Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Mani Round Up: August 14, 2018

Let me show you what I put on my nails last week.

Warning - it was a vacation (from both jobs) week!


Zoya Haruko & Kawaii Nail Lacquers Shine On Holo Topcoat: I was on vacation last week and let me tell you, my nails were NOT on fleek over my stay-cay. I needed to do them to hang out with my boyfriend's friends tho (first impressions totally matter!) so I did two coats of Zoya Haruko, a gorgeous glowy orchid color, and a coat of Shine On by Kawaii Nail Lacquers, which is currently out of biz (miss your stuff, Jamie!).

Wellllll....someone's brain went on vaca mode and forgot to take pics of my other manis!! Figures! Good thing my one and only was a good one!


Sunday, August 12, 2018

Mask of the Week: Frudia Blueberry Hydrating Mask

I am a legit sucker for cute packaging and convenience, so I jumped to try this adorable Frudia mask at CVS the last time that I had a coupon.


The back has routine instructions, but I do appreciate the nod to toner!


I forgot to take a face picture. It fit like a traditional mask, nice feel to the cloth and a decent amount - perhaps a smidge too much - of essence. The color, however, looked legit dirty. Perhaps that is the natural fruit essence that the mask boasts - blueberry, in case the packaging didn't jump at you - and it smells fine, but the color is plain ugly. Whatever - I persevered and put it on my face.

It doesn't dry down at all, so you feel the moisture throughout the wear time.  It sits heavily on the skin. After removing the sheet, I used it on my arms and legs - it was still that wet. The essence takes a while to sink into the skin, too.

Nothing to write home about here! I liked it but wouldn't go out of the way to repurchase. Have you tried this brand? Thoughts?


Thursday, August 9, 2018

July 2018: Favorites & Flops

It's that time again for Favorites & Flops. Let me show you what I loved and hated in July.

First up, Favorites:


Anastasia Dip Brow Pomade in Soft Brown & Medium Brown: This is a cult favorite for a reason! I dyed my hair darker recently so I moved from Soft to Medium brown..it's taking me some time to get used to the darker color, but I like it. I apply it with an angled brush and set it with my setting powder. It lasts through my bangs, humidity, and sweat here in the Connecticut summer.

Becca Hydra Mist Setting Powder: Speaking of setting powder, I am obsesssed with this! I read about this from Musings of a Muse. This powder is half water. You use a regular powder brush, apply it as normal, but it has the most amazing, cooling, water like sensation. It's SO good, my Mom tried it and wanted her own!

Touch in Sol No PoreBlem: I read about this primer in my Korean Skin Care group on Facebook. It's everything you like about Benefit PoreFessional, but not nearly as thick and gluey. It makes my makeup last and last. I highly recommend this - in fact, I recommend all three!



Above, here is Anastasia Dip Brow Pomade in Medium Brown, left, and Soft Brown, right.

Time for the Flops:


Hard Candy Turn Me Matte Glamoflague Mix In Drops: I believe this was first listed as a Favorite of the Month here, but I totally rescind that accreditation. This has turned into a gluey mess that peels up the foundation around it. Buh bye.

Benefit Hello Happy Soft Blur Foundation: So, let me say that I LOVE the foundation itself. However, the packaging on the mini bottle (awesome at $10) is awful! I used it ONCE and I couldn't get any more out. I was warned it would maybe have 2-3 uses, especially if I was trying to get it more full coverage, but not ONE.single.use.  Anyway, I was convinced there was more in the bottle, so I did this:


I took scissors and jammed it right in there. Guess what? There is a ton of product in that bottle! I've used it maybe 6 times or more by now. The foundation itself is lovely, though, so I just recommend you go ahead and get a big bottle - trust me, the product is worth it.

What do you think? Have you tried any of these?


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Mani Round Up: August 7, 2018

Good morning!

Let me show you what I wore on my nails last week:


Zoya Ruthie (pinky) and Zoya Maeve: The Zoya Elements collection is back in play! Ruthie is a lovely vintage rose shade and Maeve is a surprisingly awesome eggplanty color. Single coaters for both! FWIW, I am so not feeling the accent nail look anymore.


