Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

Greeting and salutation! Another week is almost done, and July with it. I'm joining Jen of Rambling of a Suburban Mom for her weekly Thursday Thoughts, if you haven't read her blog I highly suggest it. So without further ado, here are my Thursday Thoughts!

  • Best Beauty for my Buck is on Pinterest! If you look to the right of this post you should see my Pinterest Widget (if you don't see it please let me know in the comments). I'll be pinning all my posts and probably DIY projects I'd like to attempt for this blog. 
  • Best Beauty for my Buck also has a Google+ page! I'll be posting updates on when blog posts go up as well as exclusive behind the scenes content and a look into my daily life. Eventually I'll figure out how to make a widget for it and place it on the right but until then here's the link.
  • Trying to break out of my comfort zone and do more nail art instead of just plain, painted nails. I'm lucky in that my husband lets me paint his toes so I'm getting lots of practice. Loving dots right now, they're just so cute and summery.
  • Ipsy sneak peaks will be coming up next week, really hoping for a good August bag after a disappointing July bag. The one spoiler that's been already released though has me excited, but I'll wait to post about that until all the spoilers are out so I can do one big post.
  • I can't wait for Fall, I'm ready for sweaters and deep plum lipstick and hot cocoa. What Fall beauty item are you most looking forward to?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July 2014 Ipsy Bag Review

I don't know what was up with Ipsy this month, but I just got this bag a few days ago. It seems to me that my bags are coming later and later each month, combine that with the super slow DHL shipping and I'm not getting bags till the very last minute. For those who don't know Ipsy is a monthly beauty subscription program. Each month they send you 4-5 deluxe or full sized beauty products, typically makeup, in a makeup bag for only $10! It's a great deal and a nice way to expand your makeup collection while stepping outside of your normal buying routine. Some months are really great while others are terrible and make me consider cancelling my subscription. After last month's troubles I needed this bag to hit it out of the ballpark and it barely bunted it this time.

 This month's theme was Sensationally Sunkissed, a great theme for a July bag I thought. The bag this month was a hot pink pleather bag with a scalloped edge, much cuter in person than any of the photos I'd seen. I'm using it to hold my hair ties in my bathroom right now, but I may sway it with my stuff bag (meds, bandaids, kleenex, ect) that I keep in my purse later. I wish they had bedazzled it or something though, just plain pink was a little bland for my taste.

This month everybody received a BareMinerals eyeshadow, either a cream shadow or a mini palette with 2 colors. I received the cream shadow in the shade barely nude, and I'm super disappointing with it. First, it's tiny as you can see in the picture. Like the size of my pinky tiny. Luckily a little goes a long ways so this should last a bit longer than I originally thought. My biggest issue with it was the color they sent me.

As you can see it is very close to my natural skin tone, so much so that once I blended it out it completely disappeared. The blended out bit is to the left of the straight swatch, can you see it? If it wasn't for the little bit of shimmer in it I could use it for concealer. BareMinerals claims it has all these benefits and is smudge proof, which I'm going to have to disagree with. I wore it to work (I teach Taekwondo) and by the end of the day it was creased and not looking so great. At least you could barely see it. I guess if you weren't being super active it would be fine, but I won't be calling it smudge proof. This is going into my makeup bag to use as a primer for my shadow when I'm on the go. I just wish they'd sent me the deep wine purple I've seen other people receiving. This item was 0.03 oz, giving it a value of $5.40, a full size is 0.10 oz and $18.

May was all about sun safety so I was a little disappointed to see tanning oil in my July bag. Especially since I'm already a darker complexion so I'm confused as to why I got a tanning oil. Add in that this contained coconut oil, which I'm deathly allergic to, and this item was a complete bust for me. This has gone straight into the swap box, hopefully I'll find someone who wants it. This item was 1 fluid oz, giving it a value of about $1.50, a full sized is 8 fluid oz and is $11.99.

I also received a Pop Beauty sunkissed bronzer, which is a nice dark bronzer with no real shimmer. I haven't opened it since I have 3 bronzers already open (I might have a problem, should I join bronzer anonymous?) but it looks like a nice one and I haven't heard any horrible reviews yet. I'm adding this to the swap box, but if I didn't already have a ton of bronzers open I'd use this in a heart beat. This is a full sized item at 0.25 oz and has a value of $10.

