The Body Shop Haul & Review: Fall 2017

My The Body Shop Haul and Review

 

I’ve been on the quest for the perfect skincare routine for a long time.  Months actually.  Mostly ever since I went on a skincare-focus-kick (addiction) in May of 2016–but even before that.  I was hoping to find a miracle product along the way, and actually have found a few.  But I was never able to fully establish THE routine, which combined the miracle products, and still left my face flawless.  I haven’t achieved “flawless” yet, but I have discovered some amazing products that have gotten my skin in some of the best condition it’s ever been in.

Enter: The Body Shop.

I had heard about The Body Shop long before I actually purchased one of their products.  It was always positive reviews.  So one day when I ran out of my go-to toner (actually I was rotating between two), I decided to try a new one altogether.  I bought the Tea Tree Skin Clearing Mattifying Toner at my local Post Exchange, since I had had success with tea tree oil in my blemish treatments previously.  GAME CHANGER.  More than a game changer actually–skin changer.  I was shocked at how cleansing this one was.  Even after throughly removing my makeup at night and washing my face, this tea tree toner was able to give me the deepest cleansing that any toner had provided (without that awful menthol-stinging feel that harsh toners give).

Months passed and repurchases of the same toner happened.  But I always wondered what other products, ones other than the “Tea Tree” line, from The Body Shop could do for my skin.  Unfortunately, I ran out of my beloved Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask at the same time that my Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion was running low.  I looked into doing a Clinique haul to replenish my supply.  But then I decided to take a rebellious leap and order substitute products from The Body Shop instead!  So, without further adieu, here is the low-down on what I bought:

 

The Body Shop: My GO-TO Toner

“Tea Tree” Skin Clearing Mattifying Toner

I basically already reviewed this above.  But since I have the space and time to keep going, I think I will.  🙂  This is THE best (hands-down) toner I have ever used.  I can’t say that there is absolutely no tingling sensation when it is used, but I CAN say that it has a very natural and pure finish that contradicts the burning sensation that many harsh toners give.  I can also say that it doesn’t strip my pores of their natural oils.  It DOES clean them, and well.  I even use this twice a day.  And I know if I washed my face twice a day, I would have dry and blemished skin within a week.  With this product, that just doesn’t happen.  It deeply cleanses my pores, leaving them feeling refreshed and ready to absorb the lotion I am about to apply.  Can’t say enough good things about it!

 

“Tea Tree” Mattifying Lotion

I got this to replace my Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion (basically my daytime moisturizer).  I wanted something that would give follow-up treatment to my pores, because I was experiencing clogged pores from my makeup.  What I needed was a lotion that sealed out the clogginess (not a word?) of my makeup, but still moisturized my skin well.  This product accomplishes both!  While it is definitely a lotion, it has a sheer quality about it that reminds me of a gel-cream.  It wears well under my makeup, and most importantly, over my pores.  It dries very fast, which kind of took me by surprise and made me wonder if it truly moisturized my skin enough.  But then again, mattifying is all about a smooth and flawless finish, and goopy lotion prevents that from happening.  I really like this product!

 

“Vitamin E” Intense Moisture Serum

I know this is a serum, not a moisturizer.  But I have SO many random, sample-sized tubes of moisturizer (thanks to my ipsy subscription…YAY!) that I didn’t want to purchase a new nighttime moisturizer.  I just wanted to turn those random moisturizers into nighttime ones.  So I got this serum (because of the intensity level) to go beneath my nighttime moisturizer, no matter what brand it might be.  I know a serum can’t magically transform a day lotion into a night cream, but it can certainly help.  It can intensify the moisturizing properties of my nighttime facial routine.  And the added vitamin E can go a long way in the fine-line prevention and skin-cell repairing methods that I like to employ in my nighttime routine.  This serum has a pleasant smell and makes my skin very happy.  I’m enjoying it and so far have loved the results!

 

“Oils of Life” Sleeping Cream

I only paid $1 for this teeny sample.  But I wanted to give it a try because I haven’t used anything from their “Oils of Life” line yet.  I know this is not an eye cream, although they have an Oils of Life eye cream, but I still wanted to try it for my eye area.  If I like it, I will try the actual eye cream next!   While I don’t think anything will ever be able to replace my ride-or-die Clinique All About Eyes eye cream, I still am interested in finding a runner-up product.  I take my eye cream game pretty seriously, and don’t want to run the risk of being completely out of a product.

 

“Drops of Youth” Youth Concentrate

This one is obviously a sample too (but it was free!)  I got it as an alternative to the Vitamin E Intense Moisture Serum that I planned to use at night.  I hadn’t tried anything from their “Drops of Youth” line, and so thought this would be a good place to start.  Plus who turns down a free sample?

 

Hand Cream Winding Key

I have wanted something like this for years….like since I was 8 years old.  (Well, back then I wanted a crank kind).  But this little tool totally fit the bill for what I was looking for, and I think I’ll get a LOT of use out of it.  Or at least, a lot of lotion out of it.  ha!  It was super on sale (like $1.50).  So I decided to do a mini-bitty-splurge and buy this.  I’m really glad that I did!

And that pretty much sums up my The Body Shop haul and review!  Have you tried any of these products?  I’m curious what you thought of them.   And if you are a regular The Body Shop customer, what do you like and recommend?  Please share below!  Thanks for stopping by and I hope you’ll come back soon!

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Glam Bag Unboxing: October 2017

Ipsy Glam Bag Unboxing: October 2017 glam bag

As usual for October, ipsy chose a spooky-themed glam bag for this month.  They are calling it their “spellbound” bag, and while I’m never one for spooky stuff–I have to say the faux lace design of this bag might be my favorite of their pouch designs yet!!  It is a beautiful raspberry color, with faux lace rosettes (hard to see from photos), and a tiny black bat zipper.  The contents fit pretty well with the theme, and I was overall very pleased with the October 2017 glam bag!  Let’s see what’s inside:

 

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye PencilPerversion 

I’ve gotten Urban Decay twice before from ipsy: a duo-chrome eyeshadow in my June 2016 glam bag, and a highlight/eyeshadow in my May 2017 glam bag.   Both products were great, and I’ve actually tried Urban Decay eye pencils before (and love them!)  So needless to say, I was super excited to receive this.  In case you’ve never tried one, they glide on very easily and have excellent longevity.  Probably one of my favorite things about them is that they aren’t prone to drying out.  There is nothing worse than dry eyeliner.  Except maybe dry mascara.  Anyway, not only does the color fit well with the theme, but it also fits well with my general collection (read: obsession) with eyeliners, particularly of the black variety.  Do you remember my embarrassing photo of all my mascaras at the end of one of my posts?  I could do the same thing with my eyeliners…but its way more embarrassing…

 

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IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder

I often, though not always, feel like a pressed powder is a pressed powder.  I’ve definitely tried a variety, but only a few times noticed a BIG difference between two products.  This is absolutely one of those times where a pressed powder has stood out to me as different among the rest.  The finish is completely flawless.  Not so much for the way it looks as for the way it feels.  It turns the skin to velvet, and doesn’t cake or crack at all.  If you paired this with a good foundation, it’d be killer.  I wish it wasn’t a translucent powder, because if it was pigmented this would 100% be my go-to pressed powder for the rest of my life.  I guess the color fits with the theme though–a nice “twilight” white!

