Beauty and Body, Review

Review: October Ipsy Glam Bag

Theme: Alter-Ego

Bag: Gold and Black, perfect for Halloween without being too cheesy.

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The Loot:

Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask

This is the perfect time of year for a hair mask. We are starting to get temps in the minuses, with dry heat inside. My poor locks have been a mess since I stopped dying it. I really liked the scent of the mask. I didn’t need very much to treat my hair, though I was expecting it to feel a bit more like a conditioner. My hair felt lovely after the treatment, but I can’t say that it made any significant difference after one use. Will keep using it over the next while (once a week or so) and see if it actually does help.

Peter Lamas Exfoliating Pumpkin Facial Scrub

As with the first leaf changing from green to yellow or red, the mighty pumpkin has arrived as a herald of fall. Pumpkin everything is everywhere, so it makes sense that Ipsy would send something out that has pumpkin in it. I was a bit nervous about trying this because I am in the middle of a bad eczema flare up on my face and pumpkin isn’t super hydrating or calming for me. I was brave in the name of beauty, and gave it a shot anyway. I found the grains a little too harsh for my liking, and honestly, I didn’t feel super in love with the formula otherwise. It’s ok, and definitely fun for a seasonal thing, but not something I see myself using again.

The Balm Meet Matt(e) Hughes Long Lasting Lipstick

Matte lipstick is everywhere right now, so I was excited to give it a shot. That said, with my current eczema outbreak, I was worried about the state of my lips ruining the effect. So, I prepped. I exfoliated, moisturized and primed. The lipstick itself goes on smoothly and softly, and then dries into a matte finish. Unfortunately, the first time I used it, it completely dried out my lips to the point that my poor lips were flaking. The second time, I used a more hardcore moisturizer first and it did make a difference. Sadly, it also caused the lipstick to fade much more quickly, leaving me with what looked like lip liner. The colour wasn’t quite right for me. It was slightly too orange for my skin tone, so it’s not one I see myself reaching for, even with my lips in better shape. The packaging is super cute, but the sample size is very tiny.

Me wearing the lipstick, before getting to work
Me wearing the lipstick, before getting to work

it Cosmetics Hello Lashes Clincally proven 5-in-1 mascara

This was my only win this month. I really enjoy the packaging, and the wand made application easy (though I will say it felt a bit flimsy). The formula is great and did make a big difference in my lashes. No flaking or clumping, and lasted despite my weepy eyes thanks to allergies. Will keep using, for sure! One thing: Be careful not to get this in your eye. It burns like hell and will take forever to stop.

Don't mind me, just taking a picture of my eyes at work.
Don’t mind me, just taking a picture of my eyes at work.

Emite Make Up Professional slant tweezers

I’m not sure I needed new tweezers, but maybe now I will have an extra set for when my hubby steals my usual pair. This ones worked great, grabbing on to the hair nicely and allowing me to really get into my brow angles without ripping out large patches tragically. Good set of tweezers.

Over-all Review of the Bag: Honestly, I’m not super impressed. The theme didn’t really mesh with the products. Alter-Ego/Halloween would have made more sense with some naturals paired with some crazy fun stuff. These all felt pretty blah to me, even without considering the formulas that didn’t work for me. I would have loved some crazy eyeshadow colours, some crazy lashes or a bright extreme lipcolour. Something out there, you know? Looking at the specific products, I was pretty disappointed all over the board. They weren’t good for my sensitive dry skin, and the size of the samples were pretty little this time around. Sorry ipsy, it wasn’t love this month.

Sorry for the blurry at work pictures. I'm 8 months pregnant and sick. The only time I get makeup on my face these days is when I have to look presentable. ;)
Sorry for the blurry at work pictures. I’m 8 months pregnant and sick. The only time I get makeup on my face these days is when I have to look presentable. ;)
Beauty and Body, Review

Review: September Ipsy Glam Bag

Theme: Face Fashion

Bag: Very glam, and makes me think of J.Lo. I don’t really know why.

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The Loot:

NYX Cosmetics Ipsy Eye Shadow Trio

Honestly, I wasn’t too excited to see a product from NYX. I have heard that it’s a cheapie brand that’s pretty easy to come by. Man, I was silly. The trio is perfect for the fall. I don’t tend to wear a lot of brown shadows, but this really works for me. There is decent pigmentation, subtle sparkle and good lasting power. I wish there was a highlight shade in there (the light shade looks much lighter in the stock photos. It’s definitely more of a medium shade, especially on my skin), but I still really enjoy it.

