Tuesday, February 4, 2014

December 2013 Glambag

December's theme was "Celebration" and Ipsy definitely gave me something to celebrate as my year-end bag was a pretty solid one. I received 4 full-sized products, and one very generous "sample" sized eyeshadow palette. Unfortunately some of these products, while a great value, didn't live up to my expectations. Of course, there were also others that totally blew them out of the water.

POP Beauty Bright Up Your Life Eyeshadow Trio in Naturally Bare
$24 for 10 color palette
Sample Value, $7.20

It seems to me that Ipsy has been partnering pretty closely with POP Beauty, as they've sampled their products in almost every bag over the past 6 months. I was really excited to try the brand at first. They have adorable packaging, and their products look fun and versatile. However, with each new thing I try I become more and more disappointed with the quality of the brand as a whole. These eyeshadows were unfortunately no exception. The colors themselves are pretty - warm toned neutrals with a shimmery finish - but the quality was lacking. As you can see from the swatch below, the lightest color is barely visible, even with a heavy swatch (sidenote, this swatch was done without primer). Texture-wise they're on the powdery side and the shimmer feels a bit cheap looking. There are definitely much better quality eyeshadows out their on a drugstore budget.

Be a Bombshell The One Stick in Flustered
Full-size, $16

For the second time in a row I've received a Be a Bombshell product in my Glambag. I can't say that I'm a huge fan of the brand so far.  I totally appreciate the necessity of a little mark-up for less established brands that are getting themselves on their feet, but even then I still feel like these Be a Bombshell products are a bit overpriced for how they perform. This do-all stick is meant to be used as a blush, lips stick, and shadow. Flustered, which is an ultra-bright shimmering red-pink, is a little too wild to cross into eyeshadow territory for my taste. If used sparingly it adds a nice flush of color to your cheeks, but I find it to be too drying for my lips (which is probably partially because of the glitter).

Mirabella Eye Blender Brush
Full-Size, $27

I was super excited to see a brush in my bag this month. While they say that the tools certainly don't make the artist, having good tools certainly doesn't hurt! I've amassed quite a collection of makeup brushes, and I'm always on the hunt for my "Holy Grail" versions of each type. I'm not sure if this outperforms my current Sephora eye blender brush, but it certainly way prettier. The brushed aluminum handle is not only beautiful, but has a satisfyingly solid feel to it. The bristles are soft and do a decent job of blending out any harsh edges or adding a soft wash of color to your eye look. This will definitely be a happy addition to my dresser!

Nicka K New York Nail Color in Classic Taupe
Full-Size, $4.99

Ahh, nailpolish. Being a bit of a polish hoarder I've tried quite a few brands and have gotten a bit picky about the formulas I like to use. I was completely floored to find out that this polish retails at only $4.99. It totally outperformed some of the polishes that are 3 times the price. First of all, I absolutely love the color Classic Taupe. It's a perfect everyday neutral that looks ultra chic and classy for both the workplace and happy hour afterward. As for the polish, two coats had perfect coverage and were a breeze to apply. It also dries insanely fast. To illustrate this, I put a fresh coat of polish on 30 minutes before I went bowling, and not a single chip, smear, or smudge. That's right. Bowling. Beyond that, with a good top and base coat (I've been using the new Sephora X) this lasted A WEEK without chipping. A WHOLE WEEK. That doesn't happen for me quite possibly ever with normal polishes. Needless to say, I was impressed. The color selection of the brand as a whole is a bit disappointing, so I'm not sure what other colors I'd want to invest in, but I will at least love using this polish for now.

NYX Extra Creamy Round Lipstick in Ceto
Full-Size, $4.00

NYX has become probably my favorite affordable makeup line. Their products, while very inexpensive, perform really well. Their lipsticks (most of which are under $5) have a solid formula and come in a seemingly endless number of colors. The color I got this time around, Ceto is a sheer, shimmering nude-pink that is flattering with a lot of different looks. While it's not the most long-lasting formula, nor the most nourishing, at a $4 price point I'm not looking for luxury. Another happy addition to the lipstick drawer.

And that rounds up my December Glambag! The Mirabella brush was a huge value to receive in a $10 subscription bag, so I'm pretty thrilled about that. I think my all out favorite, though was the $5 Nicka K nail polish. That stuff is amazing. If you're interested in learning more about the Ipsy Glambag and how you can sign up, check out my detailed run-down here.

Total Value: $59.19