January Ipsy Glambag – “19 Reasons”

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Mid month is one of my favorite times because, as always, it’s Ipsy time! For $10 USD (plus tax in some states), you get a makeup bag filled with on average 4-5 deluxe sized samples and some full-size beauty products. You take a short quiz and based on your answers, you are “matched” up with products that are “personally” chosen for you. The accuracy of IpsyMatch is iffy to some subscribers. To subscribe or just to read more about Ipsy, you can click here. This month’s bag theme is “19 Reasons.” Ipsy explained the reason for the bag on their Facebook page:

There was once a famous sign in San Francisco that read “17 Reasons Why.” It was originally erected by a furniture company in the 1930s, but was left behind long after the business closed. Its unique structure and teasing mystery grew to ignite the city’s self-reflective tone of both cultural and personal aspirations. For this month’s ipsy theme, we sought to imitate what the 17 Reasons sign inspired in our city, and use its sentiments to inspire our own ipsy community. We want you to think about your reasons. The brands in your “19 Reasons” January bag are just the beginning of why 2014 will be your best year ever, and we want to hear from you! Once you get your postcard this month, be sure to write down your favorite reason that this year will be amazing, take a pic, and post it to Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #ipsy for your chance to win a free year of Glam Bags for you or a friend.
P.S. We originally had 19 brands this month but got to add a 20th at the last minute!
What with there being 20 different brands participating in the glambags this month, I had high hopes that I would be able to try out different brands that I’d never used before but I’ll get to that in a bit. The bag itself is a bit lackluster for me:
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The colors are pretty but I’m not too fond of the design. Also, when I first opened my pretty, shiny pink bubble wrap envelope I was immediately overwhelmed by the smell of plastic pool toy or inflatable furniture. I’m crossing my fingers that the smell will fade overtime.
Here are the products I received this month:

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1. Mica Beauty tinted lip balm in natural (micabeauty.com, full size, $30)

The first item in my bag is from a repeat brand, Mica Beauty. To begin with, I’m not a fan of potted lip products because I have to either use my finger or a I have to bring a lip brush to apply it– not ideal. However, if you go to the Mica Beauty website, you’ll see that the product when ordered comes with a brush. But wait, doesn’t the packaging look familiar? This was discussed on one of the MUT forum and you will find these from Cailyn Cosmetics which are $19 versus $30 from Mica Beauty. But onto the product itself… Despite the lack of the brush, I do like the packaging. It is attractive– I tend to lean towards simple packaging and the clear pot with plain black lid that includes the company name is nice and simple.

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I received the tinted lip balm in the color natural. It actually matches my natural lip color pretty well, a mauve-pink color that is not bold but still provides a sheer color to the lips. It does provide a smooth feel on the lips, however I did find it to be slightly drying which is the opposite of what I expect a lip balm to provide which is similar to what I experienced when I tried the Cailyn tinted lip balm in big apple.

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2. Elizabeth Mott smooth shadow in pearl (elizabethmott.com, full-size, $14.99)

After receiving this product, I can say that I have tried everything that Elizabeth Mott has to offer– there are only 3 on the website– which also means that this is another repeat brand for me. I received the Smooth Shadow creamy eye pencil in the color pearl. The barrel of the pencil, I believe, is plastic but you are able to sharpen it. When I think of pearls or pearl color, I think of an iridescent white. The color on this to me is more of a shimmery cream/vanilla color. It has teeny tiny specks of glitter.

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The color is very pretty when swatched. I had high hopes for using this product as a brow highlight but when blended out the color seems to disappear and all you’re left with is the glitter. The product is still useable– I could still layer it over a different color (like NYX milk) for a brow highlight or simply use it as a waterliner.

