December Ipsy

Hi everyone! Totally know it’s been over a month since my last post, but I wanted to squeeze in something before the new year. Here are the products I received in Ipsy this month, and I’ve gotta say, I’m pretty pleased with everything, especially the bag that it all came in. Read on for more info!

  • Pacifica Power of Love Natural Lipstick in Tender Heart: I love some of Pacifica’s fragrances and lotions, and wasn’t really aware that they even produced makeup. This is a highly wearable shade of lipstick, and isn’t very drying either. I could see myself wearing this year-round, and I’m pretty sure it’s full-size, so that’s a huge win!
  • FORMULA X in Revved Up: I already had a nail polish from Sephora’s old OPI line in almost this exact shade, but…I wasn’t opposed to trying it out in FORMULA X. The glittery formula was really easy to apply, and you can’t notice any streaks either. The only downside was that it began to chip after not even 24 hours — I probably should have added an additional coat during my original application, but still, I’m not extremely impressed with the quality. I have a ton of other shades in Formula X that have much better staying power. The shade is lovely for the holiday season though!
  • LATHER honey moisture mask: This is essentially a sleeping mask, as the directions note to leave on your face for 20 minutes, and not to rinse off the excess product afterward. The winters here are so dry, so it was pretty awesome receiving this. I’m not a fan of the smell, which kind of reminds me of baby powder, but i’m hoping it’s at least highly effective.
  • Beau Gâchis Paris Concealer Brush: Yay, concealer brush! I have a couple in my makeup brush collection right now, but I’ve been pretty lazy and haven’t really used them during my daily makeup application, as most of the time I just dab my finger on a couple of spots and call it good. The quality of the brush seems great compared to my Sephora one on hand.
  • Klorane Floral Water Make-up Remover: Love love love travel-size makeup removers. I’ve been gravitating more towards the makeup remover wipes simply for convenience, but I can always use some extra makeup remover.

I know I’m a little late to the December Ipsy party, but hopefully everyone enjoyed their bags. I’ve been subscribing since July, and this was probably one of the better months, as far as product quality quality goes, even though this bag didn’t have a terribly high value. Also, I like that there was no fragrance or oil in here, unlike in my Birchbox for this month. Let me know if you received any of the same products as me, and what your thoughts are.

Thank you for reading, and please remember to follow me in Instagram so I can follow back!


November Birchbox

November will be the 3rd month that I’ve been subbing to Birchbox, and I’m happy to report that opting for the curated box from Glamlifeguru’s Tati Westbrook this month was a great decision. As soon as I saw the spoilers, I knew this box was going to be worth it because of the high-end skincare products it contained, and also the fact that I was guaranteed to not receive another perfume sample 😉 Usually I don’t have much time to try and review the products before I make a post, but the box came almost a week ago so I’ve been able to use all of these by now. Read on for my thoughts!

  1. Avene Hydrance Optimale Hydrating Serum: I can’t rave enough about this product as it’s probably the best item I’ve tried from BB. I use this in the evening, and I’m amazed that it’s not greasy at all, but my skin looks glowy and radiant when I wake up. The sample was enough for about a week’s worth of usage and I’m really contemplating purchasing this once I’ve used up more of my other moisturizers. The smell is also light and quite pleasant, so no complaints there. The full-size of this retails for $36 and the sample is about 1/10th of the full-size.
  2. Jouer Lip Enhancer: I’m not a huge lip product junkie but I love anything that moisturizes. Jouer is a brand that I’ve wanted to try and have debated their quarterly subscription box a few times, but didn’t want to contribute to my already overflowing collection of unused products.This lip treatment claims to not only moisturize, but also provide a “boost” to your lips (although that’s hilariously not actually something I strive for). Fortunately for me, I didn’t notice a difference when I wore this, and it worked well simply for hydration purposes. The full-size for this is $16 and I received almost $8’s worth of product in the sample.
  3. Shiseido ULTIMUNE EYE Power Infusing Eye Concentrate: I’ve never understood the people who use an eye cream for a few days and claim they notice a difference…but I definitely have no complaints about this product and the size is extremely generous. I’m also totally a fan of the smell! The full-size for this is $65 and I believe the sample I received was almost 1/3 of the full-size.
  4. Livingproof PhD dry shampoo: I’ll admit seeing this product in the spoiler was what convinced me to go with the curated box this month. I read a lot of great things about this, and the size of the sample I received retails for $12, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong. Some people find the smell to be overpowering, but I actually really like it. My biggest complaint with this item, however, is the extremely noticeable residue and the lack of control on how much product is distributed. I have black hair so I’m pretty picky about dry shampoos, but this one definitely left a bright white residue, which was impossible to rub out of my scalp in some areas, and it also clung randomly to some of my hairs. Ironically, this was the only dud for me in the box so I’ll probably give this to someone else with lighter colored hair 🙂
  5. LOC One & Done Shadow Stick in Day Trip: Shadow sticks were something that I’m pretty sure I used in high school and have since stopped owning…however, I’ve gotta admit this might be an exception. It’s sooo nicely pigmented and long-wearing, and I think the shade is perfect for the holidays. This makes me want to check out some of the other items from Tati’s makeup line too.

