Ipsy Bag: July 2013

If you read my update post, you would know that my first Ipsy bag was damaged. I expected Ipsy to replace one item, because it’s their policy, but I was pleasantly surprised when I received a whole new bag. The second bag was different from my first, so I got more than 5 products this month.

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This month’s theme was “Beach Beauty” and the items I received were:

  1. BH Cosmetics California Collection Eyeshadow Sampler (2)
  2. Coola Mineral Sunscreen SPF 20 Unscented
  3. Pop Beauty Pouty Pop Crayons in Coral Crush and Rose Romance
  4. Derma e Microdermabrasion Scrub
  5. Benetint
  6. Big Sexy Hair Weather Proof Hairspray and Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Beach Spray

BH Cosmetics California Collection Eyeshadow Sampler (≈ $2.69 each)

california collection

Upon first glance, I had high hopes for this eyeshadow trio. I’d received BH Cosmetics samples before and those were always great. On top of that, the packaging and shadow sizes are a huge improvement from the previous ones. Unfortunately, this sample fell flat. I was not impressed with the pigmentation at all. It took numerous swipes to get the color to pay off. Also, they aren’t very creamy. Of the three colors, the gold one from the Malibu was the best. It was the most pigmented and the smoothest. The purple is no where near as dark as it looks in the pan and middle color is more bronze-y in swatch, which I would love if the pay off was good.

Coola Mineral Sunscreen SPF 20 Unscented (≈ $4.87)

coola

There isn’t much to say about this product. It’s a sunscreen. In reality, I like it, but I wouldn’t pay full price for it. I like that it doesn’t have that typical sunscreen-y scent and that it’s not greasy. It goes on like a normal moisturizer, but obviously has SPF.

Pop Beauty Pouty Pop Crayons in Coral Crush and Rose Romance (≈ $4.17 each)

Pouty Pop Crayon

This product instantly made me think of the Tarte LipSurgence lip tints. I like the right coral color, but it’s not the most flattering on my lips. When I saw that I got a second one, I was excited, but that one ended up being like a nude. I doesn’t look good on its own, but I use it as a concealer so that others colors will be more bright. Overall, you get a decent amount of product. Unlike the Tarte lip tints, when you twist the product all the way up, you get quite a bit. These lip crayons are pretty moisturizing and the longevity isn’t too bad. The first time I used one, I ate, and went to retouch to find out that it wasn’t necessary. The one thing that this product doesn’t do is “create a plumped and pillowy pout.” There is zero plumping done.

Derma e Microdermabrasion Scrub ($16.25)

derma e

I was most excited to test out this product! I love everything and anything skin related. I’m especially crazy about microdermabrasion treatments. Anything that helps to clear skin and fade scars, I’m all over. This product contains dead sea salt along with volcanic sand to help break up scar tissue and exfoliate. It also has lime and lemon peel astringents which gives it its heavenly scent.  I’ve used the product three times, so I can’t tell if its helped to clear my scars, but my skin always feels smooth after using it. Though I can’t tell yet if it’s working, I’m hoping that I’ll see some results in a couple of months!

Benetint ($6.00) benetint

I received a sample of Benetint before from a Sephora lip package, and I was thrilled to try it out because I heard so many people raving about it. In the end, I didn’t think it was that great, so I ended up giving it away. When I saw that I got it again in this month’s bag, I was curious about trying it out again, thinking I might like it a second time around. In the end, I didn’t really care for it. I really wanted to love it because so many others did, but as of right now, it’s not too exciting for me.

Big Sexy Hair Weather Proof Hairspray and Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Beach Spray (≈ $7.80/$6.65)

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I got my first July package the same week as my senior pictures. When I was that I got the weather proof hairspray over the beach spray, I was disappointed. I was hoping to get it because I wore headband curls and I wanted that beach-y look. Though I preferred the beach spray, I was still happy with the hairspray. I was hoping that it would keep my waves in tact in the Houston humidity. In the end, I feel like that spray did an okay job. When looking in the mirror and in person, my waves looked intact, but unfortunately, in my senior portraits, my hair looked surprisingly flat. As for the beach spray, I haven’t personally used it, but lent it to my cousin. She’s been experimenting with beach waves herself (for her Vegas trip) and I told her she could test out the spray.

TOTAL BAG PRICE: ≈ $55.29

That’s it! I’m already at work testing out all the items I got in my August bag, so hopefully it’ll be out soon! (I know I say that all the time :P)

I hope everyone is enjoying the last week before school! I’m personally really busy and should be working on summer assignments, but I would rather blog and share all things beauty with you guys!

