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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

NOTD Rimmel Purple Rain

Today's NOTD is a polish I bought on clearance at Rite Aid. Originally $3.99, it was on sale for 75% off so I snatched it up! The color is Rimmel's Purple Rain:

The bottle is pretty- a very sleek rectangular design. I've never tried Rimmel polishes before and I had a really good experience with this one. Purple Rain is a dark reddish purple. Unlike the Lincoln Park polishes from OPI, even though this polish is dark, you can definitely tell its a dark purple. I used 3 coats for the opacity you see here

The polish applied smoothly and evenly- no balding or streaking. (I used CND Stickey Base as a base coat) The brush was also great to work with and made it very easy for me to have clean, neat lines by the cuticle area. It reminds me of the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure polish brushes

I initially wanted to wear this polish without a topcoat, but after 20 minutes, I got a small ding on my ring finger and became a little impatient, so I gave up and applied a top coat of Seche Vite which dried the polish instantly. I really like the color and the application was great. I'm hoping this polish wears well for the win!

And last, one more picture of my mani- I realized that I never have pictures with my thumb showing... so just so you know I do have a thumb lol...

Have you tried Rimmel's polish? Love? Hate?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Prestige My Blackest Lashes

I love lashes that are HUGE and dramatic. Straight up, I am not the "natural defined lashes" type of gal. I like big, bold in your face lashes anytime, anywhere. That being said. I go the extra mile and forego fake lashes- I expect my mascara to do all the work for me. I've heard wonderful things about Prestige's My Blackest Lashes, so for about $8.00, I decided to give it a go.

The tube is pretty large. Not as huge as CoverGirl's Lash Blast, but certainly on the chubbier side.

The brush itself is a bristle brush- not a rubbery one with spikes. In comparison to other mascaras, the wand is large and can be a bit hard to maneuver.

In the closeup above, you get a better idea of the size of the brush. If you look closely you can also see that the formula is a bit on the drier side, and a little clumpy. As I prefer drier formulas, this was not a problem for me.... initially.

As it turns out, the formula was a bit TOO dry for me. As I applied the mascara, I noticed that it was difficult to get the product to build up on my lashes. I spent more time than I would have liked building up the product for what I think was a rather mediocre result. This mascara certainly isn't terrible and I can't say I completely disliked it, but to me it delivered average results, not really the bold, black lashes it promised.

Here is the My Blackest Lashes after about 3 hours of wear: 

 And here's a closeup (apologies for the scary pores!)

Although the mascara itself looks fine and there is no smudging, there is significant flaking. If you look at the undereye area you will see this. I noticed the flakes almost immedietely.

The verdict? I was dissapointed by this mascara because of all the rave reviews it had gotten from others. I personally prefer dramatic effects and could have dealt with the flaking if it gave amazing results. For me though, it was average and I will happily go back to my Loreal Voluminous Carbon Black (A MUST HAVE!!)
What are the best and worst mascaras you've tried?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Maybelline FIT Me Foundation: First Impressions

I've been curious about the Maybelline FIT Me foundation for awhile. It seems like everywhere I turn, there's an ad for it. New gel consistency? Let's skin breathe? Natural coverage that looks like real skin? Yes please! After a few months of resistance, I saw Maybelline products on sale BOGO (buy one, get one) 40% off, so I thought it would be a goof time to give it a go. After all the hype, how did it measure up?

First, I poured out about a nickle-size amount on the back of my hand for my whole entire face. The consistency of the foundation, despite claiming a new "gel" technology, did not appear to be any different than other foundations I've used in the past at first use. I buffed it onto my face in small circular motions using my trusty flat-top kabuki brush. After the first layer was finished (which is the amount I typically use for any liquid foundation) I was disappointed to see that my skin looked .... exactly the same. Even after a few minutes, the foundation did not set and still had a tacky, dewy feel to it. Ever the optimist, I decided to apply one more layer. FIT Me does not look cakey with two layers on but again, my skin looked exactly the same.

