Monday, February 4, 2013

Taking A break, But Not Gone Forever!

Hi guys!  Long time no talk, right?

I have missed blogging so much, but I am going through a new challenge in life that has made it quite difficult to also run my beauty blog and YouTube channel. :(

I wanted to let you all know that I have started a new blog.  I may sometimes talk about beauty things, but it is mostly a lifestyle blog.  A big portion of the blog will catalog our In Vitro Fertilization treatment that we have just started doing.

As some of you may know, we have have been trying to get pregnant for a long time now.  I would bring it up on my Youtube channel sometimes, but I do not think I officially blogged about it.  We have come to find out that IVF will basically be our only option to get pregnant.  So this new journey has been taking pretty much all of our spare time. It has been an emotional roller-coaster to say the least.

I know that many of my beauty readers may not find this new blog interesting, and I completely understand. I just wanted to throw it out there, and let you guys know where I will be.  Hopefully things go smoothly, and we have success the first time.

I long for the day when I can stop being consumed by these new developments.  If all goes well, I will be back soon!

I miss you all!


Friday, September 7, 2012

Almay Wake-Up Eyeshadow + Primer Review

So I saw an ad for this new product from Almay in my September issue of Vogue.  I was really intrigued by this product, mainly because of the primer.  The primer in infused with a "touch" of caffeine, which is supposed to help brighten your eyes.  The primer is iridescent, and it goes on so smoothly, like butter, if you will. ;)  My eyes were instantly brighter, and even after I put the shadows on, my eyes still looked brighter than usual.  Now, as far as creasing goes, I have never had problems with my shadows creasing, so I can't really comment on that.  If I had to guess, I would say that the likelihood for creasing is minimal, the primer is not greasy, and it isn't super cakey.  As far as I am concerned, the eyeshadows themselves are just ok.  I like the colors, I like the formula, but they really aren't anything too special.  That being said, I think that Almay should sell the primer individually as well, I would definitely buy that product! 

The shade of the primer changes a little bit based on which kit you get.  It is tinted to match the shadows in the kits.  Unfortunately, at my Target, they were sold out of the other two kits, so I had no choice but to get Invigorate, but I'm ok with that, I do like these colors.  They aren't the best for my skin tone, and eye color, but they are still pretty, and I will be wearing them again.  Right now they have only released three different sets, maybe if this product takes off, they will expand the color options, which would be nice.

My biggest complaint is the packaging.  I think it was silly to put the open pan of primer right next to the shadows.  I've used this kit twice now, and my primer is already getting contaminated with shadow pigments.  No matter how careful I am, eyeshadow is getting into the primer,which is something that is driving me nuts.  Almay could remedy this by making the primer section closed somehow.  Does that make sense?  I just think it needs to be covered so nothing can get into it.  But so far that is my only complaint.  


Thursday, September 6, 2012

My Butter London Autumn/Winter 2012 Polish Purchases

So Butter London is one of my all-time favorite nail polish brands, so naturally I was really excited to see their new releases for their Autumn/Winter 2012 collection.

They drew inspiration for the 5 new shades from sequins, velvet, satin, and tweed.  The polishes are glittery, holographic, and metallic.   They are all beautiful, and I really wanted to get all of them.  LUCKILY.... Next week, Monday 9/10 Ulta has a buy one get one free sale on Butter London polishes, so perhaps I will be able to get a couple more of these shades. :)

The colors are Dodgy Barnett, Gobsmacked, Lovely Jubbly, Shag, and Trustafarian.  I have Dodgy Barnett, and Gobsmacked.

I was especially excited got Gobsmacked, it reminds me of one of my favorite polishes from OPI called Baby It's Coal Outside.  I've been looking for a dupe for the OPI shade for quite a while now because the brush broke and it is very difficult to use the polish anymore.  So when I saw Gobsmacked, I immediately thought that I might have found a dupe.  Unfortunately, the finish is too different, and the Butter London polish is much lighter, it's more of a grey than a black.  The finish is rather unique, it is textured, even when I apply a topcoat it is still textured.  The texture is amazing, I love it so much, it reminds me of fresh asphalt   This is a must-have polish if you're into having nail polishes that are different and unique. Butter London describes this fabulous polish as "A heavily pigmented charcoal grey glitter nail lacquer with a slightly textured finish. This shade is unlike anything we’ve seen before – a legend in the making!"

Dodgy Barnett is the other polish I have, and this shade is such a perfect holographic polish.  I adore this one too, and it was extremely long-lasting, we're talking well over a week! Butter London describes this polish as "A highly holographic lacquer in a classic shade that blurs the line between grey and silver."

Friday, May 25, 2012

Nail Of The Day!!! Crazy Summery Combination!

So I have been recovering from surgery all of this week, and have really been going crazy being unable to do much of anything but watch movies, and lay around. Today I have finally been able to get around a little more, I was even able to sit upright long enough to do my nails!!  This was huge for me, and it has completely renewed my spirits.  It's amazing how sometimes even the smallest things can just really brighten our mood!  I am someone who always has to have my nails painted, so having them completely unpolished since Sunday (5 days) has been absolute torture for me!

I had the hardest time deciding what color/colors to paint them though, because everything looked so appealing! I wished I could have painted my nails 20 different colors.  I played around with some of my nail wheels to try to decide what I wanted to do.  I knew that I wanted to incorporate some neon because this has been a major obsession of mine for the past few months.  I thought about doing a pink ombre look, but it wasn't quite loud enough for me today.  I decided that I would do a blue, and neon/gold look.

I love neon polishes but I hate how they are never as opaque as you'd like them to be.  Inevitably, I always have to build up by doing several coats, then I worry that the polish will chip easier because I had to do so many coats.  I have heard that doing one coat of a white polish first will potentially help the neon polish be more opaque.  I had yet to actually try it, but today I finally decided to give it a try.  So I played around with this on my wheel first, and was quite surprised with how effective just one coat of a white first was.  I did it with my China Glaze Sun Worshiper, and my China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy, my two favorite neon colors at this time.  The pictures aren't showing the difference as much as I would have liked, but there is a definite difference between the nail that I just did the neon color on, and the nail that I used a white base first.

The left nail in both pictures has no white, and the nail on the right has one coat of white.

Now for what I did on my actual nails... I used the base coat and top coat from Butter London.  I also used China Glaze First Mate, China Glaze Sun Worshiper, OPI Catch Me In Your Net, and Essie Blanco for my base for the Sun Worshiper.

This combination is a little out there, but honestly, it's exactly what I needed to perk me up today!  Also, I am LOVING OPI Catch Me In Your Net right now!  Sometimes I tend to forget about it, but I am so happy that I stumbled upon it while I was digging through my collection today!  It is such a perfect color for summer, it reminds me of the glistening ocean!!  It is a wonderful mix between blue, and green.  The picture isn't doing it much justice, but if you're looking for a really fun summer polish, I would definitely recommend checking this color out!  It is very pretty!

I hope that everyone is doing well, and I hope that you all enjoy the long holiday weekend! :)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Big Lots Philosophy Sale!!

I have always been a big fan of philosophy products, so this deal that they had going on at Big Lots had my name written all over it!  I have so many favorites from this brand, so I cannot even begin to name my favorite philosophy product.  I am always wanting to try new products from philosophy because I am continuously so pleased with my purchases. I have had my eye on their makeup products for some time now.  The one thing that was always holding me back was the fact that there was no place near me that actually carried the products in their store.  When I am buying high-end cosmetics, I typically want to be able to see them in person, touch them, swatch them, and see exactly what I am getting.  So the fact that I could not do this with these products was always reason enough to hold off on trying them.

So Big Lots is currently selling many different makeup products from philosophy, and every item is just $3 a piece.  When I found out about this deal, I rushed over to check it out.  My store still had quite a nice variety still in stock.  When I was checking out though, the cashier told me that they were flying off the shelves, so I can only imagine how much stock they must have had to begin with.  I did not buy one of everything that was there, I only bought items that I use regularly.  There was a lovely cream blush, for instance, but with my oily skin, I typically end up being disappointed with cream blushes.  I have seen other videos on Youtube where people have hauled what they purchased from the sale, and I seen several different products that my store did not carry.  So you might find some different products at your Big Lots.

I assume that philosophy is getting rid of these products, but I am unsure if they are getting rid of their entire cosmetics line, or just planning on reformulating, and relaunching new products.

Either way, I can say with complete certainty, that I really am blown away with these products that I got, and I am glad that I never paid full price for these.  The only product that I might have paid full price for is the illuminator, because I do really like that one.
The packaging is nice, philosophy always has very pretty, yet simple packaging.  The blush case is made of a faux leather material that really feels quite sturdy.  Everything but the illuminator has a built-in mirror, which is really convenient if you are trying to apply your makeup on-the-go.
I was really excited about this blush because it looks so nice.  All of these shades are really pretty, and would appear to be very flattering.  There are three blushes, and then the white all around the edges is a shimmery highlighter shade.  Honestly, this blush has virtually no pigmentation!!  In order to get the swatches, I had to rub for way longer than I should have to.  I also tried to swatch these on my hand too, and none of the swatches even showed up.  The colors are pretty, but the color-payoff is not good!  That being said, yesterday, I used another blush of mine that is nicely pigmented, and then I swirled all of these colors together and placed this on top of my other blush, and it looked really nice.  It performed more like a luminizer/highlighter, instead of a blush.

This is the eyelighting shadow duo in Heaven/Earth.This duo is a really nice neutral color combination, perfect for a soft, everyday look.  The pigmentation is good, and overall  I really enjoy the formula.  That being said, I still feel like it is nothing all that special.  I do like it, and I will definitely get good used out of it, but, I have a trio from CoverGirl that is very comparable.  Again, for $3 this was a steal, but had I paid full price, which I assume would be around $20, I would have been a little disappointed.

I failed to get a swatch of the angel kiss lip gloss in Pretty Please, but, it is a subtle pink lip color.  On the skin, it has a very slight tint, it mostly just leaves your lips looking glossy and polished.  I like the smell of the gloss, there is a faint smell of mint that is really quite nice.  I prefer my lip glosses to be just a tad sticky because I notice that that this usually is an indication that the gloss will be long-wearing.  This gloss is somewhat sticky like that, and as a result, is also long-wearing, so I am pleased with that.  I wish that it came in a tube though, that is my only complaint so far.

The last thing I got was the heavenly light pink illuminator.  I must say that this is my favorite thing that I purchased.  I am so in love with cream highlighters right now, and this particular one goes on very nicely, and looks great.  I love how lightweight cream highlighters are, and I just think that they really add so much dimension to any look.  This definitely has a nice, subtle, pink tint to it, and the scent is very faint, and pleasant.  The formula reminds me of Benefit Girl Meets Pearl.  In the swatches above I am comparing these two products next to each other.  The Girl Meets Pearl has more of a gold tint rather than pink, but as you can tell, their finishes are very similar.  My one compliant with this illuminator is the applicator.  There is a brush that the product comes out through, and for someone with acne-prone skin, this has the potential to be problematic.  I have yet to find a way to pop that brush off in order to wash it, so I am concerned with oil accumulating on the brush.  My solution to this problem is to just place the product directly on the back of my hand and apply it with my fingers from there.  This way I can prevent oil build-up on the brush because I can make sure that my hands and fingertips are clean before I apply it.  Aside from that, I have really been enjoying this product.

I am really glad that I heard about this sale, and was able to try out a few of philosophy's makeup products. For the price that I paid, I am very pleased with my purchases.  I would love to hear from you if you took advantage of this sale as well, and what your thoughts are on the products that you bought.

 I will now leave you with a classic "duck face" FOTD picture. I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend! :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Beauty Deals!

I am always on the hunt for good deals on beauty products, especially ones that I use regularly.  Anytime I come across something good, I will always pass it on!  

So I went to Ulta the other day because I had one of those nice 20% off coupons that did not exclude prestige brands.  I needed more of my Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser, this was the main reason for my visit.  So, once I got to the Philosophy section, I was so sad to see that they seemed to be out of the 16 oz. bottles.  I even asked someone to check in the back for me, but they were completely sold out.  But, when I was wandering around the store, I ended up finding something even better!  I found a box set that came with the 16 oz. cleanser AND a full-size package of the Purity Cleansing Cloths.  The price for this set was $39, whereas the 16 oz. bottle of the cleanser is $32.  So I ended up getting the wipes for $7.  They are regularly $20, so I saved $13 in the end.  Now, the wipe thing is ideal for me since I use wipes to remove my eye makeup before I cleanse at night, and before and after working out.  If I did not use makeup remover wipes regularly, it may not have ended up being worth the couple extra dollars.  In my case it definitely was though.  I've been wanting to try the Purity Cleansing Cloths for a while now because I really love the Purity Cleanser.  Since I also had the 20% off coupon, I ended up getting that value kit for just over $31.  So for me, this was a great deal!  I typically use the Yes to Cucumbers cleansing wipes, so I am interested to see how the Philosophy ones compare to those.

The other deal that I came across was something that I did not need, but I am happy that I found!  Butter London is one of my favorite nail polish brands, but I struggle with how expensive they are, and how quickly the polish chips on me!  I like the fact that they do not contain those harsh chemicals that some other nail polish brands contain.  I also know that you get the best results from the polishes when they are paired with Butter London's top coat and base coat. I've been using my Butter London polishes with my Orly Bonder and Seche Vite top coat.  I have been delaying buying the B.L. ones because of the price, but I came across this value kit, and decided I would take the plunge.  I am so glad that I did because I am so pleased with how the other products perform.  I once borrowed the base coat and top coat from Butter London from my friend, and I was so impressed with how much of a difference they make.  They recently released this value kit that comes with all of the essentials, and the cost is $39.  So, with the kit you get a full-size top coat, base coat, nail polish color of your choice, and a mini nail polish remover.  All of these products separately would cost $55, so with the kit you save $16.  Which is quite a bit, you could get another nail polish with the money you save! ;)  Plus, with  my 20% coupon, again it was only $31.

The thing that I have come to realize about the Butter London line is that I really needed to just invest in the entire system.  When you are paying this much for a nail polish, you really want to get the very most out of the product.  I see now that this means just biting the bullet and using their base coat and top coat.  I am glad that I got this, I did my nails on the same day that I went to Ulta, and I am still chip-free 3 days later.  Which is impressive for my nails!!  With my regular base coat and top coat, I get one chip-free day MAX out of Butter London polishes.  So I am a very happy camper now!

Artful Dodger

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Egg NOTD!

If you haven't noticed yet, I am obsessed with nail polish!  I love doing cute nail designs for special occasions, but also for no reason at all!  Easter is a fun holiday for my nails because I love pastel colors, and I love how creative I can be with my designs.  Decorating eggs is something that I love to do, so I figure it is a win-win if I can combine nail art with egg decorating.  Basically, I figure that my nails are just tiny little eggs that I can decorate too.  I also had to do one glitter accent nail because I needed a little glitter in my life today! :)

When doing Easter egg designs, the sky really is the limit with what you can do.  You just have to make sure that you can duplicate the designs on both hands.
Left hand thumb

Left hand

Right hand
Colors used:
Thumb: OPI-Pink Friday base, with Sally Hansen-Mint Sorbet polka dots
Index: Sally Hansen-Mint Sorbet base, with Butter London-Trout Pout zig zags, and Sally Hansen-Pacific Blue polka dots
Middle: China Glaze-Lemon Fizz base, with Butter London-Scoundrel polka dots
Ring: 1 coat of Essie-Blanco, and 1 coat of  Revlon-Starry Pink 
Pinky:Butter London-Trout Pout, with Essie-Blanco zig zags