October Ipsy Glam Bag First Impressions!

Happy November, everyone!

I wanted to share my October Ipsy bag with you all! Better late then never right?

I’m going to try something different this time around…in the past I’ve written first impression reviews and swatches on all the items in my Ipsy bag in one single post, but this time, I’m going to share my quick first impressions in this post, and then  share swatches and a more in depth product reviews in separate little baby posts! Let’s see how it goes!

I’ve been subscribed to Ipsy for about 6 months now, and overall I’ve been enjoying a lot of the products that I’ve received! But on the flip side, I have been disappointed by some of the random products too. I’ll admit, some Glam Bags have been more exciting than others.  An average Glam Bag seems to consist of 2-3 make up products + 1 skin care or hair product + a cosmetics tool or nail polish.

So without further adieu (took 6 tries to get that word spelled correctly)… here are my first impressions of the products I got in my Ipsy Glam Bag!


The makeup bag: ADORABLE. First off, I’m a sucker for anything baby pink, and the cute little Halloween cartoon drawings makes this bag even cuter. I may use this bag even outside of Halloween season!

The Balm Shadow/Blush in Cabana Boy. I immediately get excited when I receive The Balm products because I’ve loved this brand in the past. I extra like the fact that this eye shadow doubles as a blush! It’s nice rose, mauvey, pink shade that would be perfect for a blush shade. One thing I would comment on is that I wish the sample size was a little bigger. The size is just enough to pick up some product with your finger to use as eyeshadow but it would be hard to use this as a blush.



Pur-lisse Daily Lip Nourisher with Mango & Shea Butter. The packaging states that it hydrates,nourishes, heals, softens, is petroleum free and for all skin types. After quick application, I noticed that 1) it smells good 2) tastes pretty good too! Kinda like mango starburst… is there a mango starburst flavor? I don’t know but that’s the first thing that popped in head. 3) Thick consistency, like Vaseline.  4) Definitely made my lips feel instantly soft.


TreStique Mini Matte Lip Crayon in Belize Bourdeaux. Always love getting lipsticks in my Glam Bag! Can’t have too many different lipstick brands and shades in your collection. I tend to only buy nude or pink shades of lipstick for myself, so it’s always good to expand my palette with the new shades that I receive! This shade at first glance looks like a deep burgundy red. Swatches and a more in depth product review to follow!


Kokie Professional Nail Polish. This is the 3rd or 4th nail polish I’ve received in my Glam Bag in the last 6 months. It’s great because you receive a full sized nail polish, but I personally don’t paint my nails as often as most people. So the nail polishes I receive go unused. I’ve never heard or used this brand before but the packaging and shade are both really cute! Maybe all these nail polishes will motivate me to paint my own nails someday!


Ciate Fierce Flicks Felt Eye Liner. First off, I didn’t know that Ciate made makeup! I’ve always associated them as a nail polish brand.  Secondly, I’m not a huge fan of felt eye liners because they feel sorta marker-like to me BUT as soon as I swatched this eyeliner, I was super impressed with the pigmentation and quality. More to follow on this one as well!


Swatches and product reviews to follow! Stay tuned!

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What I’ve Learned from Being a Big Sister

This post is very near and dear to my heart because it’s about my one and only BABY sister, Marci, who just turned 21 years old on Halloween this year. Ok ok, 21 is hardly baby age, but she’ll always be a baby to me!


I felt like one minute I was giving my little baby sister makeovers (like this dalmatian look you see right here), and then I blinked and all the sudden she turned into this gorgeous, smart, hilarious, witty GROWN UP who I go to for literally everything..whether it be advice about my career, personal life, my blog, ANYTHING. Somehow, my younger sister has taken the role of older sister and taken care of me in more ways than she’ll ever know.


Not only has she been one of the very most important people in my life since I was six years old, she has been an incredible influence on this blog. She is my social media adviser… almost all pictures and posts get her approval first! She keeps me up to date on young people lingo… for example when she had to explain to me what “on fleek” meant.


3 out of the many things I’ve learned while being her big sister….

How to truly care about someone else. I can definitely relate to Katniss Everdeen when she volunteered herself as tribute in place of her little sister- because there is no doubt in my mind that I would do the same for Marci. We’re 6 years apart so our age gap has been significant for most of our lives and that has always made me protective of her. I constantly worry about her well-being, get nervous for her during her first day of school, always hope that she makes the right decisions in life, etc. And every time I’ve been nervous about her, she’s proven she can totally handle it and that I had nothing to worry about!

