Tuesday, June 18, 2013

April 2013 Ipsy Bag

*This subscription bag was purchased by me.*

I'm extremely late on this one, but here's the April 2013 Ipsy Bag! I figured I'd post my review regardless of lateness since these products are still available for purchase individually. For a comprehensive overview of what Ipsy is, visit Ipsy's website or one of my previous posts (March Ipsy BagFebruary Ipsy BagJanuary Ipsy Bag, or December Ipsy Bag).
April 2013 Ipsy Bag
I was really excited for this bag, especially since Ipsy listened to its customers and finally included a blush! That's one thing I really appreciate about Ipsy, and what I personally think sets them apart from other subscription services; Ipsy actually listens to its community! All Ipsy bags that I've received since December 2012 have contained deluxe samples or full sized products; no foil packets, tiny perfume samples, or worthless garbage. Though Ipsy isn't perfect, it's proven to be worth its value time and time again. I'll get off my soapbox now, and get on with the review! lol.
Card, front.
This month's theme is clearly "Pretty and Pink," and as a result, includes a lot of girly, pink-toned products. While pink is not my favorite color, I do enjoy pink blushes, lipsticks, and eyeshadows. I was kind of indifferent about the "pink" theme to be honest, but it's not a bad theme.
Card, back.
The monthly discounts! I considered ordering from both Be a Bombshell and Two Cosmetics. I'll let you know what I ended up doing later on in the post!

Another card was included, but for the Generation Beauty event in Los Angeles. Although I live close enough to have gone, I had previous commitments, and was not able to attend (Although now that I know what a success the event was, I definitely regret not going! Maybe next year!).
I love you pink bubble mailer!
I just wanted to take a moment and say that I seriously get so excited when I see this pink mailer in my mailbox. It's just so cute! (On a side note my neighbor asked me what I got in the mail from Victoria's Secret. Awkward!).
The bag.
The inside of the bag.
If you haven't already noticed, this is NOT the bag that was supposed to arrive. Ipsy included a message with my tracking information that basically stated that the bag didn't meet their standards of quality, so my April goodies would be shipped in a different bag. Additionally, they would send the April bag along with my May bag. Two bags instead of one? Sounds alright to me! Good customer service, Ipsy.

On the negative side, this replacement bag appears to be the same bag from the March 2012 My Glam bag, other than being a different color.
Excuse the bad quality, I took a picture of my computer screen instead of doing a screen shot...lol fail. Image from Ipsy.
I was never a subscriber back when Ipsy was My Glam (My Glam was renamed Ipsy in September 2012), but supposedly the bags from this era smelled badly of gasoline. Michelle Phan is said to have sourced these bags from China. My "replacement" Ipsy bag also has the distinct "made in China smell." In my opinion, the scent is NOT gasoline, but rather chemicals used to produce the bag itself, which is made of a rubber-like plastic. Whether or not these unknown "chemicals" used to make the bag are actually safe, I cannot tell you for sure, though the whole manufacturing process is shady regardless.

I find it disappointing that Ipsy would choose to send these bags out again, especially since they've worked so hard to transform their image! The company wasn't even a year old when the decision was made to rebrand My Glam into Ipsy. Chances are, Ipsy had extra bags from their My Glam days, and decided to simply get rid of them. While I think it was great of them to send out new bags to replace damaged ones, I would've expected them to send out a bag of less questionable origins and higher quality.

The bag itself is cute enough and does smell poorly, though the scent has started to fade. I've kept the bag to store some haircare samples, though I have no plans to put anything in it that will come in contact with my face.

