Warning: the lighting in my pics is still all over the place because my iPhone is a hunk of junk after being dropped a thousand times.
Date of arrival: August 17, 2013. They are getting later and later...ever since May I have gotten my bag around the 13 or so, and before that it was always on or before the 10th. I think one month it even came as early as the 6th. In addition to the extreme lateness of the bags, people on facebook and makeuptalk were complaining that they received duplicate bags, open bags (the glue came apart but the stuff was all there), or empty envelopes.
I would say Ipsy needs to cut cord with DHL and find someone who can get the job done, but I'm wondering if some of it is Ipsy, too. I never got a tracking email this month, which could be an issue on either end. And if Ipsy is giving DHL crappy envelopes, that's on Ipsy. I don't really care whose fault it is though, I just want them to fix it so my goodies can come home to mama sooner.
Packaging: My bubble wrap mailer was nice and secure, thankfully. It came with the theme card listing all of the discounts and an invitation to throw a benefit lash bash for your friends. I AM SO ENTERING THAT CONTEST. The theme this month is "Glamour Academy", which is very appropriate for August / back to school time. It's also a bit of a lazy theme because you could justify putting literally anything in there.
A lot of people were going to great lengths to bedazzle over or chemically remove the print on this month's bag, but I actually thought it is cute. Plus that's way too much effort for a cheapie makeup bag. It's the same shape/style as the March (the nautical one) and April (the white and pink one) bags, which is fine by me because they are the perfect size for travel shower kits.
|The bottom left coloring is not true to life, the other two are closer.|
Contents and mini reviews: My bag contained the Michael Todd True Organics Jojoba Charcoal Facial Scrub, Pixi Lash Booster Mascara, Pacifica Alight BB cream, Chella Brow Pencil in Dazzling Dark Brown, and noya lip balm in cherry.
All of the big YouTube gurus have been talking about Michael Todd for months, but I first became interested after vlogwithkendra's review. I was SO EXCITED to get to try it that I actually went to the site and bought the whole damn dry sensitive skin regimen as soon as my glam room opened and I got the 30% off code (AUGIPSY). The line is on sale through the end of the month for $85, and the discount knocked it down to $60. Shipping was free, plus they threw in a pumpkin mask - the very same one that was in other Ipsy bags this month. So glad I got the charcoal in this bag!
I took some super creepy bathtub selfies for you when I was trying the scrub out. It's not very exxfoliating - the scrubby particles are few and far between, and are very gentle. I think if you have very dry skin this wouldn't work at getting all of the patches off on its own. However, the magic of this scrub is in the charcoal. It's supposed to be very good at drawing out any impurities. My skin was nice and soft afterwards, but I'm not sure if the credit goes to the MT or to the dermalogica precleanse and cleanser I used before the scrub. Either way it was a lot of fun to try. A+ for letting us test Michael Todd, B for the product itself (so far).
I haven't opened the Pixi yet because I have a zillion open mascaras, but I was surprised to see how many people were giving it a positive review when I was researching the price. Pixi products have been hit or miss for me in the past.
Here is the Pacifica Alight BB Cream swatched on my hand in various stages of blendi-ness (Ignore the Chella swatches for now). I was initially worried about the oranginess, but it blended out and more or less matched my skin tone. I thought since it's called "Alight" that it would be on the sparkly side but it gives a really subtle (almost imperceptible) sheen.
|If I look tired, it's because I am. My kids were insane this weekend.|
And here is how the BB works on my skin. The top left is my bare skin. I have rosacea, hence the super redness. The top right is my skin after the Pacifica, bottom left is with revlon color stay on top (holy hell does that foundation give off a serious white cast in photos), and bottom right is my final full face of makeup for the day. I am wearing the Pacifica, Chella, and a UD lipstick in Naked, so we can call it an official Ipsy August look.
This is where I wish I had a better camera. You can probably tell that the BB evened out my skin tone, but the difference was actually more dramatic in person. I would say that from a "skin tone evening out" perspective, the Pacifica BB cream is on par with Urban Decay's Naked Skin (for a fraction of the price). While there is no way I could wear it alone, it makes a pretty darn good base for people like me who still need foundation for extra coverage. And it really did magically illuminate my skin - I had a nice sheen (not quite dewy, but pretty) when I was done. Based on the first impression, I'd give it a B+ (I liked it for what it is but I still think BB creams are overrated).
Like the Michael Todd, I was chomping at the bit to use the Chella discount before I even got my bag, but I forced myself to wait until I could test the pencil for a week or so before purchasing. I absolutely love the Chella highlighter pencil and brow gel I received in past Ipsy bags (you may remember I thought my tube of brow gel was empty, but I actually did end up getting to use it once the product settled). If the Chella brow pencil has similar staying power to my holy grail brow product (the Anastasia Brow Wiz in Brunette), I'm going to go for it.
Here is a direct comparison to the Anastasia...in the top right pic, the Chella is on top and Anastasia is on bottom; the not filled in brow is on the bottom left and the brow filled in with Chella is on the bottom right. You can see that the Chella is more of a red toned brown, whereas Anastasia is cooler. It may not look like it from the swatches, but they are the about the same in pencil hardness and line weight - both pencils can make thin hairlike marks or can make a thicker darker line when you press down harder.
I prefer the cool-toned look of the Anastasia for my coloring, but only slightly. The Chella pencil doesn't have a spoolie brush, which sucks but isn't a dealbreaker if I'm thinking about getting the kit. The lack of spoolie and color difference would be enough for me to spend a few dollars more and get the Anastasia if I was just getting the pencil alone though. I give the Chella pencil an A-.
After my next brow wax (I'm overdue, obviously), I'm going to do Brows 101, similar to the Tightlining 101 post, if y'all are interested. Let me know.
So I would normally be talking about the lip balm here, but meh. It's lip balm. It's a perfectly nice balm, but it's no Burt's Bees. And you know what else it isn't? AN AWESOME URBAN DECAY REVOLUTION LIPSTICK SAMPLE. I get that they could only get so many samples, but it sucks to be one of the people who didn't get one. And it would be one thing if some people got lipsticks, and others got the high value Chella, but I have definitely seen bags that have both. I wish there was some way to make it so the people who didn't get the best sample don't feel like they got the shaft. But such is life.
Value: Even without the UD, my bag rang in at $39.37, which means it's a B++ on the Laura scale. I did have to guess on the Pixi mascara weight since it wasn't available, so it's plus or minus a buck or two.
Overall impression of the bag: I am pretty happy with this. Three brands/products I was excited about, and the other two are still fine, just a little boring. If I had gotten the exact same bag but with UD instead of one of the meh products I would have been over the freaking moon, but you can't always get what you want. I'll give this bag an A-.
Overall impression of the service: I still love Ipsy and the fact that every bag these days has good sized samples and comes out at a high value. However, they need to figure out their shipping issues. Dropping them to an A-.
What did you get this month? Did you have any weird shipping issues? Were you one of the lucky ladies who got the UD lipstick (and do you love it as much as I love the ones I bought?)