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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Influenster Spring Fever VoxBox Unboxing Video

Guess what I got in the mail today? :) This is only my second time making a YouTube video, so please be kind. Also, please note that this is an unboxing; reviews will come a little later after I actually try the products, so as to give you better information. If you have any trouble playing the video below, try this link: (You will probably need to increase the volume if you can't hear my voice initially; again, I'm still learning.)
*I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.*

Thanks for watching!
*I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.*

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Fuzzy Jacqueline Mani Fail

This wasn't one big fail, but a series of small ones. I wasn't going to blog about it even, but I appreciate when bloggers show both their successes and failures. It looks better in the photos than it did in real life, so you may like it. All of the products that I used are good products.
*I received Zoya Jacqueline in a trade on, and I purchased the other products. I am not affiliated with nor compensated by any of the brands mentioned in this post.*

Zoya Jacqueline is a lovely creamy shade. I recommend it. Yeah, until it goes on my nails. Then it leans yellow and makes me look ill. Fail #1. I'm sorry, but that's why I didn't even take any photos of Jacqueline on its own. My husband and my brother don't comment much on the manis, but they both commented that Jacqueline was not a color for me.

My original plan was to add a couple of accent nails to Jacqueline, but once I saw how the shade was unflattering to me, I decided to use a Sally Hansen Fuzzy Coat on all of the nails.  

I thought that Sally Hansen Fuzz-Sea would be a cute overlay. It is a cute overlay, but in this circumstance it just made everything look more yellow! Yellow is good, but not on me. Fail #2. 

I've worked with bar glitter before. I learned that you can move it around a little around the edges so that you don't end up with pieces sticking out. Well, I thought I had learned. This time, I forgot. Fail #3. 

I then topped everything off with my favorite quick-dry top coat, Poshe. Unlike Seche Vite, which I also love, I've not experienced shrinkage with Poshe. There's a first time for everything. See how the top coat dried and pulled the polish underneath it away from the edge? Yeah, that's what shrinkage looks like in the nail polish world. Fail #4. You don't see it from a distance, but nail polish addicts are always staring at their nail polish, taking photos of it, and having someone hold their hands up for a closer look at unusual effects or combinations. (For what it's worth, I would recommend more than one coat of top coat with Fuzz-Sea if you want a smooth texture.)

With a few changes, I will probably be happier with my next Sally Hansen Fuzzy Coat mani. I will trade my Zoya Jacqueline to someone who hopefully has a better skin tone for it, but my Sally Hansen Fuzz-Sea will be used again by me. I love how the bar glitters are short, bright, and matte. I also bought the Sally Hansen Fuzzy Coat in black and white (can't remember the name), for which I have high hopes.
*I received Zoya Jacqueline in a trade on, and I purchased the other products. I am not affiliated with nor compensated by any of the brands mentioned in this post.*

What do you think? Would you wear one of the Sally Hansen Fuzzy Coat polishes?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Shorter than a Shorty Post--Lacquer or Leave Her! Giveaway

One of my favorite nail bloggers, Mishka at Lacquer or Leave Her!, is having an awesome giveaway for an extremely limited edition polish that she collaborated on with InDecisive Nail Lacquer. Check it out here:

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Shorter than a Shorty Post: Fun in the Sun Multi-Blogger and Shop Giveaway!

Check out this awesome giveaway: Musings of the Wife of a Jedi: Fun in the Sun Multi-Blogger and Shop Giveaway!

Swatches and Review--Mirabella Colour Sheer in Daydream

Recently, I resubscribed to ipsy. (You can read more about ipsy at the end of the post.) In their May bag, one of the products they sent for subscribers to try is Mirabella Colour Sheer lipstick. I received the shade Daydream. I also have the shade Posy, which I received in a trade on, but I'm going to save that for another post.
*I paid for the subscription which provided this sample. There is a referral link later in this post.*

Application was smooth and easy to control. Daydream applies creamy, but without being slippery. It felt moisturizing for a few hours. My lips were not dried out after that amount of time, but no moisture was being added to them from the lipstick.

Applied lightly, yellow artificial light

Applied lightly, natural light
Daydream does have a shimmer to it that borders on a frost, but it doesn't quite go there, which is to its advantage. It is enough, though, that from close range it will emphasize any skin on your lips that has not been exfoliated. You can see that it also emphasized the lines in my lips, as they were dry to begin with that day, but it didn't sink into them and make the color uneven.

Applied lightly, white artificial light

I am not wearing any lip liner, balm, or any lip product in these photos other than Mirabella Colour Sheer in Daydream. Here are my bare lips for reference:

Bare lips, sunlight

Applied lightly, outdoors in the shade

As the product name suggests, this is a sheer color, but still pigmented and buildable. See the swatches below on my arm to show how you can certainly start subtly and build from there.

One swipe, artificial light

Six swipes, artificial light

Mirabella sells their Colour Sheers for $22.00 each on their Web site, in 14 different shades. I am skeptical of their representations of the shades, though, so you may want to look for reviews and swatches like mine online. Mirabella's site makes Daydream look like some sort of super pale lilac. I hope that it was just human error and they accidentally posted the wrong image.

Built-up color, artificial light

I've been keeping Daydream in my purse since I received it, and using it on the go. I'm happy with the product, so I look forward to trying my other shade, Posy.
If you're unfamiliar with ipsy, their Web site describes their service this way: "Each month, subscribers will receive a beautiful Glam Bag with deluxe samples and full-sized beauty products. Members can watch and play along with the stylists with the same products that they are using. All for only $10 a month." They also give out coupons or coupon codes for the brands sampled that month.
*I paid for the subscription which provided this sample. There is a referral link in this post.*

My referral link: You don't have to use my referral link, of course, but I would appreciate it very much. (If two people sign up for an ipsy subscription using my referral, I get a bonus product in my next Glam Bag.)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Swatches and Review--Essie Under Where?

Argh! I didn't intend to take a break from the blog. No excuses, just life. 
Essie nail polish is how I spend most of my loyalty points (Extra Bucks) at CVS. This lovely polish is called Under Where? and is part of Essie's Resort 2013 collection. 
*I purchased this product with my own money and I am not affiliated with nor compensated by any of the brands or companies mentioned in this post.*

Obviously I'm a fan of the Resort 2013 collection, as this is the third polish from it that I've purchased and blogged about. (See my other two posts, about First Timer and In the Cab-ana.) The only one that I didn't buy is Come Here!, and only because I doubt that it would look good with my skin tone.

Essie's Web site describes Under Where? as a 'wildly flirtatious orchid'. It is very vibrant, as are the other shades in this collection. It was difficult to capture this vibrancy on camera.

This formula seems like a crelly to me, a cross between a creme and a jelly finish. Unfortunately, it was problematic: Streaky, watery, and uneven in application. 

All photos are outdoors in natural light or shade. I'm wearing one coat of Orly Bonder as my base, three coats of Essie Under Where?, and one coat of Poshe quick-dry top coat.

The application mostly evened out by the third coat, but it still needed the smoothing power of the top coat.

Even though Under Where? was terrible for me formula-wise, I will keep it and use it again. I adore the color that much. I will probably try a different base coat next time to see if it works any better. And perhaps the polish will become less watery now that it's had some exposure to air.

Most of the time this polish looks very bright and red-based. However, in the shade and occasionally in other lights, it leans more blue. It just leans, it never becomes anything that is not lilac.

Cleanup was easy, and I did not experience any staining on my skin or nails.

Essie nail polish is pretty widely available and typically retails for $8.00 for a full-size bottle. (For example, they are sold at Target, WalMart, and CVS.) I have seen mini bottles, and I even have some through trades on, but I have not seen them for sale in a retail store in my area. 
*I purchased this product with my own money and I am not affiliated with nor compensated by any of the brands or companies mentioned in this post.* 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Review and Swatches--Colores de Carol Inner Princess

Inner Princess is the third nail polish I've tried from the brand Colores de Carol. You can see my photos and reviews of the other two here: the yummy-looking Cupcake Fantasy, and my favorite so far, Best Polish Friend Forever.
*I received this polish as a gift with purchase from Colores de Carol.*

If you're not familiar with Colores de Carol, the brand shares its name with the creator's awesome nail blog: Carolina does great nail art, swatches, and reviews. Now she also creates artistic nail polishes by hand.

Inner Princess is described by Carolina as a "White base with navy blue flakes, mix of multicolored glitter and aqua stars shape glitter."

The white base is the nice, milky-sheer-type that allows the glitter to show well. The navy blue flakes are those tiny bits that you see throughout the polish. The aqua stars are quite prominent. As for the multicolored glitter, my eyes show the mix to be: 
Small hexes (hexagons) in baby pink, teal, fuchsia, lavender, and red Small squares in baby pink, teal, fuchsia, lavender, and red  
Tiny hexes in baby pink, teal, fuchsia, lavender, red, and purple
Tiny squares in baby pink, teal, fuchsia, lavender, and red

This is a sheer polish, but buildable. In all of these photos I am wearing one coat of Orly Bonder as my base, three coats of Colores de Carol Inner Princess, and one coat of Poshe top coat. Initially, I tried using a white polish as a base color, but I found that it looked too stark and really took away from Inner Princess.

Inner Princess applied well. The formula in my bottle was slightly thick, but not a problem. I believe that it wouldn't hold the glitter as well if it were any thinner. Dry time was still good. 

I didn't have to fish out any of the stars or the other shaped glitter. I ended up with at least one star on all of my nails but one. My nails are arched and small, so star glitter is unable to lie completely flat on them. I'm hoping someday to find star glitter that is tiny so that I can wear it better. These stars didn't stick out much. If you have regular-size nails or not much of an arch, they probably won't stick out at all. 

Inner Princess is a darling polish and I'm very grateful to have tried it. I've actually worn it a handful of times before this post. However, it doesn't fit my personality as well as the the other two Colores de Carol polishes that I own, Cupcake Fantasy and Best Polish Friend Forever. That is why I am not gushing as I did with BPFF. 

Inner Princess and the other Colores de Carol polishes can be purchased for $9.00 at (Nine of her polishes are on sale right now for $7.00. Carolina also sometimes has coupon codes on her blog.)  
*I received this polish as a gift with purchase from Colores de Carol.*

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Swatches and Review--Essie Madison Ave-Hue

What a spoiled little brat! No, I'm not talking about a person, but a nail polish. You know how sometimes a kid is a maddening little person who acts up and does whatever they want and drives you crazy, but they are so cute that you love them anyway? That describes my experience with Essie Madison Ave-Hue.
*I purchased this polish with my own money and I am not affiliated with nor compensated by any brand mentioned in this post.*

Our relationship started out just fine. I was shopping with my brother's girlfriend at CVS, buying boring stuff like deodorant. When I went to pay, my receipt printed out with $5.00 of Extra Bucks (the loyalty/reward program at CVS)! I turned right around to look at the nail polish to see which one was coming home with me for $5.00 cheaper than usual. 

I have been on such an Essie kick lately, further fueled by the giant display that our CVS added to the front of the store, basically in my face the second I walk in. I browsed and finally decided on Madison Ave-Hue, which I had previously picked up and put down on several other occasions in favor of my more beloved greens and blues. 

In the bottle, Madison Ave-Hue appears to be a medium, purple-leaning pink with subtle but dense silver shimmer. Those things are still true when on the nail. However, this little diva wants so badly to be neon purple that she almost makes you believe that she is. 

The formula was thin, but not difficult to apply. It was difficult for me to get even coverage, though, so I ended up with three coats over  Orly Bonder base coat. She seemed like she was going to cover evenly, but no. I'm pretty sure she laughed at me for having new hope on each nail for even coverage. One coat of Poshe was my top coat.

Madison Ave-Hue is very pigmented. Once I had finished my three coats, I was surprised at how much deeper and brighter the polish was on my nails versus the bottle. I thought it was pink, but now started to wonder if it was closer to purple. And almost neon as purples go...strange, but pretty. This observation was under artificial light. I was thinking of how difficult it would be to capture the right color on camera. It ended up being five times more difficult than I anticipated; see how she is turning out to be high maintenance?

The day after application, photo day, I was sitting in natural light indoors. Now the polish looks on my nails like it does in the bottle--what a moody lady! Still so lovely, though...

Outside in the bright sunlight, Madison Ave-Hue mostly looked pink again. But she leaned purple again if I changed the angle at all. How am I supposed to accurately portray this polish on the blog? It's so beautiful that it wouldn't be very nice of me not to share, but it took hours to color-correct all the photos in such a way as to show you what my eyes saw.

So I get completely frustrated applying the polish, taking the photos,and editing the photos, but I can't stop smiling and staring at the pretty polish. This must be how women make men feel.

After all that, she has the nerve to chip on the day after application! I don't ask for a long-wearing polish; I change my polish all the time. Two days should not be too much to ask.

Yes, it's 'just nail polish', so my story is overly dramatic. But here's the bottom line: Is Essie Madison Ave-Hue worth the confusion and the trouble? For me, yes. I loved her different personalities and she's so cute! The dense but subtle shimmer adds something special. I think that Madison Ave-Hue is a good shade both for spring and for summer, if you pay attention to seasonally appropriate things.
*I purchased this polish with my own money and I am not affiliated with nor compensated by any brand mentioned in this post.*

What do you think? Do you have any beauty products that you have a love/hate relationship with? Seche Vite top coat is another of mine.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Swatches and Review--NYX Forever Young

NYX Cosmetics makes a lot of products that I enjoy. For example, see my post featuring my favorite NYX lipstick here. I've found their quality to be very good for the most part (their individual products are far superior to their sets in my experience), and the prices are quite affordable. The prices are even better when you find the products at T.J. Maxx, as I did with this nail polish, NYX Forever Young.
*I purchased this product with my own money and I am not affiliated with nor compensated by any of the brands or stores mentioned in this post.*

NYX describes Forever Young as "Dark pink with gold glitter". I'd like to expand on that description: The dark pink is very warm in tone and the gold glitter is both microfine glitter and small flakes. The gold flakes are very prominent. 

The formula was good, but sheer. I used three coats over Orly Bonder as a base coat. With longer nails, you may wish to use a base color or an additional coat.

I made the mistake of not using top coat. Forever Young is very smooth, so it doesn't need the top coat to even out the texture. However, I believe that I probably would not have gotten such bad tip wear had I worn a top coat. 

I found the dry time to be average to quick. My three coats were all thin coats. 

The gold glitter and flakes are very dense and flashy, which I love. 

The square bottle was easy for me to work with, not inclined to tip over. The brush was average. 

I typically purchase NYX products from ULTA or Target, but I have not yet seen any NYX nail polish at either location. 

It was cloudy when I took these photos, so I apologize for the lack of direct sunlight. Of course, if there were direct sunlight, the gold flakes may have blinded you... :)

NYX Forever Young was mostly a win for me. I wish it were more opaque, but adding an extra coat is not a big deal. 

NYX Salon Formula Nail Polish can be purchased online at for $4.00. They seem to have a wide variety.

*I purchased this product with my own money and I am not affiliated with nor compensated by any of the brands or stores mentioned in this post.*