Friday, January 31, 2014

Ulta Extreme Wear Gel Eyeliner Review

**all items purchased by me

Time for another review!  I thought today I'd give my thoughts on an eyeliner that I picked up November last year.  I actually picked this as my "reward" for shopping at Ulta so much last year, as it was one of the choices for the level I had spent and I was in need of a new black gel liner.

This is the Ulta Extreme Wear Gel Eyeliner in Primetime.  I have to be honest, it wasn't what I expected.  I was expecting this to be a plain matte black gel liner, but I got a surprise when I opened it.
From the first use, I felt it was too wet for my particular taste in gel liner.  I felt like it took forever for it to dry down.  Now that I've had it for a while, it's dried up some since I haven't been screwing the lid on super tight -  I wanted it to dry out a bit.  But while it was too wet, and now that it's drier, I've never really loved the way that it applies.  I've used 3 different brushes and have yet to be able to quickly apply and go.  This takes time to apply and if I'm not careful when I go over the same part of the line to darken it, it has a slight tendency to lift some of the original line.  It takes multiple dips into the jar to get enough to do my favorite cat eye/wing liner.  It also applies a little clumpy, which then tend to fall down to my cheek while applying (and even a little throughout the day if I missed smoothing out all of clumps of liner).  I've also noticed this fading on me when I've applied early in the day and check how it's doing in the later evening.  With my old gel liner (the Maybelline Eye Studio gel liner) I never had any of these issues.
~I used the Real Techniques Silicone Eye Liner Brush for my "doodles"~
~can you see those chunks on the top 2 swatches?  and all the sparkles ~

So besides the formula issue, I was also disappointed in the color in that it has silver shimmer in it.  That's not what I wanted - the label gave no indication as to the shimmer.  It's not as black as I wanted, either.  I feel like it's more of a dark charcoal.  As for it being "extreme wear," I can smudge the liner after it's set up on my hand for about 5 minutes.  When I want my waterline to be black for all day I tend to use gel line (applied by dipping a pencil eye liner in the gel) but since this one has shimmer in it, I haven't tried it there for how long it lasts.

I've used the Real Techniques Fine Liner Brush, Silicone Eye Liner Brush, and the E.L.F. Studio Angled Eyeliner brush and haven't been happy with the application using any of these without taking the extra time to really build things up and smooth things out.  The other brush I will typically use for gel liners is just the brush that comes with the Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner, but I haven't used it with this liner yet.

If I don't consider the fact that it's not the matte black that I wanted, it is a pretty liner.  But it does have formula issues for me.  I'll probably continue using this off and on for when I want a little extra sparkle to my eye look, but I'm going to be searching for a new plain matte black gel liner.  I won't repurchase this, and I won't purchase any of the other colors that are in the Ulta line due to the formula issues I had.  These liners are priced at $10.

What's your favorite matte black gel liner?  Or do you prefer pencil or liquid liners?

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Early January Collective Mall Haul!

**all items purchased by me/
received as requested samples

I thought today I'd share what I've purchased at the mall from earlier this month when all/the majority of the clearance sales were happening.

Let's start off with Express.  I went in to see if there was anything for the Mister and left with a little something extra for myself as well:
I got this black and white polka-dot infinity scarf for about $10.50.

Then I went to Macy's.  It might not have been on sale, but I thought it was a good deal ($30) to get to try several new-to-me brands/products:
 Get the Pulse Glam It Up kit
  • Cargo duo eye shadow in Columbia/St. Tropez, which both swatched nicely
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero (travel size)
  • Philosophy Miracle Worker - Miraculous Anti-Aging Retinoid Eye Repair (2 mL/0.07 fl. oz. sample)
  • Bare Minerals Lash Domination Volumizing Mascara (itty bitty 1.5 mL/0.05 fl. oz. sample)
  • Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion (3.7 mL/0.13 fl. oz. sample)

  • butter LONDON nail polish in Knees Up (6 mL/0.2 fl. oz. mini).  Came all dried up - the inner cap wasn't on tight enough; I restored it the night I was taking pictures but forgot to take an after shot
  • black shiny clutch
I also spent some time at Victoria's Secret for their Semi-Annual Sale and found some new goodies (besides the necessities):
Dramatic Matte Eye Shadows, $4.20 each
Refined, Voluptuous, Wild at Heart
~the center brown shade is more brown in real life, the picture is making it look more khaki/olive brown. The other 2 shades are fairly accurate
Just Kiss Me and Dream On
nail polishes, $5 each

I also ended up at Forever 21.  I hadn't bought anything from there in quite a while, but I found some new polishes I liked:
 Dark Orange/Multi; Pink/Red/Silver; Pink/Multi; Purple/Silver
  • Dark Orange/Multi is a milky orange-sicle base with at least red, green, and yellow(?) hex glitters
  • Pink/Red/Silver is a milky baby pink with baby iridescent bar glitters and hot pink and more iridescent small hex glitters
  • Pink/Multi is a clear base with white, hot pink and silver small bar glitters - "Feather"
  • Purple/Silver is a clear base with white, purple and silver small bar glitters - "Feather"
Since my haul day at the beginning of the year, I've only been in the mall one time.  I was good.  I only bought one thing for myself that day. (image from my Instagram)  By the way, follow me on Instagram for additional pictures - that's where I post tiny 1-2 item "hauls" as well as other random things (kitties, bunnies, things I like, etc).
40% off that day!  "Pave Eye Stretch Bracelet"

I didn't take any pictures, but I also walked out of Dillards with some more samples of the Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Protect Cream Skin Protectant (which I plan on giving to my mom), some sample packs of Lancome Genefique (to stretch my bottle for a longer time/traveling) and a Lancome 24 Hour foundation sample in 210 (still trying to find my shade - 220 ended up being a bit to dark to start with and then oxidizing on me darker still).  From the Mac counter in Macy's I got another sample of the Volcanic Ash Exfoliator.

I still need to share my small haul from Sally's Beauty Supply when the extra 50% off clearance sale happened, and I do have another small haul from Claire's from before Christmas.  I am slowly getting caught up with what's already loaded on my computer, but I've got loads of pictures on my camera from more recent purchases waiting for their respective turns.

Did you take advantage of the clearance sales from any stores earlier this month?  Find anything good?  And of course, let me know if you'd like to see any of the polishes on my nails soon (or see how well that butter LONDON polish came back to life)!

**all items purchased by me/received as requested samples
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cinna-Man Of My Dreams

**all items purchased by me

I thought today I'd share a polish actually on my nails, rather than the nail wheel.  I believe I wore this around Thanksgiving time (yeah, that long ago) but didn't get pictures of it before the toll of housework showed.  Recently I put it back on just so I could get it posted.  I believe this was also the first polish I was playing around with trying to get decent pictures of in my lightbox...still working on that for mani pictures.

So, this is 2 coats of Nicole by OPI Cinna-Man Of My Dreams.  I don't believe I used base coat.  Dry time was a little slow since there's no quick dry top coat used.
 ~upper picture is in my lightbox; lower is under my normal CFL lamp 
(I took these at night so no natural light available)~
Cinna-Man Of My Dreams is a gorgeous warm, slightly red, brown with pretty shimmers running through.  The base color reminds me more of the color of the cinnamon sticks we use that came from the Indian market (in comparison to the ones available at regular stores).  In my Sunday Stash Sharing post I described it as having reddish/copper shimmer, but there's also some blue to make it even more interesting.  Of course, in my pictures the shimmers aren't really showing up in their true colors.  I sure hope that the sun comes back some day...darn winter.
 This applied easily with little clean up needed, even when polishing quickly.
~the shimmers show up better in my thumb's picture so I left it all by itself~

This is one of the most unique colors of textured polishes that have come out (especially when it first came out in the summer of last year).  This collection is currently available in the core line-up of Nicole by OPI polishes at CVS.  I'm not sure about other stores - I haven't paid that much attention since I have all the ones that I want.  When I first bought this collection, it was from Walmart.

Do you like colors like this?  Do you keep colors like this more for the Fall season, or just wear them whenever it pleases you?

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Spotted, Hauled...most, & Swatched - Julie G Frosted Gum Drops Holiday Collection

**all items purchased by me

I know, another super late post.  Again, I'm not sure if you'll be able to find any of these lurking at Rite Aid by this time.  As with yesterday's Sinful Colors post, I only bought 4 from the collection...although when I was doing a new wheel for just textured polishes, I'm now kind of regretting getting the gold...maybe my fingers were too red from being cold for so long so that's why it was looking really unflattering.  Might be better in warmer months.  I'm wearing finger-less gloves so I can edit/type and wishing I had a little heater in front of me for my feet - super cold right now.

Anyway....on to the pretties!
I did not purchase the last 2 in the display - the pink and the blue.  I thought they might be too similar to a couple of Zoya PixieDusts that I have (the pink looks like it's a shade between Zoya Miranda and Arabella and the blue really reminded me of Zoya Liberty).

Haul picture! (although I lost the picture from when I bought the gold one since I bought it later)
 And bottle shots (label shots weren't showing up):
Now for swatches:
Mistletoe, Sugar Plum Fairy, Silver Bells, Gift of Gold
blurred to show off the sparkles :-)
2 coats of each, although the second wasn't really needed on the wheel

I think that the purple one was the first one that jumped in my hand when I saw these.  And I got the green since I didn't have any greens (other than the pastel Zoya Vespa).  I couldn't get the extra prettiness of Silver Bells to show up in pictures, either in the bottle or on the wheel (it's got a light touch of baby blue shimmer).  I'm hoping that the gold will look better against my skin tone when my fingers aren't stuck in red mode from being too cold for so long (even without going outside).  Maybe using it in conjunction with another color would also make it more wearable - the thought of using it with OPI's brown What Wizardry Is This just popped into my head.

What do you do with polishes that don't exactly look the best with your skin tone?  Did you get any of the Julie G Gum Drops holiday textures?  Do these remind you of any from other brands?  Let me know if you'd like to see any of these on my nails soon!

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Monday, January 27, 2014

Spotted, Hauled...a few, & Swatched - Sinful Colors Crystal Crushes

**all items purchased by me

I can't believe how cold it is...again!  It's -1 while I'm typing this and it's still dropping for the night.  I so am not leaving the house unless absolutely necessary until it's hopefully back into the teens above zero.  Bring on the hot tea! and hot chocolate!  Might crack open a can of soup for tomorrow, too.  I wonder if I have the ingredients to make a pot of chili...that sounds good.

Anyway...I know this is super late, but you never know.  There might still be some of these lurking at Rite Aid, which is the only store I ever saw them at.  It's the Sinful Colors Crystal collection, which is that brand's answer to the textured trend.  I only ended up with 4 out of the collection - the ones that I felt were most unique, flattering and had the highest chance of getting worn by me.
~I did not get the yellow (1st color), the green (3rd color), the red (6th color) or the orange (8th color)~
I very rarely wear yellow, green isn't a color I wear often either (but looking back maybe I should have gotten it), and I already have reds/oranges from other brands

I ended up purchasing these in pairs:
 Blue Persuasion and Purple Gleam
 Treasure Chest and Got A Blush On You

Bottle and label shots:
Blue Persuasion and Purple Gleam
Treasure Chest and Got A Blush On You

 Blue Persuasion, Purple Gleam, Got A Blush On You, Treasure Chest
edit (1/28/14): I found my original notes!  These are just one coat!!
  • Blue Persuasion is a medium blue with magenta pink fine shimmer
  • Purple Gleam is a lavender purple with pink and a touch of blue fine shimmer
  • Got A Blush On You is a raspberry pink with blue and pink fine shimmer
  • Treasure Chest is a mint-turquoise with gold fine shimmer
I lost my original notes but I recently put these on a second wheel of all textures so I'm going with that application fairly fresh in my head.  These were well pigmented.  The second coats weren't really necessary for opacity; I just did it to try to get more of the textured feel.  It did darken them slightly though.

I'm finding that in this cold weather, I'm not reaching for textured polishes at all since anything dry or sandy/chapped feeling is driving me crazy.  But once Spring eventually comes around I'm sure that I'll be reaching for my textures again.  I do think that if I happen to stumble across the darker green one I'll add it to my collection.  These did retail for higher (I believe) $2.99 rather than the normal $1.99, which is probably why I didn't snatch up more when I first came across them.  I do have to say that I love how the shimmers are all contrasting colors to the main color of each polish, which is something that didn't seem to be very popular when textures first started hitting the scene last year.

Did you pick up any of these Sinful Colors textures?  Are you over the textured trend?  Let me know if you'd like to see any of these on my nails soon! or compared to other brands' colors!

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Stash Sharing - China Glaze The Hunger Games Capitol Colors

**all items purchased by me

Time for another peek into my massive stash with the Sunday Stash Sharing.  We're still visiting the China Glaze drawer.  Today I'm doing just one collection release - The Hunger Games Capitol Colors from Spring 2012.  I have most of the collection, which was 12 colors.  These are some of the first China Glaze polishes I ever purchased.  I purchased 9 of the 10 shades I do have on clearance (possibly half off clearance prices at Sally's) - only one was purchased at full price.  I'm missing only 2 - Agro and Riveting.  As always, if I've posted any of these on my nails then I've included a link.

First trio, the glitters and a matte:
Luxe and Lush, Electrify, Stone Cold
~Luxe and Lush is a mylar flake glitter~
~Stone Cold is matte~

Next, the nude/purple/mauve tones:
Fast Track, Foie Gras, Dress Me Up
~Fast Track is a nude with gold shimmer~
~Foie Gras has a more purple than is showing in pictures~
~Dress Me Up is more of a mauve in real life (the picture is too pink)~

Next, the browns and gray:
Harvest Moon, Hook and Line, Mahogany Magic
~Harvest Moon is a metallic finish~
~Hook and Line is a frost finish~

Finally, the blackened teal-blue-green:
~shimmer finish~

Luxe and Lush was added to the core line at Sally's Beauty Supply last year.  Electrify has a dupe that occasionally appears in the fall in the Sinful Colors releases.

I believe that next week will be the final China Glaze installment (until whenever I might buy more) so I'll have a brand wrap-up included.  

Did you get any of the Hunger Games collection when it was available?  Do any of these remind you of polishes from other brands as possible dupes?

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Ulta Material Girl

**all items purchased by me

I realized earlier today that I haven't done any nail posts this week.  Of course, those 2 sick days didn't help.  Anyway... I thought that today I would share my first Ulta brand nail polish that I bought a few months back.
~the bottle with all its holographic goodness really caught my eye in the store and I had to have it~

So for today, I've got Ulta Material Girl.  This is 2 coats over Orly Bonder.  I ended up using 2 top coats - Out the Door and Gelous since this did dry bumpy and Out the Door didn't smooth it out (maybe a second coat would have?).  I'm not sure what was the cause of the bumpiness since the bumps looked like the base color.
 above - natural daylight through window; below - under my CFL lamp
Ulta Material Girl is a pretty dark raspberry pink-purple-magenta polish with scattered holographic small glitter particles sprinkled generously throughout.  It seems to have a slight jelly tendency since the holo particles aren't hidden by the base.  The formula applied fairly easily with the only issue being that it dried bumpy but not like a textured polish.  According to Ulta's website, this is a Glitter Finish (not what I typically think of as a typical glitter finish - I think of more chunky polishes).  It reminds me a bit of Zoya's holographic finish polishes (Storm, Aurora, Blaze, Payton, Dream) but it seems to have more of the particles to it than some of the Zoya colors.

