1. Ipsy Glam Bag Review: May!

    June 9, 2014 ♥ Posted in: Fashion/Beauty by Kristina Horner

    IMG_6927Somehow I think I accidentally skipped last month’s Ipsy bag and never got a review up, and since we’re well into June – I didn’t want to make the same mistake with this bag! Especially since it’s a good ‘un.

    First I’ll start with the bag itself… it’s one of my favorites to date! It’s soft and has a gorgeous design and it feels really summery. Unlike some of the slightly more plastic-feeling bags, this one just has that “natural” and “simplistic” vibe. I can definitely see myself using this one often for overnight trips or just for tossing in my purse when I need to bring a few products with me for whatever reason. I really appreciate that Ipsy makes the bag an important part of the presentation, and I use all my various bags for tons of different things.

    Here’s what was inside this month:

    Avéne Thermal Spring Water: This was a funny item to get in this month’s Ipsy bag. Generally I would have been like “wtf this is just a can that sprays water on your face” but I got it right in the midst of my horrendous sunburn – and I can’t tell you how amazing it felt on my burnt skin. That’s not to say a spray bottle filled with water couldn’t do the same thing but having water in aerosol form during a sunburn was kind of magical. I can’t see myself singing this product’s praises on any sort of normal day, however. If your skin isn’t burnt to a crisp and crying out for the gentle mist the Avéne Thermal Spring Water can offer… it’s just water in a can.

    Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer: I’m gonna be honest; I’m still not totally certain how to wear bronzer. And this particular bronzer seems extremely dark, in my opinion. I read that a good bronzer should only be about two shades darker than your actual skin tone… I feel like if I used this one, it would look like I rubbed chocolate all over my face. So I haven’t tried it yet. I do like Too Faced though, so I’m sure I will figure out something to do with it.

    Hang Ten Natural Sunscreen in SPF 50: Similarly to the Thermal Spring Water, on any normal day, this would just be a tube of sunscreen. But because I started this summer off with the Worst Sunburn Of My Life, I was happy to receive anything to help prevent it happening again. This is pretty basic sunscreen, but the packaging is cute and it fits in my purse, so kudos to ipsy for keeping our skin safe and beautiful this summer.

    Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask: I think this is the third hair mask I have gotten from Ipsy in the past few months. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since it’s been sort of nice to try out the different brands to get a sense for which ones I like. I wouldn’t mind getting a little more diversity in the products I receive, but that’s not to say I don’t like hair masks – I just think three is a little excessive. They all do basically the same thing. This one claims to repair and strengthen (which is something I’ve been looking for in a product since I have naturally fine and sort of limp hair) so we’ll see if it delivers!

    Pacifica Natural Beauty in Duo 1: A cute little eyeshadow duo! I’m always down for more simple base colors to toss in my makeup bag, and this one did not disappoint. The shadows have just the right amount of shimmer/sheen, they work nicely together, and the packaging boasts the product to be cruelty free – which is always a plus. That’s something I often need to look up myself when I get Ipsy bags in the mail so I appreciate it when companies put it right there on the label.

    Despite sometimes being displeased with a certain product here or there, I’ve been extremely happy with Ipsy and it’s a lot of fun getting a bag full of surprises each month. If you’d like to join in the fun, sign up here!

    Let me know if you’re already subscribed and which products you got last month!

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  2. Ipsy Glam Bag Review: January!

    January 25, 2014 ♥ Posted in: Fashion/Beauty by Kristina Horner


    Got my ipsy bag for the month! This one contained an unusual array of products; it’s probably the most diverse ipsy bag I’ve received yet. I love the design on the bag this month, but it smelled quite plastic-y when I first opened it. It may take awhile for that smell to dissipate, unfortunately.

    Anyway I tried all the products between yesterday and today, so here are my thoughts!

    1. Deep Conditioning Mask by Briogeo: I’m not particularly picky about hair products, so I am always down to try something new! Generally I switch between a higher end shampoo/conditioner (Joico Body Luxe) and a middle of the road set (L’Oreal Everstrong) but I’ve never tried a hair mask of any sort. I read that it’s good to leave this stuff on for 3-5 minutes once or twice a week, so I won’t know how much I really like it until I’ve used it a few times – but already I can tell my hair is pleased with the results. Especially during the dry winter months I can really see this being something I will likely add into my normal routine, since my hair has felt brittle and sad since it started getting colder. Unfortunately I have nothing to compare the brand itself to, but I at least give hair masks in general a thumbs up.

