September 2020 IPSY Glam Bag Unboxing

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            Okay so let’s be honest, I still don’t know how I feel about the new Glam Bag Plus experience. I wish that there would just be a list of options that you could pick and you picked three from a larger list because this limited choice nonsense doesn’t work for me. No, instead it’s like we give you four choices like this is a multiple choice test and you have to pick what you want out of those four because sometimes out of those four you don’t want any of them. Also I went to customize right after I got the email and one of the options was already sold out. That seems like poor planning. I wanted a set of masks because I like sheet masks and they were gone already, plan ahead for all of the options because then instead of all four options I only had three and that doesn’t seem fair for something I pay for every month. I know it’s only the second month and they are still working out the bugs but it is kind of annoying to want something or get excited for something and it not be something that you can actually obtain. Bait and switch and that’s not good business practice, yes I also know its first come first serve but it should not have been an option for me if it wasn’t available to me. 

            I also feel like this is becoming more hit and miss to what I like as opposed to the “personalized” experience they hyped up for the whole month of July before the choices started in August. 

            I will give IPSY this though, they are working with a lot of vegan and cruelty free brands which is a huge win in my book. 

            Also one more things before I get into the meat of this post, I never got a tracking email for this which is irksome and as I am writing this I just got a tracking email for my regular Glam Bag that shipped a few days ago because I checked the website, it should be automatic when it ships that an email goes out, it used to be like that. 

The Bag:

            I feel like I am back in the 90’s with this, I remember wearing corduroy pants to kindergarten because it was the mid-90’s and that was a thing you dressed your children in no matter how annoying they were. But I like the pouch, it’s not even really a bag but it feels very fall to me and I am not upset about that one little bit. 

What did I get?

Nature’s Cartel Cream Eyeshadow Trio 

            The shades are Champagne Scandal, 90’s Nude, and Tan Lines from Tahiti, I am not a big fan of cream eyeshadows and I chose this one because the masks were sold out. I clicked a button and then realized too late what I had chosen so this one was an audible on my part. They are nice colors and I like them but I don’t understand from my beauty profile how this was an option for me, I really want to know how they decide your 12 product selection that you can pick from but I guess I will never know. 

Space Case Cosmetics Quad 

            I like Space Case Cosmetics, I have a few of their single pan shadows and this is my first quad, I love the shade names and in this palette they are, Not Rocket Science, Unicorn Horn, Ghost Entered The Host, and Bella Trix. I did choose this one and I wasn’t unhappy with my choice at all because I know how their eyeshadows have performed in the past. They are mostly shimmer shades which is also fine because they can be combined with the billions of other palette’s I have to create some really cool looks. 

Murad Environmental Shield Essential-C Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30

            I like Murad and this was the other one that I chose, Murad makes really good skin care, their products usually don’t aggravate my skin but sometimes everything aggravates my skin so I can’t really make a judgement on it until I actually get around to trying it. This one is expensive! So getting it in a bag like this is really great for a budget. 

Context Vitamin C All Day Eye Cream

            They chose this one and the next one, lots of skin care they choose for me which is a little odd especially when it’s brands that I have never heard of, I love expanding my “liked brands” list so I am not upset about it but I wish that these products came in a cardboard carton so I could understand their benefits without going to the company’s website. The packaging is nice and simple and after Googling the website I have learned some things about it and I like what I see so I am looking forward to trying it out. 

Avant Collagen Intense Radiance Activator Serum

            This choice they made for me confused me a little because it’s anti-aging and then I looked on the website and the price for this normally made my jaw drop to the floor, I swear I had to physically close my mouth with my hand because I couldn’t get my jaw to do the work for me. I am excited to try it because I have gotten more and more into serums in 2020 so that is always a plus but for now it is going to go with the rest of my currently waiting to try skin care in my fridge. 

            I liked the bag, like I usually do I just want to complain about it for a minute because that’s how life works sometimes you just need to get that out and then you can see things more objectively. I normally don’t give a “what is my bag worth” number because IPSY for the Glam Bag Plus promises $120+ and I am going to tell you something that Avant Serum is the $120 already but in total my bag was worth $275.58 if I bought all of those today at retail price. So is ISPY worth getting? Yea, I think so you get a really good value for the money you are spending and the products are usually great so if you like makeup and skin care give it a try with either this one or the regular Glam Bag, I don’t know about the Ultimate because I don’t get it, that would be excessive. 

            Want to hear about all the other stuff I have gotten this year so far? You can, just click on the month: January, March, April, May, June, July, and August

            So do you subscribe? How do you feel about the new Glam Bag Plus customization? Let me know! 

