ipsy Glam Bag Review: December 2018

As 2018 draws to a close, let’s dive into the final Glam Bag of the year. This gold sequined bag even came with some bonus items!

Nude Beach Eyeshadow in “Bootylicious”

from theBalm Cosmetics

Photo of Nude Beach Eyeshadow in "Bootylicious" from TheBalm Cosmetics
$36 for Nude Beach palette; theBalm Cosmetics

theBalm eyeshadows never fail to disappoint as far as color and longevity. I don’t tend to by them, though, because most of the shades I like are only sold as part of a palette, and I’ve already got more palettes than I know what to do with. “Bootylicious” is a beautiful dark brown shimmer that looks lovely on its own or as a transition shade. Like every other theBalm shadow I’ve tried, it applies smoothly with no fallout, and the color payoff is fabulous. If you want this shade, you’ll have to snag the Nude Beach Palette, which is a mix of 12 shimmer and matte nudes.

My Rating: 5/5

Glitter Flip Liquid Lipstick in “Infamous”

from Ciaté London

Photo of sample size Glitter Flip Liquid Lipstick in "Infamous" from Ciate London
$19 for .101 fl. oz.; Ciaté London

Matte liquid lipstick in a gorgeous berry shade? Yes, please! Add glitter? Ehhhh… I’ll admit the color holds up better than I expected, and the glitter doesn’t transfer as much as I thought it would, but I’m still dubious about how much I’ll actually use this. The website claims that it looks matte until you press your lips together and then it “flips” to glittery, but when I swatched it on my hand, it was glittery from the get-go. This might look great for holiday parties, but the jury’s still out.

My Rating: 3/5

Tapered Blending Brush 35E

from F.A.R.A.H Brushes

To be honest I’d never heard of this brand before, and I couldn’t find this brush shape with this exact handle on their website. This brush has a nice weight and balance to it, and the (vegan) bristles are super soft. It can be used with powder or cream eyeshadows, so you’re covered there. If this brush is any indication, F.A.R.A.H delivers a great quality for a reasonable price point. Definitely worth checking out.

My Rating: 5/5

Arch Arrival Brow Definer in “Taupe Tom”

from Sugar Cosmetics

Photo of Arch Arrival Brow Definer in "Taupe Tom" from Sugar Cosmetics
$12.99; Sugar Cosmetics

I never used any eyebrow products until about a year and a half ago, and now it’s the part of my beauty routine that I get the most compliments on, which I find funny. I’m lucky to have naturally full eyebrows with a natural arch, but they wouldn’t look nearly as great without the help of my aesthetician (love you, Lina!) My brows just have a couple of spots that can use some filling in. When I have the time, I contour with a brow powder duo. If I’m in a hurry, I just use a pencil. This particular pencil is iffy. The wedge shape is interesting, but I had to press so hard on my arm just to swatch it. I guess that stops you from going overboard and looking like Groucho Marx, but it left some red marks on my arm. We’ll see how it goes. This color is a pretty good match for me. It only comes in one other shade, Jerry Brown, which is for “medium to dusky” skin tones. Both are currently sold out on their website, so there must be a lot of fans out there.

My Rating: 2/5

Relax! Propolis & Honey Soothing Cream

from Hey Honey

Photo of sample size Relax! Propolis & Honey Soothing Moisturizer
$42 for 2.2 oz.; Hey Honey

I tend to really like skincare products with honey in them. It’s so fabulous for your skin, and Hey Honey is such a great brand. This moisturizer has a very subtle scent to it, nothing crazy. It’s also nice and light, so it left my skin feeling moisturized, yet velvety smooth and soft, not saturated.

My Rating: 5/5

Dew Pot in “Fine”

from Laritzy Cosmetics

Photo of Dew Pot in "Fine" from Laritzy Cosmetics
$20 for .12 oz.; Laritzy Cosmetics

If you’ve been counting, you’ll notice that ipsy included 6 items this month as a holiday gift! This gorgeous shimmery cream highlighter is as subtle or as in-your-face as your heart desires. I love that it’s not glittery. Wear it on its own or over your favorite blush!

My Rating: 5/5

Bonus Item: Eyeshadow Brush

from Inmo Cosmetics

Photo of eyeshadow brush from Inmo Cosmetics
$45 for 12-piece set; Inmo Cosmetics

I had some points that were about to expire, so I cashed them in for this brush. You can only get it as part of Inmo’s 12-brush set called “The Essentials,” but it seems like a decent quality. I’ll be honest, at first glance I thought it was a matching brush for the F.A.R.A.H brush, but it’s not.

This month’s bag had an average rating of 4.2. It’s nice to end 2018 on a high note! How did your beauty subscriptions turn out this month? Let me know 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!

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!