Thursday, April 30, 2015

April 2015 Ipsy Bag!

Just a little note to my current friends and longtime subscribers: I have sorely neglected this blog for some time now and I'd really like to get back to posting here on a somewhat regular basis. That being said, since today's post is obviously makeup related, I wanted to clarify that I'm not planning on taking the blog to a place where I do only makeup and beauty reviews, hauls and unboxings, but since those things happen to be a part of my life that I enjoy very much, I will be sharing things like monthly Ipsy bag reviews, nail polish and lipstick photos and hauls and assorted other beauty and makeup related things. I truly hope you'll enjoy this new aspect of the blog as much as the types of posts (ie. posts about my life and all of the good, bad and ugly that comes with it) that I've been doing here since the beginning and will continue to do! ~ Mary

I'm really sorry that I'm posting this SO late, but as some wise person said a very, very long time ago, "better late than never"! (Hmmmm. I've now piqueued my own curiosity about that saying, so I'm going to have to find out just who said it first and when...)

So, anywhoooo....

I've been subscribed to Ipsy for almost 2 years now and I've been extremely happy with the products that I've received from them during that time, so I've decided to start sharing my Ipsy Glam Bag goodies here each month!

But.... Before I share this month's bag, for those who are here because they want to know what Ipsy is or maybe just a little more about it, I figured I'd explain just what The Ipsy Glam Bag is and a bit about how it works.

If you are already a seasoned Ipsy subscriber, I'm sure you'll want to skip down to the unbagging/review itself. Just scroll down to the photo of the bag!

Ipsy is a monthly subscription plan and community, started by Youtube and beauty industry guru Michelle Phan. It costs only $10 each month, (including shipping) making it one of the best monthly subscription values out there, as far as I'm concerned.

When you subscribe, you'll receive 4 to 5 deluxe sample or full sized makeup, hair, skin and nail care products and tools, from well known and loved beauty brands. Your bag is curated with a new theme each month, by some of the best known and loved beauty experts and gurus from both the blogging world & Youtube. And it all comes packed in an adorable new makeup bag each month, designed just for Ipsy subscribers!

When you first sign up with Ipsy, you'll fill out a personal Ipsy profile, which allows Ipsy to semi customize your monthly bags by choosing the 4 to 5 items that best fit the kinds of items that you've told them you want or need most.

You'll provide them with things like your age range, complexion tone and type, hair and eye color and what types of products you would prefer to receive in your bags, as well as which of the many major beauty brands you love best! You can also retake the quiz anytime by visiting your profile and following the directions to do so.

Why would you want to do this? Well, as the old adage goes... we're women and it's our prerogative to change our minds, right? Also, as a woman, your skin and hair needs can change when you least expect them to and in the true spirit of "keepin' it real", it might just be that you'd like to try some new and different products that might not have fit in as much with your original quiz answers.

While Ipsy works all the time with major brands like The Balm, Dr, Brandt, Bare Minerals, NYX, Urban Decay, Ole Henriksen, Neutragena and many, many more, they also often showcase new, up and coming beauty brands as well, so that you can have the opportunity to try out all of the trendy new products that all of your favorite magazines and beauty bloggers are raving about at the moment!

You can also earn points by reviewing the products you receive each month! Ipsy will also use those product reviews to help match you with the items they're featuring each month. Just visit the "Glam Bag" tab on Ipsy's site to review your products each month, earn points (10 per review, plus 5 more if you share those reviews on Facebook), and to also give them a better idea of what you’d like to see more or less of in your future Glam Bags. You can redeem those points for products that Ipsy has in stock from previous month's bags that you really enjoyed, or maybe that you wanted but didn't receive. 

Ipsy ships to: USA, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands and Guam. They do also ship to Canada, but shipping fees will be applied in that case.

Subscription & Cancellation Policy: Once you've subscribed your subscription will be renewed automatically. You may cancel at any time by logging into your account and following the cancellation procedures that are described.

OK... (phew!) without further ado, these are the great products that I received in my April 2015 Ipsy Glam Bag! If you'd like to check Ipsy out and maybe subscribe to get your own monthly GlamBag, just click HERE!

Isn't this woven straw bag adorable!? It's definitely one of my all time favorites!

This month's bag was curated by the very talented and very funny Youtube beauty guru and makeup artist, Chrisspy! You can check out her Youtube channel by clicking HERE

Each month, you have the opportunity to win a 1 year subscription to Ipsy by sharing on social media!! The directions are on the included card!

The first thing I noticed when I opened the bag, was the incredibly cute sample from The Balm's popular eyeshadow palette called "Nude Dude" (volume 2) and I have to admit that I kinda giggled like a little girl! LOL

Let's give this month's bag a first impression review, shall we?! (Sorry I didn't swatch anything for you this month, but I'll remember to do it in the coming months whenever/wherever it's applicable)

I absolutely LOVE The Balm's packaging!
From their website: Introducing theBalm's latest addition to the Nude series... Nude Dude! Get a quick look using any combination of these triple-milled shadows or dress up your look by adding water to transform your favorite shades into loyal liners. This total package includes 12 full-bodied shadows that can be worn alone or layered for added intensity, so go ahead and cover (or uncover) your eyes.

Cost for the full palette: $36 - Palette includes 12 shadows at a total of 9.6 Grams

I know... It's totally campy, but you've gotta agree that it's cute as all get out! Flirty is a lovely, creamy very slightly brownish/mauve shadow, with a great color payoff and a little hint of shimmer! Little to no fallout. Very pleased! 

This Olive Lips balm (I received Oats & Honey) has a smooth feel, is very moisturizing and not at all sticky. It's full of healthy ingredients and it's a perfect size to throw in my purse and be on my way!
From their website: Who doesn’t want, soft, moist, kissable lips? Well with this set you can have the full Olive Natural Beauty Lip experience!  All 5 ONB flavors in one pretty little set perfect for on-the-go, gifts, or everyday use.  Olive Natural Beauty Lip Balm is packed with our organic grape seed and extra virgin olive oil for light enduring moisture with no added synthetics or chemicals so your lips are always ready for that spontaneous kiss. We use animal cruelty-free beeswax that is cultivated at a higher altitude to produce the most pure and unprocessed wax, protecting your lips from the elements they need while allowing them to breathe and stay plump. With Olive Natural Beauty’s petroleum-free Lip Balm, you’ll forget all about dry and cracked lips as well as those other lip balms in your purse. It’s a lip tease–we know! 

Cost: (for the "A Big Kiss" set of 5 .07 oz lip balms in asst'd formulas) Regularly $29.75, but it's on sale right now for $25.00
This set includes (1) 0.07oz Refreshing Rosemary Lip Balm, (1) 0.07oz Oats & Honey Lip Balm, (1) 0.07oz Radiant Rose Lip Balm, (1) 0.07oz Lemon & Lavender Lip Balm, and (1) 0.07oz Sweet Fennel Lip Balm.

This is the first time I've had KCO Colors by Beauty Brands and I haven't worn it yet, but it looks like a pretty pink/brown nude shade and I am definitely a nude lipstick kinda gal. So... we'll see! I'll try to come back and let you know my thoughts once I've tried it out. :)

From their website: KOCO by beauty brands Cream Lipstick offers a wide variety of colors available in pearl and cream finishes. Pearl shades add shine and luster that volumize lips. Cream shades add a moisturizing feeling that makes the lips feel supple. KOCO by beauty brands Cream Lipstick is formulated to moisturize and protect lips from environmental factors (wind, dirt, pollution). KOCO by beauty brands Lipsticks are paraben-free, talc-free, lanolin-free and gluten-free. 

Cost: $8 for a full size tube which I assume this is, but I couldn't find this particular shade on the site. As you can see in the website info, they refer to their lipsticks as "KOCO" as opposed to KCO Colors on this tube. I'm thinking that it might have been done exclusively for Ipsy, or other promotions.

The only MICA Cosmetics products I've tried before have been loose mineral shadows, so this was a nice surprise! 
From their website: Use MicaBeauty Eye Primer to seal in Eye Shadows and Foundation, enhancing your all-day look. Go from shimmer to matte in just seconds. This waterproof formula provides the perfect foundation for a long lasting, smudge proof look that is designed for your active lifestyle. MicaBeauty Eye Primer helps even out skin tone as well as extends and intensifies your mineral eye shadows, without creasing, smearing, or fading.

Cost: $44.95 for 8G

This turned out to be a really creamy, easy to blend eyeshadow base and the color suits my skin tone perfectly! I truly like and use quite a few of the products that I receive from Ipsy, but I'm beyond happy with this and I'd definitely repurchase it! 

I've never had one of MBC's products before that I was so in love with or that I worried about running out of, but my first thoughts were... "Hmmm... wonder where I can get this when it starts to get low?" When I went to their website and saw that the full size costs $45, I almost fell off the couch! (Full size is 8grams or double this size) Luckily, this is concentrated and should last a good while!

I've had a couple of Julie G for Jesse's Girl polishes before and I like them. I'd consider them pretty good for a basic drugstore brand. I haven't used this color yet (I received the shade 70142 Damsel ~ part of the Julie G Core Collection), but it looks like a great Summer shade for both fingers and toes! 
From the website: You won't be a damsel in distress with mid-tone pink crème. 

Jesse’s Girl Cosmetics provides fashion-forward beauty for any budget (because a beautiful face shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg).

With a product line featuring high intensity nail enamels, mineralized baked eye shadows, eye and lip liners with built-in sharpeners, high quality lip glosses, along with our perennially popular and highly sought after pure pigment eye dusts, it’s no wonder Jesse’s Girl is a hit with women who value top-quality products but not necessarily department store prices.

Cost: $2.99 to $3.99 in most retail locations or on their website, depending on coupons or discount codes, etc.

One of the many things that I like about Ipsy, is that they offer some really good deals on repurchses of the products they send out. It might be in the form of a coupon, like this. Or, they usually have the product available at the Ipsy website for a pretty decent discount over retail.
Julie G is a well known Youtube beauty guru who collaberated with Jesse's Girl Cosmetics to do a line of nail polishes. She has done several very successful collections for them. I also noticed on the site that she has a line of nine styles of false lashes with them as well. If you've tried them, I'd love to know what you think of them!

This is her "About" statement from her Youtube channel: Julie G, Beauty Obsessed, Girly-Girl, Creator of Julie G. Nail Polish. Weekly videos feeding your beauty addiction. Subscribe to get notified of my next beauty obsessed video!

If you'd like to check her channel out for yourself, just click right HERE!

So, that's it for this month folks! Thanks for stopping by! If you have any questions about Ipsy or the products that I shared today, please feel free to leave me a comment. I really love hearing from you!

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Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Scoop Re: My 2014 Summer Fun Giveaway!

Just in case you aren't currently subscribed to, or don't follow or read my other (food) blog, I just wanted to make a quick announcement here.

The Go Ahead... Take A Bite! 2014 Summer Fun Giveaway will be going live on the blog tonight, (I'll add the link here when it's live) by the end of the day!!! (Saturday, July 5th, 2014 11:59pm EDT)

Of course, subscribers to this blog as well as the general public, will be eligible to enter. (unfortunately, due to skyrocketing international shipping fees, these prize packages will only be available to people living within the 50 United States of America. I am looking into the possibility of adding a gift card, that will equal the (US) dollar amount of one of the prize packages for international entrants, but I can't make any promises at this point. I will make sure to state that decision one way or another, in the official post.

Please check back at Go Ahead... Take A Bite! later this evening to see the details and entry instructions!

Thanks and Good Luck to all who enter!


Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Little Holiday Time Whimsy

Howdy folks!

I know I haven't  posted here in quite a while, but since Christmas is just a few days away and I've had so little time to really think about much else in the last few weeks, I just felt like posting a little bit of pure whimsy that was entertaining and well... happy. It caught my attention on a website that I recently discovered called My Modern Metropolis. (this is the main link to the website home page - the direct link to the post that contains the photos and article is below)

Consider it a tiny little Holiday gift to all of you, from me. A small token of my appreciation and my way of saying Thank You for hanging in here with me over the last year. There was a point back in July, when I came very close to no longer being here. (and by here, I mean breathing... on this Earth... amongst the living) So... to say the very least, I am incredibly blessed and eternally grateful, that I'm even able to share this little bit of whimsy with you.

What follows are just a few of the adorable photos by Chinese mother of three and photographer, Queenie Liao, from her series titled "Wenngen In Wonderland". Wenngen is her son and she creates these wonderful "adventures" for him while he's sleeping with items that she finds around her home, like stuffed animals, clothes, scarves and sheets. (I sure wish that I'd possessed even half of that kind of creativity, back when I still had a wee one who was napping.)

You can find the article about Queenie Liao and more photos from her Wenngen In Wonderland series at My Modern Metropolis.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, (belated) Happy Hanukkah, Happy Festivus or any Holiday that you might be celebrating at this time!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Shocking Turn of Events, An Update and A Blog Break

This identical post is appearing on both of my blogs, so for those of you who subscribe to both, I apologize for the duplication.

Hello all,

Just wanted to get a short note out, to explain what's been going on in my world and to let you know that I'll be here on a somewhat limited or spoadic basis, at least for a little while, anyway. It's hard to be specific about potential posting dates, but I hope it won't be too long before I'm able to get back to the blog on a more full time basis. So, what's the big hold-up?

Well, much to my surprise, (and shock) a little over a week ago, I had (and am now recuperating from) a pretty serious heart attack. Honestly, folks... I never saw it coming and I had no idea that I was even remotely "in the risk zone", until it happened.

The Hubbers and I were out shopping at the local outlet stores, for some last minute attire and accessories for our daughter's upcoming (August) wedding in Virginia. It was unbearably hot (as it has been for most of the summer here in the Northeast) and I was feeling quite unwell, from what I assumed was a combination of how brutally high temperatures and humidity affect my Lupus and what I believed at the time, was a really bad case of heartburn, that I'd been battling on and off for the last couple of days. We decided to head home, but once we were in the car and on our way, that little intuitive voice in my head told me that something was horribly wrong and I told my Hubby that he needed to drive me straight to the Emergency Room instead.

After arriving at out local hospital's ER and once it was determined that I was indeed in the midst of a major
cardiac episode, I was taken upstairs to the Cardiac Catheterization Lab where over the next 2 hours, three arterial wire mesh stents were placed, during a procedure called an angioplasty. After three days in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, I was discharged home and ordered by my doctors to rest extensively and lay pretty low, so that my body has an opportunity to heal from this unexpected and frankly, terrifying attack. I honestly feel like I've been hit head on by a Mack truck and I believe this will be a long recovery for me.

On a slightly more positive note, my doctors were somewhat astounded by how little permenant damage there seems to have been to my heart, given that I had what was apparently, a major heart attack.

I'll try to post updates as often as I'm feeling up to it throughout the coming weeks, as I slowly but surely heal and get myself back on track. I am one incredibly lucky woman and I can't even begin to say how grateful I am to the doctors, nurses, aids and other staff at our local hospital, for literally saving my life.

And as for my husband, my daughter and other family members and friends.... well, let's just say that without their love and constant attention, I would have never made it through all of this with the kind of strength that I needed to push through the pain and work toward getting home and on my way to recovery. They have been taking exceptional care of me here at home and I am truly blessed.

Take good care of yourselves and of each other, my friends. You never know what might be around the corner.....

Monday, June 17, 2013

Important Reminder For My RSS Subscribers!

Hey All!

Just a quick reminder to those of you who subscribe to my blog via RSS and use Google Reader to read Spilled On The Kitchen Table. There are only two weeks left before Google shuts GR down, so if you haven't done so already and would like to continue to follow me through RSS, (and I would be honored if you did!) please make sure to choose a new reader and import your subscriptions to it!

Not sure which RSS subscription reader you want to use? See my post about the choice that I made, which also includes links to reviews of other alternative readers, written by different folks around the web.

Thanks so much for continuing to be such an awesome blog friend!


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