Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ipsy glambag Review: July 2014

Not sure how I'm feeling about Ipsy Glambag. I have been getting it for almost a year, and I love the cosmetic bag and most of the products, but there's a lot of repeats. Birchbox, even though they ended up giving me a lot of cheap products towards the end, had a lot of different brands working with them. I think it's time to try a new beauty subscription service. I would prefer one around $10 like Birchbox and Ipsy, any suggestions? 

This month's bag. So cute, a pink square bag with a scalloped edge. 

This month, there were five products. Nail polish, lip product, hair product, tanning oil (???), and concealer/liquid eyeshadow. I don't really use hair product (and I've put that on my ipsy profile), and I 100% do not use tanning oil, so both of those products are kind of useless. But I am always game for lip products, nail polish, and concealer. 

Pixi Beauty Mini Tinted Brilliance Balm in Unique Pink. I like the color of this, and I always love lip pencil balms like this. The website says that it is $14 for a full-size crayon, I can't find specifics online, but it appears to be about half the size of one from the site, so value: $7. 

Whet nail polish in Facetious. A dark blue, very pretty, just my kind. Very nice, I tested it on one nail and it lasted for 3 days without chipping, and before I took it off, there was only minor tip wear. Value: $15 on the website. 

Hang Ten Dark Tanning Oil SPF 08. I don't use Tanning Oil, mostly because I hate being tan and also I don't like going outside in the sun. I'll probably trade it off or give it away to someone. To me, this is worthless, but on the website the value: about $2. 

Marrakesh Endz by Marrakesh Hair Care. Split ends drive me nuts, so something that claims to repair split ends is a golden product for me. No promises on whether it actually works or not just yet, though. But it smells incredible and makes my hair soft. Value: $5.99 

Bare Minerals 5-in-1 BB Advanced Performance Cream Eyeshadow in Barely Nude. Not a huge fan of cream eyeshadow because it usually smears a lot, but I tried this one and it's not too bad so far. Value: about $6. 

Verdict: The overall value of the bag was about $36, which is pretty good considering that it only cost $10. I think I will be waiting another month to see how the next bag is before I consider cancelling and switching to a new service; I feel like Ipsy is really limited, they seem to only have a few companies working with them; I've gotten Pixi products so many times in the past year. Any suggestions? Or recommendations for a bigger beauty service, preferably around the same cost? 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sunflower nail art!

I have some new nail art! It's been ages, but I had a ton of down time today and I was in the mood to do some nail art! I browsed Pinterest ( and found a cute sunflower ish nail art.

The cast of characters: 
From left: China Glaze Agent Lavendar, Zoya Arizona, Zoya Wednesday, Zoya Shelby, Revlon Dreamer, OPI DS Illuminate, and a Sinful Colors yellow striper. 

First step, two coats of each color. These colors show up on my blog a lot because they're basically the only spring/summery ones that I have. Most are dark and more suitable for fall. 

Then using the brown color, paint a small circle in the corner. Using a yellow striper (it was yellow, although it did turn green on the middle finger), draw petals around the brown circle. Finish with top coat and voila!

Super simple design, but I love it! Has just enough sparkle for me. It was nice to get back into nail art too, I haven't had much time or energy lately with working and taking classes all summer. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Product Review: Gerard Cosmetics' BB+ Illumination

I have to tell you guys about an awesome new product that I got to review. This has been sitting in my drafts waiting to be written for a little while, but I like to try products for a few weeks to make sure that I have a good review and not just a snap decision about them. But I have been using this almost every day (which says a lot, because a lot of new products I will try for a week or two, but then it'll be too much of a hassle/I no longer like it and I will stop using it), and I think it's time to share. 

Introducing the BB Plus Illumination cream from Gerard Cosmetics. BB cream has been all the rage in America lately, so American companies have been jumping on the bandwagon to produce their own lines. Before this, I had mainly been using BB creams from skin79 and other Korean brands, since they've been producing it longer and have perfected it. I tried a few American BB creams but I didn't really like any of them. They were mostly either too heavy (almost foundation-like, which BB cream is not supposed to be like) or they were basically tinted moisturizer re-packaged to say BB cream on the bottle. But this one is not like any of the other ones on the American market. 

Not this one. The description from the Whitening Lightning website says that it is "creamy but sheer," just like a good BB cream should be. And it is. It's not sticky and heavy, nor is it too liquidy to apply well. It includes "light reflecting particles and golden shimmer," which is supposed to suit every skin tone or type. It looks awesome. Usually I do not really like shimmery products, just because in the wrong light it can make you look greasy instead of glowing. But this product makes your skin look amazing. It is super easy to apply (the site says that it "can be used alone, as a cream highlighter or mixed with your favorite liquid foundation", lightweight (perfect for the summer), and has wonderful coverage. 

And it comes with a pump top, which makes it so much better than most of the BB creams on the American market (which usually have the flip-top lid with the squeeze bottles). Since a little goes a long way, you won't accidentally squeeze out way more than you need and waste good BB cream. Plus, it's a lot more hygienic. It's made in the USA, cruelty-free, and gluten-free. 

Seriously, I swear on it. I am in love with the way that this covers my skin and makes my skin glow. It is available here on the Whitening Lightning website for $36 a bottle, which is comparable to the Korean brands, but you don't have to pay a ridiculous shipping fee or worry that the product is not authentic (all of which are reasons I was looking for a good brand in America.) 

(This product was sent to me for review, but all opinions are my own.)