February 2016 Ipsy Unbagging + Review

Welcome back!

Today’s post will be on my February Ipsy* Bag, which if you didn’t catch my post last month, is a $10 subscription service where you’ll receive a bag full of personalized goodies every month!

So without further ado, let’s get into the bag!

February 2016 Ipsy.jpg

This month’s theme was “Pretty In Pink”, and though I’m not a fan of pink as a general rule, I think this bag and the theme itself was pretty cute, I much prefer it to the Andy Warhol-esque bag we received last month.

The first product I was super excited to see was the Smashbox Primer Oil.

Smashbox Primer Oil.jpg

This is an itty-bitty little sample size, but you don’t really need much of an oil, so I don’t particularly mind.

This does give the skin a more luminous finish, which I was really excited to see, since my skin is so dry. BUT, as with most dewy products, this settles into every pore and line I have. I don’t think this product really hydrated my skin any more than my jojoba oil does, and really didn’t prolong the wear of my makeup.

All in all, not a bad product, but I will stick with my jojoba oil. It does the same thing, and is significantly cheaper.

Next up, the Naked Cosmetics Single Color Eyeshadow.

Naked Cosmetics.jpg (Shade: Sierra Nevada)

This shade is absolutely stunning, the pigment is rich and concentrated, with a beautiful amount of glitter running through it.

Naked cosmetics swatch.jpg (First swatch over no primer, second over the Elf Glitter Primer, my preferred way to use loose pigments)

Really a beautiful product, but my issue with this is the price, and the packaging.

These retail for $15, and for a loose product that has no sifter, I believe that to be incredibly overpriced.

As much as I do like this product, I can’t justify spending $15 on it when it makes such a ridiculous mess every time I open it. So in all honesty, I won’t buy another of these until they come with sifters.

Moving on, the Sparkling Lipgloss – Vintage by Jessica Liebskind

Vintage .jpg (Shade: Pink Sequin)  

As you can tell by the name, this is HIGHLY shimmery, so worn by itself it can be incredibly overpowering. But layered over a lip liner, or just applied directly to the center of the lips, I think it’s really beautiful and adds a lot of fullness to the lips.

As for the texture, it is on the sticky side. Not to the point where it’s uncomfortable, but it is noticeable. Shockingly enough, for the amount of shimmer in this gloss, it doesn’t feel terribly gritty, as I find to be the case with most glosses like this. There is a slight gritty texture, but again, not overwhelming.

All in all, I really like it and am interested to explore the brand more.

Next up is a nail polish from Trust Fund Beauty.

TFB.jpg (Shade: I’m Kind Of  A Big Deal)  

I’m am definitely no nail polish aficionado, but I really, really enjoy this polish. The color is completely opaque with one coat, and the color is beautiful.

TFB swatch.jpg

I used this polish as a base for this little nail stamping adventure (which is totally a story for another day), but for my first time doing it, not too bad!

I really like everything about this polish, and more likely than not will purchase more shades in the line!

For the last product in February’s bag, I received the Perfectly Posh BFF Exfoliating Face Wash.

BFF scrub.jpg

This is a face wash with small, exfoliating natural microbeads. This product really did exfoliate my face nicely, and kept it feeling really soft and great several days after my first use.

My only issues with this product are that the microbeads are so incredibly tiny it’s hard to make sure they’re all off of your skin. Not necessarily a huge deal, but something to be noted.

My other gripe with this product is the scent. The only way I can describe it is the physical embodiment of that taste when you drink orange juice immediately after brushing your teeth. I’m sure that’s due to the citrus scent from the grapefruit and the peppermint combined. But the smell is nearly nauseating, and I’m not particularly sensitive to scents as a general rule, so if you are, I would pass on this.

And that’ll be it for this month’s Ipsy bag! Stay tuned for the next one!

Thanks for stopping by!

-Samantha

 

 

*This is my personal Ipsy referral link. If you don’t want to use it, just visit http://www.ipsy.com

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Lipstick Dupes! Affordable Alternatives

Welcome back!

Today’s post is a personal favorite of mine, dupes! I love high end makeup just as much as anyone else, but I’m a drugstore girl at heart. So finding affordable alternatives to high end makeup is practically an emotional experience for me because I’m unbelievably addicted to makeup.

