Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Beauty Supply Mini Haul!


Today I have a mini haul from a Beauty Supply store, and no, I do not mean Sally Beauty Supply.  Recently, I finally ventured into a little beauty supply store for the first time.  I had been meaning to go, but always kept driving past on my way elsewhere.  Except for the other day.  I decided that that day was the day.  And boy am I glad I did go in!  I found recent OPI collections, bits and pieces of old collections, and probably many core colors...all for cheaper than anywhere I've ever seen.  Also in the store was Essie, China Glaze and a couple other brands (again, all discounted).  But what I was most excited about was actually seeing ZOYA POLISHES in person!!  Recent collections, core colors...and for around $5!!

I managed to really behave myself--I walked out the door with 4 bottles, all from different brands (my excuse was 2 of them were the last of their color).  Could have bought a lot more...didn't...for now.  That store is definitely on my radar now for polish shopping.  Knowing what all was carried would have saved me the shipping charges on my Minnie Mouse collection I ordered from Amazon at the start of June.

So, on to what polishes I did purchase!

Essie in Silver Bullions #199
--This was the only bottle of it--
Northern Lights Holographic topcoat in Gold
(from Out the Door)
--Sally Beauty Supply doesn't carry the Gold version--
China Glaze in Luxe and Lush from the Hunger Games collection
--This is the first time I've seen this particular polish in person & it was the only one--
Zoya in Indigo
--First time I've ever seen a Zoya polish in person--
--I was attracted by the little holographic particles in the polish--

How often do you go into a little shop for the first time and wonder why you took so long to visit? 

**All products purchased by me

Monday, July 30, 2012

Miscellaneous Monday...Makeup Organizing Project


Today is time for another Miscellaneous Monday, but it took me all day to figure out what I wanted to post about.  I finally figured it out...my organizing project for blushes/bronzers and eyeshadows that are in pan form - no packaging at all.  

I started this project it seems like almost a month ago, and once I figured out that yes, it would work quite well, I stalled out.  First my excuse was I didn't want to finish until I had found an organizer to put the finished project in, and that did take a little while since I did not want to spend hardly any money at all.  It took a couple of weeks of searching at a local Goodwill, but I finally found the perfect organizer.  I also bought some glue to use (rubber cement since I think that will let me be able to rearrange in the future if I want to).  Now, I just need to take the time and sit down and finish this project.  Hopefully since I'm posting about it, I will get back to work on this project.

So, first I'll show you what I'm working on organizing.  (I have no idea what brand these all are from--they are sample boards from when we attempted to earn money selling cosmetics in a mall kiosk years ago).
A huge collection of blushes/bronzers in pan form.  
There's almost 50 pans (some are already removed)

And a huge collection of eyeshadows in pan form.

I am working on taking both of these collections off their acrylic boards (popping them off with either scissors or a metal nail file & twisting) and inserting them into empty CD cases (with the inserts all removed).  On the back of the CD case I'm putting removable labels with the shade names.  The following picture shows just a trial run--I plan on going back and gluing the pans down.
I did use a couple of these blushes/bronzers when I started the project and was quite impressed of the payoff they pack.

And eventually, all the CD cases (hopefully labeled on the ends & colors well organized) will go into this CD organizer I finally found at Goodwill for $3.00.  This organizer could potentially hang from the wall, too...if I had any wall space that is.  Between all the windows & doors of the room and both the dresser and vanity having tall mirrors there isn't much usable wall space.

When I finally get this project finished (not this week though - way too busy), I will be able to actually put all the pretty shades to use easily.  As they are currently, glued to a huge sheet of acrylic, it is extremely awkward to use and I haven't touched the eyeshadows in forever since the only way to keep them clean is to keep the "palette" in a big plastic bag, so I keep forgetting about them.  

This is not an original project, as there are probably dozens of YouTube videos and blog posts showing the CD-case-as-a-palette, but it is what I am working on/trying to work on.  The current cost for me isn't much...the $3 organizer and $4 (I think) for the rubber cement.  I already had the labels and CD cases.

**All products purchased by me

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I Want to go Shopping for . . . .


Yesterday I did some unplanned things...including seeing lots and lots of fireworks...so I unintentionally took the day off from blogging.  But while I was out, I went in one of my favorite clothing stores - The Limited - and picked up a couple of new tops.  And now today, I'm back on their website and I've seen a few more things I like so I thought I would share those.

First is a cute cardigan/fly-away sweater:
Slub Cocoon Cardigan
I think this would make a nice addition to my fall wardrobe since all of my sweaters kind of like this are dark.  It comes in 2 colors (white & oatmeal) for about $55.  I'm not sure whether I would look better in white or in oatmeal so I would have to go back to the store and try them on to decide.

Next is a cute top:
Draped & Pleated Top
I think that I saw this in store and I was curious what it looked like, but they had it up beyond my reach and all the workers were no where around (why stores put things up high where people can't reach is beyond me).  This top is around $35.  It has more of a pattern to it than I currently have in my wardrobe, so once again, I would have to try it on to see if I liked it or if the pattern is too much for my height.

And finally, a purse:
Houndstooth Pocket Tote
Now, I really like the pattern of this BUT it is WAY to big for it to be proportional to my height.  For $70, I'll pass on this one.  Maybe at some other store I might find a purse with the pattern in a more ideal proportion.  Plus, with this purse only having 3-inch handles, I wouldn't be able to carry it on my shoulder like how I prefer to carry my purse.

So, there's some items that have caught my eye recently.  I'll probably end up back there soon to look at the sweater and top, and I might pick up a couple more of the tees that I got while they are still on sale.

What's caught your eye recently for wardrobe updates?  When shopping, do you look for more trendy clothing items for less cost or are you more attracted to staple/investment items and then play with unique/trendy accessories?

**all opinions are my own

Friday, July 27, 2012

L'Oreal Pink Carat + Stamping & Sparkles!


Last night, I was struck by inspiration as I was falling asleep so when I got up today, I immediately started figuring out how to make that inspiration come true.  I wanted to use some brands that I haven't used for a while...it also happened to work out that I hadn't used any of the polishes before today either.  Yay me!  As far as where I got the ideas that I put together, I've seen lots...and lots...and lots of pictures of gradient manis, as well as stamped looks from all the blogs that I read on a daily basis.  This was the first time I tried doing a gradient...and I haven't stamped a whole lot either.  It seems to be this month I have done a lot of firsts polish-wise (taping, chevron, magnetic and now sponge-gradient).

So, first I'll show you what inspired me:
This is the bag I received in my Influenster Summer Beauty VoxBox full of Always/Tampax samples for consideration/reviewing    (The bag is so cute!)

Now, lots of pictures/collages to show you what I did to try to replicate the colors & pattern!  I did have some trial and error before I decided on how I really wanted the colors placed.

First I did:
  • American Classics Bridge the Ridge ridge filling basecoat
  • 2 coats of L'Oreal Pink Carat #160
Under and just out from under lamp light
  • Sponged on a few layers of Wet 'n Wild Disturbia #217 (old formula) using a cosmetic wedge cut in half length-wise
  • Pro FX Quick Dry High Gloss top coat - this top coat does smear my polish some, but for this look I was perfectly fine...it helped blend the gradient out a little more
Disturbia is actually a vampy purple even though in the pictures it looks almost brown 

After that,
  • Stamped on all my nails primarily over the purple using the Salon Express nail plate in SE10 using L'Oreal Pink Carat since the design has pink flowers the same shade as the rest of the bag
  • quick dry top coat (same one) applied about 5 minutes later
Subtle pink stamping to coordinate with the bag  :-)
Image used is circled
  • Sponged on a little bit OPI Pirouette My Whistle, concentrating on the pink sections, to imitate the stars
  • quick dry top coat (same one) applied several minutes later to seal everything
 Grrr the sparkles aren't showing up that well in pictures.  :-/


For being relatively new to stamping and completely new to sponging and gradients, I have to say I think I did pretty darn well.  And of course, this is so much prettier than what the pictures are showing.  I think that in the future, I will probably revisit the gradient/sponging technique...and try to stamp some more, just maybe not always in the same look.  :-)

What do you think of my first attempt?  Do you like my interpretation of the inspiration bag?

**some products provided for review from Influenster (the bag)
**all the rest of the products were purchased by me / all opinions are my own
**combinations are my own

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Version of... Essie Fear or Desire


Today I have a new installment of "My Version of..."  The original polish I am comparing to is Essie's Fear or Desire from the Summer 2012 Bikini So Teeny collection.  You can see swatches of it on The PolishAholic's site here.

My candidate is Sinful Colors Clementine from the PopTastic collection (was available at Rite Aid; now at Walgreens in a display hanging on the side of an endcap).

This was 2 coats of Clementine with a top coat applied.

 Lamp light
 Lamp light
 Daylight through the window
At first I thought this could be similar to Essie's Action from the Poppy-Razzi collection, but online swatches of Action look to have more yellow to it...  But I think Clementine is pretty darn close to Essie Fear or Desire.

Do you think these 2 are close versions of each other?

P.S.  The main reason that I am posting this is because, while I am appalled by what Sinful Colors recently did to fellow bloggers (if you don't know, just Google Sinful Colors stealing bloggers photos and all kinds of links should pop up), my main goal is to share reasonably priced polishes that I love which compare closely color-wise to more expensive polish brands.  I am all about budget-friendly products.  And I also already had this post ready to post before the scandal hit.

**all products purchased by me / my opinions are my own

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Makeup I've Been Reaching for Lately + a mini review


I thought I would do something different today and share a few makeup/skin care products that I've been reaching for lately and loving the resulting look.  Please don't mind that most of the pictures have the items still in packaging (or online shopping images)--I have been using them a bunch.  I also included a little mini review on a new oil-control powder.

 Revlon ColorStay Whipped in 220 Nude
--love, check out my review here--

Neutrogena Shine Control Powder with Rice Protein Complex
Mini Review:
By itself or with non-oil controling products under it, not that impressive.  But here's what I've been doing to make it work (yesterday it lasted about 11 hours with no break-through oil and it was HOT out):

  • cleanse with Cetaphil DermaControl Oil Control Foam Wash (still testing that one but so far, so good)
  • Cetaphil DermaControl Oil Control Moisturizer with Broad Spectrum SPF 30 (just bought the full size--I was using a sample from the dermatologist)
  • either Black Radiance Complexion Perfection Shine Control primer or the new Rimmer Fix & Perfect Pro primer(white tube)
  • ColorStay Whipped Cream foundation--applied/buffed in with ELF Studio Powder brush (and a undereye concealer)
  • Neutrogena Shine Control Pressed Powder--applied in a firm stippling motion all over with a flat-topped brush
Wet n Wild Color Icon Collection Eyeshadow Single, Brulee 251A
Wet 'n Wild ColorIcon eyeshadow single in Brulee
--this is the perfect shade to blank out veins on the lid for me--
--I have really, really hit "pan" on this--

 Physicians Formula Matte Collection Quad eye shadow in 3882 Canyon Classics
Maybelline EyeStudio Color Tattoo 24Hr Eyeshadow, Tough As Taupe
Maybelline Color Tattoo by EyeStudio in Tough as Taupe
--used on the lower lid under the lashes; applied with a smudge brush--
E.L.F. Liquid Eyeliner ($1) in Black
--I use different liners for my waterline (if I do that step)--

And of course, I've been using lots of mascara (just changed that to a new one), filling my brows (a little more bold), blush and a little bronzer.  The blush and bronzer vary each day, as well as the lips.

My entire inspiration for using these eyeshadows and filling the brows a little more bold?  A YouTube video I watched (multiple times) by Leesha of xsparkage--check out which video here if you would like--I really wish I had her skills.  My version is a little lighter...maybe the next time I do it, I'll go a little more bold for the shadows too. 

Do you have any suggestions for other products that may work better for a look similar to the video (drugstore only) please?

**all products were purchased by me / my opinions are my own

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

After Party nails...revisited


Today I have a nail design that is a first for me:  chevron.  I was wearing Orly's After Party and kept looking at the sparkles in it and I wanted to do something that would go with the teals and pinks I was seeing.  And then I remembered seeing nails done with a chevron on the tips on lots of blogs.  I thought, if I'm going to play I might as well really play so I used 2 different colors to do the chevron with.  I can't really find any body's blog that is similar to what I ended up with.  I ended up liking my design pretty well.

So...here's what I did

  • existing mani of Orly After Party

Lamp light
  • free-handed diagonal tips on in Hard Candy Frenzy--2 coats
  • coat of quick-dry top coat
Lamp light
I thought that Hard Candy's Frenzy went really well with the teal shimmer in After Party
  • free-handed diagonal tips on (going opposite direction) in Revlon Top Speed Bubble--2 coats
  • coat of quick-dry top coat
Indirect sunlight through window
Revlon's Bubble matched color-wise to the pink-magenta shimmer, despite the shimmer not showing up :/

My nails did get a little thick looking on the tips by the time I got done (especially when I did my left hand since I'm not right-handed) but overall, I really do like the look.  It might have also helped if I had used tape to get the lines more precise.  But I do think that if I do this same look again, I might switch the teal and pink colors since I see more teal shimmers than pink...I also have another idea that I might try out sometime too.  I was also thinking of trying something else with After Party and didn't do it before the chevron.  Maybe I should get out the nail wheel to try out my ideas so I don't forget them.  Hmm...there might be yet another revisiting to After Party at some point.

What do you think of my first attempt at a chevron mani?  Any tips to make it better?

**all products purchased by me / my opinions and combinations are my own

Monday, July 23, 2012

Miscellaneous Monday...Where I Find Creative Inspiration


It's late, but I finally thought of what I wanted to do for today's Miscellaneous Monday.  I thought I would share a little bit about where I get my inspiration for necklaces and earrings that I make.

The answer is multiple ways.  The first way I get inspiration is I see something in the store that I like but I don't want to spend the money for it.  I snap a few pretty decent shots and then move onto the next piece.  Unless I think that I can't make it for less than what the store is charging or it's way beyond my skill level - then I'll probably purchase.  After I get it home, I might use that purchased piece to base other, similar, designs.

The second way is I go to online stores and start going through all the accessory pages, opening ones that catch my eye in a different window.  From there, I look at close ups to see if I really do like the design and if I think I can make something similar or not.  Sometimes seeing close-up shots makes me realize I don't like or I would like it better if something was changed.  For the items that I do like and think I can replicate at some point, I save a picture and enter some details (like the length) as the file name.

Let's look at this set of earrings (I always make earrings that have the "fishhook") from Forever 21's site for a little example:
I look at these earrings and ask myself a couple of questions.
  1. Do I have something like this already or a necklace that would coordinate with it?
  2. Do I have materials already to make a pair of earrings with a similar feel?
My answers:
  1. I do have a necklace that has a black flower on it that could possibly go with it. 
  2. I have a package of black flowers with rhinestone centers that I think could work to get something similar.
So I save the picture (probably named something like "3 inch drop flowers earrings" in a folder labeled "Jewelry Inspirations."  I have lots of these pictures.  

Some of the pictures are just ideas of how to get more color into something, like the following necklace picture from Wet Seal.  I kept the picture and just labeled it as "chain inspiration."

The third way that I come up with jewelry is I just sit down and start to go through the drawers and trays filled with drops and beads and all kinds of pretties and start laying things together to see if I like it or not, or if I can come up with something better.  Tied to this is the assembly of earrings or bracelets that came in a kit - just follow the instructions - if I don't like the finished product, I take it back apart and start playing around with it to improve it to my tastes.

So, there you have a little insight in to how I come up with designs.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

My Version of...Essie Bikini So Teeny


Today I have another edition of "My Version of..." to share.  Today's original is Essie's Bikini So Teeny that came out at the end of spring/early summer this year.  You can see pretty swatches here.  I almost bought it back when it first landed before I remembered that I had just bought a bunch of new Sinful Colors Girls in Pearls collection, which contained one polish that looked like it could be similar.  So, I left the store and the next time that I went out with plans of going to the drugstores, I threw in that Sinful Colors bottle.  When I compared the bottles at the store, I decided that it was close enough for me.

So...today's candidate for my version is:  Sinful Colors Morning Star (which is, unfortunately once again, limited edition).  My collection post is here.
Each picture is under different lighting.
This is 3 coats of Morning Star - but it is marketed as a "sheer" polish, and the 1st coat is pretty sheer.
As always, it's hard to tell how close the polish is once applied on the nails when you are comparing to images on the computer screen.  But, I do think that as far as the shimmer, Morning Star has it (might just be a little less silvery).  And as to the basic color, Morning Star looks like it might have a touch of gray.

When Morning Star was available, it was at both Rite Aid and Walgreens for $1.99.  Essie's Bikini So Teeny is still out at Rite Aid, Walgreens, Walmart, and possibly other stores that carry Essie and sells for somewhere around $8.  For my budget, I'll stick with Morning Star.

Do you have either of these?  Do you think they are suitable substitutes for each other?

**all products purchased by me / my opinions are my own

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Orly After Party


Today I'm actually showing a polish that is a currently available, limited edition shade.  I have Orly's After Party from the Feel the Vibe Collection.  I bought mine from Sally Beauty Supply a few weeks ago, but in one Sally Beauty Supply I was in yesterday, it was back in the clearance section so if you were interested in this shade, don't waste any time since it's availability is getting even more limited.

Here's what I did:
  • Pro FX Fiberized Ridge Filler base coat
  • 2 coats of Orly After Party
  • Sally Hansen Diamond Flash fast dry top coat

This polish was just what I was in the mood for.  Nice and dark, but still some interest by way of the predominantly teal shimmer that has some magenta pink shimmer mixed in.  I read on one blog that there's purple shimmer too; I don't see it so....

Have you picked up any of the polishes from the Feel the Vibe collection?  Do you paint your nails according to emotional mood? or color whim?

**all products purchased by me / my opinions are my own

My First Sally Hansen Magnetic Nail Color! and review


Today I have my very first magnetic polish to share with you.  I received it in my Influenster summer beauty box and had it on within a half hour of opening the box.  I have to tell you, ever since I have received it, I have been obsessed with trying it out/playing with it.  I've also put it through a little bit of a wear test as I didn't put on any top coat so included in this post is a review.
I used a craft knife to slice between the cap and the bottle so the design on the plastic wrap would be preserved as a reminder for the magnet design

This picture is with base coat, immediately taken after applying it to my ring finger according to directions (apply one coat & let dry; then - doing each nail individually - apply a thick 2nd coat and immediately place magnet over and hold for 10 seconds ~ I did up to 20 ~).  This is definitely easy-to-do, but since the magnet is so close to wet polish, if you move any and bump the nail on the magnet then you get a funky spot on your nail and a little messy spot on the magnet to clean up.  I do have to say it does show off just about every flaw in my nail, so a good filler base coat is a MUST if you have any ridges, peelies, or anything wrong with a nail.  
Sally Hansen Magnetic Nail Color in 908 Graphite Gravity

You can even still see the imprint of the ridge from the magnetic cap on my finger--that's how immediately I took the picture.  In pictures, it looks a little flat since it's about impossible to capture the 3D-nature it has in real life.  I only completely did one nail since immediately after this, the Mister came home and got me to go with him to the store (wasn't planning on that)...the rest of my nails were just the polish plain, which is pretty that way too.  The un-magnetized version reminds me of Revlon's Carbonite, if you were wondering.

