May 2018 Ipsy Bag

Ipsy is a monthly makeup subscription that I stupidly bought an entire year of up front. I have not been enjoying it.

IT’S MY PENULTIMATE BAG. I’m almost free!
This month’s theme is Go There. I kind of like the idea of a travel bag covered in passport stamps. I might keep this one.

Not that I’ve done anything with the old bags. What would I do with them? I only leave the house so often. Someone please come take them from me.

What’s in my bag
May 2018 ipsy bag and contents. The bag is a light yellow with an orange-y red passport stamp pattern.

BRIOGEO HAIR CARE Rosarco Milk™ Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray
I’ve been wanting leave in conditioner and have held off on buying some because I knew that this was coming. Hair products from ipsy have worked decently in the past. A shocker, I know. You can only mess up so much by putting oil in frizzy hair.

Purchase or pass: Preemptively going to pass. I’m not crazy about the smell. It’s not going to last long, either. My hair is too thick for the formula.

CLINIQUE Moisture Surge Intense Skin Fortifying Hydrator
I cashed in points for this, so I have no complaints about the fact that I got it. I’ve been wanting to see how my skin reacts to squalane. Any benefits are going to be attributed to that.

Purchase or pass: It’s a $40 lotion. It’s a $40 lotion that doesn’t seem particularly hydrating. I shouldn’t want to layer my CeraVe over a $40 lotion.

Swatch time? Swatch time. This one is without flash:

Swatches on my arm with no flash. You can't see the tarte cosmetics finishing powder.

This one is with:

Swatches on my arm with no flash. You CAN see the tarte cosmetics finishing powder. They insist there's no flashback, but okay.

TOUCH IN SOL Style Sepia Gel-Liner in Jardin
Image of the touch in sol style sepia eyeliner. It's a sample size, but otherwise looks normal.

I’m only a little disappointed it’s not made from cuttlefish ink. I’d love to have makeup made of cuttlefish rage.

Top view of the touch in sol eye liner. Upon further inspection, the sample appears to be a tiny cone of eye liner sitting on a big stick rather than a true pencil.

Wait a second.
This whole pencil is plastic. Do I sharpen the plastic? Did they make an entire plastic stick to just put a little cone of eyeliner at the top? I can’t get anything to twist. Are they this stingy? I think they’re this stingy.

Purchase or pass: Pass. It’s got polyethylene as an ingredient. Polyethylene was banned as a microbead, but cosmetic companies are still allowed to use it more dispersed. Our Earth Day kick is in full swing at grumpyskin. Not sorry.

OFRA COSMETICS Liquid Lipstick in ipsy Unzipped
I was pretty okay with not getting this lipstick back in February. I’m not feeling AT ALL like ipsy realized they had a case of these left over and didn’t know what to do with them, so they tossed them to some of us three months later. That was sarcasm. Offer it as a bonus instead of an actual item, jfc ipsy.

Having said that, the color is more berry than nude. I don’t hate it.
Lip swatch of the ofra lipstick in unzipped. Nothing weird here. It's a "nude berry" color.

Purchase or pass: We’ll see how it wears.

TARTE COSMETICS Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder
I’m sick of getting tarte items. I think this is my third one. Their blush is nice, but their bronzer breaks me out. We’ll see how my skin reacts to this.

Swatching it wasn’t a good experience, though. I HATED how the swatch felt. I have to work up to covering my face in it. Do you know how two layers of tissue paper feel when they slip up against each other? That’s what my skin felt like.

Purchase or pass: Pass.

I’m only going to call them out for using talc here because they make a point of saying that there are no parabens so “it’s good for you”. Do you guys think tarte sources their talc from distributors that test for asbestos or nah? I emailed them to ask, but for some reason cosmetics companies don’t like answering my emails. #nevergonnabesponsored

My dream cosmetics company would tell you exactly where every ingredient comes from and post their quality and safety testing data. Let me know if they ever exist.

BEAUTE BASICS Eyeshadow in Satin Taupe
A perfectly acceptable shimmery brown eyeshadow. The eyeliner is in this image, too.
My closed eyes wearing the eye shadow and eyeliner. Both have a subtle shimmer to them.

But in the interest of dragging ipsy:
The beaute basics palette arrived shattered. Bummer.

Purchase or pass: Pass.Their website is so bad that I don’t think I’d be emotionally capable of giving them money.

What do you guys think ipsy will sent me for my last month? I’m thinking a plastic set of pastel themed makeup that are all cracked, a sheet mask that accidentally lights on fire, and a final eff you black felt eyeliner.


