Ipsy – January 2014 Review

Ipsy is the only subscription box that I haven’t cancelled since discovering beauty boxes last year. The value is always at least $10 even if I don’t like every product. This month was one of the weaker months for me, but I still feel like I got my money’s worth. My only complaint is that they don’t seem to take your beauty survey into account when picking your bag.

Here’s the first glance at my bag:

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I’ll go in order with the excitement level I have for the products. First up, is the Nourish Organics face lotion. I received another Nourish product a few months ago and it was one of my favorite products. I love that it’s organic and I can always use hydration products. This is a smaller size sample but it will still last me awhile.

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The Elizabeth Mott mascara that I received in my Ipsy bag a few months ago was probably my favorite Ipsy product EVER. I loved it so much that I don’t want to use it for fear of running out. I will be purchasing a full-size product soon so I can start using it again. I was pretty happy when I checked my Glam room to find out I’d be receiving another one of her products. I don’t love creamy eye shadows as much as I like the powder version, but I’m always happy to try out new products.

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I was initially bummed when I found out I’d be receiving the Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair mask. I don’t have hair products selected on my profile, so I’m still at a loss as to why I received it. However, after using it once already I love how soft it made my hair. My hair is severely damaged from years of at-home coloring. I don’t know whether one use of this has made any difference, but I’m going to keep using it to find out.

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Next up, Mica Beauty tinted lip gloss. The color is okay but similar to a few others that I already own. I’m one of those girls that hate potted lip glosses, so I’m going to have to buy a brush to go with this.

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I hate Proactiv. After being young and getting sucked into their reoccuring payment plans, I vowed to never buy another product from them. I really didn’t want these pads at all and it was the one item that I groaned about. However, since I’ll try them or trade them away.

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The bag itself was really cute, but made out of vinyl. It smells like a pool toy. I’m of the minority that I really don’t care about the makeup bags anyway, since I have more of them than I know what to do with. I’ll set it aside with my other makeup bags that I have no use for.

Overall, I’m extremely happy with my January glam bag. A few products I was meh on, but I love that Ipsy has introduced me to Elizabeth Mott and Nourish Organics–both brands that have awesome products that I’d never heard of before. If you aren’t an Ipsy member, I highly recommend checking them out here. Even if they don’t always get it right, it’s worth the $10.

(referral links included in post)

Glossybox December 2013

I know I’m late to the game on this, but oh my goodness. Glossybox beats all other beauty boxes out of the water. All this time I was babbling on and on about the greatness of Ipsy, someone should have informed me that Glossybox was where it’s really at.

When I saw a 3-month subscription deal on LivingSocial, I snatched it up almost immediately. I also had a 20% off promo code and ended up paying $36 for three months. (The LivingSocial deal is now sold-out for the 3-month subscription, but rumor is that you can still buy the 1-month sub on the LivingSocial app.) The retail value is $21 per month, so I’m extremely pleased with this deal but I’m kicking myself for not buying the 6 month one!

I have a problem with stalking the spoilers. Some people may say that it takes the fun and mystery out of subscription boxes, but I think it’s the best part. Yes, I’m also the girl that peeks at her Christmas presents, so I guess you could say I hate surprises. Since I saw the spoilers already, I knew there was no makeup in the box, which was a plus for me and extremely welcomed. (Please take note, Ipsy)

I’ve been stalking my box for the last week via the USPS website. I knew my box was coming today and sure enough, I came home with it waiting for me on the porch. Look how beautiful this thing is:

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I don’t think I’ve ever received this nice of a box with any of my subscriptions. Just like a little kid, I’m almost just as excited about the box itself as its contents inside. We’re in the process of making a vanity, so this will be great on top of it for storage of my frequently used products.

The wrapping is immaculate and done with complete care:Image

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If this doesn’t make you even more excited than there’s something wrong with you.

Like most boxes, there’s a card explaining the products in the box. I wish there was more of a description about why the products were chosen (similar to FabFitFun’s winter box) instead of just a blurb on the products.

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I think you can sense a winter theme here: moisture and skincare. Living in cold Chicago with super dry skin, I appreciate this. No really, I do:

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I’m really not into floral scents, but I actually like the smell of this body wash. It’s pretty light and isn’t overpowering as some floral scents are. I love taking baths so I’m wondering if this will hold up as a good bubble bath or not.Image

I was initially in love with this because of the bottle alone. I expected it to be more expensive, but at $5.50 retail for the full-sized product, this is extremely affordable and would make a great gift. The back of the bottle is my favorite part:

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The consensus seems to be that the Michael Todd pumpkin mask is the crowd’s favorite item this month. I’d have to agree. It’s different enough that 95% of us probably don’t already have it but it’s not too weird that it won’t get used. It smells like canned pumpkin so I can’t wait to use this on my face. ($34 retail for full-sized product)

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One thing I really love about these beauty boxes is discovering new brands. I have Birchbox to thank for discovering Fresh’s Sugar Lip treatment and Juice Beauty’s organic anti-aging line, now I have Glossybox to thank for Michael Todd.