Hands down, this was the best BB I’ve received to-date. I was extremely impressed with the curated items, even though part of what I love about sub boxes is never truly knowing what you’re going to get. In this case, all of these items were worth trying for me and all but the dry shampoo worked out very well. I can’t wait for December’s box!

Let me know if you opted for the curated box this month, or what products you liked if you went with the regular box 🙂 As always, thank you for reading!

October Ipsy

Ipsy’s glam bag theme for October is “Alter Ego”, which is kind of interesting, but also made me nervous for what to expect. I wasn’t totally thrilled with the items I received last month, as there were 2 items that didn’t work for me at all, so I was hoping they would up their game just a little bit. Here’s what I received:
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  1. Ayres Pampas Sunrise Hand Cream: My initial impression was that this product had an herbal-y smell, and that the consistency wasn’t thick enough. However, the smell grew on me, and the formula wasn’t greasy, so it quickly went in my purse!
  2. Leeanni Eco “Go Away Gloomy Day” Serum: I haven’t had a chance to try this yet, but it’s an “all natural” product that you use after washing your face. I’ve really been loving the Pixi Glow Tonic that I raved about a couple week ago (read about it here) so I probably won’t be trying anything new for awhile.
  3. Coastal Scents Xpress Line Cosmetics Pencil: Ok…this product is extremely disappointing. It has like a retail value of $3 and when I tested this pencil on my hand, the consistency was really dry and I had to press really hard to get any pigmentation. I can’t imagine using this on my eyelid!
  4. Aurora Gel Effects Nail Polish: I’m excited to try this formula, but…I have like 2 other polishes in this exact shade already, so that’s kind of a bummer.
  5. theBalm Liquid Lipstick: This was one of the initial spoilers they released, and I was pleasantly surprised by this product…it applied well and dries matte. The shade is also less dramatic so I could see myself wearing it in the daytime. The one drawback is that it does emphasize any dryness on my lips, so I have to make sure to prep them beforehand.

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Besides the eyeliner, the items were all pretty good and at least relevant to the profile I filled out. Also, I love the bag and that it has an opening at the top instead of on the side. I definitely wouldn’t say this was my best bag ever, but it was better than last month’s!

If you’re a subscriber, what did you think of this month’s glam bag? As always, thank you for reading!

October Birchbox Unboxing

I just received September’s box (read about it here) a few days ago, so my sub boxes have been keeping me busy! Remind me not to log onto my BB account prior to receiving my items…they list all the stuff in your box for the month, so it wasn’t much of a surprise for me. We all know October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and this month’s box design continues to be gorgeous, and a full reflection of the theme.

One aspect about BB that really wins over Ipsy is that you receive 10 points for every product you review, and after these two months of boxes, I already have 100 points, which equates to $10 to spend on their website. Birchbox seems to follow the “one product type per box” quite closely, so even though I don’t have much interest in hair or lip products, I always receive one of each in every box. Keep scrolling to see what I received!

