Wednesday, August 20, 2014

China Glaze If In Doubt, Surf It Out - Dressed Up


I thought I'd share an almost nail-of-the-day.  Almost as in it just came off due to some very premature chipping.  I've got issues with one nail, which is causing the polish to start chipping off the end within a few hours, but it is growing out.  Then another nail started chipping while I was working in the kitchen all came off.  This way I can let my nails soak in a good amount of cuticle oil/cream which they badly need.  Then tomorrow before doing my nails, I'll put on a new layer of Orly nail repair powder on my sad nail so that my mani will last longer.

Yesterday I finally posted my Sally's Beauty Supply 50% off clearance polishes very mini haul on Instagram from a couple weekends ago.  It was also actually summer weather yesterday so I wanted something nice and bright and one of those polishes fit the bill just right.

I did 2 coats of China Glaze If In Doubt, Surf It Out over all but my index fingers.  Then I did 2 coats of Fresh Paint Honeydew on my index fingers and free-handed on half chevrons on the rest of my nails to tie the colors together better (could have been done with tape).
~Honeydew is pretty accurate but If In Doubt, Surf It Out photographed too dark~
China Glaze If In Doubt, Surf It Out is from the Summer 2014 Off Shore Collection.  It reminds me of an orange creamsicle - the pictures towards the end of the post are probably the most color-accurate.  This creme polish covered nicely in 2 coats and had a nice drying time with a pretty shiny finish.
Fresh Paint Honeydew is a pastel-neon yellow-green creme polish.  It is almost a one-coater (obviously not over the China Glaze), but I did 2 just to make sure everything was nice and even.  This actually reminds me of another color from the China Glaze Off Shore collection - "Be More Pacific," which is why I chose it to be the accent color.  
And then I decided that I wanted something shiny, so Maybelline Gilded in Gold caught my eye from the unswatched/untried box.  I thought that using the glitter all over really tied the mani together.  I've really been trying to shake up which nails are the accent recently and I'm liking it.
Maybelline Color Show Jewels Gilded in Gold is a recent addition to the core line of polishes (I still need to get my post up on which ones joined my stash).  I've seen a lot of stores are still only showing them in counter displays, but I believe I saw them on the wall at Walmart.  Gilded in Gold is a nice gold flakie/shard (do you know what the difference between flakies and shards are?) in a clear base.  The base wasn't too thick or too thin and I had nice coverage in one coat, although a couple of nails I did add a bit more.  This dried pretty quickly as well, although I did top it off with some quick dry top coat.  I think that on the second day of wear it would be a good idea to add one more layer of top coat since a couple of the glitters had corners that were sticking up.
While this is still in the bright/neon range, it's a bit of a Fall combo - orange, green, gold - might have to pull Honeydew out again around Halloween.  And I can't believe my brain just jumped to October... I'll blame it on being sleepy as I finish up this post.

Are you hanging on to summer bright colors?  Or are you starting to transition your manicures to the more subdued Fall colors?  Do you always do the same accent nail (if you do them) or do you change them up?

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

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Sally Hansen Passport to Rio Glitter Topper Collection - Swatches + Review


I'm finally getting my post and review of the Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear limited edition Color Destinations Passport to Rio glitter topper collection up.  I've been putting this off because, in all honesty, I can not recommend this collection.  Yes the combinations are mostly unique for drugstore brands, but it all goes downhill from there.  All of the glitters are matte finish, most are in a clear base...although I believe 1 or 2 have glitters that have already bled some and tinted the base.
All lined up at home:
Splash, Beach Ball, Samba, Carnival, Fruit-ta-ta, Tidal Rave, Copa-Banana, Fiesta

Swatches (base polishes for on my nails are from the Sally Hansen Electric Summer Pastels collection):
Splash, Beach Ball, Samba, Carnival, Fruit-ta-ta, Tidal Rave, Copa-Banana, Fiesta
~2 coats of all, applied very patiently (swirl, blob, dab...and maybe chase some glitters back on the nail)~

top row undies: Sally Hansen Pearl Up, Beach Babe, Floaties, Teeny Bikini
bottom undies: Sally Hansen You're Crabby, Water Orchid, Wet Suit, Kelp Yourself
top row: Samba, Fiesta, Splash, Tidal Rave
bottom: Fruit-ta-ta, Carnival, Beach Ball, Copa-Banana

I had bubbling with all of these glitter toppers.  I found that I had to be careful or else the glitters would try to slide to the sides of my nails since the base was so thick and slow drying.  The drying time is horrible and softens the base color underneath, leaving the overall drying time ridiculously long.  Quick dry top coat didn't do much to help, either.  This is a collection that whenever I plan on pulling one out to wear, I would try applying with a makeup sponge to help absorb the excess base to hopefully avoid as much of the bubbling.

Let's see what my notes tell me about each of these:

  • Samba (turquoise, lime green & pale yellow glitters) has a extra thick base but the glitter is on the sparse side - 2 coats plus a bit more building in spots.
  • Fiesta (black, red & white glitters) had probably the best formula and coverage out of the collection - 1 coat
  • Splash (royal blue, sky blue & white glitters) is another with an extra thick base but it does have a decent coverage in 1 careful coat
  • Tidal Rave (royal blue, sky blue & black glitters) had a formula between Samba & Fiesta - 1.5 coats
  • Fruit-ta-ta (pink, red, black & white glitters) is a medium good formula and had decent glitter coverage in 1.5 coats.  The base is either slightly tinted or some of the red glitter has already faded and tinted it super light pink
  • Carnival (royal blue, sky blue, red, pink pale yellow glitters) had a decent formula and nice coverage in 1 coat plus a little dabbing.
  • Beach Ball (red, white & blue glitters) is a goopy 2 coats. The base is looking tinted now so the red glitter is bleeding some.
  • Copa-Banana (black, lime green, pale yellow) is another with a decent formula that, while sparse, was all right at 1 coat plus dabbing
I found this collection at Walgreens, but I think I've seen it at other retailers as well (I know I saw it at Ulta).  You really have to be willing to baby and work with the application on this collection.  It's a good thing that the the price is less than $3 a bottle, often on sale (which I think I did manage to get a sale on these & maybe coupons?).  With the formula issues of this collection, as well as a couple that I had picked up from a prior Xtreme Wear glitter collection, I am hesitating to purchase any more glitters from the least until I read one or more reviews on them first.

Do any of these catch your eye?  Do you know of similar-looking glitter toppers from other brands that have a better formula?

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

Monday, August 18, 2014

Aveeno Positively Radiant - Influenster Product Review

**all items received free from Influenster for review/testing purposes

It's been just over a month since the Aveeno Positively Radiant VoxBox arrived at my doorstep and it's time to share my thoughts.  Let's see if how well I got #RadiantWithAVEENO !
I normally applied this twice a day, nearly every day (although I could have been a bit more consistent).  The directions say to apply to dark spots and areas of uneven tone.  Since I do have acne scarring in some ways over the majority of my face, I squeezed out about a 1/2 inch length of product on my finger and applied it starting on my cheeks (most damage) and then what was left onto my forehead and chin.  During the day, I followed up with a moisturizer/SPF of 30; at night I didn't feel the need to add any more moisture.
Actually, when looking at the before and after pictures like this, I do see a decent amount of improvement.  Pictures are a much better way to notice changes than just memory and going on what I see in person since I zero in on every flaw and seem to magnify them in my head.
~only editing is to correct exposure~
I loved the smell - or should I say lack of scent, the texture (almost gel-like), how it was the perfect amount of moisture to make my skin feel comfortable after cleansing.  And, very important for sensitive/breakout prone skin, I did not have any breakouts due to this product!  I also liked that the tube is a generous 1.1 fl. oz., so with consistent use (and to cover essentially my entire face), one tube lasts approximately 1 month.

Overall, I was hoping for even better results than what I saw.  BUT I am willing to purchase the Tone Corrector as well as a few other products in the line and give it even more time.  I think that using multiple products from the line would enhance the results of the Positively Radiant line rather than one product by itself.  Given the amount of damage that my skin has, more than just one month is needed to see this product and/or line perform to the best of its capability.

For a full lineup of Aveeno products, check out their site at  Aveeno products are easily available at most stores that sell skincare.  I believe I spotted this for around $17 at KMart (Walmart didn't have it on shelves at that time).

**all items received free from Influenster for review/testing purposes
**my opinions are my own

Thursday, August 14, 2014

FingerPaints Three's A Party - Revisited


I've got a quick nail post to share today, although I didn't get my usual pictures with the labels and bottles.  And since I still don't have the camera card back from the Mister, today's mani shots are courtesy of my phone.  I feel like I stepped backward a bit, but at least the sun came out to play.

On my pinkie and index fingers are 2 coats of FingerPaints Grape Gumball.  The rest have 2 coats of Color Club Sweatpea.  Then I added a generous coat (maybe 2 by the time I got down spreading the glitters evenly) of FingerPaints Three's A Party to all but my index fingers and thumbs.  I finished off with a layer of quick dry top coat over everything.
~with flash, no natural light~

FingerPaints Three's A Party is from the Pop Movement collection that was out in May.  As I noted in my initial impressions, there's hardly any red glitters in the mix - this mani had only a couple pieces between both hands.  But I still like it; I just know to not count on getting red on my nails. Good thing there's plenty of cyan blue, peach and light lime green matte glitters to make up for the red.  If you're curious, the glitter made my nails look pretty neat under blacklight.  Grape Gumball is an old limited edition from the 2012 Gumdrops & Lollipops collection .  I love that this periwinkle purple-blue has a little something to it in the form of pink, blue and silver microshimmers.  

Color Club Sweatpea is from the Spring 2012 Blossoming collection (I also have Diamond Drops from that collection).  It was, apparently, ahead of it's time since it's what I'd call the perfect "radiant orchid" color, which is the current Pantone color of the year.  This creme polish has a nice formula to work with.  I just purchased Sweatpea in the last month or 2 in the clearance bin from Bed, Bath & Beyond.

I really am trying to get more adventurous with my polish combinations and so far, I've liked what I've put together.  Not all of them have been photographed, but I do still have little groups of polishes sitting around so that I can either recreate them soon or take notes to have a combo for when I'm feeling uninspired.

It might not have felt much like summer weather around here this year (struggled to get to mid-80s), but I still managed to wear some rather summery nails.  In my little veggie garden, I planted peppers and tomatoes and as of today, we've had 3 usable tomatoes and a bunch of hot peppers.  Last year we had temperatures well into the 90s and could hardly keep up with the tomatoes, but barely had peppers.  I am going to try for one more crop of cilantro (fingers crossed it will sprout and grow quickly).  I'm sure that tonight is not going to help anything, either, with a low just under 50 - you'd think it was late September or into October.  It was actually a good thing that we never got a pool to set up this summer since it would have been too cold for it pretty much the entire time.

How do you decide what polishes to put together?  Do you go for something that's super matchy or go for more unique combinations?  Have you had a typical weather season where you live or has it well?

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

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Spotted, Hauled & Swatched - Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Electric Summer Pastels


I really did not mean to disappear again.  After I got home from a weekend out of town, I ended up getting sick for 3 days or so.  Then the Mister started scheduling things for every evening, which is when I usually work on the blog - well, evening into the night - so by the time we got home I was too physically tired to get a post together (if you're curious about my afternoons - housework/running around).  And last weekend he had the entire time booked for us.  Plus, the Mister still has the camera card that I use since there's pictures from our last outing on it that he wants to do something with.  I hope that I'll be able to get back on track with the blog, but we'll see how it goes.

For today, I've got the Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Electric Summer Pastel collection.  This has been out for a while, so hopefully if there's anything that catches your eye, you'll still be able to find it.  I found mine at a local drugstore (Discount DrugMart) but it's probably shown up at the typical Rite Aid/Walgreens/CVS by now considering I got them back in June.  The Xtreme Wear polishes are around $3 (that green tag in the picture is for something else).
All lined up at home in my lightbox:
Pearl Up, Peach Babe, Floaties, Teeny Bikini, You're Crabby, Water Orchid, Wet Suit, Kelp Yourslef

 And swatch time, both on the wheel and on my nails:
 Pearl Up, Peach Babe, Floaties, Teeny Bikini, You're Crabby, Water Orchid, Wet Suit, Kelp Yourself
~all 2 coats on the wheel~
~natural daylight through window~
top: Pearl Up, Peach Babe, Floaties, Teeny Bikini
bottom: You're Crabby, Water Orchid, Wet Suit, Kelp Yourself

Pearl Up is a jelly finish, I think 3 coats would have made it look a bit better since 2 coats looks streaky/uneven.  The rest are 2 coats with a nice creme finish.  Water Orchid was a bit runny, but it was still opaque in 2 coats.  I didn't use base coat; using it would make them look better since some ridges/imperfections of my nails are showing.  I don't believe I used any top coat, either, which also would have helped things look a bit smoother.  I haven't worn these to see the wear time yet.

While these aren't the most original colors, they are pretty and are much welcomed to my stash to bulk up my creme polishes.  I need to work on applying Pearl Up more evenly so that it can look it's best, and it'll be nice for trying to do jelly sandwiches with various glitters.

