Ipsy Glam Bag X February 2021 Unboxing

The First Glam Bag X: February 2021

The Postal gods have been appeased. My sacrificial offering of three forever stamps and a postcard depicting Thor did the trick and my IPSY Glam Bag X bag finally arrived.  This is the first bag for the new quarterly tier of IPSY.  It is $55 per quarter.  The months you receive the $55 bag are February, May, August and November. I am pretty sure they chose those months specifically not to interfere with Boxycharm’s Luxe Months (those are March, June, September and December). In between the Quarterly months, you would be signed up to receive your regular $25 Glam Bag plus.  At the moment, you can’t sign up for Glam Bag x without being an IPSY Glam Bag Plus Member.

For this bag, you are allowed to choose three items of your eight full sized items.  The first item I chose was the actual bag.  In that category, there wasn’t much else I wanted and I thought the bag looked cute. 

I like the shape, I like the red and the gold lips.  I like the bump out at the bottom and the way it expands.  I do not care for the letter decal on the back. I didn’t notice that when I chose it. 

On the small Ipsy Glam Bags it looks cute.  On this it just limits its usefulness.  However, with a few cotton swabs and some nail polish remover, the gold lettering on the back does come off.

The bag is better without it and more versatile. At least I will use it more that way.   It is somewhat cheap feeling though so I don’t know if I would choose the bag again moving forward. Its retail price is listed at $18 although I think that is a bit high for the bag. It feels more like $8.

The second Item I chose was the Saints and Sinners Illuminati Divine Shine Holographic Serum.  (retail $27.50). I’ve never heard of the brand before.

I chose it partially because I was intrigued by it and partially because it was the best item in my selection. I am always happy to try new things for my hair.  I’ve certainly never tried a holographic serum so it will be fun to give it a try. I also find the shape of the bottle oddly pleasing. I’m not entirely certain why, but I enjoy the shape.

The third item I chose I am actually really excited by.  It is the Private Doctor Define Minus Serum.  (retail $49).  It is a relatively new launch I believe, but I’ve heard good things about it and am very much looking forward to trying it out.  At the moment I am testing out the Unicorn Essence Serum from Farsali, but this is definitely going in my line up of products to try. 

While I was very happy to have the chance to pick this, the selection of items offered to choose from this time around wasn’t the greatest.  Flipping through the newspaper like booklet that came with the Bag I saw several items that weren’t in my selection at all. I’m going to check my profile and see if anything in there limited some of those items from appearing. I’m sure it was a cost issue as well on the part of IPSY so that all the bags have approximately the same value, but I think I will be fiddling with my profile to see if that helps with my selection process. Over all I am happy with the items I selected, but I wasn’t thrilled with the selection choices. If the selection had been better in the category where the bag was, I would certainly have chosen another option.

And now for the items chosen for me.  The first was a Patrick TA Blush (retail $32).  I think you could either get the blush or an eyebrow waxing kit.  I am very happy with the blush, especially as I don’t use wax on my eyebrows. I always think that heavier eye brow products tend to make eyebrows look more like stickers plastered on the face and I find the look somehow rather repellant. Admittedly as it has been about a year since I have had my eyebrows threaded and I am just awful with the tweezers, my brows aren’t exactly looking spectacular right now either. But that is another story. I didn’t get the eyebrow kit, I received the blush.

I am always happy to have a new blush to try and I have never tried the Patrick Ta formula. In addition the packaging is gorgeous.  I can see the metal finish collecting fingerprints, but it is really pretty and it is a huge blush so it will last for quite a while. 

The next item was the Pat McGrath Labs Fetisheyes Mascara (retail $30). I won’t open it until I am ready to try it, but I have had this mascara on my list to try out for quite some time. So I am thrilled to have it in the bag to try out. 

I was also very excited to see the Huda Beauty Rose Gold Palette Remastered.  I’ve tried the smaller Huda Beauty Obsessions Palettes and I really loved the formula.  I had my eye on the Huda Beauty Rose Gold Palette for a while but as eyeshadow palettes have been accumulating through various subscription boxes, I didn’t actually get around to ordering it.  I am so looking forward to playing around with it. So many of the colors speak to me. And yes I did swatch the copper shade as soon as I had it out of the package. I just couldn’t help myself. The shimmer was so soft and buttery as well as highly pigmented. I am going to have some fun playing around with this one.

