Sunday, February 19, 2017

February Ipsy First Impressions UPDATED

Ipsy bag review. Same shit, different month. For those of you that don't know, Ipsy is a subscription boxthat sends a different makeup bag with 5 items every month for $10 and free shipping. Ipsy is based off of your personal style profile so bags are generally personalized. I would say they matched to my style overall, but then lately I realized my style is pretty effing boring: usually a mix of non thrilling makeup that I would actually use and skincare. I also snagged two bonus items with points this month because why not?

Indie Lee Rosehip Cleanser ($8.00, Cruelty Free)
Luxie Rose Gold Blush Brush 514 ($18, Cruelty Free)

I hate hate hate this VENeffects lip balm. I hate it so much I asked my two coworkers "try this and tell me what you think" (it is a squeeze tube with an opening that makes it look like the tiniest bottle of lotion ever) and I lost two friends that day as a result. One threw it angrily at my desk after she tried it. And it's only 3mL but it's the largest 3mL volume I've ever seen.

Marsk eyeshadow in You're Toast is a loose powder eyeshadow in the same nude neutral style that I've received 3 times already (comparative image at the end of this post). I'm not a fan of the loose powder but at least it has a sifter? I have enough neutral. Rinse/copper shades to last me 4 lifetimes now. That and black eyeliner which...

Marsk eyeshadow and Rodial eyeliner (smudged on left, straight in center)
I also got another black eyeliner, this time in an automatic pencil form (it's been felt marker for a few months straight now). Rodial isn't bad... but the pencil its is very thick and extremely smudgy, which is great for a smokey eye look. I um, I don't like the smokey eye look.

The Indie Lee Cleanser isn't bad: its gentle, it lathers, it smells fragrant like a rose hip tea. It has a gel like consistency. No hatred here.

I also snagged a Luxie 514 Rode Gold Blush Brush and it's pretty cute it isn't very ends which would be great for the very highly pigmented blushes that I do not own. So it mostly just pushes my lightly frostily pigmented blush around. One day I will buy something on the cheap (my discontinued Wet n' Wild blush would have been a perfect contender but it broke beyond repair after encountering Lizzie). This, like two other previous blush brushes I've received, will have to wait on the back burner until I find a suitable product to use it with.

The total value of my bag was an incredible $84.97, a record high so far I believe. All in all, not a bad month but it certainly wasn't exciting. In Ipsy's defense, none of the offerings this month excited me. The only thing I outright hate is the VENeffect lip treatment. I'm pretty sure I lost friends over this piece of shit. And I can't bring myself to throw it out because it's only 3 endless milliliters of product.
ETA: I'm an idiot. Rodial looks like it's an automatic liner (compared to the true pencil format of the full sized product) but what you see is what you get. The pencil is not automatic and does. Or dispense extra product so I will be pretty quick to kill this guy off. 

Bonus items:
I HAD to replace my Evologie Intensive Blemish Serum ($23.33 value, Cruelty Free). I still have my old tube but I loved it so much I wanted to replace it but didn't feel like paying $35 (I'm cripplingly cheap).

While I was at it I decided to grab something I would generally be upset if I found it in my bag: so I grabbed St. Tropez One Night Only Instant Glow Body Lotion ($4.73 value). I mean, what more could a black girl want besides a self tanner? I'm still missing my Hawaiian Tropic Shimmer Effect SPF Lotion (available for price gauging here) and am desperately seeking a suitable replacement. I am an idiot and don't read bottles so Jergen's Natural Glow in Medium to Tan about a week ago and started using it last night. My expectations are non existent. Hopefully it moisturizes? 

St. Tropez swatch (blended on right)

St. Tropez stains if you don't move quickly

Nowhere near exactly the same but Ipsy has helped me realize how boring and predictable I am, especially regarding my beauty routines and preferences.
Left to right: Nomad, Nyx, Naked, Marsk

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Victoria's Secret "Sale"

Victoria's Secret still has a sale going on if you want to pay slightly less for severely overprice, unsurprisingly underwhelming bath and body products. Their current sale is 2 for $18 or 4 for $26.50. I had a mini haul about 3 days ago when the sale was 5 for $25 (and had a remaining gift card from my $177 bra splurge just after New Years so I ended up spending a whopping total of $5.50!)

The prices seem to be fluctuating daily so hop on this soon if it's of any interest to you.

February Birchbox First Impressions

Birchbox is a $10 a month subscription that sends 5 samples of mid-to-high-end products right to your doorstep. The samples are on the small size by if you like high end and skincare, keep reading. If larger sample sizes and more makeup oriented subscriptions are more your thing then check out my Ipsy reviews.

I won't Bullshit you, I prefer Ipsy because they have a superior points system (Ipsy gives you points for every item you review, Birchbox only offers points for 5 reviews throughout the lifetime of your account), Ipsy offers larger sample sizes (though you run the risk of getting drugstore brand things which honestly doesn't bother me), and Ipsy leans more toward makeup while Birchbox is pretty haircare (boo!) and skincare (yay!) heavy. That being said, Birchbox gives me the opportunity to try different brands that I otherwise wouldn't splurge for blindly (Hi, Dr. Brandt!) I would say my biggest Birchbox complaint is paying $10 for frequently getting foil packets. Or the inability to opt or of something like dry shampoo (more below on this). Ok, maybe more than one complaint. I would complain about shades but it took Ipsy a very long time to hit a stride with my profile. Now that I can check turning people off from potentially subscribing (sorry) on to this month's samples.

Monday, February 6, 2017

January Ipsy Review

Finally taking the time to write a review for my January Ipsy bag (referral link here if you are still interested after my rattling on for a bit here). I may have won Ipsy: Black Girl Edition this month. It started with what was already the best bag I've received since starting in April and then the month just doubled down on awesomeness with some items I scored from coworkers. Swatches beyond the jump.