Tuesday, January 31, 2012

NOTW: Zoya Kelly

It's not my finger nails, but my toes this time. Yes, I have tiny toes. And yes, I have tiny toenails. I have baby feet still. My mom makes fun of me all day for it lol.
I don't paint my own toes. I get them done. I was asked to make a video about it, I tried filming it and it was a pure fail. So, if I get my toes painted a different color than my nails, I will post it on the blog.
Zoya's Kelly is a dark grey creme with blue undertones. It's pretty pigmented... I watched as the lady painted my toes and she only used two coats. Two coats wasn't really all that necessary either.
Recently these gray blues have been really appealing to me, and I like having darker colors on my toes so I've been loving this! I've also been getting a lot of questions about it at work, so that's always a good sign.
Since they were painted by somebody else, I don't know what type of base or top coat they used. This picture was taken a week after it was done though, and given that toes get a lot more contact than fingers, it's all holding up pretty well.
Zoya Polishes are available on their website as well as at Ulta and retail for $8 each.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Mac Girl About Town Lipstick

This isn't really a review, or really a swatches post, so I don't know how to title it aside from just posting the name of the product. So here it is. Just a single lipstick lol.
I might actually do this with my other lipsticks... just show you one lipstick at a time and talk about it more in depth than I do in a standard swatch post (which is the same as a haul post that I do, like when I go get Mac products from new collections and such). It's not quite a review though because I don't test out my lipsticks on a daily basis (or really any of my cosmetics) for a while to really get a feel of the product. So it's just a post lol.

Mac's Girl About Town lipstick is a bright magenta pink. It's got an Amplified finish, which I'm going to assume means that it's their most pigmented formula and has a "normal" finish, meaning it's not glossy or matte. Just that generally creamy looking finish on the lip that most non-matte lipsticks from most brands look like. 
I first randomly heard about this lipstick in a few videos on YouTube, but I couldn't specifically tell you which one. What really attracted me to this lipstick was a post by Diana Larionov on Twitter. Diana is the daughter of Hockey Hall of Famer player Igor Larionov. Her older sister Alyonka does a lot of media work related to hockey and also hangs out with her sister (Diana) a lot. Alyonka posts a lot of pictures of her and her family, and always reverences Diana as her "makeup artist". Me being attracted to both of those fields pretty immediately followed Diana on Tumblr and Twitter and started looking through her work (which, I generally really like). She posted a look she was wearing on a night out once, and it had pretty bad lighting, was also Instagramed and just... generally not the greatest "makeup showcase" situation, BUT her lips were just amazing! I instantly tweeted back, not expecting a response at all, and low and behold, she tweeted me back and told me it was Mac's Girl About Town. Long story short, even in the most unflattering situations (for the makeup, not the person), the lipstick still stuck out and was a must-have for me.
The lipstick swatches pretty opaquely on first pass. The swatch below is just one swipe of the product. When built up, the color just gets more and more vibrant. The finish also stays pretty creamy on the lip and hasn't yet dried out my lips during the day (I've worn it out twice). It doesn't fade very much either, although does need to be reapplied after eating. 
This tone of pink is definitely a color I think looks better on me than other pinks. I'm not a fan of the very pastelly-cotton-candy pinks on my skin tone. It's more blue based and darker so it compliments my skintone more. The 3 photos above are Instagramed as well (in other words, if you don't have an iPhone, the photo is edited) but the color of the lipstick stayed pretty true to life.
Mac lipsticks retail for $14 and can be purchased online, at Mac free standing stores and at counters.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Review: Organix Macadamia Oil Intensive Moisture Mask