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Octavio Molina Hair Aceite de Argan

As a woman with very frizzy curly hair, I appreciate hair oils. Unfortunately, quite often my scalp does not. In this case, my scalp was not pleased. The oil itself is fairly light, smells nice and does a decent job but I just can’t bare the itchiness.

LANEIGE Water Sleeping Mask

A mask that I can sleep in? Colour me intrigued! I definitely need to use this a few more times before I can report on the results, but I will say I enjoy it’s gel texture, and how well it went on. My skin felt pretty good in the morning, though nothing life changing so far. I like the idea of putting it on right before bed and cleaning it off in the morning. You know, without destroying my pillows or terrifying my child/husband.

Elizabeth Mott Queen of the Fill Tinted Eyebrow Gel

Ok, this intrigued me. I’ve seen brow gel around, but I’ve pretty much stuck to my pencils and shadows. I was really excited to give it a try. It did not disappoint! Definitely my favourite out of this bag! It doesn’t give the precision of a pencil, but I still love the result. So fast, while still delivering a great result. I may never go back from gel.

J.Cat #MOTD Waterproof Slide on Pencil for Eyes in Bronze

I am a little sick of eyeliners, so I wasn’t too excited to pull this out of my bag. Thankfully, I always love metallic everything, so I am pleased with the shade. It works great with the NYX eyeshadow trio and goes on pretty well. My only complaint is I actually found it too sharp/too fine a point. Made it a pain in the butt to get a good line. Otherwise, it gave good sheen, pretty colour and stuck around until after work.

My eyes after a long shift at work
My eyes after a long shift at work

Overall: A much better bag this month. New products, interesting brands, a variety of products and a cute bag. I was worried, after my August bag, but this one renewed my faith.

My look for work, done with the products from the glam bag. Held up well!
My look for work, done with the products from the glam bag. Held up well!

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Beauty and Body, Review

Review: July Ipsy Glam Bag

Theme: Summer Lovin’

Bag: Love it! It’s super colourful and fun. So good!

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The Loot:

Bellapierre Mineral Lipstick in P.I.N.K

One day, as a young woman, I walked into a department store to buy my first lipstick. I was told that I could not pull off lipstick and I should stick to glosses. Needless to say, I love getting new lipsticks to try. This one is great. Feels so smooth and soft, not drying at all and had surprising staying power. Unfortunately, the mineral formula did not make my skin happy and it triggered my eczema (I have issues with all mineral formulas in all makeup). This makes me sad, because it was pretty great.

Gave it a try as soon as I got it. No other makeup on.
Gave it a try as soon as I got it. No other makeup on.

Jersey Shore Cosmetics Mongogo Vanilla Coconut Cream Lip Conditioner

Because of the skin issues I have, I am always willing to try a new lip conditioner/chapstick, whatever. While my initial impression wasn’t great (I associate Jersey Shore with the show, and expected something sort of…trashy?), this product smells great and did a decent job moisturizing my lips. It’s not the best lip conditioner that I’ve tried, but it’s not the worst either. Not bad for keeping in the car/at work/whatever.

Jo’Rel Parker Classico

I like the size of this perfume sample. I don’t get “exotic” from the scent at all. Instead, I’d say it’s a strong floral, which is pretty and summery. It is VERY strong though, so be very light with it. The rose amped on me immediately and I had to wash it off as it was making my whole family sneeze. One light dab on a wrist that is then tapped on my neck decolletage and other wrist was more than a enough.

City Color Cosmetics HD Powder

This product was well timed, as I am just about to finish up my Forever Make-up HD Powder and was willing to try something else. I found it more drying than the Forever Makeup formula, but it did help set everything on my face. I wish that you could get at more of the product more easily.

Jelly Pong Pong Cosmetics 2 in 1 Shadow/Liner

Unfortunately, this was the one product in this month’s bag that I just did like. It doesn’t spread/smudge well enough to be an effective shadow for me, and as a liner it was ok, but didn’t have good staying power or presence. When smudged, because of the colour, my eyelid ended up looking more dirty than pretty. The shine/metallic of the bronze disappears and it becomes just sort of muddy brown. I don’t see myself using it again, except as a really natural or barely there liner.

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Smudged swatches on my son’s hand, because he likes product like his mama.

Overall: I was pretty pleased with this bag, though there isn’t a ton of love for the individual products. The ones I liked didn’t do a perfect job, but maybe I’m just too picky and have standards that are too high? I think this bag would have worked better for someone who doesn’t have sensitive skin and a sensitivity to scents.