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3. Épicé purifying exfoliant (epiceinternational.com, full size, $32)

Next item is the Épicé purifying exfoliant. This is a new brand for me from Ipsy so I was extremely excited to receive it. A little about my skin– I had horrible acne growing up (I still get minor breakouts as an adult) and I never listened to the whole “don’t pick at them!” thing and I am now left with visible acne scars. So, I welcome new exfoliants to try out. I can’t even BEGIN to try to describe what this product does myself so here is the description from the Épicé website:

A unique exfoliant which removes excess dirt and dead skin cells all while activating collagen production and hydrating your skin. This moisture rich formula utilizes mild, non-irritating and anti-bacterial cleansers with micro-fine polyspheres which enhances skin texture and clarity for a clean, fresh appearance. Purifying Exfoliant is also great to use on the entire body and after just a few uses, you will begin to see improvement in the look and feel of your skin.

Benefits

Micro-fine polyspheres gently exfoliate removing excess dead cells and environmental debris.
Exfoliation helps open pores, which increases excretion of toxins.
Packed with emollients, humectants and barrier protectors to hydrate dry, irritated skin.
Contains several natural collagen boosters for damaged skin.
Softens skin as it cleans.
Non-irritating, antiseptic, bacteria and fungus fighting properties.

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The sample size that I received is a pretty good size (1 oz) which is enough to try out the product and is also great for travel. The product comes in a flip top squeeze tube which I like and the full size product comes in a bottle with a pump. It has a very light scent which I find to be pleasant. The product is a gentle exfoliant– the grains are fine so the product is not abrasive when applied to the skin. I did experience a bit of an, I guess, burning sensation? Again, not too bothersome but it is there.

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4. Sexy Hair healthy sexy hair soy tri-wheat leave in conditioner (ulta.com, full size $17.95)

And yet another repeat brand. I got another product from the same HealthSexyHair line from SexyHair in a previous bag (April glambag) which was the Soy Renewal Nourishing Styling Treatment which left me feeling like a greasy mess no matter how much, or how little, product I used. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed when I saw in my glam room that I was going to be receiving this product. However, I despite my negative experience with this line previously, I figured I’d still give this a try. WOW, what a surprise! SexyHair, I am so sorry for ever having doubted you.

This spray leave-in conditioner has an amazing citrus and floral smell which I absolutely L-O-V-E. No greasiness and it left my normally coarse hair unbelievably soft. The leave-in conditioner that I have been using is Nexxus Humectress Luxe Ultimate Moisturizing leave-in spray which retails for about $10 for a 5.1 fl oz bottle but for an 8.5 fl oz bottle of the SexyHair leave-in for $17.95, I might just break and buy this bottle. The Nexxus has lasted me for at least a year now so the SexyHair would last me FOREVER.

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5. Proactiv+ mark facing pads (4) (proactiv.com)

It seems as though Ipsy got my skin type and problems right on the dot this month because they sent me 4 of the Proactiv+ mark fading pads. This is not a repeat brand from Ipsy, however I did use Proactiv (not Proactiv+) in my teen years for my skin problems. From what I’ve read, you cannot buy these alone from the Proactiv+ website or via phone without ordering a full kit but I have seen them on Amazon. I have also seen the Proactiv kiosks in most of the malls that I’ve got to so perhaps you can buy the pads along from them.

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I’ve read a lot of negative comments about the Proactiv+ products in general but I’ve never used it (I guess the formulation is different from when I was using Proactiv?). As I mentioned earlier, I have lots of acne scarring so this is something that I would be interested in trying out. However, with being sent 4 of the towelettes, I’m going to have to get creative and cut them up to get more use and really see how they work? I don’t know.

And, of course, here are swatches of the two cosmetic items that I received, Elizabeth Mott smooth shadow in pearl on the left and Mica Beauty tinted lip balm in natural on the right:

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So, now back to my comment about there being 20 different brands being offered with this month’s bag and my hopes for trying new brands. I received 2 out of 5 new brands (1.5 new brands with the Proactiv/Proactiv+?). Out of what I received, at least 3 of the products will be useable, 4 depending on how my skin reacts to the mark fading pads. I’m disappointed with the tinted lip balm which may be sitting right next to my Cailyn tinted lip balm unused. I will, however, continue to subscribe to Ipsy for fear that I might miss out on something great in the next bag. I am very pleased that Ipsy included more skincare products for January than beauty products thgough.

