Friday, April 19, 2013

Accidental Ulta Haul: Ulta's Spring Gift, Nail Stamps, and More!

I took my three year old to the local bouncy house playland, and stopped by my local Ulta for the first time.  You know, like any other mom (what: you don't have a bouncy house playland?  Because, you totally should.)  By local, I mean an hour away.  That's what I get for living in the country!

"Our" Ulta is brand new, and I was basically a kid in a candy store!  Except I was the mom, and my kid was there, covered in ice cream, and wanted to touch everything.  I digress.

Ulta was having a special on their brand of products: if you spend $19.50, you receive a free gift with an $88 vale.  Well, sign me up!  This sale is online as well, so head on over HERE and check it out!

I had gone in with the intention of shopping for things for my Scout sleepover in two weeks.  At least that's what I tried to tell myself.  I DID buy some things for the Scouts, but not a ton.

Here is what I bought:
Ulta Foam Shadow Applicators (24 pack), Ulta Baked eyeshadow, Esscence Nail Art Stampy Set, Ulta Lipstick

Pack of 24 Foam Shadow Applicators (Ulta brand), $2.49
Ok, I absolutely HATE foam applicators.  I think they are skeevy, germ-filled little nothings that don't work well and waste your shadows.  That said, for our Scout sleepover, I need a quick and sterile way for the girls to have their shadow done; this seems like the perfect answer.

Essence Nail Art Stampy Set, $3.99
 This is the coolest thing ever; similar to the one sold on TV.  This nail stamp set includes a metal stencil with 9 designs, a scraper (to remove excess polish from the stencil), and a rubber stamper.  How this works is that you paint some polish over your choice of design on the stencil, scrape off the excess, and then roll the stamper left to right over the design.  Then roll the design over your nail in the place you want it.  

Stampy Kit out of the box
I think BOTH the Scouts and my girls will have fun using this!  The designs on my little stencil are heart outline, sunshine (or a starburst), two solid hearts, bow, butterfly, filigree, flowers, polka-dots, star tip.  Fantastic find for only four bucks!

Ulta lipstick in shade 207 Just Peachy; 3.5g, $8.00
 I've become slightly obsessed with the new-ish trend; duo-toned lips.  I absolutely love to have a peach color inside my lips, and a pink or purple outside, and blend it for an ombre effect.  I think this looks really neat, and have been using my BH Cosmetics 88 matte palette to help achieve this look, as I didn't (until today!) own a nice peach lipstick that I thought would work.  I  picked up a lipstick tester in 205 and LOVED it, but then noticed that Ulta was sold out.  I then noticed a 207 Just Peachy a couple of slots down, gave the tester a swipe on my hand, and fell in love again.
Swatch of Just Peachy, 207
I love this pretty peach color, and can't wait to play with it to create an ombre effect, or simply as a pretty lip color on it's own.  I LOVE Ulta's packaging on their lipsticks: the top of the tube's lid is clear, so if the tubes are stored right side up, you can see the actual color of the lipstick.  Neat idea!  The lid snaps on firmly, too, I'm less likely to have it fall off.  This is my first lipstick from the Ulta brand, and so far- I'm well I should for a "non-prestige" brand, for $8.  Just sayin'.

Ulta Baked Eye Shadow Trio in Haight & Ashbury (purples); 1.40g, $10
I needed another item to bring my total of Ulta products $19.50, and I noticed some eye shadow trios.  I need more eye shadows like I need a hole in the head, but I didn't want to go crazy, and wanted my purchase to be as close as possible to the $19.50 mark.  I've gone nuts with makeup lately, and it's best if I keep my purchase small and under his radar.  What?  He has his guilty pleasures (cough cough casino on his lunch break cough cough), I have mine!  I love using blue on my eyes, even though I HAVE blue eyes, and this is a no-no.  Purple is a close enough color to blue, and it compliments my eyes really well (that, and I seem to be wearing lots of purple lately. Weird.), so I picked up this trio, and put it in my bag.

Swatch of Haight & Ashbury trio
I swatched it when I arrived home, and am really happy with it.  The shadows are really nicely pigmented, and having all three together will make it easy to travel: just toss this trio in my bag instead of a mini palette (or my Beauty RX magnetic palette), and I am good to go!  I love how the shades are all shimmery, and the darkest purple has micro-glitter in it.  This item bumped me over the price threshold, but when I checked my receipt later, Ulta counted this as my free shadow, and the one that is $2 less (the blues below) as the one I paid for.  I'm not exactly sure WHY this happened, as I needed that $2 to have a qualifying purchase, but I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth- I'll take $2 in my pocket!