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Beauty and Body, Review

Review: Ipsy February Glam Bag

Hey lovelies,

Happy Valentine’s Day, Lupercalia or Just Another Saturday to you! I was super pleased to receive this month’s Ipsy bag this week, just in time for me to look super pretty while sitting around watching Team Umizoomi and eating chocolate! This month, the theme of the bag was Ipsy Love. Here’s what I got:

Ipsy's February Glam BagThe Bag: I love the bag! Super cute. A little small, but kind of perfect for throwing in your purse.

The Loot:

Emite Make Up Professional Eyelash Curler

Ok, I have to admit I was excited to see this. I don’t have an eyelash curler, and I’ve always wanted to try one out. I love that it comes with replacement rubber pads. Unfortunately, I didn’t see much of a difference in my lashes for having used it. I am blessed with curled lashes already, so I think for me it’s an unnecessary step. Still good to have though, especially for those times that I want to feel extra fancy.

ModelCo Blush Cheek Powder in Cosmopolitan

I am a fairly dedicated Nars fan when it comes to blush. I pretty much exclusively use Orgasm when I wear blush. That said, part of what I enjoy about Ipsy is having the opportunity to try colours I wouldn’t necessarily pick for myself. That is the case here. I’ve always been a bit nervous about the more vibrant blush colours. Cosmopolitan is described as ballerina pink, but I would disagree. It’s brighter and richer than that. It goes on sheer and smoothly. I really enjoy the little pop it gave me. I will definitely use it again.

Mitchell and Peach Fine Radiance Face Oil

I was not thrilled when I saw this. My skin is ridiculous and tends to break out with minimal provocation. I have heard great things about using oils on the face, but I’ve still been too nervous to try it. I decided to give it a go, just to see. It was ok. A bit of a pain to apply. I put the drops on my finger tips and then distributed it on my face from there. It did give me a bit of a moisture boost for the day, and I haven’t broken out yet. My makeup went on quite smoothly over top and I didn’t feel greasy. Still, not sure I will use it often.

Eva NYC Up All Night Volumizing Spray

I have very fine hair, and a lot of it. It loves to lay flat against my head before suddenly puffing out at my ears. So, that is to say that anything that can help my roots be more lively is fine by me. I really enjoy the smell of this product, and the mist is quite light. My hair didn’t feel crispy or gross after using it. I haven’t used it for heat styling yet, so I will have to report back on that later. Still, definitely something I would use as part of my routine.

City Color Cosmetics, Creamy Lip Stain in Flirtini

Sadly, this one broke in transit. I was able to get enough product out of the packaging to give it a try anyway. Thankfully, Ipsy customer service is amazing and they are going to send me another one. Much like the blush in this month’s bag, I wasn’t sure about the bright pink colour but I went for it. Honestly, I kind of love it. It goes on super smooth and buttery, and is really quite pigmented. The stain itself lasts a fair bit of time, but would definitely require some reapplication through out the day. Also, because my skin is so dry, especially around my mouth, I found that I ended up with a bit of a lip liner look as it fades. This could be solved through reapplication and exfoliation before use, I think. Definitely throwing this one in my purse.

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In the sunlight, here is my look for this month. Don’t mind the crazy hair.
Close up of this month's look, using all of my glam bag haul. Want details of what I used? Check the bottom of this post.
Close up of this month’s look, using all of my glam bag haul. Want details of what I used? Check the bottom of this post.

So, over all it was a good bag. I love the pinks, and the hair mist was great. The eyelash curler was fun. The face oil was ok, but that’s fine. I’m a bit of special snowflake when it comes to my skin.  Did you get the Glam Bag this month? What did you get and what did you think of your haul? Let me know!

Used in this month’s look:
  • Mitchell and Peach Radiance Oil
  • Make Up Forever HD Foundation
  • Makeup Forever Highlighting Concealer
  • Benefit Boi-ing Concealer
  • Makeup Forever HD Microfinish Powder
  • Physician’s Formula Bronzer for Contouring
  • ModelCo Blush Cheek Powder
  • Benefit High Beam Highlighter
  • Urban Decay eyeshadows
  • Too Faced Better than Sex mascara
Beauty and Body, Review

Review: Ipsy’s January Glam Bag

Hi there! The freezing temperatures of January have had us snuggled up and cozy at home the last few weeks. I just received something that helped to cheer me up from the winter blahs – My very first Ipsy bag!

For those who aren’t familiar with Ipsy, it’s a monthly beauty subscription service. Every month you get a new bag of goodies, picked for you based on the theme of the month, your tastes and your routine. It is a fantastic way to try a variety of brands, products and tools for only $10 a month. As you all know, I am a makeup geek and love the opportunity to try new products every month.

