Tag Archives: beauty

Ipsy’s July Glam Bag: First Impressions!

I’ve missed doing the whole beauty product review routine, so I’m back at it with my first impressions of Ipsy’s July Glam Bag, and boy, do I have a lot to say!

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If you’re one of my regular readers, you’d know that I don’t prefer getting skin and hair products in my Ipsy bags, first off because with my hair, a sample size of hair product won’t do much. My hair is practically down to my hips and realistically, a sample size could probably only treat 1/25 of my tresses, give or take. Not worth the $10, to me. Secondly, my skin issues are something that I’ve been viciously battling for years and I’ve finally gotten to the point where my acne is “backing off”, with just a blemish or two, here and there. Now that my highly active skin is admitting forfeiture, I’m avoiding experimenting with new skin products for the most part. I stick to my guns about the lotions and cleansers I swear by and don’t generally deviate from them. With all that being said, let’s get started on first impressions.

I’m going to start with the products that I was highly impressed with. To start off, the beauty bag the products came in is SO. CUTE. Overwhelmingly cute. It’s bright, festive, and something I’d love to carry around in my purse! The bag is almost always as great as the products! I got five products total in my glam bag this month: a coral-toned nail polish, a 2-in-one eyeliner and shadow, a sample-size dry shampoo, a brightening serum, and a pair of brand new, baby-pink tweezers.

The first thing I stumbled across was the bubble-wrapped (already a plus!) nail polish. Ripping off the bubble-wrap excitedly, I was thrilled to see the Gel Effect Nail Lacquer by Aurora in the color #112, called “4 Alarm Fire”. The color is spot-on for Summer vacationing and a great pick-me-up for the Summer class blues. I was also blessed with a full-size nail polish instead of a sample size, but knowing how gorgeous this color is going to be against my olive tan, I could imagine this polish is going to go much faster than the others. Beautiful color, great texture, and it seems like an excellent, high-quality polish. I’m thrilled to try it on!

Next, I have the absolutely adorable pair of Crown Brush tweezers. I am the kind of girl that buys about ten pairs of tweezers, only to be able to find one around the house on rare occasions. I always lose my tweezers, even when I feel like I put them all in the same spot. Weird, right? So needless to say, I’m happy that they went ahead and sent me another pair. The first thing I noticed was the weight of the tweezers. The ones I’ve bought in the past were either plastic or a light metal, but this pair has some weight to it. I like that it has an angled plucking side so I’m able to grab hairs closer to the skin with ease. These will come in handy the next time I shape my brows. I’ll update you on their effectiveness.

I then grabbed the Jelly Pong Pong 2-in-1 Eyeliner & Shadow. When swatched on my hand (which is slightly darker than the shade of my face, as my body tans a million times more than my face ever does! ha!), the pencil is a deep chestnut color with a mauve undertone, which is something new and different on my end. This color is going to probably be my new go-to eyeliner this Summer when I’m looking for a more subtle, dewey look and trying to avoid the harshness of black eyeliner. There’s a time and place for a smokey eye, and many more times and places for a moderately nude face, which I know this pencil will help me achieve. And the absolute BEST PART of this pencil is that it is cruelty-free! Hallelujah to that! I love receiving cruelty-free products!

*Sigh* Alright. Now, we’re onto the two-products that I just…don’t know how to feel about yet. Both are sample sized; one is a hair product, the other is a skin product. The skin product is by pur~lisse and is an “ultra skin brightening serum”. I’ve never had anything like that before, and I’m willing to try it, but I don’t know how a sample-sized skin product is going to make that much of a difference. I’ll let you guys know. As for the hair product, I received an Eva-NYC Freshen Up Dry Shampoo which, even though it’s a sample size, would probably be more useful out of the two, seeing as the weather where I live is on and off, and dry shampoo is something I can always use to rejuvenate my hair when it’s as tired of the dry heat as I am. It’s promising. Plus, I can put in in my book bag or purse to carry on the go! I’ll find a use for it.

