Ipsy May Bag 2014 Review - Ipsy Review

May 29, 2021


Ipsy's May bag, Fresh Picks, recently arrived and I wanted to give you a quick review on all the products Ipsy included in the glam bag.  This time, Ipsy gave us a different take from their usual bags, which I do appreciate, because as a makeup collector, there's only so much makeup products I can get through.  I do like receiving fun, newly released makeup goodies, but I also like trying innovative skin care, hair care, and perfumes (especially since those are the products I don't really buy a lot of on my own). Now on to the bag products!

Hang Ten Classic Sport Lotion SPF 50 is a beautifully packaged, perfect for travel, 3 oz. sample of sunscreen.  Hang Ten has a protection seal on it (which is a must for sunscreen), and it will be great to carry in my bag for extra sunny days.  This sunscreen is advertised as using organic ingredients and being free of parabens and synthetic fragrances.

The Balanced Guru Hair Oil is a moisturizing hair oil that has a slight herbal scent (although I'm more of a fan of sweet fragrances).  I used the Balanced Guru Oil on my hair ends and my hair felt softer and moisturized without being oily.

Boo-Boo Cover Up Concealer is a pretty nifty product, designed to not only conceal blemishes but also treat them.  I received Boo-Boo cover Up in shade medium - it's very pigmented and has a yellow undertone, perfect for concealing under eye circles.  Boo-Boo Cover Up is a lightweight concealer, spreads easily, and I'm a fan of the sleek packaging - I highly recommend it.  It contains soothing ingredients such as aloe, chamomile, green tea, tea tree oil and vitamin E.

Pacifica Eyeshadow Duo #2 (Moonbeam & Unicorn) is advertised as a smooth formula infused with minerals.  Unfortunately, this was the most disappointing product out of the bag - the Pacifica duo has a super hard texture, lacks pigmentation, and after a few hours, the glitter falls all over from my eyes onto my entire face (not a cute look for middle of the day).  I've liked Pacifica products in the past, but this eyeshadow duo is a dud for sure.

Eau Thermale Avene is a hydrating and setting mist, recommended for refreshing and soothing irritated skin.  The aerosol spraying mechanism applies smooth, and the mist has no fragrance.  I've used this before bed for some extra hydration, and also when traveling to maintain skin moisture.  Eau Thermale Avene worked wonderfully to calm my skin and instantly refreshed it. While this is a pricey product, I would consider purchasing the full size as it has found its way in my makeup and skincare routine.

There you have it, my quick recap of the May Ipsy Bag - something different, something new, and something boo, and I'm ready for the June Ipsy bag!

Subscribe to Ipsy here and receive glam bags for $10 a month (affiliate sign-up link)!

Stay Pretty, Mackenzie M.

Top 6 Best Lip Glosses for Summer - Best Lip Glosses

May 27, 2021

My love of lip gloss is highly seasonal. Shine, shimmer, and bright colors are not my first picks when the leaves are changing or the wind is howling (and every time I do wear lip gloss during cold weather I tell myself "I've made a terrible mistake"). However, when the sun is shinning and I'm unearthing sandals from the back of my closet, I'm ready to also revisit my lip gloss collection and rekindle my love of pink and peach. 

The best lip glosses for summer have long lasting pigmentation and have a light texture that is suited for the summer heat.  I tend to love lighter colors like baby pink and pastel toned peaches with the occasional neon bright shade.  

OCC Lip Tar Stained Gloss in Hedonist (first swatch from left) is the perfect neon summer pink. The new OCC Stained Glosses apply easily and create incredible pigmentation with just a tiny drop of product (this is a great investment if you love bright pink).

Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector in Apricot Shimmer (second swatch from left) is a light coral that contains slight shimmer.  The Clarins Lip Perfectors, which are available in several other shades, create the effect of natural looking, fuller lips.

Maybelline Color Elixir Limited Edition in Radiant Bloom (third swatch from left) is a glossy stain that enhances the lip pigmentation and leaves behind a soft pink stain.

Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Bare Naked (fourth swatch from left) is the lip gloss equivalent for a nude lip.  The Laure Mercier Lip Glace is grownup version of lip gloss as the texture is feather light so if you dislike sticky glosses, this should be your pick! 

Armour Beauty Gloss in Brigitte (fifth swatch from left) is a peachy, pink shimmer lip gloss that is inspired by beauty icon Brigitte Bardot.  The vegan Armour Beauty glosses are extremely opaque and long lasting (you'd almost mistake it for a lipstick if it wasn't for its lovely shine).

