Practicing on Lips: My Ipsy June 2020 Glam Bag

Well, if the pandemic’s been good for something it certainly has given me the opportunity to experiment with some of the samples I’ve received in my Ipsy Glam Bag.

Today I wore the Maëlle Clearly Brilliant Tinted Lips in “Nectar”— which I say looks orange and the teenager says “it’s lip tint, Mom, it will look pink when you put it on. It will look good on you.”

I liked it. Not as thick and sticky and messy as lipstick and leaves a nice color on the lips.

The essenHERB tea tree foam cleanser was an add-on item I bought for $3. After a lesson in how to contour from the teenager, I went to show her how to use bronzer. Except I grabbed the highlighter and plastered that all over my face.

So that cleanser came in handy. I washed my face and didn’t think anything of it until I realized that my skin was abnormally soft.

The teenager touched my face and agreed.

I bought Sugar eyeliner for the teenager and she really likes the dainty pen and the ease of control. Again, a $3 add on.

The other lip gloss I also purchased because it looked like a really pretty purple-glittery color.

The highlighter powder went right into our unopened container for future use as I still don’t “get” how to use highlighter and I have one with my bronzer.

I bought a set from Ipsy last month.

The nail polish I tossed in my nail polish container. The lotion I gave to the teenager.

Perfect Saturday Shenanigans and cocktails

County Seat Spirits (they have a really yummy Instagram account) has been tempting me with their exotic to go cocktails for quite some time.

Elderflower.

Lavender Lemonade with Gin.

Watermelon Margarita.

Hibiscus rum-rita.

Some orange drink called a white bronco.

Apple Pie cocktail.

So I splurged this morning and I ordered the 4-pack of the lavender and the hibiscus— two of my favorite flavors. I ordered a single serve watermelon margarita and a single serve white bronco.

Yummy Yummy Cocktails

I called up my blind friend Nan as I suspected the pandemic had made getting out of the house for social visit more unlikely. I asked her if she wanted to come over for cocktails and my Asian fusion cuisine.

Nan rarely refuses my adventures.

Nan joins me to run down to County Seat at the Silk Milk. I’ve ordered curbside pick up.

(Web site here)
County Seat Spirits
(click image to go to web site)

Then we stopped and put gas in the car.

Once we arrived at my house, the teenager put the drinks in the fridge and we put out some nuts and cranberry cheddar (read more about the cranberry cheddar here: Cranberry Cheddar Review) to munch on.

Now Nan, though blind, loves to watch me cook. I poured her a glass of my mint green tea and she enjoyed my narration.

I was making spring rolls/egg rolls. First I showed Nan the wrappers and explained how I mixed the filling.

Ingredients:

  1. Broccoli slaw
  2. Cabbage
  3. Fresh Ginger
  4. Garlic
  5. Black pepper
  6. Purple pepper
  7. Ras-el-hanout
  8. Low sodium soy sauce
  9. Balsamic vinaigrette
  10. Smoked paprika
  11. Canned white chicken meat

I let Nan smell the smoked paprika, the ras-el-hanout and the purple peppercorns.

I warmed my big cast iron skillet with coconut oil and sesame oil.

I stuffed, rolled, and sealed the wonton wrappers and fried them. I garnished with egg drop ramen noodles in a mild coconut curry sauce with a side of Korean barbecue pork jerky. (This was the jerky: Korean BBQ pork jerky.)

After some scrumptious egg rolls, we broke out the ‘lemonade.’

The gin made it super refreshing.

The teenager decided to make edible cookie dough. She forget most of the flour in the first batch, but Nan and I loved it. We dubbed it “chocolate chip cookie sauce.”

Nan tried the hibiscus drink. It was much heavier than the gin drink.

Still good, but the gin really tasted good on a lovely sunny summer day.

And the mailman came while I was driving Nan home— I got an Ipsy bag and the teenager got a rather unusual letter. But that’s for my next post.

Product review: Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture CC Cream Correction Leave-In

The name of the product takes up most of this sample product I purchased from Ipsy.

As someone with curly hair, but not super tight curly hair, it’s a delicate balancing act between coaxing out natural curl and having frayed, frizzy hair by the end of the day.

I’m not a big fan of product, but with this hair something has to keep it together.

As one hair dresser once told me, natural curls are very dry and they get frizzy when they are thirsty and reaching out for moisture.

I didn’t realize I had curly hair until my late twenties because I had always brushed/combed my curls out without even realizing they were there.

