Friday, October 14, 2011

DIY Ankle Cuffs

I live in a part of the world where it's summer almost year around. Where I live, you see people rocking flip-flops well into December. So you can imagine how I flipped when I saw this DIY ankle cuff. It looks like its part of your sandal, but you actually put them on AFTER your sandals. It looks like I'll be having to retire my ankle bracelet for a bit while I rock this look during autumn.

For step-by-step instructions, click HERE.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Random Mani: Layering Frenzy

My family and I celebrated my grandmother's 75th birthday by spending the weekend on a boat deep sea fishing in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico. There is only so much time a girl can spend on a boat before she gets bored of her freshly done mani and busts out layering options. I know I'm not the only one out there that would pack 5 nail polishes when going out to sea for the weekend.

Here's what I ended up with:

OPI-Ink (2 layers)
NYX - Blue Avenue (1 layer)
NYX - Peach Avenue (1 layer)
NYX - Pink Avenue (1 layer)
Confetti - Ice Ice Baby (1 layer)
Seche Vite Top Coat.

Seche Vite gave me massive tip shrinkage, but fishing and having my hands elbow deep in fish bait didn't help my mani either. But I love how it looks. I want to give it a name but I'm drawing a blank. Any suggestions?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Chanel Shade Parade

Hello Lovely readers!

It's been far too long since my last post. I have no excuses other than to say, I just needed some personal time which I'm sure you all understand. I have many posts already in the works including a dupe find of Chanel's Graphite. Speaking of Chanel nail lacquer, I found this uber cute video showcasing Chanel's permanent line of polish.

I promise not to abandon you readers for that long ever again. <3

Enjoy the video.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Favorite Products of Summer 2011

With all the Back-To-School ads and even Halloween stuff in stores, I can't help but feel like summer is already over. So I thought I would post my go-to products that I've been using on almost a daily basis for the past couple of months.

In no particular order:

Poppie Jones across the shoulder fringe purse in brown suede that I bought about 3 years ago from DSW.

Jade and Bamboo Necklace from Island Dancer Jewelry (a gift). Sorry, Island Dancer Jewelry website is not up at this time

Bath & Body Works body cream in Country Chic.

Maybelline Shine Sensational lip gloss in Pineapple Paradise

No brand name sunglasses (gifted to me) with animal print

Gold and turquoise cuff from India, I bought this from a local festival

NYX Ultra Pearl Mania in Yellow Gold Pearl

Bath & Body Works Body Spray in Hello Sugar Whole Lotta Lemon Going On (sadly discontinued) - this really complimented Country Chic.

OPI - My Chihuahua Bites, I've been wearing this on my toes all summer long.

Icing Mood Swing Color Changing Nail Polish in Confident/Cheery

Pur Minerals Eye Pencil in Black Amethyst - This has been truly waterproof/sweat proof in my opinion. Not so great for the waterline But I still love this eyeliner.

Loreal Infallible 6hr Never Fail Lipgloss in Rebel Red - Red lips was my favorite thing this summer. And this is probably my favorite lipgloss of all time. Really pigmented and had long lasting wear...even while eating and drinking. Fabulous.

Gold Peacock Long Necklace - I think I bought this at Charlotte Russe a year ago?

Revlon Molten Metal Liquid Shadow in Platinum Pinup - Sadly also discontinued.

Cateye Black sunglasses from Target, I believe they were on sale for $12.99

Lancome Color Design lipstick in Red Haute - BEST MATTE RED LIPSTICK EVER! I never had a red lipstick that I liked on me until I found this beauty. Even the packaging is sleek. Wear time is really good too. After it fades, your lips still have a red stain on them.

Vintage looking flower ring from Pier 1 Imports - It was less than 3 bucks and it's adjustable.

And this was my favorite product of the summer:

 LA Splash Liquid Eyeliner in Royal Blue - I bought this on clearance at Ulta awhile back. As a liner it was ok. Gives a great pop a color and a great alternative to Urban Decay liners in the same colors. Definitely not sweatproof or waterproof. As a liner this really needs a primer and a sealer. But then I started using it to tint my lashes and I fell in love! It looks gorgeous paired up with gold eyeshadow that really popular to wear in the summer.

