Saturday, August 25, 2012

St. Ives Green Tea Scrub


I hereby declare this Skincare Saturday! 

At least until I find something better to post on Saturdays. Since I dont have anything to do never post on Saturdays and I have tons of skincare favorites to share, I thought I'd be all professional and come up with a kitschy name for it to force upon my readers. Don't worry I'll keep it short and sweet, as not to disturb your busy Saturday schedules. Without further adieu...

St. Ives seems to have done it again, after the much coveted Apricot scrub (which is still mentioned in numerous' beauty magazines 'favorites' occasionally) they have managed to create yet another amazing scrub. This one being even more amazing (Only in my less impressive opinion). 

It's a scrub, what it all comes down to is that this has the best scrubies (granules? grains?) that I've ever found in a drug store scrub. They're very fine grains and there are a lot of them, it makes for a perfect consistency to exfoliate. In other face scrubs I have used, they seem to contain few large grains and a lot of cleanser, I find they're too rough and too sparse to be efficient. I definitely prefer the large quantity of small grains in my scrubs. 
Secondly the main complaint of the Apricot scrub was that it was too harsh, especially for the face. The Green Tea scrub since it has finer grains, It is certainly a lot gentler (as gentle as sand on your face can be). After using this my face doesn't feel raw and sore, just soft and smooth. 
Lastly, the least important but most pressing part of any beauty product, It smells good! Not exactly like green tea but a nice fresh natural type scent, that is also not to over powering, I find it quite refreshing. 

Yes, that's all, can you believe it? I've repurchased this over and over, I use it on both face and body, oh but probably not best for daily use. Anyway's, if you are in the market for a good scrub I'd definitely recommend checking this out. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Korres Lip Butter in Quince


Beauty confession number one: I don't abide by expiration dates on products, relatable to some, disgusting to others, I don't care! I'd like to think I have good judgement!
As I was writing this I was going to start, as usual, by explaining how I got this, most likely in too much detail with much self criticism and maybe even an irrelevant picture. Come to realize that I got this for Christmas I think around two years ago, so about the time I should be throwing it out and I'm just coming round to liking it, that's me always late...

Not that I didn't like it before it's just been very forgettable, It kind of sat around unused for a year.. or two. You see Berry tones are the equivalent to nudes in my collection, I never go lighter because it doesn't suit me, a berry pink lip balm seemed hardly exciting to me.
 Well I've finally come to my senses after using this all summer when my lips were in too terrible of shape for lipstick. I found that this is the perfect satisfying product for the summer months, it's easy and comfortable enough for those days when the heat just sucks all the life out of you.

First things first, It claims to be moisturizing, "The combination of shea butter and rice wax offers deep conditioning ... ideal for chapped lips". Surprisingly I agree, and I don't use that term moisturizing lightly, I mean it actually sinks into your lips and I don't feel starved of moisture after it wears off. I find that after a while the product sinks in but a slight stain remains.
I own a few tinted lip balms and I have always felt that this one feels more... luxurious... if I can say that without sounding pretentious. Its really thick and creamy but much like butter in light airy way, it just feels nice, I just want to keep adding more and more.

I dont see the resemblance...  
I love this color, it's not loud but it's a noticeable polished looking color. I have the shade "quince" which I just found out is a fruit, thank you google. It's got a grown up shine not too glossy finish, and it's not completely sheer the color can be built up to a nice opacity. The color appears on lips just as it does in the jar... I put it on to swatch it for this post, but im just not ready to embarrass myself on the internet yet. 

Although I love the little simplistic jar, I find that it's a bit impractical and unhygienic. I need to apply this in public, after my hands have been contaminated by nasty public germ-y stuff, I find myself not wanting to stick my fingers in this jar. Another thing is it's narrow, so it's not uncommon to get product under my nail. I solve this by using a lip brush, but, you know, ehhg effort.

In short, you need one of these, I don't mean to encourage makeup or shopping addictions but it's just a nice product to have around. It has definitely earned a spot in my purse, and Im not the girl that carries around everything and anything, It's an honor not bestowed on many products. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

15 Day Nail Challenge. Day 15 - Anything!


We have reached the end of Makeup Savvy's 15 Day Nail Art Challenge, it's a sad day. I skipped out on one or two days but for the most part I feel very accomplished for completing this challenge. I've never really tried much actual nail art before, but since so many others participated it was way more fun than just painting my nails. In fact I enjoyed seeing everyone else's nails more than doing my own, it really was nice to see all the possibilities. 