Next up was the About Face Paint-it Matte Liquid Lipstick (retail $22).  There were several shades available and I received the shade Take Aim.  It swatches pretty well and like the blush and eyeshadow palette it will be going into my next week’s makeup bag to play around with. 

I may even crack and add the Pat McGrath mascara into the bag as well instead of waiting for it. I know I planned to have the number of mascaras I keep open lowered but I so want to try this formula.  I will try to resist, but I don’t know how good the resistance will be.

And finally the last item in the bag is the Complex Culture Sonic T-Bar Facial massager. (retail $58).  I am used to my Foreo and really like the vibrations on my skin when I am working product in.  I’m not sure about the T bar though.  That will be interesting to play around with as well.

Over all I am very happy with the products, both the ones I chose and the ones that were chosen for me.  I was a little disappointed in the variety of the selection and if I had to choose again I wouldn’t have chosen the bag.  I would have chosen one of the other products even if I wasn’t as enthused by them. If nothing else they could be passed on.

Otherwise, I am very excited by all of the items in my box.  I like the newspaper like brochure as it actually conveys more than just basic price.  It describes how to use the items and tells you a little more about them, which I find very appealing.

I am also very excited about one of the items that was in my box, but not a part of the actual Glam Bag X.  If you switched from Ultimate to Glam Bag X early enough the gift was a 111Skin Y Theorem Day Cream.  I switched early enough to be on that list.  I tried a sample size of this moisturizer last year and in my first impressions and really liked it. 

The cream actually made it on to my list for products I wanted to try in a full size so I am thrilled to now have it in a full size. I will definitely be scheduling a full skin care trial. So that was an extra bonus. 

Over all I was very impressed with this bag and I am very pleased that I am signed up to receive it quarterly.  I know I sound just a little surprised, but after the ups and downs of the Ultimate bag, I wasn’t entirely certain what to expect.  However if they manage to keep this level of products for the Glam Bag X, I think this is going to be a quarterly upgrade that I keep.  This was a very good month.


IPSY Glam Bag February 2021 Unboxing

Through snow, ice and winter winds, my Ipsy Glam Bag did fly, finally arriving on my doorstep. This is of course the $12 IPSY glam bag.  I am still awaiting the arrival of the first Glam Bag X. This Glam Bag featured five sample sized products. 

The reason I signed up for the regular IPSY Glam bag was actually for this month’s bag.  I liked the little envelope style clutch, red faux leather with a gold lip clasp.  I thought it was cute.  I also thought it would make a cute clutch, until I saw the back.

  While the back of the bag is cute with the letter look stamped on the back, it does make the bag less versatile.  I actually chose the larger version of this bag for my Glam Bag X without realizing that it had the same back design.  While cute on the small one, I’m not so sure about the larger version.  The design is stamped on and not integrated into the material so I may actually use some nail polish remover and see if it will come off.  But that is a craft project for another day (although I will post it in one of my upcoming daily posts.

While I do enjoy the bag, it is what is inside that counts and of course what will let me decide if I plan to keep this subscription or let it go to try something new.

The first item I took out of my bag was the item I chose.  It is the Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel Daily Cleansing powder. I absolutely adore Amore Pacific.  I’ve tried two creams from them and loved both of them. I am very excited to try the cleanser.  I have to say I do like that it is a powder.  It means there is more product in the bottle without added water.  One of my favorite masks from AnnMarie Skincare (the Purifying Mud Mask) is the same way.  It makes it shelf stable for longer and it makes the product last longer. It makes it fantastic to keep around, and why I always keep the Purifying Mud Mask around (well that and it is a fantastic mask).  I can’t wait to try this one out. 

The next item in my bag was the Farah Flat Foundation brush.  I have been looking for a good flat foundation brush so I may give this a test this week to see how it works out for me.  The IPSY Glam Bag arrived this weekend and so I chose several different foundations for my weekly makeup bag in order to give the brush a good trial.  I’ve had some really good brushes from Farah and some not so great ones so it will be interesting to see where this lands.

Following the foundation brush was the NEOGEN Dermalogy Probiotics Youth Repair Cream. Currently I have an essence from NEOGEN in my skin care routine for testing and will soon have used it a month (I think I have another week and a half on the trial).  I also have a larger NEOGEN cream of a different variety to try out.  As prior to these products I hadn’t heard of the brand, I am happy to have several items from them to try out.

