Rocksbox Set #1 Review
NYX Cosmetics – ipsy Eye Shadow Trio
Full Size Retail Cost: $4.50 for single eye shadows
This palette was exclusively designed for ipsters by NYX so it cannot be purchased through the NYX website. As usual ipsy (and NYX) hit it out of the park with the color sections for the September glam bag whose theme was all about leaving the past behind for autumn elegance. Let’s face it nudes are in and they probably always will be. So there was no chance of failure (except for those whose palettes arrived broken) when making this collaboration part of the September glam bag.
My review is pretty simple. The shades are your typical nudes with one smoky option which is more black than brown which was unexpected. The consistency of the shadow is chalky but to be fair I am used to Too Faced and Smashbox shadows. You can build up each shade to get the pigmentation you want which makes the palette even more versatile. It came with the standard 90’s applicator which has gone straight to the trash. Why anyone continues to produce those things is beyond me.
Final Verdict: It’s NYX you get what you pay for.
TEMPTU – S/B Highlighter in Champagne Shimmer
Full Size Retail Cost: $27.50 1oz
TEMPTU is typically used by pro artists because they have revolutionized the flawless finish and airbrush makeup application. Which basically means I had never heard of this company until it showed up in my ipsy bag. Now TEMPTU is reaching out to the everyday makeup wearer by creating easy to use airbrush systems and “Airpod” makeup. Still all beyond my realm of makeup application. Who really has time to fire up their airbrush machine and paint a flawless face before their 9-5? I don’t.
The item TEMPTU chose to share with us ipsters was their silicon based highlighter in Champagne Pop (it also comes in three other shades). It’s designed to highlight eyes, cheeks and “other features” though I am unsure of what that means. To be blunt I do not like liquid highlighters, blush or really anything liquid besides eye liner and vodka. The shade is lovely and reminds me of pink champagne. It’s fast drying and extremely pigmented, which means I will overuse and end up blinding my co-workers.
Final Verdict: Pricey for a working girl. Very pretty though.
J. Cat Beauty – #MOTD Waterproof Slide on Pencil for Eyes in Bronze
Full Size Retail Cost: $3.99
I am pretty sure I have received other items from J. Cat courtesy of my ipsy bags but I cannot remember which means they probably weren’t all that memorable. Hold on let me check… Yes, I have one of their Liptitude hydrating lip stains which I received from a friends ipsy bag as the color was too pink for them. Quick review: super pigmented lip stain, not very fast drying and definitely not 24/7 wear. Cannot compete with my favorite Aqua Rouge lip from Make Up For Ever, the apocalypse won’t take that stuff off.
The #MOTD slide on pencil for eyes as it is so named (not sure why) has a medium creamy application and glides on fairly effortlessly (but not as effortlessly as the Urban Decay 24/7 glide on pencils). The shade is lovely with just the right amount of sparkle and pigmentation. This product can be purchased in 11 other shades on the J. Cat website and boasts that it is waterproof and smudge proof. I will give it smudge proof but anything that can be removed with soap and water effortlessly (like washing your hands after using the restroom) is not considered water proof in my opinion. I live in Florida I need waterproof that can outlast a monsoon and hurricane in one day.
Final Verdict: Not waterproof, but worth a try for the price.
Trust Fund Beauty – Nail Polish in Elegantly Wasted
Full Size Retail Cost: $15.00
Wow calm down $15 for a bottle of nail polish? I do not think so. Now that that is out of my system lets talk facts. Trust Fund Beauty boasts a “Made in the USA” product so if you are going to spend your trust fund on nail polish you might as well go American made. It also boasts that it is cruelty free, non-toxic, vegan, and 7-free.
Yay for all the small animals that were spared for this to happen but the minute I opened the bottle I thought I was being tested on. The smell is overwhelming and I regularly use products from OPI and Creative and have never had such a strong smell come from those polishes. Smell aside the color is great and dries a bit darker than the bottle color would suggest. The product is also a bit watery for my taste which I also think makes application harder for those whose nail polish skills are mediocre.
Final Verdict: You need a trust fund to save animals.
Garnier Fructis – Brazilian Smooth Flatiron Express
Full Size Retail Cost: $5.99 via Garnier website
Garnier Fructis is a household name and sold all over the globe so it is pretty exciting when ipsy partners with such a well known brand. But when it comes to receiving hair products in my ipsy bag I am the opposite of excited. Mostly because I was raised by a hair dresser and have an unrealistic expectation of only using “salon quality” products for the rest of my life. Yes, this makes me a hair snob. No, I really don’t care. #FREEhaircuts4life
Long story short this product does what it says. It helps smooth “difficult to straighten” hair. With that said this product is NOT for everyone. My hair for instance is not difficult to straighten so all this product did was make my hair a little more smooth, and greasy way quicker than normal. I have medium wavy hair, that isn’t fine but it isn’t coarse either. I imagine this would work great on those women with the heavy beautiful curls who just want straight hair for the day. But again I haven’t tested my theory.