Smashbox Be Legendary Gloss in Coquette (sixth swatch from left) is the quintessential barbie pink gloss that is likely to look great on everyone. Smashbox Coquette has high shine and a buttery texture that provide a vibrant wash of gorgeous color.

There you have it, my top six best lip glosses for summer in all their pretty glory! Share with us in the comments below your favorite gloss to celebrate the arrival summer. 

Stay Pretty, Miranda M. 

French Skincare - Empryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre Review

May 22, 2021

This multi-tasking cream is the best known French beauty secret. Keeping with the mantra of French simplicity, this cream is effective, sophisticated, and affordable.  Created in the 1950s by a physician, Embryolisse delivers beautiful skin to everyone.  Yes, everyone. As a skincare enthusiast, I was highly skeptical of a miracle product that would be suited for all skin types. After trying Lait-Creme however, I was proven wrong, and I am now a happy convert to the Embryolisse ardent fan base.

Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre is a moisturizer that leaves skin revitalized, glowing, nourished, supple, soothed (and whatever else term you can think of!).  From appearances, the Lait-Creme is deceptively simple - a lightweight, white cream that mimics the texture of milk.  But this simple formulation of ingredients is the very reason why Embryolisse is a holy-grail product.

As for the claims that this is a multi-tasking product, it's all true! I use it to remove makeup. I use it under my makeup as a primer. I use it in the evening to smooth out fine lines in the morning. I can apply Lait-Creme Concentre at any point in the day and know my skin will not sting, will not break out, will not peel, and will not dry out. If you have oily combination skin type, you can apply a smaller amount as the concentrate may be a bit too heavy (but again, your skin will get the same nourishing benefits).  Embryolisse products have gained their cult status because they are gentle enough for everyone.  

With all the advances made in skincare, I have my pick of treatments, serums, toners, peels, and exfoliants. But aside from directly treating a skincare concern, I want the basic - I want a moisturizer that makes my skin happy.  Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre does just that.

Stay Pretty, Miranda M. 

Fresh Tulip Lip Balm - The New Fresh Sugar Lip Balm Shade

May 20, 2021

I can never have too much of a good thing so when Fresh announced it will be adding a new Fresh Sugar shade to their tinted lip balms collection, my imagination went to work. At first, I thought orchid because of the Radiant Orchid color of the year; then I thought of a peach shade because it seemed appropriate as summer is quickly approaching. In the end, as the possibilities grew endless, I simply gave up guessing and started "new shade watch" on the Fresh Beauty Instagram.

Luckily, Fresh beauty did not leave us waiting for too long, and today announced that the new Fresh Sugar shade will be (drumroll!) Tulip.  Fresh Tulip is described as a sheer hot pink that mimics the vibrancy and brightness of tulip petals.  Tulip, the ninth shade in the Fresh Sugar Lip collection, contains SPF 15 and is formulated free of petroleum, mineral oil, lanolin, and parabens.  Fresh Sugar balms are popular for a good reason - these tinted lip balms provide long-lasting moisture with universally flattering pigmentation.

What do you think about the Fresh Tulip shade - will you be adding it to your Fresh collection? I adore my Rose and Petal balms but Tulip would be the perfect pink for spring.  Fresh Tulip will be available June 1 both in stores at Sephora and online

Stay Pretty, Miranda M. 

Sweet Cherries Nail Art - Spring Nail Trends with Walgreens and Revlon

May 19, 2021

This "Sweet Cherries Nail Art" post was sponsored by the Collective Bias Social Fabric Community. 
#WalgreensBeauty and #CollectiveBias
One of the best ways to celebrate spring in New York City is with a Central Park picnic and a good adventure novel. While New York City is always on the move, I can always count on an impromptu outing to help me relax, slow down, and enjoy the warm weather. And because nothing says spring like cheerful nail color (and because I like to match my nails to my mood), I decided to create a sweet cherries and picnic pattern nail art design. 

For this sweet cherries nail art, I used Revlon Nail Enamel in Bubbly, Revlon Nail Enamel in Trendy, Revlon Nail Enamel in Elegant, Revlon Nail Enamel in Sunshine Sparkle, and Revlon Nail Enamel in Fearless (perfectly cute names for the season!).  The Revlon nail enamel range, aside from being extremely affordable, has a diverse assortment of bright and neutral shades.  Revlon polishes are smooth and easy to apply, and the fact that the polishes dry quickly also helps with the nail designs. 

Walgreens has a wide selection of nail polish brands and nail care tools that are quite handy (hehe!) when creating nail art.  Additionally, Walgreens often offers sales and discounts on available polishes which means I can keep up with spring nail trends and stay within my budget (as a note, Walgreens sells nail products both in-store and online).

If you're ready to finally enjoy some irresistible fun in the sun, grab your favorite book, pack some yummy treats, and go get your nails done!

Stay Pretty, Mackenzie M.

Summer Essentials Giveaway featuring MAC, Baby Lips, Sally Hansen, Maybelline, and more

May 17, 2021

We've been blogging for over two years and it's time to reward our lovely followers with some bright summer essentials that my sister and I put together. Thank you to everyone for all of your support, likes, follows, comments, retweets, suggestions, emails, and everything in between! We march to the beat of our drum so for anyone that dances along, we're very grateful and want you to know that you make our blogging days sunnier.

Now, for the fun part, enter via the Rafflecopter below to win the following summer essentials pack (giveaway is open internationally):
    • MAC Lipstick Relentlessly Red                                               
    • Baby Lips Rose Rush 
    • Maybelline Limited Edition Color Tattoo Sleek and Spice 
    • Julep Polish 
    • Burt's Bees Balm 
    • Clinique eyeshadow and blush compact 
    • Sally Hansen Polish 
    • Incoco Nail Strips 
    • (and everything else you see in the photos!) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stay Pretty, Miranda and Mackenzie M. 

Stila Alloy Waterproof Eyeliner Swatch - Stila Stay All Day Eye Liner Review

May 17, 2021

Finding your ideal eyeliner is akin to kissing a lot of frogs before finally discovering the prince. Every girl knows the story - an eyeliner may be too dark, too light, too waxy, too difficult to apply, dries too fast, or dries too slow.  With so many eye liner products on the market, it takes some time to uncover what best works for you. 

I've been searching for a grey eyeliner that was a true grey without being too dark or too light. Because I don't like sporting raccoon eyes half way through the work day, I also wanted a waterproof eyeliner that would stay put but would also be easy to remove (what can I say, I have high standards). 

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Eyeliner in the Alloy shade met all my requirements and more.  Stila Alloy is a beautiful medium true grey shade that brings out the eyes without being too harsh for every day wear.  I love the longevity of the Stay All Day collection as well - the product really does stay all day without smudging but easily wipes off at night (see what I there?). The only issue with this product is that the felt tip applicator may be a bit stiff at the beginning but after the first few uses, it becomes easier to maneuver. 

Overall, precise application is extremely easy, and the liner color and shape can be intensified and layered.  Stila Waterproof eyeliners work on every type of eye lid and are guaranteed to stay on - my eyes are sensitive to the ingredients in some liners, but Alloy performed very well.  The whole collection has a beautiful range of shades so if you still haven't found your "prince" eyeliner, head to your nearest Sephora to swatch the Stila All Day waterproof eye liners. 

Stay Pretty, Miranda M. 

The Makeup Show NYC 2014 - The Makeup Show Miranda's Recap

May 16, 2021

I had the absolute best, best of times at The Makeup Show NYC (and yes, the whole event was fabulous and you need to put it on your bucket list - it's that kind of the 'best'!). 

The Makeup Show manages to create a perfect balance of shopping, seminars, speakers, brands, and education (oh, and fun!).  Building on its nine year tradition, The Makeup Show has expanded to various cities across the U.S. including Dallas, LA, NYC, Orlando, and Chicago.  From the moment you walk into the conference, you feel welcomed among the wonderful Show displays, colorful products, and affordable brands.  I could walk up to any of the brand representatives, and we could chat about makeup for a whole hour (and in some cases, we did!).  Courtesy of The Makeup Show packaging all exhibitors in a perfectly curated and easily accessible venue, catch up below on updates from our favorite beauty companies. 

Nars was an exhibitor at The Makeup Show, and thus, I was in Nars heaven. Aside from swatching (and purchasing) products from the Nars Adult Swim Summer 2014 collection, I chatted with the lead makeup artist from the Bleeker St. boutique about the brand's plan to open more individual stores. Nars boutiques are a combination of classic favorites and new discoveries - somewhat experimental and somewhat traditional, the boutique allows Nars clientele to personally experience the brand and purchase products based on a customized shopping experience.  I learned that customers can also 'rent' the location for bridal makeup sessions or a girlfriends' night out - basically, you need to visit the nearest Nars boutique as soon as possible! 

