Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ipsy - September 2014

I received my September Ipsy bag this week and it was a big improvement compared to my August bag.  This months theme was Street Style and I also opened it up on my Makeup Miscellaneous YouTube page, as well as giving a quick review of what I thought of the products from August.

The first product from my September bag was the Crown Brush Infinity Shadow/Crease Duet Brush. I enjoy receiving brushes in my bags and this brush feels very soft and has synthetic fibers.  I just recently picked up some other Crown brushes from a Hautelook sale so I'm glad to add this to the bunch.  My only issue with this brush is that it's double ended, which I don't prefer since I store my brushes standing up and one end tends to get ruined.  I will probably test this brush out a few times to see how I like it and then put it away for travel when it will come in handy to have two brushes in one.  This brush has a value of $6.99.

The second product in my bag was the Cailyn Art Touch Tinted Lip Gloss in the color Basic Instinct. In the tube the gloss comes off as a more of a pink neutral, but when I tried it out it has more of an orange tone to it.  I'm not sure it's a great color for me but I'll play with it over lipstick to see if it will work.  It is a well pigmented gloss and doesn't seem terribly sticky so in a different color I might like it more. The gloss retails for $19.00.

The third item in my bag was the NYX Hot Singles Eyeshadow in Velvet.  I like NYX products and this is a nice neutral brown shade that will be good for a crease color.  It wasn't as pigmented as I would have liked when swatched, but I'm hoping it will be helped by primer.  This shadow is worth $4.50.

Next I received a Pacifica Nail Polish in the color Red Red Wine.  I was very happy to finally receive polish in my bag and this is a 7 Free Polish which I like as well.  The color is a nice deep red that will be great for fall.  It swatched well on the nail stick and looks like it will be opaque in two coats.  Looking forward to using this one and will probably use it as my next pedicure color.  The polish has a value of $9.00.

The final item in my bag was the Briogeo Don't Despair Repair Deep Conditioning Mask.  The mask is for dry, damaged, or chemically treated hair and I currently have all three of these issues so I'm happy to try this mask out.  There isn't much of a noticeable smell to this conditioner and it is cruelty free & gluten free.  It came in a one ounce sample size that I should be able to get 2 uses out of and has a value of $4.95.

I completely forgot to take a picture of the bag by itself this month but you can see it in the first picture at the top of this post.  It's a nice silvery pleather-like material with some simple silver studs at the top on one side.  This will go well with a black leather purse I have so will probably use it as my makeup bag whenever I carry that purse.  Overall I'm really happy with my Ipsy bag this month and as I said above it definitely makes up for my disappointment from last month.  Including the brush I received 4 full size products and one sample size, and the bag had an overall value of $44.44.  If you'd like to try Ipsy it is a monthly subscription service that costs $10/month including shipping.  I also have a referral link you can use here.  My video unboxing of this bag and review of August is below.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Allure Sample Society - September 2014

September is my second month receiving Allure Sample Society, which is a monthly beauty box subscription that costs $15.  Each box contains 5 deluxe sized samples, or sometimes full sized products.  It also comes with an Allure "mini magazine" that describes all the products.  Allure does release a few spoilers and this month I managed to just read one of them and the rest of the contents were a surprise.  As usual I unboxed this subscription on my Makeup Miscellaneous YouTube Channel and I've also embedded the video at the end of this post.

The first product I received was the one spoiler item I knew about, and that was the Restorsea Revitalizing Eye cream.  This eye cream is a full sized 0.5 oz product worth a whopping $85.  Given the price tag, it will have to work miracles on my fine lines and dark circles for me to actually repurchase it, however I am happy to have received it in my box.  It is a fairly thick cream but absorbed quickly when I tested it on my hand and didn't feel greasy.  It also came with a little plastic spoon to use, which I like vs using my finger.

Next I received a sample sized Lorac Porefection Mattifying Face Primer.  I've tried a sample of Lorac's eye primer before but haven't tried out their face primer so I'm curious to give it a shot.  It is a clear primer that's free from oils, parabens, and fragrance.  When I tested it on my hand it absorbed quickly and felt very smooth, and reminded me some of the Maybelline Baby Skin that I use and like.  The 50 mL full size of this Lorac primer is $32, making this 12 mL sample worth $7.68.