 

April 2018 Ipsy Bag

The situation: You give ipsy $10 a month. Ipsy sends you a “curated” bag of makeup samples. Mostly I hate it.

This month’s theme is “social butterfly”. They’re mocking me. I like going to bed early and reading books. I refuse to go to an event if there are more than three people there. Show of hands, how many times have you personally asked me to go to something and I’ve told you that I don’t want to? They even sent a little card with this bag telling me to say yes to everything this month.

No.

What’s in my bag
Picture of my April 2018 ipsy bag and contents. Baker (my cat) came over to nuzzle things because he can't stand not being the center of attention. This month's bag is white and covered in pink/purple butterflies with pink foil corners.

Baker would not let me take a fancy flat lay picture.

Swatches without flash (left) and with flash (right):

PRETTY WOMAN Nail Polish in Girl Boss
We’re going to ignore that lavender nail polish tends to look weird with my skin and go straight to the formula. I swatched this without a base or top coat to get a look at the color. This is the fastest drying nail polish that I’ve ever seen in my life. I actually watched the solvent evaporate.

The first coat was pretty weird and patchy. It looks kind of like a golf ball. There are dents everywhere from how quickly it dried.
Pretty Woman nail polish in Girl Boss on my thumb nail. It's a very light lavender color.

I thought for sure the second coat would be even weirder, but it mostly evened out.

Purchase or pass: Other than the color, it’s pretty nice. I might consider another one of their colors after my next big nail polish purge.

TRIFLE COSMETICS Sugar Bunny Lip Scrub

Image of the Trifle Cosmetics Sugar Bunny lip scrub container. It's white, with a mosaic of white bunnies in black dresses.Some of the Trifle Cosmetics lip scrub on my index finger. It's light green and grainy.

Oh hey, a full sized product! That’s awesome because I’d never spend $18 on a sugar scrub. It smells exactly like watermelon Jolly Ranchers. It does not taste like watermelon Jolly Ranchers. I checked.

Purchase or pass: Pass. It works well, but I could dump some sugar in literally any lip balm and it would do the same thing for less than $18. However, I’m eyeing their Lip Parfait in Summer Cone. It’s the same price, but you don’t immediately wipe it off.

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Soft Matte Lip Cream in Milan
Have you ever wanted to coat your lips in silicone face primer? Because that’s the exact texture of this lip cream. Applying it was an experience. Once you get it down into a thin layer it’s okay. Getting to that thin layer is the issue. Just check out that chunk!
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Milan on my lips. I've got a chunk on my cupids bow from the applicator not holding product well.
It’s so thick and clumpy on the applicator. I’m not sure if my tube has started to dry out or if the texture is just terrible. Once it mostly dries you can’t tell that you’re wearing anything.
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Milan on my lips. I've cleaned up the chunky bit and it looks nice.
Purchase or pass: I’m torn. I think it’s a pass based on the trauma of the application.

DELECTABLE BY CAKE BEAUTY Ultra Nourishing Hand Cream in Sweet Mint
It’s a hand cream that smells like mint chocolate chip ice cream. I was going to fuss at it for being expensive, but it’s actually not. It’s just a solid hand cream that smells a little bit too much like dessert. Seriously, my hands are making me hungry.

Purchase or pass: I found a $15 off affiliate link (you get $15, I get $15). They’ve got a box set of half sized hand creams for $9 and I want it.

NOMAD COSMETICS Illuminating Highlighter in Midnight Sun
Nomad Cosmetics Illuminating Highlighter in Midnight Sun. It's a tiny little pan.

I’m cranky about how tiny this highlighter is. It came in a little carboard box that I had to rip in half because physics didn’t intend for packaging that small to be able to open.

Having said that, this highlighter packs a pretty hard punch. It’s a nice champagne color without looking yellow. I’m not a fan of the mica concentration, but I’ve started to feel that all powder highlights are too much light straight glitter for me.

Purchase or pass: Their website auto-plays music. Hard pass. (I also couldn’t find this product on their website, but mostly the auto-play is a sin.)

Wow, I think that everything in this month’s bag was usable! It must be because I finally cancelled my subscription. But never fear, I’m getting bags until June and picking a new subscription for July.

I don’t learn from my mistakes.

March 2018 Ipsy Bag

The situation: You give ipsy $10 a month. Ipsy sends you a “curated” bag of makeup samples. Mostly I hate it.

This month seems genuinely good? I don’t understand. My whole thing is that I’m locked into a year long subscription and everyone thinks it’s fun to watch me suffer.

This month’s theme is “create”. I’m not going to color the bag, but I have no snark for it.
I’m so suspicious.