I also bought my youngest a foot brush, because she wanted to brush her hair with it, and screamed until I put it in my bag. If it had been more than $1, she could have just screamed with me being fine with it.  There's no picture, because as soon as we got home, she took it from the bag and promptly lost it.  Typical.

I was also looking for disposable mascara wands for my Scout troop's sleepover, and couldn't find them.  A very helpful employee checked around for me, and told me that she didn't think they sold them; but had some in the "prestige" section (aka high end: Benefit, Urban Decay, Too Faced, Anastasia, etc) for demo, and would ask one of those girls if they had some for sale.  I explained WHY I wanted them, that it was for my Scout troop, and she walked over to the Tarte section, grabbed 26 wands and told me to take them.  Score!

Ulta's Spring 2013 Gift, in Pink, floral bag

Because I spent $19.50 or more on Ulta brand products, I qualified for a free gift, valued at $88 (according to Ulta)! They had two color choices, pinks or peaches, and 4 bags to choose from (two each pink or peach themed).  I chose pink, even though pinks aren't my favorite- I was purchasing peach lipstick and had just received peach polish from Ipsy (that I'll probably give away), so the pinks looked better to me.

My bag :)  One of four I had to choose from.
The bag itself is super cute: grey background with pink flowers, and a pleather bow on the zipper.  I will keep my Scout makeup in this bag, so that I don't get it confused with my stuff: my Wet N Wild mascaras, mascara wands and sponge applicators are already inside!  I'm not sure what the value of this bag is- it's a really nice size, and very pretty, and well made.  Let's call it $10.

Ulta lipstick lipcolor in 237 Precious Pink; 3.2g; retail value $7.31

This lipstick is ALMOST as big as the peach one I picked up, just in a less-fancy packaging.  I've noticed that lots of companies that give lipstick as a freebie put the product in a less-expensive tube when giving it away.  Honestly, I wouldn't actually mind NOT having the fancy packaging if it means I can save a couple dollars, but that's just me.  Sometimes having a cute lippie is absolutely worth it!
Swatch of Precious Pink, 237
This is a very pretty pink, and I think I will get good use out of it.  I never used to be a lipstick person; I've always been more of a gloss kind of gal, but here lately, I seem to be on a 'stick kick.  Maybe it's a spring thing, I'm not sure!  At any rate, this lipstick is smooth and creamy, and leaves my lips feeling moist and happy.  The pink is a LITTLE bright for my taste, but is still definitely wearable.  I always swatch lippies when I can; they look SO different than when they are in solid form!  The full size of this lipstick is $8 (3.5 g)

Ulta Super Shiny lip gloss in #14 Starlet, 2.58g (.09 oz); retail value about $2.88.

I was very pleasantly surprised when my free gift held both a lipstick AND a lip gloss!  This tiny gloss packs a big punch!  Super Shiny gloss lives up to it's name: its very shiny and not at all sticky.  I am seriously in love!

Swatch of Starlet gloss, #14

I'm going to try this on top of the pink lipstick from this bag, and see how it works.  I have high hopes for this, and will probably reorder when it's empty.    Full size of this gloss is $8 (.25 oz).

Ulta Amped Lashes volume + defining mascara, full size, retail value $10
I've been overwhelmed with awesome deals on mascara lately, and I kind of have a rule to only have 2 open at a time (since they get tossed in 3 months it seems like a waste to have more open), I'm going to wait to try this one out.  This basic black mascara has a standard straight wand hidden inside it's sleek silver exterior.  I'm excited to give this one a shot, but right now I'm sort of in love with my Tarte Amazonian Clay mascara from my LAST Ulta purchase!  I took the plastic off, and tossed it, but forgot to check it for a weight.  This looks to be full size.  This is NOT advertised as a waterproof formula, but I still have high hopes for this one!

Ulta Baked Eye Shadow duo in Deep Blue Something, 2.55 g; retail value $8
I couldn't resist picking out this pretty blue shadow duo as my free gift.  The solid side of Deep Blue Something is a dark, matte blue, and the swirly lighter side is shimmery and marbley, and just plain beautiful.
Swatch of Deep Blue Something duo
I don't have the best luck with matte shadows, but I can totally seeing me use this for a blue smoky eye.  I think this is a great addition to my collection.  Plus, it was free (sort of- I paid for this and got the purples free.  Same difference, I guess!).  Who could ask for more?!

Ulta blush in Infatuation, 3.36g; retail value $5
I've just started to expand my blush collection, and this pretty pink looks like a good way to do that!  Infatuation is a matte pink blush, and I think it's great for my skintone, for a fresh, natural look.