Patience.  My sister and I are 6 years apart. I grew up watching my friends with their siblings who were super close in age laugh and play with each other and I remember being so excited to finally have a relationship like that with my baby sister. I quickly found out at 6 years old that new born babies don’t really do much at all. I remember one time, I literally sat around next to her crib and told myself that I would “sit right here and wait until she’s old enough to actually play with me”.  Hence- patience!

How to be a grown up. Marci gives me the best advice and has no problem telling me how it is. Her most recent gem of advice that has super stuck with me was “stop wearing yoga pants and Hello Kitty shirts everyday and get your life together!”

Overall…. She is a constant reminder that family always comes first and how amazing it is to have someone to love and care about you as much as you love and care about them.

What I can promise her as her big sister: I will always be there for her no matter what.  No matter how much we bicker or fight like sisters tend to do! Anytime she needs me, I will literally drop ANYTHING for her!!


I will always love and care for her (this includes being extra protective-can’t help it sorry!!)


Marci-pie, I love you with all my heart, always have, always will!!!



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Minnie Mouse Red!

Hope everyone had a great Halloween Weekend!!

I was able to round up a last minute Halloween Costume this year:  1 pair of ears ($7.99)+ black tank top ($3-already have a million in my closet) + red tutu ($26)  +black leggings ($3) and tada! I was Minnie Mouse!! The toughest detail to decide for my Minnie costume was which red lipstick to wear!!


Typically with my tanner skin tone, I tend to go for deeper burgundy tones when I want to wear red liptick.  I don’t wear bright red lips very often but dressing up as Minnie Mouse definitely called for a fun, bright, true red lippie! I gathered some of my bright reds from my makeup collection and here were the finalists!!

elf Matte Lip Color in Rich Red $3.00

Shiny bright candy red. Had to add a couple extra layers to achieve a true bright red. First layer showed up as a purpley-pink shade.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick in Sad Girl $20.00

This is my go-to shade when I want dark lips! Gorgeous burgundy, deep wine shade. Dries matte but has a little bit of sparkle and dimension. As much as I love this shade, it didn’t seem Minnie-Mousey enough for me.

Nars Velvet Matte Lipcolor in Cruella $26.00

This lip color was a hand-me-down from my mom and I’ve been excited to use it! Excellent pigmentation and came out as a beautiful true rich red with an orange undertone.

Bite Beauty Matte Creme Lip Crayon in Coulis $24.00

Very similar in both shade and quality of pigmentation as the Nars lip color but felt a little creamier when applying. Gorgeous red shade with impressive pigmentation. Pointed tip of the lip crayon made it easy to apply and control.




Aren’t these swatches gorgeous??  But there had to be a winner!

And the winner was….

Nars Velvet Matte Lipcolor in Cruella!!!


Here I am with my handsome Negan and his bat-Lucille (from Walking Dead!)

How was your Halloween weekend?? What did you dress up as?

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Watch These Talented Makeup Artists Bring our Favorite Disney Princesses to Life!

Hi everyone! Happy Halloween weekend! Can’t believe we only have 3 more days until Halloween! I’ll be scrambling to put together a last minute costume for this weekend. Any suggestions??

This whole month I’ve been enjoying seeing all of the amazing Halloween makeup looks on social media. My Instagram feed has been filled to the brim with mermaids, skeletons, zombies, spider lashes, vampires… you name it, there’s a makeup look out there for it!

One of the most impressive Halloween makeup videos I’ve seen is this one right here! A mix of incredibly talented makeup artists collaborating to bring our favorite Disney Princesses to life with the power of makeup! I hope you enjoy this as much as I did! Simply amazing! Check out all their Instagram profiles to see more of their work! (Listed in the caption below)!

Omg this is amazing!! Hope you all enjoy this as much as I do!! ?? Great job everyone!!?? #halloween #halloweenmakeup #makeup #cosmetics#makeupaddict #igmakeup #bblogger #bbloggers #beautyblog #beauty #makeupcommunity #fall #Repost @annalovesu with @repostapp ・・・ ???Halloween makeup collaboration??? : ?? Editing by @charmiejanee ?Hair (Belle) – @sahursart ?Foundation (Elsa) – @monicarosemua ?Contouring (Jasmine) – @paox33 ?Baking (Moana) – @annalovesu ; Powder Contour (Pocahontas) – @charmiejanee ?Eyebrows (Snow White)- @exteriorglam ?Eyeshadow (Rapunzel) -@jasmineregmi ➖Eyeliner (Kida)- @militzayovanka ✨Highlighter (Ariel) – @fraya.beauty Lashes (Cleopatra) – @marisolbautistaa ?Blush (Aurora) – @noemi_problemi 〰 lip pencil (Tiana) – @lawrencialovette ?Lips (Esmeralda) – @amadea_dashurie #muassquad ???

