August Ipsy Bag 2014

August has been such a big month for me. I moved to Los Angeles, and then flew back to Ohio to be in my best friend’s wedding. But in the midst of all that excitement came my ipsy bag. No matter what is going on in my life, bad or good, getting my  ipsy Glam Bag puts a smile on my face.

Ipsy is a $10 a month subscription service that sends you five sample to full size beauty products, which then comes in an adorable makeup bag. Each bag has a theme and this month it is Beauty Schooled! I’ve been trying out my ipsy products for the last few weeks and here’s how they all breakdown.

School Yourself in Beauty

School Yourself in Beauty

So the bag is about as attractive as it’s going to get in this picture. It’s a shiny vinyl reminiscent of my grade school pencil cases. The bag arrived crumpled beyond saving, so there is no way it would survive my purse. Extremely disappointed in the bag itself, but the contents were fun.

Dr. Brandt’s Pores No More (sample value $11.25)

I’ve seen a lot of Dr. Brandt products work the subscription box circuit but this is my first experience with the brand. The formula has a mousse-like texture and is a salmon color. It feels good to apply, and the slight color of the product blends out. The product claims are that this primer will minimize pores, blur fine lines, and mattifies skin. Additionally, it’s s supposed to be an antibacterial product that will act as a shield between your makeup so your pores don’t clog. These are some hefty claims that I think the primer only half completes. I’d say it does a good job of mattifying and keeping my foundation set. But I didn’t notice much blurring or a difference in clogged pores. Since a full size Pores No More is $45, I don’t think it’s worth the price tag for what the results you get. But I’m glad something like this was in my ipsy bag because it’s not something I would have purchased without trying it out.

Perversion Mascara by Urban Decay (sample value $5.50)

This was the most exciting thing in my ipsy bag this month. Urban Decay has been building up this product launch for months and now that Perversion is out bloggers are raving about this mascara. And here’s the thing…I haven’t opened it. I have too many mascaras open at the moment to justify popping open this sample. I don’t want it to dry out before I can use it to its fullest! So no review on this one yet. But UD promises bigger, badder, blacker lashes and I’m hoping that’s the case. Any one else a fan of this mascara? It retails for $22 for .4 fl. oz. so it had better be good!

Flying Solo Eye Shadow by J. Cat Beauty in Half Naked(Full Size $2.99)

I was intimidated by how orange this shadow looked in the pan. And it looked a little too chalky. But on the lid this color reads as a warm champagne with a hint of shimmer and feels smooth. If you’re looking for something bold, then the color payoff is not for you. Wearing Half Naked on its own is not an option. However, I think it’s a great shade to use as a base or to blend into your crease as a subtle transition shade. This shade could also be a nice neutral highlight. The packaging is rather charming too; it comes with a little mirror and a teeny tiny applicator. So very pleased with this wee eye shadow.

Jersey Shore Sun’s Mongongo Nutrient Dense Anti-Aging Lip Conditioner (Full Size $5.50)

I got the Lip Conditioner in Mandarin Green Orange Ginger. I’m not even sure that scent description makes sense. It actually smells kind of like lemon and feels so smooth on your lips. This product is 100% natural and USDA certified organic.  There are tons of supposed benefits to using this lip balm including UV protection, hydration, and skin regeneration (hence the anti-aging) for fuller softer lips. Apparently, Mongongo oil is derived from a fruit that is often considered a tree nut and it’s rich in antioxidants. I’ve been wearing this lip conditioner every day by itself or under lipstick, and I really like it. It feels so good on my lips and I’ve noticed a decrease in chapped lips in the past week and a half. So I would definitely repurchase this in the future!

Klorane’s Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk (sample value $6.50)

I’ve mentioned on this blog before my struggle to find a dry shampoo that actually works for me. Maybe my expectations are too high; I really want a product that can help me avoid the shower for another day if I’m in a rush. I won’t say that this Klorane dry shampoo saves me from a morning shower, but it does make me feel slightly more presentable. Slightly. The formula doesn’t leave any kind of residue or visible powder for me, which is nice. And the smell is light, which is also nice. But I won’t pretend I’m in love with this product either. I will happily use the sample but will not be purchasing the full size for $19.50.

Overall, I’d say this was a decent bag from ipsy. I really liked one of the products–the lip conditioner–and another one could really surprise me when I use it later (the mascara), so I’m not mad at this month’s bag. The total value of August’s Glam Bag is $31.74. Not crazy fabulous but not bad for a $10 beauty bag!

If you’d like to join ipsy, click on my referral link here.

August PopSugar Must Have Box


August 2014

August 2014

There are a plethora of subscription boxes out there for people to enjoy. I can’t claim to have tried them all, in fact I’m no where near that authority, but of the few I have tried I thouruoghly enjoy the PopSugar Must Have Box.

It’s a little something different from the standard beauty box. There are typically one or two full sized traditional beauty items, a food item, an accessory, a lifestyle item (i.e. the candle in this box), and a health/wellness item. Last month I got a jump rope in my PopSugar box and got really excited about it. I wouldn’t have picked something like that up at the store, but I feel more inclined to use them when they come from the Must Have Box.

