Ipsy Review – April 2014

Ipsy April 2014

“Life is a dance floor, so why not live it up, sing out loud, and shake them hips?! This month, we’re celebrating our unique beauty to the sound of tunes and festivals that fill the spring air. So, whether you’re chilling in a campground or spinning in a ballroom, all of your April “Beauty Rocks!” products will help your lovely look become a hit!”

This month’s Ipsy theme had the potential to be really awesome. When I think “rocker” I think edgy and fun; some real glam items in bold colors, maybe. They really hit that mark with the Urban Decay Black Velvet Liner for sure, but some of the other products didn’t exactly have the oompf I had expected them too.

Theme-fail aside, I was pretty darn pleased with the items I got in my bag this month, over all. So let’s take a look…

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Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette Review

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

“I learned early on how different types of light can truly flatter the complexion. Growing up, my mother had pink light bulbs in all of the lamps throughout the house. She loved pink light because it was the softest and most flattering, and she always wanted to look good. I used this concept of lighting in Ambient Lighting Powder.”

—Carisa Janes, Hourglass Founder

Iiiiiiiiits baaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

I was beside myself when I missed out on the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette last fall. I had had my eye on the ambient lighting powders in general, but when I heard they were putting out a palette of three shades–two regular releases and one special, new release–I was thrilled. I figured it would be a nice, compact way to have a selection of these powders in my kit.

However, I waited just a tad too long to try and get my hands on one. This palette was insanely popular and by the time I was ready to purchase it, it was sold out everywhere–and I do mean everywhere. I had really wanted to try that exclusive shade, and somehow the thought of buying all of them separately just wasn’t as appealing for me. Storage space is at a premium in my collection right now and I just didn’t want to deal with all those full-sized compacts. Instead, I held out and hoped it would come back in stock. I was even one of those crazily distraught people who emailed Hourglass, begging them to bring it back again.

Thankfully, they heard our pleas and the palette was re-released just this month! You know I had mine ordered the second I saw it up for sale.

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Too Faced Natural Eye Palette Review – In Depth

Too Faced Natural Eye Palette

Flaunt your natural side with a look that appears so effortless you can wear it before breakfast or after dark. Natural Eyes is a palette of nine richly-pigmented shadows that pair perfectly and blend beautifully!”

I was super excited when I found out that the Too Faced Natural Eye Palette would be included in our April POPSUGAR Must Have box!

Now yes, yes; I know I need more neutral eye shadows like I need a hole in my head. I am fully aware that I currently have a sick amount of browns and taupes and similar colors in my collection, between the MAC palettes I have created and the pre-made neutral palettes I have purchased (like my beloved Urban Decay Naked palettes) but… What can I say? I just love eyeshadow and I love neutrals even more! They are the colors I find myself reaching for most frequently, so they kind of fall under that “you can never have too many” mentality. As much as I love to rock a bright green eye, that’s not always appropriate for the office–yet neutrals are always in style.

I was even more excited when I realized that the Natural Eye Palette we were receiving was the new, updated version that included three new shadows not featured in the previous incarnation. (Not that I own the previous version, so I can’t compare, really… I just like knowing we got the shiny, new version I guess.)

I briefly described the palette in my original POPSUGAR review, but promised a more in-depth look at it once I had the time to play around with it. I’ve been wearing it all week, so let’s take a more in-depth look at what this palette has to offer…

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Milani Brilliant Shine Lip Gloss Review – Ravish Raspberry and Coral Crush

Milani Brilliant Shine Lip Gloss Ravish Raspberry & Coral Crush


“Experience lip gloss that has rich color, extreme high shine, and comfortable lasting wear. Brilliant Shine Lip Gloss is moisturizing and non-tacky.” 

Milani is one of those drugstore brands I’ve always heard great things about but didn’t try for myself until very recently. I don’t frequent many “drugstores,” other Target (if you can consider Target’s cosmetic section a drugstore) and some occasional trips to the Walgreens at the end of my block–and since neither of those stores carry Milani, it forever seemed out of my reach.

I randomly stopped at a CVS the town over from us one afternoon, on the hunt for something I can’t even remember now. Imagine my surprise–and delight–when I saw that they carried Milani! I was immediately drawn to the Brilliant Shine Lip Glosses, which I had seen some great reviews of online, and I snatched up the two colors that most appealed to me from those in-stock–Coral Crush and Ravish Raspberry.

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theBalm TimeBalm Concealer Review

theBalm-TimeBalm-ConcealerAnother nifty little product from theBalm! This is another product from their face line, the TimeBalm Concealer.

theBalm calls this a full coverage concealer for dark circles and spots, and says: “Use this uniquely smooth anti-wrinkle concealer all day to cover dark circles and imperfections while protecting your delicate skin from environmental stresses. timeBalm is packed with beneficial ingredients including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Soybean Oil, Panthenol, Linoleic Acid and Phospholipids to help you look absolutely stunning around the clock.”

I’m always in search of a good concealer that will help cover my redness without irritating my skin, so I couldn’t resist picking one of these up and trying it out for myself…

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50 Beauty Products to Buy Before You Die: Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Strips


It has been awhile since I posted a review for the 50 Beauty Products to Buy Before You Die series. My apologies; there has just been so much I’ve wanted to talk about beauty-wise lately!

We return to the series with another item included on Allure’s article, which promised us: “50 beauty breakthroughs, drugstore finds, and unreal splurges you have to sniff, lather, or apply at least once in your lifetime.” You can read my original thoughts from when I decided to do this series, which also contains a listing of all the items that will be reviewed, here.

Today we have the Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips.

Allure says: Women can finally achieve at-home nail art without a toothpick or a steady hand. These peel-off stickers mold perfectly with your natural nails and last for days without chipping.”

In addition, Sally promises us: “Sally Knows nails are the best accessory. Now, Sally makes it easy to get a salon effect any time, any place. It wears like nail polish because it IS nail polish. No dry time, so you’re ready to go.”

These nail strips are said to last up to 10 days and will remove easily with nail polish remover.

Interesting! Let’s break into that box…

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Malin + Goetz Detox Face Mask – In Depth Review

Malin + Goetz Detox Face Mask

A few months ago I received the Malin + Goetz Detox Face Mask in my January POPSUGAR Must Have subscription box. I was thrilled to see it at the time, and I’ve been using it quite a bit since it came into my hands. I always give my initial thoughts on these skin care/beauty items on the first day as I first try them while reviewing the rest of the box’s contents, but I normally like to test out skin care items for an extended time before reviewing them–a minimum of two weeks, if not longer.

So, I figured perhaps I would start “revisiting” some of the skin care items I’ve been receiving in my POPSUGAR shipments–hence this, the first of an “In Depth Review” series-that-is-not-officially-a-series was born!

::confetti tossing::

Come on in and let’s see what I think of this mask now that I’ve been using it for awhile…

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