Ipsy Unbagging and Review for June 2015

If you saw my Ipsy post for last month you know that there isn’t supposed to be an Ipsy post for this month because I cancelled the service. However, as I mention in the beginning of the following unbagging video, there was a mix-up and I hadn’t really cancelled. So let’s call this one a bonus (that I unfortunately had to pay for)! Check out the video:

Although i was annoyed that the cancellation system tripped me up and didn’t cancel properly, I’m actually happy that I got this last bag because there’s some pretty awesome stuff in it. Shall we look at the breakdown?

Vitamin C Facial Serum from ‘Jules and Ester’
In the video I mentioned that I actually have another facial serum that I haven’t tried yet, but I’m thinking I’ll try this one first because it’s supposed to be excellent for dry skin, which I have in spades while working out in the Alberta oil sands. The full-sized bottle is 1.7 oz and retails for $36, making my 0.5 oz bottle worth about $10.50.

Photo Finish Foundation Primer by ‘Smashbox Cosmetics’
This clear primer is said to diffuse the light that hits your skin to blur imperfections, thus making you “picture perfect” for photos. I haven’t tried it yet so I can’t tell you if it lives up to the hype or not, but I’ll definitely give it a fair trial. 1 fluid oz of this product retails for $36, therefore my 0.25 fluid oz sample is worth $9.

Sheet Mask Trio from ‘BioRepublic SkinCare’
I love face makes of both the sheet and spread varieties, and these masks are no exception. I used one a few nights ago and it was heavenly – it felt so clean and refreshing, and was an excellent way to help relax after a long day of work. These masks also added quite a value to the bag; they usually go for approximately $5.25 each, and Ipsy gave us three, making the value $15.75.

Power Source nail color by ‘Formula X’
Nowhere on the packaging did it say what this shade of nail color is, and it was nowhere on the Ipsy site either, but I can tell you that it’s a very cute shade. On the nail it is almost a hot pink with peachy undertones – a perfect shade for summer. A full-sized bottle of Formula X goes for $16 per 0.4 oz, making my 0.13 oz worth about $5.20.

Mini Shadow Crayon by ‘tre’StiQue’ in “venitian gold”
This is my first ever shadow crayon, and I’m happy to report to you that I rather enjoy it. The formula goes on smooth and creamy, stays for quite a long time, and the color is soft and beautiful. A set of three of these mini’s retails for $32, therefore my single one is worth about $10.60.

Total approximate value of bag: $51
Total cost to me: $15

So of course the first thing I have to mention is that this is the highest value Glam Bag I’ve ever gotten, by a wide margin. Usually the average value for a bag is about $32, but June’s bag tacks on an extra almost $20, which is pretty amazing and makes me sad that I won’t be getting this service anymore. I absolutely love the masks and the shadow crayon, and although I think the nail color is overpriced I can’t really argue with the beautiful color. I haven’t tried the facial serum or the foundation primer yet, but I have high hopes for them since they both have excellent reviews. And everything came in a super-cute bag that may actually be my favorite Glam Bag yet.

All in all, I’m very happy with this, my last Glam Bag. It was full of fun, high-quality items, and at a total value that blows previous bags out of the water. Plus this bag introduced me to one of my new favorite things – the BioRepublic masks – which are totally worth the pricing after a stressful day.

What did you think? Did you receive an Ipsy Glam Bag for the month of June? What was in yours? What was  your favorite item? Have you tried everything out yet? Please share!

Ipsy Unbagging and Review for April 2015

Moving from nerdy to beauty today, it’s time to talk about my Ipsy Glam Bag for April.

Let’s go right to the unbagging video:

Ipsy Unbagging for April 2015: https://youtu.be/Hy3dq8QMjPc

Wasn’t that a cute little bag? It’s really not quite my style, but I can definitely appreciate it’s cuteness.

Time for the breakdown!

“Pink Carnation” blush from Pandora’s Makeup Box: This is a very classic, pretty color for a blush, and since I’m pretty sure pink is my color when it comes to blush, I’m happy that this is the shade I got. I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, because I’m still playing with the blush I got in a previous bag, but I suspect I will like it a lot. A full-sized version of this blush is 0.35 oz and retails for $14, making my 0.14 oz sample worth about $5.60.

