Ipsy Glam Bag Plus October 2021 Unboxing

Oh my darlings, my IPSY bag arrived in the mail. Can you believe it? I can’t remember the last time my IPSY subscription arrived this early in the month. It is a Halloween miracle.

So shall we see what’s in the pretty pink mailer?

First off we have the bag for the month. I like the print. i think it is very appropriate for the month. I also wish it was on an actual makeup bag. I’ve mentioned my disappointment in the drawstring bags already. i think it feels more objectionable this month since I not only like the print but IPSY’s price went up. This Glam Bag Plus is now $28 per month ($30.73 with Tax). I know it is because postage and product prices have gone up, and I do understand that, but it does make the bag feel extra cheap.

But let’s face it, I am never really going to like the draw string bags.

And it really isn’t about the bag anyway. So lets get into the products.

The first item out of my bag I really can not complain about. The Dermelect Self Esteem Beauty Sleep serum is always going to be welcome at my house. I know it can be used all over my face, but quite frankly when I get this serum, I mostly use it on my neck. It has made it into my skin care line up many times in the past and will continue circling through the line up. I finished my most recent bottle a few months ago and have it on my to be repurchased list. Now it is here again and i don’t have to repurchase it. So we are off to a good start this month.

The second item in my bag this month is also welcome. It is the Wander Beauty Staycation Hydrating Mask. I had a sample size of this not too terribly long ago and really enjoyed it. It is very hydrating though so for me this is actually quite timely. It is the kind of mask I can use in the winter but can’t really use in the summertime. As it is October and the weather is sort of on the turn, soon I will be leaning into my hydrating masks. Since I enjoyed the sample i used, i am happy to try the full size out.

The third item that was chosen for my by IPSY this month was also the one makeup item in my bag. It is the Roen Cake Lash mascara. Oddly enough I have managed to blaze through a large number of my stockpiled mascaras. For a while it felt as though I was drowning in them. I even had a separate mascara stash. Now the few mascaras I have that are unopened have been mixed in with my other unopened products and no longer need their own drawer. To be honest i was hoping to whittle them down enough so that I can try out the My Little Mascara Club. I’ll probably still try the subscription out soon, but until then I have another mascara to try and as my stockpile is down, I’m not mad about receiving this. The lip gloss from Roen is the only item I’ve tried from the brand so i am happy to see what their other products are like. I won’t open it though until I am ready to use it. The wand on the website looks pretty good though.

I’m also happy there was at least one makeup item this month.

The next two items are items that I chose. The choose selection was pretty poor this month, but I was actually pleased to see these two items. The fist is the Murad Skin Smoothing Polish. You know I love a good exfoliator and Murad is a skin care brand that I trust. I am currently using the Annmarie Skincare Kaolin Clay Exfoliator but it will soon be used up and I am happy to have another exfoliator on standby.

Finally we get to the Tokyomilk French Kiss Perfume. I was very happy to see this as I am a fan of the Brand. one of my favorite winter perfumes is #85 Novacaine from Tokyomilk Dark. That one is both a winter scent and a night time scent. From the first sniff this seems like it would be more of a day time scent. I am actually looking forward to trying it out. (Also on the add ons I ordered another perfume from the Tokyomilk brand and I’ll be trying that one out as well).

There is one thing that concerns me a bit with the perfume though. It is a bit on the small side. I have it next to the regular sized bottle that i ordered from the brand. It is significantly larger than the bottle that came from IPSY. While I am happy with the size for a perfume the comparison does bother me a little since IPSY PLUS is supposed to be full sized items. It is possible that the bottle sizes for the brand have changed as I have had my bottle for a little while.

Size issues aside I am very happy with my bag for this month. It is heavy on the skincare which is slightly disappointing, but all of the items are ones that I will use. So I am actually quite happy. I do hope that next month leans a little more towards the makeup side of things, but really this is one of the better plus bags that they have sent in a while. It makes me very happy. It also makes my decision on what subscriptions to keep in the new year and which to let go a bit more difficult.

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IPSY Glam Bag Plus September 2021 Unboxing

That’s right my darlings. We have reached the section of the month where unboxings sort of take over as subscription boxes start to arrive. This month has been strange as subscriptions that have been running late arrive early and the ones that usually arrive early are running late.

Apparently several of my packages have decided that they really like Smyrna, TN and have no desire to leave. I have no idea why. But it is one of the mysteries of the postal service.

The bag

One of the subscriptions that has been running late in the past few months is IPSY. Which is why I was surprised when my Glam Bag plus arrived mid month instead of towards the end. But arrived it has. Now normally I don’t say much about the draw string bags that now come with the IPSY Glam Bag plus subscription. It used to be actual makeup bags, now it is just a drawstring bag. I only mention this one because it actually feels a little less cheaply made than many in the past. I will actually be keeping this one and adding it to my travel kit. I like to keep underwear in small bags when I travel. I also was take too bags, one for clean and one for worn. And If I am traveling for a longer stretch I put a plastic ziptop bag inside the bag for the worn underwear just to keep everything super fresh until I can get to a laundry.

But that is besides the point.

What is to the point is that this is a $25 per month subscription. Or at least was. In October the price goes up to $27 per month. I have to say that given that IPSY hasn’t been spectacularly fabulous in the past few months, I’m not really sure how I feel about the price increase. I’ve had an IPSY subscription for a really long time, in one form or another and when I work out my end of year subscription evaluations and decide what subscription is going through with me to the next month, I never really considered dropping IPSY completely. This year that may change.

But on to the September products. In the Glam Bag Plus you receive five full sized products. Two they choose for you and three you pick from a selection. Let’s start with the two products they chose.

