Ipsy Bag: June 2015 Review.

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The last of June’s subscription services to arrive was this month’s Ipsy bag. The theme, “Swim Into Beauty,” was a nod to the hot Summer months. Everything came packaged in a black, waterproof bag that felt as though it was made from bathing suit material. As someone who spends a significant amount of time at the beach during the Summer, it’s nice to have something I can carry my keys and my phone in when I head to the water and not have to worry about things getting splashed and ruined!

The products, which were a mix of long-lasting makeup and skin care, were tied into the beach/poolside-ready theme.

What I Received:

LAVANILA LABORATORIES The Healthy Body Butter in “Pure Vanilla”

tre’StiQue Mini Shadow Crayon in “Kona Coffee”

J. Cat Beauty Liptitude Hydrating Lip Stain in “Blow Your Mind” (*Full Size!*)

Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Foundation Primer

IT Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil (*Full Size!*)

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Product # 1: LAVANILA LABORATORIES The Healthy Body Butter in “Pure Vanilla” ($19)

I’m not quite sure how it happened, but upon going to use this sample for the first time- it seems that there was only a small amount of product in the tube. It wasn’t even half full (and believe me, I shook and squeezed it in every conceivable way to be 100% positive!) I could only get enough body butter to cover one of my legs and that was it. Needless to say, I was disappointed, since I had hoped to write a more thorough review. All I can really say about the amount of product I was able to use is that it smells strongly of vanilla, and the scent lingered on my skin overnight- and that while it did not absorb easily by any means- once it did, it left my skin (including dryer areas around my knee) very, very soft. There was no greasy residue or sticky feeling left behind.

Would I Purchase?: Maybe. I won’t let the aforementioned packaging issue push me away entirely from this body butter. It smells really nice and it hydrated the skin I was able to apply it to, which is really all I ask from a product like this. The only thing I’m on the fence about is the amount of time it took to absorb into my skin. I like lightweight lotions and creams that don’t require a lot of effort to apply since I’m usually rushing between work and home, etc.- so this might be better reserved for those days where I’m able to relax and pamper myself without being in a hurry.

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Product # 2: tre’StiQue Mini Shadow Crayon in “Kona Coffee” ($26)

Because it’s Summer, I’ve been wearing a lot of golds, aqua tones, and corals on my eyes and lips. When I first saw this shadow stick, I was a bit concerned about how dark the color looked but still intrigued at how it applied. The pencil- soft to the touch and highly pigmented- did appear very dark on my lids, and did NOT blend easily- which was a bit frustrating. The photo above shows the “Kona Coffee” shade on my eyes after I blended it to the best of my ability. As you can probably see, it looks a bit uneven and patchy. The only upside to this product was it’s longevity. The shadow didn’t budge, crease, or flake all day and well into the evening.

Would I Purchase?: No. As much as I appreciated the pigmentation and how long this shadow lasted on my lids, applying it was nothing short of a hassle. Once it was on, it was on- and it couldn’t be evened out or blended without using other products and utilizing a lot of time. For that reason alone, I’ll have to pass and stick with the shadows I’ve been using regularly that are much easier to apply and last just as long.

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Product # 3: J. Cat Beauty Liptitude Hydrating Lip Stain in “Blow Your Mind” ($5.99)

At first glance of the bottle, this lip stain seemed bright, fun, and perfect for the Summer. Although the applicator was an odd shape, which made working the product around my lips to achieve an even look a little awkward- the stain itself was VERY rich and pigmented. A little goes a long way, and it didn’t take much to make my mouth pop with a vibrant pink/peach color. Like it’s name indicates- this stain was in no way drying, and it lasted a very, very long time before it required a touch-up.

All of those perks are great, but the one downside to this stain was how messy it was. Because of the rich/thick consistency of this product, it came off on pretty much everything- my coffee mug, my breakfast/lunch,  my fingertips when I accidentally grazed my lips, my teeth, etc. and it seemed that whatever it touched- it would NOT come off of. If you wear this stain, you have to be extremely careful not to transfer any of it onto your skin or clothes!