 

Dirty Little Secret Cosmetics Eye Shadow – Bronzed

I’ve tried a DLS highlighter (June 2016 glam bag) and a DLS blush (March 2017 glam bag) but never have I tried a DLS  eye shadow.  Well, the eye shadow is JUST as good as the rest of their products I have tried.  DLS Cosmetics are well-pigmented, soft, and have minimum fall-out.  I’m really pleased with their products, and have never experienced any kind of negative reaction to any of their products.  I’m glad to add this dramatic shadow to my collection, and felt like it was a perfectly spooky shade for the October 2017 glam bag!

 

Hey Honey Trick AND Treat: Active Propolis Cream Concealer

The name alone is cute and perfect for this month’s theme!  I wasn’t particularly thrilled when I first saw that I got this product, but the more I have read about it, the more intrigued I am!  It’s a lightweight concealer, but has build-ability and a fascinating ingredient called propolis (a flower ingredient extracted by honey bees).  I’ve never had a concealer that specializes in hydrating (in fact, many of my concealer are drying), nor have I tried one that is packed with amino acids, vitamin E, other nourishing oils.  Basically, this concealer seems to be more than a concealer, and I’m excited to try it.  I’ve only ever tried one Hey Honey product before, from my May 2017 glam bag.  It’s a lip balm, and it’s VERY moisturizing.  So I have high hopes that this concealer lives up to its promises!

 

Marc Anthony Hydrating Coconut Oil and Shea Butter Oil Treatment

I have received quite a few oil treatments from ipsy.  And I have enjoyed trying each of them.  I have to say, that many oil treatments feel the same.  They smell good, they are thick, they add a ton of shine to my hair, and they make it heavy/overworked by the end of the day.  (By “overworked” I mean that my hair looks fuzzy, tangled, and full of products)  I can’t say that this Marc Anthony treatment doesn’t leave my hair heavy or overworked looking by the end of the day, but I can say that it smells AMAZING, and the oil itself is thin.  I thoroughly liked using this product, and will add it to my oils rotation!  Btw, is it too much of a stretch to say the bottle is a festive-pumpkinesque color?  I like it!

That’s it for my unboxing of the October 2017 glam bag from ipsy.  Are you a subscriber?  Leave a comment below comparing what you got in your glam bag!  And if you’re not a subscriber, but would like to be, you can follow this link to sign up.  Doing so will not provide me with payments, but will credit me with bonus points I can use towards makeup in the future.  Whether you’re a subscriber or not, your presence and readership is GREATLY appreciated.  Thanks so much for stopping by!

 

 

 

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Glam Bag Unboxing: September 2017

September 2017 glam bag -- ipsy unboxing!

The theme for the September 2017 ipsy glam bag is a pretty common theme on social media this month (and a few before it): Beauty Boss. The free zipper pouch is an all-business faux leather clutch, and the products are about empowerment and confidence. I’m pretty sure that’s not a new focus for the beauty world, but it hasn’t been done in an ipsy glam bag yet! I didn’t see a huge embodiment of the theme in my products, but then again, I think that’s because most beauty products fit in the category of “empowerment” and “confidence.” The products themselves were great, so I can’t complain!

Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Radiance Primer

I’ve never heard of a product like this. It’s a combo of a highlight and a primer. Maybe developed from the “glow within” look? It supposedly can double beneath makeup as a hydrating primer, and then be used again for a final finishing highlight. Based on it’s pearlized, rose gold color, I can definitely see the highlight part happening. I’m not sure about it as a primer…I feel like it will give the skin a slightly orange look.

re:p real elemental practice Bio Fresh Mask with Real Calming Herb

This product was a result of ipsy’s collaboration with Soko Glam. It’s a very natural, hyper-sensitive, multi-tasking facial mask. Some stand-out ingredients include Kaolin, calendula, and chamomile. And some of it’s promises include redness reduction, facial calming, and dirt removal. I didn’t try this product out yet since I’m pregnant and have to be careful about what kind of natural remedies I turn to. But I’m EXTREMELY intrigued by this mask, and look forward to trying it! My current go-to mask is this one, and I generally like it.

Pixi by Petra Beauty Blush Duo – Peach Honey

If you can believe it, I’ve never tried a Pixi product! So I was happy to get this full-sized blush duo. This powder is made with mica, which gives it a shimmery finish that translates well as a highlighter. So maybe they should call this a quad, since its two shades that can be use two different ways. A product bonus and a space-saver!

Pretty Woman Nail PolishGirl Boss Because what other color could they send me this month? It’s perfect for the theme. I am a huge fan of pastel nail polishes, but never seem to have enough! This one will be beautiful for the winter. Now if only they would send me a blush pink polish, I’d be all set for the next few months!

Luxie Beauty Luxie Rose Gold Medium Angled Shading Eye Brush 207

This is not my first Luxie Beauty brush. In fact, it’s my fourth! I got two large brushes (think blush brushes) in my April and February bags of 2017, as well as my first Luxie brush ever in my July 2016 glam bag (a teeny angle brush I use every.single.day). I love the quality of the Luxie beauty brush bristles, as well as the smooth and comfortable handle. They come in stylish, pastel colors and never disappoint me in their longevity and practical use. They look cute sitting in my brush jar, but they also work wonderfully on my face!

That’s a wrap for my September 2017 glam bag! Well, I did get one more item, but it wasn’t really a normal ipsy product. I used my bonus points (I earn them through reviewing the products) on an “ipsy” merchandise sweatband, and it arrived with this month’s glam bag. I don’t know if I’ll ever really wear it, but it looks super cute on my toddler! haha Do you have an ipsy glam bag subscription? Please leave a comment below describing what you got in your September 2017 glam bag!  Thanks for reading and come back soon! And if you don’t have an ipsy subscription, but would like one, you can follow this link to sign up. Doing so will not give me any monetary reimbursement, though it will score me some extra bonus points.