Charlotte Tilbury, in all its rose gold glory, will be soon launching several new collections in the U.S. - a cult favorite in the U.K., I was excited to swatch all the flattering lipsticks and soft powders.  The Charlotte Tilbury tables were adorned with celebrity boxes and the glamorous products each was wearing (so, if I can use Cara Delevingne's favorite lipstick, then Charlotte Tilbury launch needs to happen now). 

I also took the opportunity to thank the Embryolisse representatives for distributing and making available this amazing French brand to U.S. consumers - Embryolisse is the best-known skincare secret, and the brand has recently also introduced anti-aging items as well.  I have two Emryolisse posts lined up and cannot wait to share with you my love of anything Embryolisse. 

It shouldn't need to be said but I'll say it - you'll see some downright amazing and out of this world makeup at The Makeup Show.  Extremely talented makeup artists work the whole duration of the Show to create whimsical heat-to-toe looks - in between your shopping spree, be sure to stop and admire the skills and stunning creations. 

My sister and I are thankful for being able to attend and experience The Makeup Show NYC - we're officially fans for life and cannot recommend the Show enough (read Mackenzie's recap here).

Be sure to learn more about The Makeup Show and attending the upcoming next event! 

Stay Pretty, Miranda M. 

The Makeup Show NYC 2014 - The Makeup Show Mackenzie's Recap

May 9, 2021

If you are a makeup professional or work in the beauty industry, I feel confident stating that you absolutely (really, truly) must attend The Makeup Show at least once in your career (and I promise that that 'once' will get you hooked and you'll start attending every Makeup Show that ever was). But, let's not get ahead of ourselves, and let me walk you through The Makeup Show.

The Makeup Show is a professional event that brings the beauty and fashion industries together and allows for makeup artists to connect with brands, peers, retail companies, and a whole community of makeup aficionados.  The Show features exclusive hands-on workshops and seminars, discount products, and expert keynote speakers (I can best compare it to a banana split sundae where a whole lot of delicious ingredients add up to a glorious final product dessert).

My sister and I attended the blogger preview where James Vincent, the Director of Education and Artistry for The Makeup Show, introduced new beauty launches and discussed upcoming beauty trends (spoiler alert: it's a "back to basics" trend where we embrace natural beauty with a colorful twist). The blogger preview set the tone for an overall wonderful and well-planned Show - the venue was inviting, the energy was palpable, the products were exciting, and everyone was simply happy.

Because my sister and I attended the Show in a press capacity, we have for you the inside scoop on new releases and upcoming beauty news (as if we didn't love makeup enough, all the brands' representatives we met had a remarkable passion for everything makeup). 

The extremely talented Lori Taylor, Global Pro Lead Artist for Smashbox Cosmetics, talked to us about the new Smashbox Be Lengendary Lip Gloss (seriously, how beautiful are these peach and pink summer shades). When we asked about potential new releases, Lori pulled out a tiny Smashbox tote full of yet to be released fall lip lacquers - the new lip lacquers (photographed below) will deliver high pigmentation and moisture and are paired with matching lip pencils as well (so if you love glosses, start your piggy bank savings because the swatches were incredible).

Miranda adores Jouer for its blushing, flattering shades and its minimalist yet ingenious packaging - she was excited to have the ability to swatch all the colors and pick a new Matte Moisture Tint. Our purchases came with a lovely Jouer bag that seemed to have come right out of pretty Pinterest photos. We loved hearing from the Jouer makeup artist who told us about the Kate Spade Fashion Week show where Jouer created the final looks.

The OCC booth was true to OCC - bright shades and neon glitters were quite the eye fancy.  We chatted with the OCC representatives about the various lip tar finishes and walked away with a bag full of matte pink lip tars, coral lip lusters, and yes, even a light grey gloss.

From the Sephora Pro Makeup Brush booth to the vibrant Armour lip glosses, I was like a kid in a candy store. I met wonderful individuals and six hours flew by without me even noticing (the sign of a great time!) - be sure to read Miranda's recap here!

Thank you to The Makeup Show and the Show organizers for allowing us the opportunity to attend the event (as if you still need convincing, we already can't wait for next year's Makeup Show NYC!).

Stay Pretty, Mackenzie M.