Ipsy Glam Bag: October 2014

Oh Ipsy, I do not understand your “Beauty Candy” theme at all…


Ipsy Glam Bag October 2014


This month I got:

  • NYC New York Color Big Bold Curl Mascara (Value: $4.99)
    I already have 5,987 mascaras so I haven’t opened this one yet, although other people seem to really like it!
  • Noya Lipstick – Deeply in mauve (Est. Value: $3.00)
    This color is too dark for me and I am not a huge fan of the formula/smell – it reminds me of face paint.
  • Figs & Rouge Hand Cream – Rose Berry (Value: $6.56)
    I got the Rose Berry scent and I am not a fan – it smells like blueberry yogurt that’s been left on the counter for too long.  The lotion also feels….watery – that’s the best way I can describe it.
  • ECRU New York Acacia Protein BB Cream Beauty Balm for Hair (Value: $12.00)
  • Skyn IcelandMini Glacial Cleansing Cloths (Est. Value: $5.00)
    I like these cleansing wipes, and they are great at removing make-up, but at $15.00 for a pack of 30…well, I’ll stick to my Yes To! wipes.

Total Value: $31.55

I really liked the wipes in this bag, and I think I will use the mascara and the ECRU hair cream, but otherwise this bag was kind of a wash for me – not the worst, but def. not the best.


If you’d like to subscribe to Ipsy please use my referral link!

How I got these products: I paid for them myself.  Ipsy did not ask me to write this review, nor was I compensated in any way.


Elsa Inspired Mani

Over the long weekend I had a bit of extra time, so I decided to do a mani inspired by one of my favorite movies – Frozen!

Elsa Mani

I‘ve been wanting to use my Born Pretty stamper template again and I think it worked out really well here!  I also used a chevron nail sticker from Julep and was very pleased with the quality!

Don’t forget – Born Pretty is offering 10% off – just use code BETTOPIAK31 at checkout!

Elsa Mani Details


I started all of the nails with a base coat of Snow Storm by Cover Girl – it was opaque in two coats and I was very pleased with the color!

Clockwise from top left:

  • Two coats of On A Silver Platter by Essie – I really liked this glitter! It’s a silver and blue glitter and is perfect for winter manis!
  • Two  coats of Mer-Maid for Each Other by Nicole by  OPI – this is a really fun color and I can see myself using it again!   I think it runs more towards green than blue (it looks more blue in the bottle) – but nevertheless, a great color!  I think the white base really helped the color pop.  I also placed a few diamonds from Julep’s Crystal on top of Mer-Maid.
  • I used the individual stars on the Born Pretty nail stamper template to stamp 3 stars – in each in Winter, Bess , and Char all by Julep.  I covered the stars with a coat of Fairy Dust by China Glaze.
  • I put the Julep chevron nail sticker on top of the Snow Storm base coat and added two coats of Julep’s Marion.  Marion’s color is AMAZING and has a great subtle glitter to it, BUT it stained like no other and was incredibly difficult to clean up.  I finished by rolling my finger in a little bit of Martha Stewart micro glitter and sealing with a top coat
  • For the last nail I used Spun Sugar by Revlon Parfumerie with the Born Pretty plate to stamp silver swirls over the white base coat.  I covered the swirls with a coat of Coretta by Julep (pretty much a dupe of Fairy Dust)

AND in a stunning life lesson of why you need to pay attention to your base coat – I used a top coat for the base coat, so this all started peeling off the next afternoon!  I filled in the missing nails with Tania, but just gave-up after the 4th nail and took it all off.  Oh well, a lesson to always double check your base coat!


BarkBox: September 2014

BarkBox sends out different boxes based on the size and age of your dog, so this review is for the small dog box.  Since I renewed my 6 month subscription I pay $19.00 / month.  This month the box was all about back-to-school/football!

September 2014 BarkBox

This month we got:

  • Etta Says Rabbit Chew (Value: $2.99)
    Poesy is always a fan of these treats and runs away with them immediately!
  • PetSafe indigo Smokehouse Strips(Value: $5.00)
    We had actually purchased these a couple of weeks ago from a local pet store – Poesy loves them!  They are a great treat and she’s crazy for them.  We did choose to refrigerate after opening, but the original box we had came with a resealable bag for keeping in the fridge.
  • Yumzies Jerky Burgers (Est. Value: $6.39)
    Poesy doesn’t seem to be a super big fan of these, which is weird because she usually loves duck!
    Side note: It looks like the company is redoing their packaging of this product and they are now being sold in a 5oz bag (as opposed to 4oz) as “Mini Yumzies Duck Jerky Burgers Natural BBQ Flavor”
  • Loopies Letterman Jacket (Value: $10.00)
    A BarkBox exclusive!  Poesy likes crinkly toys so this was right up her alley!  I’ve found it stashed around the apartment in various spots so I think she’s “saving” it for later.
  • Pawxford Pennant Toy (Value: $5.00)
    A BarkBox exclusive!  Poesy didn’t seem to particularly like or not like this toy.  She played with it for a bit and then it just got lumped in with the rest of her toys.