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  1. amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo: I’ve heard a lot of great things about this brand of dry shampoo, but a 5.3 oz can is $22, which is super steep compared to the brand Batiste which I received in Ipsy and really liked. I probably wouldn’t repurchase this no matter how well it worked, but I’m still happy I got a sample!
  2. Eyeko Black Magic Mascara: This was the reason I opted for a surprise Birchbox this month…I’ve really wanted to try this mascara after hearing how long-wearing it is, to the point where it’s a pain to remove and is almost like it’s waterproof. I’ll report back on this mascara later, since I’m still trying to use up some other samples before I open another tube.
  3. ModelCo Ultra Long-Lasting Lipstick: I’ve received a lot of darker shades in the last couple of months because of Fall, so I was actually quite pleased that this one is a middle-of-the-road, peachy shade that’s still highly wearable this season. The formula isn’t the creamiest, but it’s alright for something that retails for about $6-$7.
  4. Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre: Talk about over-packaging…this little tube of product came in a box, with a full ingredients list folded up inside. The actual product is supposed to act as a 24-hour moisturizer and it’ll probably last me about a week.
  5. Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gel: This product is a nice change of pace! These eye gels are supposed to reduce puffiness as well as brighten and firm the undereye area. I would really like to visit Iceland someday and go to Blue Lagoon, but this will do for now 🙂

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Overall, I’m pleased with the items this month, as I’ll definitely try to use them all. The “value” isn’t super high, but I would rather have low-value items that I would definitely use, over a couple full-sized, high-value items such as hair serums or brow products, which basically go straight to the “give away” box at this point. I also appreciate that the eye gels are a “one time use” product, so it won’t contribute to my pile of skincare items that I still need to use up. Let me know if you received any of the same items as me this month, or if you opted for one of the two pre-selected boxes that looked pretty awesome. As always, thank you for reading!

First Birchbox – September.

I finally jumped on the Birchbox bandwagon, and just received my September box today! I’ll probably be receiving the October box soon, so I wanted to write about this as soon as possible. What convinced me to finally subscribe was this lipgloss freebie from MAKE beauty, which I received in the shade Azalea. It has a mint flavor to it, and the color looks bright pink in the tube but is actually quite wearable. I didn’t include it in the review below, since I considered it a one-time thing, and not really indicative of the actual box. Now let’s get to reviewing:

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  1. Tocca Giulietta Nourishing Body Scrub: I started to like Tocca after receiving a sample of their Cleopatra scent, so I was happy to see this brand as a completely different product. Although the scent for this body scrub is described as having apple and tulip notes, I wouldn’t say it smells that great. Pretty hard to describe, but hopefully it’s highly effective at exfoliating and moisturizing!
  2. Number 4 Fluoro5 Elixir – Restore & Repair Oil: I have enough hair oils and serums to last me a lifetime, but this one has pretty great reviews on Birchbox so I’m excited to give it a try. The full-size is 2 oz and sells for $26 — This sample is 0.5 oz. so not too shabby!
  3. Air Repair Complexion-Boosting Moisturizer: I really wish the sample of this was a tad bit larger…The 2 oz retails for $20, and the sample I received was 0.25 oz…so the value is only $2.50. The product has a super strong scent, but it’s quite pleasant..I’ll probably use it tonight!
  4. Cynthia Rowley Creamy Lip Stain in Poppy: This is a pretty tiny sample, but the color is great and looks really natural when applied.
  5. Catherine Malandrino Style de Paris perfume sample: I like trying different perfumes, but I have so many scents I’m loving right now and would prefer to wear. Also, I think most people feel the same way as me about this — but I don’t think these perfume vials should count as a sample in a subscription box! But…the scent is really complex, kind of earthy and sweet, so I’m a fan. At least the vial is made of glass, lol.

I have to admit, these products really grew on me as I started looking into them more while writing this post. Initially when I opened my box, I figured since I was probably one of the last September subscriptions they sent out, they only had crappy products left on-hand, lol. The overall un-boxing experience, though, compared to Ipsy, is a tad classier in my opinion. No bubble wrap used to protect any of the products…just boxes and tissue paper.

024 - Birchbox Sept 02 - ResizedI know I’m super late in asking this, but what did you guys who subscribe to BB think of September’s box? I know a lot of people opted for the non-surprise, Customer Favorites box, so I’d love to hear if you decided to go for a surprise 🙂 Stayed tuned for October’s box!

September’s Ipsy Glam Bag

Time to review my September glam bag from Ipsy! I feel like it arrived a bit later than it had in previous months, and of course I couldn’t keep myself from reading what other people had received. I must admit, I wasn’t very excited about this month, so going into it I was just hoping not everything was a complete dud.

