Category Archives: Makeup


Ipsy June Glam Bag Review

Here are the goodies I received in my Ispy June bag, along with quick reviews of them.  I will give you a fast impression, and tell you that I was quite underwhelmed this month.  I have been subscribed to Ipsy for more than a year now, and I am honestly considering canceling because I have too many (yes, I admit it) tiny makeup samples floating about my already tiny New York apartment.  Ipsy is a lovely monthly surprise with (mostly) great bags with an amazing value - but I just cannot keep up with finishing the samples I’m receiving.  I would love to do a giveaway with them, but for review purposes, I do swatch most products, so I can’t pass the samples along afterwards.  So I’m in a makeup subscription bag rut!  
Let me know in the comments what you’re experience has been with subscription bags and how you’re keeping up with your samples.  I think Ipsy is a great option for people wanting to grow their makeup collection, who want to try new products along the way, so I do highly recommend it if you’re in the market for a monthly makeup subscription service.  Now on to the reviews!
NYX Butter Gloss in Eclair is a full size (5$), pinky nude gloss that is beautiful and extremely versatile, on its own or on top of pretty much any color lipstick.  I am very happy that Ipsy included this in the bag, but I was a little bummed because I already own this color.
Nicka K Shimmer Eyeliner in Green (5$, full size) is a beautifully pigmented, shimmery (duh) liquid eyeliner in a green teal color that would be perfect for a pop of color on the eyes.  The applicator is a very fine sponge tip applicator.  My only gripe about this product is that it stained my hand after swatching for about a day; I’m not feeling too adventurous with my eye area, so I probably won’t try this on my eyelids on its own, if ever.  If you want to try it I recommend layering it over a black liquid liner, as that will ensure easier removal and it will enhance the green color even more. 
Be A Bombshell Lash Out Mascara in Black (15$, full size) came to be in faulty packaging, and smelling a bit burnt rubbery.  The wand is a traditional bristle brush, and it separate my lashes fine enough.  The formula is not super black, and it gave my lashes medium length and volume.  What did really impress me about the Lash Out Mascara is that it did not flake one bit on me, even after 13 hours of wear.  
Dermadoctor DD Cream (deluxe sample) is a mineral based beauty balm with 30 SPF, formulated without parabens, sulfates or phthalates, intended as an all stop shop for your skin.  While that sounds good, this comes only in one shade, and that shade was too orangey pink for my skin tone.  Dermadoctor DD Cream felt slightly heavy on the skin and gave me a very ‘dewy’ appearance.  I wouldn’t recommend this, especially at the $38 price tag (and for summer, and for most skin tones). 
Marc Anthony Dream Waves Beach Spray (8$, full size) is meant to be sprayed onto the hair to give you tousled, wavy hair that mimics the look you get when you’re at the beach.  Sounds good, but this did not work for me.  I have very long, straight hair and this did not give me any waves, and instead made my hair feel crunchy and look frizzy.  This spray would work better for ladies that already have a natural wave or curl in their hair.  Oh, and it has a strong smell of coconut; some of you might enjoy it, and some might really not, but thought I’d mention it.
I hope that was helpful! Let me know what you thought of your bag this month in the comments, I’m curious to know.  
Subscribe to Ipsy here and receive glam bags for $10 a month (affiliate sign-up link)! 

Stay Pretty, Mackenzie M. 

Best and Worst Drugstore Dry Shampoo

When I first discovered dry shampoo, my life changed for the better (yes, in such a dramatic way).  My hair is limp, fine, and gets oily fast so that perfect trifecta (sarcasm fully intended) makes my hair upkeep an unpleasant experience.  I constantly re-do my hair to create some or any type of volume but in the process of doing so, my hair because greasy and piece-y.  So you can see how dry shampoo, which cleans, refreshes, and volumizes hair, improved my standard of living.

Because I use dry shampoo so often with several touch-ups throughout the day, I finish a can of product in just a few days. And because I love my hair and also love my wallet, I tend to purchase drugstore dry shampoos.  In my search for the best dry shampoo, I’ve compiled a list of the best and worst drugstore dry shampoos and reviews for each.

Award for the Best Dry Shampoo goest to (drumroll, please!) the true, original, Psssst! Instant dry shampoo. There’s a reason why the original is the best - Psssst! applies easily as the nozzle sprays an even amount and there is little to no white residue (for any remaining residue, I can easily work through with my fingers to dispel the product). The scent is fresh and long lasting on the hair without being discernible or overpowering during the day.  Lastly, Psssst! creates volume at the roots and gives hair a refreshed, just-washed look.  The Psssst! Instant Dry Shampoo is also the most affordable so this is a winner all around.

The second best drugstore dry shampoo is Batiste Dry Shampoo - aside from the lovely packaging, Batiste also makes hair clean and lasts for a long time (Batiste lost to Psssst! because it does not create as much volume).  I love the different scents that come with the various editions and ultimately, my hair is easier to style and manage when I apply Batiste.

Another popular dry shampoo is Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo.  I tend to use this dry shampoo when creating a specific hairstyle because the shampoo also has the qualities of a hair spray.  The Clean Freak shampoo refreshes hair with minimal residue while also creating hold and volume.

Unfortunately, the award for the Worst Dry Shampoo goes to Batiste Dry Shampoo Brunette Hint of Color.  I tend to give the benefit of the doubt to my beauty products, but I cannot recommend Batiste Brunette to anyone (harsh, I know).  This dry shampoo has a “hint of brown” as in the dry shampoo has a brown residue. If your hair touches your face in any way (aka everyone), you will have shadowy brown spots and streaks all over.  I have bangs so after only a few hours my whole forehead was a bronzed, golden brown (imagine my frustration as I noticed this during the work day). I ended up having to use a wet wipe on my hair, having to remove and re-apply my makeup, and having to put my hair in a tight bun (can you tell I’m still bitter about it?).  This Batiste Dry Shampoo has no saving elements to it, steer clear!

Do you have an absolute favorite dry shampoo? I’m venturing in the higher end range and would love to discover new “best of” products.

Stay Pretty, Miranda M. 

L’Oreal Volumious Miss Manga Mascara - Miss Manga Review

I was so excited when the L’Oreal Miss Manga mascara came out, because I just had ‘that’ feeling that it might be amazing.  The conical, tapered wand seemed similar to my favorite mascara by L’Oreal (the False Fiber Lash), reviews I was reading were positive, people didn’t report any flaking, and well, the packaging was adorable.  I purchased Miss Manga mascara at Walgreens for roughly $12 (yup, that’s New York prices for you); however, you could wait for a sale or purchase it online or at Target for a better price (sold here for $7.99).  Just as a heads up, my expectations are high: my favorite mascara will give me fake looking lashes with both tons of volume and length, while not flaking during day (I’ll let you guys know when I find that magic unicorn).  

The L’Oreal Miss Manga mascara features a 360 degree flexible wand, which I’ve never used before and truthfully, I’ve never really jumped of excitement at the thought of it.  Yet to my surprise the flexible wand makes application very comfortable and is perfect for sensitive eyes or beginners.  Unfortunately,  I noticed that since the wand was lacking rigidity, it wasn’t packing on enough product at the ends (tops) of my lashes, so I wasn’t getting as much volume as I would have liked.  The Miss Manga  formula is not too wet or too dry, and I don’t find my lashes clumping on the first layer;  on the second layer, you might get a bit more clumping, because the bristles in the wand aren’t super dense (and they don’t separate like their life depends on it).  I wouldn’t say this mascara builds very well - in my experience, what you get with your first layer is probably the look you’ll end up with.  I enjoy the conical wand shape for my bottom lashes, as the pointed tip can really coat your lower lash line comfortably.  I have noticed slight flaking, but nothing out of the ordinary or too disconcerting.  Lastly, the lashes feel soft and not brittle or dry (for those of you that dislike spidery lashes).

Bottom line, I enjoy the L’Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga mascara enough to keep it.  Will I wear this for going out when I’m looking to sport some mad-lash action? Probably not, as it does not provide me with a dramatic enough look.  But because Miss Manga is so comfortable to wear, doesn’t flake and emphasizes my lashes enough, it’s great for everyday wear.

Have you tried the Miss Manga mascara yourself?  Let me know in the comments about your thoughts on this product (and share your love of the ultra cute anime packaging)!

Stay Pretty, Mackenzie M. 

Ipsy May Bag 2014 Review - Ipsy Review


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.