Bag Subscription Service | by Lisa Tufano |

Don’t feel like dealing with an ipsy waitlist? Me either. I removed myself from the ipsy waitlist because I don’t negotiate with terrorists, and I’m pretty sure that the whole waitlist is a just cheap gimmick.

Some of you are probably familiar with and/or already use the ipsy beauty bag subscription program.

The concept is cute, and for $10 I figured why not give it a shot? Well, I signed myself up and yet three months later I was still on the “ipsy waitlist” to receive my first ipsy glam bag. Seriously??? This is a paid subscription service! I give you my money, and you send me some beauty samples to try out. It’s not rocket science, ipsy.

You can read all about ipsy’s social media hostage tactics below, but rest assured you have much better options, ladies:

I’ve been getting Birchbox deliveries every month for almost 2 years and I much prefer the Birchbox boxes instead of the ipsy glam bags because the boxes are beautifully designed and I can reuse them for gifts (I just cover the small Birchbox logo with stickers or a little handmade notecard with a quote, name, or illustration for my recipient). After all, how many small makeup bags does one woman need?

I absolutely LOVE my samples with Birchbox! I’ve discovered so many fantastic products through the samples and Birchbox frequently runs amazing promotions/sales on full size products from Kiehl’s and Dr. Brandt, Sunday Riley, Smashbox, benefit, Anastasia Beverly Hills and even Clinique and philosophy. There is literally something for everyone and they even have Birchbox for men! My boyfriend loves his Birchbox samples too.

The Ugly Side of Ipsy Beauty Bags Ain't Nobody Got Time For That!

So what is the deal with this ipsy waitlist anyhow?

Well, it JUST. SO. HAPPENS. that plastered all over are bright pink banners encouraging you to “skip the ipsy waitlist” by promoting the ipsy brand all over your social media accounts.

Step 1: Promote ipsy on Facebook. Give ipsy access to all of your contacts and post a status update promoting ipsy glam bags.

Step 2: Blast 10 of your unsuspecting Facebook friends with an invitation to sign up for an ipsy subscription.

Step 3: Subscribe to the official ipsy YouTube channel.

Step 4: Follow the official ipsy Instagram account.

Bonus Step 5: “Sometimes we may also require one friend referral to complete your “Skip the Wait” process, which means a friend must subscribe (to ipsy) using your unique referral link.”

Oh… um, okay, so I just have to go force someone else to buy a waitlisted ipsy subscription in order to receive the products that I am already PAYING you guys to send to me?

Does anyone else object to being pimped out like this?


Skip the Waitlist for an Ipsy Beauty Bag
Want Off the Waitlist? Ipsy Forces You to Promote Them on Social Media

This makes no damn sense!!! Ipsy launched their beauty bags in 2012 and I am not buying that their subscriber base continues to grow so exponentially that they are STILL having fulfillment issues so severe that subscribers are left to stagnate on a waitlist for 3+ months. Birchbox has never had a fulfillment issue and they also ship comparable beauty samples for $10/mo. in a cute little box. The fact that you can magically remove yourself from the ipsy waitlist if you sell your social media soul to the ipsy devil is further indication that all is not as it appears.

I guess ipsy figures that if they dangle the lip gloss and mascara just out of reach, plenty of people will spam the heck out of their friends/family for an opportunity to be removed from this never-ending waitlist. And they are probably right, but that doesn’t make it right.

In my opinion, this whole waitlist/hostage situation is pretty shady.

Bottom line: personally I don’t think it’s cool to hold paying customers hostage until you’ve exploited them for your own social media benefit, forcing them to endorse/promote you before they even have a chance to experience an actual ipsy glam bag.

Instead I signed up for a Birchbox and I haven’t looked back. Their box is similarly priced at just $10/month and is fully of goodies with no annoying waitlist.

Next I may try FabFitFun since some comments on this post have recommended them too! Plus you can receive $10 off the FabFitFun Welcome Box when you use code FAB10.

What’s your favorite subscription box?

 Birchbox beauty subscription box

Update from June, 2015: It’s been a year and Birchbox has been super cool. Great samples, amazing sales on their full size products, adorable packaging, fun themes and still no silly waitlists. I recommend it!

Update from December 20, 2017: Ipsy still has their stupid, fake waitlist, and I’m definitely still loving Birchbox for both their product selection and full price product offers. They regularly offer some great promotional discounts as well.

P.S. Want more inside scoop and tips on saving/making money? You might like:

15 Ways to Make Side Income (That Are Totally Legit)

Extreme Couponing — Online Shopping Edition

Ultimate Shopping Hack for Organic and Non-GMO Food





  • Ali
    March 16, 2015

    I used a friend’s referral to get on the waitlist but really was irritated at this waitlist. I’m taking my name off and going to Birchbox instead.

    • Sherrylynn loyer
      January 1, 2017

      I just got on with ipsy I’m getting right off

      • Stacey Tolliver
        November 11, 2017

        Scrolling on Pinterest through make-up photos that ipsy was attached to. Became curious and went to the site. Long story short, I thought I’d give it a shot. After completing my profile, it stated I was on a waitlist… you just ask me for payment! Really? This business is only to gain ground by promoting who they are through the offerings of their products, by networking and advertising through their customers . What if I don’t use social media? Successful businesses do operate like this however, serving customers needs to be the top priority….sheesh! My method of payment has been removed. Real BS! Definitely bad reputation, first interaction.

        • Lisa Tufano
          December 1, 2017

          Totally agree with you, Stacey! I can’t believe they are still forcing people onto the fake Ipsy waitlist today.

          • Jess
            February 10, 2018

            Actually I’ve been getting Ipsy for a year now all you do is post a status on Facebook and send a link to a friend and your off the wait list I’m so ready to get my March bag so don’t believe everything you read just tbh

          • Tatia
            January 15, 2019

            Your absolutely right. I was referred by a friend who was never waitlisted. Then I got the email of this “waitlist”. That same day I was given a membership. So i’m not so sure about how long they really make people wait if they aren’t refered or post about ipsy. If so sorry. I’ll refer you !

          • Wendy
            September 28, 2019

            I personally love Ipsy. I find their customer service to be stellar. I have never been on a waitlist at any time. I did have big problems with Birchbox however. Yes I live their boxes too. It’s just too bad I was missing samples and when I contacted them I basically was blown off. What I think it boils down to is we have a unique personal experience with each and every retail purchase and because we are human it doesn’t always work out the way we would like it to. You aren’t forced to share Ipsy with your friends. It’s a choice. Just as you chose to keep Birchbox and leave Ipsy. We just can’t always get what we want. The sooner we learn to live with that the happier we can be. That’s my two cents. Keep it or leave it.

        • Jennifer
          September 2, 2019

          I have never had to wait for my ipsy bag. I even upgraded and got approved right away. It’s weird that so many had to wait. I got Birchbox and cancelled immediately after my first. The samples are so freaking tiny!

        • Julie
          January 19, 2020

          I don’t use social media. I’m just a basic stay at home mom that got tempted and stuck in a few minutes. I can’t remember what my username was. Where’s the secret question to remind me? Nowhere, so I would have to go through it ALL over it again and change everything.
          I also forgot that I did this about a year ago and they sent me all the wrong colors. I’m Very pale and wanted only neutral colors and they sent red and 2 things I didn’t order and couldn’t use, so I gave it away and canceled payments But they still have me in there. That Sucks!! I spent so much time going through their little Exciting things, to get shut down at the end because I forgot my username. At least I didn’t get to the payment part.

          Stay away from Ipsy and it was all because they offered me $1,000.00 gift card. I’m so stupid. There’s no gift card or anything else I might hope for.
          Oh… also, now my email box is going to blow up with things that were Related to products I liked. I’m screwed

      • Lisa smith
        January 26, 2018

        Did the exact same thing. Unacceptable.
        As soon as I emailed to cancel, I got an email back from Ipsy saying they could “manually start my subscription immediately ”
        So indeed it’s all a rouse.

        • Maria
          April 18, 2018

          If you email them saying you dont have facebook or Twitter and how else can u get off the waitlist they will take u right off

      • Sydnee
        May 28, 2018

        I’ve been using ipsy for the past 5 months.
        The only real problems I have is if your beauty quiz isn’t broad, you’ll get a lot of repeat color items in different brands. I like ipsy a lot. I quit wearing make-up for 3 years and glam bags made me start wearing it again. I agree that the little bags are a bit much.
        I tried birch box, I personally didn’t like it. I felt like the products sent to me weren’t meant for me.