I hope you guys enjoyed my first impressions review and I look forward to continuing to write here in the future! Leave a comment if you’d like.

If you have requests for posts or want to contact me regarding a product review I’ve written, a potential product review, or anything else business/blog related, shoot me a message at Mandirito@gmail.com!

Thank you for reading, and have a beautiful day!

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Makeup of the Day: Peachy Keen!

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Today, I did a very simple, clean makeup look. I wasn’t feeling like going all out with colors but the natural glow of my skin this morning gave me an idea to go for more peachy tones. I don’t usually go for pinks/peaches just because I generally like to pack a punch, but today was an early morning class and I thought this look would carry through the day well. I started off by applying a sunscreen on my skin. I have oily/combination skin so I generally like to use sunscreens that don’t add an excessive amount of oil. On a regular basis, I like to use Olay sunscreen because it feels light, absorbs quickly, and doesn’t leave my makeup feeling cakey (worst feeling ever). During the time that it’s DSC_0082absorbing, I usually brush my teeth and my hair to make sure that, in the process of applying my makeup, I’m not removing the sunscreen. After it’s absorbed well, I start with my Rimmel Stay Matte foundation in #200. The color is fairly light for me, but to ensure that it matches my skin on a day to day basis, I like to add some warm bronzer (In this case, I used the NYC Color Wheel Mosaic) lightly on top to blend the color more effectively. I like to use my makeup sponge to dab the foundation underneath my eyes gently, as well as on the eyelid and area underneath my brow. However, I don’t use the makeup sponge much on other areas of my face just because I feel like it’s pretty difficult to clean and tends to soak up a great deal of foundation whenever I use it. It’s generally only used for touch ups and details. Then I used my Elf blush in “Pink Passion” on the tops of my cheeks to illuminate my skin. I don’t worry so much about my cheeks looking abnormally pink, because the next step allows me to make it more natural looking. I take my Covergirl “Translucent Light” powder and dab it across my cheeks and along my skin with a large powder brush to set the foundation and blend the blush into a more natural, rosy color. After I’ve set my makeup, I used just a touch of Clinique’s “Almost Peach” eyeshadow and dabbed this glittery, subtle pink just underneath my brows to illuminate my brow bones. The final step of this look was applying my new lipgloss from Neutrogena’s MoistureSmooth series in “Rich Raisin” very lightly, applying one even coat and blotting the excess.

I hope you guys enjoyed this step by step makeup of the day look, and if you have any suggestions on other posts that you’d like me to do, please do not hesitate to contact me! I love hearing from you guys! If you enjoyed the post, feel free to share and comment. Your support is always appreciated. Thank you! 🙂

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Illuminating Our Perfection, or Purposeful Deception?

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I got an email the other day that had me thinking about the significance of makeup, especially in my life. She asked how I felt about the accusations that using makeup is a deceptive way that women represent themselves. I figured I’d respond to this publicly because I feel that it is essential to my readers to understand why I write what I write and the role that makeup plays for me personally.

Let’s start with a little personal history! I’ve gotten on a beauty kick lately more so than ever. I’m really loving experimenting with makeup and different products ever since I visited Ulta and later got an Ipsy subscription, which delivers new, varying beauty products every month for only $10, making it pretty much impossible for a girl like me to refuse. My love for using makeup has been a consistent love. I remember, as a young child, I used to carry around one of those caboodle carrying cases full of makeup and sit around with my friends and create “makeovers”. Sure, they probably weren’t as aesthetically pleasing then as they’d be now (I’ve learned at least some skills since those days), but even then I understood what makeup meant to me. I loved using it because makeup is artistic as well as purposeful.

I see so many comments on the pages, videos, and posts of beauty bloggers by men (and some women) saying that makeup is deceptive and that it hides one’s natural flaws, making the individual more attractive than they actually are, attracting individuals who apparently think they naturally look flawless. Ahh. Let’s get this straight here. Makeup enhances one’s beauty and gives the individual the ability to exemplify certain physical traits while toning down traits they see as less desirable or bothersome. That’s not deceptive. It’s something that we, as humans, do similarly with many things. We always want to put our best traits forward, whether it’s for a job interview, a first date, whichever. Makeup is something that allows women to accentuate their best physical features.

Some women, like myself, also use makeup as a way to conceal acne scars in order to be more comfortable and confident in their own skin and especially in face to face social situations. For me, I focus immensely on the base of the makeup look: the foundation. I have had severe acne for the majority of my young adult to adult life and it has left me with unsightly, discolored scars that I don’t always like to leave bare. It’s a sensitive thing for me, having others ask about the permanent marks that were left on my face from these years, so I find that knowing how to apply my makeup effectively gives me a major confidence boost. Others aren’t looking for scars, but rather social queues on my face, which is a nice change of pace. I could imagine many others apply makeup for the same reasons. They would rather reduce the distraction of little flaws and feel comfortable and confident in their own skin than go out, barefaced, knowing that the uncomfortableness will ultimately hinder them. I remember feeling like I was going to cry every time I’d look in the mirror and see how badly my skin had gotten. Makeup gives the individual the freedom to look glamorous and to feel beautiful, acne scars or not. It’s more so for the individual’s sake than for any outside force, meaning that the use of makeup isn’t as much for “deception” as many like to call it, but for the expression of illuminating one’s perceived best features in vibrant, inspired new ways, neutralizing the flaws we have that chip at our confidence.

Makeup is enjoyable for me. I love to be able to have a clean canvas to create new looks every day and to experiment with different color palettes. I can change my look to fit my outfit, my mood, anything I desire. I honestly think using makeup is as “deceptive” as a woman looking beautiful in nice clothes. Is that deception too, because she’s not spotlighting the bumps and rolls that are just a natural part of her figure, but finding pieces that illuminate her best assets?
Realistically speaking, how is makeup any more deceiving?
Why should I not feel comfortable in my own skin?

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Easier Now

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All of my life, I have struggled with the fear of becoming overweight again, because as a child, I suffered immensely from being the chubbier kid. I wasn’t confident, happy, or satisfied with my quality of life. This is not to say that if you are confident or happy at this size or any size, you shouldn’t be. I just know that, in my experience, I spent so much time, too much time, agonizing over how I could be different and how I could be better. I just couldn’t see the beauty in myself. Something destructive had stuck with me and had no intention of letting go. At such a young age, those kinds of feelings have a deep imprint on your soul. I know they did on mine. But this time around, at 21 years old, as I am not overweight but still trying to keep in shape and stay healthy, it’s easier. Everything seems….easier.

I’ve noticed the change. I’m not looking in the mirror as much, grabbing at the visible fat on my sides or tummy, or scowling at the figure that stands before me, disappointed by what I see. She’s a beautiful person and she has carried me through 21 years of life, 21 years of experience, growth, love, failure, and triumph. She is the portal in which I have navigated the plane of life and she is the woman I will be until the day I die. She will change, physically and mentally, as she moves forward, but there should be no reason why I should look upon her with judgment. Her body has been through injuries, sickness, heartache. She’s fought through loss, anxiety attacks, hurt. I no longer look upon her, the body that housed and loved me, like she is wrong and needs to be changed. I’m guiding her in the right direction, a healthier path and state of mind.

I’ve grown to adore this changed perspective towards my body. I’m not judging myself like I used to. I can look in the mirror, smile, and know that that smile is genuine. I do love myself, and I love my body. There will be times when I come down on the beautiful girl in the mirror, the one that looks back at me and reflects the life that I’ve been living and the experiences I’ve gathered, but I know that those times will be fleeting, and will not house themselves permanently within the corners of my mind, waiting for their next moment to swallow the spotlight. Self judgment is no longer welcome in my heart and I’m determined to keep it that way. From here on out, everything feels… easier.

xo Amanda Cramer

Mandirito.com

Ipsy First Impressions: A “Fresh Start” to 2015!

