Saturday, February 1, 2014

January 2014 Ipsy Bag - Unbagging and Review!

Hello! Hope you guys are having a great start to your weekend! The end of the week was a little annoying, what with the snow storm. It wasn't too bad though, after my initial drive to work (which sucked, but at least I made it alive), and the snow stopped falling, everything got plowed in a timely manner and getting home was easy. I also think I'm getting acclimated to the cold; before, when it was 3°F out I thought I was going to die. Now when it's 1°F, I comment on how much warmer and pleasant it is. So it goes.

But I'm sure you don't want to talk about the weather, especially since the title of this post is not about the weather but about my January 2014 Ipsy bag!
The shiny pink mailer full of possibilities! Also that was cheesy and I'm sorry.
I'll start with this month's bag, since that's the thing you usually see first (at least I try to, sometimes there are items that don't fit in the bag so they're loose in the mailer and people may or may not pull them out first and I have no idea why I'm basically giving you a disclaimer about this).
This month we got a blue on blue bag with a bunch of cosmetic bottle silhouettes. The bag feels like it's sturdy and made of a waterproof material, but it also kind of have a weird, chemical smell at first. It's aired out now for a while so the smell is gone, but it was really strong when I first pulled it out of the mailer. I really like the color scheme of this bag, but the design not so much. I don't know why, but I think it just reminds me of someone's bathroom counter and that's just not that cute. My bag also arrived stained! I don't know how well it shows up in the picture, but there's a dark spot, like something greasy spilled on it, but it's there permanently.
Apparently this month's theme was "19 Reasons" and Ipsy wanted you to write a reason why 2014 will be amazing, take a picture, and then share it using a social media platform of your choice. Not sure where the "19" comes from, especially since I don't really follow Ipsy anywhere, nor am I familiar with the beauty gurus who run Ipsy. This part of the card also lists all the different brands who contributed products to January's bag.
And this is the back of the card which talks more about where to post your pictures and how you can win a year of Ipsy for free.

Now to the best part: the products! As always, I got five products this month. Unlike the past few months, everything was deluxe sized with no full sized products (but for only $10 a month, not a big deal). This month was a little disappointing, but it wasn't so much that I felt cheated or that I wasted my money. I still think this bag was a great deal and I'm still happy to be subscribed to Ipsy. You'll see what I mean as I go through what I got.

Even though I think I talked about it last in my video, I'll talk about the most disappointing product first.
This is a set of four Proactiv+ Mark Fading Pads. While these are in foil packets, I don't count these as "foil packet samples" since A. you get four of them and B. this is actually how the full size of this product comes. You just get more (I think 30) in the box. These are one time use pads that you swipe across your face as part of the Proactiv+ acne treatment plan. They have a 2% concentration of salicylic acid and are described as a "no-rinse peel". What makes these the most disappointing thing in January's bag is not what they do, but what they're a part of. I don't think it's very fair when sample services include products from brands like Proactiv+ since, if you end up liking them, you usually can't buy them individually, you have to buy the whole set and you can get locked into a monthly commitment. The kit that includes these pads is $39.95 a month and it comes with an eye brightening serum and this new 3-step acne system. I've also heard that, in order to even see any improvement, you have to use this product for at least five days. Since they only gave use four one-time use pads, it's likely you won't be able to form a good opinion about whether you even like these or not. I'll give these a try, but I'm not very happy about them. Not sure what to value these at since I don't know what the box of 30 would cost individually since it's only sold in a set.

I think I'll continue to climb the ladder of satisfaction and end this post on a good note, so I'll do the second most disappointing product next.
There's actually a tie for second most disappointing product; there's one that I can't use due to allergies (but would love to try if I could) and one that I don't like the type of product (though I also can't use it since I'm allergic to it). This is the latter. This is Briogeo's "Don't Despair, Repair!" deep conditioning hair mask. It has avocado, sweet almond, and argan oils in it, which is why I can't use it (to the best of my knowledge I am allergic/sensitive to argan oil). It also has keratin protein (is that redundant? I thought keratin was protein?), rosehip oil, aloe, vitamins B5, D, A, and E, and biotin. It sounds like a good product overall, but I'm just not a fan of hair masks. I've tried a few and they seem to always leave my hair worse off than before I used them; I end up with dry, frizzy, straw-textured hair. I'm not sure if that's because my hair is super fine and prone to getting overloaded or what, but I've never had a good experience with hair masks. Since I'm not going to use this product and will pass it on to someone else, I haven't opened it yet so I don't know how it smells, though I've heard it's rather pleasant. Like I said, I'm sure that this is a good product overall, just not one for me. The full size is 5.25oz and sells for $26, making this 1oz sample worth $5.

