Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ipsy Glam Bag: February 2015, #ipsylove + December 2014 & January 2015 Ipsy Bags

*Purchased by Me
Referral Link Included

My Ipsy Glam Bag arrived on Valentine's Day so this month's theme #ipsylove theme seems very appropriate.  I didn't get around to sharing my December or January bag, so I'll briefly give you an overview of those two months and then with a full look at February this should give a good overall look at what a subscription to Ipsy is like.

December was a good month.  I liked the design and appearance of the actual bag.  It holds more than the envelope like bag that we got in January and February.  The Bumble and bumble Straight Blow Dry was really good and and worked great as to be expected.  That tied with the tarte lights, camera, lashes as my favorite products for the month.  That's already my favorite mascara, so I was excited to get a travel size.

I liked the Crown brush well enough, it's handy that it's two sided and I can always use a new brush.  I also liked getting the NYX Butter Lip Balm because I had been interested in trying that product out anyway.  I got it in Parfait, which is a little too bright pinky for me.  It went on sheer but like I said, it was too bright for my personal taste.  That being said, I liked the product and am considering trying it in either panna cotta or brownie, colors I think I'd be more comfortable in.  I'll still use, I just layer it under a darker gloss to tone it down a bit.`

The only product I wasn't that enthusiastic about was the Cailyn Just Mineral Eye Polish.  I just wasn't feeling it.  The color or the loose power or the applicator.  It's too shimmery for everyday wear and for special occasions I prefer the Lorac shadows my friend gave me for Christmas.  Those are just so much better, easier to work with, prettier, and longer lasting.

Overall, December was a very good bag, a great value for the $10 and I was really happy 4/5 is really good.  It was a great selection of products to end the year with!

January's theme was Fresh Start and overall, while the value is still more than there, it was a bit of a dud coming between two much better bags.  It made a bad first impression, as the bag itself was pretty ugly in my opinion.  The reverse side of the blue is white.  While I don't subscribe for the bags, they are a nice perk to the subscription and this was the first one I really didn't like.

Inside wasn't much better.  Liquid eyeliner - pass.  The Hey Honey mask was just okay,  I didn't think it did that much for my skin and it was a pain to peel off after.  It's supposed to exfoliate, but I find scrubs to more effective and easier to use.   I still really like this one.

I've gotten a Pacifica eye shadow duo before so I wasn't super enthused to find another shadow in my bag.  I thought the previous one was chalky and ended up destashing it pretty quickly.  This is a pretty color but I much prefer their fragrance and lip products over their eye shadow.

The Velvet 59 lip gloss is my favorite product from this month, it's a pretty color and neutral so it's good for everyday use.  I don't use lip gloss that much, and I just got two gorgeous Lorac colors for Christmas (thanks Margaret!) so with those plus this one so I should be set for a long time.  The "sample" is full sized and valued at $19 so I was glad I got this.

The only product I haven't tried yet is the La Fresh Eco Beauty Be Good.  Good Day, Day Moisturizer and whoa they actually sell the exact same sample I got in my bag for $13.99!!!  Now that's expensive and more than the subscription price...for a sample.  I like their individual travel packets, so I will be really scrutinizing the performance of their moisturizer to see if I think it's worth the hefty price tag.

Now, we're finally onto the current Ipsy bag!  I got five products and like four out of five so it's another good month!  The bag is the same style as the last month, this thin style doesn't hold much but they are still pretty handy.  I like this color scheme a lot better, mainly because my daughter likes it since she'll probably be the one using it.  These are the perfect size for throwing in backpacks with kleenex and PocketBac, like these or for making travel art/homework kits with pencils etc. for her.

I'm like my daughter, a big fan of pink, and that combined with the rose pink metal means that I'm all about this brush.  So pretty!  I always like getting makeup brushes and this one sells $15 so already more than the bag.

My favorite item this month is this China Glaze polish.  You can see it on my nails in my last Mani Monday post.  The glitters are really different from what I usually pick out and I love the colors, but it is best as a top coat.  This is one of the newest brands of polish that I've begun using in the past year.  If you haven't tried them out yet, these range in price from $7.50-$6.99 in stores but I only buy them when they go on sale.  I scored some on clearance at Sally's for a great price.

