Ipsy Glambag: August

Seeing as I just got my September bag today, I figured it was about time I tried to get the post about my August bag up! I’ve tested and tried all my goodies,  but getting the actual posts done when you have a little one is a bit more of a challenge.

August Glambag

I was pretty pleased with my haul this month, that the bag was cute as hell, too. They were going for a “back to school” vibe, and the pencil case shape of the bag definitely helped them to pull that off.

The only full sized product was the lip balm from Absolute New York. I got the grape flavour, and I must say that I love it. For those of you that have any food sensitivities, be warned: this stuff has aspartame in it for some reason. I try to apply as little as possible, and I don’t lick my lips when I have it on. I do find that it leaves my lips soft, and I’m a sucker for anything that comes in a tin. Because of a few less than stellar ingredients, I don’t know if I would go out of my way to repurchase this, but I will use what I have.

The rest of the samples were tiny. The Silk Kajal from Lord and Berry, while a great little liner, was about the length of my index finger. I didn’t really mind, though, seeing as I have an abundance of liners already. This stuff goes a rich, dark black. It’s great for getting a velvety, precise line, and even better for smudging. I also found it really easy to get off without  making a huge mess all over my face. I don’t own a huge number of kohl liners, but I would go back to this brand again.

Lord&Berry SwatchCoastal Scents is one of those companies that I’ve heard a lot about, but never taken the time to investigate further, so I was really looking forward to trying out the blush duo that I got in my bag. I was surprised at how much pigment got on my brush from one small wipe. When I applied it to my face, I have to admit that it didn’t take a lot of product to make me look like a prostitute from the ’80s. The colours are really nice, but you need a really light hand to apply them. The blush itself, in my opinion, is average, and there are other brands that I can get without having to mail order that I like more, so I probably won’t be repurchasing these in the future.

Coastal Scents Blush Swatch

The Dr. Brandt pores no more was another one I was hopeful about. It feels a little oily when you first apply it, at least it did on my skin, but it does do a great ob of making the large pores on my nose look reduced. The downside? It makes my long wearing foundation not so long wearing. I use Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Full Coverage, and after a few hours I was noticing areas of shine that wouldn’t normally be there with my regular Smashbox primer. I’m probably going to try a few different modes of application to see if I can get it to perform the way I think it should, but for now, especially for the price of a full size product, this one won’t be a repeat for me either.

The mascara, on the other hand, is lovely. It’s not often that I’m disappointed in an Urban Decay product, and the Perversion Mascara lived up to expectations. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a waterproof, but it doesn’t flake or smudge, even them I sleep on it, yet it’s easy to remove when I want it to come off. It’s rich and black, adding both volume and length, but doesn’t clump. I’m looking forward to trying with with the matching Subversion primer.

The look I put together with this bag was:

photo 1I’m looking forward to getting to play with some of the new goodies I got in my September bag over the weekend, and I still have loads of sample reviews, and a Topbox review, to get to. For now, I hope you enjoyed this look (back) at the August ipsy!

 

 

 

Beauty on the Cheap: Joe Fresh

Let me start off by saying that I had no idea Joe Fresh did make up. I’ve purchased their clothes in the past, both for myself and my son, and I’ve been more than impressed. The combination of price point and quality is spot on, so naturally I was curious as to whether the make up line would be the same.

I grabbed two items: a palette from the clearance bin and a full priced long-wear lipstick. The palette included a trio of coordinating eye shadows, a matte lipstick, and an eye shadow brush.

Joe Fresh palette in Just Peachy

Joe Fresh palette in Just Peachy

The palette was on sale for $6, which was just over 50% off. For that price, I really couldn’t pass it up. The shadows look like they have a bit of a shimmer in the pan, but I found that they went on with more of a matte finish. The brush was a surprise. Most brushes that come in sets like this are abysmal, but this one is actually decent, and will be good for touch-ups on the go.

The lipstick is a great colour, but I wasn’t sure about the quality when I first applied it. It looked dry, and seemed to gravitate towards the creases in my lips. For me, the mark of a good matte lipstick is that it looks matte and feels cream. This wasn’t really giving me that, so I played around with application a little to make it work. By applying a lip balm first and lining with a MAC lip pencil in Subculture, I found the finish to be quite nice. It lasted fairly well, but I did need to reapply after eating if I wanted the best look.

