Ipsy Bag: May 2014 Review.

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One of the things I love about Ipsy is that they aren’t afraid to mix it up. One month I may receive a bag that consists mostly of makeup, then the next month- it’s all about hair care- and so on. I never feel like I’m receiving too much of the same types of products month after month, which means I rarely get bored.

While May’s bag did include both a cosmetic and hair care product, three out of the five focused on skincare. The bag itself, a cute leaf-printed pouch, was made with really soft material and will most certainly be used again in the future.

What I Received:

derma e Microdermabrasion Scrub

Pacifica Mineral Eyeshadow Duo

Hang Ten Classic Sport SPF50

Lulu Blossom Dreamsicle Body Balm (*FULL SIZE!*)

Eva NYC Rock-a-Wave Curl Cream (*FULL SIZE!*)

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Product # 1: derma e Microdermabrasion Scrub ($32.50)

In April’s Ipsy Bag, I had received a dr. brandt microdermabrasion scrub that I had really liked despite it’s high price tag. This scrub, which is half the cost of the dr. brandt one- is also identical to it- right down to it’s lemon scent. I have combination skin that is prone to occasional breakouts, especially in the more hot and humid months- so these types of products are phenomenal for clearing out my pores and sloughing away any dead skin and bacteria once or twice a week. This particular scrub gave me great results. My skin felt smooth, soft, clean, and refreshed after each use- and the cost is a lot kinder on my wallet than the previous microdermabrasion product I’d received from Ipsy.

Would I Purchase?: Yes! I’d actually purchase this scrub instead of the dr. brandt one, not because it isn’t a great product- but because this derma e scrub is less costly, but gives the same fantastic results. I highly recommend this for anyone who needs a little something extra in terms of exfoliation and deep-cleansing for their skin.

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Product # 2: Pacifica Mineral Eyeshadow Duo ($14- $17 for Full-Sized Palettes)

At first glance, I thought the color combination of this duo- a pearl/white sheen and a light purple- was a little odd, and I wasn’t entirely sure if it would look good on my eyes. Fortunately, the shades weren’t too dark, and when blended, gave me a subtle smoky eye that I could wear during the day- including to the office. The downside was that blending this shadow proved to be a task in itself. The colors in this duo aren’t really pigmented that much, and I found myself having to keep applying more and more of each shade to get it to show up on my lids at all.

In terms of longevity, the shadow lasted most of the day with primer- and I didn’t notice any fading or fall-out along the outer corners of my eyes until much later on in the evening (after I’d applied it early in the morning,) so that was another positive aspect of the shadow I was pleased with. Unfortunately, the finished look and the long-lasting formula doesn’t lessen my disappointment with the difficulty I had applying it.

Would I Purchase?: No. I like Pacifica’s body creams, and I’ve heard great things about their perfumes and skin care (although I haven’t tried them for myself yet,) but this eye shadow was so poorly pigmented and the amount of time it took to get it to not only show up, but to blend properly- was frustrating. I’ll stick with my Urban Decay palettes for now.

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Product # 3: Hang Ten Classic Sport SPF50 ($12.99)

One of the most valuable lessons I learned early on in life was to always wear sunscreen. Another valuable lesson, one that I learned the hard way a couple of years ago after a day-long excursion at the beach that resulted in the worst full-body sunburn I’d ever experienced and a week’s worth of being bedridden with sun poisoning- was to always make sure your sunscreen hadn’t expired before you put it on. I replace my bottles often and do expiration date checks regularly for that very reason. I like high level SPFs, so when I saw this colorful tube of SPF50 in May’s Ipsy bag, I was pretty happy.

This waterproof formula, which is free of harmful chemicals or added fragrances- sank into my skin easily and didn’t make me feel or look oily and sticky. I applied this on all of my exposed skin before a recent all-day outing in the sun- and didn’t get burned or red at all. Success!

Would I Purchase?: Yes! With Summer just around the corner, and a week-long trip to Southern California looming not too far in the distance, I’m going to need to stock up on more SPF to get me through the sunny days. This Hang Ten sunscreen is fairly priced and does exactly what it’s supposed to. I have a feeling I’ll be ordering a full-sized bottle soon.

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Product # 4: Lulu Blossom Dreamsicle Body Balm ($10)

Why, oh why, haven’t I heard of LuLu Blossom Cosmetics before now? Natural and vegan? Cute packaging? Even cuter product names? It’s like everything I love about independent cosmetic brands rolled into one- with the added bonus of smelling amazing, too. This non-greasy, all-purpose balm, in a convenient little tin, smelled just like an orange creamsicle- so naturally I wanted to slather it all over myself. Luckily, the balm is pretty solid, which means no mess and no wasting the product by accidentally taking more than necessary, either. A little goes a long way- and I managed to moisturize my elbows, knees, cuticles- and even tame a few frizzy flyaways- with just a couple of dabs from the tin. This is definitely another “perfect for traveling” product.

Would I Purchase?: Yes! As much as I love a good body cream or lotion, this balm is really convenient- not only for travel, but for the multiple ways it can be used, too. I really liked that it was instantly hydrating, but didn’t leave any kind of film on my skin or in my hair, and more than anything- I really, really liked the citrus/vanilla fragrance- which is very Summer-y.

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Product # 5: Eva NYC Rock-a-Wave Curl Cream ($8)

When it comes to hair styling, I look for products that won’t weigh my curls down or make them look and feel stiff or crunchy. It wasn’t easy- but I’ve found a handful of go-to styling creams and sprays that have worked wonders for me over the years. I’m never opposed to trying new products or new brands, of course- so I didn’t hesitate to scrunch this lightly cocoa-scented cream through my freshly washed hair while it was still damp, letting it air dry, and hoping for the best.

The result was soft, manageable curls that were refreshingly crunch and frizz-free (thanks in part to the Argan Oil, I’m sure.) My hair looked shiny- not slimy- and felt hydrated and conditioned. I have a feeling this product will join my collection of keepers.

Would I Purchase?: Yes! For $8 a bottle, I would definitely purchase this in the future- and probably in bulk. I have thick hair, but I achieved great results using only about a half-dollar sized amount of this cream. I couldn’t stop touching my curls after each use.

May’s Ipsy bag was a hit for me. I really liked four out of the five products I received (and loved the bag!) and was introduced to a couple of new brands I plan on exploring more in the future- which is really what beauty box subscription services are all about.

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