Wednesday, May 21, 2014

CVS Clearance Sale Haul!

**all items purchased by me

If you haven't heard, CVS has it's semi-annual clearance sale going on right now.  Revlon has supposedly been marked for over a week with other brands getting marked this past Monday.  I went today to see what I could find, especially since I saw that Milani's polishes were on the list.  If you want to see what all has been found on clearance so far, then check out this post on Nouveau Cheap's blog.  I'll probably keep my eye on the "master list" to see if anything else interesting looking goes on sale, but as of right now this is all I'm buying.

So let's see what I managed to get my hands on today, all for around $20!
Nearly all (or maybe all with some stickers missing?) of Milani's polishes were marked to 50% off so I got a couple cremes, a shimmer and 2 glitters.  I could have gotten a couple other glitters but I had already bought one from a different store and the other I had the FingerPaints dupe of (and one I still don't really care for the mix so that was a definite pass).
#35 Blue Zoom (high speed), #08A Mint Candy, #06 Power Performance
 #09 Sugar Burst and #12 Sugar Rim
CoverGirl Outlast Stay Brilliant polish in #240 Coral Silk (my picture makes this brighter than it really is)

And finally, I picked up a new set of Essence of Beauty Crease Brush Duo

Can you believe I bought no actual makeup?!?!  What?  I didn't see anything that I wanted, plus not a whole lot of the makeup was marked and I didn't feel like running back and forth between the makeup aisle and the scanner or draining my phone's battery pulling up the list.  If you don't have a CVS close to you, Walgreens also has a lot of goodies on sale right now (click here for that list), many of which are the same as CVS.

Are you planning on picking anything up during the clearance sale, either CVS or Walgreens?

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

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Hautelook Mini Haul - LORAC palettes and Lustre Drops

**all items purchased by me

I've been super easily distracted today while nursing a little sunburn on my chest and neck back to health.  Oops.  I had the sunscreen on my face but totally forgot about my neck and chest so now I'm on the pink side and it's kind of itchy.  Bring on the argan oil!!  For today's post, I've got a little haul from Hautelook that took place back in March when Lorac was on the site.  Well, I saw today that Lorac is on Hautelook once again and so are the things that I ordered so I thought today would be an excellent day to share swatches.
Get Hot Warm Eye Shadow Palette:
These all swatches super easily with a nice creamy feeling.  Very pleased with this palette.  I can't wait to get that peachy-coral on my eyes; it has a bit of a golden shimmer to it.  The darkest shade is a matte, the next darkest shade has the most shimmer and the other 2 shades are on the satin-matte side.

Stay Cool Cool Eye Shadow Palette:
The Stay Cool palette swatched just as easily - super creamy feeling.  What's surprising is that the medium brown/taupe shade looks like it might have a little bit of a blue sparkle to it...not much, just a tiny bit.  The darkest shade is matte, while the rest are satin or lightly shimmery.  The teal will make a pretty liner for a pop of color.

I finally took the plunge and got this set of 3D Liquid Lustre Drops.  Unfortunately, this is already sold out on Hautelook's site.  But I believe the Diamond shade is available all the time, with the other 3 being limited edition.
Diamond, Platinum, Amethyst, Topaz
one tiny drop each, spread out with my finger

I can't wait to play with the liquid lustre drops!  And both eye shadow palettes look perfect for creating fairly quick looks.  I would probably feel the need just to pull in one additional color - a matte skin tone to start everything off with.

Do you plan on picking up anything from the LORAC sale on Hautelook?  Do you have a favorite palette from LORAC?  Any other product that you're absolutely in love with from them?

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

Friday, May 16, 2014

L'Oreal Eva's Nude with Maybelline Bronze Beam

**all items purchased by me

I thought today I'd tackle about 3 posts in one.  How about that?  I've got display pictures and bottle shots of 2 different collections, plus the nail look I came up with using the 2 polishes that I bought - maybe this is 4 posts in one since I don't think I ever showed either of these in a haul.

I believe that the L'Oreal polish may still be available, but the display might be in a different configuration - likely with coordinating lipsticks - so let's get started with that.  It's the 6 polish Collection Privee - "Signature Nudes Inspired by Women of Worth."  I did take some quick label and bottle shots in the store.
Now let's see the polish that I got from the collection.  This is 2 coats of Eva's Nude over a base of Orly Bonder, no top coat.
I like that this nude has a slight pinkish-gold shimmer mixed in to keep it from looking so flat on the nail, but the shimmer is very shy.  I think this is a pretty good shade of nude for my skin tone.  I have to say that I really enjoy L'Oreal's brushes since they apply polish so well and make it super easy on my nails to get a clean line around the cuticle.  I feel like this photographed a bit more yellow-toned than it looks like in real life.
Moving on to Maybelline, the Dare To Go Nude collection for Spring 2014 was quite large with polishes spanning 2 displays:
The top label and bottle shots are from the all-polish display (except for the glitter which will appear later); the bottom 2 polishes are from the display that also contains makeup.