FIT Me Swatches: unblended on the left, blended on the right
My skin is pretty clear and I usually need minimal coverage (aside from my hideous Uncle Fester under eye circles!!) but this foundation only slightly evened out my skin tone. Even though it isn't marketed as such, the coverage equates to a light coverage tinted moisturizer. After trying other amazing products from Maybelline (Instant Age Rewind Concealer!!) I was extremely disappointed with the FIT Me foundation and felt that they could have done much better with this. What I do like about this product line is that they have a wide range of foundation colors, from very fair to darker than the average drugstore foundation/concealer. However, if the products are perform poorly, then I guess that doesn't matter much! I usually like to give products a few tries before I make my mind up about them, but considering all the other great drugstore foundations out there, I can't see myself wasting my time with FIT Me.
Due to the BOGO sale, I also picked up the FIT Me concealer, but after my experience with the foundation, I didn't have the heart to try it out on the same day. It is currently sitting on my vanity as I stare at it from afar with contempt.

Let's all give the concealer the stink eye!

Have you ever tried any of the products from the FIT Me line? What's your take on it?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Fashion Friday- Jewelry Unboxing!

While browsing around on Etsy, I came across an image of a delicate silver infinity ring that I absolutely fell in love with.

Image credit: Indulgent Designs

Still on my dainty jewelry kick, I figured at $21.00 and only $3.50 for shipping,  I couldn't go wrong. I got the ring in the mail only after a few days and couldn't wait to open it!

I tore into the package....

It came with a little round tin and a shiny golden envelope...

The ring was packaged beautifully in the tin. As you can see from the picture below, under the pink tissue paper there is some crumpled up cellophane so the ring doesn't go bouncing around...

I thought that the printed tissue paper was a really cute touch:

Couldn't wait to try it on-- perfect fit! It looks exactly like it does in the picture on the site, except in real life it's much more delicate. I really love that she makes each ring as a custom order too. She will also make above the knuckle rings if you specify the size you need.

And lastly, the seller, Laura, was really sweet and included a hand written thank you note:

I had an AMAZING experience with this seller. She was really sweet and friendly- she e-mailed me when she received my order, when it was being made, when she shipped it out. She also advised that it would take 7-10 business days but it came in only 4!

I definitely suggest you check out her jewelry- its all hand made, very reasonably priced, and you can expect beyond amazing customer service with her. Check out her jewelry here.

What do you think of infinity rings? Have you ever order jewelry from etsy?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

LUSH Lip Scrub

With the dry, cold winter weather, it's all too easy to end up with chapped lips. My quick fix for this is LUSH Lip Scrub in Sweet Lips. Its quick, easy to use, and smells/tastes delicious!

What I like to do about once a week is moisten my lips a bit with water, take a fingertip full of the lip scrub, and rub it onto my lips in small circular motions. Top off with a thick, rich lip balm. The result is smooth, soft lips! What I like about this lip scrub in comparison to others I've used is its texture:

Unlike Fresh's lip scrub for example, Sweet Lips is grainy yet soft because it is a sugar scrub so its effective but not too abrasive. Its also 100% edible which sets it apart from lip scrubs that might taste terrible! And for the price (about $8.95 depending on where you live) it beats the old olive oil and sugar recipe! I love using this before I do a statement lip like darks or mattes.

