Monday, June 25, 2012

It's one of those "I can't stop staring at my nails" days

...and THIS is the culprit:

(as always, click pics to enlarge)

(I apologize for the gnarly cuticles. Apparently I need stronger glasses cuz I never see this stuff until I look at blown up pics of my nails...)

No, I assure you, shards of heaven did NOT fall down onto my nails. This beauty is Funhouse by Dandy Nails, yet another awesome Etsy indie polish brand. It's a clear base packed with teal and purple shredded glitter and shot through with silver micro glitter. This polish is so awesome to look at and it's a dream to apply. I was afraid I'd have issues due to the size of the glitter pieces, but they were easy to work and adjust so you can make sure you don't leave any pieces hanging off or sticking up from your nails (which I only had to do once or twice since the glitter, for the most part, was very well-behaved). I am wearing this over 2 coats of China Glaze Aquadelic. Top coats are 1 coat of Gelous and 1 coat of Seche Vite and it's perfectly glassy smooth.  

I am SO in love with shredded glitter. It reminds me of shattered Christmas ornaments or something. It's pretty but deconstructed and rough at the same time. 

As for Dandy Nails, they are known for blessing the Nail-iverse with quite a few gorgeous polishes. Their shop is closed right now but, according to the update posted, they're planning a restock for the last week in June--so being that we ARE in the last week of June, I'd watch them closely if you wanna snag a bottle of this or any of their other creations! You can like their Facebook page for updates!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Glitter Me Up Friday...on a Saturday

:::grumbles:::: hey, better late than never, right?? one of these days, my life will settle down and I will be able to approach blogging with some sort of regularity (um ew me--way to make blogging sound like a bodily function) but given that I have 3 small kids and school's out for summer, those days are faaaaaar in the I'm forced to be all lame and post infrequently and late.  But I HAD to get this polish up cuz it freakin RULES.

This gorgeous but difficult to photograph beauty is Lush Lacquer's Slime Time. I think I've professed  my undying love for Lush Lacquer before and, well, I gotta do it AGAIN!! Slime Time is a bright yellow-leaning lime green jelly polish with all kinds of crazy glitters in it--blue, gold and green smaller glitters, white & gold square glitter...not to mention all that iridescent shimmer! My swatch is 3 coats of Slime Time with 1 coat of Gelous and Seche Vite on top. On its own, Slime Time won't reach full opacity without several coats, but I'm digging the translucency here because you can see all the glitters suspended & layered in there--like delectable little fruits inside a jiggly, squishy jello-mold--and who doesn't love a jello mold?? 

Slime Time, as well as several other beautiful sparkling bottles of awesomeness, is available at Lush Lacquer's Etsy Shop. Somehow, some way, owners Karin and Lexi STILL manage to churn out bottle after bottle of gorgeous polish despite their nearly 3000 sales!! I, for one, am amazed! (Amazed and plotting my next order!!) and just want to publicly thank them for all their hard work and for sharing their beautiful, unique creations with us!!

As far as glitter goes, there's always more to drool over--swing by my fellow GMUF sisters for more pretties!

Kelly of Kelly's Kolors
Shaina of SG Nails

Thursday, June 21, 2012

NOTD--Count on Marley's Harmony--a funky french mani

Don't you just love when nail bloggers combine polish names to make dorky post titles? Today's dorky title is brought to you courtesy of Nicole By OPI Count on Me, China Glaze Harmony and Zoya Marley, which (in case you somehow couldn't extrapolate this from the title) I used together in a funky french manicure.

Count on Me is a super sheer and super gorgeous iridescent lilac polish that flashes pink, purple, blue and even teal in some angles. It came out a while back as a Walmart exclusive. My camera is completely disrespecting this beautiful polish in these pics as it shows absolutely NONE of the multi-chromatic flash. I layered 2 coats of Count on Me on top of Zoya Marley, a greyish lilac cream polish with a super secret shimmer (from the Spring 2011 Intimate collection). Then I let that dry, taped off my tips with Orly french tip guides, and painted the tips with China Glaze Harmony, a metallic purple from the Romantique collection (which I basically got exclusively for its stamping awesomeness). After that, I peeled off the tip guides and put on 2 more coats of Count on Me, followed by a coat of Seche Vite. Then my clutzy ass smudged my index finger before it dried, hence the random caviar accent finger (oh, wait, I forgot only Ciate can call that 'caviar'...I suppose I could go back and change the word...meh), which I created by painting the nail with Gelous and then dipping it in some light purple microbeads I got at Michael's. 

