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


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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 Glam Bag Review: April 2018

Hey, y’all!

April is here, and spring is in full swing! The theme for this month’s Glam Bag was “Social Butterfly.” I think the bag is really pretty; I love the rose gold accents. Now, onto what was inside!

Eyeshadow Blending Brush

from Ruby

DSC01134

I couldn’t find this brush on their website, so I don’t know how much it is, or really anything about it, other than the fact that it’s cruelty-free. I like the precision of this brush for blending my lower lid or the inner corner of my eye.

My Rating: 5/5

Loose Eyeshadow in “Copper”

from Meech and Mia

Photo of Loose Eyeshadow in Copper from Meech and Mia
$11.50 for Net Wt. 1.2g; Meech and Mia

This eyeshadow is cruelty-free and packs some serious pigmentation. Loose eyeshadow isn’t my favorite because it gets messy, but this one didn’t have any fallout at all. I was super impressed! The color is absolutely gorgeous, and it stayed that way all day long, even after a heavy workout.

img_1313_facetune_23-04-2018-22-55-32

My Rating: 4/5

Soft Matte Lip Cream in “Stockholm”

from NYX Cosmetics

Photo of Soft Matte Lip Cream in Stockholm from NYX Cosmetics
$6.50 for .27 fl. oz.; NYX Cosmetics

I only swatched this on the back of my hand, and I wasn’t impressed. The color was way too orange for my taste, but more importantly, it has no staying power. Yes, it dries matte, but it doesn’t dry down enough to stay put. Even after 20 minutes, I was able to rub it off with no problem. I’ll either list it on My Subscription Addiction’s Swap page or just give it to a friend, but I wasn’t a fan.

My Rating: 1/5

That Liquid Glo Tho Liquid Highlighter in “Lit”

from Trust Fund Beauty

Photo of That Liquid Glo Tho Liquid Highlighter in Lit from Trust Fund Beauty
$20; Trust Fund Beauty

The shimmery glow of this highlighter is everything. It’s a gorgeous champagne color that’s not glittery. It really made my cheekbones pop, and it works well as an eyeshadow, too. It’s a little over-the-top for work wear, but I love it for weekends!

My Rating: 4/5

Pore Tightening Pearl Mask

from Biorace

Photo of sample size Pore Tightening Pearl Clay Mask from Borate
$25 for 3.88 oz.; Biorace

You can read my first impression of this mask here. I recommend it!

My Rating: 5/5


This month’s bag had an average rating of 3.8. Have you tried any of these products? What did you think?

Are you a member of any subscription services? What did you get that you absolutely love? Can’t wait for May!

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: Put Your Best Foot Forward

Hey, y’all!

I’m going to be traveling again this week, this time it’s for work instead of personal reasons, but I’m still looking forward to it. I’ve never been to Fort Lauderdale before, even though I’ve been living in Florida for almost 7 years now. It seemed appropriate that I should give my feet some TLC, since I’ll probably be wearing sandals at some point, and Spring is pretty much here anyway.

The Prep Work

Prepping my feet started out last night with removing my old nail polish, clipping, shaping, etc. Then came the fun part…exfoliating!

Pedi Perfect Electronic Foot File, Extra Coarse

from Amopé

Photo of Amope Pedi Perfect Electronic Foot File, Extra Coarse
Regularly $49.99, on sale at the moment for $39.42 from Amopé

Using this device beats the heck out of manually filing your heels; I certainly have no patience for that! It’s powered by 4 AA batteries and gets the job done with little effort. The ergonomic design is very comfortable, and the file pops right out to make cleaning a breeze. Extra coarse file refills are $19.99 for a 2-pack; as of today, they’re on sale for $16.04. I’ve used this device maybe 10 times since I bought it, and I haven’t had to replace the file yet. It’s important to note that you should only use this device on dry skin. If you want the option of wet or dry, try this device, instead.

Foot Works Double Action Deep Moisturizing Cream

from Avon

Photo of Double Action Deep Moisturizing Cream from Avon

After exfoliating, it was time to moisturize. Admittedly, I’m not great about foot care, and I don’t moisturize as often as I should, so I’ve had this foot cream for a while. It seems that this exact one has been discontinued and replaced with Avon Foot Works Deep Moisturizing Cream. It usually retails for $6 for 2.5 fl. oz.; at the moment, it’s on sale for $3.99. The cocoa seed butter provides intense moisture and healing for your skin, while the peppermint oil provides a cooling sensation and a fresh scent. I slathered this on my feet and put on some comfy fuzzy socks before heading to bed.

