Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Solid Perfume, $9

Have you ever had a blood orange? They're really awesome--looks like a typical orange on the outside but is blood red on the inside. They taste like a tangy orange mixed with a hint of grapefruit. I love them, so I got really excited when I saw a perfume by Pacifica that promised to capture their scent.

The minute I smelled it I was in love. The other scents they had at Whole Foods smelled great (fig, gardenia, hibiscus) but I kept coming back to this one. The smell kind of sneaks up on you--at first it just smells like orange but then you get the grapefruit, strawberry, and raspberry. It's sweet and subtle and, at least in my case, addicting.

PS, don't you love the idea of a solid perfume? It just seems so feminine and subtle. It's also really convenient to carry around because you don't have to worry about it spilling in your purse. Although, I think I'll wait until it's not 100 degrees outside to do that! This one's great because it's completely vegan and is made with natural oils.

So, I really love this scent, I love that it's eco-friendly, and I love the idea of a perfume solid. The only problem is that the scent doesn't last. I put it on and a little while later I can't smell it on my skin (boyfriend couldn't either). But, since it's just a balm, really, I could just use it on my cuticles, lips, or other dry skin areas. Maybe I'll just focus on it as a balm that smells good, rather than a perfume that's in a solid form.

Final verdict
$9 seemed a little high at first, but I know it's going to last me forever. Plus, I couldn't resist the scent. Their other products are a little more pricey ($18-$20) but from the good reviews it seems like they're worth it.
Smell: Oh em gee, it smells really good. If you love oranges (especially blood oranges) I highly recommend checking this out.
Does it last?: Unfortunately, no. While it smells really subtle and sweet at first, the scent doesn't last on your skin very long.
Repeat offender: I wouldn't buy the perfume solid again because the scent dissipates so quickly. But, I will definitely use it as a balm until it's done. And I will also check out the other products in the blood orange collection--the body butter seems like it would be really nice. And hey, if oranges aren't your thing, check out their other scents! They have a ton, I know you'll find one you like.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sephora Collection Waterproof Mascara, Jet Black, $6 (on sale from $12)

The Sephora Collection Waterproof Mascara in Jet Black is included in the Sephora Collection Waterproof Bronzing Kit that I recently purchased. The mascara is also sold individually and is currently on sale for $6. This is a nice classic mascara, no fancy plastic brush with spikes or some unproven lengthening formulas. This is just a good old mascara that just happens to be waterproof.

I like the formula of this mascara because it is really thin and allows you to separate your lashes more finely and precisely. This is also aided by the soft bristle brush that is shaped long and thin. In my opinion it is easier to get each and every lash with a soft and thin brush like this.

Without knowing I was going to go to the pool a week ago I had applied a bunch of the stuff from the waterproof collection, including this mascara. I ended up going swimming and my cousin was completely dumbfounded when I lifted my head out of the water and my makeup was still solidly in place. She literally could not believe it so this is definitely water-tested! I can vouch and say that this is waterproof, even after spending time underwater.

Final verdict:
Cost: Originally this mascara is $12 for a pretty big tube but right now it is on sale on the Sephora website for $6. That is pretty much cheaper than a lot of drugstore brands!
Is it waterproof?: Like I said above, it definitely is waterproof. However, if you start to pick at your eyelashes (which a lot of us do--admit it.) it will kind of chunk off. Waterproof formula seems to feel a little more sticky than non-waterproof mascaras.
On a scale of 1 to 5?: I give it a 4. It does what it says it will. But still it isn't "The One" we have mentioned before!
Repeat offender?: I don't usually re-buy mascaras because I like to try different ones each time but if I got this in another set or something I definitely wouldn't mind.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Wet 'n Wild Wild Shine Nail Polish in Black Creme, $2

Sometimes in the middle of summer I suddenly feel this need to wear black. I don't know what it is--I know it's hot as hell out but my mind's like, "Dye your hair black! Wear black clothes! Boots would be so hot with this outfit!" I'm ignoring the boots thing for now (watch me bust them out the first 60 degree day) but I decided to go along with the goth vibe with some black nail polish. I was in CVS so I grabbed some Wet 'n Wild Wild Shine nail polish in Black Creme--just your normal, everyday black nail polish.