A video posted by Aly Mae! (@beyondtheswatch) on

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Perfect Drugstore Palette for Daytime to Nighttime!

Wet n Wild 10 Pan Studio Eye Shadow Palette in Quartz Center $6.99

There’s something so nostalgic for me when I think of Wet n Wild. I remember their 99 cent lip gloss and nail polish that I used to love as a kid! And here I am, at 27 years old, revisiting one of the very first makeup brands that I ever tried in my life, and finding that I still love it! With an exception of their Glitter Eyeshadow (see one of my previous posts with my open letter to this eye shadow explaining how disappointed I was with it and that it just was not going to work out between us), every Wet n Wild product that I’ve tried lately has received a major thumbs up from me. This palette below is no exception!




Swatches:  Natural light (in the shade) vs in direct sunlight

My favorite part about this palette is that the colors range from lighter daytime shades to dark sultry shades, which makes it just as perfect for spring/summer as it is for fall/winter!

On the lighter end of the palette, you get 2 shimmery lighter neutral colors, plus 3 different variations of purple. On the darker end of the palette, you get 1 chocolately brown, and 4 variations of sparkly grays. The one thing I will point out is that the 4 shades of gray are very similar to one another.

The pigmentation and color payout of these eye shadows is pretty impressive. Check out the gorgeous swatches below! These swatches were applied by using my fingers.

In natural light (in the shade), the eye shadows look matte with a little bit of sparkle. In direct sunlight, you can really see the multi colored glitter flecks mixed in throughout the shades. You can also see that the colors change depending on the light source both in the pan and swatched on my arm.




Overall I highly recommend this palette! There is also a neutral version of this palette, Coming in Latte. We can only hope that Wet n Wild will come out with more palettes with additional colors! Palettes like these are perfect for traveling because it is super compact and lightweight and you get a range of  light to dark shadows in 1 palette!

Let me know what you think! Have you tried this palette?

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The Struggle with Confidence and Makeup

Let me share with you an excerpt from my journal from 5th grade….

“A boy in my class didn’t want me to sign his yearbook today because he said I was too ugly.”  Jump to a year later during Christmas time, and I was writing about another boy who said he hated that he got stuck with me for Secret Santa because “why do the good guys always get stuck with the ugly girls“.

This was over 16 years ago and I can still remember exactly how 11 year old me felt when I wrote it.

So when I read that Sephora was launching Classes for Confidence to help instill confidence in people through specialized beauty training, it made me reflect on what confidence and makeup has meant to me personally. You can read about these classes here!

When I first started wearing makeup, I had this vision that it would transform me into some super confident person and I would never have to feel the way that I did all those times someone called me ugly.  Here was my makeup plan I came up with, my first #faceoftheday if you will, for what I was going to start wearing in 6th grade. Apparently at 11 years old, I thought my solution involved vanilla bean lipstick, shiny lip gloss, silver lipstick, mascara, eyeliner and maybe eye shadow- haha!


From my journal, July 16th 2000

When I was younger, I thought  that one of the most hurtful and self-confidence crushing things a person could hear is that they were ugly. And as I grew up, I learned there were many other ways people could crush your confidence- physical appearances being just the tip of the iceberg. So please keep in mind with this post that I’m writing, that I fully understand all the painful struggles and different aspects of dealing with self-confidence and self-worth, and for this article, I’m only focusing on confidence and how it relates to makeup and the makeup industry.

I find it ironic that even though makeup is a tool that can help us feel more confident about ourselves, that confidence can easily be torn down by the cruelty we see in the makeup community. Whether it be mean comments on beauty blogs, Youtube videos, Instagram posts criticizing the way someone’s makeup looks or even meme’s like these ones below that are meant to be funny.  Trust me, I’m a huge fan of silly hilarious memes, but seeing ones like these give me an uncomfy feeling in my belly and make my heart ache a little bit. I know personally when I memes like these, I immediately think about all the times that my eyes shadow isn’t perfectly blended or all of the different shapes & sizes my eyebrows have been over the years that probably placed me in someone’s perspective of the “bad brows”.

funny-beauty-memes main-original-640x0c

This way of thinking drives me nuts because memes like this and all the hurtful comments we see can take away all the power that makeup has to make someone feel good about themselves. I think that sometimes people don’t fully realize how hurtful and discouraging some of their posts can be, whether they intended to be mean or not. We’re not all professional makeup artists and we’re all constantly learning. I personally believe that we shouldn’t bring each other down based on someone’s level of makeup expertise or makeup preferences (this includes people who choose to not wear makeup at all)!  Using makeup as a way to criticize or judge each other encourages everyone to only care about surface or physical appearances, and there is soooo much more to a person than that!
I see so many ridiculously adorable videos of little girls filming themselves putting makeup on, like this one below! This is the next generation of makeup enthusiasts and beauty bloggers- wouldn’t it be great if we brought them into a makeup community that emphasizes how beauty comes in all different forms, that we should build each other up, instill confidence in one another, treat each other with respect, and and also look at the deeper parts of a person besides physical appearances.