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Glam Bag Unboxing: August 2017

August 2017 Ipsy Glam Bag Unboxing

The August 2017 ipsy glam bag finally made it to my front door!  I don’t know why, but it felt like I waited so much longer for this one.  Whether I really did or not, it was SO worth the wait!  The products were all “full-size”…every single one of them.  And the theme was boho…which I’m all about!  I can’t say enough good things about the bag, so I won’t even try.  Let’s just say it was one of my favorites of the year!  And now, let’s jump in and look at the contents:

Vitamasques Yoghurt Mask Duo Kiwi and Strawberry

I can’t think of anything more “boho-skincare” than a mask made of natural, foodie ingredients.  The kiwi mask is said to soften and revitalize, while the strawberry smooths and illuminates.  I’m super excited to try these, as right now I only use two facial masks.  I use this overnight mask every night, and this mud mask once every two weeks or so.  A new yogurt mask would totally be a fun way to shake up my mask routine!

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the Balm Cosmetics the Balm Voyage Vol. 2 EyeshadowKuwakaribisha

I love anything that is the Balm.  And this Balm Voyage eyeshadow is no different!  Kuwakarisbisha is a pale-neutral shade, with quite a bit of shimmer.  It has a total glow factor that reminds me of a highlighter.  Apparently, the reason the Balm eyeshadows are so buttery and soft is because the pigments are triple-milled.  They are so soft, that one dig of the finger into my eyeshadow pan resulted in the huge divot you see pictured above.  Courtesy of my toddler!  🙂

Aurora Pro Cover Up ConcealerPale Ecru

This one doesn’t immediately scream “boho” to me, but then again, neither does dark circles or hyper-pigmentation.  I guess you could say this product is “under-cover boho.”  ha!  This is my second Aurora product from ipsy, as my first was a felt-tipped eyeliner in my December 2016 glam bag.  In ipsy’s description of the product, they mention that this can be used as a highlight or even as a contour (not this shade) if it doesn’t match perfectly.  I could definitely see this working as a highlight, especially since it is a full-coverage product.  If you’re wondering why full-coverage highlights matter to me, visit my My Maskcara Beauty Haul & Review to read about this new epiphany in my makeup life!

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Pacifica Coconut Blush Duo – Beaming and Tenderheart

I was floored when I saw this product in my ipsy bag.  A coconut blush single is currently retailing at Ulta for $12.00, and my entire ipsy bag cost $10!  So I’m looking at $24.00 worth of blush in my $10 ipsy bag, which so happened to contain 4 other products…SUCH A DEAL.  Digression over.  Since coconut is a main ingredient here, these blushes are not only beautiful, but also healthy for the skin.  While they are intended for blush purposes, I will definitely be trying these as eyeshadows.  The shades are too beautiful not to!  Plus I think having an eye look that imitates a cheek look would be super beautiful, especially if both were worn at the same time.  I’m pretty excited this arrived in my glam bag!

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SLMissGlam BrushT35 Precise Blending Brush

But…there is nothing I was more excited for in the August 2017 ipsy glam bag than THIS BRUSH.  I received my first SLMissGlam brush in my November 2016 glam bag, the W20 Angled Eye Brush (in diamond white).  Then, my sister gave me another W20 brush this past summer.  So now, this is my third SLMissGlam brush and the excitement is making me think I should probably just invest in a complete set.  I can’t put my finger on why I love them so much, but I feel like the faux diamonds are 98% of it.  I think the bristles are soft and perfectly dense.  The brushes hold up very well during cleaning, and I haven’t seen a single bristle come out!  Unfortunately, I did stain on of my W20’s and haven’t been able to get the stain out.  Doesn’t matter because they are still my favorite, stains and all!

That’s a wrap for my August 2017 ipsy glam bag unboxing!  Thanks for sticking around to see what I got.  Are you an ipsy subscriber?  If so, please leave a comment below letting me know what came in your August 2017 ipsy glam bag!  And if you’re not a subscriber, but would like to be one, just follow this link.  *Subscribing via my link will not compensate me with any money, but it will credit my account with bonus points to use on fun products!*  Thanks for stopping by and come back soon.

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The Best Mascara The World Has Ever Known

the best mascara-- L'Oreal Paris Telescopic Mascara

I wrote a post about this very product over a year ago.  But this mascara is so good, that it totally deserves an annual recognition post.  It is basically begging for a yearly publication saying, “this mascara I always rave about–yeah it’s still the best.”  Because this mascara really is the best.  And I don’t use the term “best mascara” lightly.  I have tried so, so many mascaras.  (Scroll to the bottom to see my hoard pic).  But I keep coming back to this one, and always will.

I first heard about this product from Sam Schuerman, on one of her youtube videos.  She was saying that she owed so much to Carli Bybel for bringing the product into her life.  With two trusted references, I thought I should give it a go.  After all, I was a long-time L’Oreal mascara wearer.  It had been already been one of my go-to mascara brands for quite a few years.  I had been wearing the Voluminous Original Mascara since high school.  Then I upped my game and began using the Voluminous Extra-Volume Collagen after college.  I have to admit I was slightly skeptical about this particular version of their mascara being so wildly different and “perfect” considering L’Oreal mascara wasn’t new for me.  But still, I gave it a go.  And–Oh. My.  Goodness.  I am so glad I did!

If I would have to pick one specialty that this mascara gives, it would be lengthening.  That’s it’s hallmark attribute.   And I know clumpy lashes or really full ones can be a coveted look.  But those looks aren’t very noticeable without length accompanying their fullness.  And the fact that this is one of the few mascaras that actually CAN add (or emphasize) length means that a variety of eyelash looks are possible.  You can go for the super long, fanned out look.  Or add 3 more coats and you can go for the thick and clumpy-long look.  I would absolutely have to attribute the formula to this lengthening phenomena.  But, the mascara can do more.

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The BRUSH is the catalyst behind the perfect lift that this mascara gives your eyelashes.  Besides lengthening them, the slender, short-bristled brush pushes the eyelashes upward for maximum lengthening effect.  Because let’s face it, eyelash length is severely diminished by straight, uncurled eyelashes.  And the brush takes care of that.  At first glance, the brush doesn’t look like anything special.  In fact, some have complained that its so small and flimsy that it can’t POSSIBLY do anything.  But, it can do it all.–I would agree with the sentiment that you want to be somewhat gentle with the brush when pulling it in and out of the tube, as it isn’t the world’s most crazy-sturdy brush ever.  But that’s a small price to pay for such an amazing product.–Bonus about the petite brush size: it works great on under eyelashes, as it’s not bulky.

Pictured above in gold is the Telescopic “Original” Mascara, while the black tube is the Telescopic “Carbon” Mascara.  I have used both, and buy them interchangeably.  I have not noticed, in my 3 years of wearing them, a detectable difference.  Some have commented that the black tube is a darker formula than the formula in the gold tube, and has a slight sheen.  Others have said the difference between the two is that the black tube gives longer lashes while the gold gives fuller lashes.  Again, I have not found any of these claims to be true, as I do not notice a difference between them. The only thing I notice is how much BOTH make my eyelashes bolder, longer, and fuller.