PopSugar boxes aren’t like most beauty boxes in that you don’t take a quiz to receive your items. Each box is curated by the PopSugar team and everyone gets the same thing. The Must Have box costs around $39.99 a month, but the value of the goodies inside the box always exceeds the cost. I’ve loved this service for the three months that I’ve had it and will probably continue using it in the future because it’s such a fun subscription.

So let’s dive into the August Must Have Box…

Ocean Tide + Sea Salt Mini Jar Candle by Paddywax ($10)

I’m quickly turning into a candle junkie. I have an amazing candle trio from Volupsa in my bathroom right now, but when that is finished it will all about this Ocean Tide scent. Which will weirdly enough probably be in November. But it’ll be summertime nostalgia by then. Just smile and nod with me on that one.

The scent is definitely leaning  more toward sea salt–like the sea salt scrubs you used to buy at Bath and Body Works–rather than the Ocean Tide end of things. Still it will be great to relax with. And it’s hand-poured soy wax made in the U.S.A. Even if Paddywax is a total farce and is secretly part of some candle conglomerate, I like the idea of supporting an artisan candle company. Plus the adorable rustic packaging can later be re-purposed as a cotton ball holder.

Purple Meal and Dipper Set by Goodbyn ($8)

I can’t presently fathom when I’ll need a storage container with an attached dipper, but maybe that’s just an excuse to start going on picnics! This is a perfect example of an item that I wouldn’t have purchased myself but am glad to find a use for in my life. I’m currently on the hunt for a job and spend a good chunk of my day hunched over a computer, so taking myself out to a nearby park for some much needed vitamin D would be a great thing!

Elle Earrings in Slate by Kendra Scott ($52)

These earrings alone have more than justified the price of the box. They’re classic pale stone drop earrings that are easily wearable in any season. Again, maybe not something I would have been immediately drawn to in the store, but I’m excited to add them to my collection.

The box also came with a coupon code for 20% off a purchase at, so that’s an additional treat. I did some online window shopping last night and don’t know if I will actually use the code or not. Kendra Scott has some stunning pieces but they’re also at stunning prices. I’m trying to be better about budgeting my fun-money so her pieces are just a little rich for my blood at the moment. Which makes the earrings all the more exciting!

Celebrate!  Cookie Mix by The Mason Jar Cookie Company ($12)

I have a feeling I’m going to be excessively grateful for this cookie mix on some odd night in the future. All you have to do is add butter and an egg, mix, and bake. Insta-delicious cookies! It came in this plastic package that looks like a mason jar but takes up less than half the space in my cabinets. I’m in love. These would also make great gifts given the price and the variety on their website. I definitely poked around on there and am so intrigued with this company. When I finally get around to making them I’ll have to do a review to see if they’re worth the hype in my head. Just for sheer amusement though, you should check out .

Lollia’s At Last Perfumed Shower Gel ($22)

I just opened this product to describe the scent and sat here smelling it for a good minute. This gel smells intoxicatingly good. You know how people constantly smell babies? Well this gel smells like babies toddling around in a flower field. Happy and sweet. Officially speaking, the scent is white petals and rice flower. But that’s essentially babies toddling around in a flower field. The gel also has some lovely ingredients like jojoba oil and shea butter so your skin will be happy with it too. This sucker is 8 fluid ounces. Huge product! And the packaging is darling. It vaguely reminds me of Marc Jacobs’ packaging, which is always chic. I will proudly display this in my shower as soon as I’m done with the half dozen other soaps and washes I need to work through. Sigh.

Lush Fruit Lip Gloss by Bite Beauty in the color PopSugar ($22)

This is my first ever Bite Beauty lippie! And what’s even more exciting is that Bite made this color specifically for PopSugar’s second birthday. The shade matches the bright pink of the delivery box. There are strawberry, coconut, and avocado oils in the gloss so it should be nourishing as well as stylish. That also explains why it smells like a Jamba Juice. If all goes well with this lip gloss I may get brave and try other Bite lip products.

Bonus! thinkThin’s Brownie Crunch High Protein Bar

Now, I haven’t tried this bar yet mostly because I’m scared of protein bars. Especially ones that label themselves High Protein bars. Typically with this kind of food product there is a powdery vitamin dense after taste that is vaguely metallic. I have quit many a protein bar in the past because of that dreaded taste. But I’m cautiously optimistic about this one because of the brownie part. I’ll give it a shot in any event.

So that is the monthly round-up for the PopSugar Must Have Box. Total box value for August  is $126!

If you’d like to give PopSugar a shot click on this referral link: . Unfortunately, PopSugar only ships within the US, but there’s always the hope of expansion. Box subscriptions come in one month, three month, six month, or 12 month increments.

What’s your favorite beauty box?

June Ipsy Bag 2014

Nothing quite brightens my day like seeing that pink bubblewrap envelope from ipsy. This month’s theme is Pretty in Paradise and is all about achieving that gorgeous summer look. I’ve been trying out these products for a few weeks, so here’s my verdict on June’s ipsy bag.

