The Monkey Is In.

So be prepared. Bring a banana.

I'm a writer of horror and dark fiction. I've been doing this since 1999 and believe me when I say, it's cheaper than therapy and safer for the world at large.

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Ipsy January 2018

All righty. Here we are, 2018, new year, new Ipsy bag, same lame ass non-info card bullshit...

For those who may not know, Ipsy is a monthly subscription service. For $10, you'll get 4-5 sample (sometimes full) sized makeup, hair, skin care products, and a reusable makeup bag. Check them out here: IPSY

(I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones)

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January's theme is Game Face, I think. To be honest, I usually throw away the card the second I take it out of the bag. It's covered in bullshit platitudes, heavy handed 'inspirational' crap, and I can hardly believe it but I'm sure it's even smaller than last year. To play devil's advocate with myself, they're probably saving $$ by not making it larger and are able to get companies like The Balm, Ole Henriksen, and other well-known brands to get their products in here. But still....SO FUCKING WEAK.

The bag is an absolute hideosity. I just can't even...the contrasting colors are so 80s, which might be on trend but as a child of that era, I don't ever wanna see it again! However, I'm digging the products this month!

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Absolute New York Eye Artist Single Shadow (Posse): This shadow is soft but not crumbly, decently pigmented, and does look very pretty on the eye. It swatches like a warm orange/brown but it's actually a rose-taupe color. It's nothing super special so I'll probably donate it. Looks full size and goes for $5. (their website says CF but I can't find any corroboration on that from my cruelty free resources so...?)

The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer: I've tried quite a few products from this brand through Ipsy and I've been satisfied with most. I've never tried this cult favorite and now I can! Though I hate the size of their samples (sometimes the small pans are difficult to work with) I'm usually happy to get something from them. I'm sort of okay with Mary-Lou. It's described as a warm honey color but it looks more light gold. Can look like a wet, high-shine accent on the skin, which is nice. In some light, though, I can see all the sparkle (mirco glitter, at least, and not giant chunks). So I do and don't like it. When I'm in the mood to look like a micro fairy jizzed on my face, I'll probably reach for this. Full size is $24 so this 1g sample is around $3. (CF)

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Cake by Cake Beauty Heavenly Cream Intensive Body Balm: I still have 2 or 3 other lotions from Cake Beauty but they are all different formulas! This stuff smells fantastic and absorbs well. It's 20% shea butter and also contains aloe and camellia leaf extract. I look forward to smelling like vanilla frosting for the next 6 months. Mmmm...frosting (disclaimer: don't be an asshole and eat lotion. That's just dumb.) Full size goes for $22 so this 1 ounce sample runs around $4.50. (CF)

Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Cream: Holy hell the website claims this eye cream can do ALL THE THINGS - brighten, reduce dark circles, firm, instantly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and is great for under concealer. Then there's a long list of data including lots of "100%" and asterisks and on and on. Personally that comes off as trying too hard but that's just me. The first time I tried it, it felt thick and sticky and didn't brighten anything. BUT it did feel moisturizing and it absorbed rather quickly for such a thick cream. I thought it would be too heavy under concealer but damn if the Tarte Shape Tape didn't look great! If nothing else, at least it'll provide some moisture during this frigid winter season! Full size is $38 so this teeny sample is maybe $7.50. (CF)

SLMISSGLAM L36 Tapered Highlight Brush: I love getting brushes. And I'm not usually a girly-girl, but the pink glittery handle on this is adorbs. The synthetic bristles are super soft and it works perfectly with the Mary-Lou Manizer highlight sample! Apparently it works with powders, creams, and liquids but...because it's kind of flimsy, I'm not so sure about that. I'll have to test it out. Full size. This brush is not available on the SLMISSGLAM site (which actually makes me want to throw up it's such a pastel rainbow unicorn glitter shit show) so it may be an Ipsy exclusive. I've linked the closest looking set of 6 brushes which goes for $80. So maybe this brush is around $13. (CF)

All told this bag is around a $33. Not terrible but I've had bags that are upwards of $50-$70 so it's kinda weak. However, I do think I'll get a lot of use out of the products this months so it's still a win for me!