    2. Tinted Lip Balm by MICA Beauty Cosmetics in “#6 Fiesta”: To start, I really love the color and feel of this lip balm. I don’t have many lip products that come in a pot like this one, and I think they’re fine for applying makeup at home, but would be terrible on the go. After applying, my finger was (naturally) covered in the residual balm and I had to hunt down a tissue to get it off. Verdict: Lovely purpley pink color but I’d take lipstick with an applicator over this any day.

    3. Smooth Shadow Creamy Eye Pencil by Elizabeth Mott in “Pearl”: This isn’t the first time ipsy has sent me a product like this. It claims it’s a shadow on the packaging, but it’s so thin it has to be an eyeliner. I tried it on my bottom waterline and it’s kind of pretty, but hardly noticeable against my fair skin. Send me brighter colors, ipsy!

    4. Mark Fading Pads by Proactiv: They sent me four little testers of this product, though it’s definitely one of those items you’ll want to work into your daily facial regiment to see any real results. I used to be one of those people who had an entire arsenal of acne-ridding products I cycled through each day, but the more I research acne prevention the more I’m starting to come around to the “less is more” mentality. I still have problem skin but I have been experimenting with just a gentle cleanser morning and night and exfoliating once a week or so with a sea salt scrub. It’s been working relatively well for me. This has been a long tangent basically to say I’m hesitant to try this product because I have been trying not to overdo it with my skin and if this one aggravates it, I’ll be setting myself back. So I won’t be trying this one, at least night right now.

    5. Moisturizing Face Lotion by Nourish Organic in “Argan + Rosewater”: Seems to be another standard moisturizer. I tried it this morning. It smelled a little off, but felt nice enough on my skin. I use Clean and Clear Dual Action Oil Free Moisturizer (surprisingly great product) but this one seems good enough to toss into my travel bag.

    It’s felt a bit, lately, like I’ve been more unhappy than excited about the contents of my ipsy bags, but I realized lately that I actually enjoy testing products regardless of whether or not they make it into my official makeup bag. I still consider myself a bit of a makeup n00b, and I’m very inexperienced with many types of products. This subscription is cheap enough that I feel like I am doing something productive by learning about products even when ultimately the verdict is “never buy lip balms that come in pots”. As long as I like 1-2 of the products in each bag (which I always do) then personally, I still consider that month a success.

    If you want to subscribe to ipsy, you can use this link here, which will give me ipsy points for the referral that I can trade in for fun new products!

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  3. Ipsy Review: November/December

    January 7, 2014 ♥ Posted in: Fashion/Beauty by Kristina Horner

    I am super late on this, but I’m still using NaNoWriMo and Christmas as an excuse. The products are still new to me, so let’s do this thang!


    November’s Gold Ipsy Bag:

    -BH Cosmetics Galaxy Chic Baked Eye Shadow in “Eclipse”: I haven’t historically been the biggest fan of BH Cosmetics eyeshadow, but I might have to make an exception for this one. The color is a shimmery purple – glittery eyeshadows can sometimes come across as a bit much, but the range of glitter colors in this particular eye shadow really do bring out a distinctly “galaxy” vibe. I don’t know how often I’ll use it, but the color is really neat.

    -Be A Bombshell Lip Crayon in “Shameless”: I love the color of this lip crayon. It’s not a color that would jump out to me on a shelf, but I really like it. I usually like my lip products to be a bit more on the lip-stain side, but this crayon surprised me.

    -EM Michelle Phan Waterliner in “Royal Amethyst”: I am always down to try a new waterliner. I’ve been branching out to colors other than black, and this purpley hue actually goes quite well with the “Eclipse” eyeshadow.

    -Star Looks Gem Pencil in “Topaz”:  I don’t understand the point of light silvery liners. I haven’t found a way to use it yet that does it any justice, though I will say it’s a much brighter silver than most others I’ve tried. I think it will have to be a detail makeup product, because I can’t see it standing out enough on its own.

    -Pixi Beauty Bronzer in “Subtly Suntouched”: I am fiercely dedicated to my Benefit blush right now, so it was hard for me to give this new blush a try. I do like Pixi brand makeup a lot though, so I’ll be honest and say it’s a nice, subtle color that I can see myself tossing in a makeup bag for a sunny vacation where I won’t be wearing much makeup. It’s nice. A bit sparkly too, which I like.

    Nailtini Nailpolish in “Champagne”: It’s a very pretty color (actually one of my favorite colors ot wear on my nails, so +2 points for that), but I really wish ipsy would stop sending me nail polish. I will never use it all.


    December Black Ipsy Bag:

    -Pop Beauty Eye Shadow trio in “Smokin’ Hot”: I just can’t get my mind past the fact that the packaging looks incredibly cheap. I don’t know much about Pop Beauty brand makeup, but it’s packaged like a Wet N Wild product. I don’t wear black/silver/white very often, so I’m sure it’ll come in useful when I find myself needing these colors, but I’ll be honest and say I haven’t actually opened this one yet.