I have very long hair, so any sort of deep conditioner or hair mask makes me super happy! I hadn't heard of this brand before, but it's suppose to help with any split ends so I'm excited to try it later. It smells great too which is a plus. It isn't a very big sample, I'll probably only get two or three uses out of it due to my hair length. It is 1 fluid oz, giving it a value of $5.99, the website lists this as a size you can buy so I'll call it travel sized instead of a deluxe sample. Edit: This isn't a conditioner at all, it's to help get rid of split ends. I apparently need to actually read the packages.

The last item I received was the Elizabeth Mott Tints and Sass cheek and lip stain in Cherry. I was very excited to get this item, cheek stains are my favorite during these hot summer months. This is actually scented like cherries, well like cherry medicine but it still smells nice. The gel formula is nice and spreads easily without dripping all over the place. I found it easier to blend than the Lollitint I received back in April, and I think the color is nice once you blend it out. I have not tried it on my lips yet, but I have a red lip stain I already love so I probably won't use it on my lips.

As you can see a straight swatch is very pigmented but it blended out wonderfully into a nice rosy color. I'm really happy I received this and it will definitely make it into my daily blush rotation for sure. This was also a full sized item, 0.35 fluid oz, and has a value of $22.99! That's over twice the value of the bag right there, so I'm doubly glad I liked it so much.

All total my July bag came to a total of $45.88! That's a huge value for the bag since it was only $10 to purchase it. If I added up the total of what I actually liked my value drops down quite a bit to $28. 98, which is still well over the value of the bag. I'm giving Ipsy one more month then I'll make the call whether to keep it or drop it and sign up for Birchbox (which I may sign up for no matter what). If you received an Ipsy bag in July what were your thoughts on it?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Ipsy June 2014 Review

This review technically isn't late because I did not receive my June Ipsy bag until July (more on that in a bit), or at least that's what I'm telling myself to feel less guilty about how late this really is. For those who don't know or are new to my blog, Ipsy is a monthly beauty subscription program that send you 4-5 deluxe or full sized beauty items (typically makeup) in a makeup bag.

I've been getting bags since April, so this was my third bag, although I'm reviewing bag 3.5 today. My original June bag came damaged so after contacting Ipsy Care about it they sent me a brand new bag. While they weren't the fastest customer service I've ever dealt with, they weren't the slowest either so I'm not complaining. It just meant that I didn't get my June Ipsy bag until the first week of July, which was a bummer obviously.

The theme for this month was "Pretty in Paradise", and as you can see I got 5 items, 2 of which were full sized. Now my replacement bag is slightly different than the original, they sent me a different mascara than originally came in it. I should explain what exactly happened before to my original bag. The vial of RealTree perfume broke open in transit and dissolved whatever it touched. Not like made the paper soggy, I mean actually dissolved it. As I review each item I'll tell you what state the original one came in, some of them were surprising.

Let's start with the bag for this month, which was designed my Rebecca Minkoff. I wasn't familiar with her prior to this, but apparently she's a famous designer so many people were super excited to see what she'd come up with. The bag has what I'm calling a pineapple plant design on it, with a red interior. I really liked it and am currently using it for the makeup I keep in my purse. The original one came to me soaked in perfume and stained by everything that had dissolved. I couldn't salvage it and it was giving me a headache from the smell so it went straight into the garbage which really sucked since it was such a nice bag.

RealTree perfume, I'm not even sure where to start with this. First, the company that makes it is a camo print producing company. Yes, you read that right. If anybody can make a logical leap from camo to perfume please let me know, because I am scratching my head over here. The smell was awful, like something you'd find in a truck stop bathroom. And it dissolved half my bag the first time around so there was NO way I was putting it on my skin! I'll value it at about $1 and if anybody want it I have the vial from the second bag still. No promises it won't melt your arm off.