I’ll make a final note for those wanting long, full and false-looking lashes: this requires multiple coats.  But not multiple coats as in you need to wait 2 minutes between each coat.  I simply mean you need to apply the product over one eye for about 10 seconds, then do the other eyelash, then go back and do each eye again for 10 more seconds.  So yes, it’s a total of 40 seconds of putting on mascara.  But when you think about it, that’s only 20 seconds per eyelash.  And no set of falsies goes on under 40 seconds!  It’s WORTH it.  And I’m only pointing this out so that if you swipe your eyelashes once with this product, don’t be disappointed if you don’t get enormous Bambi eyelashes.  The Bamb-ness will come, but you need to applying the product for like 40 seconds to get those big, gorgeous falsies!

And now, I’m going to ask:

Have y0u tried the L’Oreal Paris Telescopic Mascara?

If you haven’t, you need to drop everything and head to the drugstore right now and snag a tube.  It lengthens, lifts, and has the ability (with multiple coats) to create the fullest natural lashes you have ever worn.  Is there anything else a mascara is supposed to do?? But before you head to the store, what is your current go-to mascara?  I promise it will be this one once you try it!  This is truly the best mascara in the entire makeup world.  Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you back soon.

**While I would love to say that L’Oreal Paris sponsored this post, alas this is just all ME talking from the heart.  No sponsorship.  No free products.  Just a girl and the best mascara in the world.**

The hoard

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Glam Bag Unboxing: July 2017

The July 2017 glam bag hit mailboxes this week!  And the theme surprised me just a little bit, but I like it!  It’s all about lazy summer makeup and “doing less” so that a you can ultimately “do more.”  Apparently, the ipsy creators thought this theme is epitomized by the new ipsy mascot, a cartoon over-easy egg named Gudetama.  Some of you may already recognize him for his iconically lazy attitude and sluggish little depiction.  I didn’t.  And I still don’t know the backstory behind why ipsy chose him as their new mascot, but I can see why he fit the July 2016 glam bag theme!  Does anyone know why he happens to be an over-easy egg? haha  Moving on, the glam bag itself is pretty cute!  The brands that partnered with ipsy were fun because all but one were repeats.  It kinda felt like a mini-reunion of my glam bags over the past year.  And I really like the products that came in the July 2017 glam bag, so it was an overall, over-easy hit!

Seraphine Botanicals blush – Lychee and Gold

I think that this blush is so gorgeous.  It reminds me a bit of the Dirty Little Secret Cosmetics Illuminating Baked Highlighter in Bellisima I got in my June 2o16 glam bag.  While that product is technically an illuminator, it wears perfectly as a glowy, shimmery blush.  This blush differs from that product in the fact that it is glowy, shimmery, and SUPPOSED to be a blush. 🙂  It is infused with lychee and chamomile extracts, which are apparently responsible for the glow.  I’ve never seen or tried this brand before, but I’m liking what I’m seeing so far.  While it has no bearing on the product itself, can we just take a moment to admire the packaging?  It’s totally gorge!

BellaPierre Cosmetics Banana Setting Powder

I first tried this brand in the form of a mineral blush from my September 2016 glam bag, and wasn’t impressed.  Then once more I tried it as a mascara from my February 2017 glam bag and was not particularly stunned.  I don’t think BellaPierre Cosmetics are a bad brand, but they aren’t my favorite.  However, this product came along and changed all of that.  This powder has been with ipsy for a while.  It’s my first time receiving it in my subscription, but my sister got it in her ipsy bag quite a while ago and gave it to me (not because she didn’t like it, but because she is just super generous).  My daily setting powder is the Stay Matte 011 Creamy Natural pressed powder by Rimmel Londno, and my specialty setting powder is the HD Finishing Powder 01 Translucent by Nyx.  But despite the effectiveness of those products, having a good banana setting powder on hand is always nice.  And I really, REALLY like this one.  It’s banana-y enough to complement my olive skin tone, and it actually smells really good!  (I have a thing against pungent powders).  Probably the reason I was most excited to receive this was because my baby dumped my last one out on her bouncy tray and smeared it around.  Such an epic way to see a makeup product die.

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OFRA Cosmetics eyeshadow – Gold Rush

Another long-standing partner with ipsy is OFRA Cosmetics, as I received a nice OFRA highlighter back in my December 2016 glam bag.  Something that confuses me about this particular eyeshadow is that it claims to pull double-duty as both a matte and shimmer eyeshadow.  Umm… I’m pretty sure it’s just shimmer.  Which I d0n’t mind!  It also works wet and dry, which I think most eyeshadows do.  I love the shade and I REALLY love the improved packaging.  The little foam black disc holds the product in perfectly and makes all the difference.  Urban Decay–you have some work to do!

Ciate London Wonderwand Gel-Kohl Hybrid Liner – Black

My favorite of all Ciate London products is the Geology topcoat (for mani-pedis) I got in my January 2017 glam bag.  Even more than the felt-tipped eyeliner pen I received in my October 2016 glam bag.  That is, until I tried the Gel-Kohl hybrid liner.  I have to say, it is still the kind that requires sharpening, which you know I HATE.  But it is ridiculously pigmented, detail-oriented, smooth, and high quality.  And so I kind of can’t help but love it.  Ipsy considers it to be one of their most versatile liners, and even created a video showing 11 ways to wear it.  I don’t think I would wear it many of the ways that the video featured.  To be honest I think some of the looks would be very difficult to pull of with just this pencil.  But the fact that it is so detailed and yet has the potential to be so smudgy is not to be taken for granted!  And as if the formula (and star-studded packaging!!) weren’t enough, one end of this liner is a beautiful little angled brush.  It’s perfect for smudging and blending, but can even be used as an eyebrow brush.  They literally thought of everything!

Jersey Shore Cosmetics Mongongo Lip Conditioner – Mandarin Green Orange and Ginger 

I received a Mongongo Lip Conditioner back in my August 2016 glam bag, and it was their Vanilla Coconut Cream version.  I really liked it, and still use it from time to time.  While I often reach for my more liquid-y type lip balms, this brand of lip conditioner holds a special place in my makeup drawer because of its buttery texture and gentle moisturizing.  It never gives the lips a super goopy feel, the way many balms do.  And while I have noticed the coconut bead a little bit, it’s not enough to keep me from using this lip conditioner.  An unglamorous, but mighty little product!

And that’s my little glam bag brand reunion!  Thanks for reading my July 2017 glam bag unboxing.  If you are an ipsy subscriber, please leave a comment below letting me know what you got!  And if you aren’t a subscriber but would like to be, you can sign up here.  (Doing so will not give me any monetary compensation but will give me bonus points to use on fun products!)   Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you’ll come back soon!

