Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Favorite Nail Products!

No prices on these and kind of a random number of items...  Sorry!

  1. China Glaze Strong Adhesion Base Coat
    • My Holy Grail base coat!  Really does make my polish stay a thousand times better.  Slight exaggeration?  Maybe…
  2. China Glaze Fast Forward Top Coat
    • The only top coat I use anymore.  Applies smoothly and dries in about a minute and can last up to a week.  I still wouldn't recommend not waiting for your layers to dry between coats but this certainly speeds up the process.
  3. Illamasqua Nail Polish in Baptiste
    • A gorgeous deep true purple with pink and purple shimmer.  As with all the Illamasqua polishes I've used, applied like a dream, opaque in one coat if you want.
  4. Essie Nail Polish in Kisses and Bisses
    • My favorite effect polish!  It's a sheer french manicure type polish with a strong fine pink shimmer.  I especially love it over Essie's Master Plan.
  5. American Apparel Nail Polish in Neon Red
    • This is not a red polish at all in my opinion but rather a VERY bright coral orange and absolutely one of my favorite spring/summer polishes.  I love looking at it on my toes and it's an excellent formula, unlike most of the other colors in the AA Neon Collection (Neon Green and Neon Yellow)
  6. Essie Nail Polish in Turquoise & Caicos
    • Another of my go-to spring/summer polishes!  As a New Mexican, I think I might be predisposed to love turquoise.  It's a greener and more jelly-like turquoise polish than China Glaze's Aquadelic which makes it more interesting in my opinion.
  7. Essie Nail Polish in Master Plan
    • While I enjoying layering Essie's Kisses and Bisses over this polish, it is wonderful alone as well.  As so many nudes look very fakey and just plain icky on me but this one actually looks great with my pale pinky skin.  It's a very cool-toned greyed taupe and is my go-to "grown-up" manicure.
  8. SpaRitual Nail Polish in Sacred Ground
    • I'd been looking for this polish a while when I finally found it.  Grey is one of my favorite colors and I wanted a gunmetal that wasn't despicably streaky/metallic.  This deep grey polish has tons of fine multicolored (mostly blue and gold) glitter.  It applies like a dream and stays on forever if you let it.
  9. butter London Nail Varnish in Wallis
    • I wish I had more occasion to wear this polish because it's so interesting!  It's basically tons of finer "old gold"  (almost greenish) colored glitter in a blackened base.  So pretty!  It was my St. Patty's mani :)
  10. butter London Nail Varnish in Black Knight
    • Another beautiful glittery shade.  This one is best over a black polish so you can get it opaque immediately and layer is a few times to get as much of it's blue, pink and gold glitter as possible.
  11. Nails Inc. Nail Polish in Baker Street
    • An amazingly vibrant true blue that is oh-so-summery.  Also has a better formula than some of the other Nails Inc. polishes I've tried.
  12. Milani Nail Polish in Orchidia
    • I was skeptical about Milani for the longest time but I'm a convert.  I was especially wary of this polish because I'd tried similar shades (Essie's Play Date) and was disappointed at how unflattering they were on me.  But Orchidia is a totally different story and applies without a hitch!
  13. Essie Nail Polish in Licorice
    • A staple.  I always keep two bottles of this polish in my drawers because I use it so often for layering and just because I love wearing black polish.  I still remember my mom's reaction when I first wore black polish…  She doesn't seem to mind anymore.
  14. China Glaze Nail Polish in Ruby Red Pumps
    • This polish is so perfectly named.  It is a red glitter polish and I love using it to make a gradient over black nails using a sponge.  Very fierce.
  15. China Glaze Nail Polish in Haunting
    • A black polish with silver glitter, like a star-lit night.  Wonderful staying power!  "Starry starry night…"
  16. China Glaze Nail Polish in Go Crazy Red
    • I'm not a big red wearer, probably because I find a lot of reds unflattering on me.  But, despite my misgivings, I really like this slightly warmer red shimmer polish.
  17. Essie Nail Polish in Mademoiselle
    • I tend to scoff when I hear someone say that something looks great on everyone.  But this color really seems to.  In fact, it's on of the only sheer pinks I've ever found flattering on my pastiness.
  18. Orly Nail Polish in Lunar Eclipse
    • I always hear "Devil With The Blue Dress" when I apply this true blue glitter polish.  Love it over black or navy for added depth.
  19. My "Frankenstein" Polish (Pale Bright Blue)
    • I decided to play with my Essie' Something Borrowed which was incredibly unflattering on me.  I added a generous amount of a cobalt blue from Revlon and a little bit of white.  Now it's considerably brighter and bluer and just plain happier!  (Which looks a look like Essie's new Bikini So Teeny)
  20. Illamasqua Nail Polish in Nomad
    • A newer one but already a favorite!  Not really a mint but rather a jade!  So exciting and beautiful on and, as always, amazingly formulated.  Thank you, Illamasqua!
  21. American Apparel Nail Polish in Port
    • There is something to be said for finding exactly the color and finish you want at a great price.  Port is a simple but lovely burgundy creme without any shimmer or glitter.  It looks sophisticated on it's own or under Essie's Shine of the Times.
  22. My "Frankenstein" Polish (Sheer Lavender Pink)
    • The only other sheer pink color that actually looks good on my complexion.  It was a combo of China Glaze's Inner Peace (pale sheer pink) and China Glaze's Sweet Hook (pale lavender/pink creme).
  23. Milani Jewel FX Nail Lacquer in Gems
    • Like a Macy's Day Parade in a bottle!  Large round multicolored glitter in various sizes and for a great price.
  24. Milani Jewel FX Nail Lacquer in Lavender
    • Same type of glitter as the previous but in a wonderful blue-violet shade.  Best over a navy/purple/black base.