        And as for the waitlist — I’m 21 years old and I have zero social medias (unless you count Snapchat that only 6 people see; including my mom and boyfriend). I never was on the wait list. I joined ipsy the same week I got interested, which was December 2017. How I bypassed the waitlist, and this might work for some of you and I urge you to try it. After my disappointing birchbox, I contacted ipsy and emailed them asking about how the beauty quiz works and I asked other common questions. My email was about 6 sentences and took me 10 minutes to write. I got an email back the next day. The representative was happy I showed interest and they said because I sent the email, I bypassed the wait list altogether. I didn’t even know there was a waitlist until they said I won’t be on it.
        So, if some of you want to try, I highly suggest sending an email asking questions and showing your interest.

        (I’d like to say that ipsy didn’t have me post this. It’s like 3am and I can’t sleep and I just ended up here lol)

    • Ipsy Lover
      April 7, 2017

      Ipsy is WAY better than Birchbox. Who cares if they want u to share stuff on social media to get off the waitlist. U know what I did after I shared it on social media!?!? I went and deleted it cuz I like to keep my social media clutter free. Took me literally 2 seconds to delete. Also…the only time ipsy makes u post to social media is that one and ONLY time to get off the waitlist. NOT A BIG DEAL AT ALL. When u review ur products to receive points, they give u the option of whether or not u want to share to social media. ALSO the bags are way better than the boxes. U can do so much with the bags….I have my makeup sooooo organized with all of my bags. One bag for eyeshadow, one for eyeliner, one for mascara, etc etc. I also use em for various things like, a sunglasses case, first aid kit, tampons, snacks, pencil pouch, earrings, hair clips, shower bag, coin purse, perfume lotion, and the list goes on and on. I travel a lot and am a neat freak so it’s nice to be able to use them to keep my bags so organized whereas the boxes stay stationary at my house. I was signed up with Birchbox for a lil bit but it was a ripoff cuz samples were so small and i didn’t have room for any more of the boxes. With ipsy u get a lot more product for your money and their site is much easier to navigate and understand. Also the bags are way more creative. Sorry. Rant over. Go ipsy or go home.

      • Anya Shah
        April 17, 2017

        I agree! But i think it is helpful to get other people’s opinions on topics like this one! LETS ALL BE OPEN MINDED HERE! I do believe that if you buy only 1 bag, then being waitlisted SUCKS! But if you do a multiple-month plan then it shouldn’t bother people this much. Also, i have never tried boxycharm but i won’t get it because i feel like its a waste of packaging because you get a big box with tiny little samples in them, like Ipsy WILL NOT GIVE YOU FOIL PACKETS, while boxycharm does……………I think i will start using the bags for traveling(you know, toiletries, pads, etc.) because thats a fantastic idea!

        • Kim
          April 30, 2017

          Boxcharm gives full size products

          • Robyn
            July 23, 2017

            Kim knows what’s up. Boxycharm is the best of all subscription boxes.

        • abby
          September 26, 2017

          boxy charm is almost all full sized… where did you even get the idea that it’s all “tiny samples”

          • Victoria
            March 7, 2018

            That’s what I was thinking also lol. Love ipsy , when I joined I was not doing a waitlist nor harassing anyone on social media I don’t even use so I emailed customer service and they took me off the waitlist. I sub to ipsy , boxycharm, and Ricky’s cult. Birchbox is not my thing it seems to curate more towards skin care, so to each their own can’t knock someone for a personal preference

      • Ipsy Girl
        October 24, 2017

        agreed! i guess to each his own cuz i prefer bags.

      • Lisa Pressgrove
        February 1, 2018

        THANK YOU! The samples last me well over a month and all the bags are so cute. Plus when I’m tired of the bags, plenty of girls want em. You don’t have to share anything. It’s called marketing. They don’t pay for tv commercials which I think is kind of classy. Always so eager for that bright pink little package! GO IPSY!

      • Deneah Malcolm
        April 29, 2019

        I personally love ipsy, ive been on it for 9 months now. The day I signed up for ipsy I was put on a waitlist but for only about 2 hours and then I was billed and my glambag was shipped without me having to do any social media posts. Yes, it can be annoying to have 9 makeup bags just laying around but I can use them for small trips when I dont need to bring lots of makeup. The only thing I dont like about ipsy is the time it takes to ship the bag to me, but the wait just gets me more excited for the products im about to recieve!

    • T. Cooper
      June 28, 2017

      But it had been proved that Ipsy has a better value than Birchbox. And you don’t have to set on a waitlist. Just wait till they have a no waitlist month. It happens about every three months. They have to keep up with the value of people. They send out more product than Birchbox. Check things out. I do!

  • Lyn Cheapasf
    March 16, 2015

    Wow, that is ridiculous! Back when I signed up with Ipsy, I didn’t have to do any of this stuff. I’ve since cancelled my subscription, but I guess I won’t be signing back up. There’s no way I would annoy 10 of my personal friends with invites to a service I hadn’t even been allowed the privilege of purchasing!

    • Sydney
      June 23, 2016

      I have a subscription and never had to do any of this. I just started my subscription last month!

      • Krystle
        August 5, 2016

        Well I just tried to sign up on August 1st 2016 and they most definitely are asking me to do all of these things….no thanks IPSY

        • Vanessa Valenzuela
          August 15, 2016

          How do I get myself off the waitlist I do not see the cancel subscription button

          • Lisa Tufano
            August 17, 2016

            Vanessa, I had to email ipsy a couple of times to get them to cancel the glam bag. Make sure you use the link for contacting their Customer Care group:

          • christine l. wolfe for lenore wolfe
            August 30, 2016

            i would lik to cancel my subscription to the ipsy box for $10.00 a month. it is being sent to Lenore Wolfe. i gave it to Lenore for a christmas gift and now it is time to terminate the withdrawal from my check book.

          • Lisa
            August 31, 2016

            Hey Christine! You need to send that in an email directly to ipsy Customer Care.

          • Lisa
            August 31, 2016

            Here is the link to cancel your ipsy subscription:

          • Kiarra
            June 5, 2017

            I signed up for Ipsy 2 days ago and I didn’t want to deal with the wait list so i emailed Ipsy care and I chose one of the subjects that said glam bag and i told them my issue and immediately i was removed from the list. no Facebook required. i just said something about my billing and how i don’t have Facebook.

            P.S when should i actually get my bag? and if you go to Ipsy care you should be able to unsubscribe.

      • Ariana
        October 18, 2016

        Same! My only issue is i keep receiving things that don’t compliment my skin tone.

    • Patti Sell
      August 8, 2017

      I was just researching about skipping wait list for a friend. I saw part of the answer from ipsy stating that if you formerly subscribed to ipsy there wasn’t any wait list!

      • Lisa Tufano
        August 9, 2017

        Thank you for that tip, Patti! Good to know they don’t make you jump through all those hoops more than once!

  • mimi
    March 16, 2015

    Oh Lisa, your humorous and insightful writing really gave me a chuckle. Esp. Step. 2 – “Blast 10 of your unsuspecting Facebook friends with an invitation to sign up for an ipsy bag subscription”. Yes that would be terribly annoying. Funny enough, I just saw a commercial on Birchbox today for the first time. It does look interesting.

  • Sarah
    March 17, 2015

    Love Glossy Box! Waiting lists scams are the worst.

  • Kati Rose
    March 17, 2015

    I had been debating on trying out Ipsy, but after reading this no thanks. I’ll put my money towards the subscription boxes that aren’t high maintenance just to receive one.

  • Madelyn
    March 29, 2015

    I totally get your point…it’s completely ridiculous…but I thought I’d share how I got around it. I “shared on my timeline” but I had a custom group set up, it included just one friend that was in on my sham, so when I shared it, she was the only one that saw it. Sure enough, I skipped the waitlist and got my ipsy bag a week later.

    • Lisa Tufano
      April 2, 2015

      Good tip, Madelyn! Thanks for sharing so that those on the waitlist (who still want an ipsy bag) can get off the waitlist without spamming their social network.

  • Maribel
    April 2, 2015

    Thanks for sharing! I haven’t subscribe to ipsy yet but they should definitely fix the waiting list soon.