For my eyes, I used the peach-pink all over my lids, blending up towards my brow bone. I used the brown in the outer corners of my crease, and the vanilla as a highlighter under my brow. The colours work very well together, and I’ve also used them separately to great effect. They blended well and had a nice amount of pigment payoff, but keep in mind that I always use Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion when I apply any type of eye colour.

Here is the final look:

Just Peachy Face and Maven NailsI had already been outside for a large chunk of time that day, but sweating and being in the sun had no adverse effects on the products. When you have hot summers, this is always a plus. I don’t know if I would pay full price, but on clearance this palette was a  hell of a deal.

Now, for the long-wear lipstick. I’m a huge fan of long-wear lipsticks; the less I have to worry about what my lip are doing throughout the day, the better. This is especially true now that I have a little grabbing at my face all the time. If I can put something on and know that there’s less chance of him smudging it, all the better. I have several lipsticks already that do the trick; I needed to know how this one compared.

Joe Fresh Fuschia Long Wear

As you can see, the box claims that it will go for six hours. Most long-wear colours that I have claim eight or ten, so this made me curious right off the bat. What was different about this formula that took the time down to six hours? I figured that out right when I applied it the first time. It’s a much creamier formula that similar products I’ve tried, and love, like Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick and Sephora Collection Luster Matte Long-Wear Lip Colour. It also does not dry to the touch. Even after having it on for several hours, it will come off if I, or Finn, touches my lips. If I eat or drink there will be colour transfer, but it still hold up well. I didn’t feel the need to reapply. The colour pay out is great, application was smooth, and it didn’t dry my lips. That was a huge bonus.

Here it is in action:

Excuse how crazy my super high prescription glasses make my face look. I am blind; it cant be helped.

Excuse how crazy my super high prescription glasses make my face look. I am blind; it cant be helped.

I really like the colour, and it feels great on my lips. If it didn’t get on my son’s hands so easily, I would definitely go back for more, especially at $8 a tube.

For an impromptu purchase, I’m happy with what I got, and I suggest giving the Joe Fresh line a look-see. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to have any of the products up on the website anymore. I’m not sure if this is because they’re going to be discontinuing the collection or because they want the site to be more focused on the clothes. Either way, hit up a Superstore and check it out.

Products used in both looks:

~Smashbox Photofinish Foundation Primer

~Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Original

~Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour Full Coverage Foundation in Fair Sand

~Make-up Forever Super Matter Loose Powder in Translucent Natural

Products used in top look:

~L’Oreal Miss Manga mascara in Blackest Black

~Nyx Blush in Pinched

~POP Beauty Sunkissed Bronzer in Secret Sunshine

Products used in bottom look:

~Tarte EmphasEYES Waterproof Clay Shadow/Liner in Black

~Diorshow Blackout mascara in Kohl Black

~Nyx Blush in Pinky

 

The Meh about Julep Maven

In my recent foray into the world of beauty subscription boxes, I managed to snag a Julep Maven box for free. This wasn’t a difficult feat, as they often have freebie codes on their website to entice newbies to give them a try. Click the link above, enter your e-mail address and Bam! Free box. This isn’t one of the boxes that initially attracted my attention for a few reasons:

The first would be that it’s mostly nail polish. While I love a good polish, I already have more than I need. It would have to be a truly spectacular polish to keep me coming back for more every month, and I’m talking super quality, not just pretty colours. I always have my toes painted, but I just don’t have the patience or the skills to keep my fingers done all the time. Plus, Finn sticks my fingers in his mouth on a regular basis, and I really don’t want him eating nail polish if it can be avoided.

Secondly, the price seemed a little high to me. At $24.95 USD per box, plus a small shipping fee, you get three items a month. Granted, you do have the ability to swap items in your box for stuff that you really want, and there are also add-on options (for an additional fee), but that’s still one of the priciest boxes I’ve seen. I know, I know… Julep polishes run $14 USD each if you’re not a Maven member, so the box price is quite a steal. But added up every month? I wasn’t sure it would be worth it.

