Cosmetics and nail polish - and the life of a mom just trying to keep it together.

Friday, August 29, 2014

ORLY Tropical Pop swatches+review


*phew* ORLY Tropical Pop is bright. I'm amazed my camera didn't have a meltdown trying to take pictures hahah Despite it's eyepopping color, I knew I had to have it when I went into Sally's. It sat there staring at me in the Baked Collection display (Maybe it was just the glare cause it's so bright). Regardless, it came home with me :)

The formula is great! Two coats to a smooth even finish. I didn't top coat this to show you the wax-esque finish you get when it's dry. I really like it. It almost kinda looks like rubber.

(top row: direct sunlight; outdoors in shade...bottom row: indoors with natural light; indoors with flash)

Do you own Tropical Pop? Or any from the Baked Collection? I bought Ablaze as well, but I've yet to really try it out.

**DISCLAIMER** I was not paid for this review by anyone. I either purchased these products myself or was given it as a gift.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Inspired by a Book mani series - Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

**press sample**
Every week I will bring you nail art! Thursdays used to be Fail Art Thursday, but hopefully I'll have less "fail" here! I'm going to do this series (for as long as I can), with nail art inspired by books! The covers of books specifically. I hope to be able to do this EVERY week - and I'm going to try my hardest to make this a weekly feature - there are SO many books I can utilize :)

I chose this week! My selection is Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King. This one kinda just spoke to me. I knew I had Zoya polish that would totally make this mani possible, so I went with it!


Oooh, isn't it fun! Pictured below are the polishes I used for this manicure: Pippa (purchased with my own money), Arizona, Rocha, Livingston and Pepper (all PR samples) and Fright Night Claw Polish in Sinister (purchased with my own money). Other tools used? A cosmetic sponge and a piece of plastic wrap.


First things first. I did a gradient with Pepper, Livingston and Rocha (photo below at left). I let that marinade for a while and then (while I was watching the horror movie You're Next on Netflix), I swiped a few lines of Pippa and Arizona across my nails, and then I immediately dabbed the lines with a crinkled up piece of plastic wrap (photo below at right). It gave it a very grainy feel.


Then, to top it off, I swiped a few lines of black from the tombstone Claw Polish from a few Halloweens ago. They sort of look like tree branches, no? I just used the actual polish brush....... maybe I shoulda used an actual nail art brush. Regardless, I really like the way they turned out.


I really liked the way this WHOLE mani turned out. I was super excited about this mani, and I wore it for two days. I'm not too terribly good at nail art. But when I do something like this, I almost think I might be good one day.


So what do you guys think? I am really looking forward to what I can accomplish by continuing this feature! Is there a book you'd like to see me attempt nail art inspired by? I'll gladly take suggestions! I can even get the book checked out from the library if need be ;)

DISCLAIMER: Some products used in this post were provided to me by the company for consideration. This blog is written and edited by me, and the opinions are not influenced in any way and are not compensated. Please read this post for more information.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

City Lips Advanced Formula in Holly swatches+review

**press sample**
Can City Lips help my thin lips? As I've lamented before, my lips are terminally thin. I've pretty much given up hope on having nice full lips like Sheila. I was offered the opportunity to try City Lips Advanced Formula, a collagen peptide lip plumping treatment. I have the color Holly. How did it work?


from the CityCosmetics site:
City Lips is designed to give lustrous and plush lips with a high-impact shine. The gloss is an award-winning treatment infused with revolutionary technology for instant and long-lasting results. Dramatically, the lips become smoother and fuller by within minutes of application. City Lips’ incredible effectiveness is clinically proven and the soft brush delivers the most precise application possible. City Lips utilizes exclusive ingredients and natural lip enhancers that work painlessly and safely to pump up the volume. City Lips will stimulate lasting natural collagen production with continued use.
Claims:
  • Instantly delivers dramatic plumping effects with HA Plumping Spheres
  • Stimulates new collagen development with twice the collagen peptides for long-term plumping
  • Provides instant fullness, definition and hydration with long-lasting plumping benefits
  • Diminishes and fades the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Works safely, painlessly and without irritation or numbness

I'm always skeptical about claims such as "instant" and "dramatic." I find those are general buzz words to get people's blood pumping about the "new and hip" product. I have reviewed this lip treatment as a one-off thing - meaning I wore this one time, and I'm giving you my experience of this one time. I have researched City Lips, and I have found several accounts of 30-day trials, but I can't wear the same lips for 30 days straight to test that out hahah So basically, I'm finding out the "instant" stuff. The site recommends best results come from applying before bed. That's another reason I'm testing only the "instant" stuff - I can't wear a color to bed. It would end up everywhere :)

First let me say this: This is a great color. It's not in-your-face or uber intense, but it adds a nice sheen to my lips and I love it. However, it is thicker than regular gloss and is sticky. It's not heavy, tho, so that was a good thing. Anyway. Here's a photo of my lips as soon as I splashed Holly on.