Have you ever tried LUSH's lip scrubs?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector

I admit it. I am obsessed with highlighting products. There I said it. Some boutiques in NYC have "boutique" sections where they sell higher end products. That's why when I was browsing the Becca section, I noticed they had three liquid highlighters- Tan which leans golden bronze, Opal which is a light pink, and Pearl which is exactly that- a slightly off white with tiny silver shimmer particles. Though they were all pretty, when I swatched Pearl, the beautiful luminescent effect really stood out to me:
Unblended on the left, blended on the right
You can see from the picture that even the tiniest amount gives a beautiful, eye-catching glow. After this swatch, I could not put this product down! At $41.00, it will set you back quite a bit, but I don't have anything that delivers an effect even close to this in my collection. Here's what the packaging looks like:

Even though its expensive, you need a tiny pump which will be more than enough to (generously) highlight cheekbones, cupid's bow, brow bones, etc. Best of all, this truly lasts all day on my combination skin. The box says you can use this all over your face as a moisturizer, but that's about the one thing I would not do with this product. When used in strategic places, it makes your skin look healthy and glowing like no other, but when used all over the face, you may look super oily or like you have tons of fallout from shimmery shadow! I'm also looking forward to using this product on my collarbones and legs when the weather gets warmer!

Lastly, here's what it looks like on me:

Have you ever tried Becca highlighters? What's your fail-proof highlighter?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Black Lingerie

I was on one of my many trips to Rite Aid (its embarrassing sometimes!) on the hunt for a quick pick-me up after a long day. While in the Revlon section I noticed a nail polish I don't remember having seen before- Black Lingerie. From the bottle it looked like a sheer yet deep, almost black plum. While I do own similar colors (i.e. OPI Lincoln Park After Dark/Midnight) the sheer finish of this one intrigued me so I picked it up.
I was excited to do a manicure because a few days before I painted my nails a color that looked absolutely AWFUL on me- OPI Did It On Em from the Nicki Minaj collection. What a gorgeous chartreuse in the bottle- on my nails... not so much. Here is Did It On Em:

My camera freaked out and couldn't properly capture the color of Did It On Em. In real life, it is much less bright and much more yellow-based; the color reminds me of Shrek. This picture is purely to show you how awful it looked on my hands lol.
Anyway, I chopped down my nails into my beloved nubbins and applied the first coat of Black Lingerie. I was surprised to find that instead of a vampy plum, it was a true black! As you can see in the bottle from the picture below, the formula is extremely watery and sheer-ish. I had to be careful with application because the formula was so watery, it was too easy to get tons of cuticle flooding. Other than that, it took three coats to reach full opacity.

After three days, I am pleased to say I only have minimal tip wear. Even though it didn't translate to the color I thought I was purchasing (dark plum) on the nail, I still really like this color and don't have a black in my collection with a finish like this. Besides, for $4.79 (and the Rite Aid 20% discount!!) you can't really go wrong.

What are your favorite dark polish colors? Have you ever bought a polish in a store and found that it looked completely different on your nails?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Oh my... GOSH

Over the weekend, I was in the car, when at a traffic light, I happened to glance over through the window of Duane Reade. Dare I believe my eyes? A GOSH display? But wait, I thought GOSH was exclusive to the UK? All these thoughts took about half a nanosecond to process and before anyone new what was happening, I yelled that I'd be back, dashed through oncoming traffic and ran into Duane Reade as fast as my little legs could take me. Yes. This is how I know I need an intervention lol.
The GOSH display was a large end cap right in the from of the store and carried polishes, mascaras, liners, primers, powders, bronzers, lip products, and a small section of their current collection. My heart was set on the legends that I have yearned for from YouTube like the holographic polish (#549) and Darling lipstick but I knew it was too good to be true, as both were already gone from the display.

However, I am still super excited that this brand is now in the US, so here are some things I did pick up:

(Clockwise from the dark polish)
(a) 007 Rebel Yell, a dark dusty teal
(b) 595 Miss Sweety, a creme finish peachy-nude polish that will give the mannequin hand effect
(c) 608 Dusty Rose, a darker version of Miss Sweetie that leans more tan
(d) Lip Gloss in 0059 (no name)
(e) eyeliner in White- great for brightening up the water line and inner corner highlights.

