August 2017 ipsy Glambag Review

After a very long hiatus, I’m back!

I needed to figure out how I wanted to do this blog. However, it’s still not much of an excuse to be gone for months if this is something I want to commit to. I will try to do better.

But now I want to talk about makeup. I LOVED the theme this month on ipsy. I love the free-spirited, hippie vibes, and I love my bag design. It’s the perfect theme to close out summer with. And as for the products, it was unfortunately very hit or miss. August has been that way for me historically with ipsy. Last August was the first time I didn’t like or love most of the products I received. August 2015 was better, but probably one of my least favorite glambags of that year.

But I want to start off on a good note. ipsy has introduced a lot of good brands to me that have quickly become favorites. SLMissGlam brushes are not only high quality, but they’re gorgeous! They’re so feminine and charming, and I love the different colors. The little green crystals against the pink ferule add a glam touch. I also love that they use synthetic and cruelty-free hairs. This brush is their T35 Precise Blending Brush. I love using this to blend shadow at the out corners of my eyes, or if I don’t want to blow out the shadow on my crease too much. I haven’t tried washing it yet but so far, I’ve had no problems with shedding. I do have another blending brush of theirs that I’ve had no issues with shedding, and I’ve washed it many times. I can’t find this brush for sale individually, but it is part of the Teal Brush Book Set.

Category: Tools

Where to buy:

Value: Unknown but maybe around $10 (Teal Brush Set $325)

Cruelty Free: Yes

Rating: 5 stars

I usually love theBalm. When I first started ipsy I was so thrilled to get these little shadow books in my glambag. Now, I think I’m over them. Unless I’m already thinking about buying the fullsize or the palette it comes in, I don’t really care for individual shadows cluttering what little storage space I have for makeup already. This particular shadow is very pretty however. It’s from theBalm Voyage Vol. 2 palette in the shadw Kuwakaribisha (say that five times fast!) Again, I wasn’t interested in the palette to begin with, so I didn’t really play around with this shadow very much.

It did swatch beautifully however. It’s a pretty white gold shade with little flecks of shimmer. It has the same quality that I expect of the balm. It’s pigmented, not chunky at all. It glided on my skin very smoothly. I think it would make a great highlighter as well. If this was a palette that you were thinking about getting, this shadow convinced me that it’s worth getting.

Category: Makeup

Where to buy: theBalm’s Website

Value: ~$2.63 (theBalm Voyage Vol. 2 Face Palette $39.50)

Cruelty Free: Yes

Rating: 3 stars


Finally I got a mascara. I’m one of those weird people that love getting mascaras in subscription boxes. I throw out mascara every 3-4 months, so I never use up a full-sized tube anyway. If I can never have to buy one again, I’m okay with that. This one is by Make Up For Ever and it’s their Excessive Lash Arresting Volume Mascara. Upon looking at the brush, I didn’t think it would be that volumizing. But oh God, I was so wrong. It builds up very nicely, and doesn’t clump at all like a lot of volumizing mascaras do. It makes my lashes look thick and feathery. I’m so heartbroken that the brand is not cruelty-free, so I won’t be purchasing the fullsize from them. But if Make Up For Ever does become CF one day, this will be one of the first products I’m purchasing from them.

Category: Makeup

Where to buy: and Sephora

Value: $7.35 (fullsize $25)

Cruelty Free: No

Rating: 4 stars

While I was looking at my sneak peak, I had never heard of the brand Vitamasques before. I was getting the Vitamasques Yogurt Mask Duo, one Kiwi, the other Stawberry. Yogurt mask? Sounds like just what the doctor ordered for my temperamental skin. They looked and smelled like real fruit yogurt. But when I applied the strawberry yogurt mask, it felt like I had just applied a tub of Vaseline to my face. It was greasy, felt like it was just sitting on top of my skin and not soaking in, and it even stung a little. Not the soothing, nourished feeling that I expected at all. It turns out one of the top ingredients is mineral oil, and further down the list is dimethicone. These are not ingredients I want in my skincare, especially since my skin is very prone to clogged pores. Plus I want the ingredients of my masks to sink into my skin, no sit in top of a barrier of silicone and petroleum. They’re very affordable, but I’d suggest you’re better off slathering actual yogurt on your face and save the couple bucks (and your pores.)

