June Ipsy Glambag – Pretty in Paradise

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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 “Pretty in Paradise,” fitting for the start of summer.

The surprise is the makeup bag itself. It is a deep blue with red zipper and has a fun pineapple and bird of paradise print… and it was designed by Rebecca Minkoff. Take a look at her video here!

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Here is what I received in my glambag this month:
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1. NYX butter gloss in apple strudel (nyxcosmetics.com, full size $5)

I’ve said this time and time again– I love NYX. They are affordable and great quality. I’ve been hearing a lot about the NYX butter glosses but have holding off on purchasing any until I saw what color I got in my Ipsy bag. I received it in the shade apple strudel which is a pretty peach color. It has a typical sponge applicator. The formula is slightly tacky but not anymore than I would expect from any other lipgloss. The color swatched pretty on my arm but unfortunately the color didn’t show so much on my lips. An additional plus is that it smells delicious– I felt like the entire time I was applying this, I was smothering a birthday cake flavored cupcake all over me! Nice product that doesn’t disappoint, I’ll just need to try out different colors, I’m thinking maple blondie or red velvet.

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2. Nicka K New York shimmer liner in green (nicka.com, full-size $4.99)

I remember getting a Nicka K nail polish in a past Ipsy bag, it was a gorgeous red color that was the red of all reds for me. Sadly, I can’t find the polish =(. I was happy to be able to try another product from the line. Nowadays, I typically don’t reach for colored eyeliner (I tend to reach for black or brown almost every day) but a new colorful liner is always a welcome change. (I actually recently purchased the NYX liquid crystal liner in gold which I love.) Anyway, this month I received the Nicka K shimmer eyeliner in green. The colors is very pretty, it’s more of like a peacock green than a green-green if that makes any sense HAH. It watched beautifully on my arm but unfortunately I felt at odds when I applied, or rather tried to apply, it to my eyelid. The applicator HURTS. The website describes it as a foam tip applicator. When I think of “foam” words like soft and gentle come to mind. Instead it was hard and stiff. Haha hard and stiff *devilish grin*… A bit of a disappointment considering the color is nice and the formula so far seems to stay put pretty well (I can still see my swatch on my arm a day later after having washed over it). I suppose I could use a different brush that is much more gentle on the eye area but having to remove the applicator that came with it, dip in a different brush and wasting some product, then having to recap it? Too much hastle.

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3. Laneige BB Cushion (target.com, full size $34)

I’ve seen a lot of Laneige posts lately and now I’ve seen the line carried at Target so of course I’ve been really curious about it. I received the Laneige BB cushion sample in my Ipsy bag. At first, I thought this was just a small foil sample since all I saw when I first pulled it out of my pink bubble mailer was the cardboard display. The sample actually has four little compartments– one for the applicator puff and one each of the light, medium, and dark shades. When I first saw that I was receiving the BB cushion, I thought it was going to be a single sample of one shade and the color that each person received was going to be a toss up, so the sample that was actually sent out is a pleasant surprise.

I have been searching for a new BB cream and also something in a compact form that would make applying it much easier on the go especially since I’ll be doing some traveling this summer. I have not yet tried this product but I have high hopes for it.

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4. Marc Anthony dream waves beach spray (walgreens.com, full size $8.79)

I’m not a fan of hair products unless it’s a conditioner or mask so styling products in my Ipsy bag are usually pretty bleh to me, so things like spray clays or gels are not the types of things I want to see waiting for me in my bag. Most days my hair has been flat ironed but lately I’ve been leaving the house with my hair in its natural state– airy, curly, and slightly frizzy. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t mind going out with my hair in all its glory from time to time so anything that will enhance my natural texture is fine.

Let me say first that this beach spray from Marc Anthony smells divine! It makes me want to grab a pina colada and sit it a lounge chair while I’m basking in the sun at the bask. It smells like a freakin’ pina colada! I’ll get back to you on how this performs a little later– my hair is currently ironed out and I don’t want to waste a perfectly good hair day.