I couldn’t pass up the free box, though, so I forked over my shipping fee and eagerly awaited my package in the mail. I chose a box with two nail colours and a fancy top coat, and I was stoked to see what the brand could offer me.

Maven Box 1The dark, almost Barney-ish purple is called “Bette” and the coral, which has a lovely shimmer to it, is called “Laree”. This was my favourite of the two. I was stoked to learn that the formulas are formaldehyde free. The last free polish I tried, by wHet, had minimal odor and a nice long wear, so this gave me hope that the Julep polishes would perform the same way.

I was also really excited to try the top coat. It claimed to set like a gel, giving an ultra long lasting finish, drying in just five minutes, and lasting even longer if cured for two minutes under a 60 watt bulb. If I’m going to paint my fingers, I need something that’s going to stand up to hard use, so this was looking like a great at-home solution. My hopes were high and my fingers were crossed.

I started with the coral. The first coat applied smoothly and with a lot of pigment, but it seemed to take a long time to dry. This may have been why the second coat seemed to go on really… gloopy? Is that the word I’m looking for? Sure, the day I applied it was hot and humid, but I don’t think that should have made a difference. I did do the second coat outside, though, because this colour smelled terrible! For something that is supposed to be low on chemicals, it reeked. If I breathed the fumes too directly, I ended up coughing, and that is not a good thing.

In spite of these minor set backs, I was happy with the results. I used three coats of colour and one of the top coat:

Sorry about the crap picture; this is the only one I took with the finished nails in it. For shame.

Sorry about the crap picture; this is the only one I took with the finished nails in it. For shame.

The top coat dried quickly to the touch on most of my fingers. The middle finger on my right hand got a little damaged, but I probably hadn’t let the colour on that finger set all the way before applying the last layer. That was my own fault. The colour itself made me insanely happy. It’s gorgeous and bright. I just wish it had lasted longer.

I did my nails on a Sunday, and by the following Wednesday they were already starting to chip and peel. This is not what I was expecting from such a high end brand, particularly when I used their “gel” top coat. I wasn’t hard on my hands. I didn’t abuse them or so anything crazy like pull Lego apart. I just went about my every day stuff, and it didn’t hold up.

What a let down.

The other colour wasn’t much better. Where the coral applied really well, the purple went on runny and uneven on both my fingers and toes. I made sure to use a base coat, but I just couldn’t get a nail to come out evenly. This colour didn’t have such a harsh smell, but it took forever to dry. I only applied one coat every ten hours or so, and I was still getting nicks and dents in the finish. The fifth, and last, coat was left to dry for over two hours before I went to bed and it was nearly destroyed when I got up. I felt like I needed drying drops for this colour, and I really shouldn’t need them. Take a look at the result of base coat, five coats of colour, and a top coat:

Julep Bette (2)You can see how uneven it is. With five coats, I should have a glorious, lush colour. Instead, I got a watery, streaky, mess. I didn’t even bother to clean up any polish I got outside my nails, because at the first chip this colour is coming off. My toes look no better.

I don’t think I need to say it, but I will not be keeping my Maven subscription. In my opinion, the quality is just not there. I love some of their colours and tools; shipping was fast and efficient; it’s the product that’s not living up to my standards. If I feel like trying them again in the future, I’ll pick up a colour or two at Sephora.

 

Ipsy Glambag Reveal: July

I’m new to the whole makeup subscription thing. Yes, I’m late to the party, and I honestly don’t know why it took me so long to get it started. Let’s just say I’m doing it now, and so far, things have been good. My fist subscription is Ipsy. I had a Facebook friend post a referral link, so I went to check it out. Premium makeup samples for $10 a month (plus shipping)? Sign me up!

There are two ways you can get a subscription: one is to stick in out on the waiting list for a few weeks/months/who knows how long, and then you get an invitation to join up. The other is a little gimmicky, but for me it was well worth it in order to skip the wait. I had to share a referral link on Facebook, like their Facebook page, and subscribe to a YouTube channel. It was simple, and easy to unsubscribe if I found the updates to be too onerous.