And now for how Maybelline's Bronze Beam looks over top of Eva's Nude.  This is just one coat with hardly any dabbing necessary, no top coat.
Maybelline's Bronze Beam has 2 different sizes of bronze glitters in a clear base.  The slightly stiff brush didn't spread out much, but it didn't give me a problem in getting a smooth, even application of the glitters.  It dried pretty quickly to a smooth finish.

I got a few compliments on this nail combo.  I think it's a nice neutral look without being too boring.  I'm sad that it's time to change polish already, but chores took a toll on this look.

Did you pick up anything from either the L'Oreal Collection Privee or Maybelline Dare To Go Nude collections?  What's your favorite nude polish?  When you wear nude, do you keep it plain or jazz it up with glitter?

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

Thursday, May 15, 2014

MAC Cosmetics Collective Haul - Proenza Schouler & Maleficent

**all items purchased by me

I've been slowly making some MAC Cosmetics purchases recently and I thought I'd share them today.  I visit the MAC counter inside of Macy's for my purchases.  I promise I'm not moving away from drugstore beauty, I'm just having fun playing with the higher end brands - especially when it's a more unique product/color.

First up, way back in March I bought my first bottle of MAC's brush cleanser:
From the first use, I was impressed.  I can definitely see myself keeping this in stock as often as possible.  Actually, I'll probably need to get a new bottle next month as I've used this one quite heavily.

Moving on to this month, there's been 2 collection releases (in store and as of this day).  I've managed to get one thing from each starting off with the Proenza Schouler collection.

 Blush Ombre in Ocean City
I tried to number the various swatches with where they correspond to in the blush.  1 is the peach, 2 is the center, 3 is the orange and 4 is all mixed together.  I like that this blush can be custom mixed and then built up to how noticeable you want it on your cheeks.

And today the Maleficent collection launched in store.  I had my eye on the sculpting powder and beauty powder, but elected to not get the beauty powder.
Sculpting Powder in Sculpt
This is just 2 swipes on my hand.  I can't wait to play with this.  I imagine it will be perfect to both have a light contour as well as a more heavily done contour; the makeup artist also suggested using this as an eyeshadow.  Lots of options.  Yay!  I thought about the Beauty Powder but honestly didn't see much of a difference on, even when I went outside.  Maybe I was expecting something a little more...highlight-y or luminous.  As for the eyeshadow colors, I feel that I have the same or comparable colors in my collection already.  The lip products, while pretty (especially the gloss), wouldn't get much use in my collection since I rarely wear red and have to remind myself to use actual lipsticks or gloss.  Sometimes I just make sure all the foundation/concealer/powder is off my lips then use a nice layer of lip balm and be done since I have so much color naturally.

The artist also hooked me up with a little sample of their Neutralizer to help disguise my scarring some.  I do have a couple other products from their core line that are on my wish list that I'll probably slowly purchase, but I'm open to suggestions as well.

Do you have anything from MAC Cosmetics in your collection?  Any product recommendations?

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

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Spotted, Hauled & Swatched - Wet 'n Wild Street Art Polishes

**all items purchased by me

Today I have Wet 'n Wild's limited edition Street Art collection of polishes to share.  At first I wasn't going to get these because of all WnW's polish formulas, these get the worst wear on me.  But then I saw swatches, right when they were on sale at Walgreens for $.69 a bottle during the first week of March.  So I told myself that while I wouldn't go out of my way hunting them down, if I did find them easily I would get them.  Yeah...I found them with no problem, although I think some of the colors were down to the last bottle in that display.  Since then I have seen the collection at Rite Aid, which is where I got the display shot from, but since purchasing from Walgreens I haven't checked/paid attention at CVS, Giant Eagle or KMart since my hunt is done.

As always, let's get started with the display picture.
~this display is probably showing the most color-accurate out of all my pictures~

Now for them all lined up at home:
Temptation, Get Lucky, Too Hot For You, Here Comes Trouble, Deception, Cursed

Bottle/label shots (same order as above):

And swatches, both on the wheel and on my nails:
Get Lucky, Here Comes Trouble, Temptation, Too Hot For You, Cursed, Deception 
Temptation didn't really need the 2nd coat on the wheel, but I did 2 of everything for consistency's sake, and sometimes the lightbox's lights make things look more sheer than in real life.  Cursed and Deception are both jelly finishes so they still look a bit translucent on the wheel, but that's actually what drew me to them in the swatches I saw.   Temptation has a touch of shimmer.  For Get Lucky, I do recommend to have plenty of polish on the brush to work with as it is a bit on the streaky-thick side, but maybe 3 thinner coats might work better.  When I do go to wear these, I'll be sure to use a ridge-filling base coat as well as Orly Bonder to hopefully get a smoother application and longer wear.
Get Lucky, Here Comes Trouble, Temptation, Too Hot For You
2 coats of each, with top coat (this picture is washed out, but the best I could do to show the difference between Temptation and Too Hot For You)
Deception and Cursed, no top coat
pinkie and middle fingers are 1 coat; ring and index fingers are 2

Of the core Wild Shines, as well as a few miscellaneous limited edition polishes in my possession, I did not find any color dupes.  When I compared the Street Art polishes to all of my Wet 'n Wild polishes, I did not find any dupes that way either.  It's nice that even with such a large array of polishes among all the various formulas they've released over time that they are still able to come up with original colors.  I do enjoy the colors of this line, but the Wild Shine formula in general isn't the best wearing on me.  I can only get about 1 day before major chips so these aren't something I reach for very often.  BUT I haven't tried any for an extended time since I purchased Orly Bonder last fall so I'll have to experiment to see if that helps these last better on me.

Did you pick up any of the Wet 'n Wild Street Art polish collection?  Do these remind you of any other shades?

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

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The "Studio" is 3 Today!! - Nails to Celebrate!

**all items purchased by me

Long time, no see...again.  Another year has come and gone in my little corner of the blog world, with today being the "Studio's" 3rd birthday!  I know I've been slacking quite a bit lately, but I think that we are finally coming to the home stretch of this year's major garden renovations/removals that were at the top of the list...I hope.  That means that I should have more time available.  Although there is always work to be done outside, I miss having my "me" time with the blog so I want/need to move that back up on the priority list.

So I wanted to continue my unofficial tradition by using the same 2 polishes as my very first post for today's.  Unfortunately, this time I'm also sporting a couple of patches on various nails.

I started off with 2 coats of Wet 'n Wild FastDry in Magic Trident over just a coat of Seche Recondition (my nails are dried out from wearing leather gloves for the last 1-2 weeks almost constantly.  My thumb has a bonus of a ridge filler since that's where one of my patches is living.  Magic Trident is a 2011 limited edition polish from around when I was really getting into limited edition polish collections.  Then I pulled out a couple different dotting tools and had some fun with Sinful Colors Beautiful Girl.
I think the settings on my camera are still off...either that or the colors look off since I used the shimmery orange as a base.  Maybe it's because I didn't use a black background like I normally do for my nails (I think that's probably the real issue which I didn't think of until just now).  For a better representation of how the colors look, check out my taped mani post from last year.  Looking at this year's post and last year's...I think I like last year's look better.  

EDIT:  Much, much better picture.  Note to self - mani posts need the black to look their best.
I just want to say thank you to everyone who checks out my posts.  It means a lot that people would actually take the time to see what content I create.  I really hope to get back into the swing of things full-time since I have lots of things to share.  If you don't follow me on Instagram, I do post other things (tiny hauls, nail looks, kitty pictures, etc) that might never make it here on the blog (but they should show up on Twitter and Facebook since those are linked).

Here's to another productive year!  <3 :-)

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

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Kohl's Mini Haul - the Balm Smoke Balm Eye Shadow Trios + Swatches

**all items purchased by me

Long time, no see!  I've been super busy with yard work for the last week and a half with much more yet to do.  The Mister planned major garden renovations, as in take them out, so I've been out working every day until there's literally no daylight left...except for today since my hands/arms were so sore I could barely pick up my coffee mug.  I've even been working in the rain drops since there's so much that needs dug out/sprayed with chemicals.  When it is finally time to stop for the day I'm so tired that it's all I can do to get his shirt ironed for work before I'm ready to drop into bed.  At least I'm having an easier time getting to sleep.  While I'm not sure how regularly I'll be posting for a while during this major destruction time, I am going to keep blogging when I have the energy both physically and mentally.  Just please bear with me.

So I thought today I'd share some quick swatches of a couple of mini palettes that I found at Kohl's from the Balm.  I was so surprised to actually see these in store since the location I go to wasn't one of the lucky ones to get a whole display of the Balm products.  These are both called Smoke Balm, which are smokey eye palettes.  Other than the colored ribbon printed across the bottom, there's no distinction between the 2.  They cost $12 each and I found them a little over a month ago (haven't been back since to see if they're still there or not).
Swatches of the teal packaging version - I'd say that this is the "cooler toned" palette:
 Swatches of the coral packaging version - I'd call this the "warmer toned" palette:

All of the colors swatched easily.  Flame from the teal packaging looks a little funny in the swatch but the color and pigmentation make for a perfect pearly highlight shade for me and my super fair skin.  Both of the darkest shades have some shimmer but it's not really noticeable once on the eye.  As is the case with all shadows I have from the Balm, these apply and blend wonderfully with the brand's usual creamy texture.  A sticky base might help the shimmer from Blaze and Kindle hang on better when it comes time to blend.  I'm pleased and I'll get a lot of use out of these since there's no thinking to make a complete eye look.

Have you found anything from the Balm at Kohl's?  How about any other brands?

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