Friday, January 17, 2014

'Ip, 'Ip, 'Ooray!: January Ipsy Unbagging

Does everybody know what time it is? IT'S TOOL TIME! Er,, it's actually ipsy unbagging time. First, the usual explanation:


ipsy (yes, it's all lowercase) is a monthly sample subscription service. Every month, for the cost of ten dollars, you'll receive 4-6 deluxe- and/or full-sized beauty-related products and a makeup bag. There's always a theme, and this month's was "19 Reasons", as in "19 Reasons" 2014 is going to be the best year ever. The 19 referred to the number of possible brands they were sending out, but a 20th was added at the last minute...whoops...

Anyhoo, that's the deal. I pay for this. They, most likely, don't know this blog exists, so I'm not shilling for them. All opinions are mine and mine alone.

*end of spiel*

Let's see what we got!

This month was really skincare heavy. Normally, ipsy is more color cosmetic-centric, and the change was a little surprising. I dig skincare, though, so bring it on!

First, let's check out the bag. This month is a bright blue (the camera is muting the color. This is a true "healthcare" kind of blue. Think: Blue Cross blue) with lind drawings of cosmetic bottles. The fabric is a thick, plastic-y material, and looks like it would be fairly water-resistant. It smelled like a beach ball, but airing out has faded that considerably. I think it's kind of cute.

The bag has a zip closure with the ipsy logo embossed on the pull. Again, I like this one. It's not the most glamorous of bags, but it'll go well with the other travel bags I have for shoes and laundry.

The first product on the block is this Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Dry Shampoo. Retail price: $22.00. Sample value: 88 cents.

Yeah...this is a disappointment. Not the product, so much, as the size. I love dry shampoo, but I'm honestly not sure I can get a single use out of this. The bottle is small, but there's also a lot of empty space on the inside. I'm just going to call this a miss and move on.

Next up, Absolute! Make-up Cleansing Tissues with Cucumber Extract. Retail price: $2.49 for 10. Sample value: $2.49.

Okay, now we're talking. I haven't tried these yet, but face wipes are generally welcome in my house. If I can't use them, maybe Thomas can, or they can go in my kit. In any case, they're getting used.

Moving on! Pure Marula Facial Oil. Retail price: $58.00. Sample value: $3.92.

This is a small sample, but that's okay because you don't need a lot for each application. This little guy should last long enough for me to decide if I like it or not. The spray applicator is a really nice touch. I can see this coming in handy on road trips, when the combination of recycled car air-conditioning and dry hotel rooms love to wreak havoc on my skin.

On to the next! Elizabeth Mott Smooth Shadow Pencil in Penny. Retail Price: $14.99. Sample value: $7.00.

This was a pleasant surprise! I'm an eye makeup junkie, so a shadow pencil is right up my alley. This pencil is exactly the color of a penny--not just some vague shade of copper. I found that it applied smoothly and easily, and could be used as either a very sheer, glittery shadow, or as a light liner. I haven't tried it as a shadow, mainly because I'm not sure how to apply it, exactly. The pencil is the size of an eyeliner pencil, and not like the chubby pencils you think of when you think "shadow pencil". As a liner, however, it added a pretty pop of color and shimmer, and didn't budge when worn all day.

Here's a swatch of Penny sheered out, and used as a liner. You can see that neither are super dark, but that's not due to lack of pigmentation. It's just a very light color. The product has a very creamy consistency, and once set, it's set.

(Please ignore my brows. I've been letting them grow in a bit. They're getting cleaned up this weekend. My apologies.) This shows Penny on my lower lash line. There's just a hint of sparkle and color. The rest of my look is W.O.S., Naked 2, and Faint shadows from Urban Decay Naked Basics, and the Naked Basics pencil in Crave on top lash line, and the same pencil in Venus (double-ended pencil) in the inner corner. Mascara is Maybelline The Rocket. Brows are Anastasia Brow Wiz in Brunette and Brow Gel in clear. You know, in case you were interested.

Lastly, we have Mica Beauty Cosmetics Tinted Lip Balm in Natural. Retail price: $30.00. Sample value: $18.75.

This is just a shame. Let me preface this by saying that the Mica lip balm and the Cailyn lip balm that I received in an earlier bag are the exact same product. Seriously. Compare the websites, if you don't believe me. They have the same product names and numbers, same packaging (save for this sample version), different prices. This same product from Cailyn is only $19.00. Now, let me also say that I really liked my Cailyn lip balm in Big Apple, but only for the color. Big Apple is a pin-up red, but viewed through a soft focus lens. The balm's texture keeps the color from looking too harsh. Also, the red stains your lips a bit, so you can go over the color with an actual lip balm, if you so choose.

Okay, now that that's out of the way...I don't like this. The texture is strange. It feels like it would be creamy, until you put it on your lips. Then, it's matte and dry and kind of gritty. It also only lasted about thirty minutes before fading in patches. The color, however, is gorgeous, and that's what makes this a shame. ipsy nailed finding a flattering color for me, though, which gives me hope that maybe ipsymatch is beginning to kind of, sort of, maybe work? Maybe? Please?

When the color started to fade away, I grabbed my go-to lippie from my purse to touch it up. This is the Em Cosmetics Creamy Color Sheer Lipstick in Nude, and also from an ipsy bag. The two looked so similar, I had to compare.

The top swatch is Mica, and the bottom swatch is Em. They're not identical, of course. The Mica is much more opaque, and the Em is sheer and shiny. Also, the Mica is pinker, where the Em leans more toward orange. Still, they are very similar. Of the two, I'd recommend the Em, and it's only $16.50, compared to either $30.00, even $19.00 for the Cailyn. Of course, E.L.F. also has a tinted lip balm in Nude, that is far superior to the Mica/Cailyn in creaminess, longevity, and moisturization, and you can get it for a whole two bucks. I don't have a swatch of it, but it's, again, very similar, but not quite identical. The only difference in packaging (from the sample) is that the E.L.F. has a white lid. There is nothing to justify a $30.00 price tag. Nothing.

Total value of the bag: $33.04
Price paid: $10.00

The shadow pencil, wipes, and Marula oil made this bag worth the money. I'm really looking forward to using those items. The way I look at it, three out of five ain't bad.

Do any of you get ipsy? What'd you think this month? Please share with the rest of the class in the comments.

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