Are you interested in receiving beauty products in the mail each month to try out? Subcribe now here! Did you receive the January Ipsy glambag? What did you receive in yours? How do you like the products?

September Ipsy Glambag – “Classic Beauty”

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It’s about that time again! And that time seems to be getting later and later each month. As usual, Ipsy is a monthly beauty subscription. For $10 USD (plus tax in some states), you get a makeup bag filled with on average 4-5 deluxe sized samples and some full-size beauty products. You take a short quiz and based on your answers, you are “matched” up with products that are “personally” chosen for you. The accuracy of IpsyMatch is iffy to some subscribers. To subscribe or just to read more about Ipsy, you can click here.

This month’s bag theme is “Classic Beauty.” I usually don’t pay much attention to the cards that are sent out with them (except to check for the discounts) but the design on the front of this card isn’t one of my favorites. For one, the text on the card is a bit difficult to read. Not a big deal though.

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And the brands that participated in this month’s bag:

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Michelle Phan recently launched her new make-up line, “Em,” so we received this card as well:

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The life palette includes blushes, eyeshadows, and lip colors for different “looks” that you can create using them.

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We also received a sample in the card. I HOPE that this isn’t the only sample that we can expect to receive from Em in our glambags. A single use card with blush and eyeshadow?

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So onto the actual products. This month, we received five products.

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1. NYX single eyeshadow in Fahrenheit (NYX, full size, $4.50)

When I first started wearing makeup, one of the first brands I used often and started to collect was NYX. One of the stands at my local indoor swapmeet sold tons of NYX makeup so that’s what I usually bought the single eyeshadows for, I think, $3 or $4 dollars. I would buy the single eyeshadows and three eyeshadow palettes. Unforunately, when i moved out of my parents’ house, my eyeshadows were a victim to being thrown away. The thing that I love about NYX eyeshadows is that they’re pretty pigmented and the ones I’ve tried texture-wise are very smooth. I also love their simple square packaging. I was thrilled to find out we were receiving it in our glambags this month. I know others would have preferred to have gotten a different brand but to each his own. I received it in Fahrenheit which is a lovely coppery red color. I had a palette with a similar color before (along with a gold and dark brown shadow) so I’m happy to reunite with this pretty color.

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Just as expected, the texture was very nice when swatching and also when applied to my eyelid. You can apply it so the color is nice and bold but it’s very easy to blend out for a more subtle appearance.sep2013_ipsy_09

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2. Cailyn tinted lip balm in Big Apple (Cailyn cosmetics, full-size, $19)

Blush and lip colors are the two makeup products that I don’t often use, however, lately I’ve found myself buying a lot of drugstores lippies (Kate Moss’ line for Rimmel, Flower Beauty, and some NYX) but most have been mauve color or some variation. I don’t typically wear red. Actually, the last time I wore red lipstick was during my polynesian dance days and we had to wear “performance makeup” which consisted or eyeshadow and red lipstick).

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I had gotten the Cailyn gel eyeliner in a past bag that I was generally happy with so I might as well try out the lip balm, too, right? The packaging of the lip balm is the same as the gel liner with the exception of the cap and brush being white instead of black.

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The color itself is a really pretty color. It’s rad but leans towards a little hint of pink, or at least it does to me. I’d read on MUT before that some people found the formula drying so before I applied it onto my lips, I made sure to swipe on some other lip balm first. It didn’t apply as smoothly as I expected it to but the color payoff is pretty good. It is not a lip balm. Then I think lip balm, I think smoothing, moisturizing, slippery on the lips lol. I have to agree with the other ladies that the formula is dry. It was matte on my lips (I had to apply a little gloss on top to give them some shine). I though, well, maybe this is supposed to just be a potted lipstick then. No staying power. Beautiful color, horrible formula.