Marc Anthony beach spray was the item I was most nervous about. As I've mentioned before I'm deathly allergic to coconut and early reports from people claimed there was a coconut smell with this. I never heard back from the company but I'm not dead so I guess there's no real coconut in it. For those who have never used a beach spray, it is basically a texturizing hair spray to give you beachy waves. I really liked this product, it worked well for my super long hair although the staying power wasn't great. My original one came usable, all the damage was purely cosmetic. The writing on the bottle came partly off and the Ipsy card transferred onto it so the bottle looks like a rainbow puked on it. Ugly but usable. This is 1.52 fluid oz putting the value at about $3.18, a full sized one is 4.2 fluid oz and is $8.79 on

I got a deluxe mini of the Elizabeth Mott It's So Big mascara in my second bag, which I haven't opened yet so I can't give you a personal review. This has really got reviews on the few sites I checked out so I'm excited to try it, but I like to have only one mascara for home opened. I should be opening this in September so stay tuned for an actual review later. A full sized is $19.99, so my deluxe mini has a value of about $8.48. That's a high value for a deluxe mini!

In my first bag I received the Be A Bombshell Lash Out mascara, which created quite a bit of drama on the Ipsy page. This mascara smells bad, like burning tires bad and for a large chunk of the people brave enough to try it the formula made there eyes red and irritated. BaB issued a note on their Facebook page saying the product was completely safe and the smell was due to not having any perfume in it, but I know Ipsy sent some people the Elizabeth Mott mascara as a replacement (which is more than likely why I got that instead of another BaB mascara). The one I received in my original bag came with the outside coating on the top melted off, which was both gross and surprising. You can start to see the damage in the picture, the top of the cap has a slightly different texture than the rest of it. The mascara is still usable, and I'll probably give it a try just to see if it hurts my eyes or if it is usable. On a side note, the BaB website lists this as out of stock currently. Not sure if that is because of all the negative publicity or just coincidence. This was a full sized item and had a value of $15, so it was a big ticket item in my original bag.

The item I was most excited about was the Ofra Universal Eyebrow Pencil. Making your eyebrows look good is serious business, and while I'm happy with the product I'm using now I'm always open to trying new things. The color is a dark brown, so I'd recommend using a light hand while applying. The formula is waxed based, which helps keep hairs in place. Overall I'm really happy with this item, minus the price. This is a full sized item so the price is $13, which isn't horribly high but the product I love is only $3 sot that's a huge difference for me. The eyebrow pencil that came in my bag was only about half usable, the perfume dissolved the coating and the actual product on the inside from the bottom up about a third of the way.

As you can see from the top swatch, the eyebrow pencil is pretty dark with a bit of a red tint. I would not recommend it for blonde haired individuals or people with light colored brows.

The item that most people were excited for was the new NYX Butter Lipglosses, and I think everybody got one but I could be wrong. I got a nice neutral color called Creme Brulee and I'm in love! The formula is nice and smooth with only a touch of stickiness. As you can see from the swatch above, it is a soft pink that once applied to the lip really mellows out. I wear it about once a week and I'll probably pick up a few of the other colors later at some point. My original one was usable, just covered in black stuff from the mascara that melted so I've got two of these. This is a fulled sized item with a value of $4.99, which I think is really affordable.

All total June's bag came to a grand total of $30.65, which is triple the price of the bag! The only item in this bag that was a bust was the perfume, which was such a low value it really didn't effect anything. My only real issue with the bag was just how long it took to get a usable bag.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Weekend Tips and Tricks

Wow, it feels like forever since I had to come up with some great tips for you guys! Hopefully these are well worth the wait.

Tip #1: Hands or feet extra dry? Apply either a n extra thick lotion or some Vaseline before bedtime then place cotton gloves/socks over your hands/feet. Come morning they will be soft, hydrated, and looking better than ever!

Tip#2: Have a foil sample of a product that should last you more than one use but you're afraid you'll spill it once it's open? Use a binder clip to keep it shut or place the liquid into a travel sized container. Voila! No more spilling!

Tip #3:  Want to use a fake tanning product but afraid of making a mess of it? Use a tanning mitt to help apply it evenly without ending up with orange hands. Mixing the tanning lotion with lotion can help you apply it evenly as well and help keep it from getting to dark. But if you are really worried about it I suggest you look into going to a professional to apply it for you.