  • Mai T.
    April 5, 2015

    I never want to get into those subscriptions that require me to share publicly on any of my personal networks.

  • Maggie
    June 27, 2015

    PRO TIP:
    if you tell them you no longer wish to have service with them because of the stupid waitlist, they’ll take you off. I just signed up without realizing that they did that and was so disappointed that I immediately emailed them to cancel and they said they’d start me up for next month. Try that before you make your decision about Ipsy!

    • Francie
      September 24, 2015

      You are totally correct! I just emailed them to cancel and they immediately responded back that I’ve been bumped from waitlist! Thank you!!

      • Gavi
        March 3, 2016

        What did you say in your email to them that they did that? Im about to do the same thing because this waitlist is ridiculous!!!

        • Krystle
          August 5, 2016

          The fact that you even have to do this just to get a box from them is ridiculous…its like I’m not good enough to give you my money

  • Tonya
    July 14, 2015

    I had trouble with getting off the list I followed directions but it didn’t work… I emailed them it was maybe a hour later the had already sent a response back and took me of the waiting list any day my bag will be here hopefully it’s worth it bc I’ve waited impatiently for over a month

  • Lindsay
    August 5, 2015

    I shared it custom so that only I could view it, then I sent a message to JUST myself (didn’t require more than one). There’s always a go-around 🙂

    Though I full-heartedly agree this is a ridiculous request for a service you are paying for.

  • Shelby
    August 14, 2015

    I was never on a wait list i subscribed about a month ago and it was smooth sailing…. I was subscribed to the Birchbox for 6 months prior to this but I Unsubscribed the monthly samples were starting to get really repetitive… I hope I like ipsy better

  • Randi
    August 30, 2015

    I TOTALLY agree with you!

    I just signed up and immediately emailed them to cancel altogether.

    “I don’t negotiate with terrorists.” / “…social media hostage tactics…” LMAO!!

    you just summed it up PERFECTLY.

    Thanks for the recommendations, will check them out now 🙂

    • Lisa Tufano
      September 9, 2015

      Thanks, Randi! Did you end up trying Birchbox or Rocksbox???

  • Jessica
    August 31, 2015

    I too just signed up yesterday and canceled right away. How deceptive. That should be revealed from the get go — not AFTER you submit all your personal and billing information.

    It just left a bad taste in my mouth. Gee, what a way to thank a customer….”Thanks for all your info, now WAIT. But hey, if you don’t want to wait, we can pimp you out, and move you up.”

    I feel like I need a shower now. And I need to scrub really hard.

    • Lisa Tufano
      September 9, 2015

      Yeah, it really is mind blowing, Jessica! Forcing a friend to sign up and be on their waitlist in order to get yourself removed from the waitlist — that is just a disappointing way to start a relationship with a new brand/product.

      • Kapri
        December 23, 2016

        I have been so bewildered in the past but now it all makes sense!

    • Chris Allen
      September 9, 2015

      Ha! Me too! Exactly. I feel like I foolishly wandered into a bad neighborhood and got MUGGED. It definitely left me feeling dirty and that’s exactly the opposite of what I was looking for. Such a shame.

    • Juliet Madden
      July 20, 2016

      Hello ipsy isn’t answering my questions.. You said you signed up and canceled right away? Did u still get charged? Because I signed up and realized I didn’t want it anymore. And I want to know if I will get charged thanks

      • Lisa Tufano
        July 21, 2016

        Hi Juliet! Oh no, I’m so sorry. I was on ipsy’s waitlist for many months before I canceled, but they shouldn’t be charging you before they send the first box. If you want to cancel, try what I did. I did have to email them more than once. Make sure you use their specific contact link for contacting their Customer Care group. Try this link and good luck!

        • Nattie
          January 7, 2018

          You are the best! I ended up here trying to find a way to cancel being on that backwards waitlist.
          Of course, I got a quick response telling me I’d be off the waitlist next month lol. No thanks! We’re still in the first week of this month.

    • Claire
      July 25, 2016

      for real….. ipsy could mail me thousands of samples for body wash and soap and I would still feel gross after their dumb waitlist scam got finished with me

    • Victoria
      October 9, 2017

      Left a bad taste in my mouth too and I agree with everything you’ve written. I quickly sent Ipsy a message asking them to remove me from their wait list after they pulled that on me and I read this post.

      I just signed up for Allure Beauty Box because I’m not going to play into Ipsy’s tricks and also because I want a box that is more about makeup than anything else and I notice a lot of the boxes out there include a bunch of personal care items, but not much makeup.

      At the end of signing up, Allure gave me the option of emailing, posting on FB or tweeting, but in exchange for a full-size mascara. After my whole Ipsy experience I’d just had, I was a little jaded, but I realized I wasn’t forced to do it or that all it would get me was to queue up on some imaginary wait list. Now I still don’t love the idea, but most sites want some publicity, so it’s not uncommon and at least they have the class to give me an actual something. So I figured what the heck, let’s try this free mascara and I posted a quick tweet.

      With Ipsy, it’s pretty much a requirement if you want to get anywhere and it’s not as simple as a tweet, it’s like jump through this hoop and that hoop, and oh, here’s another hoop.

      I hope I like Allure, we’ll see. I’ve never had a beauty box subscription and I wanted to try the whole thing out.

      • Lisa Tufano
        October 10, 2017

        Thank you so much for sharing your experience, Victoria. It’s amazing that ipsy is still pretending to have a waitlist over 2 years later… such a totally blatant lie at this point. Please do let me know how you like the Allure box! I haven’t tried that one yet. 😀

  • Chris Allen
    September 9, 2015

    I just signed up for Ipsy and, after I filled out their questionnaire and paid my money, was only THEN told about the wait list. I immediately wrote to them telling them to cancel my subscription and giving them a full on lecture on common marketing practices and basic manners. I’ve never come across any service that operates this way, and yeah, it’s a pimping scam. How dare they? How do they stay in business? Who is their Chief Marketing Officer? This is nuts and I will be shocked if they can stay in business with these chary practices.

    They want me to talk them up on my social media? Well, I don’t think they’re going to like what I have to say. Terrible, terrible marketing plan. Just baffling. I wish I’d known before I pulled out my credit card. Sigh…

  • Kelly
    September 12, 2015

    I found your site after googling wtf was with the wait list (after signing up). I ended up skipping thru the process by clicking “my friends don’t wear makeup” over and over. Then all of a sudden I got an email saying I was off the wait list! I guess I will try them out for a while but I am still a bit cautious…

    • Jacquelyn
      September 22, 2015

      i did the same thing! i didn’t realize the option was there until i revisited the “skip the wait” page and scrolled to the bottom. i immediately received an email saying i had been taken off the waitlist. it does seem sketch…i mean, now all of a sudden you have a slot available?

  • Nae
    October 1, 2015

    I absolutely hate the company ipsy. Due to having $9 and some change left in my account, they took out the $10 which left me with a couple of cents to owe and they had a $30 hidden fee. So thats $40 for 4 to 5 little products which were only supposed to be $10. Its not worth being scammed over. The worst subscription service I’ve ever subbed to.

    • K
      March 27, 2016

      How is that ipsy fault? Sounds like the $30 was a bank overdraft fee. Any automatic billing will remove the amount no matter the funds in the account, not just ipsy.

  • Elizabeth
    October 5, 2015

    I used the “Just for me” post option on Facebook and said “My friends don’t wear make up” several times until they “took me off the waitlist” – that is a total SCAM. I am not giving them what they want, they have to think of a better marketing strategy. This girl who created IPSY is a smarty pants, but none of my friends have seen their silly add on my page and in addition to that I am super skeptical about them now. How can they treat their customers this way?

  • Sam
    October 8, 2015

    I had no wait at all.. I didn’t even have to do all the following and sending out invites. I just got an email saying I was no longer on the wait list.. the SAME day.

    • Andrea
      October 28, 2015

      Me too! Got my first glam bag Oct 12, totally satisfied. Glad i had no issues with the waitlist. We must be VIP

  • Katya
    October 23, 2015

    Wow I had no idea ipsy has a wait list… Thanks for letting us know about the subscription scam – I’ll definitely consider your experience if I decide to subscribe… I also tried Rocksbox and it was a fun experience! However, I kept forgetting to return my box on time so eventually I also unsubscribed. Staying faithful to my Birchbox though (love that box)!