            I will see y’all later in the week with another post so until then have a good week! 

                        -MJ

August 2020 IPSY Glam Bag Plus Unboxing

Hey hey, it’s MJ, 

            Well this is the first month of a new format so I will say my opinions and hope that in the coming months it gets better. So you can personalize three of your products now and most of the products suggested to me were moisturizer, eyeliner (which I still don’t wear), and mascara. Each choice gives you four choices of products and I feel like if they are going to do something like that they should just give you the whole selection of products that they are offering in that particular month. I know that this is the first month and they are going to hopefully send out a survey because I was not the biggest face of all of my choices so I felt like it didn’t give me a lot of options that if I had a larger selection I would have chosen, seriously it was a lot of eyeliner and mascara, moisturizer too and they had already chosen a moisturizer for me so I don’t understand why I was given that option multiple times. Granted I did choose a moisturizer for one but my problem with that was it was the only product that I actually liked/wanted of the four choices they gave me. 

The Bag: 

            I don’t know what I am going to do with these drawstring bags in the future but I’ll figure it out. It’s fine and all the products fit in it but it just doesn’t feel as quality as the bags every month. I think I would rather just not have a bag at all at this point. 

Products: 

Picked for me: 

Huda Beauty Demi Matte Cream Lipstick in Game Changer:

            Okay, I like this one but it’s not exactly the right shade for me, there is too much orange in it and I look better in cool tones so while this is a beautiful color it will for sure have to be a more fall shade for me. I love the packaging but let’s be real Huda Beauty’s packaging usually is. It is a demi matte lipstick and it feel like a mix between a gloss and a lipstick which is an odd consistency but I don’t mind it.

Murad Perfecting Day Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 30:

            I love Murad I have used them for a few years now and I have actually been looking at this exact lotion online for a few months now but I have a lot of moisturizer to get through but it’s fine. It claims to be very hydrating and I always need that especially when it’s consistently like 95 degrees here and it’s just humid so all you are doing is losing all of the moisture out of your body and I know that now as we are getting into the fall and winter my skin will get so dry. 

I picked: 

Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara in Brynn:

            I mean I chose a repeat product because this is my hands down favorite mascara of all time. The packaging is heavy and I cannot recommend this mascara any higher. It’s just so good. I feel like I can’t say much about it because I have already put it in multiple posts, which you can read; they are my July IPSY Glam Bag Plus from last year, and my Top Beauty of 2019. I love it so much. 

Wander Beauty Frame Your Face Precise Brow Gel in Clear:

            I like Wander but this was the least objectionable out of my options the other two I remember were an eyeliner and a mascara and again it felt like  lot of these were the options like they were trying to clean out stock. It’s a clear eyebrow gel and I haven’t really used eyebrow gel in a long time but it’s a much smaller more precise brush than the ELF one I used in college. 

Dermedicine Advanced Skincare Weightless Face Moisturizer SPF 25:

            Another moisturizer in my box this month and I chose this one because again this was the most tuned to my skin care needs of the other products which I honestly cannot remember at the moment. I am looking forward to giving it a try though because I feel like I have gotten so into skin care in the last few years because skin is important so having all sorts of moisturizer is not a bad thing. 

Points Redeemed:

Complex Culture All Over Shadow Brush: 

            You get points every month for reviewing the items and I haven’t redeemed anything in the two and a half years since I started getting IPSY bags, so some of my points have for sure expired but I wanted to redeem something and the Complex Culture brushes are really nice and so having a third one is not a bad thing in my makeup bag. It’s a cute fluffy little shadow brush and I cannot complain about it because it meant that I got an extra item in my bag this month. 

            Overall with this bag, I am hoping that it’s just a learning curve, it’s taking the reviews and insights of their customers and actually it improves because there just will eventually something that will give and it won’t be the best. Four options is a little weird because that means that there are several products that you don’t have a choice on and if you are going to give me a choice let me pick from all the items for the month, let me make my decisions between 30 items or however many there are that month, not 12 that are arbitrarily chosen for me. I suppose only time will tell but I guess in the coming months we will find out how this change stacks up and if it is really all that revolutionary like they made the hype out to be. 

If you want to see what else I have gotten this year you can! January, March, April, May, June, and July.

            I will be back later in the week with another post, have a good start to the week!

            -MJ

What was in my April 2020 ipsy Glam Bag?

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            So I think I have been in quarantine for like a month now, I am still learning how to cope with forced isolation, I am fine with it when I am the one making the choice but not for this long. Like I miss my students. 

            Bright spot though is that I still am getting my ipsy bags, I know that’s a small thing but it is still something that I allow to bring me joy. 