// Edit // I’ve had a chance to now try out the Marc Anthony beach spray and while it smells delicious, it didn’t perform how I was hoping. It left me hair feeling sticky =(.

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5. Be a Bombshell lash out mascara (beabombshellcosmetics.com, full size $15)

Last but not least and unfortunately the most disappointing product I received this month is this Be a Bombshell mascara. It is a repeat brand that we seem to receive every other month. I haven’t had any issues with the quality of products but the colors usually haven’t been ideal for me and I’ve had to work them with other color products for them to be wearable. With that said, this month is the first time I’ve received a product by this company that I cannot use. Why? I’ll get to that shortly.

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The packaging of the mascara follows the look of the packaging of all the other products I’ve received– matte, black, and simple with just their logo on it. The brush is a spiral brush that applied the product well. The formula didn’t clump even after the first application.

So, everything I’ve said about the mascara has been pretty positive, right? Why is this a product that I cannot use? To begin with, I was hesitant to apply this because the SMELL that came out of that tube when I first opened it was awful. Like, worse than the smell that came out of the POP Beauty lip gloss a few months back because this time around, the smell enveloped by senses right when I opened it. At least with the POP gloss I couldn’t smell it until it got closer to my nose. That is how bad the smell was and I can’t even begin to describe it. My eyes also started getting irritated after applying that I had to take it off immediately. I took to the company’s Facebook page and sure enough there were the posts of BaB addressing with the many people posting issues with it. Here is the first post made on June 11th:

We understand that several IPSY customers have received our Lash Out Mascara with a strong smell. We would like to assure you that all of our ingredients are 100% safe.

Three of the ingredients included in our Lash Out mascara are included in the FDA’s list of Generally Recognized As Safe ingredients list. Those ingredients are Cera Alba (Bees Wax), Propylene Glycol, and Stearic Acid. All other ingredients are ingredients that are commonly used in other cosmetic products.

Although the mascara has a strong smell, we as a company chose to not cover the smell with a fragrance in the formulation. Fragrance is often an irritant to sensitive consumers.

We value our customers and all Ipsters. We take all complaints seriously and take them into consideration. Please e-mail Be A Bombshell cosmetics at customerservice@beabombshellcosmetics.com with any questions or concerns.

And here is the second post made yesterday:

Dear Ipsters and Bombshells,

We would like to address the continuing concern over our Lash Out mascara included in many of Ipsy’s June bags. Batch 0310 was produced in April of 2014 specifically for the Ipsy June bag. At the time of production this batch underwent our standard testing and all tests came back normal.

We recognize the continued concern over the safety of this product. We urge anyone who experiences any irritation or other reaction to discontinue use of this product. In light of the continuing concern over our Lash Out mascara batch 0310 we will be engaging a new independent laboratory to conduct additional safety testing on this batch of mascara.

The safety of our customers is of paramount importance to us. We take all complaints seriously and are investigating these concerns. If anyone has any additional concerns, please continue to reach out to us at customerservice@beabombshellcosmetics.com. We will reply to each email as soon as possible.

Thank you,
The Bombshell Team

While I appreciate the fact that the company is addressing the issue at hand but, come on, to say that they chose to not cover the smell with a fragrance? No fragrance in the world can cover up the smell of the mascara and it is nothing like any other mascara I have ever used. I surely hope that the company intends to keep its users updated especially considering many people other than myself experienced eye irritation from its use.

And back to my bag… Here are the swatches of the NYX butter gloss and Nicka K shimmer eyeliner:

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Overall, this month’s bag was OK. The fact that Ipsy collaborated with Rebecca Minkoff to bring us a fun tropical bag for summer is a major plus but a couple products did not perform as I hoped they would that they bring down the entire bag this month. Did you receive your June Ipsy glambag? What did you get?