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  1. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream: Something that I’ve recently realized about my skincare sample collection…I have way too many cleansers and not enough moisturizers, for both my face and body. So imagine how happy I was to receive this! It’s a 1 oz sample, and the 2 oz retails at Sephora for $12.
  2. Acure Brightening Facial Scrub: Love the idea of combining brightening effects in a scrub, and it’s even better that it’s sulfate and paraben free, among a lot of other “frees”. After using this a couple evenings ago, I think it’s wonderfully gentle and the smell is somewhere along the lines of minty and herbal-y. The full-size for this product retails for $9.99 so it’s highly affordable and I would definitely consider repurchasing.
  3. Trestique Mini Matte Lip Crayon in Nantucket Nude: I’m pretty sure when I filled out my Ipsy profile, I selected that I was least interested in lip products. But… in the last 3 months I’ve received at least 1 lip product in each bag. The packaging of this is pretty cute, but the shade just isn’t for me. Also, I noticed the product had a strange smell after I applied it to my lips. So… not a win.
  4. Pixi Mini Brow Trio: An item that I was seriously hoping I wouldn’t receive was this one. I simply have zero use for it, so…next step is to pawn it off on one of my friends.
  5. NYX & Ipsy Eyeshadow Palette: I didn’t want to end this post on an item that was a complete dud, and this one falls somewhere in the middle. It’s probably bad karma to complain about receiving brands like NYX since they’re what I’ve expected to receive from Ipsy, but they’ve spoiled me way too much in the last couple of months. On the bright side, I have a ton of eye shadow that I will never get close to hitting pan on, but do I have any that are small and packable like this one? Nope. So, I’m good.

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Overall, I had 3 out of 5 products that I would definitely use, and 2 complete fails. The pouch design this month is great, though! I think the value wasn’t up there like it was in the last couple of months (for example, last month, a full-size eyeliner I received retailed for like $18), but all the products would have been highly usable if they were sent to someone with fair skin tone.

I’m curious to hear if you guys received similar items as me and what you thought of September’s glam bag as a whole. As always, thanks for reading!

August’s Ipsy Glam Bag

It’s been awhile since I last blogged — starting a new job has definitely taken it’s toll. I did want to share what I received in August’s Ipsy, though, before the month was over. I was a huge fan of the items I received in July’s glam bag, and part of me was thinking it must have been a fluke since I was a new subscriber 🙂 I received this bag in the mail a few days ago and finally had some time to try the items. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I’m as, if not more, impressed with August!

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  1. Trust Fund Nail Polish in “Elegantly Wasted”: I get a kick out of this shade’s name, but it’s a great color and is 5-free. I applied it without any base or top coat, and 2 coats of the color stayed on for 3 days before any chipping started to occur. The applicator was also easy to use and I would repurchase more colors in a heartbeat if they weren’t around $16 a piece….
  2. Starlooks Luxe Longwear Eyeliner pen: I’m always looking for a good liquid eyeliner, and this one being full-size certainly doesn’t disappoint. The pigmentation is awesome, and it doesn’t smudge after wearing it for an entire day. The felt tip is also more stiff than, say, Kat Von D’s tattoo liner, and I actually really like that.  Soo happy with this product and I would totally repurchase, although it retails for $18 so it isn’t exactly on the cheap side.
  3. OZ Naturals Amino Herbal Hydration Mask: I haven’t had a chance to try this mask yet but I look forward to using it when Fall comes and the air becomes more dry.
  4. Hikari Lip gloss in Merlot: Another full-size item! I don’t use a ton of lip products, but I was surprised at how much I liked this formula. It’s quite moisturizing and the color is really suitable for medium skin tones. I’m too chicken to wear this to work during the day, but I would definitely wear it on an evening out.
  5. Batiste Dry Shampoo: Haven’t had a chance to try this yet, but I can definitely use some of this for the next time I travel.

Taking just my last 2 boxes into consideration, I love the variety of products that I’ve gotten, and that I didn’t receive any face makeup this month. The value of this box is also well over $50 and these are all items I would use, so I couldn’t be happier.

I’d love to hear what you guys received this month and what your favorite items are 🙂

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