November Ipsy Bag 2014

When I opened my GlamRoom this month, I was a touch disappointed. I just wasn’t that excited about many of my products in my November ipsy bag.  Some of these products were able to change my mind a bit, but others were total failures. After trying these products for a few weeks, here are my first impressions.

Do all girls like glitter? Highly debatable.

Do all girls like glitter? Highly debatable.

Not that big of a fan of the bag this month. It looks like the kind of thing that I used to receive as a young girl that would be filled with lip smackers. Not that those were bad days, but it’s not my style anymore. Oddly enough this bag was designed by Forever 21, which makes the disappointment more intense since I generally enjoy Forever 21 as a brand.

Be a Bombshell Eye Base in Submissive (*full size* $14)

This is one of the products I wasn’t excited about, but was sort of able to change my mind. Ipsy seems to have a Be a Bombshell product in their bags every month. I don’t always get the featured item, but some brand variety would be nice, which is part of why I wasn’t excited.

The color of the eye base is pretty: a light shimmery brown that builds up slightly. Submissive is a good one-shade look or a nice base for a brown-toned eye look, but it is not necessarily doing its job as a base. The formula is similar to Maybelline’s Color Tattoos or elf’s smudge pots, but Submissive does not have the staying power of either of these products. You need primer for this product to stay put, otherwise it will crease or smear. So while I can make it work for me, I would not purchase this again based on my sample experience.

Wonder Lip Paint by J. Cat Beauty in the shade Red Potion (*full size* $4.99)

Each of these little lip paints has a Wonderland theme. And on the J Cat website there seem to be a wide variety of colors. They definitely look like the famed OCC Lip Tars, but this product does not come with a lip brush. I’m lukewarm about this product. I enjoy the minty smell of the lip paint, unfortunately it’s not a smell that stays around. Red Potion is a really dark shade in the tube and can be built up to a deep berry or can read lighter depending on your application: I found this out the hard way.

My first attempt at using this was a disaster. I put a stain on underneath thinking that if the lip paint faded poorly, at least I’d have the stain, which turned out to be very useful. I applied a thick coat Red Potion with a lip brush and the color looked like crusted blood caked onto my lips. On top of that it faded patchy and stuck to any rough spots on my lips. I decided to be brave and give it a second go and the results were a bit better.

Attempt number two.

Attempt number two.

First of all, I used Laura Gellar’s Lip Spackle as a base, which seemed to make a big difference. Then, more importantly I applied the product with my finger and only used a dot of product as big as a grain of rice. This fully covered my lips and the shade came off more like a deep pink. There was less slipping and sliding with less product too. After a few hours there was fading but it looked much less patchy. I’m still not enamoured with this product, but I’m less mad at it. If you’d like to give the lip paints a shot you can get 25% off with code 25JCAT at checkout on their website.

Oil of Morocco Argan Oil Volume Shine Hairspray by Marc Anthony (sample value $1.38)

If someone were to use hairspray regularly, this product would be very exciting to receive and would likely be an ideal travel size item. I, however, do not typically use hairspray and have not cracked this thing open. I’m sure it’s lovely, but this does nothing for me. My hair is very fine and I tend not to do much to it, so there’s no call to use a lot of hairspray in my life. There’s nothing wrong with this, it’s just not for me. So it’s a bit of a letdown. A full size of this product (9 fl oz.) should run you about $8.29 at Walgreens. There was also no discount code for this product.

Starlooks Gem Eye pencil in Ultra Orchid (*full size* $17.00)

This was honestly the worst product in my bag. Which is surprising because Starlooks is a well-respected brand in the beauty world. When I went to swatch this product on my hand, the tip crumbled and fell off. When I went to use this product on my lid, the eyeliner crumbled further. I appreciate creaminess in my beauty products but not the point where they become unusable.

When I got this product onto my lids I was further disappointed. The beautiful, sparkly purple is so freaking creamy that it fails completely as an eyeliner. It smudges and slips even with primed lids. So all its prettiness is wasted. This is easily one of the most maddening products I’ve ever received in a subscription service. I certainly won’t be using this code, but if you’d like 20% off Starlooks use the code IPSY at checkout on their website.

TEMPTU Highlighter in Pink Pearl (sample value $2.75)

Of all the products in my ipsy bag this month, I would say this is the single product that fully won me over. I had never heard of TEMPTU before, but apparently their highlighters are well rated by makeup artists. I don’t use highlighters overmuch, but I think they’re fun to play with now and again. The Pink Pearl shade has a mother of pearl quality to it–the shifting accents of yellow, blue, pink, etc. The formula is slightly watery, which translates to a very subtle look on the sheeks. It’s not shimmery in the usual sense, but it catches the light in a way that makes your skin seem like it glows natuarally. A full size highlighter would run you $27.50 for 1 fl oz, so I don’t think I’ll be purchasing this one. But since it doesn’t take much to give my cheeks a pearlescent glow, I’ll still enjoy this product for a while. If you’d like a TEMPTU highlighter of your very own, use code IPSY at checkout for 25%.

From the top down: TEMPTU highlighter in Pink Pearl, Starlooks Ultra Orchid, Be a Bombshell in Submissive, and J Cat Red Potion.

From the top down: TEMPTU highlighter in Pink Pearl, Starlooks Ultra Orchid, Be a Bombshell in Submissive, and J Cat Red Potion.

You can see with this picture how easily the Starlooks liner smears as well as what a difference it makes blending out Red Potion.

On paper, I should have adored this bag: three full size products from reliable brands with a total November bag value of $40.12. But the quality of the products and how they work for me was just not present in this month’s bag.

I’m really disappointed in this month’s ipsy, and am hoping for a better bag next month.

Thanks for popping in!

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 rebeccaminkoff.com. 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 Walgreens.com

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: http://www.ipsy.com/r/7zfy