When I saw the new Macadamia Oil line from Organix at CVS, I nearly dropped everything that I was holding and had a freak out. I LOVED the Macadamia Nut Oil that Sara gave me (that I had my eye on FOREVER) and I was hoping that some other brand would have something with macadamia in it. In fact, I went searching through random beauty supply stores' hair aisles to see if they had the Macadamia Nut brand or anything including that ingredient.
Macadamia Nut (which is probably not their actual name, but that's what I call them) is a brand I first saw on AllThatGlitters21's channel and she swore by it and it was probably the first hair product I actually coveted. It's available at Ulta, but as you all know, Ulta isn't a convenient place for me to go because it's about an hour and a half away. After using their hair oil, my hair had a very positive response to it and because of that I wanted to get more, it's just so expensive (which makes me appreciate Sara's give a thousand times more)!
So again, when I saw the Organix display, I almost threw a party, right there, in the middle of CVS. 
I picked up both their hair oil and their hair treatment because I've tried the Moroccan Oil version of both of those products and enjoyed them quite a bit. Today I'm just going to discuss the hair treatment.
Organix makes a Hydrating Intensive Moisture Mask in all of their hair therapy lines (Moroccan Oil, Cocoa Butter etc). It's a deep conditioning treatment meant to only be used about once a week. You can use it as a mask by putting it in your hair, letting it soak for about 20 minutes and rinsing it out.
What I like to do is in the shower, get a scoop of this (a dollop actually) and mix in a little bit of either argan oil (of any brand) or the Macadamia Nut Oil by Organix and let it sit while I tend to everything else in the shower, then rinse it out at the end. It's like a baby mask for a little bit more nourishment. I don't do it everyday, just once every 3 washes or so and my hair loves it!
This particular line of Macadamia Nut Oil smells very sweet and flowery. It's obviously perfumed that way so it smells pleasing to the general public. The Macadamia Nut brand oil smells a little more like almond oil and is less artificially scented.
The consistency of the mask is not uber thick, just kind of like a more creamy conditioner. Not watery but not like a heavy product. 
I believe I got this for about $8, and it can be sold for between $8 to $10 depending on where you shop and when it's on sale. I think I got it on sale as an "introductory sale" that brands sometimes do. 
I personally love this product and will for sure be purchasing it again. I do like it more than the Moroccan Oil version of this mask by Organix as I feel like my hair responds to it more positively.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

NOTW: Essie "Cocktail Bling"

The other day, it was dumping rain. Just.... consistent, heavy, big drops, windy, stormy rain. It was a welcome change because we haven't gotten any rain at all this winter (so far, and yes, I want more!). I think because of that, I've been reaching for gray and blue tones in my clothes and nail polishes recently.
Today's NOTW post is of Essie's "Cocktail Bling" polish, which was part of their Winter 2011 collection.
It's a stormy gray color with blue undertones and in certain lighting it can look like a light gray-blue, and even have slight lavender tones to it.
This was pretty pigmented in formula - I actually have been getting a lot of mani/pedis recently because I lost my cuticle trimmers. So I get it done and I take in my own polish so I can photograph/catalogue it later (lol). The lady only used 2 coats of the polish and I got an even coverage. Also, since I got it done, I  observed they used OPI's Chip Skip for a base coat. I have no idea what the top coat was.
This picture was taken a few days after the manicure. My nails look a little beat up, but it's mostly because the day I got it done, it was that ridiculously stormy day and I had to go clean out the drains. So I put my nails through a lot that day lol.
Essie polishes retail for between $7 and $9 and can be found at drugstores and Ulta.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Swatches: Revlon Colorburst Lipstick

Swatches today :) And more drugstore!
I have two Revlon Colorburst Lipsticks, which I got a while ago but hadn't made a video or post about so I thought I'd finally get around to it.
Revlon has a few different formulas of lipstick, but I think the Colorburst ones are the most popular, as they're (I think) the newest and the best in quality; or so I assumed off of what I gathered off the internet really only having swatches and posts about this specific line of Revlon lipsticks.
The Colorburst formula comes in quite a few colors, from neutral to bold but not too bold. There are some darker colors and a red but nothing too over the top. Based on the two lipsticks I have, the lipsticks themselves are fairly creamy, but not too, and are fairly pigmented. They also didn't dry out on my hands in and did stain a little bit when I went to remove them with a wipe.
My CVS doesn't have the full range of colors, so I did end up ordering off of Ulta.com, which is convenient because a) they always have some sort of sale for drugstore items and b) it's guaranteed that I'm going to get a brand new, never before touched product.
They regularly retail for between $5 and $7 depending on where you get them.
More photos and swatches after the jump!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nail Foils from Born Pretty Store!

