Ipsy Bag: March 2015 Review.

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Nothing brightens up my day like opening up the first of my monthly subscription services and immediately being greeted by beautiful packaging. Such was the case with March’s Ipsy bag, which came in a lovely floral-printed pouch (the month’s theme was “Floral Fantasy.”) chock-full of Springtime skin care and bright, beautiful makeup. Yesterday marked the first official day of Spring, and although we saw plenty of snow- again- I’ve been using the bag to keep some of my cosmetics secure inside my purse, and I feel a little happier every time I catch a glimpse of it’s pretty blues, pinks, and yellows.

What I Received:

NYX Cosmetics Butter Lipstick in “Hunk” (*Full Size!*)

Pūr~lisse Beauty Pūr~Delicate Gentle Soymilk Cleanser & Makeup Remover

Boo-Boo Cover-Up: Medium Shade

Dr. Brandt Skincare “Pores No More” Anti-Aging Mattifying Lotion

VINTAGE by Jessica Liebeskind Illuminating Face Highlighter

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Product # 1: NYX Cosmetics Butter Lipstick in “Hunk” ($6)

Last March, while visiting SoHo, I had stopped by the Bite Beauty Lip Lab to concoct what I considered to be the perfect purple lipstick, Since then, I’ve been trying to conserve what’s left of my tube before I can head back and replenish (and maybe create another color while I’m there,) and holding out hope for finding a suitable shade to hold me over ’til then. Enter “Hunk” from NYX Cosmetics’ Butter Lipstick line- a formula I’ve heard a lot of really great things about.

While the color of the lipstick in the tube appears to be a very dark, very deep and true violet- it actually looked a bit more fuchsia on my lips- although it was still pretty and very pigmented. Like the name suggests, this lipstick glided on my lips smoothly- like butter- leaving them soft and smooth. Even more impressive was how long-lasting this formula was. Touch-ups and re-applications were far and few between- even after eating, drinking, lip-licking, etc. The color stayed in place for hours- which was one of the most important selling points. That, and it’s $6 price tag. I think I’ve found a winner!

Would I Purchase?: Yes! Not only would I re-purchase “Hunk” in the future, but I think I’d also collect quite a few of the other available shades in this collection, too. These are richly pigmented, non-drying, and long-lasting lipsticks that are incredibly affordable considering their quality. Nicely done, NYX! I still adore my Bite Beauty lipstick more than words can say, but this was a really great find for me!

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Product # 2: Pūr~lisse Beauty Pūr~Delicate Gentle Soymilk Cleanser & Makeup Remover ($36)

Hello Pur~lisse Beauty. We meet again- this time in the form of a sample size of your cleanser/makeup remover. Last Summer, I had fallen head over heels in love with the company’s lightweight moisturizer with sunscreen- so when I received a different product from their line in March’s Ipsy bag, I was excited and eager to give it a try.

At the moment, I’ve been using exfoliating (but gentle) makeup remover pads at night to buff away any dead skin cells made more visible by a brutal winter- and following it up with an extra mild cleanser to prevent my face from drying out. It’s been working well, but I recently swapped my Clinique formula for this cleaning milk sample to see how it measured up. The results have been fairly similar. This cleanser smells nice, doesn’t lather up- but deeply cleanses my skin and removes any makeup I may have missed without leaving my face feeling tight or dry. I like the formula, but to date I haven’t really been “blown away” by it.

Would I Purchase?: Maybe. This is a nice cleanser, don’t get me wrong- but it’s missing the “WOW!” factor that would allow me to justify splurging on a $36 full-sized bottle of it. I’ve seen good results, sure- but they match the ones I was getting with a cleansing milk that is half the price of this one. I like Pur~lisse, and the products I’ve seen from them so far have been of fantastic quality and have given me great results- but I’m still on the fence when it comes to this one.

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Product # 3: Boo-Boo Cover-Up: Medium Shade ($20)

By now we are all aware that I am paler than pale. I’m practically translucent- which makes being matched for foundations and concealers a tad difficult since it’s easy for formulas to turn me various shades of yellow, orange, or in some cases- unnaturally bronzed. I typically purchase the lightest shades imaginable with neutral undertones and hope for the best. Sometimes it works, other times- not so much- but over the years I’ve found a handful of products that work well with my skin tone and that I’ve rarely strayed from for long periods of time.