Box Value: $29.38

BarkBox has started including their valuation of items on the box card – and I have to disagree with some of their valuations, however – this box is well over the $19.00/month that the subscription cost so I’m not too upset.  I like the exclusive toys and think that they are the perfect size for Poesy!

If you would like to get your own please be kind and use my referral link!

How I got these products: I paid for them myself.  BarkBox did not ask me to write this review, nor was I compensated in any way.

Review: Graze Box 1

Graze is a new subscription that I signed-up for to help get some healthier snack options into the house.    They have tons of snack and you can customize them by picking either the calorie counter or the regular box – and then go even further with filers like: spicy food, requires a microwave, unsuitable for vegans, contains nuts, contains gluten, and contains nuts.

You can also “trash” individual snacks or request that ones come more often – but you can’t pick exactly what comes in each box.  Each box is $6 and you can choose if it comes every week, every other week, or more often.

I had originally eliminated all nuts, spicy foods, and most dairy from my selections since these are things I avoid in my diet – but my husband was so interested in the box that I have expanded my selections somewhat.

Graze Snack Box 1


  • Herby Bread Basket: I kept this one as a “like” (this means that I want it sent occasionally).  My husband and I both liked this one, but felt it was something that you could get at a store – we are just looking to branch out a little bit more.
    Contains: Mini basil breadsticks, garlic crostini and oregano rice crackers
  • Cheese & Chive Oatbakes:  My husband really liked this one, but I wasn’t brave enough to try it with the red onion marmalade!  This is just a bit too outside my comfort zone, so we kept it as a “like”
    Contains: Red onion marmalade with cheese and chive oatbakes
  • Tripple Berry Smoothie: I moved this one to “trash” (this means that they won’t ever send it again).  I really didn’t like the texture of the bananas and I’m not really a cranberry person in general, so this just wasn’t a winner for me.  This snack pack does count as a full serving of fruit though!
    Contains: Mini strawberries, blueberries, cranberries and chewy banana coins
  • Key Lime Pie: I was skeptical about this one, but we ended up moving it to a “love” (this means I want it sent regularly).  I love key lime pie, but the idea of lime flavored raising kind of freaked me out a bit – it was really good!  The clear winner of Graze box 1, it offers just enough sweetness to really satisfy a dessert craving.  My favorite pieces were the mini meringues!
    Contains: Lime flavored raisins, sponge pieces, mini meringues and green raisins

We really liked Graze and actually gifted my mom a subscription for her birthday!  The snack are focused on portion size – so they are roughly a large handful.  I’ve already gotten my second box and can’t wait to try some other new snacks!

Want to try it for yourself?  Please use my referral link and help feed my snack addiction!


I paid for this snack box myself.  I was not asked to write this review or compensated in any way.

Punk Rock Nail Art with Born Pretty

When Born Pretty contacted me and asked me to review one of their products I was overwhelmed by the variety of products that they offer!  From tools to decals – they really have everything!  I finally settled on trying the Star Plaid Pattern Nail Art Stamp Template.  I chose this particular template because 1) I love stars and 2) I thought the variety of patterns plus the stars offered a lot of versatility on one stamping plate.

Born Pretty has been super awesome and offered all of you 10% off – just use code BETTOPIAK31 at checkout!

Star Plaid Pattern Stamping Plate

When you get your plate the front and back is covered in blue plastic – this is to prevent scratches when shipping and is standard across all plates I have used before.  I usually leave the plastic on until right before I use a plate for the first time – not only for protection, but because it helps me keep track of what I have and haven’t used yet!  This plate is bigger than other plates that I own, so it didn’t fit in my plate holder.  The size of the plate means that there are more images on it, but it did make scraping slightly more difficult since I didn’t have the correct size holder.