♡ Melissa

 

Back to School: Beginner’s Makeup Essentials (For the Minimalist)

With school starting again in a couple of weeks, I know many of you are making preparations. In my case, I went to get my school ID on Monday, and next week I’m going to get my schedule, locker, and textbooks.

I knew I was going to get my ID that day, and I planned on putting on a light face of makeup, but that didn’t happen. Instead of getting ready like I should have, I was lounging around and finishing an episode of Law & Order: SVU (I know. I’ve been told I’m a old person in a young person’s body). In the end, I put on face makeup and did my brows. I didn’t do anything else. No lipgloss, eye liner, or mascara. This was extremely regrettable because my picture came out awful. Hopefully, when I go back in to get my off campus ID I’ll be able to take a new pic like I did last year.

Anyways, this little mishap made me think that I should make a post about a makeup essentials for beginners, especially with school around the corner. I know that there are a gazillion videos covering this topic on Youtube (I used to watch them myself), but I feel like they still include a lot of products for beginners. This inspired me to make my own post with products that I wear daily to school.

I’m calling this a beginners/minimalist bag because I feel like I’m including only products that you truly need. Just these products alone will make a difference without looking like someone else. So in this post, I’ve included what I think are the basics, but I also talk about some extras that I think also help maintain and enhance your look without going overboard. Like Bobby Brown always says, makeup is about enhancing what you have.

The Minimalist

1. Makeup Sponge/ 2. BB Cream/ 3. Lash Primer and Mascara/ 4. Under Eye Concealer and Highlighter/ 5. Liquid Eyeliner/ 6. Lip Stain/ 7. Brow Brush, Gel, and Pencil/ 8. Face Concealer (Not captured. I forgot it :/)

Makeup Sponge/Blush Brush

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Makeup Sponge from Marshalls and Blush/Bronzer brush from a brush kit at Walmart

In order to apply my face makeup, I either use my Beautyblender-esque sponge or this blush/bronzer blush. I like using the sponge because I feel like it gives nice, even coverage, and I can use it under my eyes. The downside is that it can take some time to completely blend everything out. On top of that, you have to clean it every once in a while, which I’m pretty bad at. For days when I’m rushing, I’ll use the brush. It’s supposed to be for bronzing and blush, but it resembles a stippling brush, so that’s what I use it as. In general, I like using these two items over a actual foundation brush because the product blends easier and doesn’t leave any streaks.

My sponge was from Marshalls for around $5. I’m not sure how it compares to the real Beautyblender, but I refuse to pay $20  on a makeup sponge. The brush is from a random set that I got from Walmart. Though the brush isn’t the softest one out there, it gets the job done and is affordable.

BB Cream/Tinted Moisturizer

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Cover Girl CG Smoothers BB Cream and E.L.F Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20

Every morning, I either use BB Cream (though I don’t recommend the one above, I’m just trying to use it up) or tinted moisturizer. For everyday makeup, I choose these because I’m just going to school, I don’t need heavy coverage. Not to mention that wearing high coverage foundations every day is bad for your skin.

This Cover Girl BB Cream is the only drug store one I’ve tried, but I’ve heard many good things about the Garnier one. As for this E.L.F tinted moisturizer, I think it’s great for the price. I think it was about around $3 at Target. They also have numerous shades so if should be fairly easy to find one that matches. Online, Urban Decay is having a big sale, so you can get their Urban Defense Tinted Moisturizer for $5!! This is such a steal, with the original price being $30.

Concealer (I can’t believe I forgot this at home -_-)

When you use face makeup with lighter coverage, odds are you’re going to see any dark spots or hyper pigmentation that you have. Because of this, I use a concealer. The one I use contains salicylic acid and helps with any breakouts. Since this concealer is for acne prone skin, it’s not very creamy. If you have acne, I really recommend the Almay Clear Complexion Blemish Healing Spot Concealer. It’s my go to; I think this is my 3rd or 4th tube.

If you don’t have acne and want a creamier concealer, try out the Hard Candy Glamoflauge concealer ($6). I purchased mine from WalMart, but never use it because the color isn’t right.

Under Eye Concealer/Highlighter

Under eyes

Tarina Tarantino Eye Dream Hyperlight and Almay Bright Eyes Eye Base + Concealer

If you’re in high school, chances are you have dark circles from staying up late because you were on the computer or watching TV for 3 hours instead of doing your work. Since this describes me to a tee, concealer and highlighter are my best friend. Many under eye concealers now claim to conceal and highlight, but I use two separate products because that’s just what I have. First I conceal the dark circle, blend with my sponge, then add a pink highlighter and blend again. For your under eye concealer, it’s best to get one that that is 2 shades lighter than your face. This in itself will highlight and brighten the entire area. You can also use your highlighter, if you have one, on any high points on your face, like the bridge of your nose or your cheekbones. Of course this is optional. I don’t normally do this step.