  • Sara
    October 26, 2015

    I was a long-time Birchbox subscriber (for over two years). I love Birchbox and it definitely helped me to find new products I love. You can also review products to get points towards $ off of regular purchases. The only downsides for me were that Birchbox doesn’t carry every brand I really like (NARS for example) so I still end up having to buy some products from beauty stores where I can’t use my hard won points, and, after more than two years I had hit the point where I was repeating products I’d gotten before. I decided to try Ipsy because I think the little bags are cute and may be useful. Like others I was on the wait list for several weeks and then emailed to cancel and was very quickly told I was off the wait list and will get a November bag.

    Sephora is currently testing a subscription service in select markets and when that goes wider I may switch again to that, especially if there is some kind of rewards program/if $ spent on the subscription helps me keep my VIB status.

    • Lisa Tufano
      October 26, 2015

      Good to know about Sephora, Sara! Thanks for letting me know.

  • Kimberly
    October 29, 2015

    I’m sorry, but on my first visit to your blog Boss Lady whatever I went to enter the Pink Lady giveaway and you have listed a TON of social media things one must do to just enter this giveaway!!! So, isn’t this rather hypocritical on your part!!! I signed up for Ipsy and was NEVER on a wait list and love every thing that I have gotten from them. I have NEVER seen so many things one must list or join just to enter a giveaway from your blog here. I don’t even have an Instagram!!!

    • Lisa Tufano
      October 29, 2015

      Hi Kimberly,

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I can see how you might view it that way, but there are some significant differences.

      For one thing, I’m not selling anything on my blog. I run this blog at my own expense, and I spend a lot of time and energy and money to create content that my readers will find valuable and interesting. All of this content is completely free for you and everyone else to enjoy.

      Ipsy, on the other hand, charges money to send you a glam bag containing samples.

      My issue with ipsy is not that they charge for their product, or even that they encourage social sharing of their brand. Rather I find it problematic that ipsy has seemingly created a fake waitlist and won’t send their product to you (which you paid for) until you social share about their brand and/or get someone else to subscribe/pay for their product.

      The other problem with this is that it’s one thing to social share about a brand you have consumed/liked, and another thing entirely to share about a brand (like ipsy) that you have not yet tried because they are holding you hostage on a fake waitlist.

      As you mentioned, there are several methods of entering my current giveaway. None of these methods is required and I provided multiple entry options to accommodate all types of people. Two of the entry options involve Instagram. For your convenience, I have also included options that utilize Twitter and Pinterest and Facebook.

      Since you don’t use Instagram, you can very easily share a tweet about the tragedy of metastatic breast cancer and the need for greater focus on research for this terminal stage of cancer. That is one very simple way to enter my giveaway that supports a really worthy cause and has no benefit to me or my brand.

      I’m happy to hear that you have not had any issues with your ipsy subscription, but as you can see from my own experience and the experience of others who have commented on this post, we have not all been so lucky.

      • liina
        August 30, 2016

        You may want to correct what you wrote about them charging for the bag and not sending it. While I too was disgusted by the trick waitlist, Ipsy does not take any money until they are ready to prep and send your bag. Waitlisters do not get billed at all.

        • Lisa
          August 31, 2016

          You’re right about that, but I didn’t actually say that they charged me, only that they were holding my credit card details in their system and refusing to send an ipsy glam bag until I spammed my social network, etc. If I give you all of my financial information I expect to complete the transaction in good faith, ya know? 😀

          • liina
            September 20, 2016

            I was referring to your comment above stating that ipsy won’t send the products, which you have paid for, while you’re on the waitlist. The fact is you haven’t paid for anything as long as you’re still waitlisted, but I hear you on the whole issue and agree that their having you seemingly sign up to place and order only to be told after the fact that you have to wait until someday! I just wanted to make sure you are aware of this so you can give out accurate info because this post is famous. 😉

          • Lisa Tufano
            September 28, 2016

            Hey Iiina! I think you may have misunderstood the context of what I was saying about being a “paying customer” because as far as I knew when I signed up (and ipsy immediately asked me to provide all of my credit card details and sensitive personal information) and pressed “submit” I would be receiving something in return. I was trying to become a paying customer; I did my part flawlessly and gave ipsy my credit card info so that I could pay them money and they should have simply sent me a bag. Instead I provided all of my financial details which they stored for a later date and then proceeded to put me onto an endless waitlist unless I spammed my social network on their behalf. That isn’t how you treat paying customers if you care about your reputation as a retail brand.

  • Kimberlee
    November 14, 2015

    When I signed up I posted to Facebook to skip the waitlist and then immediately set the post to “only me” so no one else could see it. I also do this every month when I get an Ipsy bag to earn points for reviewing products.

  • Jojo
    November 14, 2015

    Beware! Ipsy appears to be a data collection agency disguised as a make-up company. They only want your personal information, addresses, credit cards, etc etc etc. In fact they don’t care if you cancel because by then they have all your personal data they need to sell to China or whoever else is buying data that day.

    • K
      March 27, 2016

      Where is your proof? I’m curious because I haven’t heard much about this

  • Ela romai
    December 30, 2015

    Its a 3 day wait- i paid $10 for $3o dollars worth of make up. Not a big deal to advertise for points/ calm down people

  • Carin
    December 31, 2015

    I just tried to sign up and got the same waitlist thing. WTF? Is this a joke? How do they think they will do any good business with this? Nope. Bye Bye #Ipsy. I don’t spam my friends or provide you with free advertising, especially when I haven’t even tried the service. Not very smart…You are a bad bad company and won’t be getting my money. BOO

  • Joanna
    December 31, 2015

    Can we start a petition on Why hasn’t she been taken down now? These complaints go back for years. WTF?

  • Geishagirl
    January 3, 2016

    Can someone tell me more about the “HIDDEN $30 CHARGE” ASAP??? I am literally in the process of signing up for ipsy on another tab. I NEED TO KNOW EXACTLY HOW MUCH I HAVE TO PAY. I AM ON A LIMITED INCOME AND CAN NOT AFFORD TO PAY MORE THAN $10 A MONTH. AND… Do I have to pay WHILE I AM ON A WAITING LIST???

    • Lisa Tufano
      January 3, 2016

      I’m not sure about this hidden charge, but sounds like another good reason NOT to subscribe to ipsy. ;D

    • Uirisg
      November 23, 2016

      It’s not a hidden $30 charge. What happened is someone had insufficient funds but knew they would have an automatic payment taken out of thier account. The bank charged them a $30 nsf fee and the person is trying to blame ipsy even though they were irresponsible.

      • hollynellis
        November 28, 2016

        That is exactly what happend!!!

  • Noelle Woodruff
    January 8, 2016

    I have both Ipsy and birchbox. But I have to say Birchbox is the better of the two. It seems like Birchbox sends better well everything! I have not been disappointed in Birchbox. Now ipsy on the other hand. Most products are meh. I got a lipstick which i told them i didn’t want numerous times…was broke and melted. It seems like they might be second hand products. I think Birchbox just has better products and way bigger quantity and quality. 🙂

    • hollynellis
      November 28, 2016

      This is an old review! Ipsy is much better if you want a cute bag every month and want makeup however with Birchbox you mainly get a box of small skin samles!!! Ipsy rocks…

      • Lisa Tufano
        November 28, 2016

        Hey Holly, these reviews are not that old and they are still relevant because ipsy has continued to have a waitlist and hold their new subscribers hostage in order to squeeze social media likes/follows out of them. I’ve been getting Birchbox deliveries every month for almost 2 years and I much prefer the boxes instead of the bags because the boxes are beautifully designed and I can reuse them for gifts (I just cover the small Birchbox logo). How many bags does one person need? And I find the samples with Birchbox to be quite awesome as well — I’ve found many fantastic products through the samples and they have amazing promotions/sales on full size products from Kiehl’s to Sunday Riley to Smashbox and even Clinique.

  • MAllory
    January 19, 2016

    I subscribed to Ipsy and just waited my turn to get off the waitlist. I annoy my friends enough with facebook game invites to know I don’t want to be THAT friend. I got the bag and it was cute enough, but not worth the wait or the 10 bucks honestly. So I unsubscribed from getting it but still got the emails. I clicked on the unsubscribe link in the email so I would no longer get emails, but that didn’t work… the 20 times I’ve done it.

    I’m not sure how to go about having it successfully removed because it’s annoying as hell. I told it I don’t want email anymore, but they keep coming.

