IPSY November 2020 Ultimate Glam Bag Unboxing

This Month’s Ipsy was an interesting one. For those of you who are unfamiliar with IPSY it is a beauty subscription service.  They have three tiers: Glam bag for $12, Glam Bag Plus for $25, and Glam Bag Ultimate for $50 per month.  I am currently subscribed to the Glam Bag Ultimate.  In this bag I am supposed to receive one makeup bag, eight full sized products and four deluxe sample sized products. I should also point out they recently announced this subscription will be cancelled and in January replaced with the Glam X tier. Oh how things are changing.

In addition there was other big IPSY news this month as Ipsy has now acquired Boxy Charm.  Yup, two of the biggest rivals in the subscription box game have merged.  I currently have one Ipsy subscription and one Boxy Charm Subscription.  I did have multiple Boxy Charm subscriptions, but dropped both the regular Boxy charm and the Boxy Luxe because I was becoming somewhat disappointed in my boxes.  I figured The Boxy Charm Premium was the box I had the most success with and the one I would keep, not only for the subscription to the box but for the access to Boxy Pop up that it gave me.  Moving forward it will be interesting to see how everything shifts due to the buyout.

But that is not the point of this post, the point is the Ipsy November bag. 

The bag itself, I have to admit I do like.  Sometimes the makeup bags aren’t really to my taste.  I always have someone to pass them on to so it isn’t a big deal if I don’t like them, but it is nice to have one that I like and will use. I really like the contrast of the brown and the pink this month.

The first item that I pulled out of my bag this month was the one I got to choose.  It is the Byroe Bell Pepper serum (retail $110). I picked up two other Byroe products from a Boxycharm add on a while back. One is an essence and the other is a serum (tomatoe instead of bell pepper).  I have to say I started using the essence a couple of days ago and am thus far absolutely loving it.  I am very pleased that I got to add another Byroe product to my list of products to test.

The next item was the first of my samples. And when I say sample, I mean sample. It weighs in at 2 mL or 0.07 oz. By contrast the Juliet has a Gun perfume sample from last month was 0.28 oz.  The bag is supposed to feature deluxe samples, but to be honest there is nothing deluxe about this sample. Kind of a letdown really, even before I open it to see if I like it or not. It has been a long time since IPSY has sent me a sample this small. This sample is the Crabtree & Evelyn, Evelyn Rose Femme de Force Scent.  While I love perfumes, it has been a while since I had one this small to try out.  It feels a bit more like a giveaway sample rather than something that should be in the bag.

My next sample product was the H2O+ Hydration Oasis Refreshing Gel Moisturizer. It is a decent sized sample.  I have had this sample from Ipsy before, but it was quite a while ago.  Currently I also have a second sample of the cream in my skin care drawer waiting to be tested and tried out.  Both sample tubes seem pretty full.  Maybe I’ll combine the two and see if I can actually get a full trial out of the multiple samples. Over all, I am not super enthused about this (mostly because I don’t think I was over the moon about the moisturizer last time I tried it) but I am not mad about seeing it either. Over all I am rather neutral about seeing this moisturizer in my November box.

I will confess I am a little annoyed by the next item it is a set of six Super Beau’tea Sheet Masks from Honey Jarret (retail $18).  I think the reason that I am slightly annoyed with this is that it has been an item that you could choose from the points rewards section for a while.  I had (and still have) a bunch of points to use up and so I’ve been lurking and the set was just listed as sold out October 30th and now it appears in my November box. That makes it feel a little like a left over.  I will still use the masks, and I’m sure they are fine and I am glad it is a six pack, it just isn’t all that exciting a feeling to see them. But maybe I will try them and they will be so fantastic I will forget that they were remainders.

My third full sized item of the month is also a masking set, this is the I Dew Care Mini Scoop set (retail $20).  It features a set of three ice cream inspired travel sized containers of masks. I like masks and I am always willing to try out new ones.  I think I tried a peel off mask from I Dew Care a while back, so it will be interesting to test out more from the brand.  Since there are three, I’m not upset by the travel sized products as it is a set.  I would probably have preferred one full sized over three travel  if it was from a company I was more familiar with, but as I don’t know their products well I am okay with the travel sizes.

Moving along to my fourth full sized item it is the Laboratoires Filorga Optim-eyes eye cream (retail $49). I love eye creams, mostly because I am a chronic insomniac and like to not have everyone see it.  Subscription boxes have been hitting the eye creams pretty hard lately though so I have at least four others to try as well.  I do look forward to trying out this eye cream but as it takes me so long to actually get through an eye cream, it may take a while to work my way over to this one. I am however very pleased by the product. I am also kind of amazed that it is such a large product. It dwarfs my other eye creams, yet another reason I may clear a few of them out before trying this one out. I suspect once I open it I will be using it for quite a while.

I am also pleased by the full sized M.A.C. Cream Sheen Lipstick in Sweet Sakura (retail $19).  It is a stunning red and I am always on the lookout for a good red that looks good on me.  And I think everyone knows at this point that I love all sorts of lip products. So this was a good fit for me.

The sample of Make it Last Matte Charcoal setting Spray from Milani Cosmetics is also something I find interesting. I have heard of charcoal setting sprays but I have never used them.  I am rotating setting sprays through my makeup bag at the moment. 

As I have a couple of other setting sprays in my dressing table that I want to actually use up, I am not allowing myself to repurchase my favorite,the HA Spray, until I manage to use up at least one, or two of them.  So perhaps a peruse through the ingredients list and I will put this one into rotation. Quite frankly I like seeing setting sprays in my bag as they aren’t often included and I don’t have a stock pile of them. They are a rarer commodity than many other products.

This month I received a second full sized lip product in my bag and it is the Milk Makeup Kush Lip Glaze in Chronic (retail $18). The pictures have it looking slightly green in color, but claim it is a clear formula.  It is also supposed to taste like sage extract and peppermint which should be fun to try.  I will be adding it to my makeup bag soon so that I can give it a try and let you know how that works out.  I have to say, I am kind of excited to try this.  It is one of those products I have looked at repeatedly and always talked myself out of purchasing.  Now I get to try it. For me, this is one of the benefits of subscription boxes.

Oddly enough I have also talked myself out of buying the Nomad Cosmetics X Tuscany Intense Eyeshadow Palette (retail $27) that was in my Ipsy Ultimate bag this month. I have the Berlin Underground Palette from Nomad Cosmetics and I really like the formula of the shadows and hoped that this palette would have the same formula. 

I liked the shades but as I had so many eye shadow palettes at the moment I talked myself out of buying it.  I am really glad to see it in my box this month and get a chance to play with it. 

My eighth full sized product this month was Outre by Use Me and Instant Repair Hair Mask + CBD (retail $38). I like getting hair masks although for the last few months they have all been in the sample sizes. 

That generally gives me one or two uses given the length and thickness of my hair, to see how I like them.  A full size gives me a much better feel for how they will work with my hair so I am happy to actually have a full sized product to try.

And finally the last sample included in my Ipsy Ultimate this month is Will Powder Blush in Stamina from The Balm Cosmetics.  As I received the Will Powder highlight in last month’s box, it is nice to have the blush to go with it. I always like The Balms products so am happy to have them arrive in whatever size they send.

So that my darlings was the November Ipsy Ultimate Glam Bag, or at least the version I received.  For my $50 I received, $299 worth of full sized products.  While there was a little annoyance with the sheet masks, it was only because I know they were offered as points rewards for so long before appearing in my glam bag.  I don’t have a problem with the masks themselves, and I do like that it is a set of six instead of two that they are claiming as full sized. 

All in all, the products in this bag are ones I will use, some of which I am very much looking forward to testing out. For me at least this was a pretty good month and I feel like I got my value’s worth.

I can’t wait to see what arrives next month as it is the last ever Ipsy Glam Bag Ultimate. In January they are discontinuing the tier.  In the future there will be Glam Bag X.  Basically it is the Glam Bag Plus except for the months of February, May, August, and November.  Those months will carry an increased price ($55), all full sized products with no samples and 7-8 products. The products shone on the advert for the Glam X are also rather high end so it would be interesting to see how the product choice adjusts.

Personally, between IPSY and Boxy I would be very surprised if this is the last of the changes.  I expect there will be several more shake ups before things settle down. I can’t wait to see if they turn out to be good or bad. I have my fingers crossed as I hope this is a positive thing moving forward.

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Ipsy Ultimate October 2020 unboxing

Today we start off the week with the arrival of the IPSY Ultimate Glam Box.  Ipsy has three tiers of Glam Bags (the Glam Bag – $12, The Glam Bag Plus – $25 and the Ultimate Glam Bag – $50).  Inside this bag I am supposed to receive eight full sized products, four deluxe samples and a makeup bag.

This month’s makeup bag is very much on theme for the month, which is Magic, and has a pseudo mystical gold design emblazoned on a black background.  The material is a nice faux leather type product and the zipper is nice with a gold toggle that does not feel flimsy. 

Makeup items replace the mystical symbols.  It feels an looks nice and lux.  I will say that as much as I like the look of it, I find these square makeup bags useful more for storing items like headbands rather than useful for makeup. 

They are good for travel, but I tend to put things like bathing products (shampoo, body wash) or skin care items in them rather than makeup.  I just find the shape harder to work with when dealing with makeup items. It is a good size for travel skin care and bath products though so I am happy to have it.