Would I Purchase?: No. Don’t get me wrong, the pigmentation, the bright color, and the longevity are all great- but this product was entirely too messy for my tastes. I like my lip stains to be lightweight, and this one was heavy and came off in thick globs on anything and everything it came in contact with. It was almost like having wet paint on my mouth. I’ll just continue using my Summer stand-bys of balms and glosses.

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Product # 4: Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Foundation Primer ($36)

In my skincare and makeup regimen, I’ve never really had a need for a foundation primer. In the Summer I use BB creams, and when I require more coverage- the long-wear foundation I use has a primer already added to it- so I typically gloss over this additional step. Even still, I’ve heard great things about this oil-free Smashbox primer from multiple sources, and decided to give it a try to see if it made any difference in how long it could hold my makeup in place and keep me looking fresh.

Firstly, I really liked the texture of this foundation primer. It was lightweight, almost “fluffy” feeling (if that makes sense) and it absorbed very quickly into my skin without making me look shiny. It also kept my foundation in place all day. No touch-ups were necessary at all. That’s a great thing.

The bad news is that this primer- despite being oil-free- made me break out really bad all over my face. After using a deep cleansing mask and a harsher facial scrub for a couple of days- my skin returned to normal. I wanted to be absolutely sure the bad reaction was the result of this product, so I applied it- and only the primer- to my face again. Sure enough, the same thing happened- and I had to scrap what was left in the tube while I cleared my skin up from the painful blemishes once more.

Would I Purchase?: No. While this may be an excellent foundation primer to those looking for all-day wear, I can’t use it. I don’t know exactly what it is that is causing such an adverse reaction, but I have to stay away from it. If anyone has any recommendations for other, similar primers- but won’t cause such bad breakouts- please let me know!

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Product # 5: IT Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil ($12)

Eyebrow products are tricky for me, because I’m fortunate enough to have brows that never seem to get too bushy and have a natural and noticeable arch to them. Even when I let them grow out for a few weeks, they sustain the arch and require a minimum amount of waxing/plucking around the edges. I rarely use pencils on them and only swipe a clear gel formula over a couple of stray hairs now and then until I can find the time to visit the spa. That’s really all I do for brow maintenance.

I decided to go for a darker brow look using this taupe twist-up pencil, which was thin enough to be very precise but not too thin where it would crumble or snap on contact. A little bit went a long way, and my brows looked fuller and darker with only a couple of light sweeps. I liked that a lot- and the other half of the pencil served as a mascara-like wand to comb everything into place. I liked that, too. While I don’t think I’d use this product every day, it’s a good thing to have on hand!

Would I Purchase?: Yes! This is definitely a product I would keep in my makeup bag for those days between waxings where my brows require just a little touching up or when I want them to look a darker and more defined. The pencil isn’t flimsy and the brush is very helpful at keeping hairs in place. The color is universal, too. It’s not too light and not too dark- so it’s perfect on me.

Oh dear. June’s Ipsy bag has found itself in the same territory as last month’s bag. I wasn’t impressed. At all. Sure, the bag itself is great and I liked the full-sized eyebrow pencil very much- but the lip stain was a mess (literally), the shadow stick was a pain, the primer broke me out- and then there was the issue with the barely filled body butter tube.

I don’t want to complain about a $10 a month service, because things could be a lot worse in terms of quality and quantity- but Ipsy has found itself in a slump as of late. They continue to stick with the same brands (some of which just aren’t good no matter what they send out,) the same type of products, or samples that are just poor quality overall. I understand I’m not paying a fortune for the bag every month- and that there are services that are FAR more expensive out there- but I’d like just a little more effort to keep me interested. Please!

I’m going to see how July’s bag compares to the last couple I’ve received and go from there. Here’s hoping it’s an improvement.

xx

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