              The “back” of the ipsy glam bag…and apparently Gudemata the mascot.  I just had to include this!  Haha.  You’re welcome.

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My Maskcara Beauty Haul & Review

 

Maskcara Beauty Haul

I can’t believe this day finally came!  I’ve been talking about getting Maskcara Beauty foundation for over a year.  I feel silly that it took me so long, especially considering how innovative, beautiful, and reasonably priced it is.  Two years ago, I tried one of their products and loved it, but never got around to purchasing the full foundation palette.  This year’s birthday, I finally took the plunge and couldn’t be happier with the results!

How Maskcara Beauty Came into my Life

I began following the beauty blog Maskcara in 2015.  I was really drawn to how kind, honest, and down-to-earth the blogger, Cara, was and still is today.  At the time, she had a very small line of beauty products going.  They were a couple cream foundations and a tube or two of liquid highlight.  I was drawn to the concept of “enhancing” your natural beauty, which is Maskcara’s ultimate goal.  Her blog, and makeup line, is a total reflection of that creed.

The Maskcara Beauty foundation (called IIID foundation) is innovative because it is designed to limit the amount of product needed to do a full coverage face with contour and highlight.  It was right in the middle of the contouring boom that she created the IIID foundation.  At the time (and still now), most makeup lines were advocating the same uniform system.  It goes something like this: using concealer to hide imperfections, then creating a “blank” canvas with a single-toned foundation, then setting it with powder, then chiseling out features with a  contour product, then accentuating other features with a highlight, and then adding warmth to the face with blush, etc.  It’s not a bad system, but it can take forever and requires layers of products (which add up on your skin and your wallet!)

The IIID system, dubbed as HACing, focuses on accentuating features without requiring product layering, setting powders, etc.   Cara’s own explanation of the process can be found on this page of her blog.  In short though, the contour and highlight are both foundation consistency.  That means the part of the face meant to be contoured is covered with the contour cream, and the part of the face that is meant to be bright is covered with highlight cream.  There is no “basic foundation tone” in the HAC system.  And a few squirts of setting spray takes the place of setting powders and translucent powders.

What intimidated me most about purchasing the IIID foundation was the process of creating my own custom palette.  There are a few starter palettes for people who don’t know their skin color needs, but I was DETERMINED that if I was going to spend $48, then the palette had to be perfectly tailored to my skin.  I hemmed and hawed over my colors for a year.  A YEAR.  Really silly, I know.

Then, early this year, Maskcara launched an “artists” program, meaning that her makeup line became an MLM company.  I started connecting with artists over Instagram, checking out their own color-matched clients.  Eventually, I found Amanda Earnest (@ocbeautymom) and she was fabulous.   And I mean fabulous.  We talked over the phone and she helped me build my palette based on two pictures of my face in natural light.  Before I knew it, my dreams had come true and a custom palette arrived on my doorstep (among other things!)

And now for the final reveal…

My Long-Awaited Maskcara Beauty Haul!

Maskcara Beauty Review

I knew I wanted a full-set of foundation, which is at least one contour, one highlight, one dual lip-cheek color, and one illuminator.  Each palette holds 4 of these color pans, and comes in two colors: sea glass and marble.  I went with marble, because, duh.  The last item I put in my cart was the “30-second HAC brush” which is a dual-ended brush specially designed to speed up the HACing process.  The IIID system recommends a blending sponge and a setting spray, but I have both of those already (though in different brands).

The IIID Foundation Singles

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My singles, in order from top left to bottom right:

  • Pearl- the fairest of the IIID illuminators.  Its used in all the normal illumination places: tip of nose, bridge, etc.
  • Moonlight- the palest highlight of the IIID system.  Meant for the fairest complexions (I use under my eyes)
  • White Peach- my main IIID highlight shade (aka foundation). Intended for light skin without a lot of redness.
  • Nude- this is the least “colorful” IIID blush because I don’t love blush but HACing kinda requires a healthy color.
  • Ash- my contour cream.  I got this darker than what my skin “calls for” because I like a defined contour.
  • Shadow- I already had this.  Its very ashy/grey for realistic shadowing–perfect for brows and severe nose HAC.  It’s not pictured because it doesn’t have pretty packaging haha.  It’s old.

The consistency varies a bit depending on the product’s purpose.  For instance, while both the highlight and contour are “foundation” quality, the highlight is a bit denser for better concealment.  <–simply because the highlight is put under the eyes and on the forehead which are two serious points of concealment for many skin types.  The contour is ever so slightly less dense, though it still provides plenty of coverage.  The blush/lip color is even lighter in its consistency, which makes it blend better atop of the other products.  It also makes it comfortable as a lip product (nobody likes goopy lipstick).  The illuminator is the sheerest of all, and works perfectly when dabbed at the “highlight” points we all love in the world of slaying.

The 30-Second HAC Brush

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Allow me to introduce you to the only facial brush I need now.  What I love about this brush is how intensely dense it is.  The tapered end behaves just like my Eco Tools foundation brush (but thicker), while the shorter end reminds me of my Real Techniques contour brush.  Whenever I see a “specialty” brush sold with products, I’m always slightly concerned that the brush isn’t really that necessary.  It feels like those are often being sold as a “necessity” for more profit.  I will say, however, that the 30-second HAC brush is legitimately necessary (at least for me) in evenly, quickly, and properly distributing the cream products on my face.

Once all the products are distributed, then they are to be blended with a beauty sponge of any kind.   I’m not picturing mine because it’s not part of my Maskcara Beauty Haul, but it is part of my IIID routine now!  Once the final look has been achieved, simply spritz with a finishing primer spray (I have found my MAC+ works best) and the makeup is set.  I have been told that really oily girls can dab powder where needed, but it’s nice that layers of powder is not required for this makeup!

My Favorite Qualities About Maskcara Beauty

I think this entire IIID system has a lot going for it.  While I wasn’t particularly desperate to find “that ONE foundation for the rest of my life,” I have really enjoyed adding Maskcara cosmetics to my collection.  And I definitely plan to repurchase, so maybe I really have found “it” or at least a strong contender for the “it” category.  I could make an entire post about why I like Maskcara Beauty (and I think I will) but for now here is my basic list of favorite qualities:

  • the packaging is gorgeous–not a solid reason to spend $48, but it makes it stand out from a lot of my products
  • the HACing system gives me a contoured face in about 3 minutes–which is SUCH a difference from the norm
  • the makeup is genuinely enjoyable to put on, and to wear–lightweight and comfortable on my skin
  • it’s build able–you can go from light/natural coverage to severe glam in a matter of minutes (and layers)
  • the colors are complimentary with each other and my skin–I’ve mixed highlight shades (like others have) and had a lot of success with that.  I don’t feel like the makeup line has any weird colors or shade issues.  All their options are beautiful and natural looking.

