Thursday, July 30, 2015

July's ipsy glam bag: Summer Lovin'

Hi, all!
This month's ipsy post is super late. The bag was delayed in Hebron, KY for many days and then it was delivered the day after we left for Disney World. (That will be another post once I've rested up.) The theme of the month is Summer Lovin'. The pattern on the bag is summery, I guess...?

I really liked everything I got, so I'll list the contents in no particular order.

1. NUDESTIX Magnetic Eye Color in Gilt - This is an eyeshadow pencil that is waterproof and smudgeproof. Gilt is a metallic gold and is straight up gorgeous. Once it sets, it doesn't budge and it doesn't crease.

I tried it on its own and with a traditional eyeshadow over it. Works beautifully both ways.

There is a sharpener that comes packaged with it.

And the sharpener fits onto the end of the pencil. Pretty neat. They also come with a case when you buy them. Ipsy subscribers didn't get the case, but honestly that's cool with me. I keep my eye pencils in a pretty cup thingy. The case would get in my way.
(Value $24.00 with case)

2. City Color Cosmetics HD Powder - City Color keeps knocking it out of the park. Their HD powder is beautiful. It's so finely milled and it leaves a soft matte finish. It's 100% silica.
(Full size value $5.99. Sample size value $3.42)

3. Jor'el Parker Classico Mini Roller -  I really like this perfume. It's so grown-up and sophisticated. That's not normally what I go for, to be honest. I tend to like smelling like a candy shop or a bakery. The website has this listed as the perfume's notes:
Indonesian Clove Bud, Australian Sandalwood, Moroccan Rose, French Bergamot, Indian Tuberose, Japanese Orange Flower, Lebanese Cedarwood, Turkish Cyclamen, South African Freesia 
Basically, it's a spicy floral.
(Value $21.00)

4. Crown Brush Professional Tweezers in Black - (I kind of wish I had gotten pink, but whatever.) These tweezers are perfectly fine. They're a good size; smaller than my other tweezers, but not too small. I seem to go through a lot of tweezers, so I was happy to get these.
(Value $6.99)

5. pūr~lisse pur-bright ultra skin brightening serum - This was some seriously good timing. I've developed some freckles this summer. I wear sunscreen daily. I even carry around two different kinds with me in my purse. I still ended up with more freckles than I find acceptable on me. I've been using this as directed both at night after washing my face and in the morning before doing my makeup. It goes beautifully under makeup. It absorbs quickly. I haven't had it long enough to notice a difference, but it hasn't broken me out. So, yay! (Side note: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Facial Cleanser + pūr~lisse pur-bright ultra skin brightening serum = dill pickle scent. Just sayin'.) I've been using Murad's Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum for a while. The pūr~lisse one is much milder.
(Full size value $76.00. Sample size value $25.33) 

The bag - I think this month's bag is good. The print is super cute. I prefer a zipper on top rather than on the side, but that's my only real gripe. A friend of mine (Hi, Christal!) had issues with her bag. It had frayed around the seams or something. Mine was fine. Until I splashed coffee on it. But, whatever. User error.

Rewards Points Bonus: Buxom Eyeshadow Bar Single Eyeshadow in VIP & Empty Eyeshadow Bar Compacts - ipsy does this cool thing where you can review the products you got and have people sign up using your code and you get points. Points get you free stuff. Yay! I ordered this Buxom eyeshadow with my points. It came automatically with compact. Super yay!

I love a good purple, so I went with VIP. It's described as a sparkling orchid. It is a matte base with a hint of micro glitter. On the eye, the sparkle is very subtle. Even on the swatch, I had a hard time photographing it. The website describes the formula as:
A primer-infused, powerfully pigmented eye shadow refill with intense color payoff.
Featuring primer-infused technology to help keep color locked in place, this Single Eyeshadow Refill has a powerfully-pigmented formula that glides onto lids—delivering intense payoff with an ultra-luxe, powder-to-silk feel. 
I'd take that primer-infused claim with a grain of salt. I normally use an eye primer, however as an experiment (For science!) I went without it. This creased and faded pretty badly. With a proper primer, it's gorgeous and lasts all day. Moral of the story: Use an eye primer!

I was really impressed that they included the compact.

(Value Eyeshadow $12.00, Compact $2.00)

The grand total for this month's ipsy bag is $80.74 + $14.00 bonus = $94.74 not including the bag. Score!

If you're interested in signing up, you can use my referral link or just go to Ipsy is a $10/month beauty subscription service that's customizable to your own tastes.

