ipsy Glam Bag Review: October 2018

Hey, y’all!

This month’s theme was “Ipsy After Dark,” and I got some really great products in my cute red bag!

L50 Lilac Sparkle Eye Blender

from SLMISSGLAM Beauty

Photo of L50 Lilac Sparkle Eye Blender from SLMISSGLAM Beauty

I love a good blending brush, and if it sparkles and has rhinestones, that’s even better! All SLMISSGLAM brushes are synthetic and cruelty-free, but the one drawback for me is that they don’t sell individual brushes. Their sets are absolutely gorgeous, but I like having the freedom and flexibility to curate my own custom collection of brushes over time. So you can’t buy this one individually, but if you ever happen to get it in a set, it’s a great brush to have.

My Rating: 5/5

Tone Up Primer

from Yensa

Photo of deluxe travel size Tone Up Primer from Yensa
$15 for .24 fl. oz.; Yensa

I ended up being pretty “meh” about this primer. It’s thicker than my normal primer (NARS), which has a similar to feel to what I was using before (Smashbox Photo Finish). My normal primer also has SPF 50 to boot. This isn’t a bad primer, but I didn’t love it enough or see enough difference in my skin to want to convert. I’ll probably just use up the sample and that will be that.

My Rating: 2/5

Northern Lights Eyeshadow in Norrsken No. 3

from Nomad Cosmetics

Photo of sample size Northern Lights Eyeshadow in "Norrsken No. 3" from Nomad Cosmetics
$12 full size; Nomad Cosmetics

This is the second Nomad Cosmetics eyeshadow I own, and I have to say this brand makes a really nice eyeshadow. Gorgeous color, no fallout or kick-up, blends easily, and a reasonable price point. I got a lot of compliments on this color when I wore it to work.

My Rating: 5/5

Olive Oil Deep Cleansing Face Mask

from Aphrodite

Photo of sample size Olive Oil Deep Cleansing Face Mask from Aphrodite
$16.99 for 2.53 oz.; Aphrodite

I used this mask for Spoil Me Sunday last week; you can read my full review here. PS: it’s still on sale as of today!

My Rating: 5/5

Shape Tape Contour Concealer in “Light Sand”

from Tarte Cosmetics

Photo of sample size Shape Tape Contour Concealer in "Light Sand" from Tarte Cosmetics
$27 for .34 fl. oz.; Tarte Cosmetics

I already like and use Shape Tape as my concealer, especially under my eyes, but I typically use “Light Neutral.” This “Light Sand” is lighter than that and too light for me to use as regular concealer, but I can use it as a highlighter. It goes nicely over my liquid foundation and blends well.

My Rating: 4/5


This month’s bag had an average rating of 4.2. How many of these products have you tried?

Any items in your October beauty subscription(s) that you can’t stop raving about? Tell me all about them in the comments!

Love,

Sarah xoxo


If you’d like to be notified when new posts go up, please subscribe to Balanced Life Beauty.

Instagram: sarah.elizabeth614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

Twitter: @SarahLiz614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

Yes, Oh Yas!: Get 3-7 full-size beauty products worth $65+ delivered to you each month for $14.99 + shipping. Use coupon code SARAH614 at checkout for 10% off your first box!

Ireland Adventures Pt. 1: Kilkenny & Waterford

Hey, y’all!

As I mentioned in previous posts, we recently went on our belated honeymoon and decided to go to Ireland. It was absolutely gorgeous, and we were so sad to have to leave. We did a “Fly & Drive” travel package from Gate1 Travel, which was perfect. We had the freedom to go at our own pace and be spontaneous if something caught our eye.

Getting There

We flew United Airlines from Orlando to DC and then DC to Dublin. The flight from Orlando to DC was delayed because the AC wasn’t working (oh hell no). With a 4 hour layover in DC, it was no big deal. The flight from DC was delayed because one of the windowsills in the exit row came off (what the what?)

We flew overnight and landed in Dublin a little before 10am local time. Customs moved slowly but steadily, and then it was time to pick up the rental car and hit the road! Jeff did the driving for the majority of the trip because adding another driver cost an extra €10 a day. Driving on the left took some getting used to, but he got the hang of it pretty quickly. The Irish love their roundabouts, even when it comes to highways!

Kilkenny

 

Our first destination was the town of Kilkenny to see Kilkenny Castle. It was built in 1195 and was restored and added onto over the centuries, so it’s a combination of different architecture styles (hi, nerd here.) There were also some lovely gardens, and we were really enjoying the cool weather–okay, me more so than Jeff, but whatever :). We didn’t go inside because we couldn’t stay long. We had to get to Waterford!