Do you own any Ulta brand polishes?  What's your favorite?

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Friday, January 24, 2014

Too Faced Shadow Insurance Review

**all items purchased by me

I finally got my computer to start up! Yay!!  It is definitely showing its age.  Anyway, I'm still shooting for sharing a review every Friday so I thought today I'd review the Too Faced Shadow Insurance Anti-Crease Eye Shadow Primer.  I have to start of saying that I appreciate the fact that Too Faced doesn't automatically package this with all of their palettes somehow, although this one was an exception.

I had ordered the Too Faced <3 Sephora 15th Anniversary palette (no longer available on Sephora's site so I probably won't post the long-overdue haul on it) back in November and I've been using the included tiny tube of Shadow Insurance off and on since then.  The full size tube is readily available from Ulta and Sephora, as well as online for $20.  I realize that this is not a new product, but it is new to me.  I first opened it when I was having allergy eyes (allergic reaction to a spot cleaner for brushes) since it seems like I had heard that this is the primer that people reach for when Urban Decay (which isn't my favorite either) gives them issues.
~3 g/0.11 oz. sample tube~
From Sephora's website:
What it is:
An eye shadow primer guaranteed to go the distance.

What it does:
This is your full-coverage insurance policy against all fading, creasing, melting, blurring, oil slicked, and hard-to-blend eye shadow accidents. Our silicone based eye shadow primer transforms any eyeshadow into a perfectly blendable, color-drenched, intensified version of itself, then locks it down perfectly until you take it off. This soothing formula evens out the skintone on your lids and smoothes lines while securing a barrier between the oils of your skin and your makeup, so no shadow catastrophes will ever happen again.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:
- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Synthetic Fragrances
- Synthetic Dyes
- Petrochemicals
- Phthalates

What else you need to know:
Truly versatile, Shadow Insurance can be used with powder or cream eye shadow products, and it's concentrated: the size of a rain drop covers the entire lid.
~straight from the tube, slightly blended out~

As a little background, I have fairly oily eyelids (especially during warmer months) that are very prone to eye shadow creasing.  You know those Maybelline Color Tattoos that everyone swears won't crease? yeah, they crease on me in about 5 minutes unless I prime first and set with eye shadow.

Back to the Too Faced Shadow Insurance.  What are my thoughts?
Well...for me this isn't the best match.  Kind of shocking since it seems like so many bloggers/YouTubers love this primer.  My sister-in-law swears by it as well.  I do like that it smoothly blends out and helps to even out the tone of my eyelids.  I haven't had any irritation from it, either.  BUT for me, it doesn't deliver on all its promises.  Every time I've used the Shadow Insurance on long days, I've had creasing and fading start to happen somewhere around the 6-7 hour mark.  Sorry, but when I have long days I really expect my eye shadows to stay crease-free the entire time so I reach for a different brand.  I'll continue to use this off and on for shorter days, maybe play around with how much I apply and see if I get better results, until it's gone.

So, will I repurchase this?  No, I will not.  I have other brands that I like better.  Although the Glitter Glue formula is kind of catching my eye since I'm slowly getting into pigments and glitters.

What's your favorite eye shadow primer?  Do you have a specific one you like for pigments and glitters?

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated

Thursday, January 23, 2014

December Collective Ulta Haul!

**all items purchased by me

I have to say that this past week just has not gone how I thought it would.  I feel like I've had no time to sit down and get anything done.  Maybe I should really consider trying to change my sleep schedule to give me more time to get things done while the Mister is at work... And of course, I seem to be suffering from a bit of "bloggers' block" - I'll blame that on a few more sick days and the dreadful productivity-sapping cold that seems to insist on keep returning to Ohio.

