ipsy Glam Bag Review: March 2019

Hey, y’all!

ipsy got on the “strong women” train, and all of the products they chose this month were female-founded brands and girl boss must-haves. I’ve got to say, this bag might be one of my favorites so far. The rose gold and the empowering message were spot-on, plus there were some pretty fabulous products inside!

Hydra Veil Primer

from Illamasqua

Photo of sample size Hydra Veil Primer from Illamasqua
$45 for 1 fl. oz.; Illamasqua

I honestly can’t say if this worked any better than my regular primer, but I will say that it felt nice and light. The full-size comes with a little scooper, so you apply one scoop. The sample size didn’t come with one, but ipsy recommended a dime-size amount. I just eyeballed it. Illamasqua’s website suggests applying it with a foundation or highlighter brush. I just used my fingers, so I’ll have to give the brush method a try.

This product has Vitamins C and B3, which help maintain your skin’s moisture levels, while plant extracts calm and refresh.

Illamasqua is an English brand; I can’t tell you if a woman founded it, but their current Director of Artistry is a man named Pablo Rodriguez. They are very outspoken against animal cruelty, animal testing, prejudice, and intolerance, so they’re doing their part to make the world a better place. Definitely a brand worth checking out.

My Rating: 4/5

Dew Me Baked Highlighter in “Pearl”

from Estate Cosmetics

Photo of Dew Me Baked Highlighter in "Pearl" from Estate Cosmetics
$10; Estate Cosmetics

I was already familiar with this highlighter because I got “Afterglow” in my Yes, Oh Yas! box a few months back. “Pearl” is gorgeous, and I’m more likely to use it on a regular basis. It’s not glittery, and it’s nice and buildable, which is perfect for day-to-day wear.

I’m not sure what Estate Cosmetic’s history is, but they’re based out of Montreal, and they have no patience for animal cruelty. Even if they weren’t founded by a woman or aren’t run by mostly women, they understand the importance of valuing women. Their “About Us” section ends with, “Yes, you’re a Queen. You deserve to be treated like one.” Get it!

My Rating: 5/5

Disco Kitten Illuminating Diamond Peel Off Mask

from I Dew Care

Photo of sample size Disco Kitten Illuminating Diamond Peel Off Mask from Memebox
$23 for 2.87 fl. oz.; I Dew Care

I am OBSESSED with this mask. Yes, it’s totally Insta-worthy, but more importantly, my skin looked and felt incredible after using it. It was a little tricky to use with my mask spatula (also from I Dew Care) because of how small this jar is and because the mask has the runny consistency of acrylic paint. I made it work. It took about 20 minutes for it to dry, but once I peeled it off (you know I LIVE for peel-off masks!) my skin felt so soft and was visibly more even. After I make some space in my beauty cabinet, I might have to purchase the full-size of this one!

So what’s the secret? Well, pearl powder exfoliates, diamond powder brightens, and oat extract soothes. Enjoy sparkling while you’re wearing it and glowing afterwards. 🙂

I Dew Care’s parent company is Memebox, which was founded by Hyungseok Dino Ha in 2012. His goal was to make Korean Beauty (K-Beauty) more accessible to the western world. I Dew Care’s products look cute and fun; I’m interested to try more of them.

My Rating: 5/5

I Am Adaptable Matte Liquid Lipstick


Photo of sample size I Am Adaptable Matte Liquid Lipstick from REALHER
$14 for full-size; REALHER

What makes you feel more badass than a classic red lip? I applied it with a lip brush and had great results. It felt pretty light, and there was no caking, drying, cracking, or bleeding. Yeah, it faded around the center of my mouth after lunch, but a quick touch-up was all I needed. It’s not transfer-proof by any means, but I still really liked it.

This particular lipstick was created in collaboration with Misty Diaz, who is a self-described “adaptive athlete.” A portion of the proceeds from this collaboration are donated to the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF).

REALHER was founded by Bill Xiang, who was inspired by the birth of his daughter. I’m not going to try paraphrasing REALHER’s mission statement; I’m going to let you read it for yourself:

“We are a high quality, CERTIFIED CRUELTY-FREE and PARABEN FREE makeup brand featuring empowering and inspiring affirmations on our product. Our Mission is to inspire and bring out the best in the modern woman, to know her worth, to feel proud of her individuality, to love each and every one of her flaws, and to not fear who she really is. Each of our products come with a self-affirmation to remind us everyday that we are enough.”

Can we have more of this in the world, please? This is absolutely a brand I can get behind and want to check out more.

My Rating: 4/5

SS62 Short Shader Brush

from SLMISSGLAM Beauty

Photo of SS62 Short Shader Brush from SLMISSGlam Beauty

As is usually the case with SLMISSGLAM, most of their brushes can’t be bought individually. I can’t find this exact brush in this color anywhere on their site, but you can get a silver glitter version as part of their Silver Glitter Eye Set. (At the time of posting, it’s currently on sale for $39!) This brush is perfect for adding a pop of color to your inner corner or helping you achieve that perfect smoky eye. As always, SLMISSGLAM’s brushes are 100% cruelty-free.

Stephanie Lewis founded SLMISSGLAM Beauty in 2014, and she’s all about creating beauty tools that are as pretty as the products they’re applying.

My Rating: 5/5

This month’s bag had an average rating of 4.6. I believe that might be my highest rated bag yet!