I will keep you updated on my experiences with these products. Have you ever used anything from GOSH? Are you interested in checking this brand out?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Fashion Friday: Jewelry Edition

For this installment of Fashion Friday, I wanted to show you a trend I'm all over- dainty jewelry. After a fall and winter of bold statement pieces, I find myself gravitating toward more delicate items. At the moment, I'm layering two necklaces:

One is a vintage heart charm given to me by my sister for Valentine's Day (cue loud awwwwww-ing!) and the second is a Tiffany's double heart tag set in silver and rose gold which you can find here.

A closer look:

I'm also loving rose gold because it warms up the skin and looks great on everyone.

What types of jewelry are you loving lately?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips

So today I wanted to share with you my experience with Sally Hansen's Nail Polish Strips. After first hearing the buzz about these what seems forever ago, I was super excited to try them. My first purchase was the color Frock Star, which is made of multicolored hexagonal glitter and is along the same lines as Deborah Lippmann's Happy Birthday, except the glitters are all the same size. For about $10, you get 16 polish strips in different sizes, a small orange wood stick, and a small nail file with different grits to it, as well as a small set of instructions.With the wide selection of options, there is definitely something in there for everyone. So here's my experience with them.
First I prepped the nail with acetone, then as per instructions I pre-measured the strips to my nails. Then, one-by one, I peeled off the backing and protective covering of each strip and gently pressed it onto the nail. Lastly, I filed away the excess from the free edge of my nail. I found that after the nail file wore away a piece of the excess, it was much easier to carefully tear off the rest. These were the results:

Sorry the quality of the picture isn't the best, I took this picture from my phone

Here's another picture in sunlight which better shows the fabulousness of this product:

I was pleasantly surprised by the wear-time of the polish strips. I was able to wear it for a full five days before the glitter started lifting up at the edges and getting scratchy. I did not experience any chipping whatsoever. Overall, I really liked Sally Hansen's polish strips but at $10, they are way too pricey to use regularly but are great for special occasions or to pick up when they're on sale!

Have you tried the polish strips? What do you think of them?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day EOTD and NOTD

Hey all! I hope you had a great Valentine's Day ♥ !! I did a look yesterday incorporating pink (my favorite color) in honor of the holiday. Here is my EOTD (eye of the day!)

Valentine's Day EOTD

To get the look:
(1) I primed my lids with my favorite primer, Too Faced Shadow Insurance
(2) I then used a flat shader brush to apply MAC Vanilla eyeshadow, which is a satin-finish like cream color all over the lid and under the brow as a highlight.
(3) Next I used a medium brown shadow, MAC Wedge in the crease using windshield wiper motions to blend.
(4) I deepened the "outer-v" with a deeper brown, I used MAC Espresso, which I also used to softly line my bottom lash line.
(5) For the pink glitter liner, I used Urban Decay Heavy Metal Liner in Groupie. (I had to use several layers to get the full on glittery effect I was after)
(5) I then used 2 coats of a mascara I'm loving at the moment, Loreal Voluminous in Carbon Black.
...almost at the finish line!...
(6) The last step was to apply false lashes, I used Ardell Wispies.

I hope you enjoyed this look! I used basic colors that were already in my collection, but if you don't have these exact colors, use what you already have in your collection. There are also some great drug store options, such as the Neutrogena Nourishing Eye Quad in Tea Biscuit which will give you almost the same effect. There are also some great glitter liners by NYX.

Now for my NOTD (nail of the day):

I used OPI's Pink Friday from the Nicki Minaj collection. I've seen watches of this color on other blogs and while I thought it was a pretty color, I felt like I probably had a billion similar colors in my stash, so I didn't feel a need to run out and get it. That was the case until I saw TheBubbleGumPrincess's Nail Polish Obsession Tag video. As soon as I saw it on her, I HAD to have it, so run out and get it I did. This is a beautiful warm pink that would look amazing on absolutely everyone. Application was smooth, but slightly streaky, so I used two thick coats. Dry time was quick thanks to my Seche Vite topcoat. Excuse the wonky application on the pinkie, that was due to an uneven base coat application underneath which I didn't notice because it dries clear and matte...

