Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Mani Round Up - 2/28/2017

Tuesday already!

I enjoy doing my Mani Round Up posts more and more each week. I am forcing myself to do my nails more often, to try colors I haven't grabbed in a while, and to dabble with nail art again, too.

Let's jump right in!

Wet & Wild Tree Hugger: I am entirely ready for spring and Connecticut's weather has been encouraging those feelings. There are even crocus popping up around the yard! I've been reaching for neutrals and spring colors in my clothes and for my nails. Tree Hugger has the perfect Megalast formula - but I hate the brush! It is wide and flat, which I know many people do love, but my nail is not as wide as the brush, which makes cleanup more than necessary. This is two coats and topcoat.


NYC New Your Color Cosmetics Top of the Gold and China Glaze Bring on the Bubbly over Wet&Wild Tree Hugger: I wanted to extend this mani, so I added a reverse waterfall of gold glitter. I wish I was better at this technique, LOL.


Zoya Chantal: this is a color you've seen dozens of time on this blog. The color is flattering, the formula is perfect in two coats, and the staying power is impressive. My go-to, before work, always going to look good is a neutral from Zoya.


China Glaze Sunset Sail: my square nails needed a break - and literally, were breaking, so I was forced to oval them up. For some reason, I wanted a mannequin, peach look for my nails. Sunset Sail was exactly the color I was in the mood for...for a day. This polish is actually fairly thin, requiring three coats for opacity.


Essie Petal Pink: I was still in the mood for faux looking mannequin hands. I had an odd last week, apparently. I did two coats of the sheerest polish in all the land, Essie Petal Pink, over white. Though the photo looks decent, I am unhappy to report that the polish is clumpy, streaky, and looked quite uneven in the light.


Zoya Tina: last but not least, spring Zoya polishes have arrived! Check back Thursday for the Zoya Charming collection review. I can honestly say I love all 6 of them! The formula is creamy and opaque in two coats. Tina is a mid purple shade that is a smidge darker in real life than in the photo. There is something about the color that reminds me of grape jelly and I like it.


Another week down! What was your favorite mani this week?


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Sephora PLAY! February 2017

Hello there!

In January, I proclaimed that month to be my favorite bag so far. I can tell you right now: February rocks even more!  And, I saw a spoiler for the March bag (I won't tell), but it already sets the tone for an amazing bag next month, too. Sephora PLAY! is the only sub box I receive, but it does not disappoint and it valued well, well over the $10.64 that it costs each month.


I do love getting well known name brand products, as opposed to the more obscure brands in other brands that may or may not work, are harder to find info about, and may not be easy to find in stores in if you decide to purchase the full size after samples.

This month contains products from Too Fard, Nars, Origins, Clinique, Marc Jacobs, and, as always, something from the Sephora house brand.


I am in love with this bag! Instead of straight hearts and red, the PLAY! bag this month is a soft satin rose gold. I still don't know what to do to reuse it, but it's a beautiful color. It says "Smitten" on it and #sephoraplay below.


According to the Sephora website, Clinique Hydroblur is "lightweight, oil-free moisturizer instantly blurs imperfections and provides all-day hydration, while immediately reducing surface shine and providing lasting oil control for up to eight hours. Great for use alone, under foundation, or for touch-ups throughout the day, skin looks naturally perfected with a matte finish. It's the ideal way to give your skin the moisture it needs, and the forgiving retouch that blurs the look of pores and fine, dry lines." 


While I am usually a mascara snob and limit my use to Benefit Roller and L'Oreal Miss Manga (the discontinued one with the green cap), it is actually close to the time to throw out both of mine and get new products. Mascara is pretty much the one thing I will routinely throw out and replace every 3-4 months, as suggested. The formula of Sephora's Lash Craft Length and Volume Mascara looks wet, which I like, the brush looks fluffy and bristly, the price point is great (so it's OK in case I do love it!), and it has a cool name, LOL. I think I'll try this!