Moving on...
  • Be a Bombshell Blush in Sweet Cheeks- Full Size
    • Size: 5g or 0.17oz, $16
    • Sweet Cheeks is a medium rosy pink blush with shimmer. Although I usually prefer matte or satin blushes, the shimmer in this blush is great for giving an all around glow. Thus, Sweet Cheeks acts as both a blush and highlighter, no additional product necessary. Also, the shimmer contains no glitters particles, which is definitely a plus. The blush is soft to the touch and extremely creamy without being powdery. Be a Bombshell's website describes the blush as being "a high pigmented long lasting formula for all day wear," and I'd personally have to agree. This blush is both extremely pigmented, yet blend able, and really does last all day! I was pleasantly surprised by this product! There is one downside, and that's the packaging. Based on the pictures above the packaging looks a lot like that of MAC blushes, other than the "Be a Bombshell" logo. However, it's made of much cheaper and flimsier plastic (Note: Many subscribers received broken blushes!). The formula is so nice that I'm willing to deal with the packaging, but for $16 (a MAC blush is $21), I still think they could've given the product studier packaging. 
    • Repurchase? Maybe. It literally takes me forever to go through a 3g blush, so I doubt I'd need to repurchase anytime soon. Though I would repurchase another color!
    • Pleased w/ Ipsy? Yes. This is a full size blush of great quality. This blush alone is worth more than the value of the entire bag. Subscribers all received a Be a Bombshell Blush in either Sweet Cheeks or Beach Please (bright matte pink). I originally would have preferred to have received Beach Please since I love matte blushes and don't have a bright pink in my collection, however I was happy about Sweet Cheeks. And for the first time ever, I actually used an Ipsy discount and purchased Beach Please, since I wanted it so much! More on that in a later post!
    • Side Note: Be a Bombshell cosmetics was given out previously by Ipsy in the December 2012 bag. I'm not a lipgloss fan (usually) but I loved the Be a Bombshell lipgloss in Hot Mess. So far my view on the brand is quite positive.
  • Mica Beauty Shimmer Powder in 72 Earth- Deluxe Sample
    • Size: 2g
    • Full Size: 2.5g, $14.95
    • Value of Sample: $11.96 (After calculating from full-size product. This sample size almost contained as much product as the full size!). 
    • Earth is a loose pigment that can be used on either the eyes or the cheekbones (or wherever else you see fit). The shade is a shimmery pale pink with fine golden glitters. It's a very wearable pink for the eyes since it's not too pink, and is very brightening. There is some fallout (being a loose pigment and all), but it's not bad. Earth can also be used on the cheekbones as a highlighter, but I find it a bit too pink and glittery for my taste. My only other criticism is that I wish the product had a sifter (this is a sample size, however, so the full size might have one!).
    • Repurchase? Probably not, since I doubt I will use it all up. I never personally buy loose pigments since I know I hardly use them (I now have 6 loose pigments total, and 2 of them are from Ipsy!). I will enjoy this one, however, even though it is rather similar to the NYX loose pigment I received in the December 2012 Ipsy Bag.
    • Pleased w/ Ipsy? Yes. The product is nearly full size and a quality product. Subscribers either received this product or the Two Cosmetics Duo Eyeshadow in Heartache (value $6.25). I originally wanted the Two Cosmetics Duo more since I prefer pressed shadows, but I am happy with Mica Beauty's quality.
    • Side Note: Mica Beauty cosmetics was given out previously by Ipsy in the February 2013 bag. I very much enjoyed their black gel liner, and still do. So far the brand seems to have high quality products, but the price is too exorbitant for my taste.
Sation Nail Lacquer in Love At First Byte
  • Sation Nail Lacquer in Love At First Byte- Full Size
    • Size: 0.5 fl oz or 15 ml, $5
    • Love At First Byte is a peachy, flesh-toned nude. It's not a shade I'd normally go for (since I don't wear a ton of nude polishes), but it's a color that's unique to my collection, and I've been enjoying it. The formula is sheer, but I think it's supposed to be that way since it's a nude. You can build up the color a bit; above I'm wearing 3 coats of polish.
    • Repurchase? Probably not, though I'd possibly consider another shade since the formula is good and the polishes are only $5.
    • Pleased w/ Ipsy? Yes. I'm always down for a nail polish, especially in a shade I don't already own. And yay for another full size! Everyone received either this shade or Of Corset I'll Call You (lavender rose).
    • Side Note: This polish reminds me of the Nailtini polish in Frappe from the January 2013 Ipsy Bag. Both shades are sheer and have a good formula. Maybe Ipsy thinks I love nude polishes? lol

  • Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal- Deluxe Sample
    • Size: 0.85 fl oz or 25 ml
    • Full Size: 4.2 fl oz or 125 ml, $21.95
    • Value of Sample: $4.39 (After calculating from full-size product. The sample might be available in a gift set, but it's not currently sold individually). 
    • According to Ulta's website, Soy Renewal "is a nourishing styling treatment made with Moroccan Argan Oil that addresses moisture, frizz, smoothness, elasticity, and shine concerns." It sounds pretty standard when it comes to hair oils nowadays. I honestly haven't gotten around to using the product yet, since I have plenty of hair products and hair oils to go through.
    • Repurchase? Probably not. Even if I do like it, $21.95 is a bit steep.
    • Pleased w/ Ipsy? Sort of. I don't mind the occasional hair care product (like this one), so I'm not unhappy. As long as I don't receive a TON of hair products. Subscribers either received Soy Renewal or the Big Sexy Hair Powder Play Volumizing Powder.
    • Side Note: Sexy Hair also gave out a product in the January 2013 Ipsy Bag, which was a deluxe sample of the Big Sexy Hair Spray & Play Volumizing Hair Spray. At the time of writing the January post I hadn't yet tried Spray & Play, but now I have, and I absolutely love it! I like to use it on styled hair to give some hold to waves and curls.

Price Breakdown:
  1. Be a Bombshell Blush in Sweet Cheeks-Full Size-$16
  2. Mica Beauty Shimmer Powder in 72 Earth-Deluxe Sample (but very nearly full size!)-$11.96
  3. Sation Nail Lacquer in Love At First Byte-Full Size-$5
  4. Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal-Deluxe Sample-$4.39
  • Total Value$37.35
Previous Months' Box: $20.08 (March), $40.55 (February), $38.79 (January), $72.67 (December)

Note: I don't add the cost of the bag to the total (since I don't know the value of the bag itself), so I just consider the bag to be a freebie.

Overview: Overall, April's bag was solid. I was pleased with all the products, although only the Be a Bombshell Blush was truly something I was super excited about. The value of the bag was about average, being the same as January and February, though not as good as my favorite December bag. Like March, April's bag contained only 4 items, which while understandable, was still a bit of a let down. I'd say this bag was average overall, though still very good in the grand scheme of things. 

I'm still catching up, so Ipsy's May review is next! Hope you all are having a great day!

Disclosure: These products were purchased by me for review purposes. I was not paid or compensated in any way. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

This Week's Ramble #2

Hi everyone! I have a confession to make...I've been a very bad blogger as of late, and unintentionally took a month off. :( I had a busy month between work, family, and a little Vegas trip. It was a great month, full of laughter and fun (and a bit of stress), so I took a little break from blogging. However, I did not take a break from beauty...so I have a ton of backlogged posts coming at you! So bare with me, as I catch up on reviews and hauls (from my birthday!).

Also, "This Week's Ramble" is a series of posts I started, that are more "lifestyle" oriented, telling you more about my life on a personal level. While this is a beauty blog, sometimes it's fun to inject a little extra personality. To see my first "This Week's Ramble" post, click here.

These pictures span from April until the present, just so you know. This is a very picture heavy post, so feel free to read at you leisure. :)