Waterford

Waterford is the oldest city in the Republic of Ireland, and it’s the home of the House of Waterford Crystal (big surprise there). We made it just in time to catch the last factory tour of the day! The level of craftsmanship was incredibly impressive to witness in person. We bought a souvenir sterling silver Christmas ornament from the gift shop. We would have bought crystal, but we still had a whole trip and flight home ahead of us.

After our first pint and real meal in Ireland, it was time to head to our first castle hotel of the trip: Faithlegg House Hotel & Golf Club. After a long 2 days of traveling, we were happy to finally take a hot shower and get some sleep.


Coming Up Next: Blarney Castle, Killarney National Park, and our fanciest castle hotel of the trip. Stay tuned!

Love,

Sarah xoxo


If you’d like to be notified when new posts go up, please subscribe to Balanced Life Beauty.

Instagram: sarah.elizabeth614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

Twitter: @SarahLiz614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

Yes, Oh Yas!: Get 3-7 full-size beauty products worth $65+ delivered to you each month for $14.99 + shipping. Use coupon code SARAH614 at checkout for 10% off your first box!

Spoil Me Sunday: Feeling Fresh for the First Day Back

Hey, y’all!

We’re back from our honeymoon in Ireland, and tomorrow it’s back to work, the gym, and all those other real world things. (sigh) I’ll be posting about our trip soon, but there are about 850 photos to go through.

We got back on Wednesday and took the rest of the week off from work, so we had time to get over the jet lag, do our grocery shopping, etc. Now it’s feeling like the night before the first day of school all over again. We’ve only been gone for 2 weeks, but it feels like a lot longer.

I don’t know about you, but when I was in middle school and high school, I always liked to do a mini home spa day the day before the first day of school. I’d give myself a facial, do my nails, and all that jazz. I didn’t have the energy to do the full shebang this time, but I tried out one of the items from my October ipsy bag:

Olive Oil Deep Cleansing Face Mask

from Aphrodite

Photo of sample size Olive Oil Deep Cleansing Face Mask from Aphrodite
$16.99* for 2.53 oz.; Aphrodite

I’ve got to say, Ireland agrees with my skin. My complexion cleared up noticeably (I think not using cleansing conditioner and getting more sleep both helped), and my skin felt healthy and moisturized throughout the trip. The one exception to that feeling was when we were flying. A total of 10 hours on planes each way dried my skin out like crazy. I brought some refreshing spray to mitigate it, but that could only do so much. Needless to say I was very excited to get this mask in my ipsy bag this month!

To start off with, I liked the fact that this mask has a very subtle scent that doesn’t smell artificial. Its thin texture meant that it applied easily, dried quickly, and washed off easily. After washing it off, I splashed cold water on my face to close up my pores. My skin feels so soft and fresh! I followed up with my normal nighttime skincare regimen, but I skipped the toner this time.

Key Ingredients:

  • Olive Oil: fabulous for your skin because it’s chock full of Vitamins A & E plus antioxidants that protect your skin
  • Witch Hazel: reduces inflammation
  • Aloe Vera: soothes skin
  • Spirulina Extract: draws out toxins from your skin
  • Chamomile: soothes skin
  • White Lotus: source of vitamin C, B complex, antioxidants, and several minerals that nourish and brighten your complexion. It can also help control sebum production, hydrate, improve elasticity, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. (Wow, that’s like a superfood for your skin!)

Once I get through the sizable collection of masks I have, I would definitely consider buying this one!

* At the time of writing this post, this mask is currently on sale for $10.99 on the Aphrodite website.


Do you incorporate olive oil into your beauty regimen in any way? How about lotus? Tell me about some of your favorite products in the comments below!

Hope you have a great week. Stay tuned for my monthly ipsy post, as well as posts about Ireland!

Love,

Sarah xoxo


If you’d like to be notified when new posts go up, please subscribe to Balanced Life Beauty.

Instagram: sarah.elizabeth614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

Twitter: @SarahLiz614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

Yes, Oh Yas!: Get 3-7 full-size beauty products worth $65+ delivered to you each month for $14.99 + shipping. Use coupon code SARAH614 at checkout for 10% off your first box!

Ulta 21 Days of Beauty September 2018 Pt. 4

Hey, y’all!

All good things must come to an end. This was my final purchase from the event.