I will say that this is the month where the pandemic seems to have caught up with IPSY.  This October, I received three repeat items and a couple of the items were clearly ones that have been circulating in the IPSY-verse for a while.  IPSY sent me a nice e-mail basically saying ‘Sorry, Pandemic’, and then gave me some points to redeem to make up for the repeats.  The points are nice, but as everything in the redeem points section is something I already have, I’m going to hold onto them for a while. I’m guessing that’s also due to the pandemic. As long as I get to use them before they expire, I’m okay with waiting. Which is also why I currently have a lot of points.

But let’s get into what I received, shall we?

My first full sized item is the Air Repair Skincare Super Hydrating Eye cream (retail $24.50). I have tried Air repair moisturizer before and I really liked it.  I have not tried their eye cream and I’m sure I will enjoy trying it out at some point.  I am happy the tube looks to be packed with product as well so when I do get around to it, I will be able to do a full test.  I have several eye creams awaiting their turn for trial at the moment.  Because it takes so long to actually work through a tube of eye cream, it will take me a while to get to this one though.

The next item out of my bag was my first deluxe sample sized item and it is the Barefoot Venus The Vanilla Effect Instant Hand repair.  I know hand sanitizer is doing a number on everyone’s skin, but it seems like every subscription box has used this as an excuse to send hand creams. I literally have a box of hand creams to try out. 

I’m also sending them to people as stocking stuffers this year as well just to share the wealth because there is only so much hand cream I can use. I’m sure it is lovely hand cream, but I deliberately checked rarely send this to me, so having another hand cream appear is not exactly thrilling.  Still, at least it was a deluxe sample size and not a full sized product.

One of the products that has been seen in many people’s IPSY Bags but has never appeared in mine before is the Dominique Cosmetic Sweater Weather Eyeshadow Palette (retail $29). I like the shadows I’ve tried from Dominique Cosmetics before but usually don’t like the color stories and have a hard time figuring out what look to do.  This one looks like the color story is leading down a very clear path.  Despite the name, the pastels make me think spring more than fall. I also think $29 for such a small palette is a bit much, but I do look forward to giving it a go.

Another product that I am pretty certain everyone else except me has gotten before is the Dr. Brandt Skincare PoreDermabrasion (retail $58). I have seen it a number of times on lots of reviews, but I have never received it before.  As I like Dr. Brandt products in general, I’m happy to finally get to give it a go.  Besides, you know I love a good exfoliate.

My next full sized item was the Watermelon Glow PHA + BHA Pore Tight Toner (retail $15).  I have in general enjoyed Glow Recipe products and I am looking forward to testing out a pore tightening toner. 

I will say that the bottle seems a little on the small side to be a full sized item though.  That is nothing against IPSY actually as several Glow Recipe products I’ve tried have that issue. Some of their packages just looks a little small for full sized items even though I know they actually are. I think it might be because in the ads they tend to feature the extra large versions (which they also sell). It gives the full sized items a ‘medium’ look to them. At least that is how it always seems to me. Still it is very nice glas packaging and as I also have the Watermelon Day cream and the night cream in my skin care drawer, I might just choose a section of time and have a watermelon themed skin care ritual for a month. I’ve had a sample size of the watermelon night cream before and really liked it, which is why I used Boxy Charm points to get a full sized version. Plus I’ve recently been using Glow Recipes avocado night mask and I wanted to do a comparison. so I am happy to have this.

My first repeat item was the Huda Beauty Lip Contour in Trophy Wife (retail $19).  I have this same shade from a few months back still in my dressing table.  I’m not mad at it though.  The formula is really nice and creamy and it tends to last a really long while on the lips.  The color is also one I will reach for repeatedly.  So as a repeat, I am okay with receiving it. I know I like it and that I will use it.

I was less enthused about seeing the Naked Cosmetics four piece pigment set (retail $39.99).  I received these a while ago and I just didn’t get along with them. 

each is a square container

I don’t know if I am just not a loose pigments sort of person or if there was something amiss with the product.  It could be both, but the only thing I made with these pigments was a mess. 

These will be passed on without opening, hopefully never to return. I just opened the top of the box in case you were wondering what they looked like. They are little cuboid containers and the shades are nice, I just make a mess with them.

I found it strange in general that I received two eyeshadow products in the same box, but as I also received two blush products (sort of) I suppose the pandemic skewed the product selection in more than just repeat products.

Speaking of blushes, the first blush I extracted from my IPSY box was the OFRA cosmetics Blush in Blini (retail $29).  In general I like OFRA products and this is a shade I don’t have.  It is also a lighter toned blush which will work well for me in the winter when my tan fades.  As I looked through my blush collection this past week I realized that most of my blushes are more for my summer tanned skin rather than the winter pale version of me, so I am happy to give this shade a try. And luckily it wasn’t broken, although it was a close call. When I took it out of the box, the pan was rattling around. The man came loose from the plastic backing. It got a little banged around but didn’t break. I put a dab of glue on the back and it was fine, but I am kind of amazed that there was no breakage.

The second blush product is a deluxe sample of the blush-highlighter Will Powder in the shade Worth the Wait. It is from The Balm Cosmetics and I generally like their products.  I am also less worried about getting two blushes in this box as this may claim to be a blush-highlighter hybrid, but it looks like a highlighter.  I honestly can’t see me using this as a blush.  I’ll give it a go, but I’m guessing it will be more highlighter for me.

There was a perfume sample in my IPSY this month.  It is the Juliette Has A Gun Vanilla Vibes. It is a deluxe sample and the size is definitely a deluxe.  It looks like a jumbo version of the tiny perfume sample tubes.  Which looks a little strange to me.  I have no reason why it looks strange, maybe it is just because it looks exactly the same as the smaller ones so it looks like part of a 1950s radiation based sci-fi movie with the scale. 

I like perfume and now that the weather has cooled I am wearing it more.  I have an iffy past with the brand Juliette Has a Gun perfumes though.  Their descriptions always draw me in so I try them, but as many as I’ve tried, none of them have ended up appealing to me. I haven’t opened this one yet as I am finishing out a trial of ano0ther perfume at the moment, but I have high hopes.  I like the scent of vanilla.  So who knows?  Perhaps this will be the perfume from the brand that I actually like.

My choice item this month was the Milk Makeup Cannabis Hydrating Face Mask (retail $26).  I like Milk Makeup, I like masks… okay, I love masks…and I am intrigued by a mask in a stick formula.  I think this one will be a fun one to try. Of all the things in the bag this month, this is the product I am actually excited by.

And finally we come to the final product and the third repeat.  This is the Yensa CBD Superfood Dual Cleansing oil (retail $38).  I’ve actually been using this one for the past few weeks and will be reviewing it later this week actually. 

the opened one

It is an interesting product, good but not one I really feel I need to keep a backup of in my skincare drawer. Very little is needed and it is a large bottle.  It will take me a while to work through the bottle I’ve got open.  So I may just pass this unopened one along so that it will get used in a timely manner.

So that was my IPSY Ultimate this month. Monetarily, I paid $50 and received $249.49 worth of product.  The $39.99 Naked Cosmetics shadows will be passed along without opening and I will be passing along the $38 oil Cleanser from Yensa. So the end value to me is $171.50.   I’m okay with the value to be honest. 

I will use the other products in the bag.  I am actually looking forward to a few of them.  I still can’t say I feel wowed by this month.  Somehow it still feels ‘just okay’.  It’s not bad, just okay. Perhaps it is the repeat products, but I kind of expected more. That has sort of been the theme for subscription boxes this month. I think it was because two of my boxes were each missing items and Boxycharm had items I wasn’t ever going to use. It just feels like everyone sort of felt tired when packing the October boxes. Well, except Look fantastic. they didn’t forget anything and it was a killer box this month. The disappointment is slight with IPSY, the disappointment is really based on so many repeat products in one box. and I’ll easily get over it as I put the products I plan to use to the test. It just didn’t wow me this month. Ipsy choice is this week so on the 22nd I’ll get to see if the wow factor is back. As IPSY has been really good lately, I think that the off month clunked a bit louder as well. Over all, Ipsy has been consistently good with me. I just hope that whatever kinks the pandemic threw into IPSY’s supply chain can be worked out by the time the November bag gets assembled. I like when I am wowed by subscription boxes.

For now, I have an interesting assortment of products to try, and several I get to pass on. Nothing was broken or missing. And at least I got an back up Huda Lip contour. As I’ve been using it quite a bit, I will probably need it sooner rather than later. Still, fingers crossed for November.


Lilysilk's Semi-Annual Sale

Opening up Ipsy’s Cozy Up Mystery Bag for a surprise

I’ll admit it. I couldn’t resist the pouch.  IPSY tends to have a selection of Mystery bags for sale and occasionally I end up picking them up.  Sometimes it is because of the theme or one of the products offered (Yes, I did pick up the Masking Bag and received a deluxe sample of my favorite Generation Clay Purple Brightening mask).  This mystery bag showed nothing that was inside and Cozy could have been referring to the corduroy of the bag rather than the products inside. (which having now seen them, I think it did).

But the bag was too cute to resist.  The limited edition Mystery bag was $14. While there was some tax, IPSY doesn’t charge for shipping so I think it added only about a dollar and change to the price. In all fairness I have to admit that I sort of forgot that I ordered it. I saw it when I went on to review this month’s bag for points and thought, that looks nice, why not? Ordered it and completely forgot about it. I didn’t actually remember it until I pulled it out of the mailbox.

