Ipsy Roundup

More subscription reviews! This edition: Ipsy! I have listed the prices next to products that were actually full-size. Ipsy is a great value–you get several full-size (when not deluxe) items for just $10/month, plus a cute little collectors bag that the products come in. In addition, it’s a company launched by the ever-so-talented Michelle Phan. I’ve already stated that I canceled all my subscriptions for the beginning of 2015, but this one I think I will miss most.

October 2014 Ipsy: Beauty Candy

IMG_2067Isn’t this bag so cute?! I love the quilting!

Γ©picΓ© Purifying Exfoliant
Skone Cosmetics Tattooed Eyeliner ($15) in BlackΒ (I accidentally photographed the wrong liner. The actual liner is here) – Felt-tipped liners are my FAVORITE. This has been my go-to eyeliner since receiving it! I’m not sure how liners last when they don’t have twist functions or spring loads, but it has yet to run out! The color is very controlled when applying, without bleeding all over the place. This is a great first liner to try if you’re just starting out with liquid liners.
Noyah Lipstick in Deeply in Mauve – this lipstick is all color. It goes on very dark and very thick, but at least its moisturizing! The color payoff is exactly what you see on the stick, rubbing off the deep mauve-brown color right onto your lips. I’ve been getting a lot of mauves for the fall, and I love it!
Figs and Rouge Hand Cream in Mango Mandarin – what hand cream? I loved this cream so much I used it up in just a couple weeks. It smelled almost exactly like Kool-Aid, without the overly sweet factor. Seriously, amazing. I would totally buy the full size if I didn’t already have so many hand creams to go through 😦
Cirque Colors Nail Polish in XX – a gorgeous rainbow confetti made with over 20 different types of glitter. Best layered over other colors. You can see it on my Instagram here (I should have cleaned up my nails before posting this…)

November 2014 Ipsy: Girl Meets Glitter

IMG_2278I love this bag! With a plastic overlaying the sparkles, you don’t end up with flecks of silver everywhere. It’s a Forever 21 x Ipsy bag, and it has the perfect girly touch with the pink zipper. I like to store my simple manicure supplies in it–base coat, top coat, q-tips, mini bottle of nail polish remover, and whatever color I’m feeling like at the moment. This way, I can fix my nails on the go or just carry my supplies from room to room in my apt.

J.Cat Wonder Lip Paint in Red Potion ($4.99)
Be A Bombshell Eye Base inΒ Submissive ($14) – a creamy bronze eye color with gold shimmer. Labeled as an “eye base” I expected it to be a primer, but it is actually just a color! It’s got buildable coverage so you can apply as much as you want to get your desired look.
Starlooks Eye Pencil in Velvet Violet ($13) – as stated in a previous review, the color literally melts onto your skin. I love the colors and the ease of application, but with such a creamy formula, it doesn’t have much staying power throughout the day. Bummer.
Temptu S/B Highlighter in White Shimmer – after trying the same product received in a Birchbox, except in Champagne Shimmer (wayyy too dark for my skin tone), I was worried this product would be a bust. It’s actually just a very basic pearlescent highlighter, except I find it a little on the watery/runny side.
Marc Anthony Morocco Argan Oil Hairspray

December 2014 Ipsy: Thinking of You

IMG_0818This month’s bag was a sateen black with a cute little heart charm making the zipper more accessible.

Beauty Without Cruelty Facial Cleanser – I haven’t tried this product yet but I always look forward to trying a cruelty-free product! I love furry critters and should really be better about researching brands that don’t do animal testing.
Crown Brush Infinity Shadow/Crease Duet Brush ($6.99) – While I enjoy trying new brushes, I don’t like double-ended brushes as I like to store mine upright, which will ultimately ruin one or both sides of the brush.
NYX Butter Lip Balm in Red Velvet ($4) – I already have a NYX Lip Balm in Panna Cotta and I love it. I was excited to try it in the red shade and it was not a let down! It’s super moisturizing, long-lasting, and provides the right amount of color for a balm–nothing too intense, but definitely noticeably different than your natural shade.
Pixi by Petra Fair Dust Eye Shadow in Brightening Bare ($10) – I have recently falled in love with Pixi’s products, and am excited to add another product to my collection. It’s got a foam-tipped applicator, but I will still use a brush to apply to control fallout (it’s going to happen with a loose pigment eyeshadow).
Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara – I wasn’t very excited about this, because I already own it. But you should be! Hello giveaway πŸ™‚

