Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays everyone! 
Have a safe, joyous and cozy Christmas

And to all who don't celebrate Christmas,
Have a wonderful holiday season!

Friday, December 23, 2011

NOTW: Deborah Lippmann "Candy Shop"

I got the Deborah Lippmann Get The Party Started set a about 3 weeks ago, and have yet to post the photos of it. I apologize. I meant to post it right away, but then finals took away all of my free time.
Here's a little teaser though.
This is the pink glitter from the set. The set basically is "Happy Birthday", with 2 variations of it, in black polish form and pink jelly form.
"Candy Shop" is a very bubblegum pink color base, with a jelly texture, with tons of that same glitter you see in "Happy Birthday". The jelly texture really makes it easy to layer and see all the glitter through all the layers you may put on your nails.
I used 3 coats on my left hand, which is what you see in photos. I probably would have preferred 2 coats, so theres a little bit more of that ink color visible and less of a dense glitter build up. It is decently packed with glitter and the color is pretty opaque, and will be especially more visible if you have a lighter skin tone. 
This was actually not as annoying to remove as I thought it would be, as a lot of glitters are a terror to remove. I've experienced that with all of the Lippmann polishes I've tried actually, that they're not that bad to remove.
Deborah Lippmann nail polishes can be purchased on their website and at Nordstrom and retail between $16 and $20 each. This set was limited edition so it may not still be available, but you can always check on both Nordstrom and Deborah Lippmann's websites.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

NOTW: OPI DS "Sapphire"

At my local CVS, there are always random OPI polishes that you can get. And I've found quite a few treasures there... Smitten With Mittens, for one, and this one. This is OPI's "Sapphire" from their Designer Series line. That line is mostly holographic polishes, although the new ones they've released haven't been. But, the older ones are all beautiful linear holo polishes, and I hadn't gotten any of them until I found this at CVS.
Perhaps it's my total mood for holographic polishes right now, but this I wore on my nails for a good week and a half. Which is a long time in my world. 
"Sapphire" is a light blue base with a very strong holographic effect. The photo above is with flash, just to show of the beauty of it, since the day when I was taking photos of my nails was cloudy.
Below are photos in just regular daylight, and you can still see the holo, but it doesn't do it justice at all.
This is 3 coats of the polish over Nubar Foundation Base Coat and under Poshe Fast Dry Top Coat.

OPI Nicki Minaj Collection Swatches and Comparisons

I was beyond ecstatic when a little brown box came in the mail because I knew exactly what was inside. My local beauty supply store lady ordered the Nicki Minaj Collection by OPI for me, knowing that I'd want them.
Like last year's Katy Perry Collection, OPI released a 6 color mini collection collaborating with Nicki Minaj. All of the colors were named after Minaj's music (at least I assume so, since I actually don't listen to Nicki Minaj).
When the press release first made its way onto a bunch of nail blogger's sites, I really only wanted 2 of the colors, which were the 2 glitters. Slowly, a few of the bloggers started getting the colors and even in swatch form, only 2 of the colors seemed worth it.
I was relieved though after swatching everything that I got all 6 of the colors. The collection has 3 creme finish colors, very bright and unique. The 2 glitters are also unique, and are my favorite of the 6. The last is a shatter polish.
This collection is supposed to be available in January. OPI retails for between $8 and $9.

Review: Fortune Cookie Soap Santa's Cookies

I have a long list of products from Fortune Cookie Soaps to review for you, so why not start with what they're famous for, their fortune cookie shaped soaps. 
There are many many scents to choose from, as well as packaging options. You can get yours packaged specially in a doggie box if you so choose. Soaps also come in plenty of colors, designs, textures, and effects (they have glow in the dark!).
Everything is hand made, and "gunk free" as it says on their site, which means no parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, no synthetic preservatives and no animal testing. 
Right off the bat, it's very impressive and pleasing to see how many different options there are just for a soap. Lush for sure does not offer THIS MANY soaps. Each soap retails for between $2.50 and $4, depending on the grandeur of the soap.
The scent I chose was Santa's Cookies. It has an oatmealy texture and seemed very moisturizing at first glance. The scent was on the nuttier side, with some butter in there, not so much sugar. 
Here is what they said on their website:
Certain times of the year brings on special cravings. Like when summer hits we love to eat hot dogs, watermelon, and popsicles! When Christmas rolls around though we love warm, sweet, and spicy things! We rolled all our favorite cravings into one fortune cookie! Our Santa's Cookies contains peanut butter, apple, cinnamon, ginger, carrot, nutmeg, butter cream, and vanilla! Don't we just think of everything?!

