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.


AmorePacific

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.

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

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 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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IPSY Ultimate Review January 2020

IPSY Ultimate January 2020

This month’s IPSY Ultimate was interesting. For those who don’t know, IPSY Ultimate is $50 per month beauty subscription.  Typically it contains only beauty products with a few basic tools (like brushes) but this time they branched out a little bit.

First, the subscription does come with a bag. This month’s bag was a case like bag, rectangular with a handle and a marble like exterior.  I have to say I really like it.  The bag is of good quality, quite spacious and the lid has a zippered mesh pocket to contain all of the little items rolling around in the bag, which I really like.

The Bag has quite a good capacity and a zippered section to hold small things.

The second item, I have to say, I wasn’t too enthused about seeing.  It is the THIS WORKS Deep Sleep Pillow Spray (retail $29).  I know everyone raves about it and trust me, as I routinely suffer from insomnia I am always looking for something to aid me in getting to sleep without making me dependent on a prescription. This is not it.  I tried a sample before and didn’t like it, but to be fair I tried it again because sometimes there is a difference between the full size and the sample.  I still didn’t like it.  The scent was not pleasant, it made my eyes water and I had to change out my pillow before I could get to sleep.  This item was not for me.  I will say though that when I didn’t like the sample I passed it on to my mom and she adored it. So clearly others like it. But it is not for me.  Bonus though, I get to give my mom a full sized version of a product she likes.

The travel flat iron from Foxybae

The second item I pulled out of my IPSY box this month was the FOXYBAE Mini Travel Flat Iron in Marbled (retail $59). Like the bag for the month it too has a marbled handle.  It is the perfect size for travel and actually I must confess on the days where I wake up with my bangs sticking straight up, I do tend to do a quick flat iron on them to help them settle so the travel size is perfect for that. I love FoxyBae Products.  Their heat protecting spray is one of my favorites so using it with their tools is kind of fun as well.  I should also say, this was the item I chose from the list when they were preparing the bag and I am really glad I did. Sadly now I have a much better travel flat iron then my regular one as I have used it for years and need to replace it, but that is another story. And If I like this one I may end up picking up the full sized one to replace my old one. We shall see.

This month I received a Highlighter Balm in the shade Twitch from the brand Flesh (retail $18). I have heard great things about the brand and they have been on my list of things to try for a while now. (it’s a long list, I know there are just so many fascinating things out there to try).  I think that 2019 was the year of the cream products for me.  Prior I more or less only used powder based products (except foundation, primer and concealer).  Due to subscription boxes this year I got to try several cream based things I would not have picked up on my own.  Several of them I liked, some I didn’t. So while I’d never used a balm highlighter, I was game. The highlighter is a nice golden color that works really well with my skin tone.  It is really subtle, which I actually like.  I really don’t like blinding highlighter on a routine basis. It does feel a little bit greasy though. I’m not sure if that is just because it’s a balm or not and will need to do a wear test to see how I really feel about it.  As I have gotten quite a few highlighters lately, I may have to just do a grand highlighter test to sort through them all.  But for now, I really like the shade and the look of it.

Next up was the TARTE Double Duty Beauty™ Easy On The Eyes Clay Liner in Black( retail $19).  I like Tarte.  This is a great eyeliner. It is one of my favorite styles of eyeliner, but I don’t wear a lot of eyeliner and I’ve gotten an eyeliner in each box for the last three months. I am well stocked on eyeliner. In fact I have enough black eyeliner to stock a goth band. Its kind of funny though.  For a while I was awash with mascaras, then I stopped getting them in subscription boxes and started getting eyeliner.  Now, I am actually running out of mascara (I wear it every day) but have heaps of eyeliner.  Maybe the pendulum will swing and I will get to restock my mascara soon. It really is a great eyeliner though.

In this box there was also a F.A.R.A.H BRUSH 160F Face Brush (retail $12).  It is actually the perfect blush brush for me and I am really glad to have it (I recently had to bid farewell to several brushes).  Now if only I could find the perfect blush.  I’ve gotten several I like,  but not THE ONE.  At the moment I am blending a couple to create the shade I want, but I keep looking.

