IPSY Icon Box November 2023 Review: Handpicked by Makeup Artist Pat McGrath!

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Icon Box is the latest box from Ipsy and it replaces the previous Glam Bag X and BoxyCharm Luxe. It’s a quarterly upgrade and comes with 8 full-sized products worth up to $350. Members get to choose three of their items from a few different options and this upgrade replaces your usual monthly bag for an additional cost. This season, the box was curated by makeup artist Pat McGrath, which I was really excited to hear! I received a cleanser, moisturizer, makeup, and more. Check out what I received below!

Dew Of The Gods The Theory Retinol + Oat Milk Hyaluronic Creme Blend ($25.20) is a moisturizer that also has retinol and hyaluronic acid, for wrinkle fighting and boosted moisture. It’s made with aloe, sunflower oil, cica, and jojoba oil plus lavender oil for scent. It is quick absorbing and non-greasy, and it smells like natural lavender, but not in an overwhelming kind of way.

Tatcha The Rice Wash ($40) is a cleanser that starts off feeling a little gritty but the feeling fades as it starts to gently foam up on the skin. The only thing I didn’t like about this was that it has added fragrance, but other than that it seemed to work well to remove makeup and dirt without leaving my skin feeling stripped.

Aceology Here We Glow Berry Mask ($69) I don’t usually reach for face masks but I couldn’t resist applying this lavender-tinted mask to my face since it has no added fragrance. It does have a lot of fruit extracts, five of them related to berries and another fourteen from other fruits. Kaolin clay, glycerin, and allantoin are also in the ingredients. I applied to clean, dry skin and let it sit for at least 20 minutes, and I noticed it didn’t dry up completely the way some clay masks will, and so my dry skin appreciated that. It was easy to rinse it all away and I didn’t experience any irritation. It has a very light scent that for whatever reason reminded me of Play-Doh, but my sense of smell is still recovering so don’t quote me on that.

Avant Skincare Proactive Mandelic Acid Restoring & Anti Pollution Toner (about $67) I love to wear perfume and spritz it on my arms and neck and enjoy a light hint of scent. I don’t like using facial products that have a strong artificial scent and that was my main complaint about this toner. If you’re ok with scent and have oily skin and large pores then you might like this toner and you can squirt it onto a cotton pad and wipe away after using cleanser first. It smells very floral to my nose.

Byroe Peony Tea Glow Oil ($50) can be used as a moisturizer or primer for all skin types. It goes on with that “dry oil” type of texture found in products with dimethicone, although I didn’t see that listed. I felt like it sat on top of my skin, it wasn’t really absorbed and I have thirsty skin. It also has a floral scent provided by fragrance/parfum that I didn’t care for. It makes skin glowy in the way that oil on your skin looks kind of greasy, rather than a shimmer like some products leave behind. Some of the other ingredients are soy and jojoba oils, peony extract, bakuchiol, and hyaluronic acid.

The Quick Flick Perfect Wings Eyeliner Stamp in To The Point Intense Black ($29.99) Keep in mind that I am not a fan of liquid liners but of course I had to try out a cat eye. You stamp the correct “flick” onto the corner of your eye and then fill it in with the other end of the pen, which is a thick black liner. I can say it’s not as easy as it looks and it actually looked quite bad when I finished. I might try playing around with it on days I don’t have to leave the house but to me it’s too thick of a line and looked silly rather than sexy.

Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Color in Wild Rose ($32) I liked this a lot! It’s a one swipe eyeshadow stick in a shimmery rose gold shade that served as a base all over my lid. I added a deeper matte to my crease, applied liner and mascara, and that’s all she wrote.

Swatched on top is the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Rose Gold and below that are the cat eye stamps plus the liner.

Pat McGrath Labs Dark Star Mascara ($34) I was so excited to hear that makeup items from Pat McGrath would be featured in this month’s ICON box and I got a…mascara? Seriously? It’s supposed to do what most mascaras claim to do: volumize, lift, lengthen, provide “instant drama”. It worked like any other mascara in my makeup kit, and was even a bit clumpier than most. I saw the most difference with a second coat but again, I can pay $6 for a grocery store mascara and get the same effect.

As usual my ICON box from Ipsy had some amazing products and some that were just ok, but I never expect it to be perfect, that’s not realistic. The Laura Mercier shadow stick was my favorite item, I love to swipe it on and not have to do much more to be set for the day. The Dew of the Gods moisturizer was another keeper, it was light yet worked well for my dry skin type but then it’s not super cold where I live so no need for the thicker stuff yet. I would have liked a different item from Pat McGrath, mascara’s not very exciting is it? I would have been thrilled beyond belief it I had received the Commodity cologne, but I recognize that Tatcha is a popular brand, as is Byroe, but they are not quite right for my skin needs. I had fun trying the winged liner stamps, I’ll play with those again, but the toner was way too strong in scent for my skin. The mask and mascara were solid beauty box products. The value for my box combo was around $348, but I can’t help feeling like a few of those values are inflated for what you get but certainly it’s worth more than the subscription price and I have family and friends who will definitely enjoy the stuff I can’t use!

Think of it as your all-access pass to the most-coveted brands, hottest launches, and need-to-try products in beauty. Available as a quarterly upgrade for Ipsy and BOXYCHARM members, the Icon Box includes 8 full-size products (worth up to $350) specially curated by beauty’s biggest tastemakers and celebs. You’ll get to choose three products from a personalized assortment, while the remaining five are guaranteed to be Power Picks or superstar products and brands—which, BTW, includes dibs on exclusive product drops you won’t find anywhere else. Icon Box replaces your regular shipment four times a year (February, May, August, and November).


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