Ipsy Unboxing & Review, Dec. 2016

Hey, everyone! I’m playing catch-up, yet again.

This is my final Ipsy Glam Bag review. As mentioned in the last one, we are saving for a downpayment on a house, and I cancelled a bunch of subscriptions to save some cash—including Ipsy.

I’m not too heartbroken about it; I was collecting too many makeup bags, and the samples I was receiving as of late weren’t thrilling me.

So without further ado, here are the last samples I was sent.:

  • Aurora Intensely Precise liquid eyeliner in “Cinnamon”—this stuff does NOT come off, which can either be good or bad. You decide. I’ve only worn this once, and it irritated my eyes a little. Plus, I don’t really wear brown liner ever.
  • NYX purple prismatic eye shadow—This was a giant NOPE for me. The color isn’t flattering to my skin tone, and it was way too sparkly for my taste.
  • Jersey Shore Cosmetics peppermint lip balm—This is an alright product. I do enjoy a good peppermint lip balm, but, man, I don’t need so many lip balms.
  • Royal & Langnickel MODA angle shader brush—This was probably the best thing I received. I use this brush all the time for blending.
  • Smashbox Insta-Matte lipstick transformer—I was really excited to receive this, but I’ve yet to try it. And it is now February. I’m sure it works great, but I already have a lot of matte lipsticks and haven’t found an occasion where I’ve felt like I needed it.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t even like the makeup bag for this month either. I can tell Ipsy was trying to channel the iconic pink envelope it sends its samples out in, but I don’t love it or the faux-fur fabric its crafted from. It looks tacky, in my opinion. This one is going to my Poshmark. Buh-bye.

What do you think of beauty subscriptions? Yay or nay?







How to Get the Most Out of Your Eye Shadow Primer

In an earlier  Frugal Friday we covered getting the most out of your gel foundation primer. This time I’d like to talk about eye primer, like the kind that comes in a little squeezy tube.

I’m quite fond of the one by Urban Decay—it keeps my shadow on all day and really brings out the color of the shadow I apply. And even though this primer lasts forever, it’s still kind of pricey (roughly $20 per tube)—I’ll make sure I get every bit that I paid for, thanks.

So when the tube is smashed flat, I know it’s not totally empty. You just have to get creative.

Much like some people do with toothpaste (not I, because toothpaste generally costs $2 as opposed to $20), simply snip the tube where it can’t be squeezed flat anymore.

Open that bad boy up, and you should see a treasure trove of goo just waiting to be smeared.

Now, there are a few options for how to store your newfound glory. If you have a teeny makeup spatula, you can scrape the excess primer out and store it in a little sample jar.

Or you can go the less time-consuming route—reconnect the two tube halves by sliding one over the end of the other (kind of like what you’d do with a tube of lotion).

And there you have it! Hope this helps!


Marge’s Monthly Must-Haves, Oct. 2016

Hello, everyone, and happy Halloween! For once I’m actually on time posting my monthly favorites—it feels so nice getting back into the swing of things. I tried a bunch of great new products this October that I can’t wait to tell you about, so let’s get started!

Shoot for the Stars bath bomb from Lush—Imagine my surprise when we stumbled upon a Lush store in Cork on our honeymoon, and when my husband insisted we go inside, where he bought bath bombs for each of us. (Have I mentioned how much I love him?)

This bath bomb contains gold glitter and six star-shaped bath melts, transforming the water into a swirly, sparkly night sky. Be still, my heart! Unlike the one J. chose for himself, this one did not stain the bathtub or the towels purple (ahahaha).

Nails Before Males manicure kit—our time in Cork got a bit weird with a giant shopping trip at Primark, where I picked this up. I couldn’t not buy it. It’s got six manicure tools inside and is the perfect size for tossing in your purse or your weekend bag.

Violet Voss Holy Grail palette—Yes, this is the swoon-worthy palette I mentioned coveting in this post. How did I manage to find a sold-out product? I have mad eBay skills, my friend. 😉 I’m completely head over heels for this palette—look out for a review soon!