Final Verdict: Great product for “difficult to straighten” hair, worth a buy.
Teeez Cosmetics – Read My Lips Lipstick
Full Size Retail Cost: $22
This lipstick was the item I was most excited to try in July’s Glam Bag. I confess it was mostly due to the awesome packaging that features a skull (I am super into skulls). Once I had the lipstick in my hand I realized the packaging wasn’t the only thing to get excited about. The shade “Killing Me Softly” is a satin matte finish and a beautiful red coral color. The coconut oil extract gives it a lovely scent while moisturizing your lips. This product compares well with other lipsticks like it, especially for the price.
Final Verdict: Worth a buy although the product currently only comes in the one shade.
Jor’el Parker – Classico Perfume
8.8ml Retail Cost: $21
When it comes to scents I am a try them all kind of girl which is strange since I am pretty particular when it comes to smells. But I also get bored easily and like to change my scent up almost daily. So I am always happy to receive a new scent in my Ipsy bag. Scents can take you to places you haven’t been in years, or remind you of a fond memory or person from your past. In this case the Classico scent reminded my of my mom and I will probably end up giving it to her. It is sweet, spicy and calming in a way that perfectly describes my mother. Ipsy and Jor’el Parker really hit it out of the park with this one.
Final Verdict: Definite buy but its a bit pricey.
Crown Brush – Professional Tweezers
Retail Cost: $17.49 (on sale for $6.99)
I will admit that I am biased when it comes to tweezers because the only tweezers I love are my mini Anastasia Beverly Hills brow tweezers and I only use tweezers for my brows. With that said these Crown Brush tweezers are just your typical tweezers, they are a bit bulky for my taste and would trust them to pluck the stray eye brow hairs I get. They would be good for attaching bling to nails or maybe applying eyelashes but I have little expertise in that area.
Final Verdict: Nothing special, too bulky for brows.
Vasanti Cosmetics – Brighten Up! Exfoliating Cleanser
Travel Size Retail Cost: $10
My skincare routine is extremely minimal. I barely ever wash my face with any time of face wash or cleanser. My skin is extremely sensitive as well so most cleansers tend to do more damage than anything else. So I am typically not excited when Ipsy sends me anything to do with cleansers for facial cleaners. The Brighten Up! was surprisingly gentle for an exfoliating cleanser and it also didn’t smell awful which is a major plus. This gentleness I attribute to it being natural, paraben free, and vegan and BONUS it is not tested on animals.
Final Verdict: A must try!
OFRA Cosmetics – Bliss Eyeshadow
Full Size Retail Cost: $10
Dear Ipsy: Please no more nude eyeshadows. Sincerely, Kassandra.
Anyway like all my shimmery nude shadows this Bliss shadow from OFRA is just as beautiful and long lasting as the next. It was nice to receive such a large sample (even though I have enough shimmery nudes to last me a lifetime) and the shimmer really is lovely. The shadow is also marketed as a highlighter which is what I ended up testing it as because it goes beautifully with my favorite bronzer.
Final Verdict: Worth the price, OFRA has several other beautiful shades so check them out!
Over the last four or five years my makeup collection has grown, especially during this past year. Though with all the new additions I find there are some products that I just can’t let go of. These are the products that if discontinued would drive me to tears.
Maybelline New York Dream Smooth Mousse – 200 Creamy Natural Foundation
This has been my foundation for the last eight years. Lately I have been finding it harder and harder to find which has me panicking a bit. For me foundation has always been a way to even my skin tone and cover up the occasional blemish. The Dream Smooth Mousse is perfect because it goes on light and smooth and doesn’t clog my pores.
Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer Potion – Original
This is the only eye shadow primer I use. And if I could get everyone in the world to purchase it I would. I love the formula, it never creases and the 24-hour wear it promotes is completely legit. Urban Decay recently updated the packaging and applicator. I have not had to purchase a new bottle yet but have tried out the applicator in store and I am not a huge fan. I prefer and am used to applying my primer with the original squeeze application and my fingers. It will be hard to get used to the new applicators. The .33 oz retails for $20 and is totally worth every penny.
Sephora 24hr Waterproof Colorful Eyeliner – Black Lace
I remember going to purchase a replacement and accidentally buying the non-waterproof and the applicator is different so I freaked out thinking Sephora had changed their applicator. That is when I realized I was hooked. If you have ever attempted to apply liquid eyeliner than you understand why I had a meltdown. Once you learn how to apply with a specific applicator it is very hard to learn any other way. The 24hr waterproof eyeliner is amazing. It is fast drying when applying and lasts all day, but not really 24hrs. The best part is that removal is so easy all I have to use in a makeup remover wipe. No waterproof remover needed. It comes off in almost a stretchy glue like consistency. Which is why I don’t really refer to it as 24hr wear cause if you rub those eyes or jump in a pool that stuff is coming off. This product retails at $12 and lasts for at least 3 months which is a total bargain.
Benefit Watt’s Up Soft Focus Highlighter
I got hooked on this highlighter after I received it as a free sample from Sephora a few years ago. I managed to get buy for a couple years on two samples but then came the point when my samples ran out and there was no new one to replace them. I will be honest $30 is a lot to spend on a highlighter especially for me as I only use it on my under eye/cheekbone area but I figured it would last awhile. While I love the formula and the shade I wish the retail version came in a couple of sizes as I find it hard to use the large .33 oz stick on small areas of my face. This product only comes in a .33 oz (unless you are lucky enough to get a sample) and retails for $30.
Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick – N9
This obession also is due to a free Sephora sample. I do not remember why I received it but as soon as I put it on I knew it was MY everyday shade. It was like MUFE had created the shade just for my lips. It also helped that the formula was extremely moisturizing and of course its MUFE which means its instantly amazing. The only thing I would say is that it is not a long-lasting formula. That is reserved for the Aqua Rouge lippies that I love to wear matte. Those never come off! Anyway MUFE is my favorite brand so I am glad the have my favorite lipstick and I will buy this shade forever! As long as they let me.
Beauty: Too Faced Sugar Pop
This palette was given to me as a gift for my birthday after I had lusted over it when my friend purchased it for herself. This French macaroon-inspired palette contains nine shimmer and glitter eye shadows in vanilla, chocolate, and candy-inspired hues. Like all Too Faced shadows these are richly pigmented and easily blendable and the colors are perfect for summer. Plus, this palette includes step-by-step instructions, with three must-try eye looks.
Fashion: Rebecca Minkoff Mini M.A.C.
I had wanted this bag forever and finally had a reason to buy it, after upgrading to the iPhone 6 Plus my phone didn’t fit in my Micheal Kors MK Signature cross body that I typically used as my going out bag. As luck would have it I found it for a discount at Nordstrom Rack for $169.00, the original price on the retail tag was $295 but the Rebecca Minkoff website currently lists them for $195.00.
I haven’t had it long but other reviews indicate that the leather ages well without a lot of scratching or cracking if you take care of it. It is a great size for a cross body, night out bag, though it is a bit heavy but that is due to the luxury leather and hardware. The front zip/lock compartment is great for easy access to your phone, but when I over fill the bag it tends to be hard to open without two free hands.
Bloggers: Julie from Hauteflashes – www.thehauteflashes.blogspot.com
I came across Julies Instagram account, which I am completely obsessed with, and that led me to her blog. She is a 23 year old Australian beauty blogger. Her photos are amazing, great quality and she always gets an up close shot so you really get to see the product she is reviewing. And her reviews are super informative and have helped me make many decisions on products I have wanted to try. If you haven’t checked her blog or Instagram account do it now!
Technology: iPhone 6 Plus
My new iPhone 6 Plus is like my child. I would protect it with my life. That may sound a bit dramatic to some but literally my phone is my lifeline. My day job has heavy security on their web usage so without it I would be stuck in a windowless room for 40 hours a week with no way to contact the outside world.
I purchased the 64g White Gold style and am in love with how classy it looks. It is my first time purchasing a white iPhone and I always thought they got kind of dirty but mine looks great. And as for those who think the 6 Plus is way too large I will tell you it’s not, especially if you spend as much time checking blogs, Instagram and Twitter as much as I do. I have found that my eyes hurt way less since they are no longer straining.
Anyway I know most people know everything about iPhones but basically I am in love. A few new features I was wicked excited about that my 5 didn’t have is the iMovie, Keynote, Pages, and Numbers apps. Great for productivity!
Food: Mango Creamy Frozen Fruit Bars by Chunks O’ Fruti
These are the best invention ever! It is like a frozen mango smoothie in bar form. They really are creamy and there are chunks of mango. For those health conscious folks they have no added color or flavors and are 120 calories per bar. I purchase them at Walmart for around $3 and they also have other flavors I just can’t list them all.
Seriously it would be impossible to accurately express my love for Supernatural. Because of moving and starting life in a new state my Fiance and I got ridiculously behind on Season 10 and so we are just watching it now but it just keeps getting better. Like how is that possible?
If you have never watched it, go to Netflix and do it now! Supernatural has something for everyone. The story follows two brothers, Sam & Dean, following in their families footsteps haunting monsters and saving the world. There are vampires, werewolves, monsters from legend, angels and demons. It is just amazing. Also Sam & Dean, played by Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles are seriously handsome so that is a plus if you’re not into monsters.
Music: Skipping Stones by Claire De Lune
This song helps me when I am feeling blogger angst, which is extremely similar to teenage angst but sounds more mature. Just go listen to it, especially if you are having a bad day and need a theme song. Its most notable accolades is that it was featured on an episode of Pretty Little Liars, PLL, although the first time I heard it was on iTunes radio.
IT Cosmetics – Mini Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil
Full Size Retail Cost: $24
This brow pencil was the breakout star of my June Glam Bag. To be honest when I saw that it was a ‘universal’ eyebrow pencil I was extremely skeptical but IT Cosmetics hit it out of the park with this baby. The shape of the product is an oval so I find it easier to cover the larger spaces of my eyebrow while also being able to get detailed lines along the edges. The applicator even comes with a brush on one side. I have been an Anastasia Beverly Hills customer since I discovered eyebrow filling but I may be switching teams.
Final Verdict: Go out and buy this product now!
Smashbox Cosmetics – Travel Size Photo Finish Foundation Primer
Full Size Retail Cost: $36 (1oz)
This was an exciting addition to my bag this month since this is a primer that I already had in my collection. I swear by it. I do not use a primer every day as I don’t wear a lot of foundation to work. This is my primer when I have a special occasion or a night on the town. With this primer a little goes a long way and leaves your face feeling like a rose petal.
Final Verdict: Totally worth the splurge.
BioRepublic SkinCare – Sheet Mask Trio
Retail Cost – $4.99 ea
Before this month I had never heard of BioRepublic SkinCare and the only sheet mask I had used was the Green Tea mask from Sephora. I received the Aloe Rescue Revitalizing Fiber Mask, Cucumber Breeze Soothing Fiber Mask, and Green Tea Detox Purifying Fiber Mask. While I think these masks are great I couldn’t really feel a difference between the Sephora brand sheet masks so these were just an ok product for me.
Final Verdict: Definitely worth a try.
Formula X – Mini Power Source nail color
Full Size Retail Cost: $10.50 – $12.50
Nail polish is always a tough sell for me since I am a total OPI snob. My mom being a nail tech for many years made me this way. This was not my first time trying Formula X nail polish so I was ready. The polish stays on for up to 7 days when using a base coat and top coat. The shade I received was a typical summer pink which I was definitely into. What I like most about these mini Formula X polishes is that they are great to travel with.
Final Verdict: Definitely worth a try but be sure to use a base and top coat.
tre’StiQue – Mini Shadow Crayon
Full Size Retail Cost – $26
This was my first introduction to tre’StiQue products and I love that is was a shadow crayon. I subscribe to Ipsy so that it will take me out of my comfort zone. I am a big powder shadow user and avoid any types of crayons or wet shadows. The tre’StiQue mini shadow crayon definitely changed my mind. It has a smooth application, crease-less wear and the packaging is just too adorable! I receive the shade Marimoto Pink Pearl (nude pink shimmer).
Final Verdict: Definitely worth purchasing.
So we have all heard the old adage “Life is Short” and while I live by this mantra every day I wonder if the way I interpret this age old saying is correct.
I have always lived the way I have wanted to. I do not typically do things I don’t feel like doing and if I want to purchase something I typically do, after paying my bills first. I live within the boundaries I set for myself and no one else’s. If someone is a jerk and doesn’t deserve my time well then they don’t get any of my time. No one is an exception to that rule, that includes family, blood or otherwise.
There are many of you out there that I am sure do not agree with my take on this. But let’s pretend for a moment that you do. Our time spent living on this earth is short. A hundred years when you are 10 seems like a long time but when you are 40? Now that seems like no time at all. So why spend it doing something you hate or spending time with people who do not appreciate you?
I am sure that each and every one of you has been in a situation with a ‘difficult’ family member. We make excuses for them time and again because well ‘they’re family’. This is all well and good, no need to disown someone over a broken family heirloom or a missed birthday, but what about those family members who really screw you over? The ones that steal from you, abuse you mentally or physically, destroy your future, and/or stand in the way of your happiness? What do you do with those people?
My knee jerk reaction is to get as far away as possible. Just because you’re my family doesn’t mean you can treat me badly and then say sorry and everything will be alright. It just doesn’t work that way. Not in my world. So here is what I fundamentally do not understand. Your family can screw you over, mother, father, sister, aunt, brother and then you forgive them because ‘they’re family’. Why? What does that mean? Family shouldn’t mean a free pass to destroying your loved ones lives and getting to go on like nothing happened.
Family is about love and support, and to a certain extent forgiveness. But there are times when forgiveness doesn’t include continuing along with the unhealthy relationship. So how do you tell a family member ‘it’s over’? And how do you know it’s the right time? That the last straw has finally broken the camels back?
That is currently what I am struggling with. Because after all “Life is Short” and you can’t replace your family.