Monthly Archives: June 2011

China Glaze Islands Escape Collection Swatches

From Left to Right: Senorita Bonita, 108 Degrees, Blue Iguana, Papaya Punch and Electric Pineapple

I was working on organizing my nail polish stash when I found the China Glaze Islands Escape collection and immediately regretted not playing with it sooner. It is packed with bold shades that are perfect for summer. It has the “it” orange shade of the moment and a few other fun shades that I have grown to love. Now that I really am dying to wear these shades, I do not have nails to speak of.

Until my nails are back to a more presentable, nail polish worthy state, I’ll be showing you some swatches on these nifty color wheels. This still gives me a feel for the formula and honestly, it is nice applying color on a “nail” that you don’t have to worry about a about a clean application with. 🙂

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Just Another Mani Monday: Essie Smooth Sailing

Choosing my nail polish this week was a breeze. I went with Essie’s Smooth Sailing, a lavender blue with pearl sparkles, part of Essie’s Braziliant collection. This color really is an accurate mash-up of lavender and blue, and the sparkles give it a playful feel. Tomorrow is the official first day of summer, and what is more summery than blue nails? Perhaps coral, which is what has been gracing my toenails for weeks. I really love the Braziliant collection, and if you haven’t seen it yet, do so before fall starts making its way to stores!

What’s everyone wearing this Mani Monday? Do tell in the comments!

Beauty VIP of the Week: Stila Prime Pot Waterproof Eye Shadow Primer

I’m a big fan of eye primers, basically anything that will help keep color or product on my eyes is good in my book. My lids are super oily so I’m of the opinion that if I am able to get decent wear time on my lips with something, it will most likely be amazing on someone else. I put Stila’s Prime Pot Waterproof Eye Shadow Primer to the test and it quickly became my good friend; it is this week’s VIP.

These Prime Pots made their debut at Spring 2011 Fashion Week as Stila’s Pro Artists reached for something that would hold up under the bright lights and long hours of Fashion Week. These Prime Pots were designed to be a lightweight and waterproof primer available in two shades; Taffy and Caramel, and retail for $20 each.

The first time I tried this primer, I was afraid the lightest shade would be too dark on my lids but after applying it, my fears were laid to rest. The shade is great to neutralize my lids since I have a lot of discoloration on them, it appears dark on my hand but on the eye is it not as dark as it seems and is buildable if you need more of the product/coverage.

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Ten or Less: CoverGirl NatureLuxe Gloss Balm

It’s fair to say that 2011 is going down in the beauty books as the “year of the hybrid lipstick.” No longer is a tube of lipstick a tube of lipstick. Case in point: Chanel Rouge Coco Shine and the new Dior Addict Lipstick, two formulas that we absolutely love. But nothing beats the satisfaction of finding something of this nature for under $7, ala CoverGirl NatureLuxe Gloss Balm. They’re everything you think they’re not: sheer, moisturizing and an incredibly great bargain beauty buy!

L-R: Tulip, Sandstone, Coral, Hibiscus, Spice

The NatureLuxe Gloss Balms are like candy to me! Every time I go to Target, I seem to acquire a new one. I love the scent — it’s really subtle, but sort of sweet. The formula contains mango and shea butters, as well as SPF 15.

L-R: Tulip, Sandstone, Coral, Hibiscus, Spice

I’ve found a favorite in the Coral, but Hibiscus is a close runner up. The range of colors is pretty impressive, and try as you might, you won’t find one that doesn’t look good on. Trust me, I’m working on it! That’s the beauty of the sheer formula.

Beauty Gifts for a Bachelorette

Summer is the unofficial-official wedding season. It kicks off in May, and goes strong until October. I for one, am very much a traditionalist with shower gifts (something off the registry) and gift money on the big day (no, I don’t think it’s tacky, at all). But for bachelorette parties, I like to gift beauty, obviously. It’s a fun gift to give, and to get!

Here are my top picks for the bridal gifts this summer, and beyond.

Sephora Favorites, Beauty & the Bride Kit ($45)

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Currently Loving: Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder in Bronze

Tarte did something very innovative this summer. They released a bronze setting powder! I’ve been using this every day for a month and each day I am amazed at how much better it makes my skin look. This product is similar to Tarte’s original Micronized Clay Finishing Powder in that it mattifies skin and minimizes pores, but this also adds a natural touch of bronze to your complexion. It’s so seamless – there is no dramatic bronzed effect, just a boost of warmth.

