Battle of the Bags: Sephora Play v. IPSY August 2017

I have been getting IPSY bags for about a year now, but I heard about the Sephora Play bag from my cousin and decided to try it out. This was my first month getting it, so I wanted to spend a post comparing the two.

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As far as the actual bag, they are both supposed to come with collectable bags, but I definitely prefer the IPSY bag (at least this month). I use the IPSY bags to separate all the different colors of lipstick I have, and I prefer having a zipper to a drawstring bag.

Both of the bags are $10, and they come monthly. The IPSY bag gives you the chance to see your products the second week of the month, and they show you the theme and bag on the first of every month. Sephora Play does not show the theme or the products you are getting until around the time you actually get the bag. This is just a matter of preference, but I prefer the way IPSY does it.

With IPSY, you get your bag around the end of the second week of the month. Sephora Play delivers the bag around the third week of the month. IPSY sends the bag in a metallic pink bubble wrap package, and Sephora Play sends theirs in black and white striped box. Even though I have never received any damaged products from IPSY, I feel like the box protects the samples better, and the box is really cute.

As for the products themselves, it seems like you get more deluxe samples from IPSY (at least this month). However, Sephora Play definitely gives you higher end samples. This month I got samples from Beauty Blender, Too Faced, Clinique, and Glam Glow. IPSY, on the other hand, is more drugstore makeup even though they usually do send at least one sample of higher end makeup with each bag.

Overall, I think that both bags are definitely worth it. Choosing between the two comes down to a matter of preference and the samples that you are looking to try.

Best Drugstore Makeup Brands for Beginners

When I first started doing my makeup, I was a bit overwhelmed at all of the different brands. I had absolutely no idea which products were good, which ones were bad, or even which ones were drugstore makeup brands versus higher end. SO….if you happen to be in the same position as I was in then, here are a few of my absolute favorite drugstore makeup brands and some of the products I love from each one.

  1. Maybelline: Maybelline just always seems pretty reliable when it comes to finding and trying out new makeup. I really haven’t found a lot from there that I just absolutely hate. Maybelline has some really great concealers, including the Fit Me and the Instant Age Rewind Under Eye concealers. They also have good everyday mascaras. My personal favorite is the Lash Sensational mascara.
  2. Rimmel: I’m a big fan of Rimmel mainly because they have really good drugstore foundations. I use the Lasting Finish 25 hour foundation which definitely lasts all day (not really sure about 25 hours, though, since I take my makeup off at night). I also love that it has a foundation light enough for my pale skin. Recently, I bought their setting powder which is also really great.
  3. L’Oreal: This is probably my absolute favorite drugstore brand simply because they do so, so many products right. If I had to recommend one, it would probably be this one. Their foundations are light enough for my pale skin, they make my absolute favorite mascara as of now (Lash Paradise), and I’ve heard their lip liners and lipsticks are really great.
  4. Physician’s Formula: This one is kind of the higher end of drugstore makeup. Because of that, I’ve just started trying it out, but so far I really like the brand as a whole. My favorite is their Butter Bronzer which is so creamy and smells like coconut.

L’Oreal True Match Foundation Review

This is going to be a fairly quick and simple post. I just wanted to do a quick review on the foundation that I’ve been using the most this summer. By far, it’s been my go-to foundation for about two months now (and not only because it’s one of the only foundations I have that match my skin tone right now lol).

Pros:

  • It comes in a lot of different shades, including one light enough for my skin tone.
  • It’s so easy to blend out.
  • It’s medium coverage, but you can build it to full coverage easily.
  • It does not settle into the lines of my face.
  • It has SPF 17 which is so nice for my pale skin!

Cons:

  • You definitely need to use a setting spray if you want it to last longer than about five hours.

Overall, I’d give this foundation four out of five stars. To me, it’s perfect for the summer months, and I can definitely see this being my favorite for more months to come!

Beginner Makeup: Makeup Brush Essentials

When you first start doing makeup, all the makeup applicator choices out there can get overwhelming, so I decided to share some of the brushes that I think are absolutely essential for those who are starting to do makeup. Of course, there are many other brushes out there that would help you on your makeup journey, but these are just the bare essentials I think everyone should have.

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1. A Powder Brush: Whether you’re wearing powder foundation or just using a setting powder, I feel like everyone needs a go to powder brush. Personally, I love my Real Techniques brush because it’s so big and fluffy which spreads the powder evenly all over my face.

2. A Face Brush: Everyone needs some kind of a smaller fluffy brush for bronzer, highlighter, and blush. Ideally, you would have one for each one, but since this is the bare essentials, I would highly recommend having at least one face brush for all three.

3. A Beauty Sponge: If you’re using liquid foundation, I personally prefer a beauty sponge over a foundation brush. I just think it applies the foundation better overall for most foundations. You can also use the pointy end for blending out concealer. I prefer the Real Techniques one.

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4. An Eyebrow Brush: If you don’t want to go out and buy one of these, I saw a hack on Pinterest where you just wash a mascara applicator and use that. I tried it, and it works well! They also come with a lot of brow products and make your eyebrows look so much better.

5. A Small Angled Brush: This can be something of a multipurpose brush like the face brush which is why it is so great to have. I use it with powder brow products, and the sigma angled brush works perfect for me.

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6. A Dome Eyeshadow Brush: This brush is really important for applying eyeshadow to your eyelid. It picks up the eyeshadow really well to make it look more pigmented on your eye. I personally prefer more of a flexible, fluffy dome brush compared to a stiffer one because I feel like the eyeshadow goes on more easily with a fluffier one.