Surprise!

The front of the bag is a light lilac and the flap and back are a more reddish purple. It fastens with a rather sturdy snap and has a wipe able interior liner. I like the fact that even though the inside is clearly makeup bag interior, the outside is cloth.  I could actually see using this as a simple clutch as well as a makeup bag. My cell phone might be a bit too heavy for it to take, but my id, a compact, lipstick, a few breath mints and an extra face mask would comfortably fit no problem.

But as cute as the exterior is, it is the inside that counts.  So what’s inside?

The first item out of the bag was a mattifying Primer from First Aid Beauty.  Oddly enough while I have tried many skin care products from FAB I don’t recall ever trying their primer. And I’m sure by now, everyone knows I love my primers.  Especially the mattifying ones.  So already I am pleased.

Next up there is a Luxie 1010 Small Contour brush.  I really like Luxie Brushes.  I especially like the ones that have the curved cut out in the handle.  I find them really easy to control and work with.  So item number two is definitely a win.

The third item is a bullet lipstick from Context skin.  It is in the shade 103 Say Love. While a little on the pink side for me, I could probably make it work with a darker liner or a topper. I’ve tried the formula before and it is a pretty good lipstick formula.  It isn’t very drying and lasts a while. 

The other Context lipstick isn’t my favorite shade either so I tend to blend it as well.  The formula is nice and creamy though and really does blend well.  I tend to apply it and then mix in a liquid lip on top and wear it that way.  Actually I have a Bite Beauty Liquid Lip that is slightly too brown for my skin tone and it works wonderfully as a mixer.

The next item is a pen style eyeliner from the brand Aurora.  I’ve never heard of the brand before but the liner swatched well.  And it is a brown eyeliner.  While I have a boat load of black eyeliners, I only have a couple of brown ones. 

Given some of my favorite neutral shades the brown liners tend to work really well for me.  I love that they are also now on trend with brown liners popping up pretty much everywhere.  On the hand swatch photo it looks a little darker than it is in real life. 

Swatches, liner on top, then the IBY shadow followed by the Context lipstick

It is very much a dark brown rather than a tan or warm brown shade.  However, if you notice, it didn’t seep into any of the fine lines of my skin.  This gives me high hopes for this liner.

The fifth and final item in my mystery bag is the cutest little single eyeshadow from IBY.  It is in the shade Fire and Ice.  While unassuming in the pan, the swatch is very encouraging.  This past spring I used a pastel themed palette from IBY that actually changed my thoughts on pastel palettes.  I really like the shadow formula and am pleased to have a non-spring like shade from them to try out. When swatched this comes off as an old gold kind of shade.  It will be fun to see how it performs on the eyes.

So that was my $14 mystery bag from IPSY.  I think there are some variations in the bags, which is probably why they didn’t show the items included. However I believe the bag is still available at the time I am writing its if anyone wants the bag and is willing to take a chance on the contents.  Personally, I really like the bag and am looking forward to playing around with the contents. So for me it was a win win scenario. As well as a fun surprise I wasn’t really expecting.


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September 2020’s IPSY Ultimate Unboxing

For those who don’t know IPSY Ultimate is a category of the IPSY Subscription service.  It is the most expensive tier and offers eight full sized products and four deluxe samples with a makup bag each month for $50.  There is also a $25 per month Glam Bag Plus which has a drawstring bag and five full sized products and a regular Glam bag with a small makeup bag and five deluxe sample sized products, with the occasional full sized one, for $12.

This month’s makeup bag was one I really liked.  It is the sort with a flat bottom and rounded zippered top, like a clam shell.  I like this style as it tends to sit upright well and can hold quite a lot of products. It is a yellow corduroy material with a red stripe down the center. 

The colors are perfect for fall and personally I like the cloth bags better than the more plastic ones as they feel more luxurious.  They still have an easily wipe-able interior, but the outside is nicer.

This month the ultimate glam bag also came with a pamphlet detailing the products and their value (although there is no official price on the deluxe samples).  The pamphlets have been hit or miss for a while now and I am glad to see them back.  Hopefully they will return. 

But what is inside this month’s bag?

First we start with the Cake Beauty Milk Made Velveteen Body Cream which is a deluxe sample size. I’ve use it before and it is a nice cream.  I seem to be getting at least one or more body creams each month and they are piling up.  I am working my way through them though so eventually I will get around to using this.  For now it goes into the basket with the other body lotions awaiting their turn to be used.

My second sample this month was a Doucce Freematic Blush Mono in Daydream  which is the same shade that was in my Doucce Freematic palette I received a while ago, also from IPSY. If you remember my review, I wasn’t a big fan of the formula.  I am passing the palette on in fact and will add the extra blush to go with it.

The third item was something I was happy to see.  It too is a sample size and it is the Georgette Kilinger Collagen and Elastin Mask.  As I’m  sure anyone who routinely reads this post knows, I am a huge fan of masks.  I have never tried this one so it will be interesting to test it out. Plus it is nice to pull something out of the bag I know I will use.

The first fill sized item in my box this month is the Girlactik Skin Glow Duo in Sunset (retail $26) which is a highlighter duo.  It is a cream highlighter which isn’t something I use a lot of so I think it will be fun to play around with.  I’ve tried a few powder products from the brand but never a cream so it should be interesting to try out their formulas and the colors look nice.

The second full sized item was the Goldfaden MD Brightening Elixir Protect + Repair Brightening Serum (retail $80), and you know how much I like having serums on hand.  I have tried an exfoliator from this brand before and found it good but too rough to use more than once a month. It will be interesting to see how I feel about the serum. I find it surprising that the box is so much bigger than the actual serum. By now I shouldn’t be surprised, but somehow I always am.

Also counting as a full sized item this month (retail $7.50) is the Hello Ganic One a Day Sheet mask set.  There are three in the pack so I am okay with it being considered a full sized item. 

I only really take issues when they have one and claim it is a full sized item even though you can only purchase it in sets of three or five.  I’ve never tried anything from Hello Ganic so it should be fn to test out.  I’ve also managed to whittle down my collection of sheet masks. 

I put my Facetory sheet mask subscription on hold for a few months to do so.  (I really like the ease of that option with that subscription) I will be resuming the subscription this month so at the end of this month I will have more sheet masks to add to this set of three. 

What is interesting is that these masks and the Goldfaden MD serum are my only two skin care items this month.  For the last few months IPSY has been heavily weighted towards skin care where is this month it isn’t.  I think it’s a nice change.  While I adore skin care I have a bunch of products lined up to try and as skin care takes a while to test out, I it nice to have some time to clear out a little space before adding more.

This month I was super excited to see the Julep Cushion Complexion Concealer in Ivory  (retail $16).  I’ve tried the Julep concealer formula before and really liked it.  I think it may be a little on the light shade for me right now.  I may have to set it aside for a month and test it in October when my summer tan fades a bit more.  If I remember correctly Ivory is my winter shade of concealer. 

Julep, Korean Skincare Made Simple.

So it is nice to know that once I start using it, I will be able to use it all the way through until May.  Especially since I think my current concealers are all in my summer shades.  That is something I will need to look at by the end of the month. But I am very happy to have this ready to go once the tan fades. A little disappointed I can’t use it right away, but still excited. For those interested, Julep is still having a pretty big sale at the moment. If interested you might want to click on the above link and check it out.

The La Muse Deep Color Lip Balm in Cherry  (retail $28) is not a brand I’ve even heard of, but I am always happy to try a new lip balm.  And as my foundation this week is a tinted moisturizer rather than an actual foundation, this might be a tinted lip balm’s week to shine. 

It reminds me very much of Fresh lip balms, at least in packaging. It has the same screw down top to it. I used to get the Plum shade from Fresh every year and use it when I wanted a little color but mostly a lip balm.  It was a great product and one I have been thinking of replacing once I reduce the lip balms in my collection.  Hopefully this will perform in a similar manner.

Next out of my Ultimate Box was the Pixi by Petra Endless Silky Eye Pen Duo in Black Caviar & Bronze Beam (retail $ $28).  While I am a fan of the Pixi toners and setting spray the only makeup I’ve used from the Pixi line have been a couple of metallic shadows.  They were of excellent quality and I have high hopes for these as well.  I drew a line on my hand and found them super smooth and creamy.  So I am looking forward to giving them a test run in the makeup bag.

The ModaBrush Neon Angle Contour/Blush Brush (retail $19.99) is a nice addition to my bag.  It feels soft and in general I like the few Moda Brushes I’ve tried before.  I’ll have to test it out and see if it enters into my first string of brushes or if it gets put into the reserve drawer, but I am always happy to have new brushes.

This month I received the Zoeva Caramel Mélange Eyeshadow Palette  (retail $28), which I find vaguely amusing.  A few months ago BoxyCharm had something like ten separate Zoeva palettes that could be in one of the boxes.  Through some twist of fate, I didn’t get any of them.  And now I have the one I thought was best suited to me.  It looks like it will be a nice autumn color scheme and that it might have enough color variation to not get boring during a week of continued use.  I have never tried out their formula so I am pleased I finally get to try it out.