As always I love getting any sort of powder so I was pleased to see the Lottie London Ready Set Go Loose Setting powder in my Glam Bag this month. I’ve never tried anything from Lottie London that I can recall and if there is one product I will always go through it is powder.  Whether pressed of loose even if I wear no other makeup, I always add a layer of powder over my moisturizer. I love a freshly moisturized face, I just don’t like the shine. So even on no makeup days I use powder. It is always nice to try a new one.

And finally there is the Design Me Gloss Me Hair Oil.  It is designed to smooth down hair.  I remember trying something from this brand a while back and I recall liking it, but I can’t recall what the product was.  I look forward to giving the brand another try.

Additionally I did add on a pack of hair scrunchies from the brand Kit-sch Beauty. They were a three dollar add on and while they are nice and pull my hair back without pulling it out, they do feel a little on the cheap side. I suspect I will use them for a while but not have them last a terribly long time. They don’t have the feel of something that will last a long time. I could be proven wrong, I often am actually. However as a three dollar add on, I am very pleased with them, no matter how long they last. I actually really like IPSYs add on section. I love that it is very simple divided into sections by price and that many of the items you didn’t get in the bag are options.It is very neatly organized and I have to admit, I almost always find something to add on each month.

Over all I have to say I am fairly pleased with my bag this month.  It is a surprisingly good mix of products.  I am very excited for the item I chose and really hope that Amore Pacific appears more regularly.  I will take any size they feel like sending sample or otherwise from the brand.  I also have a few new to me brands/products  that I get to try out as well, which is one of the reasons I get this subscription box.  Quite frankly I have to say that I am happy to keep the IPSY Glam Bag another month to see what they come up with next month.  If it remains a good mix, I just may have to hang on to this subscription.

Julep is currently having a 50% off sale for those looking to stock up on makeup. Use code 50MAK

Julep Cosmetics

IPSY Gam Bag Unboxing January 2021

This month I decided to subscribe to the IPSY Glam Bag.  I had this subscription for a while, and then I had the Glam Bag Plus.  Then when I switched to the Glam Bag Ultimate I dropped the regular IPSY Glam bag as the Ultimate had both full and trial sizes.  With the demise of Ultimate I returned to having the Glam Bag Plus (although I did also sign up for the quarterly Glam X).  When I returned to Glam Bag Plus I found that there was no makeup bag, but just a drawstring bag, which I find disappointing.  In addition, I will confess that the makeup bag for the January and February Glam Bags looked really cute.  I also kind of like having sample sizes on hand to try out before I commit to full sized products.

I know, I just like trying things out before I purchase the full size. Plus, they are great for travel. And I have hopes that someday I will travel again! So the bag is hopeful.

And I really was very disappointed by the drawstring bag.

So I signed up for the regular Ipsy Glam Bag.  It is $12 per month. They do have deals if you sign up for an entire year.  I am not certain how long I will be keeping the subscription and I didn’t like that you had to pay for the entire year in advance, so I am on a month to month plan.  So what was in my January Glam Bag?

Well, first there is the makeup bag itself.  While it has the same Dream it theme as the drawstring bag of the Glam Bag Plus, the bag is made of a rubberized plastic material.  It is nice to the touch and feels quite sturdy.  It is the same rubberized plastic both inside and out so that if anything spills cleanup is easy. 

It has a clear plastic zip tag and quite frankly I really like it.  While I do use these bags as makeup bags when I travel (I like to separate my foundation out from the rest of my products if nothing else and these are fantastic for that) I also like to use them in my purse.  I find it easier to compartmentalize items in my purse, so I use several of those small makeup bags to keep things neat and orderly. I have one that is just pens and a small notepad. If nothing else it lets me find a pen without upending the entire bag which is just super fabulous.  It really makes finding things in general a lot easier, but having the fabulous ability to grab a pen instantly when one is needed can not be overstated. 

While I keep the bags I like the most and trade them out when the bags either wear out or no longer suit me, the ones I don’t like I send to my mom.  Her church runs a soup kitchen and they also create small toiletry bags for the homeless and while they get a lot of donated product like toothpaste, brushes, mouthwash soap and shampoo, they often run out of bags and have to resort to zip top plastic bags.   They always put the bags I send to good use.