A trip to my local brewery included quail wings....
and amazing mac and cheese!
As well as my new favorite Belgium beer:
It's called:
So pretty at night!
Can you guess where this is?
Love the atmosphere!
The strange neighborhood cat:
Why are you so cranky?
I'm kind of nerdy, so:
Why yes, this does offend me, while still making me laugh!
Visiting the boyfriend's animals usually entails great risk. Check out Lager, who is attacking my sweatshirt per usual.
Will he ever stop moving?
Please sit still so I can take the picture!
 The "dog treats" clearly have his attention:
Look at Lager beg...
Seriously those eyes are killing me!
And it continues...
Lol, are you tired of Lager pictures yet?
Ok, one more!
Here's buddy, a very sweet dog.
She's penned because she hurt her leg, and doesn't know her own limits. Poor thing, but we can't have her injuring herself more. :(
And the demon kitty, Lucky, who's been featured on this blog before. Because I'm a cat lady. 
She looks pretty regal for a fat cat.
Those eyes!
Excuse my chipped nails. That's Essie's Bikini So Teeny, just in case you were wondering :)
So being the logical person I am, I thought I'd tease the cat:
And make an action sequence out of it.
Because I can:
And because Lucky is easy to piss off...lol
And she really wanted to eat the string of my sweatshirt...
No really, the cat eats plastic if she can. Cotton is probably a step up. lol
And this is how I felt when I tried to eat lunch:
I took this picture (I was in the passenger seat, not driving FYI), and I thought it was hilarious!
I hope this isn't offensive to you, but it's not everyday you see something more creative than "wash me" etched into a dirty car.
And this "Dark Side of the Moon" hurts my eyes.
But somehow I thought you should stare at it too. You're welcome.
And one more of Lager. I can't help it. :)
"Please sir, may I have some more?"
And no food post is complete without a random sushi pic:
I'm so delicious.
And no beauty blog lifestyle post is complete without the gratuitous Lush Bath Bomb cocktail. This is the fan favorite "mermaid bath," which is the Big Blue bath bomb mixed with the Sunnyside bubble bar.
You know you want to take a bath right now.
I scoff at you!
Just kidding..."ULTIMATE CUTENESS!"
Went to dinner with the best group of friends EVER (you know who you are...) and we shared some wickedly bad food (and by bad, I mean bad for you...haha).
This appetizer was called "Vampire Dip"
FRIED goodness. There was like 8 people FYI...haha
This burger is called the 50/50 because half of it is bacon and half of it is beef.
Random dessert with the boyfriend one day. We kept it simple with a parfait and a macaroon. We don't eat a lot of dessert as a rule, so it was nice treat :)
This is awesome....haha!
Can this be a thing already?
So is this:
 And this is also mighty funny:
He really did. lol
The rose the boyfriend gave me on my birthday:
We went back to the local brewery for dinner that night. Thank you boyfriend (I call him "boyfriend" to protect his privacy...lol).
A new version of Shock Top. I like it :)
Yup, I had to go to Car's Land...do you spot me in the back right? lol
One of the things I miss most about working at Disneyland is hanging out with the ducks. No seriously. They are daring little devils. One time I was working the Jungle Cruise, and a duck dive bombed my boat. I yelled "duck" to the guests on board....and well, that was a really comedic timing...lol
This made me laugh:
I also went to the beach:
The boyfriend beat me on Toy Story Midway Mania :(
And he was the best of the hour. Nice work!
We are so cool.
Well, maybe not.
California Screamin'! Too bad the sun made the pic turn out badly :(
 This also made me laugh...
Did I mention that I'm a quarter Japanese? lol
I stealthily took a picture of my local Sephora's Urban Decay Moondust eyeshadows:
Excuse the poor quality! I was in stealth mode!
And then I swatched them:
Excuse the random red lipsticks...lol
So glittery!
Yes, I was also swatching red lipsticks, hunting for dupes. lol
And here's a picture of a happy llama:
I'm just so darn joyful.
And then I went to Vegas! This was night 1 at Vdara:
This was the view from our room in Vdara. I'm wearing MAC's Russian Red lipstick. (which is why I was swatching red lipstick earlier).
These are the best friends a girl could ever have! Over 12 years and counting...
We're in the Cosmopolitan.
Day 2. Funny picture from the Bellagio:
lol she's not actually licking him FYI
And now we're at the pools in Caesar's Palace:
I felt like I was in a movie scene, since it was so crazy busy!
Night 2: Eating dinner at Mon Ami Gabi in Paris.
I'm wearing MAC's Girl About Town lipstick.
My Skate (fish) with cauliflower puree was DELICIOUS!
And here's a candid shot:
That's a straw in my mouth...lol. I obviously went for the bold lipstick look all weekend. 
Night 3: Luxor!
Everyone's makeup done by me :)
I found Mandalay Bay's Lush!
Hello, I love you!
I also found the elusive Avowash!
I look crazy in this picture...haha...I'm also wearing MAC's Impassioned lipstick.
We ate dinner at an awesome Irish restaurant, called Ri Ra!
Such pretty ladies!
And that's all folks!

My apologies for spamming you with a million pictures! I just felt like it...and it's my blog so I do what I want! lol. In all seriousness, I missed you all, and I missed blogging so much!

I have some major catch up to do, so expect a lot of backlogged posts including Ipsy reviews for April and May, an Influenster Vox Box, Bzzagent Campaigns, a MAC haul (yay for Nordstrom's gift cards! Thank you!), an Inglot haul...and well beauty business mmmkay. :)

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!