    And honestly, I get the Dermstore box and it’s amazing. It’s a bit more expensive at $25 a month, but with much more deluxe samples that are actually useful.

  • ashley
    January 21, 2016

    I have been with ipsy almost two years and there is no hidden fee. If you read her post she had insufficient funds in her bank to pay for the ipsy bag. So there was probably an overdraft fee from the bank on that tiny overage it caused. They automatically debit the ten dollars on the same day and can not see that there is not enough. I had to go through the w/l stuff too. I just signed up another account and got off. They have great customer service when you contact them over a problem at least in my experience. And they do not charge the 10 dollars until you are off the wait list.

    • hollynellis
      November 28, 2016

      Love Ipsy!!!

  • Temple
    January 27, 2016

    They do not charge you $10 dollars until you are off of the waiting list. Stop telling lies. I hate to see haters destroy companies. I own my own business and one thing I know you can’t please everyone, some people just like to complain! And furthermore $10 doesn’t even cover shipping, so you are actually getting the products for free. The sharing on social media is their business model so yes that is what they require you to do. Bye Felicia!

    • Lisa Tufano
      January 29, 2016

      Hi Temple,

      Thank you for joining the conversation. Part of me really appreciates the irony in your “hate to see haters destroy companies” comment, given the overall tone you used which seems a bit harsh. That said, if you read my post over again you’ll notice that I did not “lie” about my experience. I legitimately created an ipsy account, gave them my beauty profile preferences, input all my sensitive credit card details and personal information, and only THEN did they inform me that I was being placed on the waitlist. And I remained patiently on that waitlist for about 4 months before I became fed up.

      As a business owner, I can certainly appreciate your sensitivity, but I like to think I err on the side of understanding and patience as well. I don’t know what industry you’re in but I would think an arbitrary 4-month waitlist is patently unacceptable across businesses, especially when it is only in place to try and extract more business and social klout for the company in question.

      Ipsy can and does run their business any way they see fit, but I am free to object to the forced illusion of a waitlist and their expectation of unearned promotion of their product/brand/business when I haven’t had a chance to try the product for myself yet.

      As you can see from the dozens of comments on this post, I am not the only person who was disappointed by their customer service experience with ipsy and this so-called waitlist. I feel fairly confident that Felicia, were she here, would not appreciate a 4-month ipsy waitlist as part of her introduction to a new company either. But apparently Felicia left, so I suppose we’ll never know. 😉

    • Chele
      March 20, 2016

      This is incorrect. I am currently on the wait list and the $10 came out of my account the day after I signed up!

  • Tiffany
    February 29, 2016

    Have you tried out FabFitFun? I heard it’s way better than Ipsy, full-size, no wait list, great customer service, but I’m waiting to make the jump until I have a little bit more $.

    • Lisa Tufano
      February 29, 2016

      Hey Tiffany! I have not. I’m going to go check it out now though. Thanks for the tip!

  • Liz
    March 21, 2016

    Funny, I just found this thread after trying to sign up for Ipsy and was put on the “wait list.” For sure this “wait list” is fake, they either clearly NEED the promotion or use it as a marketing tactic. I hate to say it, but for anyone who desperately wants their glam bags asap, this tactic works.

    However, a note to anyone trying to get off the wait list, they’ve changed their website. It no longer gives the option to click “I don’t have any friends that don’t wear makeup.” So you HAVE to post on social media and send a message too. I just posted as a private post, and I sent the message to myself lol! I got an immediate email saying I was taken off the list.

    Also, you can delete the private post off your facebook page once off the wait list.

  • Dee
    May 17, 2016

    Hey. How did you get Ipsy to reply to your emails. I sent them 3 emails weeks ago about getting off the waitlist and they still haven’t responded. As the days go by, the more and more I think they’re a scam.

  • Asherz
    May 20, 2016

    I just signed up for Ipsy last night and was not put on a waitlist. After having read this I’m wondering it I should even support them. Thanks for the information and other companies to look at.

    • Lisa Tufano
      May 23, 2016

      That’s fantastic that you were able to avoid the waitlist! For the price it’s worth trying them out, but I’m glad you could also learn about some other options out there in the beauty box subscription world. 🙂

  • Luna
    June 9, 2016

    Hummm.. I waited for like 2 days.. I get lots of points every month so I always get more than 4 to 5 products.. It’s always what I need and they send so much stuff I have to unsubscribe soon cuz I have too much products I’m not even done using.. I get that some people might have problems.. Bit my best friend uses it and my sister too.. We are in Canada and I always get my bag before mid month.. Which is pretty decent.. I really have not a single complaint to make.. I really don’t understand why is people so angry.. Then again, maybe my sister my friend and I just got lucky?.. Anyways..

  • Katie
    July 18, 2016

    They must have paired it the social media down some as I only had two steps.I had to either give them authorization in my facebook or twitter account. I gave them access to my twitter account. I messaged myself through facebook for the second step. After I completed both steps, I revoked ipsy’s access to my twitter account. I checked my status and I am now active.

  • Shaina
    July 25, 2016

    I never tried Ipsy but I loved my BirchBox for years! Now I’m doing Petit Vour, which is vegan and cruelty-free! A huge plus for me. I did always like the idea of getting a bag every month from Ipsy though.

    • Lisa
      July 25, 2016

      I am not familiar with Petit Vour… I will check them out! Thanks for the tip, Shaina!

    • Claire
      July 25, 2016

      this sounds cool…. Petit Vour? Never heard of it but anything is better than stupid waitlist boxes like ipsy and worth checking out at this point.

  • Claire
    July 25, 2016

    Thank you for writing what everyone else was already thinking. I too got scammed by the fake ipsy waitlist but in 2016 and it makes me so angry. I’m going to check out Birchbox and Popsugar and my other friend recommended Fit & Fab which sounds cool. I don’t know if their beauty boxes are any good or not but at this point ipsy and Michelle Phan will never get any of my money. There are lots of good subscription boxes that are as good if not wayyyyyyyy better than ipsy’s glam bag or box or whatever it is.

  • April
    August 2, 2016

    I subscribe to ipsy the last week in June was on the waiting list but they did not take no money out till July then they sent me my bag I got it no problems and I even ended up with 2 products that they show you before they send you your bag that you are gusted to get one of them well I ended up with two pluse the other 3 products you have no clue what is in it till they send it. Everything in my bag equaled up to an $83 dollars I would have spend buying the stuff in the store that I got for $10 I am extremely happy with ipsy

  • Jessie
    August 26, 2016

    Just tell them you want to cancel because you’re not going to pimp their products to your friends. Magically, you are “next to come off the waitlist next month!”

  • She She Bee
    September 27, 2016

    Holy cow. Ipsy buyer beware!! I bought a one year with the promise of no wait list. 10 days go by and I never received the tracking number for my bag. So waiting on a no wait list! But that’s not even the worst part. I cancelled my subscription and good thing because it said it was going to charge me an additional year if I didn’t cancel by next month!! I was like, surely that can’t be right, that’s literally insane. But according to the terms of use, that’s exactly what they do!! My question is, do they sign you up for an additional year every month!?! Sure sounds like it! I won’t be sticking around to find out. I was never billed as they don’t bill you until your bag gets sent out which sounds like ages for other people. I’ll be calling my bank too. No thanks ipsy!

  • Kristen Csaki
    September 28, 2016

    I signed up this month…. I added a facebook comment (#1) and was off the thing immediately, yes but none of the other things were mentioned. You also don’t technically need to “promote” Ipsy, you could literally leave a comment saying you are just posting to get off the waitlist and that would be it.
    Personally I did this just to do it quickly and then edited promoting the bag because, well, I had intended to in the first place as I planned to advertise I’d be doing a review video anyway.
    I was immediately removed off the list, my bag came in the same amount of time standard shipping for other makeup order from companies I’d bought from around the same time came in PLUS I received my bag and filmed my video maybe three days after Kathleenlights did, someone who I know had been subscribed in previous months.

    I’m sure other people have had problems in the past, but honestly this September ’16 they delivered.

    I got great products that adhered perfectly to my guidelines, including a not-yet-released, full sized nail polish that I know alone covers the cost of the bag itself and works better than any polish I’ve used in my entire life.

    All my products were cruelty free, even though I’d forgotten to request that… so as for ‘the mean’ side, seems like a bit of #firstworldproblems people are complaining about.