The SWEET CHEF Kale + Vitamin B Serum Shot (retail $19.99) was also in this month’s IPSY for me and even though it sounds like something I should drink I have it in my line up of serums to try.  Skin care takes a few weeks at a go to test and decide if I like it, but I am putting this in my line up and will soon try it out.  (Currently I am testing an anti-aging night serum from Dermelect).  It will be interesting to try this one and actually from the description, it sounds like something my skin will be happy to use once the spring garden prep starts so I may try to time that test then as I always end up spending too much time in the sun.  The problem is that early spring is over cast and not very warm so when I work outside I forget how long I’ve been outside and tend to get a bit red from both sun and wind. Who knows, this might help.  It will be fun to see. As I don’t like the taste of Kale it will at least let me put this superfood to a different test.

I’m always happy to try new things for my hair (it is long and thick so there is a lot to work with) and this month I received the MARC ANTHONY TRUE PROFESSIONAL 100% Extra Virgin Coconut Oil & Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioner (it was a deluxe sample so there was no value listed.).  I have several leave in conditioners and hair oils open at the moment so I am going to set this to the side for now and wait until I have used up at least one of the open products before using this one. But I am always willing to try new hair products so I’m looking forward to it.

The interior of The Balm’s Matt(e)rimony palette

THEBALM COSMETICS Meet Matt(e) Trimony Matte Eyeshadow Palette (retail $42) was also included in this month’s IPSY box for me and I was very happy to see it.  A couple of weeks back I used the In the Balm of Your Hand palette as my palette of the week and found it far more versatile than I imagined and the shadows of really good quality with great staying power.  I am happy to have a full sized palette from The Balm.  I don’t know why people don’t talk about this brand any more.  Every product I’ve used from them has been great, they are fairly reasonably priced on most products and the packaging is fantastic. I’m happy to add this to my collection and can’t wait to use it.

A package of ESSENHERB Tea Tree 90 Toner Pad (deluxe sample) was also in my IPSY this month.  I am a big fan of toner but I haven’t used much Tea Tree oil before so I am looking to see how my skin reacts to this product.   I may have to give my Thayers a rest and try this one out.

Also on my list to try is the AHAVA Essential Day Moisturizer (retail $67).  I am always hit or miss with AHAVA.  I loved the hand cream I tried of theirs, but hated the face mask. Luckily, my mother loves all things AHAVA so if I try it and don’t like it, it won’t go to waste.  I have it lined up in my skin care cue and its time of testing will come.

I was very excited to see the HEY HONEY Take Away The Drama Youth Boosting Honey & Copper Peel Off Mask (retail $49) in this month’s selection of products.  I love the Hey Honey Brand.  There is nothing I have tried from them that I did not enjoy.  Their silk serum and 911 gel are two of my all time favorite products. I cannot wait to try their peel off mask.

The Hey Honey wasn’t the only mask in this month’s selection though I also received the AVETTE Daily Fresh Squeeze Sheet Mask Duo in Grape and Lychee (retail $8 for the set of two). IPSY just loves to send me sheet masks. I’ve stopped buying them because of the waste, but I will use the ones that I am sent.  This one claims to be bio-degradable and eco-friendly and if they are I might consider purchasing them if I like them.  Unfortunately I think the bio-degradable part only applies to the sheet mask itself not the foil packaging, which is sort of a problem.  But I’ll look into it and see where their packaging stands when the time comes. Although not all sheet masks are created equally.  Some I adore, some, not so much.  I will add these to the stack and find out which way they lean when I try them out as well as look into more of their eco-friendly claims.

So that was my IPSY Ultimate for the Month of January and I have to say over all I am quite pleased.  There are one or two things that weren’t catching my interest as much, but over all I really like my selection of products and am really looking forward to using them. The overall value of my $50 subscription ended up being $323 which is a pretty good return on my part.  And almost all of them are things I will use or pass on to someone who will.  While this subscription started off as a dud, it is getting better with each month that passes. I can’t wait to see where they go from here.

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