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.

Monday, May 16, 2011


I've been hearing about Birchboxes for a while now from different bloggers and YouTube gurus but I really wasn't sure if I wanted to commit to a subscription type of thing. THEN last month, Birchbox offered ecofriendly products.  And the thing that finally suckered me in was the Zoya nail polish that everyone received. That was the nail that sealed the coffin. Upon further reading, I realized that Birchbox while they can charge you every month (you can also pay for months in advance), you can also stop your subscription at any time. I really didn't have anything to lose long term. I took the plunge.

I received my very first Birchbox on Saturday. I was so excited to open my mailbox only to see that logo staring out at me!

I love the box that everything comes in. Its very sturdy and not a cheapy box. I might keep it and reuse it to store stuff.
A lovely letter welcoming me to Birchbox.  On the back of this card there's the list and descriptions of all five items that are in my box. I didn't photograph that side. Click on the picture if you want to read what the front says.
EEK! Look at how pretty everything is packaged. You can tell these are hand packaged with care. Such attention to detail. That's what I feel makes Birchbox so different.

These are the lovely products that came in my Birchbox (in no particular order):
1. Bulgari Mon Jasmin Noir sample
2. Ahava Mineral Hand Cream
3. Tiny Prints Card
4. Archipelago Pomegranate Soap
5. Stila eyeshadow - in Azure

1. Bvlgari Mon Jasmin Noir - This came in those little sample spritzers. I had my doubts about this when I first saw the packaging. It looked like something my mom would like. But once I tried it on....ooooooh. It makes me feel very sophisticated yet sexy at the same time. My boyfriend looooved the way it smelled on me. It's definitely a light floral, with a light touch of musk (I hate the word musk) least that's what I'm getting from it. But being that my boyfriend liked it, I will definitely think about investing in this one.

2. Ahava Mineral Hand Cream - I had already heard about Ahava from my days working at a Bath & Body Works flagship back in the day. This is a really great line if you have dry skin. I might do a more in depth review about the line at a later time. But the hand cream is really great. It has a light scent of gardenias. It's not a super floral scent. It's more of a clean floral scent. It doesn't leave a greasy film on your hands either. I did get the travel size of the hand cream so it now has a permanent home in my purse.

3. Tiny Prints Card - This was a cute small blank card. I'm thinking of using this for my friends upcoming baby shower. AND The company Tiny Prints included one additional free greeting card plus an additional %50 off greeting card purchases. You can even personalize some of their cards. I had never heard of this company but their cards are so cute, I might have to start using them more often.

4. Archipelago Pomegranate Soap - When I first opened my box, it had a lovely subtle scent that I couldn't put my finger on. At first I thought they might have scented the packaging. But no, it was this beautiful soap.  To be honest, I haven't used it. It's so pretty I don't want to ruin it. The back of the box says its a natural antioxidant to refresh, soothe and protect. So  I will use it, just not today.  Look at how pretty it is:

5. Stila Eyeshadow - Azure. Now here is (in my opinion) the star of the show. I have sampled Stila eye shadows at Sephora but never purchased them since they came with an $18 price tag. Birchbox sent me a full size single eyeshadow and I couldn't be happier. The eyeshadow is soft with very pigmented with minimal fall out and it feels like velvet when you apply. You can also use this shadow wet which is fantastical. Its like getting two different eye shadows plus a liner in one. LOVES it!

Birchbox sells the products on their website at retail price BUT they have a fantabulous Rewards Points system. Every time you rake up 100 points, you get $10 off your next purchase. And you can get points from different ways. Even just paying your monthly subscription gives you 10 points.

I am really pleased with this months Birchbox. The Stila eyeshadow alone is worth more than what I payed for the entire box and that in itself is fantastic. I think I'll stick it out for the year and see how it goes.

Disclaimer: Products from this review were purchased with my own money. No monetary value was received. All opinions and thoughts are solely my own.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


I'm so sad. I had two blogs posted late last week and I log on only to find that they have been deleted. I'm not even sure I'll repost one of them just because it took me a long time to put together. I will repost this one just because it's a really good deal!

EEK!! I'm super excited. NYX is such a great line. Its a 12 hr sale going on TODAY. Hopefully you guys get to my blog in time. I HAD posted this on Thursday as a "Save the Date" posting. But it got lost in Blogger malfunctions.

Let me know what you get!

UPDATE: I had a really hard time getting into the site. What a sale FAIL.  And from what I hear so did everyone else. Oh well, maybe next time.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Random Mani

Just wanted to post my Mother's Day Mani before I take it off.
Loreal - Coral Starfish
Sally Hansen HD - Byte
L.A. Colors Art Deco Nail Art Laquer - Black and White.

I'm still not convinced it looks like butterfly wings. I try, I try!

BATTLE OF THE BRANDS: Elf Cream Eyeliner Vs. Boots Botanics Cream Eye Liner

I thought I would do a new segment for this blog. Battle of the Brands! Where I take two drugstore brands and put them up against each other to duke it out for a spot in my makeup stash and maybe yours.  First up:

Elf Cream Eyeliner (in Midnight) VS. Boots Botanical Cream Eye Liner. I chose these two products because

1. Elf is easily accessible and affordable.
2. Boots (a UK brand) while sold right now through Target, isn't really widely reviewed (at least I haven't seen it being reviewed all too often).  

PRICE: The most important factor to many of us. The deciding factor on whether or not a product will make it into our shopping cart. For these cream liners Elf is $3 bucks while Boots is a whooping $8. The winner here: ELF

PACKAGING: Please excuse the torn Boots box. My devilish pup got to it before I could photograph it. I like the simplicity that Boots has and it goes great with their Botanical line, But Elf looks a lot more polished and professional. And though this might be a difference of opinion, the winner here: ELF

AMOUNT OF PRODUCT:  Elf has 0.17 oz/ 4.3g. Boots has 0.12 oz/ 3.5g. Now while Elf has more in its container, when you look at them side by side, it looks like Boots has more. I know looks are deceiving but in the case after I spent 8 bucks, I would like to believe I bought more than I did. Winner: Boots

BRUSHES: Both came with their own brushes, which I appreciate so I don't have to make an additional purchase.  Elf's brush was longer in length than Boots. It has an angled brush with soft bristles. Boots on the other hand, was a lot smaller (almost half the size of Elf's) with a fine tip brush with soft bristles. Elf's brush was a lot more comfortable to hold and apply the product but the size of the brush make my eyeliner thicker than I was hoping for. Boots' brush was uncomfortable to hold but I was able to make finer brush stokes with it. Winner: Tie

FORMULA: Elf's formula was a little thick and dry. I had to pass my brush through the formula several times before I could pick up a sufficient amount to use. Boots was very creamy and smooth. I didn't have any difficulties with this formula. Winner: hands down BOOTS.

STAYING POWER/APPLICATION: Elf on the Left, Boots on the right. You can see in the pic that Elf's application was a little thicker. While I know this was mostly due to the brush, the drier formula didn't help things at all. (click on pic to enlarge for details)

This is what the two eyeliners looked like 12 hrs later. I didn't use a primer because I wanted to see what their true staying power would be.  Both formulas had fading but Elf's was much more faded than the other. Winner: Boots.

Price: Elf
Packaging: Elf
Amount of Product: Boots
Brushes: Tie
Formula: Boots
Staying Power/Application: Boots

Clear winner for me was Boots. I know it's more than double the price than Elf, but in this case I do believe you get what you pay for.

If you have any suggestions for future Battle of the Brands products, email me.

Disclaimer: These products were purchased with my own money. All thoughts and opinions are solely my own. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I only like posting deals on this post that are really really good. I don't think I'll ever post a Buy One get one %50 off unless it's a huge ticket item.  If it's a deal that will entice me to leave to the store or bust out my credit card online, then I will post it. That's when I figure more of you will also enjoy it too. I could be wrong, let me know if I am.

This week (until May 17th) is having a sale. And instead of me trying to explain what Ebates is, I thought I would post this video of SayAnythingBr00ke (my FAVORITE YouTube Guru) explaining it.

Here is her referral link:

I'm definitely checking out the Deborah Lippmann nail polishes.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Temporary Lip Tattoos?!

Did anyone see this video at

Uhh?? *scratching my head* Yeah, I don't think these are for me. First of all, I can't think of when and where I would wear this other than Halloween. And for $15 bucks, ehh....I'd rather use that to buy a high end lipstick that I can wear everyday. And this is definitely NSFW. 

Would you wear it? Let me know, maybe you can change my mind.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cherry Culture's Annual NYX MEGA SALE

I should have posted this sooner but I forgot. Sowwie! is having their annual NYX 50% off Mega Sale until MAY 8th. In case you don't know what is, it's a site that sells really affordable makeup (ie: NYX, L.A. Splash, Jordana, even Eyeko!).

What's awesome about them is they have a rewards system similar to Sephora. But instead of cashing in your points for whatever makeup they are promoting that month, CherryCulture will let you cash in your points for a gift card to their site in different monetary values.

I know I shouldn't, but I really really want to buy all NYX nail polishes. I think I'll get the NYX Fly With Me Mascara. It has a very interesting wand.


I got an email from Korres announcing their month long (until May 29th) warehouse sale. Korres will be debuting their new packaging soon. So that means we get to save some $$ in the meantime. Right now selected items are up to 30% off. And if you use CODE: GOING10, that will give you an additional 10% off your entire order! Fantabulous if you ask me.

Korres is one of my favorite higher end lines. It's an all natural Greek line that offers makeup that is good for the skin and other yummy smelling body products. They are the only ones who have a powder that matches my face 100%.  It is a little pricey so I usually wait until they have a sale on, or on their website.

I'm thinking these might make it into my shopping cart.

Melon Jumbo Showergel - $19.50 $13.65/13.53 fl. oz
Bronze and Protect - $28.00  $19.60/1.74 oz
High Drama Antioxident Color Collection - $39.50  $27.65
That last one is such a great deal. I almost bought it last Christmas at Sephora at full price. You are getting four full sized high end products for less than $7 each. And that eyeliner is so creamy.

PLUS if your purchase is more than $35 you get free 1.69 fl.oz of their Jasmin Shower Gel. This is a great sale if you love Korres. And if you are new to Korres, a great time to check it out.

DISCLAIMER: This is not a paid advertisment, merely a public announcement. I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

China Glaze Tronica Collection Reduced Price!

I was at my local Sally's Beauty Supply yesterday and I found the whole collection of China Glaze Tronica collection reduced to $1.99!! Even some of the Christmas collection is still 4 bucks so I thought it was a steal. I had heard some mixed reviews on it because the holo effect isn't what most people were expecting.  That's probably why it was reduced so much.  So I was hesitant to get one. But at that price I thought I'd pick one up and decide for myself.

I purchased a bottle of Virtual Violet just cause the color stood out more to me. And it seemed like a color I would wear anyway.  In the bottle, it doesn't look like it would be holographic. It looks more like blue and purple pixelated glass flecks/shimmer.

You might want to click the picture to enlarge it so you can see what I mean.  On the nail, it was a completely different story. It wasn't an in your face holo, but there was a depthness that looked great (which obviously won't transfer in my pic). The formula was fantastic too. It applied opaque in two coats and drying time was FAST. Usually with holos topcoats tend to dull the effect, but with these it seem to enhance it ever so slightly.

I'm really disappointed that you can't see the depthness. But it's there I promise. I swatched it next to Milani's Hi-Res so that hopefully you could see the difference in holo effect and depthness.

 I'm pretty stoked about my purchase. I think I'm going back tomorrow and picking up whatever colors they have left.

What has been your experience with the Tronica collection?

Disclaimer: This product was purchased with my own money. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bon Voyage, Old Nail Polishes!

I have yet to receive my shipment from Zoya from their Nail Exchange Promotion. I just checked the status on my order and it's on BACKORDER. Boo! But that's what I get for waiting until the last day to place my order. In the meantime, I've been going through my nail polish collection (roughly over 230?) and I've been able to weed out 7 bottles (I only ordered 6). I thought I'd post them and have them on my blog before they are forever gone from my home.

From Left to Right: La Rosa - Dover Pink, L.A. Splash - Crimson Tide, Artmatic - Sun Mist Frost, No name - pink frost, no name - red, no name quick dry, Deborah Lippman - Hard Knock Life

I realized when going through my collection that I tend to hang on to some polishes because of sentimental value. Then I watch an episode of Hoarders and I'm over it and tossing things left and right.

 La Rosa - Dover Pink
I got this years ago from my grandma. She said the color reminded her of me. I don't know why it reminded her of me because I was going through my hip-hop chola phase at the time. I only held on to it because my grandma gave it to me and she has since past.

WHY IT HAS TO GO: It's old, chunky, frosty and the color looks disgusting on me! This was the first to go!

L.A. Splash - Crimson Tide
I just got this maybe two weeks ago at Ulta. It was in a clearance bin for $1.99 so I thought "ehh, why not?". In the bottle it looked like a beautiful burgundy jelly with gold glitter. And doesn't the name of the color remind you of Clueless. When Cher is explaining one of her tardies, "Duh, I was totally surfing the crimson wave."

WHY IT HAS TO GO: Its an ugly Burgundy jelly!! This was flat with no depth and the color was just horrible darkness on my nails with a visible nail line. And I do love vampy colors (they are my fave) but this was just ugly. And the beautiful gold glitter didn't translate on my nails like it did in the bottle. Instead they were covered by the ugly darkness and looked chunky on top of the nail. GROSS!

Artmatic - Sun Mist Frost this brings back memories. Does anyone else remember the $1 brand from Walgreens? I painted this on my toes (it looked horrible on my hands) from 8th grade into High School and I would attach silver metallic stars on my big toes. This was one of the only nail polishes that my mom owned. I took it from her before she tossed it away.

WHY IT HAS TO GO: It is over 15 years old. It's chunky, and it's time to move on. But WOW, this bottle photographs well. It looks better in the picture than it does in real life.

No name polishes - Red, and frost pink
These came in a gift set from my aforementioned grandma. Also another reason why I hung on to these.

WHY THEY HAVE TO GO: Frost pink is NOT my color and I feel I have much better quality reds to keep this one. These are about 15 years old also. I only kinda used the red one on my toes. The formula even then was really watery and runny. And after all this time they are STILL watery and runny.

No name Quick Dry
This is yet another one that came in a gift set claiming to be a quick dry topcoat. It was not.

WHY IT HAS TO GO: It took just as long to dry as a normal polish did. And when applied it would drag my nail polish and great smudges and bald spots. I did use it as a clear polish and when my son started developing a wart when he was younger, I used this to get rid of the wart (it worked!).

Deborah Lippman - Vinyl Collection - Hard Knock Life
Deborah Lippman is my all time FAVORITE nail polish brands.  My goal is to one day own every single Deborah Lippman polish.  I don't own too many since they are pricey. The ones I do own I got with my Bath and Body Works discount when I worked there (and when they sold Deborah Lippman).  So to get rid of this brings a tear to my eye.

WHY THIS HAS TO GO: I've had this for six years and it is now 70% dried out. Even if I were to try to use nail polish thinner, the formula would not be the same.

This bad mani, HAS TO GO! The white bubbled, the topcoat made my tip shrink,and then the topcoat bubbled. This is only one day. I didn't even bother to clean up the cuticles. Even my boyfriend didn't like it. I guess it was cute in theory. Sadly, you might see it in a few more posts since I photographed a bunch of stuff today wearing it. Oh well.

I'm shipping off the polishes as soon as I get my order from Zoya. I'm hoping it will be later this week or early next. If any of you want any of these (although I can't imagine why) email me and let me know. First come first serve.

What have/will you trade in?