...and I waited 20 minutes. In that 20 minutes, my lips went thru the gambit of emotions. Am I getting bigger? What was that tingle? Am I lumpy? What about my wrinkles? Does this treatment make me look fat? They are so self-conscious! There was a very pleasant warming sensation over my lips, which turned to tingling after a while. The tingling grew more intense, and I began to lick my lips. I'm not even sure how many times or how often I licked, either. Here is what happened after 20 minutes:



The color faded somewhat, and it isn't as brilliant and sparkly as it was at the first application. That's probably due to the licking. My top lip looks no different, but my lower lip appears to be a bit more pouty and full. My lip wrinkles are still there in full view. So let's breakdown the claims.

Instantly delivers dramatic plumping effects with HA Plumping Spheres
---Not exactly instant, but after 20 minutes my lower lip does seem more full and pouty.
Stimulates new collagen development with twice the collagen peptides for long-term plumping
---This could be true on a long-term level. However, I cannot wear the same lip gloss/balm/stick/color every day for 30 days to test this out.
Provides instant fullness, definition, & hydration with long-lasting plumping benefits
---Could, again, be true on a long-term level. I didn't find my lips to be instantly full or hydrated.
Diminishes and fades the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
---This may be another long-term thing? As you can see from my photos, my wrinkles are still quite clear.
Works safely, painlessly and without irritation or numbness
---The tingling got to me. It was painful by any means, but it was definitely an irritation. It might not be a big deal for some. This could be an "eye of the beholder" issue.

I'm going to say this particular lip treatment is a miss for me. There is a clear formula listed on the website. Maybe that's my answer for long-term testing? It could be perfect for someone else... maybe someone else who isn't bothered by the tingling sensation? Maybe my licking of the lips caused something to change? I don't know. Price point on these treatment glosses are $35 each. Have you tried City Lips? What's your experience?

Find City Cosmetics: Web | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

DISCLAIMER: Some products used in this post were provided to me by the company for consideration. This blog is written and edited by me, and the opinions are not influenced in any way and are not compensated. Please read this post for more information.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

China Glaze Limited Edition The Giver Collection - Capacity to See Beyond


I knew when I saw this creme polish, China Glaze Capacity to See Beyond from the limited edition The Giver collection, I had to have it. It's a gorgeous shade of bright aqua blue. I didn't know it when I purchased it, but the formula on this polish is just flawless. It flowed on the nail like butter. Two coats is all I needed. And it didn't stain! But than again, I always say that with the caveat that I always use two coats of base with blues and greens. My staining has been cut down significantly since I started doing the two base coat thing.

(top row: direct sunlight; outdoors in shade...bottom row: indoors with natural light; indoors with flash)


What do you think? A must-have blue? I believe it is, and I'm very excited that I was able to buy it! There are a few others from this collection that I'd like to snag, but by the time my funds build back up again, they might all be gone ;) Do you have this polish.... or any from this limited edition collection?

**DISCLAIMER** I was not paid for this review by anyone. I either purchased these products myself or was given it as a gift.

August Ipsy bag!

**affiliate link**
I'm a little meh about this month's Ipsy bag. There were a few good things about the bag, and some bad... and I'm kind of disappointed in the bag itself. While the colors and design (orange and white polka dots) are right up my alley, it appears to be made very cheaply :( But what's inside?

Absolute Lip Balm in Green Apple: LOVE this! It's no secret that my Absolute makeup wipes are my most favorite product, like, ever, so I was very excited to get to try some lip balm from the same company!

GLAMGLOW YOUTHMUD® TINGLEXFOLIATE TREATMENT: Haven't tried this yet, but from what I've heard it's a good product?

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara: This is good stuff! I have another sample of this, as well, so I'm very excited to have more :)   

Lord & Berry Silk Kajal Kohl Eye Pencil: Meh. This pencil is so short and stubby, I could barely hold on to it...  

Manna Kadar Cosmetics Sheer Glo: Not really something I'm interested in...


Safe to say that this lip balm stole the show for me. Very impressed with it. It's softening and smooth without being waxy or thick. My only complaint is that I have to apply with my finger or a brush.... but then again, it probly wouldn't have the same consistency if it came in a tube.


This Urban Decay Perversion Mascara is amazing. I do have a post just for it coming up :) The GlamGlow mask is something I've heard great things about. I just haven't tried it yet.


Here is a swatch of the Absolute lip balm (ever so slight tint, but mostly just shine!), the Lord & Berry pencil and the Manna Kadar Sheer Glo. I don't see myself ever really using that Sheer Glo stuff.


Like I mentioned earlier, a meh bag. But still, I enjoy ipsy and the opportunity to try new things - they can't all be my MOST FAVORITE BAG EVER! :) Have you joined ipsy? Want to? I highly recommend this service - it's only $10 per month and you get great products! Some of them I probably would never have tried had it not been for ipsy!

**DISCLAIMER** Links contained in this post are ipsy affiliate links.. Purchased with my own money.