Tuesday, September 17, 2013

'Ip, 'Ip, 'Ooray: September Ipsy Unboxing

Good Lord, this year is flying by! I saw kids at Party City picking out costumes for Homecoming Week already. That's just not right. Anyhoo, here's what came in my September Ipsy bag. For those of you just joining us, Ipsy is a beauty subscription service. For ten bucks a month, you receive a (generally) cute little makeup bag filled with full-sized and deluxe sample (read: travel) sized beauty products. It's a lot of fun, and a pretty darn good deal. Now, onto the goodies!

This month's makeup bag is precious. The material isn't the best (scratchy taffeta/satin/cheapo), but the print is super cute. I honestly consider the bag to be an extra, so it doesn't really bother me if it's not the most durable. It'll be handy to toss in a purse. Besides, like my mom always said, it's what's inside that really counts, right?

First up are a trio of Freeman paper masks: Purifying, Brightening, and Hydrating. As you probably noticed, I already tried the pink brightening one, and I have to say, I'm torn. I really like the idea of a (theoretically) mess-free mask, and I saw some very encouraging results. My skin felt smooth and soft, and I seemed less dull. Unfortunately, the application was miserable. The paper mask comes out of the package dripping wet. There were little pink splotches all over my sink and countertop. It's attached to a paper backing, so I first tried applying the mask side to my face, while leaving on the backing, so I could peel it away. That went...poorly. So, I peeled off the backing and tried to apply the mask directly to my face, and the edges kept folding up on themselves like cling wrap. Finally, I got Thomas to help me hold open the edges, and it still took some fiddling to get the mask unfolded and on my face. Then, it didn't fit right. The eyeholes are entirely too close together (Thomas said they weren't meant for humans). Worst of all, the fumes from the mask hurt my eyes. I had to take it off sooner than I would have liked, simply because I couldn't see. I've still got two more to try, and I hope they fare better. I really, really, really love the concept.

Next up, a Starlooks kohl eyeliner pencil in Obsidian (black). I like this a lot. It's soft, blendable, and dark, so it's great for a smoky look. I've also used it as I would a regular black liner, and had very little smudging; just a little fallout on the corners. Now, I'm really more of a gel pencil kind of girl, but I can't complain about the quality of the pencil. It's pretty darn great.

This is a dandy little mascara. It's So Big by Elizabeth Mott is very natural looking, but does give considerable volume and length. Yes, I did need to use two coats, and yes, I did have to contend with some easily-fixed spider lashes, but there was no smudging. It isn't waterproof, though, in case that's a dealbreaker. I'm still sticking with my Buxom, but if you're on the market for a slightly less dramatic mascara, this is a good one to consider.

Alright, here's a NYX eyeshadow in Charcoal. NYX does a great shadow, and this is no exception. It's a lovely color, nicely pigmented, and I haven't experienced any fallout. I did, however, see some patchiness in application and a little creasing, but I'm blaming that on my new primer. I'm pretty sure I hate this primer... Here's a shot of the shadow, mascara, and liner in action:

I used a little Tarte bronzer in Park Avenue Princess in the crease, and the Anastasia highlighter pencil in the inner corner. The rest is all Ipsy. I actually wore this look to a film festival that was screening a short that Thomas and I produced. It looked really nice and classic, which is appropriate considering the theme of this month's bag was Classic Beauty.

Lastly, here's my favorite item from the bag, a Cailyn Tinted Lip Balm in Big Apple. First of all, I adore the packaging. It's identical, save for the color, to the Cailyn gel liner I received a few months ago. The brush is housed in the lid, which makes this perfect for popping in your purse. Second of all, the color is glorious. It's a classic matte red, and extremely pigmented, but the effect this product leaves on your lips is a softer, slightly undone red. It's less harsh than a red lipstick, and just a little sexier and more wearable. I would not, however, call this a lip balm. Nosireebobhowdy. It's a tinted lip color. Or a tinted lip stain (it does stain a bit). It's not a balm. It's not moisturizing. It's not creamy. It's kind of dry, and you might want to carry a lip balm with you for top offs. That said, the color and finish are worth any aggravation. Here's a shot of it:

Love. It's a fairly long-wearing product, as well. I've had to touch up the very center of my lips, but rarely much more than that, even after eating and drinking.

Finally, here's a look I put together using all of the products in the bag (except the face masks, obviously). I appreciate that Ipsy sent products that could be pulled together to create a look, and I hope that's a trend they keep up. Maybe my bag was just a fluke, but if not, that's a really cool and thoughtful idea.

Well, that does it for this month's bag. If you're interested in joining Ipsy, here's my reference link. Full disclosure: I do get points for people who sign up using my link. However, that's not nearly enough incentive to affect my reviews. My opinions are unbiased. If I think a product (or entire bag) is less than wonderful, I'll tell you. If I love it, I'll tell you that, too. That's me; honest to a fault.

Now, what should I use this bag for? Any ideas? Leave them in the comments.

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