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 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!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts

Woo-hoo!  It's Thursday!  Which means it's almost Friday!  And, of course, also time for Thursday Thoughts, linking up with Jennifer at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom!  What's on my mind this week?  Read on...

-It's the third week of school here, and the boys are settling in very well.  I'm so happy with how quickly Knight is learning - he has his first spelling test tomorrow!  I've been helping him study this week, and we've been practicing taking a test.  Hopefully I still remember how a spelling test works!  Dragon is talking so much more now, and his teachers are loving his new communication skills!  I've gotten a few full sentences out of him lately, and he's even starting to count and learn some letters.  I'm a proud Mama!

-I'm on a beauty low-buy for the month of September.  Which means I'm not allowed to go shopping at Ulta, Sephora, or go wandering down the beauty aisles when I go grocery shopping!  I had very little makeup when I started my beauty subscriptions last November, and I am now DROWNING IN IT.  I blame the wonderful ladies at MakeupTalk for all of the amazing deals they post that I just can't pass up!  I've decided that I do get enough makeup from the subs I have, and until the holiday deals start coming out, I am not allowed to buy any more!  I know I'm getting makeup from Ipsy this month, Birchbox sends it occasionally, and Bondi (my new nail polish sub) is helping me fill out my (currently) small collection!

-Guess who's been chosen to host a Lash Bash?  ME!  Yay me!  Ipsy and Benefit are teaming up to send out party kits to 1,000 lucky ladies, who will host a party and hand out goodies to 9 guests!  So far, it's been confirmed that we're handing out deluxe sample sizes of Benetint, SugarBomb Lipgloss, and They're Real Mascara (MY MOST FAVORITE MASCARA EVAR!!!) to our guests.  I will also be happily rolling around in some hostess goodies (which will definitely help me with my low-buy!  Anytime I pick up makeup in a store, I STERNLY tell myself I'm getting free stuff soon, and then I can put the item back down!), including:  Hervana Blush, Peek-a-Bright Eyes Eyeshadow Set, Creaseless Cream Shadows in Bikini-tini and Bronze Have More Fun, Gimme Brow Volumizing Brow Gel, and a FULL-SIZE They're Real Mascara!  Several other MakeupTalk ladies are also hosting Lash Bashes, and if you'd like to check out our giddy excitement, feel free to read the conversation here!

Also, here's the shameless selfie I used to apply for the LashBash!
 I think they're sending out the brow gel JUST for me!

That's what's on my mind today!  Well, that and geeking out over the bag spoiler Ipsy just released!  I feel like it's my reward for the housework I've done/will do today.  I've already cleaned the kitchen, done a load of dishes AND one of laundry, and I'm about to start folding yet another basket of clothes!  Oh and SPOILER ALERT:  Here's a pic of the bag!

Pretty, right?  Pic is from Ipsy's FB page.
Looks like a blue bag with some kind of black print. Yay!

  What's on your mind today?  Hope it's sunshine and rainbows!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Ipsy August 2013 Review

Heeeeey, guys!

It's been awhile, right?  I know.  There has been craziness.  Not bad craziness, but back-to-school, starting-my-job-hunt, husband's-work-is-insanely-busy, that kind of thing.  And as much as I love you all, I hope you understand that my family comes first.  However, things have settled down, the kids and I are getting used to the super-early wakeup time, hubby's work is settling down, and I'm in the "apply for everything online, then wait to hear back stage".  Hence, free time!

Oh, you didn't come here to hear about my life?  You want to know about my Ipsy bag this month?  Well... I GUESS I can do that... but first, the drama!  Oh hush, you love the drama.  And, it's Ipsy drama.  I was very thankful to get my bag fairly early, in good shape, and with everything intact.  However, for many others, this was not the case.  Ipsy ships via DHL, and apparently uses the lowest-cost option.  Bags were going to several different shipping hubs, many times WAY out of the way of their destination, before being handed over to the local post office for delivery.  And then, DHL claimed to hand bags over to the USPS... and the Post Offices were saying they never got them!  Bags were then arriving damaged, with missing items, with the seal opened, or not at all.  Ipsy has tried to do damage control, but they're now sending "leftover" items in the July bag! Ipsy subscribers are understandably upset, and there will be a shipping Q&A on Thursday hosted by Ipsy's President.  It will be interesting to hear the explanation.

