Saturday, April 30, 2011

Anastasia Beverly Hills: Brow Enhancing Serum

I am a victim of myself. Being a teen once long ago with a brand new pair of tweezers. I ended up with an odd looking pair of eyebrows... and wish I left my caterpillars alone...

I stopped plucking about two years ago... because there wasn't much to pluck. I never considered that over-plucking my brows would ever become an issue, or that they would stop growing back... but they kind of did. My brows are light in color, so my butchery isn't as noticeable, but it's there... and I've been relying on brow cosmetics to even things out.

So on one of my trips to Sephora, I spot Anastasia's Brow Enhancing Serum and think to myself  "well why not?". The serum is a greenish gel, that is odorless, and once applied colorless. It dries (or absorbs) rather quickly, is non-sticky, and does not leave a residue.

I applied it twice a day, every morning and every evening after cleansing my face. As you can see I used up almost all of it. I wish I've taken a before picture, because I'm not sure about the effects. It might be all in my head, but my brows do feel slightly healthier, and do feel a tad fuller... however the change is not drastic enough to jump for joy.

So will I repurchase? Well I'm not running out to get it. I'll wait a few weeks and see if my brows remain as they are or if their condition deteriorates. Mostly because this little tube is pricey $36.00 USD... that's a lot to pay for a glorified brow gel. So I'll try to keep a closer eye on my brows... and note any changes.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Le Métier de Beauté Nail Lacquer - Neoteric Leaf (nail polish swatch)

Jay: There is a package here for you...
Me: Where from?
Jay: Neiman Marcus. What's in it?
Me: Probably nail polish...
Jay: How many bottles?
Me: Just one...
Jay: No seriously, the box is huge, how many did you order?
Me: ... What do you mean huge?... I swear only one... open it...
Jay: (opens the box)...This is ridiculous.... 
I have to agree... pictured below...
 
Le Métier de Beauté Nail Lacquer  comes in the smallest bottle possibly I think... only 4ml but for a whopping $15.00 USD... ouch!!! But I wanted to add at least one to my collection. So I chose Neoteric Leaf for the following reasons:
1. On NM website the color legend indicated this shade is a beautiful dark green creme... not so you'll see... and it's no longer listed on NM website... did they sell out?
2. I could not find a color swatch of this shade online, and so I was intrigued... 
Below a comparison of size to a couple of standards... and as you can see the shade is not a creme...
 I see a lot of shimmer... but looking a the bottle is also a deceiving indicator of the shade...
 Application is a bit tricky, simply because the brush is kind of small. The polish dries quickly, but that doesn't help when you're not done painting your nail... Pictured below, a layer of base coat, 2 coats of Neoteric Leaf, and a layer of top coat... The color... unique... The base is green, but when light changes, it can go from a dark blue base, to gray, to black... the shimmer sometimes all silver, sometimes multi-color... I'm so confused by this shade and so in love with it at the same time... (clicking on the images should enlarge them)
flash
flash... the rainbow of shimmer is so gorgeous
daylight... see how the shade is all grayed out and the shimmer is all silver...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Matt & Nat

Matt & Nat is my all time favorite bag brand. I don't want anything else, no luxury brand is calling my name. I look at them, and even if I could afford one, I would not purchase.  All I need to lug my junk around is my M&N. The price is right too, especially since I can wait for a sale. I'm not one to need the latest trend in bag fashion.

Matt & Nat is a Montreal (Canadian) based company. It originated as a project idea for a marketing class that eventually became reality. All bags are vegan, made from recycled materials. These are the prettiest, most unique, fabulous bags out there... well that's just personal biased opinion :)

Below are three currently in my collection. Each one was named by the company, but I no longer remember the names. However, since I also name my bags (regardless of the company labels), I present: 
Abby... love her, but she turned out to be a tad too big, even for me. Things would get lost in there... however I still use her on occasion...
Tiffany... turned out to be too small. All the crap I love to take with me each day finally took its toll on the zipper...
Connie... currently in use... love her... perfect fit...
As compared to my body... I had such a bad hair day, hahahahaha....
Most of the time I carry my purse on my arm (bent 90 degrees), not my shoulder. Because of that my right arm, is insanely stronger than my left... I've been trying to even things out a bit by lifting free weights at the gym... hopefully it will help...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Deborah Lippmann - Razzle Dazzle (nail polish swatch)

