Saturday, July 28, 2012

Kleancolor Holo Chrome Swatches

I have a new favorite sparkly nail polish! It's Kleancolor's Holo Chrome. I'm not usually the biggest fan of scatter holos, but I love this one!



Look at those sparkles!

You can buy it on Kleancolor's website, but the one bottle plus shipping will cost you $11.49.

Another option is to get it on eBay, where you can get it for under $5.00, including shipping.

Or better yet, do what I did and get it on Copious, which is kind of an eBay-like marketplace (without the bidding) for clothes, accessories, and beauty items. If you follow my affiliate link, you will instantly receive $10 credit to spend on Copious (and for each of you that sign up, I'll get a $5 credit). The strange thing Copious does is, if you buy something that's less than $10, it will still cost you $0.01. But hey, I was perfectly happy to pay one cent for this nail polish!

I achieved this look using one coat of CND Sticky, three coats of Kleancolor Holo Chrome, and one coat of Seche Vite. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

O.P.I. Spotted - Swatches and Review

When I first heard that O.P.I. had released a new nail polish finish called "Spotted," I was so excited to try it. I saw my first swatches of it on Nailderella's blog, where it looks absolutely awesome. I  never really liked the whole crackle finish trend, but I thought those spots looked pretty neat.

While O.P.I. Spotted is part of The Amazing New Spider-Man collection, it is only available at Sephora in France. As in France, Europe. And here I am, in Colorado, USA, with no chance of going to France any time soon, and I know no one in France! So I did the next best thing: I reached out to a nail-polish-fanatic friend of mine who lives in Belgium. In turn, she reached out to a friend of hers who lives in France, and in less than 48 hours, she had hooked both of us girls up!

My results weren't nearly as spectacular as Nailderella's. This is a freaking HARD finish to work with! I'll get into why in a minute, but first: some pictures!




Just as when using a crackle finish, you need to let your base color dry completely before putting the Spotted on top. The hard part comes in with the application -- you have to apply a VERY thin layer or it doesn't look good at all, and the spotted effect doesn't really work well. But if you don't actually get enough on the brush, and you go back over part of your nail that you've already applied Spotted to, it gets streaky instead of spotted. It's hard to find just the right balance. In addition, the brush that comes with this product is too hard and bristly for this extremely thin formula. The brush itself makes application difficult.

When the application is done just right, I actually like the lace/web effect, as in this image below:


But when the application isn't done exactly right, it can end up looking streaky, as in this image below:


If you don't do the application "just right" with every single nail -- and it's difficult because of the extremely thin nature of Spotted's formula -- you have ruined the effect, and either have to live with it for the life of the mani, or re-do that nail/those nails from the base coat on up.

Overall, I was not impressed. I don't like the formula -- it's just so thin and so extremely difficult to get just the right amount of polish on the brush. I don't like how streaky the finish becomes if you don't apply it absolutely perfectly the first time. I actually really dislike how this product smells; it doesn't smell like a typical nail polish -- it's even harsher, more chemical-smelling. I think the brush is entirely wrong for this product; it should be a soft, pliable brush instead of one with hard, stiff bristles. And ultimately, even when Spotted is applied correctly and I get the neat lace/web effect, I don't like it in black.

If O.P.I. were to ever release this formula in the U.S. and if they provided consumers with a range of color options, I would try it again. I think a pretty cream-colored "Spotted" finish over, for example, a sage-green or dusty-rose or light tan base color would look really pretty.

To sum up my thoughts, I believe that O.P.I. Spotted is a good idea with less-than-stellar execution. I would like to see a formula that's easier to work with and a formula with less of a harsh chemical odor and a different type of brush provided with the bottle. I would only buy Spotted again if it were sold within the U.S. and if there were more color options to play with.


To achieve this look, I used two coats of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab's Opium Poppy, one very thin coat of O.P.I. Spotted, and one coat of Seche Vite. The top coat did not change the spotted effect at all. 