            The bag this month is super cute, I love the dark lilac color and the kind of impressionist flowers. The zipper pull is a wooden ring and I kind of love it. 

What did I get though? 

Kismet Pure Vitamin C Primer:

            It’s sparkly, which is fine for a primer or like a body shimmer with a really diffused glow, it goes on like a water gel and I actually really like how it feels on the skin. The card describes the texture as silky and I completely agree with that sentiment. I have the Kismet sugar lip scrub that I use quite frequently and I like all the products I have gotten the chance to try form them.

Araceli Beauty Chiquita Blending Brush: 

            It’s a brush, I like how it looks, I like how it feels and it’s a nice basic brush, it is vegan and cruelty free and by now if you have read any of my posts you know how much I love seeing those words on beauty products. 

Murad Nutrient-Charged Water Gel:

            I love Murad and I am always happy to try new products from their line. This stuff smells amazing and a little bit goes a long way. It feels really nice on the skin too, I do text most products on my hand because I don’t want my face to break out because of a reaction. It’s oil free which is usually where I get the break outs so I am excited to actually give it a real try.

Neogen Dermatology Real Vita C Serum:

            It smells in the bottle but not on the skin, I like serums but this one is actually really thin but it is used for skin protection against environmental factors and harmful light. I like it  and I probably should wear serums more often anyway. 

Buxom Cosmetics Buxom Lash Volumizing Mascara in Blackest Black:

            I love mascara, there is no denying that and let’s be honest I prefer the travel sized products when it comes to mascara. I think I tried a Buxom mascara years ago but things have changed since then and I am excited to try it. The card tells me that it has vitamins in it that help condition lashes and that’s probably a good thing with mascara being one of the few products that I wear most days when I am at work, (right now I am lucky to leave sweatpants.) I am excited to give it a try though. 

            Overall I actually really like my bag even though it is half skin care but I’m not too mad about that. 

            If you want to read what else I have gotten from ipsy this year, check them out: January and March, February was my dead month so that one doesn’t exist. 

            I’ll see everyone in a few days, stay safe and healthy,

            -MJ

April 2019 Beauty Haul

            I am going to be honest with you guys, I wasn’t even sure if I was going to get a post up today, it’s been one of those weeks where I have felt really creative and great but I have also just felt like sitting on the couch and watching The Incredible Dr. Pol on Hulu, seriously all I have been watching lately and then I am going to move on to other Nat Geo Wild shows because when I watch TV it’s usually something like Science, Discovery and their family of channels, Nat Geo and its subsidiaries, and Animal Planet. I want to learn something while I am watching TV, I also understand now why people watch home improvement shows, I didn’t get it as a kid and now I’m like Look at that crown molding! I yell at home improvement shows like people yell at sports. 

            None of that is what this post is about but maybe someday I will reveal my Netflix and Hulu watch lists, that is not lifestyle or beauty but sometimes I like to deviate from my blog theme and just write whatever I want to. 

            So April I did buy some beauty products, I feel like most of them were necessities though so it wasn’t like I went hog wild and bought out Ulta or Sephora. (No matter how much I want to.) 

            I went to Sephora because it’s birthday month and I get a gift going there so I went and bought a replacement for my Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion because I love it so much and mine is almost empty. I need to get another tube of the Oil Mattifying Lotion as well but I think I am going to use my points at Ulta to do that. I went to Sephora for my lotion though because they have a great selection of prestige skin care and sometimes I like to look at it because it is really pleasing and I know that most of those products wouldn’t make my skin hurt or break out. I say look, not purchase, because usually what I want to try is very expensive. 

            I got up to the register and they put small products up there like candy so you make an impulse purchase, like seriously this is the candy shelf for adults, I picked up a small Sol de Janeiro Coco Cabana Cream. I have heard good things about their other lotion and I really like the coconut smell so I am going to give it a try. 

            The birthday gift I got was a sample of Drunk Elephant jelly cleanser and the polypeptide cream. I have yet to try it but I am hopeful that it doesn’t do me dirty. 

            Okay, onto Ulta, mind you I did this all in one day. It is super dangerous for me to walk into either of these stores and I walked into both on one day. I went in with the intention of purchasing some foundation for work, I have my Urban Decay foundation for more formal things but I use a cheaper for every day wear because I put it on at like 7 and take it off at 4:30 and I want something that lasts all day but does not cost 45 dollars. So I have been using Maybelline but I decided to try something else, this time I got Milani and I think I got their lightest shade. 

