Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ipsy November 2013 Review

Ipsy November 2013

Ipsy is a beauty subscription service that costs $10 per month, including shipping.  You will get 5-6 full and deluxe sized beauty products, mostly focusing on makeup.  Each month includes a makeup bag!  This is one of the best deals out there, if you are interested mostly makeup products.

Ipsy November 2013

Ipsy this month sent out 6 items to everyone, including a full-sized item from em by Michelle Phan, the founder of Ipsy.

This month's theme was 'Glam It Up' and the bag is a shiny gold faux-snakeskin wristlet with a hot pink zipper and interior.  It feels a little flimsy, but for the price, I can't complain!  I appreciate the wrist strap, I wish they would send out more like this!

Ipsy November 2013

First up is a Pixi bronzer.  Everyone got one this month, and Ipsy's site had a *ton* of people complaining about it.   "I TOLD IPSY I DON'T WANT BRONZERS WHINE WHINE WHINE."  Get over it.  For $10, you get a bag, 5-6 full and deluxe-sized samples, and free shipping.  EVERYONE got a bronzer this month.  Chill. 

... ok, rant over.

I got sent a shade called Subtly Suntouched, which Pixi calls a medium honey tan, and is surprisingly not too dark for my pale, pale face.  The package doesn't seem to like me, though, and it is really tricky to unscrew and screw the lid back on!  I am hoping I got a fluke and that all of Pixi's containers don't suck this badly.

Pixi Bronzer in Subtly Sunkissed

Sample size is 3.2g, and the full size (which comes with a brush) is 10.21 grams and sells for $18.  Assuming the brush is a bonus and not included in the price, my sample is worth $5.64.

Next up is my variable item: A two-pack of Kiss Ever EZ Lashes in style 03 (glam).  The set comes with an applicator and a mini bottle of lash glue. 

Kiss Ever EZ Lashes in 03

I really like wearing false eyelashes for fancy events.  It is something that pulls your look together, but that people can't pinpoint.  I have a number of sets that range from natural-looking to outrageous.  If you are careful, you can reuse false lashes a number of times.  They can be tricky to apply, but with practice, it can take under a minute per eye!  I appreciate the fact that Ipsy sent a double-pack- it gives people new to falsies a chance to practice without ruining their only set.

These seem to be made from human hair, but it is not specified on the box I was sent.  It just refers to them as "natural", whereas online they are advertised as "100% human hair."

These sell for about $4.99 for the double-pack, depending on where you buy.

The next item that everyone received as a lip crayon from Be A Bombshell.  The color I got was Shameless, a shimmery burgundy.  The other option sent was Hot Damn, a bright red.  I'm glad I was sent Shameless, I have enough bright red lip products to last a lifetime!  This shade is perfect for the holiday season.  It's shimmery and buildable, so I can control the shade that I end up wearing. 

Be a Bombshell Lip Crayon in Shameless

The lip crayon goes on more like a thin lipstick.  It isn't sticky or glossy or drying.  It's just in the middle of everything, texture-wise.  I like it.

Shameless Lip Crayon on me

This is $14 for 2.5g on the company's website.  We were sent the full size!

Everyone also received a gem liner from Starlooks.  The options were Topaz and Amethyst.  I received amethyst- a shimmery silvery-purple. 

Starlooks Amethyst Gem Liner

I have gotten some liners (lip and eye) from Starlooks in other Ipsy bags, so I was afraid of the texture on this one.  The other liners have been hard and unblendable.  This was absolutely a surprise- it's probably my favorite item in the bag!  It goes on smoothly, doesn't tug, blends like a dream, and has a super-creamy formula.  In terms of texture, it reminds me of my HG 24/7 liners from Urban Decay.  Unfortunately, unlike UD, this isn't very long-lasting.  It came off with some rubbing, but it's not the end of the world.  This liner is so pretty that I don't have an issue re-applying as needed.

Starlooks Amethyst Gem Liner Swatch (bottom)

These are $14 for 2.4g on Starlooks' website.  We were sent the full size!

The last item that everyone received was a Nailtini Straight-Up Color Nail Lacquer.  Mine was in Caviar Cocktail, a silver, but the other option was Champagne, which is a gold.

Nailtini Nail Lacquer in Caviar Cocktail

I like Nailtini polishes, they always seem to last a long time on my nails without chipping or showing wear.  I wish I had gotten the gold color, because I have so many silver polishes!  Also, this shows brush marks no matter how careful you are.  I think because of this, it would look nice with a glittery top coat, or in a sponged-on gradient.  I may or may not keep this, I haven't decided.

Stroke marks :(

This is full-sized, 0.5 fl.oz. for $13.

The last item is the em product.  The options for this item were varied, as were the colors within each item!  I got a Waterliner Intense Color Eyeliner.

em by Michelle Phan Waterliner in Amazing Grey
I was glad to see I was sent an eyeliner; in my Ipsy survey, eyeliner was my desert island beauty product.  It seems, to me at least, that Ipsy actually matched the correct product to me based on my profile! 