7. A Blending Brush: In my opinions, this is probably one of the most important brushes to have. It allows you to blend eyeshadows easily into your crease and smoke colors out for a smokey eye look. I use the Sigma tapered blending brush, and it’s by far my favorite because it fits perfectly into my crease.

 

Colourpop Concealer and Brushes First Impressions

I was so excited to finally get these products. I have been waiting for them since they announced that they were launching them, so I’m just going to jump right into it!

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Brushes!

Pros

  • They do not feel cheap.
  • They are very soft.
  • They blend out makeup well.
  • The powder brush is dense enough to pick up enough product, but fluffy enough not to make the powder look cakey.
  • The face brush works really well with highlighter.
  • The blending brush blends eyeshadow into the crease really well.

Cons

  • They do not have the names on the brushes!!
  • I don’t particularly like the dome eyeshadow brush. I prefer those to be more flexible than this one is.

I was very pleasantly surprised with these brushes. I honestly thought that they would feel cheap, but they actually are very nice, soft brushes!

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No Filter Concealer in Fair 5

Pros

  • The shade is actually pale enough for my skin tone which doesn’t happen very often.
  • I love the applicator! It picks up the product and applies it really well.
  • The packaging is sleek and nice.
  • It looks very natural and healthy on the skin.
  • It is really easy to blend out.
  • It feels really lightweight and not at all cakey.
  • It gives really good, full coverage.
  • It’s a really good price.

Cons

  • After about two or three hours, it started to sink into my smile lines, but not enough to really look bad.

 

I was actually really shocked when I first tried out this product. I thought that it was going to be good, but I really didn’t expect to like it as much as I have. I really think that this is a great concealer for pimples and redness. It’s not my favorite for under eyes since it’s not as brightening as I like under eye concealers to be. This really isn’t a con, though since it’s not supposed to be strictly for under eyes or claims to be really brightening.

The Little Things I Love: Summer Edition

Sometimes I think that it’s the little things in life that make life so amazing. Those moments when you can just sit and enjoy life for a few moments or hours. Everyone has different things that they make them feel this way. For some people, it’s being around large crowds or being in the middle of a hyped concert. For the summer, though, these are the things that make me feel this way.

  1. Sitting in the Front Porch Swing. There is just something about swinging on the front porch on a warm (not burning hot, warm) summer day and listening to the sounds of birds and other animals around you that is just so comforting. IMG_6565.JPG
  2. Feeling a Light Breeze on a Warm Day. There is nothing so refreshing as a soft, light breeze when you’re just starting to get a little too hot. IMG_6564
  3. Hugging Your Family After Being Away for a While. The moment I got to hug my family after being away from them for the entire month of June was just so amazing. Seeing the happiness on their faces from me being back was so comforting and….I just don’t have words for it.
  4. Taking a Walk by Yourself in Nature. I live next to a family lake and walking on a warm day down by the lake with no one else but you and the occasional animal is an absolutely amazing experience.
  5. The First Feeling of the Ocean. Each year my family goes to the beach, and feeling the ocean on your feet and the saltiness of the air around you for the first time that year is just a magical experience. IMG_5037.JPG
  6. Getting Excited about a New Hobby. This summer I put my fears aside for a moment and started a YouTube channel and got back to writing regularly on my blog. There’s something incredibly exciting about the anticipation of starting a new channel or blog and the hope and pride you have for what it’s going to turn into.
  7. Having Your Dog Come Sit Beside You While You’re Working. There’s something that makes you feel important when your dog decides to stop chasing after lizards and squirrels and just lay down next to you and enjoy the day. IMG_6562.JPG
  8. Listening to a Song that Perfectly Describes What You’re Going Through. I absolutely love connecting a song to a specific place and time in my life. It’s never intentional, but whenever that song plays a few months/years later, I always go back to that specific moment in time.
  9. Fairy Lights All Around You. To me, fairy lights just make everything look more beautiful and magical at night. IMG_6136.JPG

So those are some of the little things that make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside this summer. Let me know in the comments what’s been making you feel the same way!!

Dream Like a Ninth Grader….

So, Friday was my very first day of student teaching. We have all ninth graders in our classes, and since the first day of high school is usually spent getting to know the school, teacher, and the other students, my teacher decided to have all of the students write one paragraph about themselves on an index card. They were allowed to write whatever they wanted, but most of the students decided to dedicate at least one line to their dreams: what they wanted to be when they got out of high school.

Reading all of these index cards filled with expectations, dreams, and potential really got me thinking about what I would have said in ninth grade. What would I say now if I was on the brink of my entire future and everything seemed possible?

College and young adult life somewhat takes all of that away from you. You start having to look at things realistically. Realistically how am I going to support myself? Do I have good enough grades/test scores to be a surgeon, nurse, etc.? Do I have a child, spouse, family member that is relying on me?

But maybe….we still have room in our lives for our own dreams? Those dreams that may not seem realistic, and we’ve buried deep down because it just doesn’t seem possible. Maybe it’s time to put away the realistic for just a few minutes and start dreaming again like my ninth graders.

Spend a few minutes thinking about what you would have written on that index card.

Are you taking steps in order to reach that long lost dream?

If not, it may be time to put away reality for a few minutes each day and start working on those long lost dreams. Start that blog or YouTube channel you always wanted to start. Go back to community college and take one class at a time until you reach your goal. Believe in yourself, and dream like a ninth grader again because, honestly, what is life if we lose faith in our deepest desires?