I was recently contacted by BornPrettyStore.com to review one of their products. I chose one of the nail foils they offer because I've been really into nail stickers and such.
Born Pretty is a nail supply/makeup "mega" store in that they sell tons of items for pretty decent price. They're based in China, but never fret, they offer free shipping! If you're looking to try new facets of nail art like stamping kits or nail foils, I think this is a good site to get products from because you can get products for pretty inexpensively and for free shipping! This is especially for those of my followers, readers and subscribers that don't live in the US and live in Asia (which I know there are a few) because then they don't have to purchase things for a ridiculous shipping price.
There are lots of different patterned Nail Foils - if you're looking for other patterns that perhaps Sally Hansen doesn't offer, I would recommend checking to see if they have them on their website. 
The Nail Foils I got are dalmatian print. The package comes with 16 foils, 2 of 8 different sizes. They do run on the bigger side... there are like three or four sizes that really wouldn't work for me because my nails run small. So keep that in mind. 
In concept, they're pretty easy to use. You just peel and apply. The learning curve isn't as high as the Sally Hansen though - I tried four foils and still couldn't get it down (I only filmed and photographed 2). With the Sally Hansen, it only took me one trial then I pretty much understood how to perfect the technique. These are definitely harder to master.
They also will only last a few days compared to the Sally Hansen which lasted about a week for me. The removal for these foils calls for just washing and peeling off with warm soapy water. If you're like me and wash your hands obsessively as well as if you work at a pool, these will probably be more useful say on a night out. Just keep in mind, to use these as a quick nail fix for a night out, practice before.
I will use the rest of the foils that fit my nails as accent nails later on (since I don't have enough to finish a full set of nails). I also do want to try a different texture of them - I believe they have fully metal finish ones like Minx nails. So I will probably order more in the future.
Born Pretty is offering a coupon code though! You'll get 5% off of your purchase with the code YU5K31 and it'll be valid until April 30th 2012. 

Swatches: Misa Nail Lacquer

Over Christmas, Sara sent me another nice package of goodies. I didn't film a video of the items because I got caught up in all the holiday stuff and didn't think about it actually. I do have a post coming up of the rest of the products I got in the box, but I thought I'd just give a little teaser with these polishes.
Misa is not a brand that I have ever tried, nor have I ever seen in them stores. I have seen many bloggers write about them though and generally have a good opinion of them so I was very pleasantly surprised to find them in my Christmas box.
I actually don't even know anything about their collections or their line, so I can't go into detail about when these polishes were released and if they were limited edition but I'll do the best I can with what I do know :)
There were 5 Misa polishes in the box, all in a range of colors that I've been reaching for lately, which is convenient.
Swatches are after the jump!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Review: Soap & Glory Hand Food Hand Cream

A couple of weeks ago, actually it was the week before Christmas, so that would make it about a month ago, the central heating in the place I work at broke. During that same time, the weather where I lived went from cold, to super cold and dry. And then, during that same time, I made the poor decision of making lemon bars, and the lemon juice severely ruined my cuticle area to the point that it got swollen almost blistery on my middle finger on my right hand (thank god it wasn't my swatch hand lol!). The acid from the lemon juice just killed my hands. 
When the heating got fixed, they decided to BLAST the heat through the building so it just dried up my skin even more. Thus the search for the perfect hand cream came into existence.
I did purchase some of the Cocoa Butter Vaseline and have been using that as a nightly routine. It's just too sticky to use during the daytime, so I went browsing on Sephora. 
Sephora actually didn't have anything that seemed too spectacular so I went to CVS and decided just to get a travel size of the Aveeno Daily Moisturizer, which I know is grease free and scent free. The main problem I have with hand creams is that they're always greasy, and that turns my hands grimy and I HATE that. Hate hate hate. Worst feeling ever! Clean hands might be one of my favorite feelings lol.
Then I remembered that the brand Soap & Glory has been getting a lot of positive attention on YouTube lately, specifically their Hand Food Hand Cream and that they recently started stocking at Sephora so I thought I'd go check them out. 
I wanted to purchase a few more products from their line - I already have the Flake Away Leg Scrub that Sara kindly sent me. I actually didn't even realize it was the same brand until I looked at the packaging of the Flake Away and the packaging of all the Soap & Glory products that people were showing on YouTube and it clicked.
Soap & Glory used to be stocked at Target but for some reason they aren't anymore. Possibly because they started stocking at Sephora? Either way I'm glad they're still around here where I live.
My Sephora actually didn't have any of the Soap & Glory line available besides the Hand Food Hand Cream, and they had it in one of the little bins that you stand next to when you checkout. 
This size that I got I believe was the only size available and is 1.7 oz for $5. They have a bigger size available online which is 4.2 oz for $10
The scent is the same as the Flake Away scent which is a sweetened lavender scent. There's definitely a therapeutic undertone to it, which is the lavender, but the main scent is a very sweet, slightly fruity but also deep. Hard to explain. This is what Sephora/Soap & Glory says it smells like:

Its alluring scent of Soap & Glory's signature Pink Fragrance combines fresh bergamot and mandarin, rose, jasmine, peach, strawberry, oakmoss, amber, woody notes and amber and warm vanilla notes on the bottom. 