Category: Skincare

Where to buy: Vitamasques Website

Value: $7.76 for duo

Cruelty Free: No

Rating: 1 star

And last but definitely not least, I was excited to see a Hey Honey product in my bag. This brand is one of the first high end skincare brands I’ve tried, and I instantly fell in love with their Hey Honey Good Morning serum. This is their Come Clean: Propolis and Minerals Facial Scrub. It comes out of the tube very thick, and it’s a bit tough to dispense at first. But as you work it into your face, the scrub breaks down into almost a lotion like lather that leaves you feeling moisturized and soft. It’s not harsh on the skin at all. Peeps with dry or sensitive skin? You’ll love this. I’m going to save this for winter when my skin is drier, because right now I want something detoxifying and more textured. Nonetheless, propolis is great for acne.

Category: Skincare

Where to buy:

Value: $5.14 (full size $24)

Cruelty Free: Yes

Rating: 4 stars

August just isn’t a good ipsy month for me, and the tradition continues two years later. However, I love the actual bag design itself, and I’ll probably at least be getting some use out of the products.

Overall Rating: 3 stars

Overall value: $32.88

Favorite Product: SLMissGlam brush

If ipsy seems like something you’d be interested in, check them out here. At $10 per month, it’s a great way to build your makeup collection, discover new brands, and test products before buying (they offer exclusive discounts and specials, too!)

How was your August glambag? Everything you hoped for, or not so much?


March 2017 ipsy glambag review


First off, I apologize for not posting last week. I’m really trying to stay on a schedule, but there’s been a whole lot of stress and chaos that I was dealing with that I couldn’t think of anything to write. Not to mention I’m currently trying to think of posts I could do that aren’t reviews. I love reading and watching about makeup reviews, but I want to switch it up once in a while. Maybe a tutorial?

But as always, ipsy lightens up my day just a teeny bit. I was so excited for the bag this month because I absolutely love the springtime-in-France theme, the bag, and the products. And it even looked like they all had a color theme too, aside from the lotion.

We’ll start with my favorite, which is the tarte Cosmetics tarteist quick dry matte lip paint in the shade Delish.

I’m relatively inexperienced when it comes to the world of liquid lipsticks, especially matte ones because in the past I’ve never been a huge fan of matte. But this one is by far my favorite. It’s not uncomfortable to wear for a liquid lipsticks. Other liquid lippies I’ve tried in the past make my lips feel very dry and almost chapped when I wear them. I always assumed that it was a sacrifice you had to make if you wanted something that will last all day without transferring. Not so! This lippie is transfer proof, even needing minimal touchup after eating and drinking. I wore it through a full work day and the color didn’t go anyway. When I swatched it I had a hard time removing the swatch from the back of my hand, so be sure you have a good makeup remover! Preferable one designed to remove stubborn lipstick. This also didn’t flake and bead up which some liquid lipsticks do throughout the wear. 10/10 would buy again! In fact, I do plan on buying a different shade or two soon!

Next we have the Luxe Pro Blending Brush by Skone Cosmetics.

I have to admit, Skone has sometimes been a hit or miss with me in the pass. This brush is a hit! It’s super fluffy but not dense, so it’s a fantastic brush to blow out color on your crease and gently blending colors. It’s a bit too fluffy to add much color, however. But it still serves it’s purpose. The bristles feel very high quality, and so far shedding hasn’t been an issue. And I absolutely love the rose gold detailing. I hope ipsy features more brushes from Skone in the future, because so far, I’m impressed.

Another 5-starer for me is this Photo Chic Dark Spot Corrector by City Color Cosmetics. City Color Cosmetics has a great track record for me, and they’re stuff is super affordable. Besides the website, you can find them at Five Below stores, too.

Even though I do use concealers, I prefer not to. I prefer just using color correctors and then layering my foundation over them. I find it easier than hunting for a perfect concealer color. I even like this one more than my tarte color correcting palette. I just use my finger, dab a little under my eyes, and it covers the purples and greens like a charm. It blends so easily that way, too. And even layered under foundation, it creases a lot less than other color correcors and concealers I’ve tried. I ALWAYS have that problem due to one, just one, very annoying and prominent eye wrinkle I have under each eye. Go figure.