    -J. Cat Beauty The Big Lip Pencil in “Red Rose”: Super bright, super red, and very easy to apply. If and when I need my lips to be THE BRIGHTEST RED, this product will be perfect. Until then, it will sit in my makeup bag.

    -Mirabella Eye Blender: The only blending brush I have and use consistently is more of a short, stubby one, so this brush was sort of new terrain for me. The bristles are so long! I haven’t really gotten a good handle on how to use it yet, but it’s soft and surprisingly high quality and I am happy to add it to my collection.

    -Be A Bombshell The One Stick in “Sunset”: I literally have no idea what you’re supposed to use a one stick for. Everything, apparently? I tried using this thing as blush and it worked alright, but as I said, I already have a blush I use pretty much every day. This thing kind of freaks me out, as does most makeup you can use all over.

    Okay I just looked it up and apparently you can use a one stick for cheeks, eyes and lips. What!?? What kind of witchcraft is this thing? Apparently I need to go back for further testing.

    -Salon Perfect False Eyelashes in “53 Black”: I was very pleasantly surprised to get falsies in this month’s ipsy! I don’t wear false eyelashes that often, but I do really like them. These ones, believe it or not, are actually kind of on the smaller end for me. I’m glad to have another set though (perhaps to wear to more sensible events), and I love the brands that include eyelash adhesive.


    You can sign up for ipsy as well if you want to receive these fun little makeup bags each month! It’s just $10 a month and you definitely get much more than $10 worth of products. Here’s my referral link; if you sign up using it I’ll get ipsy points I can use to try more products!

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  4. Ipsy Glam Bag Review: October!

    October 23, 2013 ♥ Posted in: Fashion/Beauty, Kristina Reviews Things by Kristina Horner

    I’m just gonna put it out there… this month’s Ipsy bag was kind of lame. There’s nothing particularly wrong with any of the products, but I kind of feel like it was a lazy month. Hardly any of it is even makeup, and what I like most is seeing the different products my friends and I get based on our preferences and skin tones and whatnot – but the bags my roommate Eia and I got this month were identical, down to the very last item. I’m still obviously going to review everything; I was just sort of disappointed.IMG_5366

    Starting at the top left…

    Nourish Organic Coconut & Argan body lotion: Always a fan of body lotion, but I’m not too sure about the coconut scent. It sort of reminds me of sunscreen, which is confusing when you live in the Pacific Northwest and it’s currently fall. My hands smell like it’s time to go to the beach, but my sweater and leg warmers say otherwise.

    Zoya nail polish in ‘Giovanna’: I did really like this polish. It lasted at least a couple days without chipping (which is sayin’ something on these hands) and the color is a gorgeous emerald green color. It’s actually perfect for the Narcissa costume I am putting together, as I don’t actually own any green polish quite like this.

    Big Sexy Hair Blow Dry Volumizing Gel: I’m not the biggest fan of lower-end hair products – my hair tends toward the greasy side already, so unless I’m using really great products, anything I put on it sort of just weighs it down or quickens the already fast-moving process toward oiliness. This product was just meh – my hair blow dried a bit straighter than normal, but it feels heavier rather than voluminous.

    LA Fresh Oil-Free Face Cleanser: I am a stickler about washing my face every night before bed, but every once in awhile there’s that lazy night… for me, it was when I watched American Horror Story after dark and was too afraid to go into my bathroom alone. Haha. I grabbed one of these cleansing wipes, and while I definitely wouldn’t resort to these every night, they do work in a pinch! They smell lovely and get rid of a fair amount of your makeup, which is a plus. They’re also biodegradable and compostable, which rocks.

    Starlooks lip liner in ‘Tickle Me Pink’: I’ll be honest – this is my very first lip liner. I’ve never used one before! I have no basis for comparison! It seems good, it’s a nice muted rose color, and I’m excited to get used to it!

    Let me know if you subscribe to ipsy and if you use these products, or if you’ve tried them on your own. And as always, if you want to sign up, you can do that here (subscribing through my link gets me ipsy points I can use toward free gifts!).

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  5. Ipsy Glam Bag Review: September!

    September 24, 2013 ♥ Posted in: Fashion/Beauty by Kristina Horner


    I got this month’s Ipsy bag in the mail! I love, love, love the bag itself this month, but let’s get a bit more up close and personal with the actual products. I’ll go left to right, with the silver eyeliner up first.

    Jesse’s Girl Liquid Eyeliner: I think this is my favorite product this month. The eyeliner is black, it’s got a super fine tip, and it goes on extremely smoothly. I am a huge fan of the Kat Von D liquid eyeliner of the same variety, and this was a pretty identical dupe. At $6.99, I will absolutely be buying this again.

