September Ipsy Bag Review

I just began hearing about Ipsy this past summer while watching some of my favorite beauty and fashion YouTubers. One YouTuber in particular raved about how she just began getting super into makeup and this was a great service to try different brands and products to see what works for you. With that being said, as a makeup junkie on a budget, I was definitely intrigued. After doing some research, I got the facts and signed up!

If you’re also new to Ipsy, it’s a monthly beauty subscription service, much like more popular and well-known Birch Box. While I don’t know the specifics about Birch Box, when you sign up for Ipsy, you take a short quiz to personalize your bag – choosing skin tone, eye and hair color, what types of brands you’re interested in, what types of products you’re interested in and more. Once your profile is complete, depending on if they have product available, you’ll be billed and sent a bag. You receive a makeup bag with a new design each month and each bag holds fives items, both sample sized and full sized, based on your preferences.

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I signed up about a week into September thinking I’d have to wait until October to get my first bag, but I was actually notified a few days later they still had some spots left for this month. I did end up getting my bag September 24th. I was pretty stoked when I got it and checked out all the products immediately. Here’s what I got in my first Ipsy bag with a quick review on each product:

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Befine Food Skin Care: Exfoliating Cleanser (1 oz Trial Size – $10.00)

I hadn’t heard of this brand before and was anxious to try it. If you’ve been following mIMG_0171.JPGy
blog for a little while, you’ll know that I was dealing with some skin issues about a year ago and have been recovering ever since. While I don’t really like trying new skin care products, I did try this one because it is all natural, allergen free and paraben free made for sensitive skin – so I figured it was safe. I used a relatively small amount of the brown sugar, sweet almond and oats mixture, which turned into a really nice and gentle lather. It has a really light, sweet, non-offensive scent. Once I rinsed it off, my skin felt soft, clean and renewed. I’m really glad I was able to try this product and I can’t wait to use it again.

Trestique Mini Highlight Stick (Received sample stick, 0.04 oz. Full size retails for $34.00)

I’ve only swatched this product on my hand because I rarely ever put on a full face of glam makeup. It’s a very beautiful champagne color that’s extremely easy to blend and feels light weight on the skin. I’ll definitely use this when I want a subtle highlight.

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Tarteist Lash Paint (Received sample, 0.10 oz. Full size retails for $23.00)

I was extremely excited to try this mascara. I’ve been wanting to try a few Tarte products, but have never wanted to spend the money. I found the wand for this mascara to be pretty stiff, but it has many little bristles that help separate and coat each individual lash. It definitely made my already black lashes, even darker and thicker. I’ll definitely be using this every day until it’s gone.

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Waxing Kara Sweet Lips Honey Lip Balm ($10.00)

This was another product I was extremely excited to try. You can never have too many lip balms! This was definitely a hit with me! It’s a simple, natural, non-greasy formula that’s extremely nourishing to the lips. I immediately threw this in my Speedy for everyday use.

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Be a Bombshell Cosmetics Va Voom Nail Polish ($6.00)

I was excited to get a nail polish, but not so excited about the color – at first. The color I got is a deep purple/blue. My mom was the guinea pig with this product, since I just applied OPI’s You Don’t Know Jacques Friday night. The polish was super easy to apply and only took one coat for full coverage. Although the color is not something I would choose for myself, I would definitely try it for a few days. It’s very different, but it’s such a gorgeous, rich, jewel color.

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Overall, I was pretty pleased with my first Ipsy bag. For the three items I was able to find pricing information on, I found the bag clearly pays for itself. Each product is definitely something that would work for me and I’m really glad I got to check out brands I’ve never heard of. The bag is definitely worth the $10 a month so far. I’m pretty pumped to see what’s in my October bag!

Have you tried any of these products? Have you tried any similar subscriptions? What has your experience been like? What was in your September Ipsy bag?

Must Try Fall Makeup Trends of 2016

With the start of every season comes a new color palette, new vibes and new makeup trends. Whether you love the no-makeup makeup look or you experiment with any product you can get your hands on, push your limits with glitter and dark colors this fall!

Glitter

Glitter has made its way out of the craft bin and into our makeup collection in a major way. While neutrals are great and timeless, glitter eyes and lips are having their moment.