The Nails

Ultimate Shield Base & Top Coat

from Sally Hansen

Photo of Ultimate Shield Base & Top Coat from Sally Hansen
$4.99 for .45 fl. oz. from Target

Every good manicure or pedicure needs to start with a good base coat if you want it to have any chance of lasting. This is my favorite, partly because it works so well and partly because I love any multi-purpose beauty product. I like not having to buy a separate top coat. One thin coat of this helps protect my nail and extends the life of my polish.

“Booze Cruise” Nail Polish

from Trust Fund Beauty

Photo of "Booze Cruise" Nail Polish from Trust Fund Beauty

Now comes the fun part–color! Trust Fund Beauty is one of my favorite nail polish brands because it lasts well and you get a good amount of product for the price. Depending on the color intensity I’m going for, 1-2 coats is plenty. I’ve never had to do more than that. “Booze Cruise” has an incredibly subtle shimmer to it and “Spring” is written all over it. It seemed appropriate for traveling to a beach town like Fort Lauderdale. I doubt I’ll have time for the beach while I’m there, but we’ll see! Then again, with Spring Break going on, avoiding the beach might be best…

I bought this particular color last July, and it seems to have been discontinued. Looking at their website, it seems the next most similar color to this would be “Emotional Hangover,” which you can purchase here. All of their full-size nail polishes are .57 fl. oz. and retail for $12-15.

I finished it off with a top coat of Ultimate Shield, let it dry, and I’m good to go!


What are some of your favorite nail polish colors for Spring? How often do you get pedicures? Do you get them done professionally, or do you DIY it like I do?

Please subscribe to Balanced Life Beauty if you’d like to be notified when new posts go up. You can also follow me on Instagram (click the icon at the top of the page.)

Have a great week!

Love,

Sarah xoxo

Spoil Me Sunday Product Reviews: Body Scrub, Masks, & Nail Polish

Sunday is my day to prepare for the week ahead, both literally and mentally. We get our grocery shopping done on Saturday so that we can meal prep on Sunday. Any last-minute laundry gets done. Basically anything that we won’t have time to do during the week gets taken care of.

My favorite part, though, is a ritual I started for myself a few months ago: Spoil Me Sundays. I’ll do whatever beauty treatment(s) my body needs that day, whether it’s a mask (or two), a hair treatment, a mani/pedi, or anything else. It’s about taking the time to fully charge myself for the week ahead so that when I walk into the office on Monday morning, I’m on my A-game, ready to roll.

This week I used a few products; some are new, others are tried-and-true favorites. Let’s dive in!

KP Duty Dermatologist Formulated Body Scrub with Chemical + Physical Exfoliation

from Dermadoctor

Image of Dermadoctor KP Duty Dermatologist Formulated Body Scrub with Chemical + Physical Exfoliation
$46 at dermadoctor.com

My workout this afternoon was a low-impact HIIT that had me sweating like crazy. Before I turned on the shower, I hopped in and rubbed this on my arms and legs to exfoliate off all the grime, which felt fantastic. I use it about once a week to help prevent the Keratosis pilaris (KP) that I get on my upper arms. The consistency reminds me of buttercream frosting with large sugar crystals mixed in. It feels great and leaves my skin noticeably smoother. One thing to note: the active ingredients in this product can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so don’t forget your SPF!

16oz is a good amount of product, especially considering how long it lasts when you only use it once a week. Before sales tax, the price comes out to about $2.88/oz, which isn’t awful, but there are other so many other exfoliants at different price points to choose from. Full disclosure, I bought this during Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty back in September, so I paid half price for it. I really like it, and I’d buy it again if there were another sale, but I’d be hard-pressed to pay full price when there are so many other body scrubs out there to try.

Silicone Pack Brush

from Memebox

Image of Memebox Silicone Pack Brush
$8 at memebox.com

This little tool is such a simple concept that I wish I’d thought of it! It’s just a little spatula that you use to apply face masks. It reduces messiness, and it helps me use less product because it doesn’t end up all over my fingers. It’s a little tricky to get an even application around the nose area, but it comes with practice. I definitely get more precise application so it’s easier to avoid my hairline and eyebrows.

My only complaint is that I wish the handle was a little longer. Measuring from the top of the silver portion to the end of the handle is only 3″ long, but it’s incredibly easy to clean, and I use it for every single mask I apply, regardless of whether it’s a thinner consistency peel-off mask or a thicker clay mask.

7th Heaven Black Seaweed Peel-Off Deep Pore Detox Mask

from Montagne Jeunesse

Image of Montagne Jeunesse Black Seaweed Peel-Off Mask
$1.99 at Ulta

My first mask of the day was a new one I’d never tried before. I got this as a stocking stuffer from my mother-in-law for Christmas. I really enjoy peel-off masks for a couple of reasons: 1. I enjoy the exfoliating properties and how it leaves my skin feeling fresher and brighter. 2. The act of peeling it off is so ridiculously gratifying!