I definitely didn't smell that many things, but then again, I'm not the most sensitive scent person.
The soap itself was very moisturizing, it frothed enough to make me feel clean and didn't dry my hands out. It lasted a while in it's fortune cookie shape, then started to collapse. I actually still have it in my bathroom, there's about a quarter of it left and I've been using it for about a month.
A thing you have to be aware of though is that you're going to want to use it pretty immediately after you get it in the mail. I waited about a week, so that I could film a video and photograph it, and it started to... sweat? You can see in the photo that it's wet. It's not because I had used it. It's because water started leaking out of it. So the faster you use it, the better.
I definitely think that it was a good introductory soap, since I liked the scent, texture and overall result.
Fortune Cookie Soaps can be purchased only on their website. Shipping is decent time and price wise, as they hand make everything. Customer Service is also superb - they have a very active twitter account, who is actually Shannon one of the founders, and she is great about answering questions. These would also make great gives if you have a lot of friends to shop for.

Monday, December 19, 2011

NHL Tutorial #23: Philadelphia Flyers

 Tutorials galore! I've been in a very makeup inspired mood so I've gotten a lot of tutorials filmed.
Todays's is for the NHL Team the Philadelphia Flyers, whose colors are orange and black.
I've done a double colored orange/black liner before, but wasn't the biggest fan of it. This time I decided to go easy, do a pale eye with a smoked crease, and an orange lip. I used primarily the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette for this, since it was asked a few times.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

NOTW: Christmas Candy Cane Sparkle :)

Cute Polish posted a YouTube tutorial a couple weeks ago of a super cute candy cane inspired nail look. I was so in love with it so I decided to do the same on my nails. It's my go-to winter/holiday look for this year I've decided.
I used the red glitter from both the China Glaze and OPI holiday collections. China Glaze's was "Ring in the Red" and OPI's is "Gettin' Miss Piggy With It".
I used about 2 coats of each. 
On top of that I added some white striping to make it more festive.
It's a little messy in the photo since I took it right after I painted my nails. Sorry!
I used Nubar's Foundation Base Coat and the Poshe fast dry top coat. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Nail Polish Comparisons: Bright Red Cremes

In my recent Maven Box, which I know I still have to post photos of, I got a bright red creme polish called January, and I decided it was the perfect time to get back into the nail polish comparisons that I had been doing previously. A good friend of mine on twitter, Radha, also asked if it were similar to any of the polishes I already had, so here we go!
January is a bright, very pigmented red creme. Perfect Mad Men like (which is why, I'm assuming, it's called January, after January Jones) red. The Julep creme polish formulas are amazing and I'm always happy with how pigmented, smooth and gorgeous the colors are. They're $14 each so it's pricey, especially because it comes with less polish than a regular 15ml polish, but if you get them through the Julep Maven Boxes, then it definitely becomes worth it. 
As a comparison, I have some other brighter red cremes to show you. 2 from OPI, and one from Zoya. There is also a comparison of Essie and Zoya at the bottom.
OPI Color So Hot It Berns / OPI Comet Loves Cupid / Zoya Sooki
OPI's Color So Hot It Berns is a bright, red creme. It is definitely a yellow toned (or warm toned) red. It's very pigmented. It was originally released in the OPI  Swiss collection from last year, so it is still pretty easily accessible. 
OPI's Comet Loves Cupid is from the holiday collection 2 years ago and is pretty much exactly the same color as Berns. It's also got a very smooth, pigmented formula.
Zoya's Sooki is from the summer's Summertime collection. It is slightly darker, and slightly brighter than both the OPI colors. It's very pigmented as well though. 
In comparison to all three of these colors, I'd say Julep's January is closest to Sooki. 
OPI Color So Hot It Berns / OPI Comet Loves Cupid / Zoya Sooki