I'm not that good at painting my nails but I'm getting better. I put on a base coat (OPI 3-in-1, not yet reviewed), did 2 kinda-thin layers of color, let each one dry in between, and used a topcoat. They turned out alright--the edges were still a bit messy but overall I was proud of it. I took some artsy photos, including this one:

Sexaaay. Love those rings! Anyway, before I could get some clearer pics, it started chipping. Here are my nails two or three days later:

Gross. Now, I'll admit I'm not the most careful with my nails, but this polish just couldn't keep up. Oh well. Maybe I'll keep it for my toes (which chip much less) or as a base for more exciting topcoats.

Final verdict
$2 or less at most drugstores.
Texture: The color is good--only 2 coats are needed, and that's only if you want it super black. It's a bit liquidy, which made it difficult for me to get a clean edge.
Durability: Eh. It lasted a good day or so, but then started chipping.
Repeat offender?: Probably not. I'll use it because I don't want to waste it, but I think I'll stick with higher quality nail polishes for my inner goth needs. I might use this as a base--maybe glitter will extend its staying power.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Sephora Collection Eyeshadow, Tango Night, $12

I absolutely fell in love with this eyeshadow when I saw it in this kit a few weeks ago. I wasn't so interested in this particular kit so I thought I'd go with just the eyeshadow. I haven't really used any Sephora Collection eyeshadows so I was looking forward to seeing how this turned out.

Tango Night is a deep cosmic purple eyeshadow sprinkled with tons of silver glitter. Purple and silver look great together so this mix is definitely a good match! The eyeshadow absolutely requires some kind of primer otherwise the sparkles will not stick to the eyeshadow and on your eyelid.

When you put this on I suggest using a regular eyeshadow sponge brush. You will have to layer it on a bit because only one or two sweeps is a little too light (at least for me). Just play with the amount you apply on your lids. One warning, the glitter will get on your face because there is a lot of it in the shadow. What I do is simply use a wet face wipe and clean the area where there is a dusting of extra glitter, also make sure to wait to apply your moisturizer and blush until after you wipe the excess glitter off your cheeks or your under-eye area.

Final verdict:
Cost: $12 for one large size eyeshadow. I really really wanted this color so I didn't mind paying the $12.
Is it too glittery for the daytime? I don't think so, I think the sparkle is pretty subtle mixed with the purple shadow. Since the glitter is silver it just reflects the purple base around it.
How long does it last during a day?: With the primer this lasts me all day, and the sparkles stay in place!
Repeat offender?: I love this eyeshadow color so even though the application is a little tougher than other eyeshadow brands I still think it was worth getting. I would definitely try other Sephora Collection eyeyshadows.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets, $5-$6

The first day of summer was just a few days ago, but already this heat and humidity is getting to my skin. I don't know if it's like this where you are, but around here it has been relentlessly hot. I've been using the Urban Decay oil blotting powder to control my everyday shine, which has been working really well. But sometimes, like if I'm going to be outside for a little bit, my face just sweats right through it (sexy, I know). This is when I break out my old friend--Clean & Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets. I've used other ones in the past but these work just as well as any expensive sheets I've tried.

These are great because there are 50 sheets in a small, flat container that fits in any purse, pocket, or makeup bag. It has a little piece of doublesided tape that automatically picks up a sheet every time it closes.

Tada! Don't worry, I'll spare you the dark blue spotted result of my greasy forehead. Just trust me that these thin little sheets soak the oil right out of your pores and leave your skin feeling smooth. You can use them on your bare skin or over makeup, so they're useful no matter your beauty routine. Using these not only takes the shine off immediately, but also leaves my face feeling cleaner at the end of the day.