 

Medusa's Makeup September 2017 Review

For those who don't know, Medusa's Makeup is an indie brand that has a monthly subscription service. For $16 you get 3-5 full-sized makeup products that are vegan and cruelty free. Check them out here: MEDUSASMAKEUP

I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones. And if I'm remembering correctly, the each of the remaining months of 2017 will include a brand new MM product.

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I love that MM includes an information card that tells you about the products you've received AND how much they're worth. I seriously think the only service NOT doing this is Ipsy. WTH. From the dark berry colors it looks like this month was going for a Fall theme. I think.

Eye Glitter in Key Lime Pie: This is the 3rd glitter I've received and just like the others, I'm less than impressed. The color is cool but as you can see, it's hard to get a full non-patchy application (yes, I put glitter glue down on my hand first). And I tried for several minutes to build it up but it just never got there. $8

(NEW) Luminous Creme in Star Bright: At first, I loved the look of this. Not so much reflective or shimmery but more like a wet look. I figured it might be too waxy but it's very smooth, softer than I thought. Unfortunately, once the wetness absorbed into the skin or evaporated, all that was left was glitter. I had glitter all over my face after I used this - and no, I didn't use it the same time as the eye glitter so it wasn't that. $12

Totally Baked Eye Shadow in Awesome: Though this is the 4th eye shadow I've received, I LOVE THIS COLOR! Gorgeous magenta berry shade, on the info card is says it can be used as blush and that's how I've been using it. It is beautiful! The swatch on the left is the shadow used with a wet brush and the swatch on the right is with a dry finger (ouch). I can't wait to try this on my eyes. $9

Lip Paint in Bang: After getting three meh colors in other months, I'm totally digging this! I love the formula of these lip paints but I haven't been super excited about the shades. Again that fall berry/magenta color is gorgeous! The lip swatch got a bit messy because I was trying to avoid my Invisalign appliances but otherwise, I love it. $9

After going back and looking through the past 6 months, I'm getting a lot of repeats. I know this is a smaller brand so I can't expect a bazillion different products, but there are a lot I haven't received yet. I've probably donated half of what I've gotten so far so I'm not sure if I'll continue through the rest of the year. Sure, I'm excited to see what NEW products they'll include each month, but will it be worth another 3 glitters or eye shadows or lip paints? I just don't know.

 

Ipsy August 2017 Review

For those who don't know, Ipsy is a monthly beauty subscription service. For $10, you get 4-5 sample (sometimes full) sized hair, skin, and makeup products to try out each month. Check them out here: IPSY

I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones.

The theme this month is Good Vibes Only. And I'll tell you right now I don't get good vibes off this when they include an itty bitty theme card and a GIGANTIC catalog for their new Ipsy Cash program but do NOT include an info card on the products. In fact, it makes me furious. So you can afford to put together this huge catalog, on thick stock paper, glossy, full color, but you can't be bothered to tell me about the five little products? You and your theme can eat a bag of dicks, Ipsy.

Now, they may only be doing this GINORMOUS catalog once to introduce the program and that's cool. But if it shows up again next month, I'm gonna start throwing elbows.

The bag this month has some pretty colors on it (there were 3 versions created) though I would have preferred the one with more red because...red. But this is cool. It's also made of a thick vinyl so if you travel with spillable liquids, this might make a good containment system!