May Ipsy Glambag – “Fresh Picks”

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Sorry I’ve been lagging so much with unboxings! It’s been really hectic around here but for now, 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 “Fresh Picks.”

The bag is a canvas, burlap-like fabric which is different than any other glambag I’ve received. It has a pretty green leaf print on the front of the bag with a matching zipper. Very pretty actually.

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Here is what I received in my glambag this month:
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1. Pacifica mineral eyeshadow duo #2 (Moonbeam & Unicorn) (pacificaperfume.com, $14 for 4-shadow palette)

I’m a huge fan of Pacifica body products, they’re scents are amazing! I’ve never tried their makeup though. Lately, I’ve found myself not using a whole lot of eyeshadow so to find that the only makeup item I received this month was this eyeshadow I was a little disappointed. With that being said, The size of this sample is perfect for travel– two shadow colors in one simple, small compact. I received duo #2 which consists of the shades Moonbeam and Unicorn. The colors are ok– the darker shade which I am assuming is Moonbeam is an almost matte with a slight shimmer muted purple color. Unicorn has a few teeny tiny specks of glimmer and is what I would describe as a vanilla color. Of the two shades, the lighter shade is much prettier in my opinion.

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Would I purchase these with my own money? Probably not.

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2. Eva NYC therapy session hair mask (eva-nyc.com, full-size $40)

I’m not a fan of hair styling products in my Ipsy bags but please give me conditioners, masks, and treatments! This mask by Eva NYC has a nice scent, sort of perfumey but not the old lady type of perfumey. The scent, however, did not last long after rinsing and drying. Unfortunately, I did not see much of a difference in my hair after using or at least not enough to justify the $40 price tag for the full-size product.

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3. Jersey Shore Sun anti-aging sunscreen (jerseyshoresun.com, full size $40)

Holy sh*t! Forty bucks for a sunscreen?! Way to rich for my blood. Yes, I am basing on whether I like this product on the price tag.

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4. Calvin Klein Endless Euphoria (macys.com, full size 4 oz $89)

Perfumes are one of my favorite items to receive in subscription boxes because they’re compact and fit perfect in my purse and are excellent for traveling. I haven’t yet found a scent that I have not liked but I have found some that were… underwhelming? This may be just one of them. I appreciate the size and ease of use of this sample but Endless Euphoria didn’t stand out to me.

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5. Avene thermal spring water (drugstore.com, full size $18)

When I first saw this I thought, “I got water **insert straight, emotionless face here**.” IT’S A CAN OF WATER. Literally, a can of water. Now the application of this was great, it is an aerosal can with a nice even mist so I didn’t get droplets all around my face. It left me face feeling nice and refreshed, kind of like those misters that you run into everywhere during the summertime. A+ for the packaging but if I’m going to pay $18, I’ll be more than happy to get a $1 spray bottle and fill it up with water myself.

 

Did you receive your May Ipsy glambag? What did you get?

April Ipsy Glambag – “Beauty Rocks”

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Guess what time it is. It’s Ipsy time! It feels like it’s been so long since I’ve done an Ipsy unbagging. 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 “Beauty Rocks,” which I am assuming is inspired by the beginning of music festival season.

Let’s start with the bag itself. The bag is square shaped which is a nice change from the regular rectangular shaped bags and featured a record design on the front. I like it.

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Along with the theme card that we get each month, subscribers also received a flyer for Ipsy’s Generation Beauty event that includes a code to purchase a ticket at a discounted price.
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And here is what I received in my glambag this month:
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1. Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide-on eye pencil (urbandecay.com, full size $20)

This month every subscriber received the travel size Urban Decay 24/7 velvet eye liner in black. A lot of times when Ipsy has the more well-known/more desired brands or products, only a handful of subscribers receives the item. This time every got the same pencil as one of the items in the bag. I love Urban Decay eyeshadows and when I purchased the first Naked palette I also received a dual ended eyeliner pencil. I had a few issues with smudging and when I read lots of people recommending it for the lower lash line or waterline I just couldn’t do it. I basically stopped using it.