I personally didn't get any of that in the scent. Jasmine actually yes, and some fruitiness. But Whatever. It's not an offensive scent to me, to some people it might be though if they don't like perfumed products since it is a little on the strong side.
The cream itself is not a thick cream, very much on the averagely not-watery-not-heavy side. It absorbs into the skin pretty quickly but hydrates and doesn't just disappear. It doesn't leave any sort of residue either, which is fantastic! A little goes a pretty long way with this too so you don't have to use a ton to get a good fix for your hands.
It hydrates a little longer on my hands than the Aveeno Daily Moisturizer, which I think is because the Aveeno wasn't made for hands, as hands (obviously) get more use in the day and they tend to wear products off more quickly.
Overall, I think if you don't like perfumed items, you may not want to look into this, but if you don't mind them then I think it's a great hand cream. It's become a staple in my bag and almost all of my coworkers ask on a daily basis to use it, which is a good sign.
It's available at Sephora and Sephora online.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

NHL Tutorial #24: Phoenix Coyotes

As a mid-winter sort of smokey eye, I created this look based off of the Phoenix Coyotes as part of the NHL series I'm doing. Their team colors are officially Sedona Red, Desert Sand, White and Black so I created a gradient from a sandy color to black on the lid with a little bit of a red accent above the crease.
I always find it hard to incorporate red tones into an eye shadow look, and then find it hard to vary color placement when it comes to a smokey eye so I hope this is just a little different than the other smokey looks I've done. It's also not as bold as some smokey looks can be so it's a little bit more wearable than your standard smokey eye.
I hope you all enjoy... a full list of products is after the jump!

Review and Swatches: Physicians Formula Blushes

More drugstore! More permanent items! Be proud! Lol.
It's so easy to get caught up with the limited edition collections from high end brands and all of that madness. But I have been expanding my collection to include permanent items from not only high end brands, but also drugstore brands!
Today's post includes two Physicians Formula blushes that I have been curious about for a while. Physicians Formula is a generally well reputed brand and their products are cute so it was about time I went and purchased something by them.
I think it was last year that Physicians Formula released the Happy Booster line, which is their line of blushes, bronzers and possibly a highlighter all with that jovial heart design. I'm not sure when they released the Mineral Glow Pearls line, but it was brought to my attention by a recent post Amarixe did of the highlighter from that line.


Powder Palette Mineral Glow Pearls Blush Natural Pearl
I'll start with the Mineral Glow Pearls blush. The outer packaging is a mirrored silver plastic. On the top of the compact is a little plastic pearl. I like it. Elegant and girly. It matches my room well lol.
The powder comes in a bumpy, multi colored swirl of light and darker pinks. Natural Pearl is lighter than Rose Pearl (which I didn't purchase). It's pretty soft and smooth and pretty pigmented. There's a slight chunkiness to it, like a mineralized eye shadow, but it's because it's a mineral product.
It doesn't really swatch pink like what you'd think, but more of a warm pinky coral. There's quite a bit of shine to it as well. 
The powder blends pretty well and probably builds pretty well but it goes on pretty strong so if you're lighter in skin tone, you're not going to need to do that. 

Happy Booster Blush Natural
Compared to the other Happy Booster Blush, this is the much more neutral and less dramatic. The other is a very bold rose pink color and given that this one is quite pigmented, I can't imagine how the other one applies especially on paler skin tones.
This one has a lot of more brown pinks, like Tenderling Blush by Mac, but this has a sheen and a more pink base, which is confusing since this one looks much more brown in pan. 
The powder is a little more solid than the Pearls blush but is still on the soft and blendable side. 

Pearls Blush Natural Pearl / Happy Booster Blush Natural

Physicians Formula blushes can be found at all drugstores and retail for between $10 and $14 depending on sales and coupons.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Review: Yes To Cucumbers Facial Towelettes