Graveyard bath bomb from Witch Baby Soap—Surprise, another bath bomb I’ve already used! It’s no secret I love spooky things and taking baths. Combine them, and you’ve got a product I can’t say no to.

This coffin-shaped bath bomb is a real treat—it smells like “carefully arranged funeral flowers and freshly dug graves” and is packed with shea butter and avocado oil for super soft skin. And it is SO fragrant, guys. I smelled like lilies for a long time. You can read more about this bath bomb here.

Benefit’s Gimmie Brow volumizing eyebrow gel—I redeemed some of my Ipsy points for this sample and now will never go back to the NYX brow mascara(link) I was previously using. The Benefit gel has a better spoolie, richer color, and better staying power. My brows are on point 100% of the time now. Thanks, Benefit!

The October Ipsy bag—I mean, LOOK HOW CUTE IT IS. It is by far my favorite bag to date! I was seriously considering canceling my subscription after this month, but now I think I’ll see what November brings. You can read my unboxing and review of the October Glam Bag here.

What were your favorite products this month? Let me know in the comments—I’d love to hear!

Marge’s Monthly Must-Haves, Sept. 2016

Hello, everyone! My apologies for such a late September favorites post; I’m still playing catch-up from the wedding.

OGX coconut oil hydrating hair mist—I got this to tame and smooth my frizzy hair, hoping for the best because I haven’t had much luck with hair oils in the past. But this! This will keep my hair straightened and sleek all day, and it makes it look so much healthier. And it smells incredible.

Lush products gifted to me at my bridal shower—My dear bridesmaid Lisa spoiled me with a plethora of Lush products for my bridal shower, namely Mask of Magnaminty, Charity Pot hand lotion, Vanillary perfume, and two bath bombs.

This was by no means my introduction to Lush; rather, she fed my addiction because I hadn’t tried any of these products. I mean, I frequently buy their bath bombs, but she got me some I’d never tried before.

However, the Mask of Magnaminty is definitely my favorite out of everything. It smells so fresh, feels good on my skin, and seems to calm my acne. An A++ in my book.

Little Lush bundle!
Gelous nail gel & Gelous ridge filler—Purchased these weekend before our wedding on a whim after reading a Pinterest tutorial, hoping to achieve gel-like nails for the big day because I didn’t want to absolutely destroy my nails with a real gel manicure.

The tutorial claimed it’s like the real thing and will last a whole week, and all I can say about my own results is wow. I will never not use this when I paint my nails. Not only did my polish last the whole week with very minimal chipping, but it achieved that “plumping” effect that many gel-like polishes claim to possess but typically don’t.

Seche Vite fast-dry top coat—This was also suggested in the tutorial. It smells horrible, but your nails will be dry in like two seconds. For someone as restless as me who always fucks up their polish when it’s wet, this is a miracle product. I’m never going without this top coat ever again!

The Balm’s timeBalm® foundation—My new favorite lazy-day foundation. I apply this with a beauty blender and it looks great. It has excellent coverage and stays in place all day.

What were your favorite products in September?

Five Drugstore Greige Lipsticks You Need for Fall

This post may contain affiliate links.

Say so long to burgundy and wine lipsticks this fall, and say hello to shades of greige. Greige (gray + beige with a touch of mauve) is going to be the biggest lip trend this fall, you guys. I can feel it in my heart’s soul.

Greige is grungy. Greige stands out while remaining soft and mauvey. It’s the perfect lip color for fall as the seasons change and we begin to wind down for winter.

And if you’re a lipstick fanatic like me, you probably already have a few greige shades or close-to-greige shades in your lippie drawer but don’t even know it — greige is nothing but a slightly ridiculous funny name for a color that’s been around for a while, after all.