The first is the Murad Clarifying Oil Free Water Gel. In general I like Murad products. Currently in my skincare line up I have a Murad Toner that I am absolutely loving. The thing is, this moisturizer is designed for acne prone skin. While I am currently using an acne clearing product in my line up, I typically only need them once a month for hormonal break outs or if my skin has a reaction and breaks out. At the moment I am settling both at the same time, but that is a different story.

Because of this I tend only use acne fighting products once a month and rely on pore clearing masks to help with any clogged pores in the interim. The Clarifying cleanser from Murad is one that I will reach for periodically and it works really well, but I can only use it two days in a row before my skin dries out too much for me to use it. It is from the same line as this cleanser so I suspect it will be the same. I will hold the moisturizer until the current acne fighting one I am using (Neuralyze renewal complex, if you are curious) is finished, but that will take a while. It is a great brand, it is a pricy brand, and if you have acne prone skin it is a fantastic line of products. I’m not entirely certain it is going to be for me.

I know that is a lot to say about the first product, but for the moment it is important. One of the things that I always liked about IPSY is they pay attention to the beauty profile and your choices. I went back and looked and deliberately chose rarely for acne fighting products. Now one can say it is a fluke and perhaps I will end up enjoying it. However the second product they chose for me was also an acne fighting one.

The second item in my bag this month is the Neogen Dermalogy Intensive Blemish Care Foam Cleanser. Again, I like Neogen. I’ve tried a moisturizer from them that I really love. And to be fair I did put that I love cleansers because it is my most used category of skincare products (I also put that I love moisturizers for the record which I suspect is why they sent these). It’s the intense blemish control that I have issues with. So I will plan to try both of these when it seems appropriate, but suspect that before that comes around I will be passing them along to a younger relative who has this as more of a concern.

So now on to the three items I chose. I’ll be honest, while I do like the items I chose, the selection this month was awful. I literally chose the one product in each category that I thought would be okay.

The first is a Radiance Enzyme Scrub from the brand Juara. It is supposed to minimize pores, brighten, exfoliate and smooth. And I think by now we all know I love my exfoliators both chemical and physical. I try to limit them so I don’t scrub myself into a bad skin place, but I do enjoy them. Plus I don’t know all that much about this brand. I used a hand cream from them and while it worked nice I remember the scent being strong enough to make my eyes water. so it will be nice to try out something else.

The next item was a lip balm from the brand Mischo Beauty. I vaguely recall trying something from them a while back, but I can’t actually remember what it was or how I felt about it. I think it might have been a nail polish. This tinted lip balm looks good, has no scent to it and is in a shade that I very often use. So it could be a very good thing.

Lipstick swatch above, blush swatches below

The final item in the bag this month was a set of liquid blushes from the YC Collection. I was very relieved to open them and find they had do foot applicators. When I looked at them on line they just have liquid dots of product next to the contain so I was worried it would be just a liquid pour. I’ll be honest though, the swatches doo not enthuse me. They both look a little orange in tone. I love blush in… well pretty much any formula though, so I’ll try them out, but I’m not so certain these colors will work for me. Perhaps once blended they will surprise me.

I did choose two add ons this month as well and to be honest, those are the two products I am the most excited about receiving. Well, I say two products, but I mostly just ordered two of the same thing. It’s the Tatcha Rice Cleanser. So at least I know I’ll have one cleanser I can use in this lot. It just more than likely won’t be the one IPSY Chose for me.

I know not every month is going to be fantastic with every subscription box. However it has been a rough year for IPSY. I hate sounding down on subscriptions, especially one that I have really loved for so long, but there may be some serious end of year reevaluation where my subscription is concerned if this sort of trend continues. There are after all many other subscriptions out there. Perhaps, it is time for a change.


Unboxing the IPSY Glam Bag Plus for July 2021

That’s right my darlings, today we continue the theme of the week of subscriptions. To be honest, I didn’t think IPSY would arrive this week. I received a tracking number towards the beginning of the month (July 10th) and it never updated. At least until yesterday morning when suddenly it changed to Delivery today by 9pm.

For those who do not know, IPSY Glam Bag Plus is a $25 per month subscription. Inside you receive fife full sized products. They used to come with a makeup bag, now they come with a cheap drawstring bag. July’s drawstring bag seems to be slightly better quality than many in the past so either they’ve upgraded or this one just happened to be nicer. Either way I don’t consider the bag as adding any value to the subscription so the less said about it the better.

Let’s move on to the products, shall we?

As for the products, IPSY chooses two and you are allowed to choose the remaining three products from a limited selection of items. Each choice option has about five or six options to choose from. Some months it is a hard choice, other months, not so much. This mont was not great but not really bad either. I felt like I had options and I did get to choose the one I prefered not as the best of a bad lot, but as options I actually preferred.

Let’s look at the two choices chosen for my by IPSY. The first was from Dr. Brandt Skincare and it is the pores no more® PORE PURIFYING CLEANSER (retail $36). I’ll admit, my thoughts are split on this. I like Dr. Brandt products actually and have used several of them. I have never actually received this cleanser so I am looking forward to trying it out. However this particular product has made the rotations for quite a while now. I;ve seen it appear as options in bags numerous times so it sort of feels like a remainder. I like it, but it still feels like a left over.

The second item chosen for me I am actually excited to try. it is the Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer (retail $30). I have tried several products from Juice Beauty and really liked them. There was a serum a while back that I loved and was very sad when it ran out. The only item I think I’ve tried from the brand that i didn’t like was the bar of soap and I think that is mostly because I don’t care for bars of soap in the shower and not because the product was bad. So I am happy with seeing this moisturizer in my bag.