On my last trip to CVS, I went looking for new face wipes because I was finally ready to try something new. This isn't to say that I was in any way dissatisfied with the Neutrogena wipes I had been previously using. Those were working spectacularly for me and I don't really have any complaints about them. I just wanted to branch out and explore other brands, especially because it's deep winter now and I think my skin just needed a little bit of a boost without completely changing my skin care routine. 
I was actually considering getting the Mac Wipes but for some reason I just didn't want to pay that much, even though per wipe you get more in the package. I also didn't want to get the bulk package because of the "what if I don't like them" fear. And actually, I almost didn't get a new brand of wipes because the Neutrogena wipes were on sale and I didn't like the Ponds wipes I had previously tried and couldn't settle on another brand I wanted to try. 
That's when I saw the Yes To Cucumbers wipes. Other YouTubers had reviewed this product and had really liked them so they were always in the back of my mind as an item I had to try. Then I saw the price ($5.99 for 30 wipes) and was even more inclined to buy them! Neutrogena wipes are on average $7 for 25 wipes. 
Packaging wise, the Yes To Cucumber wipes come in a green plastic bag with a plastic snap top, like the Mac Wipes. I prefer this over the Neutrogena wipes because those close shut with a sticker and once you get down to your last couple wipes, it doesn't stick as well. Miraculously, the wipes don't dry out in that packaging, but it's just nice to know the face wipes are kept away from dirt and other contaminations. Inside the snap top on the Yes To Cucumber wipes, there's a little sticker to really keep in moisture.
The wipes themselves are a little bit rougher than the Neutrogena wipes. Not in a bad, uncomfortable way. In a slightly exfoliating and "it feels like I'm getting a good clean off of this". They're not as moist as the Neutrogena wipes though, which makes me feel like I'm not getting as much off of my face like the Neutrogena wipes. 
Most of the time, with the Neutrogena ones I can comfortably get 97% of the makeup off my face, including eyes and the foundation on my neck. With the Yes To Cucumber, I feel like I should use another product along with it to really get a good clean. 
Recently on heavier makeup days, I've been using Mac's Cleanse-Off Oil to start with, I lather it a little on my face with water, then use a Yes To Cucumber wipe to fully get everything off and clean my skin. Then I use a cleanser. When I have a less heavy makeup on, then just a wipe will do. 
The scent is a pleasant, fresh, clean cucumber scent which is nice. There is also no residue left on the face which sometimes happened with the Neutrogena wipes. 
Overall, I think both wipes have a place in my routine. The Yes To Cucumber wipes will do better for when I have less makeup on, the Neutrogena wipes will do better when I have a heavier makeup on. I am pleased with these wipes though and would not hesitate to purchase them in the future.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Makeup Tutorial: Lana Del Rey Inspired

I've mainly focused on finishing my NHL Tutorials so I haven't done a tutorial inspired by other things in quite some time. I did get struck by inspiration though after I started seeing pictures of Lana Del Rey. I loved her look - it's actually quite simple but it really works for her. So here is my take of her makeup :) 
Enjoy!

NOTW: OPI "Strawberry Margarita"

If the weather just gets to skip a season, then well so do I. Winter has been non-existent where I live. We went from fall, to about a week of winter, to spring. Like it's been sunny, warm, and averagely 60˚ everyday of the new year so far. Like, really? We've actually had like 2 days of rain since November. This doesn't usually happen.
So, I just a polish I don't usually choose in January.
OPI's "Strawberry Margarita" is the perfect spring/summer pink. It's a warm medium toned pink with a slight jelly finish. It's a color that I wear even though I typically don't like medium pinks. I think it really is a pink that can suit anybody because it looks different on every skin tone and pulls different colors from what's around it. Obviously, every color does that to an extent, but most colors look good on a specific range of people and I think "Strawberry Margarita" looks good on everybody.
This is part of the permanent OPI collection so it can be easily found anywhere that OPI is sold including Ulta and other beauty supply stores. OPI colors range from $7 to $9 depending on where you get them.
I used 3 coats here on my nails over Nubar's Foundation Base Coat and under China Glaze's Fast Dry Top Coat (which, by the way, smells terrible). This lasted on my nails for about 5 days before chipping completely, although there was water related tip wear.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Review: Fortune Cookie Soap Cupcake Milk Bath

Before browsing the Fortune Cookie Soap site, I hadn't really heard of Milk Baths before. It sounded amazing though so I figured why not. They also had it in their Cupcake scent so it was sort of like an instant no-thought purchase.
Fortune Cookie Soap describes their Milk Baths as:
People have been using milk baths for centuries to keep skin beautiful. One notable ‘celebrity’ famous for her beautiful skin is Cleopatra VII the last pharaoh of Egypt’s Ptolemaic dynasty. Milks contain emollient fats, which soften and smooth skin. Our special milk baths contain powders like banana, pumpkin, and coconut that can gently exfoliate and hydrate your skin. Some of our milk baths have colloidal oatmeal which is renown for its ability to soothe skin.
Common Questions

