Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A New Year - And A New Journey

What?  A new post?  I'm just as shocked as you are.  For months, I've thought "I should relaunch my blog.  I should write something.  I'm on this crazy new journey, and learning so much about myself, and I'm making a lot of changes to make my life better."  So this post is going to be a quick catch-up.  I have so much to post about, so much I've been doing!  And it all started...

Jan 1st.  No, wait.  August 2014.  Hubby was away again, it was my birthday, and I was buying myself things to make me feel better.  Of course, being a voracious deal-hunter, they were all great deals.  An LL Bean monogrammed backpack. A new shirt.  Makeup.  Perfume.  Bath Stuff.  A pair of diamond stud earrings - little ones, I promise!  (They're now my "everyday" earrings, because why not?)

And then everything I ordered came in, and I realized I wasn't any happier.  I hated my Ipsy bag that month, and my closet floor was covered in clothing, accessories, and UNOPENED subscription boxes.  The shelves in my closet were covered in scarves, bags, jewelry.  Nothing was organized.  And yet, I bought more.

So, starting in September, I stopped.  And it was HARD.  The nail polishes at the drugstore called to me when I waited to fill a prescription.  Every makeup website in existence was sending me Sale! Deal! Limited Time Only! emails. And I was just starting to get into indie makeup.  So when I bought makeup, I was supporting small business, and women!  And girl power!  And sparkly things! 

Over the next four months, I failed again and again.  I bought items, then realized I didn't need them, or already had 3 backups (I hear you, makeup removers).  You see, I bought so much I didn't even know what I already had.  

Then I saw a post in a forum I moderated, about starting a "100 Day No-Buy" on January 1st.  My first thought was "That's almost 1/3 of the year! No way I can do that!"  But then I started thinking.  Of course I can do it.  I'm tired of failing.  I'm tired of having so much stuff, and never being able to find things or use them to completion before they go bad.  I started reading the posts, and saw that you could make your own rules.  Some ladies who had birthdays during the no-buys gave themselves a one day exception.  Others wanted to cancel some (but not all) of their subscription boxes.  And best of all, an entire community was created to back each other up, encourage each other, talk each other out of unnecessary purchases.  Yes, I can do this.

So I made a plan.  I had already cancelled Ipsy, now I cancelled Birchbox.  I kept two indie subs (Glamour Doll Eyes' Of The Month and Notoriously Morbid's Vanishing Cabinet) so when I wanted to shop, I could remind myself that I was going to get two sparkly mystery packages per month!  If I ran totally and completely out of anything, I could buy a replacement (so far, only cosmetic wedge sponges and cotton rounds have run out).  That's it.  Oh, and to keep myself busy, I was going to reorganize MY ENTIRE HOUSE.

In December I hopped on Pinterest and started researching.  I found an amazing suggestion to get me started.  And on Jan 1st, I took every single piece of hanging clothing in my closet, and turned them all backwards. Anytime I wear something, I send it through the laundry, and then rehang it, now facing forwards.  Anything still hanging backwards at the end of the year WILL be donated.

That's my first step.  I've taken many since then, but those are stories for another day. (Spoilers:  I'm  creating a capsule wardrobe, and starting Project 333 in the spring!) I hope you'll follow along with me as I downsize.  Simplify. Minimalize.  

Become happier, one baby step at a time.

How is 2015 treating you?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Influenster Kiss Lashes Review

So, I'm a klutz.  It's pretty well known.  So when Influenster sends me out fake lashes, of all things to try, I'm like "Yay, free stuff!"  But I'm also kind of like "I'm gonna poke my eyes out!"

I decided to make this quick and dirty.  I slapped on a bit of makeup, didn't even do my brows (and they desperately need to be done!) and did my best.  I'm going to share some photos, then give my opinion on the pros and cons of these lashes.

The lashes:

No lashes:

One lash on:

Both lashes on:

First of all, the good - these are a much more natural look than the lashes I tried last time.  If I had managed to get them on straight, they would have looked lovely!  Also, the glue WAS IRIDESCENT.  Which brought out my inner three-year-old screaming PRETTY!!!  Haha so that was actually a bit distracting, but I really liked it.