Swatch of Infatuation cheek color
The cute little compact this deluxe sample size came in will fit perfectly in my purse.  Gotta love it when that happens!  I'll be taking this for a test drive soon; once I get tired of my Be A Bombshell Beach Please (love that stuff!!).  The full size of this cheek color is $7 (4.7g).

Ulta Nail Lacquer in Fuchsiamania, 0.169 oz; retail value $2.56
My kids love nail polish.  Like, seriously, LOVE it.  I go through phases where I paint my nails, and am happy to add this bright fuchsia to my collection!

Swatch of Fuchsiamania
I'll confess, I cheated with this swatch.  I layered it over the Sation peach color I received from Ipsy; I haven't changed my polish since I tried that one out.  I think this does better with a base coat, and I'll be adding this to my polish box! The full size of this polish is $5 for .33 fl oz.

Ulta Ultimate Clean Foaming Face Wash, .5 fl oz; retail value $0.75
I love foaming face wash, and I am really excited to have received this sample!  The face wash is clear and unscented.  I gave this a try, and it did really well for me- my face felt very fresh and clean. The full size of this product is $9.00 for 6.0 fl oz.
Ulta Kohl Eye Liner in Indigo, 0.04 oz (full size); retail value $7.00
With this kit, I was able to choose my own eye liner, and I thought this would be a pretty color.  The packing looked like a grey-blue to me, so I tossed it in my bag.  I swatched it at home, and it's more of a blue-grey.

Swatch of Indigo Kohl liner
I  think that this color will be good for me this spring- this is a softer alternative to black.  With all of the pastels I wear in the spring, a lighter color will look nice with them.  I still want a pretty, grey liner; perhaps I'll find a liquid liner in grey that I like!

Ulta Brush Set: sponge tip, eye shadow and contour blush; retail value est.$7.50
I am a total brush whore.  There, I said it.  I LOVE makeup brushes, and I'm always on the lookout for the perfect brush for each job.  It seems to be a bit of a trend to put brushes in the free gifts this spring- I received 2 brushes in my Clinique gift (Macy's) too!  These brushes all have clear plastic handles, and have the Ulta name and brush purpose embossed on the handle.  Now, I liked the Clinique brushes okay (they shed!), but the Ulta brushes are hit and miss.  I'll start with the sponge tip.  I don't actually understand the point of a sponge tip brush.  I realize it's not a brush, but I'm not sure what else to call it  Sponge tips aren't as sanitary as other applicators (at least to my thinking) and I'm not sure how to wash this.  I honestly don't know if I will use this.  The eye shadow brush is the biggest disappointment in this set.  The bristles are REALLY stiff.  I'm going to wash this with olive oil to help soften the bristles, and hope for the best  There are some jobs that a stiff bristle brush is a good thing, but  I'm not sure if this brush is a fit for me  The contour blush brush (try saying THAT three times fast!) is the shining star in this three piece set.  Its bristles are cut at an angle, and they are very soft.  I will definitely be adding this one to my travel brush collection.  Since these brushes are similar to the Clinique ones, I'll give them the same estimated value: $2.50 each.

30% off Ulta Skincare "Renew" Collection
I also received a coupon for $30 off my next purchase of Ulta Skincare "Renew" collection.  I probably won't use this, but you never know! If you would like to use this coupon, you are welcome to- the code for Ulta's website is 80235, and it expires 4/20/13. I must have just caught the tale end of this promotion!

Here's all of my goodies together- I'd call it a very productive day!
I also want to mention that Ulta's brand does NOT test on animals, making them a hero in my books!

Total purchase: 
foot brush thingie for B: $1.00
eye shadow $10            $8.00
lipstick                          $8.00
Sponge applicators        $2.49
Nail stampy kit              $3.99
TAX (stupid MD)            $1.41
GRAND TOTAL:            $24.89

GIFT Breakdown:
$10.00 bag

 $7.31 pink lipstick
$2.88 gloss
$10.00 mascara
$10.00 eye shadow (would have been $8)
$5.00 blush
$2.56 polish
$0.75 cleanser
$7.00 eyeliner $7.50 brushes GRAND TOTAL: $63.00
$63 is NOT $88, but I did estimate a couple items- perhaps Ulta has placed a higher value on the bag and brushes than I did.  It is possible that they counted the coupon towards the value of this set (I don't, unless it's for free product).  Any way you slice it, this is still a fantastic deal!  I'll use pretty much everything in this gift- and I LOVE LOVE LOVE that I was able to choose my eye shadow and eye liner myself!  If I can get away with it (tee hee), I'll definitely go on back to Ulta and pick out some more goodies and pick up another gift! 