What’s in my bag
Image of the March 2018 ipsy bag and contents. I've done a flat lay on my messy watercolor palette to keep with the theme. This month's bag is a black and white drawing of women. They sent two markers so I could color it in. I didn't.

And the swatches. Top to bottom: City Color cream highlighter (finger swatched), City Color powder highlighter (finger swatched), Stud lip pencil, and then the City Color powder highlighter brush swatched with the fan brush they sent me. You can see it if you squint.

ROYAL & LANGNICKEL Prismatic Ombre Fan Brush

I was unenthusiastic about this originally. I like my highlighter heavy handed and think the bright colors make this brush look cheap. HOWEVER, ipsy sent me highlighter that is basically bronzer when applied with anything else that I own. This brush lets me subtly apply the sparkles without so much of the pigment. You win, ipsy.

Purchase or pass: I’m probably never going to buy a makeup brush with the rate that subscription boxes send them out, lets be honest.

CONTOUR COSMETICS Lip Kit Pencil in Stud
We can all rest easy. I think this is awful. Crumbly, applies patchy, and rubbed off as soon as I pursed my lips. The tip immediately broke off when I tried to use it. It would be asking too much of ipsy to have them send me a usable lip color product. Balance is restored to the universe.

Purchase or pass: Direct to trash. I have two lip liners that I like all ready, I don’t need to settle for this one.

GLOSSIER Balm Dotcom in Original
Ipsy sent me something that I was planning on buying! It’s lip balm. I don’t know what other description you want from me.

Purchase or pass: It’s basically lanolin and Vaseline. It’s not so overpriced that I wont order it from their website at least once. Do you guys recommend anything else from Glossier? I’ll be trying Boy Brow at some point.

CITY COLOR COSMETICS Glow Duo
Image of the City Color Glow Duo highlighter kit. The left side is a light shimmery cream, while the right is a bronzey powder.
I think this is my third month in a row getting something from City Color. Ipsy needs to lay off of them and highlighter. I can only glow so much. BUT, let’s be honest, I’m going to use it.

Purchase or pass: Pass. I’ll use it until it dies, but the cream side dries a little flaky. It’s not nearly as good as Watts Up or the highlighter in the Maybelline Master Camo palette. The powder side sits on my skin better but is so dark that I can only use a little at a time.

MEG COSMETICS Good Night PM Mask
I’m training them to mail me sheet masks and it is GLORIOUS. I did google the fancy plant they’re bragging that this is made of, camellia sinensis. It’s fucking tea. Drop the pretentiousness.

Purchase or pass: You guys know by now that this will be getting it’s own post, right? Stay tuned to see if it burns my skin off or is normal. There is no in between.

I’m only trashing one thing this month and nothing emotionally traumatized me! Do you think ipsy is turning things around? Or do they realize that we’re nearing the end of my subscription and just want me to renew?

 

Hard Candy Fierce Effects Lip Gloss in Plum Diva

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about lipstick. It’s been winter in the northeast. My skin has been SO DRY that even with excessive moisturizing and doubling my water intake, I haven’t been able to wear lipstick very often.

So I’ve dug into my lip gloss reserves. I don’t like lip gloss. It’s sticky, shiny, and smears onto everything. This one is okay, though. I’ve been getting some compliments on it.

Image of the Hard Candy Fierce Effects Lip Gloss in Plum Diva tube.

It doesn’t go on quite as purple as I want it to, but it’s pretty solid and fades evenly. It does feather. I’ve been able to keep it in check with a clear lip liner. The two pictures below show this gloss right after application (left) and about 8 hours later (right).

I would tell you that you could get this at Wal Mart for $5, except it’s out of stock. It apparently had a short run in 2015 and has been gone for..a while.

I have had this lip gloss for three years. It is still mostly full. I know people that have created entire humans & have taught them to walk in the time it has taken me to start wearing this lip gloss.

That’s gross. How old does a lip gloss need to be before it can kill you? I’m sure there’s a little icon somewhere on the tube telling me to throw it out after six months.

I’m not going to. It doesn’t go near my eyes, so I think the risk for damage is pretty small.

What do you have floating around that should really go in the trash by now?

February 2018 Ipsy Bag

The premise: You give ipsy $10 a month. They send you a somewhat curated bag of makeup. I paid for a year up front and either a) the service is complete trash, or b) they figured they already had my money for a year and they are sending me the stuff no one else wants.

Oh boy, we have some shit to unpack here.

First, this month’s theme is “unzipped”. Because body positivity = about sex. Also body positivity is for EVERYONE that is conventionally attractive and not lumpy. There’s an article titled “Self-Love Starts Here: See Why *Everyone* (Including You) Deserves to Feel Sexy”. I can’t be bothered to click on it, but I feel like they’re negging me. EVEN I DESERVE TO FEEL SEXY.