The under eye concealer I’m using is Alway Bright Eyes, which I think is the old version of the Almay Wake-Up Under Eye Concealer. This one is really gross and I need to get a new one that is lighter, but I haven’t gotten around to it. As for my highlighter, I use the Tarina Tarantino Eye Dream Hyperlight which is actually discontinued.  I might end up getting the Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch, Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser, or the Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer to replace these products. There is also the very affordable E.L.F Studio Duo Concealer and Highlight ($3).

Brow Products

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E.L.F Wet Gloss Lash & Brow Clear Mascara, Brow Brush, Chella Eyebrow Defining Gel, and N.Y.C Brow/Eye Liner Pencil

I’m sure doing your brows doesn’t seem like a crucial step, but it is. Your brows frame for face, so defining them and filling them in will instantly make you look less disheveled or more polished. I know many people do their brows with powder, but I would rather use pencil. I use a cheapy NYC eyeliner/brow pencil, which works surprisingly well. In my opinion, using powder makes your brows look fake and kinda like they’ve been tattooed on. To finish up my brows, I coat them with brow gel. You can either use brow gel, brow wax, or clear mascara. I currently use Chella brow gel, but that’s because I got it in an Ipsy bag. I really like it, but it’s surprisingly expensive. When I’m done with it, I’ll go back to my E.L.F mascara/brow gel duo (I just use both sides for my brows.)

Eyeliners

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My favorite of each kind of liner. Top to bottom: Maybelline Eyestudio Lasting Drama Gel Liner in Blackest Black, Be a Bombshell Liquid Liner in Onyx, Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Liner in 2L

For the most part, I use black liquid liner on a daily. Occasionally, I’ll use pencil when I want to use brown for a more natural look. Of course you can use liquid, pencil, or gel. As for colors, I would suggest black, brown, or a dark plum. If you’re just starting to use liner, I suggest using pencil because it’ll be the easiest to apply. The downside to this is that, I feel like pencil has the shortest longevity. If you have oily skin, I’ve found that even the higher end liners, like Urban Decay’s 24 Hour Glide-On Liners, still smear. The same goes for gel liner; it collects in the order of my eyes after extensive wear. In my experience, it lasts much longer than pencil, but this probably takes the most time and skill. Though gel is often the most pigmented, I would advise against it since it takes longer to apply. Now on to my personal preference! I love using felt tip liquid liners because once you get the hang of it, they’re quick and don’t budge (usually). Liquid liner is the Mama Bear of liners. I find that it’s not the easiest to use, but not the hardest either.

*Note: Sometimes I use eye primer before applying my liner. I do this because it can help the liner go on smoother and last longer. I don’t do this all the time, but I’ll do it on days that are especially hot. I currently use the Mirabella primer that was included in my Ipsy bag, but there are many drug store alternatives. There is the NYX HD Eye Shadow Base ($7), NYX Eye Shadow Base ($7), Milani Eyeshadow Primer, and the E.L.F Eye Primer & Liner Sealer ($3). Another optional step if you have extra time is to highlight your eyes. Even when I first started out, I used white liner to line my lower waterline and inner corners to brighten my eyes. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last all day on my skin, but I still like having it. I don’t always do this step, but it really does help you to look more awake.

The liners I use:

Pencil- Make Up Forever Aqua Eyes in 2L, Tarte emphasEYES inner rim brightener —–> Drugstore options are: Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal (Black, Sparkling Black, Nude, Purple, Brown) or Milani Liquid Eye Liners (Black, Brown, Graphite, Perfectly Perfect)

Liquid- Be a Bombshell Liqud Liner in Onyx (I haven’t heard of any good liquid liners, and I’ve never tried any from the drug store, but with a quick search, you’ll be able to find plenty of recommendations.)