So, tell me: have you ever accidentally found an awesome deal on beauty products?  Did Ulta do a great job with their gift?  Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

  I took a couple of quick photos of my look, using my choices here:

Haight & Ashbury trio eye shadow, Two Cosmetics gel liner in Royalty, Tarte mascara, Ulta blush in Infatuation, and Ulta lipstick in colors 207 & 237.  I didn't put any foundation on, and WOW do I have a LOT of freckles!
Closeup of my eye makeup :)
I LOVE teal eyeliner- I think it makes my baby blues POP!
Ombre lips :)  and yes, I DO have freckles on my lips.  Weird, I know.  They will just get worse as summer progresses!

Until next time, my beautiful friends, stay gorgeous...and OnlyAverage!

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Disclaimer: I puchased the qualifying item with my own money my husband's money, and received the gift items because of my qualifying purchase.  I was neither asked nor required to review these items, and any links in this post are NOT referral links.  All of the opinions in this post are my own.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Two Cosmetics Gel Liner

Ipsy and Two Cosmetics partnered up to have an unbelievable deal- 25% off your order, free shipping, PLUS a free lip gloss.  Well, let me tell you, this OnlyAverage girl could NOT pass up a deal like that- especially when Two Cosmetics products are SO affordable!

I LOVE gel eyeliner, but I don't want to spend a fortune on it- particularly on a brand I've never tried before.

Two Cosmetics sells their gel liner in 4 shades: Electric (bright blue), Passion (purple), Royalty (bright teal), and Up in Smoke (pretty grey); for $5 each.  They also carry a gel liner brush, for $6.50.  

First of all: holy cow- that's an awesome price!  Paired up with Ipsy's 25% off, it's a phenomenal deal- $3.75 for gel liner!!!  Count me in!  In addition to this awesome deal, Two Cosmetics donates a beauty product to a local (to them) charity for each product purchased!

I only ordered one, and now I'm sorry that I didn't get more- Ipsy's 25% off deal only works once.  I wish I had read the small print first!

Super Cute packaging- and I LOVE the sticker on the back of the envelope!
My order arrived today (pretty quick, considering that it came from California), less than a week after I placed my order.  When I opened my package, I was pleasantly surprised.

My Two Cosmetics Order: Gel Liner in Royalty, #4 Brush- gel liner, and Gloss in Sunkissed  Total out of pocket: $3.75
I was really surprised to see not only my gel liner and free lippie, there was also a complimentary gel liner brush in my package!

Two Cosmetics Gel Liner in Royalty; net wt. .21 oz/6g, Retail price $5; Two Cosmetics #4 Eye Liner brush , Retail price $6.50; both available HERE.

Once I opened my packet and saw the eye liner brush, I hopped online and checked Two Cosmetics website to see if my liner was SUPPOSED to come with a brush, and as it doesn't say that it is, I assume that this was a special extra or a mistake (or maybe they put one brush in with each gel liner order?).  First off, I LOVE the color.  

Two Cosmetics gel liner in Royalty
This liner is a gorgeous teal color, and exactly what I was hoping for.  The liner glides on smoothly, and I had to work to wipe the swatch off my hand.  I am very impressed by the quality, especially for the price: $5?!!  Now I am REALLY sorry I didn't pick up the other shades, too!  The brush seems to be of a very good quality, and came with a plastic brush guard.  The bristles aren't flat, but kind of domed, and for me, it will take a bit of practice to get a good line with it (absolutely fine with me!).  

Two Cosmetics Two Lips gloss in Sunkissed; .22 fl oz; Retail value $6.50, available HERE.

My gift with purchase, courtesy of my Ipsy code, was the Two Lips gloss, in the shade Sunkissed.  I was not able to choose the color of my free gloss, but this is a pretty coral color.  I tried it out, and it has pretty sparkles in it (micro glitter, not big chunks!), and it is not sticky at all.  It's rather sheer, and adds just a hint of color:

Swatch of Sun-kissed gloss from Two Cosmetics

I layered it over pink lipstick, and it gave my lips a really pretty multi-tonal look.  I'm not sure if this is my new go-to gloss, but I think it will definitely make it into my beach bag this summer!

All in all, I am absolutely THRILLED with my purchase from Two Cosmetics- I just wish I could use the 25% off code again and get more!  (I'd be totally fine with not getting another free lippie- I'm thrifty, not greedy!) 

If you would like to score this deal, go HERE;and use the Ipsy code I used, from my April Glam bag (my review is HERE): IPSTER (valid until 5/20/13, while supplies last).