Here are my five favorite drugstore greige and almost-greige lipsticks (that I actually wear pretty regularly and just had no idea greige was a thing):

  1. NYX Euro Trash (matte)
  2. Maybelline Touch of Spice (matte)
  3. NYX Thalia
  4. Revlon Rose Velvet
  5. LA Girl Snuggle (matte)

  1. NYX’s Euro Trash might be my favorite greige I own. It looks pink in the tube, but once applied is a beautiful light mauve with a hint of gray. I think it looks different throughout the day, depending on what kind of lighting you’re in, and depending on how it contrasts with what you’re wearing.


2. Maybelline’s Touch of Spice is a close second fave. I accidentally smashed this one in the cap and about cried when I had to go buy another—that’s how frequently I wear this beautiful deep mauvey shade. It’s matte and not drying, so your lips don’t feel horrible by the end of the day. It will add the slightest touch of grunge to your look.

3. NYX’s Thalia isn’t matte, but is still a beautiful nude-gray shade with a touch of lavender —it’s not quite a greige, but it comes very close. This one doesn’t stay as well on my lips and has much more transfer than the above lipsticks, but it is still a beautiful color nonetheless.

4. Revlon’s Rose Velvet is much like Thalia in terms of wear and transfer, but it’s a touch darker in color—more light mauvey than lavender. It’s another almost-greige that many of you might already have in your lipstick hoards.

5. Lastly, we have LA Girl’s Snuggle, which is a creamy matte lippie I can’t get enough of. This one is less widely available but can be purchased at CVS stores or online through various vendors. Snuggle is almost nude with a very slight touch of gray, and it doesn’t transfer a whole lot or dry your lips out—if anything, my lips feel softer and more hydrated when I wear this one, and it complements practically any outfit.

The great thing about greige shades is that they can look super professional but also a little edgy—they’re almost nude, but not quite, and your coworkers can’t put their finger on why it’s a little different.

The above pictures document a week’s worth of greige lipsticks that I wore to work—and I work in a professional environment. Each shade was lined with Ofra’s lip liner in the color Silk (which is a very versatile shade, if you’re looking for a higher-end liner).

I hope this inspires you to hop on the bandwagon try out some new colors.  Raise your hand if you’d like to see a higher-end greige lipstick post!

—Marge 💋







Marge’s Montly Must-Haves, Aug. 2016

Hey there, everyone!
I hope August treated you well and that you tried out some fabulous new products. I had pretty good luck this month, with a total of five new must-haves that I wanted to share with you. So without further ado, here are the August faves!

1. NYX matte lipstick in the shade Euro Trash—I’d been looking everywhere for this after seeing it on Pinterest, but every time I went into Ulta, they didn’t have it. Until now.

I normally stay away from NYX lipsticks (except their liquid ones) because they go on too thin and smell oddly plastic-y. But I’ve been really happy with this matte one because it doesn’t possess any of the aforementioned properties. It’s a subtle, almost-nude color that is perfect for days I don’t feel like meticulously crafting the perfect red pout.

2. NYX tinted brow mascara—this is an oldie that I’ve been using on a more regular basis lately. (I even had to buy a new one!) It’s a tinted gel on a mascara wand that sets your brows after filling them in. I’ve found it also works well to shape your brows on a lazy day when you don’t feel like filling them in but still want them to look somewhat done. Gives them a little more oomph, you know? I use the brunette shade.

3. Garnier Micellar water—I’ve been using this every night after using a sample of micellar water I received in my Ipsy a few months back. It removes your makeup AND cleanses/moisturizes your face at the same time. How cool! I love this because it removes so many steps from my nightly routine, and it doesn’t leave my face super oily like some makeup removers do.

4. Exuviance Eye Contour Cream—I’ve been looking for a good eye cream, and the saleswoman at Ulta was REALLY pushing this at me—especially when I mentioned wanting to lift the hooding on one of my eyes. She claimed using it every day and it working wonders. She claimed a woman she knows in her 70s has been using it for years, and it got rid of the sags over her eyelids.

I carried it around the store for a while, hemming and hawing, not wanting to spend $70 on a 5 fl oz bottle of eye cream that might or might not work. Yikes, right? Being the thrifty woman I am, I whipped out my phone and checked Amazon and eBay, where I found I could purchase it for a fraction of the price: $30. Much better.