The body wash and pumpkin mask were my two favorite items this month, but the other items still deserve a mention since I liked them too.

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There’s something vintage about the packaging on this which makes me fall in love with it, but I love the scent less. It will still get used because my hands are almost as dry as my face. ($10 retail for full-size product)

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I love looking at pretty manicures but I’m just not that good at it. I do like to try, so I’ll use this. The color “Victoria” is perfect for the winter. ($9.50 retail- this is full-size)

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I love the smell of the Naobay Oxyegenating Cream moisturizer and I love that it’s plant-based. It’s a perfect size to throw in your makeup bag or purse. This is also my first Naobay product, so I’m interested to see what other items they offer. (full size product- $44 retail)

To say that this is my favorite subscription beauty box ever would be an understatement. I think there was a great value in this box for me personally, especially since I only paid $12 for the box. They did so well that I hope they can live up to my expectation for January!

Did you get Glossybox this month? Were you as impressed as I was?

Ipsy December 2013

I’ve been doing Ipsy for about 5 months already and it’s been my favorite box. You can always expect to receive a ton of makeup in a new cosmetic makeup bag for only $10 a month. The debate on the web is always Birchbox v. Ipsy. The thing I’ve noticed with Ipsy is that it’s usually cheaper, non-prestige brands but you’ll get larger samples and sometimes full-sized products. I tried Birchbox for about the same time frame and discovered a few awesome brands that I now love, but the samples were always so gosh darn small that it made me happy and sad all at the same time.

Now that I’ve been doing Ipsy for awhile, I’m starting to love it less. I’m noticing a lot of repeat brands and I’m not getting to discover new products or colors like I’d hoped. Are we just receiving products that are overstock and didn’t sell, Ipsy? Please tell me that’s not true.

Here’s the first look at my box via my Instagram:

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As you can tell from the first look, my perfume leaked and discolored the packaging. A new one is on the way, but I’ve read online that a few people received their replacements leaked too. No bueno!

First up, my favorite product from this month! The NickaK Ripe Apple nail polish. She’s so stinking pretty and a really beautiful shade of maroon. I’ve never really been a nail polish girl, but I still couldn’t help but get excited by the beauty of this little creature. Let me also add that I’m not really good at doing my nails but something about this brush is a little different and made it easier to apply with less of a mess.

Peep my Christmas mani:

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I also used my NCLA Nail Wraps from my December ’13 PopSugar MustHave box. Although the wraps are more red and the polish is more maroon, I’m loving how they all look. I put about 3 coats of clear over the top so they don’t chip before Christmas. So far, so good!

Moving on to the Pop eyeshadows. I don’t really love these colors since I have something similar and will probably trade them.

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A few months ago, I’d never heard of Be a Bombshell, now this is the 2nd product I’ve received from this brand. This is The One Stick in Flustered. You can use it on your lips or cheeks or anywhere you want to add a little color.

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The thing I don’t love about multi-use products like this is how big it is. It’s so awkward to try and apply this to my lips, yet I don’t completely love it on my cheeks either. I think from now on, I’ll use it as a lipstick but use a brush for easier application.

Here’s a swatch of Flustered and below it is a swatch of the Be a Bombshell Hot Damn lip crayon that was in my November ’13 Ipsy bag (you may also see a peep of my Lulu Sugar bracelet from my December ’13 PopSugar MustHave box. I haven’t taken it off since I got it!)

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The Flustered is a nice shade of pink with a little bit of sparkles, while the Hot Damn is a matte show-stopping finish. I love the way the lip crayon applies so easily, that the Flustered was a bit of a letdown.

I think I need to edit my Ipsy survey because I’ve been getting a ton of lipsticks lately. I’m not complaining but I need some variety in my life! I also received the Nyx Extra Creamy lipstick in Sky Pink. This is a great everyday lipstick because it is a nice shade of light pink and the “extra creamy” bit rings true. My lips feel so moisturized and I have no need to apply any extra lip balm.

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It was a great year for me with Ipsy. My makeup storage is now chalk full of lots of makeup. Although Ipsy is primarily known as being a makeup service, in 2014 I’d like to see them stray from that once in awhile. My 2014 Ipsy wish list: a few makeup tools (brushes, sponges, tweezers, etc) as well as some more moisturizer for the winter (The Ole Henriksen Truth Creme from my October ’13 bag is probably my all-time favorite Ipsy score) and some scrubs or Lush products. If I’ve convinced you to give this a shot, please use my referral link:¬†http://www.ipsy.com/r/448i

If you’re already a subscriber, what do you hope to see in your Glam bag in 2014

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