Monday, October 21, 2013

'Ip, 'Ip, 'Ooray!: October Ipsy Unboxing

Dear Lord, this month is flying by. It's ten days until Halloween. That's insane, y'all.

Over the weekend, my October ipsy bag made it in, and I thought I'd share what was sent. For those just joining us, ipsy (formerly myglam) is a monthly beauty sample subscription service. For ten bucks a month (less, if you sign up for multiple months at a time), you'll receive a makeup bag filled with four or five deluxe- to full-sized beauty products to play with, as well as a list of discounts to the participating brands. There's always a theme, and this month's was "The Art of Beauty". I was hoping for a Halloween-y, or at least, Fall-ish theme, but I'm actually surprisingly pleased with this choice.

No, the stuff isn't floating. I have a glass-top table, and didn't realize how weird that looked until just now. Oops.
This month, I received a full-sized Zoya nail polish, a most-likely deluxe-sample size of Be Delectable by Cake Beauty hand cream, a travel-sized set of La Fresh face wipes, a deluxe-sample size of Buxom lip polish, a deluxe-sample size of Big Sexy Hair Blow Dry Volumizing Gel, and, of course, the makeup bag.

The bag contents vary from person to person, but each subscriber received a Zoya polish in either Mason (fuschia), Neve (navy), or Giovanna (emerald). I ended up with Giovanna, and did a slap-dash manicure so I could show you swatches. Please forgive the god-awful job I did on these nails. There's not even a topcoat.

The color is what I would call a classic Christmas green. Emerald is the color of the year, and supposedly a hot hue for Fall, but you could definitely wear this one well into the holiday season. The formula is a little messier than I usually find with Zoya. It's very opaque, but I did notice some streaking, and sort of felt like I had to glob it on. It does look fantastic on, though, and seems resistant to chipping. I'll have to let you know for sure after a few days. Here, I'm wearing it with Deborah Lippman's Happy Birthday glitter on the accent nail. Above is an indoor shot, and below is in natural light.

Terrible manicure; gorgeous color.

Since we're talking about hands, let's move on the hand cream. I'd never heard of this brand, but I simply adore the scent. I got Coconut & Cream, and it smells exactly like coconut custard pie. I mean, exactly. That was one of my grandmother's favorite desserts, and she and I were the only ones in the family who liked it. This lotion stirs up a ton of memories, so for that, I give it two thumbs up. On it's own merits, though, as a hand's okay. It's about on par with Bath and Body Works, but not anywhere near as hydrating as the Eucerin my husband uses. Then again, this smells a heckuvalot better, so I guess it's a trade-off.
My camera hates shiny.
I was so excited to get this!! Buxom, as those of you who have been following for a while may know, is one of my all-time favorite brands for both lip gloss and mascara. Buxom lip polish in Clair is one of the very few glosses I've ever used up! This gloss is in the shade Dolly, which is a dusty mauve with itty-bitty, eensy-weensy, teeny-tiny gold shimmers. On me, with my day-glo white skin, it shows up as a shade or two darker than the natural flush my lips make when they've pressed together for a bit. On medium-light skin and darker, this would make a gorgeous nude. Already, this has become one of my go-to Fall lip colors.

The color is stunning, but the formula can be a deal-breaker for a lot of folks. It's a slightly sticky (stickier than E.L.F. mineral gloss, but nowhere near as sticky as MAC lipglass), super shiny, plumping gloss. There is a definite sting to this gloss when you apply it. It feels kind of like Icy/Hot, where it's ice cold, but still sort of burns. It can be uncomfortable to some people. I don't mind it, but I would recommend trying a sample size before plunking down the cash for a full version. It does earn points with me for smelling like vanilla mint.

Big Sexy Hair has been almost omni-present in ipsy bags, here lately. I've gotten three or four items since I joined in April, and I think that's the most repetition I've had of a brand. I certainly don't mind, because everything I've tried has been wonderful, but I feel like I need to put that out there for those trying to decide on subscribing.

This is hair gel. It looks like hair gel. It smells like hair salon (you know what I'm talking about). You run it through damp hair and blow dry. On paper, this is nothing special. In practice, it's freaking awesome. I've blown my hair dry with all sorts of gels, but this one gave me more volume alone than my other gels and mousses combined. I actually had to figure out how to de-pouf it before I could leave the house. I'm not 100% sold on it, but I'm definitely keeping my eye on this.

And then we have the La Fresh wipes. I just...I just really don't like these. I do like that they're oil-free. I do like that they're mostly natural and good for the environment. I don't like that they burned and didn't remove my makeup. I'm sure there are people out there who love them, and I'd be happy to try something else from this brand. I'm just not digging these wipes in particular. Maybe I can use them for removing swatches, or something like that.

Finally, here's the monthly makeup bag. It's a plain white bag made from an almost-rubberized fabric that I could not identify if my life depended on it. The bag is trimmed with a dark pink zipper, and bears an uncredited quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson. According to ipsy, the bag is mostly bare so that subscribers can add their own designs. It's a cute idea. I'm not going to do it, but I like the reasoning.

In conclusion, I thought this month's offerings hit a home run. Flat-out. For giggles, I'll leave you with a laughably horrible, low-res selfie I snapped a couple of hours after what I'm dubbing "The Volumizing Incident of 2013". By this point, I'd brushed and pinned it into submission, but the bangs were still standing out from my forehead, and the crown was a good inch higher than my scalp. I felt just like one of those poor kids on Toddlers & Tiaras, and I didn't even have to use my teasing comb. Where is my teasing comb, anyway? Huh...I probably need to find that...

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