(And please ignore the state of my nails in those photos. I am testing a nail polish to see how long it lasts without a top coat and then with a top coat. so they are a bit of a mess. I tried keeping them out of the photos as much as possible. Also the links below will take you to the brand pages where possible. Except for the Rose hip oil, I could only find that advertised on Amazon. These are not affiliate links. The IPSY link is my referral code and if you sign up, I believe I get points.)

But while the bag is fantastic this month, it is what is inside that counts.  Although honestly the first product I received was actually outside the bag.  The first item in my January Glam Bag was the Slmissglam P30 Angled Blusher Blush in Lilac.  It is the only full sized item in my bag and it retails for $19.50.  Like all Slmissglam brushes it has a glittery handle.  I’ve used the shadow brushes before but never the larger ones.  I am actually looking forward to trying it out.  At the moment I am doing a brush trial of Laruce brushes (I ended up with two five piece sets of them so I put the two sets together and am testing them as a brand.  I will have a Tool Talk Post about them up soon). Once I finish my trial I will put this in rotation and see how I like it.

So now we sip into the bag.  The first item I pulled out was the Youth to the People Kombucha +11% AHA exfoliation Power toner.  I’ve tried several items from YTTP and I really like the brand a lot.  At the moment I actually have a moisturizer sample that I want to try as well.  I might test them together actually.  I think toners are the unsung category of skin care.  They are often forgotten and overlooked but I have to say I really do like them.  And anyone who has read my posts for any length of time knows I enjoy exfoliation, so I am very happy to see that as well.  I look forward to combining the toner and exfoliation benefits of AHAs and seeing where they take me.

The third item in my bag this month was from a brand I had never heard of before.  It is Clara’s New York Moisturizing Rosehip Oil Serum.  I know roeships are generally high in vitamin C which I like and this serum also has vitamin e which is great for softening scar tissue.  At the moment I am still using my Malin +Goetz Recovery oil (which I love) but I look forward to trying out this oil and seeing if there is another brand I might want to check out.

The one actual makeup item in my bag this month was the Jules Smith Beauty Power gloss in Bling Berry.  I’ve seen Jules Smith Beauty in a number of bags, but it has ever made an appearance in mine.  I swiped the gloss on my hand and it is basically a clear gloss with a rosy hue to it, which I kind of like actually. 

So many glosses lean towards bright pink and I like the deeper tones. This also smells like berries which is nice a well. I look forward to trying it out and seeing how it wears.

Finally we come to the final item and it is the Glow on 5th Hydrate + Renew Replenishing Night Cream. I have never heard of the brand but I am always up for a night cream. And the one I’m using now isn’t exactly my favorite.  It works well enough to finish out but it is so aggressively floral that I do not think repurchasing it is in my future.

Over all I am very pleased with my Glam Bag this month.  I think because it is a $12 bag I am less concerned about the retail value of the products.  At the $12 price point it is just a fun subscription that gives me products to try out and a cute little makeup bag.  According to the pamphlet, which actually lists out the products, my bag was valued at $50+. Technically as the brush is valued at $19.50, it alone more or less pays for the bag.  Quite frankly I don’t think the brush is worth $19.50, just from the way it feels in my hand.   It is pretty, but I would price it much lower, personally.  However I would say that the bag itself I would probably price at around $12. Which means I feel like I broke even before I looked at any of the products.  That’s actually a nice feeling. 

And I have to say I really like the low key kind of subscription.  For a $12 bag, I don’t expect a whole lot and tend to be really pleased with most of the items in the bag in general. The higher priced subscriptions I really want to see value for my money, but the little one is just fun.  This time around it was more skincare heavy than I might perhaps want, but all of the products in the bag are ones I am interested in trying out.  I received some brands I have tried before and liked, some I’ve heard of but never tried and some brands I have never even heard of.  It is a good mix and even though I would like more makeup, I am very pleased with my Glam Bag this month. I am also looking forward to next month’s bag.  The bag is a red envelope style bag.  In the photos it almost looks like it might be a faux leather look (although I am sure it is plastic).  It is red and has a set of gold lips at the clasp. It is quite frankly adorable and perfect for valentine’s day.  