Smudgey end of the Waterliner

With all of the pretty and unique colors offered as a waterliner, I was sent Amazing Grey, a shimmery silver.  Oh well.  This was a little hard for my liking, but it has decent staying power.  I like the fact that it is a twist-up liner and comes with a little smudge sponge on the other end.  I do not like the fact that every time I try to take the cap off of my smudger, the entire thing pulls out of the plastic case of the liner!

Waterliner Swatch, bottom right

I'm glad that Ipsy sent out a full-sized em product to each subscriber, this is the best advertising they can get, right to their target demographic.  Good move. 

My three swatches after vigorous rubbing. The Waterliner survived pretty well.

The waterliners sell for $20 and are 280 mg of product.

Total Value: $71.63

This was a really nice bag!  The bronzer matches my skin, the lip crayon isn't too dark or too red, nail polish and eyeliners are always appreciated, and I will absolutely use the false lashes.  I'm glad I got to try an em product; I don't think I will ever buy one on my own, I think they are overpriced.  At least for the eyeliner, I would rather spend $19 on Urban Decay than $20 on em.  This is especially true now that I've gotten to try it out!  For less than $2 per item in this month's bag, I am very happy.  The Starlooks liner alone makes this bag worth it!

Here is my link if you would like to sign up for Ipsy.  I will get 250 referral points for every person who signs up using my link; 1000 points will get me a bonus item.

No special consideration or compensation was received for this post and all thoughts and opinions are my own. All items mentioned within were paid for by me. This post contains a referral link; see above for details.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Popsugar Must Have November 2013 Review

November Popsugar Must Have 2013.

Alas, I peeked at the spoilers for this month and knew what I was getting.  That doesn't make it any less exciting to actually have the box sitting on my doorstep, though!

First Look, Popsugar November 2013

This month's theme was getting ready for the holiday season.

Absolute! Nail Polish Remover Pads in Spring Fresh

These came with 32 pads and are acetone-free.  They are sold in lemon, peach, lavender, and spring fresh scents.  I think that these are really cute!  It would make a great stocking stuffer along with some nail polish.  At $2.99 each from their website, it's quite affordable.

Maison de Monaco Preserves

These preserves are made with strawberry and blackcurrant cream and look delicious! I think I will take one of the suggestions on the jar and serve them on a cheese plate this coming holiday season.  My father asks every year if I will, as my gift to him, cook a big fancy dinner for him and some other family.  I think this would be great on a pre-dessert cheese course after this year's dinner!

If you order online, you can get sets of 6 for $36, making one jar worth $6.  However, this looks to be the only flavor that comes in 8.3 oz, every other flavor is 7.75 oz.  Other flavors include apricot&hibiscus, peach&lavender, and blackberry&violet.  They sound delicious!

The Soap & Paper Factory Roland Pine Shea Butter Soap

This smells like Christmas morning!  It smells like soap and pine and warm fuzzy feelings.  I can't decide if I want to give it as part of a gift, put it in one of my clothing drawers, or use it.  Tough decision!  This has coconut-derived ingredients, olive oil, and shea butter.  Sounds like a good soap to me.

$8 on their website, along with many other scents and products, including some beautiful soy candles.

Speaking of soy candles...

Illume Candle in Naughty
As soon as I opened up this month's box, I could smell this amazing candle.  It is warm and herbally/woody and maybe has a hint of citrus. I'm a fan of soy candles because they burn cleaner and longer than beeswax, so I'm definitely keeping this for myself!  It's a fantastic scent for this time of year.  I get so tired of smelling cinnamon-y scents in everyone's houses.  This would be a perfect foil to that!  It's warm and spicy enough for the holidays, but different enough that people will notice.

This sells for $15.75 on Illume's website.

Barefruit Sea Salt Caramel Apple Chips

These were not my favorite, but they were edible.  The caramel and sea salt part of this was nice, I just never seem to like dried apples or apple chips as much as I want to like dried apples or apple chips.  Oh well. 

These are worth about $2.26 per pack.  The barefruit site sells boxes of 10, 48g bags for $22.64. 

Lands' End Single Canvas Wine Tote in Red.

Lands' End Single Canvas Wine Tote

This is cute!  I feel like whenever I go to a holiday party and bring wine, I'm always bringing a million other things, too.  That is what makes this tote so nice! I can put it over my arm and have my hands free for food and gifts.  The red is festive, and I know that anything from Lands' End will be sturdy.

Lands' End Single Canvas Wine Tote

Modeling with Newport Vineyards' Moscato.  Delicious.

This sells for $14.50 on the Lands End website.

Michael Stars Folk Art Wrap

The final item in this month's box is a huge wrap from Michael Stars.  Seriously, this thing is gigantic!  I'm all wrapped up in it now, and it is super warm.  You could wear it as a big cozy scarf on a casual day, or as a nice warm wrap for a more formal setting.  Great job, PSMH!  This is a winner.

Michael Stars Folk Art Wrap as a scarf.

This sells for $42 on the Michael Stars website.

All together!
PSMH November 2013

There was also a $30 gift code to Canvas Pop.  I might use it for a gift for Christmas.

All together, this month had a value of $91.50 and I paid $31.67 for it (3-month subscription at $95).  This is not bad, especially considering that I like and will actually use everything that was sent!