And here's the product that I'm interesting in trying but can't due to its ingredients.
This is a sample of Nourish Organic Lightweight Moisturizing Face Lotion. I'm into organic things (food and products and what-not) so I really like the idea of this product. It has the USDA organic seal which makes it legit and it has rosewater, shea butter, and unfortunately argan oil. I'm too scared to put this on my face since I really don't want to have a bad reaction to it (it took forever for the corners of my mouth to heal and get back to normal after using an argan oil lip balm and I really don't want to go through that again) but I may try this out on my hands to see what happens. I'm sure this is a nice product, and I'm sad I can't use it. The full size is $21.99 for 1.7oz and this 0.5oz sample size is worth $6.50.

For the last two products, I'm not sure there's a clear winner for "favorite product out of this month's bag". I like them both and was excited to get them!
I'll start with this sample size Elizabeth Mott Smooth Shadow Creamy Eye Pencil in Pearl. There were two different colors you could have gotten, Penny and Pearl, and I'm glad I ended up with this one. This is a gel formula eye pencil and it claims to be waterproof. Pearl is a gorgeous, shimmery nude color (Penny is a copper color) and they suggest using it as a highlighter as well. They also suggest using it in your lower waterline to help brighten your eyes. I've been on the look out for more waterline-based eye brighteners (I have an old Smashbox one and I picked up one from Pixi but I don't like it all that much), but I always heard that you shouldn't ever use anything with shimmer in your waterline, presumably since the shimmer particles would be irritating. Maybe the particles in this pencil are small enough where they won't irritate your eyes, but it is a waterproof pencil so it could work.
Here's a swatch of it on my weird, veiny hand (I'm leaning on that arm to take the picture which makes my vessels pop out). It's that shimmery swatch near the top. It is a very pretty color and while I haven't yet tried it out (I've been avoiding it since I don't want to end up at work with red, scratchy eyes if it does prove to be irritating) I am looking forward to doing so.

And finally, here is the last item from this month's bag.
This is a Mica Beauty Tinted Lip Balm in the color #6 Fiesta. There were two colors you could get, Fiesta or Natural, and I think I like Fiesta better so yay!
This is an incredibly pigmented lip balm (usually when I hear "tinted lip balm" I think of something very, very sheer. Also something that probably tastes like cherries or something. Not a bad thing) and it's supposed to be kiss-proof/smudge-proof. I can attest that it was pretty hard to get off my hand, so hopefully that means it will stay on my lips. I have a hard time with longevity of lip products; they seem to wear off within an hour tops. If even that. I might have to start looking into lip stains or just reapplying my lip products like mad (which also wouldn't be a bad thing because then I'd actually use things up before they go bad). When I was looking at the full size to figure out the value of this sample, it looks like the full size comes with its own brush. That's probably the only downside of this product; lip products that you apply with your fingers can be very unsanitary (I refuse to use them without washing my hands first, so I don't keep them in my bag) and, when they are heavily pigmented like this one, they can get everywhere. I've gotten around this issue by dipping my lip directly in potted lip products such as this (does that make sense? I hope it does...) but it's not the most precise way to apply. The full size is 4g and seems to come with a brush; it retails for $30. This sample pot is 2.5g (theoretically; there are no size labels on the actual pot, I found the weight listed on the info page on the website) and worth $18.75 (though you could consider it worth less than that since it's sans-brush).

Overall, this was an okay bag. It was disappointing in the fact that it included a couple products that I can't use due to allergies and a product that I can't buy on it's own if I end up liking it. The eye pencil and the tinted lip balm are pretty awesome though, and I feel like I got my $10 worth, so I'm not upset or anything. The final(ish) value of my January 2014 Ipsy bag is $36.25, though that doesn't count the value of the Proactiv+ pads since I have no idea what they're worth and the value of the Mica Beauty tinted lip balm may be inflated since the full size comes with a brush and the sample size does not.

Thanks for reading! <3

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