January’s Glam Bag theme was Fresh Start, which is fitting.

Ipsy January Glam BagSo, firstly the bag that I was sent this month was cute. I don’t love the white side, but it will be a great little bag for keeping brushes in, or for travel.

Here is the look I came up with for this month’s products

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Here is everything I got:

Elizabeth Mott All Over Shadow Brush

This is a super cute brush. I really enjoy the pink tips. It’s not as big as my usual all-over shadow brush, but I think it would be great for when I’m traveling.

Be Good “Good Day, Day Moisturizer”

When I first made my ipsy account, I was pretty hardcore about no creams or face products because of how sensitive my skin can be. I eventually changed it, because I do really enjoy a good product when it works. I am very thankful for doing that because this moisturizer is amazing! It goes on so nicely. It moisturizes and softens without feeling greasy and it absorbs really well. I don’t feel dry or oily afterwards. In fact, it gives a really pleasant tingle. I love using it. I just wish it had a better scent. It kind of smells like seaweed to me.

Bellapierre Shimmer Powder in Celebrate.

I love eyeshadow. Like, a lot. I have an obscene collection. Golds are probably my favourite, but they are tricky to get right. Unfortunately, this colour just isn’t the gold that I enjoy. It’s more of a fancy orange or copper. The formula itself seems nice. It goes on smoothly and with great vibrancy.

Pacifica Natural Mineral Coconut Eyeshadow in Ethereal

Because of my sensitive skin, I tend to avoid mineral makeups. They dry me out and trigger my eczema really quickly. Despite this, I decided to give this a try. I didn’t have any issues with irritation or dryness, so that was a huge bonus. Unfortunately, the colour is kind of meh. It’s a decent highlighting shade, so good for for brow bone area, but otherwise I’m just not taken with it.

Ipsy January Glam Bag Eyeshadow SwatchAs you can see, Ethereal just disappears on my skin.

Probelle Nail Polish in Into the Blue

Another makeup thing that I love is nail polish. I have a decent collection and always want more colours. I was really excited to find this in my bag. Sadly, it did not even remotely live up to my expectations. The formula is incredibly streaky and sheer. It took me three coats before I finally gave up (and I could still see through patches). The bottle claims that it is glossy, but it was more of a cream on me. The colour was sort of hazy and foggy which, in a blue, doesn’t do anything for me. I just don’t like it.

Probelle Into The Blue Nail PolishSo, overall I am super pleased with the value of this bag. I liked playing with everything I received. I can’t wait to see what we get next month! If you would like to sign up, click here. Ipsy also gives discount codes for the products featured in each bag so that you can buy a full sized version of the product at a discounted price.

Let me know if you like me talking about my ipsy bags, or if you’d like to see a video review or “unbagging”.

Note: This is not a sponsored post. If you sign up through my link, I do get “Ipsy Points”, but please feel free to sign up through the main ipsy page instead of my referral. I just really like talking about makeup.

Beauty and Body

Review: LUSH Mask of Magnaminty

I never knew what I was in for when I had my kid. Normally, I would dive into the whole wide world of parenting that completely surprised the hell out of me, but today I am referring to my skin. I have always been plagued by dry skin and eczema. I was the kid who always had mystery rashes and a backpack full of different creams to keep myself moisturized (Fellow geeks, I hope you are picturing Cassandra from Dr. Who)

MOISTURIZE ME!
MOISTURIZE ME!

I was not even remotely prepared for what would happen to my skin in pregnancy and beyond. Suddenly, I was like a typical preteen dealing with zits for the first time and I had no idea how to handle it. What’s worse is that I still have my eczema. I don’t just have combination skin, I have polar opposite combination skin. Thankfully, one of my long time friends is a trainer with LUSH. While my sister was in town, we made a trip out to one of the local LUSH locations and I came home with some of the new self-preserving Mask of Magnaminty to try.

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As you can see, I have small break outs along my brow, my chin and my temples. I have been told that this is typical of hormonal break outs, so I should expect this pretty regularly. Oh, joy. Also, I am in the middle of my annual fall eczema return, where my eyelid (always just my left one) and my mouth get very very unhappy. I was told that Mask of Magnaminty was a perfect mask for combo skin with acne issues because of the blend of oil zapping ingredients balanced out by the sensitive skin ingredients. So, I gave it a go.