LA Splash Liquid Eyeliner in Royal Blue layered on lashes
I don't think the picture does it justice. You can definitely tell your lashes are blue in real life but there not a neon sign above your head announcing the color of your lashes either. TONS and TONS of compliments wherever I went. I applied my usual mascara like usual and once dry, I layered the liquid liner on top of the mascara. You can also use a disposable wand to apply the product. I just didn't have one.

I kept hearing all summer that THE nail color of the season was a toss up between yellow and orange. So when I saw the Mood Swing polish in Cheery/Confident, I thought "Why not wear both at the same time?"

WARNING: Manicure was 5 days old!

Warm hand
Dipped in Ice Water

After a few minutes

Few minutes more

Back to warm temperature
 I highly recommend this nail polish.

As much as I love these products. I'm not sad to see summer go. I've been melting in this summer heat. And as I type this, the area where I live is on the cusp of being hit by Tropical Storm Don. I much prefer the fall. But I will miss seeing these lovelies in my backyard:

What was your favorite product this summer?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Deborah Lippmann Across the Universe Dupe?

I was at Icing the other day looking for some of the awesome holos they had debuted with their Charlie Sheen theme (I found one leaky bottle) when something caught my eye:

Now I absolutely love Deborah Lippmann so I kinda feel like a traitor posting dupes of their fabulous nail polishes, but sometimes a girl needs to save some money to buy herself a Clarisonic Mia to shrink her large pores!

Force of Love is part of their Duality nail polish duos. It has a navy blue sheer jelly base with aqua and green hexagonal glitter and silver micro glitter. I don't have Across the Universe to do a complete comparison but from what I've seen online, Force of Love has more micro glitter than Across the Universe.

This formula was not my favorite. It was very chunky and gloopy. My bottle definately needed some thinning. I also needed about four coats to reach opacity. And because I needed so many coats and the bottle is mini, my bottle is now half empty. You can layer this over a navy or black cream but unless you have more than one coat, you will lose a the depthness that mulitple coats gives you. Case in Point:

Here is Force of Love layered over Sally Hansen Navy Baby on the Left and the other polish included in the duo Magnetic Attraction layered over Color Club Black. I was able to get rid of the chunkyness here by adding a coat of Gelous and then topping that off with a coat of Seche Vite. Even though you lose the depthness of Force of Love when layered over a cream, it's still really pretty. I even prefer it this way.

Now as for Magnectic Attraction...I simply love this lacquer. LOOK AT ALL THOSE COLORS!!  It has a sheer grey base with micro holo glitter and larger hexagonal holo glitter. The base is simply to sheer to be worn alone (but I have to admit, I haven't tried). As you can see from the swatch above, it has so many layers to it! It looks like the galaxy on my nails without even trying.

All in all, I don't feel comfortable calling Forces of Love a dupe of Across the Universe but it is pretty gosh darn close. And it has satisfied my lemming of Across the Universe for the time being. Maybe I'll ask for it when my birthday rolls around.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My Fairy Name is:

Polish Insomniac posted her fairy name after getting it from a generator and I thought it was a small fun random thing to do. So I decided to post mine as well. If you go to this link you can get your own fairy name (and elf, fantasy, mermaid, Star Wars, Unicorn, Vampire, Witch, WoW names). Here's mine:

Get your own fairy names from The Fairy Name Generator!My fairy name is Moth Demonglitter
She is a playful mischief maker.
She lives close to caverns and stalactite grottoes.
She can only be seen in the light of a shooting star.
She wears dresses stitched with crystals and has red wings like a brightly coloured butterfly.
Get your own fairy names from The Fairy Name Generator!

I love my fairy name. And it's so appropriate. Almost want to change my blog name to it. :-) Thanks Polish Insomniac!

What was your fairy name?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My Favorite Nail Artist - Sophy Robson

I was super excited a couple days ago when I opened my email from Sephora announcing the lastest fashion trend - NAIL ART. And to my surprise my favorite nail artist Sophy Robson had curated some designs for Sephora.

I've been following Sophy's blog for quite some time now and she was the one who really opened up my mind to this cult art. Check out her designs in the video's below (I love her simple white nails in the videos. I think I might have to paint mine the same color.). And you'll see in the Distressed Metal tutorial that Sephora is coming out with their own line of crackles. Surprise Surprise.