Samples

Sexy Amber Eau de Parfum

from Michael Kors

Photo of sample Sexy Amber Eau de Parfum from Michael Kors
$64 for 1 fl. oz.; Sephora

This perfume has a complex scent, and I can’t decide if I like it. At first it comes across as a pretty strong floral, but then the amber and sandalwood balance it out. It’s definitely strong, and I’ve got to say this sample sprays really well (the nozzles on some of these little bottles are crap.) I’m not a huge Michael Kors fan anyway (overrated), so the chances of me buying this are slim regardless.

Notes: Amber, Sandalwood, and Jasmine

PHA Moisture Renewal Power Cream

from Cosrx

Photo of sample PHA Moisture Renewal Power Cream from CoxRX
$26 for 1.69 oz.; Ulta

Ah, one of my favorite K-Beauty brands! This moisturizer is meant for sensitive skin that doesn’t handle AHAs and BHAs well. Having sensitive skin doesn’t mean you can’t glow! As an alternative, this moisturizer uses polyhydroxy acids to soften skin and clear away dead skin cells. In addition, there’s Coconut Fruit Extract and Niacinamide to moisturize and balance skin. I don’t have super sensitive skin, but I’m still looking forward to trying this out!

Beauty Steals

Green Tea Blend Detox Mask

from Teami Blends

Photo of Detox Mask Green Tea Blend from Teami
$29.99 for 4 oz.; Teami Blends

This cruelty-free mask is recommended for all skin types. It helps to heal and nurture your skin to prevent signs of aging.

Key Ingredients:

  • Matcha Tea–pulls out toxins and gives skin an antioxidant boost
  • Bentonite Clay–soothes skin
  • Lemon Grass–brightens skin

This was a beauty steal on September 19th, so it was half price.

Petal Purifying Bubble Mask

from Mamonde

Photo of Petal Purifying Bubble Mask from Mamonde
$25 for 3.38 oz; Mamonde

Mamonde is a South Korean skincare brand that focuses on natural ingredients. I love rose scented things, and this mask is actually made with real Damask rose petals. I can’t wait to give this and the green tea mask a try for future Spoil Me Sundays!

This was also a beauty steal on September 19th, so it was half price.


What was your favorite item from 21 Days of Beauty? Can’t pick just one? Tell me why in the comments!

Love,

Sarah xoxo


If you’d like to be notified when new posts go up, please subscribe to Balanced Life Beauty.

Instagram: sarah.elizabeth614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

Twitter: @SarahLiz614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

Yes, Oh Yas!: Get 3-7 full-size beauty products worth $65+ delivered to you each month for $14.99 + shipping. Use coupon code SARAH614 at checkout for 10% off your first box!

Ulta 21 Days of Beauty September 2018 Pt. 3

Hey, y’all!

This was definitely the day I was looking forward to the most during this whole event.

Samples

Viva La Juicy Soirée

from Juicy Couture

Photo of sample Viva La Juicy Soiree from Juicy Couture
$98 for 3.4 oz; Juicy Couture

I don’t know why Juicy Couture perfumes always catch me by surprise. I always I assume they’re going to be overpowering florals or tummyache-inducing gourmands. This one is fresh and fruity with some subtle hints of spice. Like your parents always said, “Never judge a book by its cover!”

Top notes: Pink Kiwi and Mandarin

Middle Notes: Indian Sambac, Jasmine, and Water Lily

Bottom Notes: Amber, Musk, and soft woods

Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation

from NARS Cosmetics

Photo of sample Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation from NARS Cosmetics
$49 for full-size; NARS Cosmetics

This foundation comes in 33 shades; the sample came with 8 of them:

  • Punjab (Medium 1)
  • Patagonia (Medium 1.2)
  • Vallauris (Medium 1.5)
  • Santa Fe (Medium 2)
  • Vanuatu (Medium 3.5)
  • Barcelona (Medium 4)
  • Valencia (Medium 5)
  • Aruba (Medium 6)

I’m leaning towards trying Punjab or Patagonia first, maybe Santa Fe. Vallauris has too much pink undertone for me. It claims to be fade-resistant, sweat-resistant, and transfer-resistant for 16 hours. I’ll have to put it to the test…

Beauty Steal

Hyaluronic Dual-Response Serum

from Strivectin

Photo of Hyaluronic Acid Dual-Response Serum from Strivectin
$79 for 1 oz.; Strivectin

I have been obsessed with this serum since I first tried a sample of it maybe a year ago. It makes my skin look so healthy and feel so soft. I can’t think of another product that my skin has responded so quickly to before. As soon as I saw this on the calendar of 21 Days of Beauty deals, I was pumped. The Hyaluronic Acid, NIA-114™, and Ceramides hydrate your skin and then help it to retain moisture.