The first of the items I choose I was very happy to see as it is one that I have thought about adding to my shopping cart numerous times. The only reason I hadn’t actually pulled the trigger on it was because I am trying to whittle down my masks and not buy any until they are a respectable number. (I actually have a lot of small sample sized mask tubes I’m trying to clear out.) But here this mask was as an option so I snapped it up. It is the Go-to-Skincare The Removalist Mask (retail $36). I know it is a detoxifying clay mask. of course I am going to want to try it. What can I say, clay masks are a weakness.

I’m sure I could have worse ones.

The second item I chose was the DR. EVE_RYOUTH Vitamin C + Hyaluronic Acid Hydrabright Night (retail $90). You know i love night creams. I know a lot of the time I use my regular moisturizer and when it needs a little help I roll in a night mask to help out the moisturizer. But truthfully, I really like having a seperate night moisturizer. I’m not entirely certain why. I don’t have a problem using serums in both the morning and the night, or essences, or toners or cleansers, but something about moisturizers. I really like having a seperate one for night time use. I;ve found a few I like well enough, but I haven’t found one that I find super fabulous. Honestly, I have never heard of this brand before, but I do love Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid. so hopefully this will prove useful.

And finally I chose one makeup item from the choice items and it is the Beauty for Real Golden Hour Mango Butter Eyeshadow Palette (retail $36). I have tried a few Beauty for Real products, although not many. I am still trying to decide how i feel about the brand. Their mascara was absolutely fabulous. I remember thinking it wasn’t going to be because it had a small dinky little wand, but once applied I used every single drop and was very sad when it came time for the mascara to depart. The other products I tried from the brand were more or less forgettable. So I chose the palette to see which category it fell into. Also in all of my categories it was the only makeup item.

so that was my July 2021 IPSY Glam Bag Plus. Again I have mixed thoughts about it. I like the products and i am looking forward to trying them out, however once again it was heavily weighted towards skincare. I like skin care. Dare i say I even love skincare. However for a while now there has been a lot of skincare. It would be nice if they would just lean towards makeup a bit more. At least until I can use up a few more products. At this point in my beauty profile I have every makeup item possible checked and listed as send me frequently, so it should help with the product selection. Hopefully. And really I can’t be mad at this bag. I am interested to try all of the products I received and it is a good selection. I think I am just facing a little skincare burn out. Otherwise, IPSY was better this month than it is been in the past few months so I am hoping this is an upward trend.

Next month Is a Glam X month so my glam bag plus will be upgraded for the quarterly box. This is the third one they’ve done. Each quarter the Glam Bag X is a collaboration with someone. The first was Patrick Ta and it was fantastic. The second was with Khloe Kardashian and it was not good at all. In fact I felt a little cheated for paying the upgraded price for that month. This third Glam X is a collaboration with Halsey. I have my fingers crossed. Since it is new I am giving it a full year before I make my final judgement call on whether or not i want to keep it. In fact each year in November and December I review all of my subscriptions to see which ones I will be keeping in the following year. Usually there are a set few that stay and others that are evaluated. Usually Boxy and IPSY are the two pillars that remain, this year I am going to have to have a good hard think about both of them. But for now, I have products I enjoy so July was a decent month.

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Unboxing the April 2021 Ipsy Glam Bag Plus

IPSY, oh IPSY.  This was not your month. With the IPSY Glam Bag Plus the cost is $25 and you get five full sized items.  Two are picked for you and three you get to choose.  The subscription tier comes with a drawstring bag instead of a makeup bag.  In my opinion it is not really worth mentioning. So that is all I will say about it.

So we are going to jump into the products.  We’ll start with the items IPSY chose for me.  The first item was a set of Beau Gachis eyeshadow Brushes.  Now this is nothing against the brand.  I actually have several of their brushes already in my collection.  They are nice brushes.  Quite sturdy and durable. Work well with pigments. 

However, last month IPSY chose a set of eyeshadow brushes for my box. And in one of the tiers where I could choose an item the only item I hadn’t received in that column was a set of eyeshadow brushes.  So last month I received two sets of eyeshadow brushes and this month I get another set.  One set has already made it to my mom who wanted new eyeshadow brushes so I’m good, but still. I like brushes and in fact could use a few new face brushes.  I’m pretty set on shadow brushes at the moment.

When I first saw the line up on April 2nd I sent them a message and the reply essentially told me that I needed to check my beauty profile. The message made it sound more or less like them choosing eyeshadow brushes for me two months in a row was somehow my fault.

Which I didn’t appreciate.

It made me feel quite a bit salty in fact.

The brushes are fine though.  I will either eventually use them or the set will end up in a Christmas stocking. It isn’t like brushes expire, so I’m essentially fine with that.  I was just annoyed by the e-mail exchange.

On a happier note, the second item they chose for me was the Pixi by Petra Flawless Beauty Primer.  You know I love Primers and I have tried several items from Pixi that I like.  However I tend to stick to their skincare. 

I really like their Clarity Toner. I’ve gone through two bottles and it is on my list to repurchase once I work through the few toners I have in my collection. I had to deliberately not repurchase it while I work through some other products. I also have an eyeshadow duo from them that I like (but tend to forget about and need to use more). I am pleased to try some more makeup products from the brand.

Now we get into the three items I chose. The selection wasn’t as poor as it was last month.  I didn’t have any problems choosing.  There was no agonizing over options.  Each tier had one product that I was like, ‘Yeah, that’ll do.’ I chose nice products that I will use and am looking forward to trying out, but usually there is a bit of a choice debate and often I will go into the add ons and purchase one of the items I didn’t choose when I had to make my decision.  That wasn’t an issue this month.  I didn’t buy any add ons and my selection was easy.

I chose the Nue Co’s The Pill All in 1 Serum.  It is a serum that runs heavily to hyaluronic acid which my skin loves.  At the moment I am using the Vitamin C Powder from The Nue Co and I Am really liking it, so I have high hopes for this this serum and look forward to testing it out.