Which nail art look will you be trying?

Cherry Blossom Tutorial:

Wild Giraffe Tutorial:

Punk Cheetah Tutorial:

Distressed Metal Tutorial:

Glitterati Tutorial:


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July 2011 Birchbox

EEK! I just got my Birchbox in the mail not more than two hrs ago. I snapped these quick pics to show you all what I got.

Birchbox had famed fashion designer Cynthia Rowley curate this month's box. First off, look at the beautiful box sleeve she designed. I know it's just a box sleeve and I'll eventually throw it out, but it's so pretty and such an unexpected surprise. It looks like liquid quartz.

Click on the above pic if want to read the card
Instead of their signature magenta tissue paper, they instead opted for this summer friendly aqua color. Gosh, even the border on their card is pretty.  And here are the lovely items inside:
From Left to Right:
Renken Shine Flash - It's a weightless shine spray. Can't wait to try this. I love shine sprays.
Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Multi-usage Dry Oil - I wonder how this compares to Josie Maran's Argan Oil.
Zoya Touch Collection Nail Polish in Pandora - I'm loving the mini size of the bottle. I'm not sure how it will look with my skin tone. First looks like it might be too pink based and frosty. I'll post pics once I swatch.
Philosophy Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleaner - I've always wanted to try this but was never given the opportunity. I think this is my favorite of the whole package.
Kind Fruit & Nut Almond & Apricot Bar - According to the wrapper, it is all natural, gluten and wheat free, low glycemic index index (48), 5g of fiber, non GMO and no trans fats, dairy free, very low sodium, no sulphur dioxide. Sounds boring and healthy. Looks delicious!

I was planning of reviewing the products that I received in June (and never posted) but for some reason I can't find any of the pics I had taken and I've lost the information that I had. Once I locate all that, I will post my reviews.

For more information on Birchbox or if you would like to sign up, click here (referral link).

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Watermelon Nail Art

Note to self: When photographing your nail art, DO NOT enlarge picture. It will just enlarge your imperfections.

For once I was really happy with a nail art design that I did. I had seen some watermelon nail art around but I never really wanted to do it until I got Essie's Watermelon nail polish. This polish is perfection. The color is beautiful magenta and does lean a little more red on the nail than it does in the bottle. And because it's really opaque (coverage in one coat) and dries within minutes, it's perfect for nail art. That's why I decided to do this:

Essie  - Watermelon
Sally Hansen - Chartreuse Chase
OPI - Don't Mess With OPI
Color Club - Black

The hardest part for me (as you can probably tell) was making the seeds. I still don't have the hang of it. I was still really ill when I did this. 

Anyway, thought I'd post this pic before I take it all off and start practicing my Harry Potter inspired mani for the midnight showing this Thursday.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

SayAnythingBr00ke's Charity Giveaway

I hope you have all had a better weekend than me. I've been stuck in bed with a really bad cold (all thanks to the boyfriend) since Friday. The only thing I have to look forward to is watching the new episode of True Blood tonight.

But I wanted to get out of bed and post about the most amazing giveaway I have ever seen. And it's all to benefit a good cause. Youtube makeup guru SayAnythingBr00ke is giving away over a $1000 worth of great makeup. Including: A complete set of OCC vegan friendly brushes, OCC lip tars, OCC nail polishes, Mac Ripe Peach Blush, China Glaze OMG nail polish, and much much more.

All she asks in return is that you donate to the animal shelter she has chosen for her giveaway. You don't have to donate, but she strongly encourages it.

