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 ore 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

from REALHER

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!

Love,

Sarah xoxo


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

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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.

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!

ipsy Glam Bag Review: May 2018

Hey, y’all!

I look forward to that pretty pink mailer envelope every month! This month’s theme was “Go There.” The bag is a cute faux leather with passport stamps all over one side. It reminded me how excited I am for our belated honeymoon in Ireland this fall! I don’t know about you, but our travel bucket list is long; Ireland is just the tip of the iceberg. Well, enough about #travelgoals–let’s jump into the goodies inside the bag!

Style Sepia French Garden Gel-Liner with Diamond in “Jardin”

from Touch in Sol

Photo of Style Sepia French Garden Gel-Liner with Diamond in "Jardin" from Touch in Sol
$17; Touch in Sol

If I’m not using liquid liner, gel is my next choice, and I tend to be a pretty big fan of Korean beauty products. Those Koreans know their stuff! ipsy describes the shade as a “rich brown with subtle green shimmer.” I didn’t really notice the green shimmer until I was taking it off, but that’s fine with me. It goes on smoothly and stays put really well. The color wasn’t intense enough for my taste, but the formula is good; maybe I’d like black better. What can I say? I’ll always be a die-hard liquid liner gal through and through.

My Rating: 4/5

Sparkle Everyday Glam Beauty Sponge

from SLMISSGLAM

Photo of Sparkle Everyday Glam Beauty Sponge
$17.50; SLMISSGLAM

The shape of this sponge makes it very versatile, but all in all I was left unimpressed. The size is adorable, but it makes it difficult to use the various surfaces effectively. It seems to stain really easily; no matter how much I washed it, I couldn’t get all the foundation out.  I’ll probably toss this in my travel makeup bag as a backup, but I don’t see this little sponge being worth the price. I’m much more impressed by Real Technique’s sponges, and they’re a much more reasonable price point.

My Rating: 2/5

Moisture Healing Mask Argan Oil Formula: Coconut Scent

from Nelson J Beverly Hills

Photo of sample size Moisture Healing Mask from Nelson J Beverly Hills
$23 for 3.4 oz.; Nelson J Beverly Hills

This is the reason why my bag smelled like coconut as soon as I took it out of the mailer envelope (no, it didn’t leak), and I’m not mad about it. The coconut scent was divine and gave me total summer vibes. According to the website, the mask has 7 benefits:

  1. Detangles
  2. Controls frizz
  3. Prevents hair color fading
  4. Seals split ends
  5. Protects from chlorine & salt water
  6. Restores silkiness & shine
  7. Enhances hair natural body

I’d say it did those things, but I can’t speak to some of them. I don’t color my hair, I don’t have any split ends because I got a trim recently, and I haven’t been in any chlorinated or salt water. There wasn’t anything about it that stood out to me over any other hair mask I’ve owned or tried, but it did the job. With all of the hair masks I already have, I don’t feel the need to purchase the full-size of this one, but this sample size will be another great addition to my travel bag.

My Rating: 3/5

Centella 65 Green Tea Pack

from PureHeals by Nature Village

Photo of sample size Centella 65 Green Tea Pack Calming Mask from Pure Heals by Nature Village
$32 for 4.58 oz.; Ulta

I used this for Spoil Me Sunday recently, and you can read my full review here.

TL;DR: You can buy this at Ulta, and I’m totally planning on it.

My Rating: 5/5

Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder

from Tarte Cosmetics

Photo of sample size Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder from Tarte Cosmetics
$33 for .32 oz.; Ulta

This is a really nice translucent powder; I like to use it to set my eyeshadow primer so I get the smoothest possible eyeshadow application with the boldest color. It works well as an overall finishing powder, too, of course, because it minimizes the appearance of pores and doesn’t have any flashback. I find it odd that it’s nowhere to be found on the Tarte website, but it’s available at Ulta and Sephora. Who knows? Anyway, I still prefer my Becca Under Eye Setting Powder to set my under eye concealer because of the brightening effect. When I run out of my CoverFX translucent powder, I’d consider switching to this Tarte powder for setting the rest of my face, though. I like that it has a little bit of a finer texture, so it gives me a softer finish.

My Rating: 5/5


This month’s bag had an average rating of 3.8. Have you tried any of these products? Are you interested in any of them?

What did you get in your subscription box(es) this month? Any new favorites? Tell me all about ’em!

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!

Photo of my March ipsy Glam Bag

ipsy Glam Bag Review: March 2018

Hey, y’all!

A new month, a new Glam Bag! The theme for this month’s Glam Bag was #ipsycreate, so it was a black and white design by Priscilla Witte, and it came with 2 markers (mine were pink and blue) to make it your own work of art. I thought it was a really cute idea. Wanna see what was inside? Keep reading!