            I also got something that was not on my list and that was the Ulta Beauty Avengers palette, like it’s the Avengers and of course I am a sucker for collabs with pop culture things that I like, I bought the Cargo collab palettes with Star Wars and I also got the Colourpop Disney Princesses collab as well. I really want the villains Misunderstood palette as well but I do not need more palettes. Some of the shades in this palette were a little cakey and flakey but it was the top of the pan so I can’t fault them for that. The shades are nice; I am used to more color pay off but they will work. 

            I also got two more sheet masks, both were Tonymoly and those are usually the face masks I purchase, I got a replacement I’m Lemon and I also picked up the I’m Cactus, my lemon one was almost dried out when I put it on a week or so ago so I decided to get another one because I like the mask I just wish mine wouldn’t have been dryer, it is all my fault though because I have had it for a while. 

            So I got some good stuff in April even though when this goes up there are still a few days left in April but I am not planning on buying anything else. 

            Did you get anything good in beauty in April? 

            I’ll see everyone on Saturday or Sunday, I am messing with my upload schedule to see if I want to switch it from Tuesday/Saturday to Wednesday/Sunday. 

Have a good rest of your week!-MJ

Everyday Skin Care Routine

Hey everyone, welcome to February! This would have been posted earlier but I have been doing Professional Development for the transfer of my teaching license all day. To be honest I wasn’t even sure what post I was going to put up today because my original idea required actual planning and to be honest, I forgot. 

            So I figured, what was something that I do pretty regularly that I can share. The first thought that popped into my head was, skin care. I have been really trying to take better care of my skin in 2019 and that includes a routine that I did every once in a while last year but am now trying to do it every day twice a day because skin is important.

            Now I am going to be focusing on my facial skin care routine that I do every day. Now I will also include some special occasion skin care when it comes to my face as well.

I need to disclose that I have normal to dry skin but also an oily T-zone so the products that work for me may not work for you depending on your skin type or skin issues, I have really sensitive skin that is prone to acne so the products that I use I have curated to my skin and its issues. Also because of my skin issues I do have to use more high end skin care products, it’s expensive and I wish it wasn’t but for the benefits I have seen with my skin right now they outweigh the monetary cost of the products that I have found work for my skin. 

            Morning: 

So morning routine first, most of my steps are similar when it comes to cleansing and moisturizing but there is always a chance for an anomaly in my routine.

            I have a Luna Fofo which I love and use again at least once a day if not twice. I usually take the time to use it to measure the moisture level of my skin, I need to try and really figure out how to make sure my moisture level is good because most days it really low. I try to get enough water and keep my skin moisturized but there is probably more that I need to do when it comes to keeping my skin’s moisture up. 

            After I have checked that and it has updated my skin routine from the app to the Fofo I use the Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Cloud Cream Cleanser, it is a 4oz. size and I got mine at Ulta for about $30 with tax. I only started using this specific product about a week ago because I was using the Soap and Glory facial wash but it was becoming just too harsh for my skin when using it twice a day every day. This cleanser so far actually isn’t as abrasive as some of the cleansers I have used in the past and so far, I love it. I still us my Soap and Glory face wash in the shower but for my every day routine I have recently switched to this and so far so good.

            After I get everything rinsed off my face it’s time to moisturizer, I do not use toner, because every toner I have ever tried hurts my skin, the last time I used a toner was probably 2004. I should more than likely try again with the knowledge that I have now but I am still a little leery from past experiences. I also don’t really use serum, don’t get me wrong I have used serum in the past but it just made my face too oily so I am still on the hunt for a good serum that won’t make my pores clogged and my skin unmanageable. 

            Now my moisturizer routine is pretty straight forward, I use the Mary Kay Timewise Eye Cream, why? Because my mom got it and her eyes are a lot more sensitive than mine are to products and she couldn’t use it so she gave it to me. I use it every day now and I really like it. Granted it is the first ever eye cream I have used but I like it so far. The eye cream retails for $36 but I don’t know if when I run out I will purchase it for myself or I will try and find another brand that I like more. 

            I use two different lotions, one in the morning and one at night. My morning lotion is the Murad Oil-Control Mattifier and it is really thick so you have to use more than you think. Well I do, you may not have to. It lays down a pretty good base for makeup as well as just feels really good on the skin. It retails for $40 on their website, Ulta, and Sephora (I got mine at Sephora.) 

            Let me get this out of the way right here, I am trying to get better at moisturizing everything and I have been pretty successful so far this year, for body skin care I moisturize with The Body Shop’s Raspberry Body Butter and I love it. It leaves my skin feeling moisturized for days and it smells amazing. 

            Night: 

            My night routine is pretty much the same, though I add Micellar cleansing water to the mix because I am usually taking my makeup off before I do anything else. 