 If this is up your alley, head on over to Two Cosmetics and check them out.  I know that there has been controversy in the past, but it seems to me that they are working to resolve past issues and provide excellent service, and great prices. 
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So, tell me: have you ordered from Two Cosmetics, or tried their products before?  Leave me a comment, and let me know what YOU think!

  Disclaimer:  The products listed above were purchased by me, with my own money my husband's money.  I was not asked nor required to write this review, and the thoughts above are my own.  The links are NOT affiliate links, and go directly to the company's websites.  I was not compensated in any way for writing this review.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

One Day Without Shoes

Yesterday was One Day Without Shoes, a global event, and I had a great time participating!

 I ran all of my errands with NO shoes on, and it was an interesting experience.

I'm basically NOT a fan of shoes in the first place, so it's not like this was a hardship, per say, but it was...weird standing in line at the gas station, holding slurpees, and not wearing shoes.

Tuesday nights we have our Girl Scout meeting, and I thought I would use One Day Without Shoes as a learning experience.  As each girl arrived, I asked her to remove her shoes and socks.  Since I am militant about them keeping their shoes on, this created quite a stir.

After our quick welcome game, we had our circle time and talked about being barefoot. We talked about how there are children in the world who don't have shoes, and how hard their lives must be.  That, and just exactly how lucky we are.  One girl spoke about her mom- where she grew up, there were lots of kids without shoes in school. 

The girls absolutely loved it, and NEXT year, we will definitely do something fun with this- maybe a shoe drive!  We do a good bit of service projects, and this sounds like something right up our alley!

If you would like to learn more about One Day Without Shoes, go HERE.

So, tell me- did you go shoeless yesterday? Share your thoughts about this project here!

Until next time, my friends, stay lovely! 

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Wet 'n Wild Mascara Clearance JACKPOT!

Oh, my beautiful and OnlyAverage friends, I just HAD to share with you the AWESOME deals I picked up over the last couple days!  

My oldest was invited to a birthday party at a local church's roller skating ring (Yep, you read that right.  That's how we roll here in Lower Slower Delaware), and I was a bit early picking her up, so I ducked into the Dollar General next door.  I was shopping for false lashes (D-Gen sells them for $1.50, made from 100% human hair, by the way), and while I was milling around, I saw a clearance rack.

If you are anything like me at all, then you view these racks as the Holy Grail of shopping- almost as good as Triple Coupon day!  

The clearance rack had a sign that all items were an extra 60% off, and it was filled with gift sets.  I picked up a cute Strawberry Shortcake lotion/lip balm set for my tiny one, and a Stetson cologne set for the hubby (lotion was originally $2, Stetson, $8).  If you are following along, my total out of pocket for these two things and my 2 packets of lashes is currently .80 (lotion/balm), plus 3.20 (Stetson), plus $3 (lashes).  Not too shabby, if I toot my own horn.  

And then, I saw the major JACKPOT. 
Wet 'n Wild Lash Out! Eye Collection

Why, yes, that IS a box of FOUR travel size mascaras, plus a waterproof eyeliner with a smudger!  See that price sticker on the corner?  This was a great deal at only $4- and the 60% clearance sale makes it a JACKPOT- $2.40.  Except it rang up for LESS THAN THAT- $1.20.  I'll repeat.  $1.20 for FOUR mascaras (two are waterproof, two are not) and an eyeliner!  Naturally, I bought all that they had.  Seriously, who wouldn't??


Wet 'n Wild MegaPlump mascaras, one waterproof, one not; each .19 fl oz; full size tubes retail around $3.99 for .27 oz- this makes the retail value of each of these tubes around $2.74

My lashes are super tiny, so I'm thrilled to try the MegaPlump mascaras out!  I love trial size mascaras because they last me about 3 months.  3 months is how long you are supposed to keep a mascara before throwing it out, no matter how much product is left.  Is this a coincidence?  I don't think so!  Why buy a full size product, when a travel size is available, just to throw away the leftover product?! (I also save mascara wands, disinfect them and use them as spoolies.  What??!!)

The regular formula's code is C893A; the waterproof formula's code is C894A.

The color for these mascaras is Very Black.  Love it!

Wet 'n Wild MegaLength mascaras, one waterproof, one not: each 0.15 fl oz; full size tubes retail around around $2.99 for 0.27 oz- this makes the retail value of these tubes around $1.68.

I am really excited about this mascara too- the wand is really lovely- it's the one with the little plastic points on it, instead of the bristles.  These seem to work very well for me.

The color code for the waterproof formula is C899; the code for the regular formula is C892A.

These are also in Very Black- perfect for wear anytime!