“NUDE Dude” eyeshadow single in “Fit” by theBalm Cosmetics: These eyeshadows are funny, I have to admit that, and they come in some lovely tones. I haven’t tried this one yet either, but after browsing the other possibilities, I’m glad that I wound up with this nice, chocolatey hue. The entire pallette of 12 eyeshadows retails for $36, making my little single worth about $3.

“Lash Princess” mascara by Essence Cosmetics: Now here is one I have tried, and let me tell you, I’m loving it. If you’re looking for big, super-thick, super-black eyelashes, this is not the mascara for you, but if you’re looking for length and a bit of definition, look no further. I’ve been using this every day since I first tried it because it makes my lashes long and just black enough, without leaving any clumps or sticking my lashes together. I’m absolutely loving it, and it’s totally affordable too; this is a full-sized product that retails for about $5.

“Goat’s Milk Day Cream” by Ziaja: Other than the little dab I put on my hand during the video, I haven’t tried this stuff out yet either, but I appreciate that the smell is totally doable, since some of the other lotions I’ve gotten in these bags have been rather unpleasant, in my opinion. I’ll give it a good trial when I get home from this shift, and I suspect I’ll have mostly good things to say. A full jar of 1.7 fluid oz goes for $13, so my 0.35 fluid oz jar would be about $2.70.

“Femina” fragrance by Jor’el Parker: Right off the bat I have to admit that this doesn’t hold a whole lot of appeal for me because I don’t normally wear much (if any) fragrance. Second I have to admit that I haven’t really gotten a chance to smell it yet, since my sinuses were completely clogged from the time I did the video until I’d left for my shift out West. So there’s not really much I can say about this product right now, except for the fact that a full 50 ml bottle costs $55, making my sample size of 8.8 ml worth about $9.70

Total approximate value of bag: $26
Total cost to me: $15

So right off the bat, you can see that this bag was actually the lowest value one that I’ve gotten yet, and the only reason that it’s as high as it is, is because they included a fragrance, and smelly water always costs a fortune for some reason (call me a philistine, I don’t care). So that’s a little bit concerning, because one likes to feel that she got her money’s worth.

That said, even though the value is down for the month of April, I’m not terribly disappointed in the items I got. The mascara is awesome, at least in my opinion, and the eyeshadow and blush are lovely shades that I’m sure will look beautiful when I get a chance to try them out. The goat’s milk cream will probably be nice too, although I have no particular opinion on it right at this moment. Humorously, the only item I don’t really like is the most expensive one, the fragrance, but that’s not because it’s not nice, it’s just because I don’t wear them, so I’ll probably end up giving it away.

So I guess, all in all, it really a good bag; it’s just the overall value of the included items that is a little disappointing.

What do you think? Did you recieve an Ipsy Glam Bag for the month of April? What was your favorite item? Least favorite? What did you think of the cute little bag? Please share!

Ipsy Unbagging and Review for February 2015

Rounding out my series of super-late subscription box reveals is my Ipsy Glam Bag for February. I always enjoy seeing what new beauty products Ipsy has decided to send me each month, so let’s go right to the video:

I totally almost missed that makeup brush. Whoops! Luckily I noticed it before I’d shut off the camera. Ha ha… Anyway, let’s take a look at the breakdown!

China Glaze nail lacquer: I haven’t had a chance to try this polish out yet, but oh my god does it look pretty! It’s super sparkly with tons of different colors mixed in, although it is mostly purple. The shade is called ‘Marry a Millionaire’, which is a bit silly but actually kind of captures the effect. This is a full-sized product, of course, and it goes for $7.50
Luxie Beauty, Large Angled Face Brush 504: This is the second brush I’ve received from Ipsy and I’m quite happy with it so far. It’s super-soft, and it deposits blush quite nicely. I haven’t used it a ton yet, but if you need this kind of a brush in your collection I definitely think it’s worth the $16 price tag.
Creamy Lip Stain from City Color Cosmetics: The shade I got for this lip stain is called ‘Flirtini’, and that just about covers it. It’s very, very pink. I haven’t had it on yet, but it’s another full-sized product, which is pretty awesome. Each tube retails for $5.
GlamGlow’s BRIGHTMUD Eye Treatment: I’ve been saving this treatment for some night when I’m having a nice, relaxing bath, but I really can’t wait to try it since it claims to treat things like dark circles and “tired” eyes. A 12-pack of these treatments costs about $70, which makes the two packs that Ipsy gave me value at about $12.
Model Co’s BLUSH Cheek Powder: I was a bit iffy when I first saw this blush in ‘Peach Bellini’ because it is very pigmented and I am very pale. However, it turns out that it blends out very nicely, so even on my pale skin I was able to work it across my cheekbones in a way that looks natural. A full-sized compact of this product goes for $22 for 0.28 oz, making my 0.12 oz sample worth about $9.50.