Yesterday was the choice day for the Glam bag and with this tier you are allowed to choose one item.  I chose the Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel Daily Cleansing Powder. I’ve seen it on the Amore Pacific Most loved skin care heroes list but haven’t paid much attention to it. It’s a lot of words in that name and I will be looking up details but in addition to liking cleansers and finding a cleansing peel powder interesting, I absolutely adore Amore Pacific.   Every product I have ever tried of theirs I have really liked and in fact their Oil free Moisture Bound Refreshing Hydra-Gel and Moisture Plumping Nectar Cream are two products I routinely stalk on line hoping to catch a sale  I think the Hydra gel is $100 while the Plumping Nectar cream is $160.  Last time the Plumping Nectar Cream went on sale I pounced and nearly cried when the jar was empty. Since I had other creams I wanted to try I couldn’t justify an immediate repurchase, but it is on my list and I still lurk on the website. 

I could be wrong but I don’t think I’ve seen Amore Pacific in subscription bags before.  I hope this is just the start. I really hope so as those moisturizers worked so well for me I would love to try out more of their products before purchasing them.  I will be looking into the details of the Treatment Enzyme Peel Daily Cleansing Powder and anticipating its arrival. As it is already the end of January, the wait shouldn’t be too long. Fingers crossed.

For those already looking towards Valentine’s day, you might want to check out Under Club. I am a member of their regular underwear subscription service (and highly recommend it as they are quality garments this link will take you to my unboxing review if you are interested) but they also have an online store and have some adorable sets that have just been released. the link below will take you to their site. They are very reasonably priced and have a wide variety of sizes. I really like that they don’t make me feel excluded just because I am of a larger size.

Valentines Day Exclusive

Ipsy Glam Bag Plus January Unboxing

January Ipsy Glam Bag Plus

Welcome to Monday morning my darlings. I hope all went fabulously well for your weekend and you are ready to go for a new week.  This weekend my IPSY Glam Bag Plus arrived.  As you might remember, I was a part of the IPSY Ultimate subscription tier.  That tier ended in January and I signed up for the IPSY Glam Bag X. What that means is that the Glam Bag X will arrive quarterly (the first month is February) and the non X months I will be receiving the Glam Bag Plus.

The Glam Bag Plus is a $25 per month subscription and in the plus you receive five full sized items.  Two of the items are chosen for you and on the 2nd of the month, you get to go in for choice and pick three items. While I really like the idea of being able to choose so many items in the bag, I have to say that this month’s selection was not exactly exciting.  As shipping was a huge issue in December I am willing to grant that the supply chain might be a little wonky at the moment.  I will hope that upcoming choices get better.

Now all of IPSY’s tiers come with some sort of bag.  The Ultimate and the regular glam bag each came with makeup bags.  For some reason the Plus tier comes with a drawstring bag. The Theme this month was Dream It and the bag does reflect that.  It is a sort of blue hombre drawstring with fabric printed with the word dream. It’s fine, but it is really just a cheap drawstring bag.  To be honest I will chuck it into a drawer and the next time I travel I’ll use it to put underwear in.  Otherwise it will live in the bottom of a drawer. I wouldn’t really put anything heavier than underwear in it because I would worry that a heavy object would just drop through the bottom.

I know I had the Vella Box subscription for a while (GREAT Candle subscription by the way) and their candles came in canvas drawstring bags and I was always happy to get them because there are many uses I could put them to.  They were however made of heavy canvas with double stitching to reinforce the seams. This is not the same thing. So the bag is cute but of limited use and really adds nothing to the subscription, whereas the makeup bags added a little value.  In fact I signed up for the regular ($12) Ipsy Glam Bag as well because I like the makeup bags.  The small ones are excellent to use inside a large purse to keep things organized as well as useful for makeup bags. While I signed up this month and the January bag will be coming in later, I really did it because the February Glam bag pouch just looks so adorable.  How long I keep the subscription will really depend, but I will be getting the regular IPSY bag both this month and next, at least in part because of the bags.

But enough about the bags, let’s look at the products. All five are full sized items. I’ll go over the two items chosen for me first and then go over the items that I chose. The first item that was chosen for me was the Farsali Unicorn Essence (retail $54).  I have tried the Farsali setting spray before, and in fact it is still in my dressing table.  It is not my favorite setting spray due to the scent.  It is however beautiful to look at.  I remember the unicorn essence getting a lot of rave reviews a few years ago, but haven’t heard anything about it since.  In the description the product is described as being a protective treatment before moisturizer and a skin smoothing primer before makeup.  It looks like a serum.  I haven’t opened it because once you open a serum the clock starts ticking on it.  I am finishing up a skin care trial right now (in fact I will be posting on the Herbal Dynamics Hyaluronic Acid serum later this week, Wednesday actually if all goes to schedule).  It will be interesting to see if it falls into the serum or primer category once I begin using it.

