In November 2015, I was surfing through the popular page on Pinterest when I noticed the same pin from different users popping up every couple of posts. It was this photo of a little cosmetic bag with a few products and this unfamiliar website called Ipsy. Of course my curiosity was peeked and I clicked to see what it was all about.
Now, I know that male or female, most of you have been inside some type of drug store at some point in your life. However, I’m not sure just how many of you have actually strolled through the makeup isle. Much less, I’m not sure how may of you have actually looked at the prices of the products found in said isle. So for those of you who don’t have any knowledge about it, let me shed some light. Most of the common makeup products range anywhere from $1 to $35 depending on what you are looking to get. Now, these don’t even include skin cleansing and wrinkle reducing products for pre and post makeup skin care. Or, the bags to keep everything organized in. Short story long, it’s expensive! Which brings me to the sweet surprise I received upon clicking to find out what Ipsy is all about.
I read that for $10 a month, Ipsy will send me a cosmetic bag filled with products designed to compliment my personal style, skin type and coloring direct to my front door. Almost sounded too good to be true! I researched little to make sure it wasn’t a scam and decided to sign up. I received my metallic pink package in December and fell in love. The full size products and red vinyl bag were valued way beyond my $10.About a week later Ipsy emailed me about their event Generation Beauty happening at L.A. Live January 30th and 31st 2016. I had no idea what is was. In fact, my choosing to go was purely impulsive. I liked the Ipsy service, clearly had an interest in beauty products and figured “why not?”.
I woke up early Saturday morning on January 30th and parked outside L.A. Live around 8:30 AM. There was already a line around the building. At 9 AM they started registration and by 9:30 AM I was waiting outside the event doors in another line for 11 AM opening. There was a diverse group of woman and young ladies all around sipping on their Starbucks and playing on their phones. Restless and cold, we all just stood around staring at each other. The staff outside wasn’t very well informed about anything, but they were trying their best.
The doors were prompt at 11 AM and when I walked in and it appeared organized and exciting. I didn’t really know where to start so I engaged with the first vendor staff member that invited me over. I believe it was Crown that I stopped at first and they had me fill out a form for my email and social handles in order to get my gift. If only it were that easy, but they actually moved me to another line where they wanted me to take a selfie in front of their wall before giving me the gift. However, it was an easy process compared to some of the other booths.
The worst experience at a booth had to be Make Up Forever. Such a headache. They put together this bracelet plan to try to get all they could out of their guests before letting them redeem their gift. You had to wait in this line to get matched by and makeup artist for bracelet one. Then get in another line where you fill out a form on an iPad with your personal information to get another bracelet. For bracelet number 3, they have you sign a wall and take a selfie. With that selfie you had to post it, use specific hashtags, tag and follow Make Up forever. It wasn’t until a staff member approves all that that you get the third bracelet to redeem for a foundation. The cool part was they personalized your foundation for you if you wanted, but it was so annoying that I almost didn’t do it. I just wanted to get out of that booth as fast as I could.
From there I realized that the posting and hashtags were going to be a common theme throughout the rest of the day in order to receive my gifts from each vender. Something I strongly suggest doesn’t happen at any of their future events. It was a huge turn off. I found myself asking what the gift was so I could assess if it was even worth the trouble. I understand the importance of social media marketing, but make it a choice for an extra give away or something. Don’t force your consumers to do it. Another common theme but something I quite enjoyed were the photo booths some vendors used with props that made little GIFs and or prints. It was fun and something I actually valued as social media content as opposed to the forced selfie.
My favorite gifting experience was Mark Anthony. That has to be the most extravagant gift out of all the booths. They gave me a reusable bag filled with nine different products. No stress, no mess of personal info or photos. A very pleasant and generous booth with great staff. My least favorite gift was NYX. There was a long line for a very well dressed booth, but the gift you redeem once you make it inside was a tiny lipgloss tester that I wouldn’t even use as a stocking stuffer at Christmas. I’m embarrassed for them.
After 3 PM a lot of the vendors started running out of their gifts and I decided to leave and come back the next day. On my way out i picked up the Saturday gift bag Ipsy was passing out and it was awesome! I went home smiling over the experience as a whole and couldn’t wait to come back to visit the rest of the booths on Sunday that ended their giveaways early.
Sunday morning started out with lots of rain and the lines to get in were redirected into the parking garage. It was freezing outside. I wanted nothing more then to have someone walking through with hot beverages and food. at 11 AM they moved us inside little by little and the first booth I went for was TooFaced. It was insane! mobs of people trying to get in line in order to get their eyeshadow pallets that weren’t even available anymore. The Ipsy staff was yelling at everyone to move away from the line and come back later and to get out of the way. It was really rude. When they finally were letting people into line, it was ten people at a time. Total chaos. One staff member actually scratched my friend across her face when she was pushed from behind and the staff member retaliated. Then refused to apologize! Absolutely horrid.
I waited in line at NUME after TooFaced and it was long but worth it when I spun their chance wheel on an iPad and I won a NUME wand. I then made my way to the center of the tent to pick up the Sunday Ipsy Gift Bag and it was equally as awesome as Saturdays bag. A few other gift were swept up around the tent and it was 2 PM before I knew it and I decided to make my way out to complete the two day event.
I’m an active consumer. A proud member of Ipsy and I have to value the Generation Beauty event at an over all 8 out of 10 for the entire weekend. I love all my new products and I can’t wait to try them and report back with my top product picks.