And finally we come to the product I actually chose this month.  Drum roll please.  It is the Huda Beauty Complexion Perfection Pre-Makeup Base (retail $38).  You know I love primers and as I really like the Huda eyeshadow formula and have been using the makeup sponge since it’s arrival on my doorstep I am pleased to try out another Huda Beauty product to see how I like it.

So doing quick math first you realize that I only had three deluxe samples and nine full sized products, which is plenty find by me.  The bag I like and will use instead of passing on, which I haven’t been able to say in a few months and for my $50 purchase price I received products with a value of $271.49 which is not a terrible return.  Especially when all of the items are ones that I will use. 

This month I ended up receiving almost a full face of makeup in one box which is kind of fun as well.  As much as I adore skin care, it was nice to have a box heavy in makeup and light in skin care this month. It’s nice to have a bit of a change.  While the unboxing started off slow this month with two samples I wasn’t immediately enthused by, it got better and better as I continued so over all I am willing to consider this another win for IPSY.  This far this is three or four bags in a row that have been just really nice.  Hopefully they will continue.


Huda Beauty Afterpay

August 2020 IPSY Ultimate Unboxing

IPSY Ultimate August 2020

This month’s Ipsy Ultimate Subscription box arrived.  For those who don’t know, Ipsy is a beauty subscription service.  There are three Tiers to the service; The Glam Bag ($12 per month), The Glam Bag Plus ($25 per month) and The Ultimate ($50 per month).  This is the Ultimate box and inside I am supposed to get a makeup bag, eight full sized products and four deluxe sample sizes.  Usually the box is a mix of makeup and skin care but as you can see, this month was heavily skin care with a few makeup items thrown in. 

This month’s bag is pretty enough.  It has a sort of coppery rainbow sheen to it and is sturdy enough.  It’s pretty but I have to say I prefer the bags that don’t feel quite so plastic-y.  I know this is good to wash off if anything spills and it is a good size as well as a good quality, I just prefer the feel of some of the other bags.  Some have a more rubberized texture and some are cloth.  This just sort of feels like plastic. But it is pretty.

I’ll either decide to use it or end up donating it to the shelter my mom’s church works with.  As they put together kits of personal items for people with personal items like toothbrushes and deodorant for people to use, they are always looking for bags and containers. So even if I don’t like the bag, it will get plenty of use.

 The first of the makeup items in my bag this month was the BEAUTY FOR REAL Hi Def Mascara in Just Black (retail $19).  I love mascaras and tend to wear them every day even if I don’t where much of any other makeup that day, so I am always willing to try out a new one.  I’ve tried a couple of things from this brand before and they tend to be a bit hit or miss for me, but I do love lengthening mascaras.  I’m curious about the micro brush applicator as well.  I have a couple of mascaras that are due to be changed out soon, so I might wait until I clear out the older ones before opening this one. So for now it is set to the side.

The next makeup item came from Wander Beauty.  It is the WANDER BEAUTY Skyliner Automatic Gel Eyeliner in Jet Black (retail $21).  Wander beauty does have really good products so I have no problem receiving another one.  I usually end up liking them.  I can’t say I’m thrilled by another eyeliner as I seem to have gotten a lot of them recently, but I am looking forward to trying out their formula.  I like the fact that it has olive and jojoba seed oil in the eyeliner and that it is designed not to run or smear in hot humid weather, which let’s face it, is what I am living in right now.  So it will be fun to try.

The COMPLEX CULTURE Plush Powder Brush (retail $35) was also in my bag this month and I have to say I was happy to see it.  I love a good fluffy powder brush and to be honest, mine was getting pretty old.  It started shedding bristles which is generally the beginning of the end.  So now I have something to replace it with.  I believe Complex Culture is either owned by IPSY or partnered with them in some fashion so I’m not surprised to see the brand here.  It is however a good quality brush so I don’t mind. Either way it is good timing for me. My old brush can be retired and this can take its place.

The last item that can be considered in the makeup category is the KOKIE COSMETICS Mini Fix It Up Setting Spray.  It is a deluxe sample size.  I haven’t actually tried any of Kokie products before although I’ve seen them around.  The spray is supposed to be a matte spray, which I really like. 

While I’m more flexible with sprays in the winter, I don’t need any setting spray giving me a dewy look when the sun is already trying to melt me. For me, mattifying is fantastic.  I have only a little more of my I Heart Revolution Setting spray left so I am going to hold this for a couple of weeks so I can finish it out (finally) but then I will be giving this a trial run.  Who knows, maybe I’ll find a whole new brand to love.

There was one hair care product in my IPSY Ultimate this month and it is the full sized SOAPBOX Coconut Milk Hair Mist (retail $12.99).  It is supposed to boost hair’s hydration levels providing softness and shine.  It also helps tame flyaways, which I can use. It can also be used to refresh hair between washes. 

That sounds like a lot of claims to me, so I look forward to trying it out and seeing what it actually does.  I have to admit I am not too thrilled by the potential coconut scent.  It seems like this summer everything has been coconut scented.  I don’t mind coconut, but it feels like the scent is everywhere.  I think it is just the scent of this summer.  While I like coconut, I am just kind of over it at this point.  Sort of too much of a good thing.  I will still test out the spray because I am curious to see which claims it manages to meet, I am just tired of coconut.

Pretty much everything else in the box falls into the skin care category. First up is the FEEL Vitamin E Balm (retail $24).  I like the brand feel.  I have always had really good results with their products.  I also like vitamin E.  When I was little my mom used to take the Vitamin E capsules and break them open to put on cuts and scrapes so that the skin would heal faster and the scar tissue would soften and leave less of a permanent scar.  So I am well familiar with its skin softening effects. (I was not grace personified on roller skates when I was little.) I think the Vitamin E would work well on my lips as well so I am happy to have this lip balm.  (Although really, when am I not happy to have another lip balm?)

I’ll admit I am intrigued by the next item that came in my IPSY this month and I will probably be using it for this week’s Face Mask Friday post.  And that is the MAKEUPDROP Super Silver Haze Purifying Face Mask (retail $65).  It has kaolin clay which I love as a pore clearing medium.  Me and clay masks are very good friends. In addition the mask is CBD infused which I find interesting.  I’ve been trying out a lot more CBD products lately. Some of them have been better than others.  I confess I know nothing about colloidal silver on skin so I will have to look that ingredient up before I use it, but I am always interested to find out about new ingredients. So tune back in Friday to see how this mask performs on a first test.

There is a second clay mask (sample sized) in my bag this month. It is the GENERATION CLAY Detoxifying Charcoal Australian Clay Mask.  I am a big fan of Generation Clay and Charcoal to be honest.  I really liked their pink clay mask and I absolutely adore the Purple brightening mask.  So I am happy to get a different style that I haven’t tried yet.  If you like clay masks, this is definitely a company to stock up on with products.

Surprisingly there were also two moisturizers in my IPSY bag this month, the first was a full sized jar from PAYOT PARIS. It is the Hydra 24+ Crème Glacée (retail $48).  It is for day or nighttime use and designed for normal to dry skin.  I’m going to leave it sealed right now and try it out a little later in the year once the weather cools a little bit.  While I have normal skin, in the summer I lean more towards oily while in the cooler months I lean more towards dry.  So given it’s description, I think this might be more of a cooler weather product for me.  I will say I am interested to try a moisturizer from a company that has been in production since the 1920s. And I have to say, the glass jar is pretty.

The second moisturizer in my bag this month was a trial sized product from the company THANN. Hydrating Emulsion is what it is called, so I’m guessing that means moisturizer. I recognize that companies like to stand out, but sometime a little clarity goes a long way.  I will be adding this to my moisturizers to try.  I have to admit I’ve never tried anything from  the brand Thann, in fact I’ve never heard of them before, so it will be a completely new to me experience.

There was one cleanser this month as well.  It is a sample size of the DR. OHKIMS+ Cleansing Gel Foam.  I’ll admit, I’ve never heard of them either, but I am always looking for a good cleanser and have no problem giving them a try.

Finally we reach the one product I chose for this month.  It is the 111SKIN Cryo ATP Sports Booster ($135).  It is supposed to energize the skin and is supposed to be perfect to use after a workout. I’m guessing that’s the reason for the word sport in the name. I usually have pretty good  results with 111Skin so I am looking forward to giving this a go.  As I said before this is the item I chose.  With the Ultimate category you can choose one item per month.  For September’s box the choice date is August 24th.  Choice opens around 9 am on the day off and I think stays open for 24 hrs.

So that was my IPSY Ultimate for the month of August.  While it had several good products and several interesting items I want to try out, I can’t say it was the most exciting bag.  It is solidly good this month, just not fantastic.  If that makes any sense.  I like it, but didn’t get giggly over any one item.  The value was certainly there though.  For my $50 I received $359.99 worth of products.  It’s a really good return and all of the products I will use.  There was no real wow factor, but there were a lot of quietly interesting items.


Wander Beauty

IPSY Ultimate Review: July 2020

Despite looking like someone sat on it, everything in my box arrived intact.

This month I felt as though I was stalking the post office when it came to subscription boxes.  Especially with IPSY.  I received the shipping notice on the 7th of the month but then nothing else.  I kept checking back and nothing was updating.  Finally, I checked in with USPS and they claimed to be waiting for it to be dropped off. They never updated. I’m pretty sure even a few days after I received my box they are still claiming to wait for it.