There was one thing that didn’t work out that well for me, and I’m super disappointed because I thought this was such a pretty color. This is the Peach Blush by OFRA Cosmetics.

This wasn’t as pigmented as I was hoping. Instead of showing up as a peachy blush with a gold sheen, it just kind of shows up as a peachy gold sheen. As I have a lot of texture on my cheeks, I don’t like drawing attention to that, which this definitely did. I might use it as a peachy highlighter or eyeshadow, which ipsy’s website claims you can do, but I honestly don’t see myself reaching for this over my other eyeshadows or highlighters.

And last but not least, the Ultra Repair Face Moisturizer from First Aid Beauty.

I’ve only tried their serum before and I loved it. This moisturizer I love, too. It’s not rich or greasy, and it absorbs very fast yet moisturizes adequately. There’s no scent. I know some people don’t like that. I prefer it. I don’t mind scented face products, but some go over the top. I remember trying one that I swear could double as a perfume. Added fragrance just seems so unnecessary.

All in all, it was a pretty good bag this month! What did you get in your glambags?




Beauty Heartache – Products That Were Disappointing 

I find myself in the rather startling situation of having trouble finding topics to write about here. 

I figured I’d try this since I see it YouTube every once in a while. I understand this can be a sensitive topic for some people. I want to say, right now, that a lot of these products have high ratings and they’re brands I love. They’re not bad products, and if they work for you, keep using them! Unfortunately they simply did not work for me, whether it wasn’t compatible with my skin type, tone, etc… My hope is that it helps some people get an idea of what might and might not work for them. 

Now let’s get started.

This mascara was the most meh mascara I’ve ever tried. It pretty much just seemed to paint my lashes black, which is pretty pointless if your lashes are already black. No volumizing, no lengthening, and it could not hold a curl even with a tool.

Now this one…did male my makeup last longer, so I guess it hit the main point of even putting primer on your face. It didn’t color correct the redness in my skin though, which is the whole point of the green tint. And it was oily as hell.

This was unfortunately my first try at Bare Minerals foundation. I guess what I’ve learned from all this is that I should stay away from any foundation with the word “serum” in it, because I just can’t get them to not look pasty on my face no matter how much I blend. This one, interestingly enough, clung to and emphasized dry patches, even though it claims to be very hydrating. 

Same with the concealer that came with it. It makes me look 90 when I wear it under my eyes, as it brings put crepiness that I don’t even have. On zits? Forget it. It emphasizes mine even more. It’s a shame, because I really loved the blush, eyeshadow, finishing powder, and liquid lipstick it came with. The foundation and concealer, most of the reason I bought the set, were duds.

Now this one is my fault. It’s meant to address redness, but not redness from acne scaring like me. It’s a good, gentle, and moisturizing serum, but other than that it did nothing for any of my skin concerns.

And there you have it. Disagree with anything? Again, I’m not saying these are inherently bad products. They just didn’t work for me. Such is the beauty of trying new things.

Get the Most Out of Your Free Samples

It’s always a nice surprise when you order that thing you ordered, especially if it’s a beauty thing, and in the box are little sample packets. As someone who loves trying out new things, these are always welcomed.

Like these from a beauty bag I got at Ulta. During the holidays if you spent at least a certain amount, you got a TON of these little samples. They hold these promos throughout the year.

Pretty much any company that sells makeup, skincare, and even haircare, will throw in one or two with your order anyway. But if you’re anything like me, it’s rare that I try something once and say, “I have to have it. I need it in my life.” I think I can name 2 products off the top of my head that happened with.

So if you get those little foil or bubble packets and find that you have some left over, there’s a way to savor the moment and make it last and last.

Behold! Little plastic cosmetic jars. I got these off of the Whish app for just a few bucks. They also sell them on I recently saw a box of 100 for $10. You can also wash out your empties if they come in something you can easily refill.

For example, here I have a sample card of Tarte’s Shape Tape. I’ve been wanting to try this stuff FOREVER. 

Take something that you can use to scrape as much of the product out as you can. An orange stick, a popsicle stick…get creative. Here I’m using a steel cuticle pusher and it worked wonderfully! 