OPI Pink Friday
Did you do a special look for Valentine's Day? A special manicure? Let me know! ☺

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

In honor of Valentine's Day, I gathered up a few of my favorite pink and red lipsticks. I mixed in both drug store and department store finds to include a little bit of everything. Here they are in no particular order:

Stila Happiness

Stila Lip Enamel Luxe Gloss in Happiness. This is an opaque, warm-toned baby pink gloss with a slight silvery sheen to it. It came out about one or two years ago with their Barbie collection.

LOREAL Kerry's Rosewood
Kerry's Rosewood is part of LOREAL's Colour Riche line. For me, it is the "my lips but better" color. A nice neutral pink with slight brown tones. It's a bit sheer and glossy and also has small gold glitter. I happen to like the glitter because it punches up the color, and they aren't super huge or abrasive.

Viva Glam Gaga
Viva Glam Gaga is definitely an in-your-face pink! It is an extremely yellow-based light pink that is also super opaque, which may make it difficult to pull off for darker skin tones. For me, this is definitely a statement lip and is different from my usual super-nude lips. Like all MAC lipsticks that I own, it has the signature vanilla cupcake scent and is a Lustre finish, which translates to a more shiny, moisturizing color.

Revlon Carnation
Carnation is part of Revlon's Colorburst line and is a middle of the road pink, a bit like very light fuschia. For warmer or deeper skin tones, it can be considered an amped up neutral, in my opinion. It has a slight silvery sheen to it when you look at the bullet but does not translate on the lips. This is a pretty color and would make a beautiful "statement lip" for work.

Stila Tickled Pink
I LOVE THIS COLOR. Tickled Pink is another Enamel Luxe Gloss from the Barbie Collection. Its a bright fuschia that has a super glossy finish and is a go-to color for spring and summer. Definitely spiced up a fresh-faced look! Disclaimer: I have NO idea why it looks like I applied this lip color with my eyes closed! I absolutely promise you it doesn't look like that in real life- the shine really distorted the image lol.

I swatched all of the colors on my hand, and threw in a few extra! (from left to right) Happiness, Kerry's Rosewood, Viva Glam Gaga, Revlon lip butter in Cotton Candy, Carnation, Tickled Pink, Stila Joy (Barbie Collection), and Loreal Sunset Red.

What are your favorite pinks and reds? Are you more of a neutral gal? Let me know!

and last but not least.... Will you be my Valentine?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Accent Nails

The other day, I decided to give myself a break from all the dark polishes I've been gravitating towards and decided on a clean, light color- Essie's Marshmallow. Marshmallow is a soft, white shade that leans toward a warmer off white. Its a sheer white which in my opinion is much more flattering and wearable than a whiteout white. The formula is on the watery side and is very sheer, so I used three coats for opacity and maximum evenness. Anything less will leave you with a bit of a streaky finish. I used CND Stickey Base under this, but probably would have gotten better results if I had used a ridge-filling basecoat instead. Beautiful color nevertheless, and definitely a go to.

Essie Marshmallow

After about 2 days of wear, I decided I wanted to refresh my mani and add accent nails. What better and more attention-grabbing then a new color I picked up? Save Me from OPI's Nicki Minaj collection. Save Me is a color that definitely packs a punch. It consists of very small silver glitters and larger holographic bar glitter. I normally despise bar glitter, but truth of the matter is, I can't say no to holographic anything! I had to layer this one up quite a bit. For the picture below, I used a whopping 5 coats for complete opacity.

OPI Save Me

Thumbs up for holographic goodness!

The picture above really shows off the amazing holographic bar glitter. I bet this polish would look amazing over a dense metallic silver, or over black.

Have you picked up any polishes from the Nicki Minaj collection? What do you think of Save Me?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Fashion Trend Friday!!

Hey all! This is the second installment for Fashion Trend Friday and will be all about things currently in my online shopping carts!