I did also get a second serum.  It is the Vitabrid C12 Vitamin C Dual Drop Serum.  I have a cleanser from Vitabrid in my to try drawer and I thought a serum to go with it would at least give me two things from the brand to try.  I’m going to pair them up and eventually roll them into the line up.  I’ve never tried the brand before and really only seen it here so I am curious to see how it performs.

And now we reach the final item.  I chose the Honest Co’s Cream Foundation. I figured I had plenty of skin care so it would be nice to try out.  I love testing out foundations and I do like cream foundations.

Oh what’s that you say, you didn’t see it in the unboxing of products shown above?  That’s because when I opened my box they did not send the Honest Co Foundation, they sent the Item Beauty Bronzer in Cheek Money.

If some of you think this sounds familiar, you apparently have a better memory than IPSY. I received this exact bronzer several months back.  To do a quick recap, the packaging is lovely.  The product is horrible and the lovely compact now resides in my purse so I can use the pretty mirror without worrying about what happens to the poorly performing product.

And I sent a message to customer service.  I am waiting for a reply.  You know it is bad when you contact customer service twice in one month.

Normally I like IPSY.  They are one of my tried and true subscription boxes.  I almost never have any trouble with them. I have had the subscription in one form or another for over four years and not counting this month I’ve had to contact their customer service team three times. 

Once for a broken eyeshadow, once for a broken lipstick and once because my box held four repeat items out of the five in the box. 

All three were positive experiences.  The broken items were replaced asap and upon realizing that most of my box was repeat they apologized and I think gave me points.  I appreciated the apology more than the points to be honest, although points are always nice. I’m hoping my beginning of April e-mail from them was just a one off with someone having a bad day.  As I really do enjoy IPSY I’m willing to shake off one bad month.  The products (baring the Item Beauty Repeat) are all ones I am looking forward to trying out, so it isn’t a bad month, it was just customer service that got under my skin. Despite all of my grousing, it was a decent, if not spectacular month.

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IPSY Glam Bag Plus March 2021

This was an interesting month for me with IPSY. I liked the items that I received, but I was at the same time very frustrated with them. A few basics. IPSY Glam Bag Plus is a $25 per month beauty subscription. In each bag you receive A drawstring bag that is not really worth mentioning, a card that often has no information on the products inside and five full sized beauty items. Two of the items IPSY chooses for you and three of the items you get to choose for yourself. There ae categories. Choose one offers a selection of products, then you get a different selection of products for choice two and then a third selection of products for choice three. It isn’t just one group you get to pick three items out of. Which makes sense as they are trying to make sure everyone’s bag has the same approximate value. It is just also the source of this month’s frustration.

Let’s start with the two items selected for me.

The first item selected for me was the Ciate London Eye Lustre Creme Eyeshadow in the shade Cupid. I’ve tried the Eye luster before. I actually have one in my collection. It is a silver shimmer whereas this is more silver with pink undertones, so it is nice to have. Incidentally Cate London is having a huge Spring Sale. When I went to get the link for this Eye Luster I saw that it is now available for half the usual price (usually $22 currently $11) and there are many other items on sale as well. If you like Ciate products you might want to check it out. I maybe circling back later today for the mascaras.

It is a lovely shade, but if I remember correctly it does tend to crease a little after a few hours. At least on my hooded eyes. It is an excellent look for the start of a night out though as it is fabulously flashy. I like Ciate products in general and I like having this in my collection.

The second item chosen for me is the MOTD COSMETICS Eye Got It 5 Piece Brush Set. I have several MOTD brushes and one of their face brushes is one I consistently reach for. I have only tried the face brushes but they seem to be of decent quality. I’m not upset about having them and I know I will use them. I say this because of the final selection choice item. I am not unhappy with the brushes. I just think that someone dropped the ball.

If you notice the picture of the brush set, you will noticed that there are two brush sets by MODA in this month’s box. That is because of my third choice tier. In that tier I was offered a selection of products. The only one I had not received in a previous box was a second set of MODA Cosmetics eyeshadow brushes. It is a different set than the one they chose for me, this one being the In A Blush Blending Eye Brush Set, but it is still a set of eye brushes. Now i know that one of the items they featured as having in the Glam Bag Plus this month was the IT Cosmetics brush everyone raves about. While I would have liked that as an option, I would have been happy had they had even a MODA face brush instead of another set of eyeshadow brushes.

As it was the only item I hadn’t received in that category and I didn’t want a second one of the other listed products I chose it. I am sure the brushes are quality since the other brushes I’ve tried of theirs have been and I will be setting aside my Luxie Brushes to test them out, but it was a poor selection that just irritated me.

The first tier is always where the most products I want are located and this month was no different. There were two items I wanted, one was the Kosas Tinted Face Oil Foundation and the other was the Korres Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser. What I ended up doing was choosing the foundation and then buying the Cleanser as an add on. I did it that way because the bag had my foundation shade selected and in add ons you never know what shades will be available. If it wasn’t my shade I would have chosen the Korres Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser and then hoped my shade of foundation was in the Add ons.

I really like the Kosas foundation. It is lightweight and blends beautifully into my skin. I am about half way through the bottle in my dressing table and don’t mind adding a back up to the drawer as I know it will be used. As with the Korres, I have the mask from this line that I really like for my winter dry skin and have high hopes for the cleanser. As I usually have good luck with Korres products I expect it to work well and I am happy to have it waiting for me.

Finally we have the Air Repair Skincare Complexion-Boosting Moisturizer. I tried a sample a while back and liked it so I am not adverse to having it in the full size. I will say though, it was the only selection item in that category that appealed to me.Again, it is a nice item and I am happy to have it. However again the selection was poor.