 A Few Minor Drawbacks to the IIID Foundation

I call these “minor” drawbacks because they aren’t enough to make me stop using the products.  And with the huge industry that makeup is, I find it easy to just dispose of a product when I find one or two flaws in it.  There are always other options.  However, because IIID is so revolutionary, I can’t just go grab a Maskcara dupe at Target.  And I don’t mind that, because having a custom-built palette is just what I was looking for.  Anyway, since I’m trying to make this review as well-rounded as possible, I thought I’d mention the few flaws I have found in the products so far:

  • cream-based foundations and contours take time to get used to–at least for me.  I’m in that process now.
  • the coverage is good for any color correction, but it doesn’t hide bumps on the skin (I’m pretty sure most foundations can’t).  Like, it won’t make your skin look plastic-smooth if you have some raised skin.
  • these first two weeks of wearing it, the makeup lasts for 4-6 hours.  When I first put it on, it only lasted for 2.  I attributed that to my lack of “piling it on” but it didn’t change the fact I was disappointed.  I talked to my Maskcara artist though and she said that it takes about two weeks for many clients’ skin to adjust to the new product.  The skin kind of goes through a “drinking” phase where it absorbs the makeup before the day is over.  I noticed it gradually stayed on longer and longer, as each day passed, so I think she was definitely onto something about my skin!  She also said some clients have ditched primer and found that helped a lot.  I don’t know if I can do that because I LOVE the spf 30 in my primer, but I might use my MAC+ spray before and after makeup application.

IIID Foundation by Maskcara Beauty

Would I Recommend Maskcara Beauty to Others

In one word: YES.  I think this makeup is beautiful.  I think the IIID system is brilliant.  And, I think Maskcara Beauty is a wonderful company.  Did I mention they have eyeshadows, a brush collection, and innovative 2-STORY PALETTES??  I would highly recommend going through an artist to purchase, because getting color-matched is key to the IIID foundation working properly.  (However, if you’re adverse to working with an artist, just get online and order it on your own the way you would order any other makeup online).  Follow (or stalk) their Instagram page and see if their work is something you are planning to achieve.  You might find a more seasoned makeup artist, or someone who really perfects the IIID look you are hoping for.

Also, I would recommend knowing what you’re looking for in the makeup– do you want an extremely natural look, or a chiseled, “glam” look?  Telling the artist your preferences will help decide if you should go with a contour and highlight that are close in shading, or a contour and highlight that a remarkably different.  Personally, I wanted a dramatic difference between my two shades, but many, many clients don’t.  Your artist will be able to tell you which highlights and contours will work on your skin tone, and often there is more than one shade that you can go with.

But to recap, I would absolutely buy it.  Having a palette custom-colored to meet your complexion’s exact needs is a huge step in making sure your makeup is “naturally” flawless.  And being able to accomplish a contoured/highlighted face in under 5 minutes is a really big achievement to me–especially as a busy mama.  So, if you’re on the fence about trying this, I say take the plunge!  I’m really glad that I did.

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for sticking around!  I hope that my Maskcara Beauty Haul helped you decide whether or not you should try some IIID yourself!  Or, if you’ve never heard of Maskcara Beauty before, hopefully now you’ll be interested to try it.  I think this company has a lot more in store for its clients, so I’m looking forward to their next product launch!  I know yesterday they produced a new silver-mauve eyeshadow called the “Bend and Snap” which everyone is raving about on Instagram.  Let me know if you check it out, or if you’ve tried Maskcara Beauty before!  I love reading beauty reviews in the comment section.  Thanks for stopping by!

~~Tiny but important note:  I was not in ANY way paid or influenced to endorse, recommend, or review my Maskcara Beauty Haul.  Similarly, finding an artist to work with is an extremely optional and personal decision, and I was not marketed or pressured in any way to make a purchase I didn’t already want to make.  I really enjoyed my customer experience with Maskcara Beauty and plan to remain a client!~~

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Glam Bag Unboxing: May 2017

My May 2017 glam bag unboxing!  Month #13 for me.

I’ve been reviewing glam bags for a year now!  For a little throw-back, check out my first-ever unboxing from last May.  In case you missed my last unboxing, I explained there that I thought I was done with ipsy.  And I was sad about it!  But my subscription was up for renewal and I thought that meant my year was over.  Turns out, ipsy runs on auto-renew. 🙂  So I’m gladly taking another year of ipsy as a reward for my mistake.  haha

This month’s theme was Summer Friday fun.  Not super original, but I like it when the glam bags match up with the season.  It’s nice when the theme is creative, but sometimes the creative themes come at a bad time (ex: my November 2016 glam bag–which I hoped would be holiday and autumnal–but which ended up being rockstarlet-themed).  The ipsy bag was seasonably cute as well: a clear, waterproof, plastic pouch decorated with ice cones and popsicles.  And unlike last unboxing, I thought all the products this month fit well with the theme.  Taking a look at them now…

 

Urban Decay Afterglow Sin

Nothing says summer like a beautiful, shimmery highlight.  This powder highlight claims to last 8-hours, and I have to say, it does! It is lightweight, and doesn’t take a grey hue on the skin, like many of the highlights I have tried.  As I personally put Urban Decay makeup in the high-end category of my collection, I was thrilled to get a full-sized pan (the size of an eyeshadow tin) for a small subscription cost of $10.  It’s a beautiful highlight, and has become a go-to in my highlight arsenal.

 

Jelly Pong Pong Supercharged Super Intense Eyeshadow Duo Electric

The colors here, rose gold and bronze gold, couldn’t be more “in” for this summer.  I tried a Jelly Pong Pong bronzer/blush duo (in my first-ever glam bag unboxing) and found it fairly pigmented.  I don’t feel like these eyeshadows fall in those pigmented footsteps of their predecessors.  The “velvet texture” (meant to eliminate creasing) could be to blame.  However, it could be my method of application as well.  I tried using an eyeshadow brush, and that didn’t pick up a lot of color.  But I think if I used my finger, the way I apply eyeshadow pot pigments (like the amazing L’Oreal Paris Infallible Eyeshadow), that might help a lot.  I have found many of my shimmery, high maintenance shadows and glitters look better when applied with a finger rather than a brush.  So there is hope for this duo yet!  And I’m excited about that, because the colors in the pan truly are gorgeous.

 

Starlooks Artist Edition Luxe Longwear Star Stamp and Liner Pen

When I first used this, I thought it was a typical pen-style liquid eyeliner.  Nothing special.  The tip was great, but of course the pen ran dry towards the end of one eye.  I shook it and tried to give it a bit of time to soak up more ink.  Then I realized–this was NO ordinary pen.  IT HAS A STAR STAMP ON THE OTHER END.  I died.  It is a stamp of amazing quality, great pigmentation, and long-lasting stay.  It doesn’t run or smudge, and is a perfectly detailed design.  I couldn’t be happier with the star end!  The normal end leaves a little bit to be desired–but who buys it as a regular liner anyways?? I feel like it’s quite common for a boho/fantasyeque product to look amazing on the model but terrible in real life.  This is NOT the case with the star stamp.  It elevates every look into a moody, whimsical boho-chic style.5 stars. <- pun intended.  Sorry!