If you already get ipsy, what did you get in your bag? I'm always interested.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Swim Into Beauty: June Ipsy Glam Bag

Hey, all!
According to the calendar it's still spring, however the thermometer is calling the calendar a liar and saying it's summer. It's been so hot here already I'm pretty sure I'll spontaneously combust this summer. That'll be fun!

My beloved ipsy glam bag arrived. That actually is fun! No sarcasm there. The theme of the month is Swim Into Beauty. The contents of this bag were all pretty good, so in no particular order...

1.  J. Cat Beauty Liptitude Hydrating Lip Stain in Hikilicious - This is a gorgeous creamy lip stain. It goes on with a doe foot applicator. I put it on at around 9 a.m. and only had to reapply after dinner at 6 p.m. I had had a veggie fajita quesadilla with queso. All that oil did a number on this, which is what I expected. It lasted through lunch with no problems.

Liptitude has a minty scent. Hikilicious is a gorgeous satin coral. I got compliments on this. I really love it when people notice my lip color.

Liptitude isn't transfer proof. I kissed my daughter's head and she came away with coral hair, but it stays full color on your lips. I had to scrub it off my hand with a wipe when I swatched it for the photo. I really do love this stain. The product. Not the stain on my hand. Just to be clear.
(Value $5.99)

2. tre'StiQue Mini Shadow Crayon in Kona Coffee - Funny story about this crayon. I thought the lid had fallen off. I searched and searched for it until I realized...

...the tip is the cap. #facepalm Cute packaging, though.

Kona Coffee is a matte dark brown. It's very creamy, blends well, and sticks around all day. They come full sized or you can get a trio of minis of eye crayons and lip crayons. There are six shades of each to choose from.
(Mini Trios $32. Sample Value $10.67)

3. LAVANILA LABORATORIES The Healthy Body Butter in Pure Vanilla - "It smells like clean sexy lady," said my husband. Yeah. Even though the scent is called "Pure Vanilla", there's other stuff in there, too. There's also heliotrope and soft freesia, so this doesn't smell like a cupcake. It's a more mature scent. It absorbs quickly and doesn't feel greasy at all. This leaves my skin feeling baby soft. They also have a full size. I'd really consider buying the full size when the sample runs out. It's lovely.
(Value $4)

4. Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Foundation Primer - I'm not a huge foundation primer fan. Just thought I'd say that straight off. I can't see much of a difference on my skin. And, more often than not, they break me out. I just moisturize and use sunscreen under my foundation. If you're into primers, this seems like a good one. My skin had no adverse reaction. My foundation looked nice. It lasted throughout a cookout in super hot weather. It went on very smoothly. It's a clear, oil-free gel.
(Full Size $36. Sample Value $8.52)

5. IT Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil in Universal Taupe - I'm soooooo seriously picky about my eyebrows. A good brow day is a good day. Today is a good day, fyi. I had heard so many good things about this pencil and I've been wanting to try it for ages. I'm so thrilled I got the chance to try it for free (-ish).

Brow Power is a mechanical brow pencil with an awesome spoolie attached to the other end.

The pencil itself is an oval shape.

The idea of it is that you can build up color by either going over your mark or by pressing harder, so it should go with anyone's coloring.

My problem with this is that there's a learning curve. The first time I wore it, I felt I looked like Bert or Groucho Marx. That's not a look I aspire to. Sorry, Bert! The shape took me a while to get used to and color really does build  up pretty quickly.

I've been using the NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Taupe since it came out. I'm in love with this pencil. It's very easy to use, the point is so fine that I can get a natural, well-defined look very quickly. There's also a spoolie attached. I feel like I have more control with my NYX pencil. And when it comes to my eyebrows, I'm a control freak. The price points are very different. NYX is $10. IT Cosmetics is $24.

Top - IT Cosmetics Brow Power
Bottom - NYX Micro Brow Pencil
The tip of the NYX pencil is half the size of the IT Cosmetics pencil.

The shades themselves (with IT Cosmetics being used very lightly) aren't that different. IT is a bit darker. I'm not saying Brow Power is a bad pencil. It's not. It just takes some practice.

Also, I found this on IT Cosmetic's website:
IT Cosmetics® has partnered with the American Cancer Society’s Look Good, Feel Better program and for every Brow Power® pencil sold, one is donated to go to help women face the effects of Cancer with Confidence!
So, that's an awesome thing!
(Full Size $24. Sample Value $12)

Left - IT Cosmetics
Right - NYX

The Bag - I have no idea why the zipper looks yellow in this photo. Scroll up to the top. That's what it actually looks like. Go on! I'll wait...

