Thursday, January 26, 2017

January 2017 Ipsy bag review

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Last week I gave a first glance at my monthly Ipsy bag, and today I'm going to actually review it.

I gave this bag a rating of 5 out of 5. I was pretty darn happy with it.


Base Smooth & Matte Primer

Before trying this I didn't think I would like it because it's matte, but I think it's actually my favorite primer to date. I've been using it along with my Hey Honey serum and it applies so smoothly and flawlessly. Perfect.

theBalm Cosmetics

Bahama Mama

This matches my skin tone a lot better than I thought it would. It's actually much lighter than it seemed, and the matte texture surprised me by working well even with my dry skin. I think this bronzer is my best match so far.

Jelly Pong Pong

Coffee + Coconut Lip Scrub

 This lib scrub smells awesome. The jar seems so tiny, but I found you really only need to use a little bit and it goes a long way. It does a very good job of making my lips so smooth. However, that doesn't seem to last long before they're chapped again. Definitely not a miracle product but it works well at least temporarily.

Naked Cosmetics

Mica Pigment in Desert Sunset #02

This product is pretty awesome. It is so versatile and absolutely gorgeous. I love applying it to my lips to give a matte color a beautiful metallic look. So full of sparkle and glitter. I couldn't be happier with this.



Ciaté London


I like how fast this top coat dries, but I noticed it seemed to make my nail polish crack after a few days.


If you're not familiar with Ipsy, they are a subscription service where you get 5 beauty items a month delivered to your door. Sometimes you get full sized items, sometimes travel or sample sized. But they're fun just if you like to try new things. For me, it's been a great experience to try new products and types of products as I learn more about makeup. Additionally, they have a cool rewards program where if you review items on their Web site, share your bag, etc. you get points which can be used to exchange for free products. Score! (Referral link follows.) You can sign up for your custom monthly Ipsy bag here.  

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Our first dagashi box

I have nothing to disclose. 

If you don't know what a dagashi box is then you definitely need to keep reading or check out YouTube. Basically its a box full of cheap dollar store type snacks. My husband and I have been watching videos of people trying these out for years. Buzzfeed does a lot of these where for example they have people from Britian trying out American snacks. Or Americans trying out Japanese snacks. You get the idea. So for Christmas this year we decided to go ahead and buy one and invited my sister in law and her husband over to try it out with us.

I ordered this on Christmas Day. The expected delivery date was end of January to middle of February. It actually only took about two weeks so I was very pleased with the fast shipping. It was $18 for a thirty piece box but I counted and actually got one bonus piece probably because a few items were on the small side. I used a gift card so I actually got this for free. Still I feel like with it's worth the price.

Let's take a closer look at what we got.

Let me just say that I really didn't care for the fish flavored products. The BigK... fish thing on the bottom in this picture I believe is the one everyone agreed tasted like fish sticks. Everyone else seemed to think it got better as you tasted it. I thought it got worse. I really didn't like it. Everything else in this picture was really good. The pink fish is like a strawberry wafer and probably my favorite item from the entire box. So good. My sister in law's husband got hooked on the mini cola candy. The hamburger looking thing is like a pancake and we think it's filled with the sweet bean paste.

These chow mein noodles were good though my sister in law's husband thought they tasted burnt. The rice cracker above it I think my husband didn't care for but I liked them. Pretty much everything else was good or just OK. We first opened one of these packages with the wacky little characters on it. I'm not sure which one unfortunately but that thing was awful. I think it was like a teriyaki cheese curl type of thing. The rest of them were either really good or just good but none of the others were bad. 

The strawberry snacks we think were yogurt covered sort of rice crispy treats. Those were very good. I really enjoyed the soda pop gummy. That was probably another favorite. I'm not really sure why the cherry squares came with a toothpick but we liked those as well. Love the packaging with the little squirrel and rabbit and those were good. 