Total approximate value of bag: $50
Total cost to me: $19

Now, I have to mention that the cost of the Glam Bag has gone up a bit for me because of the lowered Canadian dollar, but I also have to point out that the value of this bag was amazing. I didn’t even include a value for the makeup bag itself (which is super-cute, by the way), and it’s still the best value I’ve gotten out of a Glam Bag yet, by a significant amount. I haven’t tried all of the products yet, but I’m quite happy with the ones I have tried, so when you combine that with the heightened value this was a pretty amazing bag, in my opinion!

Did you receive the Ipsy Glam Bag for February? What did you think of it? What was your favorite item? Was your bag very different from mine? Please share!

Also, a reminder that I am running a contest throughout the month of March. For each comment you post on my blog throughout the month, you will receive one entry toward a draw for a hard-copy of my zombie apocalypse novel, “Nowhere to Hide”! Please note that in order to accept the prize, I will need you to give me a mailing address where I can have the book sent. If the winner drawn did not intend to enter the contest and/or does not want the book, I will draw another name. Please also note that obvious spam/duplicate comments/etc. will not be counted toward an entry…play fair! And good luck!

Fab Fit Fun Unboxing and Review for Winter 2014/15

It’s been a while since I had something brand new to try, and I’m glad that that new thing is Fab Fit Fun because it is an amazing box with an amazing value. Fab Fit Fun is a “lifestyle” box that can be filled with anything from food to fitness items to beauty products and anything in between. There are four boxes per year – one for each season – at a cost of $50 per box, and each box is guaranteed to have at least $250 worth of product inside. Amazing, right? Check out the unboxing video!

Now obviously you have to be into things like beauty, fitness, and fashion for this box to be for you, but if you are into those things you can see that it’s an outrageously good value. I explained everything in the video, but let’s look at the breakdown anyway, shall we?

Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel for Sensitive Skin: Just for the record, this stuff smells nothing like green apple, but it does have a very lovely coconut-like smell. I’ve actually already gotten around to testing this stuff out and I have nothing but good to say so far. It’s easy to apply, easy to remove, tingles in a very pleasant way, and leaves the skin feeling quite beautiful. The bottle retails for $39
Half United Fighting Hunger Necklace: I don’t wear a lot of jewelry myself, but I appreciate the story behind this necklace. These pieces of jewelry are created from bullet casings, go for $34, and when you buy one yourself half of the proceeds go to feeding children in need. You can’t go wrong with that combination.
Zumba 60-min DVD “Max” and $25 gift card: I haven’t taken a look at this DVD yet, but I know that Zumba is a highly-regarded workout, and you can’t go wrong with a $25 gift card for clothing. The pair go for $55, which is more than the cost of the box right there.
Passport to Beauty Tibetan Goji Berry Intense Anti-Aging Eye Serum with Retinol: I’m almost terrified to try this stuff out because it is so expensive, at a retail price of $88, but you’re damn right I’m going to try it. It sounds amazing, and I appreciate that Fab Fit Fun includes such high-quality items in their boxes.
Daniel Stone COCO Candle: This is an item that I’m a little iffy about just because I can’t ever imagine anyone paying $42 for a candle, which is what it retails for. It does, however, smell gorgeous, so I know I’m going to have to try it asap, definitely during a nice, hot bath.
yourMinerals Assorted Eye Shadow Duo: This is another one that I find a hard time swallowing the price of…I just can’t imagine paying $44 for two small containers of eyeshadow…but I know that this brand is very high quality, so I’m definitely going to be trying them out soon!
Salted – 3 Months of Free Membership: This service claims to be like Netflix for the culinary world, and this 3 month free membership gives you plenty of time to try out the service and learn to whip up some amazing meals. It’s worth $30 and I’m really hoping to learn some good stuff!
Lather AHA Hand Creme with Evening Primrose: This jar of hand cream smells amazing, and is surprisingly sizable. I haven’t tried it out yet, but I have high hopes. This jar retails for $30, and it looks like it will go a long way.
$30 Fashion Project gift card with Free Shipping: You can’t go wrong with a gift card for clothes, and the clothes that are available through Fashion Project are lightly used designer clothes, so that’s pretty awesome. The only thing that confuses me is that the FFF box card shows this $30 gift card as being worth $18. Someone explain that please?
Organic Valley Organic Balance Milk Protein Shake: I haven’t tried this out yet so I can’t comment, but how can you go wrong with an organic milkshake? This sponsored item is worth $3.
Justin’s Classic Almond Butter: I’ve never tried almond butter, but this seems like an excellent time to do so! This sponsored item goes for $0.63 per squeeze pack.
Special K Snack Bar: And to round out the sponsored food items, this crunchy pretzel-and-chocolate bar comes in a 6-pack box for $2.62

