Wednesday, July 26, 2017

July 2017 Ipsy Glam Bag Review - It's Gudetama!

What: Ipsy Glam Bag contains 5 deluxe samples and full sized beauty products in an exclusive makeup bag.
When: Glam Bags ship monthly on the 10th
Cost: $10/month (free shipping within the US)
Fun Extra: You can review your products each month to earn ipsyPoints which can be redeemed for bonus items.

You know it's going to be a fun month of Ipsy when the bubble mailer is so stuffed that there's packing tape holding it closed. In fact the bagspill photo above is even missing one of the items because I didn't notice it all scrunched up on the bottom of the mailer until later.


I'm sooo happy that Ipsy finally decided to team up with Sanrio. I'm even happier that they're featuring everyone's favorite lazy egg, Gudetama. Sanrio is one of those brands that you never grow out of because we all love cute stuff regardless of age, yes? And if anyone can make something cute, Sanrio can. I mean they somehow pulled off making a sunny side up egg look so adorable!


Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer in Park Ave Princess (0.11oz, $10) - I get that it's summer and the season's all about achieving that sunkissed glow, but right now I have bronzer coming out of my ears. However, I don't think I own one with shimmer. It's on the subtle side so you can go light or build up to an intense glow depending on the occasion.

Bella Pierre Cosmetics Banana Setting Powder - My first thought was "Omg, a powder made out of bananas?! Noms!" and then I realized how silly that sounds. No bananas here; the powder gets its name from its yellow tone, though I think it looks more peach to me. Either way, peach and yellow colors target purple shadows like those undereye circles you get when your dog keeps shoving you off the bed all night and you don't get a single wink of sleep. -_- You can use this as a powder concealer or even as an eyeshadow base.
Bella Pierre Banana Setting Powder

Pacifica Island Life Eyeshadow Palette - Ipsy first introduced me to this brand and it's grown to become one of my favorites. Their formulas are so creamy and subtle yet buildable and is exactly what I look for in an eyeshadow. And bonus: this palette is an Ipsy exclusive!

Swatches of the Pacifica Island Life palette (L-R: skinny dip, coral sand, golden, treasure, sandalwood).

Tonymoly I'm Real Lotus Sheet Mask and Green Tea Sheet Mask - One of these masks was smooshed waay down on the bottom of the bubble mailer and went unnoticed until I was just about to throw it away. *whew* good thing I did one last check. :) I love Tonymoly's cutesy product packaging and am pretty sure I act like a total kid in a candy store when I visit the Tonymoly shop in town. These sheet masks come from the I'm Real mask collection featuring all kinds of ingredients: avocado (nutrition), broccoli (vitality), lemon (brightening), tomato (radiance), and way more. The lotus variety pictured above illuminates and the green tea mask purifies skin.

Eau Thermale Avene Cleanance MAT Mattifying Toner - Yay, a toner made for oily skin! These last few months have been especially horrible to my already-oily skin and on any given day my face looks like an 8th grader just hitting puberty. This toner contains monolaurin to fight off oil-producing microbes and mattify your complexion (i.e. zaps the shine) so it's a good one to use before applying makeup. Heads up, though, it also has alcohol in it so make sure you use a moisturizer afterwards to prevent over-drying and subsequent amped-up oil production.


Also included was a mini mag announcing Ipsy's brand new Ipsy Cash program in which you earn cash back for buying your favorite cosmetics through the Ipsy website. You can opt to receive your "free" money in the form of a check or a Paypal deposit.

Verdict: Is it odd that my favorite thing in here is the makeup bag? I mean it was actually a pretty good haul this month, but I just really like Gudetama. It's not even going to be used to hold makeup; I just found a whole bunch of gel pens in my old desk drawer at my parents' house so those are going straight in the Ipsy bag. Coming in a close second is the eye shadow palette. I don't even know why I keep collecting them. I have so many even though I hardly wear makeup, but they're so pretty! And then there's the toner. I'm so ready to get rid of greasy-face Sheri. I'm also kind of interested in the Ipsy Cash program. I took a quick glance at what's available and there's a lot of stuff to choose from. The deals are pretty good, too - you get 20% cash back on most brands but it goes as high as 30%.