As most of you know, ipsy is a service that for $10 a month sends you 4-5 sample or full size beauty products. Ipsy also provides discounts from many of their monthly products, which is a heady drug for us beauty addicts. In the three months I’ve been an ipsy subscriber I have really enjoyed the service and trying new things. If you’re interested in joining up, use this link here to get started.

June Ipsy Bag

June Ipsy Bag

Every once in a while my inner label whore wants attention, and boy is she happy right now! This month’s ipsy bag was specially designed by Rebecca Minkoff to coordinate with her 2014 summer collection. I can’t afford anything else this woman creates but dang does it feel good to have this little makeup bag. And it’s really adorable. Not too thrilled by the zipper location though; it sometimes makes larger products awkward to fit into the bag. Ipsters also receive 20% off at Super win!

OleHenrikson Truth to Go Wipes ($9.00 for 10 cloth pack): These citrus scented cleansing wipes feel like a luxury item for a somewhat reasonable price. The texture is kind of thick and fluffy for a makeup remover wipe, so I want to call them a cloth. It may seem like a strange distinction but I think it’s one worth making here. With most makeup remover wipes I feel like it’s just step one and I still need to wash my face after. These OleHenrikson wipes/clothes  actually do the full job. I took them on a road trip recently as my only cleansing method, which could have been risky but paid off.  I wouldn’t recommend using only these clothes long term, but for a weekend away or a night where you just want to hit the hay these are perfect. I might repurchase these for travel, because of the ease and small package size, but I can’t really support this price for everyday use. If you’re an ipster you can get 20% off your order if you share your email address though so that might be worth it.

Jessie’s Girl Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in black ($6.99):  I’ve never used a felt tip eyeliner before, so this was a lot of fun to try. This is the greatest wing-making tool I’ve ever used. The control with this product is amazing. The design of the tip kind of looks like a calligraphy pen, so you can create a super thin line or go thick. It glides on  and then dries quickly. It also lasts all day long and doesn’t even think about smudging. I have to use my strongest makeup remover to get this stuff off at night.  Some liquid eyeliners have a hint of a sheen or a wet look to them, but this Jessie’s Girl liner is a luscious matte. The price on this liner is also lovely. I will definitely be purchasing Jessie’s Girl Liquid Eyeliner again in the future. Ipsters also receive 20% off any purchase at the Jessie’s Girl site.

NYX Butter Gloss in Eclair ($5.00): I’m always excited to try a new NYX product! Like most brands there are some hit or miss items in their range, but the Butter Glosses are almost unanimously beloved. This is my first try with the Butter Glosses and I absolutely buy into the hype. The color I received, Eclair, is a light pink or barely nude. I feel a little bit like Bridgitte Bardot with the shade and high sheen. Overall the gloss is fantastic but doesn’t become sticky with wear. You do need to reapply every few hours–I wouldn’t call this formula longwearing–but your lips will feel plush and moisturized for hours after it wears off. That’s a fair trade to me. And the smell is delicious like vanilla sponge cake. For $5.00 this is worth every penny. I will be getting other shades of this in the near future. Ipsy subscribers will also receive  30% off on NYX stick blush.

Marc Anthony True Professional Dream Waves Beach Spray ($3.79 for travel size. $8.79 for full size): My hair is stick straight and notoriously refuses to hold a curl. So naturally I’ve always wanted glorious waves. I had high hopes for this product, mostly because the phrase “dream waves” are in the title. The bottle says to spray into hair either wet or dry, scrunch your hair for texture and volume, then let dry. Now true to form, my hair refuses to give into my desire to have mermaid locks. However, this ended up being a wonderful volumizer. So while I didn’t get beach waves from this product, I did get fullness and a bit of added body. Dry shampoos have never really worked for me because they tend to make my hair greasier, but this beach spray is a more effective solution for my hair’s needs.  I haven’t used this product often in the last few weeks but I will keep it around for when my hair is looking particularly flat. I would repurchase this product and if you’re an ipsy subscriber you can now get $1.00 off the full size at

Lash Out Mascara by Be A Bombshell ($15): This is the most expensive product in my ipsy bag?? Kind of disappointing. I have some incredible mascaras from the drugstore that are less expensive and do a better job i.e. L’Oreal Miss Manga, Maybelline the Falsies, or even e.l.f. waterproof  and lengthening mascara. Even after three coats my lashes do not have much added length or volume. It’s a very dry formula, and so it is also prone to flaking. There are few products out there that I truly am disappointed with, but this Lash Out mascara is absolutely one of them. Ipsters can get 30% off purchase and a free Beach Please blush, which is a good deal if I weren’t so upset with this mascara.

Not so much with the killer deals this month, but that’s probably because of the designer makeup bag. Overall, I’d give this bag a 3 out of 5 bubbles (I’m trying this system out. Too corny?). My favorite of the bags so far was April. The value of June’s bag is $39.78, which is the least value I’ve received thus far. But it’s still a worthwhile value and a great service.

Ipsy link: