Friday, July 29, 2011

So many colors...

Barielle has been offering free shipping this week (it ends tonight, so order now!) so I took advantage of it. This was not a hard sell since their polishes are buy one 50% off to begin with; the free shipping was just icing on the proverbial cake. I ordered Hidden Hideaway (an exotic metallic purple), Berry Blue (creamy navy blue), Decadence (turquoise metallic), and Falling Star (marine blue with gold glitter). Within minutes someone from the company e-mailed me to say they were out of Falling Star and asked if I would like to hold my order until it was available in early August. I responded and asked if I could get Blackened Bleu (black with sapphire sparkle) instead, and they replied very quickly and said they would change my order and ship it that day. How's that for customer service?

Unfortunately I don't think the color swatches on their website are very accurate so I am relying on swatches from All Lacquered Up to reinforce my color choices. As far as I can tell from her swatches I am going to really like all these colors. The only problem is going to be deciding which one to try first. This is a recurring problem with me. Nearly every time I go to paint my nails, I can't decide which polish to use. It's the nail polish version of "I have 500 channels but there is nothing to watch on TV." Apparently the solution to this problem is to just buy more nail polish. I will keep doing that.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

China Glaze Tree Hugger

So I'm pretty much in love with this color. I don't have a lot of greens and this one caught my eye when I was browsing at Sally's yesterday. It's a great green apple color with a slight shimmer. Of course the picture doesn't do it justice, but if you like green I highly suggest picking this one up. I achieved nearly perfect coverage with two coats and have a couple small bald patches, but that is probably due more to user application error than the formula itself.

Side note: I usually use Orly Sec 'n' Dry top coat and it seems to me that when I do, it kind of diminishes the shimmer. Has anyone else noticed this or is it just my imagination?

Anyway, here's Tree Hugger in all its glory.

I also bought a bottle of Palladio Fuse base coat that I'm trying out. Even though I have nail polish ADD I'm going to try to ride this manicure out until it wears out.

SUMMARY: I'm loving on this color, and it applied like a dream with the exception of a couple tiny bald patches.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Le sigh

Yesterday I did one of those boneheaded things that I knew was not going to end well while I was doing it, but did it anyway. Long story short, when I was retrieving one of my nail polish totes from the closet, the lid came off and it tumbled to the ground. No polishes were harmed...except Teenage Dream, which must have hit the track for the closet just right as the bottle shattered and beautiful pink sparkles were spilled everywhere. I was able to get most of it out of the carpet (and am thankful that it was a light color with a thin formula that shattered and not, say, a black creme) although there are a few remaining sparkles. Decoration!

I am super bummed to lose Teenage Dream, though, a polish that I looked for everywhere, ordered for a jacked up price on the internet, and then waited an extra several days for after it went on back order. But it could have been much worse, so I'll cut my losses and move on. American Apparel Neon Red is helping me do just that today!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Rainbows and hearts

Since this weekend was Pride I decided I wanted a rainbow-themed manicure for the festival - perhaps my favorite summer festival in the Twin Cities. I thought about doing each nail a different color, but couldn't decide which colors to leave out. I went to Google for some inspiration and decided on rainbow stripes.

I bought a little nail art kit with the intention to use the precision brush to make my stripes but ultimately ended up freehanding it. The stripes aren't perfect, but who is? I thought they turned out pretty darn well. It was a little time consuming but worth the effort and I love how it turned out. I chose these colors because they each have a bit of shimmer and did two coats of each.

Red: Sephora by OPI Sample Sale
Orange: Revlon Top Speed Poppy (1st coat), Sally Hansen HD Three D (2nd coat) - Poppy looked like the best orange on paper, but on the nail it was a little too pink. I think it worked out great because the Three D is a little sheer.
Yellow: Revlon Top Speed Electric - for whatever reason, this was a little goopy on the second coat but it turned out okay.
Green: Sally Hansen Hi-Def
Blue: Sephora by OPI Skinny Jeans
Purple: Maybelline Express Finish Grape Times

I wanted something simple for my toes so I went with all white. However, the nail art kit came with little stencils and even though I'm not a big fan of nail art, I suddenly couldn't go on without having tiny hot pink hearts on my big toe. It looks super cute, but my attempts at a photo failed miserably so you'll just have to use your imaginations!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Finger Paints Tiffany Impostor

I apologize for the fact that my camera sucks*. I think the pictures I took with the flash make the color look a little too bright, but they look more accurate than the ones taken without. I unfortunately have nothing from Tiffany to compare the color to (boo!) but as far as I can tell it is an accurate impostor for the famous Tiffany blue. The color is absolutely gorgeous and I'm sure I'll be wearing it a lot, and I was impressed with the formula. I thought it would be thin and hard to get good coverage, but it wasn't like that at all, and I achieved complete coverage with two coats. Win!

SUMMARY: Beautiful color, great formula

*and for my gross-looking fingers. Ew.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

What's new in Me-Land

I have been a lazy blogger and an even lazier picture taker. My camera sucks and I have a hard time capturing the true look of my nail polishes, so for the time being I have kind of given up trying.

A few weeks ago after I went on a wild goose chase for OPI Black Shatter and Mermaid's Tears I finally gave up and ordered them online, along with Teenage Dream. I'm rocking Teenage Dream on my toes right now and it might just say there the rest of the summer, since removing glitter polishes is a pain in the ass. But it looks adorable so I am okay with that. I think I used three coats (I could have gone with just two) and two coats of top coat to make it feel like my toes were not covered in gravel.

I am in L-O-V-E with Black Shatter. It was worth the wait and I wore it for a week or so over Sally Hansen Barracuda and I want to wear it over every color forever.

Mermaid's Tears is the saddest name ever for a nail polish, but it's such a lovely color that I will be coming back to time and time again, I am sure. Right now I am wearing Essie Coat Azure. This is my first Essie polish, and it looks perfect after two coats (save for a smudge that was completely my own stupid fault) and the color is gorgeous and I'm just smitten. Is every Essie nail polish this perfect a formula? I was blown away and it makes me only want to buy Essie for the rest of my life.

I became a Sally beauty club member yesterday, which I'm sure will be dangerous.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Renpure Organics My Hair is Pretty Parched Shampoo & Conditioner

While I really like John Frieda Sheer Blonde hair products, I don't buy them all the time because I'm cheap and because I believe (perhaps falsely) that I shouldn't let my hair get used to using one product. I find myself buying a variety of shampoos and usually buying Suave green apple conditioner, because it works well and it costs $1. $1! However, sometimes I need a change and I get tired of my hair smelling like an orchard.

So these Renpure products were a bit of an impulse purchase at CVS, and a bit of a splurge at $6.99 a bottle (isn't it funny that I've been known to spend twice that or more on a 0.5 ounce bottle of nail polish?). Honestly, the fact that they are organic had nothing to do with my decision to purchase them. I don't pay attention to that sort of thing when it comes to beauty products, even though I probably should. What attracted me to these products were the bottles. Yes, I am a sucker for packaging.

But I've been quite pleased with the product inside the pretty bottle. I chose My Hair is Pretty Parched because, well, my hair is pretty parched. Beyond parched. It's a mess of blow dry frying and flyaways and split ends. This shampoo and conditioner make my hair look and feel less like straw and do a good job at taming my flyaways. I take showers and blow dry at night, and my hair looks good again in the morning with just a quick brushing and no flat ironing necessary.

SUMMARY: Wonderfully moisturizing shampoo and conditioner inside very pretty packaging.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Revlon Scented Nail Enamel - Beach

I apologize that I didn't get pictures taken of this. I'm actually still wearing it, but after a few days of wear without having applied a top coat, it no longer looks perfect and I'm not about to have the first nail polish picture on this blog look like crap. I'm also not willing to go through the effort of prettying it up for pictures when I will be removing it immediately afterward. I'm ready to move on.

I love the color of this nail polish. I love it enough that I'm going to hang onto it even though I found the scent to be distracting and unnecessary. It's mostly gone now, only detectable if you give my fingers a really big whiff, but the first two days it was overbearing. I sometimes sleep with my hands near my face, and boy, could I smell it then. Plus there was the constant urge to smell my fingers. No thanks.

As far as the scent itself, I still haven't decided if it smells like the beach. I guess it kind of does. When my boyfriend arrived home on the first night that I wore it, the first thing I said to him was, "Smell my fingers" to which he replied, "This never ends well." But he sniffed them, and I asked what it smelled like. "Flowers, I guess," he said. I'm pretty sure guys think every beauty product smells like flowers.

The next day I asked for the opinion of a gay friend. Well, maybe I didn't really ask.

Me: Ooh! Hey! Smell my fingers!
Chad: (looking terrified) I don't want to.
Me: No, smell them! I'm wearing scented nail polish.
Chad: ... /gives a reluctant sniff

His test was inconclusive, as I'd just gotten out of their hot tub and smelled mostly like chlorine.

SUMMARY: Great color, and Revlon always holds up really well, but scented nail polish? I could see where it might be a big draw for little girls, but it's not for me.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Initial Impressions: Revlon Scented Nail Enamel - Beach

I was on my way to the checkout at CVS today when the Revlon display caught my eye. Revlon now makes scented nail polish. Out of sheer curiosity, I picked up a bottle of what looks to be a shimmery lime green, called Beach. I sniffed the label, thinking it was some kind of scratch-and-sniff deal so you know what you're getting yourself into (it is not). I bought it, just to see what all the fuss is about.

I made sure to smell the polish in the bottle, and it smells like regular old nail polish. I've applied one coat so far, and I like the color well enough, and my nails do smell different. I'm not convinced that it smells like the beach, and am waiting for my boyfriend to get home so I can get a second opinion. It doesn't smell bad, but it doesn't necessarily smell good, yet I cannot stop smelling my nails. It's very odd to feel the urge to sniff your fingers every few seconds.

I'll post an update later, with pictures when my nails are all done - I'm guessing I'll need three coats of this to get the coverage I want - but I must ask, WHAT is the point of scented nail polish? WHY did I buy this product? Will people buy into the hype?

If you'll excuse me, I have some finger sniffing to do.

Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Tinted Moisturizer

I wear Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer every day. I haven’t worn foundation in years since I discovered it. I heart it. A lot. But I am also painfully aware of the fact that it costs $42 for a 1.5 ounce tube. It occurred to me that I should have a backup option, something a little less expensive, that I could pick up at the drugstore in an emergency. I started asking around on Twitter and Sarah, my go-to guru for all things makeup and nail polish related, said she had heard good things about Physicians Formula, so I picked up a tube on my trip to CVS last week.

On my first test I wasn't sure what to think about it. It smells. It smells like sunscreen, and the first day that I officially wore it I could smell it and was paranoid that everyone else could smell it, too. This very well could have been my imagination, and since that first day it hasn't bothered me as much. The formula is thinner than the Laura Mercier that I use, so in addition to smelling like sunscreen, it kind of feels like applying sunscreen, too.

Since the formula is light and thin, I was surprised at what good coverage it provides. It holds up well over the course of the day and feels light, like I'm not wearing any makeup at all.

For reasons I can't quite put my finger on, I'm still not 100% sure that I'm sold on this product, and I'd like to give some other tinted moisturizers a try. What are your favorite drugstore tinted moisturizers? What should I try next?

SUMMARY: Good coverage, light formula, slight sunscreen smell, and for reason I'm not quite sure, I'm unwilling to dedicate myself to this product.

Physicians Formula Concealer Twins 2-in-1 Correct & Cover Cream Concealer

I was browsing in the Physicans Formula section at CVS when this product caught my eye. I normally don’t use concealer, not because I don’t need it but because I am lazy. I haven’t used concealer in years, but I was in the mood to play with makeup so I thought I would give it a shot. I got the tube with yellow and flesh pigments; there is also a yellow and green version, with the green to balance out red spots and blemishes.

So it turns out that concealer makes a huge difference. When I was initially trying it out, I did one side of my face with and one side of my face without, and it was definitely noticeable. As in, noticeable that I had a huge undereye circle on the right side of my face, not noticeable that I was wearing more makeup. Bye bye, undereye circles!

I really like this product and it has already worked its way into my daily makeup routine. And for under $8, it's a steal!

SUMMARY: Great formula + inexpensive = great find.

The one where I fall in love with CVS

We don’t have CVS where I come from. Last week I made only my third-ever visit to CVS, and the first to shop for makeup. All of my drugstore purchases are made at Walgreens due to its proximity to my apartment (1.5 blocks versus 6 blocks to CVS). Last Thursday I was planning on going to Walgreens to go makeup shopping, but thanks to a detour on the way home I found myself right in front of CVS and thought, why not?

OMG I AM IN LOVE. How have I never gone makeup shopping at CVS before? It’s so big! There’s so much! They have all sorts of things I would never dream of finding in Walgreens. I could have spent hours (and hundreds of dollars) in there.

So, let’s just say I am a CVS convert. I’ll still go to Walgreens when it’s 3 a.m. and I realize that I’m out of toothpaste. But when it comes to the good stuff, I’ll be going to CVS for sure. I could use the extra exercise. I signed up for an Extra Care rewards card, and they are going to give me money back just for shopping there, and that means money for EVEN MORE MAKEUP AND NAIL POLISH.


I am just a girl who likes makeup and nail polish and was feeling the urge to bother the internet by writing about it, so here I am. I am not a professional, but I have been told that I apply makeup better than anyone*. You can expect to see stuff about makeup here, and lots about nail polish, and I will apologize in advance for any nail polish photos I may post because I have very strange, oddly-shaped fingernails. No one is going to hire me to be a hand model anytime soon, that’s for sure.

*The person who made that comment was 13 years old. Make of that what you will.*