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The first thing I noticed when I opened the package was the weird plastic texture of the bag and the unsightly colors. Don’t get me wrong! I usually love the bags the makeup comes in, but this time around was a different story….The orange, blue, and white combination on the bag is a little tacky in my opinion but I’m not generally paying for the makeup bag as much as I am paying for the actual products. I was expecting something a little cuter though. Maybe something a little more wintery?

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The first product I received was the Malin + Goetz Mojito Lip Balm tube, which I originally thought was a cream (which would’ve really pissed me off. I am not a huge fan of creams, but Ipsy hasn’t seemed to take the hint in the past!). I thought it would be colored or scented (hence the name), but it is clear. No smell that I can detect, no color. It says it is used for “daily protection, soothing treatment, fatty acid absorption technology” so I guess….there’s……that. On the back it says it’s for the treatment and prevention of dry, irritated lips. I have never in a million years had this issue, but I guess I’ll find a use for it one of these days. I mean, I did pay for it. I will find a use for it.

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And then, needless to say, I was frustrated again by another tube, that was in fact a cream this time around (Smh). I thought I made it crystal clear in my survey that I did not want creams of any sort, but……oh well. The one I received in this bag was the Nourish Organic Renewing Eye Cream, which is also for people with dry skin. Again, I am the exact opposite of a dry skin sufferer. My skin is actually pretty oily as is, hence the apparent distaste for skin creams in general. I will, however, use these products and let you guys know what I think of them regardless of my preference! When I went in to smelling this product, I was horrified when it ended up on my nose and actually smelled uncannily like play dough. Yes, that stuff you used to play with and sometimes eat as a kid. It smells awful to me, but if you’re one of the people that enjoys that peculiar smell, then you might actually really enjoy this product. Around your eyes. Unlike me, who unwillingly was marked with this scent on the last place I’d want it to be on my face!

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Next, I got this gorgeous pink Elizabeth Mott All Over Shadow brush and it is the cutest thing ever. I love the color of the brush and the bristles already (pink is one of my top 5 favorite colors, so this was an immediately positive reaction!). I haven’t used the brush yet, but I am always in need of new brushes, especially for eye shadow, so I have a hunch that I’m gonna like this one.

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Then I got a Bellapierre Cosmetics pigment in “Exite”, which seems an awful lot like a spelling error. Is that a spelling error? Are you sure? No?…Okay moving on. This color is a shimmery white powder which I could imagine is going to look phenomenal when used to highlight and blend my eyeshadow. I’ve never had a pigment this glittery before, only glittered eyeliners, so I’m really looking forward to trying out this product. Most of the time, when I get pigments from Ipsy, they’re generally pretty fun sized but this one seems to be full-sized, which is a huge relief.

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Lastly, I got a Pacifica Natural Mineral Coconut Eye Shadow in “Treasure”. The color is stunning and seems like it will be very neutral on my olive skin tone. It also has a little bit of shimmer to add that extra glam and has a pretty blue packaging box with whimsical white waves on the front. It looks expensive. When I looked it up, I came to realize that it is fairly expensive for an eye shadow and it’s actually vegan and cruelty free, which is totally awesome! Kudos to Ipsy for choosing brands that believe in causes like animal rights. I could see myself purchasing more from this brand if I end up enjoying the product.

If you’d like me to make a video of the final impressions of these products on my Youtube channel, let me know in the comments below! Same goes for if you have any questions 🙂

I’m going to restart my youtube channel so I’ll make sure to post a link to the new one as well!

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Free at Last! (Personal Update + Poll)

Hello, my darlings!