Crown Medium Face Contour Brush: I don't contour but the beauty of brushes is that almost all created can be multi-taskers (Alton Brown would be so happy). This one will probably be a great blush brush. And I am NEVER mad at getting brushes, especially ones so frickin' soft! This is full size and goes for $7 (CF perhaps - lots of conflicting info. These are synthetic brushes so they probably ARE CF but no guarantees)

Air Repair Skincare Super Hydrating Eye Cream: I've only used this once (after I mucked up an eye look and had to start over so the makeup wipe irritated my under eye). It's a good thickness, absorbed quickly, and moisturized really well. I'm not into under eye creams anymore but I do like them for before I apply concealer or eye makeup and my under eye is dry and irritated. Helps product go on much more smoothly. This sample of 5mls costs around $7.50 (CF according to their website but none of the other sites I check include them so...?)

Aurora Pro Color Corrector in Pistachio: I don't have a ton of redness on my face so these green correctors aren't that useful. But I tried it anyway on the little bit I have around my nose and cheeks. It ended up looking like a full-on Monet (gold star to anyone who knows what movie I stole that from BEFORE checking the link I provided). It looked really dry when I got up close in the mirror, though the product felt nice and creamy going on. Oh well. Their full sized concealer tubes go for $8 so this is perhaps half the size? Can't tell because there's no amount info on the website but it's a decent sized sample so let's go with $4. (No info on CF status anywhere)

Seraphine Botanicals Liquid Coal Waterproof Liquid Liner: I got the blush last month from this brand and I love it. This seems to be a nice black liquid liner that allows you to make a thin or thick line. It didn't bleed into the wrinkles on my skin either. I didn't make a wing with it but on the eyelids directly it didn't smudge or break down. And when it came time to remove it, no problem! I don't like waterproof stuff because it's so hard to get off (heh) but this was a breeze. This is full sized and goes for $22. (CF)

TheBalm Voyage Vol. 2 Highlighter in Kuwakaribisha: Ipsy says this is an eye shadow but TheBalm website includes this shade as their highlighter in the Voyage Vol 2 palette. So I'll go with TheBalm on this one. However, it does makes a great eye shadow! It's super pigmented and reflective as all fuck. Looks gorgeous on the eye as well as the face. I just wish the sample was bigger! I've valued this same sample size pan for their eye shadows in the past so I'll do the same for this highlighter and give it $1.50. (CF)

So give or take a few bucks the value of the bag is about $42. No too shabby! 

Ipsy May 2017 Review

For those who may not know, Ipsy is a monthly beauty subscription. For $10 a month, you receive 4-5 sample (sometimes full sized) makeup, skin, and hair products. Check them out for yourself here: IPSY

(I pay for this service with my own money and all opinions are my honest ones)

The theme for this month is USELESS. And if you can believe it, the card is even smaller than last time and has even LESS information on it. What. The hell.

I have to admit, though, I kinda like the bag. It's a clear thick plastic that will probably be decent at holding liquids while traveling (NOTE: I've used this a couple of times now and yes, it's good so far). And who doesn't like ice cream? COMMIES, THAT'S WHO.

The little bottle of lotion was an extra I got for cashing in some points. My profile said the points would expire in February so I wanted to hurry up and use them before they disappeared. Soon after I redeemed this little baby, the pop up info told me that the remaining points actually don't expire until 2018. Son of a bitch. The lotion is...okay. Scent is a bit overpowering.

Okay. Now for the actual monthly products:

Global Beauty Care Charcoal Wash Off Mask - stung a little but sometimes that happens with a new mask. I love the twisty top that allows me to seal it back up so the rest of the product doesn't dry out! I can't find a lot of info on them so I'm not sure if they're CF. But I think this is full sized and goes for $5.

Pacifica Beauty Island Life Eye Shadow - I've received a few makeup items from this brand before. I really have enjoyed past eye shadows and these are just as gorgeous. Pretty pigmented but VERY soft so be careful when you want to finger (swatch) them. This palette is exclusive to Ipsy so I have no idea how much it's worth. (CF)

Royal & Langnickel Precision Angled Brush - I've heard a lot about this brand floating around the internets so I was excited to get one in my bag. But...I don't know what to do with it. I don't contour; it's too big for eyes; it's too small for blush. So, yeah. Again, can't find this exact brush on their site so I don't know the cost. But it's vegan so that makes it CF.

