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.

April Ipsy Bag 2014

I’ve got an addictive personality. And it doesn’t seem to extend to drugs or alcohol. But movies, books, and clothes? Most definitely. Makeup can now be added to that list of goodies.

I stumbled upon ipsy via Facebook; my friend and stylist posted about her glam bag and I was immediately intrigued. For those of you who haven’t heard about the glory that is ipsy, it’s a monthly delivery service where you receive 4-5 sample or full size beauty products for $10 a month. Your premier products come in an adorable makeup bag that fits the month’s theme. Each bag is somewhat personalized to your beauty interests since you take a quiz, and your product reviews impact future bag items. As an ipster a.k.a. glam bag subscriber you can also get discounts and free samples from the brands in that month’s bag. Super bonus, it’s created by beauty guru Michelle Phan!

Ipsy is an addict’s paradise because it’s so darn affordable. The proof is in the proverbial pudding: this is my first month as an ipster and I could not be happier! For the month of April, the theme is Beauty Rocks as an homage to the kicking off of music festival season. My bag came in about a week ago, and I’ve been playing around with the products to share my reviews with you. So here we go!

Follow me on Instagram @caitlinemccann

Follow me on Instagram @caitlinemccann

So this little bag has already made its way into my purse as a permanent addition. Coincidentally, the blue-violet tone of the bag matches my purse, and the kind of vinyl material seems like it would be an easy clean-up in case of spills. It’s also pretty unique with its square shape. It hold quite a bit of stuff too.

Cailyn Tinted Lip Balm in Apple Pink. First of all, I’m such a fan of the way this product is designed. The conical-shaped top actually has a little lip brush in it so you can apply the balm with more precision. While it may appear that there isn’t much balm in the bottom tub, a little bit of this stuff goes a long way. The balm is wonderful: highly pigmented, with a matte finish, and it doesn’t dry out my lips. I’ve used this lip balm multiple times in the last week or so and the Apple Pink shade is perfect for spring. This is a full size product that regularly retails for $19. I want to finish up with this balm (I’m really trying not to go purchase crazy here) but I could easily see myself buying more Cailyn Tinted Lip Balms in the future. With 18 shades in the collection, there is a color here for everyone.

Cover FX Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment. Cover FX has a whole line of primers that are specified for your skin needs, but I’m glad I received this one. Not only is the matte finish quite nice, but this primer has micro exfoliating beads that help treat and prevent breakouts while smoothing fine lines. I’ve never seen a primer make higher claims. I’d have to use it more often to see if it really delivers. And while I still prefer some other primers, I’m not mad at this one either. Ipsy members received a travel size, but the full size product runs to $38. I’m going to keep using this primer, but I’m on the fence about whether or not I would shell out for it once the travel size is gone. Still, nice stuff!

Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide-On Eye Pencil in Black Velvet. This sample is exciting because it’s a brand new product from Urban Decay. My expectations were high because UD has such a good reputation in the beauty world. And I was not disappointed! The Velvet Glide pencil is a true black shade that feels creamy and light. It smudges well if you want it to, but stays put if you don’t. It really does hold long-term too, so the 24/7 is not just a flashy name. A full size pencil costs $20, but the travel size is about the same size as some of my drugstore liners so it feels like a great deal. If I ever use the stuff up I would definitely commit to a repurchase.

City Color White Gold Shadow & Highlight Mousse. Holy Moly! I just looked at the City Color website and this amazing little thing is only $3.99. FULL SIZE. If you like shimmery lids, this is absolutely the shadow for you. I’ve never seen another product with this kind of texture: it kind of feels like Jet-Puffed marshmallow creme. I realize that sounds weird and potentially off-putting but it feels great on the lid. And the golden hued shimmer is an excellent accent or as a base shade. I haven’t used it as a highlighter because I don’t like that much shimmer for highlights. But as a shadow, I am on board! Will definitely re-buy when I hit pan.

KISS Looks So Natural Lashes in Shy. These false lashes also retail for $3.99, but I’m less excited about them than I am about the white gold shadow. Don’t get me wrong, the lashes look lovely in their little box, but I’m still a bit intimidated by the concept of falsies. I’ve been told they’re easy and once you start using them, you never go back. But I’m content with my regular mascara at the moment. These will languish in a drawer until I muster up the courage to try them someday. Until then, they were kind of a wash. Still, I can’t be upset because I am thrilled with the other lovelies in my ipsy bag!

For $10 I got all these products sent to me in the mail–in a pretty pink bubble-wrapped envelope, by the way. The bag items at full price would retail for $84.98. Not too shabby, eh?

If ipsy sounds like your kind of thing, then feel free to use the link below to get you started. I get these spiffy things called ipsyPoints that I can potentially use for free stuff, you get a glam bag…it’s a win-win.