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BUT, if Ipsy wants to give out an Urban Decay eyeliner then I will gladly accept it. It applied smoothly to my upper lash line without any tug on my skin or skips in the color. I did apply just a tiny bit to the outer corner of my lower lash line then smudge it out towards the center. It blended nicely. I tend to create a thick line on my upper lashes and it didn’t transfer onto my eyelid. I posted this photo on my Instagram so I figured I might as well post here, too:

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Yup, that’s me.

I love the rich black color when it comes to eyeliners and it blends nicely. Best of all, it stayed put.

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2. Rainbow Honey nail polish in Midnight Fountain (rainbowhoney.com, full-size $10)

I’ve never heard of Rainbow Honey so yay for trying new brands… finally. Their website indicates that their polishes are made in the US and are big 3 free (no formaldehyde, toluene, or dibutyl phthalate), 100% vegan, and cruelty free. I know that those attributes alone will make some poeple go gaga over them. The color I received is called Midnight Fountain, which is a blue jelly based polish with what looks like various blue, aqua, and silver glitter.

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We received a 5ml mini size. In the bottle it is GORGEEEOUS! I applied 3 thin coats on my nails (without any other base color) and the color was beautiful on my fingers though these types of blues isn’t something I would typically wear on my nails anymore. The unfortunate thing is that this started to chip the very next day.

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Though this isn’t a wearable shade for me, there are lots of other glitter bomb polishes that I do like. I just can’t get over the fact that I couldn’t go one day with it looking good on my nails. On the bright side, can we say helloooooo beautiful packaging! Sure, it’s a little wasteful (the UD also came with the large paper… thing? I don’t know what to call it) but the photograph is absolutely breathtaking.

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3. Demeter perfume oil roll on in jasmine (demeterfragrance.com, full size $10)

I have been DYING to get a Demeter perfume in an Ipsy bag– I always hear tons of amazing things about the brand and their scents. Just my luck that I would receive it this month in Jasmine. I love floral scents! The size of the product is spot-on for carrying in your purse for on-the-go refreshing. I love roll-ons, too, because I can control just how much I am using.

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The scent is exactly is you would get as if you were to sniff a fresh jasmine flower. This was a definite hit for me and I look forward to trying out more of Demeter’s fragrances.

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4. Mary Kay jelly lip gloss in berry me (marykay.com, full size $10)

This next product I would have not expected to see in an Ipsy bag… ever. Mary Kay? I think of it like Avon and, again, something I wouldn’t expect to receive from Ipsy. I’ve never tried Mary Kay products, I’ve only seen people driving around in their cars with Mary Kay decals plastered on them.

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The color gloss I received is called Berry Me. It’s a pretty pink berry color swatched but on my lips the color is very, very sheer with a little hint of pink but very shiny. (I’m wearing it in the photo above with the UD eyeliner.) It’s also very sticky which is NOT something I am a fan of on my mouth. The last thing I need is to be out on a day with a nice breeze and I can’t see because my hair is in my face because it’s stuck to my lips.

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5. dr. brandt microdermabrasion (drbrandtskincare.com, full size $78)

And we’re back to five items this month! Lastly, I received a sample tube of the dr. brandt microdermabrasion. I’ve heard of this brand and have always wanted to try it but could never bring myself to spend the money on it. The value of this sample is $9.75 so this alone almost makes up the entirepurcahse cost of the bag. I am always on the lookout to try different exfoliating products (I received the Epice  purifying exfoliant in my January bag as well which I liked). I haven’t yet tried the product since I’m trying to finish up the Epice but I’m looking forward to giving it a go.

 

For this month, despite the fail of the Mary Kay lip gloss and the Rainbow Honey polish, I do have to say that April’s Ipsy glambag is still one of my favorites that I’ve received in the 18 months that I’ve been a subscriber.

Did you receive your April Ipsy glambag? What did you get?

March Ipsy Glambag – “Destination Beauty”

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Guess what time it is. It’s Ipsy time! It feels like it’s been so long since I’ve done an Ipsy unbagging. 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 “Destination Beauty.” I’m a little late with this post– I actually received my bag almost two weeks ago but I was a little underwhelmed this month.

Let’s start with the bag itself. So it looks like Ipsy is doing a series of bags in unique prints for the new Artist Series. This month’s bag was designed by Klari Reis and is from her geography-based series called “Street Anatomy.” I’m going to be honest, I’m not a fan of the bag. It’s nothing against the artist– I took a look at her web portfolio and her work really is amazing, and I love the fact that Ipsy has chosen to reach out to artists because it’s giving them lots of exposure. It is how the artist’s work was printed on the bag that leaves something to be desired. As a non-SF person, it just looks like tons of colorful blobs (the print quality doesn’t help any either). Had the print been smaller and showed more of the work itself, I probably could have appreciated it more.

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With that being said, here are the products I received this month:
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1. bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie lipstick in Get Ready (bareminerals.com, full size $18)

bareMinerals is a repeat brand with Ipsy but we don’t get it often enough for me to be sick of it, thank goodness. This month, subscribers received either the Marvelous Moxie lipstick of lipgloss. The last time I received bareMinerals, I received a lipgloss so I’m glad I received a different product. The lipstick is in the shade Get Ready which is a warm rose pink color. The formula has a satin finish and leaves my lips feeling moisturized. The color is really pretty and I can see it complimenting just about every skin color, yes, even mine.

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It is a pretty decent sized sample, it would be perfect to carry around in your makeup bag or purse or in your travel bag.

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2. Pixi flawless beauty primer (pixibeauty.com, full-size $22)

I always welcome primer samples. My success with primers has been 50/50– Smashbox Photo Finish worked well with my skin as did the Mirabella Prime for face & eyes I got in a previous bag, but some others have caused me to break out, one of which was the Pixi Flawless & Poreless primer that I received in a Target Beauty Box.

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Unlike the Smashbox and Mirabella primers, this primer is not clear/silicone but instead has a tint when dispensed and blends in like a moisturizer. It does leave a bit of a sheen when blended. Unfortunately, I’ve been working really hard to clear any current breakout that I’ve been dealing with to risk another breakout from another Pixi primer.

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3. Chella eyeliner pen in indigo blue (chella.com, full size $24)

I love eyeliner pens. If you ask me if I prefer pencils/kohl, gel, liquid, or pens, I will say pen just about every time. They’re easy to use, no additional brush required, and they allow for precision application– what more could you want? So, yes, I love that I received an eyeliner pen. What I’m on the fence about is that… it’s blue.

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I know many people on forums have been crying out for colored eyeliner and I would have also welcomed color if it were, ohhhhh I don’t know, purple, green, or gold. I’m not much of a blue around the eyes person. In terms of the applicator and formula, the pen tip is very easy to manage, you can draw a thin or thick line depending on how you hold the pen, and the formula is fairly budge proof. The blue color is nice but not for me. It’s too bad that Chella only offers this eyeliner pen in black and indigo blue. It’s also too bad that it’s $24. I’ll stick with Jessie’s Girl.

They do have a visible black band but thankfully it isn’t as thick as others that I’ve seen. These have potential for me… you know, once I actually start wearing false lashes. At $3.99 per pair and they come with a tube of glue, they’re worth giving a try.

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4. NYX Love in Rio eyeshadow palette in the Brazilian (nyxcosmetics.com, full size $6)

I have said it many times, I love NYX. I also love neutral eyeshadows. So, it’s just about a given that I love NYX neutral eyeshadows. I just love NYX. This palette comes with three neutral eyeshadows (and a useless sponge applicator). The packaging is plastic and very lightweight but who care, it’s NYX and I love NYX. I detail I noticed about the packaging that I thought was cute was on the front closure– it looks like a bow. You can’t tell me that’s not cute.

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So here are the shades that are included in the palette:

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They are dark brown, nude pink, and shimmery toffee. All are velvety soft. The dark brown is a matte shade that is perfect for defining the crease. Nude pink is a slightly shimmery shade though you can’t tell in my photos. It has teeny tiny specks of glitter and strikes me more of as a champagne color and looks really pretty in the corners of the eyes or to accentuate the middle of the eyelid. I probably wouldn’t use it as a brow highlight. The shimmery toffee is, well, shimmery toffee and very pretty. It’s a great little palette to add to all of my other neutral palettes.

Here are swatches for the cosmetic items:

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In summary, while the NYX eyeshadow palette and bareMinerals lipstick are pluses in my book, the eyeliner is not something I could see myself using nor purchasing and I don’t want to risk my skin for the Pixi primer due to past experiences with face products from the brand.  I see my time with Ipsy coming to an end soon.

Did you receive your March Ipsy glambag? What did you get?

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?

December Ipsy Glambag – “Celebration”

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I’m playing a bit of catch up here since I never got around to posting my quick review of the November Ipsy glambag, but here is December!. 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 “Celebration.” A celebration of the holidays, a celebration of the New Year, a celebration of beauty? Hah. The makeup bag itself is tied for if not my favorite of the bags I’ve received since I’ve been subscribed to Ipsy. It is glossy black with a quilted texture and deep red lining on the inside. The zipper on the front side versus the top, which although can make it more difficult when you’re trying to jam pack a bunch of stuff into the bag, it is a welcome change and actually looks very nice with the bag style.

And here are the products I received:

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1. Be a Bombshell the one stick in flustered (beabombshellcosmetics, full size, $16)

The packaging! Oh my gosh, the matte black packaging! If there’s one thing you can always count on from BaB is their clean, simple, attractive packaging. But another thing I can always count on is receiving the bright colors and this month is no exception. I received their all over stick in the color flustered which is a bold pink toned red color. The products is meant to be able to be used all over your face – cheeks, eyes, lips.

IMG_3900In terms of application, the product glides on nicely and is very blendable so the bold color doesn’t have to be worn as bold as it swatches. I think I could make this work.

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2. Pop Beauty eyeshadow trio in smokin’ hot (popbeauty, full-size, $24 for 10 eyeshadows)

Eyeshadow is always welcome as long as they aren’t brown neutral colors (my Naked palettes take care of all my neutral eyeshadow needs). We received three eyeshadow sample palettes from Pop Beauty this month which is a UK based company. The other palette color option being sent out is Naturally Bare so I’ll take the Smokin’ Hot palette since a classic gray/black smokey eye is always nice. The full-size palette comes with ten eyeshadow colors which includes navy and lavender. It would have been nice to have one of those colors included in the sample palette but instead it included white, grey, and black.

IMG_3904It comes with a double ended sponge tip applicator which is of no use to me. These eyeshadows are soooo soft! I was pleasantly surprised when I took a swatch with my finger. The black was perhaps a bit more gritty than the other two but nothing that you can’t work with.Very pigmented and easily blendable. I would consider purchasing one of their full-size palettes but being that Pop Beauty is UK based, I probably would not buy directly from their website due to shipping costs.

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3. NYX extra creamy round lipstick in sky pink (nyxcosmetics, full size, $4)

NYX is a brand that I am very familiar with– it was the first brand that I collected eyeshadows from when I first started wearing makeup. Admittedly though, I am a bit behind when it comes to other products like their lipsticks but I started buying them just a few months ago. I was a little worried that I would end up receiving a color I already had. Luckily I didn’t but, unluckily, I got a color I’m not too wild about. I’ve found that any color that is lighter than my skin tone makes me look weird and washed out. Sky Pink makes me looks sickly but at least with cotton candy colored lips. How about that for a visual? Don’t get me wrong, the formula is about the same as all other round lipsticks I’ve gotten from NYX, the color just isn’t something I would typically wear which is prooooobably why I never bought it. While it isn’t a color I would have preferred, it’s still usable if I layer it with some other colors so I guess all is right in the world.