Using glitter or metallic eye shadows is a sure fire way to turn heads this fall. This type of look can deliver edgy of Old Hollywood glam vibes.

Although it may not seem very wearable or realistic, glitter lips have hit the mainstream, too! A glitter lip can completely transform your look – just be mindful of the glitter transfer when kissing!

Dark Lips

Deep, dark colored lips is by far one of the most classic fall makeup looks – and definitely one of my favorites! This type of look is typically associated with ’90s grunge, but paired with a classic flawless face, this definitely looks very feminine.

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Soft Smoky Eyes

Let’s face it, smoky eyes are great for all seasons. The soft smoky eye is subtle, sexy and easy to create. Simply blend your favorite brown eye shadow into your upper lash line and diffuse the color into your crease.

Fresh Skin

Healthy looking skin with natural highlights is back. This season you’ll see less super matte and overly contoured looks, but will see a lot of creamy, dewy looks.

Of course, there are plenty of other extreme makeup trends out there right now, like charcoal lids and clumpy lashes, but these are some of my favorites that I can actually see myself trying. I may not put glitter on my eyes or lips, but I would definitely use a more metallic or shimmery eye shadow on date night with my boyfriend.

What trends are you excited to try out this fall? What are some of your favorite fall looks?

Benefits of Using a Boar Bristle Brush

I’ve been on a hair care kick lately after realizing my hair is aging with me. Shocker to all of us, I know. I’ve been searching for ways to maintain healthy, long hair while reducing shedding and frizz. While I have seen these brushes around, I had no idea what they were and the amazing benefits they offer.

So if you have no idea what a boar bristle brush is or you’re looking to improve your hair health, here are some of the benefits of using a boar bristle brush.

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History

Boar bristle brushes have been around for centuries and have been used to maintain shiny, healthy hair without the use of products. Many famous faces have been seen using or carrying boar bristle brushes, including Katherine Hepburn and Princess Diana, to maintain their luxurious locks.

Conditions Hair Naturally

Boar bristle brushes were originally designed to improve hair texture and increase shine before conditioners and hair serums were introduced. These brushes were designed to take the natural oils created from the scalp, called sebum, down the entire shaft of hair. The brush basically coats each strand of hair with a tiny amount of sebum, ultimately repairing dry hair and adding shine.

Improves Hair Texture

Since a boar bristle brush distributes the natural oils that weigh hair down, the brush improves hair texture by making it soft and voluminous.

I have naturally straight hair and throughout the day it will fall flat. I’ve found that by using my nylon and boar bristle brush during my lunch hour, I can revive my lifeless hair.

Reduces Frizz and Breakage

Sebum is the best natural hair conditioner and is also the most effective anti-frizz serum. The oil that is distributed works as a natural protectant for your hair, increasing elasticity and sealing split ends.  A boar bristle brush helps tame pesky fly-aways to create sleek styles, while decreasing frizz overall.

Stimulates the Scalp

The bristles on a boar bristle brush gently massage the scalp, increasing blood flow and stimulate the hair follicles. The stimulation is an amazingly meditative experience and can lead to improved hair growth.

Reduces the Use of Styling Products

Because a boar bristle brush improves the health of your hair, no longer need to purchase leave-in conditioners or other hair serums to improve your hair. The use of styling products will also make your brush dirty and clog the bristles.

Reduces Washing Frequency

Frequent hair washing is a modern practice with the increase of styling products. Back in the day, women would wash and set their hair once a week or less. Again, these brushes evenly distribute the natural oils produced by the scalp, reducing the oil build-up that weighs hair down making it look greasy and dirty.

I’m a couple weeks in using The Shine Brush by Wet Brush, which includes both Mongolian Boar and IntelliFlex bristles. It’s really helped add shine and make my hair softer. I’m waiting to see the results after an extended period of use.

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Have you used a boar bristle brush? What has your experience been like?

Shop My Closet No More: My Experience with Poshmark & Why I’m Never Going Back

I’m sure at this point, we’ve all heard of Poshmark. If you haven’t, it’s a popular resale website where you can sell your never worn and gently worn clothing, shoes, handbags and other accessories. Poshmark is both a website and an app. The app makes it super easy to list items to sell – all you do is snap a few pictures, write a description and name your price.