So anyways, let’s start out with the most expensive lip products we’ll be duping today, Nars Velvet Matte & Satin Lip Pencils.

These were the free Sephora birthday gift for 2015, so if you fell in love with the shades but don’t want to take the plunge to purchase the full size, I got you covered.

The full size retail value of these is $26 each, so I was really excited to find some much cheaper alternatives in my collection.

Nars ” Rikugien” vs. Jordana Balm Stain “Honey Love”

Jordana vs Nars.jpgPrice difference: $23

As you can tell, these are don’t look exactly alike, but on the lips they are completely identical.

Nars vs Jordana Lip Swatch (And yes, I have peach fuzz on my face because that’s a thing that Mammalian creatures have, let’s move past that.)

The only difference I can really tell is that the texture of Honey Love is a bit stickier than Rikugien, but I actually prefer that, as it helps the lip color stick around significantly longer, increasing the wear time by hours.

Next up,

Nars “Cruella” vs. Nyx Matte Lipstick “Alabama”.

Nars vs Nyx.jpg Price difference: $20

Actually throwing in an honorable mention in here too, the Revlon Matte Balm Stain in “Standout.” This is nearly identical on the lips, but on a hand swatch, comes off a tiny bit more pink toned than Cruella. So even though the format of the Revlon is a little more similar, being in a pencil form, the color of Alabama is completely identical. Alabama is a bit more matte and has better staying power than Cruella, but is just as comfortable to wear, and only a fraction of the price.

Nars vs Nyx lip swatch.jpg

The Balm Meet Matt(e) Hughes”Committed” vs. Elf Moisturizing Lipstick “Marsala Blush.”

The Balm vs Elf.jpg Price difference: $14

As we know, liquid to matte lipsticks are all the rage right now. Every company is coming out with them. But they aren’t for everyone. Some people just can’t stand that dry, uncomfortable sensation associated with lipsticks such as these. So if you really love the color of this product, but not the formula, this Elf lipstick is for you. Marsala Blush does have a matte appearance, without the matte feel, making it a favorite of mine.

The Balm vs Elf Lip swatch.jpg

Model Co Illusion Lip Liner vs. Essence “In The Nude”  

Model Co vs Essence.jpg Price difference: $18

This Model Co pencil is made in this specific nude shade to create the appearance of larger, fuller lips as well as act as a universal liner for nearly any lipstick. Essence’s lip liner in “In The Nude” is literally the exact same color, and costs nearly $19 less! They look a little different here, because the Essence lip color is actually way more pigmented than the Model Co. Not to mention, these Essence liners are my absolute favorite, and though I do like the Model Co liner, I would choose this formula over the Model Co any day.

Model Co vs Essence Lip Swatch.jpg

 

We’ll finish this post up with a few Urban Decay dupes.

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick “Bang” vs. Nyx Soft Matte Lip Cream “Morocco”

UD vs Nyx.jpg Price difference: $16

Whereas these are in different forms (Bang is a traditional lipstick bullet, Morocco is more of a liquid lipstick), the shades are completely identical. I find the Revolution lipsticks to have a pretty matte appearance on the lips, as does Morocco. (this does not dry to a complete, full matte like your average liquid lipstick.) So for a price difference of $16, Morocco is a fantastic alternative.

Urban Decay vs Nyx lip swatch.jpg

Urban Decay Matte Revolution Lipstick “Stark Naked” vs. Elf Moisturizing Lipstick “In The Nude”

UD vs Elf.jpg Price difference: $17

(My lighting in this photo was pretty off, hence the lipsticks looking so yellow and strange.)

 

This lip color gained a massive amount of popularity this year, since we’re all very into the matte brown nudes this year. Formula and color of these are ridiculously alike. Of course, there is a quality difference. The Urban Decay lipstick is creamier, but for the price difference, I would definitely pick the Elf lipstick.

