ipsy Review- January 2014

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Ipsy is here! The ipsy Glam Bag continues to be one of my favorite subscriptions, and at $10 a month, you can’t beat it. Ipsy is a monthly mailing that always includes a cute little makeup bag containing three to five full and sample-sized makeup and beauty items. This bag is always lots of fun! Here are the goods:

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So many fun things in here this month. Plus, there is a postcard where you can fill out why you think that 2014 is your year, and then Instagram or Facebook it to enter a big giveaway. Here are the details:

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Mica Beauty Tinted Lip Balm in Natural: Any time I get a nice, natural lip balm, I am a happy girl. Mica Beauty has a nice feel and takes a nice shine without looking goopy. I layer it over Chap-stick (like I do with almost anything I put on my lips) and it still lasts awhile.  Cute color, too! The full-size for this gloss is a whopping $30, but this sample is more than half the full size, so great deal!

Nicka K Absolute! Makeup Cleansing Tissues: 10 pack ($2.49) This is another one of those things that is always a keeper. I can put this in my gym bag and never have to worry about scaring people in the pool with my raccoon eyes. These are pre-moistened with a water-based cucumber solution, so they feel really nice on your skin and give it that fresh feeling that only cucumbers can give. The product information said these are made of “delicate spun lace” which kind of made me laugh. I feel like maybe I should be laying them out as doilies instead of washing off my makeup with them. Pretty fancy.

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Sexy Hair Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Tri-Wheat Leave-In Conditioner: travel size ($6.00) This stuff smells really nice, which is a must for a leave-in. It is formulated to help repair color-treated hair and add softness and manageability without over-proteinizing your hair. I am not sure what over-proteinizing is, but it sounds dangerous. The reviews for this spray are top-knotch, and I am ready to get in on it. Guess I should shower first.

Elizabeth Mott Smooth Shadow Pencil in Penny: Ipsy is the reason I totally fell in love with Elizabeth Mott mascara, and now she is making shadow-slash-eyeliners, so naturally, I am on it. This is a waterproof gel pencil, so the color lasts a long time. I got a copper color that I think will look great as a liner, but I probably wouldn’t use it all over the lid. This is very blendable, and I love the texture. Another awesome product from my the company that makes my hands-down favorite makeup item. I am excited.

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Le Anni Eco 3-in-1 Revolution: This is a combination of toner, serum and moisturizer. I use the latter two everyday, but I don’t use a toner that often, Am I missing out?  I swiped a bit of this across my cheek and it had a little tingle to it. It is formulated to help tighten skin, fight breakouts and wrinkles, and reduce dark circles. This is handmade and all natural, plus it is gluten free. I like getting products from small, natural companies like this and am excited to use this for a few full applications.

While I do not provide values for samples, this month’s glam bag definitely exceeded its ten-dollar cost. I love all the items and am so excited to have a new Elizabeth Mott product to try. The little bag is cute this month, too, although I am working on quite the collection and need to start passing them on to friends. As always, subscribers get great coupons for the the full-sized items in their bags, as well. Another great ipsy!

Benefit Cosmetics Bus. Beep! Beep!

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The first two weeks of the month are always slow for boxes, but there are a bunch on their way already, so many fun reviews are coming, including Happy Mommy, NatureBox, Birchbox, a new one called Panty by Post, and lots, lots more!

In the meantime, I thought I would share this little item I saw at the Oakland airport on our way home around the new year. It is a Benefit cosmetics vending machine. It was right there across from our gate, and I kept staring at it, waiting for my moment to leave my son with my husband so I could go explore. When Mike got back and took over toddler duty, I picked up my wallet and told him I was taking it “just in case” to which my husband smiled and shook his head. What? I love me some cool makeup.

I actually did not buy anything; I really don’t buy makeup anymore except for a few essentials (Sephora CC cream, Elizabeth Mott Mascara, and Makeup Forever eyeliner) because of all the stuff I get in the mail to play with, including lots of fun Benefit stuff. But still, this thing was cool, and in my pre-box days, I would have dropped a pretty penny out of the sheer desire to entertain myself at the gate. Since Benefit is a San Francisco company, I imagine these are sprinkled throughout all the Northern California airports.  So cool! Have you ever seen makeup vending machines before?