Manna Kadar Radiance Split Pan Highlighter/Bronzer Duo - While the sample is a little small to work with, the colors are beautiful. The bronzer will be a better eye shadow on me and the highlight is pretty. Again, can't find any damn info on sizes/amounts but I know it's not full  size (which is $21). It is CF though!

Mellow Cosmetics Creamy Matte Lipstick in Posh: I've never heard of this brand before so I'm glad I get to try something new! This lipstick is awesome. Gorgeous color that is more neutral/cool than warm, goes on smooth, and lasts quite a while without being drying. It's my favorite product this month! Mostly because I'm a lipstick whore. Full size and it's $13 (CF).

Well, I don't really have a value for the bag this month because there just isn't any info out there about some of the items. But I'm pretty sure it's over $10. Though I need to use the mask a few more times to be sure about whether or not it'll fry my face, I'm pretty happy with the rest of the items (even if I can't figure out price points).

ColourPop Brand Review

I've been saying I want to do a one brand review on a couple of makeup companies I've been using and loving. FINALLY got all the swatches and pictures done so I can share my thoughts in a post. This post is going to be all about ColourPop Cosmetics which, BONUS, is a cruelty free brands! This is not sponsored by ColourPop; they didn't send me anything; I purchased all the products I talk about with my own money over the past (holy crap it's only been one) year.

You might want to grab some coffee and a snack for this...

In their FAQs they say spelling color without the 'u' is so basic. That tickles me.

In their FAQs they say spelling color without the 'u' is so basic. That tickles me.

From what I understand, CP was started a few years ago by a couple of women in California. They wanted to make their own products with good ingredients, a unique formula, and affordable for pretty much anyone. Though they are considered an 'indie' brand, they exploded onto the scene a couple of years ago. I don't know who but I think it was some 'famous' YouTuber who reviewed ColourPop and the brand took off from there.

CP makes eye, cheek, and lip products and nothing is over $8 (I'm not including sets, obviously). The lippies come in all sorts of finishes and formats and the powder products are some of the most unique I've ever felt in my life. I can only describe the feel as a firm custard covered with a layer of silk. They have the give of a creme product but they go on dry like a powder. I don't know how else to describe them. You have to feel them for yourselves! They are best applied with the finger, for the highest color payoff, but can be blended or applied with a brush.

This is an eye shadow in the color Flower Shop. All the powder products come in individual pots and are stamped with the same quilted pattern.

This is an eye shadow in the color Flower Shop. All the powder products come in individual pots and are stamped with the same quilted pattern.

OMG I went to confirm the prices and I started shopping. And I bought more lip stuff but for the sake of brevity (TOO LATE) I won't include them in this post, though they are pretty and awesome. Dammit, Colourpop!

Now that I've compiled my collection into swatch pics, I'm able to share my thoughts with you. Hopefully I'll inspire a few of you to go try their products! Check them out: COLOURPOP

Let's start with the eyes and work our way down, shall we? *rowr*

I own six eye shadows from CP. To most make up folk, that's paltry. But because they come in individual containers, they're a bit of bitch to store so I don't mind having a smaller collection compared to some. All eye shadows are $5 each.

 

Swatches of each shadow. From bottom to top we have:

Puppy Love - soft light peach gold, a portion of the sales of this shadow went to an animal rescue!

LaLa - super pigmented bronze

Flower Shop - gorgeous green shade that makes me feel like a mermaid, less pigmented than the rest but can be built up

Dare - one of my favorite purple shades with hot pink and violet glitter

Party Time - my first matte shade from CP, it looks like a grey taupe mauve blend, so different from anything else I have

Roulette - soooper pigmented matte black, seriously be careful with this one.

 

I only own three gel liners and one creme liner pencil. From bottom to top they are:

Stopmer - this is my favorite, it's much creamier and easier to work with than the other two

Workout - it's hard to tell but this is a deep dark forest green

Swerve - straight up black. The darker shades are much drier and more difficult. But all of them set like a mother fucker when they dry down completely - which is super fast.