The bad - despite the glue being pretty, I felt like it did not hold the lashes securely.  I had a really hard time placing them and getting them to just STAY PUT.  The corners kept popping up no matter how much I pressed and held them to where they needed to be.  Blah.

So if I had to grade these, I'd give them a solid B.  If I used a different glue, and took a bit more time, I really think these guys could work!

And just cause I don't want to leave you with random shots of my eyes, I did take a smexy selfie for Instagram before I took 'em off:

Hey there.  Hey.
Hoping you guys are having the loveliest of days!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Influenster J'Adore Voxbox 2014

J'Adore Influenster.  And J'Adore the Voxbox they just sent me! In fact, it's called the J'Adore Voxbox, and let me show you all the goodies they sent!

Of course, first I should explain what Influenster is.   They are an awesome company that sends out free stuff (Yay!) for myself and other Influensters to review on my blog and other social media.  They don't want us to lie, they value our honest opinions, and they want us to spread news of our free stuff far and wide!  In fact, if you'd like to be a part of Influenster, post a comment below, and I'll send an invite.  The more active you are on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), the more chances you get to review things.

So let me get started with reviewing!  Here's the box when I opened it, in all its glory:

So many pretties, I don't know where to start!
Look at all that!  A face mask!  Flat-iron spray!  Chocolate! Tea!  Lashes!  And lotion!  Does this not just make you want an at-home spa day?  I just wanted to grab a blanket and a book and curl up with this whole box!  Just in case you can't pick out all the items, I'll go over each one individually.  Starting with...

Kisses!  Mwah!
Oooh, a FAMILY-SIZED bag of Hershey's Kisses!  Which means it's the perfect size for me!  (The rest of the family can find its own chocolate, thankyouverymuch!)  I've been hitting these hard lately... they are the perfect classic "I need some chocolate" treat!  I haven't had them in quite awhile, so it was quite wonderful to receive them!

Lashes!  They're in EVERYTHING lately!
Ha!  It seems like eyelashes are all around us... well, all around ME, anyway.  I've gotten several pairs in sub boxes recently, but I am excited to try Kiss Natural Lashes!  I've successfully managed to wear falsies all of ONE time, and those were the super-dramatic lashes from my December Ipsy bag.  I'm excited to try a more natural look, and I'm hoping I'll look less drag-queen-ish, and more... natural! (ta-dah!)  So look out for an upcoming post/tutorial on how to apply these bad boys.

A clay mask!  More specifically, Boots No 7 Botanicals Shine Away clay mask.  I LOVE a good mask.  I also love mattifying products (hellooooo, shiny forehead!). Combining the two seems like a match made in heaven.  The online reviews I've read seem overwhelmingly positive, so I have high hopes that this will play well with my sensitive skin!

3 days?  I must test this... for SCIENCE!
Confession time, I haven't been flat-ironing my hair lately.  Mainly because it makes my hair super-fried!  So I'm excited to try the Frizz Ease 3-Day Straight Flat Iron Spray!  I really want to see if it will keep my hair looking good for three whole days!  I've had success with the Frizz Ease brand before, this should be good!

Spray lotion! Time to get CRAZY!
Vaseline for Men Spray Lotion - as some of you may have noticed, I'm not a man.  Influenster threw these into boxes where we indicated (in the preliminary quiz) that we 1) had a significant other and 2) were willing to share a moisturizing product.  Because I am wonderfully magnanimous and an amazing wife (heh), I got one in my box.  I previously received a regular Vaseline Spray Lotion in another Voxbox, and I absolutely loved using it on my youngest child.  Totally helped his scaly winter skin (My kiddos turn into lizards during the winter!  Poor things!).  I'm hoping it will also help my hubby, he spends a lot of time outdoors in the winter and his skin could use some TLC!

And last, but NEVER least, TEA!!!!  My anglophile drink of choice!  I've had Red Rose's Creme Caramel before, and absolutely loved it!  I have yet to try the Lemon Chiffon, but I'm sure it's just as delicious!  I do find the tea on its own to be a bit strongly flavored, so I usually make a pot with two regular Red Rose teabags, and one of the Creme Caramel.  The card in the middle is a coupon for $2 off my next box of Creme Caramel (or any other flavor, but my taste buds have already decided for me).

