I had said it in my last couple of beauty box posts, but from my own, personal experience- it seems that November and December are typically the months where subscription services pull out all the stops to impress and dazzle their customers to coincide with the holidays and New Year’s Eve. Products are usually full-sized, high-end, or limited edition- and give subscribers just enough incentive to stick around for another year. Those are the boxes I look forward to the most (apart from Loot Crate’s October box, now!) so I was really excited to receive the final Ipsy bag of 2014, themed “Thinking of You,” which was a sweet nod to the subscribers.
The bag itself, a sleek black pouch with a pink, plastic heart-shaped “Ipsy” charm- was really cute- and all but one product was able to fit inside of it.
What I Received:
Swissco Electroplated Eyelash Curler (*Full Size!*)
tarte deluxe “lights, camera, lashes” 4-in-1 mascara
Pixi by Petra Fairy Dust in “Brightening Bare” (*Full Size!*)
Coolway Boost Repair Treatment
NYX Cosmetics Butter Lip Balm in “Red Velvet” (*Full Size!*)
Now, right away there were two products included in the bag that I didn’t use, so let me just get those out of the way real quick.
Products I Didn’t Use:
I have been blessed by the powers that be with what I consider to be good eyebrows (although I admit that I’m a tad overdue for a wax,) and long, naturally curly eyelashes that seem to match my naturally curly hair. For that reason- I’ve never really needed an eyelash curler- just a few coats of mascara to get my eyes to look dramatic. Also, I’ve been rubbish each and every time I’ve tried to use one properly just out of my own curiosity. For that reason, this purple curler will be gifted as a stocking stuffer this Christmas!
I’m a big fan of tarte mascaras, and have actually received a sample of this very same formula in the past- which I loved. Because I’m familiar enough with the brand and the mascara to the point where I would absolutely buy a full-sized tube of this in the future, I decided not to waste this sample on myself, and am instead pairing it up with the aforementioned eyelash curler from Swissco as a cute little gift for someone who might be interested in trying this formula for themselves!
And now, moving onto the products I DID try/review:
Okay, so here’s the thing- I feel like I may have asked “what is this?” and “why is this happening?” out loud each time I tried applying this semi-loose, but sorta’ damp powder to my eyes before I gave up completely. The small, rounded applicator is in no way convenient, and had to be dipped back into the tube multiple times in an attempt to get enough product on the tip to actually cover my lid area. The texture and consistency of the shadow itself is bizarre- almost like a chalky, sandy feeling- and at first I thought it was one of those “applies wet – dries to a powder finish” type of products. Unfortunately, when applied wet or dry (and I did try both recommended methods-) this shadow flaked EVERYWHERE. It was a disaster.
Color-wise, I wasn’t a fan of the shade. It didn’t show up much once it was blended- and the shadow didn’t last very long at all before it began to crease and flake off as the day wore on. I was disappointed from start to finish.
Would I Purchase?: No. I’ll stick to my usual cream and powder shadows from my current makeup collection. Between the messy, often confusing application process- all the way to the lack of staying power once I had the shadow (kind of) where I wanted it- this is a product I would steer clear from.
As someone with curly, color-treated hair- I have to take special care of my locks- especially in the winter when the cold dries out more than just my skin. Weekly deep repair hair masks are life savers for me, since they replenish the moisture and strengthen my curls with each application. I was eager to try this color-safe treatment, which is also free of harmful chemicals and toxic additives. The first thing I noticed was how nice this product smelled- like a combination of mint and cologne- if that makes any sense. I just really enjoyed the fragrance.
The container said to use this product generously from my roots to the ends of my hair- which I did- and consequently was only able to get two uses out of the tube. Application wise, the product spread easily enough through my hair and didn’t cause any bizarre reactions for the few minutes I left it on before rinsing it out as directed- but unfortunately- I didn’t see or feel any dramatic results. My hair looked and felt the same as it did prior to using the mask. Whether more than two uses are required to obtain any noticeable results is still up for debate- but I wasn’t blown away by this.
Would I Purchase?: No. I have hair masks that I use regularly that give me nearly instantaneous results (and I’ll do a post on them soon!) for a fraction of the $29.95 price tacked onto this particular product. While the fragrance is pleasant and the texture of the mask is nice enough- it wasn’t exactly a “must-have” product that I’d consider purchasing.
I’ve heard good things about NYX’s Butter Lip Balms in recent months, but had yet to try one for myself- so when I received a full-sized tube in a bright, bold red- I was pretty excited! Like the name suggests, this balm glides on the lips like butter- instantly softening and smoothing- which was lovely. However- the shade wasn’t as flattering as I would have hoped. It looked more like an orange/red against my fair complexion- and it didn’t last long at all before the color bled outwards to the edges of my lips and had to be reapplied quite a few times to prevent my lips from looking like they were severely chapped. I would have been disappointed if it didn’t feel so nice when I applied it!
Would I Purchase?: Maybe. I think I’d consider picking up one of these butter balms in a more neutral, nearly nude shade so I could get all the benefits of it’s hydration perks without feeling self-conscious about having to constantly re-apply the color to keep it looking fresh. It really does feel divine on the lips- I just wish it would last longer!
With two products I couldn’t/didn’t use, two products I didn’t care for- and one product I’m still a little on the fence about- December’s Ipsy bag was, unfortunately, one of my least favorite to date. It’s a shame, with it being the end of the year and all- but nearly everything in the bag was a let down! Has it deterred me from continuing my subscription with Ipsy through 2015? No- but I really hope that with the new year, the company branches out a little more to incorporate more brands and different types of products to keep myself and others interested and satisfied. A lot of products and shades I received in 2014 felt repetitive after a while- so I’d really like to see Ipsy make some changes and not be afraid to take a few risks now and then.
I can’t wait to see how December’s GlossyBox compares when I receive it!