The second item chosen for me was the Thrive Causemetics Brilliant eye opener in Aurora. (retail $24). I’m not terribly certain what an eye opener is, however this is a shadow stick.  I like Thrive Causemetics in general, their lip gloss is one of my go to products and I used up one of their mascaras and have a second unopened tube waiting in my dressing table for me to use. 

It was a good formula, good enough for me to repurchase.  So I am glad to have something else to try from the brand. Swatched on the hands the formula feels creamy and gives a nice silver tinted shimmer.  I will have to see how it performs on the eyes before I make a determination, but from the swatch I am cautiously optimistic.

And now we get to the three items I chose. The first of my choice items was the Laura Geller Quench and Tint Hydrating Foundation ($34). I know more foundation, but I couldn’t resist.  I’ve heard good things about the foundation and wanted to try it out.  Also the selection was limited and I thought I might actually get some use out of the foundation.

The second item I chose was the Item Beauty Cheek Money Duo in Mood Vibez (retail $18) which is a compact containing two shades of bronzer, one warm toned and one cool toned.  I’m pretty sure the cool toned is meant for contouring not bronzing, but I don’t really do a lot of contouring.  To be honest I chose it because I was curious about the brand. It is a brand that has come out of Tik Tok and has gotten both positive and negative comments about its origins.  That basically sums up what I kno0w about Item Beauty. So since I use bronzer, I thought I’d give this one a try to see what my thoughts are on it.  While there are some products and companies I tend to avoid because of personal choices, I tend not to judge a product until I’ve tried it, regardless of its origins.  So, we will see how it works out. 

The third product I chose this month was the Vitabrid C12  Daily C vitamin foaming cleanser (retail $32). It is infused with vitamin C and kaolin clay, both items I like and routinely use. And surprisingly considering how much skincare subscription boxes have been leaning towards in the past few months, I have less cleanser than I have any other category.  I suppose I also use that category more than any other so cleansers tend to clear out pretty fast, but it doesn’t seem to be a popular category to add to subscription boxes.  At least I get less of it. So I added it to the box.  In my line up of items to choose from this month there were several items from this brand.  It is the only place I’ve heard of it.  Perhaps it is a newer brand or perhaps it is one that just flew under my radar.  Either way, I am always on the lookout for a good cleanser.

So in the end my retail value was $162 for the $25 beauty box. This makes it a pretty good value.  I received several items that I am interested in trying and one that I had not even heard of previously.  I like the mix of the familiar and the unknown because part of the subscription box appeal, for me anyway, is discovering something I might not have found on my own.  I like the slightly out of my comfort zone feel of having brands I am familiar with as well as newer ones. The selection of items wasn’t the greatest and I’m hoping that improves as shipping improves, it is annoying but I am willing to give them a pass on that.  The bag… well I said all I feel like saying on the bag and while the bags that come with future boxes will be in the pictures unless they are substantially more special than this one, they won’t be mentioned further. I am sure I will use the products I received so the value is definitely there for me.  It feels a little less because I am coming to the Glam Bag Plus from the Ultimate, but I’ll get over that, because all in all it was a good bag.

I am also excited to see what comes in the very first Glam Bag X next month. I think they are planning to have a different person curate it each quarter.  This first one is being Curated by Patrick Ta and it is supposed to have a value up to $428.  IPSY has been talking up this new subscription level since November so it will be interesting to see if it holds up to the hype.  I’m trying not to look at too many spoilers since I don’t want to get too focused on specific products in case they are variations. That way if I don’t get that specific variation I won’t be instantly disappointed. Plus, I kind of like the surprise of it all. Lets just hope that the Glam Bag X starts off better than the IPSY Ultimate did.  While the Ultimate finally became a really good bag, it had a really rough start.  Hopefully IPSY has worked out their system and this new X level starts off with a bang.  Fingers crossed.