The third item in my box was the Alterna Caviar Repairx Re-texturizing Protein Cream.  This is a leave in conditioner with caviar extract, vitamin C, and Seasilk.  The conditioner is a thick cream and smells slightly lemony.  I use a leave in product regularly (typically It's a 10 Leave in with Keratin) so I'm interested to try this and see how it compares to others I've tried.  The sample size is a generous 1.35 oz, which has a value of $9.26.

I also received three Tarte Brazilliance Maracuja Self Tanning Face Towelettes.  I'm not a self tanner so I don't know if I'll use these, but may try them out at some point.  I doubt I'll start with my face first though and will probably try them on my legs.  I haven't opened any of the packets up but the Allure mini magazine says they don't have a self tanner smell, which is nice.  These three towelettes have a value of $9.

The final product in my box was a Givenchy Dahlia Divin Eau de Parfum sample.  I'm not much of a perfume person since I tend to be very sensitive to scents and unfortunately this one doesn't seem like one that I'll be able to use.  The mini magazine lists it as having notes of jasmine, patchouli, sandalwood, vetiver, and Mirabelle plum.  To me it has a strong musky floral scent and is just a bit too much for my nose.  The full sizes of this perfume range from $65 for 30 mL to $110 for $75 mL.  The sample I received doesn't have a volume measurement so I'm going to give it a value of $2, mainly since this is the type of sample you can get for free at perfume counters.

Overall I'm pretty pleased with September's Sample Society Box.  I may not use everything but I will enjoy trying the eye cream, primer, and conditioner.  This box had an overall value of $112.94, which is amazing considering the $15 I paid.  I'm already looking forward to Octobers sample society box.  In addition to unboxing this months box on YouTube I also did a brief review of August's box when I was done opening the September box.  The video is embedded below.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy - Checkmate

I'm ready to transition to my fall nail colors but the outside temperatures here are still staying it's summer.  I decided to start with a nude polish as a nice in between shade.  I've always been a bit wary of nude polish shades because I'm fair skinned, but after seeing more of them crop up this year I decided to try one out.  

Outside, Shade

I didn't find much at my local Rite Aid in their larger nail display but spotted Checkmate in the Revlon makeup section.  Checkmate is one of Revlon's newer Colorstay Gel Envy polishes that appears to be replacing the regular Colorstay line.  I think the point of the Gel Envy line is to use the Gel Envy topcoat with the polish to get a gel like manicure you don't need a light to cure, but I have plenty of top coats at home so I just used this as I would a regular polish and it seemed to work just fine.

Inside, Natural Light

The formula on this was a little troublesome, it was easily opaque in two coats but was quite runny and it took me a few nails to get the hang of how much polish to have on my brush so I didn't get polish pooling in my cuticles.  Some cleanup was definitely required for this one.  The brush was also an issue, it's a nice, slightly flat brush that would make polishing easy, except mine was unevenly cut at the bottom.

Outside, Sunlight

Formula and brush aside though, it is a really pretty pale nude cream polish that I think would work well for many skin tones, including fair skin like mine.  It was pretty difficult to photograph though, so excuse the slightly blurry photos, I was trying to pick ones that came off most true to color.

Outside, Sunlight

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

August Favorites

As with July I put a video up on the Makeup Miscellaneous YouTube page talking about my favorite beauty products from the month of August.

Here are links to all the products I talked about in the video:

Too Faced Natural Eyes Palette
Wet & Wild Color Icon Bronzer in Reserve Your Cabana
Elizabeth Mott Tints & Sass Lip & Cheek Stain in Cherry
Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Peach Parfait
Loreal Colour Riche Lipstick in Julianne's Nude
It Cosmetics Lab Sample Vitality Lip Flush Butter Gloss in News Anchor Blue
Real Techniques Contour Brush (From their Core Collection)
Real Techniques Detailer Brush (From their Core Collection)
Benjabelle Sunflower Brush Tree
Badger Cuticle Care Soothing Shea Butter

Memebox - Special #26 Hand & Nail Care Superbox

I recently decided to try out Memebox after seeing quite a few unboxings on YouTube.  Memebox is a Korean Beauty Box, but unlike other beauty subscriptions like Ipsy or Beauty Box 5 you don't subscribe to a monthly box.  Instead you can browse through the boxes on their website (which are of varying sizes and prices) and choose which one(s) you want.  They have various categories like skincare, makeup, and nail care.  Most of their boxes need to be purchased in advance for a future ship date (you are billed at the time of purchase), but there is also a list of boxes available for immediate shipping.