I can’t really tell if it’s doing any lifting (only been using it for a few weeks so far), but it feels super nice on my eyes in the morning and before bed. It’s not oily, and it absorbs into my skin fast, so it gets an A+ in my book.

5. No Bleeding Lips lip liner—I don’t know where this product has been all my life. After a long day at work, my cupid’s bow is still sharp as a knife. Do yourself a favor and pick this up from Sephora! It’s waterproof AND transparent!

Petite person perks!
Bonus: These dreamy overalls—Ok, I know this isn’t technically a beauty item. But I found these in the children’s section of Sears, and, well, it’s really hard to find flattering overalls (or overalls in general), and when you can fit into a girls’ size 16… you really have no choice but to buy them.

They have a slim-fit leg and are dark-wash denim. And they were half off, so I got them for $20! These are definitely going to Ireland with me. (Also, if you guys are interested in a post about shopping the children’s section, I can totally make that happen. Just saying.)

What were your favorites this month?

Makeup Revolution Haul

Hey everyone! Thought I’d share my recent order from Makeup Revolution with you. I ordered from the UK website because it has some different items than the US one.

Originally I only wanted the Goddess of Love highlighter. Isn’t it dreamy? So shimmery!

Been wearing this every damn day, I tell you hwat.

But the more I browsed through the website, the more I was convinced I should snag some eyeshadow palettes as well.

I ended up with the #Selfie palette (which has a holographic thing on the front guaranteed to induce a seizure) which I’ve used pretty frequently this month. It has a nice mix of matte and glittery shadows. The shadows aren’t super pigmented, but have just enough color for everyday wear-to-work looks.

And the names, right? Pure gold.


The #Selfie palette included a tiny bottle of Makeup Revolution’s eyeshadow primer. It came in a little black tube with an applicator (seen in the top picture), and I used it a few times. It’s very shimmery and would be nice for days you don’t want to  do a full face of makeup, as it’s a nice brightener. But I wasn’t wowed. By the end of the day, my shadow had creased and the pigment in the shadows had faded. I think I’ll stick with my Urban Decay primer, thank you.

And finally, the last palette I picked out was the Mermaids Forever set, which has 32 shades.


I’ll be honest, I’ve only had a chance to use a handful of these shades so far. There are just so many to choose from! I’ve been gravitating toward the coral/burgundy shades so far. In terms of pigment, they’re pretty much the same as the #Selfie palette. Not super pigmented, but jst the right amount of color.

Have you guys tried anything by Makeup Revolution? What’d you think? I’d love some recommendations!

—Marge 💋


Marge’s Monthly Must-Haves: June 2016

Hello, everyone! Once again, my monthly must-haves is a tad late because life gets in the way sometimes (especially when you’re planning a wedding). So without further ado, here are my must-haves for June 2016. Enjoy!


Witch hazel —Do you guys know about witch hazel and how great it is? No? Let me tell you. I originally picked this up because I had some sort of stress-induced infection on my lips (TMI, sorry), and I read that witch hazel is a natural astringent (tightens skin) and kills bacteria. It practically healed my lips overnight.

I’ve since been using in on my face nightly as a toner, and on any acne problem areas. It’s apparently also good for reducing stretch marks, but I have yet to try it for that. The plain, unscented witch hazel (roughly $2 at any drugstore) smells a little funny, but it’s not unpleasant. Kind of earthy. Thayer’s also makes it infused with many different things—rose, lavender, and aloe vera, but it’s harder to find and is triple the price.

NYX matte finish setting spray—Remember a few months ago when I tried the setting spray by Wet N Wild? It was awesome, but it didn’t last long. So I picked up this one by NYX (a brand a mostly trust). My mom is even hooked on it!

Hard Candy It’s Raining Men (Top 10 Trendsetters eyeshadow palette)—I mean, c’mon. This packaging is adorable. I’ve had decent luck with Hard Candy in the past, so I decided to pick this up. Plus I didn’t own any green/gold or purple shadows, and I wanted something to make my green eyes pop. They work pretty dang well!

Physician’s Formula Conceal Rx—This is a concealer I picked up on my “I’m feeling sad so I’m going to buy makeup” excursion to Walmart. I Love physician’s formula. So much. It’s my favorite drugstore brand because it looks high-end and is relatively affordable.

This has been excellent for covering any red areas or blemishes on my face, but I was hoping it would conceal dark circles better. No such luck. (I’m considering trying GinZing for dark circles next.)

Becca foundation—This was given to me by my sister’s roommate in our last secondhand beauty swap. And I was a little wary of it at first. I didn’t realize that Becca is a brand sold at Sephora and Ulta, but I tried this and ended up liking it a whole lot. I’ve been wearing it for the past couple months, and now I’m eager to try some of the other products (like the Champagne Pop highlighter! Swoon!)

Urban Decay lipstick in Matte Temper—this is a beautiful orangy-red matte lipstick that I picked up from the clearance section of the JCP Sephora for only $11 (!!!). I regret not picking up a few other shades, because this formula is fantastic—it goes on creamy and light, doesn’t feel gooey or sticky, and isn’t drying. And it smells like chocolate!

And last but not least, here is my ipsy glam bag:

I wasn’t too thrilled with June’s bag—it wasn’t too cute, and I didn’t really like many of the products except for the Urban Decay eyeshadow. But I did get a day and night cream in my bag this month from some points I redeemed, and that was alright! And the Hey Honey eye contour cream has become a fast favorite.

Well, there were more must-haves this month than I thought there were! Have you guys tried any of these products/what do you think of them? What did you get in your subscription box/bag last month?

See you soon for July’s faves! 😬 💋

Adventures in De-Potting: The Preparation

You might have heard the term “de-potting” thrown around in the beauty community as of late. 

No, I’m not talking about gardening. I’m talking about removing pressed powder pots of makeup from their clunky plastic containers.

 Sure, the packaging is often adorable, but how functional is it? And what about when you only really use one or two of the pans inside? And lest we forget, what about all those loosies you get from your monthly subscription bag/box that you love but keep misplacing?

This is the beauty of de-potting: You can make your own custom palette, of sorts, by combining pans from a variety of brands. Sephora sells something called the Z Palette, which is essentially an empty box with a magnetic bottom that your pots will adhere to. MAC also sells their own version. These range from $15 to $30 in price. 

But I am a cheap bastard, and I’m not willing to fork over $20+ for an empty magnetic box I could probably make at home. My cousin has made many out of old books, but given my background in English and publishing, I have a difficult time cutting up a book. And while I’ve seen diy Z palette dupes made from DVD cases and CD cases, I’m after something a little sturdier. 

I plan to to delve into the mysterious world of de-potting with this Cinderella eyeshadow palette I picked up at Walgreens last fall. I love the frosty pinks and blues, but this packaging is horrible. It’s so big that I can’t store it anywhere (except under the bathroom sink—no thanks), and the bottom of the plastic box warped, so it won’t even lay flat on the counter.

I’m pretty sure this could be minimized to half its current size. 

Seriously, you guys. It’s like 1.5 feet wide. There’s more plastic than there is eyeshadow. Look at all that wasted space.

Excuse my cluttered vanity.
I thought this palette might be a good one to start with because it’s not super high-quality makeup (like, say, Urban Decay), so if I accidentally break a few pots while haggling with the packaging, it won’t be a big deal. 

Also, I’m not a big Disney girl, so this plastic monstrosity has got to GO.

 I plan on taking a gander through the Dollar Tree (Be still, my heart!) and possibly Michael’s this weekend to see if any inspiration strikes (and to get a few wedding-related things…) — although I do have a Birchbox box (confusing?), which might make a nice palette if trimmed and hinged. We will have to see! The sky is the limit, eh?

And the rows dont even line up. NOPE.
I’m thinking a patterned contact paper to cover the whole shebang would be cool. Thoughts, guys? 

Do you de-pot? If you have any tips, I’d be more than happy to hear!


—Marge 💋