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What makes the new mask different is that it is self-preserving. That means that it lasts a little longer and doesn’t require storing in the refrigerator. This was key for me, because I knew I wouldn’t get through the whole container in just a couple sittings. The ingredient that they have added to make it self-preserving is honey, a fantastic natural preserver (duh) which has the added bonus of being fantastic on combination skin. It has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, (which is why it is a great first aid tool, too!)  It is rich in natural antioxidants and retains moisure, also great for keeping skin healthy, supple and rejuvenated. So, overall, great choice for me!

So, how did it feel? Definitely tingly, but not overwhelmingly so. I waited about 15 minutes for it to dry, and then used a damp cloth to wipe it off. Once mostly clean, I rinsed with water and voila! I was done! My skin felt moisturized and clean. There was no tightness, no dryness and my trouble spots felt great.

And the results? It has been almost a week since my first use and a few of my trouble spots have cleared up a bit. I would say that the mask doesn’t give immediate zit disappearing results, but the spots were less red, angry and huge after using it. This, for me, is a giant step in the right direction. Plus, who doesn’t love a face mask? Aside from my son, who was terrified by me and kept calling me a spooky witch. Note to self, always warn the toddler before applying any beauty product that needs to stay on longer than a second.

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Like most of the LUSH products I’ve encountered, I really enjoy it. I would definitely recommend it to those of you who suffer through skin that can’t make up it’s mind. At very least, it’ll make you feel like you’re doing something to win the battle.

The Details:

Buy it here, for $24.95.

Use it like this:

**I have not been paid or compensated in anyway for this review. I just really enjoy this product and wanted to share my experience with you.

Beauty and Body, Review

Review: Overtone Haircare

Most of you know that I won a makeover several months ago through our local morning news. I went from pretty drab to WAHBAM.

makeoverba

One of the issues that I’ve had since getting my hair done was finding a way to maintain the colour. Clearly, I couldn’t afford to hit a salon or else I wouldn’t have won the contest in the first place. I tried a couple of drug store colours with what seemed to be decent results:

SPLAT colour in red
SPLAT colour in red

I had a lot of issues with it. Firstly, it was super pigmented and stained everything it came in contact with. I had to take extreme care so as to not damage my house. Despite that, it faded almost immediately. Oh, and anything I touched turned red, even weeks later. Good times.

By the time I went in to deal with my absurdly grown in bangs, my hair had faded significantly. Not only that, but my stylist told me that the drugstore dye had damaged my hair badly. My poor curls were not happy. At all.

hair1So, when I came across the info-ad on the Offbeat empire about a new product called Overtone, I knew I had to try it. For those that aren’t familiar, here is what Overtone is all about:

-Dye depositing conditioner that is not only gentle on hair, but does hair good. 100% cruelty free.

-Can be used to maintain colour OR give a tint of colour. They have both a colour maintenance conditioner as well as a stronger more pigmented weekly treatment.

-Great for everything from pastels to intense extreme colour.

-The conditioner deposits a small amount of colour with every use, so you are free to wash your hair whenever you need to, in hot water if you want, without worrying about killing your colour.

I decided to splurge and buy the set in Extreme Pink to try. Here is how it went:

Naked, nursing and letting the colour soak in
Naked, nursing and letting the colour soak in

I jumped out of my shower once my hair was clean. I didn’t have gloves, so I was ready with my dye towel to save my hands. I liberally coated my locks in Go Deep in Extreme Pink and was super pleasantly surprised. It has the texture of a thick conditioner or gel, so it was really easy to manage and get full coverage. It has a super yummy mint (maybe rosemary too?) scent that I absolutely love. I hunkered down and let it soak in for a good while, nursing my little man.

Once the time was up, I hopped back in the shower and washed it out. It washed out so well. I didn’t have to scrub and stand there for a million years. When done, my hair already felt AMAZING.

While incredibly difficult to capture the colour, I was so impressed with the results! Overtone tinted my whole head of hair with a really beautiful pink. Considering I didn’t bleach or prep my hair in any way, the coverage was impressive! It was exactly what I was going for. A punch to my coloured bits, and tinting to my roots to blend them in. I love it!

hairafter1On top of everything, the colour has stayed put. I haven’t dyed my pillows or towels! Also, my scalp feels so happy. Usually, my poor skin FREAKS out with colouring, but instead my scalp and hair are feeling great. I think I may do another deep treatment this weekend to punch up the colour a bit more, just because I can.

I can’t say enough about how amazing this stuff is. If you have coloured hair and miss hot showers, or you want to play with colour without killing your hair, this stuff is for you. It’s pricey, but it seems like it’ll last a while and honestly, is worth it.

**I have not been paid or compensated in anyway for this review. I just really enjoy this product and wanted to share my experience with you.