This product was purchased with my own money. All opinions are my own.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Brown & Green Eyes with Virus Insanity Eyeshadows

This is a look I did over a week ago. I love Virus Insanity Eyeshadows, especially the duochromes. They're just really, really amazing.




In the photo below, it looks like I blended a spot bald on my right eye, but I didn't. Dumb camera!

  





FACE:

Youngblood primer

Hourglass Veil Fluid Makeup Oil Free foundation No. 1.5 Nude

Urban Decay De-Slick Makeup Setting Spray
Bare Minerals Warmth
Clinique Black Honey Blush
Guerlain Meteorites finishing powder in Teint Rose

EYES:
MAC Brule on brow bone
Fyrinnae Moon Child on brow bone beneath highest point of brow arch
Milani Brown Stone in crease and outer corner of lid, beneath outer ½ of lower lash line
Virus Insanity Espresso all over lid and tear duct area
Virus Insanity Mint Mocha on lower-center of lid
Virus Insanity Witchy beneath middle of lower lash line
Benefit They’re Real! mascara on lower lashes
NYX Le Chick Flick waterproof mascara on upper lashes
Shu Uemura Hard 9 brow pencil in Seal Brown
MAC Brun eyeshadow on brows

LIPS:
MAC Prep + Prime Lip
MAC New York Apple lipstick

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sugar Skull Minerals Eyeshadow & Blush Swatches

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a look using an eyeshadow from a new mineral makeup company, Sugar Skull Minerals. Vicki from Sugar skull contacted me and offered to send me some samples. I received them in the mail this week and finally got a chance to break into them tonight. I received 23 eyeshadow samples and 2 blush samples.

Let me say, I am so incredibly super impressed with the quality of these eyeshadows and blush, the depth and richness of the color, the silky slip and ease of application... pretty much everything about them is awesome. As I swatched the shadows, I tried to figure out which one was my favorite color. I finally had to admit that they are ALL my favorites!

All I've done so far are swatches on the back of my hand, but I am so impressed by these products that I cannot wait to use them on my face! There will be several looks coming up with them, I can guarantee that!

Here are the eyeshadow samples:

Top Row, L-R: April, Cotton Candy, Flamingo, Mars, Sin, Arizona
2nd Row, L-R: Velocity, Secrets Secrets, Euphoria, Dorothy, Mermaid, Ugly Duckling
3rd Row, L-R: Crystal Ball, Sterling, On Thin Ice, In The Spotlight, Morning Star, Nude Beach
Bottom Row, L-R: Hustler, Ca$ino, Your Majesty, First Date, Classy





Here are the blush samples:

Violent Violet, Ginger


And now, on to the eyeshadow swatches!

Top Row, L-R: April, Cotton Candy, Flamingo, Mars, Sin, Arizona
2nd Row, L-R: Velocity, Secrets Secrets, Euphoria, Dorothy, Mermaid, Ugly Duckling
3rd Row, L-R: Crystal Ball, Sterling, On Thin Ice, In The Spotlight, Morning Star, Nude Beach
Bottom Row, L-R: Hustler, Ca$ino, Your Majesty, First Date, Classy








Last, but not least, the blush swatches! I tried to pack the blush on heavily on the left and blend it out to the right, but the blush is so highly pigmented, that it has pretty much the same level of color throughout the swatch. I haven't used this on my cheeks yet, but after playing with it on the back of my hand, when I do put it on my cheeks, I'm going to start out with a light application because they're so highly pigmented and rich in color.

Top: Violent Violet
Bottom: Ginger




The owner of Sugar Skull, Vicki, is a real sweetheart. She sells her products on her Facebook page. She's currently having a Buy One Get One 50% Off sale. Definitely worth checking out!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Purple Week! Day #1 with Chinovi Cosmetics

My good buddy, Wendy at Makeup Zombie, put out a challenge of "Purple Week!" I love purple eyeshadows, so I figured this was a challenge I could do. I'm not yet sure who else is doing it, but when I do, I'll be sure to link to their blogs.


I decided to do my first purple look of Purple Week using Chinovi Cosmetics. This is what I came up with. It was really bright for work, so I'll probably wear a bit more subdued purple look tomorrow.











FACE:
Mineralogie Cream Concealer #U2

Etude House Precious Minerals All Day Strong BB Cream
MAC Pinch O' Peach Blush
Guerlain Meteorites finishing powder in Teint Rose


EYES:
Too Faced Shadow Insurance

MAC Brule on brow bone
Chinovi Cake Pop in center of lower half of lid
Chinovi Funhouse in half-moon around Cake Pop and beneath middle lower lash line
Chinovi Magic in half-moon around Funhouse, blending to inner corners of eyes 
Chinovi Secrets on outer lid and blended into crease, and beneath outer 1/3 of lower lash line
Chinovi Last Day as transition between crease and brow bone, and around lower tear duct area
MAC Blacktrack Fluidline along upper lash line
NYX Le Chick Flick Waterproof Mascara
MAC Brun eyeshadow on brows


LIPS:
MAC Pink Poodle Lipglass

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Purple and Silver EOTD with Archetype Cosmetics

I did this look on Tuesday or Wednesday of this past week. I forgot to take full-face photos, so it's just an Eye Of The Day this time around! This was such a soft and pretty look and it lasted all day. 






EYES:
Too Faced Shadow Insurance
MAC Brule on brow bone
Archetype Machine Darkness in outer crease
Archetype Suicide Bride on outer 1/3 of lid and outer V
Archetype BraaaAAAINS!!! on middle 1/3 of lid
Archetype Verre de Soie on inner 1/3 of lid and around tear duct area
Archetype Harlot Star beneath lower lash line and blended into crease
MAC Blacktrack Fluidline along upper lashline and on lower waterline, set with Sugarpill Bulletproof eyeshadow
Sephora Atomic Volume mascara on upper lashes
Benefit They're Real! mascara on lower lashes
MAC Charcoal Brown eyeshadow on brows

Friday, July 13, 2012

Fragrance Friday - Fresh Hesperides Grapefruit Eau de Parfum


I received a deluxe sample of Fresh’s Hesperides GrapefruitEau de Parfum in a Sephora order this week.

Look how cute that little 7.5 ml sample spray bottle is!

 FRESH’S OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION:

Hesperides Grapefruit Eau de Parfum features an intoxicating medley of citruses that surrounds a crisp grapefruit accord.

Top Notes: mandarin, Italian lemon, grapefruit
Middle Notes: bergamot, lotus flower, transparent jasmine
Bottom Notes: rhubarb, musk, peach


MY THOUGHTS:

I don’t typically wear grapefruit fragrances because, as much as I love them, they wick from my skin faster than you can blink. I didn’t have much hope that Hesperides would wear well on me because it’s predominantly a grapefruit scent, but also because Fresh perfumes (again, as much as I love their scent), disappear from my skin almost instantaneously.

Imagine my surprise when I applied Fresh Hesperides, and not only fell in love with the juicy, dead-on grapefruit top note, but when it dried down, and an hour later I could still smell it on my skin! It’s not one of those fragrances that will last all day, or even half a day on me, but any Fresh scent that lasts more than 10 minutes gets me pretty excited – especially when it’s loaded with bright, uplifting notes of citrus fruits like grapefruit, lemon, and mandarin. The fruit juice notes aren’t unnaturally sweet – they don’t smell like sugary candy or a sugar-loaded summer beverage. They smell like the scent of droplets of citrus fruit spritzed from a freshly-sliced wedge. Amid the juicier notes is a hint of summer florals – on my skin, the jasmine is particularly noticeable, but it’s not cloying; rather, the jasmine note is soft, and gentle, as if I’m catching a faint hint of a jasmine flower’s scent in a gentle breeze. After the brightest top notes have dissipated, I mostly smell a soft, sweet, predominantly grapefruit scent, with bits of sweet, ethereal florals wafting around it, and an earthiness grounding it that is unmistakeably rhubarb – not rhubarb drowning in two cups of sugar and baked in a pie shell, but rhubarb stalks pulled fresh from the earth. There is also a hint of skin musk that helps meld the entire scent to my body.

The Fresh website recommends layering Hesperides Grapefruit with their Brown Sugar EDP for a "sparkling citrus with sheer caramel undertones." I will definitely be trying this combo since I adore Fresh's Brown Sugar fragrance.

Overall, this is a really wonderful, crisp, clean, and delicious summertime perfume. I do wish had a stronger sillage and lasted longer, but considering it’s both a Fresh perfume and a grapefruit perfume, I am delighted that it lasts as long as it does on me. 


DETAILS:

Fresh Hesperides Grapefruit Eau de Parfum retails for $80.00 for a 100 ml / 3.4 oz bottle on Fresh's website.

If that’s a bit steep for you, Fresh also offers a 10 ml / 0.34 oz rollerball for $20, or a 30 ml / 1 oz bottle for $38.

Fresh Grapefruit Hesperides fragrance is also sold in a shower gel, body lotion, and bar soap.

If you prefer to tack one on to your next Sephora order, all of the above items, with the exception of the largest 100 ml size bottle, are available at Sephora.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Purple & Pink LOTD with Little Mouse Ears Cosmetics

Sarah from Little Mouse Ears sent me the most amazing box of goodies a couple of weeks ago. It was packed full of nail polish, eye shadows, blush, lip gloss, lipstick skin care products, tea, cookies, handmade earrings, and even Irish whiskey! I'm sure there was even more that I'm forgetting, because it was one of the funnest boxes of awesomesauce I've ever received. 

In the box were several eyeshadow samples from her new "Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die" collection that was created in homage of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. In addition, there were some eyeshadow and a blush samples from her "NTMS Collection." On top of that, there was a full size jar of "Sam" (my name!) from "The Navy Collection."

Today, I pulled out several of the colors she sent me and put them to use. I really like how these eyeshadows went on very smoothly and were easy to work with. They wore like iron all day long. The blush is super pretty, too. I'm going to need to get a full size of the blush and order several of her nail polishes and Too Weird To Live... collection shadows, as well.

Anyway, I like how today's look turned out. At work today, I got a couple of nice "you look so pretty" compliments, too.





I don't know why the top outline of my lip looks like a different color -- it looked fine in person!

I was late for work, as usual, so my hair's still a bit damp here. 

I took the below photo to show you the super cute earrings that Sarah made. 
I've been needing some pink earrings, and I love these!
There are a bunch of earrings and other jewelry on Little Mouse Ears' site, too.
FACE:
Mineralogie Cream Concealer #U3
MAC Studio Fix powder foundation in NC25
Little Mouse Ears Kota Bear blush
Urban Decay De-Slick Makeup Setting Spray
Guerlain Meteorites finishing powder in Teint Rose

EYES:
Too Faced Shadow Insurance
Evil Shades Visible Violet Spectrum Pot
MAC Brule on brow bone
Little Mouse Ears Bazooko's Circus on outer V, outer lid, and blended into crease
Little Mouse Ears Quick Like A Bunny on inner lid
Little Mouse Ears Jaydin Rayne between crease and brow bone
Little Mouse Ears Meghan beneath outer 1/3 of lower lash line
Little Mouse Ears Blue Oyster Cult beneath middle 1/3 of lower lash line
Little Mouse Ears Cream beneath inner 1/3 of lower lash line and around tear duct area
Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in Black
MAC Charcoal Brown eyeshadow on brows
Benefit They're Real! mascara on lower lashes
Sephora Atomic Volume mascara on upper lashes

LIPS:
Urban Decay Lip Primer Potion
Brazen Burlesque UltraGlaze Lip Gloss