So what better to do when trying to get passed all the yuckiness of outside than to share some pretties that I bought during December from Ulta.  I took advantage of Ulta's kits, one day specials and clearance.  I'm also going to include one thing that I bought from Target as well since I bought it on the same day as one of my Ulta purchases (the stores are in the same plaza so that's quite convenient for me and dangerous for my wallet).  Prepare for lots of pictures (if/when I get to swatches, those will be in their own posts).  I'm not sure what items are still available since several items were holiday items and the majority of the rest was clearance.

First visit, the day before my birthday (pre-birthday present?):
DermaBlend Hello Perfection Camouflage Intro Kit in Fair - $24
Zoya mini trio set - Rina, Twila, Kissy (click here for better bottle shots/swatches) - $5.99
Ulta nail polishes in Chocolate Kiss and Taupe On A Rope - $2.99 clearance each
DermaBlend kit came with a deluxe sample of Smooth Indulgence Foundation (Natural Beige for the Fair kit), foundation brush, 0.25 oz. jar of setting powder and 1 fl. oz. sample of Long Wear Makeup Remover
~for best results/coverage, this foundation needs to be layered, letting it dry completely between layers, then set with the powder~
Chocolate Kiss and Taupe On A Rope

A couple of days after my birthday (saw this used on a YouTube video and fell in love):
Smashbox Wonder Vision Eye Set in Sparks - limited edition
comes with Sparks eye shadow palette, Limitless Eye Liner in Onyx, Full Exposure Mascara in Jet Black
~I paid $32, but if you can find it at Ulta it might be on sale~

A few days before Christmas:
Too Faced Jingle all the Way palette (I paid $19 - I believe it was originally $25) - limited edition
Urban Decay Shattered Face Case (one day sale for $22 - I believe it was originally $44) - limited edition
Shattered Face Case comes with a Super-Saturated Lip color in Lovechild 
and a 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Zero

Now for the day after Christmas (yes, I was out in that madness).  These were all on clearance:
 Orly Lavish Bash and Fight On; Zoya Bobbi and Micky
 Lavish Bash was $3.99 (from the Secret Society collection)
Fight On (FX - Pretty in Pink collection), Bobbi (Summer 2013 Irresistible collection) and Micky (Summer 2013 Stunning collection) were all $4.99
~if I'd been thinking ahead, I would have printed off one of their monthly coupons for more savings.  oops~

And now for my one Target purchase.  I forget if I got this before or after Christmas, but it was after I saw the other version of it in a YouTube video.  I thought these colors would be ones that would be more flattering on me once I saw it in store.
Pacifica Natural Minerals Mystical Supernatural Eye Shadow Palette (coconut infused mineral eye shadows) - I think it was around $10, but I lost my receipt
 ~the darkest color photographed darker than what it really is (maybe I'll do a follow-up post with swatches, but I haven't worn it yet since I've been playing with other new palettes)~

I bought quite a variety of makeup and polishes during December.  I don't know if it's better or worse that I bought everything during separate trips...maybe I go into Ulta a little too often.  Oh, well.  It's fun and the employees are generally all really nice/helpful.  Just wish you could get samples of things to try before you buy.  I've really been loving Too Faced eye shadows lately and when I swatched Jingle All the Way palette I loved the colors.  When Urban Decay put out the Face Case I really liked it but didn't want to pay that much for a smaller palette, but for half price...sold!  The DermaBlend is supposed to be a decent brand for sensitive/acne-prone skin, so might as well try multiple products for one price.  I'd had my eye on the Orly Fight On but didn't want to pay full price the first couple of times I eyed it up.

Maybe one of these months I'll really try to do a no-buy for both makeup and polish.  At least I've really cut back on buying accessories and clothes (other than when I truly need something for an occasion)...but I still need to find a new pair of black dress shoes since my old ones are in the get rid of pile.

See anything you like?  Have you tried Pacifica makeup before?  Let me know if you'd like to see swatches of anything specific!

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated