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?

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August Ipsy Glambag – “Glamour Academy”

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After waiting for what seemed like forever, my August Ipsy glambag finally came in over the weekend. I’ve posted a few of my bags in the past but if you don’t know what Ipsy, it 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.

The theme for this month’s bag is “Glamour Academy.” The bag itself is an eggplant purple color with a gold print on it. The colors are pretty together but the print is horrid– an Ipsy Glamour Academy crest? I get that it’s supposed to be a school themed bag but the bag is king of… well, corny.

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Mica Beauty Cosmetics shimmer powder in bronze (micabeauty.com, full size $14.95?)

I actually couldn’t find a “shimmer powder” on their website– the closest I could find was their mineral eyeshadows but this could absolutely be used as an eyeshadow. I had reserved the Mica Beauty powder in Earth a few bags ago so I was a little on the fence about receiving yet another one. This month I received it in bronze. It packed LOTS of punch in a single swatch. The powder is very fine and feels just like butter when applied. I didn’t have any problems blending this out either.

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The packaging is very simple and fits perfectly into just about any makeup organizer or makeup bag.

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Noya natural lip balm in cherry (noyabeauty.com, full size $3.99)

The Noya lip balm was the “or” product against the Urban Decay lipstick. On one hand I wanted the UD because I don’t own any of their lipsticks yet and I’m still on the search for a color that looks good on me. On the other hand, lip balm will always be used. When I started seeing swatches of the lipstick colors that were being sent out, I was RELIEVED when my Glam Room showed I’d be getting Noya. I was even happier when I opened my bag and saw that I received the cherry. I love cherry anything and everything.

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The design of the the tube itself is very minimal with a big, fat cherry on the front (I WANT CHERRIES!!!) but the paper packaging that it came in is a little wasteful. It doesn’t have an artificial pink/red color that you’d find with a lot of other balms. It applies very smooth and not at all sticky. And it smells divine. If I could eat this entire tube, I totally would. Oh wait, I can– it’s all-natural!

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Pixi lash booster mascara (pixibeauty.com or Target, full size $17.00)

Next up, with its ever-so-familiar packaging to any other Target addicts is Pixi Beauty’s Lash Booster Mascara. Pixi Beauty is a UK based company but you can purchase it online or in-store from Target. I love Pixi so I was excited to be able to finally try one of their mascaras.

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It’s a pretty standard brush– nothing fancy, no spiky balls on the end like some have or a dramatic curved brush.

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I nearly ran into the bathroom to give this a try. I swiped it onto my upper eyelashes but I didn’t notice any difference so I swiped it again… and again. I leaned in closer to the mirror, tilted my head up, and went for another swipe but… what the heck is going on?! I I twirled the brush around inside the tube and swiped at my eyelashes again. Hmmmmmmm… I took a piece of toilet paper and wiped the brush on it. Well, there was mascara on the brush. So I studied my eyelashes really hard…. They looked a bit more defined but aside from that, I didn’t see much of a difference. When I wear mascara I like it to look like I’m wearing mascara and this didn’t do it for me.

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Michael Todd Organics pumpkin nutrient-rich facial mask (michaeltoddorganics.com, full size $34.00)

One of my favorite things about Fall is pumpkin. When I first saw the pumpkin cheesecake Pepperidge Farm cookies I grabbed them right up. To be honest, I’ve never even heard of Michael Todd but after receiving the pumpkin mask, I love the brand haha. Ipsy must know that I love my sweets because, just like my Noya lip balm, the scent of this mask makes me want to eat it all up.

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I received a pretty good sized deluxe sample (1 fl oz). The mask is an orange  color and smells just like pumpkin pie. It says that it is suitable for all skin types, except sensitive. I get wary using products on my oily, acne-prone skin but this was fine with me. I didn’t have any kind of reaction, didn’t cause my sebaceous glands to go even more into overdrive. I applied a thin layer all of my face and in about a minute or applying I started to get a warm tingling feeling all over my face. It wasn’t irritating my skin though– it actually felt nice. It washed off very clean and my face felt a little smoother afterwards.

Only downside (for my cheapo butt anyway) is the price. If it weren’t $34.00 for the full size I’d probably purchase it.

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City Color cheek stain in pink (citycolorbeauty.com, full size $2.99)

Another brand I have not heard of, the last product I received in this month’s bag is the City Color cheek stain in pink. I’ve gotten two other blushes from Ipsy in the past and after swatching them and trying them out, in the end I haven’t used either of them more than once. The colors have just not suited me. So you can imagine how… thrilled I was when I received this cheek stain… and in pink! After receiving the last bright pink blush from Ipsy, I changed my profile to something more boring but it didn’t kick in for this bag or IpsyMatch just isn’t accurate, who knows anymore.

It arrived much cleaner than you see in the above photo but my daughter got into my bag and went right for the cheek stain. The product applied nicely and blended into my bare skin with my fingers very easily. OK, so the color is a pretty pink color but not on my face. I will not be using this for myself but I’ll be holding onto it. It may come in handy at SOME point.

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Swatches of City Color cheek stain in pink and Mica Beauty shimmer powder in bronze

So overall, not an amazing bag but I’m definitely not disappointed. My favorite products this month were the Michael Todd pumpkin mask and the Noya cherry lip balm.

If you are interested in joining Ipsy, you can do so by clicking here. There usually is a waitlist but every so often they will open subscriptions.
Are you a current Ipsy subscriber? What did you think of this month’s bag?