Yes, the confidence classes that Sephora is offering is a fantastic idea, but it ultimately starts with us!
  • Tell someone that they look beautiful/pretty/nice today!
  • Compliment how someone’s lipstick, eye shadow, etc looks on them!
  • Leave a positive comment on someone’s Instagram or FB post!
  • Compliment more than just physical appearance- appreciate each other’s intelligence, talents, kindness, friendliness, points of view, etc!
  • This includes being nice to yourself too!  You are beautiful, don’t ever forget it!

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Urban Decay: Liquid Moondust

Today I’ll be sharing super quick swatches that I did in store at Ulta of Urban Decay’s Liquid Moondust Eyeshdows! ($22 each)


Picture via.

Don’t these look super beautiful and sparkly in the package?? This cream eye shadow comes in 8 different shades. I’ll be swatching 4 of those shades today!

Swatches- Top to bottom: Zap, Zodiac, Vega, & Magnetic

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I applied these swatches using the super thin & pointy brush that comes with it. My initial reaction after seeing the thin brush was that maybe this product is meant to be used a liquid eye liner instead of an eye shadow.  The texture of the product felt watery and light and was hard to spread evenly with the brush that it came with. I would personally use my fingers or a synthetic eye shadow brush to apply this product, especially if you wanted to coat your entire lid.

The pigmentation of the product is definitely impressive. The swatches had a shiny & metallic finish with an impressive color payout. These swatches were applied with just one layer of the product.

I was super surprised at how quickly this product dried! The website says that you have 30 seconds until the product dries completely, which could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you look at it. It’s convenient that you don’t have to wait for this product to dry, but at the same time, I found that this product is not that easy to smear and spread evenly, which means after 30 seconds, the product sets as-is!

When swatching this product, I found that some parts of the swatch applied on super sheer and other parts caked up and had a 3D effect-kind of like puffy paint!

One thing that is incredibly impressive about this product is it’s staying power!  The swatches stayed put on my wrist even as I drove all the way home from Ulta and didn’t smear on my clothes or anything else that they touched. After about an hour, I tried to smear the swatches with my fingers to see what would happen, and the swatches stayed in place!

What do you all think? Is this a product you would like to try?

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5 Cheap Ways to Store Your Makeup! (All under $10!)

5 cheap ways to store your makeup!

I have a confession… makeup organization has never been a strong suit of mine! My makeup storage and organization solution over the years embarrassingly consisted of randomly dumping my makeup in my drawers or keeping them in a messy pile on my bathroom counter. But, I have found 5 ways to store my makeup that are so ridiculously easy and affordable that they leave no excuse for an unorganized makeup collection!

1. Drawer Organizers/Dividers

Drawer organizers like the one pictured below have been one of my best investments and helped me maximize the storage space of my bathroom drawers. Now I waste no time digging through a messy drawer looking for a specific product! You can use these as separators in a drawer or use them on a counter top to store your products. I bought a set of 6 organizers that come in different shapes and sizes at Ikea for $10. Check them out on Ikea here!


2. Decorative Tin or Metal Buckets

You’ll find little buckets like this one below in the dollar section at Target! I’ve also seen them in craft stores such as Michael’s or Joann Fabrics. Target always comes out with new cute designs all throughout the year. I currently own 2-3 different bucket designs for every holiday and season! 😉

These are perfect for storing your make up brushes, lip glosses, mascaras…anything shaped like a long tube!


3. Hanging Pocket Organizers 

I have a hanging pocket organizer hanging up next to my bathroom sink. I use this to store beauty tools like eyeliner pencil sharpeners, nail clippers, hair ties, eyelash curlers, bobby pins, hand lotions etc! These are all items that I frequently need and somehow always manage to lose, so having extras stored in 1 spot makes it easier for to me find them when I need them.

I bought this 5 pocket hanging organizer at the Dollar Store.  I’ve seen organizers like this come in many different variations, so you can get creative with what products you can store depending on the number and size of pockets.


4. Pencil Cases!

Back to school season for me means stocking up on cute pencil cases to use as makeup bags! I bought these pencil cases during the back to school sale at Toys R Us. I’ve seen these cases as cheap as $3.00! Perfect for packing makeup essentials when you’re traveling or to keep in your purse/backpack!


