Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Nails

I wanted to do something special for New Years, and what does special entail? Glitter.

I wanted to use a simple black cream as a base color. The first one I found was Black Creme (fitting name for what I wanted, eh?) from Wet n Wild, so I just went for that. It only required 2 coats for opaque coverage but took its own sweet time to dry, so I don't think I would suggest/repurchase it. Any black polish would do.

Loads of people do black and silver for New Years, so I wanted to add something else to make it a bit different. I thought another cool toned glitter would make it more special but still 'blend' with the silver, so I grabbed a blue glitter.

The silver glitter is Tinsel from China Glaze and the blue is Absolutely Alice from OPI. I believe both of these are limited edition (though I know I've seen Tinsel still available in some places recently). No worries, though if you can't get these. Any silver and blue glitters would do.

Tinsel (China Glaze) and Absolutely Alice (OPI)
I tried to make the glitter thinner near the base of the nail and thicker as it got towards the tip. Silver was completely done first, then the blue.
It's very simple, but still really pretty.

I'm not looking forward to trying to remove this stuff later, but I'm going to enjoy the glittery goodness for now!

What are your New Years nails? I'd love to know!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Homer Simpson - Musical Muse

This has absolutely nothing to do with beauty, but this video really made me crack up so I wanted to share it with you!

So did Usher rip off Homer Simpson?

Nah. Probably not, but it's still pretty funny! : )

Hope it gave you a good giggle.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Acquisitions of the Day

A little note before the post:
I cannot stand the word 'haul', so I'm on a search for a new word. I'll try out 'acquisitions' for awhile and see how it goes!

And onto the stuff!

I did a bit of shopping this afternoon, and came out with some things that I wanted to share - 3 beauty items and an interesting extra!

1. Wet n Wild's Mineral Bronzer in Amber Glow that I've heard is a good dupe for a pretty exciting product! I'll try to do a post on it soon and let you know more about it.

2. A trio of Britney Spears fragrance roll-ons.
 I got this little set at WalMart. I'm not a huge fan of Britney's fragrances, but this set was 50% off along with the other holiday sets at WalMart so I got this for $7. I figured it was worth a go for that price.

3. Borghese's Fango Brillante Brightening Mud Mask
 These had just come in at my Costco, and Borghese makes my absolute favorite face mask! They had my mask there as well, but I'd never tried this one and I'm not completely out of my kind, so I decided to give this one a try.

And the non-beauty item

4. Every issue of National Geographic since 1888! Woah. (This was also from Costco.)
 I know the sticker says $45, but it's $20 off right now (and will be until the middle of January). This for $25? That is absolutely amazing, and no one can argue that it's not worth that!
 Not to be a big nerd, but I'm pretty excited about it : P

Have you gotten anything exciting lately?

And does anyone else not like the word haul?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Holiday 'French' Manicure

My final Christmas nails!

This time I used Jolly Holly and Mistletoe Kisses - both from China Glaze's Holiday collection this year.

Both polishes needed 2 coats.

I know it's not the best (I never claimed to be a professional! haha) and it's not the most ground breaking idea, but I like how it turned out. It was still festive but subtle enough to be appropriate for any sort of holiday party.

Hope you all (and Santa!) like it as well!

Did you do anything special on your nails for the holiday?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Snowflake Nails

In the spirit of the holidays, I decided to try something a bit more complicated with my nails (at least complicated for me). And here's what I came up with.

 In case you can't tell from the photo, those are silver snowflakes on top of the blue! Festive, aren't I? I used some stamping plates that I learned about from another excellent blogger, Stavroula, a few months ago.

The blue polish is Little Drummer Boy from China Glaze's Christmas collection and the silver is Silver Mercedes from Pure Ice - a brand you can find at WalMart for about $2 per bottle.

Both polishes only required one coat on the base colors which is what made me think they might do well for stamping. Drummer Boy didn't stamp as well as I'd hoped, leaving some sparse areas. But the silver - Wow!

This polish does amazingly well for stamping. Something I didn't know about stamping until I actually tried to do it is that not all polishes stamp well. Many of them aren't dense enough in one coat to make a clean image, and a light color that will stamp cleanly on a dark base is difficult to find. But this one did beautifully.

I've only tried a few other shades from Pure Ice, and I can definitely tell you that not all of their polishes are good for this, but SM is great if you want a silver stamping shade for a good price.

Hope you all like it!

Have you tried out nail stamping before? Any suggestions for other polishes that work well?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mascara Review: Maybelline Lash Stiletto Voluptuous

I don't feel like my expectations for a good mascara are too high - give me some volume without making my lashes look like tarantula legs. I know it's possible because I already have some that deliver!

However, this doesn't seem to stop me from looking for new ones. Maybe I'm always hoping for something that will perform a bit better than the ones I already turn to?

I'd heard quite a few people rave about the volume they get from Maybelline's Lash Stiletto mascara, so when I stumbled on it on clearance, I picked one up.
The applicator has a subtle S-shaped curve to it which I found extremely odd. I couldn't manage to show it well in the photo, but you can sort of see the curve I'm referring to. I can't figure out what the logic behind the shape was, and I actually found that this made it more difficult to get the applicator to fit into certain areas well (bases of outer lashes were a pain!). The look of the bristles also made me a bit nervous... a bit tarantula looking themselves, don't you think?

