January Ipsy Glambag – “19 Reasons”

IMG_4997

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:
IMG_4998
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:

IMG_5001

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.

IMG_5002

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.

IMG_5003

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.

IMG_5004

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.

IMG_5005

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.

IMG_5006

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.

IMG_5007

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.

IMG_5008

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.

IMG_5009

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:

IMG_5011

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?

July Ipsy Glambag – “Beach Beauty”

ipsy_july2013Today, I have for you the July Ipsy Glambag. 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 “Beach Beauty.” The makeup bag this month is a cylinder tube shape which is different from all the typical rectangle shaped bags. It’s vinyl and hot pink and totally screams SUMMER! Here’s what I received in my bag:

ipsy_july2013_011. Pop Beauty pouty pop crayon in Coral Crush (set of 6 for $25.00 at Ulta, $4.17 each)

I was really excited about this product when the sneak preview was released. I’ve wanting to try more lip products besides the lipglosses that I’ve gotten in the past from Ipsy. I received one other pop beauty product which was a mascara that I wasn’t 100% wild about but it was useable.

ipsy_july2013_02

I received the lip crayon in Coral Crush. Just reading the name terrified me. I look HORRIBLE in coral colored lip anything. While I waited for my bag to arrive, I read some ladies’ comments on this shade and made said it was more on the pink side versus coral so that calmed me down a bit. I swatched it on my wrist when I got it– it didn’t look that bad, the color is actually very pretty. However, I applied on my lips and I immediately swallowed my words– holy moly, this color is bright! Super disappointed at that.

Since applying it I’ve been rubbing my lips together and typing up this review. It really did apply very nicely, it’s very smooth. The best part about the lip crayon is it’s a twist-up so no annoying fat pencil sharpener required. Anyway, out of curiosity I just stepped into the bathroom to take a look at the color and it’s toned down quite a bit now that I’ve rubbed it like mad and it’s actually left a really pretty slightly pink stain. So, note to self, apply 15 minutes and rub it in like crazy before I need to be in public.

ipsy_july2013_032. Coola unscented mineral face sunscreen, SPF 20 (full size $36.00)

Coola is an organic skincare line which is great for those with allergies or sensitive skin. There were two types of sunscreen being given, the unscented mineral sunscreen which is what I received and the rose essence tinted sunscreen. Both are SPF 20. Here is the website’s description of the product:

Keep the sun and environment at bay with this SPF 20 broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen; a clear, Titanium Dioxide based formula (for those who are Zinc sensitive) made with 98% natural ingredients. Organic Acai Oil – high in Omegas-3/6/9, Vitamins B1/2/3, plus antioxidant Vitamins C and E – delivers a powerful defense against aging. Organic Sunflower Seed Extract promotes elasticity while organic Linseed Oil, containing Alpha-Linolenic Acids, reduces redness and irritation. The phyto-protector Plankton Extract rejuvenates, as organic Cucumber Extract calms skin.

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Paraben Free
  • Ultra Sheer
  • Anti-Aging
  • Water Resistant (40 minutes)
  • No nano-sized particles

Coola website

I’ll admit, I was a little surprised by the size of the sample we received. It’s 0.23 fl oz and about the size of a Carmex tube. I haven’t yet tried the product but I may give it a go this weekend when we go to the fair.
ipsy_july2013_04
3. BH Cosmetics California Collection samples (full palettes currently on sale for $9.95 each)
The mini palettes from BH Cosmetics included one eyeshadow from each of the California Collection palettes– Hollywood, San Francisco, and Malibu. For a sample, the packaging is definitely cute. The Hollywood eyeshadow is an eggplant purple, San Francisco a bronze brown. and Malibu a yellow gold. I thought these were going to super pigmented eyeshadows when I first opened the palette but to my surprise they are actually pretty sheer. Swatching them was a delight as they are velvety smooth and don’t crumble up like some other eyeshadows. The sheerness actually works for me. I don’t wear a lot of eyeshadow aside from evenings out or special occassions, so the fact that they are sheer means I can wear them during the daytime without feeling like my makeup is overdone.
ipsy_july2013_06
The colors are really pretty and could definitely work together. I’m thinking these are perfect for when basketball season rolls around. Ride or die Lakers fan (just don’t remind me about the train wreck of this past season).
ipsy_july2013_07
4. Sexy Hair’s bigsexyhair Weatherproof, humidity resistant spray (full size $18.95 at Ulta)
Out of all the possible products from this month’s bag, this was the product I was desperately hoping for. My natural hair texture is loose curly, somewhat kinky, and coarse. I heat style my hair about 2-3 times a weak and exposure to humidity basically ruins me. This product is supposed to do just as what the product name says– protects your hair against humidity. You are supposed to spray it on your finished look, so I’ll give it a little test run tomorrow and for a real go at the fair this weekend as well. I can’t waiiiiit!
ipsy_july2013_08
I love nail polish, there’s no hiding it, but if I had the option of getting nail polish in a color that I didn’t personally choose and trying a different brand new product (i.e., a dermabrasion scrub which was the other item I was hoping for), I would pick the other product. This, sad to say, is probably the product this month that I could have cared less about receiving. I’ve gotten two other Nailtini products in past Ipsy bags that I wasn’t too crazy for, Frappe (which was more nude than pale pink also is more sheer than what I’d like but it works when I want to wear nailpolish but I don’t want it to look like I’m wearing nail polish) and Millionaire (which is a shred/bard glitter polish that I swatched once and haven’t looked at since).
I love mai tais, in fact, I think one of the first mixed drinks I ever ordered was a mai tai… at Mai Tai Bar lol. The color is described as a vibrant sunrise coral. Really? TWO coral products in one bag? I can’t think of anything worse for me besides maybe two hot pink items in the same bag. I’m not too fond of this color. It’s darker than other colors I wear. Perhaps if it was a similar coral color to the Pop Beauty lip crayon I got then it would have been better but, unfortunately, it’s not. If I use this polish, it will probably be on my toes… covered in glitter.
Overall, I got my $10.00 worth. The lip crayon and eyeshadow palettes will likely get lots of wear this summer and I’m crossing my fingers for good results with the humidity resistant spray and mineral sunscreen.
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. Next month is my birthday month so I’m crossing my fingers for something reeeally good.
Are you a current Ipsy subscriber? What did you think of this month’s bag?