Friday, June 27, 2014

Sinful Colors - Tidal Wave

This is one of three Sinful Colors shades I currently have.  I purchased the first one, a pink called Beautiful Girl, but didn't love the color with my skin tone.  I hadn't bought another Sinful Colors polish since then, but was lucky enough to receive both Tidal Wave and Ocean Side for free from Pinch Me which is an online sample site that releases new samples about once a month (their next sample release date is July 15th).

Indoors, Natural Light

Tidal Wave is a pale blue creme polish.  It is somewhat similar to Essie's Borrowed and Blue but has a paler tone and I actually like Tidal Wave more shade wise.

The formula was really good on this one, opaque in two coats and smoothed out well, but I struggled with the brush which had some uneven and bent bristles.  I was impressed with the wear time, I had a little tip wear but didn't see my first chips until day 5 and kept it on for 7, which is a very long wear time for me.  I haven't tried Ocean Side yet, but will soon and am curious to see if I'll have the same results.

Outside, Shade

All pictures are 1 coat of Nailtiques Formula 2 Plus, 1 coat of Essie Grow Stronger, two coats of polish, and a top coat of NYC In a New York Minute in Grand Central Station.

Outside, Sunlight

Friday, June 20, 2014

Ipsy - June 2014

I finally received my June Ipsy bag in the mail yesterday, shipping took several days longer than normal this month.  From the spoilers and Glam Room reveal of the products I received I have to say I was probably the least excited about this bag so far in the 4 months I've been getting Ipsy.  However I will use most of what I got, and the bag itself is nice so it still wasn't really a disappointment.

June's theme is Pretty In Paradise and all subscribers received 5 products.  There were a lot of potential bag variations and Ipsy had said this bag would be more makeup heavy than May's but there were still quite a few of skin and hair care items in the mix.

The first item I received was a Nyx Butter Gloss, which was the only item included in all bags, though with different colors.  I already own 4 of these glosses and plan on reviewing them on the blog soon because I love them.  The odds were against me to try a new color from Ipsy because 2 of the 3 they sent out I already own, and I got Creme Brulee which is one that I have.  I'm okay with owning a backup of it though since I use this color often.  This is a full size gloss worth $5.

The second item in my bag was the Be a Bombshell Lashout Mascara.  I wasn't too excited about it because I already have a couple of unopened black mascaras, but I figured I'd at least try it out eventually.  However, I started reading on Facebook and the Makeup Talk boards about it having a bad smell so I opened it when it came and sure enough it smells terrible.  Be a Bombshell has posted that they ran separate tests on the batch and it is safe to use but I wouldn't use any product that smells this bad so it unfortunately went into the trash.  I liked the Be a Bombshell eyeshadow I got in March so I don't dislike the brand overall but I'm surprised they would sell a mascara like this.  This is listed as their lengthening mascara and I received a 9 gram full sized product worth $15.

Next up was a .16 oz sample of Realtree Beauty Realtree for Her perfume.  I'm not much of a perfume wearer but this has a nice sweet scent so I tried it out when it came.  Unfortunately it still gave me a headache as many perfumes do so it's not for me, but that's not Realtree's fault, just my own allergies so I'll pass this on to someone who will use it.  This sample size is worth approximately $1.18.

The fourth item I received was a full sized .4 oz Ofra Universal Eyebrow Pencil.  This is advertised as being perfect for all skin tones, but swatches as a brown color.  This works find for me since I have brown hair and even darker eyebrows but I can't see it working for someone with blond or red hair.  I have I couple of other products I use for my brows but this is a nice soft pencil and I will use it up eventually.  This brow pencil is worth $13.

The final item in my bag was the Marc Anthony Dream Waves Beach Spray.  This is the item I am actually most excited for out of the bag.  I've been wanting to try a spray like this but didn't want to spend the money in case it doesn't work for my hair.  I haven't had a chance to use this yet but it has a light pleasant coconut scent and the full size 4.2 oz product is only $8.79 so it's affordable if I want to repurchase it.  The sample size I received is 1.52 oz which makes it worth $3.18.

The bag this month is cute and was designed by Rebecca Minkoff.  It's not completely my style but will be fun for summer and I really like that Ipsy partnered with a higher end designer.  It even has a Rebbeca Minkoff tag on it so it looks like one you could purchase, and Rebbeca Minkoff items are quite pricey.  As usual though I won't include the bag in my overall estimate for the month.

While June's products weren't the most exciting for me the only fail was the stinky mascara.  The overall value of this bag was $37.36.  Even if I take out the $15 for the mascara that went in the trash it's still worth $22.36 which is more than double the $10 price I pay each month.  If you'd like to sign up for Ipsy you can do so using my referral link here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Mineral Fusion Nail Polish Coral Reef

As I mentioned in a previous post where I reviewed Glint of Mint, I purchase Mineral Fusion's Coral Reef polish during an Ulta buy one get on free sale.  I have a few other coral polishes, but it's also one of my favorite nail polish shades so I decided one more couldn't hurt.   I'm glad I picked it up because it's actually a bit more of a pink toned than my other corals.