Since the contents of the boxes aren't revealed before they ship, I decided the safest option for my first Memebox would be a hand and nail care box since I like pretty much anything that falls into that category.  I ordered my Special #26 Hand and Nail care box on August 1st and it was listed as shipping on August 19th.  On the 19th I got my shipment notification and tracking number and the box arrived to me USPS on the 29th.  That's not much longer than I wait for DHL to get me my Ipsy bag and this one comes all the way from Korea.  There were 7 items in my box and also included was a card with detailed descriptions of all the items.  Most of the items only have Korean descriptions on the packaging, so the included card is very helpful.

The first Item in my box was a SUR 3D Nail Art Kit.  The kit included a magnetic nail polish in a gunmetal grey color, a magnet, and a pink nail art pen.  Despite the huge influx of magnetic nail polishes on the market a couple of years ago I don't actually own any so for me this is something new.  I tested it out on a swatch stick and it was a little tricky figuring out how close to hold the magnet, but once I got it right it created a silvery striped design on the swatch nail.  The pen color reminds me of a pink highlighter color and has a very precise tip that makes it pretty easy to use, though my messy handwriting in the picture below isn't the best example.  Based on the card that was sent this kit is worth $29.

Next I received the With Shyan Baby Hand Set, which includes a Lemon Treatment Oil and a Nail Wall file.  The treatment oil is a nail and cuticle oil that has a light, pleasant lemon scent to it and the file is a very fine 240/320 grit file.   The description card says you're supposed to use the oil then buff off calluses or excess cuticle with the file.  This set is valued at $9.

The third item was the With Shyan Dr. Care Set Nail which includes a Dr. 001 treatment polish and a nail file.  The polish looks pink in the container but once I tested it out on a swatch stick I realized that it does dry mostly clear like other treatments or base coats that have a tint to them.  The instructions on the card say to apply the Dr. 001 polish every two days for a week before removing with nail polish remover and starting again.  It can also be used as a base coat. The file is much coarser than the one that came with the baby hand set and is 100/180 grit.  I'm looking forward to testing this out and seeing how it compares to my Nailtiques Formula 2 Plus that I've been loving.  This set is worth $13.

I also received a Barbinie Shea Butter Hand Cream.  The scent I received was Rose Water which worried me when I first read it since I'm pretty sensitive to any scents that are flowery or perfumey.  However the scent on this is very subtle so I think I'll be able to use it without an issue, which is good because it's a very nice hand cream.  It absorbed quickly and was non-greasy when I applied it.  This hand cream has value of $18.

Next up was the Shara Shara Soft Hand Grommage.  I'd never heard of this before and thought it might be another lotion when I first pulled it out of the box.  However I learned that a grommage is actually an exfoliating treatment and the insert describes this product as a peel.  The instructions say to apply generously on clean dry hands, massage, and then rinse with warm water.  I'm definitely excited to try this out and see how it works for my hands.  The grommage is worth $6.

The sixth item in my box were the Pure Plus Hydrogel Moisturizing nail patches.  The actual patches I received say Rocka Chick at the top instead of Pure Plus but otherwise seem to be exactly the same as what is described on the card.  These are little clear patches that you apply over your nails and cuticles and leave on for 20 minutes.  I'm always struggling with dry cuticles and have never seen a product like this before otherwise I definitely would have bought it.  I'll be trying this out soon and may give them their own review on the blog.  The patches are valued at $8.

The seventh and final thing in my box was the Pure Skin Hand Care Pack.  The hand care pack is essentially two moisturizing gloves that you put on for 20-30 minutes.  They contain grape extracts, witch hazel, grapefruit extract, collagen, baobab tree extract and olive leaf extract.  I've see moisturizing hand gloves before but nothing quite like this.  As with the nail patches I'm interested to see if these help my dry skin and will be testing them soon.  The hand care pack has a value of $6.

Overall I really enjoyed this box and look forward to trying out everything that I received.  The box had and overall value of $87 which is well beyond the $24.99 that I paid.  While I won't get a Memebox every month, I do plan on ordering more in the future, especially since the products they send are very different than what I receive in my current subscription boxes.  Memebox does have their own store as well where you can repurchase the items in your box.  If you'd like to try out Memebox I do have a referral link here.  I unboxed this on the Makeup Miscellaneous YouTube Channel and have embedded the video below if you'd like to see my first impressions of the products I received.