Gel- Maybelline Eyestudio Maybelline Eyestudio Lasting Drama Gel Liner in Blackest Black

Mascara

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Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum, Maybelline The Falsies Volum’ Express, Cover Girl NatureLuxe Mousse

Mascara is my absolute favorite makeup product. If I could only have one beauty item, it would be mascara. Mascara paired with liner really helps to open your eyes and make them appear bigger. Before I apply any mascara, I first use the Diorshow Maximizer Lash Plumping Serum. This primer is amazing! I’ll be honest, at $28.50, it’s crazy expensive, but totally worth the splurge in my opinion. Like any other primer, it helps to extend the longevity of your makeup. It gives my lashes a slight curl without having to use a curler (I stopped using it since my lashes are so thin and can break easily). It also keeps my mascara from transferring and I don’t get raccoon eyes throughout the day (Of course this is optional if you have long, luscious lashes or if you use waterproof mascara). After that, I go on to mascara. My favorite drug store mascaras are Maybelline Falsies, Cover Girl NatureLuxe Mousse Mascara, and Flower Zoom-In Ultimate Mascara. Falsies is great. The wand it big, which means that mascara can get on your lid, but the wand is super flexible which allows you to coat all your lashes quickly. The NatureLuxe mascara is a bit expensive for a drug store product, but it is less harsh and has a nice honey scent. It has a thinner brush, which lets you get at the base of your lashes and makes them look great. Lastly, the Zoom-In Ultimate mascara is the coolest, but on the pricer side. It has three wands! Just a turn of the knob and you can lengthen, curl, and volumize. The con to this is that you spend more time applying mascara, which may not be the best thing to do if you’re in a rush.

Lip Stain

Lip Stain

I think lip stain is the best lip product because it gives your lips color without being sticky or too shiny. It is especially ideal for me because, believe it or not, I don’t retouch my makeup throughout the day. I’m horrible at it. Even if I go to the bathroom, I barely allow myself a glance because I’m either in a rush or someone else is hogging the mirror. Since I don’t retouch my makeup, the stain will obviously, stain my lips for a while, and I don’t have to apply it as often as I would any other lip product. You can also apply it without a mirror, which may not be the case with lipstick.

This Josie Maran lip stain was from my one of my Ipsy bags and I love it. I know it’s also a cheek stain, but I never really use it. I don’t feel the need to have blush or cheek tint on a daily basis. 5Other lip stain-ish alternatives are the Revlon Colorstay Just Bitten Lipstain + Balm and Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain. I haven’t tried any of these, but I have a friend that likes the balm stain. The thing about the balm stain is that initially it looks like a a lipstick and then eventually stains. On the downside, I think it can be a tad drying (based on what I’ve seen). Another option for those that want something more moisturizing is a tinted lip balm like the ones from Softlips or Burt’s Bees.

Now that I’m done talking about the essentials, here are some optional products that are included in my routine:

Face Primer

For me, primers are a complete must! Especially since I have oily skin or live in an area with sweltering heat. If you don’t have greasy skin, you can go without it. This is an absolute necessity for me because if without it, I would look like a grease ball within an hour and my makeup would just melt off. The primer I just got was Benefit’s 15 Hour Primer. This primer is crazy expensive, but it works. For drug store alternatives, I would try E.L.F Mineral Infused Face Primer, which I used when I first started out, or maybe even L’Oreal Studio Secrets Magic Perfecting Base (I’ve never tried this, but heard it was good).

Setting Powder and Spray

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Urban Decay De-Slick Oil Control Makeup Setting Spray

Like primers, setting products are only necessary if you live in a place that is scorching or if you have oily skin. I don’t wear powder regularly. I normally only put it on when I actually remember. I guess I often forget about powder is because I don’t have it on hand. I actually use rice flour and just dust in over my face. For the most part though, I use setting spray. The spray I use is Urban Decay’s De-Slick setting spray. I’m using the old formula. To be honest, I’m not sure if this actually helps, but just the thought of having it makes me feel a little better. Whichever setting spray you use, make sure you read the directions correctly. For example, mine says to spray just before applying face makeup and then again your you’re done with your makeup. The only drug store alternative I’ve seen is the E.L.F Makeup Mist & Set ($3), which I’ve never tried.

Blotting Sheets (optional)

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E.L.F Shine Eraser Blotting Sheets

This is another product that is helpful if you have oily skin. I always keep a pack of these in my backpack, but I’m really bad at actually using them. Hopefully, I’ll be better about it this year!

These E.L.F sheets are crazy inexpensive! They’re only $1! Unfortunately, I think they’re only sold online. You could also try the NYX Blotting Paper ($6). They have various kinds (Matte, Fresh Face, Green Tea, Tea Tree) depending on what you need. Until now, I didn’t even know they made them, so I’ll probably give them a try. Another alternative is the Clean and Clear ones, which are the most expensive (around $8), but have a nice case that allows you to drab one sheet at a time.

So if you’ve gotten this far, I know you’ve just read a lot of words- so here’s some picture evidence for you! (A picture’s worth a thousand words, right?)

before and after

On the left, you have my super gross ID pic, with little makeup. On my face: BB Cream, Under Eye Concealer and Highlighter, Spot Concealer, Brow Pencil and Gel.