Marc Jacob's Divine Decadence is not for me, and that's totally fine. I smell cotton and barbeque, LOL.


I love getting eye creams in sub boxes, especially well known and well loved products like Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream. I have used this in the past and am psyched to have it again.


Two lippies this month!! I am not sure everyone will be as stoked as me, but I was thrilled to see both of these. Too Face Lip Injection Glossy in Milkshake is a plumping lip gloss that really tingles! It gives you the wet lip look with no added color. Nars Velvet Lip Glide is the product I was most excited to see in the box! I actually stopped myself from looking at spoilers for this month. I think I'll continue to skip them because it was fun to be surprised. I read review about the Velvet Lip Glide on Temptalia and actually had this very shade, Bound, in my Sephora cart that I cannot afford to purchase right now!


Here are swatches of both. I didn't let Nars Bound dry down enough, but it does dry to a satin matte finish. It is so comfortable to wear!

So, in conclusion, February 2017 is now my favorite box to date!

I did see a spoiler from March that I am really excited for, but I plan to avoid any more spoilers and wait for the surprise. Do you get Sephora PLAY!? What did you get in your box?


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Mani Round Up - 2/21/2017

Hello and Happy Tuesday!

Each week, I find myself trying to do something more creative with my nails so I have something to show on this post.


Zoya August: After a week of sparkly Valentine's manis, I was ready for a palette cleanser. Zoya August is a cement gray one coat creme polish. Grey is a modern twist on a neutral mani - I bet this would be allowed in fairly conservative dress environments, and it looks grey-t (ha!) on every skin tone.


Zoya August, Gabrielle Nail Lacquer Pastel Aqua, China Glaze White on White, Salon Perfect Corpses Bride, Salon Perfect Flamingo Flair: I have time to do something fun to my nails on Mondays when I am enjoying my guilty pleasure, WWE wrestling, LOL. I used stripey nail tape to make one vertical and two half randomly placed horizontal lines, all over a base of Zoya August from the day before.


OPI Infinite Shine You Can Count On It: Another need for a palette cleanser after that color block mani! This is the perfect warmed up my skin but better tone with a hint of bright for a fresh and clean look. I used three thin coats of polish - the polish itself is thin and a smidge runny. Wipe off the brush or risk some pooling.


China Glaze Shocking Pink (Neon): Cell phone cameras do not treat neons well. I think that is pretty much the case across the board for bloggers.  Here is another pic:


Same polish, I swear! Honestly, neither shot is that color accurate, but I refuse to doctor my photos... #sorrynotsorry. This is more of a bubblegum pastel pink color. Because it is both pastel and neon, it applies very streaky. Even with three coats, it could have used another, but three is my limit. I can see imperfections in the application even with two layers of topcoat.

That's it for this week! What was your favorite polish from this week?


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Mani Round Up - 2/14/17

It has been a busy week on my nails!! I have a handful of photos for you, ending with, of course, a Valentine's Day mani!

Here we go!


OPI DS Original: This is, in my opinion, the OG of mainstream holo polishes. I have had this for years and it is still beautiful. It has a thin formula, which is pretty much the only fault it has, so I did use three coats for this mani,


China Glaze I'll Pink To That: I am such a fan of the formula that China Glaze has perfected for its bright pink polishes. If I reach for this shade range, which I do quite often, 9 out of 10 times I will pick a China Glaze color. This is two perfect coats.


Lynderella Nosegay: Thanks to this post, I am reaching for polish more than usual. Once in a while, a color pops into my head and I go for it - this was such a color selection. I forgot how much I love this! It has a pretty simple mix of various purple glitters, including squares, a few dark purple hex, and some fine purple micro glitter, but I just love it.



Zoya Cala: I liked this color much better when I had a remnant summer tan in early fall when I first swatched this. The formula is your typical Zoya creme - 3 thin coats or 2 thicker, and it self levels and dries quickly. The color, however, doesn't do it for me. So....