It’s hard to photograph a blank plate because they are VERY shiny – Born Pretty, like many other shops, provides a black and white image of their templates so you can actually see the designs when viewing them online:

via Born Pretty

via Born Pretty

They also have instructions for how to use a stamp plate:

  1. Apply base coat or regular polish on the nail.
  2. Apply the nail polish to desired image within a plate.
  3. Using a scraper angled at 45 degrees, scrape excessive polish off quickly and firmly from inside to outside.
  4. Immediately press the stamper with a gentle rolling motion to pick up the design. The image is transferred to the stamper.
  5. Stamp the image on your nail with a gentle rolling motion. The image is transferred to your nail.
  6. Repeat the above steps for all of your nails.
  7. After stamping nail art, apply top coat for lasting wear.

Star Plaid Template - How To


Here I am using the plaid pattern as the base for my nail art.  It is very important that you move directly from the plate to the roller to your nail as quickly as possible, otherwise the design will dry on the roller and not apply straight to your nail (in other words, don’t stop to take a picture!).

Stamping can be a messy project, but because of the small amount of polish that is actually transferred to your nail/finger, clean-up is usually pretty easy.

I usually clean the plate with nail polish after a couple of transfers, and depending on the image/project I clean the stamper after each use or each couple of uses.  It’s important that you let the polish remover dry completely before you apply the next coat of nail polish to the plate or the stamper, otherwise it can ruin the image.

You can use pretty much any polish you want with stamping plates with the exception of glitters/confetti and the like.  The transfers dry fairly quickly so its very easy to layer images on top of each other.

Layered Stamps



As you can see in this picture – layering is super easy.  I did experience some smearing with this particular silver (Revlon Perfumerie’s Spun sugar) but nothing super major.

Plaid Star Mani - Studded


To finish off the punk rock look I sunk some black stars and gold studs into the first layer of topcoat before I sealed and clean-ed up everything.

So there you have it – stamping plates are super fun and super easy!


The stamping plate was provided by Born Pretty for review purposes.  All opinions of their product are my own.

Ipsy Glam Bag: August 2014

Ipsy Glam Bag August 2014


The theme of Ipsy’s August bag is “Get Schooled”.  While it is not as successful as last month’s I am still fairly pleased with the bag (and no,  it doesn’t smell – yay!).

This month I got:

  • Dr. Brandt Pores No More Pore Refiner – Est. Value $11.25
  • Coastal Scents Forever Blush Sample Duo – Est. Value $1.98
    This blush is the wrong color for me – STOP SENDING ME BLUSH!!!
  • You’re the Balm (Grape) – Est. Value $3.00
    This lip balm is very grapey – a great throwback to middle school!  It looks like it’s only available in duos, but the subtle shimmer and great scent make it work the $6.00 for 2!
  • Urban Decay Perversion Mascara – Est. Value $5.50
    This is supposed to be the best.mascara.ever. but since I already have several open it will have to wait.
  • Lord & Berry Silk Kajal Kohl Eye Pencil – Est. Value $2.50
    Their website is down right now so I based the price off of other sellers – but it kind of puts me off the product before I’ve even tried it.
  • Bag – Est. Value $2.00

Total Bag Value: $26.23

This wasn’t the worst bag I’ve ever gotten, but it’s not the best either.  I loved the grape lip balm and the rest of the stuff (except the blush) I will use…eventually.

If you’d like to subscribe to Ipsy please use my referral link!

How I got these products: I paid for them myself.  Ipsy did not ask me to write this review, nor was I compensated in any way.

Loot Crate: August 2014

August 2014 Loot Crate


August’s theme was Heroes…and it was by far THE.BEST.BOX. yet from LootCrate!  This month we got:

  • TNMT Michelangelo Bandana Sunstache (Value $9.99)
  • Chimichang’os Magnet (Est. Value $3.00)
  • LOOT CRATE EXCLUSIVE Glow-in-the-Dark Funko POP Vinyl Groot Bobble-head (Value $10.99…but really, he’s PRICELESS)
  • TMNT Ooze Action Glow In the Dark Michelangelo (Value $9.99)
  • Schwings Show Wings (Value $9.99)
  • Mega Man Air Freshner (Est. Value $7.50)
  • Bonus Digital Loot (Est. Value $20.00)

Total Box Value: $71.46

This was a GREAT box!  We loved the Groot bobble-head the best (although Poesy does NOT like Groot for some reason) and all of the items were really cool!  I also liked how they printed the inside of the box like the TMNT’s lair!

You can’t get the glow-in-the-dark version of Groot anywhere, but you can get the regular Groot bobble-head from my AStore – just watch for price gouging – I’ve seen it go up as high as $60!

Want a geeky crate all your own? Use my referral link!

How I got these products: I paid for them myself.  Loot Crate did not ask me to write this review, nor was I compensated in any way.