Monday, September 5, 2016

Subscription Box Review Part 1

Alright, this has been a very long time coming (and will end up being a two parter) but I finally found the time (will power) to sit down and do a detailed review of my Ipsy Glam Bags that I've accrued since I started back in April. For this I'm just focusing on the products themselves, not the bags themselves, there have been a couple of actual bags that I've loved, some that I hated and a lot of overall indifference. And boy, are there a lot of words (I'm sorry). Anyhow, let's get into this.

April Haul
Elizabeth Mott Show Me Your Cheeks blush in Peach Pink ($23)-This is a pretty, shimmery peach color. It definitely isn't very pigmented and I feel like it puts off more shimmer than pigment all while being too pink to be a highlighter. It's very velvety feeling. I can securely say there is no way in hell I can ever see myself buying this when I could get a very pigmented drugstore blush.

Tarte Cosmetics Deluxe LipSurgence Lip Crème in Wonder ($24)-Wow. Just wow. Not a good wow. Ok so the color is a berry (the site says poppy) color so that was entirely unflattering on my skin tone but there's the added bonus of the poor wear time and the peppermint smell and flavor. It's not glossy, not overly creamy and $24 for 3 grams. Whatever. I've had to start using this tiny little shit (1.5 g deluxe size) on my cheeks just to get it the hell out of my stash.

Crown Brush C427 Duo Fiber Blush Brush ($9.49)-I have no complaints about this brush. It's cute, it's quality, it's ergonomic with a finger groove to make holding it easier, it's soft and neither too dense nor too soft, and it blends well and works great with blushes that are otherwise too pigmented for me (see Wet n Wild Beauty Benefits Blush). And it's super affordable. I will definitely buy more brushes from Crown.

Pūr~lisse Blue Lotus + White Tea Sheet Mask & Blue Lotus + Seaweed Sheet Mask ($8 Each)-These masks allowed me to feel rich and pampered when I used them but I didn't notice a difference in my skin. There wasn't much of a sent and they had a generous amount of product on them. The masks left me feeling sticky and personally I don't see any point to sheet masks, but that won't stop me from enjoying the pampered feeling when I use them if they are sent to me. I wouldn't spend money on these. But then as I stated, I have a hard time buying into the whole sheet mask craze.

Nomad Cosmetics Nomad x Marrakesh Intense Eyeshadow in Desert Sands (normally $47, marked down to $37 at the time of this posting)-This was a clear winner for me. So much so that I was actually disappointed I did not get the red color "Spice" in August. The formula is creamy with no fallout, extremely pigment, "Desert Sands" works great with my skin tone so it isn't too dramatic. It gives a great subtle, nude shimmery eye effect. Oh and the sample was a generous size (full size?) and I love the little compact-type container it comes in. Unfortunately the Nomad site only sells their shadows in palettes and each pallet only has one or two shades I would actually use so I can't say I will actually go out and purchase this.

May Haul
Hanalei Lip Treatment ($25)-This smells like vanilla and tastes great, kind of sweet even. I would have a hard time buying this because it's so expensive but the tube is SO big (I just imagined my coworkers saying "that's what she said." Sorry, we're lab nerds). I really want to try the lip scrub though. Yes, I know it is cheaper to make my own sugar scrub but I am too lazy and man, the mess it causes in the kitchen when doing a lasting batch. Never again.

Eva NYC Hungry Hair Oil ($8 for 1oz or $20 for 3.38oz)-My hair just sucked this shit right up and then laughed at it. I liked the thicker consistency and it was alright in the kid's hair if I didn't overdo it (in her case, a little goes a very long way. It smelled phenomenal. I don't think I will buy a fairly expensive hair oil in the future though.

Slmissglam Small Contour W07 Brush (not sold individually)-This is a very cute brush that I don't know how to use. It's very dense and soft and says it's a small contour brush but it's too small to use on my cheeks (maybe if I was into highlighters?), too small to bronze a full face (it leaves a very crisp glitter ball boundary on my already narwhal-ian proportioned forehead) and too large to blend out eye looks. It's super cute though. This particular brush only comes in a set that costs a whopping $325 but similar brushes come in sets of 3 for about $45.  Um... Still no but thanks! ELF brushes work just as well, until I have to glue them back together. Or just buy a new one for $3

Hikari Cosmetics Shimmer Bronzer in Radiant ($17)-I once said I felt like this product made me look like a disco diva got glitter bombed by the NYE glitter pixie after being coated in glittery craft glue and then falling into the arts and crafts corner in an elementary school (that is open for whatever reason) while holding a sparkler on the Fourth of July. I've since started wearing a tinted moisturizer just so I can start using this product. It's alright... But if I accidentally apply too much (which doesn't take much effort) I look like I've got high beams on my face. Not that I want a totally matte face, I'm just not feeling the disco queen vibe. Maybe if it had a satin finish and not full out shimmer? With such a huge pan I will be living off of until Donna Summer's next coming (big ups), I think I can pass on repurchase.