Nuxe is having a Blue Monday sale: Blue Monday Free 30ml HP WYS $50 & Winter sales – Save up to 30% on selected products The sale is only for January 18th. I personally love their Insta Masque line and will be swinging by to pick up a jar of the exfoliating Instamasque.And possibly the soothing one. They are excellent three minute face masks that do wonders for the skin.

IPSY Ultimate December 2020 Unboxing

It has arrived! Let us all dance and sing.  My final IPSY Ultimate bag has made it to my house and oddly enough it made it safe and sound. Not a single thing was broken.  I’m guessing it just decided it wanted to spend the holidays in Atlanta.  Perhaps it took in the sights.

Regardless of the sightseeing adventures, my final IPSY Ultimate is here. And it isn’t only my final IPSY Ultimate.  IPSY has cancelled the Ultimate Tier.  I have to say it had its ups and downs. It started off poorly, but did get better before shipping issues took over. The last few months I think they have had problems getting product in as well as shipping boxes out. 

Hopefully that will settle down soon.

So let’s take a look at the last IPSY Ultimate bag.

First the bag itself has sort of a faux lamb’s wool exterior.  I kind of like the bag but the interior is that thin parachute type material and while most bags are lines with it because it is easy to clean out if something spills.

For some reason I don’t like it paired with the bags exterior.  I don’t know if it is the rustling sound or what, but somehow the combination  feels somewhat off.  Perhaps filled and in use it will work out.  I’ll have to see.

The first item I pulled out of the ultimate box was one that I chose.  It was the ARTIST COUTURE: Diamond Lights Finisher in Nebula (retail $25).  It is a shimmer shadow that can also be used as a highlighter, body illuminator or lipstick topper. To be honest, I didn’t choose it because I found it exciting, it was just the least blah of the choice items.  It was not a good month for choice. But perhaps once I use it, I will ,love it.  It certainly looks pretty in the little pot.

The CLARITYRX: Glimmer Of Hope™ Shimmering Facial Oil (retail $48) was my second item this month.  It is supposed to deeply nourish skin while also fighting dullness, sun damage, and unwanted texture. It has lots of good things in it.  I don’t know what it smells like yet as I left it sealed for the moment.  I am currently using the Malin + Goetz Recovery oil and want to finish that up before moving on to another product.  And once you open skin care the clock starts ticking on the expiration date. So it remains sealed until I use it.

The COMPLEX CULTURE : Full Time Eye Shadow Palette – The Party Edit (retail $28) was the full sized eyeshadow palette in my box this month. I have to say I am sort of on the fence about it.  I haven’t tried the shadows so I can’t speak to the quality yet but in the pan it doesn’t look like there is a lot of range.  It looks like a lot of brown and silver.  Which is fine, I wear a lot of brown and silver at the moment.  And perhaps it will be a fantastic formula.  Plus the shadows may look different when they apply.  I’ll have to schedule it for a try out soon and see how I feel about it.  The packaging is really nice though.  It is sleek and feels substantial. So fingers crossed the shadows perform well.

My first sample size this month was the CRABTREE & EVELYN :Smooth + Refine Body Lotion. I know it is supposed to be a deluxe sample, but to be honest it seems really small for a body lotion sample.  I think it has enough product for one use so I will take it into the shower with me and after bathing use it up in one go. Perhaps it will be fantastic. We shall see.  I just find really small body lotion samples kind of amusing.

swatch on hand

This month there was a DOSE OF COLORS: Stay Glossy Lip Gloss in the shade Happy Hour (retail $17).  While I love the matte lipstick formula for Dose of Colors (although it is a little drying), I haven’t tried out their gloss formula so I am happy to give it a go.  The shade is not fantastic, but I will at least get to test the formula.  Later I’ll blend it with another color if the formula works out so it won’t go to waste. But that pink with orange tones is not really my shade.

swatched on hand

While it is hard to get excited about a black eyeliner, I have not tried the ESTATE COSMETICS: Precision Liquid Liner (retail $12) before so I will happily give it a try.  I have tried several powder products from Estate before and quite frankly, none of them worked out for me.  Perhaps I will like the liner better.  I swatched it on my hand and it didn’t bleed into the fine lines of my hand so I have hope for it. I just have a lot of black eyeliners and I don’t wear a lot of eyeliner any more.