PopSugar Must Have Review December 2013

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The PopSugar Must Have December Box has received a lot of mixed reviews thus far, with some people seeming pretty unhappy with it. While it wasn’t necessarily my favorite PopSugar Must Have box, I actually thought everything was pretty nice, and even the stuff I didn’t initially love, I realized I would get use out of. Here are the goods:

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This box was full of holiday cheer and everything was pretty fun. Here are the details:

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Govino Go Anywhere Champagne Flutes: ($12.95) This is a set of four disposable champagne flutes from Govino. While I understand why some people weren’t happy with them being plastic and disposable, I think we will get use out of them, but I think it will be during the summer. We take picnics to jazz in the park a lot of summer Sundays, and these are perfect. I can’t really see using them more than once like they say you can, but we shall see. I didn’t think these were amazing, but we will use them.

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Whoa, snack-city for this PopSugar box.

CC Made Caramel Corn: This is a great size to add to a gift basket, which is probably what I will do with it. After the peppermint pretzel incident from the Special Edition Box, I need to lay off the snacks for a bit.

Ghiradelli Squares: (2 packs) ($4.25 each) These were fine, and I actually put them out at our cocktail party, so I got use out of them right away. The Pumpkin Spice flavor is to die for. These were listed on the information card as an extra, although I thought it was a little weird that there were two packages of them. Chocolate is good, and so I accept these and will do my best to give most of them away.

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Mixt Studio Holiday Gifting Set: ($9) This is a package of three different kinds of wrapping paper with string and tags to finish the packages. I think this is super handy and pretty, and I will be wrapping a few presents with it this week. i thought this was a cool addition for the holidays.

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NCLA Peppermint Lane Nail Wraps: ($16) Nail wraps are not my thing, but I already know who is getting these as a gift. We are doing a small-gift gift exchange with my husband’s family, and I am going to put together a little nail set for Mike’s brother’s girlfriend. These will be perfect to add to that.

Modelco Fibre Lashxtend Black Mascara: ($20) I have a ton of mascara, and as I have mentioned a million times, am currently totally hooked on It’s So Big mascara by Elizabeth Mott. This will go in the makeup box for gifting or putting into the Bag-o-Beauty for girls’ trip. I’m sure those classy ladies will throw down to see who gets a full size mascara out of there.

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Lulu Frost for PopSugar bracelet: ($110) This was another item in the box that had a lot of mixed reviews. I really like it and will wear it. While I would not pay $110 for it retail, I think it is edgy and pretty at the same time and am excited to wear it. Lulu Frost items are typically pretty spendy, so I think  that is part of what they figure into the price. I like that it is a special edition for PopSugar, and I like the antique coloring to the gold chain. This was my favorite thing in the box.

All told, this PopSugar Must Have box had a value of around $180 for the $39.95 pricetag. I liked the holiday cheer, loved the bracelet, and thought it was pretty good, though not my favorite PopSugar box. Looking forward to what they have in store for 2014.  You can always get $5 off of your first PopSugar Box by using the promo code REFER5.

Another Package? For Moi’?

Along with my surprise Julep package, I also received my new mascara!  YAY! In my September ipsy bag, I received the It’s So Big mascara from Elizabeth Mott. Best. Mascara. Ever. I have been on a journey of personal discovery for my entire makeup-wearing life to find this mascara, and now, two of them are mine. The journey ends right here:

This mascara has already changed my life in the way that only mascara can. I will say that it may not be the right mascara for everyone. I am a makeup minimalist, and this mascara adds great color, great separation and no clumping.  It is very natural looking, but can be layered a few times to glam it up. As a contact lens wearer, the fact that it never flaked sold me, but I also love that it does not budge at all. I have super dry skin and so I pile on the lotion. A lot of mascaras are smeared down my face by noon because I have so much moisturizer and eye cream on. But this looked newly applied all day. Because it never moved, I was dreading removing it, but one swipe with a makeup remover, and it was gone. I think this stuff is a miracle. If you are more into big, thick, clumpier lashes, this may not be your gig, but for me, I am in post-personal-journey mascara bliss. 
The ipsy Glam Bag offer for this was 50% off, so I got two, but sadly, that discount is over. You can purchase It’s So Big mascara on the Elizabeth Mott site, and it arrives very quickly from Honolulu, where I imagine Elizabeth Mott lives a glamorous, tropical life, reaping the benefits of being a mascara genius. She also included one of her famous lash cards that keeps mascara from getting on to other parts of your eyes.  I am a little too low maintenance for that, but it looks cool and gets rave reviews, so into the Bag-o-Beauty it goes.
Thank you, Elizabeth Mott, lifechanger. And thank you, ipsy for introducing us.