  • Sarah
    October 5, 2016

    Wish I had read this blog earlier! I signed up yesterday all excited to try something new and immediately e-mailed them to cancel after I discovered I was put on the waitlist and the hoops they want you to jump through to get off the waitlist. I went to Birchbox instead. I don’t have a gripe with a waitlist system (besides, you know, having to wait!), but it’s really tacky how ipsy handles their waitlist.

    First of all, no mention whatsoever of being put on a waitlist until you spend about 10 minutes giving them your credit card info and taking their quiz. Then when you’re so excited to find out when they’ll be shipping out your glam bag- BAM! You’re on a waitlist. With no time frame whatsoever listed. You could be off it tomorrow, or you could be off it in five months.

    Then (even though you’re already going to be paying THEM for a service) they want you to advertise for them for FREE on your social media accounts to instantly get off the waitlist, with no real explanation of how many steps you’ll have to do in order to get off the waitlist. I did a quick search and some people got off the waitlist with one Facebook post, others had a 5 step process and had to try and get one of their friends to also subscribe to ipsy. Hell no. My social media is for me to stay connected with friends, not to advertise for free for some company who’s product I haven’t even tried. I don’t care that I can set facebook posts to be only viewable to me and then delete it- it’s the whole principal of the matter.

    Third straw is that you have to e-mail them to cancel your waitlist place. There’s no waitlist cancel button ANYWHERE on the website. Then when they respond you’re magically (or at least I was) placed towards the top of the waitlist and you can either cancel or they can instantly activate your account and start your subscription for the next month. Umm, no. You’ve already turned me off trying to force me to advertise for your company for free to even get the chance to try your product. And your waitlist obviously isn’t that long if I have magically be moved to the top with one polite e-mail asking to cancel.

    Giving ipsy a hard pass. If I owned a company I’d want people to post about my product because they love it, not because they’re under duress and need to post to even get the product in the first place. There’s way too many companies similar to ipsy for me to sit there and have me pay them for the privilege of jumping through their bizarre hoops to even get their product.

    • Lisa Tufano
      October 5, 2016

      Sarah, you’re awesome. And you are among friends here!!! #PREACH

  • Andrea
    October 23, 2016

    What the heck! That’s so weird, because I didn’t go through anything like that myself (and I just signed up a month or so ago and got my recent “glam bag” on time). I wonder how that works? Are only certain accounts chosen to go through this whole “wasitlist” sham? That’s what it seems like? And that in itself is twisted.

  • Susan
    October 25, 2016

    This is ridiculous. My husband is in the military in a special forces position. I do not do social media at all. We do not post information publicly about our family for that reason. I don’t tweet or snap chat or Facebook so I guess I am not getting my bag of goodies I am paying for!! This is what is called the bait and switch. Someone really should teach these ladies some etiquette on running a business.

    • Lisa Tufano
      November 28, 2016

      Did you end up ordering Birchbox instead, Susan? How do you like it???

  • Giuliana
    December 5, 2016

    I signed up in November 2016 and was not put on a waiting list, nor did I have to do any of the things listed above. I got my bag the same month I subscribed and the next one will be arriving shortly.

  • Elizabeth
    December 12, 2016

    It was actually very easy for me to get off the waitlist. I just emailed them and told them how disappointed I was that I was put on a waitlist and that I would like to cancel my subscription. And they told me I’d be getting the next months bag! 🙂 So definitely try that if you ever decide to try ipsy again 😉

    • Lisa Tufano
      December 12, 2016

      Thanks, Elizabeth! Maybe someday I will! It still bugs me that they create a waitlist at all and make you email them to get off of it… Birchbox has been really awesome and their reward points system is really simple too, so I’ll probably continue with that for now.

  • Taylor
    December 30, 2016

    Really?! I was on the waitlist for less than a week. Also you aren’t paying them when you’re on the waitlist, it doesn’t charge you until the first of whatever month you get your bag. But it really is ridiculous you were on the waitlist for months

  • Jen
    January 19, 2017

    I loved my birchbox subscription for a full two years. A thought on the ugly side of birchbox though: for those full two years, birchbox had an incredible points program. It was the best! Every product you reviewed from your bag you would get 10 points. 100 points is equivalent to 10 dollars in the birchbox shop for full sized products. Basically, every month I’d make five dollars back towards the birchbox shop just for reviewing my samples. This is how it had always been. For some reason birchbox decides to pull the rug out from its customers feet and change their points program completely to “the best points program out there.” Literally, that’s what they advertized. The new points program: ZERO points for reviews. 1 measly point for every dollar you spend in the birchbox store (no, does not include what you spend on subscriptions.) this means that I have to spend 100 dollars in the birchbox shop in order to get $10 towards the birchbox shop, the same amount of money you would have earned in two months not spending a dime extra. They purposefully did a terrible job at forewarning their customers too. They sent one email and didn’t mention at all on their website in a way that would highly visible. Personally, I feel like that shows unappreciation for their customers. I stopped my subscription when they couldnt even do me the kindness of giving me 50 points for the five reviews I wrote once the new awesome plan start date had passed. I have a subscription to ipsy now and, though I’m not as in love with ipsy as I WAS the first year of my birchbox subscription, the experience left a bad taste in my mouth and I probably wouldn’t resubscribe without them changing their points system in order to reward their loyal customers instead of penalizing them.

  • Kim
    January 30, 2017

    I posted this almost a week ago on Ipsy’s FaceBook with screenshots of the emails the comments of my contacts etc.. still they have done nothing! They have not contacted me. Any suggestions on getting them to respond as they used my entire contact list without permission and set hundreds and hundreds to each email without my permission:
    Yesterday my whole personal email contact list got over 300 emails each from you saying I was referring them. I had no way to contact anyone- I emailed 3 times with no reply. People were getting these on their work computer as I did too. I don’t know what happened but I wonder more why no one will get back to me

  • Melody
    February 2, 2017

    The only thing you have to do to get off their wait list is share the link on Facebook. If you are ashamed to share it or something you can set it to “only me” and then nobody sees your post.

    • Lisa Tufano
      February 6, 2017

      Hi Melody! I don’t think we should be asked to share or promote ipsy on Facebook at all as part of having our order completed. I am happy to promote products that I like AFTER I have tried them and decided that I like them. IMO it’s lame for them to put people on a fake waitlist and force a “social share” in order to get off the fake waitlist.

  • Tiffany
    February 6, 2017

    I use ipsy and this article is a little dramatic if, you ask me. You can tell when reading it that the writer is promoting the birchbox by demeaning ipsy. That may work if you weren’t over exaggerating things. For one, when I signed up for ipsy YES they put me on a waitlist BUT all I had to do was share ONE post on my Facebook to get removed from the waitlist. Big deal! Then guess what?! They didn’t charge me ANYTHING until they sent out my first glam bag the following month!! I Love the products! I Would like to try birchbox also but that doesn’t make my subscription with ipsy any less amazing! 🙂

    • Lisa Tufano
      February 6, 2017

      Hey Tiffany! You’re certainly entitled to your opinion. You’re right, I absolutely and proudly do promote Birchbox and Pop Sugar MustHave boxes because those companies have better customer service and I have tried them and I think they are great. Unlike ipsy, they don’t put brand new customers on a fake waitlist for months at a time and force you to promote their brand before you have even have a chance to try their product out for yourself. So I am happy to promote those businesses here on my blog — they deserve to be promoted and ipsy deserves to be called out for their stupid waitlist.

      I’m glad you are enjoying your ipsy glam bag — this post isn’t about the quality of ipsy’s product because I ended up canceling them before I could receive the product. This post is specifically about their shady waitlist and customer service for new customers. Judging by the other comments on this post, I am not alone in feeling annoyed or frustrated.

      In fact, I probably would have been promoting ipsy’s great products if they had simply mailed my glam bag rather than creating a fake waitlist with these promotion hoops to jump through. Customers shouldn’t have to promote ipsy BEFORE they receive their ipsy glam bag. You promote businesses you like AFTER you try them out and like them… not before then.

  • Jamie
    February 6, 2017

    Im going to have to disagree 100% here. I subscribed to Ipsy late last year. I was put on waitlist, shared a link to FB, but selected that only I could view it and was removed w/in a week and recvd my 1st bag that month. I am obsessed with these bags and cannot wait to for them to arrive every month! I’m actually thinking about doing a 2nd sub, which is what lead me here. I review my products and adjust my personal preferences every month. I am yet to be disappointed.