Fresh Paint Guava: Wow, this is super hard to photograph. I took my evening post-mani pics (left) and in the morning, when I went to update this post, I realized how off the color was from the true color...hence, the no-flash, day time, at my desk at work shot (right). Neither pic is great, to be honest! This is a NEON PEACH. Neon, in your face, awesomeness. It is opaque in two creamy coats but dries fairly slowly, to be honest.


Alessandra Peppermint Patty: I picked this polish up years ago at a nail tech convention in Long Island, NY. It still works perfectly, opaque in three thin coats. It is a perfect Tiffany blue!


Zoya Ana: I used this Zoya Satin, with topcoat, to celebrate my birthday this past weekend! This formula is meant to be used sans topcoat to show the satin effect - somewhere between matte and glossy. I added G&G topcoat because I'd chip it within minutes without my trusty G&G, and I think the satin plus gloss created a really plush looking mani!


Sunday, August 5, 2018

Mask(s) of the Week: The Body Shop Chinese Ginseng & Rice and ElishaCoy Revitalizing Ampoule Solution Mask

Today I am featuring another one-two-punch in the masking department. I wanted to exfoliate, so I paired The Body Shop Chinese Ginseng & Rice wash-off mask with an ElishaCoy Revitalizing Ampoule Solution Mask to follow.

BTDubs, ElishaCoy is available at CVS, so if any of my US friends want to dabble in quality KB sheet masks, get thee to CVS. While you're there, get the Manefit Honey mask, too.


So, as usual, I began with the oil cleanse and cream cleanse before I applied The Body Shop Chinese Ginseng mask. I got this packet, and 6 others, in a holiday package from Ulta, which was $15 for 6 packets. This is a good deal and awesome way to all the varieties, especially when a single packet is $3 normally - or $18 plus tax if you were to buy all 6. With the holiday package, you basically get one free.


The Body Shop Chinese Ginseng mask is white and gritty! It felt cooling the entire time it was on, which was about 10 mins. It doesn't dry down fully in that time. The instructions says to rinse in a circular motion, which I did, to reveal brighter, clean, cool skin. I am a fan but wouldn't purchase a full size of this.


I followed The Body Shop Chinese Ginseng mask with toner, essence, serum, and then applied the ElishaCoy Revitalizing Ampoule Solution Mask. I forgot to take a pic, but it is your typical sheet-mask face. It covered well and the fabric was slightly heavier, which helps it to stay in place. There was enough essence to cover my face, arms, shoulders, and feet! It was fairly drippy, to be honest, but I always make use of excess.

After I removed this, about 10 mins, my skin felt slightly tacky, but that was fixed with eye cream, moisturizer, and a lip mask.

I honestly didn't think it was great, but I woke up the next morning to super clear, bright, soft skin and noticeably less bags under my eyes. I didn't sleep better or worse than usual, so I am going to credit my masking sesh for that one. Score!

Have you tried either of these? Thoughts?


Thursday, August 2, 2018

Lippie Swatches - Searching For New Colors Within My Stash!

Confession: I am a bit of a makeup hoarder.

So much so, in fact, that I sometimes have to stop using the same colors that I gravitate towards, get out my entire collection (you'll see), and swap them out.

Considering it is summer, and I have summer activities to do, it was time to do the swap!


TL;DR: 18 swatches, LOL.


Here is what they are! Top 8, from top to bottom:

  • Lime Crime Velvetine in Cashmere
  • ColourPop Ultra Matte in Viper
  • ColourPop Lippie Stix in Cami Matte X
  • Clinique Pop Lip Shadow in Blossom Pop
  • NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Cannes
  • ColourPop Ultra Matte in Clueless
  • e.l.f. matte lipstick in Tea Rose
  • Rimmel London Show Off Gloss in name unknown (it's old!)

Next set, from the top down:
  • Rimmel London Show Off Gloss in name unknown (it's old!)
  • ColourPop Ultra Glossy Lip in Charming
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Matte in Dusty Rose
  • Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink in Dreamer 
  • ColourPop Ultra Matte in Catching Feels
  • Tarte Lip Lingerie in Exposed
  • Urban Decay Liquid Vice in Crimson
  • ColourPop Matte X in Poppin' (anniversary edition with pink tube)
  • Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lip in Lovesick

Last set, from the top down:
  • Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink in Dreamer 
  • ColourPop Ultra Matte in Catching Feels
  • Tarte Lip Lingerie in Exposed
  • Urban Decay Liquid Vice in Crimson
  • ColourPop Matte X in Poppin' (anniversary edition with pink tube)
  • Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lip in Lovesick
  • NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Prague
  • Trestique Mini Matte Lip Cream in Crimson Red
Here is where the rejects live:


To clean myself up, I went for my trusty Formula 10.0.6 Wipe Your Face Off face wipes. If you're looking for long-wear lipstick that does.not.move, go ahead and grab yourself some ColourPop - that ish doesn't budge! The specific color here is Catching Feels, which is def not for me.


The day after my swatch-a-thon, I had to use of the newly chosen lippies for my lip of the day! I chose the not-so-everlasting Kat Von D in Lovesick. I don't find the formula drying but I don't find it to be anywhere near long-wear. Regardless, the color is SO pretty and I don't mind reapplying, so there it is!


Do you own any of these lippies?


Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Mani Round Up: July 31, 2018

Zoya Elements have arrived! I received the 12 piece collection in yet another long, velvet, fancy box. I do like the idea, esp if given as a gift, but they take up a ton of room and I forget which polishes are in which box. Have you seen the boxes? What do you think?

Regardless of the outside packaging, the inside is filled with 12 mauvey, pinky, totally Lacey colors, so expect to see Elements this week!


Zoya Rumor: I couldn't decide which to use first, so I just grabbed Rumor, the first opaque polish on the left side of the box. Can I just say that after 6+ years of blogging, my dislike of metallic polishes with visible stroke lines hasn't changed one bit. But I love this color! Two streak-city coats here and topcoat.


Zoya Jenna: One reason I love Zoya is that the names often make me think of special people with the same name. I wonder if the color matches the person. In this case, I only knew/know one Jenna, from college, and she was a girly girl, so this fits! This is two perfect creamy coats and topcoat. This is everything I wanted in Rumor with no streakies.


Color Club On Cloud Nine: Oooheeee! So.freakin.sparkly! This is two thin coats of CC OC9, it's one of the original holos. I switched to this from Zoya because I knew I wouldn't get back to my nails for a couple days. I was also working at Ulta, so blingy nails are right at home there.


Zoya Taylor: I presented at an event over the past weekend and needed legit adult nails. I did this mani in bed at the hotel and thanks to Glisten & Glow topcoat, it came out great. (The event went great, too, thank you for asking!).


Sunday, July 29, 2018

Mask of the Week: TonyMoly Hydrating Sheet Mask

Lame-o post coming up!

I forgot to take my goofy mask face pic, but you know the drill with TonyMoly, the standard US easy to acquire sheet masks. TM masks are great because there is a clearly labeled solution to any skin problem you may have. Dry skin = Hydrating mask, easy! No need to worry about choosing the wrong solution for what your skin needs at the moment.

The price point is also there, these are under $3 each at Ulta and you can use the $3 off $15 coupon on this brand (and all the KB in store, BTW).


Standard instructions!


I chose to use this fairly late at night, due to the high lavender factor. It was SO relaxing and smelled very lightly of lavender, which is nice when it's right.on.your.face.

TM masks fit well - I believe they are created for the Caucasian face shape, and comfortable to wear. There is a perfect amount of essence and you can leave this on for at least 15 mins without it beginning to dry out.

If you're new to masking, try out TonyMoly! It is easy to pick what you need, the ingredients are gentle, and they are inexpensive and easy to find.


Thursday, July 26, 2018


So, I was a slacker and don't have a post for this Thursday.  I am truly sorry.  However, I think I can make up for it. May I offer you my kitten, Seth, in my makeup case?


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Mani Round Up: July 24, 2018


I am continuing my quest using Essie Millionails to stop the horrible peeling on my digits. So far, not too bad. A few have peeled pretty far down so grow time is needed to get past the previous damage. I try to keep my nails bare but when things are happening, the stains need to be covered.


Sation Prairie Fairy: Sation is so underrated! I don't see the brand in any mainstream stores, do you? This is two creamy dreamy coats and topcoat. I love the color but it is a touch orangey for my skin.


Zoya Dot: Delightful! Three coats - def three needed! - and topcoat, with Essie Millionails underneath. However, as you may have noticed, we are back to right handed swatches. Let's just not talk about it, okay?



Foo Fighters Nails!!! Zoya Rayne topped with China Glaze Ghoulish Glow: Over the past weekend, I went to see Foo Fighters in concert at Fenway Park in Boston. It was a great show! Obviously I needed nails fit for the occasion - did you know they have a song where they mention fingernails are pretty? LOL - so I did two coats of Zoya Rayne, which looks like a basic blue until the light hits that ultra blue shimmer, and topped with Ghoulish Glow, a glow in the dark polish. Loved the combo, loved the band.


Sunday, July 22, 2018

Mask(s) of the Week: Murad Eye Lift & Shea Butter Pucker Up Lip Mask


I was prepping for another (sigh - I am so bad at being social) event and wanted to do something in addition to face masks. I've been looking quite tired lately (ie: events) and needed a pick me up! I decided to finally try out the Murad Eye Lift Firming Treatment that's been hanging out in my mask box forever and I paired it with a lip mask because, ya know, YOLO.


I washed my face, did a layer of toner, and then applied these. It felt odd not to do my whole routine, but I wanted these to take effect without the other layers present.


For the Murad Eye Lift, you take 5 pumps of product and lightly tap it onto your skin, then take the pads - they include plenty, which is nice - and just lay them on top of the product to help penetrate the skin. It felt soothing with zero stinging or irritation.


The lip mask is a single sheet of lip shaped fabric or whatever it is, pre-soaked in essence. You are supposed to leave this on for about 10-15 mins and not talk while it is on.

With both of these on, I was pretty much stuck in a horizontal position for 15 minutes. As you can see, the lip mask covers from under my nose to about mid-chin, so even the skin around the lip is conditioned nicely. I also did a lip scrub before applying to make it saturate even deeper.

Once I removed both, I added just a serum and then moisturizer to maintain that moisture barrier. I didn't notice startling results but it was a nice experience.


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Breaking My July No-Buy: Stuff I "Needed"

So, July No Buy in full effect.. however, after my June No Buy, I neeeeeeeeded a couple things...(Work with me here, people).

Here is what I purchased and why:



Did ya know I work at Ulta?!

I needed dry shampoo so I grabbed sample of the Batiste tinted dark brown.

I have been lusting after the Stila Heaven's Hue Highlighter in Magnificence, but it's very $$ so I snagged this elf palette on clearance hoping for a dupe (no way).

I grabbed the nonni cleansing balm because it was on clearance for $3.

I picked up the Essie Millionails after recommendations, and I needed a new strengthener anyway.

The Essence liner is amazing, thanks to my co-worker Kat for the recommendation, and I needed that as my Kat Von D is drying out.

Lastly, I bought a mini of the new Happy Blur foundation from Benefit, since they discontinued my Pore Minimizer one.  (PS: DONT buy the mini. I got ONE use out of it!)

My only splurge that I didn't somehow need was the Becca Hydra Mist Powder - NO REGRETS, that ish is amazing. I wanted it since reading reviews on The Muse.

See? Not so bad. The other stuff was free gifts w/purchase.



My favorite FB group is my Korean Skincare group, and every once in a while everyone chimes in and agrees on a cult favorite. Touch In Sol No Pore Blem Primer is one of those and let me tell you, my group didn't let me down. I legit needed a primer, and this is a winner. Bonus: it was $11, super comparable to my Benefit Pore Fessional which is thrice as much.



Lastly, I needed an essence and vitamin C, so I splurged a bit for a KB purchase. eopenmarket has everything I like (minus Klairs) and they sell samples. I purchased theSAEM Iceland Hydrating Essence, samples of Purito Vitamin C and samples of Purito Essence. The masks were on super duper sale (like 6 masks for $3) so I couldn't say no to those, and the samples on the left were free.

So, that rounds up what I purchased in early July. This will no doubt get me through the month! My birthday is August so I am pretty sure that Stila highlighter will be mine, but other than that, I am pretty well stocked up!


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Mani Round Up: July 17, 2018

Can we talk?

My nails are in rough shape right now. Peeling, splitting, practically tearing instead of breaking. I - we - need a break.

I crowd sourced on Facebook and it was suggested to try Essie Millionails.


Essie Millionails and Essie Petal Pink: So, here is two coats of Millionails with two coats of Petal Pink by Essie. Why did I add the lacquer on top, you may ask? Because my nails are also sadly stained.

This week...I am going to let them rest. I am going to do a massive mani clean up and buff (and probably do the denture cleaner hack) and file these bad boys down, down, down. And then I am going to use the Millionails...and try not to add polish.

Please send non-nail biting thoughts!! I also plan to make myself a little kit with a file and clippers to toss in my bag so I will fix instead of bite if something happens.


Essie Millionails & Yellow Stopper: They look better already with a buff, file, two coats of Millionails and a coat of Yellow Stopper!



China Glaze Wanderlust: Well, I didn't make it long, did I? LOL. I had a weekend of activities with friends and my awesome boyfriend planned, so they needed to look nice! I did two coats of Millionails and two coats of Wanderlust. I added one coat of the Perfect Pink Gel topcoat and then finished it with G&G topcoat.


Sunday, July 15, 2018

Mask of the Week: Shea Moisture Instant Rebound Mask

In mid-June I went to a wedding (as a guest), which of course required extra skin prep beforehand to make sure I was looking my fly-est.

Enter: Shea Moisture Dragon's Blood & Coffee Cherry Instant Rebound Mask with Black Currant & Borage Oils!

I scooped this little gem at Ulta (of course) BUT! It was on clearance from around $12 to $4 AND I grabbed it on a day when clearance was half off - down to $2, plus I get an employee discount, which brought it down a smidge lower. Hello, bargain!!


This is a wash-off mask, so I did my double cleanse and then added this right away. It says to use a thin layer but YOLO:


Bahaha, great pic, right?! My ear headband was actually from WISH but Ulta sells those now, too, for under $10, I believe. I can't mask properly without my ear headband!!!! (I mean, I'm sure I could, but I wouldn't want to!). Anyway, the mask smells fresh - I don't have a quality sniffer so I am not going to emphasize notes of black currant or anything sophisticated like that. It just smells good! It's thick like a lotion, easy to spread, and easy to wear with no stinging or uncomfortable-ness.

After 10 mins, I washed it off - it does sting the eyes during removal - to review immediately brighter and glowing skin. Love this product!


Thursday, July 12, 2018

June 2018: Empties & Tossed Report

Empties time! Doing this helps me shop for later but also makes me realize what a freakin' hoarder I am! Ugh! Anyway, let me show you what I finished up this month:



Out of the 23 items that I used, there are some real winners in here! The NYC Smooth Skin Parfait Matte BB Cream has long been discontinued, but I found a few bottles online. They were cheap, pigmented, and so matte you didn't need a finishing powder. Pour out a lil acetone for my lost BB cream, would you? Pore Fessional by Benefit is really the only primer for me - I vow to stop experimenting with buying others. Sulwhasoo Emulsion is awesome but too $ for me. Ulta Mask Removing Cloths are awesome but unnecessary to repurchase. Orly Prelude to a Kiss has also been discontinued, so I keep mixing older bottles together to help keep it alive. Sugar Bear Hair Vitamins fall in the same category as Sulwhasoo. LUSH Twilight Shower Gel is a must-have for me (and my Mom). John Freida Brilliant Brunette Treatment is also a constant re-purchase. Kat Von D Saint perfume is also a constant re-purchase since my boyfriend loves it. Benefit Pore Fessional Makeup has also been discontinued but dang it, I loved that stuff.


I only used up 5 samples this month - I will try to do better in July. I'll be travelling a lot, so I should empty out a few more packets. The Sulwhasoo Radiance Energy Mask continues to be amazing, but nothing else here is worthy of a re-purchase.


Random collection of skincare products that I found in an old travel bag. Got to throw those out!


As usual, I ran into some items that just needed to get thrown away! The Hard Candy Matte Defense Serum is awful - I am sorry I ever blogged about it! My Purito Vitamin C Serum oxidized and needs to go, but I do love it so I repurchased samples which I think will live a little longer. The First Aid Beauty Moisturizer/Primer product is slimy and awful. My Bad Gal Bang needed to get tossed, as did those lippies. Phew.

Time for the totals!

Month of June:

Totals: 23 items, full or deluxe sized / 5 packets or samples / 12 items thrown out

Empties Report Year to Date: 113 items / 69 packets
Thrown out Year to Date: 91 items


Mani Round Up: August 14, 2018

Let me show you what I put on my nails last week. Warning - it was a vacation (from both jobs) week! Zoya Haruko & Kawaii Nail La...