And on the right, I have pictures from before, during, and after the Jonas Brothers Concert. On my face: Tinted Moisturizer, Under Eye Concealer and Highlight, Brow Pencil and Gel, Eyeliner, Mascara, and Lip Tint.

I know that lighting needs to be taken into account, along with the fact that you always look better when you take selfies, but you can tell that adding just a few more products really does make a difference. Just these products enhanced my face. There was no need for bronzer, or blush, or even highlighter, because I didn’t highlight the high points of my face!

That’s it for my first back to school post! I hoped that it was helpful :) If you know of/tried any good drug store alternatives for any of products I talked about, please leave them in the comments! I’m always interested in trying out new things. Also, I’m also thinking of making my own agenda this year, so I might have a DIY Agenda tutorial coming up! Like this post for more back to school related posts.

I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their week! <3

~Melissa

Ipsy Bag: May 2013

Hey guys! I know that we are well into the June, so I apologize for taking soo long to get this out. Hopefully, my June bag, which I just got today, will be up sometime within the next couple of weeks. With that being said, let’s get in to this bag!

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So, this month theme was “Spring Fling” and the 5 items I received were:

  1. Zoya Nail Polish in Gie Gie
  2. Juice Beauty Reflecting Gloss in Fig
  3. Pacifica Roll-On Perfume in Tahitian Gardenia
  4. Yaby Concealer in Vanilla
  5. NuMe Finishing Serum

Zoya Nail Polish ($8)

Gei Gei

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When I first saw that I Zoya package in my bag, I was so stoked. I’ve never tried any Zoya products, so I was really looking forward to it. Unfortunately, this color was a bit of a disappointment. I’m not a big fan of sheer colors, and on top of that, I got a sheer pink last month. In general, this polish isn’t too bad. It’s actually a really pretty color with a gorgeous pearly finish, but I was hoping for a brighter, more opaque color since summer is around the corner. Aside from the color, I enjoyed this polish. It’s a low maintenance polish that goes on very smoothly.

Juice Beauty Reflecting Gloss ($7.50)

juice beauty gloss

Upon opening the box and seeing this color, I was concerned. I was worried that this gloss was too dark and too mature for me. Though I had my doubts, when I tried it, I was very pleased. In reality, the color isn’t as dark as it appears to be in the tube. In the tube, the colors looks like a dusty, rusty, brownish color that old ladies would wear, but it’s more of a bronze-y, pinkish rose gold… If that makes sense. I’m horrible at describing things, but this gloss is beautiful and I like it. Unfortunately, it’s not very moisturizing and although it smells delicious, it tastes awful. On the plus side, it’s easy to work with. It has a simple doe foot applicator and isn’t sticky.

Pacifica Roll-On Perfume ($12)

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I was excited when I received another Pacifica product this month! A couple of months ago, I got a body butter from them and I loved it. It smelled amazing! Since I got that lotion, I considered looking in to more items from them, but they are a tad pricey. This makes me so happy that I’ll be able to test out the perfume in a different scent this month. This scent is definitely a floral, which isn’t necessarily something I normally go for. It is described as a “sweet, smooth and slightly citrusy aroma [that] is reminiscent of Jasmine, Sweet Orange and Tea Leaves.” This scent isn’t my favorite, but the perfume is nice. I would say that it has average longevity but is moderately strong. Though the perfume is nice and I’ll be able to get a lot of use out of it, I think I would have preferred to get the Luminizing Body Butter.

Yaby Concealer ($4.85)

concealer

This concealer is my least favorite product this month. First off, the color is wayy off. I was thinking that this could have been my fault because I chose the wrong skin tone for my quiz, so I double checked what I put. I said that I had tan/olive colored skin and they gave me vanilla. Since this color is too light for my face, I decided that I would try to use it for my under eyes. When looking for an under eye concealer, you want it to be a couple of shades lighter than your actual skin tone, so I thought this would be perfect. Unfortunately, it was still too light for that. As a last resort, I’ve started using it as a highlighter after I apply my normal under eye concealer. As a type of highlighter/Eye Bright, it works relatively well. In general, this concealer is okay, but I wouldn’t repurchase it.

NuMe Finishing Serum (≈ $4.79)

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I was a little bummed about getting this product because it was so similar to the hair serum I got last month. They literally have the same instructions! When looking at the bottle, I expected this to have the same consistency as oil, but it has more of a gel-like texture. If you look at this picture, it looks like I’ve used quite a bit, but I’ve probably only used it a handful of times. All in all, this serum does it’s job, but is nothing special.

