Saturday, July 20, 2013

July 2013 Ipsy Glambag and Beachy Waves Tutorial

Good morning world!

Happy Saturday :-)

I couldn't be happier that the weekend is here. I decided to celebrate by cooking myself a legitimate breakfast - scrambled eggs and blueberry pancakes (nom nom). I saw Wild Blueberries & Multigrain Pancake & Waffle Mix at Target earlier this week and couldn't resist.

I have to say, I love Target's Archer Farms brand. They carry so many interesting foods (like the peach salsa I also have in my fridge) and they're very reasonably priced. Between them and Trader Joe's I find so many unique and delicious things without overstepping my budget each month.

These pancakes were quite tasty. I even added in some fresh blueberries (oooh...fancy). They have more of a bite to them because of the multigrain, but I kind of like that.

Now that my tummy is full and happy, and I've gotten my day off to a good start I definitely have to fill you in on this month's Glambag.

The theme this month was Beach Beauty and all of your summer inspired products come in a nifty pink plastic bag.

Here's what I got:
POP Beauty Pouty Pop Crayon in Coral Crush
BH Cosmetics California Collection Eyeshadow Sampler
Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Beach Spray
Coola Rose Essence Tinted Moisturizer
Derma-e Microdermabrasion Scrub

In general I have to say that I was a lot less impressed with this month's bag than last months. To be fair, my bag last month contained mostly full-sized products, all of which I love and still use regularly, so it's difficult to top. Even still, I wasn't very happy with the color cosmetics in this month's bag.

Let's start with the POP Pouty Pop Crayon. This was the only full-sized product in this month's bag. POP is a drugstore level line of cosmetics. Drugstore cosmetics are hit or miss for me. Sometimes you'll find a product for less than $10 that is just as good as if not better than a $30 equivalent. But more often than not price is a pretty good indicator of quality. I haven't been able to find these crayons individually, and a set of 6 is valued at $25. That puts the value of one crayon around $4...and based on the performance, that's about what I'd be willing to pay for it. The color itself, Coral Crush, is pretty, although a little bright. It actually goes somewhat well with my Instain blush sample from Birchbox. The formula, though, is chalky, and has no real lasting power. It's something that I'll probably use for the sake of using it this summer, but I definitely wouldn't buy the whole set.

The other color product this month was an eyeshadow sampler from BH Cosmetics. BH Cosmetics released 3 multi-product palettes inspired by Californian cities, and there is one shadow from each of these palettes in the sampler. The colors themselves are okay. Hollywood is a deep royal purple (maybe even more blue than purple), San Francisco is a chocolate brown, and Malibu is a gold. All three have a bit of shimmer to them. The big letdown for me on these shadows is the color payout. Without any primer these shadows are barely visible, and even then I had to really pack the color on to get the look I wanted. I've used Hollywood wet as a liner, and that did help concentrate the pigment some. Still, for my first experience with BH Cosmetics I'm not too impressed.

My bag also included a sample of Coola's SPF 20 Mineral Sunscreen aka Tinted Moisturizer with Rose Essence. I've gotten to try Coola's organic sunscreen from Birchbox in the past, and I've though it was all right. I dig that they are a company that tries to use organic and vegan ingredients. Unfortunately though, the products I've tried so far haven't been amazing enough that I'd want to purchase a full-sized version. This "mineral sunscreen" provides a very sheer coverage. The tint is a light to medium shade, erring more on the side of medium than light (aka, this one might be a little too orange-y on my super pale skinned friends). It also has a sort of strange fragrance to it from the "rose essence". It's not discernibly rose scented, but it definitely smells like something. It's enough to make me go, "What is that?" during the day, before remembering that it's my face.

I'm not sure if I'm a fan of that.

There really isn't anything about this product that gives it an edge over anything else I'd already use. If I wanted higher SPF alone I have many moisturizers with sunscreen that provide better protection. And if I needed coverage in addition to SPF I have many a BB/CC cream that cover blemishes better than this while still looking natural.

So, now that I've gotten my gripes out of the way, let's get on to the redeeming factors of this month's bag. First is the Derma-e Microdermabrasion Scrub. Personally I have to be careful with exfoliation because it can exacerbate acne, and my skin is already hypersenstive thanks to all the medication that I have to use to keep said acne in check. But, for those of you out there who don't have the same skincare woes as me, this product is great! It's a pretty intense exfoliator that should probably only be used on a weekly basis (maybe 2 times a week if your skin can handle it). It also smells lovely, thanks to citrus oils, which makes it all the more fun to use. The price point for the full size (2.0 oz) is a little hefty at $32.50. If you are looking for something a little less expensive The Body Shop's Vitamin C Microdermabrasion ($21.00 for 2.5 oz) is very similar.

Last but not least is Sexy Hair's Soy Renewal Beach Spray. I've been using this in conjunction with a sample that I got from Sephora of Bumble and Bumble's Surf Shampoo and Conditioner. The combination has been pretty awesome. My hair has a lot of extra volume and texture, which I'm always trying to achieve. It also leaves you hair with that awesome saltry/citrusy/oceany fragrance that comes along with most "beach" products.

Since it's Saturday, and for once I have some free time, I decided to do a little hair experiment. I love the look of beachy waves, but my hair is so stick straight that they're often impossible to achieve. I decided to try out a new approach using my Beach Spray sample to see if I can make my hair cooperate.

I started out with damp hair that had been towel dried.

Spritz the Sexy Hair Beach Spray all over your hair, concentrating from the midshaft down. Since my hair gets oily I didn't want to get too much in the root area to prevent greasies.

Next, separate a section of hair from the top of your head and smooth with a comb. Roll the hair ends around one of your fingers to start the curl, then continue rolling downward toward your scalp. Secure the base of the curl to your head with bobby pins.

Continue to roll and pin sections of your hair until your entire head is complete. Something like this!

Because my hair was still a little damp at this point, I decided to bust out my blow dryer with a diffuser attachment to help speed up the drying process and introduce a little heat to help the curls set.

And now...waiting. Everything has to be completely cooled (and dry) so that your curls will actually hold when you unpin them. I took this opportunity to go clean up my kitchen from breakfast. At least a half an hour later (or longer, if you feel like it). It's time to start unpinning!

When all the pins are out, gently run your fingers through the curls to bring them together.

I like to use a soft finishing hairspray to give my hair a little more hold and to keep everything in place. Flip your hair upside down and spray away to give more volume.

Voila! Sexy Beachy waves...even on hair that hates to be anything other than straight!

How long it will hold up only time will tell. Still, I think my hair experiment was a success.

And now that I'm all dolled up, I think it's about time I get my day going and get out of the house!

Stay gorgeous!

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