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I would absolutely purchase more of these… just in different colors.

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4. Nicka K New York nail polish in   (nicka, full size $4.99)

Nicka K is a brand that I am unfamiliar with but at least it’s a change from all the Nailtini polishes I’ve been receiving. There were two other nail polishes being sent out in the December glambags, one which is a pretty purple Julie G polish from Jessie’s Girl and the other a black and yellow glitter from Starrily. I’ve never been fond of anything on me (including my nails) looking like a bumble bee.

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I received this Nicka K polish in the color Ripe Apple. I would have prefered the taupe color being sent out because I’ve very particular with the red nail polishes that I wear. The packaging threw me off quite a bit, I mean, the shape of the bottle itself is nothing like the typical nail polish bottles you see. The handle of the brush itself is long which I like so I can get a nice grip. After swatching the polish I can now say that I am SO happy Ipsy sent me this polish in THIS color. Ladies and gentlemen (ok, more than likely just ladies) I have found my perfect red color. It’s not pink like some of the “reds” I’ve tried, it doesn’t have tons of shimmer.

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It IS a nice, rich red color, it does apply very good, it is a one-coater, and it is very glossy even without a top coat. What more can you ask for in a nail polish? I’m very pleased with this item and it couldn’t have been sent at a more perfect time. Yes, I will be wearing this for Christmas and, yes, I would definitely purchase this!

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5. English Laundry Signature pour homme and pour femme  (englishlaundryfragrance, 1.7 oz for $72)

When I first opened my package, I was overwhelmed by this gorgeous scent but I had no idea what it was… until I opening the English Laundry packaging and found that the vials were about halfway or more gone! Yes, the caps were screwed loosely and from what I’ve been reading online, quite a few other ladies had the same experience. I thought the sample would only include one vial but there were two includes, one pour homme and one pour femme. I am horrible, HORRIBLE at describing fragrances. All I can say is whether or not I like them, and I actually do like these.

From the English Laundry website, the men’s Signature scent is described as follows:

Sophisticated, Masculine & Captivating. Signature is a fragrance with aromatic notes of bergamot, lemon, lavender and cedar wood. Nutmeg and coriander are composed in the middle. Signature reveals a base of sandalwood, vetiver, musk and amber.

The women’s Signature description is:

Signature opens with quince, complimented by white chocolate and jasmine petals at the heart. For a purely peaceful scent, notes of orris roots, powdery musk and sensual woods have been composed at the base.

Don’t you just love perfume descriptions? So there you have it, that’s what they smell like and they smell good. Hah. Would I purchase? At $72 for the 1.7 oz size, probably not.

And before I forget, here are swatches:

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Be a Bombshell The One Stick, NYX lipstick, and Pop Beauty eyeshadoes (white, grey, and black)

Overall, I am pleased with the quality of the products I received this month. I would have much preferred different colors on some of the items versus what I received but they are all usable.

Are you interested in receiving beauty products in the mail each month to try out? Subcribe now here!

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

November Ipsy Glambag – “Glam It Up”

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It’s about that time again! 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 “Glam It Up.” The bag itself is a wristlet style with a strap, gold with a faux reptile skin texture, and a hot pink zipper. I would have much preferred a simple gold bag sans reptile but it works.

So onto the products I received!

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1. Pixi Beauty bronzer in summertime (Pixi, full size with brush, $18)

I haven’t had long term success with the last couple of Pixi products that I received from Ipsy (primer and mascara) so I was looking for redemption with this product. Now that I’ve finally started contouring, I’m always on the look out for a nice bronzer. The packaging is a screw top container in their signature light green color. The color of the bronzer itself is very nice and goes nicely with my skin tone. One of the things I always get concerned about with bronzers is shimmer in some of them and this one soothed my worries about shimmer.