TOTAL BAG PRICE: ≈ $37.14

I liked this month’s bag! Not only did I get a lot of useful full-sized products, but I felt like this was the first time the bags were personalized. When you first sign up, you take a quiz so that the company can get a feel for what products you would be interested in or need. Though they’ve had access to everyone’s personal information for a long time, I felt like everyone always got the same products. The only variation was in color. This month though, I came across many people that got different products, which I thought was pretty cool.

I hope you guys liked this post! Actually, let me know what you prefer. Do you like when I make a blog post right away and give first impression reviews or do you prefer them to be like this one, where I actually have time to fully review the products? Please let me know in the comments which you enjoy more!

Anyways, I hope that everyone is having a fun, safe summer and I promise to update as soon as I can!

What did you think of the May bag? What were your favorite products?

~Melissa

Ipsy Bag: April 2013

So I know that this post is long overdue, especially since May is half way over, but here I am finally getting to it!

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This month’s theme was “Pretty and Pink” and the bag came with 4 items:

  1. Be a Bombshell Blush in Beach Please
  2. Sation Nail Laquer in Of Corset I’ll Call You
  3. Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal
  4. MicaBeauty Shimmer Powder in Earth

If you’ve been an Ipster for a while, then you know that I received all the products in an old bag. For some reason, they had issues so instead of getting a “Pretty in Pink” bag, I got one from March of last year. Because it’s not the correct bag, Ipsy said that they would send me one next month, which is kinda cool, although I don’t need anymore of them! Anyways, on to the products…

Be a Bomshell Blush ($16)

blush

This blush was one of the two full sized products this month, and I love it. Normally I don’t wear blush, which is weird since I’m a self proclaimed “beauty blogger.” I think I never really wear it because a) I’m not that great at applying it and b) when I was younger, my cousin told me it was for older ladies. After that, I never really cared to purchase it or worry about it. With that being said, I really like this blush. It’s in the color Beach Please, which is a bright, matte pink. So far, I’ve only worn this blush once, but I anticipate I’ll be using it a lot when I get better at applying it.

Sation Nail Laquer ($5)

nail polish

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Decreasing number of coats, left to right. The pinky has 5 and the thumb has 1.

This is the second full size product in this bag, and this one was a let down. When I saw that there was a nail polish this month, I got super excited; I’m always up for trying out a new polish. Unfortunately, I hate this nail polish. As you can see from the picture above, this polish is very sheer. Even after 5 coats, which is crazy, you can still see my nail under it. Because it’s so sheer, I’m not sure when I’m ever going to use it. In actuality, I feel like if I got another color, a more opaque one, I would have been very happy. Though the color doesn’t work for me, I liked the formula. The polish is very smooth and glossy. I didn’t need to apply a base coat and it went on easily. I also noticed that though I didn’t have on a top coat, my nails looked pretty glossy.

Healthy Sex Hair Soy Renewal (≈ $4.44) 

healthysexyhair

This product was a sample (.85 fl oz.). The full sized product is $21.95 at Ulta, which is what I used to estimate the price of this sample. Anyways, Soy Renewal is a nourishing styling treatment. So basically (in a Harry Styles imitation), you can use it either on damp hair to “smooth, hydrate, fight frizz, and reduce drying time” or on dry hair for “extra polish.” I’ve used this once, on damp hair, and I liked it. I’m not really sure if it reduced drying time, but it made my hair smooth and silky without feeling greasy the next morning, which can sometimes happen with Chi Silk Infusions. Unfortunately, this serum kinda smells like big spray, but besides that it’s decent.

MicaBeauty Mineral Eyeshadow (≈ $14)

shimmer powder

Sorry for the poor swatch, it’s kinda hard to see with the lighting.

This eyeshadow is almost a full sized product. The one on the site is 2.5 grams, while the one I received is 2 grams. The color I got was Earth. When I saw this shadow in my bag, I was pretty excited. When I looked at it, the first thing that hopped in to my head was rose gold. It’s kind of an obsession for me right now; I love the pinky, warm look to it. I’ve used this product once in this eye look. This shadow is very pigmented and easy to use. There isn’t a lot of fuss involved with it. It’s blendable and not chalky.

TOTAL BAG PRICE: ≈ $39.44

In general, I was very pleased with this bag. Although the polish was a dud, I enjoyed everything else. I’m really happy that I’ll be able to get a lot of use out of the remaining products. If you want me to do a more in depth review of the products in this bag or any of my earlier ones, please let me know and I’ll get to it!

How did you feel about this bag? What were your favorite products?

