This bag is long enough for your makeup brushes and nail files and deep enough to fit your powder compact. No special brand. While the fabric feels nice, it might need an occasional washing. The interior is a slightly more saturated version of Pantone’s 2015 color Marsala, so points for that. Also, points for the cool removeable ipsy keychain on the zipper. I’ve already attached it to my keys. The bag is a little moth ball-ish, but considering I opened up a Febrese gift basket that smelled like someone trapped a fart in the shrink wrap, I’m not going to complain about this bag’s smell. I’m giving it 3 out of 5.
Coolway Boost Repair 1.3 oz (29.95 for 8oz approx $4.87) Okay, it was hair washing night the same night I got my bag, so I got to try this right away. I don’t heat style my hair, and in the last year I’ve used a blowdryer 3 times total. I typically use Fructis shampoo and conditioner, and I’ve already got a strengthening treatment to use after conditioning, so my hair isn’t in awful shape anyway. It’s just really fine, very wavy, and struggling with the awkward stage growing out from a pixie cut. My least favorite phase. This treatment turned those waves into big curls. It almost looks intentional. The first thing I noticed about this serum was the smell. It reminded me of Ether by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. Like you would seriously smell this if you opened some Victorian alchemist’s cabinet. It’s not oily like conditioner, and I swear the vapors that rise from this when you squeeze it into your hand could get you high. I enjoy the sort of “gift shop” fragrance it leaves after rinsing out. My hair feels great today (and I topped it off with last month’s ipsy item, the Marc Anthony hair spray). 4 out of 5, because it made a difference on hair that wasn’t even bad off.
Crown Brush Infinity Shadow/Crease Duet Brush ($17.50 reduced to $6.99 at manufacturer) I can’t judge a brush too harshly. It’s a brush. If it’s not the perfect brush for the job for which it was designed, it can be used for other things. First thing, the bristles are more coarse than I’m used to with my eye brushes, but that’s not a bad thing for blending colors. It doesn’t smell bad. It’s nicely shaped. Though I enjoy wooden handles, any artist will tell you that the glue doesn’t hold on wood, and the end will come off your brush. This one is plastic, so you can wash it many times without fear of your brush falling apart. It has all these wonderful qualities, yet it still isn’t anything really amazing. It is an average duet brush. I love brushes, but it’s not impressive. 3 out of 5.
NYX Cosmetics Butter Lip Balm 0.14oz ($3.99) I got the shade Ladyfingers, which is described as mauve. It is identical to the first crayon lip balm I made with the Blush crayon. No, it doesn’t smell like crayons. It’s semi-fruity. It is slightly grainy, and it has more pigment than a typical lip balm. I think all the pigment is in those grains, though, so if you need lip balm for dry lips, you’re going to find the bright color slips into the cracks. There is enough color here that you can’t apply on the fly. I underestimated it, used it to refresh my lips without looking, and ended up with clown lips. Woops. I would like to try a different color. It does a decent job, stays on for a couple hours, and gives enough color for a fresh low-maintenance day. Still, I’m only giving 3 of 5 for texture and uneven application.
Pixi by Petra Fairy Dust 0.02oz (full $10) Love. I am in love. I need more of this. The shade they sent me is Brightening Bare, which looks identical, in the bottle, to last month’s eye base. This Fairy Dust is so much warmer and looks beautiful against my grey eyes. It’s a dusty peach color and blends evenly with my skin tone to bring out my eyes without looking like I’m wearing makeup. It’s wonderful! 5 of 5 from this happy girl!
Tarte Deluxe Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara 0.10oz 3mL (0.13oz mini = $10 approx $7.70) It’s just like the before and afters I’ve seen. You get clumps when you apply and if you don’t dust those off before they dry, they will fall off and leave dark sprinkles on your cheeks. Yes, it is a bold, dark mascara, and it definitely enhances the lashes. It just looks sloppy. 2 out of 5.
Overall score: 3.3 – A decent B. I only had one amazing favorite that blew my mind this month, and a predicted 2 of 5 at the end. I feel like this bag is more coordinated than last month’s selection. This month’s look seems to be the perfect no-makeup, “I wake up beautiful” look. It’s actually great for taking along to a holiday with your family. Wash your hair with Coolway the night before, then slap on the makeup before you emerge from your childhood bedroom for morning festivities, and people will think you found the fountain of youth in there.
Price Total – $33.55 not including the bag
Again, if you haven’t already subscribed to ipsy, and you’re enjoying my monthly hauls, definitely sign up. The fairy dust retail price was worth the subscription, and I absolutely want more of that. It was an excellent use of $10.