Did you come across the Electric Summer Pastel collection?  See any you want in your stash?  Or do any of these remind you of polishes from other brands?

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

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Pure Ice Sparkling Seas - Playing with the Sheers


Back in June I came across a limited edition collection from Pure Ice - the Sparkling Seas collection.  Inside of this massive collection, there was 3 new sheer/jelly glitter polishes that I grabbed as soon as my eyes saw them.  In this fairly untouched/un-mauled display, they were in the top row.
The other day, I still saw the same display in a different Walmart but it's been well-picked over by now.  But since I had taken the time to play with these some, I wanted to share.
 Pure Ice Sea Glass, Sparkling Seas, Mer-Magical

Swatches of Sea Glass, Sparking Seas, Mer-Magical.  3 coats of each on the wheel.
These are all sheer jelly polishes nicely filled with iridescent glitters.  There's a slight difference in what colors the glitters flash...hopefully they don't all look the same over a dark base.  These will be good to add a subtle sparkle to matching creme polishes for a more "tame" accent.  I do recommend letting these either dry or nearly dry between coats as things got a bit gooey if I rushed the layers on the wheel.

Play time!  I have a base of 3 coats of Sinful Colors Snow Me White.
~top picture in the lightbox, bottom is natural light~

2 coats each of Sea Glass, Sparkling Seas and Mer-Magical.  On my index, I free-handed 2 coats of Sparkling Seas diagonally over half my nail.  After that had set for a bit, I filled in the rest of the nail with 2 coats of Sea Glass.  That nail could have been done using tape, I just never go there as I'm fairly steady-handed (thank you years of painting tiny details on ceramics as a teen).

I'm not sure how easy this Walmart-exclusive brand's collection will be to find at this point, but you might get lucky or know of a polish from another brand that is similar.

What do you think of these sheers from the Pure Ice Sparkling Seas collection?  Do you use tape in your manis?  Or do you just free-hand?  What's your favorite opaque white polish?

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

Friday, August 1, 2014

Cotz Pure The Healthier Sunscreen - Review


Today I've finally managed to put my thoughts about the Cotz Pure The Healthier Sunscreen into words.  I've had this in my stash for over a month but have only used it a handful of times...not a good sign for a sunscreen.  The best way I could figure out how to organize my thoughts was in lists.

Here's the things I was looking for in my new sunscreen: SPF 30 minimum, oil-free, water resistant, good for sensitive skin, good under makeup, helps control oil.  Picky much?
Titanium Dioxide 4.1%
Zinc Oxide 8.4%
Here's the good parts of this:

  • very slightly tinted
  • doesn't pill/ball up treatments that are applied prior
  • claims to be water resistant - it did hold up (didn't slide into my eyes) when i wore it outside doing yard work on one of our hottest days (around 85) and i was in full sun sweating
  • made in USA 
  • box claims it's free of synthetic ingredients, preservatives, chemical sunscreens, oils, fragrances (really? maybe added fragrance...), parabens, PABA

I have a little list of things that could go either way:

  • does work under foundation (both liquid and powder), to a degree.  After 5-6 hours the tacky feeling of the sunscreen starts to come through the foundation, making skin look greasy.  Not good when my skin's already combination.
  • even though difficult to get washed off i didn't notice any unusual breakouts (wore it for 3-4 days) but sometimes products take quite a while to show up as irritation/breakouts on my skin (eye creams work and feel good for about 2 weeks then i notice milia/clogged pores happening).  Prolonged use may have changed this...
  • smells kind of nutty (not strongly, but it's there upon application) - it does disappear not long after applying

Now for my list of bad, which is the deal-breaker:

  • says tacky the entire time it's on
  • it's like it doesn't absorb fully into the skin before drying to the point that it's uncomfortable to continue blending it in, but still stays sticky.  Weird
  • rather expensive - nearly $20 (available at Ulta)

~straight out of the tube and slightly blended out (looks pretty pasty, right?)~

I've never really heard this claim (straight from the box), so take that as you will: "Chemical sunscreens absorb UVA/UVB rays into the skin and transform the rays into heat, which can damage the dermis."

Overall, I would not repurchase - in fact, I've already taken this back since I dislike it so much.  If this didn't stay sticky no matter how long it was on or layered with, then I would have kept the sunscreen and used it a bunch since I've been outside so much this summer.

What's your favorite water resistent, oil free, good for sensitive skin sunscreen with a minimum spf of 30?

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