...See what I was saying? Weird.

The bag is black Neoprene with a neon coral zipper and black lining and has ipsy embroidered all over it. It's not my favorite. Not by a long shot.

The grand total for this month's bag is $41.18. If you're interested, ipsy is a $10/month customizable beauty subscription service. If you use my link, I get points. Points add up to free stuff for me. If you just want to go straight to the site, go to It's totally worth checking out.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Super Simple Memo Board Makeover

Hi, all!

I haven't had a lot of time for crafting lately, but I did get the chance to revisit my Makeover Monday: Easy Memo Board Re-Do post from 2011. Yes, 2011! Can you believe it? This one was much easier. The frame was already white. Score!

I was in desperate need of a cute memo board for my office. but I'm cheap. You know how that goes. I picked up the VÄGGIS Noticeboard from IKEA and covered it with the same fabric remnant I used with the quick envelope pillow cases I whipped up this winter.

As with the first memo board, I used a case knife to tuck the fabric into the frame. Just cut the fabric slightly larger than the inside cork area. There's no need for adhesive. It's Super Simple!


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May ipsy glam bag: Jetsetter

Hi, all!
It's been a crazy-busy month! We're in the process of moving house and my daughter has a ton of extra-curricular activities that amp up in the Spring. Life is good...and nuts, but mostly good. This month's ipsy glam bag is a welcome treat. The theme of the month is Jetsetter. Like I've said before, the themes confuse me, but that's okay. Maybe it's called Jetsetter because you can take sample sizes on a plane?!? I dunno. Anyway, here's what I got and what I thought.

1. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on Lip Pencil in Ozone + BONUS Revolution High-Color Lipgloss in Failbait and Bittersweet - First, can we take a moment for the packaging? I want everything used on this model to be on my face right now!

The pencil is such a cool idea. It's a lip primer that holds onto your lipstick or gloss for a longer wear time.  It just gives a bit of a white cast, but it's mostly clear.

The glosses are gorgeous. They're as sticky as they can get while still leaving you with the ability to use your mouth, but they're beautiful. I applied the gloss at 8 a.m., drank a soda straight from the can (no straw), ate an uncut apple, had lunch, and it's still on my lips at 2:30 p.m.! There was transfer, of course, and the color and shine have worn down a bit, but it's still there.

Those colors are just soooo pretty! Failbait (the pink one) is great for everyday wear. It's a pink that should work for every skin tone. The purple one called Bittersweet is an amazing color. It stained my hand a bit after I swatched it. I really had to scrub with a wet wipe to get if off.
(Full size $20. Sample size $15)

2. Pixi by Petra Beauty Bronzer in Summertime -  This bronzer looks a bit intimidating for fair skin, doesn't it? It's really not, though. It can go on lightly and blends out beautifully. It's not too warm, so you won't look like a Cheeto.

It does have shimmer. It's a very fine shimmer with no glitter at all. It just leaves you glowy and radiant and it's very natural looking. It's great for warming up your complexion. I've also used it as an eyeshadow. Gaw-geous!!! It's sold with a kabuki brush. Alas, we did not get the brush, but I'm thrilled with the bronzer.
(Full size with brush $18. Sample size approximately $5)

3. BelláPierre Cosmetics Waterproof Mineral Gel Eyeliner Pencil in Ebony - I'm saying it right now, I love this eyeliner! My Rimmel ScandalEyes liner is getting pretty stubby, so I was thinking about replacing it soon and this showed up at my door. Kismet!

It's a super-smooth gel liner pencil is a highly pigmented matte black. It is absolutely budge-proof. I rubbed the swatch hard and didn't bother taking a second photo because it looked the same as the first photo. It was so easy to tightline with. I'm in love!
(Value $14.99)

4. Bare Republic Naturals SPF 30 Mineral Face Sunscreen Lotion - I wasn't too thrilled to get another sunscreen in my bag. I've had plenty others and have never been inspired  to buy the full sizes. This one is a totally different story. I'm definitely getting the full size version. It's chemical-free. The active ingredients are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. It's an interesting formula that starts off as a lotion and then when it's applied feels like powder. It works wonderfully under makeup. It smells like sweet coconut. Just remember to shake it. It's part of the instructions. I sometimes don't read instructions. Just shake it. Avoid the mess. You can thank me later.
(Full size $14.99. Sample size $3)