I received this tube of liquid cover-up just in time to try it on some pre-PMS blemishes that recently emerged along my cheek and the side of my nose. Despite the “medium” shade pretty much acting as the brightest of bright red flags that this wasn’t going to work out- I gave it a shot anyway.

So, here’s the good things about this concealer/cover-up: it’s not heavy, it’s not oily, it didn’t make my skin shiny, and it didn’t make my blemishes worse.

The bad thing? It didn’t match my skin tone. At all. Even after trying every possible technique under the sun to blend it- it was still very clearly visible against my pasty New Englander skin.

Would I Purchase?: Maybe. I mean, I definitely would NOT purchase the “medium” shade ever again- but after checking Boo-Boo’s official website, it looks like the formula comes in a lighter color that might better closely match my skin tone. Overall, I liked the feel and finish of the product (apart from the color, obviously,) and after doing some research it looks like the ingredients in the cover-up/concealer are natural and promote the healing of the blemishes it’s applied to- which is awesome- so I might take a chance and try the lightest shade sometime in the future to see if it’s a better match for me.

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Product # 4: Dr. Brandt Skincare “Pores No More” Anti-Aging Mattifying Lotion ($60)

Like “Be A Bombshell” Cosmetics, Ipsy seems to be loyal to the Dr. Brandt skincare line- this is the third one I’ve received from them. The brand itself, a bit on the pricier side, has been hit or miss with me so far. I really liked a scrub I had received from them last Spring, but a pore refiner that arrived a couple of months later didn’t quite win me over. Once again, I find myself on the fence when it comes to this medicinal-smelling facial lotion- formulated with apple stem cells to slow down the signs of aging. It felt nice on my skin, spreading evenly and absorbing quickly without leaving behind any residue- but even with daily uses, morning and night, and nearly being out of my sample- I haven’t really noticed or felt any results. My skin still looks and feels exactly the same as it does when I use my usual skin care products.

Would I Purchase?: No. Maybe I need to use this lotion a little longer to start noticing results, but I’m basing my opinion on what I saw (or in this case, didn’t see,) with the limited amount I was provided with in March’s Ipsy bag. While I enjoyed the clean fragrance and how mess-free it was to apply, this product didn’t really impress me- and I don’t think I would hand over $60 in the hopes that having more product on hand would allow me to see whatever mattifying, anti-aging benefits this lotion was advertising.

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Product # 5: VINTAGE by Jessica Liebeskind Illuminating Face Highlighter ($26)

When I saw that I was getting yet another highlighter in a beauty subscription service this month, I was admittedly a little frustrated. I have more nude-toned highlighters from Ipsy and Glossybox combined than I know what to do with- and I couldn’t imagine adding one more to the collection. The difference between the ones I’ve already received in past boxes/bags and this soft, pressed powder from Jessica Liebeskind is that this product has a beautiful and subtle pop of pink. I’ve been wearing it on the apples of my cheeks and along my brow bone seemingly non-stop as of late, and I’ve completely fallen in love with the healthy, natural glow it gives my skin without making me look shiny or like I’m really wearing any kind of blush at all. It’s a gorgeous shade to wear in the warmer months when I tend to lean more towards lightweight and natural looking makeup.

Would I Purchase?: Yes! This was probably the product I was most pleasantly surprised with in this month’s Ipsy bag. I love the subtle shimmer of this highlighter. It really makes me skin look radiant without appearing overdone or too garish against my fair complexion. I would definitely re-purchase another full-sized compact of this powder in the future- no questions about it!

March’s Ipsy bag may have not been my favorite, what with only two of the products winning me over (and another two I’m still undecided on,) but I really loved the floral bag everything came packaged in, which made up for the one sample I received- the mattifying lotion- that I didn’t really like that much.

I’ll continue to use and enjoy my highlighter and full-sized NYX lipstick, but I’m hoping I have better luck with the products I receive in April’s bag!

xx

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