            So I do that, wash my face, put on the eye cream, and then finally the only real change to my moisturizing routine is I switch out the Oil Control Mattifier for the Murad Skin-Perfecting Lotion, it was one of my favorites last year and soon enough I am going to have to buy another one. This like the Mattifier retails for $40 on the Murad website, Ulta, and Sephora. 

            There is a good chance in the coming months that I will add more steps to my routine but for now that is what I do every day and I have seen a change in my skin since I started taking better care of it and making sure that I am doing more to protect it. 

Special Occasion Skin care:

            I normally don’t do peels of any sort because they make my skin burn, I found that the Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel however does not have that adverse effect, I have only used it a few times but I really like it. Granted my face is a little red afterward but my face is always red, MJ has rosacea so it’s a daily battle. 

            I also am a fan of sheet masks; I don’t do them as often as I would like even though I have about 20 of them. I have done one in 2019 and I have plans to do another one tonight right after I post this and have a nice evening of self-care because I did PD all day. Face masks are great they have some really great benefits. I have so many Tony Moly sheet masks and I love them, I have gotten so many in my ipsy bags that I need to start doing them more often and maybe I will find a new favorite brand, who knows. 

Just in case you didn’t believe me about the sheet volume of my face mask selection.

            If you have skin like mine, any tips on products to try out? Do you have a routine that you swear by? 

See everyone on Tuesday with another post,

-MJ

Some Current Favorites

Well it’s been some time since I have actually done a favorites post and I kind of missed it. I feel like I have not had too many favorites in the last few months just because my life has been a little busy.

 

So these favorites are over the last few months (April, May, and June) I did do an April Favorites video over on my YouTube channel but I never actually wrote a blog on it (oops, my bad.)  Also, to be honest May and June got away from me. I feel like most of them are beauty related because those are what I have been using and that is why I remember them.

 

First thing is first, this product was in my spring fabfitfun box, the Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion. I use this product every day, I love it so much, there are very few lotions and skin care products so when I find one that doesn’t make my skin irritated I cling to it. I cannot say enough nice things about it, I actually bought the Oli-Control Mattifier lotion as well which is also a sun screen so it has really been saving my skin and I love that just as much. Seriously one of my favorites for the last few months.

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This was one of my favorites throughout April and into the summer months and that is my Lorac Malibu palette, it is four eye shades and two cheek shades, I normally don’t use the cheek shades when they are included in an eye palette but I have found myself using them throughout the summer because I actually have a tan. I love the summery and more neutral colors of the palette, it stays on pretty well and I found myself reaching for it over and over again when I just wanted to do a normal simple every day look when I don’t use my NYX Cosmetic Metals palette. If you want to read my normal makeup routine, you can, here.

 

I not only got tan this summer but I also burned, that is my usual summer plan, burn, and then back to being translucent. I had a friend tell me to use rose water on my burn to rehydrate my skin. It helped so much and I also use rose water with my moisturizer and the one that I have been using is the Soo AE Revitalizing Rose Mist and I have been using it religiously because I do not hydrate my face enough. It for sure helped my burn though and I am happy to say it did tan out which was the hope.

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I am one of those people who keeps lotion everywhere no matter what because I always need it because my hands are always dry, I think part of it is the air conditioning and I have been spending a lot of time outside in the hot. One brand that I can only get in limited form is Zoella Beauty, I have been following her channel on YouTube for quite some time now and I have not been without a tube of Wonder Hand in a while now and it is one of my favorite lotions at the moment.

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So I bought a CD in June that I loved and have been waiting for the release of for quite some time was the new Panic! At The Disco album Pray for the Wicked. I listened to it three or four times on release day and I love its sound. I can’t ever describe Panic! At The Disco’s sound because it has evolved so much since their first album that I listened to in middle school. I have grown up with Panic and I am always happy to hear new music from them, it’s a new sound, it’s a good sound, and I was here for it.

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One final thing in my current favorites. I had to get a new pop clip for my car, I have one so I can put my Popsocket into a holder in my car. I had one that was adhered to my dashboard but in early May it came off my dash. Well when I was in Indiana in May I got a new pop clip that is fitted into the vent in the car instead of sticking to the dash and I have found it so much easier and so much nicer to use because my phone screen is actually visible instead of being toward the sky. I am a huge fan of the pop clip and because I spend so much time in my car it has really saved my sanity in the car, I listen to a lot of music in the car so it’s nice to be able to have a better control over it when I am at stop lights without moving it from its holder.

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There were some of my current favorites, I am hoping that for this month (July) I will have more to share next month (August) when I actually post that blog post.

 

Do you have any favorites this month that you can’t find yourself living without or find yourself reaching for over and over again?

 

-MJ