    It’s So Big Volumizing Mascara: We got black mascara in last month’s bag as well as this month’s, and I’m of the mentality that most mascara is pretty much the same. I think I liked last month’s Pixi mascara better than this one – it claims to be volumizing, but I didn’t really notice a difference. In fact, it came out a little clumpy and I didn’t like the shape of the wand. I probably wont use this very much, if at all.

    NYX eyeshadow in Rock: I’m a little disappointed to have another NYX product in my bag two months in a row. I’m not saying I don’t like NYX products, but I already have a bunch of them, they’re cheap, and I can get them myself at a drugstore. I like Ipsy for being introduced to new products and brands, and NYX feels very much like filler. That being said; it’s a nice color, but one I already have quite a few variations of in my collection.

    J.Cat Beauty Fantabulous Lipstick in Honeycrisp: So, I wasn’t very excited when I first looked at this lipstick, because it’s a pretty plain, neutral color. I sort of feel like you really only need one neutral color of lipstick, you know? But when I opened this and gave it a try, I had to eat my words. It doesn’t look like much, but this lipstick smells delicious. It’s a combination of honey, butterscotch, and other amazing fall-inspired scents. I’m gonna be straight – it’s sort of like rubbing butterbeer on your lips. So, I’m in. I love it.

    Cailyn Tinted Lip Balm in Big Apple: Again, I’m sort of a naysayer when it comes to lip products. I hate lip gloss, I’m not the biggest fan of lipstick – but lip balm, I’ve found recently, is my jam. This product has really funky packaging, but I loved it. It’s a super pigmented red color, that works surprisingly well with my skin tone. I usually avoid reds because I feel like it sort of brings out the redness in my skin, but this one is just lovely. The brush applicator is new to me, but I really enjoyed it. The only downside is that when you take it apart it has three pieces (which can be a bit awkward on the go) but other than that, this is a great, fun lip balm.

    I’d say this was a pretty good month. There’s always good and bad and mediocre things in every bag, but I think when you know you’ll keep using at least 2-3 of the items, that’s not a bad haul.

    As always, if you’re intrigued by Ipsy and want to sign up, you can here! If you use my referral link, it gets me special Ipsy points that can be redeemed for additional products.

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  6. August Ipsy Glam Bag Review

    August 27, 2013 ♥ Posted in: Fashion/Beauty by Kristina Horner


    I got my Ipsy Glam Bag for August, and I love it! I used every single product in my routine today, so figured I would do a write up/review of them, now that I’ve developed my opinions.

    First is the Vanilla lip balm from Noya. I’m not going to lie, this was pretty much just lip balm. Maybe I’m a naive lip balm consumer, but it’s all sort of the same to me. I tend to buy more fruity flavors on my own, but I was pleasantly surprised by this vanilla one. I will definitely toss it in my purse and keep using it. Also, a plus, Noya doesn’t test on animals or use preservatives. Hooray!

    Next was Lash Booster Mascara from Pixi. I only recently discovered Pixi brand cosmetics, at VidCon actually – Subblime was giving them out to people! I have been very impressed with everything I’ve tried from Pixi so far, and this mascara was no exception. In fact, I think this was my favorite product in this month’s bag. I have really thin eyelashes, but this lash booster mascara made them look fuller than I’ve ever seen them! Will definitely buy again.

    I really enjoy trying new facial products, so I was excited to try the Jojoba Charcoal Facial Scrub by Michael Todd True Organics. Right away it kind of freaked me out – the charcoal in the formula makes the scrub itself black – which is a scary thing to rub on your face! It was extremely gentle though, for an exfoliant. Which I really appreciate, as my skin is sensitive and acne prone. I’ll be interested to see if I notice a difference at all in my skin over time, but it feels lovely today.

    Moving on, next was the All-In-One Multi-Mineral BB Cream by Pacifica. I’m a little wary of BB Creams (since my skin is so temperamental) but I’ll try anything once. This claimed to be color matching, but it was a little dark for my skin. Also, the tube barely had anything in it, so it was kind of tough to get a good sampling out of it. I’m sure this product is decent, but I’ll probably stick with my current face products.

    The final product from this bag was a NYX Blush in Espresso. I wasn’t quite as excited about this one, because I already own a lot of NYX products. I often buy more coral type hues for blush though, so it’s kind of nice to add a more brown tone to my collection. It’s not bad, but again, it’s NYX. Nothing new.

    I also got that adorable unicorn themed nail polish in Lime Crime for referring at least two people last month. Thanks guys! If you’re interested in joining Ipsy and getting fun products each month, it’s only $10 and I think it’s totally worth it.

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