This had the typical consistency of a peel-off mask; it had some fragrance to it, but it wasn’t overpowering. Using every last drop in the package, it’s still never going to look like it does on the woman in the picture as far as coverage, but oh well. I didn’t apply it as evenly as I had thought, so some parts hadn’t dried completely when I started to remove it. I got impatient and washed the remaining bits off.

Overall, I think it was fine. I’m not generally a fan of single packet masks because it seems less environmentally friendly, and it makes it a little more difficult for me to be able to see at a glance what products I have in my arsenal. Not to mention, you get more product for your money when it comes in a tube. With only .3oz in a packet, this one comes out to $6.64/oz, while Formula 10.0.6’s Get Your Glow On Peel Mask (I’ll post about it another time) comes out to $2.06/oz for a 3.4oz tube. I probably wouldn’t get this one again, but I can say I’ve tried it.

Rose Gel Mask

from Trader Joe’s

Image of Trader Joe's Rose Gel Mask

I received this as part of a 3-mask set from my Secret Santa at work this holiday season. Apparently this was a limited-time offer from Trader Joe’s just for the holidays, but at $6.99 for the set of 3, it’s definitely affordable, and it smells lovely, if you like rose scented products. If you’re interested in trying it, you’ll have to keep an eye out to see if they bring it back at a later date.

It has a gel consistency, but it’s not a peel-off mask. After doing the black seaweed mask, this one felt calming on my skin. I enjoy it, but it seems to take awhile to dry (maybe that was just me being impatient again.)

Nail Polish in “I Love My #Selfie”

from Trust Fund Beauty

Image of Trust Fund Beauty's nail polish in the color
$15 for a full-size bottle at trustfundbeauty.com

I first learned about the Trust Fund Beauty brand when I got a bottle of their nail polish in my June 2017 ipsy bag, and I loved it! The colors are vibrant, the staying power, even on my toes, is fabulous, and the full-size bottles are HUGE (.57 fl oz)! Considering that I don’t think I’ve ever used up an entire bottle of nail polish in my life (they usually go bad first), I really like that they also offer sets of 6 mini (.1 fl oz) bottles for somewhere between $28 and $32.

This color came in one of those sets and is just a gorgeous classic red. I tend to go with reds, pinks, and plums on my toes, but since the company I work for has rather conservative views on nail color, I’ll sometimes go with a flashier pedicure like gold or blue. Today felt like a good day for a classic pedi, though. This color goes on very smoothly, it’s not streaky, and I don’t need more than 2 coats to get the deepness I want. I can sometimes go as much as 2 weeks without my pedi even chipping, which is quite a feat, considering that I have to wear close-toed shoes 5 days a week.

Color Dip Nail Polish in “Female Phenom”

from Red Carpet Manicure

Image of Red Carpet Manicure Color Dip nail polish in
$9.99 from Red Carpet Manicure

I’ve never been great at giving myself a manicure because I get impatient waiting for the polish to dry, and since I’m constantly working with my hands, professional manicures at regular intervals seem like a waste of money. I had tried at-home no-light gel kits before, but I’d still manage to smudge my nails before they completely dried. Needless to say, I was super excited to try Red Carpet Manicure’s Color Dip powder gel polish. Up to 3 weeks of wear, and no smudging!

Their normal starter kit comes with the color “Contract Please,” which is a sheer pink. I wasn’t paying attention and accidentally bought their holiday kit instead when Ulta had it on sale, which came with “Red Carpet” (a red glitter) and “Dream Girl Gold” (a gold glitter). Neither of those are technically something I can wear to work, so I picked up “Female Phenom,” which is a sheer pink. They call it a shimmer, but it’s really more of a pearlescent finish. The whole process is a lot of steps: buff, base coat, color, base coat, color, activator, base coat, buff, activator, two layers of top coat, but there’s no wait time. Worth it!

I never managed to get the glitter ones to last more than a week and a half, but maybe this one will be different, since it’s not a glitter. For some reason they would always start to peel up at the base of my nails–I might not have roughed them up enough with the buffer. I used the one that came in the kit, and it didn’t hold up very well–it was worn out after 2 manicures. I’ll keep you posted on how this color holds!


That concludes my first Spoil Me Sunday of 2018! How do you get ready for a busy week ahead? Have you tried any of these products before? Leave a comment, and let me know!

Have a lovely week!

–Sarah xoxo