UD vs Elf lip swatch.jpg

And lastly,

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick “Venom” vs. Wet ‘n’ Wild “Sugar Plum Fairy” 

Urban Decay vs WnW.jpg Price difference: $18

We’re all incredibly familiar with these Wet ‘n’ Wild lipsticks, as the shades are dupes for several popular high end lipsticks. So if you’ve been pining after “Venom” like I had been, check out your own collection, you may already own it! Sugar Plum Fairy is more matte than Venom, so if you really want it to be exact, add a bit of a gloss on top. I personally prefer shades like this to be more matte, as I don’t really want to worry about having a purple smear on my face after eating or drinking, but to each their own. If you’re a little afraid of this type of color, the Wet ‘n’ Wild is a great way to go, if you don’t like it, you’re not out a good chunk of cash.

UD vs WNW lip swatch.jpg

 

I hope you guys have liked this post, there will be an eye product dupes post coming,so keep an eye out for that!

 

Thanks for stopping by!

-Samantha

 

 

*This post is NOT sponsored. All products were purchased myself.

The Monthly Meow: Tiki Cat Gourmet Carnivore Variety Pack Canned Cat Food (February 2016)

Welcome back!

We’re going to be starting something new here on the blog, The Monthly Meow. Once a month, I’ll be bringing you a non-beauty related review, and instead something for my little furry friends out there, courtesy of Chewy.com. Every month, Chewy will be sending me a product of my choosing for Daechir and I to review!

And if you don’t follow me on Instagram, Daechir (pronounced Day-Sheer, for anyone curious), is my Oriental Shorthair/Siamese mix!

mewmew

(I know, she’s fabulous. You don’t need to tell me. )

This month, Daechir and I had the opportunity to try out the Tiki Cat Gourmet Carnivore Variety Pack Canned Cat Food.

Tiki Cat .jpg This particular pack comes with 12 cans, consisting of several different flavors.

Tiki Cat Gourmet.jpg (Chicken & Liver [2], Beef & Liver, Chicken & Turkey [2], Chicken & Duck [2], Beef Liver & Lamb, Beef Liver & Chicken, Tilapia, Seabass, Bonito Tuna with Mussels, Shrimp, and Squid)

As you can tell, really great variety of flavors, and all very appealing to my kitty.

This pack retails for $17.49 on Chewy.com, making it the most affordable place to purchase this.

Each can weighs 2.8 oz, which is only 0.2 oz smaller than a can of Fancy Feast. What really sets this food apart is the ingredients.

  • Grain and gluten-free recipe
  • 55% protein, 35% fat, 0% carb
  • Made with whole meats
  • With added vitamins, minerals and trace nutrients
  • Carbohydrate, starch and flour free
  • Zero glycemic index
  • Meets the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO for All Life Stages    

(copied from Chewy.com)

So whereas this is just a little pricier per can than other variety packs (about $1.45/can) , you are definitely paying for quality ingredients.  Not to mention, this food is human grade quality.

The recommended amount is 1 can per 3 pounds of your cat’s weight, twice that amount for kittens, and up to four times that amount for pregnant or nursing cats.

Can.jpg

Can3.jpg

Immediately when you open the can, you can see REAL meat chunks in a broth.

Food.jpg (This was Beef Liver & Lamb, and you can see that this is real meat, no mystery here.)

My cat’s daily food is canned Fancy Feast, because she is pathetically picky. She will turn her little wet nose up at basically anything that is not Fancy Feast. Seriously, this cat has refused fresh salmon and shrimp. She’s a Fancy Feast purist.

Until she tried this.

As you can tell in this video on Instagram,and this photo below, she LOVED this food! I was honestly shocked that she liked it so much, since she’s so picky.  eating the noms.jpg (Pictured is the Bonito Tuna with Mussels, Shrimp, and Squid flavor)

I really haven’t noticed a huge difference in the texture of her coat or anything, but I have noticed that she gets hungry faster while eating this in comparison to her normal routine. But I’m sure that is because this food is in a consomme, instead of a thick pate of mystery meat.

Ultimately, I’m really happy with this food, and I know she is too. I love knowing exactly what her meals consist of, and I feel really confident feeding her Tiki Cat.

I hope you’ve liked this post, stay tuned for the next installment of The Monthly Meow.

Thanks for stopping by!

-Samantha (and Daechir!)

 

*These products were sent to me by Chewy.com for review purposes. I am not being paid for this post,all thoughts are mine, and completely truthful. You can always count on my blog to be 100% honest.