    • Lisa Tufano
      February 6, 2017

      Hi Jamie, thanks for your comment. 🙂 I’m not sure what you’re disagreeing with though? I personally disapprove of ipsy because they force new customers to promote their brand/products/glam bag on their social media channels BEFORE they’ve had a chance to find out if they like their brand/products/glam bag. In my opinion, that is a shady business practice. I realize that people can find little loopholes to get around it, but my point is that there shouldn’t NEED to be loopholes because it’s tacky for ipsy to try and force you to endorse them before you’ve had a chance to try it out.

  • Michelle
    February 11, 2017

    I signed up in June. All I had to do to get off the waitlist was post something on Facebook and Twitter. It was super easy and fast. I like Ipsy more than Birchbox.

  • Tamichiko The Female Muttbunny
    February 11, 2017

    If you ask me, I think that the BeautyCon Box is the worst subscription service. While I think that Ipsy’s wait list is full of cow manure, at the same time I never had any issues with it. I created an Ipsy account in 2014, but it wasn’t until December 2015 that I entered my payment information. I was officially taken off the wait list without having to share on social media, although they didn’t bill me until January 1, 2016. The January 2016 bag was the first bag that I received. I was first subscribed to them from Jan 2016 to April 2016. I unsubscribed in April 2016 because I hated the items that I was getting and also because they wanted me to share everything on social media to earn points, which I do not have. I also had a minor billing issue with them, which was quickly fixed. I resubscribed to them in September 2016 and have been subscribed ever since. I was able to skip the wait list without sharing on social media, as I was subscribed before. The products that I’ve received have gotten way better and it seems that they have fixed their points system to where you no longer have to share your reviews to earn you full points. I know that Ipsy’s wait list system is shady but I don’t think it’s a total scam. I have also been subscribed to Birchbox at least three times between July 2012 and December 2016. The first time I was subscribed it was from July to September 2016, and the samples that I received were great. I resubscribed in January 2016 and was subscribed until April 2016. The first box I got from them was great, but the last three boxes were horrible. I resubscribed again for what might be the last time in September 2016, and I cancelled after the December 2016 box, as the samples that I was receiving were awful and did not reflect my profile. Even worse, they changed their points system to where you get 10 points each for ONLY the FIRST FIVE samples that you review. While Ipsy’s points system has gotten better, Birchbox’s has gotten worse. But the BeautyCon Box is the worst subscription that I have ever tried. Even though they only ship four times a year, the products I’ve gotten in each box since I subscribed back in July 2016 weren’t so great, and apparently not curated with everyone in mind like they claim (two of the three boxes that I’ve received so far had coupons for stores that sold ONLY clothes that only sell junior sizes). Furthermore, their cancellation policy is horrible. They give you only seven days to cancel after you receive their last box, otherwise, you’ll be forced to pay for the next box. At least both Ipsy and Birchbox give you until the 1st of the next month to cancel. I’m sorry that your experience with Ipsy was not good, but I would put the BeautyCon Box as the worst box to be subscribed to. I can’t until next month, when their Spring 2017 box ships, to cancel, as I will be cancelling the very same day that I receive what will be my LAST box. However, I’m glad that you have a better experience with Birchbox than I did.

    • Lisa Tufano
      February 13, 2017

      Hey Tamichiko! I haven’t heard of the BeautyCon Box but it sounds like more trouble than it is worth. Thanks so much for filling me in on your experience with that! And with ipsy/Birchbox. Maybe at some point I’ll give ipsy another shot (presumably after they knock it off with the fake wait list). You’re totally right, though. I know some people are bummed about the recent changes that Birchbox made to their points system and that could end up costing them customers. I hope that they reconsider their strategy on that, as it seems like a shame. They should also expand their profile preferences to allow slightly more customization, IMO, but in general I have discovered a ton of products I would never have tried and I find it easier to reuse/repurpose their cute boxes than a glam bag (from a practical standpoint).

      • Tamichiko The Female Muttbunny
        March 8, 2017

        UPDATE: I have cancelled my Ipsy subscription, but for financial reasons. I will return to Ipsy and maybe even Birchbox later once I can get my finances in order. And I know that people have their preferences, whether it’s Ipsy or Birchbox or even Play By Sephora. While I’ve gotten boxes from Birchbox that sucked, I also bought the full size of a Tony Moly lip tint that I received in one of my boxes. And as for the BeautyCon Box, I was just charged today, so their upcoming Spring Box should start shipping today. I just hope that I don’t have any issues with cancelling like other subscribers have (I’ve read that some people continued to get charged AFTER they cancelled within the 7 day cancellation period). But I do love the cute little bags from Ipsy.

        • Lisa Tufano
          April 7, 2017

          Hey Tamichiko! Did you get your BeautyCon Box yet? How is it?

          • Tamichiko The Female Muttbunny
            April 20, 2017

            I believe I received my BeautyCon box about three days after it shipped (I live in Los Angeles). It was an okay box, but one of the items in the box came destroyed. I had to email them about it, but fortunately they sent me a replacement. But I’m still considering cancelling after the Summer Box comes out. I am subscribed to two other subscription boxes, but those are curated specifically for women of color (like me).

  • Rebecca Gomez
    March 2, 2017

    Hey I got off the waitlist in like 5 mins and I only had to do maybe 2 things 1 facebook related message and 1 twitter related post. That’s weird you had to do all that!

  • Monica
    June 14, 2017

    I signed up in May of 2017 and they got me off the wait list June 9 2017 (They took my money so…) With a confirmation email. I’m waiting for my package to arrive, and it’s due June 20th 2017.

    Do as you wish for your own reasons, but as a hag with make-up I didn’t feel any pressing need to hurry my subscription along.

  • Blair Dub
    June 17, 2017

    I completely agree with this article! It’s not a real wait list if someone can get off of it by giving the company something that they want.

  • McKenzie
    June 19, 2017

    I just signed up for ipsy a little over a month ago. I was put on the wait list and was off of it in 2 weeks without sharing anything about ipsy on social media. I’m currently waiting on my first glambag and am so excited. I heard birchbox also has a waiting list so maybe those that immediately got subscribed to it just got lucky without the wait list? Just an idea though

  • rhodyislander
    July 3, 2017


  • Dana
    August 7, 2017

    Wish I would have known before I signed up that I would have to promote their business on Facebook and Twitter besides paying for the product.
    I refuse to post/share something to social media in order to benefit a company who is also taking my money. I belong to three other subscription boxes and not one of then has ever asked me to do that.

    I cancelled my account since obviously I would never get off of their wait list. I will post to Facebook now though…telling people to stay away from Ipsy.

    • Lisa Tufano
      August 9, 2017

      I hear you, Dana. Totally agree with everything you wrote, and together we will keep fighting the good fight!!! 😀

  • Katharine Samberg
    August 24, 2017

    You don’t actually have to do any of it. I skipped the waitlist by posting to facebook but have my privacy settings so no one saw it and immediately deleted it. They have no way of knowing, and afterward for every review you can just click so it isn’t shared on social media.

  • Lyndsey
    September 16, 2017

    I signed up for ipsy not knowing about the wait list thing….I refuse to promote a product on social media that I haven’t even tried yet! I emailed ipsy to take me off of the wait list and I got a response that my account was actually set to receive it’s first bag next month…how convenient right? I wonder how long I would have waited had I not emailed them.

    • Lisa Tufano
      September 19, 2017

      Typical! They have been doing this literally for years now. Did you end up signing up for a Birchbox too, Lyndsey?

  • Chichi
    December 20, 2017

    Pro tip: set up a fake Facebook account and share that stupid Ipsy garbage to nobody. That’s what I did.

    However, you soon learn that Ipsy’s samples are subpar. I don’t want mascara or eyeliner for 3 months in a row.