The top swatch is the gel pencil in Timber. Very smooth, creamy, and pigmented. Easy to apply BUT BE CAREFUL! It will break if you press too hard.

The eye liner pencils are $5 each and the gel liner pots are $6.

 

This is the only powder product that ever arrived broken. But I just pressed it back down and it's mostly fine. Still crumbly but the product itself is still great.

This is the only powder product that ever arrived broken. But I just pressed it back down and it's mostly fine. Still crumbly but the product itself is still great.

I actually bought two highlighters but I got rid of the gold one, Wisp (I think), because it was just a little too glittery. This one, Monster, has a gorgeous pink undertone. It is sparkly but not stripper sparkly, you know? (this is the bottom swatch in the blush swatch pic below) All highlighters and blushes cost $8 each.

 

I've got three blushes from CP. They are all soft beautiful colors that are pigmented but not straight up heavy from the first swipe. So you can build them up or keep them more sheer. I've actually already hit pan on the purple one! From bottom to top (excluding the highlighter): Birthday Suit, Cheerio, and Rain.

 

This is funny for two reasons: 1)the name of the lippy that happened to be facing me when I took the pic; 2)I have so many more lip products from them now I had to use a bigger jar.

This is funny for two reasons: 1)the name of the lippy that happened to be facing me when I took the pic; 2)I have so many more lip products from them now I had to use a bigger jar.

And now for the lips. I'm addicted to the ColourPop lippy. A few of them have disappointed but overall, they are some of my favorite lip products ever. All of the lipsticks are $5.

From top to bottom: Lumiere, Bound 1, Bound 2, Choker, She Bad - Nudes/Neutrals

From top to bottom: Lumiere, Bound 1, Bound 2, Choker, She Bad - Nudes/Neutrals

Switching things up a bit, I'm going to talk about each of the colors from top to bottom. I will also include lip swatches after each one. 

Lumiere was the first lippy I ever purchased from CP. It's a matte formula but doesn't look or feel dry. If you blot it with a tissue that will help but it's definitely not transfer proof and you might need a lip liner to go with it.

 

I accidentally bought this color twice: Bound. This is a Glossy finish and there is a slight color difference between the two. Not sure if you can tell from the pictures but the OG Bound (first pic) is a bit deeper, has a more bluish undertone than the new Bound, which is more of a baby pink. Both are pretty though!

 

Choker has become one of my favorite nudes. With a Creme finish, this color glides on so easily and is extremely comfortable to wear. It's not too warm or too cool for my skin tone and I don't look like a corpse when I wear it. Bonus!

 

This last one in the 'nude' category is She Bad, one of ColourPop's new Matte X finishes. While this formula is awesome - it's super soft with a powder like finish - the lipstick came loose during shipping so it keeps falling out of the tube. Also, I don't particularly like the shade on me. It looks yellow/orange at first application but it does become a little more pink as it dries. Not sure I'll keep this one.

 

Next up are the reds:

From top to bottom: Creature, Poison, TGIF, Out of Sync

From top to bottom: Creature, Poison, TGIF, Out of Sync

Creature is one of the original matte formulas. I love this color but it feels more drying than the others in the same formula and it is a bit patchy. So I don't really reach for this that often though red is my favorite color.

 

Another original matte lippy is Poison. It also feels really dry and it sets almost immediately. Again, not sure if I'll keep it because I just don't reach for it though the color is gorgeous.

 

Yep, another matte - TGIF. This is more of a cherry red shade but this one is a bit more comfortable to wear.

 

Last but not least is Out of Sync, a gorgeous fuscia shade. Not something I normally wear but the blue undertone is to die for! And this is also a matte finish.

 

The next set of lippies don't really fit into any color category, except the two that are purple/pink shades. I've become addicted to the odd colors (grey, blue, green) and so many companies now are offering them now. Whoop!