With only one coat of polish on (except for one ring finger) and no top coat, this is not a polish that can make it through hair washing and cooking.  The one finger I did "magnetize" made it through all that completely intact with no help of top coat.  Color me impressed on that one.

The next pics are from when I was playing around with it a little bit the next day (after taking off all but the original magnetized finger's polish).  Removal is pretty easy (unless you forget the base coat and there are peelie spots on the nail...oops).
I did a coat of base coat, 4 coats of Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Paparazzi on the rest of my fingers (except I did my other ring finger as a full magnetized nail), and then did Funky French tips on my right hand and tried to magnetize them too (but held the magnet sideways).  I did the nails on my left hand differently but forgot to take pics.  Oops.  This didn't look bad, but it didn't show up as much as I would have hoped.  Oh, well.  Took all the polish off except for ring fingers.

And here's how I finished the night off:
Keep in mind that that ring finger in the picture is still wearing the original look from Wednesday afternoon and it was Friday night when I took the last picture.  There is no top coat anywhere in sight and only one teeny-tiny chip on the side of my ring finger from where the polish was applied a little thinner (or the 2nd coat missed that spot).  It has made it through 2 hair washings, conditioning and glazing, as well as laundry, cooking and washing pans.  EDIT:  This polish, with NO topcoat lasted pretty well on my nails for about 4 days, which for me is a record!  It probably would have lasted longer if I had used a top coat.

Some tips:

  • a good ridge filling base coat is a must
  • hold the magnet for longer (about 20 seconds) over a second thick coat
  • after the first hand is done, recap and shake again to make sure that the magnetic pieces are well suspended in the polish

Initially I was resisting this nail trend...BUT I am definitely pleased that I received this in my box.  Since getting it (and loving! it), I have picked a few more in different colors.  The one thing that I would like to have seen is other magnet designs (and an imprint of the design on the cap somewhere rather than just the plastic shrink-wrap stuff).

Retail price of the Sally Hansen Magnetic is between $9-$10 and available at many stores.  It would be nice to see a lower price on this polish.

Have you used magnetic polishes?  Do you like the resulting look?

**I was sent this product complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster's VoxBox program**
**My opinions are entirely my own and not influenced in any way**

Friday, July 20, 2012

Summer Beauty VoxBox!

I was very excited to see that I qualified to receive the Summer Beauty VoxBox from Influenster!  As the time passed from getting the first email stating that I was selected for the second round of boxes, I got more and more excited for its arrival.  This was my very first VoxBox to receive and I'm pretty pleased with what I got.

So, what all did I get?  Let's take a look. 
I was not in the appropriate demographics to receive what was written in the pink box:  Clear Scalp & Hair Beauty Therapy.  
Sally Hansen Nails and Cuticles Hand Creme
I have used this before (last year) so I'm not really sure why it says "new" on it.  
I like the product itself.
Sally Hansen Magnetic Nail Color in 908 Graphite Gravity
I had this on my nails less than a half hour after I opened the box :) and I really like the effect it gives - so does the Mister.  
This is the first magnetic polish I have ever tried and I got a good effect on the first try.
Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Lotion Sunscreen SPF 30
This smells really good.  Definitely looking forward to trying it when the sun finally comes back out - it's been overcast and threatening rain all week.
Tampax and Always Radiant Collection, which contains:1 purse, 1 scented pad, 3 unscented liners & 2 unscented tampons.  Not really excited about the scented item - I got a couple as a trial last time I bought feminine products and I couldn't stand the scent of them.   As personal preference, I don't like scented feminine products.
Quaker Soft Baked Bar in Banana Nut Bread
This looks pretty tasty.  
It has 5 grams of fiber, 20% daily value of 5 B vitamins, 5 grams protein and all for 140 calories.

I'm pretty happy with the timing of the arrival of the box since I will be traveling in a couple of weeks.  I will definitely be putting several of these products in my travel bag.  

Have you used any of these products before?  Did you like them?

I was sent these products complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster when I mention these products online.

**My opinions are entirely my own - Some of these products I have used before and purchased with my own money or it was enclosed as a sample with another product**