So, huge thanks to Influenster for the beautiful box of items guaranteed to relax, hydrate, and beautify me!  I look forward to doing individual reviews on all the products!  And if you're reading this, I hope you have a lovely day!  Cheers!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ipsy Glambag Review December 2013

So this is a first.  My poor baby Dragon woke up with a bad cough this morning, so he's staying home from preschool today.  Which means I'm writing this post with him laying on my right arm.  Of course, I'm blaming any and all typos on him.  Kidding!  I have to admit, I haven't been keeping very good track of my subs this month, with all of the holiday excitement they just keep slipping my mind!  So I was happily surprised to see my Ipsy bag in my mailbox yesterday!

I did have enough presence of mind to check my GlamRoom when it went live, so I already had some idea of what I was getting.  And I tell you what, when I saw that I was getting ANOTHER pair of fake lashes I about went bonkers.  I was soooo ready to come on here and whine about another freakin' mascara/black eyeliner/red lipstick/pair of lashes... you know, like I do.  But then I made a little discovery...   I went on my profile page on Ipsy.com and started looking through all the looks and items I'd "loved".  Well guess what?  Back when I was a new subscriber, I went through and "loved" a whole bunch of vintage/bombshell looks, and guess what they all had in common?  Red lipstick! Black eyeliner!  False lashes!  MASCARA!!!  Here I've been complaining about getting these items constantly, and I had basically told Ipsy that they were my favorite thing!  So I went back through (no easy feat - the Ipsy website is hard to navigate and slow to load!) and "unloved" all of those looks AND  the products used to make them, and then I searched out the items I wanted - perfumes! nail polish! pastel eyeshadows! Mauve/berry lipsticks!  and showed them some love!

Yes, there was a point to my little rant there.  If you are an Ipsy subscriber, and constantly getting items that you don't want, please go through your profile page, click on the looks you've "loved", and make sure that those looks don't have products tagged that you don't want!  Another thing I did was go through my Glam Rooms for all my past bags.  If there was an item I wanted, but didn't get, I clicked on it and "loved'" it.  I can't wait to see how this affects my future bags!  A lot of people claim that the bags are random, but I think they do use some sort of algorithm.  Now, this is all speculation on my part - I have no inside knowledge (unfortunately!).  But I have found that the looks and products you "love" tend to have a lot more of an effect than the stylist quiz you take when you sign up.

I know, I know, I always make you guys sit through a huge lecture before showing you the bag.  I'm sorry, I'm JUST TRYING TO HELP.  I swear.  Here you are, my impatient darlings!


Ok, first of all, I am going to apologize for these pics.  It was just above freezing, my deck was soaking wet from rain earlier that day, and the sun was at a weird angle.  I did my best.

First of all, the bag this month:

Cute, right?  Quilted black pleather, lined with red satin-y material.  Definitely not my current personal taste (although 22-year-old me would have loved it!), but it's definitely better than last month's gold-and-hot-pink travesty.  I really wish they would do more bags like the May 2013 bag.  That was just gorgeous!

The first item from this month was from Be A Bombshell.  But wait!  Didn't we just get a lip pencil from them last month?  Why yes, we did!  (Sidenote:  I was able to trade for the Shameless (berry) color after receiving Hot Damn (bright red).  It's so awesomely gorgeous!)  The item for this month is something called "The One Stick" ($14), and it's a creamy product that can be used as a lipstick, blush, or eyeshadow.  I was hoping for a good lip color, and I was NOT disappointed!  Flustered is a very pretty, sparkly, reddish berry color that I will definitely use as a lipstick and a blush.  Not so much an eyeshadow.

I know, it's washed out.  Keep scrolling down for swatches!
The next item was going to be either a J. Cat lip pencil ($3.99) or a NYX lipstick ($4).  I haven't had the best luck with J. Cat (glitter palette and zombie-flesh colored lipstick.  Meh.), so I was very happy to see an NYX lipstick - in the color "Goddess", no less!  Haha it's like they KNOW me!  Goddess is a great light neutral color, but I do have to apply it sheerly or it turns a weird brownish shade.  However, if I put it on lightly and blot it down, it's perfect for that "no-makeup" look!  You know that look... when you don't want to put on a whole face of makeup, but you don't want to end up on the "People of Walmart" page?  Yeah, it's perfect for that.