Final verdict
At around $5, how can you go wrong?
Do they work?: They totally work! When I know I'm going to be hot and feeling gross, I always keep these near me. You can see the evidence of it working right on the sheet. Don't be afraid to use two if yours becomes kinda, uh, see-through.
Convenience: They're faster and easier than powder, and you don't need a mirror to use one. Just remember to throw it away when you're done!
For everyone: Male or female, heavy makeup or none at all--everyone who gets a little shiny can use these.
Repeat offender: I've been buying these off and on since middle school, so yes I will continue to! I don't think I'll need them too much when the air gets drier and cooler, but I can definitely use them for the rest of the summer.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sephora Collection Nailpolish, Curacoa, $5

This beautiful bright blue nailpolish was part of the Sephora Collection Waterproof Bronzing Kit. I have never used any Sephora Collection nailpolishes so I was really excited to try it, especially because this blue is like no other blue I know.

The nailpolish bottle is fairly small but this polish is really vibrant so you could definitely get away with a single coat. I have on two coats and a topcoat in the pictures. This blue goes on smooth and evenly and is very true to the color even on the first coat. I am really impressed with the formula of the polish because it dried quick and has not chipped at all in the 3 days I've had it on.

This is definitely a great summer color that was included in a perfect summer kit. I will be reviewing other parts of the kit in later posts.

Final verdict:
Cost: Individually these polishes are about $5 but the kit which includes a mini lip gloss, full-size mascara, full-size eyeliner, full-size bronzer, this polish, and a carrying case was $28.
How is the quality?: This is my first Sephora Collection nailpolish and I am very impressed! I love how vibrant the color is and when you put it on your nails it is completely opaque, even with one coat.
Repeat offender?: I love this polish I will definitely go for other colors in the future. Though they don't have the color Curacoa available to buy individually there are other blues that are worth checking out like the color Myrtle and Bleu Jean.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

bareMinerals Blush in Pure Charm, $18

Another part of my Bare Escentuals kit is bareMinerals Blush in Pure Charm, a dramatic orangey-peachy-pink tone. The color is slightly more daring than I'm used to for blush. In some pics it looks neon! But when you see it it's actually much more of a rosy shade with hints of peach and gold.

The texture of the blush is really nice--soft, blendable, and buildable. I'm not really a fan of loose powder blush though, especially in such a small container, because it makes it hard for me to get it evenly distributed on my brush. I ended up using the cap as a little dish to catch the excess and moved the brush around in that. It seemed to work pretty well, but if I'm running around in the morning I'd be afraid of making a mess.

Applied sparingly (less than in this pic), it looks really nice on my skin tone. I think it would work with darker complexions as well. It's a perfect summer shade because it adds a bright pop of color that can blend well with a tan (or bronzer). And actually, I think it would look beautiful as an eyeshadow!

What I love about this color is the tiny gold sparkles. It gives the blush depth without compromising its strong pigment. I photographed it next to my staple, Nars Orgasm, which is more heavily infused with gold. As you can see, it's around the same shade, but more intensely pigmented.

Final verdict
$18 brand new, but they don't sell the color at Sephora anymore. Try looking for it on eBay and Amazon for as little as $8.
Texture: Just like the eyeshadow, I found it to be soft, blendable, and buildable. Feels like nothing's there at all!
Color: This color is a bit daring but it's easy to make it work. Just keep blending! The gold sparkles keep it from looking too shocking.
Repeat offender: I like this blush and would definitely understand why someone would want to buy it again--it's great quality and is a unique color. But I honestly can't really get over the inconvenience of the loose powder (it's slight, I know). I'll use it for sure, but I think I'll stick to pressed powder blushes. Maybe I'll just use this one as an eyeshadow instead!


Monday, June 21, 2010

Our First Giveaway Winner!

The time has come to pick the winner! We went old school and wrote all your names on little pieces of paper and drew one from the bag!

Who is it????