So all things must come to an end, so I had to think of something exciting to do! So I saw a picture of splatter nails in Seventeen Magazine (yes im a little older than seventeen, what of it!?) and thought they were really cool, I like splatter anything, so I decided to give them a try. Sticking with my summery color palette I used a bunch of different toned purple and pinks. 

Doesn't that look like fun?
I did get a little angry every time a cool looking splatter ended up on my skin instead of nails, but I guess I need to work on my aim. Even though I took precautions I still got paint all over my skin, maybe I could have been more careful but that'd suck the fun out of it. 

So I hope you liked my splatter nails, Im looking forward to seeing what everyone else will come up with for 'Anything' day. I don't think im going to do anymore nail posts for a while sadly, my nails are starting to break so im going to cut them and give them a rest for a while. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

15 Day Nail Challenge. Day 14 - Dots


It's Day 14 and after today there will be only one more day left of Makeup Savvy's Nail Challenge! I really can't believe how fast August is going by but I'll save all my parting words for tomorrows post. Today's theme is dots, which is a really adorable concept that I was looking forward to doing the whole challenge. 

As summer is also flying by, I decided i'd do sort of an ode to summer color palette for these last two nails.  I decided to use really fun pastel and bright shades that ended up reminding more of candy than summer. 

I think they turned out really cute even though some of my dots got messed up ( I dont have a dotting tool). Th fun thing with this is it's simple but there are endless possibilities, color combinations, big dots, little dots, playing with finishes, or strategically placed dots, you could do a whole nail art challenge with dots alone. 

 List of Polishes: OPI Pink Friday, Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Lacey Lilac, OPI Ski Teal We Drop, Avon Real Red , Essie Turquoise and Caicos. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sleek Blush By 3 in Sugar: My favorite Summer Blush


Summer Favorites! I might be a little anxious for fall (after living in 100degree weather for a few weeks, who wouldn't be?), but I decided it's about that time where I start to gush my true feelings about all my summer makeup staples, and I put on my lipstick just for the occasion. This season im breaking them into categories, mainly so I can gush in more detail!

As a self diagnosed blush addict how could I resist the temptation of a blush palette??? Sleek makeup isn't available where I live, but again the wonderful world of internet shopping brought us together, Only after agreeing to pay ridiculous international shipping costs of course. But for a moment it ended up being one of those things, sometimes we (or maybe just "I") buy things because they're pretty, things that are desirable for a moment and we return home with them just to throw them in a drawer and forget about them. However, This eventually found it's way into my summer favorites, so I hope that inspires you to take a look through your junk drawer once and a while. 

Left to right: Demerara, Muscovado, Turbinado

Originally I thought that these colors were too dark to be desirable in summer but I was wrong. Instead of smothering your face with tons of bronzer (personally not my thing), which I think can look just as draining as paleness, I think that simply going for a warm toned blush can be of much more help. I found that these blushes can warm up my face instantly with very little product but also the colors are vibrant so they don't deprive it of life. 
Emphasis on the 'very little product' part, these are highly pigmented! Im quite pale so I had to be extra careful. Although they would definitely look more natural on darker skin-tones, Im fair and have no problem with bold and obvious blush occasionally, so don't be afraid, wear what you want! Also with the right application they blend and sheer out nicely, even the most pigmented shade, the middle shade, which is called "Muscovado", is soft and smooth.

Left to right: Demerara, Muscovado, Turbinado

If you are wondering why all the shades have weird names, they're all types of sugar, and even though to me the colors do not resemble sugar, I can appreciate the effort.
 Demerara is a matte warm plummy pink.
Muscovado is a deeper plum with gold shimmer.
Turbinado is a matte basic subtle orange.

The packaging is perfect, it's.. well sleek. Thin and compact, perfect for storage or easily portable (although I've never seen anyone touching up their blush), equipped with a huge mirror which is very nice. Lightweight and It snaps tightly shut.