"We guarantee you won't show up on People of Walmart"
 is a great advertising slogan! Right, NYX? RIGHT!?
And since the pics are so washed out, here are some swatches on my arm.  The first pic is in sunlight, the second in shade, and both are just one pass over my arm.

The third item is a Pop Beauty eyeshadow trio ($7.20).  The other item we've received from them, a lip crayon, wasn't my favorite, as it was very sheerly pigmented.  I've heard much better things about the eyeshadow, but the problem is I got the trio in black & white, and I already have SEVERAL black eyeshadows!  I mean, I have more than several brown shadows, but they're all different!  I swear!  Thankfully, I've set up a swap for the neutral trio.  I will try to remember to post pics and swatches when it arrives!

So pretty, but so not what I wanted!
Next, can I say how happy I am that Ipsy finally realized I love indie products!  They sent out a mini polish by Starrily this month called Bzzz Bzzz ($5).  I adore indie polishes and I was so glad to try one... til I saw the color!  I actually have a polish almost exactly like it!  HOWEVER!  You know I will always find a solution.  This polish was pretty high up in wanted items on the trade board this month, and I was able to trade it for an English Laundry perfume sample.  Actually, 2 samples.  The set Ipsy sent included a men's and women's cologne, so I'm even getting something for the hubby in my trade!  Yay!  (Question of the Day - is it pretentious for a couple to wear matching colognes?  i.e. Acqua di Gio and Acqua di Goia? I find it adorable, but I want to hear what you think!)  So here's a pic of the polish, but wave bye-bye, cause it's leaving soon!  Don't worry, it has a travel buddy.  The wonderful lady who is trading her perfume to me is the same wonderful lady trading the Pop Beauty trio!  Yay multi-item trades!

Bye Bye Bzzz Bzzz!
The last item - lashes.  By Andrea. ($5) Le sigh.

And that brings us to the end of this month's bag.  Was I overwhelmed with joy?  Nah.  That hasn't happened since August.  I am more hopeful now that I discovered my epic bombshell mistake and have hopefully fixed my preferences on the Ipsy site!  My bag was worth $35.20 this month, which is actually one of the lower-valued bags I've received! I do still think this is an awesome investment for my $10/month (plus a few bucks for shipping my trades), and if you agree, feel free to use my Ipsy link to sign up!  I'm getting closer to 1000 points, and I can only hope that they have some Beauty Blenders left once I get there for my points prize!

I hope you're having a fabulous day!  FYI, Dragon has finally gotten off my arm.  He's watching a Lego Batman movie right now and it's taking all of his concentration.  Normally, I restrict Knight and Dragon's TV time, but I'm a firm believer that when you're sick, you should be spoiled.  Even if Lego Batman drives Mommy nuts and she has to go write a blog post to distract herself.

Ah yes, the disclaimer.  I do have affiliate links - just the hyperlinks with the word "Ipsy".  All company product pages are simply links to the pages, with no benefits to myself.  Darn it.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ipsy Glam Bag November 2013

Oh my goodness!  I'm writing a blog post!  It's a miracle!

If you are reading this, thanks for sticking with me!  It's been a rough ride lately.  In fact, if you remember, a few months ago I posted something about how I hoped Lady (Bad) Luck was done with me.  Well, she wasn't.  But it didn't kill me, and according to the old saying, I should be stronger now, right?

Bu I'm not here to whine!  I'm here to review my Ipsy bag!  This month was an interesting one.  It's the anniversary of my first Ipsy bag (Nov 2012), and I'm afraid my expectations of awesomeness got in the way.   It was definitely a decent month, but once again, all the variations just made me jealous of other bags!  Ipsy, when will you learn!?

Here's what I got this month:

Why yes, that IS my blurry finger in the upper right-hand corner.

Nice, right?  6 items this month!  Almost everything full-sized!  And while calculations are still swirling around, this particular variation was worth over $80!  So, go Ipsy on that part.  But there were a few ways that this bag could have been even better.  So let me start with the item that made me want to throw my computer across the room when I saw it pop up in my Glam Room.