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This has been a stressful homestretch, scattered with the anxiety of finishing group projects by seemingly impossible deadlines and the threat of upcoming exams that I felt mildly unprepared for, regardless of how hard I had studied. But this semester is finally coming to a close, I’m days away from sleeping in my own bed, and I feel my lungs gaining breath again. I feel like, in the last couple of weeks of a semester, I can barely breathe. I can never manage to take a full, deep breath and close my eyes to pure silence, because I know that once I close my eyes, reality will come back to bite me and remind me of what’s next on my list of things to do. But my head is officially clear, and I can begin to focus more on my art and writing again, and await the moment I can leave campus for an entire freakin’ month to go home and see my family and friends. It’s honestly the best treat a college kid could ask for, at least if they have a tight-knit family like I do. I always miss them when I’m away, but still, I definitely do not regret leaving for college because of this……But yes, I just feel good about everything lately and I am ready to come home and do nothing but things I want to do for the next few weeks. It will be glorious. Went on a bit of a tangent there. Moving right along. But yes, things are dandy on my end if you were wondering! 😉 And if not then….well, fine then. Suit yourself.

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Anyway, I’ve got some time to blow, and I’d love to get your input on a few things. I’m going to start writing daily again (I hope you’re as excited as I am!!), and would like to know what kinds of articles you would like me to write more of! I write for you guys just as much as I write for myself and I’d like to take some requests and what not for this holiday season. So if you could, take a moment and answer my poll below. Hopefully I can take your requests and write something wonderful for them that we’ll both enjoy! And if you have a specific prompt that you’d like answered in a new blog post, my email is mandirito@gmail.com! I’m happy to take email requests as well! I even made it easy. The contact form below will allow you to send your requests straight to my inbox. So go ahead, don’t be shy. I want to know what you think!

Hope you’re all having a wonderful last few weeks of your semester and annihilating your finals like I actually sorta did. You’re almost there. I believe in you! And if you’d like some finals inspiration or just want to peel your eyes away your textbooks for a moment or two, go ahead and check out the facebook page, where I post a bunch of relevant things regarding to finals, college, inspirational quotes, recent blog posts, and other stuff that you might enjoy! And I mean….if you love me….it’d be nice…..: facebook.com/mandirito.the.blogger

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Cmon. You know you want to.

Here is the poll:

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Mandirito’s Beauty Testimonials: An Ulta Haul for the Ulta-mate Hair! – Product Review

Recently, I’ve rediscovered the dangerous territory that is the Ulta clearance section, but also Ulta itself. It’s like the world decided to take all the beauty supplies I love and desperately need and jam them into one crisp, cute, not-so-little beauty emporium, with a clearance section better than the entire Walmart when it comes to beauty savings. I used to be a Walmart shopper for my essentials, and I’m not promising that I’ve completely sworn off Wally, but the products that I find myself looking at longingly always end up in the back corner clearance section of Ulta for me to scavenge. And so I did. I scavenged, spent an ungodly amount of cash on some beauty tools that I am certain I’ll be using for years to come, and if it weren’t for the cashier going b*tch mode on the customer that followed me about her “poor preference in hair setting spray”, my trip to Ulta would’ve been picture perfect. Aesthetic puns, hah. But seriously.

Without further ado, I’d like to tell you a little bit about the products that I purchased! This trip was basically all about the maintenance of my hair. Coming back to the university, I was more prepared than ever to battle the everyday Florida heat, and the suffering that would occur from walking back and forth across campus. I wanted to test out a few different styling products as well as products that would allow my hair to maintain its composure throughout the day, and I ended up purchasing three new products to take for a joy ride: Got 2b 2Sexy Voluptuous Volume Studio Size Hairspray, Got 2b Guardian Angel 90% Humidity Defense Hairspray, and Bed Head Totally Baked Hair Meringue.