Unfortunately, Popsugar just raised their prices.  I hope that means they will also raise the value of their boxes, but even if they don't this is still a great value.  PSMH is one of my favorite boxes because of the diversity of items that they send.  I know that everything will be good quality and will be a full product.  No foil packets, here!  Now, PS is $39.95 per month, but you save some money by purchasing a 3,6, or 12-month subscription.

If you are interested in trying out Popsugar, you can use my signup link here.  I will get a free box for every so many people who join using my link.  If you use code REFER5 you can save $5 on your first box.

*Until 11 am PST on November 15, if you use code HOLIDAYGIFT and send someone a gift subscription, you both will get a Baublebar necklace in your December box.

No special consideration or compensation was received for this post and all thoughts and opinions are my own. All items mentioned within were paid for by me.  This post contains a referral link.  See above for details.

Stitch Fix November 2013

Stitch Fix

This was my first fix!  Popsugar sent a $20 gift code in October's box, so I figured I would try it out.  I didn't have anything to lose, so why not?

Stitch Fix is like a personal shopper service.  You tell them your sizes, style preferences, and price point, and they send you items that they think you will like and that will fit.

You can schedule a fix at any point, or have them automatically send one per month.  There is a $20 styling fee that will go toward any purchase you make from that fix.  If you purchase everything, you get a 25% discount on everything.  If you decide not to purchase some or all of the items, you send them back in the pre-paid envelope.

Without further ado, onto my first fix!

Pearson Dot Knit Long Sleeved Sweater

Sweater, $88

I like the color and the open knit, but this wasn't special enough.  It wasn't very soft and I wasn't crazy about the dot print.  The sleeves were a little long.

Not a keeper.

Ryan Chevron Knit Infinity Scarf
Scarf, $38

I really like this! The colors are a nice combination and it was super-soft, but I can't justify spending $40 on something I could knit for myself.  In fact, I knit myself something similar last year!
Not a keeper.

Danford Velvet-Detailed Hi-Lo Tank

Tank, $58
This was beautiful, and I really liked the style and the fit, but I wouldn't have anywhere to wear it!  It's too fancy for my everyday life as a grad student.  The front is all openwork with velvet details and is totally see-through.  Stitch fix sent a plain black cami that I'm assuming was meant to go under this, but it wasn't listed on any sheet and wasn't attached in any manner to the velvet tank.  It was kinda just folded up under everything else in the box!

I could see wearing this to a fancy dinner with a skirt and sweater, but I can't justify keeping it at the price (even with the $20 off).

Malin Bootcut Jeans

Jeans, $98

I liked the quality of these, but not the boot cut or the buttons on the pockets.  They were also a little long, I don't often wear heels with jeans.  They fit really well, which is awesome for some random person picking out jeans for me!  It always is something I find difficult to shop for, but these were spot on.

If you don't know what a $100+ pair of jeans feels like, go try some on!  It is amazing the difference in quality of the fabric.  These were so soft and felt like I had spent years breaking them in perfectly.  This is why I am a loyal fan of Lucky Brand.  They are usually just under $100 but I definitely get my money's worth!  So, I don't mind paying for expensive jeans (if they are good quality), but I didn't like the style of these enough.

I didn't keep these.

Benfield Heathered Drape Front Cardigan

Cardigan, $58
This is awesome! I loved it, and it is absolutely something I would normally wear.  Sadly, my budget is tight around the holidays and even with the styling fee, this is a little out of my range.

The dark blue fabric is a little hard to see in my pictures, but it was very soft.  This was my favorite item and I was so tempted to pay the $38 out of pocket (the price, minus the styling fee that Popsugar essentially paid).  I did not, and everything in the fix got sent back.

Had I gotten these items in Golden Tote for a flat $149, I would have been thrilled!  However, it stings a little more seeing the total price of everything at $340.  With the 25% discount, all of the items would have cost $240.  Granted, for the items I was sent, that is a bargain.  Maybe in the future I will do another fix.

If Stitch Fix interests you, here is my referral link.  I will get a $25 credit for anyone who signs up for a fix using my link.

No special consideration or compensation was received for this post and all thoughts and opinions are my own. All items mentioned within were paid for by me.  This post contains a referral link.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Week in Nails, November 10

Water Marble

Base of Julep Alexandra, marbled with China Glaze Riveting, Essie Bordeaux, and Julep Charlie.  Julep Polymer top coat.  I wore this for two days.

Julep Lynn

2 coats of Julep Lynn and Polymer top coat.  I had to give a work presentation and didn't want my water marble to be distracting, so I went with my usual standby for demure nails.  I wore this for two days.

Orly Rock-It

Two coats of Orly Rock-It and no base or top.  I wore this for 3 days.  

This is the first time I have worn this polish, and I love it!  It has so much depth to the color.  My picture isn't the best, but it's a ruby color with a gold foil effect.  It wore really well, and I really like this brand's rubberized grip for the brush.  I bought this at Marshall's for $4.  Good deal!

This post contains items purchased by me.  All thoughts and opinions are my own and no special consideration or compensation was received.