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December 2020 Ipsy Bag – Home for the Holidays

Well of course, I’m home for the holidays – we cannot go anywhere!

I cannot stop stroking this month’s fuzzy makeup bag – it’s like a pink sheep!

I am loving getting a Color Club Nail Polish every few months – this month, I got “Get Lost”, a creamy powder blue. Lily already snatched it to use – I hope I get to use it soon.

Also in this month’s bag: Feel Enzymatic Exfoliating Cleanser (I love the almond-y scent); Goldfaden MD Facial Detox Clarify + Clear Mask (I LOVE this mask – it’s got a hint of tingle and it made my skin AMAZING); IBY Beauty Lush Eyeshadow in “Yoga Pants” (A perfect “lazy” eye shadow – a single swipe across the eye and you’re done); and Kensie Life Beat Body Lotion (the only product in this month’s bag that I haven’t sampled yet).

This might be the best bag I’ve received all year. I did not select a product this month, but their picks were perfect for me.

I subscribe to the basic ipsy bag for $12/month. If you’d like to try Ipsy – click here. I’ll earn 250 points if you sign up through my referral link.

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Le Tits Now!

Why “let it snow” when you can “le tits now”?

I occurs to me that the blue I used – Sinful Colors “Zzzapped!” – is pretty close to Jeopardy Blue. What a happy accident…thinking a lot about losing Alex Trebek (and Sean Connery, too I guess) this year.

This is two coats of “Zzzapped!” over Glisten & Glow Ridge Filling Base Coat. For a the snowy nails, I used Funky Fingers “Elsa”. I guess I am still stuck on matte nails – I topped them all with Glisten & Glow Matte Top Coat.

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Super Skin Surprises

I don’t know that I would’ve paid $12.99 for the Ulta Super Skin Surprises Set, but 50% off ($6.49) is just right.

I was drawn to the set for the Jergens Rose Body Butter. It’s got a nice, light rose scent, but it STILL smells unmistakably like Jergens Lotion. I do NOT especially care for that Jergens scent, so I will not be purchasing this body butter when I run out.

I just finished off the Pacifica Kale Lip Balm that I kept in my office, so I replaced it with the Thayers Organic Slippery Elm Slip Balm in “Peppermint Stick”. I love how smooth and wintery it makes my lips feel.

I have no desire to darken my skin, so I gave the St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Vitamins Bronzing Face Serum to my kids. Then slathered it on their faces and to be fair, they did start to look like Oompa Loompas. All kidding aside, my son got compliments from girls and they wanted to know what products he was using, so apparently, this stuff works.

I have been using the Curel Set, which includes Curel Moisture Facial Lotion Enrich and Curel Intensive Moisture Facial Cream. I am much two lazy to use a two product regiment every night, but this one isn’t too bad. I like the way my face feels the next day after using it.

Also in the box: Garnier Micellar Cleaning Water All-in-1 Cleanser & Waterproof Makeup Remover (I like this for pre-cleaning before face masks); Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelette Single; and No7 Laboratories Dark Circle Corrector in “Light/Medium”. A great box, all things considered.

This is the order that put me into Diamond status for 2021, but the rest of my order was gifts and stocking stuffers, so I’ll keep them private.

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Rainbow Nuts

China Glaze “Rainbow” is soft baby pink when topped with a matte top coat, but before the top coat, it was white with a flash of rainbow opalescence. I love a versatile polish!

I started with Glisten & Glow Ridge Filling Base Coat and two coats of “Rainbow”. For accent nails, I used one of my favorite glitter toppers, Funky Fingers “Son of a Nutcracker”. I finished with Glisten & Glow Matte Top Coat.

This polish combination reminds me of The Last Unicorn.

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The Morning After

Context Skin Nail Lacquer “The Morning After” was included in my November ipsy bag. It’s an inky blue/black…very sophisticated.

This is two coats of “The Morning After” over Glisten & Glow Ridge Filling Base Coat and under Glisten & Glow Top Coat. The polish was a bit sheer, but came through with almost full coverage in two coats. I was surprised at how long this polish lasted. Usually dark polishes chip fast, but this one really clung to my little fingers.

This blue-black reminds me of Wonder Woman. Not Wonder Woman in the movies or TV show, but Wonder Woman in the comic books. Her hair was always highlighted in blue, which confused me as child.

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Perfect Shine Splurge

Back in November, I think when Sephora was offering 15% off, Ulta sent out a $10 off $40 coupon, so why not restock on a few things. Sometimes, there’s nothing like splurging on fancy shampoo & conditioner!

I’d gotten to try NatureLab Tokyo Perfect Shine Shampoo & Conditioner ($14 each) in an Allure Beauty Box last year. I really liked it, but it wasn’t widely available. Fast forward a year and now Ulta carries it – score! The secret ingredient is grape stem cells. I don’t know what those are. I also picked up some a single use conditioners – PURA D’OR Single Use Hair Thinning Therapy Intense Moisturizing Masque ($1.79), HASK Shea Butter & Hibiscus Oil Anti-Frizz Deep Conditioner Packette ($2.99) and HASK Tea Tree Oil & Rosemary Hair & Scalp Treatment Mask Packette ($2.99).

Freeman Masks were on super sale, so I bought a replacement Cucumber & Pink Salt Clay Mask. I also grabbed a clearance China Glaze “Rainbow” for $2.62 and a new Flowery nail buffer.