Wet 'n Wild H2O-Proof Blending Eye pencil in 791P, Black Chrome, 0.033 oz. Retail is around $0.79

I also received an H2O-Proof Blending Eye Pencil.  I have always used WnW as my go-to for quick and easy eyeliners- they work so well, are inexpensive, and have great staying power.  Although I've never used the H2O- proof line before, I'm excited to try it- it swatched really well for me. 

My FAVORITE part of this item set's Cruelty-free!  I try very hard to purchase only cruelty-free items.  I know a few not-CF items sneak into my home, but it's really on accident and not on purpose.  Cheers for WnW for being Cruelty free!!

That's about it for my Wet 'n Wild amazing Jackpot- definitely above average!

Financial recap:
Out of pocket: $2.40 (2 sets of products)
Retail price: $8 (according to the boxes)
Retail value: $19.27

Whoo Hoo!

So, tell me, have you found something amazing on a clearance rack before?  Have you tried these mascara's out yet?  Leave a comment, and let me know your thoughts!

Until next time, stay average!  I love you all!

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Disclaimer: These products were purchased with my own money.  I was not asked nor requested to review these products.  I only wanted to share my excitement about an awesome deal- check out your own Dollar General to see if they have these sets on sale, too!

PS- Did you know I have a facebook page now??!!  Go HERE to like Only Average Mom on the 'book, and I'll let you know all about everything that is going on here, plus other little updates, things too small to post.  Thank you!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

UPDATED Ipsy (MyGlam) April 2013 Review

"Ipsy Day" is one of my favorite days.  I just LOVE seeing the hot pink envelope in my mailbox!  This month I was tormented because my tracking number had my package in Georgia for several days; Ipsy switched to DHL this time; and for me, it's NOT a win.  For some reason, any bag that ships to me, with nail polish in it, takes forever.  I wonder if it is a coincidence?
I LOVE these pink envelopes! Ipsy changed them up a bit this month- they put their logo on the bottom :)
Wait a minute, you don't know about Ipsy?  Ipsy is an awesome beauty service that sends you 4-5 deluxe samples or full size products to your door, monthly, for $10 each month, shipping included (US residents). I've had good bags and awesome bags from Ipsy, and so far NO really bad bags, and the value of the items is ALWAYS more than the $10 I spend on it.  Ipsy is one of my guilty pleasures, and I have a love/hate relationship with the anticipation and the mystery factor that surrounds each bag.

This month, the mystery factor is upped a bit.  Ipsy releases sneak peaks for the items in the bag, and half the fun of Ipsy is playing detective to find out what awesome brands we will get!  This month, Ipsy has released, via their sneak peeks, that every product in their bags are "either/or" products.  I'll try to cover both options as best I can, as far as pricing goes.
First look in the bag!
I always love that first peek inside the bag; it's almost like Christmas!

card no. 1- Oooh- an invite to Generation Beauty in LA?!!
The first card in my envelope is an invite to Generation Beauty.  I'm not going to go; it's WAY to far for me to justify it to my family.  Now, if it were in Baltimore or something...I still probably wouldn't be able to go.
If YOU want to go to Generation Beauty, the code IPSYSUB will earn you 60% off your ticket, making it $60.

Pretty In Pink!
This month's theme for Ipsy is "Pretty in Pink!"  Love it!

All of the Sweet Deals!
On the back of the card, Ipsy always lists the brands in the box, along with the special deals that they have arranged for us.

April's bag
I love the bag this month.  The bag itself is white canvas, with a hot pink pleather band and zipper.

Inside the bag

I love that Ipsy bags have unique linings. This one has pretty pink stripes and white stripes, with the Ipsy logo.

Be A Bombshell blush in Sweet Cheeks; .17 oz (full size).  Retail value $16 (available HERE; coupon code IPSY30 will get you 30% off your order and a free full size pink shadow (in Lucky, Always a Bridesmaid, or Miss Priss), while supplies last; offer is good until 4/30/13).
In the past, I've tried out the Be A Bombshell line before; their lip gloss and eyeliner are both fantastic.  I am super excited to try out their blush as well!  I don't really own many blushes (maybe three or four?), and I love trying out new things, so this is awesome!  There are two color choices that Ipsy sent out; Beach Please (matte bright pink) and Sweet Cheeks (a shimmery rose pink).  I received Sweet Cheeks.