~Melissa

Ipsy Bag: March 2013

This bag marks the end of my first year with Ipsy. With that being said, I have to say I was kinda disappointed. I think that this bag has probably been the most disappointing one all year.

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This month’s theme was “The Great Escape”. The 5 products I received were:

  1. GlamRX palette
  2. 2 Yaby eyeshadows in Azalea Petal and Seashell
  3. Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist
  4. La Fresh Makeup Removing Wipes

GlamRX Palette

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I really liked this. I thought it was cute and pretty useful. I’ve read other people’s comments on it and many do nothing but complain. They say that it’s too small to hold anything, but I don’t understand, it’s supposed to travel size. It’s purpose is to a palette where you can store small shadows and what not in case of an emergency. It’s supposed to compact so that you can just toss it in your purse and go.

Ipsy included two mini shadows from Yaby so that you can place them in the magnetic palette. Of course, you can also depot your own makeup pans and place them inside. Besides makeup, you can also place bobby pins and safety pins, which is great idea.

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Yaby Eyeshadows

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I don’t like either of these shadows. They aren’t very pigmented, especially Azalea Petal, which appears to be a pretty mauve-y/pinky color. As you can tell from the picture, the color barely shows up on my finger, and I was pressing hard. As for Seashell, the color is okay. It’s a creme-y, pink shimmer that would be really pretty as a highlight. In general, this color is much better than Azalea Petal, but I won’t be using either. I’ll probably just give them away. The colors aren’t so awful that I can’t use them, but since the pigmentation isn’t the greatest, I don’t know if they’ll even show up on my medium skin tone. I think they would be okay on a fair skinned person.

Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist and La Fresh Makeup Removing Wipes

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Out of all the products in this bag, I was most excited to try the Hydrating Mist. I guess when I saw it, my mind automatically went to the Evian Mineral Spray, which I’ve always wanted to try, even though I would feel stupid buying it. I haven’t tried this mist yet, so I don’t have any opinions on how it works, but the smell isn’t the best. It contains

a blend of rosehip, ylang ylang, grapeseed oil, and antioxidant organic juices

To me, it smells like a combination of cucumber and Olay face lotion.

As for the wipes, I tried one and it was okay. Nothing special. This is the second time I’ve received wipes in a Ipsy bag, and I don’t really understand why. Yes, they’re great for travel and, I wouldn’t have tried them without being included in here because I use the ones from Target, but I don’t really consider them beauty items… if that makes any sense. I would rather they give eye makeup remover, like the liquid kind or even better nail polish removing wipes. I guess I feel like if they’re going to include an item like this, it should be something that people wouldn’t pick up on their own like nail polish wipes, or something that can be comparable. I kinda feel like all makeup removing wipes are generally the same. I don’t think I’ve tried one that’s better than another, but maybe I just haven’t tried enough.

Anyways, that’s it for this month’s bag! If you’ve read some of my other posts, you know that I’ve debated whether or not I’m going to stay with Ipsy or switch over to Birchbox. After doing some research, I think I’m going to stick with Ipsy, but I gotta ask my mom first >.< But, if you would like to read posts on Birchbox packages or other subscription services like SquareHue or Beauty Army, check out Kristin at Must Have Boxes; her blog is wonderful!

How did you feel about this month’s bag? Did you have any favorites?

~Melissa

Ipsy Bag: February 2013

Guess what came in today? As you can tell from the title, it was my February bag!

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This month’s theme is “Red Carpet Ready.” My bag included 5 items:

  1. Pixi Flawless and Poreless Primer
  2. MICA Beauty Gel Liner in LC 48 (?)
  3. Pop Beauty Smoky Lash Kapow!!! in No. 1 Smoky Black
  4. Coastal Scents Min Eyeshadow Quad in In the Spotlight
  5. Lash Card Mascara Shields

Since I just received my bag, I haven’t had time to try out any of the products, but if I end up really liking them, I’ll do an individual post. For now, I’ll talk about the products in order.

Pixi is a brand that you can get from Target, but despite this, I haven’t actually tried any of the products. Because of this, I’m pretty excited that this was included in this month’s bag. I especially love trying new primers since my skin is super oily and I’m always trying to find a primer that keeps all the oil at bay. The bottle says that this primer is:

Oil free. Hydrating. Hypoallergenic. For all skin types.

This primer doesn’t feel like a typical silicone based primer; its creamy and slightly tinted. Unfortunately, it has a slight scent that reminds me of the “play” makeup that you give to little kids.

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Pixi Flawless and Poreless Primer

I’ve never heard of the brand Mica Beauty, but the gel liner just reminds me of the Maybelline one, so I’ll have to see what the quality is like.

