Thursday, October 28, 2010

China Glaze Mummy May I, $2-5

China Glaze's Mummy May I is from their halloween collection (pretty appropriate for this week!). It is a dark cherry/black polish speckled with pinkish purple sparkles.

Mummy May I has a pretty thick consistency and requires 2 coats at least. Anything more might be too goopy. I don't really know why this polish is more thick and globby than others but it is. You have to be more careful and mindful about how much is on your brush.

I love that it goes on exactly as it looks in the bottle after two coats. The first time I wore it, it chipped in a day! I was a little disappointed but this time around I took the precaution and used a basecoat.

Final verdict:
Cost: This polish can be found anywhere from $2 to $5 depending on where you buy it.
Is it only appropriate for halloween?: Definitely not! I wore this polish along with a little black dress to a wedding. It is a fun way to wear a dark polish without it being a solid color.
Repeat offender?: I love the color of this polish but I don't think I'd buy it again. The thick texture and fast chipping turned me off but I wouldn't give up any new China Glaze polishes to try! I will continue to wear this polish but getting another bottle is probably out of the question.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

OPI My Private Jet, $6-$9

OPI's My Private Jet is a gray, off-black nail polish loaded with tiny, tiny bits of glitter (and controversy). It reminds me a bit of the 212 color, except a bit on the cooler side (less coppery) and with smaller pieces of glitter.

It's a nice deep color and the glitter gives it a lot of dimension. It may be dark but it's definitely not boring. The glitter/shimmer is mostly silver, though in the sun it has some (slight) color variations. It reminds me of the sun sparkling on wet gravel or cement. A little badass, but not too dangerous! The texture, of course, is amazing, easy to apply, and dries nicely. True to OPI, it doesn't chip for days and days.

Final verdict
$6-$8 (standard for an older color, depending on where you buy it).
Color: Dark gray with small bits of silvery glitter. It's like a cooler and more refined 212.
Repeat offender: I love this color and have already painted my nails a couple times with it. It's easy to apply (read: hides mistakes) and looks great as a dark neutral. Goes great with fall colors and will definitely transition into winter.


Friday, October 22, 2010

CoverGirl Fresh Complexion Under Eye Concealer, $5-$7

Well, the going to bed late and waking up early has caught up with me. I needed a quick way to make me look more awake, so I bought some CoverGirl Fresh Complexion Under Eye Concealer (I think the shade is called Creamy Natural). It's packaged like lip gloss with a sponge-tip applicator, which makes it more portable and easy to use than a tube.

The concealer works really well. It's smooth and soft, and blends in evenly. A little bit goes a looong way with this stuff. Use less than you would think at first and then add more if you need it. It covers pretty well, so you probably won't have to use a lot. Like all face makeup, it's going to look more natural when used sparingly.

Final verdict
Texture: Smooth and silky, and blends easily. It covers up the darkness under my eyes evenly.
Color: I was able to find a color that matches my skin tone pretty well, though they seem to carry only light to medium shades.
Repeat offender: I would definitely buy this again. It's a good concealer, and helps my eyes look a little more awake!


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion Professional Size, $29

By now, readers of this blog and everyone who knows me (or Tori) knows that we swear by Urban Decay's Eyeshadow Primer Potion. We originally reviewed the product when we first started this blog and gave it a rave review and even a "where have you been all my life" tag. You can read the review Tori wrote of why this product is so great here. So when I saw that Urban Decay released a Professional Size version of my favorite beauty product I knew it was something I must have.

The Professional Size is a big tube full of the classic Primer Potion in the original nude shade. I prefer the nude shade to all of the other primer shades. The main difference between this and the original bottle is that this doesn't come with application wand. I find that the absence of the wand is actually a great thing! You get more product out of a bottle and you don't have to mess with the wand getting all goopy.

Since I used this product every single day this Professional Size is actually a great value for me. I get a lot more of the primer for $29 which is about $13 more than the original genie bottle. I think that this tube will last me longer and that I won't waste any of the primer. In the genie bottle I think that a lot of primer just gets stuck and doesn't have a chance to get out.

Final verdict:
Cost: $29 for a big tube. This is made for professionals but available for anyone to purchase.
Do you need any kind of tool to apply it?: I find that using your fingers is the best way to apply the primer evenly.
Any tips?: You don't need to use a lot of primer per eyelid. If you take a look at the third picture, I use just about that much primer for my top lid. I have big eyelids so someone else might need even less. I would apply a little less of that on my bottom lash line if I want to line beneath my eyes.
Repeat offender?: I would never buy the genie bottle again now that the Professional Size bottle is available, so yes!