Le sigh

Mascara?  Really, Ipsy?  I love that you sent out a full size em Cosmetics product in every Glam Bag this month.  But there were other cosmetic items they sent in this em category:  Lipsticks! Lip balm! Eyeliner!  And I get another freakin' black, non-waterproof, *insert temper tantrum here* gosh-darn MASCARA!!!  I am DROWNING in mascara, if anyone knows of a way to do my Ipsy profile so I don't get any more mascara, please let me know!

OK.  Over the mascara.  SOMEONE'S getting it for Christmas.  Moving on.


Nailtini!  Now this I remember from my first Ipsy bag!  We all got a super-glittery color called Millionaire.  It may or may not have started me on an obsession with buying more nail polish that has resulted in two boxes overflowing with nail polish, tools, a stamping kit, nail stickers, some press-ons... etc.  This shade is called "Caviar Cocktail" and is a beautiful medium silver.  It coordinates nicely with the light silver shade I recently purchased (NYC's TriBeCa Silver), and the dark silver shade I got in my Birchbox (Color Club's Dark N' Stormy).  50 Shades of Grey manicure, anyone? The other color sent was a light gold color (called Champagne, I think) and I'm glad I got the silver, as I have several gold polishes!

Just look at that pretty manicure!

Bronzer may be an odd choice for November, but this is one of my favorite items in the bag!  I got the lighter shade of Pixi Bronzer in Subtly Suntouched, and it is a beautiful light peachy gold color.  I'm totally using it as my blush this week!  I also love that Pixi FINALLY sent out a color cosmetic item.  The last few items they've sent, primer and mascara (OF COURSE) were not to my taste, but I can see using every last bit of this beauty!

Mud.  They sent me mud.  

Expensive mud, though!  This was the other variation item.  I'm a little cranky they sent me MUD instead of eyeshadow, but the other options were hairspray, false eyelashes, or argan oil.   And thankfully, the expensive mud trades well!  This little dude is about to go be very happy in its new home.  Oh, and since apparently I've forgotten to tell you what it is, it's GlamGlow YouthMud mask.  0.5 oz, which will probably be good for several applications.  Just not on my face.

Oooh, naughty name!

Be A Bombshell items have also shown up before.  I got a lipgloss (called "Hot Mess") last December, and a blush ("Sweet Cheeks") in April.  The gloss wasn't my favorite, but I did love the blush.  And I was prepared to love this lip pencil, until I got the color variation I DIDN'T want.  Hot Damn is a bright red, and I can't even count the number of red lipsticks I've gotten from various subs.  If I had gotten Shameless (a really pretty berry color) I would have used it, but I'm thinking this will make someone else - someone who doesn't have an extensive red lipstick collection - very happy.

I thought about putting it on my husband while he was sleeping, but then I read in someone else's review that it was really hard to get off.  Maybe I'll use a really bright lipgloss on him.  Haha!  Just kidding, honey!*

Have you tried to take a picture of an eyeliner lately?
It is HARD.
And last, but definitely not least, a Gem Eye Pencil from Starlooks!  I think you all might remember my cranky snark-fest about getting a plain black eyeliner from them a few months ago.  This, however, is completely different!  Several months ago, I got my first Gem Eyeliner in Fancy (a light silvery-green), and it is gorgeous, and creamy, and the perfect inner-eye highlighter.  I wanted more.  But they're $14 each, and I'm super-cheap, so I've just drooled over them til now.  But I got Amethyst (light sparkly purple), which I totally wanted, instead of Topaz (light silvery-blue).

And since I cancelled my Starlooks sub a few months ago due to makeup overload, Ipsy is now my sole source of Starlooks makeup.  So please, send more Gem Eye Pencils, Ipsy!  I want moooooore!

So, on the whole, not a bad month.  Had I gotten a lipstick from em, and one of the BH eyeshadows (other variations), I would have probably been over the moon.  But I am happy!  The mascara and lip pencil will make great presents, the GlamGlow is scoring me some awesome trade items, and I LOVE the nail polish and eyeliner.