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If I could only have one beauty product, it would be mascara, so I’m always excited to get new samples even though I have plenty. I’ve also never used Pop beauty even though I see their products at Ulta all the time. I’m really excited about this mascara and will let you know what I think!

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The wand for the Pop Beauty mascara

In a previous bag, I received a Coastal Scents Quad, but I like this one better. The colors are so beautiful and pigmented. I also feel that while they seem kind of intimidating (I usually stick to neutrals), they appear surprisingly wearable. The colors included in this quad include (Left to right, Top to Bottom): Dark Goldenrod, Sunbeam, Golden Globe, and Dark Golden Olive.

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Left to right: Dark Goldenrod, Sunbeam, Golden Globe, Dark Golden Olive

Lastly, when I pulled the Lash Card package out of the bag, I got super excited. Once I opened the little package, I was kinda disappointed.  I read “mascara shields” and thought that it would be a plastic, guitar pick-esque mascara shields (like the one that comes with the Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara), but instead they were just disposable paper ones. I was looking forward to this product because my lashes are so thin and sparse. I always manage to get mascara all over my eyelid, and using a Q-Tip often disrupts and smashes my lashes together, so this could potentially be a lifesaver. Anyways, the package includes 4 shields (which are printed backwards O.O) and each one has a large curve and a small curve.

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Hopefully these still perform well, and if they do I’ll definitely let you guys know!

So that’s it for this month’s bag! I hope you enjoyed this post and have a great evening!

~ Melissa

Ipsy Bag: January 2013

Hey guys! I got my January Ipsy bag a while ago, so I thought it was time I shared it with you. Actually before I start, I’ll mention a little about it. So if you don’t know what an Ipsy bag is, it’s a monthly subscription service that was created by Michelle Phan. In the beginning, they were under the name Glam bags, and they had many problems. Luckily, I hadn’t subscribed yet, and by the time I did, all the problems were resolved. The first couple of bags were okay, you were getting your money’s worth, but they never really had too many things I was super excited about. But then, they became Ipsy Bags, and that was when things started getting better. For my own subscription, I chose the yearly one, and I believe I got my first bag in March/April. Either way, my subscription will be ending soon, but I’m not sure if I’m going to continue with it or if I’m going to switch to Birchbox. If you have tried both, let me know in the comments which one you think would be better for a teenage girl.

Anyways, getting away from all of that, if you follow me on Instagram (more self promotion :P), you have already seen my January bag, but here is an official picture from Ipsy

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I got a total of 5 products, but I’m only going to go in to detail about 3 of them.

The 5 products I received were:

  1. SOHO cosmetics concealer brush
  2. Travel sized Big Sexy Hair Hairspray
  3. Mini Josie Maran Argan Oil
  4. Nailtini Straight Up Color Nail Laquer in Frappe
  5. Pacifica Tuscan Orange Body Butter

I tried the concealer brush, and it’s nothing special. Personally, I rather use my fingers for concealer. For the hair spray, it’s also not a big deal, you can get it anywhere.

On to the other three products:

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I haven’t actually tried the nail polish yet, but I’m looking forward to using it for spring. I can tell that it will be a nice base color and that it gives your nails a nice, healthy look. I’m not sure, but it you may also be able to use it for a “jelly sandwich.”

As for the body butter, I love it! I don’t actually use it for my body, but for my hands. This is the most delicious smelling lotion I’ve ever come across. I’m not good at explaining scents, but here’s what it say on the bottle:

Sparkling, juicy blood orange with notes of red raspberry and spicy sweet Italia mandarins. The scent of the Mediterranean beach.

It is also 100% vegan, free of parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, peanut oil, and artificial color. On top of all that, it’s not to greasy, and the scent is very strong. Whenever I pull it out to use, everyone else asks if they can have some because it smells so amazing.

Lastly, my favorite item from the bag is the Argan Oil. I knew that it was a favorite of many, but I never used it before. Before using it, I watched this video where Josie Maran talks about the oil. In the video, she talks about using it as a moisturizer, and I decided to do the same. As you can tell from the picture above, I’ve used quite a bit. I now use it every day and night. I love it because it feels very light weight and doesn’t have a greasy/oily scent, but is still very moisturizing. Also, it absorbs into the skin very well, almost instantly after applying it. I’m not a 100% sure, but I think that it might be making my acne scars lighter. All in all, I love this product. It’s a tad expensive, but I may decide to splurge and get a full sized product.

I hope you enjoyed this post and if you’re an Ipster, let me know which products from this month’s bag you enjoyed the most!

~ Melissa