Good Night! PM Sheet Mask

from Meg Cosmetics

Photo of Good Night! PM Sheet Mask from Meg Cosmetics
$6 ea.; Meg Cosmetics

If you’ve read previous posts, you know I’m always down to try new masks, but I have yet to encounter a sheet mask that I fall in love with and want to repurchase. The Tea Tree oil and Rosemary extract give this mask a very clean smell with just a hint of citrus, which was nice. I will say that of all the sheet masks I’ve tried, this one fit me the best. I have a high forehead, and a lot of the Korean brand masks stop like an inch below my hairline. This one came all the way up to about 1/4″ below my hairline, so there’s that. This one left my face feeling super sticky long after I had removed the mask, which was annoying. I think I’ve realized, though, that my biggest frustration with sheet masks is that none of them fit my face well. Besides the forehead issue, I have yet to find one that will stay adhered to the sides of my nose without encroaching on the outer corners of my eyes. It seems that until I find the unicorn of sheet masks, I won’t be buying the same one twice. Same goes for this one. Le sigh.

My Rating: 3/5

Glow Duo

from City Color Cosmetics

Photo of Glam Duo Highlighter from City Color Cosmetics
$5.99; City Color Cosmetics

I love a good highlighter, and I’ve been impressed by everything I’ve tried from City Color Cosmetics thus far, so I was excited to give this a whirl.

The powder side is a little more glittery than I would normally use for everyday makeup, so I only used it (sparingly) on my cheekbones. I didn’t use it to highlight my nose, chin, cupid’s bow, etc. The color is gorgeous, and it goes on like a dream.

The cream side is more subtle, so I used that for highlighting the rest of my face. It’s got a nice buttery texture, but it’s nice and light. I also tried layering it over the powder on my cheekbones, and the effect was really pretty. Definitely going to keep experimenting with this.

My Rating: 4/5

SL41 Blusher Brush

from SLMISSGLAM Beauty

Photo of SL41 Blusher Brush from SLMISSGLAM Beauty
SLMISSGLAM Beauty

The bulk of my brushes came from Amazon, but every now and then I’ll splurge on a particular brush. Getting them in my Glam Bag is even better! I’ve gotten a brush from SLMISSGLAM before in a previous Glam Bag, and I literally use it every day. My only complaint about that brush was that it was teal, so it didn’t go with my other brushes that are predominantly pink and black. I was super excited to get another SLMISSGLAM brush this month, and this one is pink! Bonus that it’s sparkly, too. 🙂

SLMISSGLAM Beauty doesn’t sell individual brushes, unfortunately. At the moment, their sets range from $38.50 for a set of 2 to $325 for a set of 25. As I expected, the (synthetic) bristles are super soft and easy to clean. At first I was a little concerned that it wasn’t dense enough to apply my blush/highlighter/etc. effectively because of how it compared to my other blush brushes, but it ended up doing a great job of blending it out for a natural looking glow. Love, love, love!

My Rating: 5/5

Sex Kitten Eyeliner

from Tarte Cosmetics

Photo of sample size Sex Kitten Eyeliner from Tarte Cosmetics
$20 for full size; Tarte Cosmetics

I had tried a sample of this eyeliner from Ulta before and liked it, so I didn’t mind seeing it in my Glam Bag this month. My personal eyeliner preference is gel for my waterline and liquid for my upper lid, so this wouldn’t be my first choice. I can use it on my waterline, and it’s ok, but it doesn’t last. When I used it on my upper lid, it went on smoothly without any skipping or tugging, and it lasted all day long. I wouldn’t purchase the full-size, but that’s not because it’s a bad product. It’s just not my thing.

My Rating: 2/5

Freematic Eyeshadow Mono in “Lola”

from Doucce

Photo of Freematic Eyeshadow Mono in
$10 ea.; Doucce

Eyeshadow is one of my favorite parts of doing my makeup, so I’m always game for trying new brands. A friend of mine gave me a Doucce palette she had received and didn’t want, but I hadn’t gotten a chance to play with it much. “Lola” is a really pretty pinkish purple that can work for daytime or evening, depending on what other colors you use with it to contour. It applies really smoothly with zero fallout; the color isn’t super vibrant when you first apply, but it’s buildable, which is nice. Not 100% sure I’d buy other colors, but I’m not writing it off.

My Rating: 4/5


This month’s Glam Bag had an average rating of 3.6. I always like getting brushes, and I liked the mix of skincare and makeup in my bag. I might need to change my profile preferences to nix sheet masks, but I’ll leave it alone for now.

Are you a member of a subscription service? What fun things did you receive this month? Leave a comment to let me know!

I’ve also recently subscribed to Yes, Oh Yas! You get 3-7 full-size beauty products every month for $14.99 + shipping. I can’t wait to get my first box next month! Want 10% off your first box? Use coupon code SARAH614 when you check out!

Have a fabulous weekend!

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.)