 

Besame Mucho Lip Balm – Hey Honey

A lip balm that doubles as a lip mask–and it’s a very summery balm at that!  The balm is pumped with shea butter and a honey-type product called propolis (a kind of extract from beehives).  The point of the propolis is to hydrate (of course!)  and to provide antibacterial qualities to the lip balm.  I think this is my first “antibacterial lip balm.” haha  It is quite effective and is my favorite design for dispensing the product.  I love a slanted plastic wand that evenly distributes the lip balm–so much better than a twist-style peg or a lip balm pot–in my opinion!  Bonus:  this product smells and tastes extremely of honey.

 

     

Royal and Langnickel MODA Precision Angled

This is one of the nicest quality brushes I have ever gotten from ipsy, even though the size/shape isn’t my go-to style.  It has the shape of a nice eyeliner brush, but is a little too big for creasing or detailed colors.  It has the size requirements for a blush brush, but is too dense to deliver the product lightly.  I know I’m not making a great case for the brush, but really, it’s high quality!  I can’t get over how dense it is.  The bristles are perfectly packed to make blending a breeze.  It also works great as an eraser brush, evening out over-pigmented areas and distributing the product onto sparser ones.  I really, really like using this as a clean-up brush.  And as I always say, a brush is my favorite product to get in an ipsy bag!  And while this is not at all what I expected or would normally look for in a brush, it has definitely earned its place in my collection!

That’s a wrap for my May 2017 glam bag unboxing.  Are you an ipsy subscriber?  If so, leave a comment letting me know what you got (and if you tried any of the products that I did!)  And if you aren’t a subscriber, but would like to be, you can sign up for ipsy here.  The glam bags cost $10 a month, for 12 consecutive months, and contains 1 pouch and 5 products tailored to your preferences.  I highly reccomend it if you are always on the hunt for new products, or if you have been wanting to dip your toes in the “beauty subscription world” but don’t want to spend a fortune.  An important note: Using my link will not in any way give me monetary compensation, just some glam points to use towards a fun beauty product.

Thanks for stopping by!  I’ve really enjoyed getting back into the writing groove after my long absence.  So thanks for sticking around for this post, and hopefully you’ll join me for my next ones!  Take care.

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Glam Bag Unboxing: April 2017

ipsy: April 2017 glam bag unboxing

I thought the April 2017 glam bag would be my very last ipsy Glam Bag unboxing, as it was my last bag of the subscription year.  I was kind of sad about that.  To make matters worse, the bag was sent to my old address and despite the fact that the postal service forwarded my mail–they did NOT forward my ipsy bag.  I thought I would never see it again.  But just in case their was a sliver of hope, I thought I might as well send ipsy customer service an email.  I emailed them, providing them with my new address and explaining that I had yet to receive my bag (or my free bonus product) and that I had moved.  Not to sound like Eeyore, but I really didn’t expect any miracles, especially since I didn’t hear back from them.

*NECESSARY SHOUT-OUT*

 A few days later, a brand-new ipsy package was waiting in my mailbox.  I say brand-new, because it didn’t have a forwarding sticker like all our other mail.  The ipsy company had sent me a replacement glam bag!  I was stunned by their speedy no-questions-asked service.  They even included the bonus product I had mentioned to them in my email.  10 stars!

Anyway, we can move onto the unboxing now, but I wanted to give the backstory about why this bag means more to me than normal.  (I’ve been into backstories lately).  Oh, the other reason this means more to me is because I thought it was supposed to be my last one, but wasn’t.  Turns out that ipsy subscriptions run on auto-renew and so you have to manually cancel them before billing.  Oops!  I’m really not upset about having another year of glam bags.  More products to review!

This glam bag has the cutest design.  A movie ticket.  I don’t even like movies that much.  But this ticket…oh my gosh!  Based on the bag design, it wasn’t surprising to me that the theme for this month was show-stopping nights out.    But the products completely misled me about the theme.  Most of April’s products (those I received and those I didn’t) hovered around skin care, nail care, and muted colors.  There were only a handful of products that were colorful enough to be considered “showy” or “night-on-the-town-esque.”  I really didn’t mind, because I really love trying new skincare and because muted colors tend to be my makeup favorites.   But still–usually the ipsy theme carries pretty well throughout the bag, and this time, I felt like it just stopped at the design.  At the super cute design, that is.

And finally, the unboxing:

 

touch in SOL No Poreblem! Primer

I thought the name was kinda adorable.  I feel like primers are somewhat hard to find.  They are either theBalm Porefessional (very small tube and pricey) or elf primer (large quantities and cheap).  And if you don’t like either then you’re in trouble.  It was nice getting a decent-sized tube of this, and I actually really enjoyed this product.  It had the slippery texture of theBalm Porefessional, but had a slightly more lotion-y consistency, which I prefer.  My current primer is still the Maybelline Master Prime by Face Studio Blur + Illuminate 200, and I probably won’t switch from it anytime soon (I love that it has SPF 30 for these southern summers).  Still, I’m glad to have this one around and will continue to use it up.

 

Hanalei Aloe Soothing Gel

This was perfectly timed, since I got my first sunburn of the year a few days later.  (Not thrilled about the burn, but really do like the product).  It felt a bit like glorified grocery store aloe.  Instead of being sticky and green, it was smooth and clear.  But it is still aloe, at the end of the day.  It wasn’t mind-blowing, but I like it better than the aforementioned grocery store stuff.  NB: The Hanalei Lip Treatment is their STAR product and I still use it to this day!

Ciate London Mini Bamboo Bronzer – Star Island

Ipsy first introduced me to this brand in January via the geology top coat (the BEST gel topcoat ever).  It was nice to see this brand again, especially in the form of a bronzer and the word ‘bamboo’ involved.  This bronzer differs from many in the fact that it has a little built-in skincare, in the form of amaranth and sunflower extracts which soothe the skin.  It also is oil-controlling, which is always nice for the summer months.  My favorite part is the tiny bow that is stamped on the top.

 

Naked Cosmetics Eye Pigment – Heavy Metal #04

This was definitely by far the most “show-stopping” product in the glam bag, and probably the one that fit best with the theme.  The color took me by surprise–it’s DEFINITELY got a red undertone to its copper pigment.  I can’t say that it is the most flattering shade, but it is definitely bold and different. It’s pretty fun, but not an everyday wearable shade.  It also looks really, really bad with pink, which is 50% of my wardrobe.  Oh well, guess I’ll have to pair it with black.  Which is the other 50% of my wardrobe.  Convenient!