  • How long can I soak in a milk bath?
  • We recommend getting out after 10-15 minutes. Too much of a good thing is still too much. Milk contains acids that can aggravate your skin if you stay in to long.
  • Should I rinse my bath tub after my bath?
  • Yes, our milk baths contain natural milk and powders, and can leave a residue in the tub. You can wipe it down with a wash cloth and gentle cleanser.
  • If the milk bath I want contains herbs, can I have them removed or shipped separately?
  • Absolutely, we can leave them out, or ship them separately so you can put them in a muslin bag. During your checkout, just let us know in the notes section... and we'll be happy to make it for you.
For me, that all sounds good and dandy and I basically took it as it is. I figure I enjoyed my bath when using the Milk Bath powder so I can't really tell you if it's a great product or not, compared to other Milk Baths.
I use about two small handfuls per bath, making the whole pack have about ten baths worth of product. The product itself is a medium milled powder. The Cupcake scent is on the stronger side and definitely lingers in the water. The mixture of this scent, and the moisturizing feel of the water when the product is melted in it made it a very comforting and enjoyable experience.
Personally, I didn't notice any discomfort after staying in the water for about 30 minutes. I like to wait until the water goes cold. After the 15 minute mark, and after my bath I didn't notice any negative effects or aggravated skin. But, if you have a more sensitive skin, you may not want to stay in the water that long.
I did notice that the water felt milky, and again, moisturizing, much like when I used the Butterball Bath Bomb or any bath melt from Lush. There wasn't any noticeable residue in my bath either. So I don't know, maybe I'm just doing it all wrong? LOL.
Again, I have had a few very pleasant baths with the Milk Bath, and have stayed in the bath longer than recommended and also had no clean up. So yeah. I do highly recommend the Milk Bath.
They can be purchased on the Fortune Cookie Soap website and retail for $12.99.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Swatches: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick Matte - Mauve It Over, Really Red, Wine Not

As mentioned in my favorites of 2011, the drugstore has been doing really well recently. Specifically, Revlon. I have bought quite a few Revlon products in the past three months and have yet to be disappointed by them. That's saying something, since I really hadn't been a drugstore customer when it came to makeup, and that the majority of high-end brands have something that disappoints me. I mean yes, I go in expecting way way less from the drugstore (except for NYX, which I have a weird "expect the world from them" attitude for some reason) and expect so much from the high end brands but I mean, it's rare to not be disappointed at all by a brand regardless of how much you pay for products.
To add to my list of products that I am pleased with by Revlon are their matte formula lipsticks. The Super Lustrous Lipsticks are generally very pigmented and very good quality lipsticks. Revlon added a matte finish to the Super Lustrous line instead of making a whole different line of lipsticks.
I actually can't find these anywhere other than Ulta online (and I don't typically go to Ulta in person since it isn't close to me) so I can't see what the colors available actually look like in person. So I sort of took a random light color, a red and a darker color to try and get a sense of how they do in each color category. The good thing about that though is that I was guaranteed to get a completely untouched lipstick, which is a total pet peeve of mine.
Mauve It Over (003) isn't really a mauve, but a warmer slightly orange nude color. Really Red (006) is a classic Revlon red that sits nicely in between blue and orange tones. It's a bit of a brighter red. Wine Not (010) is a very rich wine red. It doesn't lean too purple, and isn't too dark so it's pretty wearable.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Nail Polish Comparisons: Red Cremes Part 2

Part 2 of the Red Creme comparisons include some brighter red creme colors. I have Essie's Limited Addiction which was from a fall collection either last year or the year before, Zoya's Alix, and Chanel's Rouge Fatal which was a limited edition color from a year and a half ago. All three of these are very different brands in terms of availability and price so I thought I'd lump them together, even though the Chanel is a little bit different in tone.
Essie's Limited Addiction is the most opaque of the 3, and I only had to use 2 coats to get full coverage. It's more of an orange red than the Part 1 of the red creme comparisons, and is slightly less of a jelly finish as well.
Zoya's Alix is slightly lighter than the Essie and slightly warmer. It needed 3 coats and is more jelly-like than Limited Addiction.
Chanel's Rouge Fatal is nothing like the other two polishes as it's a blood red creme with absolutely no hint of a jelly finish and is almost opaque in 1 coat. Then again it was about $15 more than the other two. The reason I included this here though was so that I could just include a Chanel red in one of these posts. I personally think that Chanel knows their reds and does some of the best reds in every medium (lipstick, lipgloss, nail polish etc.). It was also a way to highlight the fact that I have NOTHING like Rouge Fatal, even though I have about 10 red cremes.
Limited Addiction / Alix / Rouge Fatal
Essie nail polishes can be found at drugstores and retail for between $8 and $9 on average. I don't know if you can still find Limited Addiction (I saw it just a few weeks ago at my local CVS but I don't know if it's available everywhere still). You may have to search etailers for it. Zoya polishes retail for $8 and can be purchased at Ulta and on their website. Chanel polishes are $26 each, and you may possibly find this at your local Nordstrom since Chanel polishes don't seem to sell out that quickly if it doesn't sell out immediately. It is still available on Nordstrom's site though if you're wondering.
Limited Addiction / Alix / Rouge Fatal

Nail Polish Comparisons: Red Cremes Part 1.