*side note: I noticed that there are tons of pictures online and the colors look different in them all, this was quite frustrating when I was looking to buy this so I took great care with my pictures. I insured that pictures and swatches are very accurate and true to color. *high five*

Even if these shades aren't your cup of tea I think it's definitely worth checking out the other palettes, these are a great product and value. I think this palette is really versatile, I can see the shades also looking great in fall, does it not remind you of pumpkins and falling leafs? Since it has three colors, there is at least one I would wear in each season. Also, I've worn this tons this summer and haven't even scratched the surface because they are so pigmented, I really can see this lasting forever! 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

15 Day Nail Challenge. Day 12 - Stripes


Today's day 12 of Makeup Savvy's Nail art Challenge! Today's theme is stripes which is something I have never attempted and I was almost completely sure I'd screw up today's nails.  

I am not so great at drawing on my nails and I've tried the 'tape' method  before and failed miserably, in my mind there was absolutely no way I was ever going to create a decent striped look for today. But instead of opting out on today I thought I could at least to try out 'A' stripe on each nail. 

In all honesty these look pretty good in real life, without the scrutiny of the HD camera lens the lines seem crisp and the red polish doesn't look so shotty. Also in real life the colors do not seem to contrast as much especially from a distance or in dimmer lighting. The only thing that is apparent is that the width of the lines is a little inconsistent, trying to keep them even was the most difficult part of doing these nails. 

My favorite part of these nails is actually the color combination, I just thought this MAC frosted color called Beiged Bliss would look great as the stripe and thought this deep brown red Nicole by OPI color called Girl Talk complimented it. The Nicole by OPI shade is a bit old now and has gone a little thick and gloopy which is why the application looks so streaky and uneven, it's quite a shame because it's one of my favorite fall colors and now im contemplating throwing it out. 

These aren't the greatest looking nails in these pictures however I like the way they look in real life, and I think I'll wear them again. It's a nice way to wear frosted gold, a quite summery color, in the fall. So in the end im glad I didn't give up on today's challenge and tried something new. 

15 Day Nail Challenge. Day 11 - Metallic


The end of Makeup Savvy's 15 Day Nail Challenge is approaching, we're now on day 11. Today's theme is Metallic and I decided to showcase one of my favorite metallic polishes, nothing fancy, im a simple manicure type of girl. 

My favorite metallic polishes are from Nicole by OPI's Liquid Metals collections, they are metallic in feel but the finish has a bit of shimmer in it as well. I chose "Rich in Spirit" because it's a light blue color, which I think is pretty rare in a metallic range. Most metallic polishes come in silver, gold, or copper but this one is sky blue and I think there is something very futuristic feeling about colored metallics. Makes me feel cool!

As you can see this polish can range from quite sparkly to quite metallic depending on how the light hits it, but never looses the blue color. 
I think Nicole by OPI has to be my favorite range of polishes, they always come out with interesting and fun colors and finishes and even glitters, they're really great quality, and they have a fantastic 'perfect stroke brush' which makes painting precises and quick. Not to mention I can usually find them on sale at target or ulta, where as other high end brands never go on sale and are never sold in drug stores. But I suppose all of that is completely irrelevant to this challenge.

That completes my ramble on this polish, metallic polishes, and Nicole by opi, I hope you like it as much as I do. Tomorrow's theme is stripes and I am hoping I will find time to participate in day 12 of the challenge.  

Friday, August 10, 2012

15 Day Nail Challenge. Day 10 - Gradient


It's already day 10 of Makeup Savvy's Nail Challenge and today's theme is Gradient. Although i'm familiar with gradient nails I had the most trouble deciding on a look for this one. In the end I decided I wanted to try a glitter gradient and ended up just winging it. 

I had so many polish options for a glitter gradient I just couldn't decide, I ended up choosing a gray and silver color pallet because I had a few silver metallic finish polishes that I thought would look great in a glitter gradient. I started off with a matte dark grey color and faded it to a light silver with two metallic silver polishes then added glitter to the tips. 
List of Polishes used: Avon Matte in Concrete, Sephora by OPI Blasted Silver, Nicole by OPI in Light a Candle, and Wet N Wild Wild Shine glitter. 

That's everything I interesting I have to say about these. A short post? This challenge really must be sucking the life out of me! Anyways, hope you liked my nails, and if you missed my leopard print nails due to the linking complications here they are

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

15 Day Nail Challenge. Day 8 - Leopard Print


It's day 8 of Makeup Savvy's Nail challenge, Today's theme is Leopard Print. I'm starting to become too familiar with smell of nail polish, today I spilled half a bottle of nail polish remover in my bathroom, my cuticles are a mess, my nails are stained, and the skin around my nails is drying out, but we are now half way through the challenge and im not giving up just yet!

Since I still had a plain neon base on I decided it would be fun to do a neon leopard print. I used a second vibrant pink Jesse's Girl color called "baby cakes" as the spot color, and used a Sinful Colors Nail Art black polish to define the spots. 
I think considering I drew this print free-hand, it came out very nice, better than I expected! It was a challenge, the long thin brush on the nail art polish wasn't the easiest to control and my nails are very small! However I think the slight messy unshapely lines make it seem more realistic. 

Hope you like them, Can't wait to see what everyone else came up with. Im looking forward to Day 9... and getting some cuticle oil. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

15 Day Nail Challenge. Day 7 - Neon.


We are already at day 7 of Makeup Savvy's 15 day nail challenge, today's theme is neon. I have to apologize for being a bit boring with this one, I did not have much time today nor did I have a decent selection of neon polishes. This is the first time im wearing neon, anything! 

Neon isn't really my style, I had to raid my sister's nail polsh collection to find this polish. She owns a few neon colors all by Jesse's Girl, which is a brand I have never heard of before now, but it says "high intensity color" on the bottle so im guessing they specialize in neon and vibrant color pay off.  I choose to use the Jesse's Girl polish in "beach baby". The polish is normal consistency and opaque yet applies rather patchy, I did three coats and some areas are still a little bare. One surprising thing is that these dry matte ( I added a top coat), and also dry almost instantly, and i'll say it for a third time I love quick drying polish, but this is kind of ridiculous, I can't even finish painting one nail before it dries.

This is the neonyest of all the pictures.
This polish plays tricks on my camera, it doesn't want to be seen, it's the most difficult to photograph polish I've ever come across. Maybe it's the brand or maybe it's the neon, but the camera can never pick up the color quite right. In real life it's like a neon fuchsia pink and the camera wants to make it orangey (like above) or light pink. This is the most true to color and brightness picture I could get, basically that color without the orange tinge and slightly darker. 

Sorry for the slapdash feel of this post but I really am trying not to skip a day in this challenge. However tomorrow's theme is leopard print, I am committed to my plans for it and it's surely going to be more exciting than today's post! 

Monday, August 6, 2012

15 Day Nail Challenge. Day 6 - Glitter


It's day 6 of makeup savvy's 15 day nail art challenge and today's theme is glitter. Im really enjoying this challenge, trying out new polishes and techniques, and seeing everyone elses interpretations of the themes. We are already a third of the way through and I've only participated in three challenges, and unfortunately I missed day five which was nude nails, because the galaxy nails had stained my nails so bad that my sheer nude polish couldn't cover it, it looked awful. But I wont dwell on the negative! I love glitter nail polishes and I had quite a few ideas for this post, this is what I settled on...

I originally thought to use one of my favorite full coverage glitters swatched here and here, but since I have already blogged about those I decided to try something different.
 I decided to use a polish that I have recently rediscovered in my collection after using it in my galaxy nails. The polish in question is Nicole by OPI's "Iceburg Lotus", I have a new found love for this polish. It's a beautiful emerald green (which reminds me of wizard of oz) it looks almost like a metallic finish but has a teal/blue duo-chrome sparkle through it, which I thought would be the perfect added benefit for the glitter challenge.The only downside is it isn't as opaque as I thought, this took about four thin coats, but it does dry very fast and the brush on Nicole by OPI polishes are amazing and make precise painting so much faster and easier.

I layered sheer glitters over it because I didn't want to over power the color. I used Sephora by OPI's 'Ne-ol If I Know' which is a fine glitter, practically a shimmer, and Wet N Wild's Wild Shine glitter (no name?) which is slightly more sheer but has larger glitter particles. 
None of these are gritty, so I feel like they are more comfortable to wear than really rough full-coverage glitter polishes. When I say comfortable I mean your nails don't snag your clothes or anything, I feel like they don't chip as easily, and they are defiantly easier to get off. 

I'm glad I found a new way to use the sheerer glitters that I usually stay away from, let me know what you think! I hope I can make tomorrows nail challenge, the theme is neon. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

15 Day Nail Challenge. Day 4 - Galaxy


It's Day 4 of Makeup Savvy's 15 day nail challenge, today's theme is galaxy nails.

I was very excited to try out galaxy nails for the first time and I think I got a little carried away. I wanted to create a really colorful nebula-like scene and I must have used at least 15 different nail polishes. I would normally write down the colors I used but the list was just too long.
However I do like the effect all the different layers of colors gives, makes it seem more realistic and it's not that difficult to achieve. 

My nails look like a complete mess in these pictures, it's practically impossible to keep the polish from getting on your skin and cuticles with the sponging technique. I didn't want to risk cleaning up too close to the nail, for I am quite clumsy, however I promise they look decent in real life.  

I really enjoyed doing this, I think im going to experiment with a new color combinations and post more galaxy nails in the future....well i'll probably have to wait my nails recover from this challenge first!
 Do check out Day 3 if you haven't already. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

15 Day Nail Challenge: Day 3 - Chic


Just to get you up to speed on things:
Fee from Makeup Savvy is hosting a 15 Day Nail Art Challenge and has invited us all to participate! Here are the details and list of themes. Basically, There is a theme for each day and all participants can submit a post to be linked on the makeup savvy website.

I was hesitant about showing my face around so many other talented bloggers but decided to jump into this as my first blog challenge because I love nail posts, even though I'm far from skilled at nail art. 
Im starting with day three because it would just be too much for the universe to handle if I was actually on time for something, seriously, it would just collapse.

Anyways, today's theme is Chic.
Although I don't consider myself chic, I'd like to think that I at least know what it means. Too me, chic means classic and elegant but also stylish. In case you're wondering I have problems with the stylish part, when are darth vader tshirts coming back in style?

So I picked Essie's Buy me a Cameo, it's a frosted rose gold color. It's as good as a nude to me, goes with everything but the frost makes it seem a little more modern and stylish... I'm guessing. 
Plus as an added bonus it's fast drying, yay! I find the hardest part of painting my nails to be sitting still long enough not to screw them up. 

That's all for my interpretation of chic, but I will be participating in day four. Tomorrow's theme is galaxy, which is bound to be my favorite, I'm super excited! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sugar Lips Lip Scrub


Before now I have always made my own lip scrub (recipe coming soon?), I've seen them in stores, some at extortionate prices, and never saw the need for a fancy store-bought version when I have an easy home-made solution. 
So, why buy when they're all essentially just sugar scrubs?

 Enter the majestic world of internet shopping! Where all imaginable products are at your figure tips along with questionable photos of said products, which brings out the excitement of the unknown outcome, not to mention the anticipation of waiting 5 to 8 business days for your order to arrive! (Excitement, unknown, risk, anticipation, I think I just described the makings of an addiction.) Then of course there is the special offers, like spend $50 get free shipping, I no longer have to worrying about those pesky s&h costs and get to throw little goodies into my shopping cart guilt free... if you see where im going with this.

I'll admit to being a complete weirdo and say that I have a 'thing' for jars and boxes, I keep aesthetically pleasing ones because I just can't bring myself to throw them away, and I either find uses for them or they become displayed in my cool and unbelievably valuable 'empty jars and boxes' collection. I figured even if this product was complete shit I would get $5 worth of enjoyment out of the little polka dot lidded jar.  

But of course it's not complete shit, I wouldn't make a post about my online shopping addiction and jar hoarding problem, that would just be pathetic. 

Aside for the awesome jars these come in, which unfortunately are plastic not glass (but hey it was $5), these come in a few different flavors. I choose Strawberry Shortcake which turned out to be a neon red color (I didnt know that existed either), the flavor in itself is already a nice perk of buying a lip scrub. I can't make my own strawberry flavored lip scrub because strawberries are perishable and I don't have synthetic strawberry flavoring laying around the house. 
This is one of the grittiest scrubs I have used, it also has a very dry consistency, I was concerned that mine had dried out or just wasn't good, but I was proven wrong. Apparently it pays for a lip scrub to be dry and gritty because it did the work in half the time and didn't hurt my lips at all. 

Final thoughts on the battle of home-made versus store-bought lip scrubs? Well they both give me the same basic results, my lips get exfoliated either way and I can then comfortably wear lipsticks. Their is no magic lip healing ingredients in this, it offers no more than aesthetic benefits, and i'm okay with that, I like the store-bought lip scrub for the luxury of the strawberry flavor and nice jar. That's worth a small price tag for me, but that's just personal preference.