The FIRST AID BEAUTY: Ultra Repair Oil-Control Moisturizer (retail $32) is I believe supposed to be one of the full sized items in the bag.  It is not the full size from the First Aid Beauty Website.  It is larger than a deluxe sample. I will certainly be able to get a full skin care trial out of it, but it is not the same size as the ones pictured on the website. Either way, I tried a sample of one of the First Aid Beauty moisturizers (although I don’t think it was this one) and I will enjoy trying out a more in depth test of the product.  I am always sort of hit or miss with First Aid Beauty.  Somethings I really, really like, others just aren’t for me.

The FLORENCE BY MILLS :Built to Lash Mascara in Black (retail $14) is supposed to be a lengthening mascara and I do like lengthening mascaras.  I am putting it aside to be opened once I use a couple more of the open products up. It shouldn’t be too long a wait as I have several that are soon to depart my dressing table. It is nice to have a mascara waiting in the wings.  And as I have yet to try anything from Florence By Mills it will be interesting to try the brand out.

One thing I can’t complain about with the KENRA PROFESSIONAL :Platinum Restorative Reconstructor (retail $28) is size.  This is a really large tube of keratin infused hair mask. I have several hair masks I am trying to use up at the moment, but once I clear out a little space, I will be circling in for a long test with this one. Quite frankly I am rather excited about having it arounf to try as I have heard good things about the brand from friends.

I can’t actually say the same for the MURAD: Clarifying Cleanser.  I’ve heard that it can be quite drying.  However I have never tried it before and at the moment I am trying (and really enjoying) a Murad Toner, so perhaps this will work well as a combination. 

Or my skin could be different from the friend who complained of dryness.  We shall see.  Even though Murad has been around a while, it is not a brand I have much experience with.  I think it is because the historian in me sees the name and thinks Ottoman Empire rather than skincare. I’m sure it is just my brain linking them, although I will have to look it up at some point just to prove it to myself. It will be interesting to see how this cleanser performs for me.  And to be honest, subscription boxes don’t send a lot of cleansers or at least they haven’t to me, so I am pleased to have a cleanser appear in my box.

I am also happy to see a Primer, but that is because I love primers. The STUDIOMAKEUP: Silk Hydration Face Primer ($30) was in this month’s Ultimate box and I am looking forward to trying it out.  I did receive an eyeshadow Palette from the brand  but as the colors were all ones I had in my collection and it was a palette that appealed to my mother, I passed it on to her.  She apparently loves the formula. I think it might be her go-to palette at the moment.  Hopefully the primer will perform as well for me.

Another category I am always happy to see represented is powder. While loose powder occasionally appears in subscription boxes, pressed powder is a rarity, at least for me.  I’m not entirely certain why.  For me it is an everyday item and one that I will consistently use up. In my box this month was the Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder from IT cosmetics.  It is a sample size, but it is a large enough size that I should be able to form an opinion about it before it runs out. And having a new powder to test out may keep me from automatically replacing my No. 7 right away, as it has sadly journeyed to my empties bin.

So that was my last IPSY Ultimate.  The Retail Value was $222 for a $50 bag. Which is fine.  The products are ones I’ll use although some of them weren’t the most exciting items I’ve seen.  I am looking forward to the hair mask most of all.  However good or bad, this subscription is ending.  I have shifted over to the Glam Bag Plus (January will be my first month receiving this) and I signed up for the quarterly Glam Bag X.  At the moment it is making the same grand claims that IPSY Ultimate made when it was first released.  I hope they learned from the Ultimate and will be as fantastic as the claims make it sound.  Because last year I kept seeing really nice samples that I wanted to try out appearing in the regular $12 IPSY bag (but somehow never making it to the Ultimate).

I did sign up for the regular Glam Bag.  I don’t know how long I will try it out. I may keep it a few months and then cancel or it could become a staple.  In January I always feel the need to shake up my subscriptions.  By March I should pretty much have my subscription line up for the year squared away. I just always try new things at the first of the year. Many will fade away before spring.  It will be interesting to see what IPSY stays  now that things have shifted.  At the end though I have to say that even though there was a lot of hatred aimed at the Ultimate Glam bag, over all I did rather like it.  Due to circumstances that were beyond their control they sort of ended on a slightly down note, but it was a subscription that overall was quite positive for me. Hopefully it will remain positive moving forward. Fingers crossed.

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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.


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.

30% off Honest Skincare & Tinted Moisturizer, now through 9/26 – only on Ulta.com

The Honest Company

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