Swatch of Sweet Cheeks

I swatched the blush, and it's a pretty, light shimmery pink.  I wasn't sure if I would like this shade on me, but I think it's a great color for springtime.  It isn't matte; this blush seems to have a little bit of a shimmer in it, but not too much.  Love it!  I had been hoping for the darker pink blush, if only to try it out, but I really think that this suits my coloring very well.  The packaging is cute too; I love the clear window with the Bombshell silhouette; and the matte finish won't show fingermarks (with a three year old, finger marks are EVERYWHERE!).  Great find, Ipsy!
GRADE: 5/5

In January I received the Big Sexy hair volumizing hair spray, and really liked it (or rather, my daughter liked it; she used it up fast!).  I'm excited to give this a try!  Ipsy had two options to send out this month: Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Nourishing Styling Treatment,with Argon Oil, and Big Sexy Hair Powder Play Pow!  

The sample I received is....

Big Sexy Hair's Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Nourishing Styling Treatment; .85 fl oz. Retail value $4.44 (available HERE; coupon code 108888 will get you $5 off your $25 Sexy Hair puchase at or in Ulta's store, good through 5/10/13).

Sexy Healthy Hair Soy Renewal Nourishing Styling Treatment is a styling product that is made with Moroccan Argoan oil.  Used on wet hair, this product can help reduce blow drying time; used on dry hair, it can help reduce frizziness (my arch enemy!).  Argan oil is also great for hair, and will help make it shiny. I tried this on dry hair (just a few tiny drops), and it instantly tamed my frizzy curls.  So far, I REALLY like this!  I'm not much of a blowdry person (my hair doesn't do well with it, I turn into a puffball), so I'll likely use this to help with the frizz.  The sample size of the Soy Renewal Nourishing Styling Treatment is .85 fl oz; full size is 4.2 oz with a retail price of $21.95, giving the sample size a retail value of $4.44.
GRADE: 5/5 (frizz control!)

Miss Professional Nail's Sation nail laquer in Love at First Byte; .50 fl oz (full size). Retail value $5 (available HERE; coupon code IPSY30 will get you 20% off your purchase, until 5/31/13.)
I'm not a HUGE polish girl, but I do have quite the collection of nail polish.  Miss Professional Nail packaged two different shades of polish especially for Ipsy; Of Corset I'll Call You (lavendar-rose) and Love at First Byte (peachy pink).  I received Love at First Byte.

swatch of Love at First Byte
I'm not really a peachy person, but I won't ever NOT try something just because I THINK I won't like it.  Plus, peach is a big color this spring.  I gave this polish a try, and it seemed to be really, really thin.  One dip of the brush covered four nails; and I needed at least two coats to get even slightly opaque coverage.  I'm still not sure about the color, but I'll give it a test run for a couple days, and see how it's lasting power is.  I might pair this with a teal and see what kind of results I get.

There has been a bit of controversy about this nail polish; it's advertised as "3 Free", but I read that it was tested, and was not (although it didn't contain formaldehyde).  I WILL say that the testing was a RANDOM sampling, and not either shade that Ipsy sent out this month.  I just thought, in the vein of full disclosure, that I would share all that I know about this product.  These polishes retail for $5 each, but I've seen them for less than that, and more.
GRADE: 2/5 (very sheer, thin consistency, not a color I would choose)

This leaves us with the last either/or item: Two Cosmetics Eye Shadow Duo OR Mica Beauty's mineral eye shadow.  I received....

Two Cosmetics Duo Eye Shadow in Heartache; 1.1 g (full size), retail value $6.99 (available HERE; coupon code IPSTER will get you 25% off your purchase and a free lip gloss, while supplies last, code expires 5/20/13).

Two Cosmetics is a new brand to me, but I love the concept of their eye shadows.  The Duo eye shadows have a shimmer shade on the left, and matte on the right- both of the same color.  The shade that Ipsy selected for us, Heartache, is a great color for most skin tones; maybe a highlight color, or crease blending color.  

Swatch of Heartache; left is the shimmer shade, right is the matte shade.
 This shadow duo was advertised to be the same pigment; with one of them shimmer and the other matte.  These look different in the pan, and when swatched the difference is really noticeable.  The shimmer shade needed more layers to achieve this level of pigmentation, but the matte shade swatched very easily.  The shadows are silky to the touch, and hopefully will perform well with a primer.

There has been controversy surrounding Two Cosmetics from a few years ago.  I read about it on the  Makeup Talk forum; apparently the company had formerly sold a product as an eye shadow, when it had not been approved for use around the eye area.  Two Cosmetics eventually corrected this on their website, but it took them quite some time to do so.  I am NOT saying that the eye shadow duo is a bad product, or that Two Cosmetics is a bad company, or that you shouldn't use it; just that perhaps a quick glance at the ingredient list would be a smart idea, as it is with ALL products.  Two Cosmetics did correct the error, and props should be given to them for doing so.  Again, in the interest in full disclosure, I wish to share what I know about this product.  Ipsy spoke out about this on their facebook page: 

"Two Cosmetics ensures ipsy that customer safety & service are their top priority. With respect to the paintwheels, the company has removed those products from their website based on customer concern and feedback and has proactively messaged around the product. The eyeshadow duo included in the April Glam Bag is an eyeshadow that is safe for use in the eye area. If you have any further questions, please contact ipsyCare and we'll be happy to help you!"