I think over all that was what irritated me this month. It wasn’t the products I chose, it was the choice itself. I can’t remember the products much from the second tier leading me to choose the moisturizer because I was so irritated by the third tier of selections that the details went right out of my head, but it wasn’t good. To be honest, i would be less irritated if I was unable to make any selection and the entire bag was chosen for me.If they looked at my profile and didn’t offer any repeat items, I wouldn’t be so irritated.

I know it sounds like a lot of complaining since in the end I did get some good products, and I really don’t like complaining, but it was just irritating to see how little thought went into this month’s selections. In the end it really comes down to those brushes. If a face brush, from any brand had been offered instead of another set of eyeshadow brushes and there had been more items that i hadn’t already received so that it actually felt like a choice, I would have been very happy with the bag. I received an excellent foundation, a good moisturizer and I chose to add on a cleanser form a brand I really like for a discounted price. As I have been thinking about picking up the Korres Cleanser for a while now, it was actually nice to be able to pick it up here.

I think the irritation was mostly that they offer a wide selection and brag about their wide selection, but in the end offer very little selection. I think that is my irritation with this bag. The products are fine, it’s just IPSY.

And of course the announcements for May’s Glam Bag X came out. This May’s bag is featuring Khloe Kardashian. To be honest I forgot she became associated with IPSY a while back. It irritated me then and I wasn’t thrilled with the reminder now. I think IPSY buying out BoxyCharm threw it right out of my head. Now, here is the thing. I’ve never really watched the show. I tried an episode and decided it wasn’t for me. I know very little about the family and don’t care to. I have very little opinion of them as people. What I do know is that every photo of the Khloe Kardashian is altered, and from what I’ve seen altered pretty drastically, before release. I think that alone makes her a very poor and somewhat off putting choice for a partnership and it bothers me.

It makes me consider dropping the subscription.

At the same time, one of the products listed as being on the list of items in May is the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream which I have been curious about for a long time. So it sort of makes me irritated with myself that I’m willing to temporarily suspend my dislike. It makes me feel bad about myself and a beauty subscription box is not supposed to make you feel bad. It is one of those things that I am going to have to sit down with and have a good long think about to be honest. Especially as IPSY and BoxyCharm are now part of the same group. I will have to determine how off putting I find her association with the brand is and if I can look past it to see the value for the box. I honestly don’t know where I will end up landing on that.

But personal annoyances aside, the products i actually received look to be good ones and I look forward to trying them out. And I hope next month’s selection is a better one.

The Skinstore is having a sale if you are looking to stock up on skincare items. They have a pretty wide selection.


IPSY Glam Bag Plus September 2019 Review

IPSY Glam Bag Plus September 2019

For those who don’t know or remember, IPSY Glam Bag Plus is a $25 per month subscription in which you get five full sized products to try each month.  Next month they are also adding a makeup bag to each order as well. For more official information, please check out ipsy.com.

Now for this month’s bag.  It was an interesting mix for me.  Two of the products weren’t my favorite, but the other three were fabulous.  So We’ll cover the not so great first.  For that we will start with the APTO SKINCARE Pomegranate Mask. (retail $36)

Now first things first, I love pomegranate in pretty much anything. The only thing I’ve tried from this brand before was a spirulina mask which I didn’t like too much. It was sticky and left a residue on my skin.  But lots of companies have a few products I don’t like and a couple I love so I was willing to try it again. So the claims:

This mask contains powerful antioxidants, like pomegranate and green tea, to restore your skin’s ability to repair itself. Azelaic acid gently removes dead skin cells to promote cell turnover, which helps create a brighter complexion. Redness? This soothing mask will calm redness and inflammation, including rosacea and overexposure to the sun. It’s made with ethically-sourced, vegan, and cruelty-free ingredients.

On the back of the bottle it says to leave for a total of ten minutes then wash off.  I applied a layer of product to my face and felt a tingling almost immediately.  Usually that is a good thing.  It makes me feel like it is working. At about the five minute mark my face felt hot, really really hot.  Like burning hot.  The words chemical burn floated through my brain and I washed the mask off immediately.  While my skin was very pink, it was not burned. After a couple of hours the pink faded and I will admit my skin felt nice and soft.

While it does fulfill its claims of a brighter completion and worked well in the end, it was not a comfortable product for me to use.  I don’t know if I have a sensitivity to the Azelaic acid they use or what since that was the only ingredient I was unfamiliar with in the list. I think I am going to pass this on to someone with hopefully less of a sensitivity.

Despite looking very red in this photo in real life it came out with orange undertones, everything else about this lipstick was fabulous.

Next up was the ILLAMASQUA Antimatter Lipstick in Midnight. (retail $27) I really like Illamasqua products so I had high hopes for this lipstick.  On the screen it looked like a true red and I have been searching for a true deep red lipstick for a while.  The formula for this one is lovely, the color is just too much in the orange shade for me. The shade was literally the only thing that was wrong for me.  Otherwise it matches all of the  claims it is a:

…semi-matte, semi-satin lipstick gives you the best of both worlds—creamy texture with full coverage.It’s long-wearing and non-drying for a comfortable wear all day long. Your lips will thank you for the added boost of conditioning moisture. Midnight is a true red made for evening adventures, but great for when you want a daytime power lip.

Except for the orange tone, it was a great product that met every one of its claims. So the quest continues.

The next item in my Ipsy Plus box made me very happy.  I saw it and my inner teenager started to giggle with delighted anticipation. This was the NOMAD COSMETICS Berlin Underground Intense Eyeshadow Palette.(retail $37) I’ll list the claims first:

I am super pumped to play around with this palette.