Weekending + Holiday Beauty Wantlist

Happy Monday! Let’s start off this week with a positive attitude, mmk? πŸ™‚

I may have an important paper due tomorrow, but it won’t get me down! I have a lot of fun things I’m looking forward to this week: Friendsgiving, dinner at a new restaurant downtown, a 5k, and going out with some of my lovely co-workers on Friday night! In addition, I had the most heart-warming, feel-good weekend just doing things I love πŸ™‚

IMG_0485-Ryan and I went for a short wine-tasting and then picked up our very first Christmas tree together on Saturday! We got a pretty good deal–$99 for a pre-lit 6.5 ft tree. I cried for a couple of seconds because I’m a sappy-face for it being our first Christmas under the same roof πŸ™‚ This is Yoshi’s first Christmas too, and I have plenty more things like stockings and lights to pick up before this girl can call her decorating done!

-Slow-cooking: I went to the grocery on Friday night and got enough ingredients to make three different recipes in my slow cooker for the week. First up: barley-spiked winter casserole. It’s got carroway seeds, carrots, parsnips, and a lot of celery root in it. Add a can of tomatoes, veggie broth, mix in some barley, and top with parsley and you’ve got a bowl of yum perfect for a cold winter’s night! We ate the whole crockpot serving (5.5 qts) in 24 hours!

-Baking: I whipped up some gingersnaps, snickerdoodles (yet to bake), and chocolate chip cookies yesterday. I won’t go into details about how it was my ugliest looking batch of chocolate chip cookies to date, but at least they tasted good!

-SNOW! We woke up to about 6 inches of snow this morning. It was simply beautiful. The sun hadn’t come up yet, but the snow was so bright it let off this brilliant blue hue to our backyard! Fall is my favorite season, snow or no snow. And there’s absolutely no reason to complain about it snowing “already,” its the middle of November! (3 weeks till vacay…)

A Holiday Beauty Wantlist

Holiday Beauty WishlistYves Saint Laurent Touch Γ‰clat in Luminous Radiance or Luminous Ivory ($41) – this is definitely a luxury item I don’t need, but I’ve been eyeballing it for a year. Can I really justify $41 for it? Probably not. I’m not sure which color would look better on me. Luminous Radiance would be better suited for me since its for fair to light complexions with pink undertones (bingo), but both swatches look like variations of my skintone.

Fresh Lotus Eye Gel ($48) – if there was such a thing as a love affair with beauty products, I’d be married to “Fresh” brand. I haven’t tried a single one of their products I haven’t loved. I ordered the Dare to Bare Sugar Lip Ritual set last week, but my Sephora order is currently in their backlog due to an overwhelming response to their 20% off sale. Out of all the flaws and features of my face, I am most self-conscious about my eyes. I am plagued with baggy eyes and fine lines, and as I get closer to 30, I am much more aware of wrinkle-formation. This gel promises to alleviate “puffiness, dark circles, and signs of fatigue.” Sign me up!

Dior Addict Lip Glow ($33) – this is a “nice to have,” not “need to have.” Mostly, I’m just curious about all the hype surrounding this cult-favorite. Some swear by it, others claim its not worth the hype. I’m too much of a germaphobe to test it out in store, especially when…

tester-lipsticksEnough said.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo in Blonde ($23) – now here is a cult-favorite worth the hype! This company makes the most beautiful brow-products for every hair color and skin tone! I just can’t justify spending $23 on colors I probably have in my eyeshadow collection! Haha

Pixi Ultimate Beauty Kit – 2nd Edition ($34) – after regularly using the Plum Quartz mineral palette I bought on my birthday (it’s a staple in my daily makeup bag!), I have faith that the rest of the eyeshadows are just as good of quality! I like the mix of cool tones and warm tones, and am curious as to the effectiveness of the blushes and highlighters! I also love that Pixi’s brand is so accessible as they carry it in most (all?) Targets!