  • Nattie
    January 7, 2018

    I ended up here because I wanted to cancel being on Ipsy’s waitlist. I looked all over the website and there is nothing. Ipsy has really personally irked me because after filling out the personal profile and giving them my address and credit card information, they tell me I’m on a waitlist, BUT as soon as I get off the waitlist they will charge my card and send my bag.
    What?? I balance my check book. Yeah, it’s only about $11, but I’m not interested in being randomly charged at some point in the future.
    I’m on the Sephora Play waitlist. They send out an email when you get off the list and THEN you have the opportunity to purchase the subscription if you still want it. It’s not an automatic charge or enrollment. This is acceptable to me. Sephora also does not offer a “get off the waitlist” bribe.
    I have never been comfortable soliciting on social media.
    So thanks again to the person who linked to the Ipsy cancellation page. You made my night. Oh, and I got a response from Ipsy right away. The rep said he’d be happy to cancel me, but that I am set to receive my bag next month. Yeah, that’s at least 3-4 weeks away, so still no thanks. So I had to send another email, a response, telling them that YES I’m sure I want to cancel. So annoying.
    I signed up for Birchbox directly after and my box is already on its way to my house.

  • Renee
    January 31, 2018

    Ipsy does not take money from your account while on the wait list, least they haven’t mine.

  • Jessica
    February 26, 2018

    Unfortunately, I don’t have Facebook or Twitter so looks like I’ll need to remove myself because it sounds like without posting something I’ll never get off the list anyways lol

  • Susan
    March 1, 2018

    Yes – agree 100% with this. I signed up and was waitlisted and just immediately emailed them to cancel because I find their “waitlist /social promotion scheme” pretty tacky and they emailed offering to take me off the waitlist and send me a box right away. Nope. I’m sticking to Birchbox too.

  • ChristinaCO
    April 11, 2018

    This sounds a bit like an ad for birchbox. Anyone else notice she said she had been signed up for birchbix for 2 years and then at the end said she signed up for birchbox? Which is it? You’ve been signed up for 2 years and love it,or Ipsy made you decide to sign up??

    • Lisa Tufano
      April 11, 2018

      Hi Christina, you’re right, this post is super old. I did sign up for Birchbox ~2 years ago after my bad experience with ipsy. That’s also when I wrote this original post. What’s crazy is that ipsy is still doing their “waitlist” almost two years later, which is how other frustrated people keep finding this post. Makes ipsy look even worse, IMO.

  • Krista Mitchell
    November 11, 2018

    I know this is a super old Post to comment on but Play by Sephora is a great makeup box with no waiting list. I get 3, Ipsy, Birchbox and Sephora and I like them all for different reasons. I do agree the “waitlist” is fradulent af feeling tho.

  • Lisalynn
    December 2, 2018

    What on earth did you do to end up on a waitlist? LOL Myself and 3 of my friends have ipsy and we’ve never been on a waitlist from the very start, we signed up, paid for our bags and got them. No issue, never had to post anything on our social media, never had to con anyone into signing up, nothing. All those things were optional, you could do them if you wanted but never HAD to do them, and certainly never had to do them to get off a waitlist we never got put on. Also the ipsy bags can be used for gift giving as well, especially if you get samples you do not like or want, fill a bag and gift it to a friend.

  • Jennifer
    December 10, 2018

    The Ipsy ‘waitlist’ turned me off at first as I wasn’t going to share to get off. Fortunately, they frequently have periods of ‘waitlist free’ signing up, so I signed up through one of those. It still asked me to share, but it was easy to ‘turn off’ the sharing to facebook/twitter.

    I’ve gotten Ipsy since Oct 2017, though cancelled for a but from about June to Sept. this year before resigning up (again without any waitlist.)n

    Overall, I’ve really liked Ipsy. They send decent size samples and some full size items. The value of my bags generally is over $40 and has even been as high as $85. Personalization is decent – I generally get items I like but the weak point seems to be ‘shades’ – e.g. I’ve gotten several lip items in red or orange that I can’t wear. I know why the algorithm picked them (they were brands I love) but it’s unfortunate that they can’t pin down shades very well. Personalization has gotten even better now that there is an ‘improve glam bag’ survey where you can directly mark yes/no on items you like or dislike (though this isn’t followed 100% is does affect the bag making it more likely to get Yes items and less likely to get No items.) The makeup bags are great to make small kits in different colorways to travel. Variety is great as bags are usually a mix of eyes/lips/face/skincare. I’ve gotten a lot of gorgeous makeup as well as some very nice skincare through Ipsy. Most items have been good quality (except a recent polish with a terrible formula.) Cancelling is easy.

    Conversely, I tried out Birchbox for 3 months this year. The boxes were cute, but the sample sizes were primarily *tiny* (except a couple good size hair product samples I received.) Personalization was mediocre – I generally found there were 2-3 items in each box that I couldn’t or wouldn’t use, which severely lowers the value for me, Variety was poor – I got a lot of hair products, liners, mascaras, and perfumes among my 15 items. The outlier products were generally the samples I specifically chose. Quality was hit/miss.I cancelled as the value just wasn’t there for me.

    I’m trying out Play right now as well but not sure I will like it as much as Ipsy long term. My first bag was a good selection for me, but the lip sample was extremely tiny! And looking over past bag variations it seems a little more likely to end up with products I don’t care for. But so far I like it and it is working out better than Birchbox.

  • Danielle
    January 26, 2019

    Insane any of you did this I just sighned up for ipsy again January 15 2019 and I was active status imediatley and will received my February glam bag can’t wait didn’t have to share nothing just subscribed and IAM active and got my.conirmation email just waiting to receive etc so active status means your good to go and will be receiving bags and mine was that day so I don’t see what anyone iscomplaining about LOL active status same day confirmation email same day can’t wait ty ipsy

  • Jessica McGuire
    March 13, 2019

    I realize this post is old, but it frustrated me enough to comment anyway.

    I was legit shocked reading through all these unbelievably huffy, entitled-sounding comments full of all this super righteous indignation about THE TOTAL NIGHTMARE of being on a possibly-marketing-tactic waitlist, and then being (sort of, not really) FORCED TO SHILL FOR THIS DISHONEST COMPANY! (When all the other companies were so nice, and honest!)

    Like—dudes, seriously: Grow. Up. HOW exactly do you think Ipsy is ABLE to send out a bajillion products every month, for somewhere between like, 1/4 to 1/10 of their actual worth..? (and srsly let’s be real; $10 is basically free. It’s like, negligible money. I’m suuuper poor, and I could still prob find that in my couch cushions.) AND in *custom* bags, that generally seem worth more than 10 bucks by themselves? (Tho, ok, to be TOTALLY honest I only RLY love maybe 10% of them: the rest are gift packaging, or get snitched by my artist fiancé for use as easily-distinguishable, virtually-disposable-yet-incredibly-sturdy pencil/pen cases. #SuggestedUse! 🙂

    The point is, Ipsy IS ONLY ABLE TO EXIST BECAUSE OF SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING BY USERS. Who do you think Ipsy GETS its products from…?? Haha oh yeah, COMPANIES THAT NEED TO SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THEIR PRODUCT SO PPL WILL PAY FULL PRICE FOR IT! ….was that *really* not clear to anyone?

    Welcome to capitalism, folks!! (You’ve likely lived here for some time, but—it seems like you maybe weren’t rly paying attention.)

    Companies, YouTube channels, blogs….we ALL know they make most of their $ through ads. Ipsy is sooo crazy cheap because YOU ARE THEIR AD! If they aren’t getting hyped enough to reach a large audience, then guess what? Companies don’t have any reason to hook them up with products!

    I don’t believe this personally, but if you’ve ever wondered why some ppl inaccurately accuse ALL millennials of Feeling Entitled, then this thread’s perfect illustration of a collective failure to grasp the concept that there TRULY is No Such Thing as a Free Lunch—prob a good place to start.

    Having to—possibly—make an easily- & quickly-deletable post in exchange for dirt-cheap, pennies-on-the-dollar makeup, and you’re all raging. Talk about some first-world-ass problems, good lord.

  • Jana
    April 18, 2019

    Bravo! Beautifully written article, hilarious, and absolutely TRUE! I adore “I don’t negotiate with terrorists.” Yes! I signed up for Ipsy today, got the “ransom” message about the waitlist, and immediately did a google search to basically figure out what the hell was going on. I found your article and immediately canceled my Ispy waitlist spot. Can you imagine buying something from Amazon and them holding it hostage until I advertise for them? Crazy! I’ve now signed up for Birchbox, and I’m excited to get my first box! Thank you!

  • Jessika
    April 23, 2019

    Great article! And thank you for confirming my suspicions that this waitlist gimmick is exactly that – a gimmick to force subscribers to advertise for them for free. I’m canceling my Ipsy subscription and trying Birchbox instead. Thanks!

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