It contains Tarte’s VIP ingredient, Amazonian Clay, which balances skin by addressing dryness and flaking, improving skin texture and removing surface oil. Basically, this is product is perfect for summer. And now that I’ve gotten acquainted, I can’t imagine my beauty routine without this!

Look, no mess!

Worth noting, the mess-free container! Tarte placed one opening and all you have to do is squeeze on each side of it and the perfect amount of product comes through. I use my Eco Tools Bamboo Finishing Kabuki to dust the powder over my skin as a last step to my morning makeup routine, but if you snag this product through QVC, Tarte offers a fantastic brush!

I Wanna Hold Your Hand…LUSH Tiny Hands Serum

Do your hands need a little TLC? LUSH’s Tiny Hands Serum was created with hardworking mitts in mind. And just holding this tiny little hand in mine gave me some warm (and moisturizing) fuzzies! All you need is a moment with this solid bar in your palm and the serum melts off nearly instantly. Tiny Hands is uber-moisturizing — with argan oil, cocoa and shea butters and aloe vera. It eases dry patches or cracked cuticles in an instant.

Its scent traces back to marigold and vanilla, and is actually on the fragrant side. It’s more floral than vanilla, and I found it to be a calming aroma. Word to the wise though: don’t leave this serum baking in the sun, it will melt. For ease, I store it in one of LUSH’s silver tins and bust it out when I need a little touch of the hand!

Scrub-sessed! Bath & Body Works Into The Wild Smoothing Body Scrub

I’ve found my “it” exfoliator of the summer: Bath & Body Works Into the Wild Smoothing Body Scrub. I’m “scrub-sessing” in a big way. Some scents just strike you, and Into the Wild has absolutely captivated my attention. All other body scrubs have been sitting idle in my shower, as a result. This scrub is a master at its trade, and exfoliating is so necessary in the summer, especially with all of the self-tanners I’ve been using. It’s a misnomer that you’ll exfoliate the tan off of you. You actually need to slough off that dead skin in order to keep the tan looking natural and fresh.

The formula contains super-fine walnut shells, hydrating coconut milk and moisturizing Vitamin E. It’s got a very beachy, sandy texture without the beachy smell. This is not your average tropical scent, rather it’s a blend of mandarin, petals and white woods. To me, it has a smokey overtone and is a touch on the exotic side.

And the best part, you can snag this at Bath & Body Works for $14. However, because they are masters of the sales and coupons, you can probably get this for an even better deal. And you should, it’s amazing! I know I’ll be stockpiling this one:)

OPI Silver Shatter & No More Acrylic Nails for Me!

I have to confess something. I did something very stupid, ladies. I got a set of acrylic nails put on. I got tired of the horrendous bends and dips in my nails and wanted them to look perfect. That’s not too much to ask, is it? While they looked good initially, my nails are now acrylic free after soaking them in 20 minutes of acetone and filing them to within an inch of their life last night. They are in a very sad, paper thin state right now so for now, I want to remember my faux-nails as they were before the great soak off. Right now they are tender and sensitive to almost everything. I will never put on another set of acrylic nails again in my life.

Their last acceptable state was with OPI’s Silver Shatter with Don’t Know… Beets Me underneath. I LOVE the shade underneath, it is fantastic for summer. I scored a lot of compliments with this shade on my tips. I like the contrast between the magenta and the silver so Silver Shatter went on top. I like the way Silver Shatter applied. I picked up a bottle of Sally Hansen’s gold equivalent and it was very thin and barely cracked at all. Silver Shatter has a much better application. It has a wider brush and a thicker formula but it applies evenly if you work quickly. I wish it cracked a little more but at that time, I was happy with the results. I’m now shatter/crackle obsessed. I am trying to hunt down OPI’s Turquoise Shatter and have the China Glaze Crackle Metals to show you soon.

Right now I have a couple coats of Perfect Formula’s Gel Coat Strengthener from QVC on my nails but I feel like I’m not doing enough. What do you turn to when your nails are in need of a SOS? I’d love to hear suggestions from you, I need your help! Not being a nail gal has me at a disadvantage here. My gal Bren at So Much Pretty suggested Seche Vite Rebuild.

Eye Love the Earthy Neutrals in Josie Maran's Argan Eye Love You Too Eyeshadow Palette

There’s not much we don’t love about Josie Maran. So it came as no surprise that we fell in love with her Argan oil-infused palette of eyeshadows in her Argan Eye Love You Too Palette the moment we tried them. These shadows are smooth and long-wearing, and the ingredient to thank is pure Argan Oil. All eight shadows remind me of nature, with shades of espresso, bronze, sage and vanilla. These shades are made for blue-eyed gals — they really bring out my eye color!

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