Ipsy & Pop Beauty: Plump Pout mini vs full size

Monday, March 03, 2014

Ipsy subscribers received in their February 2014 Glambags either a mini tube of Peony Petal or Fuschia Freesia Plump Pout from Pop Beauty. Many members had complained on MakeupTalk, on Facebook and on other social media sites that the lip glosses smelled bad like burnt plastic or burnt rubber. At the time I received my own bag I had a head cold so I really couldn't smell anything wrong but a few days later I could smell that mine had a burnt rubber smell (like when the vacuum belt breaks). I didn't bother contact Ipsy about it since people were reporting that people from Ipsy essentially said nothing was wrong with the gloss and to check the ingredients if people were concerned about what was in it that could cause the smell. Instead I went directly to Pop Beauty who offered me a replacement of my Peony Petal that came today and I think I've solved the mystery as to why the sample from Ipsy smells so bad.

First, the lip gloss from my Ipsy bag came with a shrink wrapped band around it. Thankfully I tend to take pictures of the products before opening, granted 99% of these image I never publish but I take these types of pictures in the event something happens and I end up blogging about it... like this incident.

On the shrink wrapping the ingredients are listed. The primary ingredient listed is mineral oil. Many ladies, on various social media sites, have suggested that may be it's the mineral oil that it causing the smell and it's possible but cosmetic grade mineral oil typically doesn't have an odor. Once the shrink wrap is removed there is no way to check the ingredients since what's listed on Ipsy's website is not what's listed on the shrink wrap and it's not what's listed on the full size Plump Pout box.

From Ipsy's website (same ingredients are listed on the Pop Beauty website):
 From the packaging:

Also notice that the mini is made in Taiwan while the full size is made in the USA. I'm speculating a few things about this:
  1. It's possible that to save on the cost of the minis that the exact ingredients are not used or it's possible that since it's made in Taiwan that the manufacturer is restricted in using the same ingredients as the full size.
  2. It's also possible that the reason the minis are made in Taiwan is due to the cost being less expensive to make in Asia than to make minis in the US. Again, totally my speculation but I've been told by many, many company representatives that making samples (in the first place) is more expensive than full size products.
Again, both reasons are just my own speculations and I could be totally wrong about it but it seems plausible that the location of where the minis are made is why there is an ingredient difference. My full size from Pop Beauty smells like vanilla while the mini sample smells like a burnt vacuum belt.

The color between the full size and the mini are similar but it appears that the mini is just slightly darker than the full size. The other difference I noticed is that the full size does have a tingling sensation which I'm guessing is the plumping action. (Note: I also realized that the red lakes in the mini and the full size were different which is most likely why the shade is different.)

The thing is that because of the ingredient differences being so radically different that the Plump Pout Mini is essentially a different product than the Plump Pout full size (US retail: $18). Here's the thing, for those that hated the mini, they will most likely be turned off from buying the full size but for those that liked the mini and want to buy the full size... well they may end up not liking the full size because it's not the same product. Personally I think that a mini size product should be identical to a full size product otherwise what's the point of sending out a sample if the sample is not the same as the full size?

So did  you contact Ipsy or Pop Beauty about a replacement? If you received a replacement from Pop Beauty what did you think of the full size version?

Edit: Ipsy replied on Facebook with this:
Thanks for the informative post, Zadi. We were unaware of any differences between the sample size and full size POP . We've reached out to our partners at POP Beauty to learn more about it.

Edit #2: One of the ladies on MakeupTalk pointed out that the FDA states on their website that the "FDA also wants to know if a product has a bad smell or unusual color—which could signal contamination—or if the item’s label is incomplete or inaccurate." I know Ipsy is looking into the matter however due to the fact that so many people were affected and so many may not have realized there is a potential problem I feel that (1) Ipsy and/or Pop Beauty put out a statement essentially recalling the lip gloss and (2) that if you experienced any chemical burns, sickness (dizziness, nausea, etc) or any negative experience with it to report it to the FDA. I don't blame Ipsy for the problem since they were unaware of the ingredient differences however after talking with some of my readers and reading their comments I have to agree that in this case because something IS wrong with the product and people have had very bad reactions this is one of those times a product should be reported.


  1. Thank you so much for this very informative post, Zadi, as always.

    We can't stop talking about this because, if we do, it will get swept under the rug.

  2. I wasn't going to contact Ipsy about it, since I figured it was a coincidence that I experienced cold like symptoms that started just after applying my pop lip gloss mini. But last night I realized that normally when there's a cold in my house, everybody in the house catches it too. However, the cold didn't spread, it stopped with me. So I contacted Ipsy, Pop and the FDA about it. If it was just a coincidence, oh well. But, if it was caused by the bad product, now everybody knows :) Hopefully they figure out what happened.

    1. Megan, I hope it was coincidence because if you got sick from using it... that's not good.

      I'm curious if anyone else got sick after using it. I know of the people complaining of burning sensations (not plumping) like a chemical burn but has anyone else caught a "cold" shortly after using it?

  3. I ended up getting headache within minutes of applying the Pop lipgloss because of a chemical smell from my Pop lipgloss so I wiped it off immediately. This is unusual for me because I am typically not especially sensitive to scents.

    1. Please report it to the FDA. POP Beauty is essentially not publicly acknowledging there was a manufacturing issue and are attempting to say it was merely the lack of a flavoring ingredient that caused the problem. I can't believe that leaving out a flavoring ingredient could cause a product to smell so disgusting much less cause other issues with people.


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