Sign up here to get started with Ipsy for just $10 per month. You'll get five items inside a fun makeup bag along with access to tons of online coupons for more goodies from the month's featured brands right from your account. And don't forget access to Ipsy Cash as well! 

Note: This post contains referral links. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Summer 2017 Walmart Beauty Box Review

    What: Walmart Beauty Box contains samples of beauty products from major drugstore brands. Multiple versions are available for different age groups - this review is for the Trendsetter box.
When: Ships once a season (March, June, September, and December)
Cost: The box itself is free, but there is a $5 flat shipping fee

Is it just me or is the year really flying by? It feels like only a few weeks ago that I received my spring Me Moment box in the mail. To be honest, I still haven't touched anything in that box because I'm still making my way through everything else I've accumulated over the months years. And then all of a sudden summer's box shows up! I should note that I do like these reusable boxes that Walmart has been sending lately. Their shipping boxes have always been on the sturdier side, but this is an actual box with a cover and minimal design so I can use it to neatly stash all my extras (*ahem* the tons of shampoos and lotion samples I've been getting) without it being an eyesore.

Speaking of shampoos...


Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Dream Care Shampoo & Conditioner - Pantene was the first shampoo/conditioner I picked out for myself growing up (I felt so independent and adult-like!) and I stuck with it all the way until I graduated from high school. I haven't used it since and it'll be nice to take a stroll down memory lane after all these years. This duo smells sooo good (but I find myself saying that for almost every shampoo and conditioner I come across). It's formulated to strengthen hair and lock in moisture to provide intense hydration to every strand.

Simple Cleansing Facial Wipes - You can never have too many wipes! I keep a pack in my purse, one at work, and I even stash one in my truck for dog park days and use them to wipe my dogs' feet before they jump inside. They're gentle enough so they don't irritate Macho's paw pads (or my face) yet effective in getting off the dirt. 

Schwarzkopf Got2b Ultra Glued Invincible Styling Gel - I don't really know much about anything when it comes to hair gel except that it's goopy and sticky based on the last time I tried using one over 20 years ago. I'm sure gels have come a long way since then, and apparently they're no longer sticky or flaky, as this one claims. Oh, I have much to learn.

imPress Press-On One-Step Gel Manicure in Climb Higher - I can't find this nautical design on Walmart's website, but there are similar ones on there that I want to get my hands on, like now. These are adhesive press-on nails that can fool people into thinking you just spent $50 on a pretty gel mani. They're also supposedly waterproof so you shouldn't be losing nails one by one each time you take a shower. I'm kind of curious to test this claim because the last time I used press-on nails (with a glue) they started falling off after three days and I'm pretty sure my husband was traumatized when he glanced at my hand and saw some fingernails missing :O

Ecotools Mask Remover Sponges - Am I so far removed from the beauty scene that I didn't know people use sponges to remove masks? All this time I've just been splashing water on my face to wash it off. These reusable sponges are made with wood pulp to cleanly remove facial masks while exfoliating your skin.

And finally, the obligatory foil samples. I was actually curious to try out the makeup brush cleaner to see how it compares to soap and water. Annnd I'd still choose soap and water. The whole mixing gel and water for each brush thing was just too labor intensive and I didn't think it cleaned my brushes as well as soap and water does anyway.

Verdict: If it weren't for the adhesive nails then this box would be a bust value-wise. Aside from the shampoo/conditioner and facial wipes, I won't be getting much use out of anything in here, but I will be heading to Walmart to see what other mani designs they have so I guess I could count that as a win. It wasn't nearly as impressive as the Me Moment box, though. I guess I'll wait and see what fall will bring!

You can subscribe to Walmart Beauty Box by clicking here. The fall boxes start shipping in September, so sign up soon to get your name in on time!