This gorgeous little bottle was a gift from my sister, Kinga. Luckily without having access to my lacquer spreadsheet, she got me a shade I don't own. I love DL polishes, and this one looks much better in person than it photographs.
daylight
 At first looking a the bottle I thought it was a black jelly base with magenta glitter. But once I started applying, I realized it's a very, very dark (blackened) raspberry-grape jelly base with magenta glitter, which under certain light conditions appears red or magenta-red.
flash
 Formula is awesome. Smooth application all the way. Pictured below, a layer of base coat, 3 coats of Razzle Dazzle, and 2 coats of a top coat.... nails feel smooth to the touch...
flash
daylight
daylight

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lush: The Joy of Jelly

$10.95 CAD for a 240g tub. Love the scent: ylang, jasmine, rose, lily... heavenly. But I don't like the actual product as a shower wash. I tried it straight from the tub and I also tried freezing it. When you freeze it, it still remains soft to the touch, it doesn't get rock hard, it just gets cold and firm. I don't know it was slippery, and I just couldn't get myself to like it. 
So while I will not repurchase it... I will use it up in my baths. I think it will be a nice compliment to a bath melt, or a bath bomb.
I also love the swirls... looks like dessert... I want to eat it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hello Kitty - Blueberry (nail polish swatch)

I got this polish a while back. It has been waiting it's turn in my polish drawer, and Easter weekend seemed the right time for it. The lacquer has split a bit, but nothing a good shaking didn't fix... yes I shake my polishes, and shake them well... it's only air bubbles... The bottle is super cute...
 The color is a perfect opaque pastel periwinkle blue. The formula was quite nice to work with... perfect coverage in two coats (probably one if I was good enough)...
 On my ring finger, a coat of China Glaze Fairy Dust... that lacquer is one of my faves for a touch of sparkle...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

SheaTerra Organics Moroccan Mud

I purchased this online a few months back from Shea Terra Organics website. It's just such a feel good website. By purchasing their products you support animal conservation, sustainable ingredients, free trade & empowerment. I don't know if they carry this particular product anymore but I'm sure they have something like it. I also don't remember what it cost, but whatever it was, I know I have no regrets, this is a very generous 16oz jar of fun... This is my body mask...
It comes in powder form. You scoop out the amount you want and mix it with any liquid you want: water, milk, honey, rose water, or anything else you can think of. Then you smother it on... try not to touch anything... and rinse
The only ingredient listed on my jar is pure ghassool mineral clay. It softens your skin while it draws out impurities. And you get to let your inner child play with mud once again...
I'll be sad when I use it all up...

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Inglot - 971 & Nicole by OPI - Step 2 the Beat of My Heart (nail polish swatch)

This is a perfect Easter combo. Inglot doesn't name their shades, they simply number them. This gorgeous lavender (#971) has very, very fine shimmer in it, that gives it a pretty pearl like finish. Step 2 the Beat of My Heart are chunky heart shaped pink and purple pieces and some fine glitter. Even though it looks packed getting one heart shape out can be a bit of dipping work. I wanted 3 so I dipped and brushed them off on the inside neck of the bottle, then scooped them all up in one go.
 Pictured bellow base coat, 3 coats of 971, a coat of Step 2 the Beat of My Heart on my ring finger, and a top coat.
natural light
flash... you can see the fine shimmer... sort of

Friday, April 22, 2011

JUARA Candlenut Body Creme

Jay went for a pedicure at our favorite spa. I asked him for a tube of Juara hand cream, he came back with a jar of body cream. It's ok, I prefer a different hand cream anyways... and I've always meant to try the body creme...

This is a very rich body cream, perfect for dry skin, anyone whose epidermis takes a beating during cold winter months, or anyone who just wants something super moisturizing. This product is thick, but non-greasy, it leaves my skin feeling comfortable, and silky-smooth.

Other than the buttery decadence of this product, I simply adore the scent. Of course I can't describe it in terms of notes and such... I can only describe scents in terms of emotions and mental images they evoke. This is exotic, feminine, relaxing, and I also associate Jay with it :)

There is a little drawback tough... a 7.50 oz (213 g) retails for $45.00 CAD... still when winter rolls around once again, I will most likely invest in another jar...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dior Vernis - Gris Montaigne & Lancôme - Disco Silver (nail polish swatch)

Both of these colors are from the respective spring 2011 makeup lines. The silver cap on the Dior polish slips off so you are left holding a nice manageable brush. Not so with the Lancôme one, but it wasn't awkward to use anyways, but then again I did only one nail with it.
 Gray is my favorite color. So I'm totally enjoying this shade. The Dior formula is also a definite winner, smooth, creamy, easy to work with; and I quite like their flat brush... 3 strokes and my nail was painted. Pictured below two coats of Dior.
 On my ring finger one coat of Lancôme's Disco Silver. This is not a polish I'd wear on it's own. A bit much; and I probably have to do a few coats to achieve opacity. But I like it as an accent. Silver sparkles that spread quite evenly. There is no dimension to these pieces, no matter what light or angle, they are simply little silver flecks. I put a coat of Essie's to dry for top coat, and my ring fingernail feels nice and smooth to the touch.
 Below... natural light... but it was a rainy, cool, dreary day... My favorite weather :)... this was the shade to wear...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Lush: Sex Bomb bath bomb

Jasmine, clary sage, and ylang-ylang... sweet and flowery. This bath bomb also contains powdered soy milk, so your water turns an opaque pink color.

Relaxing, soothing, softening, soaking heaven... bath time is my favorite time :)

The rose in the center of this treat disintegrated in my water...

The only drawback... it left a bit of a purple residue on the sides of my tub... no biggie, easy clean up... but thought I should point it out...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Estée Lauder - Shimmering Bronze (nail polish swatch)

Estée Lauder has one of the prettiest nail polish bottles out there. I love the cube, and it's really heavy for it's size. Shimmering Bronze is a part of the summer 2011 line. The formula for this shade was nice and smooth; application was easy and even. Pictured below Shimmering Bronze and OPI's Shatter. I don't know how I feel about shatter quite yet. You need to be able to apply it in one smooth stroke, going over is not a good idea, and do not apply a second coat... messy. I'm not a huge fan of a matte finish, so my shatter has a layer of topcoat over it.
 Bronzey and shimmery... this shade is nothing original, but still it's a welcome addition to my collection...

Monday, April 18, 2011

Chantecaille Iridescent Eye Shade in Sel

So Jay and I were at Holt Renfrew a few weeks back, I was exchanging a Bobbi Brown item. He wandered off... as I finish my transaction, he appears and says "Come look at this..." He takes me to the Chantecaille counter and points to their limited edition Sea Turtle Palette...
Jay: Look they have turtles...
Me: mh-hm
Jay: Do you like it?
Me: It's pretty...
Jay: It helps the turtles...
Me: What?
Jay: When you buy it part of the proceeds go the help the turtles. Do you want it?
Me: No.
Jay: They also have tigers and a whale?
Me: No, thank you.
Jay: Are you sure?
SA: Don't you want to help the turtles?
Me: No I don't want to help the turtles.
Jay: She doesn't want to help the turtles...
Me: But I would like Sel...
I know many out there adore the Sea Turtle Palette, but even-though it's limited edition, I'm not one of them. It's the overspray. It's a bit of a pet peeve of mine, I don't know why but I just don't like it. However my single eye shadow purchase is to die for...
I'm at a loss of words to describe it... this picture has to do all the talking. I'm just going to point out that this is pure silk for your eyelids... I still don't want turtles, but I might give in if they ever have gorillas...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

LORAC aquaPrime makeup primer

This was a my first primer purchase a while back. It was a long decision process, because there is so much out there.  I settled for Lorac aquaPrime because it's water based, silicone free, and recommended for acne prone skin. It also doesn't contain any parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, synthetic dyes, petro-chemicals, or phthalates. This primer also "contains sodium hyaluronate, which hydrates and helps diminish the appearance of fine lines, creating an ultra smooth canvas for perfect, long-lasting, luminous makeup."

One of my favorite features of this primer is the packaging. I love upside down containers, somehow I feel reassured that no product will be left behind. The primer is a clear gel, sort of like a hand sanitizer in appearance and consistency. It applies rather easily, absorbs relatively quickly, and isn't sticky.

It also didn't do much for me. It didn't smooth out my skin any better, or make my makeup last any longer. So this is definitely not a repurchase. At $31.00 USD per tube, this is more of a purchase regret. Still I'm slowly using it up, on days when I do easy, lazy, makeup (usually weekends)... and once done I won't be going back for it.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Boscia Green Tea Blotting Linens

I didn't purchase this item, it was one of those 100 point trade ins at Sephora. I traded in a few times, because these are my favorite blotting sheets. I've tried Johnson & Johnson and Shiseido before. Johnson & Johnson were the cheapest, Shiseido were nice, but Boscia comes out on top.
What makes these little oil absorbing sheets better than the rest in my opinion is that they are made of only one thing. That's right the ingredient list is simply composed of Green Tea. From the back of my package "Made from finely-woven leaf fibers of the exotic Abaca Tree Plant and infused with one of nature's most powerful antioxidants, Green Tea, to help soothe and freshen your skin."
Once I run through my samples, I will most likely repurchase. These things are handy to have... and they work really well as lipstick blotters as well...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sally Hansen Nailgrowth Miracle - Fearless Fog (nail polish swatch)

This was another grocery store purchase... I believe it retailed around $5.00 CAD. I can't really say anything about its claim of being a nail growth miracle product but I do love this color; even if this color is nothing original. Plenty of variations on this shade out there; still it's totally right up my alley, a grayed out purple creme. The formula is outstanding, very opaque, creamy, and smooth. If I had more skill I could probably get away with one coat, but I'm not and I also feel two coats just look better anyways. I also really like the brush, a bit on the big side, flat but compact. Made the application a breeze... now if I could only exert a bit more control over the applying hand :)

Pictured below Fearless Fog and China Glaze Fairy Dust which I used on my ring finger, as an accent.
 
 Excuse the messy cuticles (I'm working on them), and please overlook my inability to stay within the lines (I'm working on that too)... and enjoy this gorgeous shade :)
no flash - natural light
using flash

 sunlight

Thursday, April 14, 2011

SpaRitual Nail Polish

Jay was near a Murale this past weekend and asked me what I wanted. I told him, but they didn't have it, however he did not come back empty handed. These are my first SpaRitual polishes. I really like the packaging, the fact that this brand is vegan, the polishes are free of dbp, toluene, formaldehyde, and formaldehyde resin.

I painted two of my nails, one with each shade just to check them out. I did not use a base coat. Next day removed them and YIKES, the dark green stained my nail yellow (I refer to it as a tobacco nail now), and the light one stained my other nail blue.  So a word of caution, lovely shades, but use a base coat. Proper swatches coming up in the future.
 And on the back of the package....
... isn't it lovely... I am so planting this...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Joe Fresh Style: Twilight (nail polish swatch)

Select Loblaws stores in Toronto (I'm not sure about the rest of Canada) carry Joe Fresh Style line of cosmetics and fashion. I was grocery shopping one day, did not intend to purchase any polish, but navigated down the beauty aisle anyways. Somehow entered a time warp and 30 minutes later walked out at the other end of the aisle with a dozen polishes in my basket, 6 by Joe Fresh. (Decided on takeout for dinner :))

Joe Fresh is a great line. The polishes are 3 for $10.00 CAD or 1 for $4.00 CAD. The bottles are only 6ml, but for someone who just passed the 150 mark with their collection, small bottles are a good thing. And when I saw Twilight, I just had to have it.

Twilight is a black-green jelly with gold flakes suspended in it. When I applied the first coat I was horrified. It was so ugly, thin, watery, streaky... I thought "Boy, this was a mistake..."... but after a third coat of polish, and a topcoat... I am in love... it is simply gorgeous... The flakes change color dimensions between copper, gold, green, teal, and blue... different light, different sparkle... I tried really hard to pick it up with my camera...came close, but it's so hard to capture a shade that shifts constantly...
You can see the gold, green, and blue flake color shifts in the above bottle pic. 

This fall Joe Fresh will be opening it's first flagship store in New York City (510 Fifth Avenue at 43rd Street), so if you have a chance I recommend trying their polishes, especially Twilight.

I picked up two bottles of this color. I figured eventually when or if I attain 100 followers I will include it as a part of a "Thank You" giveaway I will have. So stay tuned, this should happen in the next two years or so :)