BY THE WAY: The nailpolish in the photo is OPI's Mad As A Hatter, from the Alice in Wonderland collection. I reviewed it here in January.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Kat Von D Perfumed Body Velvet in Sinner in gift set, $68

Kat Von D has two fragrances: Sinner and Saint. I got a deluxe sample of lotion in the Sinner scent, called "perfumed body velvet." (Ooo, sounds special!) Sinner is the more powerful of the two scents--musky, spicy, with hints of vanilla and florals to balance it out. The body velvet is available in this gift set.

I tend to be drawn toward more light, citrus, summery scents, but this one is really nice. The musk isn't too strong, and the softer undertones aren't overpowered. It especially gets softer as it sits for a little while. (I would still probably only wear it at night, or for a special occasion.) The texture of the lotion is super rich and creamy, and it does leave a feeling on your skin kinda like velvet! The great thing about a scented lotion is that it lets the scent linger a little longer and more softly than a perfume, so a little bit goes a long way.

Final verdict
Right now it's only available in a gift set (that has perfume, lotion, and a rollerball perfume) for $68 ($91 value).
Scent: If you like mature, musky, spicy scents, you will probably like this. If you're used to softer, younger smells, give it a chance! I didn't think I would like something like this, but I do.
Texture: The lotion is definitely high quality. You would probably only want to use it as a hand lotion--using it everywhere might make the scent a bit overwhelming!
Repeat offender: I would probably just use this scent for special occasions, so I probably wouldn't buy again. But, I would recommend it.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Korres Deep Colour Mascara, $18

A great friend of mine swears by this mascara and when I saw her using it I knew exactly why. In just one or two strokes her eyelashes extended and were full and dark--just like I want! Korres Deep Colour mascara is sold exclusively at Sephora and is probably the first natural mascara I have ever tried.

The mascara goes on smooth, without clumping at all. I only use a few strokes, the brush applies the mascara very evenly so it doesn't require much layering. Though it is not waterproof it doesn't smear off or anything. Since it isn't waterproof it also comes off really easily without damaging your eyelashes. Some mascaras are difficult to take off and you can often lose a lash or two when trying to get it off.

I was really impressed with this mascara and actually bought a full tube of it to try for the first time, I had some serious trust in this product! It was definitely worth the splurge because I am happy with my long and full lashes.

Final verdict:
Cost: $18 for a big tube.
Does it come in any other colors?: This mascara is available in brown and black.
Expiration date?: You read that right, this mascara has an expiration date on the box. Kind of weird because I've never seen that before but I guess it makes sense if it is made with more natural products like rice bran. I ordered my tube so I didn't get to choose a date so if you're in the store I'd suggest looking out for a later date.
Repeat offender?: Yes! This mascara is great and I am so glad I tried it per my friend's suggestion.


Monday, October 18, 2010

OPI's Lighten Up, You're Two Pence!, $6-9

OPI's Lighten Up, You're Two Pence! is a perfect color for October--a rich, warm, fiery, burnt orange. It has a metallic finish, small hints of shimmer, and a beautiful opaque color. I love it! Depending on the light, it can look more bright orange or more gold.

The great thing about this orange is that it's dramatic but it's warm, not neon. Totally matches those changing leaves! It would look great with purples, leopard print, browns, and dark teals. Plus, it's a great base for Halloween nail art. I think I'm gonna grab my black nail art pen and try out a jack-o-lantern! I'll def take some pics if it turns out well :)

Final verdict
$6-$9--normal OPI price.
Color: Absolutely gorgeous! The perfect autumn orange.
Texture: As always, OPI's formula is amazing. You could get away with two coats if you wanted (I used three here).
Repeat offender: I would totally buy this again. Every time the leaves change I try to find a color just like this, and I'm so glad to have found it.


Friday, October 1, 2010

OPI Lincoln Park at Midnight, $6-8

I don't know about you, but I absolutely LOVE dark purple in the fall. Jackets, purses, scarves, sweaters . . . a nice, rich, dark purple just seems to complement everyone's skin tones against an autumn backdrop. OPI's Lincoln Park at Midnight is a beautifully dark, nearly black purple that will go nicely as your clothes transition into the colder months.

What I love about this color is that it is dramatic, but has a subtle surprise of metallic, shimmery purple that will catch your eye at a second glance. If you're into dark colors but afraid to use black on your nails, I'd recommend this. The warmer tones in the purple keep it from being too harsh. The formula, of course, is perfectly smooth and easy to apply. I used 3 coats in these pics.

Final verdict
Cost: $6-$8. It is an older color, but still available.
Dramatic: This is a rich, dramatic color, but the purple tones and metallic finish smooth out the harshness that comes with black nail polish.
Repeat offender: I absolutely love this shade and would definitely buy it again.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Badger Sleep Balm, $10

Badger Sleep Balm is something different, something you might be skeptical about, but it is definitely worth trying. The balm comes in a nice tin that seems to be the standard packaging for balms. The tin is adorned with a resting little badger and a soothing promise as a sleeping aid.

The Badger Sleep Balm is lavender and bergamot scented, offering a nice soothing herbal smell. The smell is so soothing that even if you think that a balm won't help you sleep it will definitely relax you. I've been using this balm for the past few nights, rubbing some on my temples, neck, lips, eyelids, and even on my hands and cuticles. I can't get enough of the fresh herbal smell so I end up slathering it on all over. It is not too oily and thick.

Though I can't tell you this will knock you out like you took too much cold medicine, I can say that it is a nice addition to winding down before bed. It can be compared to aromatherapy, the smell just takes you to another place and prepares you to clear your mind.

Final verdict:
Cost: You can find this for around $10 in stores like Whole Foods or on Amazon. There are different balms you can try as well!
Do you think it actually helps you sleep?: For me it helps me relax, clear my mind, and prepare for sleep. I don't think that the balm actually aids in my physical sleeping though.
Repeat offender?: I would definitely buy this again. I think that I will keep this balm by my bedside for a long time because of its serious soothing quality.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Nature's Gate Pomegranate Sunflower Conditioner, $6

A few months ago I reviewed Nature's Gate Pomegranate Sunflower Shampoo, which I liked and have been using ever since. Recently I ran out of my old conditioner so I decided to try the matching one to the shampoo. It has the same wonderful smell I raved about in the previous review.

The consistency is weird and surprised me. It's very thin and pearlescent--reminds me more of a shampoo or body wash. I'm not really used to a conditioner being as thin (or thinner) than a shampoo. It makes it so that you actually have to use a bit more than normal. I don't use too much conditioner, just on my ends really, but I still have to use a bit more than I'm used to. When you put it in your hair, it seems like it just disappears.

That being said, it's not that bad of a conditioner. After a couple uses, I could feel my hair regain its moisture it had lost in my no-conditioner-because-I'm-too-lazy-to-buy-some week. It's not a big difference, but my hair feels like its normal, healthy self. Even if I do have to use a bit more to get there.

Final verdict
$6 is a good price for all-natural conditioner.
Smell: It has that yummy fruit punch smell the shampoo has. Mmmm . . .
Consistency: The consistency is more like a thin body wash. It's very liquidy and kind of disappears into your hair. You might end up adding more and more, wondering where it's all going.
Moisturizing?: It's alright. It works okay on my fine, oily-prone hair, but it wouldn't work well on anything thicker or dryer.
Repeat offender?: I wouldn't buy this again. It's just so thin! Like I said, it's not terrible, and it's working right now, but it's not as rich and moisturizing as I would have hoped. I think most people who have color-treated hair (which this is meant for) would need extra moisturizer from the drying effects of color, and the conditioner just doesn't deliver.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Yves Saint Laurent Parisienne, $85

I've been toying with the idea of reviewing perfume for a while now. This is something I haven't done yet because I believe that perfume is a lot harder to describe and review than say lipstick or blush. Perfume has always been such a key component in femininity in my life. Some of my earlier memories are of my mother powdering her face with some blush, rouging her lips, and then the last step--spraying herself with her newest perfume.

As you can tell by the amount left in my bottle I've had this bottle of Yves Saint Laurent's Parisienne for almost a year now. This perfume is my current signature scent, meaning I use it almost daily. Though I have a few bottles of other perfumes, Parisienne is always the one I go for on a daily basis. I would describe the scent as dreamy, sophisticated, and luscious. It is sweet without being juvenile and definitely fresh. The scent is a combination of woody and floral.

I love this smell because it is just so pretty. I get many compliments when I wear it and for some reason I think that someone telling you that you smell good is one of the best compliments you can get! I believe the perfume is like leather in that something of lesser quality just isn't going to be as good. Sure, this YSL perfume is expensive but it is well worth it for me. I use it daily, it makes me happy, and it is the perfect finishing touch.

Final verdict
Cost: Depending on the bottle size you can get this perfume for $39 (1 oz) or $85 (3 oz). The one I have is 3 oz.
Is it a good scent year round?: I have been using this perfume since I got it as a gift last year for Christmas. I think it is the perfect year round scent because it is a medium scent--not too light and not too heavy.
Repeat offender?: I am definitely getting another bottle of this when I finish up. I love this scent so much! Here is my suggestion if you are in the market for a new perfume, go to the store and smell them all! Don't buy one the first time you go, think about it and then go to the store and smell them again. If you find some that sticks out as special to you go back and get it!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Natural Soap, $5

A little while ago I reviewed Pacifica's Tuscan Blood Orange Perfume Solid. I loved the smell, but was disappointed at its lack of staying power. I decided to try their soap this time, because I still can't help but want to smell like a blood orange all the time (and this was much cheaper than the perfume spray!).