Total value of box: $383.59
Total cost to me: $35 (after coupon and shipping and handling)

Now, normally the box would have come to over $50, just so you know, but even at that price, look at what you end up with. This box was just $17 shy of being valued at $400! That is amazing, to say the least. Several of the products are extremely high quality stuff, and two of the items are actually $55 worth of gift cards that you can use at your own discretion.

All in all, I was extremely impressed with this box, which is why I decided to pick it up in the first place. I love my subscription boxes, I love opening them up and getting to be completely surprised by what’s inside, but it’s nice to have this one box that you can actually wait for, check out some unboxing videos, and then decide if you want to purchase it. I’m definitely impressed, and there’s definitely a good chance that I might pick up more Fab Fit Fun boxes in the future.

Do you subscribe to Fab Fit Fun’s seasonal box? What did you think of the box for Winter 2014/15? What was your favorite item in the box? Please share!

Ipsy Glam Bag Unbagging and Review for December 2014

It’s the last day of the year and I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to finish off 2014 with some beauty products! I received five Ipsy Glam Bags this year, and though I didn’t love every single item, each bag was actually pretty awesome. Check out my unbagging video for December of 2014:

I’ll be honest, I was expecting a little bit more for December’s Glam Bag, since every other subscription box seemed to go a little bit above and beyond for the holidays, but when you look at the breakdown you realize that this stuff was not exactly cheap:

“CoolWay” Boost Repair Treatment: This salon-scented shampoo treatment is a really small sample size that will only be good for maybe two uses, but since the 8 oz regular size product goes for $30, that means that my 1.3 oz sample is actually worth almost $5.
“Crown Brush” Infinity Shadow/Crease Duet Brush: It’s hard for me to fathom because I would never pay so much for a single brush myself, but this is actually a really nice, really soft brush that goes for a retail of $17.50.
“NYX Cosmetics” Butter Lip Balm: This full-sized lip balm has a surprisingly bold color for a balm, and goes for a pretty reasonable price of $4.
“Pixi by Petra” Fairy Dust: According to the website, this product is mean to highlight eyes and cheeks for a “soft focus glow”, and it definitely does just that. The product comes from the UK, and the price works out to the equivalent of about $14 Canadian.
“Tarte” Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara: I’d heard a lot about this mascara and I was hoping for a full-sized product when I heard it was coming in my Glam Bag, but I understand now why they didn’t include it that way. The full sized product of 0.24 fl oz goes for $24, making my 0.10 oz sample worth $10.
Ipsy Heart Makeup Bag: As usual I’ll assign the cute little makeup bag a value of about $2.

Total approximate value of bag: $52.50
Total cost to me: $15

So as you can see, the value is MORE than there! My previous bags had an approximate value of somewhere in the range of $32, so this particular bag is actually pretty amazing. My favorite item, surprisingly, is the brush; it’s my first good makeup brush, and I’ve been using it steady as I learn to properly apply eyeshadow (at 30 years old…ha ha ha…). After that I definitely have to go with the Tarte mascara, which is so beautiful and smooth that I would actually consider paying the full price for it.

All in all, an excellent way to end off the year with Ipsy. I’ve been more than happy with every Glam Bag I’ve received so far and look forward to seeing what they send me in the new year!

Ipsy Glam Bag Unbagging and Review for September 2014

My friends…I totally received and unbagged this Glam Bag when it was still September. Honest. So let’s just ignore the fact that it is now October, and pretend like I’m posting this video and review immediately after having recorded. Got your pretending hat on? Okay, good, let’s get on with it. 🙂

Ipsy did not disappoint this month, so let’s do a little breakdown, shall we?