I kind of want to hate Milky. My husband has been teasing me ever since I opened this box teasing me that it looks like me. But I cannot hate the candy because it was pretty good. Sort of tasted like taffy. The grape gum I really liked but we didn't realize it was gum so trying it half way through the box kind of messed up the plan. The yellow and green things were good. The pickled plum was kind of hilarious because we didn't know what it was at first. My sister in law tried to eat the pit by accident. My husband had a bad intolerance to tamarin several years ago so he kind of freaked out that he might get sick from this. The other two of us thought it was good but strange. I didn't try the Christmas marshmallow looking thing because I don't like marshmallows. And again Bleh to the fish thing. The fish jerky they said was good but I didn't try it since it was such a small piece and well the fish jerky stuff scared me. The jello cup thing and soda pop we haven't tried yet but I think the pop feels like it broke in shipping. 

So all in all I feel like this was definitely worth the money simply for the fun and experience. I would really like to try snack boxes from other countries. 

One final note. We did eat supper first so we filled up fast on these. They seemed to be much more filling than expected. At the same time it didn't seem like they were as chemical filled as American snacks. 

I bought this Japanese snack box on Amazon. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

My January Ipsy bag - first look

You know it's funny, I received my January Ipsy bag today and this month's theme is Metropolis. I was reflecting on how ironic it is that January is associated with making better choices, trying to be healthier... and they give us a bag based on city life. Having grown up in a large city down the street from factories, I can tell you there is nothing healthy about growing up in a city full of pollution. As I grew up, I slowly watched the trees being torn down all around our neighborhood. Not to mention the crime. It became so dangerous that I rarely left my house - partly due to my own paranoia but that kind of happens after you've been assaulted as a child I suppose. So I just find the whole them rather ironic.

On the subject of healthy habits, before I show you what I got in my Ipsy bag, I'm sure you've noticed I'm suddenly blogging again. After about 7 months of working third shift, my husband switched to second shift this week. I remember when we first switched to third shift and how I suddenly started feeling so angry and depressed for no apparent reason. Now we're on second and I feel more productive. It's going to be awhile before my sleep and everything is sorted out, so I'm still really freaking tired but this schedule is obviously so much healthier for us. Probably not as healthy as first shift, but at least now we're getting some sun. It's obvious now how important the sun is for our health. Here's hoping he never has to take another third shift job.

Another thing which really benefits me is reading before bed. I've had this habit probably most of my life but for awhile there we weren't doing it and I definitely noticed a difference. I dream more when I read before going to sleep and it really wakens up my creative mind. So once again, I feel like it makes me more productive because it gets my creativity going to do more with that aspect.

On the other hand, I've been so darn tired that I haven't done much genealogy lately - which had been my main pastime for the last few months. I've mostly just been cleaning, cooking and reading. I decided to go for the Goodreads reading challenge again this year - which I'm obviously going to have to adjust my goal because I've already read nine books this year and I set a challenge of 45. (I read Ever Wrath quite awhile ago but just marked it as read so now it's coming up as read for today - annoying.)

I met my goal of finally reading all of CM Owens's work - at least those which aren't in collabs or short stories - still need to read those. And at least until her next dozen books are released :D I'm also finally getting through some of Alexia Purdy's work - really enjoying the ArcKnight books so far. They're different.

So as I am suddenly feeling like I'm going to fall asleep - because it's day time and my body still thinks I should be asleep right now - moving on to the reason I began this post in the first place.

Here's a peak at what I got in my Ipsy bag this month. I was so very happy to be getting the Ciate top coat this time.

Temptu base smooth and matte primer - what is it with everything being matte this season? It's kind of driving me crazy because I keep seeing matte everything as I am sitting here with bloody knuckles from dry, cracked skin. I may just try this a few times for review then save it for summer when I actually need matte products.

theBalm Cosmetics Bahama Mama bronzer - first look at this bronzer and I'm going to guess that this might be just a bit too dark of a bronzer for me - which I have told Ipsy numerous times I need a lighter bronzer. Whatever. I guess this can be used to color your eyebrows so I may just do that. Again, this is matte. Of course.

Jelly Pong Pong coffee and coconut lip scrub - I'm super excited to try this. It smells interesting, not quite how I expected. Not really coffee like. I can't really place the smell. I've been wanting to try a lip scrub so I'm excited to try this.

Naked Cosmetics mica pigment in Desert Sunset #2 - I feel like I've been wanting to try naked Cosmetics for years. Oh wait, I have. I didn't realize you could use this stuff for so many things until I saw the post from Ipsy about it. Not just eyeshadow but as a highlighter, nail color of course, lip color, etc. This is going to be awesome to try out. The color is absolutely gorgeous and I haven't even opened it yet.