So have you ever rocked a funky french? Do you need tip-guides or are you able to free-hand the tips (in which case I am jealous as I have NO free hand nail art skills whatsoever)...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

2 different neutral looks

Hell must have frozen over because I've been doing nothing but neutral looks lately. It all started last week when I picked up the E.L.F. eyeshadow quad in Butternut at Target (seriously, reach between your couch cushions, dig out 4 quarters and go get this quad. It RULES and, at 25 cents per shadow, you can't friggin beat the price!!)...ever since then, I've been pulling out all my neutral shadows and playing with them to make up for neglecting them in favor of all my bright shades for so long. Here are 2 contrasting looks that have come out of that experimentation--one more dramatic and one more subtle but still defined.

LOOK 1--on the dramatic side:

Here's a neutral look I did with the aforementioned Butternut quad. It's a soft cut crease with a pop of bright coral/pink gloss on the lips (hey I can't quit my colors cold turkey!!)...I've also been testing out the new Revlon Colorstay Whipped foundation and have been LOVING it so far (will write a full review on this soon).

Revlon Colorstay Whipped Foundation in Buff
ELF Studio HD Powder
Physicians Formula Bronzer (this one is from years ago, the label's gone and I can't remember what it was called).
Milani blush in Dolce Luminoso
ELF Golden bronzer used as highlight

NYX HD eyeshadow base
ELF shadow quad in Butternut
Jordana Fabuliner in Brown
Rimmel Spark It Up liner in Tiger Eye
Maybelline The Falsies Flared mascara
ELF brow kit Medium
ELF brow gel

Revlon Colorburst lipgloss in Strawberry

LOOK 2--much less dramatic:

Here is a much more subtle neutral look with just some light contouring in the crease & at the outer corners of my eyes. Since the shadow was so understated, I went for a bold red lip and some cat-eye liner. I was being lazy this particular day and decided to skip liquid foundation in favor of a dusting of Physicians Formula Healthy Wear powder foundation.


Physicians Formula Healthy Wear Powder Foundation in Translucent Light
Old mystery Physicians Formula Bronzer
L'Oreal Charming Cockatoo's Blush (from last fall's LE Project Runway collection--which you can still track down on Ebay)
ELF Golden Bronzer used as highlight


NYX Nude on Nude palette
Jordana Fabuliner in Brown
Maybelline The Falsies Flared Mascara
ELF Brow kit medium

Revlon Cherries in the Snow (can't get more classic, iconic red than that!)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Glitter Me Up Friday Vol. 6!

It's Friday again!!! Time to get our glittah on...

Last week I showed you China Glaze Optical Illusion from the Prismatics collection, so this week I thought I'd show one of the other Prismatics I have: Full Spectrum--

Ain't she a beaut?? Of course, she'd look even more beautiful if the sun was actually out the day I shot these pics :::once again shakes fist at gloomy New England skies::::

Full Spectrum is a lavendar-toned glitter polish with larger multi-colored glitters mixed in. This one has more of a multi-chromatic shift than Optical Illusion does--you can see flashes of pink, purple, silver and gold depending on the angle you view the polish at. Of course, my camera + cloudy skies = nary a colorshift caught on film (or, um, pixels in this case)...but in person, it's there. It's not super strong but it's still noticeable and pretty.

The formula on this polish, like Optical Illusion, is thin and easy to work with. The above photos are 2 coats with one coat of Seche Vite on top. It could have used a coat of Gelous to smooth it out and make it look more glassy but I was being lazy. These polishes thankfully don't suffer from typical glitter polish thickness, goopy-ness or clumpy-ness (yes I illegitimately add -ness onto words cuz I'm articulate like that). 

Thanks be to China Glaze for providing us with so many pretties!

What's that you say? You want MOAR glitter? Then go check out my fellow GMUF participants:

Kelly of Kelly's Kolors
Shaina of SG Nails

Thursday, June 14, 2012

technicolor trainwreck

Sometimes I think I like color a little too much. Observe my recent FOTD

Looks like I got jumped by a box of Crayolas. Oh well. The kids in my son's class seem to get a kick out of it. I'm actually amazed by the amount of  people who stop and tell me how awesome my hair color is. Back in the day (we're talking mid 90s) when I used to rock hair like this, I got more people calling me a clown and a circus freak than anything else...I guess peeps are just more open to crazy colors these days. I suspect celebs like Nicki Minaj and Katy Perry have something to do with this. Or maybe it's just the collective evolution of people's judgement of non-conformity...pfffft, yea right. It's totally Katy.

Anyhoo, here's the products I used

--Almay Clear Complexion foundation in Casper White Ivory
--ELF Studio HD powder (omg LOVING THIS!!!)
--Milani Baked Blush in Coralina
--some random old Physicians Formula bronzer (trying to show older stuff in my stash more love)

Garnier Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller
NYX HD eyebase
Wet N Wild Color Icon trio in I Dream of Greenie
Wet N Wild Color Icon trio in Fauna (from their Spring 2012 LE set which is still available in stores)
Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel liner in black (new holy grail gel liner!!)
ELF Mineral eye brightener 
Maybelline The Falsies Flared mascara
ELF brow kit in medium

L'Oreal Colour Riche in Sea Fleur (SO obsessed with this lippie lately)

I never cease to be amazed at the awesomeness of Wet N Wild shadows. They're so vivid and pigmented. I've been making it a point to grab a few trios & using them exclusively to see what color combos I can come up with. I switch the trios out every few days to give my redonk ColorIcon stash good rotation.

Apparently, buying "drugstore" cosmetics in a drugstore is gonna cost you!

Ok, so my latest lipstick obsession is L'Oreal Colour Riche in Sea Fleur--it is the PERFECT blue-based magenta and the formula is amazing (non-drying and does NOT feather--YAY). When I find lipstick shades I love, I feel compelled to hoard them get a back-up or 2 in case they are discontinued. My desire to hoard back up Sea Fleur led me to do a google shopping search for the shade and when I did, I noticed the massive price difference between a tube of Colour Riche lipstick depending on where you get it. That prompted me to search a bunch of other products that I have and love just to see the differences in everyday prices store by store. That search prompted me to start a short list of all my favorite cosmetics and their varying prices in 4 of the stores I go to the most--Target, Walgreens, CVS and Walmart. Soooo you wanna see the list? K, here goes:

I originally made up a pretty little chart for this but I'm too stupid to figure out how to get the chart out of my word processing program and into my post (I know, I'm lame--I really have no business trying to run a blog), so I'm just going to show a color-coded list. By the way, I am in no way trying to present this as complete list and I know prices vary by location. I'm just providing it as an example of  the different prices of random products at different places. 

Walmart price = blue
Target price = Red 
Walgreens price = green (get it hehe--yea I'm a raging dork)
CVS = purple

L’oreal Colour Riche lipstick~~~~~~~~~~$5.97~~~~~$5.99~~~~~$9.49~~~~~$8.99

Maybelline Lasting Drama gel liner~~~~~$6.94~~~~~$7.94~~~~~$9.99~~~~~$9.99

Maybelline Falsies mascara~~~~~~~~~~~$5.94~~~~~~$5.04~~~~~$7.49~~~~$7.49

Revlon Lip Butter~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~$6.48~~~~~~$6.49 ~~~~$7.49~~~~$7.49

Sally Hansen Insta-dri polish~~~~~~~~~~$3.58~~~~~~$3.59~~~~~$4.99~~~~$4.99

Maybelline Color Tattoo shadow~~~~~~~~$5.84~~~~~~$5.84~~~~~$6.99~~~~$6.99

L’Oreal  Infallible eyeshadow~~~~~~~~~~$6.97~~~~~~$6.99~~~~~$7.99~~~~$7.99

Covergirl Lashblast 24 hr mascara ~~~~~$7.98~~~~~~$7.94~~~~~~$9.99~~~~$9.99

Almay Clear Complexion Foundation~~~~$11.73~~~~~$11.99~~~~~$13.99~~~$13.99

Garnier Anti-Dark Circle eye roller~~~~~$9.97~~~~~~11.99~~~~~$12.99~~~$12.99

Revlon Colorburst lipgloss~~~~~~~~~~~~$5.94~~~~~~~6.49~~~~~$7.49~~~~~$7.49

Revlon Colorstay foundation~~~~~~~~~~~~$9.98~~~~~~$9.99~~~~$12.99~~~~$13.49

Essie nail polish~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~$7.75~~~~~~$7.79~~~~~$8.00 ~~~~$8.00

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable balmstains~~~n/a (haven’t found these here yet)~~$7.69~~$8.99 ~~~$8.99

Are you as amazed as I am by some of those price differences?? Granted drugstores have frequent BOGO sales and rewards programs and whatnot, but instead of saving you money, it looks like they might just be giving you BACK the money you could have already saved by just buying your makeup at the everyday price with no savings gimmicks at a "big box" store. Use coupons at these stores on top of the lower prices and you'll keep even MORE of your money.

I know I, for one, will be much less likely to go hauling at drugstores from now on...

Monday, June 11, 2012

E.L.F. Swatch-a-thon Vol. 3: E.L.F. Mineral loose shadows

Next up on my E.L.F. product swatch-a-thon (you can catch Vol. 1 of the swatch-a-thon here and Vol. 2 here) are my E.L.F. mineral eyeshadows. 

I ordered all the black-cap shadows from the E.L.F.  website about a year ago. The white-cap shadows were all part of a $5.00 "smoky eye" trio I recently picked up from the much-expanded E.L.F. stock at Target. (As mentioned before, what prompted me to swatch all my E.L.F. stuff are both Target's recent expansion of E.L.F. stock and Dollar Tree's recent addition of E.L.F. products to its stores).

Angelic, shade.

Angelic is a off-white/cream sort of shade. It's a shimmer and the shimmer particles are rather large and flaky. This was one of the shadows from the "smoky eye" trio.

Seductive, shade

Seductive, sun. 

Seductive is a matte dark grey with some very sparse shimmer particles thrown in. It is also part of the smoky eye trio.

Smoldering, shade

Smoldering, sun

Smoldering is a shimmering light grey shade. I wouldn't quite call it silver because it lacks the luster of a true silver shadow. It is the third shade from the smoky eye trio.

Outdoorsy, shade

Outdoorsy, sun

Outdoorsy is a blackened green shade with forest green and bronzy shimmer particles.

Earthy, shade

Earthy, sun

Earthy is a golden sage shimmer.

Caffeinated, shade

Caffeinated, sun

Caffeinated is a medium brown shimmer with bronze flash. 

Elegant, shade

Elegant is a nude shimmer and is the best out of this whole lot.

Dreamy, shade

Dreamy, sun

Dreamy is a greyed-out teal shimmer and it's my second favorite out of the lot. 

swatch order: Dreamy, Elegant, Caffeinated, Earthy, Outdoorsy, Smoldering, Seductive, Angelic

Swatch order same as above. All swatches are over E.L.F. Essential eyeshadow primer

All in all, I'm afraid I'm not very impressed with these. They're not all that pigmented. The color they are in the jar is no where near the color you get when you swatch them--whether you "pat" the color on or sweep it on. Perhaps they'd be better foiled but, as loose shadows, they are really lacking for me. Outdoorsy looks very promising in the jar but, when swatched, it just turned black and most of the pretty green and bronzy shimmer vanished. And the same story can be told for pretty much all these shades. Whatever uniqueness they seemed to possess in the jar doesn't translate onto the skin. They just fall flat. Maybe I'm spoiled by all the gorgeous Indie loose shadows out there, but these shades just bore me. Elegant and Dreamy are the only ones that I don't regret buying. Elegant makes a nice inner corner/brow bone highlight and Dreamy looks very pretty when applied over a deeper teal base (I like to use it over Maybelline Color Tattoo in Tenacious Teal). It also looks pretty over a golden base. 

So, bottom line for me is I wish I'd skipped these. With all the Indie brands out there & their shimmering rainbows of loose shadow offerings, these E.L.F. shadows just don't stand a chance (it should be noted that I bought all but 3 of these shadows long before I had discovered the awesomeness of Indie makeup). Yea true they're only $3 a pop but there are lots of Indie brands that are also amazingly affordable who can give you so much more for your money. (Check my links page for a continually expanding list of Indie makeup brands. I add a link for every new brand that I try and love).

Sunday, June 10, 2012

NOTD stamped neon skittles!!

I'm sure you noticed by now that this summer, it's ALL about the neons. Neon clothes, neon accessories, neon nails--hell I'm even rockin neon hair. For my NOTD, I decided to make the most of the neon trend with this:


For this mani, I used 5 of 6 polishes from Color Club's Electro-candy collection, which is, pretty much, my favorite neon polish collection EVER! Super bright colors and awesome shimmer--what more can a girl ask for??  As usual, my camera can't even come close to catching the true color & shine of these. Thumb is Tangerine Scream; pointer finger is Pure Energy; middle finger is Ultra Violet; ring finger is What a Shock (my favorite from the collection--neon green with awesome aqua shimmer!; pinky is Volt of Light. All polishes are layered over white and topped off with a coat of Seche Vite

The stamping is done with Wet n Wild Black Creme. I can't remember the plate I used, though. I think it was a Red Angel plate. I didn't really like the way the stamping turned out. My nubbins are so nub-tastic that not enough of the image got onto my nails, so it just looks like random black markings. Oh well...

Do you have any of the Color Club Electro-Candy neons? Originally, I thought the new China Glaze neons would compare to these and possibly steal my heart away from them but, when I finally got the China Glaze polishes, I found the Color Club ones to be much better. I'm working on a comparison post of some of the shades, so stay tuned for that!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Glitter Me Up Friday, Vol. 5

Friday is upon us once again and, around here, that means GLITTER (not that I don't also have glitter every other day of the week)! This week, I thought I'd show off one of the China Glaze Prismatic glitters. Behold the sparkly goodness that is Optical Illusion:

It's true, this polish is not holographic. Nor is this one particularly duo-chromey but you know what? I still love it! It's a silvery aqua gorgeous glitter fest. I mean, LOOK at all the different colors we got going on here. And the formula is SO nice. No underwear here (ok, that didn't sound right)--just my usual basecoat (Beauty Secrets nail hardener), 2 nice, easy coats of Optical Illusion, 1 coat of Gelous and then 1 coat of Seche Vite. 

I love how shiny and complex this glitter is--even if it is not the flashy, holo-duochrome crazyness that we were all dreaming of when news of this collection started circulating late last year. I also have Polarized, Liquid Crystal and Full Spectrum from this collection. Liquid Crystal and Full Spectrum definitely are more duochromatic--but really these polishes are beautiful no matter what. Now I just gotta try one of 'em over black!

Aaaaand that's GMUF for this week! Be sure to check out my fellow glitter geeks:

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Swatch and review: Revlon Kissable Just Bitten Balm Stains in Adore and Romantic

Hey, look who's back! I'm sorry I haven't been able to post as frequently as I had hoped. Stupid life--all gettin in the way of blogging and shizz...

Today I have 2 more swatches of 2 more Revlon Kissable Just Bitten Balm Stains (that's one hell of a long product name, isn't it?) Romantic and Adore.

Romantic on top, Adore on bottom...

Adore left, Romantic right

Romantic Top, Adore bottom



For the record:  my camera insists on making Romantic and Adore look the same on my lips. In person there is definitely a difference!!

Romantic is a warm tomato red. It's very subtle. I'm not usually a fan of warm reds (I'm a blue-based red kinda girl) but I love the flush of color this gives me. My lips are fairly pigmented on their own and this shade just kicks that natural pigmentation up a few notches. 

Adore is another warm red--this one has more brown in it, though. It also has gold shimmer in it, as you can see in the tip shot above. However, that gold shimmer is not very noticeable once on the lips--you just get the slightest gold sheen. I was kinda bummed about that, but that's because I'm a glitter whore and love da shiny things. If you are less inclined to slather your face in sparkles than I am, you'll probably love the effect. 

The formula in these was the same as the other balm stains I reviewed (which you can see here and here--same awesome moisturizing properties, same lush feel on the lips, same shine, same pigmentation, same stainability, same ease of application, same minty hint....I am most definitely a HUGE fan. In fact, these babies are seriously threatening my lip butters' spot as "most favoritest lippie ever"...

So have you gotten any of these yet?