I’m curious to know what makes you feel empowered. Is it a bold red lip or a fierce cat eye? Maybe it’s your favorite pair of boss lady heels or being able to bench more than your body weight. I really want to know. Tell me in the comments!


Sarah xoxo

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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: Get 5 personalized products + a cute cosmetic bag delivered each month for only $10! You also get to enjoy to the ipsy app and website, which give you access to tutorials, articles, and ipsy Shopper.

Yes, Oh Yas! May 2018

Hey, y’all!

The theme for this month’s Yes, Oh Yas! box was “Miami Art Deco”. I got 5 full-size products this month, and I was pumped to try them out. This month’s products gave me total beach vibes and made me want to at least sit poolside with a fancy drink in my hand.

*Note: prices listed as photo captions are what I found on the respective product websites. Retail values listed below my descriptions are what was listed by Yes, Oh Yas!

Liquid Lipstick with LED Light

from Cosmoholic

Photo of Prudish Pink Liquid Lipstick from Cosmoholic Cosmetics

$24.99 for .3 fl. oz.; Cosmoholic

I thought having LED lights built into the wand was really clever, and the mirror built into the tube was also smart. The color wasn’t indicated anywhere on the tube that I could find, but in looking at the website, I’m assuming the color I got was “Prudish Pink.” I’ll admit I only swatched this product; as soon as I realized it was a lip gloss consistency, I wasn’t interested. I prefer matte finish liquid lipstick; I haven’t been a fan of lip gloss since middle school. Not saying this is a bad product, just not my thing personally, so I’ll be giving this away.

If lip gloss is your thing, you should definitely check this product out. It has some ingredients that your lips will love:

  • Vitamins C & E–antioxidants to protect skin from environmental damage
  • Jojoba–moisturizes chapped lips
  • Macadamia Nut Oil–full of antioxidants and fatty acids that moisturize
  • Green Tea–more antioxidants!

This product can be worn on its own, over lipstick, or even as a blush, according to the product website.

Retail Value: $25

Havana Eyeshadow in “Playa”

from Nomad Cosmetics

Photo of Havana Intense Eyeshadow in "La Playa" from Nomad Cosmetics
$12; Nomad Cosmetics

This eyeshadow is absolutely gorgeous. It’s a beautiful golden shimmer that’s universally flattering, and I love that it works well as a highlighter, too! It has Papaya Seed Oil in it to nourish your skin and help the color stay vibrant. The packaging had a classy luxe feel to it, although it is a little bulky.

I didn’t experience any fallout while using this product, which is always wonderful. This is perfect for wearing to work because I can just wear it alone for a nice subtle look, but I can also use it to highlight a more dramatic look on weekends. Versatility always earns points in my book! Cruelty-free and vegan, too? Yes, please!

Retail Value: $18*

*Not sure how to explain the $6 discrepancy, but not a huge deal.

Dew Me Baked Highlighter in “Afterglow”

from Estate Cosmetics

Photo of Dew Me Baked Highlighter in "After Glow" from Estate Cosmetics
$10; Estate Cosmetics

I’m a sucker for a good highlighter, and this one is gorgeous. I was afraid this shimmery purplish pink might be a little much for wearing to work, but if I go easy on it, it’s perfect. It blends easily, isn’t glittery, and gives my cheekbones a lovely glow.

Retail Value: $12*

*Maybe that’s including sales tax?

Smearproof Eyeliner in “Charcoal”

from Sormé Cosmetics

Photo of Smearproof Eyeliner in "Charcoal" from Sorme Treatment Cosmetics
$11.99; Loxabeauty.com

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a liquid liner kind of girl. I like the crispness of the line and the color intensity, plus I like not having to worry about sharpening it. I gave this a shot anyway; the square shape reminded me of some professional colored pencils I’ve seen before at the art supply store.

The color is a lovely deep charcoal, and the formula is really creamy and goes on smoothly. It has Vitamins C & E to nourish skin, as well as Lecithin to prevent dryness. It’s waterproof and smearproof, which means it lasts all day. My only complaint is that it’s difficult to keep it sharpened to continually be able to draw a precise line. I don’t know if it’s the creaminess of the formula or the square shape of the pencil, but it kept breaking off as I sharpened it. I can sort of make it work, but if I want a charcoal eyeliner, I’m pretty sure I’ll find myself reaching for my liquid liner most of the time.

Retail Value: $18*

*You can’t buy directly from their website, but they direct you to third party sellers. Maybe this seller in particular just gives a better deal.

Lip Pencil in “Retro Red”

from Laritzy Cosmetics

Photo of Retro Red Lip Pencil from Laritzy Cosmetics
$18; Laritzy Cosmetics

A good red lip liner and the perfect red lipstick are two staple items in almost anyone’s makeup collection. This pencil has a nice creamy formula that applies easily. It’s pigmented enough to be worn on its own or as a base for lipstick. I don’t know if I like it better than my Clinique Quickliner in “Intense Cranberry,” but this one is brighter, so it works better for some of my brighter reds (I own 5). I don’t get to wear red lipstick that often because I try to wear more subtle shades to work, but on the weekends, anything goes!

Retail Value: $18

Total Package Value: $91*

*If you go off of website prices, it’s $76.98, but that’s still a heck of a value for $14.99!

I loved getting to try 5 new brands for the first time! Have you tried any of these products before? If not, are there any you want to try?

Hope you’re having a great weekend!


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!