Inside, Natural Light

Coral Reef is a bright pinky-coral creme polish and actually seems to lean a bit into the neon color scheme. The inside photos make it look more orange than it is, I would say the shade photos are more true to color

Outside, Shade

Outside Shade

Mineral Fusion Polishes are formaldehyde, toulene, camphor and dibutyl pthalate free.  As I said last time the cap can be a bit awkward to get used to but the formula is good and it was opaque in two coats.  My nails have been a bit damaged lately so in addition to my normal routine I've started to use Nailtiques Formula 2 Plus under my basecoat.

All photos include a coat of Nailtiques, a coat of Essie Grow Stronger, two coats of polish, and a top coat of NYC In a New York Minute in Grand Central Station.  This may seem like a lot of polish but when I took this off after 5 days of wear I did notice my nails were already looking a little better. I've read great reviews of the Nailtiques so I plan to continue using it as a first coat.  I'll do a full review on the Nailtiques after I've been using it a bit longer.

Outside, Sunlight

*Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links*

Monday, June 16, 2014

Beauty Box 5 - June 2014

June is my second month receiving Beauty Box 5.  I received my first month free and  I wasn't blown away by it I decided to give it a try for another month.  While it's not nearly as good of a value for the cost as my Ipsy subscription I do like how consistent they are with shipping.  When you sign up for a BB5 subscription they say you'll receive a tracking email by the 8th of the month and for both months so far that I've been a subscriber I have received my e-mail by the 8th and the box has already been several days into the shipping process.  That said, they do ship DHL to USPS so it still took until today for me to receive my box.

As I said last month Beauty Box 5 only releases one spoiler a month so the rest of the box is a surprise.  This months spoiler was a full sized Nicka K New York nail polish in either a Lavender or Ripe Apple. I got the color Ripe Apple (the strange thing is that I can't find the name of the polish anywhere on the bottle, I just know it from the spoiler), which is nice but not very summery to me so I probably won't be wearing it soon.  I did swatch it onto a nail swatch stick though and the formula seems decent, it is a pretty red creme polish with what seems to be very slight blue undertones.  Nicka K is also a formaldehyde free polish.  The value of this polish is $4.99.

The second item in my box was a 2 oz sample bottle of Vita Bath body wash in Wild Red Cherry.  Vita Bath body washes are free of propylene glycol, mineral oils, and silicone.  I've tried a little foil packet sample of their Dreamy Pink Frosting scented bodywash and liked it so I'm expecting that this will be a similar formula.  There is definitely a strong cherry scent to this bodywash and it's a great size for travel.  The value of this sample is $1.33.

Next I received a foil packet sample of Organix Coconut Water shampoo and conditioner.  Organix is sulfate free and I currently use and love their Tea Tree and Mint shampoo and conditioner, so I'm happy to try another product in their line.  However, I am pretty disappointed in the size of the sample, they're quite small foil packets like the ones that companies frequently send out for free.  I'll only get one use out of these packets which makes it difficult to tell if it's something I like enough to repurchase.  I would have preferred receiving a little one or two ounce bottle, even if it meant just getting either the shampoo or the conditioner instead of both.  The foil packet size made this extremely difficult to value so I'm going to go with $1 (the full 13 oz size bottles retail for $7.99).

 Fourth was a sample sized tube of Glam Natural mascara.  This is mascara is listed as gluten-free, paraben-free, hypoallergenic, and vegan, which is great because I love trying more natural products.  The wand looked practically empty when I pulled it out, but there was some mascara on it when I swiped it on my hand, it just seems to be a very light formula.  This might work okay for me as I have long, dark lashes on my own so for daytime I don't like heavy mascaras.  The full .25 oz size of this is $28 but there is no size listed on the sample tube.  It doesn't look to be even quite half of full to me, so I'm going to estimate 1/3 of the full size and give it a value of $9.33.

Finally in my box I received 4 foil packet samples of the Elsor Introductory Collection Calming Kit, which is a paraben free skincare line.  From the description card it looks like there was supposed to be a foil packet for each of the 4 products, Soothing Refiner & Cleanser, Replenishing Scrub, Comforting Mask, and Soothing Cream.  However, I received 2 Soothing Cream packets and no Soothing Refiner & Cleanser.  I'll try these out but again it's small foil packets that I'll only get one use out of each, so aside from the cream which I'll be able to try twice it will be hard to tell if these are actually worth a purchase.  They are also quite expensive in full size, ranging from $28 to $65.  Again foil packets are difficult to value so I'll give these a $4 estimate, $1 for each packet.  This may seem cheap but there is very little product in each packet.