Let’s see how they’re going to make me feel sexy this month.

What’s in my bag
Image of the February 2018 ipsy bag and contents. The bag itself is a light, light pink with a black lace trim.

My only complaint about the bag (other than I would never use it) is that it is described as “blushing pink”. Gross. I am pink with rage or not pink at all.

I traded in points for the eye mask. That will get judged separately later, because it was a choice that I made, rather than something ipsy subjected me to.

Swatches from top to bottom: Seraphine blush, Marsk shadow straight, Marsk shadow applied wet. Left photo is my ungodly bright bathroom. Right is with flash.

SERAPHINE BOTANICALS Lychee + Gold

I actually love peach blushes. I’m so pale that more true pinks make me look like I’m dying of heat stroke. Even this one is a bit much. I am a ghost. Solid job, though, ipsy.

Purchase or pass: It’s $14 and doesn’t have any weird ingredients aside from random fruit extracts. The only reason I’m hesitant is that all of the products say that they’re specially formulated to flatter all skin tones, but the half-assed clicking I did only revealed swatches on a girl as pale as me.

SAND & SKY Brilliant Skin Pink Clay Mask
I am 100% sure that ipsy reads my blog and is trolling me after I yelled about rubbing sand on my face last month. I’ll concede that I think clay masks are okay if you otherwise moisturize your skin well, so I’ll give this a try.

Purchase or pass: A jar of this is $50 and the website looks like a millennial marketing scam.

MARSK Loose Eyeshadow in Foiled Again
This is much better than the last metallic eye shadow they sent me! I wore it (with primer) and it stayed all day without creasing or shedding too much glitter. I haven’t tried a wet application yet.

Purchase or pass: I will never need to wear this much glitter.

BLAQ Meteor Shower
This is the most distressing thing that ipsy has ever sent me. We don’t have the space (lol) here. You will hear about this later.

Purchase or pass: Most. Distressing. Thing.

LUXIE BEAUTY Blending and Shading Eye Brush 249
It’s a brush. Neat.

Purchase or pass: I already own this.

If they had sent anything other than the meteors that I am supposed to throw away, I think I’d be okay with this bag. Weird.

Tell me the most traumatizing thing that ipsy has ever sent you in the comments.

January 2018 Ipsy Bag

For the uninitiated: Ipsy is a monthly beauty bag subscription. You give them $10, and a garbage algorithm decides what leftover lipstick colors you get this month. I bought a year subscription and have to live with my decision until July.

This month’s theme is vaguely sporty. I understand the dry shampoo for gym days, but a contour palette? Okay, ipsy. I’m sure you’re trying to be coherent.

What’s in my bag

January 2018 ipsy bag and contents. This month's bag is a godawful blue mesh with a neon pink and yellow stripe down the middle.

First, this is a horrifyingly ugly bag with a horrifying texture. Check out how reflective that stripe is! I’m never using this bag for anything. In the pile it goes.

ABSOLUTE NEW YORK Eye Artiste Single Shadow in Posse

I like shimmery, neutral eye shadow colors. I was hoping for the brown, but ipsy heard me say I liked the pink eye shadow last month and gave me a baby shimmery pink. This eye shadow is not the best for me. It also comes with a straight up insulting applicator. It’s so tiny and awkward.

Image of the tiniest eyeshadow applicator. It's double ended and the width of my thumb just fits between the two sponges.Swatch of ABSOLUTE NEW YORK Eye Artiste Single Shadow in Posse. It's a rose color with some shimmer to it.

Purchase or pass: The colors are atrocious. Pass.

ORIBE HAIR CARE Gold Lust Dry Shampoo

The dry shampoo that I bought two years ago is starting to run out, so this is right on time. I clearly don’t use a lot of dry shampoo, but it’s appreciated. It doesn’t leave a weird visible residue in my dark hair. There’s nothing wrong with it. I’ll use it.
Purchase or pass: A 6 oz bottle is $46. It is dry shampoo. I understand luxury make up items are a treat, but luxury dry shampoo? It’s literally for when you don’t want to wash your hair. No.

NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Lip Lingerie in Satin Ribbon

If you’re going to go for a straight up light beige color, your formula has to be ROCK SOLID.
NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Lip Lingerie in Satin Ribbon on my lips. It's a shade darker than my skin (which is pasty white) and settles into every line of my lips.
My lips are heavily moisturized here. Gross.