Top to Bottom: Bull Chic, Climax, Too Sexy, Boogie, Wet (wow - so much sexy talky...)

Top to Bottom: Bull Chic, Climax, Too Sexy, Boogie, Wet (wow - so much sexy talky...)

The last of the original matte formula is Bull Chic. It is MUCH creamier than the rest and very easy to apply but...it's not as opaque so you'll need to blot and reapply to build it up. Even then it's not THAT great but right now it's my only black lipstick so it'll do, pig. It'll do.

 

One of my new favorites is Climax. It's the reformulated matte (so it's a Matte X). It's a little patchy when applied. And don't rub your lips together too much before it sets! It'll slide all over the fucking place and look majorly patchy. But the color...HOLY BALLS it's gorgeous! A royal blue with violet. So beautiful.

 

I'm Too Sexy for my lips...This satin finish lipstick is creamy, easy to apply, and is a beautiful violet fuchsia with a blue shift. It's not on the website anymore, though, so it may be discontinued.

 

I always confuse Boogie with Too Sexy. Both have that fuchsia/blue pink tone but Boogie is a little darker AND has blue sparkles! The Satin Luxe finish is a little drier than the satin so it almost feels like a matte. Super pigmented and it definitely stains the lips so even when it wears off, you'll still have some color left behind!

 

Another favorite, because it's so different, is Wet, a pearlized finish lippy that they describe as a taupe gunmetal color. It goes on creamy so I got the matching lip liner to go with it since I'm pretty sure I couldn't find anything to match elsewhere. It can be a bit patchy but I don't care. It's not that noticeable on me.

 

The final lippies, and review segment, are devoted to the Lip Satins. These come in glass (or thick plastic) tubes and are $6 each.

Top to bottom: Lost, So Wavy, Petit Four, Marshmallow

Top to bottom: Lost, So Wavy, Petit Four, Marshmallow

The Lip Satins are a fantastic formula. Incredible lasting time and very comfortable. They remain a bit tacky so they're not quite transfer proof. They dry enough to look matte, though they aren't. Two of the ones I have have a drier mousse like texture and the others are very thin - so they get all over your teeth when you first put them on! I use a lip liner with all of these but CP only sells matching liners for two (I included them in the swatches). All CP lip liners are creamy and apply smoothly. If you fill in your lips with them they could be used on their own!

 

Lost is a gorgeous red. This is one of the thinner formulas so make sure to check your teeth!

 

So Wavy is the most awesome purple-blue I've ever seen. I think it's the ONLY one I've ever seen. This is the other one with a thin consistency so check those teeth! The purple liners I have, or were suggested by CP, have too much red in them. But I just got a blue liner from NYX that I hope will work!

 

Petit Four is a dark grey but I see some greenish undertones to it, at least on me. It's much thicker than the last two so it's not as messy! I also got the matching liner because it's such an unusual color.

 

Last, but definitely not least, is my favorite lip satin in Marshmallow. I don't know when purples starting calling to me but this is an awesome grey lavender color. A more dry moussey texture but I still use a liner.

 

Okay. That is it. WHEW! I hope some of you will go check out the ColourPop website and try a few of these products for yourselves. Trust me, it'll be worth it!

NOTE: The new lippies I got are new Ultra Glossy Lip line. I haven't worn them a lot yet, except the nude one, so I can't speak as to their lasting power. But they feel nice, not too sticky, and pretty pigmented for glosses. I had to include a couple of pics below just so you can get an idea of what they look like!

L to R: (metallic finish) Crystal Ball, Wolfie, Tight Fit; (creme) Fluff; (sheer) Fairy Floss

L to R: (metallic finish) Crystal Ball, Wolfie, Tight Fit; (creme) Fluff; (sheer) Fairy Floss

You can see the metallic finish lippies (bottom three) are bit more streaky than the others.

You can see the metallic finish lippies (bottom three) are bit more streaky than the others.