Overall this wasn't a very exciting box for me, I'll try everything but the number of foil packets was disappointing because these are so similar to samples I get quite a few of for free.  I've come to a total estimated value of $20.65, which is more than the $12 I paid but several of the values were just guesses.  I'm going to give them one more month to see if the third times a charm, but unless it's a lot better than this month I'll be cancelling after that.  One nice thing this month is that they sent out little cards in the box with a new subscriber discount code to share.  If you'd like to try Beauty Box 5 just use the code FREE614 to get your first box free (it will sign you up for a monthly subscription so you'll need to remember to cancel if you don't want to continue receiving it after your free box).  This code will also work for $12 off a quarterly or annual subscription if you want to use it that way, which would bring an annual sub all the way down to $7.25/month.  If you would like to sign up I also have a referral link here, you'll still be able to enter the free box code at checkout.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ipsy - May 2014

I know it's really late to be posting my May Ipsy bag, but my bag was delivered after we'd already left for a vacation on May 17th so I didn't actually have it until we returned home on the 27th.  I did manage to schedule a couple of posts for while we were on vacation but then once we got home jet lag/plain laziness set in and I failed to post the Ipsy bag or anything else, so I'm going to try to be more consistent with the posting going forward.  The upside to the late posting of May's Ipsy bag is that I've actually tried all of the products since I've been home.

May's theme was "Fresh Picks" and was more skin/hair care focused than their bags typically are.  I did see on Ipsy's website and Facebook page that some people that were upset that their wasn't much makeup in this bag, but I'm okay with this once in a while as the makeup samples multiply quickly when you're getting a monthly sub.  There were also a huge variety of products available this month so there were a lot of different bag variations.

The first product in my bag was a Pacifica eyeshadow duo.  These were made exclusively for Ipsy out of 2 colors from Pacifica's 4 color palettes and every subscriber received one this month in one of two shade combinations.  I received the pink/brown Celestial & Opal duo but there was also a purple and white duo with the colors Moonbeam & Unicorn.  I've used the shadow a few times and they are okay, but not highly pigmented even with primer.  In order to get a good swatch on my arm I had to lay them on pretty thick so they aren't very smooth swatches and the pink shade blends with my arm.  I will, however, still use them over the summer for light makeup days.  I estimated the cost of the duo based on weight compared to the full sized palette and got a value of $5.

Next I received a 0.5 oz sample tube of Jersey Shore Sun Sans Tan Anti-aging Sunscreen.  It's SPF 35, which is a little low for me and my pale skin, but I figured I'd still use up the small tube.  However since it is primarily a zinc sunscreen it does have a very white cast to it.  I put it on my face before walking the dog the other day and ended up looking like a ghost, so if anything I'll use this on my shoulders but not my face. These sized tubes are generally sold in a two pack for $25 so despite the relatively small size this single tube has a value of $12.50.

My third item was a sample of Derma e microdermabrasion scrub.  I received a dr. brandt microdermabrasion sample last month which I've used and liked (I was pleasantly suprised it didn't irritate my sensitive skin) but was not a fan of the chemically lemon smell.  This Derma e sample has a lemon scent as well but is much more mild and natural than the dr. brant (more lemon zest than the lemon Pledge smell of the dr. brandt).  I've used it a couple of times and will likely repurchase it when it's gone.  The sample is a generous 1 oz size, which is 1/2 of the full size product, and has a value of $14.63

My fourth item was the Hey Honey Take it Off Exfoliating Mask in a 10 ml sample size.  It is a clear mask with no noticeable scent and the instructions say to put on a light layer of moisturizer then apply the mask and let dry for 15-20 minutes before peeling off.  I have tried it once and wasn't blown away by the results or anything but I'll use it up because I'm guessing I'll only get one more use out of the small sample tube.  Based on the volume of this compared to the 50 ml full size my sample has a value of $7.

Finally I received the Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask.  I'm happy I got this one as two of the other options were for curly hair which I don't have.  (There was also a hair oil but I've had mixed experiences with those).  This ended up being my favorite product in May's bag and I've already ordered the larger 500 ml size with Ipsy's discount code.  The mask has a very light powdery scent and not only made my hair noticeably softer, but the results seem to last for a few days before I need to reuse it.  The 2.03 oz size that I received in my Ipsy bag is worth $12.

One of the things that I was excited for most in May was the bag, and wish I had gotten it in time to use it in my carry-on bag on vacation.  I haven't loved the bags from my first two months with Ipsy so it's great to finally receive a bag I can see myself using often.  May's bag is a nice canvas material which is definitely an upgrade from last month's vinyl bag.  It is printed on one side with a cute green leaf pattern.  As with last month I left this out of the total value calculation, but this is one I could where I could actually see purchasing a similar bag.

Overall I'm really happy with this months selections and am exited for June's bag, which should be here in a few days thanks to my late posting of this.  This month was a great value as well for my $10 monthly subscription and I got a total estimated bag value of $51.13.  If you're interested in signing up for Ipsy you can do so using my referral link here.