This is City Color Creamy Lip Stain in Flirtini isonly miss product of the month.  It's a pretty color but I don't like the formula at all.  Plus even with lip liner it didn't stay put.

GlamGlow is so expensive that I've never tried anything by them so even though I never use eye cream, I was excited to see these in my bag.  I've tried them and they make the skin around my eyes feel like a newborn's.  It pretty awesome and I only used half per use so I've used it three times and now only got one left :(

I don't wear blush that much and I have a similar color from Julep so I haven't opened this ModelCo Peach Bellini but I liked their bronzer so I'm assuming this will be pretty nice too.  I'm planning to pass it along to a friend since I already have a nearly full blush and another unopened one waiting for me.

That brings me to my thought on continuing my Ipsy Glam Bag subscription.  I'm considering cancelling even thought they consistently provide a great value for the $10 monthly subscription price.  Over the past year, I've been able to really build up my previously non-existent make up collection.  Now I have an overflow of products to try and I feel like it will take me awhile to work through all the ones I want to try.

I might need to take an Ipsy break, because while they send me more full sized products and larger samples it's usually Birchbox that sends me products I actually end up buying after sampling.  I'm still undecided because I really do like getting my fun packages of goodies each month.  With everyone using electronic means to keep in touch, it's so nice to get some thing real and physical in the mail.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Birchbox February 2015: Rent the Runway

*Purchased by me
Referral link included

For February, I selected the Rent the Runway Guest Editor box as my Birchbox, so the contents weren't a surprise but I was interested in trying everything inside so I didn't mind.  The box came really early in the month, didn't even get the shipping notice until after it had already arrived!  It might be that the curated boxes are all assembled and ready to ship out early.

This year each month the Birchbox design is supposed to be unique and the regular box is super fun with speech bubbles printed on it, so I was a little bummed to not get it because I keep a lot of mine for storage.  But the Rent the Runway box was very classic and elegant, a pale pink with a rose print around the lid.  Unfortunately, mine got a little beat up on the way to me & my Not Soap, Radio sample leaked :(

Box destruction aside, let's get onto the samples and start with theBalm® cosmetics Read My Lips™ Lip Gloss in BAM! Rose Pink, full size $15. This sample and the next one, were the main two reasons I wanted the curated box.  This is lighter and for me, more neutral shade that I usually go for.  I really like it, it's a good everyday color.

Fekkai Blowout Hair Refresher Dry Shampoo, FULL SIZE, $10:  Let me begin by saying that in this case the full size is really a travel size but the size sent in my Birchbox is sold on their site so that is how much you'd pay for a travel size.  Wow that's expensive, so I'm glad I got it in my box!  I like having dry shampoo on hand for the occasional use, and so far with all the samples I've gotten I haven't had to buy any.  With this one, I should be set for awhile.  I'm not the most discriminating dry shampoo user but I liked how this smelled and worked.  But then again, I've liked all the dry shampoo samples I've gotten so far.

Sumita Color Contrast Eyeliner in Raina, full size $11: This sample is a repeat for me, I also got it last July.  Normally, you won't get the same sample twice, the exception being if you opt for a curated box since those have preset samples.  I love the first one I got, the darker navy blue is a shade I'm more comfortable wearing, versus a brighter blue, so I was happy to get another.

derma e® Anti-Wrinkle Vitamin A Glycolic Scrub, full size $12.75 and Not Soap, Radio Body Wash in The Stuff that Cupid Dips His Arrows in, full size $16.

I've been using the scrub the past two weeks, I like it but I can't say if I have more of a glow about me.  It has helped keep my skin soft and I feel like my trouble areas look a little better so I'll attribute it to this.  I like that it's an all natural product.

Birchbox describes this scrub as: Glycolic acid, a form of alpha hydroxy acid naturally found in sugar cane, sloughs off dead skin cells which helps prevent clogged pores and lessens the appearance of hyperpigmentation. Apricot seed powder and papaya work together to deep clean pores, revealing a more radiant complexion.