(1) Liquid Leggings. I love these. They spice up boring outfits, look great for nighttime and add edge to any outfit. Love. The ones below are from target and retail for $24.99

Image credit:

(2) Fur vest. Like the liquid leggings, they add oomph to any outfit. I like the bigger black and grey ones. Faux of course! This one is from Michael Kors and goes for $103.99 on sale from $175.00. The price is a bit more than I'd like to pay for, but I'm sure there are similar styles that are much more affordable.

Image credit:

(3) Colored denim. I've seen jeans in a rainbow of colors, but my favorites right now are indigo/cobalt blue, and true red. The indigo is especially great for those who are easing into the trend, or are not as comfortable with some of the other colors out there, like lime green or yellow. Below, the blue ones are from New York & Company and go for $59.85 while the red ones are from Charlotte Russe and retail for $29.99.

Image credit:

Image credit:
(4) Fitted leather jackets. I love the way they look with more feminine clothing, a jeans and a tee, basically anything! This is a great versatile piece that is also functional for getting through the last bits of winter. Push up the sleeves for extra points! The one below is from BeBe and is $149.00

Image credit:
Have you jumped onto the bandwagon for any of these trends? What other trends would you like to try?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Olay Pro-X Spin Brush: A Review

With all the recent buzz on YouTube and in the blogosphere on the Clarisonic, I couldn't help but be intrigued by promises of beautiful, glowing skin. However, the hefty price tag of the Clarisonic held me, and I'm sure many others, back. So when Olay came out with a similar version for $49.99 (less than half the price of the Clarisonic!) I ran out to make a purchase. 3 months later, I am ready to report my thoughts on this product.
First, of all, the brush is pretty small and lightweight. It is also battery powered, but Olay says it is safe to use in the shower (which I have not). It has two speeds, and an on/off button. The package comes with the actual cleansing unit, one brush head, and a deluxe sample size cleanser. The cleanser in my opinion, performed in an average way. It cleansed my face without leaving it dry or tight, nor did it leave any residue behind. I felt it cleansed well but it was not different enough from my other cleansers that I felt the need to run out and buy a full size of it.
The cleansing unit itself as I mentioned, was light weight and battery powered, which I liked. This made it extremely easy to use and I didn' have to worry about it running out of charge and not being able to use it because when the batteries die, I can instantly replace them and the product will be ready for use. The Pro-X offers 2 speeds- slower for sensitive skins and a more high-powered one, which is the setting I use most. I don't think it is too fast or abrasive by any means (and wouldn't mind it being a tad faster as a matter of fact.) The brush head bristles are very soft, they remind me of the bristles of an extra soft tooth brush really. Here's what the front of the brush looks like:

Here's what the back looks like:

The immediate difference I noticed from the Clarisonic is the way the brush operates. Whereas the Clarisonic brush "flexes" back and forth to give your skin a deeper cleansing, the Olay brush only spins clockwise.
The way I like to use the Olay brush is as follows: first I take off as much of my makeup as possible with a makeup wipes- I am really enjoying the Kirkland ones from Costco right now! Then I add a nickle-sized amount of Philosophy's Purity Made Simple cleanser to the dampened brush head and spend about 15-20 seconds on each part of my face (forehead, nose, each cheek, chin) Then I rinse the cleanser off of my skin, use toner, and follow up with moisturizer. I rinse off the brush head and leave it to dry. After using this product for a little over three months, it is worth mentioning that I have not yet needed a replacement brush head. The bristles look exactly as they did when I first purchased the brush and are not splayed or broken.
The final verdict? The Olay Pro-X Spin Brush definitely deep cleans my skin more than if I would use makeup wipe or a cleanser on its own. Even after wiping as much as possible with a makeup wipe, the brush head picks up all traces of foundation, power, etc. that were left over. Though I have not used the Clarisonic, I would definitely recommend Olay's alternative if you are on the market for a relatively cost-effective cleansing brush that will deep clean your skin and offer light exfoliation.