Note: All opinions contained within this post are my own. Post does not contain any referral links.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

July 2017 Stickii Club Cute Sticker Pack Review

 
 What: Stickii Club is a sticker subscription that sends an envelope full of Cute, Retro or Pop themed stickers every month (you choose which category when you sign up). This review is for the Cute pack.
When: Ships on the 11th or 22nd of each month depending on your signup date
Cost: $10 per month (free shipping to US; $1.25 to Canada, $2.00 to anywhere else)

It's July and that means BBQs and potlucks galore! Whoever said not to play with your food had no idea about kawaii food, which happens to be this month's Stickii Club theme for the cute sticker packs. In case you didn't know, kawaii literally translates to "cute" in Japanese. If you stick a face on pretty much any inanimate object you instantly make it kawaii, so it makes sense that Stickii sends kawaii stickers practically every month in their cute packs. This is definitely not the first time they've sent kawaii food stickers which could only mean that people love 'em (I know I do). 

First up are two sticker sheets that appear to be from the same artist. I don't know about you, but I love musubis and I'm going to have a hard time eating them without picturing a tiny little face on them every time I take a bite from now on...

Now these are classic kawaii food stickers over on the left. They've got the sparkly eyes and everything. Seriously, how can you look at that peach and frown? On the right side are Rilakkuma stickers. I'm not sure what they're doing in a food pack but he's grown on me over the past few months and will make a nice complement to my growing Rilakkuma washi tape collection.


It's nighttime now, but if you showed mose the watercolor popsicle stickers five hours ago when it was super sunny and hot outside, I probably would have tried eating them. No joke. And then there's those doughnuts. I just ate a birthday cake one he other day (it was DELICIOUS) so these puffy doughnut stickers are making my mouth water right now. Add that to my giggles from seeing the doggy stuck in one and I'm a drooling hot mess at the moment.

If you were to take a peek inside my Stickii Club sticker collection you would see that I organize them by category (because yes, I've accumulated quite the bunch since subscribing), and Food is by far the largest one. There's something about kawaii and food that go perfectly well together. Perfect example: Shopkins. The kids love them and parents have to secretly admit that they're kind of adorable.

If you like the cuteness but not the fact that Shopkins takes up so much precious space, click here to sign up for Stickii (which can be conveniently stored in a binder!) in time for next month's sticker pack. Choose from Cute, Retro or Pop packs, each for $10/month.


Note: No referral links were used in this post. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

June 2017 Ipsy Glam Bag Review

What: Ipsy Glam Bag contains 5 deluxe samples and full sized beauty products in an exclusive makeup bag.
When: Glam Bags ship monthly on the 10th
Cost: $10/month (free shipping within the US)
Fun Extra: You can review your products each month to earn ipsyPoints which can be redeemed for bonus items.


After May's spectacular glam bag, I had high expectations for June. Summer's in full swing and that means anything bright and bold is in, evidenced by June's "Volume Up" theme. That's a good thing because I've been (sort of) trying to get out of my comfort zone when it comes to clothes and makeup. Time to see what June's got in store!

Trust Fund Beauty Nail Polish in Game Changer (full size, 17ml, $15) - Talk about getting out of my comfort zone! This is a fluorescent coral that will surely catch the eye of any passersby. And that's perfect because my skin has been hating me lately and I've had nothing but breakout after breakout. I could definitely use something to distract from people staring at my blemish-y face. The photo doesn't do it justice - it dulls the color considerably. Do you remember those fluorescent crayons that we were crazy about in elementary school? Do you remember ultra orange? That's what it looks like.

theBalm Cosmetics Balm Springs Blush (0.8g, $3) - theBalm makes such pretty makeup and I'm almost never disappointed in how they look on my skin, but the samples are so tiny my brush can barely pick anything up. Size gripes aside, this is a lovely rose shade that will complement any skin tone. I usually have an issue with blushes being too pink, but this one's got some peach tones in there so it will do just fine with my warm skin tone.

Luna by Luna Eye Shadow in Jace (full size, 1.5g, $15) - If you want something to match the rose blush above, brush on some of this matte dusty rose eye shadow. It's a bit more peach than it looks in the photo above, but it's perfectly office-appropriate and will make a fantastic base for bolder colors when you go out for some drinks after work.