Products I Regret Buying!

Welcome back!

Today’s post is a more negative one. I recently asked on my Instagram if y’all would like to see a Products I Regret Buying, or a dupes post, and this won!

I know the stigma about posts like this. And as much as I hate feeling like I have to use this disclaimer, I will.

Just because I don’t like these products, doesn’t mean I don’t like the brands. You can always count on me to be honest, regardless of where the products have come from. So with that out of the way, let’s get into it.

PIRB1

So the first product we’ll talk about is the Maybelline Fit Me Dewy + Smooth.

Dewy + Smooth.jpg

If you guys have been here for awhile, you know that I have very dry skin and I LOVE the Matte + Poreless version of this foundation. So I assumed that this would work well for me. Oh how wrong I was.

One thing I really can’t deal with is the shade. This is the lightest shade, 110 Porcelain. The Matte + Poreless 110 shade is a perfect match for me, and this one is about 2 shades too dark for me, which just makes no sense to me at all.

Secondly, this foundation looks so incredibly cakey,no matter what application method I use, this settles into every line and pores I didn’t even know I had and just looks awful on my skin. Definitely do not recommend this product to anyone.

 

We may as well continue with face products, so this next disappointment is the L’Oreal True Match Lumi foundation.

Lumi

I do really appreciate the pump on the bottle, which is kind of a rarity at the drugstore, so thumbs up for that.

But again, shade selection is an issue. This is the shade W 1-2, I can pull it off, but its about a shade too dark, and this is the lightest shade in the line. And equally, not much in the way of dark shades either. Come on, L’Oreal. We’re not all a medium skin tone.

This one also settles into any pores and fine lines as well, even when I’m wearing a pore filling primer. I find it to be incredibly cakey on my skin no matter how I apply it, and I can easily say this is my least favorite foundation that I own. I know so many people love it, but it just isn’t for me.

Almost done with face products, but this one comes from the Hard Candy Glamoflauge line. I LOVE the original Glamoflauge concealer in the tube, it covers blemishes flawlessly without looking too heavy.

This is the Glamoflauge Lite, a concealer duo with a skin tone shade on one end, and a more correcting side on the other.

Glamoflauge Lite.jpg

Glamoflauge Lite swatches.jpg

So naturally when I saw this, I was so excited to try it! Unfortunately, I wasn’t impressed by this. The coverage isn’t enough for me, and it’s just too heavy to use on my under eyes. If you don’t have dry skin, this may work well for you. But if your skin type is similar to mine, I would skip on this one.

Finishing up with the face products, this is the Elf Cosmetics HD Face Powder in “Shimmer”.

Elf Hi Def powder.jpg

Now I really do like the original, translucent version of this powder. But after moving to Montana, my skin got so much drier than it was before, so I thought the shimmer version may add a little luminescence to my skin while taking away the tacky sensation foundation can have.

Sadly, this just has chunks of silver glitter in it, not really any legitimate shimmer. I’ve tried using it as a highlight as well, and just found myself incredibly underwhelmed. If you’re interested in a low cost powder, check out the original formulation of this powder, which is said to be a dupe for the Makeup Forever HD Powder.

Moving on to eyes, the Maybelline Blushed Nudes Eyeshadow Palette.

Maybelline Blushed Nudes.jpg

I should start this out with saying I actually love the original Nudes palette Maybelline released, though many people didn’t. I found it great for the price, and a nice addition to the drugstore. But I can honestly say, I can’t stand this palette.

First off, as you can tell in the photo, several of the shadows have developed hard pan, which is when a powder product develops a hard layer at the surface, making it near impossible to use. This can happen when a shadow’s formulation is too emollient.

With that aside, I just find a huge lack of pigmentation in this palette, and after trying to use this for several months, I see most of my looks using this palette  turning out incredibly similar to each other because of the issues with pigmentation  and the shades bleeding into each other.

Blushed Nudes Swatches.jpg

(As you can see, these shades are patchy and not pigmented. All of my swatches are done on clean skin, one swipe, no primer.)

If you’re looking for an affordable rosy toned eyeshadow palette, check out the new Covergirl Tru Naked palette in Roses, and steer clear of this disaster.