 

Luxie Beauty- Luxie Dreamcatcher Precision Foundation Brush 660

Luxie is another product that ipsy introduced me to, back in July of last year.  This past February, they once again acquainted me with this beautiful brush collection via the gorgeous Luxie Beauty Luxie Rose Gold Blush Brush 514.  I use my Luxie Beauty Small Angle 215 brush every single day.  So getting this pretty blue brush was such a score.  Plus, I love getting brushes in my ipsy bag.  A single brush always makes up for the $10 subscription fee, so getting 4 other products for this price is just unbeatable.

In this case, make it 5 other products.  I got a freebie after accumulating a certain number of points, earned by reviews, etc.  I opted for a lotion, because I thought my ipsy account would be over and this was my last chance to use the points.  That’s not to say I regret getting the lotion, in fact, it’s pretty nice.  But I probably wouldn’t have had the same sense of urgency to use up all my remaining rewards points if I had known I would continue to accumulate them for another year!  Oh well.

 

erbaviva organic skincare body lotionawaken

This is a cute 2 oz bottle of natural, organic lotion containing essential oils of melissa, lemongrass, and rose.  And more importantly, it DOESN’T contain artificial fragrances, silicones, petrochemicals, or artificial dyes.  Another bonus: it’s cruelty free.  So while maybe adding another lotion to my collection wasn’t a necessary use of my rewards points, this definitely felt like a reward and is a pretty nice product on it’s own.  I still can’t believe ipsy remembered to include it in my glam bag after the mix-up!

And that is finally the end of my April 2017 glam bag unboxing!  If you stuck through this whole thing, I really appreciate it!  And I am grateful every time you stop by, so hopefully you’ll get a chance to peek at my May 2017 unboxing.  It will be coming out soon!

**By the way, if you aren’t an ipsy member but would like to be, you can use this link to sign up!  Using my link will not provide me with any monetary compensation, just bonus points to use on fun products — see above!**

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Glam Bag Unboxing: March 2017

March 2017 glam bag

For a long time, my very first ipsy glam bag was my “most highly anticipated.”  Not because I didn’t get excited for the ones that followed, but because it’s just so thrilling to await your first taste of a subscription deal.  The March 2017 glam bag, however, broke that most-highly-anticipated-record.  Breaking that record is saying a lot, since the mermaid theme of the August 2016 glam bag was legitimately exciting too.  But when I found out the March 2017 glam bag was “French” theme, the competition was over.  French.  I was just dying to get it.  The bag reminds me of a ballet satchel-and the faux netting and suede back are just too chic.  The theme promised contents to be soft, feminine, and indulgent.  I am so pleased it finally came…and that it lived up to its high expectations!

The contents:

 

Dirty Little Secret Cosmetics blush – Kitty Pink

I was first introduced to this brand in my June 2016 ipsy glam bag–it was a baked highlighter in Bellissima that I loved using as a blush.  It was my go-to blush for a long time, and remains a summer favorite.  Anyway, I was really excited to receive an “actual” blush from this brand.  The color is a soft pink on the skin, with nice consistency and pigmentation.  I felt like blush was the perfect beginning to a French-themed bag, and so this product made me happy.  And the packaging was that adorable polka-dot print, just like last time!

ModelCo Eye Define Retractable Crayon LinerBlack

This brand was also introduced to me by ipsy, back in the November 2016 glam bag.  I received their Instant Brow Pen in medium/dark, and it was my first real brow product ever (if you can even believe that!).  I had quite an aversion to brow products before, but this one convinced me that there are some tasteful ones out there, and even ones that are user-friendly.  I’m really excited to try this liner because 1) I like the brand 2) I love eyeliner 3) I love CRAYON eyeliner 4) I love retractable crayon liner more than any other kind of liner (except of course my go-to liquid).  And of course any French bag would include eyeliner…of course.

tarte cosmetics tartest quick dry matte lip paint rose

Lip paints and really most lip pigments also fall into my category of aversion-products.  I really love lip treatments, balms, moisturizers, masks, etc.  But I’m just not a fan of lipstick and colored lip gloss.  However, I tried my first tarte cosmetics product in the ipsy December 2016 glam bag (another thing that’s hard to believe, I know) and my first impression of tarte cosmetics products is highly favorable!  Not surprising!  The deluxe maracuja oil that ipsy sent me is an amazing, silky, luxury product that I still love having in my facial spa arsenal.  (Odd terminology much?)  So, with that being said, I am setting aside my anti-lipstick bias and am looking forward to trying this product.  Plus, it’s the most classic nude and beautifully conservative color that I’ve ever held in my hands.  Again, it completely pleased in the “French” department.

 First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Face Moisturizer

I love moisturizer.  It is one of my most favorite products in the world of beauty.  While my favorite skincare line is clinique (you can read about my obsession here) , I am always game to try a new line.  It’s a rare thing for me to encounter a moisturizer that I don’t like.  This particular moisturizer is meant for sensitive skin (yay!) and  specializes in combatting itchiness, “saving” skin, and hydrating with natural oils.  This product may not be as exciting as the others, but it’s definitely a welcome addition to my skincare family.  (Better terminology)

Beau Gachis Tapered Blending Brush

I always save the brushes for last, but this one is especially icing on the French-theme cake because it is a real-deal French blending brush.  I received the Concealer brush by Beau Gachis in my December 2016 glam bag as well, and really like it.  If these brushes weren’t labeled with the same name, I wouldn’t know they were from the same company.  The looks and feel are so vastly different–but I suppose that’s what makeup brushes are supposed to be like.  This blending brush claims to be versatile enough to handle powder as well as cream formulas, and can be used for anything from dusting to contouring.  Upon first look, I’m not sure it can handle cream formulas or contouring, but I am definitely willing to give it a try.  It is fabulous with powder products!

Bonus Item:

Hydrating Derma-E Cream

This is a product I “earned” through the ipsy rewards point system.  I review my products for rewards points on their website every month.  After a few months, I cash them in for a product.  This month, I chose a moisturizer, because I love them (see above).  This one is particularly interesting because it is intended for neck and facial use.  I had been hoping to secure a good neck cream, so I am very eager to try this out.  The consistency is fairly thick for a moisturizer–definitely on the heavy-side of night creams.  But all that means is that a little will go a long way, and that’s okay with me!

Thanks so much for stopping by.  If you received the March 2017 glam bag, leave a comment below telling me what you got!  And if you aren’t a subscriber to the ipsy glam bags, but would like to, you can follow this link.  Using my link will not provide me with any monetary compensation, but will credit my account with some rewards points.  Come back soon!

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