And just when you think the drama's done... there's more drama!  There was also a huge issue with the bag variations this month.  Most notably, many subscribers got to try the AWESOME new Urban Decay Revolution lipsticks.  Yes, it was a trial size, but still.  The colors are gorgeous, the staying power is insane, and it was a highly coveted item.  So, what happened if you didn't get the lipstick?  You get... a lipbalm!  Now, it's a nice lipbalm by Noya, it's kosher, and apparently they smell amazing.  Still.  There were many, many upset people who received lip balms this month.  All told, the monetary values for the August bag varied from about $25 to over $50.  Yes, it's still a great deal to get $25 worth of stuff for only $10.  But there was much bag envy this month.

I'm telling you about the drama because (well, drama makes the world go round.  And yes, I love a good drama.  But also because) I like to be honest.  I will be RAVING about my bag this month.  I received it quickly, it was a high value bag, and I loved the items I received.  I just wanted you to have the whole picture.  And without further ado - yes, I know, there was a lot of "ado" to get to this point - my August Ipsy Bag!


So many pretties!  And yes, as you can tell, I was one of the lucky people to get the UD lipstick (sample size, 0.03 oz, worth $7.33).  Let me jump right in and tell you about this bad boy.  First of all, the packaging is beautiful:

The advertising tagline for this lipstick is "Creamy, Badass Luxury".  The color names on these lipsticks are also a bit risque, including shades like F-Bomb, Bang, Streak, Turn On, and the one I received, 69.  The other shade sent out in the bags is Anarchy, a super-bright pink.

I would describe 69 as a "hot red".  It's definitely deeper than a pink, but lighter than a classic red.

I took a selfie wearing it about 10 seconds after I opened the bag.  (I was wearing no other makeup, so I took the liberty of airbrushing my skin in my photo-editing software.  I didn't touch my lips, though.)

Well, look at me all soft and glowy!  I could get addicted...
This picture is in natural light, and I really thought it was a deep pink until I saw it swatched against Anarchy and some of the other reds (F-Bomb is really close to this color, but is more of a true red.)  And can I just say when I opened my bag and saw the Urban Decay lippie, I SCREAMED super-loud and scared the crap out of my hubby.  I was happy to get this color, I think it's awesome, and after I put this on (at about noon, when my mail came), it lasted through lunch, running errands, driving 3 hours to the beach (yay long weekend!), and all the way til about 11 PM that night, when I had to SCRUB it off with a makeup remover wipe.  I'm in love.  I've already bought a full-size, more muted shade called Manic.  I'm just a little addicted, I swear.

OK, the lipstick wasn't the only thing in the bag.  Moving on.  The next item I pulled out was a mascara.  I will NEVER HAVE TO BUY MASCARA EVER AGAIN.  I have so many stored up from my subs that I could line them up around the world!  Or at least the length of my bathroom counter!  But if anyone wants to send me more of Benefit's They're Real mascara, feel free.  Sadly, it was not this mascara in my bag.  And from others' reviews, this Pixi Lash Booster Mascara (sample size 0.105 oz, worth $7.14) is nothing special.  Good for everyday wear and all, but it's not rocking anyone's socks, if you know what I mean.

Mascara. Meh. Moving on.
Now we're back up with the excitement factor, because the next item is a mask!  I love beauty masks, and I've recently fallen in love with Origins' Charcoal Mask.  It's awesome for drawing gunk out of my pores, and getting that deep clean feeling.  So when I pulled out the Michael Todd Pumpkin Facial Mask (sample size 1.0 oz, worth $10), I was beyond excited!  I love masks.  I love pumpkin.  I LOVE THIS MASK.

FYI, it smells amazing.
I've already used it once, and it really made my skin glowy and awesome!  I do recommend really moisturizing afterwards, though.  It makes my skin feel pretty tight.

Two more items to go!  These were the variation items.  Other people received a MicaBeauty eyeshadow in Bronze, Nailtini Nail Laquer in Mai Tai, Smashbox Primer, CityColor Cheek Stain, or NYX Blush.  I received Pacifica's BB Cream in Alight (sample size 0.34 oz, worth $5.44), and Chella's Eyebrow Pencil in Dazzling Dark Brown (full size 0.09 grams, worth $18!).  

These were pretty much the exact variations I wanted!  I already have another of this exact BB Cream.  It's too dark for me on its own, but when mixed with my regular BB Cream, it darkens and sheers it to the perfect summer shade.  The only drawback is that it's VERY sparkly, but once again, mixing it with a matte shade tames it to a nice glow.