Go here to donate:
To enter, you must be subscribed to her channel, and you must leave a comment. That's it! Giveaway is also open internationally and will end Friday July, 29 2011. Video below will give you more detailed information:

Watch this video and be amazed at all the jaw dropping makeup she's giving away. I would be happy just to get Ripe Peach. Which is your most wanted item?  Make sure you spread the word around so we can make a difference.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Items I used up during the month of June

We always see people blog about their hauls, but what about the stuff that we actually use up? I got inspired by 15stepsblog.  She started blogging about this and I thought it was genius. I do have to warn you. I used to work at Bath and Body Works years ago and I still have boxes of items that had been retired due to repackaging. I'm trying my hardest to work through them before I buy more BBW merch. Here are the items I've used up this month in no specific order:

1. Two Faced Lash Injection Mascara
Pros- It was very thickening and really gave my lashes a lot of length. The brush was very thick and large.
Cons-  I don't know if I just got unlucky and picked out an old tube, but the formula was very dry and it stopped working about two weeks in.
Will I purchase this again? No, there are too many mascaras out there that I would like to try before returning to this one.
What I'm replacing it with- Clinique's High Impact Mascara

2. Bath & Body Works The Perfect Autumn Pear Shower Gel
Pros- I LOOOOOVE this scent. When it first came out (2006) I stocked up on the lotion, shower gel, and all the scent ports and candles that I could find in this scent. Sadly, this is my last of my Autumn Pear collection. The bottle says it has scents of Asian pear, melted caramel, warm spices, and ground vanilla bean. BBW, please bring this back! Pretty pretty please!
Cons- Sadly discontinued.
Will I purchase this again? No, it's been discontinued.
What I'm replacing it with- Bath & Body Works Exotic Coconut

3. One 'N Only Aragan Oil Restorative Mask
Pros- I didn't really like this when I first used it. But as I continued to use it, I noticed my hair was much more manageable, shiny, and was no longer dry. I use hair masks in lieu of conditioner and this is just great.
Cons- Wasn't to keen on the scent, but it's not unbearable. And its worth the results.
Will I purchase this again? YES!!

4. C.O. Bigelow Restorative Hair Mask
Pros- I loved that this one came in a travel size.
Cons- I didn't see the difference between this and any other regular conditioner. I was hoping it would have similar results to Fekkai's Glossing Conditioner since it says it contains Olive Oil and honey extract. Sadly, it does not compare.
Will I purchase this again?  No, not worth the price.

5. Marlies Moller Hair Tip Care Hair Mask
Pros- I could definitely see that my hair was much stronger than usual with this. I also couldn't find any split ends while I was using this. Coincidence?
Cons- The packaging has this hair mask in a tub that comes with a spatula for scooping out. I didn't like that mostly because water would seep into the packaging while I was trying to apply to my hair. I also wasn't crazy about this scent either. Even my boyfriend didn't like the way it smelled. Bad deal.
Will I purchase this again? No, the smell really bothered me.

6. Fekkai Shea Butter Hair Mask
Pros- This really hydrated my hair the first time I used it. I loved the way it smelled and even left my hands really soft.
Cons- After a while, I noticed I was getting major build up in my hair. That may be because I use this more as a conditioner rather than a typical hair mask.
Will I purchase this again? Yes, but not right away. And I will use it as it is intended to be used next time.
What I'm replacing ALL of the hair masks with? Another tube of One 'N Only Aragan Oil Restorative Mask!

7. Bath & Body Works True Blue Spa Shea Butter Like Butter Shower Cream
Pros- I used this as a shaving cream instead of a shower cream. I shave my legs and then go back over it with more product before I rinse off. It was more hydrating on your body than your typical shaving cream. I even liked this better than the True Blue Spa shaving cream that they have in their line. 
Cons- Didn't like the bottle. Although it is a good sized bottle, it was really hard to squeeze the product out.
Will I purchase this again? Yes, but not right away. I have many more shower creams and shaving creams to go through before I need to buy another one.
What I'm replacing it with- Bath and Body Works True Blue Spa Be More Pacific with Monoi Oil Shower Cream.

Things I'm tossing because I just didn't like them:
1. CND Solar Balm - I picked this up at Ulta in the clearance section for $0.99. Ugh, deeply disappointed. I thought this would be slightly reminiscent of  Solar Oil. It was not. It had that gross smell that tells you it had turned bad. And when I put it on my cuticles it was just a greasefest. Nasty.

2. ELF Cream Eyeliner - This is another item that might have been old (I have the worst luck apparently). It was hard to pick up with my eyeliner brush and was just not smooth in applying. In the trash bin it went.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Top of My Wish List

I have had the same wire eyeglasses for the past ten years. I know I've needed to upgrade for quite some time but when my Optometrist said my prescription has not changed over the years, I didn't see a need to buy new frames. I've taken great care of the ones I already have. That is until I saw these:

EEK! These Francis Klein Eyewear frames are fabulous and totally appeal to the naughty librarian in me. I'm actually returning to school in the fall to get my masters in library sciences and these would be great to start off the semester.

BUT these seem to only be sold in their boutique in France. Last I checked I wasn't planning any trips abroad in the near future.  And since I cannot find a price on these, that usually means theses are way out of my budget. Boo. Tears. Sadness.

So if anyone knows of 1. where I can find these in the states, 2. know of any affordable versions of these, please contact me ASAP. My vision will thank you for it.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Meet the Love of my Life

Three posts in ONE day! Wow, such a rareity with me. But upon looking through my pics for posts I ran into the adorable face of my Chihuahua/Mini Pinscher mixed puppy. He just turned 6 months and now weighs 5lbs 3oz....what a fatty.

I'll be MIA for a couple of days. My cousin and I are heading to San Antonio, Texas to go see New Kids On The Block/Backstreet Boys concert. LMAO, I still can't believe my cousin convinced me to go. But at least I'll get to see my 10yr old crush...Donnie Wahlberg from the SECOND ROW. I totally just dated myself. Oh well, NKOTB/BSB here I come!

So Close, Yet so far - Chanel Quartz, Sephora by OPI Already Famous, Afterthougths Racer Brown

After seeing various posts of Chanel's last fall 2011 nail colors, I like everyone else, could not wait to go and buy Peridot (which I did). But the quiet and demure Quartz was the one that really caught my eye. It reminded me of my favorite nail polish that I wore almost everyday my freshman year of high school. I bought it from a mall boutique Afterthoughts (I think they were bought out by the company that owns Icing. Don't quote me on this, I have no idea really). I was obsessed with brown. Brown eyeshadow, brown lipstick, brown accessories...what was I thinking?

So I immediately jumped at buying Racer Brown. A beautiful taupey brown with a subtle silver frost.  And it was love at first swatch. It looked so nice against my skin tone. And I constantly had compliments whenever I wore it. The head cheerleader even became my friend after I manicured her nasty talons with it. She in turn introduced me to my Senior crush who became my Senior boyfriend for a magical two months (ha!).   What more can you ask for from a lightly frosted brown nail polish?

Afterthoughts - Racer Brown, no topcoat
Sadly, my love affair with Racer Brown slowly faded when I discovered that glitter polish looked best over purple, blue and black. I tried my best to dupe Chanel's Ciel de Nuit (so THAT'S where it all started) layering my 99 cent glitter polish over any navy blue polish I could find.

It is now old and the formula lacks what it once was. Its now stringy and streaky and smells funny. I even tried to salvage it by thinning it and I have yet to be successful. I still cannot part with it. I almost did this past April during Zoya's Earth Day Exchange. Almost.

So when I saw the posts of Quartz, I thought I had found my long awaited Racer Brown doppelganger.

Afterthoughts - Racer Brown, Chanel - Quartz, Sephora by OPI - Already Famous
I was mistaken, pleasantly mistaken, but mistaken nonetheless. Racer Brown leans more red while Quartz leans more gray. I compared Quartz to Sephora by OPI - Already Famous. While it's not a dupe at all, it might satisfy your lemming of Quartz and save you $15. In the above picture, the label around the Chanel bottle distorts the color. If you enlarge the picture and compare the two bottles from above the label, you will see the colors look like a very close match.

As you can see from this above picture, Already Famous is much more gold and obviously more shimmery than Quartz. I have to say that the swatch on the pinky is not at all what the color looks like. On the pinky it looks out right gold, it is not. Swatch on middle finger is more true to its color.

Left - Chanel Quartz, Right - Sephora by OPI Already Famous
That is also true for Quartz, the swatch on the pointer finger is more true to color than the ring finger. So if you look at the pointer finger and the middle finger, you will have a better idea just how close they are.

And of course you have Racer Brown on the Thumb which sticks out, well, like a sore thumb. HA!

But I absolutely love Quartz. It's a lovely shade that seems to love my skin tone. And the formula was great. Completely opaque in two coats! But I will predict, come fall, we will see a lot more options for dupes on this one.

And for those of you wondering, no I haven't swatched Peridot yet. It's so pretty in the bottle that I'm afraid to use it all up. :-)

Deal of the Week: Tarte- Glow Your Way to Gorgeous

I came across this deal on YouTube and had to share it with you. It started last week and will continue this week until Saturday 7/2/11. After which the price will go up.

Right now on you can get this 8 piece gift set for $49.92 (until July 2). This gift set includes, a blush color that has not been released yet and a concealer that has also not been released. Plus as a gift, QVC will add in a bronzer and pure maracuja oil. In your gift set comes:

Purple Bag
Maracuja Creaseless Concealer
- Available in: Fair, Light, Medium, Deep, and Tan
Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush- Peaceful
EmphasEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Eyeshadow
SmolderEYES Amazonian Clay Waterproof Eyeliner
Lights, Camera, Lashes! Mascara
Lip Surgence - Sweet
Eyeshadow Bamboo Brush
Blush Bamboo Brush
Bronzer- Park Avenue Princess
Pure Maracuja Oil

ALL FOR $49.92! And yes, they are full sizes. You will be saving a lot of money. Here is the video that I saw with this deal. The video will show you swatches and have a more in depth description. I'm planning on purchasing two of these. One for myself, and one as a gift.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Review: JewelMint

I don't know how many of you have heard about JewelMint. I thought I would post the above video since it can more accurately describe the program. It's very similar to ShoeDazzle and I personally like to be able to look at jewelry in person so I can feel it and see whether it is worth my hard earned money. And once I do purchase a piece of jewelry, I wear it every day until I get sick of it. But I found a promo code floating around and thought I would try it out.

Shipping is really good. I received my package in a little less than a week. I was really surprised to open my mailbox and find this staring back at me so soon after I placed my order:

The jewelry comes in a lovely box that is ideal for gift-giving. It even has a magnetic closer on the front to keep it secure. I still store my piece in this box:

Inside the box you'll find a small description of your piece of jewelry on the inside flap and your jewelry will be inside a velvet bag. It's so nice how much thought has gone into the packaging of this product.

I ordered the Black Keys Bracelet because it appealed to the art deco lover in me and I've never seen anything out there quite like it. I did take some pictures wearing it on my arm. But unfortunately I wasn't able to take one that didn't make my arm look like it belonged to a hairy beast. So these pictures will have to do:

I really do like this bracelet. I have already worn this with many different styles and to different types of events. Its elegant yet edgy at the same time, and very modern.

My only issues with this particular bracelet was it felt a little too light for my liking. And because of the design of the bracelet, the clasp was difficult to find and operate when trying to take it off.

So far, I'm liking JewelMint as a company and I would like to purchase a few more items before I can fully give an opinion on the quality of the jewelry itself. I really see myself buying more jewelry for gifts for birthdays and holidays. This is the next piece of jewelry I'm thinking of buying:

Odyssey Necklace
Love it, Love it, Love it. It reminds me of the necklace from House of Harlow that everyone has, but I won't be spending THAT on it. I can see myself wearing this summer throughout fall. Its so versatile.

As of this post, both pieces of jewelry are available for $30. BUT right now if you use code "HARLOW50", you can get these at 50% off. Knowing that I can get a beautiful piece of jewelry for 15$ bucks just makes my day.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Deal of the Week: Stila Buy One Get One FREE

Look at what I found in my inbox:

BUY ONE GET ONE FREE THIS WEEK (until June 17th at midnight) AT STILA.COM!!! And you get free shipping with any purchase over $50. If you aren't planning on spending that much on Stila, invite a friend to combine your purchases. I'm so excited, I don't know where to begin. I think I might snatch some of those Stila eyeshadows like the one I got from my Birchbox. I try to wear it everyday because I love it so much.

What will you get?

Random Mani and M.I.A update

Wet N Wild - Ocean Grotto
I'm back! I'm sorry to my prolonged absence. Unfortunately for me, my job actually gets very busy once summer starts. I've been averaging on a couple hrs of sleep a night. But I still manage to read all other blogs.

I have a couple of reviews all ready to go, so be on the look out for that. I'm also going to have a small give-away to accompany one of those reviews. I'm really excited about that being that it will be my first, and lets be honest, I need more subscribers (I only have one right now, who I adore! Thank you Olivia!).
I also have another Battle of the Brands coming up and a new segment inspired by one of my favorite bloggers.  And if any of you lovely readers have any ideas, let me know. I welcome any and all suggestions.

Wet N Wild - Ocean Grotto with one thin layer of Sally Hansen HD - Spectrum
 I hope everyone is having a great summer!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mason The Strong

This post has nothing to do with beauty, but rather a very touching story that brought me to tears and made me hug my Ringo (my puppy). It truly shows the unconditional love that animals have for us.

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone that have had their homes destroyed with the recent tornadoes.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Review: Sally Hansen Crackle Overcoat

With both OPI and China Glaze coming out with their own versions of crackle/shatter, it was only a matter of time before a more accessible brand came out with one of their own. I really had my money on Cover Girl re-debuting their original 90's line. I miss my Cover Girl Crackle. Mine dried out after about 7 yrs of living in my nail polish drawer. But it was more than half way gone so it served it's purpose. I still kick myself for not buying backups.

The Sally Hansen Crackle Overcoat collection includes eight different shades:

Antiqued Gold (Gold Shimmer/foil)
Snow Blast (White)
Vintage Violet (Purple Duochrome)
Fuchsia Shock (Hot Pink)
Distressed Denim (Blue)
Cherry Smash (Red)
Ink Splatter (Black)
Fractured Foil (Silver Shimmer/foil)

Since I already have a black, white and silver crackle, I purchased the following five:

I was really excited about these until I swatched them. First off, the brushes were REALLY thin. And the formula seemed to work better when you really glopped on the product. Had the brushes been thicker to apply a think layer of crackle then I might have been pleased.

Second, the formula on ALL colors was not opaque at all (almost sheer).  The colors would alter depending on the base color that you choose. AND even with a topcoat, most had a very chunky finish.

  I swatched each color twice with both black and white as base colors to see the difference in hues.
Cherry Splash: Don't let the awesome crackle finish fool you. For some reason this one looks better in pictures than it did in person (It was not opaque at all over black). This one had to be GLOOPED onto the nail swatch. This was almost like a jelly crackle (is that a oxymoron?). When swatched over the white base coat, the red took on a more orange hue.
Distressed Denim: I really didn't like this one. Over white, it was really sheer (again I had to GLOOP it on). And over black it was a complete FAIL. You could hardly see the blue and it left your nails looking chunky and messy and gross.

Antiqued Gold: I actually liked this one and it was added to my collection. Antiqued Gold reminded me of OPI's Silver Shatter...just in gold. I still had to gloop this one on but this one came with a decent sized brush. I wonder if all came with different sized brushes...or it was just my luck to get wonky brushes. Over black it was beautiful and over white it did this weird more dramatic crackle. I still liked it. My only issue was that it seemed to drag the white polish ever so slightly and created visible bald spots. Both black and white were completely dry before I applied the crackle so I don't know why it would drag the color like that.

Fuchsia Shock: The black base photo more clearly shows what I experienced with Cherry Splash. Very uneven sheer crackle.  But I have to admit that this one looks really awesome over white. Same issues with this one, thin brush, GLOOP on swatch.

Vintage Violet: MY FAVORITE!! Let me start by saying this had to same issues as the others...BUT I DON'T CARE! Its a slight duochrome with blue shimmer. I've never seen a crackle like this one ever. You can definitely see the blue shimmer over the black (click on picture to see shimmer closer). When I swatched it over the white (because of the thin brush) , it applied a little thinner in the right-hand corner. So when it crackled, the thinner corner turned a hot pink ombre look. LOVE IT.

Here's a blurry picture showing the shimmer awesomeness.

Overall, this collection definitely had its issues with formula, opaqueness, and brushes. Or maybe I'm just spoiled by OPI and China Glaze? I would recommend Antiqued Gold, Fractured Foil and Vintage Violet. And if you do want the others, I would recommend layering them over pastel or light colors and apply at least two coats of Seche Vite to get a smoother finish. These can be purchased at Walgreens for $6.99.

Disclaimer: Theses products were purchased with my own money. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts and opinions are solely my own.