I know everyone else has been going through similar things this month as well as it seems nothing is really coming  in on time (with the exception of my Kristopher Buckle package which came much faster than I actually expected it to. Maybe they know something no one else does.)

But finally it arrived and I can stop trying to pull up the tracking information.  I think IPSY might have also switched delivery services as a different one from usual was listed.  But none of that is the point.  Shipping has more in common with a spin of the Wheel of Fortune game show wheel than a regulated system these days.

IPSY is a monthly beauty subscription service.  They have several tiers.  I receive the IPSY Ultimate box which includes one make  up bag, eight full sized items and four deluxe sample sized items for the price of $50.  This is the first year of this particular tier and it had been a bumpy year.  They seem to be getting better lately so lets see what this month’s long awaited bag looks like.

The bag itself is interesting.  It is square, which is a bit unusual and it is quite roomy.  The design isn’t my favorite and I don’t really like that it doesn’t have a handle on it, but it is fine.  I probably won’t be keeping it.  My mother’s church puts together toiletry and self care kits for the homeless who use their soup kitchen and they are always looking for little bags to contain the items so any bag I don’t keep ends up donated there. So even if I don’t like it, the bag won’t be wasted.

The first full sized item in my bag this moth was the AWAKE Glow Pill Super Serum (retail $39). I love serums so I am always pleased to have a new one to try out.  I believe AWAKE is a sister brand to Tarte, but I could be mistaken on that. 

Either way I have never tried this serum and look forward to testing it out.  It claims to be a light weight gel that makes skin softer and more hydrated as well as banishing fine lines, pores and dark spots.  Sounds like a tall order but I am looking forward to trying it out.

The next item in my bag this month are the Beauty For Real SHADOW STX 24-7 Eyeshadow Duo in Midnight Marathon and Ever Starstruck (retail $38). Since My IPSY box came in Friday afternoon I decided to add these and the Seraphine Botanicals Sakura + Sage Vegan Eyeshadow & Blush Palette (retail $42) to my Make up bag for the week.  I’ve never used shadow sticks before so this should be fun. They are both shimmer shades so I’d have to pair them with something else.

I kind of wish one was matte so I could make a better attempt at a single look with just the stix but I will at least get to see how they fare with other shadows.  I’ve also never tried Seraphine Botanicals before.  I know they’ve been around in IPSY bags before but somehow they never seem to end up in my bag until now.  So now I get to try them.

I am also adding the Il Makiage Brow Pen in the shade Truffles (retail $22) and the OFRA Highlighter in the shade Glazed Doughnut (retail $30) to my makeup bag this week.  While most of the items in my makeup bag this week are from the Kristopher Buckle Collection, these items will help fill in the gaps for items that didn’t come in the kit. Plus, I get to use some of the newly arrived items instead of waiting until next week. So bonus for me.

This month I also received a full sized set of 8 Hair masks from Foxybae (retail $28.95). I’m not entirely sold on the individual packaging, but I tend to really like Foxybae Hair products.  Their Flaminglow leave in conditioner is well worth picking up.So I am definitely looking forward to trying this out.

I was very pleased to see a full sized Purlisse Beauty Blue Lotus product in my box this month.  I was doubly pleased as the 4~in~1 Cleansing Milk (retail $36) is the only item in the Blue Lotus line that I haven’t tried.  It was the one element left out of my full trial of Blue Lotus and I am happy to fill in the gap.

The last full sized item in my IPSY Ultimate box this month was the CIATÉ LONDON

Watermelon Burst Hydrating Primer (retail $28).  It was the item I selected, because you know I love my primers. Plus it was the best of the offered options when it came time to choose.  Incidentally for those of you who get IPSY a reminder, choice day for August’s bag is this week, July 23rd actually.  They always have choice up at 9 am EST. I love that it is a consistent time.  After the befuddlement with Boxy’s choice day this month, it is extra appreciated.

So I have yet another Ciate London product in my growing collection.  At this point I think the only categories I am missing are an eyebrow product and a bronzer.  I’ll have to check but if that is the case I may have to order them and then just do a full face of Ciate in my weekly makeup bag.

So now that we’ve covered the full sized items it is on to the four deluxe sample sizes.  These aren’t listed with prices so alas I can not offer them to you.  But I can tell you what they are.

First up is the Belif  The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb. I am always happy to have another moisturizer on hand to try, even if it is a small size.  I am almost finished with my Volition Celery Green Cream so I’m going to have to choose my next moisturizer soon anyway. 

It will have a lot to live up to as I really liked the Volition Cream. I am not sure if I’ll use the Belif moisturizer next, but I think I may choose one of the trial sizes I have stashed away.  I noticed the other day I am getting quite the collection of mini moisturizers in my skincare drawer. They usually have enough product for two weeks in them so I might try to work my way through them and see if any of them deserve a full sized month long trial.

But that is a decision for later. Moving on with IPSY I received a perfume sample from Catherine Malandrino this month.  It is in the scent Special Moments.  I’ve tried a perfume from her before so I am pleased to try another one. 

I also like that it is a good sized sample and not one of those tiny little tubes.  There is plenty for a week long trial and I am always happy to try out a new perfume.  I actually have several perfumes I need to post reviews of as well. I really need to catch up on posting those.

My third sample this month is the Jayjun USA Green Tea Eye Gel Patch (Set of 3). I like that there is a set of three because it lets me get an accurate opinion through multiple uses. With skin care items often you need more than one trial to see if you really like it. Otherwise its more of a first impression than anything else.

Then finally, last but not least there is something for the shower.  This month I received a sample sized packet of The Coffee Scrub in French Vanilla.  I’ve seen this floating around for several months but it has never appeared in my bag.  I’m pleased I finally get a chance to try it. 

Over all I have to say I am rather pleased with my products this month.  It is a pretty varied selection of products which I kind of like.  It is a mix of makeup, skincare, hair care and body care. Some of the items I’ve seen floating around the IPSY-verse for a while, but they have never been in my bags before. 

I suspect that they are clearing out older inventory.  I know they have a major summer sale going on right now so perhaps that will clear out all of the familiar items and bring in new selections. 

Although I have to say some of the items in my box this month weren’t ones I’ve seen in IPSY in prior months.  I can’t say there is any one item that sent me over the moon this month.  There was no real wow factor item, but they all look like good items I will be happy to give a try.  And to be honest, I’m shopping less as I’m staying in more so it’s nice to have a new variety of items to try out. I think I’m actually appreciating my subscription boxes more now that I’m not going to Ulta to try out their testers or browsing the drug store aisles.

I think that, more than the delayed postal system is why I’ve been stalking the postal service on line this month. I’ll try not to check the tracking so obsessively next month.  Possibly. No promises.


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IPSY Ultimate Unboxing June 2020

The June 2020 IPSY Ultimate Glam Bag

I know it is a little strange that this box review is coming a little late.  After all, if you are familiar with my Make up Bag posts you’ll see that many of these items were chosen for this week’s bag.  I was attempting to get the Look Fantastic and Glossy Box reviews posted before those boxes sold out for the month. It didn’t work as they both sold out super quick but that was the attempt.

The IPSY Ultimate Glam Bag actually came in last Thursday so I was able to choose some of the items that arrived to test this week as I generally pack my new makeup bag Thursday night for the following week. So if you find the items familiar, that may be why.

This month’s bag

So for those who don’t know IPSY is a Beauty subscription service.  They have three tiers The Glam Bag ($12/mo), The Glam Bag Plus ($25/mo and the Ipsy Ultimate ($50/ mo).  I am currently signed up for the Ipsy Ultimate so that is what I am reviewing. 

In my box I receive a make-up bag eight full sized items and four deluxe sample sized items each month. IPSY started this tier in October of 2019 and to be honest it has not always been the greatest of subscriptions.  Some months they hit it out of the park and some month’s they completely tank.  So let’s see what June ended up being shall we?

This month the theme was Making Waves and the card that came with the box listed five tips to maximize your SPF.  While handy, I would have preferred more information about the products.  However even when they do list the prices, they only list the prices for the full sized items not the deluxe sample sized ones.  The prices I am using for this post are taken from the IPSY website.

The first item out of my June box was the Laura Geller Spackle Mist Restore with Coconut Water.  It is not only supposed to cool the skin on a hot summer’s day but to act as a primer to increase wear time.  It retails for $32. At the moment I have one decent setting spray and one that is very pretty but not very effective so I am happy to try out another one.  I put this in my make up bag for the week so I will see how it performs right away.  I generally like Laura Geller products so I’m expecting good things. Incidentally Laura Geller is having a sale at the moment. I’ll post the link here.

Laura Geller is helping you save this summer. Get Photo -Ready with the Perfect Filter. Take 50% off any Filter Product with coupon code “FILTER50” at check out. Add free shipping on all orders of $50+. Offer valid though 6/16.

CIATÉ LONDON also made an appearance in this month’s box with the Wonderwand Mascara in Black Magic.  It is a deluxe size and I will be setting it aside until I work through my already opened mascaras. I am trying to keep only three or four open at a time so I can use them up before they go bad.  I think I might actually have the full sized version of this already open, but will have to check.

