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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ipsy Glam Bag Review: August 2018

Hey, y’all!

The bag might have been a little boring this month, but the products inside weren’t. Check out what I got!

Fresh Face Blush in “Beach Rose”

from Pixi by Petra


Photo of Fresh Face Blush in "Beach Rose" from Pixi by Petra
$12.78 for .16 oz.; Amazon

The color of this blush is really nice and compliments my skin tone nicely with its light diffusing properties. It’s got Vitamin E and mica, which help it to blend easily. I also like the fact that it’s completely matte, so it looks really natural and subtle–perfect for everyday wear.

My Rating: 5/5

Gel Effect Nail Polish in “Parasol”

from Adesse New York

Photo of Gel Effect Nail Polish in "Parasol" from Adesse New York
$18 for 11 ml.; Adesse New York

This is a new brand for me. It claims to be like a gel polish by filling ridges and lasting a long time without needing a lamp and that it removes easily with regular nail polish. I tried it out on my toes. After 5 days of ballet flats and aerial classes, it’s still holding up pretty well. Just some minor chipping that’s hardly noticeable. It’s free of 12 different chemicals (ex. Formaldehyde) found in many nail polishes, and it’s infused with Bamboo Extract, Shea, and Argan Oil. It’s a little pricey, but I’d consider looking into other shades. I’m not crazy about this shade–it’s kind of a dull brick red, which wouldn’t be high on my list.

My Rating: 4/5

Foiled Again Eyeshadow in “Locked Up”

from theBalm Cosmetics

Photo of "Locked Up" eyeshadow from the Foiled Again Collection from The Balm Cosmetics
$34 for 12-shade palette; The Balm Cosmetics

You can’t by this eyeshadow individually; it’s part of the 12-shade Foiled Again palette. I thought this color would be a nice greige with some shimmer. It turned out much brighter and silvery than I expected. When I tried building the pigment, it only made the shine brighter, so I had to tone it down with a matte shade. I could see using this as a highlighting shade in the corners of my eyes, but I don’t think I’ll be reaching for this on a regular basis for day-to-day use.

My Rating: 3/5

“Take Away the Drama” Youth Boosting Honey  & Copper Peel-Off Mask

from Hey Honey

Photo of sample size "Take Away the Drama" Youth Boosting Honey & Copper Peel Off Mask from Hey Honey
$49 for 2 fl. oz.; Hey Honey

I used this for Spoil Me Sunday recently–you can read my full review here. It’s a neat idea, but boy, is it pricey.

My Rating: 4/5

Glow-To Highlighter in “Moondust”

from Ciaté London

Photo of Glow-To Highlighter in "Moondust" from Ciate London
$29 for .17 oz.; Ciate London

I absolutely love this highlighter! The pearlescent oyster shade makes it subtle, with just enough shimmer to make my cheekbones pop. It blends so nicely and lasts all day long. Love, love, love!

My Rating: 5/5

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

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


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: January 2018

Hey, y’all!

First ipsy Glam Bag of 2018! This month was a pretty balanced combination of skincare, makeup, and nails, and the bag was cute–I’ve been using it in my gym bag ever since I got it. Let’s get to it!

Charcoal Wash-Off Mask

from Global Beauty Care

Photo of Global Beauty Care Charcoal Wash-Off Mask
$9.99 for 5 oz.; globalbeautycare.com

This was basically your typical charcoal mud mask. Charcoal is about halfway down the ingredient list, so I’m not sure how much there actually is in there. I didn’t notice much of a difference in my skin after using this, but at least it didn’t dry my skin out. I’m mildly obsessed with cleaning out my pores, but compared to other charcoal products I own, this one didn’t really do the trick. It wasn’t good, it wasn’t bad, it was just…there.

My Rating: 3/5

Liquid Matte Long-Wear Liquid Lipstick in “Raisin Flesh”

from So Susan Cosmetics

Photo of So Susan Liquid Matte Lipstick in Raisin Flesh
$14 for .17 fl. oz.; sosusan.com

I prefer liquid lipstick over regular because it doesn’t end up on my teeth and it (generally) lasts longer. I was excited to try this brand for the first time, and I really, really wanted to like this… No dice.

The color is nice, perfect for work, but this stuff is so. effing. sticky. It was to the point of being distracting. I tried it once with lip primer and once without–no difference whatsoever. Even putting a thin layer of Posie Tint over it didn’t help. I found myself licking my lips repeatedly to try to combat the stickiness, but it didn’t stop until it had mostly worn off. On top of that, it feathered; it wasn’t the long wear I was expecting. The color was basically the only thing I liked about it because it could work in any season, so unfortunately, this one is a no-go.

My Rating: 1/5

Fierce Flicks Precision Tip Liquid Liner

from Ciaté London

Photo of Ciate London Fierce Flicks Precision Tip Liquid Liner
$19 for .05 fl. oz.; ciatelondon.com

I had gotten a different Ciaté London liquid liner in my ipsy bag last summer and wasn’t super impressed, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from this one. I was very pleasantly surprised! It’s a good formula in classic black with a nice matte finish, but the best part is its staying power! Once it dries, it doesn’t budge. Period. In fact, when I take my makeup off in the evening, I use a cleansing oil and then wash my face. When I get out of the shower, I still have to use makeup remover to get the last of the product off my eyelids! Honestly, the only factor preventing this from being my eyeliner holy grail is that it’s a felt tip liquid eyeliner instead of a brush applicator, but that’s just personal preference.

My Rating: 5/5

Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter, Shadow, & Shimmer

from theBalm Cosmetics

Photo of theBalm Cosmetics Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter, Shadow & Shimmer
$24 for .3oz; thebalm.com

I love a good luminizer, and I love the versatility this one has because you can use it as a highlighter or an eyeshadow. The color is pretty universally flattering, and it’s subtle enough for everyday use. I wish the sample was a little bigger so I could use my larger highlighting brush, but maybe I’ll get the full size at some point. I just have so many different highlighters to go through as it is.

My Rating: 4/5

Nail Polish in “Johnny’s Angels”

from Pretty Woman NYC

Photo of Pretty Woman NYC Nail Polish in Johnny's Angels
$7.99 for .3 fl. oz.; prettywomannyc.com

This is the second Pretty Woman nail polish I’ve gotten from ipsy (the first one was “Girl Boss.”) I tried this one on my toes, and it took me three coats to get the opacity I wanted. Within 2 days, my toes were chipping really badly (this polish was no match for Pole class.) I don’t remember “Girl Boss” chipping this quickly on my toes (it did on my fingers), but maybe it just wasn’t as noticeable. This color would be really cute for spring, but it doesn’t hold up well enough for me to want to buy other colors. So far, I’m sticking with Trust Fund Beauty.

My Rating: 2/5

Overall, this wasn’t my strongest Glam Bag (average rating of 3), but some things worked out well. We’ll see what February brings. What did you love in your ipsy Glam Bag this month? Do you use a different subscription service? Leave a comment!

Happy Hump Day!

–Sarah xoxo