The other two polishes I have as comparisons for you are from Zoya and Essie.
Zoya Tamsen / Essie Red Nouveau
Zoya's Tamsen is also from the Summertime collection. It's a warm, tomato paste red color. It's got this slight dustiness to it that makes it a little less clear compared to the first three polishes. It's truly a creme, and can't lean on a slight jelliness like a lot of red cremes do.
Essie's Red Nouveau is from a collection last year. It's also a bright, red tomato red creme. No jelly either. It's slightly darker than Tamsen.
Both polishes are pigmented, although I think the Essie is a little bit more.
Zoya Tamsen / Essie Red Nouveau

Sunday, December 11, 2011

NHL Tutorial #22: Ottawa Senators

I have the next NHL tutorial for the Ottawa Senators for you today. Their team colors are red, black and gold so I did something holiday inspired and with products that I don't use all that often in tutorials. I wore this out and got a few good comments on it so I ended up pretty pleased with it.
A full list of products is after the jump!

Friday, December 9, 2011

NOTW: OPI "Pros & Bronze"

I'm sorry I've been gone a little while... I've had finals and as always around this time of year, school > internet. But here I am, alive after like 5 straight days of math homework, and with a NOTW post.
This is "Pros & Bronze" by OPI, which came in the last Serena Williams Glam Slam Duo, for the US Open. It was released in the summer, and came with two polishes, a brighter pink shimmer and this one. Of the two, this was definitely the most buzzed about and there's for sure a reason why.
Unlike the other duos, this one didn't come with a "special effects" polish - shatter, 3-d holo glitter for example. 
"Pros & Bronze" is a sheer coppery orange shimmer base. It's not a bright orange, but a more fall/pumpkin orange base. Mixed in are pieces of foily pink shimmer. Both shimmers reflect golden a little bit as well. The effect is an almost duochrome glassfleck shimmer polish. It's stunning and really something you have to see in person.
I put on 3 coats of this polish with no base or top coat. Sorry for the messiness, I photographed it RIGHT after it dried, so it still hadn't been cleaned up around the edges.
More photos below with different angles and flash.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette: Swatches & Giveaway!

I have a rather exciting post for you today - the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette. Just as Urban Decay states, it's probably the most hyped sequel palette.... EVER. The first one sold out so quickly, and was so hard to get the first few months that it made the covet factor of this one ridiculous. I'll admit, I stalked the site and made sure I got mine, and an extra, for you guys! But more on that later :)
Like the first, the palette is full of only neutral colors that you can use in various ways to create countless neutral looks. There are 12 colors, a mix of mattes, shimmers and more chunky almost glitters, which if you've bought an Urban Decay palette before, you'll know that texture. The palette also comes with a mini lipgloss from their Lip Junkie line, and a dual-ended brush that has a blending brush on one side and a paddle shaped on the other.
I do wish they included a liner, like the first one as I thought that was great. It came with Zero (black) on one side and Whiskey (exclusive shade of brown for the first release of the Naked palette) I don't miss the mini-primer potion because I have so many. 
As a bonus when I purchased off of Urban Decay I got free shipping and a mini 24/7 pencil in El Dorado.
These originally retail for $50 each, and will not be available on other sites in the US until February I believe. They're supposed to get more in stock next week on the Urban Decay site. They're apparently going to be available in the UK in January. 

Giveaway rules!
- Must be 18 or older (or whatever the legal age is in your country as this will be international), or have parental consent.
- You must be subscribed to me on YouTube, which you can do here (press the subscribe button under the video and next to my picture):
- Giveaway will end 12/17/11 at 11:59 PST (or 11:59 pm in San Francisco, California, USA on that date). 
- No comments on the video necessary to enter. Just make sure you are subscribed!
- I will pick a winner by randomly generating a number on and will then count out to that number on my subscribers page on YouTube. I do not have any control on how generates numbers, or how YouTube presents the list of my subscribers to me. The winner will be notified by message on YouTube. They will have 48 hours to respond with their address so I can send it out as soon as possible!
The rest of this post is pictures... Enjoy!!