Ciate London Gelology top coat - yeah, I just need a new top coat to try out. It's Ciate. Need I say more? Looking forward to trying this out soon... but I have so many new polishes from Christmas to try so it might be awhile? I shall see. I was surprised to see this bottle is silver. That seems odd to me, but it sure does stand out among my other polishes.

The bag itself is kind of neat. I didn't realize it was two separate layers of fabric until I received it. It's different, I'll give it that.

What did you get this month in your bag? Anything in particular you love or hate so far? Let me know in the comments!

If you're not familiar with Ipsy, they are a subscription service where you get 5 beauty items a month delivered to your door. Sometimes you get full sized items, sometimes travel or sample sized. But they're fun just if you like to try new things. For me, it's been a great experience to try new products and types of products as I learn more about makeup. Additionally, they have a cool rewards program where if you review items on their Web site, share your bag, etc. you get points which can be used to exchange for free products. Score! (Referral link follows.) You can sign up for your custom monthly Ipsy bag here

Monday, January 16, 2017

What's in my bag

After yesterday's post I thought it might be fun to show you all what exactly I have in my makeup bag this month. If I remember correctly the only thing which will be expiring next month is the mascara so I will be switching that out.

Born Pretty Store blender - which yeah, I know, it needs cleaned :P This one is just OK. It was cheap so it doesn't work as well as my old one. I found this one to work best dry, actually. This is the only item in my picture which I actually bought, that wasn't in an Ipsy bag.

Vasanti eyeshadow 2 I received in my July 2016 Ipsy bag. I'm not really picky about brushes and tend to use the same brushes for everything - yeah I know I shouldn't. Maybe once I use a variety of brushes more I'll be more selective, I don't know.

MeMeMe blush brush from my October 2016 Ipsy bag. This works just OK for me. It doesn't seem to pick up as much product as other brushes I've used.

Hot Mama from theBalm Cosmetics. This doubles as an eyeshadow. Received in my October 2016 Ipsy bag.

TréStique Bora Bora Coral I received in my February 2016 Ipsy bag. I'm not that crazy about the color. It seems too orange for me... or if I wanted that much blush on me I would just not apply makeup (I'm pale but my cheeks are always so red, ugh!)

Beauté Basics 3 tone bronzer. Received in my August 2016 Ipsy bag. I like that there are 3 colors, but the darkest is kind of too dark for me if I don't really really blend it out.

Dirty Little Secrets Bellissima. Can also double as an eyeshadow. I received this in my June 2016 Ipsy bag. I really like the color but it almost seems too intense of a color for me. I'm so pale, it's like - wow - color! So I guess it's great for getting that healthy glow.

Tarte smoothe operator finishing powder which I usually forget to use. I got this for free with my Ipsy reward points.

Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme. I don't always use this. Received in my September 2016 Ipsy bag. I like it, and use it typically as a regular gloss. Haven't noticed much additional plump to my lips since they're already so full.

TréStique Nantucket Nude. I usually use the Lip Injection with this because my lips are too dry for matte lip products. I don't really like the color but I'm using it up anyway. I got this in one of my Ipsy bags.

Ipsy Nyx Three Color Palette. I got this in an older Ipsy bag. I haven't used the black much, and actually I've used the lightest color the most. It makes for a good foundation color and it has a pretty sparkle to it which I really like.

Jesse's Girl eye shadow primer. Got this with Ipsy reward points.

Revlon Photoready Eye Art in Fuchsia Flash. Christmas present from my mom. Used as eyeliner also. Can be used to add some glitter to the lashes too. I found if you use the glitter end as an eyeshadow, your lids will stick together and it's pretty uncomfortable and just looks weird, too. Haven't tried my setting powder on top of it so that may be something to do.

The Balm Meet Matt(e) Trimony I received in my June 2016 Ipsy bag. I don't hate this, don't love it. Pretty neutral on this eyeshadow. Mine is much more blue than the Ipsy picture.