But did it volumize? Sort of...

Hello, awkward, up-close eye!

The product does build on itself very quickly to create volume, but it doesn't do it at all smoothly. In the photo, you can see that it gathers together very unevenly to create that awful tarantula effect. More coats could have been applied to make my lashes even thicker, but the clumping effect built faster than the volumizing so I stopped applying it before I started looking too scary! I tried this stuff for about 5 days thinking maybe I just need to get used to the brush, but my lashes always went tarantula.

The results of this mascara are thicker lashes that would probably look lovely from a distance, but up close it's a bit of a mess. I don't quite understand why so many people love this, but to each their own.

I know I won't be purchasing it again.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Rediscovered - Coastal Scents' Shadow in Frenzy

I had a revelation the other day - I have a lot of makeup...

No, it's not exactly a new one, I actually have this epiphany every couple of months. However, this particular time made me want to make more of a point to explore the things in my collection - really dig to the back of drawers and possibly find hidden gems (especially good since it'd be a gem I've already paid for!)

Well the plan has worked, and I've already rediscovered a really beautiful product that I'd almost forgotten about.

Most of you probably already know the name Coastal Scents for their large shadow palettes (ones that you can also buy on ebay for less even when including shipping), but did you know they sell lots of other things?

Back when CS was the big thing on youtube, I decided to put in an order of some of their other products that weren't being discussed much - just out of curiosity. One of these items was the loose shadow in Frenzy.

Frenzy isn't an overly exciting shade. It's a shimmery champagney neutral similar to the likes of MAC's All That Glitters and Stila's Kitten. Let's be honest, that's how I like them!

Beyond being a beautiful color, the real reason I love this shadow is its ease of use. Some loose shadows can be terribly difficult to work with. Whether this is due to the particles being too large leading to excessive fallout or a refusal to stick, I have no patience for a shadow that doesn't deliver - I own too many shadows that are good to deal with it.

Frenzy doesn't give me any issues. The particles are very finely milled, leaving the shadow extremely soft and smooth and leading to very little fallout when used correctly. It also has loads of finely milled shimmer throughout that gives a lovely glimmery effcct, and it has a very nice light gold sheen when direct light hits it.

A little bit also goes a long way. This little jar will last me a very long time.

In all, I am really loving this shadow and am so glad I rediscovered it. Being so pigmented and easy to use, this will make an excellent product when I need to get my makeup done quickly.

If you're making an order with Coastal Scents, I would definitely suggest looking into this shade!

WnW Single Series: Brulee

Wet n Wild's single in Brulee

*no primer or base used
Out of all of Wet n Wild's singles, this is the only matte in the bunch. I know that the swatch is a bit difficult to see, but this is due to my skin tone, not the quality of the shadow. It has nice texture and pretty good pigmentation.

Although it's not an exciting shade, it's one that I get some of the most use from. If you're like me and aren't a fan of shimmery brow highlights, this shadow might work very nicely for you.

However, I do want to point out that this shadow is extremely close to the lightest shade in Wet n Wild's Vanity ColorIcon palette with the palette's shade swatching only a touch lighter. It's almost an indiscernable difference, and I had to look extremely closely to see it. If you have that palette then you don't really need this single.

Price: $1.99

Saturday, December 18, 2010

WnW Single Series: Envy

Wet n Wild single in Envy

*no primer or base used
This is my second favorite WnW single after Nutty. It has a nice, creamy texture and excellent pigmentation. The swatch only required one swipe to get that coverage. Pretty good!

The shimmer in the pan doesn't show up much when swatched, but rather it has an overall green sheen to it. This is an absolutely gorgeous color and would make a nice addition to anyone's collection.

Price: $1.99

Friday, December 17, 2010

WnW Single Series: Lagoon

Wet n Wild single in Lagoon

*no primer or base used

Lagoon is a bright, almost electric, blue. It's not as smooth and creamy as the previously reviewed Nutty single, and the swatch did require a bit of building.

In the pan, it does appear to have a bit of finely milled sparkle, but this doesn't really translate over when swatched. Instead, it has an overall light blue sheen to it.

It's a nice color if you're a fan of brights; and though the quality isn't as ideal as Nutty, it still has a low enough price tag to justify a purchase if you're at all interested in it.

Price: $1.99

Thursday, December 16, 2010

WnW Single Series: Nutty

Since I just finished off my reviews on Wet n Wild's holiday palettes, I thought I'd do some more within the brand and make their 7 shadow singles my next extended project to tackle.

To begin with a bang, I'm going to start with my, and possibly that of every other WnW consumer, absolute favorite shade in their singles line.


*no base or primer used
This swatch only required one swipe across my hand. Just one! So besides being a gorgeous, and very possibly universally flattering, neutral, it has texture and pigmentation that is often hard to come by in the drugstore. It is extremely smooth and creamy, blends easily, and is just all around gorgeous. There is some silver shimmer in this, but it is finely milled enough to not be garish or showy - it just adds a touch of sparkle. I would feel very comfortable comparing the quality of this shade with my Stila and Urban Decay shadows minus the overwhelming shimmer that many of the more expensive counterparts often have. Absolutely gorgeous.

And at $1.99, you really can't go wrong with this one!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wet n Wild's Holiday Palette in Sugar Plum Fairy

We've finally arrived at the end. Here is the fourth and final holiday palette from Wet n Wild.

Sugar Plum Fairy

Out of the four palettes, this is the only one that I'm not enthusiastic about. While the two on the right side swatch pretty nicely and are lovely colors, the other four are dissapointing. The medium rosey purple next to the dark shade is pigmented, but it's so light that I am concerned it wouldn't show up well on most people, and the other three don't perform well on their own at all.

Even if they all did perform well, I also feel that this is the least universally flattering combination of colors as well. Being very fair and cool toned myself, I think I will be able to make these colors work, but I truly don't know if the same can be said for most other people.

Unless you really love those two colors on the right, I think you could skip this one.

You can see my posts on all four of the holiday palettes here.

Removing Glittery Nail Polish

As much as I love the look of glittery polish, I often avoid wearing it because it's a pain and a half to remove.

You know what I'm talking about - lots of time spent with cotton balls and polish remover rubbing and rubbing with little result to show for it. I'll admit that I often resort to peeling it off, but this is a poor solution because thin layers of your nails will peel up with the polish leaving nails weakened

I've seen people talk about a removal method using tin foil before but had never seriously considered trying it until I started trying to remove Party Hearty (shown in my last post). With its huge chunks of glitter, I knew it would be loads of fun trying to remove that stuff.

So I decided to give the method a go.

To do this, you will need:
 - 10 cotton balls
 - tin foil torn into 10 large squares (mine were approx. 3x3 inches). I suggest tearing all of these before you get started.
 - nail polish remover
 - paper towel (my addition)
 What to do
 - put some remover on a cotton ball
 - place cotton ball on one of your nails so that the saturated part covers the entire nail bed
 - create a 'sleeve' by putting the tip of the finger into the center of a foil square, then squeeze the foil around the finger so that it holds the cotton ball in place
 - and wait.

The size of the foil square isn't critical - it just has to be large enough to securely hold the cotton in place.

After you've made the sleeve, you can squeeze it to shape securely to your finger, but know that some remover may seep out - this is where the paper towel (or towel, napkin, etc) comes in handy. I got tired of constantly getting the remover all over my hands, so I put the paper towel around my finger before I shaped the foil so that excess remover would be absorbed.

I've seen some people who have used pure acetone say they only had to wait 4 or 5 minutes for the polish to be completely removed. I, however, used non-acetone remover, and had to wait closer to 30 minutes.

When you think your nails are done, press the foil against the nail and twist as you pull the foil off. As you remove it, I'd suggest  not squeezing it so hard that you lose the shape of the'sleeve'. That way, if you remove your finger to find that polish is still there, you'll be able to simply put your finger back into the foil. Just make sure the cotton is still over the nail!

After I pulled off my foil, I was left with this -

A small tinge of red still left over, but the polish is mostly all gone. Quickly going over my nails with a new, soaked cotton ball was enough to remove it.

Granted that the process still took quite awhile, but it only took a few minutes to set up all the foil sleeves, and then I just got to sit back and wait. A good alternative to the old methods I think.

Hope this helps some of you.

Let me know if you try it out!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Nail of the Moment - Naughty and Nice with Party Hearty

Naughty and Nice

Party Hearty

On its own, Naughty and Nice is just a deep, dull red and not terribly Christmasy; but throw Party Hearty on top and it's decked out for the holidays (although I think you'd get the same effect throwing PH over anything!)

2 coats were applied of each.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wet n Wild's Holiday Palette in Night Elf

No real introduction necessary. Here's the Night Elf palette from Wet n Wild's holiday collection.

On to the pictures!

All of the shadows have a smooth, relatively creamy feel to them except for the black shade which feels a bit dry but still applies pretty nicely - similarly to how the dark blue in the Snow Sprite palette applies. Even though the red is creamy, it doesn't apply quite as smoothly as the others and would require a bit more building to get even coverage.

You have probably heard that the darker brown shade with the teal duochrome is a good dupe for MAC's Club eyeshadow. I don't own Club, so I can't confirm this first hand, though I've seen a few side by side comparisons that other bloggers have done, and it looks pretty good to me.

And of course, this set also comes with a liner - this one a black with silver sparkle. I've said before that I'm not the biggest fan of these liners but, let's face it, we're all in it for the shadows.

and a look

The other day, I chose to do a look using the three shades on the neutral side of the palette.

You ladies are clever enough to know which went where. ; )

It's certainly nothing ground breaking, but it works very well for a neutral eye that needs to be done on the quick!

If you want to see all of my posts on these Wet n Wild Christmas palettes, click here!

*all swatches were done with no primer or base
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