Friday, December 2, 2011

NOTW: OPI "My Private Jet"

This is probably one of the most beautiful polishes I own. OPI's "My Private Jet" is a dark charcoal-brown with holographic shimmer in it. When it was first released, OPI had a fully holographic version of it, and I've seen photos and it's stunning, but I personally find that this version is quite stunning as well, especially with flash. 
It's pretty opaque, what I have on my nails is 2 coats with no base or top coat. I've been doing that recently, just for quickness sake.
The pictures were taken about 3 days after I applied, so the minor tip wear is pretty impressive considering I have no base or top coat on it. 
At the end are two blurry flash photos so you can really see the different colors that come out. 
OPI can be purchased at Ulta and beauty supply stores. I don't know if this color is still easily find-able but I got it on an etailer. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sephora VIB Sale

So apparently it wasn't enough for me to get a good lot of things at the Friends and Family sale, so I also purchased a good lot of things from the VIB sale.
In order to be a VIB at Sephora you have to spend something like $300 in the year and you automatically become a VIB. With the VIB membership, you are eligible to earn points where you can trade them in for deluxe samples and sets. Plus you get the coupon code for the 20% off sale and you get a birthday gift when it's that time of the year.
The majority of these products you can still get at Sephora, aside from the Tarte lip set, which is sold out online but still may be available in a Sephora near you.
It's pretty picture heavy, and not very filled with description (aka not at all) because I talk about most of them in the video, and it's finals time so I don't have time to fully go into depth with each product right now. I possibly might edit this post later, but probably not. School takes priority right now!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Fortune Cookie Soap Hot Chocolate Bath Melts Review

As I've been bathing (literally this time using baths) more often, I have another product review for you. This time it's for the Fortune Cookie Soap bath melts that I purchased, in their Hot Chocolate scent.
On first impression the product is a very true to real life scent. It really does smell like the powder that hot chocolate comes in the form of. It's got a great chocolate scent, with a slight bit of saltiness.
I've used 2, one used as I would a Lush bath melt, and one used the way they suggest on their site.
Lush bath melts I use by waiting until the bath is filled then I plop in the bath melt and let it melt away and release a lot of moisturizers and good scent. This is what I did the first time with the Hot Chocolate bath melt, and it didn't work that great. Their bath melts fizz a little bit, not as much as you'd see in a bath bomb, but it bubbles just a little bit, which is I guess just how it dissolves in water. It doesn't melt in the sense that hot water makes it soft. I think any water would really just dissolve it regardless of the temperature. The scent definitely translated into the water, as it smelled amazing. The problem with just letting it melt in the hot water was that it definitely didn't incorporate itself into the water as much as I would have liked. The brown oil would settle on the sides of the bath, and the particles would float around in the water which, because it's brown, just made the bath look dirty. After that use, I was definitely kind of disappointed. Especially because I was so relaxed in the water, but I noticed there was not only residue lines on my skin but that I had to clean the bath tub after use. Going from relaxed to "cleaning mode" is never easy.
I then looked up how they actually recommend how to use their products because a lot of time it makes a HUGE difference as to how the product performs. Sure enough it vastly improved my bath experience. Fortune Cookie Soap recommends you put half or a whole melt into the running water as opposed to after the bath has filled. That definitely helped the bath melt incorporate fully into the water. There was still a little bit of gathering at the sides of my tub but it wasn't as bad as the first time. My bath was definitely much more enjoyable than the first time around. It definitely became something I recommend using, after figuring out how to use the product correctly.
In the package, there comes 3 bath melts in the shape of hearts. A pack of 3 is $11.25 and can be purchased on the Fortune Cookie Soap website.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Zoya Gems & Jewels Swatches

Wow! Totally realized that this wasn't posted with my haul video that this was included in so here it is today lol. Zoya released their winter/holiday collection, Gems & Jewels, (the first of 2 actually) about a month ago and it included three metallics and three glitters that all coincided with each other. The metallics weren't that exciting in my opinion - the colors, a magenta, bright blue and green, were not colors that I was overjoyed about (although I did get a sample of the green one in my Birchbox) and I'm not a huge fan of those colors in that metallic finish. The exciting part of this haul was the glitters that coincided with each of those color. 
Zoya's Gems & Jewels collection's glitters made the name fit perfectly with the collection because the three of them are all very beautiful, glitzy and totally unique. 
The 4th polish I got has nothing to do with the Gems & Jewels collection but I was in search of a good silver foil, and now that I look at them together more closely, they totally could work wonderfully together.
Zoya polishes can be purchased on their website as well as at Ulta. They retail for $8 each.