Instanatural eyelash serum. I don't normally use this but it's in there anyway. I received this in exchange for an honest review.

pūr~lisse 4 in 1 eye serum. I usually don't use this, though it did seem to work ok. I got this in my January 2016 Ipsy bag.

Tarte tarteist mascara I received in my August 2016 Ipsy bag.

Not pictured
Jersey Shore Cosmetics Peppermint lip balm. I love this stuff. Received in my December 2016 Ipsy bag.

LA Colors Jumbo Eye Pencil. I have about twenty of these which will be expiring soon so I switch them up with the products above. Can be used as eyeliner or eyeshadow.

Elf makeup mist and set. I keep forgetting to use this because I'm new to setting products. I found this can work well or really bad. Don't spray too close to your face because it will smear your eye makeup.

CoverGirl and Olay Simply Ageless liquid foundation in Ivory. I'm using this pretty much most of the year in the drier months when my face needs the extra oil. Otherwise I would use a mattifying product to dry it out a bit. It seems like this color is off just a little bit. I swear I'm like, somewhere in between what they call Ivory and Porcelain as far as foundation colors go. This is almost too orange, but my Porcelain foundation makes me look white. Maybe I need to combine the two?

I'm hopefully getting my Ipsy bag tomorrow so I will have that posted to my Instagram when I receive it. As you can see, I can pretty much get by without having to buy any extra makeup aside from what I get in my Ipsy bag each month. Every once in awhile I buy something but not often. For $10 a month, I won't complain.

If you're not familiar with Ipsy, they are a subscription service where you get 5 beauty items a month delivered to your door. Sometimes you get full sized items, sometimes travel or sample sized. But they're fun just if you like to try new things. For me, it's been a great experience to try new products and types of products as I learn more about makeup. Additionally, they have a cool rewards program where if you review items on their Web site, share your bag, etc. you get points which can be used to exchange for free products. Score! (Referral link follows.) You can sign up for your custom monthly Ipsy bag here.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Makeup organization

Last year I really focused on getting my home more organized. I still have a long way to go but I got started. As far as makeup goes I had so much. Too much. I don't know how beauty bloggers do it because I had too much just from the few items I have reviewed or won in giveaways. Here is what I did to get organized and this has worked really well for me.

To start I gathered everything and tossed anything which had expired. This included anything I knew was old but did not have an expiration symbol. It did not include my nail polish because no. I can't.

Next I sorted everything by type. Eye shadows in one pile. Lipsticks in another. You get the idea. Then I entered everything into a spreadsheet. I have it sorted by types. Those are then sorted by expiration dates so I have my makeup which expires first listed first.

Looking at my spreadsheet I take one of each item and put those in one of my old Ipsy bags. So there you have it. Easy no thinking makeup for a month. At the end of the month I look at my spreadsheet and toss anything which has expired and replace it with the next to expire item.

Here's a photo of my current bag. For my nail polish I set out anything new to be tried out and once I've used them I get out my stash and pick out some oldies to use. So I actually have a mix of new and old in this picture.

Additional items like cuticle cream or lip balm go in my makeup storage unit. I keep brushes not in use here. I also have extra lip sticks, eyeliners, etc. here for when I get bored of using the same products every day. 

I also usually keep my newest Ipsy bag out and mix those items with my daily makeup bag. Once I review the items they go into the appropriate location. 

Here in this last picture I have four Sterilite boxes. I keep my nail art supplies in one. In another I keep any extra makeup which won't fit in my other places. Then one has exercise items and the last is just odds and ends. The large box in front there is my new Zumba set I got for Christmas.  Then I have my at home spa and my gel nail light. All of the other boxes store my nail polish. 

I actually am working on weeding out some polishes because I've found the new polish just doesn't last long. Especially not the jellies. I will probably get rid of some when Zoya hast their next Earth Day sale. 

So that's how I've gotten organized and for me it works. 

My spreadsheet makes it easy for me to see when I'm going to have to buy more makeup. I also keep track of my Ipsy preferences and what I actually receive within the spreadsheet. I tweak my Ipsy preferences based on what I'm going to need and so far it has worked pretty well and I've been much happier with my bags. For instance I know I will need more mascara soon but I have enough moisturizer to last me many months so I will change my Ipsy settings to kind of reflect that. 

Let me know in the comments how you stay organized.