Continuing on in my very long and very thorough journey of finding and comparing "dupes" in my nail polish collections, I am now onto the first part of the red cremes. I have quite a few of them, as you'll see, and there's quite a bit more that goes into a red creme than just the color.
The first four I have for you, are all blue toned, slightly darker red cremes, that lean on the "jelly" finish. That is, it's not a solid creme polish, there's a slight bit of sheerness and a "squishy" quality to the polish after it's completely dry.
Malaga Wine by OPI is the slightly pinker red of the four.
St. Petersburgundy and Got the Blues for Red by OPI are dupes for each other, and are a very pure crimson reds.
Dakota by Zoya is basically the same color, I'd say it was like barely the slightest bit lighter. Not more warm or cool toned, just a hair lighter. But it'd really hard to tell, and I really only see it in certain lighting.
Malaga Wine / St. Petersburgundy / Got The Blues For Red / Dakota
I swatched all four of these polishes with 3 coats. From farther away, they really honestly do look exactly the same. Up close, you can tell that Malaga Wine is less red, more pink, and a little less jellier. St. Petersburgundy, Got The Blues For Red and Dakota all look very very similar and for all intents and purposes are dupes of each other. Really, the only reason you'd buy Zoya over OPI would be brush preference as they retail for pretty much the same price/amount. And the only reason you'd get one OPI over the other would be specific availability of one polish over the other (I've seen both readily available wherever I see OPI though). 
Malaga Wine / St. Petersburgundy / Got The Blues For Red / Dakota
And again, for a closer look:

St. Petersburgundy / Got The Blues For Red / Dakota
OPI polishes can be found at Ulta and beauty supply stores and retail for between $7 and $9. Zoya can also be found at Ulta, and their website, and retail for $8 each. Both the OPI colors are in their permanent line. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Review: Fortune Cookie Soap Bubbling Bath Crystals

When SayAnythingBr00ke first showed these in her most previous Fortune Cookie Soap video, it was love at first sight. I had to have it. It was intriguing, the idea of combining two different bath luxuries into one product, in scents that just screamed my name.
Fortune Cookie Soap is already known for making really unique bath products at very affordable prices, but this was just beyond that for me. For some reason, this was like the ultimate bath item and in my brain, and I was SO excited to try these out. 
I bought two of the scents they had available at the time, Cupcake which is probably one of their most popular scents (the other being Unicorn Farts) and Twisted Peppermint, which was a holiday scent.
Fortune Cookie Soap describes their Bubbling Bath Crystals as:
Don‘t be sore. Life‘s too short. Melt those tight muscles and relax with our bubbling bath crystals in a hot tub, full o’suds! Just a smidge over troubled waters will help replenish moisture and soften your skin when life gets hard. These bath salts also work to remove unruly toxins from your body and increase your level of circulation. Our bubbling bath crystals are safe for use in most spa tubs and make a regular bathtub feel extra special. 
SLS free
Paraben free
Cruelty free

DOSAGE: Make sure the lid is securely in place. “Shake it up baby now!” For regular tubs, use ¼ to ½ cup under running water for a light foaming action, use 1/8 cup for you lucky ducks with a jetted tub, and “Splish-Splash, you are takin' a bath!”
The Cupcake scent is a very straightforward frosting and cake scent - there are very obvious undertones of butter with overtones of warm sugar. I love it. It's everything that I want from anything cupcake scented. Twisted Peppermint is also very straightforward. It's pepperminty but also has some sweetness to it so it's not a strong, cutting mint.
The product itself is also very straightforward, which is nice. I like that there's no bullshit with the products and scents. It's not complicated to use, and there aren't any extra surprises that make clean up a drag after the bath. I love Lush, and I thoroughly enjoyed my Belle Ame bath products but both companies sometimes add extra things in their products like Bath Bombs and there's clean up after my bath. After being relaxed and pampering myself, extra cleanup isn't what I want.
I found that two handfuls of the bath crystals work perfectly for a good bubble. Both scents linger in the water for just the perfect amount of time (until the water goes cold). I did find that the bubbles didn't last that long. Lush Bubble Bars last longer for me.
Since the product combines both bubbling and salts, I did find that my skin was left softer and more refreshed after the bath than with just a typical bubble bath product. The scents also lingered on my skin for about an hour after I got out.
These can be bought on the Fortune Cookie Soap site, and retail for $12.99. I got about five or six baths out of one of the tubes, so that's about $2 to $3 per bath, which is great! The Cupcake scent is again still available on their site but Twisted Peppermint was a holiday scent. They do however have this product in Unicorn Farts, which is a very fun and sweet scent if you're looking for that :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Review: Fortune Cookie Soap Strawberry Fields Bath Fizzy