Image of the NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Lip Lingerie in Satin Ribbon tube. It looks like a concealer.Arm swatch of NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Lip Lingerie in Satin Ribbon. It still looks like a concealer and not lipstick.

Purchase or pass: I actually have this lipstick in the darker, more flattering Exotic. It also settles into the lines of your lips, but it has great staying power. I’m convinced this color is in ipsy’s bag because it’s not selling well.

DERMELECT Microfacial Exfoliating Masque

We’ll talk about this one in it’s own post. I’ll give you a disclaimer here, though. It has pumice in it. Don’t make a habit of rubbing sand on your face. That’s a terrible idea.
Purchase or pass: ACTUAL SAND ON YOUR FACE.

CITY COLOR COSMETICS Contour Palette

I’ve never tried to hardcore contour before, but this palette seems pretty good. Two complaints: the middle color is a little orange and the whole thing smells vaguely of sunscreen.
Image of my wearing everything in my ipsy bag this month. It's not a good look. My lips almost don't exist and contouring makes me look a little gaunt.
I look downright gaunt. Is that the goal?
Anyway, he’s a swatch where I swear I’ve swatched the white. I’m just really pale.
Arm swatches of the City Color Cosmetics contouring kit. You can't see the highlighter, but it does show up as a light shimmer in person.
Purchase or pass: I’m not sure that I need to contour. I’m already pretty pointy. City Color has some good products at affordable prices, though.

A perfectly mediocre haul, yet again. Stay tuned for next month’s post, where I beg ipsy to free me.

Is Ipsy Worth the Money? Six Month Update

This is a follow up from this post.

Items I used up are bolded and  go towards the total, items crossed out were trashed or given away.

Skip to the bottom for the summary!


From July:

Trestique Mini Porcelain Concealer – $10.83
EYEKO Skinny Liquid Eyeliner Travel Size in Black – $13.20
Winky Lux Double Matte Whip in Angel Food – $5.85
Hanalei Lip Treatment in Rose – $6.67
tarte cosmetics Amazonian clay waterproof bronzer – $11.23

From August:

AURORA Pro Cover Up Concealer in Pale Ecru – $8.00
Crown Brush SS035 – Medium Face Contour Brush – $6.99
Eyeko Black Magic Mascara – $6.33
Juara Rice Facial Cleanser – $5.45
Steve Laurant Precision Tip Liner in Black – $24.00

From September:

Luxie Rose Gold Medium Angled Shading Eye Brush 207 – $12.00
Pixi by Petra Beauty Blush Duo in Peach Honey – $7.00*
Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Radiance Primer – $9.75
Manefit Beauty Planner Mask – Mugwort, Astringent + Pore Care and Beauty Planner Mask – Lily, Whitening + Brightening – $6.00 **
Adesse New York Organic Infused Gel Effect Nail Lacquer in Deception – $18.00

*I estimated this price because you can’t buy this blush without a brush anywhere.
** Okay, yes, I technically used these. They were single use and hurt me, so I trashed them EMOTIONALLY.

From October:

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion – $13.33
Nail Medic Charcoal Infused Nail Polish in Lava or Volcanic Ash – $7.99
MDMflow Liquid Matte Lipstick in Retro – $23.37
MEECH AND MIA Loose Eyeshadow in Purple – $11.50
BioRepublic SkinCare Sheet Mask Duo – $10.00

From November:

MARC ANTHONY Hydrating Coconut Oil & Shea Butter Oil Treatment – $1.24
COLOURPOP COSMETICS Pressed Powder Shadow in Paper Tiger – $2.80
LIME CRIME Diamond Crushers in Lit -$9.00
TARTE Deluxe Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Feisty – $7.78
TRÈSTIQUE Mini Brow Pencil in Espresso -$12.00

From December:

PURLISSE BEAUTY Coconut + Rice Nourishing Sheet Mask AND Green Tea + Ginger Treatment Sheet Mask – $16.00
CHELLA Eyebrow Defining Gel -$18.00
SMASHBOX COSMETICS Be Legendary Lipstick in Legendary – $16.80
NYX PROFESSIONAL MAKEUP Faux Blacks Eyeliner in Midnight – $4.00
CITY COLOR COSMETICS Shimmer Shadow in It’s A Girl -$3.99

Total Used: $73.27
Total Trashed: $123.97
Total in Limbo: $111.86
Possible Total: $309.10


First Six Months Conclusion

I still have not used $110 of product, though it looks like I will before the year is up. I still don’t plan on purchasing any of the items I’ve used, so “getting my money’s worth” in this case was more of “using things because they met a very low bar of ‘usable'”.

I do not plan on renewing my subscription in July.

We still have six months to go.