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(Image sourced from Tech Crunch)

I’ve tried this site twice now – once while I was in college and again this year. While I’ve never bought anything from Poshmark, I’ve made plenty of sales with great feedback. Overall, you could say my experience was pretty great. The last few transactions were what broke the camel’s back and I’m here to share, or complain, however you want to view it, about the issues I’ve experienced and why I’ll never use Poshmark again.

Low ballers

I can understand negotiating for a fair price, but what I can’t understand is low balling every single offer you make. Apparently people are only willing to pay a few bucks for anything. People would offer me $5, OR LESS, on literally every item, whether it was a well taken care of Coach handbag or Steve Madden shoes. I wouldn’t even make any money off of an item if I accepted, but those offers are offensive and ridiculous. I was a very realistic seller, never asking a lot for my items. There did come a point when I would refuse every offer and even block those who had sent me these outrageous $5 offers.

Bad buyers

Most of my buyers were pleasant and left great feedback, but I did experience my fair share of bad buyers. Some of my last couple buyers didn’t take the second to mark their item as received, so I had to wait the three extra days for payment to be processed and released. There were also a few buyers who gave me bad ratings because they didn’t read the description of an item or didn’t like the fit of a blouse or dress.

Trolls

The Poshmark trolls were also one of the reasons why I left and I’ll never go back. These people ask a million questions about an item and never buy. I once has someone comment a million times on something I had already sold asking me to sell that particular item to them, which is simply not possible.

While I’ve never been asked, I have heard horrible stories about perverted trolls. Men have discovered Poshmark and have created accounts just to ask women to model tight dresses and high heels for their own pleasure.

Overall, I did have a good experience in the beginning. Poshmark was a great way to clean out my closet and make a few extra dollars in the process, but I no longer have the patience to deal with low ballers, bad buyers and trolls. I know this works for some people, but it simply doesn’t work for me anymore.

Have any of you used Poshmark, as a buyer or seller? What was your experience like? Have you experienced any of the same issues? How did you handle them?

Christmas in July: Fashion Haul

While it is far from July and Christmas, I had my own little shopping extravaganza this summer. I haven’t really shopped for clothes in a while and felt I needed some new pieces for work. A lot of the pieces I picked up are great for a fall wardrobe, but I have been wearing some to work because my office is freezing and I’m always cold. All of these pieces were either on sale at the time of purchase or I had some sort of promo code. Anyway, I just wanted to share some of the things I picked up while I had my mini Christmas in July.

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  • Asymmetric Zip Cardigan in Oatmeal: I was in search of a brown cardigan because oddly enough I don’t have one. I realized I don’t really have any brown in my closet except for footwear. I’ve already worn this several times to work. It’s so comfortable and soft. It’s such a flattering cardigan, I’m really glad I picked this up.
  • Ribbed Cutout Tunic Tank in Camel: I have yet to wear this. I was planning on wearing it to work until I tried it on. There are slits on the sides which I think are a little too revealing for work – I don’t want anyone seeing the sides of my stomach. Also, it’s kind of a strange piece – it’s a sleeveless sweater, so I know my arms would be cold, but it’s weird to put a sweater over sweater. I absolutely adore this piece though. I’m definitely determined to wear it by the end of summer.
  • Faux Suede A-Line Skirt in Brown: Another piece I have yet to wear. I got this piece for what I feel was a steal. With the promo code I had, this skirt came out to $11! I couldn’t pass it up. I’m definitely planning on wearing this skirt for date night with my boyfriend.
  • Perforated Leather Slip-On in Black: I’m obsessed with these shoes. I used to have a pair of classic checkered slip-ons back in high school and these are like the adult version! For some reason I didn’t have any casual black shoes in my closet, so I needed these. Slip-ons are so trendy right now and these are comfy classics!
  • Halogen ‘Noble’ Over the Knee Boot in Grey Suede: I haven’t had a chance to wear these yet, but when they arrived in the mail, I tried them on with several different looks. They’re so chic and I can’t wait til the weather gets a little cooler so I can wear them out!

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These are just a few things I picked up this summer. These items make great transition pieces from summer to fall and I feel like they’re closet staples. Let me know if you have any questions and if you’d like a specific review on any of them!