Hikari lipstick in “Cabernet” shade: This is a full-sized product in a very nice shade that I’m definitely impressed with. To buy this in stores it would cost about $13, which is almost the entire cost to me of the Glam Bag, so that’s pretty damn awesome!
Pacifica nail polish in “Red Red Wine” shade: This is a second full-sized item (Ipsy…you’re awesome) in a shade that closely resembles the lipstick. It goes for about $9, so now with only two of the items we are well over the cost of the bag.
Nourish Organic’s Moisturizing Cream Face Cleanser: When purchased in stores, this product comes in a 6 oz tube for $14. The sample that I received is 1 oz, so that makes it worth a little more than $2.
Mitchell and Peach’s Luxury Hand Cream: A full-sized tube of this lotion is 60 ml at a cost of 17 euros, which is approximately $24 Canadian (which, personally, I think is outrageous because it feels just like any other hand cream to me). Since the trial size we got is 30 ml, that makes it worth about $12. Just want to point out here that even though it’s decent hand cream, I would never in a million years pay this price for it.
Be a Bombshell’s “Smooth Criminal” Powder: I was actually shocked to find out that this is a full-sized product as well. Being that it’s a product that I wouldn’t normally use, I just assumed that the small container had to be a sample, but no! This is the third full-sized product in my bag! Awesome, Ipsy! Oh, and the little container goes for $12

Total approximate value of bag: $48
Total cost to me: $15

I mean…come on. That’s value right there. Admittedly two of the items are things that I wouldn’t have purchased for myself, but I’ll definitely use them up anyway, and the lipstick and nail polish are awesome. Ipsy really did a great job with September’s bag; I’m totally satisfied with my purchase. Honestly, how can you beat $15 for three full-sized products, plus a couple of trials? And they are nice products too, not cheap, generic stuff. I can’t wait to try them all and do my product review video. Look forward to it!

August Ipsy Glam Bag Review

During my unboxing/unbagging video of my first Ipsy Glam Bag, I said that I was going to try the items and let you all know what they were like. Well, instead of doing a written review of the products I thought I’d record another video and just talk about them! Enjoy!

Do you subscribe to Ipsy? What kinds of items did you receive in your August bag? Did you enjoy trying them out? Let me know!

Ipsy Glam Bag Unboxing and Review for August 2014

Well here’s something a little different for you! With all the nerd-related subscription boxes I’ve been talking about lately, I wanted to also try something different, something a little girly. So after a bit of research I decided to give a shot to Ipsy, with their monthly “Glam Bag”. First, check out my first ever Glam Bag unboxing video:

Now for a breakdown of the items:

Urban Decay “Perversion” Lash Primer: the full-sized (0.4 oz) product goes for about $22. The sample was 0.1 oz, so I assign it a value of $5.50
Lord and Berry Silk Kajal Kohl Eye Pencil: the full pencil (1.44 g) costs about $17. The sample size would therefore be worth about $6
Coastal Scents Forever Blush Duo Sample: at 2.5 g (as opposed to a full-sized 10 g) this sample is worth about $2 (compared to the full-sized $8)
Dr Brandt “Pores No More” Primer: a full-sized 1 oz goes for a whopping $45, which makes the 0.25 oz sample worth about $11.25
“You’re the Balm” by Absolute New York: normally these lip balms come in a two-pack for $6, so the one that came in the Glam Bag is worth about $3

Total approximate value of the Glam Bag: $27.75
Total cost to me: $15

All in all, the value of my first Glam Bag was pretty damn good. If you add in the value of the little makeup bag itself, everything is worth about twice what I paid, so there’s no complaint there. Personally I was shocked to find out what the regular price of the “Pores No More” primer is, but there you have it.

As for my thoughts on the products themselves, I’ve been pretty happy so far. I haven’t yet tried the “Pores No More”, but I love the mascara and the eye pencil, and the balm is pretty delicious. Overall, it was a nice assortment of new stuff to try out and the cost of the Glam Bag was worth it for me for the eye products alone.

When I get my bag back (I accidentally left it at the inlaws…oops!) and get a chance, I’m going to do a second video, this one a review of each of the individual products. Look forward to it!