The body wash  is a blackberry and vanilla cream scent with ginseng, which is said to kick up pheromones.  I don't know about that, it smelled like berries though.  We've all got colds around here, so when I asked my husband if he noticed anything different, all he said was yeah, that you showered.  Guess he couldn't smell my extra hotness!

What goodies did you Birchbox hold this month?  If you're not a subscriber, please consider using my referral link.  In looking back over the past year or so of getting subscription boxes, overall I have found better products, that are more effective, and have purchased more of the ones I've tried via Birchbox.  It's really helped try out new products that have helped update my beauty and skin care routine.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

NCircle Entertainment: Winter Wonderful DVD Giveaway! Featuring Octonauts, Wibbly Pig, Pocoyo, and The Wiggles

*Complimentary review DVDs provided
Giveaway provided by NCircle Entertainment

Kids feeling cooped up?  Mine certainly are!  We're all home today because the windchill predicted was too cold.  Brrrr...and we've still got plenty of snow on the ground from the last snow day!  On top of being stuck inside because of the weather, we've also be sick.  Needless to say, finding things for the kids to do has been harder than usual.

That's why we were all so happy to get the Winter-Wonderful 4 pack of DVDs.  Featuring some of our favorite preschool friends, NCircle Entertainment has also offered to send one of my readers the very same package of DVDs, valued at over $40!

This terrific prize pack will keep your little ones occupied for hours as they go on DVD adventures with The Wiggles, Pocoyo, Octonauts and Wibbly Pig. The Pocoyo DVD even includes bonus karaoke videos that will keep the kids humming all day long!

Here is a little bit more about each of the DVDs included.  Keep reading until you get to the Rafflecopter widget is at the bottom of this post to enter!

Dive into adventure with your favorite underwater explorers, the Octonauts! On this pirate-y DVD, Kwazii swashbuckles with swordfish, goes on a treasure hunt with a pirate parrotfish, and in a special double-length adventure, journeys down the Amazon to find his long-lost grandfather!

The Octonauts is one of my son's favorite shows and he got some of the toys for Christmas.  He is so cute playing along with his Kwazii figurine and GUP X while watching Pirate Adventures.  He especially likes it because of the pirate theme!

Wibbly Pig is an animated preschool comedy series that takes the daily routine of a young child and finds humor and fun in every part of it. From day to day activities like getting into bed, wrapping a present or climbing a tree, to fantasty play like meeting a giant or going to the moon, Wibbly turns the simplest tasks into a comedy routine! Wibbly loves to share adventures with his very best friend - you!

We love Mick Inkpen's other well known character Kipper, and Wiggly Pig has been a big hit too.  I love the style of illustration and the sing along songs.

Sing and dance with Pocoyo and friends in Fiesta! Enjoy this never before seen feature showcasing thirteen songs from all your favorites – Pocoyo, Pato, Elly and even the Martian Brothers! These songs will have your little one dancing along the whole time! It’s time for a Fiesta with Pocoyo!

Never before seen feature: Bonus karaoke videos

Pocoyo and his friends are so cute, they almost look like they could've been made out of clay.  This is a great one to get your kids up and dancing along.  We like Pato's Song a lot, it just cracks us up for some reason.  My son just finds him hysterical.

Who's in The Wiggles' House? All your favorite friends, Emma, Lachy, Simon and Anthony, and twenty-five new songs! Join the fun of 'The Laughing Doctor,' taste the delights of 'Pappadum,' 'Do the Hawk' with Lee Hawkins, 'Have a Good Day (Kia Pai to Ra)' with New Zealand's Robert Rakete, and so much more. So open the door to a house full of fun as we raise the roof with Wiggle House!

Never before seen Bonus Features: Photo Gallery, "Michaud" Music Video, Ready, Steady, TV Series Episode

Perennial favorites, this is everything you've come to love and expect from The Wiggles.  Their DVDs never fail to make the kids happy!

If you'd like to win a 4 pack of DVDs from NCircle Entertainment, featuring the very same titles, please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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