Billing happens on the first of the month for each new bag you get, and that’s also when previews of what might show up in your bag start going out. Shipping starts in the middle of the month, but I didn’t get my July bag until it was almost August. Apparently, according to some long time subscribers that I talked to, this isn’t a common thing, but I was really frustrated. I had my tracking number, but my bag got stuck in North Carolina for weeks. E-mailing ipsyCare didn’t really do anything to help me out, either. I did get my bag, and that all the products arrived intact, so that’s the important thing. I will have an issue if shipping is still all over the place this month.

I would call the bags semi-custom; you take a little quiz when you first sign up, and that’s supposed to be used, in combination with feedback that you give on subsequent products, to put together your bags. I don’t know how well the quiz is actually used though, because my bag was a little all over the place. I did go in to review my products from this month, so we will see if I get any more duds in upcoming bags as things go on.

When my bag finally did arrive in the mail, I was very pleased to see the metallic pink bubble mailer. How pretty is that? I know it

Pink! Shiny!

Pink! Shiny!

doesn’t really matter what things are packaged in, but pretty packaging makes me happy. What would you rather have: yellow paper or metallic pink? I’ll take the fun mailer every time, because more zazz is a good thing.

The actual product comes in a new mini makeup bag each month, and for July it was a square neon bag with a scalloped edge. It might be a little on the bright side for some people, but I really love it. I was pleasantly surprised with how much it holds. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with a new bag each month. It will depend on the theme and size of the bag as to whether I use them for storage/organization or regifting. We will see how it goes.

The Bag and The Goodies!

The Bag and The Goodies!

My bag contained:

~Hang Ten Dark Tanning Oil SPF 8

I was not excited to get tanning oil. I’m a lighter shade of see-through. I don’t tan, I burn. I shouldn’t be out in the sun with anything less than SPF 60; even if I could tan, I am fully aware of how terrible tanning is for your skin and your health. In short, don’t do it. I did, however, take a look at the ingredients. This stuff is chock full of hair healthy oils, so I thought I would give it a try as a hair oil. While it did make my hair ultra-soft, I was a little heavy handed with it, and my locks ended up a touch greasy. I think I forgot the fact that it was, foremost, a sunscreen. I’m going to try it again, but I won’t be spraying it directly on my hair. I’m going to spray it on my hand first and then rub in on just my ends, and then only sparingly.

Hang Ten Dark Tanning Oil

Not for the fair of skin… or for anyone who wants healthy skin, period.

~POP Beauty Sunkissed Bronzer in Secret Sunshine

The bronzer was a nice surprise, and a great size for a sample bag. Not only is it not too dark for my skin, it’s very soft and easy to blend. It has a subtle shimmer, so I can get a sun kissed look without coming over all sparkly. I don’t use a bronzer every day, but my go-to has been Tarte Amazonian Clay Mineral Bronzer, which is a little bit darker; this will be a nice alternative for days that I want a bit of bronze, but don’t want anything too dramatic. It doesn’t have a harsh smell, and it didn’t irritate my skin, so two thumbs up on that count.

Pop Beauty Bronzer

Soft, subtle bronzer for the pale girls out there.

~wHet Nail Colour in Facetious

Facetious: The perfect polish name for me!

Facetious: The perfect polish name for me!

Until a few days ago, I don’t remember the last time I painted my finger nails. I usually just do my toes, and I like bright colours so they really stand out. The wHet polish already fit the bill on that count, and they have the added benefit of being cruelty free, and free from formaldehyde and other harsh chemicals. It doesn’t even smell terrible! I did find it a tad watery on application, but I only needed my standard three coats to get decent coverage. It claims to be 7-day chip proof, but I still gave it a finishing coat of Formula X to get a really glassy shine. The results, although a tad messy due to my need to rush with a 6-month-old baby in the house, are nice.

Facetious toes: Three coats of colour and one coat of Formula X top coat.

Facetious toes: Three coats of colour and one coat of Formula X top coat.

~Elizabeth Mott Tints & Sass in Cherry

I would love to use stain on my lips more often. They give a really natural flush to lips, but without a ton of prep-work, my lips just don’t like them. Don’t get me wrong, the Tints and Sass has a great colour. It’s easy to blend, lasted fairly well, and smells/tastes great. My lips just like to absorb all the colour right into the cracks and hold it there, so this is going to be purely used for my cheeks. On my cheeks, it was heavenly. A few dabs blended with my fingertips gave me a gorgeous rosy glow that lasted all day and didn’t make me break out, with is the main concern I have when using cream/gel/liquid cheek colour. Benetint used to be my favourite, but this is a strong contender. Oh, and it doesn’t just smell good, it smells like candy! Yum!