Tip #4: Want to practice a new makeup look but afraid of leaving your house if it looks bad? Practice at night before you go to bed. That way if it really sucks you're going to wash your face anyways so no added hassle.

Friday, July 25, 2014

May 2014 Empties

I know it is now July so this is SUPER late but I've been computerless for longer than I expected. Sorry for the extra long hiatus, things should be back to my regular schedule now.

Wow, was it just me or did May go by really quick? I managed to get through 13 items, holy cow! I made it a goal to use certain items as much as I could in an attempt to use them up, so getting through this many things really made me happy.

Up and Up Body Wash: Not repurchasing This was bought during the winter when my skin was super dry. I really liked it but I'm ready for something different for summer. Maybe next Winter I will pick up more.

Pantene Shampoo: Not repurchasing I didn't really like this, didn't seem to do anything for my hair. I mainly got it because it was on sale for like $3.

Up and Up Deep Cleaning face wash: Repurchase I love this stuff, I've been using it for years. I need to make a trip to Target and pick more up soon. For the review I did of the Up and Up brand look here

Calgon body spray: Not repurchasing This was the last in the set of body sprays I received years and years ago. So glad to be done with them!

Mary Kay lip mask: Not repurchasing While it did the job well, the price is just waaaaay to high for me

Pumice Stone: Repurchase I actually broke it in half, which surprised me! I buy these at the dollar store because I like to replace them every few months anyways so this isn't a big deal.

ELF Makeup Removal Pen: Not Repurchasing I already did a review of this product, which you can read here, so I won't write a lot about it other than it sucked. A lot.

Mary Kay Eyeliner in Granite: Not Repurchasing I actually really liked the color and the quality of the liner, I just hated how expensive it was. So I'll have to look around and see if I can find a cheaper dupe somewhere else.

ELF Liquid Eyeliner in Black: Not Repurchasing I know many, many beauty bloggers who swear by this product, but I HATED it. Once it hit eyeshadow it would clog up and that'd be the end of it. After only a few uses the thing dried completely up, even though I stored it upside down to help prevent that from happening. I got it as a package deal with other things I really wanted for a REALLY good deal so I didn't really spend any money on it

Mary Kay Tinted Lip Balm: Not Repurchasing I have no idea what color this was, I forgot to write it down before I threw it away. I actually really liked it and would repurchase if I could but it was one of those limited edition things that's no longer offered. I may try and find an acceptable dupe this fall since it was a purple color and was more of a sweater weather color on me.

Foil Samples: I'm going to combine these into one post since there were just little samples. The shampoo wasn't bad but not something I'd buy unless it was on sale for a really good price. The DHC eye cream made me break out if it touched anywhere but right under my eyes so I won't be tracking down more. And I like the DHC Cleansing Oil, like a lot. Luckily I already had some so I don't need to go out and track it down.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thursday Thoughts (I'm Back!!)

Oh my goodness, that hiatus took much longer than I expected. I still don't have a working laptop (so not happy about that), but my wonderful husband surprised me the other day by clearing out a space to set up my desktop in a permanent spot so I can blog on a regular basis again. So now without further ado lets get going on my Thursday Thoughts! For those who don't know, Thursday Thoughts is a weekly link up from Jen from Ramblings of a Suburban Mom. Go check her blog out, I read it on a daily basis.

- My July Ipsy bag finally arrived today, with only 7 days left in the month. I'm giving serious thought to canceling my Ipsy subscription and switching over to Birchbox, this super slow and always late shipping is grating on me

-My husband and I just celebrated our wedding anniversary last Monday. I can't believe we've been married for seven years, it feels both longer and like it just happened. Here's to another 7+ years darlings!

-As much as I like summer I'm officially ready for sweater weather. Anybody else feeling that way too? I'm just sick of the heat and humidity already.

-I've got a ton of posts to write this week, I should be set for the next 2 weeks I think. That's the problem with being on hiatus for almost 3 months, I have a ton of catching up to do. I have several Ipsy bags to review, monthly empties to write up, product reviews, and a tutorial or two. Thank goodness my busy week is almost over, I should have plenty of time to write and write and write.

-I'll leave this post with a question for you, the readers. Would you rather see makeup/nail tutorials or how to make bath/beauty product tutorials?