As I finish the old ones I’ll rotate the newer ones in (or I’ll just get too excited to see one and open it anyway, I try to be good but I’m just not very good at it.) We’ve been seeing a lot of Ciate London lately and I am not mad at that.  I really like Ciate products.  I think I am missing a bronzer and a primer, but beyond that I may actually be able to do a complete face with Ciate products.  Who knows I may pick up those items and have one makeup bag from the same brand. And I have heard their bronzer is pretty good. Something for future me to think about.

Next up was the Huda Beauty Basic B Sponge (retail $17). It too was added to this week’s makeup bag to try out.  Mostly because the sponge I was using was at the end of its life.  I may have to do a tool review this week in addition to the palette and foundation posts as I also added the Laruce Beauty Essentials Brush Set (retail $154) that came in this month’s box to my weekly make-up bag. And yes you read that right it is a five piece brush set with a retail value of $154. I’ll have to let you know if I think it is worth it’s high price tag.

My next sample size was the Sunday Riley U.F.O. Ultra Clarifying Acne Treatment Face Oil. While I had several break outs, I’ve been using the Peace Out dots on them for the past week or so and everything is pretty much cleared up.  So I will put this away to try on the next string of break outs.  With the way my skin reacts to stress, I’m sure it won’t take long for it to be needed. And unlike the Martian Toner, it has not been discontinued.

This month I received an IL MAKIAGE Infinity Long-Wear Matte Lip Cream in the shade Dreamy (retail $22).  It is full sized and was added to this week’s make-up bag so you won’t have to wait too long to hear my thoughts on it.  I will say right off the bat, the packaging feels super lux and made me want to use it right away. I swatched it immediately. I’m afraid it might be a little too pinky orange for me, but as I have never tried the formula I will be using it to see if I like the formula. I may augment the color with a lip pencil if I don’t like it, but it will be worn this week. (or has been worn this week actually and spoiler, I really like the formula, not so happy with the color.)

While not in my makeup bag, I did put the sample sized NAKED COSMETICS Lip Scrub in Vanilla Crème in my bathroom to try this week.  With the summer sun beating down and repeated sunscreen applications, I have been using lip scrubs almost as much as I do in the winter months so I was happy to have a new one to try. I’ll have to let you know if it makes the cut.

This month I received two eyeshadow palette in my IPSY box. The first I pulled out of the box was THEBALM COSMETICS AUTOBALM® PIC PERF (retail $26.50).  I was surprised to get two eyeshadow palettes in the same box, but also rather pleased.  I like The Balm shadows in general and I am curious to try the cream lid primer that comes in this palette. That’s right the neutral primer is a cream while the others are all powders. I have to say I kind of like that the primer is a little tinted instead of just being super pale white. But then again I spent most of the past couple of weeks realizing almost everything I have in my makeup drawer is my winter shade and not summer so there is that.

The Balm Palette

Another brand that has been cropping up lately in IPSY Boxes has been SHAINA B MIAMI.  This month brought the Mini Miami Blush and Highlight Palette It has two blushes and two highlighters.  I haven’t tried them out yet and it is one of the few items that didn’t make it into this week’s Make-up Bag.  Perhaps I’ll give it a go next week. The palette is considered full sized despite having mini in the title and you can see why as it has pretty large pans.  It retails for $20.

The second eyeshadow palette from DOUCCE, the Freematic Limited Edition Smokey Pro Palette (retail $65) to be exact, was the shadow palette I chose for this week’s Make-up bag. I’ll be reviewing it on Thursday so I won’t go into too much detail here, but I like that it is a reusable palette.  It also feels quite sturdy in the hand.

Finally, we come to the last item in this month’s Ipsy Ultimate. It was the item that I picked when given a choice.  Each month you get to choose one item from a few options.  As the past few months, my bags have been heavily skin care I decided to choose the makeup option this month to see if I could slide it the other way as I am trying to work my way through a bunch of skin care. If I remember correctly this was the only makeup item in my selection and I think I laughed that it was a makeup product from a skin care company.

The choice for the July item is June 24th at 9 am EST in case you are interested. It opens at 9am each month and remains open for 24 hours I believe. Last month the item I chose for this month was the DR BRANDT SKINCARE Pores No More® Luminizer Primer (retail $38). 

For me it seemed a no brainer.  I have a weakness for primers and the few items I’ve tried from Dr. Brandt I have really liked.  Their night mask is one I tried out and I know I will repurchase.  And yes, I added it to this week’s make up bag so you’ll be hearing all about it on Friday as well.

Over all I really liked this month’s IPSY Ultimate Box.  The items are ones I will use, that I like, and that I am excited to try out.  For my $50 purchase price I received $374.50 worth of items. 

Admittedly $154 of that was the five piece brush set from Laruce Beauty, but even so I feel it was a very good value.  It felt like a really good box to me. It is kind of interesting that it was so make up heavy this month when it has been so heavily weighted towards skin care the past few months. I didn’t change up my profile but this month I didn’t choose any of the skin care options during choice. I don’t know if that made any difference whatsoever, but that is how it ended up shaking out. Perhaps they just decided June was a make-up month.Either way I enjoyed my Ipsy this month and at the moment I am happy to continue my subscription for another month.


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IPSY Ultimate Review May 2020

IPSY Ultimate May 2020 (again the outer box was purged before items entered the house)

This was the week of the subscription boxes. Most of the boxes I subscribe to came in either late last week or this week.  I’m still waiting for Vella Box, a candle subscription, which sent out an e-mail telling everyone they were mailing in batches and would therefore be a week late and my Face-tory subscription which won’t even be processed until the 18th.

So now that most things are in I get a few days without seeing the mail man.  My babydoll thinks I’m crazy, but I secretly believe he holds the rest of our mail until he knows we are getting packages and then just brings it then.  Admittedly we don’t get much mail other than things we’ve ordered at this point so maybe there just isn’t a lot to leave.

Either way, I won’t see him much until next week.  And this is a post about the May IPSY Ultimate, not my very nice postman who tends to whistle the Spiderman theme song when he delivers mail.  At least that’s what it sounds like to me (and consequently the song that gets stuck in my head everytime I see him).

But on to Ipsy.

IPSY is a beauty subscription box with several tiers.  The first tier is $12 per month, which I believe gets you five deluxe samples per month (with the occasional full size thrown in) and a small makeup bag.  The second tier is the $25 per month bag and it too comes with a makeup bag and five full sized products.  The third tier is the Ultimate which costs $50 per month and comes with a large makeup bag, eight full sized products and four deluxe sample sized products. I receive the third tier, and that is what I will be reviewing today.

This tier has had its ups and downs.  It premiered in October and got off to a really rough start.  Since then, for me anyway, it has for the most part improved.  There were a couple of dud months in there but for the most part I have really enjoyed it.  So let’s see what was in my subscription this month, shall we?

First up is the Dermedicine Advanced Skincare Weightless Face Moisturizer with SPF 25 (retail $60). After my recent sun debacle, I am not going to complain about any form of sunscreen.  I believe this was a full sized product.  The card was less than informative about the products.  Instead of prices and sizing it offered Pro-Glow tips. Fun, but not really what I want on an information card. I have to say I have never heard of this brand before. And I have to admit a part of me is rather juvenile and is thinking Der…medicine. But I am trying to wrangle that part of me into submission. I will put it in my line up of moisturizers to try.

Moving to the next Item I found the Laura Geller Urban Garden Palette in Central Park (retail $14).  I was very happy to see it actually.  I have loved Laura Geller liquid lips for a long time and still wear them and I used to have one of their blushes that I used down to pan, but I have never tried the eyeshadows.  And you know I love face palettes.  This one comes with four shadows in neutral colors and has a blush and a bronzer as well. The cover is that soft, almost rubberized material but not quite. I honestly have no idea what to call it but I love the feel of it.  I am really looking forward to playing around with it.

There was a Pureheals Pore Clear Black Charcoal Peel off Mask (retail $26) in my Ipsy Ultimate this time around as well.  I also received a Pureheals serum in my BoxyCharm Premium this month so I guess this was the month they decided to go into subscription boxes.  I love masks, although peel off ones always make me a little twitchy.  All of them seem to cause pain, but not all of them do noticeable good on the skin.  Hopefully this will be not as painful and beneficial.  My fingers are crossed, but I’ll let you know either way.

There was a second mask, or I should say masks, in my box this month.  It was a duo of sheet masks from Huanjisoo.  It was the British Rose Hydrating and Shea Butter Nourishing Sheet mask set.  I know I normally complain about sheet masks in boxes but my complaint is mostly that sometimes they try to claim one mask as a full sized item when you know they sell them in packs of five or something along those lines.  I am happy to say this was listed as one of my deluxe samples instead of a full size so it doesn’t make me mad.

The item I chose this month was the Sunday Riley C.E.O. C + E Micro- Dissolve Cleansing oil (retail $38).  A while ago I tried the moisturizer from this line and loved it enough to pick up another jar.  I have been adding various products to my collection in the hopes of doing a full Sunday Riley Regime test sometime in the near future. 

As IPSY have been selling a lot of products from Sunday Riley in the last few months, I was able to pick up several things for my trial, although I will have to order from Sunday Riley for a few others. I’m actually getting very close to being able to start a trial. I just need to take stock and see what I’m missing, as well as work through the open products I am already using. But soon, sooooon.

For now we move on to the St. Tropica Beach Goddess Hot Oil Hair Mask (retail $17.50). I have to say I found this very intriguing.  I’ve been using a lot of hair masks lately in an effort to battle split ends. 