Oh yeah, I forgot to talk about the bag itself.  Gold faux snakeskin with a hot pink zipper.  I think it will make my 7-year-old niece VERY happy!

I am starting to wonder if I'm over the Ipsy bag.  I'm not planning on cancelling anytime soon, but I'm definitely going to try to tweak my profile.  I know, it's a lost cause.  But I'm going to try anyway!  And just in case my incredibly positive review (heh) has swayed you, please feel free to use my Ipsy referral link to sign up!

What was in your Ipsy bag this month?  Did you love it? Hate it?  Ready to cancel or lifelong subscriber? 

Love you all!  Stay beautiful!

There are referral links in my post, they are the ones with the word "Ipsy".  Any other links go directly to the individual company's website, and are not referrals.  

*hopefully my husband doesn't read this post.  If he locks up all my makeup tonight before bed... then I'll know he did!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Autumn Tag!

Hi, awesome people!  I was tagged for the Autumn Tag by the absolutely wonderful Jamie of Only Average Mom.  Jamie has a great blog, and she does both mommy and beauty blogging, like me!  I love her!  Please check out her blog when you get the chance, but don't blame me if you lose a few hours reading!

This is the FIRST seasonal tag that I've been tagged in, and I'm not quite sure what I'm doing.  But it looks fairly easy, so here we go! I'm starting to really love Autumn.  My favorite season growing up was summer (no school, AND my birthday is in the summer.  No brainer for a kid!).  Now that I'm all grown up (so they tell me), Autumn is becoming my favorite!  Cooler weather, pumpkin EVERYTHING, the kids are back in school, so I have a bit of free time... YAY!

Favorite Thing About Autumn
The cooler weather.  We moved south a few years ago, and I thought it would be awesome (I hate winter with a strong passion, and knew that winters would be milder here).  But I did not realize how much hotter summer is!  Autumn is an amazing break from the heat - I love being able to stand outside without sizzling!

Favorite Drink
Pumpkin Spice Chai.  Our local coffee shop just started making it, and with a dollop of whipped cream, it tastes like I'm drinking pumpkin pie!

Favorite Scent/Candle
I just put Pumpkin Pie into my Scentsy warmer!  My house smells AMAZING!  Really, I like all the fall scents.  Pumpkin pie, Apple Cider, and I'm going to be adding warm vanilla scents soon (cookies, brown sugar) in anticipation of Christmas!

Best Lipstick
Ooh, the switch to Fall lippies!  Goodbye, coral and pink!  Helloooo, rust and berries!  My favie new lipstick for fall is Urban Decay's Revolution lipstick in Manic.  It's a beautiful deep berry, and it goes with everything!

Photo Credit:  Urban Decay

Go-to Moisturizer
Making that switch from light Summer to a deep, rich Autumn moisturizer!  I got the Suki moisturizer in my first Bondi box, and it has been FABULOUS over the past week!  As we get deeper into Winter, I'll start using Argan Oil at night, but for now, the Suki is my fave!

Favorite Go-to Color for the Eyes
Ah, the beauty of Fall colors.  I'm busting out the browns, golds, olive greens, and rusts.  I got a deep reddish-brown quad in my September Birchbox, and I'm excited to experiment!  I've never worn red eyeshadow before, but I've heard it can do great things for my hazel eyes.  We shall see.

Favorite Music to Listen To
Well... there isn't really "Autumn Music", but I recently found the Coffee House station on satellite radio that is rockin' my socks right now.  It's acoustic covers by the original artists of their hits.  I heard Imagine Dragon's "Radioactive" the other day, and honestly, I kind of like the acoustic version better!  It's more raw and real, and... I sound like a total hipster.  If it helps, I also have been listening to the Pitch Perfect (the movie) channel on Pandora!

Favorite Outfit to Wear
Skinny dark blue jeans, orangey-rust lace-trimmed tank, long loose olive-green cardigan, and dark brown riding boots.  LOVE IT.  Do you remember when ladies used to use seasons to describe their complexions?  I'm totally an "Autumn".

Autumn Treat 
PUMPKIN EVERYTHING!  I've already made Pumpkin Bread and Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins.  My next treat on the list is Pumpkin Cookies.  I'm going to stick two cookies together with Cream Cheese icing for a super-amazing pumpkin experience!