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3. J.Cat Beauty fantabulous lipstick in honeycrisp (J.Cat beauty, full size, $2.49)

J.Cat is another repeat brand from Ipsy. The last time I received anything from them it was the glitter palette which, although was very pretty, was unusable and sort of a waste of space. This month, I received two lip products, the Cailyn tinted lip balm and this J.Cat lipstick. It came in the color honeycrisp which is a nude color. When I first noticed the nude lip trend, I fell in love with it especially when paired with a smokey eye but I could never find a nude that actually looked right on me. This swatched pretty enough on my hand but when I applied it onto my lips, I looked horrible. Mind you, I initially tried it on my lips without any other makeup.

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So I did my whole face makeup and tried again. Still horrible. The lipstick itself wasn’t bad I just had a problem with the color. I wish they had sent another color that would have been more universally flattering.

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4. Elizabeth Mott It’s So Big mascara (Elizabeth Mott, full size $19.99)

Yet another repeat brand. Previously, we received the Lash Cards from Elizabeth Mott which I never ended up using. After the fail of the Pixi mascara from last month, I was iffy about getting yet another. We received a small sample size tube which is great for tossing in your purse and taking it on the go.

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Nothing really crazy about the brush itself. No death balls on the tip of it either.

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I was pleasantly surprised by this mascara! It claims to be a volumizing mascara that also lengthens. I didn’t get so much of the volumizing as I did the lengthening. It also defined my eyelashes really well. I actually love this mascara, but for $19.99 I think I’d probably stick with my drugstore mascaras.

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5. Jesse’s Girl liquid eyeliner pen (Jesse’s Girl,)

Of all the beauty products I love most, it is a good liquid eyeliner. Again, when I started wearing makeup I bought a lot from the asian lady at the indoor swapmeet. She also had these $1.00 liquid eyeliners there that I loved. The formulas was black, nice and dark, just the way I like my black eyeliners. Mind you the staying power was pretty bad but I would give anything to have the brush it came with. The brush was perfect. Ever since I stopped going there, I’ve been hunting for a new liquid eyeliner but it was such a hard task. The formula would be good but the brush was too soft. The formula would be good but the brush was so stiff it hurt to apply it.I could never find a good brush! I finally settled on using the Milani liquid eyeliner pen (Eye tech?) but it didn’t last me that long.

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Ipsy, knowing all the trouble I’ve been going through with finding a great eyeliner, sent me this Jesse’s Girl liquid eyeliner pen. I’ve never heard of the brand. Many ladies have said that this brand is sold at Rite-Aid but I don’t often go there to buy makeup and of the times I have, I’ve never seen this brand. The packaging is sleek, silver, and shiny. When I first opened the pen and swatched on my hand, I was a little worried that the tip was going to be too soft for me to work with, but I applied it to my eyelid this morning and it worked out just fine. The color is a nice, rich, black color– PERFECT! I applied it this morning at about 4:30am (yes, I wake up THAT early) so I’ll check in again later today to report on the staying power but so far I like it.

Here are swatches of the products I received: NYX eyeshadow in Fahrenheit, Cailyn tinted lip balm in Big Apple, J.Cat lipstick in Honeycrisp, and Jesse’s Girl eyeliner in black (I guess haha, I didn’t check if it had an “official name” and I’m having a hard time getting on the website right now).

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Overall, I’m very pleased with this month’s glambag from Ipsy. The products are usable, though I’ll have to put more effort into the lip balm and a lot of effort into the lipstick. If you aren’t a current subscriber, I think you should definitely give it a try at only $10 a month. You can always cancel at anytime. Subcribe now here!

Did you receive the September Ipsy glambag? What did you receive in yours? How do you like the products?