So the name of this product intrigued me. It was part of a sample duo and I haven’t tried the other yet.

Now hair product can be expensive, and I’m sure I would cry if I saw the full price of the non-sample product. And hair can be picky. So this sample is a great way to test something I would otherwise not even try.

After my shower last night, I massaged some into my hair and I automatically felt a difference in how my hair air dried. It did seem to retain some shape.

I bathe in the evening in an attempt to keep allergens out of my bed, so by morning my hair is usually frizzy and thirsty.

This morning I had some wavy and shapely curls, especially surprising since my daughter gave me a very short haircut earlier in the Pandemic.

I usually wet my hair in the morning. Today proved no exception.

And I added more of the cream. Overkill indeed, but might as well.

I have high hopes.

No make-up, but have bird

May 2020 Ipsy Glam Bag

So today my May 2020 Ipsy Glam Bag arrived— and I have to say that the special add-on I purchased for the teenager was more exciting than my goodies.

Huda Beauty Sapphire Obessions

This eye shadow palette came with a full set of make-brushes. The colors are fairly true to what you see on the cover. The teenager’s school colors are blue and gold, plus who doesn’t love a good splash of glitter.

But the glam bag… I’m not impressed with the color scheme of the actual bag. The brush from FARAH is a blending brush and has a lovely soft texture.

The Benefit Roller Lash mascara I’m not going to open right now because I recently ordered black mascara that came with my last bag.

Same story with the AutoBalm Day2Night eye shadow — the color is fairly identical to not just one but two of the recent colors sent. So I will also save this until I use the earlier product. Good news is, it’s one of my favorite eye shadow colors, a neutral bright beige with some shimmer. Hides my tired eyes.

The Moroccan Magic Maruka Honey Lip Balm will also remain sealed as I’ve gotten lip product in every Ipsy bag and don’t leave the house enough to need an extra in my purse. I’m not even sure where my purse is.

So that leaves the Soroci Spot-Light Eye Cream. Which I am actually excited about trying. I’m old— my under eyes could use some firming.

I put some on and it feels good. Only time will tell if it makes me any younger.

Here’s the video the teenager took of me unboxing my treasures: Unboxing May 2020 Glam Bag

And I decided to use this month’s bag to store unopened cosmetics and store it in our cupboard so that if the teenager and I need something we have it in reserve.

Easter Sunday Pandemic Stream of Consciousness

I started today with the debate of whether to blog about Nala, my Goffin’s cockatoo, or my thoughts on what makes a good day or a good weekend, something the teenager seemed insistent upon us having.

But the cats started climbing the parakeet cage, I made the “mistake” of reviewing some news coverage of Donald Trump’s handling of the Coronavirus pandemic, and frankly, I’ve lost my train of thought more times than I can count.

So while I’m still lost in a sea of randomness, watching Mistofelees (my daughter’s formerly feral/stray kitten) decide how to get off the budgie cage without crossing Nala’s path, let me also say I used the hydrating hair mask from last month’s Ipsy Glam bag and my dry curly hair is remarkably not puffy today.

The first time I tried it, I didn’t see any results. This time was very different.

(For more on my Ipsy experiences, see here: Review of my Ipsy April 2020 Glam Bag)

It’s Easter Sunday, but the teenager opened her basket on Good Friday (I’m suddenly realizing how disrespectful that was of traditional Christian culture). Oops.

To see our silliness on that, I have YouTube videos:

Mom prepares the Easter Box

Teen opens her Easter box

I washed her new sheets and hung them on the line yesterday. I helped her make her bed and I hope she had a lovely night of sleep on them. She picked the most colorful ones first.

In the next order of randomness, I think I’m going to make a Buffalo chicken spaghetti squash casserole for Easter dinner.

Now, shall I even expound on my thoughts on the Coronavirus situation. Perhaps briefly.

  • I think the isolation vs. develop herd immunity arguments both have merit. It’s hard for anyone to know what is “right” in any major situation. What makes a good leader is the depth of response, the logic behind it and how organized the implementation is.
  • Those who have resources and power will always sacrifice those who have less to maintain their resources and power. It is true of most humanity. Even those will less. Look at the hoopla over toilet paper.
  • I think this change in how we live and work could have some broad implications. I would like to see, in my Pollyanna nirvana, a world where we all slow down, shop less, and spend more time with our loved ones. But in reality, I think we will see shifts in service delivery (perhaps huge changes in public education), reductions in consumer goods available/continued shortages, and more poverty.
  • Our civil liberties have changed since 9/11/2001 and they will continue to decrease. The notion of privacy is almost completely dead if not buried. I remember when science fiction warned us we would all be microchipped and have our physical money taken away. Now, the core of our lives are tracked, spied on and connected to a mini-supercomputer we carry with us everywhere we go. We call it a smart phone.
  • Technology companies are developing identifiers for each of us via our phones to track who may have been exposed to Covid-19 and alert those they with whom they came in contact. This technology will no doubt track us all in other ways in the future but I’m not against it. Because, see previous bullet, in today’s world there is no real privacy boundaries left.

So let’s enjoy this sunny Easter and celebrate life and spring.

With the pandemic looming, and people still struggling in the every day ways, you have to rejoice one moment at a time.

Review of my Ipsy April 2020 Glam Bag

My April 2020 Glam Bag came yesterday and the teenager and I did an unboxing video (that features more kittens than make up) here:

April 2020 Glam Bag by Ipsy unboxing

For those of you who don’t know, Ipsy offers a mail order cosmetic subscription “box” that, in the small “Glam bag” size offers a custom make up bag and five items, one of which is usually full size and the others are samples. It costs about $12/month. And they offer add-ons.

I treated myself to a mascara this month.

This service is perfect for me as I have a bit of fear and inexperience around make up. I want to try more, but don’t have money to invest in products I will probably not be ballsy enough to use.

So this allows me a chance to explore.

This is literally all the make up I own before Ipsy. (I love blue mascara. Would love forest and/or emerald green but haven’t found it.)

My go-to eyeshadow is gold, with a touch of red on the outside. I call it my “Monet sunrise” look.

This was last month’s Ipsy bag.

See related posts here: Lighthearted Ipsy Review of the March 2020 Glam Bag

My first Ipsy Glam Bag—pre-unboxing

So now to check out the April products:

  • Buxom mascara, black, $3 add-on, 3 ml
  • Seraphine botanicals 100% vegan lip gel, berry + juice, 6 ml
  • Aromatica Calendula Juicy Cream, vegan formula, sample size, maybe 15 ml
  • Oryza Beauty Nude Shimmer & Contour eye shadow palette, vegan
  • Estate Dew Me Lit baked highlight powder
  • Araceli Grande Blending Brush

Let’s start with the Aromatica lotion. Now, if you saw my video, you’ll know I tried it as soon as I got it. I didn’t notice anything remarkable about it at the time, but today I’m going to try again.

Smell appears neutral. That is good for me as my skin and my senses can’t handle heavy scents.

Applied quickly and smoothly.

But let’s compare to last month’s Hey Honey lotion.

The honey smell is intoxicating. The lotion this month by Aromatica is thicker and offers more coverage. So I think I like them both. But would use the Aromatica for hands and maybe Hey Honey on the face as it claims to be a calming lotion.

I put a layer of the Hey Honey lotion on my face, and I might have rubbed it in roughly as now my cheekbones hurt. I’m going to put on some of last month’s Tarte Quench hydrating primer. I love this hydrating primer but it’s my first experience with any primer so don’t take my word as gospel.

Now, the Seraphine lip gel smells amazing. (Why do I keep commenting on smells?) It’s smells like berry in that candy-that-is-berry-flavored way.

Here I am wearing the lip gel, with my old glasses, badly in need of a haircut and my Goth troll t-shirt.

Estate Highlighter Powder. No idea how to use this product. Watched some videos on YouTube. Applied some to my right cheekbone. Not seeing it. Okay, well, let’s keep going and see if I can notice it in different light. Maybe I’m too pale. I bet the teenager would look good in this.

Now the eye shadow palette. So excited as these are glittery neutral shades like the ones I favor.

I love every one of these colors on my face. And the Buxom mascara is a very long brush with shorter bristles that goes on very even. And looks natural (but in an enhanced way).

Very pleased.

I think these are some very practical products with some fun and sass thrown in.

Lighthearted Ipsy Review of the March 2020 Glam Bag

I promised a review of my March 2020 Glam bag from Ipsy. Life has been a little draining so I haven’t quite tried everything— I think all I have left to try is the nail polish and I can’t try that because I have a gel manicure on acrylic-coated nails right now.

I tried the hydrating hair mask over the weekend. I feel like it did nothing for my thick, curly hair. But, as my hair is so thick and curly it’s also super dry because curls do that.

The teenager has a completely different hair texture so maybe she’ll try it and give us a different report.