The Chella Brow Pencil was the one item I really wanted from all the variations.  I don't have any brow pencils, and I've been creating little holes in my eyebrows recently when I pluck them.  Yaaay for being a klutz!  This little darling will be very useful for me.

The final verdict?  My Ipsy bag ROCKED!  I got the items I wanted, right down to the shades and variations, and the total value of the bag is $47.91!  Wow!   I'm not touching my IpsyMatch Quiz ever again!  I finally seem to have found the right quiz answers.  And if you want to get a bag of your very own, feel free to use my Ipsy referral link!  It won't let you skip the line or anything, and it will get me an extra beauty item for every two people who sign up using my link.

Thanks for reading my review!  Hopefully I'll have more of them up this week, and I'll be posting more regularly from now on!  I hope you're having an amazing day!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts Time!  Brought to you by the fantastic Jennifer at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom.  This is going to be quick and dirty today (heh) because I have SO MUCH crap to get done today!

- Have you ever heard the saying "It's not truly lost until Mom can't find it"?  Totally true.  My kids lose their stuff constantly, and sadly my husband does too.  (That poor man has heard me say "You are XX years old!  Get it together!" too many times!)  I somehow have developed an uncanny knack for finding "the other" shoe, keys, wallets, toys, and many, many other things (including online.  I am the GOOGLE MASTER).  The funny thing is, I am supremely disorganized. Oh well, maybe someday I can turn it into a marketable skill.

- My birthday was yesterday.  And I have to say, adult birthdays are just not as fun.  We did go out to dinner, and we're all going to the beach this weekend for my present!  But that meant I didn't have any gifts to open ON my birthday.  Luckily, the universe heard my cry of distress (more like a whine of discontent) and sent me presents!  Not just online stuff I ordered, but TRULY free stuff!  The first one was an Influenster Brand Challenge prize (that I truly wasn't expecting for another few weeks), from the Palmolive campaign.  Here 'tis!

From L-R:  Broadway Nails in Glisten Up!,
Softsoap in Rich Shea Butter, Sinful Colors polish in Daddy's Girl

-Pretties!  Love 'em!  Although I feel the need to say, PLEASE nail polish companies, do not name a dark, sultry, vampy color "Daddy's Girl"!  It's creepy!  A light pink? Sure?  Pastel purple? Why not!  But not dark purple with royal purple glitter.  Maybe I am reading too much into a name, but... nah.  Creepy.

-And if this weren't enough, I got my L'Oreal compensation for a study I did!  In case I haven't talked about it before, a few months ago I joined the L'Oreal Consumer Testing program.  It took several weeks for them to process my application, so if it's something you're interested in, just be forewarned.  Also, once you're in, it takes logging in constantly to see if new surveys are available.  Then you have to make it all the way through the survey without being disqualified.  THEN, you have to do the study/survey/whatever they're asking you to do.  And only then do you get compensation, and it's mailed out several weeks later.  So if you're thinking "hey, I could totally do that!", then go for it!  I just want you to know that it's frustrating, and annoying... and for me, totally worth it.  Because....

- Yup.  Kiehl's, Vichy, and Lancome.  Several other ladies got similar compensation, did the math, and realized we got about $300 (retail value) in products.  Here's the list of what I got:

-Vichy Sunscreen (Spray Oil, SPF 30 for Sensitive Skin)
-Kiehl's Blue Astringent Herbal Lotion
-Kiehl's Blue Herbal Gel Cleanser
-Lancome Genifique Serum
-Lancome Savon Fraichelle (Shower Gel)
-Lancome Artliner in Noir
-Lancome Hypnose Drama Mascara
-Lancome Color Design Palette in Peach Opulence

- So geeked out.  In fact, here's a closeup of the palette:


- I swear, I'm not trying to brag.  And honestly, these packages totally saved me from having a bad day yesterday (Note Bene:  3 & 5 year old boys DO NOT CARE that it's your birthday, and they will fight and grump all day just like normal!).

So that's my thoughts.  Here's a final one - my hubby has a formal event for his work tonight, and I am getting ALL DRESSED UP and using my new pretties!  I am also expecting my Bondi Box today, and will update with pics!  I hope everyone's having an amazing day!  I may come back in later and edit this post for clarity, and flow, and all the things I normally pay attention to, so PLEASE forgive me for this total train-of-thought format today.  I still love you!  But I have to clean the house before the babysitter gets here!  And take a shower, get all pretty... you know.  The live of a supah-star. Ha!

Be awesome today!