Essentially I should have gotten my hair cut a while ago and didn’t, now I’m trying to keep it healthy longer.  I have the feeling I will get annoyed with it soon enough and attempt to cut it myself but anything that puts that day off a little longer is a good thing. 

What I found interesting was that apparently you dispense the product into a mug and then microwave it to get it hot before using (hence the hot oil).  The last time I tried a beauty product involving the microwave involved a home waxing kit and it did not end well. Which to be honest was more my fault than the products.  Still the memory remains.  I am finishing up a Verb hair mask this week and once it is gone I will establish safety protocols before attempting to use this. But I will be using it.

In the realm of the less dangerous was the Ciate London Watermelon Burst Hydrating Lip Oil. It is not a full size but it is still a good sized product.  I’ve had good luck with Ciate before and have high hopes.  It’s also nice to see another makeup item in this month’s bag.  Subscription boxes have been going a little skin care heavy lately.  I don’t mind too much because I love skin care, but at the moment I have several products waiting to be tried so its optimism with delayed excitement for the skin care items. But watermelon does say summer to me so I feel it is a very timely scented lip oil.

Continuing with makeup I received an Il Makiage lip liner in the shade vintage (retail $17) this month.  I have had good luck with all of the products I’ve tried from them so again I have high hopes for the performance of this lip liner.  The liner is a lighter pink but I think with summer lip glosses it will look fine.  It certainly looked good with the next item in my box and that was the Sugar Crush velvet lip in the shade Sprinkle (retail $15).

Sprinkle is a liquid lip and when you open it is smells exactly like cake batter.  The color is nice and in an initial try on it felt really comfortable to wear. I’ll have to see how it holds up under testing but I think it is going to be a nice shade for this summer.

Rounding out the makeup was an eyeliner from Skone.  (retail $20).  I’ve never heard of the brand and while I normally complain about a lot of eyeliners in my recent clear out I found several of my eyeliners had dried and died, so exciting it may not be, but a black eyeliner will be useful. Provided it is a good eyeliner of course.

There were two more items in my IPSY Ultimate this month.  The first was The Way of Will hand and body lotion in Sweet Orange and Elemi.  It is not a full sized product and while I have no idea what elemi is, the cream smells like orange. I like orange.  And with all the handwashing lately I have been hitting my stockpile of hand creams pretty hard lately. So even though it isn’t my favorite, I can’t really complain.

Finally we reach the last full sized item and it is a Foxybae Rose Gold Detangling brush (retail $12.95). It is a nice brush and if I am honest my current brush is so stained with white residue from dry shampoo that even after I clean it, the brush base looks dusty, so it might actually be time for a new wet/dry hair brush in general. I did use it on my wet hair after getting out of the shower and I had no problems with tangles.  (I also used a hair mask which helped, but it didn’t pull at the hair either.)

While there were no values given for the deluxe sample sized items, the retail value of the full sized items came to a little over $220. All of the products are ones I will use or at least look forward to trying out.  The bag they came with is pretty and one I will see myself using for quite a while.  I like the little glittery stars inside.

Not that I am planning on going anywhere anytime soon, but I like knowing it is there. While a lot of the bags that come with this subscription box I send to my mother for use by her church as they put together self-care kits for the homeless (and tend to run out of bags for toiletries), I think this may be one I actually hold onto.

Over all I am pleased with this month’s IPSY Ultimate box, however next month when offered a choice for my items, I think I might choose a makeup product over a skin care one in an attempt to steer them towards sending more makeup and less skin care, at least for a little while. Don’t worry, I’m sure at some point I’ll start longing for more skincare again and complaining of too much makeup. It seems to be the way things go, and even then my complaints are only minor grumbles since I usually like what I receive.


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IPSY Ultimate April 2020 Review

IPSY April 2020 (with Box disposed of prior)

For those that don’t know, IPSY is a monthly beauty subscription service.  There are three tiers, the Glam Bag which is $12 per month and comes with a makeup bag with five deluxe sized products and the occasional full sized item.  The second tier is the $25 box, which also comes with a make up bag and five full sized items.  This is the Ultimate which comes with a larger makeup bag, eight full sized products and four deluxe sample sized products for $50.

The Ultimate tier was started in October of 2019 and I think it is fair to say that it has had its ups and downs.  This month was definitely an up month.  For me April’s box felt like an ultimate subscription. The box was packed full when I opened it and each was a product I was eager to try out.

the train case style bag for this month

Opening it was an interesting process this time around as we are sanitizing the mail as it comes in.  It’s like a weird postal medical procedure where the outer packaging is opened, hands are washed, the contents are removed to a secondary container, the outer package is disposed of, hands are washed again, photographs are taken, in most cases the outer packaging of products are disposed of to be extra cautious, hands are washed again and anything that may have accidentally come in contact with anything even possibly contaminated gets wiped down. Hands are washed again.

I have to say, I’m starting to feel like Lady Macbeth.

I am also making a substantial dent in my hand cream collection. With all this hand washing, the stock pile of hand creams I thought would last for at least the next year is slowly diminishing. But that is a tale for another time.  Today we are talking about IPSY Ultimate for April 2020.

So what was in my subscription box this month?

First up is the CIATÉ LONDON Triple Shot XXL Mascara in Black XXL (retail $22).  For a while I was getting mascaras every month and had a stock pile.  Then everyone started sending me eyeliner instead of mascara.  Now I have lots of eyeliners, but very few full sized mascaras on hand.  So I am glad to see the mascara start to return. I am looking forward to giving this one a try.

THE YENSA CBD SuperFood Dual Cleansing Oil (retail $38 ) was the next item in this month’s IPSY and as I am always looking for a new cleanser to try I was thrilled.  I’ve only tried the primer from YENSA before but it is now one of my go to products so I love that I get to try something else from them.  In addition I don’t know all that much about CBD so I am still learning and as trying new things is part of why I get this subscription, I am happy with this item.

THE SPACE CASE COSMETICS Fakecation Bronzer was the next item I pulled out and the first of my deluxe sample sized products.  I am sort of on the fence with Space Case products.  I’ve tried their blush and their eyeshadows.  They are all great buildable products but they don’t always last the longest. It will be interesting to see if the bronzer has the same issue or if it has more staying power.

THE COTTAGE GREENHOUSE Orange & Honey Face Mask (retail $30) was the product I chose this month.  You know I love my masks and I have to say that with everything going on, I have been using my masks as sanity soothing time.  The bonus is that I am clearing out a lot of my older products.  I couldn’t resist opening this right away and smelling it.  The mask has a wonderful scent. It smells like something you just want to eat by the spoonful.  Don’t worry I didn’t eat it.  My darling dearest caught a whiff of it though and seemed disappointed that I wasn’t baking anything.  In his defense I do have some orange honey biscotti that I occasionally make that do smell similar. He is now campaigning to have me make them again. I suspect the request will come again when I start using the mask.

Next up was the REALHER Ultimate Glow Getter Cheek Trio (retail $28). I love palettes and trios.  I think it’s because I find it easier to keep track of them rather than some of the individual products. I have never tried anything from Real Her but I have heard good things about the brand so I am looking forward to giving it a go.

I also received a second blush the Skin Blush in the shade Primadonna by KALEIDO COSMETICS (retail $8).  I’m not sure if Skin blush indicates that it should be used on the body more than just as blush on the cheeks but I like the packaging and will find it interesting to see.

We all know that I love lip products and this month I received the TRÈSTIQUE Mini Lip Glaze Set (retail $48).  It has four different shades.  They are supposed to be more lip balm with a sheer tint than lip color, which will be interesting for the summer months. While I have a few nude lip products, most of the colors I pick up tend to be in the richer darker shades that suit the fall and winter.  It is nice to have some lighter colors, if that is what they turn out to be. I like the brand a lot and really like their formulas.  Hopefully these will be on par with the other products I’ve tried.

KENSIE Life Beat perfume was also in the April box.  It is a sample sized product but I have to say it is definitely a deluxe sized sample.  It is not the small tube I was expecting but a small bottle that looks quite nice. I am currently testing out my latest Scentbox perfume, but once I finish evaluating that one I will give this a try to see how I like it.  I have to say I was very pleased with the size of the bottle.  I just hope I like the perfume and that it isn’t just a decorative element in my collection.

 My next sample sized product was the DUFT&DOFT Hydra Soother Balancing Radiance Cream.  I’ve never even heard of the brand so I look forward to trying something completely new and unexpected.  It is a small sample but if I can manage to get a two week trial out of it, I will do a review on it for you. At the moment it is sitting with all of my other as yet to be tested moisturizers.  I’ll be posting a review on Tacha later this week and then choosing my next moisturizer to test out.

In all fairness I have to say I wasn’t initially thrilled by the IBY BEAUTY Enlighten Eyeshadow Palette (retail $25) that was in this month’s subscription.  I’m not a big pastels kind of person. But because of that, I have no pastel palettes in my collection so I decided it would just be an unusual element. And then I reminded myself that I am trying to try new things and not just staying in my comfortable rut.  When it arrived, I did play around with it the day I got it.  I couldn’t resist.  I have to say, I am sort of liking it, at least on initial testing.  I’ll have to play around with it a bit more, but I think I am going to like it much more than I thought I would.