I definitely did NOT buy that Kylie Cosmetics Velvet Lip Kit in “Bare” – it was a gift with $25 makeup purchase. I now know the secret of the Kylie Lip Kits! The lip liner is one tick darker than the lipstick, so it creates an optical illusion of a fuller lip. The more you know…I tried it out and the color was WAY too light for me. Hypothetically, my lips did look bigger though.

My $70 purchase qualified me for a Hello Holidays Sample Bag – it’s so fancy! Inside the bag: Dermablend Insta-Grip Jelly Primer; Awake Pore Down Tightening Concentrate; Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Towelette (WEIRD); Lake & Skye 11 11 (I could not smell this); MAC Lipstick samples in “Ruby Woo”, “M-A-C Red” & “Cockney”; Too Faced Damn Girl! Mascara; Pravana Color Protect Cleanse and Condition (HUGE samples tubes – will try these out after my next dye session); Philosophy Purity Made Simple Hydra-Bounce Eye Gel; Ahava Dead Sea Water Mineral Body Lotion; Tula Skincare 24-7 Moisture Hydrating Day & Night Cream; Smashbox Photo Finish Primer; Burberry Her; Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris; NatureLab Tokyo Perfect Shine Shampoo & Conditioner (foilpacks for travel!); Tonymoly Golden Pig Collagen Bounce Mask; Gucci Guilty; AG Haircare Glow Shine Infuse Serum; Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear Sample Card (none of these will match me); Beekman 1802 Milk Drops Probiotic Ceramide Serum; John Frieda Frizz Ease Secret Weapon Touch-up Creme; Patchology Little Helper Energy Dietary Supplement Strip (a caffeine strip that melts on your tongue – is drinking a cup of coffee so hard?); and VDL Velvet Blur Primer.

Oh, and if the order looks a little light, it’s because there were a few gifts in my order…

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Leo

I’m not a Leo…but I cannot resist Julep “Leo”golden honey duo metallic. I LOVE the hints of green in this honey hued polish. It reminds me a bit of stained glass or maybe carnival glass?

This is two coats of “Leo” over Glisten & Glow Ridge Filling Base Coat and under Glisten & Glow Top Coat.

This polish has been sitting in my cabinet nearly a year – how have I been sleeping on this delightful, delectable polish??? I wonder what else is hiding in there…

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Blonde Life

Okay…I wouldn’t exactly call myself a blonde – but I did get some amazing chunky highlights last week, in preparation for another round of pink dye. I have been saving up Ulta points all year and I decided to get professional lightening done, instead of taking my chances with a home kit. I was able to put $128 in points towards hair services, and it was well worth it. I expected to go pink immediately, but I am liking the white blond streaks around my crown…even if I do resemble Tracy Turnblad.

I grabbed a few items by the checkout – Joico minis were 3/$10, so I got Joico Blonde Life Brightening Shampoo, Conditioner and a K-PAK Hydrator. I also grabbed another 3 pack of Kitsch Masks ($12.99) because they are Lily’s favorite and they keep disappearing.

With this spend, plus the online order I’ll be detailing within the next post or so, I’ve got just $41 to hit Diamond status for 2022!

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November 2020 Allure Beauty Box – Back in Full Force

I was prepared to cancel my subscription before I opened this month’s box, but it was *just* compelling enough for me to wait and see what next month brings…

I’ve been using Dermelect Self Esteem Beauty Sleep Serum for the past week. It does sting a tiny bit when I apply it, but it absorbs very quickly. I have no idea which ingredient is doing that – maybe the salicylic acid?

Oooh…Naturelab Tokyo Perfect Shine Clarifying Scalp Scrub! This will go great with the shampoo I just bought (but haven’t posted about yet).

Also in this month’s box: Josephine Cosmetics Eye/Dazzle The Liquid Metallic Eyeshadow in “Leona” (haven’t tried yet, but intrigued); Manna Kadar Lip Bliss Moisturizing Lip Mask; Skinmedica Instant Bright Eye Mask; Neogen Dermalogy Real Ferment Micro Essence (it’s made of ferments yeast and rice – I’m scared); When The Last Choice Sheet Mask; and Acure Ultra Hydtrating 12 Hour Facial Moisturizer (excited to try this one – Acure is a great brand).

Is the quality of the boxes FINALLY starting to improve? Or is this a fluke? Stay tuned for next month’s decision…

The Allure Beauty Box recently increased their price from $15 to $23/month. They also offer an option for $250/year – a savings of $26. Sign up via my referral link.

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Harvest Blooms

So one of my sisters-in-law sells Color Street Nail Strips and she sent some Thanksgiving strips – “Harvest Blooms” – for me to try. My only experience with nail strips are Jamberry, and these are quite different.

While Jamberry strips are like thick vinyl stickers, Color Street are much thinner and more flexible…and more fragile. I managed to tear a few of them trying to apply them. They don’t require a heater though, which is nice.

I must have strangely shaped fingernails, but the strips didn’t really fit my nails well – do I have huge fingers? The largest strips (toe size?) barely covered my thumbs, but the next size down didn’t cover any of my nails very well. Also, my nails are fairly long right now, so the only nails that I could use one strip on two nails was my pinky – the rest were too short. I wouldn’t get two full uses out of 16 pack, which makes them less than economical for me to use – although they are VERY pretty!

Color Street Nail Strips Retail for $13 for a set of 16 double-ended strips, comparable to Jamberry…I think? I don’t recall what I paid for Jamberry years and years ago.