Here is what you won: Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner in black, Urban Decay Primer Potion in original, Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen in gold, and Sephora by Opi nailpolish in Caliente Coral!

Thanks for entering our first giveaway and enjoy the products, Vicki!

Mirna and Tori

Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen, Gold, $7.99

The Sally Hansen Nail Art Pens are one of the coolest nail customizing tools out right now. These awesome pens come in so many different colors and it seems like they are adding new ones now that customizing nails at home has become really popular. The one I'm reviewing is the Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen in gold.

This pen is like a nailpolish marker made to go over nailpolish. You have to shake this pen for a little bit and then press the tip down on a piece of paper to get the "ink" to come out. After that you can start to doodle on your nails as you please. After you decorate, polka dot, zebra stripe, leopard print, etc you just top it with any old topcoat. The paint comes off along with your nailpolish when you use regular nailpolish remover.

I think that these markers are really versatile but require practice. In the picture I just did a little big of a squiggle to show you how it shows up on polish. You can use it to french tip your nails even write something on them. I think that the marker is the perfect size to get skinny designs and if you want a thicker line you just kind of bend it to the side a little.

Final verdict:
Cost: $7.99, you can often find them on sale or even for special deals like buy one get one free since they are carried at most drugstores.
Does the color show up?: I have the gold and silver and they both show up really well. If you think that it is coming out too light, close the cap and shake the pen again. Then squeeze the tip down on a piece of paper to get the ink going again.
How do I learn to make cool designs on my nails?: I suggest to either practice on your nails or paper or my secret YouTube! There are so much nail tutorials and watching a few can really help you learn how to make your nails look badass.
Repeat offender?: Definitely! I would totally buy this in another color! I want to get it in black because I have a fantasy watermelon nail in mind one day!

Check back early this evening to find out the winner of the contest and to see what they got! Thanks for participating to those who did!


Friday, June 18, 2010

Bare Escentuals RareMinerals Skin Revival Treatment, $60

As I mentioned in my last entry, I bought a kit from Bare Escentuals that included an array of their products. The RareMinerals Skin Revival Treatment that can be found at Sephora is bigger than the sample sized one pictured here (0.15oz vs. 0.05oz). The color I got is Clear, which is meant for all skin tones.

The treatment is a little canister filled with concentrated minerals that are deposited with a little pouf. The minerals are meant to transform your skin overnight, fixing wrinkles, sun damage, pore size, blemishes, skin texture . . . basically everything. That's a lot to promise, but hey, for $60 it better do a lot! To use, you click it to "open" and rub the pouf on your skin in a circular motion, buffing away imperfections. The minerals work on your skin while you sleep.

I've used it pretty consistently for about a week now. The pouf is really soft and gentle, and it feels nice on sensitive skin. However, it's honestly hard to tell anything is coming out--well, except that the top turned from white to beige. Sometimes I'll kind of tap it on my skin to make sure some powder puffs up. If anything, at least the pouf is increasing circulation and buffing away some dead skin cells.

After I put it on, my skin feels softer, smoother, and less oily. It doesn't do much to cover the blemishes, but I don't really care because I'm going to sleep! I think if you got one in a color closer to your skin tone it might make a more noticeable difference.

So, does it work? I don't really know. The first night I used it I had a huge zit on my chin. The next morning it was obviously much smaller. I got excited, but I don't know if it's done much since then. I've had some breakouts after that and it hasn't done much for them. Maybe I need to use it for a longer time to see more results?

Final verdict
$60. Ouch. You can find it on Amazon for around $45, or try it in a kit (they have new ones often).
Texture: Right after using it my skin does feel soft and velvety, but not miraculously so. It would probably be easy on sensitive skin.
Fix-all?: Sigh, I don't know. My main problem is breakouts, and while it did help a little, it wasn't perfect by any means. I wonder if I have to use it for a longer period of time, or if it's not really meant for my skin problems.
Repeat offender?: No, I wouldn't buy this again. I'll use this until it's gone (or until I think it's gone . . . it's hard to tell) and hopefully it will do a little something, but I kind of doubt it. Bummer!