This palette was inspired by Berlin’s rebellious 90s counterculture and all its grunge, punk, and techno nightlife. There are 15(!) shades in a mix of metallic, matte, and duo-chrome finishes. The pigmentation is off the charts, so you get a serious color payoff. No caking or flaking. Hemp Seed Oil helps nourishes lids and keeps your look fresh all day (or night) long.

I love the color scheme of this palette. It fits with the colors I worked back in high school and I absolutely adored the punk skulls pressed into some of the powders and I could not wait to use them. They are a mix of finishes like they claim, some of the shadows are easier to work with than others.  I am going to have to play around with it a bit longer before I post a full review, but I will post a full review of this palette separately (probably sometime next week).  For the Ipspt Glam Bag plus review, I will keep it short and simply say that I really enjoyed seeing this palette in my box.

The next item in the box was the CIATÉ LONDON Extraordinary Translucent Powder.  (retail $22). It is a really finely milled powder and doesn’t give me a white cast when I use it as a finishing powder.  I’ve had a tiny samply sent to me before and I used every bit of it.  I am pleased to see a full sized version and I plan to use every powdery bit of it as well.

The cleanser is a surprising purplish color which was a little odd for a face wash, but I kind of like.

Finally, there is the GLAMGLOW TROPICALCLEANSE™ Daily Exfoliating Cleanser.  (retail $34).While I love their masks, the last cleanser I tried from them was hard to wash off.  This was great.  You only need a little to wash your face, the exfoliator bits aren’t too harsh for the skin and can not only be used daily but rinse clean away with relative ease.  I really like this cleanser and will be using it completely.

Three out of the five products included were absolute winners for me.  The other two were good products, just not for me.  I will pass them on to others who will enjoy them more.  Over all the value of this box was $156.  Not bad for a $25 box. In my opinion it was certainly worth the price. I for one can’t wait to see what they come up with next month.

IPSY Glam Bag Plus July 2019 review

IPSY Glam Bag Plus July 2019

My Ipsy Glam Bag Plus arrived (it was delayed because I used some points to add a couple of things to the box).  For those who don’t know the IPSY Glam Bag Plus is $25/month, there are various add on’s you can choose (up to three).  These products are discounted with full sized items costing $12 and sample sizes costing $3.  I really like that they are a set price.  I actually got a Huda Beauty eyeshadow palette as an add on which I will be reviewing separately once I get a chance to play with it.  My weekend away took over most of Friday and Monday so I have been playing catch up all week and haven’t gotten more than a chance to gaze at it longingly and speculate.  The Ipsy Glam Bag Plus (like regular Ipsy) charges your account on the 1st and ships between the 6th and the 10th each month.

So on to the products.

First up is  the HUDA BEAUTY 3D Highlighter Palette in Pink Sands. I’m not going to lie, I was slightly intimidated by this product.  It seems to believe I have way more skills than I actually possess. It looks a bit more professional than I actually get. I like that inside the lid of the package they have the order of the products and a little blurb about what they are used for. I also like the fact that each of the squares of product are good sized.  They look to be about the same size as they would be if I ordered them separately which makes me feel like I am getting a good value. While I will use the product, I doubt I will be using them all at the same time. My looks are just not that sophisticated. Three of the products are powder formulas and one is cream.  The powders are fantastic and I will be using them routinely.  Not so fond of the cream based one, but that is more of a personal preference.  Me and cream based face products don’t really get along.  I can manage eyeshadows but blushes, bronzers and highlighters just mean I will very shortly look like I escaped a circus. In the end I am very pleased with this product and really glad it is in my selection.

HUDA Beauty Highlighter Palette

Next up we have the PURLISSE Matcha Green Tea Antioxidant Priming Moisturizer.  I like the thought of a priming moisturizer, especially in the summer when products tend to do better with fewer layers. I tested the product and it seemed to work well for one time use.  As with this sort of thing, I need to try it consistently for a little while so I will have to report back later my opinions on it.  I recently received the Ipsy skin care bag so I am currently trying those products.  As they are sample sized, they should run out next week and I will let you know my opinions about them in a later post, then begin my trial of the Purlisse.  Since I still have my sheet masks I may to a week or two of just Purlisse skin care to see what happens. But that is another post. I can say that any other Purlisse product I’ve tried has been a winner so I am optimistic.

Next out of the box was Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara™ in Brynn from THRIVE CAUSEMETICS. Their claim:

This curling, lengthening mascara formula does exactly what it says—a single swipe made our skimpy lashes look like extensions.

And I have to say it works really well.  My lashes were long and thick when using them and I will use this product until it is gone.  I can’t say that I’d buy it as I currently am working my way through a boatload of mascaras and as new ones come in regularly I haven’t actually had to buy mascara in years, despite using it every day. I can’t see that changing anytime soon.  But it is a good product. Admittedly the Orchid Stem Cell Complex™ claim on the packaging makes me feel like I am part of a science experiment.

But there are worse things.

 Next, we have PIXI BY PETRA Glow Mist. I have to say I am not a huge fan of the dewy look.  Especially in the summer time.  No matter how light weight, it makes me feel like I am greasy. It does have a nice smell though and I put it in the fridge to keep it cool and spray it on my face and neck when I come in from working in the garden.  It smells nice and works great for an instant refreshing cool down.  Just make sure you label it as ‘not food’. 

I know you wouldn’t think that would be an issue, but the other day I had to explain it was not some sort of spray on vinaigrette and then had to do a side by side comparison between the mister and my reusable homemade salad dressing bottle. (Which incidentally had homemade Caesar dressing in it and has a pour spout instead of a mist spray. It does have a green top though which seems to be where the confusion lay.) End result, the mister now has a strip of masking tape on it with the words ‘not food’ printed on it with a sharpie.

Live and learn, huh?