5. Decorative trays 

Decorative trays can be used to store products that you use frequently use to allow for easy access. I have one tray sitting on my bathroom counter with my daytime moisturizer, hair serum, castor oil, and any products that I use daily. I have another tray on my bedroom dresser, with my night time skin care products. Having these products displayed out in the open not only makes it easy to access, but also serves as a friendly reminder for me to keep up with my skin care regimen! 😉

I purchased the acrylic tray in the first 2 pictures below for $6 at Ross and the plastic tray in the 3rd picture for $1.50 from Daiso.




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Wet n Wild Color Icon Glitter Singles

Dear Wet N Wild Color Icon Singles,

You were so enticing in the store, looking stunningly glittery in the pan. Apparently I am easily distracted by pretty little sparkly things, and with you being a pretty little sparkly thing for only 99 cents? I couldn’t really pass you up now could I? I mean, look at you!!

Please note that even though I’m speaking specifically to the Brass shade (pictured below), this could easily be applicable to all 7 of your shades– yes including the red, purple, pink, blue, white and silver shades!


The Wet n Wild website had wonderful things to say about you! Crease resistant, no fallout, infused with aloe and coconut oil, moisturizing, easy to apply, long wearing… all super positive things!

All I wanted was to try the glitter trend I’ve been seeing all over Instagram and Youtube, and sadly, looks like I won’t be able to try this trend with you. Overall, you were not at all what I expected after I first swatched you on my wrist.

In the pan, your solid brick of glitter looked absolutely gorgeous. But when I swatched you on my wrist, it looked like a clear base layer with random clumps of glitter…a messy flurry of gold, white, silver, and bronze glitter flakes on top of a sticky layer of clear film. Your glitter flakes were very difficult to spread evenly. I had some luck applying this product with my finger, and had absolutely zero luck trying to apply it with a brush.


One of the biggest things that worries me about you, is that there is so much fallout, which means your beautiful glittery particles could easily make their way inside my eyes and potentially scratch them- ouch!!

Wet n Wild Color Icon Glitter Single, I feel like I’ve been a little harsh, but I promise I won’t completely count you out. With Halloween and the Holidays coming up, adding a little bit of sparkle and glitter to my makeup looks would be really fun! If I applied you with some type of adhesive like glitter glue or a thin layer of eyelash glue, this could help you stick to my eyelids better!

I also made the mistake of assuming that I could use you a solid glitter eye shadow, when it looks like you would be better layered on top of a base eye shadow instead!


Overall, for 99 cents, I don’t regret purchasing you. I’ve seen a few beauty gurus use all of your shades in their make looks, and they look gorgeous!  With a little extra effort and a little creativity, I think I could make you work! 😉

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See the glitter trend in action below:

Vogue-10 Make Up Trends for Fall/Winter 2016-2017

Marie Claire-Summer Makeup Trends 2016

You Tube Tutorials using this product:


Check out a couple of my favorite metallic/glittery eye shadow shades:

ColourPop Eye Shadow in Get Lucky. ($5)

Colourpop Eye Shadow in Nillionaire. ($5)

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Swatch Party! e.l.f. Cosmetics Studio Matte Lip Color

This week I’m featuring one of my all-time favorite lipstick lines…. e.l.f. Cosmetics Studio Matte Lip Color! ($3)


I started by picking out one or two lipsticks in my usual go-to shades (pinks and nudes), and then quickly fell in love with the product. I ended up collecting as many shades as I could! I can’t not pick up a new shade or at least check if there are any new colors during every single one of my Target runs! There are currently 15 shades available on e.l.f.’s website. Check em out here!

Let’s have a swatch party!

I’ve collected swatches of the shades that I currently own with the help of some family members, friends, and fellow makeup enthusiasts, and now I want to hear/see from you!! We all know that shades look different on each person’s unique and individual skin tones. Somewhere out there, there may be another person with a similar skin tone or make up style as you that’s curious how these shades will look on them!





Be featured on Beyond the Swatch!

If you own any e.l.f. Matte Lip Colors, send me your swatches to be featured in my full-length article and review of this product! Any shades of this product are welcome, swatched on your wrist and/or on your lips.

Tag me on Instagram at #beyondtheswatch @beyondtheswatch or email your swatches to me at alymae@beyondtheswatch.com!

I will be collecting swatches until November 1st 2016! I can’t wait to see how these shades look on you! A giveaway is in the works as well for those who participate! Details to follow in the upcoming weeks! Stay tuned! 🙂

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