Clinique Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Grandest Grape ($17) – a perfect cranberry color to add to my fall lippies collection! My best and I swatch the chubby sticks every time we go into Sephora. Maybe one of these days I’ll pick this up and actually buy it! It’s also a full-size part of this Holiday Gift Set which only retails for $22 more than the lip balm itself!

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask ($26) – this product has been lingering in my Sephora basket since it came out last winter, but it’s just always one I parted with to narrow down my collection. I have terribly dry lips and I will try almost anything to find a good treatment and moisturizer for them in the winter-time! The complaints about the packaging breaking easily has been enough to keep me at bay, but some day this will be in my lip drawer.

Pixi Glow Tonic ($29) – this glow tonic is at the top of my list, and the next time I am in Target, I will probably pick up a bottle (if its in stock). It isn’t cheap, but this keeps popping up on my instagram feed, and maybe it’s the name, but I. need. it. Ginseng and aloe? Nothing like a little extra glow to add to your winter complexion πŸ™‚

NARS Virtual Domination Cheek Palette ($65) – this is second to top on my wish list. I can’t see myself ever shelling out $65 on blushes for myself, but I am seriously mesmerized by this palette. I love NARS because they are so brazen with their product names. A single 0.16 oz NARS blush retails for $30, so this set with 3-0.15 oz blushes (Sex Fantasy, Deep Throat, and Final Cut), a 0.15 oz highlighting blush powder (Miss Liberty), and 0.35 oz bronzer (Laguna) is an amazing deal! Any friends out there reading this? This is what I want, ha πŸ™‚ Their lip pencil collection is a pretty good deal, but I’ve got a million and one lippies I still need to go through!

Sonia Kashuk Holiday Limited Edition All That Jazz 10 Piece Brush Set ($34.99) – is that a mouthful or what? But seriously, these brushes are gorgeous. I have more than enough eye brushes, but what I don’t have are many brushes for the face. My current face brush collection includes: an all-over powder brush & a contouring blush brush. That’s it! This set has plenty of contouring pieces and the gold and black frame with white bristles just scream luxury!

I haven’t forgotten about my 30 day challenge, just haven’t got around to shooting yet. Look for some updates soon! πŸ™‚

What’s on your holiday wishlist?! Comment below and let me know πŸ™‚

XO Ali

Girl, Interrupted

Hello lovelies! I’m sorry for my absence in the blogging realm as of late. I have been severely lacking inspiration for posts…especially fashion-related posts. I have plenty of beauty-related ideas, but I miss my roots as a fashion blogger. I … Continue reading

Birchbox Madness

This month it has been raining Birchbox at my doorstep, which isn’t the worse problem in the world (except that it’s not exactly free haha). Following the heels of the CEW Awards, Birchbox released two special edition boxes featuring some of the year’s most raved-about products at an absolutely terrific value! I had to snatch them both up before they were sold out. You can also get $5 off if you buy them both at the same time!

2014 Mass Appeal Box ($15)

IMG_1727The mass appeals box is full of products that you can find at your local drugstore:

  • Dove Go Fresh Body Wash in Blue Fig & Orange Blossom – I’ve used this body wash about 10 times already and it is still half-full. I normally use Dove’s body wash in the shower so the only difference was really the scent. It’s got a sweet clean smell to it, but I can’t really pick out orange (nor do I know what fig smells like).
  • Simple Protecting Light Moisturizer w/ SPF 15 – I tried this on my face and shoulders last week on a practice run and it works as well as any other sunscreens.
  • L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara – I am a mascara snob, I really have a hard time finding one I like, but this one was alright in my book (which is better than the negative rating I give 75% of mascaras I try!). It lengthened my lashes without clumping, but I’ve got an irresistible love for my D&G Passion Eyes mascara, which is still my #1.
  • Vaseline Lip Therapy Rosy Lips – this stuff is amazing! I bought the original lip therapy a few years ago and forgot about it when I ran out. Now, they make this pink tinted one, which is amazing at hydrating and protecting lips from the elements.
  • Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Lip Gloss in Spring Splendor – I have not tried this yet, but if it’s worth reviewing, you will see it on a monthly favorites list πŸ™‚
  • TRESemme Keratin Smooth Keratin Infusing Serum – I use a lot of TRESemme’s heat protecting products, so even though I haven’t tried this one yet, I have high expectations that it will be just as good.