Smashbox Cosmetics X-Rated Mascara ($23)-Sex. That is what this mascara is. Ok so don't laugh, I've never had a high end mascara before. The best I've ever used was the Rimmel London Scandal-eyes and while that one was awesome, this one completely blew it out of the water. Smashbox lifts, holds a curl, doesn't flake out, gives full volume without clumping and ridiculous length. Ridiculous! I'm so buying this in the future.

June Haul (June killed it, btw. Absolutely killed it.)
ColourPop Cosmetics Crème Gel Liner in Swerve ($5)-I am still wearing the shit out of this liner. I mean like, at every opportunity. Since June. I love it for tight lining. My eyes water a little sometimes but still, so much love. It's so black and creamy and retractable. I know it sounds ridiculous but I did not know that not all eyeliners were retractable until very recently. I'm looking at you, Beauty For Real 24/7 I-Line Eyeliner from my August Ipsy bag. I love some of the colors they have available, but I can't see myself ever straying from black or maybe brown if I wanted to have a more subtle look. I am too much of an introvert for the bold eyeliner color. Holy hell, this will definitely be repurchased. Side note: it was really cool to see that this was made in America.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Lounge ($19)-This was my first foray into the world of duochrome and why has nobody told me what I've been missing? None of my swatches could do the product justice but this chick has the most beautiful swatch of it, it's actually why I started following her blog. It looks best when applied wet, but that causes a lot more of the green to show up on me. It is such a complex shade with so much depth that it really does not require other shadow shades to create a complete look. I have to play around with it more to see what sort of variety of looks I can pull

My second favorite item from this bag had to be the Frank Body Original Coffee Scrub ($14). I might be in the minority but I think the website design is extremely cute (even if the fictional character of frank body is a bit of a skeezy douchebag) but that's just a bonus. I love the packaging, the smell, and the efficacy of this product. Holy Hell, my chicken skin legs felt smooth after one use. I was able to get several uses out of my sample too. Sadly, I still have quite a bit left because I haven't been able to take a relaxing shower in a very long time. Bathroom time is a rare luxury that I can ill afford now. This scrub is so moisturizing (see: oily) that really, it should not be used on your face. Ever. I could tell just from sticking my hand in the bag but then I read many unfortunate reviews of people complaining about breakouts after trying this on their face. Another issue I fortunately have not encountered is a clogged tub drain from the coffee grounds.
This was just too cute to pass up. From the Frank Body website.

Boo-Boo Cover-Up Baby Boo-Boo ($10)-I gave up on this. It was just too much to use as a lid/lip primer. I mean, it would work but I would have had it for a ba-thousand years. Maybe if I wanted to go for a black vampire or black zombie look? I had such high hopes for this too, so it really was disappointing. I had to give it to my sister-in-law because she is my tone but cooler completed, and at least somebody would be able to show it some love. Hopefully she can make better use of it than me.

Be a Bombshell Pout Potion in Secret ($6)-I lucked out when I got this shade. I complain that I look like I'm testing out my Nikki Minaj Halloween costume early when wearing this because it is so baby pink, but the other option from Ipsy would have been a neon Barbie Pink (If you've ever seen Angeline around L.A you would understand). However the formula amazing, not sticky at all. The color isnt great for me, but it feels so great that I couldn't give it away. A light wash of color is all I use it for (applied very lightly) and I will definitely repurchase if more colors become available. Right now it's listed at $6 on their website but I do remember seeing $14 (was I drunk?), which I would totally spend if there was a color I thought I could pull off. Another bonus: the faq states that their products are PETAcertified and cruelty free/not tested on animals. The far did not mention their products being vegan, however. Also made in America, if American made is your thing.

Note: Swatches can be found in original unboxing posts.

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