NYX Cosmetics Whipped Lip & Cheek Souffle in Plush (full size, 8ml, $6) - Summer's scorching hot and the last thing I want is heavy makeup that melts off my face. It's a good thing there's this lightweight mousse that doubles as a blush and lip color. And Plush is a nice neutral nude pink that can be used with an everyday look because I need something that I can use in this swealtering everyday heat.

BioRepublic Skincare Aloe Rescue & Green Tea Detox Fiber Sheet Masks ($5 each) - With all that sun exposure during that day your skin is probably screaming for some TLC. The Aloe Rescue mask contains loads of aloe vera juice which is perfect for soothing sun-damaged skin while the Green Tea Detox mask has tons of after-sun-friendly ingredients like green tea extract and vitamin E. Bonus: these masks are biodegradable, too.

Verdict: Maybe it was influenced by past bag reviews in my account, but for a bold summer Volume Up theme I expected a bit more, um, boldness in terms of color. While I do like the colors I got (lots of nudes) it keeps me in my comfort zone. The only crazy thing I got was the electric orange nail polish. But as far as product variation, it was a good spread; now I've got new things for eyes, lips, cheeks, nails, and some after-sun skin rescue.

Itching to try Ipsy? It's just $10 a month and you can sign up by clicking here. Each month you'll get five items inside a cute makeup bag and you'll have access to tons of online coupons for more goodies from the month's featured brands right from your account.

Note: This post contains referral links. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

June 2017 Stickii Club Cute Sticker Pack Review


 What: Stickii Club is a sticker subscription that sends an envelope full of Cute, Retro or Pop themed stickers every month (you choose which category when you sign up). This review is for the Cute pack.
When: Ships on the 11th or 22nd of each month depending on your signup date
Cost: $10 per month (free shipping to US; $1.25 to Canada, $2.00 to anywhere else)

Summer means sun, surf and sea. Creatures, that is. June's cute sticker pack theme is Sea Life, and this envelope was overflowing with it. Each sticker pack usually contains seven full-sized sticker sheets along with some sticker flakes so chances are you'll collect them faster than you can use them. That's my problem, anyway. They're so darn cute that I want to just stare at it and not use it.

Each month there's normally a fun extra thrown in. Past extras included bookmarks, wash tape and sticky notes, but more often it's a big sticker like it is this time around. A big octopus sticker. Octopuses (octopi?) are one of those animals that I think look so funny in real life but so freakin' adorable in cartoon form. Especially when they're anatomically incorrect like this guy and his duckface lips. Also, THOSE SEALS. I love cartoon seals. If and when I ever get a pet seal I'm gonna make a cartoon out of him.

More sea life, including some polar bear and penguin action. They do dive in the water so I guess that classifies them as sea life as well. Gah, don't you just love all the color here?!

What would a sea creature sticker pack be without whales? These are probably the cutest whales I've seen in my life. And remember what I said earlier about an extra thrown in? In addition to the octopus sticker, this month subscribers also got a sea creature paper clip! It'll be perfect for attaching my shopping list to my planner. Then there are those sharks; I've never seen them look so friendly. I've been hearing about so many shark attacks on the local news lately, it helps to look at these cuties and escape from reality for a bit.



If I had a penny for every sticker that I owned, I could probably afford a new car by now. Oh, how I wish you could exchange stickers for cash. Okay maybe not, because I'd have just as hard a time parting with all the cuteness, which explains why I have hoards of stickers to begin with. But seriously, I have way more than I could ever use. It's kind of like stamp collecting, you keep growing your collection knowing very well that you could be using them BUT YOU DON'T. Because collectors collect. Thanks, Stickii Club, for reigniting my sticker collecting tendencies. You can become a sticker collector (or user) too. Choose from Cute, Retro or Pop packs, each for $10/month. Click here to get signed up and ready in time for next month's sticker pack.


Note: No referral links were used in this post. All opinions are my own.