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Got 2b 2Sexy Voluptuous Volume Studio Size Hairspray:

Pros:

  • The first time I wore it was during my very first week back at school, last week, during a high-ninety-degree streak. I had put my hair up in a calculated messy bun for a class that I walked quite a distance to get to from the bus stop. I realized how hardy this hairspray is when I managed to keep my hair intact with only minor flyaways from wind exposure for a good 3-4 hour period.

Cons:

  • I’m not a fan of my hair getting crunchy with hairsprays, so obviously it bothered me that it got more rough when I utilized this product, but once you wash your hair, the rough texture goes away. It’s not permanent, but it bugs me, even when I have my hair out of my face.

Verdict:

  • 9/10.
  • Would you buy it again? It’s highly likely. I am always looking for deals and the first time I bought this was during a Got 2b buy-one-get-one-free sale at Ulta, which ended with me getting this volume hairspray as well as the anti-humidity hairspray. It’s not unaffordable when it’s not on sale, though, so if I were to get it again, it wouldn’t break the bank.

You can check it out and buy it here: http://www.ulta.com/ulta/browse/productDetail.jsp?productId=xlsImpprod6470156

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Got 2b Guardian Angel 90% Humidity Defense Hairspray

Pros:

  • My hair is smooth and sexy! Yes, both! I would recommend this for all you lion-maned girls out there. We need to stick together, and this product was made for us. It’s practically begging to be used!

Cons:

  • Reference the brittleness comment above. This one makes your hair less brittle, but I still don’t like the plastic-y feel that accompanies the use of hairspray. It’s just a personal preference, really. If that doesn’t bother you, then the subtle aftermath of this product will not deter you. You will simply only reap the benefits of smooth tresses! Congratulations!

Verdict:

  • 9/10.
  • Would you buy it again? Yes! I have pretty decently long hair so this was an absolute must try! Often I find that my hair gets poofy and frizzy when I’m in the sun too long, so I’ve been generally looking for something to tone it down when the heat rises. I liked that this product kept my hair as “under control” as I’ve ever gotten it for an extended period of time. It works well!

You can check it out and buy it here: http://www.ulta.com/ulta/browse/productDetail.jsp?productId=xlsImpprod6470158

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Bed Head Totally Baked Hair Meringue

Pros:

  • My hair is accepting of styling products, and I had never used a meringue before this product. With that being said, I don’t have much prior experience with similar products. However, I thought this product gave my hair natural, pretty waves. I used this with a little bit of the anti-humidity hairspray and they work together like a charm, but it works wonderfully on its own too.

Cons:

  • I particularly enjoy the beachy smell of this product, but if you don’t like strong-smelling products, this might not be the one for you. I don’t usually like to smell really strongly (I leave the scents to my perfumes!) but this one didn’t bother my nose as much as I thought it would. It does have a very strong smell, and if you’re not into that, I could imagine that this product wouldn’t be worth the price because then you’d have to smell it on yourself all day long. It’s your call, really. If you don’t like smelling like a beach, maybe give another one of Ulta’s meringues a go!

Verdict:

  • 8/10.
  • Would you buy it again? Maybe. It’s somewhat affordable ($15.95 at Target), it smells nice in my opinion, and it provides a subtle, pretty wave to my hair on days that I don’t have time to show before class. I would recommend this one to anyone who has hair, like mine, that sometimes just needs a little push to gain some volume.

This one I could no longer find on the Ulta website, but they sell it at Target at the following link:

http://www.target.com/p/tigi-bed-head-totally-baked-volumizing-prepping-8-5-fl-oz/-/A-14721340?ref=tgt_adv_XSG10001&AFID=google_pla_df&LNM=14721340&CPNG=Unassigned&kpid=14721340&LID=13pgs&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=14721340&kpid=14721340&gclid=Cj0KEQjwveufBRDlsNb3kb-twMIBEiQASNH0xofSHTeJdsU_nYTUW5TxOEgQ5lo23eZK-EpGE1W8dlYaApwO8P8HAQ

Any questions, comments, or concerns?

Have you used any of these products and have something to add? Comment below!