And product in foil packets that won’t fit in jars…

These squeeze bottles are likely available at your local Target, Wal-Mart, etc. in the beauty aisle, around where you find travel-sized versions of necessities. You can also buy them on Amazon (what can’t you buy on Amazon?)

And while you’re there, if you find you might have trouble filling these tubes, I recommend picking up a plastic needle-less syringe to help transfer the product.

What are your tips for saving beauty samples? Comment below!

January 2017 Ipsy Bag Review

Before we get to the good stuff, I want to welcome you to my first post! Thank you so much for taking time to read it. Even though I know it’s going to be a LOOONNNG journey because I have so much to learn, I’m looking forward to the experience.

As I’m learning how to write a beauty blog, I’m learning photography, too. Photography isn’t brand new to me. I’ve dabbled for years. But I finally decided to get serious about it as part of a New Year’s resolution. I ended up purchasing my first DSLR camera. I only wish I did it sooner! I’m already in love with it!

With that, I learned how awful the lighting in my apartment is. My bedroom provides the most space to lay everything out and provides the most natural light, but it’s a very gloomy and rainy day outside. To compensate, I have a table lamp and a floor lamp.

The table lamp is in the most convenient place to stage the products. However, the light bulb gives off this gross, yellow tone. It’s cozy for a bedroom and easier on the eyes, but terrible for photography. The floor lamp on the other side of the room has bright, almost sun-like light, but no place to set up.

I need to do better planning and not photograph on gloomy days. For now, I apologize.

So let’s get to business!

First off, the theme is Metropolis, and the bag design was inspired by city skyscrapers.

I personally think that it reminds me more of the athleisure trend we’re seeing in fashion. It’s like the mesh on a running shoe. I’m not complaining though!

What matters to me most is the stuff inside.

Blush is an essential to me. I’ve tried ModelCo products in past bags and I’ve always liked them. The shade Peach Bellini is the peachy, shimmery color below. Check out that pigment. AND dat sheen.

The streak next to it is this guy from Manna Kamar.

It’s in the pinkier side of bronze.The shade is called Fantasy, and it’s the only color of this particular product. At first glance it looks pretty ordinary, but it does a beautiful job of adding some sparkle to an everyday, neutral eye look. This morning I took a fawn colored shadow stick, smudged it all over my lids, and dusted this on my inner corners and the middle of my eyelid. The results were beautiful! It claims to be a 3-in-1 product that you can use as an eyeshadow, a highlight, and a bronzer.

On to the Camera Ready BB Cream. Because there’s nothing like a good BB Cream on lazy or rushed days, and Smashbox hasn’t failed me yet.

I got the shade light/medium. It looks too dark because my arms are so pale right now, but it actually sheers out very nicely on my face.

Blended out, it gives your skin a natural and lovely no-makeup makeup base. Plus, SPF 35!

These last two products I was so excited about. I’m addicted to both.

Ipsy finally sent me a nail polish! The last time I recieved a polish was December 2015. About time!

Pretty Woman Nail Polish in the shade I’m Not A Ballerina is a loverly baby pink, perfect for spring color. And baby, it lasts and lasts.

That’s after 8 days. A teeny bit of peeling at the edge on my index finger and thumb, but otherwise it looked almost as good as the day I put it on. Opacity in two coats, and not streaky at all like a lot of light colored polishes. And it’s so, so shiny.

Next is one of two masks.

My camera did not want to focus right on this product. But that’s okay, because this product is awesome! Sheet masks are awesome! Especially when they work as well as this one for only $1.50! 10 minutes is all you need with this Sally’s Box Loverecipe Mask. Ipsy gave subscribers two kinds to try: Acai Berry and Aloe Vera (the Aloe one I used pretty much the minute I opened the glambag.) I must mention that your skin might feel a little sticky for a half hour or so, but you’re left behind with baby-soft skin that feels hydrated from within. Plus the little scenes on the packaging are adorable.

I rarely get a bag I don’t like from ipsy, and this one was no exception! I got two products I yearned for and three that worked out pretty well.

If you want to build up your makeup collection on the cheap or want to explore new brands, you really should check ipsy out. It’s a $10 a month subscription service that sends you 5 deluxe sample-sized or even full-sized products every month. As a subscriber for almost two years, I say money well spent.

If you’re interested, check it out here! More info