Saturday, December 30, 2017

December 2017 Favorites & Fails

Hello and welcome to the last Favorites and Fails post of 2017! I am posting this on an odd day so I can squeeze in this, my Empties Report, and My Top 5 Favorite Items from 2017 post, all in a semi relevant timeframe.

Let me show you what I loved in December:


Mario Bedescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Chamomile, and Lavender: If you have tried and loved the original cucumber version or the reddish roswater version, make sure to try the lavender version which was recently released. I dislike putting fragrance on my face, so I spray this on my sheets and on my shoulders/arms before bed. Love it!

Boscia Sake Hydrating and Brightening Essence: For some reason, I didn't choose this for my Top 5 in 2017, but I really should have, because I find myself reaching for this daily and already worrying about when I can afford a backup, LOL. This essence is cooling, instantly hydrating, and works well with every other product in my routine.

Tarte BB/Primer in Light: I didn't realize this was also a primer when I purchased it, but it makes the BB cream have a different texture than others I have tried before. I usually do a second BB or a first primer in addition to that, but not everyone is slightly crazy and has too much time on her hands like I do.

Anastasia Brow Wiz in Dark Brown: My Ulta manager recommended this and I purchased it immediately! It has a triangle shaped end - you use the pointier side for the tail and can use the thicker part to fill in as needed.

Lime Crime Velveteen in Cashmere: I knowwwww this isn't the best company but I have wanted to try this color for FOREVER. I actually purchased it from Ulta and used my points, so I paid $1.65 for this. I am sorry to say, it is everything I wanted!!!!! I love the color, the formula, and the longevity of wear. Sigh.

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Bronzer in Medium/Deep: One of my co-workers used this on me while I was working and I purchased it immediately. Unfortunately, I am noticing an unaffordable habit forming here...anyway, this bronzer is matte, doesn't smell like chocolate, and also works as a decent eyeshadow color for me.


Above, from top to bottom, are swatches of: Anastasia Brow Wiz in Dark Brown, Lime Crime Velveteen in Cashmere, Tarte BB/Primer in Light and Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Bronzer in Medium/Deep.

Now it is time to show you this month's Fails:


NARS Audacious Mascara: I was excited to try the deluxe sample of this that I received in a holiday Ulta order. I posted a photo of the brush below - it is a full sized head on a short handle and not easy to maneuver.  It also flaked horribly under my eyelashes by the end of the day.

Cover Girl Super Sizer Mascara: I had high hopes for this one, too, and I liked the brush immediately. I have tiny lashes on the insides of my eyes and smaller brushes help reach those easily. I liked this formula for a few weeks, too, but realized it was also flaking off.

Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara: Sigh. See above.

Smashbox Primerizer Moisturizer and Primer: I actually almost purchased this without trying it and I am so glad that I didn't! It is super slimy - too wet and slippery for a moisturizer and too light for a primer. I think the full size comes in a spray, which makes more sense, so perhaps a packet was just the wrong was to sample it. Either way, I like a creamier primer than this.

Eyebrow Stencil from This is SUCH A FAIL that it deserved it's own blog post. Stay tuned. :)


That is it for December! I hope you have enjoyed this year's Favorites and Fails post. I do plan to continue them into 2018.


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Zoya Kisses Collection - 3 Pastel Jellies!

Zoya has stepped it up in the beautiful packaging department lately! My most recent PR package, sent for my honest review, consisted of 4 polishes, 3 from the new Kisses Pastel Jellies collection, and a topper that was released previously called Leia. They came housed in sleek white plastic with a spot for each polish and then in a white box, plain with just Zoya across the front in gray. Really nice looking, especially for gifting.


Here are the 3 Kisses pastel jellies, from L to R: Vickie, Libby, Princess.


There was an informational card in the box, too.



I wanted to do all 4 polishes at once, so I started here. Again, it is Vickie, Libby, Princess, and Leia from pointer to pinky. I did 2 coats of each one here, no topcoat:


Since Zoya suggests Leia as a topper, I then added one coat of Leia to each of the 3 colored nails:


Of course, you need to see all 3 solo, right?!


Zoya Princess: You already saw this on the Mani Round-Up. Of the 3, Princess is by far the most opaque and shows no VNL after just two coats. Though it looks creamy, it has a firm jelly consistency, so it applies well and doesn't flood the cuticles.


Zoya Libby: This is a lavender jelly that is semi-opaque. I am showing just two coats with topcoat here. Like Princess, it is a squishy jelly that applies really well. It is a polish that is easy to control and not messy, like many jellies can be.


Zoya Vickie: Vickie is a unique, stormy blue meets grey meets lavender color. It is the most sheer of the three, by far. I did two coats here and you can see my nail line underneath. Even though this was the most sheer in color, the formula was still very easy to work with and the dry time was quick.

Though I am not usually a sheer polish fan, I like all three of these. They remind me of the Barielle Hint of Tint line, which makes me wonder (assume) that we will see a lot more of this sheer/bare/naturalbuttinted trend in the spring.


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Mani Round Up: December 19, 2017

Last Tuesday post before Christmas!  I will be skipping the Mani Round Up on Dec. 26 as I will be standing in line at LUSH for the Boxing Day Sale!

Before we get to that, however, we have one last nubbin Mani Round Up here!


China Glaze The Giver Collection Friends Forever, Right?: I was in the mood for a crisp, clean mani. What is better than the lightest shade of pink ever? You may think this would end up chalky since it's such a light pastel, but it's actually really creamy. Two coats and topcoat here.


Lex Cosmetics Tulleries over China Glaze The Giver Collection Friends Forever, Right?: Well, these don't match! For some reason, Tulleries tinted the base yellowy! See that?! Is it just me?! Two coats of Tulleries and sealed with topcoat. #Fail.


Zoya Princess: Ooh, new Zoya, you say? Why, yes! This is one of the 3 new pastel jellies from the Kisses collection. I swatched them on the same day that they arrived and decided to wear this one. This is actually just two coats and topcoat. It is much more opaque than the other two, but you'll see the whole collection later this week. More details later, but, simply stated: love 'em!


Thursday, December 14, 2017

November 2017: Empties Report (210 Empties in 2017)

Today I have another installment of the Empties Report for you. Let me show you what I used up and loved!


This month I have 17 empties, and a few of them are substantial products that I have been able to really make firm decisions if they fit into my needs and routine.

I will show you my favorites below, but a few deserve a quick mention. The pink jar, Glow 1 3-in-1 Balm to Foam cleanser, made it to my Favorites a few months back. It's got a thick, heavy, glue-y texture (in a good way) that makes your face feel so clean. Indie Lee products are so wonderful, and that Squalane Facial Oil was a real treat. The Biossance Oil, the tiny little dropper bottle, was quite similar to the Indie Lee version, and I enjoyed that, too, but an oil doesn't fit into my routine to necessitate a re-purchase.


The items I would re-purchase, and already have with a free, include Caudalie Vino Source Gelato face lotion and Innisfree Orchid Lotion. The Amore Pacific Gel face lotion was great but out of my price range, LOL, which is the same sentiment for the Dr. Brandt No More Needles 3D Mask above. Benefit makes a great creamy eyecream with It's Potent Eye Cream, and you already know how much I love LUSH Shower Gels. Lastly, the Clinique Moisture Surge Concentrate is a forever must-have for me, since it is so light, silky, and hydrating - this product is not cheap, but since I have been buying Clinique from Ulta, I have received some personalized coupons from the brand, including full size products as Gifts With Purchase, that make the re-purchase incredibly worth it.


I am still hustling to use up my sample packets before they expire. Recently, I ordered a Lucky Box from eopenmarket, which sends a ton of samples for a super low price (review coming soon). Most of these samples are from the Lucky Box.


Wonderful discoveries from the Lucky Box, so far, include the IOPE line, which I cannot afford, LOL. I found a sample website on ebay (review coming soon) and I am waiting for a few samples of this to come to me. I loved the IOPE Whitegen Ampoule Essence in just two uses, but it is SO expensive that I decided I should go for more samples, first, so I bought 10 packets for around $4. I get two uses from each one, so almost a month of use should let me decide more about the product. The Daeng Gi Meori products are a hair treatment, in the white packet, and shampoo in the black packet. Both smelled amazing and my hair was incredibly soft after.

Monthly Totals: 17 Empties and 13 Sample Packets

Yearly Totals: 210 Empties and 96 Sample Packets


Barielle Hint of Tint! 4 Polish Review

If you haven't been keeping up with Barielle, you've been missing out!

The trend, lately, has been healthy, neutral, naked-but-better nail polish. Personally, I have been loving it! I love the idea of (once in a while) having bare nails...but stains are NOT acceptable!

Thusly, when Barielle released their Hint of Tint polishes, I could not wait to try them!

Here is why you should love it:

The Hint of Tint is a Prosina based collection which is patented ingredient made up of hydrolyzed keratin which moisturizes, strengthens nails, stimulates growth and improves elasticity.

Additionally, Hint of Tint is infused with high-performing additives such as, Tea Tree Oil and Vitamin E which helps hydrate and retain natural moisture leaving your nails flexible, split and crack resistant, healthy and strong.

From tips to toes, protect, strengthen, nourish and beautify your nails with Barielle’s Hint of Tint:

  • Hint of Tint is a Nail Moisturizing Treatment
  • Prosina based collection, a patented ingredient which moisturizes and strengthens nails
  • Infused with Tea Tree Oil and Vitamin E
  • Helps hydrate and retain moisture, leaving nails flexible, split and crack resistant, health and strong
  • Animal Cruelty Free
  • Pregnancy Safe and adheres to 5 Free Promise (Formaldehyde, Dibutyl Phthalate, Toluene, Formadelhyde Resin or Camphor)

(These were sent for review but of course the opinions are mine, cause isn't that what you came here for?!)

Here is what I was sent:


From left to right, we have:

  • Hint of Pink, 
  • Hint of Nude, 
  • Hint of Tan, and 
  • Hint of Apricot


I did swatch one on each finger to see what color worked best for me, but the order on my nails, below, is:

  • Hint of Nude
  • Hint of Pink
  • Hint of Apricot
  • Hint of Tan


And I wore a couple colors already.


Barielle Hint of Tint in Hint of Tan: This is not my favorite, LOL. I think it makes my nail beds look a little yellow...or is that red!? I cannot wait for lazy summer beauty days with a nice tan and this on my nails!


Barielle Hint of Tint in Hint of Apricot: I used this one first, because, you know, SPARKLE! This is the only one with a touch of shimmer, which really brightens up the hand. Love this one!

I have been a Barielle fan for a long time, and this only intensifies that love! All 4 of these are great and I cannot wait to use them more.


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Mani Round Up: December 12, 2017

Middle of December - say what!! I have been doing the Mani Round Up weekly for a year now, can you believe that?

Last week I was low on inspiration, so I asked my Mom (roommate, LOL) for an idea. She said that with the Long Night's Moon overhead, I should do dark, celestial type colors. That is not my normal choice of polish at all, so I accepted that as a challenge and here we are!


Literary Lacquers Cast from Stormhold: I have a feeling you'll be seeing a lot of Literary Lacquers this week! No one does dark-and-sparkly better than Amy! This is three coats of CfS and topcoat.  I love how this is a wonderful, shimmery twist on a semi-ordinary mulberry color.


Zoya Aurora: I wish Zoya would come out with a polish like this in every single color! The formula is flawless and the holo is rockin' - even in my not-so-lovely office light. This is two coats and topcoat. 


Zoya Rory: Well, as I was doing my nails this color, my Mom asked where her theme went?! Apparently, my interpretation of celestial - metallic, glowing, sparkly - was not the same as hers - dark, moody, oxblood and navy colors. Oh well - there's always next week! Rory is so gorgeous, just two coats and topcoat.


China Glaze Well Trained: I was just waiting for my middle finger nail to break. It always goes first. Does anyone else have that one nail that just never grows past a certain point?! Anyway, I bought a new sweatshirt in this exact shade of teal and you know I love to be matchy-matchy, so this is the color I picked. Looks decent on the nubbins, don't you think!?


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Mask of the Week: TonyMoly Changing U Magic Foot Peeling Shoes

Let me start off by saying that even though this is a post about a foot mask, I assume you that there will be no feet in this post - or on this blog, ever.


Have I mentioned that I am working at Ulta for the holiday season? A customer came in and bought the entire stock of these Changing U Magic Foot Pelling Shoes by TonyMoly. I asked her if she liked them? She said 'like' is a weird word because the skin falls off your feet in chunks - but they work.



The English isn't great, but you get the point. Mask on, wait, mask off.

However..feet peeling for two weeks!?


Sorry if even this foot pic gets you, but you needed to see it on. The serum is in the booties already, so put your clean foot in and use the included stickers to seal (or use one for pics, tape for the other, and use the sticker for my planner) the sock thing.

I waited a full hour and a half because a)I'm lazy, b)I was watching WWE, and c)might as well let this thing do it's magic, right?!

So, for two days after, my feet felt super dry but did nothing. I figured it just didn't work for me. However! Another day later and my feet started to peel like crazy. It's been about a week since they began peeling and they are still going strong! My skin feels OK - not super soft, not life-changing. The skin doesn't fall off in sheets for me, but instead it looks like it's going to crack and then peel. I've basically been wearing socks 24-7 because there are little pieces of skin everywhere.

That was a fun experiment but I won't be trying this again! My feet don't feel any different than when I just use a heavy lotion and wear socks overnight. Womp, womp. At least I can say I've tried it!

Have you tried this product or something similar? What did you think?


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Zoya Party Girls 2017: First Look!

Hello there!

Zoya sent me the gorgeous 2017 holiday Party Girls collection for review. As usual, this collection is filled with 12 jewel tone polishes that will be perfect for any holiday occasion.


Not as usual, this collection was sent in the most luxe packaging! I received a sturdy velvet box with the polishes nestled inside. It also came with a swatch card listing the polish names. I am not sure if this comes automatically when you order the whole collection from the site, or if you can get the box without ordering this specific collection. There was no info, but this was quite the pleasant surprise to unbox. Check it out!

Oh, yeah...see that rogue cat hair? Want to see where it came from?


I showed you my sweet kittens a couple weeks ago in a lipstick swatch post. Seth (and Roman, behind him - see him sleeping?) is into everything I do, including my polish.



Alright, let's get to the polishes! I decided to show you on a swatch stick because my nails are a mess right now!


Nadia - This is a gorgeous sheer based polish loaded with gold micro glitters and shimmer. It can be worn alone, shown here in two coats, or as a single coat over another color.

Solstice - Described as a "sparkling persimmon orange," but appeared a sparkly cranberry to me. Pretty, though.


Tawny - Zoya describes this as a coppery rose. I see that, but I also see mud. I am not sure this would look good on my pale skintone, but might be pretty for others.

Ming - Ming is a perfect candy apple red that applies in one coat. If you don't already have your perfect red (mine is Zoya Livingston or Zoya Hannah), this might just be it.


Fallon - Call me bitter, but Fallon reminds me of the first try that an indie polish line produces. It is magenta, streaky, and not special.

Sheri - Sheri is a beautiful creme that is a tad richer and deeper than Ming. Very pretty!


Kelsey - Aaah, back to the cremes that Zoya does so well! Kelsey is a bright pink one coat creme. I'm currently obsessed with Kelsea Ballerini, so this will be in rotation. You know I love my pink Zoyas.

Danielle - This one was a surprise for me! Danielle is a pretty blurple creme that applies perfectly in just one coat.


Delany - Delany is Fallon's purple sister. It is a streaky nightmare. No idea how this one passed Zoya QC.

Landon - Such a fun purple! I love the muted quality of this shade. It is also a perfect one coater.


Isadora - I didn't like Isadora as I was using it, but it dries into a streak free, shimmery, lovely polish. I wore this one as a full mani once already.

Blake - Blake reminds me of SinfulColors Prosecco, it has gorgeous gold shimmer in an unexpected base color. I cannot wait to use this as the base for a galaxy mani.

That is it for now! I will swatch these in due time but wanted to give you a look and quick review. My picks are Ming, Danielle, and Blake.


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Mani Round Up: December 5, 2017

Remember last week, when I pledged to have more colorful nails this week?!?!


butterLONDON Fruit Machine, Zoya Esty, butterLONDON Molly Coddled and Salon Perfect Purple POP!: Good start, right?! I used Glisten & Glow Ridge Relief as my basecoat, then I did a random dry-brush technique mani. Love how this came out!


Salon Perfect Oh Snap!: I forget that this color, which I love in the bottle, does not look the same on the nail! I wish it was the more bubblegummy color in the bottle. Doesn't it look red on my nails? This is two coats and topcoat.


Color Club Age of Aquarius: I promise that this polish is at least 62% brighter in real life. In fact, it is so bright that when I walked into work this morning, my co-worker greeted me with "What color is that bouncing off your nails this morning?" LOL. This is two coats and topcoat.

That's it for this week!


Thursday, November 30, 2017

November 2017 Favorites & Fails!


Welcome to November's edition of Favorites and Fails!

Let me show you what I loved this month:


From left to right:

Clinique Smart Serum Custom-Repair Serum: Sigh. As I've mentioned, I now work at Ulta. This amazzzing serum was suggested by Clinique Brand Rep/my Ulta co-worker, and of course I love it.

Etude House Wonder Pore Freshner: Holy grail!! This is an all-in-one product that is to be used right after you wash your face. I put a tiny bit on a cotton round and swipe it all over. It cleans pore, tightens them, evens skin, and on and on. Just buy some!

The Body Shop Vitamin E Skin-in Moisture Sleeping Mask (on the right in the photo below): This is another line that I have discovered since working at Ulta. I love the cleanser and the moisturizer and this overnight mask, too. It has a heavy cream consistency that feels so luxe and soothing on the skin.

Glow Recipe Watermelon Sleeping Mask (on the left in the photo below): I heard of this through numerous reviews and finally bought it. I love the scent, but it is such a rich product that I actually got a pimple the first time I used it - ugh! I will keep trying, however. The gel-like consistency fools you into thinking you need more product than you actually do.


Essence Lash Princess: This is another product I bought based off reviews. For under $5, this is a great mascara. If you need one, try it! It's black, it's not waterproof, and my eyelashes look amazing!

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lovesick: I am not the biggest fan of this formula - it does NOT last forever - but this shade is, by far, the most flattering shade I own.


So, that's it for the good stuff.

Now let me show you this month's Fails:


Ulta Overnight Lip Mask: I am a huge lip treatment fan, and that includes overnight lip masks, for sure. I was excited to try this one from Ulta as it was reasonably priced, but the price point was the only plus for this product! It is sliiiiiimey!!! Feels like baby oil, doesn't stay on the lips, and therefore, doesn't do it's job at all. Buh-bye.

IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream in Light: This product has a huge cult following. I didn't mind this product enough that I threw it out - it's expensive and I did use it, but if I knew I could've returned it, I would have long ago. This stuff is THICK, like cake batter thick, and my skin just hated it. I felt suffocated! And it smells thick, too, if that makes any sense, LOL. I did use it by cutting it with other BB creams, but I would not repurchase and I would not recommend.

Did you have any new favorites or fails this month to report?


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Mani Round Up: November 28, 2017

Post Turkey Day Tuesday! Let me show you what I wore on my nails recently. If it's a little lame, it's because I was super duper sick for the week leading up to TDay.


Barielle Hint of Tint in Hint of Apricot: Barielle sent me a few of their Hint of Tint treatment polishes and I am in love!! The apricot shade is perfect for my skin tone. This is two coats on a bare nail and topcoat to seal.


Barielle Hint of Tint in Hint of Tan: Hint of Tan was also sent to me and it is not right for me skin tone at all. It totally gives me yellowy lobster hands - is that even possible? It was a quality formula as well with two coats and topcoat.


L'Oreal Masked Affair & Cover Girl City Lights: These were my Thanksgiving nails! I wanted blingy without glittery pieces, so I just layered one coat of MA, one coat CL, one coat MA, one coat CL, and topcoat. I will post more photos, and maybe even a step by step series so you can see the bling building, but I really loved how these turned out.


MUD Milk Shake and Glisten&Glow Ridge Filling Basecoat: I was clearly in the mood for muted, neutral polishes last week, with the exception of Thanksgiving. I started with two coats of MUD Milk Shake, an Australian mainstream brand (thank you to my longlost friend, Leeanne, for this - miss you!). I added one coat of Glisten&Glow Ridge Filling basecoat on TOP, which gave this a milky and softer finish. I finished with a coat of Glisten&Glow topcoat and viola!


butterLONDON Fruit Machine: I recently rediscovered my butterLONDON polishes, which were stuck at the back of my Australian polish melmer drawer. This formula was butter - literally! This is two perfect coats and G&G topcoat.

Hoping for a more colorful week next week!


March 2019: Empties & Tossed Report

I am continuing to try to use up products that have been laying around, including perfumes. So far, so good. Let me show you what I used in ...