This was a beauty steal on September 15th. Since I got it for half price, I went ahead and bought 2. 🙂


Were there any products during 21 Days of Beauty you love so much that you bought more than 1?

Love,

Sarah xoxo


If you’d like to be notified when new posts go up, please subscribe to Balanced Life Beauty.

Instagram: sarah.elizabeth614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

Twitter: @SarahLiz614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

Yes, Oh Yas!: Get 3-7 full-size beauty products worth $65+ delivered to you each month for $14.99 + shipping. Use coupon code SARAH614 at checkout for 10% off your first box!

Ulta 21 Days of Beauty September 2018 Pt. 2

Hey, y’all!

The adventure continues!

Samples

Bye Bye Lines Serum

from IT Cosmetics

Photo of sample Bye Bye Lines Serum from IT Cosmetics
$58 for 1 fl. oz.; IT Cosmetics

I love skincare, and I’m game to try just about any serum at least once. This ones smells very citrusy and felt really rich on my skin.

Key Ingredients:

  • Peptides, Caviar Extract, Sea Water, Hydrolyzed Collagen, and algae–anti-aging properties that reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while improving tone, texture, firmness, suppleness, and elasticity.
  • Hyaluronic Acid, Argan Oil, and Babassu Oil–moisturize and protect skin
  • Vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, B5, B7, B9 and CoQ10–nourish skin
  • Licorice Root–brightens skin

Eros Eau de Toilette for Men

from Versace

Photo of sample Eros Eau de Toilette from Versace
$69 for 50ml; Versace

I tried this out on my husband, and it smells sooooooo good! Definitely keeping this in mind for a future gift at some point. I’m a sucker for woody scents.

Top Notes: Mint Oil, Lemon, Green Apple

Middle Notes: Tonka Bean, Ambroxan, Geranium

Bottom Notes: Vanilla, Vetyver, Oak Moss, Cedarwood

Beauty Steal

Brow Power™ Universal Eyebrow Pencil

from IT Cosmetics

Photo of Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil from IT Cosmetics
$24; IT Cosmetics

I’m finally getting around to trying an eyebrow pencil (I know, I’m a little late to the party). This pencil has an oval shape that helps to mimic the look of natural brows, and the color is adaptable for all brow shades–you just have to adjust the pressure you use. It has several good-for-you ingredients: biotin, lecithin, saw palmetto, nettle, green tea, antioxidants, grape seed, and vitamins A, B5, C, and E. The spoolie on the other end is really convenient, too. It also held up really well all day, even through a sweaty workout. Will I make the conversion from powder to pencil, or will I end up using a combination of powder and pencil? We’ll see…

This was a beauty steal on September 14th, so I got it for half price.

Pure Cloud Cream

from Skyn Iceland

Photo of Pure Cloud Cream from Skyn Iceland
$55 for 1.7 oz.; Skyn Iceland

I’ve realized that my anti-breakout tea tree oil moisturizers are drying out my skin, which just causes me to break out (kind of defeats the whole point). I was looking for something that would give my skin more of the moisture it seems to need. This cream is bouncy like marshmallow fluff without the stickiness. It’s recommended for helping skin heal after cosmetic procedures, so I would imagine it will make my skin happy on a daily basis, especially after dermaplaning. So far I’m absolutely loving this moisturizer. It feels so rich and hydrating, and it has a very fresh scent that doesn’t smell artificial.

Key Ingredients:

  • Sodium Hyaluronate–boosts hydration for an immediate plumping effect
  • Oat Extract–natural anti-irritant
  • Neuropeptide–helps relieve skin irritation and stimulate the release of endorphins
  • Hydrolyzed Rice Protein–helps preserve collagen
  • Bisabolol–anti-irritant derived from chamomile; helps calm and soothe skin
  • Aloe–moisturizes and heals skin.
  • Almond oil–full of Vitamins A, B and E; hydrates
  • Icelandic Complex–proprietary blend that contains pollution-free Icelandic Glacial Water, Arctic Cloudberry and Cranberry Seed Oils, and Pure Molecular Oxygen

This was a Beauty Steal on September 15th, so half price. I’m much more likely to try out a high end product when I don’t have to pay full price. Unfortunately, I’m afraid I might be falling in love with it. Whoops! 🙂

Bonus Purchase

I picked up another item that wasn’t on sale.

Glycolic Acid Toner

from Mario Badescu

Photo of Glycolic Acid Toner from Mario Badescu Skin Care
$18 for 8 fl. oz.; Mario Badescu

I’ve been wondering if my AHA/BHA Toner is contributing to drying out my skin, so I picked up this Glycolic Acid Toner to try out. It’s alcohol-free and is recommended for combination or dry skin types. The Glycolic Acid and Grapefruit Extract gently exfoliate and stimulate skin. This toner also claims to help with reducing discoloration from old acne scars (here’s hoping!), as well as build-up that causes dullness.


Did you pick up any of these products during 21 Days of Beauty? What did you think?

Hope your week is going well.

Love,

Sarah xoxo


If you’d like to be notified when new posts go up, please subscribe to Balanced Life Beauty.

Instagram: sarah.elizabeth614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

Twitter: @SarahLiz614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

Yes, Oh Yas!: Get 3-7 full-size beauty products worth $65+ delivered to you each month for $14.99 + shipping. Use coupon code SARAH614 at checkout for 10% off your first box!

ipsy Glam Bag Review: September 2018

Hey, y’all!

Another cute graphic bag with fun new things inside. Check out what I got!

White Sand Translucent Powder

from Luna by Luna Cosmetics

Photo of White Sand Translucent Powder from Luna by Luna Cosmetics
$18; Luna by Luna

This powder and I didn’t get off to a great start. It shattered in transit, and even though the packaging was undamaged and it didn’t open, it managed to coat the inside of my bag with a fine layer of powder. It’s a decent quality translucent powder. If you’re careful not to get too much on your brush, it blends nicely and blurs any imperfections or unevenness that might be showing through. It’s cruelty-free and supposedly has no flashback (haven’t tested that myself.)

My Rating: 3/5

Luxie 110 Flat Blender Harley Quinn

from Luxie Beauty

Photo of Luxie 110 Flat Blender Harley Quinn from Luxie Beauty
$20; Luxie Beauty

I’m totally in love with this blending brush. It works with powders, liquids, creams, you name it. I’ve used it for blending concealer as well as for blending my eyeshadow, and both worked like a dream!

My Rating: 5/5

Nail Polish in “Mermaid Vibes”

from Trust Fund Beauty

Photo of Nail Polish in "Mermaid Vibes" from Trust Fund Beauty

I first learned about Trust Fund Beauty when I got “Game Changer” in one of my bags last summer. It’s probably one of my favorite nail polish brands. I have 2 points of confusion on this one:

  1. I can’t find this color anywhere on their website. I searched “mermaid” and got zero results.
  2. I bought “Mermaid Vibes” a year ago, and it’s a noticeably different color. Did they change the formula, or does nail polish have “dye lot” issues like fabrics do?
DSC01369
New bottle (left) vs old bottle (right)

My Rating: 5/5

Eyeshadow in “Ursula”

from Winky Lux

Photo of Eyeshadow in "Ursula" from Winky Lux

This shade is from their Mermaid Kitten palette; you can’t buy it as a single shadow. After swatching it, I was afraid it would be too intense and shimmery to be able to wear to work, but when applied with a brush, this deep satin plum shade with a touch of sparkle is nice and buildable. It applied buttery smooth with no kick-up for fallout.

My Rating: 4/5

Satin Dream Leave-in Cream

from Eva NYC

Photo of sample size Satin Dream Leave-in Cream from Eva NYC
$11.99 for 5 oz.; Ulta

This leave-in conditioner feels really rich when I rub it between my palms before applying. I didn’t see any noteworthy effect on my hair, but I might not have used enough. It’s a pretty small sample. The Argain Oil and Avocado Oil in it give your hair some much-needed nutrients, while the Keravis Protein Complex works to strengthen your strands.

My Rating: 3/5


This month’s bag had an average rating of 4. How many of these products have you tried?

Any new favs in your September beauty subscription(s)? Tell me all about them in the comments!

Love,

Sarah xoxo


If you’d like to be notified when new posts go up, please subscribe to Balanced Life Beauty.

Instagram: sarah.elizabeth614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

Twitter: @SarahLiz614 (You can also click the icon at the top of this page.)

Yes, Oh Yas!: Get 3-7 full-size beauty products worth $65+ delivered to you each month for $14.99 + shipping. Use coupon code SARAH614 at checkout for 10% off your first box!