 

Next up, a Too Faced limited edition palette you shouldn’t be upset about not getting your hands on, the Candy Bar Palette.

Too Faced Candy Bar.jpg

This was a holiday release in 2014, I believe. It came in an Iphone phone case, and was basically as adorable as everything else Too Faced has ever released.

Too Faced Swatches.jpg

However, I find the dark shades to be patchy and lacking pigment, the light shades to be chalky, and the bronzer literally nonexistent. The winning shades in this palette is the blush and the gold eyeshadow in the center. But beyond that, I was really unimpressed. This is not the quality I’ve come to know and love from Too Faced. So if you missed out on this one, fear not. You’re not missing much, unfortunately.

 

This product isn’t necessarily bad, but in all honesty, it made me really angry. This is the Essence Metal Glam Eyeshadow in “Sugar Mint Candy”.

Essence Metal Glam.jpg

When I first received this from a recent Ulta order, I thought it was absolutely beautiful. A light blue, minty shade with a silver duochrome sparkle. NOPE. OVERSPRAY.

Metal Glam Swatch.jpg

If you don’t know, an overspray is exactly what it sounds like. When there’s a spray of glitter or something along those lines that is just on the surface, not throughout the product. The shade is still very pretty, but it’s not what I thought it was, which really irks me. Maybe I’m just dramatic, but whenever I see a company using an overspray, I feel like they’re just lying to me to get me to buy it. Guess what? It worked. Thanks, Essence.

Another Essence product (y’all know I love Essence, but I have to be honest on here.) that really was underwhelming to me was the Crystal Liquid Liner.

Essence Crystal Liner.jpg (“Twinkle Sparkle”)

This is a glitter eyeliner with the jankiest little brush I’ve ever seen in my life.

Essence Brush .jpg

Seriously. What is that. It came to me like that, too. All the brush hairs frayed and really unpleasant to use. Not to mention the formula of the product itself, which is thick, chunky and sticky without really having much glitter to speak of.

Essence Crystal Swatch.jpg

Definitely suggest passing on this one, pick up one of the Nyx glitter eyeliners instead, and don’t waste your time with this.

The final eye products I’ve already touched on on previous posts, which I will link for you below the photos for full details, so we’ll just fly by these.

JCat Beauty #MOTD Eyeliners

JCat Slide On Pencils.jpg (Full Review)

TL;DR: Too dry, not pigmented, irritates my eyes.

City Color Cosmetics Eyeshadow Trio

20160216_034831.png

(Full Review)

TL;DR: Lacks pigmentation, colors bleed into each other, generally underwhelming.

Our last eye product comes to you from Jessie’s Girl, the talked about Eye Shadow Primer.

Jesse's Girl Primer.jpg

This gained a lot of popularity due to YouTube’s Kathleen Lights using it frequently in her videos, and having very dry skin like Kathleen, I thought this would work well for me and was very excited to receive it in an Ipsy bag. This is your typical flesh-toned silicone based eyeshadow primer, but really under performs for me.

This not only didn’t increase the wear time of my shadows, but it creased on me horribly (I do not have oily eyelids, and always set my primer with powders, so it’s ridiculous that it creased at all.) and actually caused my shadows to fade much faster than they would have normally.

My go to primer is the Essence I Love Stage Eyeshadow Base, and it is absolutely phenomenal. If you need an affordable primer, definitely pick up the Essence one, and forget about the Jessie’s Girl. Especially if you’re someone with oily skin.

To finish up this post, we’ll talk about a product that I actually love, but packaging that is just not working for me, the Wet ‘N’ Wild Balm Stains.

WnW Balm Stains.jpg

(Shades top-bottom: “Rico Mauve”, “A Stiff Pink”)

I LOVE the actual product. They’re creamy, pigmented, and come in a variety of gorgeous shades. However, the lid on the packaging is so flimsy it never clicks into place, causing the lid to fall off all the time.

I have several of these and have experienced this issue with every single one. The lid pops off and gets all over the contents of my purse, and even in my makeup collection.

So these aren’t a bad product, just bad packaging.

That’ll be it for today’s post! Stay tuned for more.

Thanks for stopping by!

-Samantha

 

*This post is NOT sponsored. None of these brands know/care who I am, lol.