butter London's Black Knight in natural light

Milani's Orchidia on most
Milani's Jewel FX Nail Lacquer in Lavender over American Apparel Imperial Purple on ring finger

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Favorite Face Products!

  1. MAC Powder Blush in Well Dressed ($20 for 0.21oz)
    • My most used and versatile blush.  A beautiful pale pink color that is subtle but noticeable
  2. Tarina Tarantino Dollskin Cheek Palette ($45 for 4 colors)
    • A pretty palette of both warm (coral/brown) and cool blushes that wears wonderfully.  I think Tarina Tarantino's products are severely underrated.
  3. YSL Anti-Cernes Multi-Action Concealer in 1 Ivory Beige ($35 for 0.07oz)
    • A great concealer that applies beautifully.  Stick concealers have always been my favorites because of how easy they are to deal with but this is my favorite of those I've found.
  4. LORAC Breakthrough Performance Foundation SPF 14 in SMS1 ($39 for 1.0 oz)
    • One of the best foundations I've found.  Naturally it's not quite pale enough on it's own but it has one of the best formulations I've found for my drier skin.
  5. Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray ($29 for 4.0oz)
    • A nice solution to combat Dallas humidity.  Especially helpful for my t-zone.
  6. Illamasqua Rich Liquid Foundation in 105 ($34 for 1.0oz)
    • This has been a life saver!  While I wish the formula wasn't so drying, it's what I add to every foundation I have until the shade I need.  Basically a white base.
  7. Chanel Perfection Lumiere Long-Wear Flawless Fluid Makeup SPF 10 in 12 Beige Rose ($55 for 1.0oz)
    • Naturally designer brands have more money and research to put into their products and this one is no exception.  Nothing buffs as seamlessly and effortlessly as this foundation.  Again, not pale enough but that wasn't a surprise.  (Even smells nice!)
  8. Bobbi Brown Corrector in Porcelain Bisque ($22 for 0.05oz)
    • Something that is actually pale enough for me!  Part of me balks at the stickiness of this concealer but I can't deny how well it works under my foundation.  My flaws, most notably, my undereye circles, are perfectly covered.

(In no particular order)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Le Monty!

Just felt like posting some pics of my buddy.  :)
"Do you come here often?"

This is a classic move.  I call it the "Warm Spot Swap."  It's where Monty takes my place in bed if I leave for something.  Maybe I should call shotgun?

This one is just goofy... lol

Favorite Eye Products!

In no particular order:

  1. 1. NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base ($24 for 0.26oz)
    • The best of any eye primer I've ever tried.  My shadow looks brighter and doesn't budge with this under it.
  2. Urban Decay Primer Potion ($20 for 0.37oz/$30 for 0.85oz)
    • My daily primer, not as quite as good as the NARS base but better bang for the buck and still a great primer.
  3. Tarina Tarantino Eye Dream Hyperliner in Spark of Envy ($15)
    • A beautiful teal-y green pencil that is wonderfully pigmented even in the waterline.  Gorgeous!
  4. Buxom Stay-There Eye Shadow in Pug ($18 for 0.12oz)
    • Makes for a super-easy and perfect pewter grey.  It's a go-to for when I don't have much time.  I especially love how well the color sticks, how it blends into a perfect gradient and that it looks almost glossy on.  Can't say enough!  The colors "Schnauzer" and "Mutt" are also great.
  5. NARS Eyeshadow Duo in Cleo ($34 for 0.14oz)
    • Though it broke on me during travel, it's still a gorgeous color combo and very pigmented.
  6. Inglot Eyeshadow Freedom Palettes (palettes vary on size; $5 per shadow)
    • Ummmm…  Already gushed about these.  Amazing variety, pigmentation, quality, quantity, blah, blah… THE BEST!
  7. Smashbox Jet Set Waterproof Eye Liner in Midnight Black ($22 for 0.1oz)
    • The best black gel liner I've found yet.  Doesn't move.  I wish it was a little bit less dry so it would apply a bit smoother but better dry than creasing!
  8. Make Up For Ever Eye Seal ($21 for 0.4oz)
    • Incredible for turning pigments (Glamour Doll Eyes, MAC Pigments, Sugarpill) into eye liners or make them very vibrant.  They WILL NOT move!
  9. Benefit's They're Real Mascara ($22)
    • Still the best overall mascara I've ever used.  It's volumizing, curling and lengthening without being clumpy.  Just wonderful.
  10. Fairydrops Scandal Queen Mascara ($24)
    • My biggest lash concern is that my lashes are super straight which makes them look shorter than they are.  This mascara is very good at curling and has fibers for lengthening as well.
  11. MAC Paint Pot in Painterly ($17.50 for 0.17oz)
    • I use this for priming my lids occasionally or for a no-makup look.  Great product.
  12. MAC Eyeshadow in Nylon ($11.50 for 0.05oz)
    • One of the most beautiful highlight/tearduct colors I own.  (And one of the few MAC shadows I still use..)
  13. Sugarpill Pressed Eyeshadow in Poison Plum ($12 for 0.14oz)
    • My favorite purple shadow.  No comparison!
  14. Sugarpill Loose Eyeshadow in Royal Sugar ($12 for 4 grams)
    • The most beautiful deep blue pigment.  Le GUSH!
  15. Inglot AMC Pure Pigment Eyeshadow in # 64/65 ($14 for 0.07oz)
    • My favorite two pigments for making smoky eyes.
  16. Dior 5-Colour Palettes ($59)
    • Already gushed about these too.  Need I more?
  17. NYX Jumbo Pencils in Milk and Black Bean ($4.50)
    • The best inexpensive white and black bases!  Great for darkening or brightening any eyeshadow as well as helping them stick to my lids.
  18. Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Sin ($18 for 0.05oz)
    • My favorite shimmery nude to add dimension to my eyes.
  19. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Perversion and Gunmetal ($19)
    • My favorite all-around pencil liners.  Perversion is especially useful in the waterline.
  20. Smashbox Limitless Liquid Liner Pen in Jet Black ($22)
    • Best way to make a flawless winged liner I've found.  No bleeding and it stays put!

