Sunday, 18 January 2015

Ipsy January 2015 Review

Box: Ipsy (Referral link)
Price: $10/month, $110/year; $4.95 shipping to Canada
Ships to: North America
What’s inside: Various beauty product samples and full size products, very roughly personalized

This month's bag is a tough tarp-like material, with blue on one side, white on the other, and an orange zipper. Sort of nautical -- I like it, but probably wouldn't take it out. 

Be Good. Good Day. Day Moisturizer 15g/0.5oz || Value: $11.75
Beneficial ingredients of note: aloe juice (second ingredient), cucumber fruit extract, sodium hyaluronate
Detrimental ingredients of note: some extracts which may be beneficial but may alternatively cause irritation -- maqui berry, licorice root, ginko leaf, grape seed, hickory bark
I haven't used this yet, since I have tons of moisturizer to attend to. The ingredients list looks good, though -- I love me some sodium hyaluronate, and aloe works very well with my skin. The bag design is a nice way to save on packaging materials, sort of combining the best of sample pouch (small size, ability to squeeze all contents out) with a normal container (sealable). 

MALIN + GOETZ Mojito Lip Balm 5.66g/0.20oz || Value: $6.85
Beneficial ingredients of note: several fatty acid polymers designed to condition the skin
Detrimental ingredients of note: fragrance (near end of list)
I'm not a huge fan of lip balms, and I've said it before -- despite now having plenty to choose from every day. It used to be that I hated the feeling of product on my lips, but now it's that nothing is able to keep my obnoxiously dry lips in check! I was about to throw this in the trading heap before taking a look at the ingredients list, which is strangely scarce of the usual coconut oil, vitamin E, and so on. The idea of a balm entirely made of lab-derived skin conditioners intrigued me, so I tried it out for a few days. This balm is a completely clear gel which is a bit more greasy than sticky. It goes on like a thick lip gloss with tons of sheen, with a very faint smell of lime. It feels pretty heavy on the lips for a while; after about half an hour it sinks in a touch but the lips are still slippery.

That said: it works. I would rate it as good as my beloved Epic Blend lip balms in terms of ability to keep my lips unchapped. Unfortunately, the lack of wearability really makes this difficult to recommend to anyone as a daytime balm. If you hate the stickiness of Vaseline, but need an intensive lip balm overnight, I could recommend this.

Hikari Cosmetics Mechanical Eye Liner in Storm (Slate Grey) Full size? || Value: $13?
I was excited when I saw this in my Glam Room (the online product information card, which can be accessed before receiving one's bag). I think a grey eyeliner would be super neat. But when it was in my hands, it immediately broke! What? The very top part, about 2cm long, just popped off completely -- I figure it must have been used in constructing the liner or something. It wasn't difficult to pop it back on, but not a good first impression. The entire liner is made of flimsy plastic which feels insubstantial in the hand -- very light. The black paint is also chipping off slightly. I thought from my arm swatch (see below) that the quality would make up for it... but let me tell you. This did not work on the eyes at all. For some reason there was zero pigmentation when I tried it out on my eyelid, and it dragged quite a bit. Super disappointed, would not recommend.

Manna Kadar Cosmetics Sheer Glo 7.65g/0.27oz || Value: $7.83
Beneficial ingredients of note: none
Detrimental ingredients of note: parfum (last ingredient)
I think this is supposed to be some sort of all over luminizer. Yellow-toned friends, run away. This is super pink. The formula itself is very lightweight (prone to flying out of the bottle with a single squeeze) and moisturizer-like in texture; it appears as a pinky brown colour with slight shimmer. I've actually found use for this as a blush, surprisingly enough. Underneath some light foundation it gives just enough rosiness on days I don't want to look like I'm wearing blush, you know?

Pacifica Natural Mineral Coconut Eye Shadow in Treasure 0.08oz || Estimated value: $3.50

A lot of people seemed to hate the Pacifica shadow duo from last May due to it's formula. Having compared it to some better quality shadows, I can see why they would think that (though I've gotten quite a bit of use from it on my natural makeup days). Luckily, this shadow has a much improved formula, perhaps benefiting from the coconut oil in the ingredients list. It's a nice bronzey, coppery colour which a lot of people have been calling gold -- but I disagree. What I do agree with is people saying it's too similar to the Be a Bombshell cream shadow we've gotten a few months ago. I'm not a huge fan of the BaB brand so I'm happy to have something else to use, instead. This shadow absolutely requires primer to be at it's... prime. (Sorry.)

Top to bottom: eyeshadow (left primer, right bare skin), Sheer Glo, eyeliner
Sorry about the blown out picture, y'all! The shadow appears more or less true to life. It has a nice pearly finish in the light. The swatch is one swipe with a finger. The Sheer Glo is somewhat rubbed into the skin as you would do on your face; you can see how pink it is on my skin. The eyeliner looks pigmented on the arm but as stated does not work on the lid due to how much it drags. It also appears more of a light-gray in real life.

Again, this is a month from Ipsy where I can't say I'm in love, but can't say I hate it to the point of unsubscribing. I'm hypothetically able and would like to use all five of these products, but the eyeliner was such terrible quality that I don't think it will ever be picked up again. I did enjoy the shadow and balm, and the Sheer Glo will be just fine the way I've repurposed it. The moisturizer will also be used if patch testing goes well. Another month, another Ipsy, another "eh, decent enough" reaction.

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