Favorite Place to Be
On the couch, with hot tea and pumpkin cookies, watching Hocus Pocus with my boys!  They're old enough to "get" the movie this year, and I can't wait to watch it!

Photo Credit:  IMDB

And that's it for the Autumn Tag! Now, I'd like to tag the following lovely ladies:

Alison at Mischief Managed Makeup

Jennifer at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom

Cookie at The Charming Cheshire

Erin at Adorable Napalm

Want to play along, but you didn't get tagged?  Link your blog post for Autumn Tag in the comments below and I'll add it to this post!

And tell me- do you enjoy Autumn?  What's your favorite Fall thing?

I hope you're having a lovely day!

Disclaimer: The links in this post go directly to the blogs of some really fantastic ladies.  Their blogs may be addictive.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ipsy Glam Bag September 2013 Review

Yay September Ipsy Bag!  Actually... none of the previews thrilled me.  I was just seeing sooooo many things that had been in my bags before.  I was super-excited for one whole minute when I saw that they had Butter London polishes in some bags.  But then they updated our Glam Rooms and... none for me.  Sad panda.

However, it does seem that I've convinced Ipsy of my completely insane level of makeup obsession, because I got 5 makeup items this month!  Thank goodness I dodged the bullet of the poor people who got shampoo and conditioner (and if you got that bag, I am truly sorry!).

Then I got my bag, and was seriously underwhelmed.  To be fair, I just don't think anything could have stood up to the awesomeness that was my August bag.  But my Sept bag was definitely lacking in awesomeness.

Here's the first view:

Ok, so we have the bag o'stuff, the Classic Beauty theme insert card, and... hey, what is this giant card?  Oh, that's right, Ipsy founder Michelle Phan is promoting her new beauty line, em cosmetics!  And we got... GIANT CARDS.  With, unfortunately, teeny-tiny samples.

Practically microscopic!

OK, adorable idea and all, and awesome that we got to see the whole Life Palette in action, but seriously?  Micro-thin samples of 3 eyeshadows and a blush, sealed in with plastic... hmmm.  Not really my idea on how to get a good try of a product.  Especially because directly above the samples, there's a tiny line of text that says "Sample for evaluation of texture and aesthetic properties only." Whaaaat?  So it's a sample that I can't even try out?  Way to make this month even less exciting.

Sorry, totally not trying to ruin this month with my complete lack of enthusiasm.  Let's check out the products, shall we?

First we have...

It's So Big Volumizing Mascara by Elizabeth Mott (0.14 fl oz, $7.99)

I have a sense of deja vu here... hmmm... Oh wait!  It's because I got a mascara LAST month, too!  From Pixi Beauty!  I have a total mascara hoard now.  Especially because I recently hosted an Ipsy + Benefit LashBash (now THAT was pure awesomeness!) and got a full size of Benefit's They're Real Mascara, which is my Holy Grail of mascaras.  I have found The One mascara I'm meant to be with forever, and of course now I'm doomed to get "other" mascaras forever!  The one good thing is they make great little stocking stuffers for all my lady friends and family!  I'm going to be a mascara-slinging Oprah!  "You get a mascara... and YOU get a mascara!  EVERYBODY GETS A MASCARA!"

Obviously, I haven't opened the mascara and tried it.  I've read several online reviews, and it's mostly a resounding "meh".  It's OK, great for everyday looks, but not much volume.  Ergo, it will go to one of my friends who likes a more "natural" look.

The second item was...

Starlooks Kohl Liner in Obsidian (full-size, $12)

Oh, wow!  A black eyeliner!  I've never gotten one of those in a subscription box before!

Haha... no... wait.... I get them ALL the time!  Black eyeliners, like mascara, are one of those items that works for pretty much anyone, so they get thrown into subscriptions all the time.  And I do love the Starlooks brand of makeup.  I had their makeup subscription box until recently (when I woke up and realized I had waaaaay too much stuff!).  However, I have an Urban Decay Liner in Zero from my Dec 2012 Ipsy bag that won't be running out anytime soon!  Therefore, I'm adding it to my giveaway pile.  The reviews on this liner are pretty great - the color is rich, the formula is creamy, and it blends really well!  This is absolutely going to someone who favors a dramatic, glamorous look!