NOTW: OPI "Warm & Fozzie"

This is another pick inspired by the fall colors and foil theme that I seem to have been favoring quite a bit recently. "Warm & Fozzie" is from OPI's newest collection for the holiday season, the Muppets Collection.
Obviously inspired by Fozzie Bear, this polish is a warm brown with gold and bronze flecks of shimmer making it a very beautiful multi-faceted polish. Depending on the angle, the polish will lean on the gold, bronze, brown or even slightly antiqued green look. When photographed with flash (at the bottom of this post), the red really comes out.
This is 3 coats with no top coat or base coat.
OPI is available at various retailers such as Ulta and local beauty supply stores. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Drugstore Haul - November Edition

Holy drugstore haul Batman! Here's this month's drugstore haul, which is much more massive than last months, mainly because of the super sought after Revlon Lip Butters that suddenly emerged and became all the rage online.
Along with that, I sort of went Revlon lip product crazy and picked up a few of those. I then saw the Sally Hansen Gem Crush polishes and grabbed those. And somehow along the way I ended up with blushes, and holiday items.
The majority of these items will be available very easily at CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, or stores like Target and Walmart that sell drugstore cosmetics. A lot of these products are also permanent, so even if you can't find them all now, they will eventually be readily available to you. 
More photos and swatches after the jump!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Lush It's Raining Men Shower Gel

Hallelujah! Lush recently made this shower gel permanent. Before that though, it was probably the most sought after and quickly selling out Lush item I had heard of. I had been wanting to try it for quite some time, and had gotten a mini one 8 months ago in a Valentine's Box that I purchased just for the shower gel. Whenever it released as a limited edition product, it sold out within the day and I could never get my hands on it.
When I heard it was permanent, I immediately purchased a large size of it, and thus finally started to use the small one I had been saving for 8 months.
It's Raining Men is the same honey toffee scent as their Honey I Washed The Kids soap, which happens to also be a best seller amongst Lush's products.
Here's what Lush has to say about it:

"Looks like rain today.

Get absolutely soaking wet and lather up just like the Weather Girls first commanded back in the disco days. Only this time, you're armed with one of the best shower gels you can buy. It's Raining Men is made with lotus flowers to soothe your winter-ravaged bodies and moisturizing, cleansing honey."
When it comes to convenience, this is definitely a lot easier to use than the HIWTK soap, which comes with a honey comb on top of it. That honey comb doesn't really melt and is awkward to wash with so the shower gel makes it SO easy to be able to shower and that smell delicious at the same time.
The gel lathers very nicely and the scent lingers on the skin for a long time. It's pretty moisturizing as well. It definitely doesn't add extra moisture to the skin, but it doesn't dry you out.
The scent is very yummy. The honey is evident, but the toffee notes to it give it a little bit more richness and well, yumminess to it. It's great for when you just want to feel like a kid and feel all cozy and comfy. It's also non-offensive for a sweet scent - again, it is Yukie's Mother Approved lol.
Since it isn't limited edition anymore, I would say to go get it if you haven't tried it yet, prefer shower gel to bar soap, but if you want to wait a little bit you can (but don't wait too long, you need to try it!).

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Essie Luxeffects - Holiday 2011 (Swatches!)

As I mentioned in my video, Essie used to be the most boring brand alive when it came to color selection. They had probably 20 baby pinks to choose from. A few bright reds. Some other colors. And then they started to change their collections - pinks, blues, pastels that weren't pink. Then BAM. GLITTER. What?? What happened Essie??
This year's holiday collection is 5 colors (Essie's collections are never bigger than 5 or 6 colors) all a different form (or shade since 2 are the same texture) of glitter.
Again, I have to say I've never been so satisfied with almost every fall/winter release of nail polishes since I've started tracking collections. Essie, OPI, China Glaze, Sally Hansen, Revlon even... all of them. I'm very pleased.
Essie Polishes retail between $8 and $9 (even $10 I've heard) depending where you buy them. They're available in CVS, Bed Bath and Beyond as well as Ulta and other beauty retailers.