Thankfully, the soap is just $5 (for a pretty big bar) and smells exactly like the perfume solid--maybe even more so! The soap is just your basic all-natural soap, made with natural and vegan ingredients, including actual bits of blood orange.

The soap works well (like most bar soaps it can be a little drying), and smells fantastic. The smell lasts a little longer than the perfume solid. It especially fills your shower and bathroom with the wonderful scent. Mmm . . .

Final verdict
$5--very reasonable!
Scent: Smells exactly like the perfume solid I raved about earlier. OMG, can't stop smelling it!
Guilt-free: No chemicals, no animal products, and good for the environment. Portions of the sale even go to supporting clean water projects.
Repeat offender: I'd buy this again. I can't get over the beautiful smell! I would probably use it as a hand soap more than for my body, though. That way I could use it often and have the scent fill up my bathroom.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Aveeno Pomegranate + Rice body wash, $6.99

I first smelled this body wash at my friend's house after she had come back from a trip to CVS. I couldn't get the fresh smell out of my nose so I knew I had to pick up my own bottle of Aveeno's Positively Nourishing Smoothing Body Wash in pomegranate + rice. I tend to just use bars of soap but realized that having an exfoliating body wash would probably come in handy when taking care of my dry skin in the colder months.

This body wash smells really good, I don't know if I smell pomegranate exactly but it isn't an overpowering perfume smell or anything. It is nice and mild but lingers on your skin for hours after the shower. It seems like it is saying this smells like pomegranate and rice but honestly there is no rice smell and it is worded a little awkwardly. The bottle notes that rice beads and walnut shells are included in the body wash as exfoliants, not that it is a rice scented.

I don't use this body wash daily but I do use it pretty regularly. I enjoy the light exfoliation that leaves my skin feeling very soft afterwards. If you're allergic to walnuts be careful because there are actual walnut shells in the body wash.

Final verdict:
Cost: The price varies but it is around $5-7 at drugstores depending on where you go/live.
Does it actually smooth skin?: This is a mild body wash that definitely does the job of smoothing your skin but it does it very gently. The exfoliants aren't harsh and neither is the scent.
Repeat offender?: I really like this body wash and I would definitely buy it again.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Aveda Confixor Liquid Gel, $17

As you might already know, I love Aveda's hair products. I've been using this Confixor gel for years, but haven't reviewed because it's kind of hard to explain how awesome it is. I'll try anyway!

Confixor is a very thin gel with a consistency more like water. Every day after I use my leave-in conditioner, I put a dime-sized (or less) amount onto my palm, rub my hands together, and work this through my hair, concentrating on the ends.

Basically, it makes my hair manageable and, well, better. Without it, my hair is too soft, fluffy, and quirky, going in whatever direction it wants (including up). Confixor lets my hair do what it will naturally, but without being so crazy. It gives it texture (so that it's not too soft and flat) and control (so I can change my part and it will do what I say). It makes my natural waves look intentional, and does so without being sticky or noticeable, really.

Final verdict
$17. I use such a small amount that I buy it every year or year and a half (even though I use it every day).
Texture: It's called a liquid gel because it's a gel that very thin. That makes it easy to work through your hair, and it won't stiffen up.
Control: This product makes my hair manageable. I can control the fly-aways and craziness my hair wants to do, while still looking natural.
Hair types: My hair is fine, super soft (which is why it kind of floats around everywhere), and oil-prone. This keeps my hair under control without looking greasy. I think it would work great with curly hair, too.
Repeat offender: I absolutely love this product. Even though it's hard to convince someone without trying it, I'd recommend it to everyone. I can't do my hair without it!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Nivea Creme, $4.99

As summer comes to an end and winter approaches (so quickly!) we have to start thinking about taking care of our dry, dry skin : ( This is where this classic comes into play. Nivea's Creme has been around forever (1911 to be exact, nice little wikipedia page) and is available globally. This is definitely my go-to thick and absolutely guaranteed moisturizing product.

You would think that such a thick cream would go on heavy and greasy but it dries very quickly after your skin soaks up the moisturizing powers of Nivea Creme. I like to use it on my hands and arms daily because it helps keep the skin soft and makes sure that my elbows don't get dry. I use this product a lot on my legs in the winter time because that is my biggest dry skin problem area. It is an excellent all-over body moisturizer and has the mildest fresh scent.

Final verdict:
Cost: $4.99 for a giant glass jar--really can't beat the price.
Is it only good to use in the winter?: I think that this cream is good for all seasons, the only reason I mention that it's good to use in the winter is because it is indeed a thicker product and tends to be better than thinner creams.
Repeat offender?: Absolutely, I mean this stuff has been around since 1911, obviously it is legit.