 GRADE: 3.5/5 (just your average eye shadow.  I'm still a confirmed UD junkie.)

I'm always as thorough as possible with my blogging research, so here is the information on the OTHER product that I didn't receive, but some subscribers did (images pulled from manufacturer's websites, and credited below):

Big Sexy Hair Powder Play Pow; Image credit: Sexy Hair

Big Sexy Hair's Powder Play Pow! is an awesome powder product that helps add volume to any hair type.  As an owner of very thin hair, this is something that i am definitely interested in!  Powder Play works by sprinkling it on dry hair, and it helps to lift the roots of the hear, giving you the appearance of thicker hair.The sample size of the Powder Play Pow! is 0.07 oz; full size is .53 oz with a retail price of $15.95, giving the sample size a retail value of $2.10.
MICA Beauty Mineral Eye Shadow in Earth; 2g (deluxe size), the full size (2.5g) retail value $14.95; this sample has a retail value of about $11.96 (approx. half size, no weight listed) (available HERE; coupon code IPSY30 will get you 30% off your next purchase until 4/30/13).  Image credit to: MICA Beauty
Color sample of Earth; Image credit to: MICA Beauty
I received the MICA Beauty gel eye liner in February's bag, and it was really great.  MICA Beauty's eye shadows are mineral shadows: no preservatives, dyes, chemicals, or any of the other nasty stuff we shouldn't have on our face.  The shade that was sent out is called Earth; a light and shimmery pink. I would have really rather have had this shadow than the Two Cosmetics, but it's all good- I'm pleased with the contents of my bag.

If you want to see images of the alternate color choices for the Be A Bombshell blush and the Sation polish, just let me know, and I'll pull them from the company's websites.

Financial Recap:
Since there are varied values on a couple of the products, I'll include the breakdown so that you can do your own math to put an accurate value on your own bag:

Big Healthy Hair Soy Renewal Nourishing Styling Treatment (blue bottle): $4.44
Big Sexy Hair's Powder Play Pow! (red bottle): $2.10
Sation Nail Lacquer (either color): $5.00
Be A Bombshell Cosmetics Blush (either color): $16.00
MICA Beauty Mineral Eye Shadow in Earth: $11.96
Two Cosmetics Eye Shadow duo in Heartache: $6.99 

Total for MY bag: $32.43
Out of pocket: $10 (shipping included)
Any way you slice it, no matter what bag you received, this is a great deal!  2-3 FULL SIZE products- awesome!

I'm going to say now, that I'm really tired of seeing people upset that Ipsy sent only 4 items this month; they advertise 4-5 deluxe or full size items monthly, for the $10 fee (plus shipping if you are in Canada).  I think the value of this bag is excellent- Ipsy has just been spoiling us with 5 items each month, here lately.  This is NOT my favorite bag; I think December's is still my fave; but it's a solid bag, and well worth the $10 fee.  Ipsy's marketing has been a bit unusual this month, and they changed up the shipper (DHL's tracking is NOT as good as UPS MI, and it took about a day longer); hopefully the fact that they are trying to change things up means that they are working towards better service for their subscribers!

Primer: Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Illuninating Moisturizer; Foundation: BareMinerals in Light, Original; Blush: Be A Bombshell in Sweet Cheeks; Bronzer: Benefit in Hoola; Lips: Clinique Different lipstick in Shy; Eyes: Primer: UD Primer Potion; Shadow:Two Cosmetics duo in Heartache; Hard Candy Stroke of Gorgeous felt tip eyeliner in Nautical; Mascara: Tarte "Gifted" Amazonian Clay in black.

Close up of my eye makeup :)

Loving this mascara- LONG lashes and NO raccoon!

Wordle: Untitled

 Have you gotten your glam bag yet?  What was in YOUR bag, and what was it's value? Happy with it?  Upset?  Agree with me, or disagree, I would LOVE to hear from you! 

Disclaimer:  The products listed above were purchased by me, with my own money.  I was not asked nor required to write this review, and the thoughts above are my own.  The links are NOT affiliate links, and go directly to the company's websites.  I was not compensated in any way for writing this review.