Ipsy is probably my all time favorite subscription service, tied closely with Love With Food. I frequently get full sized products from them and they're almost always exactly perfect for not only my skin tone/type/hair type, but also my personality. After taking a quick quiz to show them exactly what your style is, you're put on a waitlist. Eventually, you become an Ipsy subscriber and you can look forward to deluxe samples and full size products from brands like Cailyn, Nyx, tarte, Pixi, Elizabeth Mott, Be A Bombshell, OPI and many more!
The best part of this service for me however, is that every month instead of a box, you get a one of a kind makeup bag to contain all your goodies. I may do a post eventually showing my favorites I've received so far. They're always high quality, and have stunning detail. I haven't had a single one fall apart on me in any way. As a bonus, for every review you do, and product you share on Facebook you get ipsyPoints and once you rack up enough, you can get exclusive items as rewards. You also get major discounts on all the brands you receive items from. This service is well worth your money.
How much money exactly? A mere $10 a month. Ships across the US and it's territories, APO, DPO, FPO and Canada.
My bag arrived on August 13th, in perfect condition. It was exactly on schedule.
My opinion at first glance? I ADORE the print of this bag, and the color scheme. I was never much of a pink girl until my late teens, but I'm all about it now. I'm not big on hot pink, but with the black and white - it really stands out. Also, I've never been into high fashion, but I actually know this pattern is called Houndstooth because my best friend has an amazing eye for fashion, and linked me this outrageously expensive outfit once in the pattern. Any fashion terms or fabric terms I know, I owe to her. She has her own fashion/review blog you can find here if you're interested.
Now then, sorry for delay in posting and rambling - let's get onto what's inside!
AILA Nail Lacquer in the shade "Mister Pookies", $17 @ loveaila
This nail lacquer by AILA boasts being 100% vegan, paraben free, and cruelty free. Also it states it's gluten free, which I didn't even know was a thing. It claims to be chip resistant, and long lasting. So honestly, before I even tried it I was impressed and felt good about the product. I also loved the color straight away.
I applied the product in just a strip on my thumb, one coat, just to test how opaque it is and to see how true these claims of chip resistance are. The color is a beautiful grey-purple. It looks like a creamy grape soda, if that makes any sense at all. One coat gives full enough coverage you could just swipe and go. It dries fast, and I'm happy to say after a full day, I see no chipping. The only incident I had with it was when I accidentally shaved some off with a knife. Whoopsies.
All in all, this is a wonderful product. I love the color. I love the formula. I love that they're cruelty free. For $17 I still don't know if it's worth it to purchase another, when there's other brands out there that compare and are still pretty cheap, like Zoya - a personal favorite - coming in at a $9 price tag (but often on sale through various retailers). So I don't know if I'd pay for this, but it's nice to know the brand is out there and how wonderful it is. And maybe, who knows, I may buy another one day. They have lovely colors.
Hikari Cosmetics Lip Gloss in the shade "Merlot", $13.00 @ Hikari Cosmetics
This product boasts a high pigment, and I can say first hand it's correct in this statement. It's a rich, deep mauvey red and just a little goes a LONG way. The formula is thick, and sticky much like any normal gloss out there. I didn't leave it on long, I just wanted to see the color and consistency, so I can't tell if it's drying or not.
Now, Ipsy is usually fantastic about the quality of the products they include. But I feel like sometimes, they just get bought. A brand buys in to their service, and we get thrown it. This I feel is one of them. It contains multiple types of parabens, tons of synthetic dyes instead of natural plant based dyes which work just as well. Some of the dyes derive from insects and so this is most definitely not a vegan/cruelty free product. If you don't really care, that's totally fine. But for those who do, like myself, I wouldn't suggest this brand. The price of $13 is ridiculous for something so cheaply made. The bottle is probably the most expensive part about it, aside from production. Pacifica has an excellent lip gloss that's non sticky and has a wonderful formula and color payoff, for only $12. Alternatively, Etsy has TONS naturally made 100% vegan and organic products within that price range constantly. This gloss has a beautiful color, but being full of parabens and chemicals I'd rather not use it, or even give it to anyone unless they just don't care. This is a dud for me. The value would've been amazing otherwise.