Our giveaway is still going strong! Can't wait to announce the winner on Monday! We're so excited about it that we're extending the deadline--you now have until Sunday night at 11:59pm to enter.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

China Glaze For Audrey, $2-5

Inspired by Breakfast at Tiffany's and named for the leading lady Audrey Hepburn, this polish by China Glaze is a perfect addition to my range of blue polishes. For Audrey is made to resemble the classic blue Tiffany's signature box and it sure does! The color doesn't quite hit the spot exactly but for the most part it really does look like the Tiffany's blue.

I love this light blue because it is like turquoise. I have on two coats plus a topcoat and it looks great. I think it is a really awesome and feminine splash of color. This would look great on toes as well. As you know I'm really into the blue shades so when I found this color I knew I had to have it. I can see myself going to this shade many times because just like the muse behind it there is just something super classy and elegant about it.

Final verdict:
Cost: $2-5 depending where you find it.
Does the color look the same on your nails as it does in the bottle?: Definitely! This color is very true to the shade that appears in the bottle. Just two even coats and you are good to go. The formula is a little tricky because it is a little thicker than other polishes so be careful to make sure you paint it on evenly.
Repeat offender?: I am definitely keeping this in my collection and replacing it when I run out! I could see this as being a great "something blue" for any daring brides-to-be out there. I think it looks great against black OR white!!


By the way--Why haven't you entered our giveaway yet?? Don't be shy! Enter our giveaway by Friday 11:59 PM for a chance to win some awesome full-size products! Who doesn't like free stuff?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

bareMinerals Eyecolor, $13

I just bought the Heroes Super Color Collection from Bare Escentuals. Since there's so much to review in the collection, I thought I'd give each product their own separate entry. The set includes a Buxom gloss, which is awesome (check out Mirna's review here).

Today I'll review their bareMinerals eyecolor (loose eyeshadow) in Fearless and Freedom.

(Fearless and Freedom)

Fearless is a super dark forest green/gray/black with multicolored shimmer. Oh my, is it gorgeous! I was surprised at how pretty it really is, in that dark and dangerous kind of way. The picture on the website really doesn't do it justice.

The shadow is intense and highly pigmented. It is crazy dramatic as a shadow. It could be used as a liner, to add some depth to your crease, or blended with other colors.

Freedom is a sweet light blue with a hint of green (less green when applied, see photo below), decorated with tiny silver shimmers. It reminds me of a really clear summer day, when the sun bleaches out the sky.

The color is also really pigmented but is much more subtle. It would look really nice with blue or brown eyes, and coordinates nicely with Fearless.

(click on pic to enlarge)
The versatility of these eyeshadows really impressed me. The top line is Freedom, shown (left to right) over Urban Decay primer, dry, and applied with a wet brush. The bottom line is Fearless, shown (left to right) over Urban Decay primer, dry, and applied with a wet brush. As you can see, these shadows can have quite different looks! With primer the colors are bright and clear. Worn dry they are more subtle and easily blended, for a nice day look. When applied with a wet brush they become intense and really shimmery. I love having options!

Final verdict
$13 each. Right now these particular colors are only available in the Heroes collection for a limited time. ($40 for a lot of awesome products, get it while you can!) I found Fearless on Amazon, so as always check there, too (and eBay).
Color: These colors are amazing! They have so much life and depth, and are unlike any other eyeshadows I have. I personally prefer Fearless because of the richness and drama, but Freedom is sweet and pretty as well.
Versatility: The colors look different whether they're worn dry, over primer, or applied wet. You can create a lot of distinct looks with just one color.
Repeat offender: Totally! I would definitely buy their eyeshadow again, as well as other products. Stay tuned for reviews of the other products in this collection.

Hey! Did you enter our giveaway? Remember, it ends Friday at 11:59pm!