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Very nice products but for $18 for the full size, I’m a little hesitant to purchase this again.

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2. Be a Bombshell lip crayon in shameless (beabombshellcosmetics, full-size, $14)

Be a Bombshell is a repeat brand that I’ve had mixed feelings about, not so much with their products themselves but more so with the color selection or at least the colors that I’ve been sent (remember this hot pink blush?) One of the things I love about BaB is their packaging. Something about matte black packaging that screams, “buy me!” The color of this lip crayon is very pretty and it is actually something that I can work with. It’s very smooth and does not dry out my lips which is a major plus. It leaves a slight pink stain.

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Gorgeous, right?

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3. Starlooks gem eye pencil in topaz (Starlooks, full size, $14)

I and many others on MUT have been longing for a colored eyeliner so I was stoked to hear we were receiving one of the gem eye pencils from Starlooks in our bags. I received it in topaz. When I think topaz, I automatically think of orange colored topaz or blue topaz. Blue topaz sure is pretty. When I opened this and swatched, my heart sort of dropped. The only color I got out of it was… silver, and silver looks horrible on me.

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Pretty in it’s packaging but definitely not on me.

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4. Nailtini nail lacquer in champagne (tinibeauty, full size $13)

Two Nailtini colors were sent out for November, champagne and caviar cocktail. When my whole anti-silver outlook, I was very happy to find champagne in my bag. My experience with the Nailtini nail polishes is that the formulas have been sure and usually require at least four coats to get even close to the opacity that I’d like and this one wasn’t any different.

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It’s a very pretty color, sort of a copper/rose gold color. It has a beautiful shimmer in it and applies very nicely. Drying time is ok, but again, because of the sheerness of it it takes quite a few coats and the more coats the longer the drying time. While I love the color, I will not be repurchasing and especially not at $13 a bottle.

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5. Glamglow Youthmud tinglexfoliate treatment (glamglowmud, full size $69)

I can’t for the life of me find my sample of the Michael Todd mask so my face has been yearning for something. The product I was most excited about for November is Glamglow. Honestly, I’d never heard of the brand before Ipsy but so many ladies wanting this in their bags so then so did I.

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There were no odd smells thankfully. The mask was a good consistency, not too thick and not too thin. After I applied it on my face, I looked down and saw all this weird stuff:

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It sort of freaked me out but then I remembered, it’s a mud mask. I left it on for about 10 minutes. At first, there was a bit of a warming sensation but it did not last long and when it dried I seriously could not move my face. It washed off easily and the best part about it, no ugly break outs! It’s a great product that left my face feeling clean and refreshed. Unfortunately, it’s also a very pricey product and at $69 for the full-size container, I will not be re-purchasing.

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6. Em lash gallery clean volume mascara in black (emcosmetics, full size $20)

We received six products in our November bags, the 6th item being a bonus item from Michelle Phan’s makeup line, Em. I could always use mascara so I had no issue with receiving the Lash Gallery mascara in black.

The thing I loved most about the product was the packing. Sleek, glossy white with the simple logo in black and silver. Beautiful.

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The product name was on the brush handle rather than the tube which I liked as well. I’m telling you, it’s the little things that get me. I liked the mascara– it wasn’t in your face volumizing. Instead, I found it to be more lengthening and defining. The downside to the products is that buy the end of the day, I did have raccoon eyes which is never a good thing unless you intentionally gave yourself raccoon eyes. Sadly, I was not be purchasing this product.

 

Here are swatches of the products (yes, I even “swatched” the mask haha):IMG_2846

Glamglow, Em mascara, Be a Bombshell lip crayon, Starlooks gem eye liner, and Pixi bronzer

Are you interested in receiving beauty products in the mail each month to try out? Subcribe now here!

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