Ok, Item 3!

NYX Single Eyeshadow in Purple (full-size, 2.4 g, $4.50)
NYX is one of those great brands that has both 1) amazing products and 2) affordable prices.  And you KNOW how I love those affordable prices!  They're also often on sale at Ulta for Buy 1, Get 1 50% off!  My favorite NYX item is their Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk.  It's a matte white color, and when you apply it all over your lids before doing your eyeshadow, it makes bright colors pop beautifully!  It's also a great primer.  However, I wasn't fond of this shadow.  I have too many purples already, and I tend to use a purple this bright only once or twice a year as an accent shade.  I could never use this much bright purple shadow!  I had decided to just add it to my giveaway pile (which is growing exponentially this month!), when I saw a thread about the shadows on MakeupTalk.  NYX offered to trade out colors if we didn't like what we got!  I contacted them, and they're sending a deep matte brown shade instead!  I'm so thrilled, I will use a shade like that almost every day, and when I asked them about mailing the purple one back, they told me to keep it!  (Ergo, another fun-loving friend will be unwrapping this baby at Christmas!)

Amazing customer service, great prices, and beautiful products!  Yay NYX!

Onward and upward... Item 4!

Cailyn Cosmetics Tinted Lip Balm in Big Apple (full size, 3.0 g, $19)

I've received a Cailyn product once before, their Gel Eyeliner in Purple from my June bag.  I was so not comfortable with gel eyeliners at the time, so I traded it away.  However, I love me a bright lippie, so I was all over this one!

Bottom of the Cailyn Balm
I broke it down to show you the color and how it worked!

First of all, the design is genius!  There's a lip brush hidden in the lid, so you can apply this and keep it in your purse without worrying about staining your bag!

However...  calling this a lip balm is laughable.  The formula is dry and staining, not sheer and moisturizing.  Personally, I think it should be called a lip stain.  I tried it once, the color is amazing, a true classic red, and it does stay on for hours!  But don't expect to have happy lips!  The best way to wear this is to apply it, let it dry, and then use a REAL balm over it to keep your lips moisturized.

And the last item this month...

J.Cat Lipstick in Honeycrisp (full-size, 3.0 g, $2.49)

I want to like J. Cat, I really do.  Their items are affordable, and I really do need to just break down and buy a few things from them, but they seriously make the WORST choices on what to put in the Ipsy bags.  J.Cat also put an item in the June Ipsy bag.  A glitter palette.  It was laughed at and booed by almost everyone who got it.  I personally was OK with mine because I was able to use it as part of my face makeup when I cheered on my son's Little League team this summer, but mostly people were just... cranky.  I had high hopes for this lipstick until I saw a swatch.  It's a really pretty nude color... that matches my skin almost exactly!  It will be perfect for Halloween, if I decide to go as a Corpse Bride!

Zombieeeee Lipstiiiiick... eerrraarrerrgh.
However, the formula feels great on my lips and is very moisturizing!  (See, Cailyn?  A LIPSTICK is more moisturizing than your Lip BALM!)  I'm going to play around with layering the J.Cat over or under the Cailyn and see if I can't find a happy compromise.

So, that was my bag this month.  Value-wise, I got a great deal.  Four out of the five items were full size, and my bag was worth $45.98!  But personally, it wasn't worth that much.  3 out of the 5 items went into my giveaway stash, one makes me look dead, and the other is too bright for everyday wear.  Thankfully, I do like the bag!


Hopefully the October spoilers will start showing up in a few days.  I'm nowhere close to cancelling Ipsy, I know that I'm taking a gamble each month on getting it, and this month wasn't a winner for me.  However, hope springs eternal, and I'm definitely hoping for some awesome stuff in October! And of course, I'm still using all of the awesomeness from my August bag!

What did you get in your September bag?  Interested in signing up for Ipsy?  They do have a waitlist right now, and clicking my link won't help you jump the line.  But it does earn points for me to get cool stuff from Ipsy through their referral program!  (I will always be honest and disclose the benefits I receive from referral links!)

I hope you're having a wonderful day!