Favorites Series

Though I have been absent, I haven't been (completely) idol.  I have another series in the works involving favorite products.  My foundation routine recently changed again so I might have to do an updated entry on that.  Might also do a "On My List" series too.  :)

And I'm back!

I'm not under any delusions that I have people waiting with bated breath to read what I have to say next but I feel badly for having been so neglectful of my blog this month.  I have some valid excuses but not enough and I don't plan on boring anyone with them.  So, in short, sorry blog!  And I will try to be better. :)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Naturally LUSH :)

To start this out, I smell like patchouli.  I don't particularly like that scent as much more than a background note.  It's a little too stereotypically hippy and just…  not me.  The reason I smell like the 1970s is that I'm trying out some of Lush Cosmetics' hair products.  Namely, their Trichomania solid shampoo and Jungle solid conditioner.  This is my first use of both so these are just initial reactions.  I was turned on to Lush products by Leesha of xsparkage.  I'd walked past the Lush storefront in my mall many times without giving it much thought.  But watching Leesha's hauls and reviews of my new favorite eco-friendly brand intrigued me.  And now the Twilight and Blackberry Bath Bombs as well as the Green Bubble Bars are favorites with me.  I'm a bath lover so adding to that experience just makes me happy.  I also like their cuticle butter, Lemony Flutter, as I'm a nail polish junkie with very dry skin.

I recent saw Youtube's missglamorazzi was raving about their Seanik solid shampoo.  I was (and thus far, still am) quite skeptical but thought it was worth looking into since I happened to be out of my normal shampoo (John Frieda's Root Awakening Nourishing Moisture for Dry Hair), the Lush shampoos and conditioners were about the same price and I'm going to be doing some traveling this summer.  Not to mention, we all want to be more organic, green and generally more globally responsible nowadays, right?

My hair is color treated, porous, a little wavy and not terribly oily.  Knowing this, the Lush employee (with the awesome blue hair) steered me to the Trichomania which is Lush's coconut-based solid shampoo for hair that needs added moisture.  It's not, to my relief, too strongly scented, just a mild coconut smell.  It was a bit of a hassle to work with, as you have to basically break a small piece off of the stuff and slowly work it into a lather with warm water between your hands before you can start rubbing it into your hair.  Thankfully the Mr. Blue Hair was thoughtful enough to demonstrate for me.  On a more positive note, my hair seems just about as clean as when I use regular shampoo which worried me since it didn't have  a very soapy consistency.

The Jungle conditioner wasn't something I was in the market for but I thought I might as well after the Mr. Blue Hair showed it to me.  I must have missed the patchouli in it while being pampered in the store because I'm fairly certain that would have been a deal breaker though, to be fair, it's not overwhelming.  It's lauded on the website for it's fruitiness and doesn't mention any herbaceousness.  (Screw you, Spellcheck!  That is too a word…)  But the jury is still out.  I haven't quite made up my mind on either product.  Is it worth the extra effort to know that I'm using organic and fair trade products?

That being said, I'm pretty excited to try other Lush products.  I'm very interested in the Skin Drink facial moisturizer and various Body Butters.  I think I might be sneaky and get my Mother's Day present there and have mom test some things out for me…  Does that make me a really good or a really bad daughter?  Anything anyone can recommend?