5. NUXE Rêve de Miel® Facial Cleansing and Make-Up Removing Gel - This one is a bit odd. I feel like it did a good job of getting my face clean, but I couldn't place the scent. I asked my husband what he thought and he said, "Old lady." So there's that. I looked it up and it's made with honey and sunflowers. I guess that's it. Old ladies smell like honey and sunflowers according to Seán. My skin felt really good after using it. I'd consider buying the full size version.
(Full size $19. Sample size $1.42)

The bag - Now we're down to what may be my favorite part. Ipsy has been knocking it out of the park with the bags lately. This one's my fave. I nearly bought one a lot like it a couple of weeks ago, but I really can't justify buying a small makeup bag when I get one in the mail every month. It's canvas with red lining and the cutest graphic on the front. It's from the company Breakups To Makuep and is smaller than their signature lipstick makeup clutch.
(Full size $35. Ipsy size approximately $25) 

If you're keeping track, that's an approximate grand total value of $64.41. What did you get in your ipsy glam bag this month?


Friday, April 24, 2015

A Redhead's Life

Grandma and me. I was about 2 years old here.
Hi, all!

In case you don't know me (or missed the title), I'm a redhead. I was born a redhead and even when I've had black hair (or brown hair or burgundy hair...), inside I've always been a redhead. I've been thinking a lot lately about why my hair, specifically my hair color, is so wrapped up in my identity.

The college years.

I remember once in fourth grade a new girl came to school. She had hair the same color, length, and thickness as mine. Once we got over our mutual jealousy, we became great friends. There was a boy I was friends with in elementary school who called me Fire Baby. It sounded like a super hero name, so I loved that. I loved the idea of shooting fire balls and commanding volcanoes.

My Dad. This is where my hair color came from.

My Dad (a redhead) was so attached to my hair that Mom had to sneak me out to get it cut. He cried. Or nearly cried. There's a good chance I exaggerated the incident in my head. Either way, he was very upset. His Dad was also a redhead. And so is my brother.

Chauncey says hi!

The stereotype that I've heard my whole life is that redheads have terrible tempers. For me, that's very much untrue. I'm rarely angry. There's just not that much to get riled up over. Also, (Note: South Park writers PAY ATTENTION!!!) for the record, if souls exist we have them the same as anyone else. To be honest, my dog (also a redhead) has more soul than most people I've met. Just saying. He's awesome.

Ginger to the left, Ginger Grant to the right. No. Just no.
Photos from WikiPedia.

I've heard about all of the "ginger bashing" that's been going on. I never experienced that in the United States. It wasn't until I started going to Europe that I encountered any of that. I've had a man shouting "ginger" in my face while walking into Tesco. I've had a group of tourists pointing at me and calling me a leprechaun. I was in the audience of a talk show and the host felt the need to walk through the audience and point out all the "gingers". That was the last time I watched his show. It was a bit shocking to have so much hatred directed toward me considering that part of Europe has the highest concentration of redhead population. Also, I seriously hate the word ginger. How does a brown root compare to vibrant red hair? It doesn't. And if it's a reference to Gilligan's Island's Ginger, that's not my name. She's gorgeous and I'll gladly take the compliment, but that's not my name.

My natural state. See how much brighter Zara's hair is than mine? Waaaah!

In the States, people would constantly tell me how much they love my hair and have stopped me to ask me the name of my dye. At that point my hair was natural, so they were out of luck. Now, not so much. The thing about being a natural redhead is that red fades over time. I can't do mousy hair. I'm not about that life at all. So, when my hair starts feeling like it needs a pick-me-up I throw some color on it. Actually, my super-genius hair dresser throws some color on it. She's amazing. We went with a bolder, darker shade of red recently. I love it. It's definitely a statement color.

Not so matchy-matchy any more.

Now my daughter Zara's getting so much attention for her gorgeous hair. She loves it!

Bonus photo of my dog being awesome.
He's snuggled up to Caius with Berkeley in the background.

The redhead life is not for everyone. You have to be comfortable with being noticed. A lot. It's not a color for wallflowers. If  you're lucky to be born with it, you're lucky enough. For the rest who wish they were, thank goodness for great hair dyes. If you're interested in trying out a red (or any other color), check out the shades at Madison Reed. They have so many to choose from. If you haven't heard of Madison Reed, they are a hair dye company that has created a dye free of PPD, sulfates, resorcinol, ammonia and gluten!



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