Zoya Chloe: ...so I broke out Zoya Chloe! I think this was discontinued, because I recall seeing it sell for $30 and up per bottle. I kept mine, obviously, but now I am wondering why I did! LOL. It is a pink tinted flaky topper. I used three coats and it still didn't look much different. Maybe it's time to ebay this baby?


Zoya Sweet, Zoya Alicia, Salon Perfect Sugar Cube, Orly This Gown Needs A Crown: Last but not least, let me with you a happy Valentine's Day with this seasonally appropo mani!

  • I began with white, Salon Perfect Sugar Cube, on my middle and ring fingers. I let that dry. 
  • While they dried, I painted Zoya Sweet on my pinkies, pointers, and thumbs.  
  • On my middle finger, I did a coat of Orly My Gown Needs A Crown and topped with Zoya Alicia for a little holo effect. 
  • On my ring fingers, I used striping tape for the horizontal lines and added stripes of Sweet and My Gown Needs A Crown. I topped my ring fingers with a heart glitter in pink. 
  • I finished off the look with HK Girl topcoat.


I had to end this post with a closeup of my ring finger design - isn't that sweet? I am really happy with how this design came out!

Did you do a Valentine's mani? What has been on your nails this week?


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

January 2017 Empties Report!

I should begin by reminding you, my beautiful readers, that one of my New Year's beauty resolutions is to, basically, stop being a product hoarder. I need to stick with items that work, and not try something new just because it is new...or on sale...

I also want to make an effort to use up items that I have before buying anything new. I have done some great swaps and I subscribe to Sephora PLAY!, so I do have new products coming in without much expense. I am going to consistently try to use products so that I can judge their effectiveness better.

This month's Empties Report is a good start to everything that I have mentioned. I have 25 products to show you - yes, 25! Three items have duplicate empties, so the actual number is 22 different items, but we will go with an firm 25 to make me appear slightly more looney.


Face Products:


Murad Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture: I received 3 or 4 samples of this moisturizer with a Murad.com purchase. Giving me 3+ samples was plenty to test out! This was a silky moisturizer that had no scent and sunk into the skin nicely.
Would I repurchase? Yes, but I do have quite a few others to get through first!

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer: Though this was just one sample, I have tried Smashbox Primers in the past. It is no wonder that they are cult classics! I love the feel of a primer any time!
Would I repurchase? No, but only because my Japonesque Velvet Touch Primer is amaaaazing.

Witch Hazel: Such a multi-purpose, soothing, clean smelling, cannot live without product!! I use this as a toner on my face or to blot itchy spots on my skin.
Would I repurchase? Always! I am never without witch hazel, though the brand doesn't really matter.

Mitchell and Peach Facial Oil: Facial oils can be very heavy, but this one was not. I believe I got this in an ipsy bag months ago, but the applicator made me skip the product and use something else. I wonder if the full size is any different?
Would I repurchase? No! I dislike the packaging and it makes it hard (and no fun) to use.

Organix Cherry Blossom Argan Oil Replenishing Night Cream: I believe I found this at Job Lot. I was looking for a night cream before I got into sleeping masks. The scent of this, unless you LOVE cherry, was enough to make me put it down. To use it up, I ended up putting it on my feet (where all lame lotions go, LOL).
Would I repurchase? No.

Amore Pacific Enzyme Peel Exfoliator: Another old sub box item! I do not use a lot of products with "peel" or "exfoliator" in the titles because my skin tends to get really red and irritated. This was pretty gentle and fun to use - it is a powder that you mix with water, then massage your face with the paste for about 30 seconds.
Would I repurchase? No, as this is not my favorite choice of products, but I will use ones received in sub boxes or swaps.

LUSH Cosmetics Ultrabland: Do you hear the angels singing? Ultrabland is just that - scent free, dye free, everything free...except the good stuff! The consistency is super thick and hydrating, similar to the nifty lotion cleansers coming out lately. LUSH says to get your skin back to normal, use just this (and moisturizer, I assume) for a month. I love this stuff!
Would I repurchase? I would and I have!

LUSH Cosmetics Let The Good Times Roll: If you want to smell like a sweet and salty dessert, this is your stuff. There are actual little pieces of corn in there, so be careful. This is a face and body wash that is slightly exfoliating but gentle. Smells amazing!
Would I repurchase? Probably not as Ultrabland wins every time, and I am trying not to buy it if I would use it regularly.

LUSH Cosmetics Dark Angels: Ok, so this stuff is a little scary! It's charcoal black, dense and hard, and stains my skin! It is a cleanser for oily skin...LUSH threw it in as a sample, so I decided to try it. I washed my face as usual, looked in the mirror.....and looked like I put on a totally not PC black face mask. I had to scrub my face until it was RAW to get the black smudges off. Safe to say, NO.
Would I repurchase? Heck no. And if I happen to get another sample, it is getting swapped!


Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask: You already know I adore sleeping masks, right? This was #1 on my list to try, and for Christmas I bought myself a Clinique set with this and a moisturizer. There is no scent and the consistency is great, like a night cream but slightly thicker. Unfortunately, I didn't notice a huge difference between this and other sleeping masks...except the price point.
Would I repurchase? No, but I enjoyed the deluxe sample size.

Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist: Yes, this is a double empty for the month! I had one in my gym bag and one at home, so I was using each depending where I was at the time. This is a reviving mist, similar to the spray water refresher things that are popular now. This has a great, soft scent and the spray itself is calming (and not all crazy wild firehose in your face).
Would I repurchase? Probably not, as something similar seems to be a popular sub box inclusion.

Glam Glow Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment: UGH. I cannot afford to love this so much. If you have tried Glam Glow, you get it. No wonder people rave about this line! I used this as a mask/lotion/overnight and left it on, then washed off in the am. My skin was seriously softer and noticeably brighter and just better.
Would I repurchase? It's on my wishlist!! My birthday is in August, please and thank you.

Sephora Rose Sleeping Mask: If I cannot slather myself in Glam Glow, the Sephora version will have to do. These little sleeping mask packs are amazing. I get two uses out of the single package (and you will, too, unless you have a giant dome) and the rose scent is just enough to be lovely, gentle, and soothing without being overpowering. At $4 a pop, and at least 6 different versions, this is a must try for mask lovers.
Would I repurchase? I would and I have!!

Hair Care:


Beauty Without Cruelty Leave In Conditioner: I received this in an ipsy bag. I forgot I had it and then bought a giant bottle of Rusk LIC, so this baby has been collecting dust. Once I found it, I basically dumped it all on my head...and still needed the Rusk for softness.
Would I repurchase? No.

OUAI Treatment Mask: I received this in the December Sephora PLAY! box and was excited to try it. You use this after shampooing on clean hair, then rinse out. My hair felt quite soft! The sample was fairly small, and I have a lot of hair, so I only got 1 use out of it.
Would I repurchase? Not for the price point.

Ten Digit Creations Hair Conditioning and Detangling Spray in Most Wanted: Love!! Ten Digit Creations creates dupes of some of the best LUSH scents, including Most Wanted, which smells just like Rose Jam!! The scent is spot on perfect, and honestly, a leave in conditioner in Rose Jam is like, top 10 of my dream products, so, yes, love it.
Would I repurchase? Yes!

LUSH Cosmetics R&B Hair Moisturizer: R&B has the single most divine scent of any hair product I have EVER tried. With that said, it does nothing for my hair. Nothing. Wompfreakinwomp. It is supposed to "revive" dry hair but it really just got sucked into mine with no difference.
Would I repurchase? No, but if there is another product made with that scent, it's mine.

Body Products:


Clinique Happy Gelato in Sugared Petals: Oh, goodness. I am in love with this stuff! I received this little sample of a Gift With Purchase, and then immediately went back to buy a full size tub. I am now on my second full size tub. This lotion is super THICK and feels so lux on. It smells like a flowery version of Clinique Happy.
Would I repurchase? Yes! I would and I did! (Hahaha, totally fibbed in December when I said I wasn't going to repurchase!)

LUSH Cosmetics Celebrate Body Lotion: This is a seasonal scent that smells like lemon and champagne! LUSH brings out seasonal scents in only a few items at a time, so this lotion was from Winter 2015 and was not available in 2016. Something in this made me a little itchy and red, so I was glad when I finished the tub. The scent is divine, however.
Would I repurchase? I can't even if I want to, which I don't. But I do love other lotions from LUSH!

LUSH Cosmetics Mr. Sandman Dusting Powder: This is a seasonal product, new for 2016, that has the same soothing, calming scent as Twilight products. You use this to sprinkle on yourself (or your sheets, as I do) before bed for sweet dreams.
Would I repurchase? Yes! I bought 4 during the Boxing Sale. I will be bummed when this runs out!

Misc Packaging:


These didn't photograph well with the other items, LOL, but technically one goes with Face and one goes with Body.

Formula 10.0.6 Wipe Your Face Off Make-up Wipes: I actually have two packages of empty wipes this month because my Mom likes this brand, too. I have reviewed this product in my Monthly Favorites posts as well as empties before. LOVE these wipes.
Would I repurchase? Absolutely! I buy at least 2 at a time!

Pacifica Moisturize Energize Serum Wipes: I snagged these in a swap with someone because "serum wipe" sounded weird and I wanted to try it, LOL. Similar to their lotion wipes, I found these dry and not really covered with enough product to do anything helpful.
Would I repurchase? Nope.

Empties Total: 22

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Mani Round Up - 2/7/17

Happy Tuesday! Time for a run down of what I have been wearing on my nails in the past week. Ready?!


Seche Vite Head to Toe: Did you know Seche makes regular lacquers, in addition to their well-known and loved Top Coat? Head to Toe is a perfect neutral for when you have five mins to do a mani! This is two coats, a swipe of topcoat (HK Girl over Seche, sorrrrrry not sorry!) and you're out the door.


La Vite E Bella Waterslide Decals over Seche Vite Head to Toe: This is another attempt as using the nail art decorations that I have had for years. These decals were not as well made as others I have used from this brand. See my middle finger, at the free edge? I had to color in the lines where the top coat melted it away. These are still cute, but I would not buy these again - at least not in this design.



Chanel May: I have heard that many Chanel polishes do not live up to the hype (meaning: cost) but this one does. This is two perfect coats. I just love this polish!


China Glaze Don't Mesa With My Heart: Because, ya know, it's almost Valentine's Day. I have way too many pinks from CG but I love them all. This is a bubblegum leaning fuchsia pink. This does need three coats, otherwise I did notice a few stripey pull spots, which was weird because I left plenty of time between coats.


F4 Polish - SPLAT! over China Glaze Don't Mesa With My Heart: There was a time when I added black and white glitter topcoats to every.single.mani.ever. I still love them but I am old (cough33cough) so I don't always reach for the glittery stuff anymore. I am glad I did this time! How cute is this?!



Zoya Zuza: Say hello AND goodbye to Zuza. Though I love the sparkle and color of this polish, my nails got STAAAAAAAINED so badly that it isn't even funny. Two coats, great formula, but NOPE.


China Glaze It's A Trap-eze over Zoya Zuza: Well, let's end this week with an all around NOPE. I tried to do a striping tape mani over Zuza. Clearly, fail. Then, when I removed it, as I mentioned above, my nails were nearly as green as the polish. Nope, nope, NOPE.

Not every mani can be perfect, right!?!?! Have you tried Zoya Zuza? When I posted the staining issue on Facebook, a few people commented and said they hadn't had staining from this polish. Have you!? What did I do wrong?!


Monday, February 6, 2017

January 2017 Favorites And Fails!

I am over a week late in posting January's favorites! Safe to say, I am not off to a good start with a strict posting schedule, LOL. Tomorrow I will have my Tuesday post, which actually has been posted on Tuesdays - now that I think of it, and on Wednesday I will post my January 2017 Empties Report. I actually have almost two DOZEN empties to share! I am doing quite well with using up items and trying to pare down my routine.

Let me go ahead and show you the products I loved in January. Do you like the new title - Favorites and Fails? Catchy, amirite?

Group shot:


This month I am showing you 5 items that I absolutely LOVE. 4 of the 5 are now holy grail items to me. 2 of those 4 have been holy grail items for well over a year now, and the other two are brand new to me. 4 of the 5 are also under $5, so totally worth trying if you're in the market for any of the items above.


Onyx Professional Soak Off Acetone - Coconut scent: since I have been posting manicures on Tuesdays, I have started painting my nails more frequently again! I needed polish remover during a recent Wal-Mart trip and spotted "coconut" on the bottle. Coconut scented remover?! Could it be true? I believe this was $4, for a fairly large bottle. It still smells of acetone, and it is slightly drying to use, but the coconut smell is there as well and it is spectacular!!!!



Nooni Pore Cleansing Jelly Pad: honestly, I am afraid of electric face washing devices. No matter how gentle the brush head advertised looks, I just don't like the concept of it being electric...I don't use a power toothbrush, either, LOL. Odd, I know, but still. I saw this squishy pink miracle on sale on MemeBox for $4, so I tossed it in my cart. You apply your face cleanser, then use this to rub it in. I use it in the shower with LUSH Ultrabland and my skin has never been softer. If it is still on the website, just get it. You're welcome.


e.l.f. Kohl Eyeliner: this is a product that I refuse to be without because I use it daily. Literally every single day. This is probably my 5th pencil - it's been years! e.l.f. has some surprisingly smashing, perfect, holy grail in your stash items, and this is IT for me.


NYC New York Color Cosmetics Eyebrow/Eyeliner pencil in Taupe: I second everything I said about the e.l.f. liner. This pencil is perfection. I use this when I don't want to go all out with the gel or pomade brow. I believe this is 99 cents at Wal-Mart. I used to buy them two at a time, because they are a soft wax and don't last too long (but for the price, so what!), until my Mom decided she loves this, too.  So, now I buy them 3 at a time.

You know, one of my other Holy Grail items is the Matte BB Cream by NYC. Thank heavens for cheapy miracle products!


Yep, I have a cat.  And I'll never be a hand model. :)


Murad Matte Effect Blotting Perfector: I am ashamed to admit that I fell for a Facebook ad and clickbaited my way into buying this. NO REGRETS, however, because I use this constantly! First, it is a cushion compact - super trendy, I know, but still neat. The pink spongy thing in the compact holds the product and keeps it fresh. You use the little puff, on the right, to press into the pink sponge. This lets you control the amount of product that dispenses. This is a touch up product - safe to blot gently over your makeup for a slightly cooling (ahem, not at all like the product below) and then instant mattifying effect. This is a bit of a splurge for me, but the product more than justifies the price! New to me and instant holy grail item!

Now it is time for my one "fail" of the month. I hate to say fail, because while I do like the product, it just is not the right time of year to use it. Let me show you and then I will explain.


Yuzu Aqua Cooling Sherbet Cream: See that name? When they say cooling, they mean a lot more than a gentle breeze rippling across your cheeks. They mean straight up ice cube on your cheek when it's only 20 degrees outside. I cannot use this product during the frigid New England winter. With that said, I cannot wait to use this in the summer, especially after coming home from the beach!! See you in July, Yuzu Aqua Cooling Sherbet Cream.

And that's all she wrote - literally. Have you tried any of these products? Did I make you want to pick any of these up to try now? If so, let me know here or on Facebook!


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 ...