Swissco Soft Touch Slant Tweezers in "Red", $10 (2 pack) @ SwisscoLLC
Honestly, this product was one of the best I received in this month's bag. It's practical, useful, the tweezers really do have a 'soft touch' coating that somehow is comfortable and protects from slipping at the same time. They allow you to be super precise, and honestly? They're pretty painless. I think it's the precision that aids in that. I find with most tweezers you end up grabbing too many hairs, or maybe the tip isn't wide enough or angled enough to get what you're looking for. Maybe your hands slip. Any number of things lead to more pain than you bargained for. So I really appreciate these.
Ultimately, they're well worth the price. I mean $10 for 2, both a full size and a mini, isn't bad at all -- and I've heard you can find these in singular packs at Walmart for comparable prices. I'm very pleased with this, and I feel useful items like these really add to the value of the bag.
Batiste Dry Shampoo in fragrance "Blush", $6-7 @ drugstore
So, ignore the terrible photo of this and the next product, please. There will be more details at the bottom of the post. With that being said, this is my 3rd Batiste dry shampoo I've received in recent months. I understand why, because on most surveys I put my hair type which is curly and I'm sure they're under the assumption I use tools such as straightening irons on my hair. Which I do, once in a blue moon. And I fully admit, dry shampoos are fantastic when my hair is straight. Because of the tugging from the iron, and how long it takes, typically my scalp over-produces oil. I think it thinks it's injured. Which it kinda feels like, at times :P and in the past, I've LOVED dry shampoos because they decrease the pain and agitation, and they keep the hair from re-curling from the over-production of oils. So I'm always happy to receive samples.
Now, I don't hate Batiste. I've used two of their products already, straightened my hair just to try them. The fact you can find them in drugstores and major retail stores is appealing, as is the price, but the one thing I've always disliked is the scents they carry. They often give me a headache, because I find them to be too perfume-y. I'm very sensitive to floral scents - and they love to use them. And Blush is no exception. However I was pleasantly surprised to find it didn't give me the typical migraine. I'd still stick to the original scent, if I ever use Batiste, because it's safe and I don't need all the fancy scents. But all in all, this is a solid product and it does exactly what you want it to. And it tames even the oiliest of hair.
Starlooks Pro Luxe Longwear Eye Liner Pen, $19 @ Starlooks
There's not a lot to say about this product -- it's your typical black felt tip eyeliner pen. It's precise, and perfectly angled so even beginners can figure out after 1-2 applications how to get the perfect wing. It doesn't seem to be waterproof, because after a day out in Texas' heat (100 Fahrenheit) it DID melt a little. I assume that's just natural skin oils working it off. So, honestly, if you use setting sprays or powders and blot for excess oil it might have a MUCH longer staying power.
It's a bit expensive, from my personal perspective. I've found plenty of pens I like in/around the $10-12 range -- so this is really nothing special that warrants $19. But other people may feel otherwise. The formula is very nice, it goes on smooth, it doesn't dry out the skin or feel foreign on the skin like some eyeliners can. It's not too wet where it easily smudges. Not too dry where it snags. It's a good pen. Just depends on your personal preferences, I suppose. It's nice to have, though, for the time being. I enjoy the product, and the value it added to my bag.
And that's all she wrote! Sorry for some of the lower quality pictures and how late this review came -- my camera's batteries wore out right when we were preparing for guests to arrive, and I put cleaning and shopping for them over blogging for a bit. But I can assure you, September's posts will be in much better quality and on time. I already have Birchbox and Ipsy in the works. Awaiting the arrival of my Love With Food and Bocandy, currently.
If you're at all interested in this service, feel free to use my referral link you surely found multiple times in this post already, but you can find again here. Remember there is often a waitlist, and in my experience with friends and family it generally takes about a month for them to get to you. You'll (in my experience) be immediately charged when they finally clear you, so be prepared for that coming out at any given time. But honestly, they're worth every cent in my humble opinion. Thanks for stopping by!