Regardless of the product (food, makeup, lotion, hair products, drinks, etc), if there is something strawberry scented, themed, flavored, designed or whatever, I will buy it. So when I was perusing the Fortune Cookie Soap site and found this baby, I immediately, without even reading the description, put it in my bag. 
Strawberry scented things have always been my favorite because I have yet to find something I didn't like that's associated with strawberries, and that includes this Bath Fizzy. Actually, if you really want to get into it, strawberry anything has been my favorite because I was on a swim team called the Strawberry Seals (the recreation district was named Strawberry) and thus I associated strawberries as being awesome and then realized that strawberry anything is usually a safe choice. But whatever. Again, I have yet to be disappointed with strawberry things.
Fortune Cookie Soap has quite a few Bath Fizzies. Their most famous are probably the ones that are shaped like gelato or shaved ice. I did purchase one of the gelato bath fizzies but it's so decoratively pleasing that I don't want to use it. What caught me though, aside from it being strawberry scented, was that it had a Best Seller tag on it. So that was another reason for me to try it out.
The bath bomb itself is about at 3"x3"x3" cube with a pink base and green top (like a strawberry, obv) and little black specks. It's a little bit larger than a Lush Bath Bomb, which are spherical in shape. 
Fortune Cookie Soap describes it as:
We at FCS like to be different – okay, so we like to be extremely 'off the wall' different; that is why we thought doing a strictly strawberry bath fizzy would be a fantastic idea! Your entire bathroom will smell like a strawberry field and the scent will linger on your skin for hours! There are lots of great goodies in our bath fizzies to soften up your skin, but all you need to know is that if you love fresh strawberries – this is the one for you!
The scent to me was a bit more of a strawberry cream than a fresh strawberry scent. There was a little bit more of a sweet note, which made it a bit more candy like. It was a little bit more of a comforting note though, and for a bath product I think that's perfect.
As a bath bomb, it performed very basically. It fizzed up and didn't disappear immediately so it consistently emitted the scent as the bath started to get cooler. The color did slightly tint my bath, and it did leave a slight residue on the sides of the tub but it wasn't anything annoying to clean up.
I think it's pretty decently priced at $4.75. It's about mid-range in price as the other bath bombs range from $4 to $6.99 ($6.99 being the gelato shaped ones, which are almost the same size as Strawberry Fields, I think the price there is more determined by effort instead of size). To give you an idea, Lush's Bath Bombs range from $4 to $15, and the price is largely determined by price (the $15 one is HUGE).
It held up pretty well, by the way, in my room. I store all my bath products in my room so that they don't deteriorate in my bathroom with there being so much moisture in there. Obviously, hand made bath products are supposed to be used immediately, or as soon as possible, after purchase. I found that Strawberry Fields was not soft at all and I had used it about a month after it was delivered to me (about a month and a half after purchase).
Strawberry Fields Bath Fizzy can be found on the Fortune Cookie Soap site.

NOTW: Julep "Lindsay"

I'm eternally on the search for the perfect blackened red jelly. One of those red at first coat, and slowly but surely getting deeper, and just more beautifully blackened. Like a garnet. I think I've gotten closer to my ideal polish with Julep's Lindsay.
This was a polish I ordered on my own, and not in one of my Julep Maven boxes. Julep Polishes retail for $14 on their own and come with less polish in the bottle when compared to the standart polish, so yes, they are on the expensive side. In general though I have had great results from Julep Polishes in that they're mostly all 2 coat polishes and they last about 4 to 5 days with no chipping for me.
"Lindsay"really just looks like blackberry juice on the nails with the first coat. With the second, the red gets deeper and the third brings a nice glossy finish and completes the deep, dark red jelly look.
I actually got a manicure and pedicure done for the first time in ages and had the ladies paint this on my nails so I can't tell you what they used as a base and top coat but the combination lasted a week on my nails with no chipping. Again, two coats would have been enough for me but they did 3 coats on both my nails and toes.
Julep Polishes can be purchased on their website.