China Glaze Eye Candy 3D Glitter Collection

Mmmmmm. Glitterrrrrrrrrrrrr. I, again, am so shocked and so pleased with how much I've been loving all the new collections from the nail polish companies this season. Last year, yes, I loved them, but this year, it's a whole new level of awesome. As somebody that loves glitter, all these glitter released have been fantastical.
China Glaze's Eye Candy collection is their second collection for this holiday season. All of these polishes are meant to be "3D glitters", which mean, all of the glitters have multiple components to them making them look "3D" in a way. This collection was inspired (or themed off of) by Marilyn Monroe.
There are originally 6 colors in this collection, and I purchased 4. The other 2 were the gold and the graphite color and I just wasn't interested in the gold and the graphite color has been done in other brands before so I just skipped it.
The 4 I did purchase were Love Marilyn, Material Girl, Marry A Millionaire, and Lorelei's Tiara.
Just as a little "Just So You Know" type thing: there are a lot of companies that are releasing similar polishes in response to all these multi-glitters by OPI, China Glaze and other big brands. Sally Hansen just released their Gem Crush collection and then Nails Inc. which you can buy at Sephora also have their own line of "3d Glitters", and I'm sure they're going to be seen in other companies soon as well. I've included comparisons of the Sally Hansen Gem Crush collections in this post, to show you that you don't have to go far to get the same effect of nail polish.
These can be found at Sallys, Ulta as well as online at various etailers and can be purchased for $3 to $6 depending on where you get them from.

NOTW: OPI "Take The Stage"

As I'm gearing up for American Thanksgiving, and continuing on with the fall colored foils theme, I have the next NOTW post from another OPI color, from the Burlesque collection again. This is "Take The Stage", a rich, pumpkin-y orange with a hint of brown. It's like the transition from red to brown in the leaves.
It glides on pretty nicely and the wear is pretty average for OPI (about 3 or 4 days with no chipping on me). Here, I used no base or top coat and this is 3 coats.
For some reason, it took me a full calendar year to finally get to this product and wear it around for a few days. It's lovely, and definitely not a color I regularly reach for.
OPI's Burlesque collection is still pretty easy to find, and can be purchased for between $8 and $9. OPI can be found at Ulta and other beauty supply stores.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lush So White Bath Bomb

The one product I immediately looked up when I had heard the Lush Holiday items were up, was So White. Last year, I purchased my first So White product, a bath bomb, and then got the perfume, because I was so in love with the scent. So White is the perfect apple scent - no artificial sweetness to it, there's a slight tartness, and it is very very fresh.
Here's what Lush has to say about it:


Simon worked hard to create the perfect apple fragrance – there is no such thing as real apple essential oil, you see. A blend of bergamot oil, neroli oil and orange flower absolute create a sweet, crisp scent. He added a hint of romantic and fragrant rose absolute to care for sensitive winter skin. So White is the fairest in all the lands, with grated Bubble Bar mixture to create a frothy, snowy white blanket on the water. And we bathed happily ever after. "
When it comes to Lush's bath bombs, I'd say they're fairly priced with all other companies that make bath bombs. Belle Ame's bath bombs are the same size and the same price.
This particular bath bomb fizzes quite slowly compared to others I've tried. It goes for about 5 mins. On average, I've found most bath bombs go for about 3.
Since this product is white, it doesn't dye the bath a different color, like many of the colored Lush products do. It does froth up a bit though and give you the slightest hint of a bubble, compared to other bath bombs.
The scent is fantastic though. Again, it's a pure apple scent, and definitely lingers in the water and on the skin for a full day/night depending on when you take your bath.
This is another holiday product from Lush that I would continue to purchase as long as Lush continues to make them. The scent alone is good for that, but the fact that it's only $5 is great. For those of you that can't spend too much on things, going to Lush and picking up a simple $5 product just for one night is perfect. Or, ordering like five or six of these would still leave you under $50 when you add in tax and shipping and you'd be set for five or six baths.