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!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sunday Social

Sunday Social

Another link-up?  What am I, crazy?  Actually, it's a slow time of month for sub boxes.  I do have SEVERAL on the way this month, so I'll be getting pretty review-happy over the next few weeks.  In the meantime, just in case you ever wanted to know more about *me* (and really, who wouldn't?) and not just the pretties I get in the mail, here's your chance!

I'm linking up with Ashley Lately and A Complete Waste of Makeup for today's Sunday Social - Enjoy!

1. What are 3 items you can't live without on a daily basis (water, food, shelter, and clothes don't count)?
My iPhone (sad, right?  I truly am addicted to that little rectangle of magic), moisturizer (I've gotten much more conscientious about it since turning 30), and dark chocolate M&M's (I know they said food doesn't count, but it's not food.  It's comfort in convenient candy form).

2. What is your all time favorite book? Why?
I have two favorites.  My favorite classic book is Persuasion by Jane Austen.  


My fave modern book is Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.  (The best description I've ever read of this book is:  "Imagine if Monty Python rewrote the Book of Revelations")


3. What is something you'd like to accomplish before the end of 2013?
Get a makeup vanity with good storage space so I can get all my samples organized and easy to find!

Like THIS!  Too much storage? Never!  Source

4. If you could go back and relive any year of your life which year would it be?
My freshman year of college.  I made so many decisions that year that affected my life in so many ways, it would be nice to be able to go back and re-do some of those.

5. What do you wish people knew about you without you having to tell them?
I'm incredibly awkward.  And not in that cool, hipster way.  As in the say-the-wrong-thing, inadvertently-offend-someone way.  But I have the best of intentions, and it is never my intent to offend or insult.  

Next week's questions (You know, if I remember...)

1. When you were little what did you want to be when you grew up?
2. What was your favorite way to kill time as a kid?
3. When did you get your first cell phone?
4. What is your favorite magazine to read?
5. What is the one random object people would be surprised to find in your purse?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts!  I'm thinking... I'm thinking...  I got nothing.

Just kidding!  This brain is BUZZING!

Here's what's on my mind today!

- BzzAgent HATES me.  It's the only explanation.  I haven't had a campaign in months, I barely get any surveys, and now they're randomly playing with my score.  It's OK, though.  Influenster loves me, I just won two Brand Challenges, so I'll be getting some cool stuff in the mail soon! Oh, and my Lifeway Kefir badge just updated!  For some reason, my blog post wasn't getting approved.  All fixed now.  Yayz!

- Payday!  I'm so happy.  Yep, we're one of those awesome families that gets paid twice a month.  Which makes the second half of the month just freakin torture.  Especially when it's a month with 31 days!  So, YAY for the first of the month!

- Today is the day that the new Bondi box ships!  It's a new nail polish subscription, born out of "Glossygate."  If you're not up on the drama, Glossybox, a sub box that I tried and HATED, did a collaboration box with a blogger/artist named Dallas Shaw.  Bondi, a nail polish company, did a new line of colors specifically for that Glossybox, then at the 11th hour there was a huge dispute between Bondi and Dallas Shaw, the polishes were pulled, and Bondi came out of the whole thing with a reputation for honesty, clarity, and amazing customer service AND communication.  They then decided to do their own subscription box, and OF COURSE I signed up to be one of the very first customers!  If you are beyond bored and want to read up on all the drama, here's the MakeupTalk thread about the whole situation.  Have fun, there's 39 pages of info to dig through!  Here's a link for the Bondi Box.  They don't have a referral program (yet!) so that's not an affiliate link.  So yeah, I'm superdupes excited!

Image Source

- The Ipsy Sneak Peek with a Urban Decay lipstick vs. a Noya lip balm is still bugging me.  The good news is, there are a lot of ladies on MakeupTalk who have said they'd prefer the balm, so I have high hopes of a trade if I end up with one.  I'm also excited to see what the rest of the previews are!  C'mon, August boxes!  Make me happy!

- I'm taking the boys out shopping this afternoon.  We need some more craft stuff!  Summer has just completely depleted our supplies.  Hopefully between summer clearance and back-to-school deals, I'll be able to get stuff at good prices.

- I'm thinking of cancelling Starlooks.  I love the brand, I love the makeup, I just have TOO MUCH.  (Not possible, right!?)  They have one more month to knock my socks off, and of course I had to stay for August because I'll get a special birthday present from them!  But I'm all stocked up on basics, and I don't need any more neutrals.  GIVE ME COLOR!!!

- Actually, I'm putting all my subs on notice!  For this month, I went a little wild, because 1) It's my birthday month, and 2) No, really, just because it's my birthday this month!  I'm getting the usual Birchbox, Ipsy, Starlooks, Goodies, and I'm adding Bondi for this month.  I promised myself I'd pick between Starlooks and Bondi, Goodies is pretty much gone after this month (although I'm getting a free box in Sept because I've gotten enough review points to cash in!), and Ipsy and Birchbox are probably sticking around.  I'm also getting some free stuff (YAY!) from Influenster (the two Brand Challenge Prizes), and a compensation package for a study I did for L'Oreal's consumer testing program.  Have I mentioned it's my birthday month?  Apparently I managed to get the word out quite nicely!

- And just for you guys, here's the brand new Ipsy sneak peek!  The caption reads:  "Skin Perfection is in session with one of these awesome August Glam Bag items!"  Any ideas?

Image Source

So that is the ever-constant, swirling maelstrom of thoughts running through my head.  A few things - yes, I know that this is a list of highly superficial thoughts.  I promise you, there is a lot more on my mind.  They're just not things I'm going to share with THE WHOLE WORLD.  So hopefully you're OK with reading about my first-world problems.  Because who else am I going to share them with?  My poor hubby's eyes just glaze over when I start geeking out about makeup, and my boys just want to talk about dinosaurs.  However, I count my blessings, and I'm so glad to have YOU!

Be awesome today!

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