Candy scented colour that is easy to blend.

Candy scented colour that is easy to blend.

~bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow 2.o in The Inspiration (Muse, Passion)

I haven’t been wearing eye shadow a whole lot recently, but getting this tiny duo got me out of that funk. The colours are smooth, soft, easy to blend, perfectly paired… the list goes on. The work just as well separately as they do together, which is something I always look for when I’m purchasing eye shadows in a set. Versatility is a big thing for me. The colours worked well in my look for every day. I tend to be a bit on the vintage side, and both the soft pink and wine with gold shimmer work well for that. I liked that the little package had two application suggestions, one for day and one for night. This like this are so easy to incorporate into product packaging, and I think they make makeup newbies a little more likely to try something out of their comfort zone.

Pretty shadows in a micro-compact.

Pretty shadows in a micro-compact.

Overall, I was pleased with my bag. The tanning oil was a big miss, but I’ve used all the other products more than once. I just checked my statement for this month, and I still haven’t been billed for my August bag. I’m hoping that there are going to be no more snafus. I’m going to give them a few days and then e-mail ipsyCare if nothing happens. The previews for this month, centering on a “back to school” theme, look good.

And now, for the face I created using the bag!

July Ipsy Face

Sorry about the glare on my specs…

As you can see, the stain got wedged into the dry spots in my lips. Before you say anything, I did use a scrub and a balm first. The bronzer was just the right shade for my skin, and I was actually please with how well everything in my bag worked together. With the exception of the tanning oil, it was fairly cohesive. Was it worth the $16 or so that I paid for the bag and the shipping? Absolutely.

I also subscribed to Topbox, and will be getting my first box this month, so look for a review when that gets here. I also got a free Maven box from Julep, so I’ll be reviewing that in the next few days, along with some sweet deals I picked up at Superstore. Joe Fresh Makeup doesn’t suck! Who knew?

 

Featured in the above look:

~Smashbox Photofinish Foundation Primer

~Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

~Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation in Fair (now called Fair Sand)

~Make Up Forever Super Matte Loose Powder

~Nyx Blush in Pinched

~L’Oreal Miss Manga Mascara in Blackest Black

Click the links above to check out or purchase any of the products for yourself!

On Doing My Own Hair and Other Things

I have a really great stylist. Julia works at Flaunt Salon, and is a mater with my bangs and with my colour. She managed to get my blonde bits in just the right place the first time, no adjustment needed. And, as luck would have it, she’s great with pin up hair. It’s hard to find someone who knows how to do a good Bettie Page bang. Unfortunately, I haven’t managed to make it out to see her since before the wedding. I’m going to fully blame my pregnancy on that. I find making, and trusting myself to keep, appointments really dodgy right now, so I’ve been avoiding it for anything other than the doctor. The doctor will understand if I have a blaring migraine, or if I have to leave the room to throw up. Most other people aren’t so forgiving.

Yesterday, I decided that my bangs were getting out of control. I was side sweeping them, but they weren’t really the right shape to be able to pull that off, never mind if I slept on them or forgot to straighten. I have cut my own bangs before, with varying degrees of success, and I decided just to go for it. If I really messed things up, I would make a solid effort to go in and get the pro to do it.

I also decided that, as much as I wasn’t going to colour my hair for a good long while, that I can’t stand my grey hair. There is far too much of it, and when it starts creeping down in to my bangs, it makes me mental. Colouring at home meant sacrificing my blonde pieces, but that was something I was willing to live with. Today, after taking Shawn to work, I went and got a couple boxes of Garnier Nutrisse Mousse in #41M, Iced Mahogany Dark Brown. I prefer mousse colour to cream because it’s easier to do by myself, especially seeing as I have so much hair. I generally prefer the John Frieda variety, but the choice for browns just isn’t there. There were a lot of choices when I was still going red, but for brown, the best selection was with Garnier.