But that was the whole point of trying Ipsy—sampling products instead of committing.

Now the Naked Cosmetic eye shadow and the Hanalei Lip Balm were my two full-sized products this month and I am very pleased. Who doesn’t love a new lip balm? And this one seemed delightful on my lips.

And the eye shadow happens to be my favorite shade of quasi nude, neutral but glittery eyes that makes me look alive instead of old and sleep-deprived.

So let me just reiterate I know nothing about make up. My mom would never allow me to wear make up and even now that I’m in my mid-40s she comments that she disapproves.

The one product I was anxious to try is the primer. This one, tarte quench hydrating primer, seems really nice so I’ll keep trying it and see if my color stays put better.

Last, but not least, we have Hey Honey Relax Propolis and Honey soothing moisturizer. I struggle with dry skin, and I tend to favorite Johnson & Johnson lavender baby moisturizer because I can’t handle heavy scents and I am prone to contact dermatitis from everything.

This lotion felt really nice and I’m not sure how I feel about the scent. It richly smells of honey. So much I want to eat it, or at least lick my hands.

My first Ipsy Glam Bag—pre-unboxing

March 2020 Ipsy Glam Bag and my cat

As you may have been able to tell from my posts about dentists (Tooth and nail) and budgets (Budgeting and Budgeting, part 2), I had a hard week. Not to mention the whole Do I have high blood pressure? issue. So I’m going to lighten it up a bit tonight— we’re going to “unbox” my Ipsy Glam Bag.

And if you noticed that odd photo that is the featured image for this blog post that is Fog, the feral kitten we trapped last trying to get to Nala, my Goffin’s cockatoo. Fog is getting sooooo big (as is her brother, Misty) but the teenager didn’t believe me when I said they’d doubled in size.

March 2020 Ipsy Glam Bag without my cat

But anyway… it’s Friday night and I had to work late unexpectedly so by the time I got home, the teen was leaving to have dinner with her grandparents and spend the night with her dad.

Which means I get to have Vanilla Coke Zero and peanut butter pretzels for dinner. I gave one to Nala. Well, more accurately, she demanded I share.

And here is a funny video of us: Nala tries to open a peanut butter pretzel.

But back to the Glam Bag. Focus, Angel, focus.

So I started the dishwasher, and a load of laundry, and took my peanut butter pretzels and my Diet Coke out to see if my neighbor wanted to unbox my Ipsy package with me since the teenager wasn’t home. My neighbor is an economics professor and faces a midterm deadline. I thought it best not to bother her. Nala and I ate our pretzels and opened the makeup.

We also kept Fog at bay, while her brother frolicked in the basement.

Then my neighbor texted she had coffee ready at 6:30ish at night. That’s pretty wild for my Friday night.

I walked out the door and met my other neighbor, whose adorable Yorkie-Maltese mix likes to visit instead of go for a walk. We all went to the professor’s house and even the dogs got to visit.

I got home, retrieved the laundry and the kitten from the basement, and fed my mini-pride of lions before hanging the laundry.

Nala joined me while I hung wash, watching Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen. Roomba vacuumed my room.

Now I’m in bed, taking a breath, playing a little Words with Friends and listening to kittens play. I’m going to watch more Gordon. Hell’s Kitchen is not my favorite but I finished Kitchen Nightmares on Hulu, as I also finished 24 Hours To Hell and Back.

I can’t find any more Hotel Hell and for some reason, The F Word is starting to bore me. I think it’s because Gordon Ramsay is a nice guy on that program.

More on that another day. I’m hoping to formally review Gordon’s shows one of these days.

Gordon has inspired me to try harder with my cooking. Last night, I actually trimmed my chicken, made a marinade, and chilled the chicken in the marinade before cooking.

The marinade was:

  1. Low sodium soy sauce
  2. Honey
  3. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  4. Minced Garlic
  5. Fresh Ginger
  6. Water
  7. Sesame Seeds
  8. Lemon Juice
  9. Sesame Oil

I cooked that, and sautéed a bag of broccoli slaw in the leftover marinade and reheated some leftover rice and seasoned roasted chick peas I had made earlier in the week. It was delicious.

But remember that Glam Bag?

I promise I’ll play with it tomorrow. For $12 I received:

  • A studded teal bag (it matches my room!)
  • A full sized eye shadow
  • A full sized chapstick/lip balm
  • A sample nail polish in a mild creamy cafe au lait color
  • A sample “hair mask”
  • A sample primer
  • A sample body lotion