The final thing in this month’s box was the NAKED COSMETICS 4-Piece Pigment Set.  I can honestly say I have never looked at a makeup product before and said ‘this is going to cause issues’ right away. 

Until now. 

Usually I wait a bit before making that sort of statement as I like to give products a fair chance first. I have never used loose pigments before and I can so see this making a huge mess.  I’ve blocked out some time this weekend to play around with them though, so maybe I’ll get the hang of it.  The colors look nice and if I can work with them I will be thrilled. With a finger dip they came out well.  I will have to see how well I can play with them before I make a judgement call on these though. I like the mix and match idea and the fact that you can blend the powders together to make your own shade.  I can just see me getting into trouble with this. So again, I’ll have to get back to you with an opinion on this product.

All in all, it was a pretty good month.  In the Ipsy vs. Boxy I want to say Boxy edged ahead by just a little bit.  Mostly that is because while both had good products, the ones that came in the Boxy Charm July box are ones I will reach for more consistently. But it was close. Which, in my opinion, is a very good thing.

Sunday Riley Review: Two Weeks Later

The product in question: Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream

In the June 2019 Ipsy Glam Bag plus subscription box, I received a full sized jar of the Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream. While I gave my first impressions when I did my review of the subscription box after opening it and trying the product for the first time (smells like a yummy creamsicle and felt good against the skin, comes in a pretty glass jar), one or even two applications of a skin care product rarely gives you any real information about it.  Because of this I used this product as my sole moisturizer for two weeks to gauge its effects.

The product description said it could be used both in the morning and in the evening and this is what I did for the two week test.  I did use less in the morning than I did at night.  Partially because I naturally use less moisturizer in the morning and because I am used to using a sleeping mask a couple of times during the week.  These two weeks I left off the sleeping mask.  Also I have combination skin and with my increased exercise level and subsequent sweat, anything that clogs the pores tends to leave me with break outs.

One final bit of information, I am currently living in Tennessee. I know that is a somewhat strange thing to add for a skin care review, but I have moved around a lot in my life.  I have found that what works on my skin in New York did not work on my skin in Texas and that my Wyoming skin care regime was different enough from the one I followed in Louisiana that It could have been for an entirely different person.  So me and my skin are currently slogging through Summertime in Tennessee which is not only hot but with the frequent rains and subsequent evaporation,  the air is thick enough that a deep breath with a wide open mouth should actually count as drinking a full glass of water.


So to the pictures. 

One  (labeled Before) was taken before I used this particular product.  The one (labeled Two Weeks Later) was taken of me after using the Sunday Riley Moisturizer for two weeks. I am freshly scrubbed in both photos and the only thing I did to my face was to pat it dry with a towel to remove the excess water from washing. The photos were both taken in the same place (and clearly with the same smirk, sorry about that, I just can’t help myself, when facing a camera I either looks smirky or like I’m plotting evil, sometimes both oddly enough).

Okay, now with the sans makeup photos before you, we will start with the list of claims this product makes. From the product description on the Dermastore Website:

Two Weeks Later

Key Benefits:

Now some of those claims I have no way of actually evaluating or mean little to nothing to me.  I do not know if it fights pollution or how one even tests for that. And to be honest I find the fact that someone puts gluten free on a topical cream a little on the ridiculous side. Unless the cream is being eaten by the spoonful or pressed into open cuts, I don’t think gluten can be absorbed topically, although I could be wrong. I’m going off the info from the National Celiac Association’s Ask the Dietitian section of the website for this one (https://nationalceliac.org/celiac-disease-questions/using-gluten-free-skin-body-products-someone-celiac-disease/).

I would also think that if you are eating your moisturizer and/or slathering it on cuts, you might have other issues. But if this is an issue for you (the gluten, not the eating of moisturizer) then apparently the cream is gluten free, so bonus.

I can tell you that what I look for in a moisturizer is that it is not overly greasy, absorbs quickly into the skin so I can get on with my morning routine at a regular pace, doesn’t break me out and keeps my skin from drying out. If it does some good on the emerging crow’s feet I see fanning out from my eyes, then even better.

I have to say, on all of the items on my above list, it performed well.  In addition, my skin feels soft and smooth and even though it might be wishful thinking, I think it is a little brighter.

So now for the big bugaboo I didn’t mention: Price.

The retail price for a jar of the Sunday Riley C.E.O. Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream is $65. So it is a bit on the pricey side, but not as bad as some of the creams I’ve seen out there. I did notice that after two weeks, there was still a substantial amount of cream left in the jar. So I did some math.  Don’t worry, this will be quick and relatively painless math.  I promise, there will be no quiz.

So when I got the jar, I weighed it before using any of the product. The jar with contents weighed in at exactly 8 ounces. There are 1.7 ounces of product in the jar. (I did not scoop it out and weigh the cream separately, so I’ll just have to trust the company for that number. ) So the jar weighs 6.3 ounces. Now as I use the product, the weight of the jar itself stays the same. Makes sense so far right?

This morning as my two weeks came to a close, I weighed the jar again. This time it weighed 7.3 ounces. So 7.3 minus the weight of the jar (6.3) leaves exactly one ounce of cream left. So in two weeks I used 0.7 oz of product from the 1.7 listed volume, or 0.35 ounces per week. 0.35 goes into 1.7  a little more than 4.8 times, so used at this rate, the product will last for just under five weeks. Since in my normal routine I replace my night time moisturizer with a sleeping mask 1-2 times a week I am going to round up and say this will last about five weeks.

Okay deep breath, the math is done.