NIU BODY Piña Colada Sugar Lip Polish was another of my deluxe samples this month and I always go through a lot of lip scrub in the summer time.  With gardening and working in the back yard combined with my normal walking, even when I drink a lot of water my lips tend to need more love in the summer. I also just finished the one open lip scrub I had so I am ready to give a new one a try.  It was a very timely arrival. 

I find the inclusion of the LAVIDO 2-in-1 Purifying Facial Mask and Exfoliator (retail $36) very interesting.  First off, I love exfoliators and I just finished my Skin and Co Face Gommage.  I have a second one in my supply stash but I haven’t opened it yet, so I might give it a break and try this out firs.  Especially as I also got my Boxy Charm Premium the day after this came in and it had the Lavido moisturizer inside. Since I am out of exfoliate and I am almost ready to open a new moisturizer, I may try the Lavido pair at the same time. I find it interesting that a brand I had never heard of is now in two subscription boxes.  I suppose it was part of their marketing plan, but I just find it funny.  I’ll be looking into the brand as well as trying their products. As I said this was the first time I’d ever heard of them.

I have to say I was very pleased with my IPSY Ultimate box this month.  The total value came to $235, or at least the value of the full sized products.  IPSY’s card was somewhat lacking this month so there was little information on it. 

April’s box felt like it was ultimate. It contained a mix of products I was familiar with and those from companies I either wanted to try or had never heard of and all of the products included were ones I will actually use.  I am excited to try them out and see which ones I really like. 

I have to say this box is a good example of why I started getting subscription boxes in the first place.  While IPSY has had their ups and downs with their Ultimate box, last month was pretty good and this month was great.  I really hope they continue the upward trend.


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IPSY Ultimate March 2020 Review

IPSY Ultimate March 2020

If there was one unofficial theme for subscription boxes this month, I think it would be ‘OOPS’.  In my Boxyluxe they forgot to include the NARS lip Pigment and in the IPSY Ultimate, they gave me seven ful sized samples instead of eight. They realized this before I actually got my package though and sent me an e-mail explaining they were sending me an extra full sized Serum from 111Skin to make up for their mistake. Even so, it was kind of an OOPS month for everyone.

But let’s start from the beginning shall we? IPSY Glam Bag Ultimate is a $50 per month subscription tier of the IPSY Beauty bag.  In it you are supposed to get twelve products, eight full sized and four deluxe sample sized products. This month they were celebrating their 100th glam bag so as an extra they decided to add one more sample size to the bag.  So I should have received eight full sized and five sample sized products in my March bag.

Let’s see what I did get.

First up was the BENEFIT COSMETICS Brow Contour Pro in Brown Light (retail $34).  This was my first full sized product and I was very happy to receive it.  I love Benefit’s brow products.  For the longest time I used their Ka-Brow and it was fantastic. I love that this pencil has multiple shades in the same pencil so that I can mix things up to find exactly the right combo for me.  I am looking forward to playing around with this.

MANNA KADAR COSMETICS Blush in Bali Babe was my first sample.  It is a nice color, but I’ve always found their blushes a bit hard to blend on the cheeks and always end up seeing exactly where the brush touched me face for the first time, so I will probably use it as an eyeshadow more than a blush.  It is a great pop of mauve on the lids. It is oddly long lasting as a shadow.

My next sample sized product was the GO-TO Face Hero face oil. I actually received a full size of this from IPSY sometime last year.  I think it was in the spring if I am not mistaken. When I looked through my notes I remembered it.  I had it marked down as a little too heavy unless I was having a really dry skin day and that it was best used at night rather than during the day.  I’ll still try it out again because those notes were from before I started doing reviews so they are sketchy.  I did mark down that it was not a product I wanted to repurchase.  Still I have it now so I will do an official test and report back.  Perhaps my feelings have changed.

The DERMADELI Nourishing Eye Serum was the next sample size in my bag.  I have never heard of the brand but I am always up for an eye serum. Currently I am testing the Algenist Eye Cream so I will set it aside to try when my trial of that is complete. I will say the sample seemed a bit small and looked only about half full which was disappointing.  With eye serum a little goes a long way, but still it felt a little chintzy.

Moving on to my next sample I received a HEY HONEY Show Your Glow Colloidal Gold & Honey Beauty Mask.  I have really liked all of HEY HONEY’s skin care products and I haven’t tried this one so I am happy to have it in the mix.  I should probably say that while I love their skin care, I really haven’t liked any of their makeup products that I’ve tried.  Its one of those companies that does skin care well, but other things not so much. Still this was skin care, so I’m happy to get something from their strong suit.

Finally another full sized product appeared.  It was the THRIVE CAUSEMETICS Lip Mate High-Shine Reviving Topper™ in Ashley (retail $24).  I absolutely adore THRIVE’s mascara so I am pleased to try out something else from the brand.  In case you are wondering why there is no picture of a swatch, the shade ASHLEY is a clear gloss. I’m not a huge fan of clear gloss but I do like to keep one or two around.  I just finished one and as the clear Fenty gloss I received from Boxycharm is very glitter-tastic, this could be a nice addition to my collection.

Next up is a product that just makes me shake my head. It is the 111SKIN Rose Gold Brightening Facial Treatment Sheet Mask & Celestial Black Diamond Eye Mask Set.  It is one mask and one set of under eye patches. It is a full sized product and in case that wasn’t enough to puzzle over this single sheet mask and under eye set retails for $47. That was not a typo.  One mask with under eye patches, $47. I will say I had another mask lined up this week because I like to bounce between sheet masks and regular face masks, but the curiosity is a bit too much.  I may have to try the $47 sheet mask this week just to see it in action. Don’t worry, I will make a fuss over it too.  I will put out my best candles and focus on enjoying it. Because I can guarantee, unless it shaves twenty years and possibly twenty pounds to boot from my body, I am not spending $47 on a single sheet mask. But I will try it to see how good it is. And if there was ever a time for a stress reducing facial treatment to shine, this is it.

The product I chose for this month’s bag was the  SUNDAY RILEY C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum (retail $42.50).  It is full sized technically.  On the bottle it is listed as being a size specifically designed for IPSY rather than the full size they typically sell, but I can live with that.  Partially because I adore Sunday Riley products.  I loved the face cream of this line so much I bought a replacement once mine was empty.  It is currently unopened as I’ve been testing other face creams.  At the moment I am finishing up a face cream trial on a Pacifica moisturizer and once it is complete (next week) I will be working on finishing out all of my open jars before I start another one.  I am also trying to finish out two open serums so I won’t be opening this for a while either.  I think what I may do is pair it with the Vitamin C moisturizer and see what other products are in the line and maybe do a full regime review of the line. I’ll need to do a bit of research first, but it is a possibility. Either way I love the brightening effect of Vitamin C products on my skin.

While I love skin care products I was very happy to see a second makeup product to go with my Benefit eyebrow pencil and that was the CHELLA La Vie Eyeshadow Palette Deluxe (retail $45).  It is a neutral palette and I have tried them on.  Next week I will be catching up on my eyeshadow palette reviews and posting several, this one included.  I do like the shades and I like the physical palette itself.  I think it is a great quick palette to use.  With four shades there isn’t much deliberation.  I will say I have a hard time thinking of four shadows as a full sized palette though, especially when their description calls it a convenient size for on the go. To me that says travel sized, not full sized.

Interestingly enough I received the CHRISTOPHE ROBIN Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt.  It is a sample size but I was very happy to receive a hair product from IPSY that is not a leave in conditioner.  I have a lot of leave in conditioners I am working through at this point.  A hair care item that is different is very appealing.  I am looking forward to trying out this hair/scalp scrub.

Despite saying I only rarely want hand creams and body lotions I received not one, but two in this month’s bag. One was full sized the other sample. The LIBRARY OF FLOWERS Honeycomb Hand crème was the full sized (retail $20).  It is a beautiful packaging and I adore the scent of honeycomb.  I’ve tried their hand cream before and loved it.  As I am currently working on several hand creams at the moment, I left this one sealed for later use. The sample sized body lotion was from HEMPZ and it was the Herbal Body Moisturizer in Sweet Pineapple & Honey Melon.  There was no internal seal on the bottle so I decided to go ahead and use it for my post shower body lotion.  It does make my skin very soft.  It also makes me smell like a tropical fruit salad that is a little heavy on the mango.  I’m not entirely certain I care for the scent too much but it is good lotion and the small size means I will very quickly use it up.

Finally the last item in my bag was the COMPLEX CULTURE Angled Foundation Brush (retail $35). It is a good brush with soft yet dense bristles and I am sure I will get a lot of use out of it. 

As much as I joke about some of the prices and sizes, I actually did enjoy my bag this month.  The makeup bag it came with was a bit 80s retro with bright teal and yellow and its rows of metal grommets, but it is a decent bag. I’ve actually seen the sneak peaks for next month’s bag and I find it much more up my alley, but this is a decent bag.  It will probably end up passed along to someone else though.

My seven full sized products totaled a value of $247.50, which is an okay return on my $50 buy in. I would have expected a little bit more given the celebratory nature of this month but that could in part be due to the OOPS of the missed full size.  I’ll have to see what the extra sent product adds in value when it arrives.  I’m sure the sample sizes have value but I’m not entirely sure how to accurately calculate that. Either way I am actually pleased with this month’s bag.  It was certainly better than last months and to be honest it was better than this month’s Boxyluxe.  Fingers crossed that next month is a good one as well.


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