The results turned out really well. I used 1.5 boxes to get the colours to come out right. I probably could have done it with one, but I wanted to make sure the blonde areas got extra saturation. Some of them are still a little on the light side, but I’m okay with that. Even my bangs look fine. I spend $25 to do an average job on myself, which is a lot less than I would pay to get the whole she-bang done at the salon. The salon does a way better job, absolutely, but a) it’s not in the budget and b) I need to save my energy for other things.

Luckily, my migraine from yesterday decided not to follow me in to today. We have been having intermittent rain and thunder all day, so this is a bit surprising. Maybe the pain from yesterday was due to the storm coming in and the resulting pressure change. Who knows. The important thing is that I manages to get a fair bit accomplished today, including dinner. I’m going to admit here that dinner was only two boxes of Kraft Dinner, but that’s what the husband wanted, and I wasn’t going to complain. I’m not opposed to dinner out of a box every now and then.

Last for today, here are the photos of the awesome stuff I snagged at Old Navy yesterday, as promised:

photo (53)

 

The wrap dress, in a fabulous dark blue with purple undertones, accented with fuchsia birds (they look like doves to me, but we’ll just call them birds.) The material is so soft, and with the adjustable tie waist, this is a dress that’s going to last me a long time. It should grow with my belly and shrink with my after the Tiny Human is born.

photo (54)

 

The top, navy on royal blue. It looks really shapeless on the hanger, and I honestly wasn’t expecting to like it when I put it on. I basically grabbed it because it looked belly friendly and I liked the colour. The elastic bottom hits just below my hips, allowing the fabric on top to drape really nicely across my body. It’s not fitted, at all, but it looks great with skinny pants and, again, will last until the arrival of the Tiny Human. This one is also really soft. We like soft.

Both pieces cost around $56, which includes tax, and neither item was on sale. For anyone looking to get their stuff online, I bought smalls in both items, and I’m currently 17 weeks pregnant, 136 pounds, 5’2″, and my current maternity bra is a 36D (although I have room to grow in it). Like I mentioned yesterday, I didn’t have huge success in the maternity department at Old Navy, but these regular pieces are going to do me just fine I suggest you take a look.

Sh*t I love! Smashbox Photo Finish Primer!

I’ve tried a lot of foundation primers in my day, but I always go back to Smashbox. The original Photo Finish Foundation Primer is the perfect base for any foundation I choose to use (be it my Frankensteined Make Up For Ever combo of Face and Body Liquid Makeup and HD Invisible Cover Foundation or Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Full Coverage Foundation), and always leaves my face looking smooth and perfect.

I always apply my foundation with a flat foundation brush, and one of the risks of using a brush like that is leaving streaks behind. With this awesome primer, I never have to worry about streak, uneven blending or leaving unsightly cakey spots behind. My face is smooth, prepped and ready to go in as little time as it takes to apply moisturizer.

As a bonus, it’s never irritated my sensitive sin, or caused any breakouts. At one point, I decided to give the light version a try, and my skin did no approve. I will be sticking to this primer for the foreseeable future, and if you haven’t tried it (or any primer) get your butt down to your nearest Sephora store and snag a sample. You’ll be glad you did.

photo (52)

Today’s Face! (Sorry, I was too lazy to fill my eye brows. Yes, I realize it looks odd.)

Sh*t I love! Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil

I love liquid eye-liner, I really do, but sometimes I need something that’s going to be fast, vibrant and long lasting. Pencil eye-liners are fast, but it’s difficult to find one that’s also bright and easy to apply. Enter Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils.

These are, by far, the nicest pencil liners I have every used. The glide on with no effort (even less if you warm them up a little and use a primer), smudge beautifully if that’s the look you’re going for, and come in a huge range of colours, from neutrals to brights. My favourite right now, aside from classic black, is LSD, a navy shimmer with a bright turquoise micro-sparkle. On my to-buy list are Abyss, a bright metallic blue shimmer with blue micro-sparkle, and Woodstock, sparkling hot pink with silver micro-glitter.

I love using different colours to layer and create multiple looks. It’s amazing what a little great eye-liner can do. I recommend prepping with Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion for super smooth application and even longer wear.