The final cost is $65 for five weeks’ worth of product. (or $13 per week)

So is this worth the price? Well, it isn’t a miracle time eraser, but that is really too much to ask from any face cream. (Admittedly, I have my fingers crossed that one day one daaaay…I will find such a magic unguent).  It is a good product though and on my personal rating scale I would rate it a nine. It worked well with my skin in the environment where I am currently living, it performed more or less as expected and didn’t cause problems.  I have a few darker spots on my skin near the hairline I was hoping it would fade more, but otherwise I can’t fault this product.  I will use it until the product is gone.  As for purchasing it again, I have to say it is going on my list of possible purchases for when I run out.

June 2019 Ipsy Glam Bag Plus Review

June 2019 IPSY Glam Bag Plus in all its unboxed glory

My Ipsy glam bag plus arrived and I have to say, this was a good month. I also need to say that this is not a paid advertisement in anyway as I bought the box myself and am not affiliated or sponsored in anyway with any of the below products. My opinions are my own.

The details: Ipsy glam bag plus is a $25 a month subscription offered by Ipsy.  You get 4-5 full sized products delivered to you each month. Previously you had to be on a waiting list, but I think now you just have to be a member getting the regular glam bag.  The regular glam bag is a $10 a month subscription and has 5 deluxe samples in a cute little makeup bag.  When you move to the glam bag plus you can decide whether to keep the $10 glam bag or just have the $25 so the end result would be just the $25 a month or $35 a month if you keep both. You can find out by clicking the link.

And now onto the review.

The first thing I pulled out of my bag was the GENERATION CLAYUrban Defence Purifying Pink Clay Mask ($39).  And no that is not a typo, at least not on my part. Even though my fingers itch to turn defence into defense, on the package it is written with a c so either it is an Australian spelling or the company chose this spelling for reasons that escape me. Neither of which has any relevance on the product.  I have tried the purple clay mask from them an absolutely loved it.  It came in a deluxe sample tube from the regular ipsy bag a while back and I really wished it was larger.  Now I have a full sized jar to use. So I guess someone was listening.  (I wonder if now is the right time to tell the universe I want a pony…)

While I do in general like masks as I like the 10-20 minute time out they more or less force you to take while they do their thing, since I’ve been working out, I really like the clay based masks. On Friday afternoon once I’ve completed my last workout of the day, cooled down and taken a quick shower, I like to use a mask to completely clean out the pores and treat myself to a mini reward for making it through the week and not ditching the workouts.

Although I ought to confess I tried this mask on as soon as the box was opened, because I couldn’t resist. The pink was just as good as the purple and I look forward to using the entire jar. Well done, GENERATION CLAY, spelling issue forgotten.

The second item in my box was a set of F.A.R.A.H brushes ($50).  A 5-piece eye perfecting set to be exact.  The brushes were in good condition and had a decent variety for everyday use.  No bristles were loose and they looked sturdy.  I put them to use very quickly as the box also contained an eyeshadow palette and they did really well.  I suspect I will get a lot of use out of them.

TETRIS™ X IPSY Game On Eyeshadow Palette ($24) was in this box and I have to say I was on the fence about this product at first.  I saw the spoilers on the ipsy site so I knew it was coming my way and looked for details. Typically with eye shadow palettes I like to look for the ways other people use the shadow. While I like eye shadow, even though I am drawn to the bold and glitter, my daily look tends towards the neutral. Watching others use the palette helps guide me away from clown or super villain territory, especially if there is a blue involved. If left alone with blue eye shadow (especially the darker shades) I tend to look like I belong to the cast of villains featured on the Adam West Era of Batman. The Ipsy site does have videos showing products in use so I was hopeful. My hopes were dashed as the video more or less featured tall looking women who seemed to be constantly spinning around for some reason.  I was left with the impression that they were wearing the eyeshadow and that attending this party would make me very dizzy. However palette in hand I bravely took up my new brushes and began to play. While not the most saturated of colors, they were very buildable and despite the one bright blue which I will use sparingly (lest Gotham worry) the others I can see myself reaching for a lot. There was very little fall out and the pigments went on smoothly.  I look forward to playing with this palette throughout the month, possibly even the blue.

Item number four in my box was the TRÈSTIQUEMatte Color + Shiny Balm Lip Crayon in Belize Bordeaux & Grenache Balm ($25).  The color is fabulous and works well for me. And you know how I love lipstick. The balm at the end of the tube is great with just a hint of color and I foresee much use from both of them.  Also I really like the magnetic cap for the lip crayon. Two thumbs up for this product.

And now finally we come to the last item in the box and the one I was most excited about. In the box was a full sized SUNDAY RILEY C.E.O. Vitamin C Rich Hydration Cream ($65). I have never tried anything by Sunday Riley. I have friends who swear by the brand and other friends who can’t stand it. I am glad to have a full sized product to try as I can never really tell with the sample sized skin care products if they are actually doing anything. So while I did my initial try out of the product I will be using it as recommended and will post a more detailed review in about two weeks. I have to say, my initial impressions were good. When opening the product it was full to the brim with product and smelled like a creamsicle. I am a very scent oriented person so this made me rather happy to try out the product. I used the cream before bed last night and it absorbed well into the skin.As it is tagged for both Am and PM use, I used it again this morning. With my daily workouts, summertime heat and the nearly overwhelming humidity, this product will be well tested by the time I am done with it.

Review to follow in a few weeks.

That was everything in the box and I have to say I was impressed. It is a selection I like and will in fact use. I get to try out a skin care product that interested me, play with a new set of eyeshadows, got a new set of brushes, a fabulous new face mask, and added to my lipstick collection. Not a bad haul. For those doing the math My $25 box came with a listed value of $203 worth of products. Not a bad return on investment. Way to go Ipsy. More months like this and I will be a very happy camper.

(The values listed are based on the prices in the pamphlet that came with the box and were double checked on the various product sites.)

For more official info try: https://www.ipsy.com/