2014 Prestige Headliners ($18)

IMG_1746The Prestige Headliners Box is full of luxury-oriented items:

  • Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Creme – can we just talk about the amazing smell of this hair product for a second? It is pure bliss–a refreshing parfum scent which makes the hair feel silky and look shiny.
  • Josie Maran Cosmetics 100% Pure Argan Oil Light – confession: I have not tried any oils on my face yet. I know it is supposed to be really healthy for skin. From what I’ve been told by friends, it is best to apply and let sit a short time before you wash your face, to keep your skin from drying out (though you can really use it at any time).
  • 100% Pure Creamy Nail Polish (my color was in Velveteen) – colors will vary in this box. Mine was a soft mauvey-nude color which goes on much lighter than it photographed in the above picture. I put on two coats and it went on very smooth and evenly.
  • Philosophy Miracle Worker Overnight – I haven’t tried this moisturizer yet, which is surprising since I use the Purity facewash by Philosophy. Regardless, this is a cult favorite and my expectations are high πŸ™‚
  • COOLA Radical Recovery After-Sun Lotion – unfortunately, I had to use this yesterday do to an intense sunburn from my half-marathon. Fortunately, however, this stuff works! I put it on multiple times throughout the day (mostly because of how burnt my skin was), and it was cooling and not-sticky. My sunburn felt much better this morning after applying an additional slab of it before bed last night.
  • Extras: Pocket Mirror & Toe Separators

August 2014 Birchbox

IMG_1866Signing back up for Birchbox was completely worth it. I don’t know if it’s because they consider me a “new” subscriber or what, but they have completely stepped up their game compared to prior boxes. Three of my last four boxes prior to canceling had foil packets of shampoo and conditioner or bodywash. Because I resubscribed mid-month, they sent me August’s and September’s box about 2 days apart.

  • Neil George Shampoo & Neil George Conditioner – I give this a “meh” rating. It really wasn’t anything that special, but I’m astounded by the sample size! It’s clear in color and reminds me of a Paul Mitchell clean smell. I wouldn’t pay for it.
  • Paula’s Choice Intensive Wrinkle Repair Retinol Serum – I’ve been applying this serum around my eyes and my cheek-smile lines. I haven’t noticed a huge difference yet, but it’s easy enough to apply. It twists up into a press-and-squirt bottle, which unfortunately makes it hard to control the amount it squeezes out and I always have way more than I need. It’s very oil-based, so may not be the greatest for oily-skin types.
  • Laura Gellar Cool Lids Cream Eyeshadow in Silver Sands – wahhh this was an awesome surprise. I got a beautiful silver color that glides on effortlessly. It doesn’t take much to apply, so this “sample” will last me a longgg time. Make sure to put an eyeshadow base-coat on first to keep from sweating off the cream!
  • Whish CC Body Cream in Coconut – adore this brand. Hate the smell. Not a fan of coconut-smell at all, so this will likely be given away. I got the body lotion in “Pomegranate” in one of my first Birchboxes, and I literally squeezed every last drop out before I threw it away. So so so good.

September 2014 Birchbox

IMG_1873

Note: I haven’t tried any of my September products so far.

  • Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator
  • Harvey Prince Ageless Liquid Loofa
  • Temptu S/B Highlighter
  • Macadamia Professional Flawless Cleansing Conditioner (huge sample!)
  • Pixi by Petra Lip Balm inΒ Honey Nectar

If you would like to subscribe to Birchbox, I would LOVE it if you could use my referral link! πŸ™‚ You can subscribe HERE

Birthday Guilt-Free Beauty Haul

It was my birthday and I was in Target, so naturally, purchases are guilt-free! Especially these beauty goodies…

10I’ve been monitoring Pixi by Petra and Sonia Kashuk for about a month or two now, as I knew Target carried both brands and they were rather new to me. Pixi does not do any testing on animals, nor do they use any suppliers that follow those practices. I also love the simplicity of the brand and packaging. They don’t try to overdo it and the product is still lovely. Sonia Kashuk, on the other hand, popped onto my radar when I saw the brand won multiple spots out of 31 winners on the CEW Insiders 2014 Beauty Awards. Out of 5 submitted products, they placed 3 winners, and were a finalist for a 4th in the entire beauty industry! Was I missing out on something right under my nose??

Beauty Haul

Pixi Mesmerizing Mineral Palette in Plum Quartz – I fell in love with this $12 palette through Pixi’s instagram page.

IMG_2149As you can see, there is quite a bit of color payoff, which is one of the reasons I had to have it. Plums, pinks, and browns are perfect fall colors, though I like to wear them year-round with my fair skin-tone. I can’t wait to experiment more with Plum Quartz!

IMG_7343(Left to right: Pixi Radiant Rose, SK Bronzer, SK Blush, SK Bronzer/Blush blended, SK Sheer Pink Lust, SK Illuminator [thick swatch], Elf Pink Balm, L’Oreal Paris Doutzen Lipstick)

Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balm in Radiant Rose – this pretty rose hue goes on lighter than the stock swatch indicates. It glides on creamy and has quite a lot of color payoff for being marketed as a “balm.” It’s rather pricey at $14 a tube, but I would definitely try Pixi’s other colors if they were to go on sale after loving this product this much.

Sonia Kashuk Chic Luminosity Bronzer/Blush Duo in Glisten – to the naked eye (and in Target’s harsh florescent light), it was difficult to really tell the difference between the three different $12.99 options–Glow, Glisten, and Glimmer–so I picked the middle option. This was a CEW Winner, and with its two-in-one compact, it’s easy to carry around and mixes like a dream to offer that perfect summer glow.

Sonia Kashuk Shine Luxe Lip Color in Sheer Pink Lust ($10.99) – this was another CEW winner, so I picked up a handsome nudey-pink color to fill in a gap I had in my lippy drawer. I didn’t realize it mimics the texture of a gloss (which I usually avoid), but it was wearable for a few hours before I ended up wiping it off. I won’t knock the product, as I know my comfort level was a bit off.

Sonia Kashuk Perfecting Translucent Illuminator ($14.99) – I own and have sampled plenty of BB and CC creams, but I wanted a cream that just brightens skin tone without feeling like you’re caking on the makeup. I am very pleased at how blendable it was, though the smell is somewhat offputting. The cream is a glistening gold and melts with your skin, so as not to leave harsh toning effects. I swatched a thick layer to show how it comes out of the tube.

e.l.f. Lip Balm in Pink – e.l.f. is another one of those brands that I always overlooked, but after seeing so many positive reviews on beauty blogs, and for how dang cheap the brand was, I figured ‘what could it hurt?’ I have not yet applied this $3 balm to my lips, but the color for the price is about expected.

e.l.f. Lip Exfoliator – if you like brown sugar at all, stop what you are doing and spend the $2 it takes to buy this beauty product. It scrubs your lips as you apply it back and forth, and leaves a soft, waxy texture that you can leave on to keep them moistened. I like to rinse it off, however, and apply lipstick immediately afterwards for a soft, hydrated lip full of color.

L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Lipstick in Doutzen’s Nude – this was the biggest let down of the beauty haul, at least by first reactions alone. This lipstick went on so wet, and was nearly impossible to get an even coat. The color itself is supposed to be light, but I thought it was almost like a sheer gloss.

What beauty products are you looking to binge-buy soon?!

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway by clicking on the link below! πŸ™‚

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