Monday, July 21, 2014

Ipsy July 2014: Here Comes the Sun

For those of you just tuning in, Ipsy is a beauty subscription service. For $10 a month, Ipsy sends 4 - 5 surprise beauty products to your door in a cute cosmetics bag. They even mail it all in a sparkly pink envelope! Seeing that envelope in my mailbox always makes me jump up and down like a little kid. If you like trying new things, Ipsy is for you.

How was your weekend? I was happy to take a break from painting to try my new stuff from Ipsy. Did you get a good bag this month? Mine was kind of a bummer at first glance, because I didn't get any full size products. And I was NOT thrilled to receive cheap tanning oil. The last time I laid out was, um, never! But I liked getting a Bare Minerals product and a rich, inky blue nail polish. I feel like Ipsy's choices for me haven't been on target lately. Ipsy Match, the system Ipsy uses to match products to each subscriber's preferences, seems confused. I wonder if they changed their algorithm? Anyway, here's the value breakdown for this bag:

Total Value: $47.22
Ipsy Price: $10.00

But I know what you're thinking: Is this stuff any good?

The Bare Minerals BB Cream Eyeshadow is supposed to be a primer and eyeshadow in one, with some woo-hoo fancy skin care properties. The color I received is too dark for me to use as an all-over primer, but it's a good neutral brown for everyday use on the lid and/or in the crease. I don't usually like cream eyeshadows, because I often make mistakes when smearing them on. And this formula is more matte than the eye colors I usually wear. But I'm very impressed by its staying power. This is a waterproof formula that holds up to rain and still looks good 10+ hours after application, even in gross Tennessee humidity. I give it an A+ for summer wear.

I'm not impressed by Pixi Beauty's lip balm, because it's really just a weakly tinted mood lipstick. Yeah, this is one of those "Magically changes to a unique color! Just for YOU!" products. It goes on clear, and it's supposed to change color based on your skin's pH. On me, it becomes a weak bubblegum color that I'd call "Adolescent Pink." On the plus side, it has a super smooth texture. But when I want a tinted balm, I generally want a more saturated (and sophisticated) color than I get from this.

The wHet nail polish is a huge hit with me. I love it. The color is a super-saturated lapis lazuli blue that gets richer and darker with each coat. The formula is thin and very easy to control during application. I found that three was the magic number; three coats gave me an opaque, rich blue that I loved. With a topcoat, it didn't chip for two days. I like to do projects that are hard on my nails, so a manicure that lasts two days is very good for me.

The BeFine moisturizer with SPF is nearly full size and worth more than $20. In fact, nearly half the bag's value comes from this one product. The moisturizer itself is not interesting. It's not too thin or too creamy. It doesn't have the odd smell or separation issues you often find with products that don't contain preservatives (nice). It smells like sunscreen... because it contains sunscreen. Yawn. Here's the part that is interesting: The brand is vegan and not tested on animals. They use no preservatives, fragrances, or parabens. They do use food ingredients in their products. I haven't seen any scientific studies proving that the topical application of pomegranates or almonds makes you look better. But as long as it doesn't hurt, I don't mind.

The Hang Ten tanning oil is probably going to sit in a drawer until 2017, and then it will get thrown away in the middle of a cleaning frenzy. I've told Ipsy that I don't use tanning products, ever, but the Ipsy Match system seems off lately. Have you noticed the same issue? There were other things in this month's bag that sounded fantastic to me: The Benefit mascara, Elizabeth Mott cheek and lip tint, and Big Sexy Hair Get Layered flash dry spray would've been welcome in my bag. Did you get them? Want to trade? *bats eyelashes* Please?

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