Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Revlon's Runway Nail Collection & Blog Award

I don't do fake nails, and it's been ages since my last run-in with the nail drill--sometime prior to the end of High School, I can remember being introduced to the art of the acrylic. It took me nearly six years to break away from that monogamous relationship, and since then I have been happy with my short nails--making it easier to text, type, and play the piano.

When Revlon approached me about reviewing their Runway Nail Collection, I obliged, but was a little hesitant to actually slap some glue back onto my fingers. It was easy to say yes, as the designs were along the lines of the airbrush styles that I crave--and the fact that they come ready-to-wear, means no wasted time in a nail salon. But how was I going to speed text-reply, as I had been so out of practice with the use of my thumb joints? I quickly posted a poll on the site, wondering if anyone else was a fan of fake nails--and found that quite a few readers are, but have been moving away from it for the sake of saving money. Well, are these going to be a treat for you!
Revlon's Runway Nail Collection is a line of nails that are easily applied while sitting on the couch watching The City. It takes just a few minutes to decide which of the 24 nails fits your fingers (and if they can fit mine, trust me--they will fit yours). A little dab of glue--just a few small drops is all you need--and it's time to press those babies against your nail bed. This is the trick: to prevent air bubbles from forming, press and hold each nail very firmly for the course of about a minute. The design in the above image is Minx, and the fishnet effect at the tip is exactly what I'd ask for if I were in a nail shop. I kind of like the feminine feel of the longer nail--and at $7, I could afford to change them on the nightly! Nobody will know that your nails have been done at home--they honestly look and feel like the real thing. Now, I'm onto painting some of the others to see what fresh combos I can come up with. A little neon, methinks?

I was tagged by the sweet Su-Pah of Treasure Trove of Makeup, as well as Catanya from Catanya's Things for an I Think You're An Awesome Girl blog award. I get so excited when I see that I have a new follower and/or that people are interacting and chatting on the blog--so thank you both so much...it means the world. The idea is to state 10 little known facts about yourself, as well as to tag 10 others to keep the love going. I think I'm going to narrow it down to 5, as I honestly don't know what other sorts of facts to scrape up:

*My sign is Virgo, and I think it's very fitting for my somewhat OCD personality.

*I know this will be hard for some of you big-time fans (of the books/movie) to read, but I cannot for the life of me, get into the Twilight series. I aware that I'm in the minority here, as nearly every last person I know has enjoyed them--but getting past Chapter 2 has been like pulling teeth. Should I try again?

*One place that I would really like to visit, is Saudi Arabia. Any potential travel buddies that have been dying to visit, with me on this?

*During this Halloween season, I get so excited to look for skull decorations (they have to be tasteful and authentic looking), as well as the mini packs of candy. Right now, 100 Grand has taken over my candy drawer. I think by now I've eaten about 5 million worth.

*I'm constantly thinking of DIY projects--this doesn't mean I ever get to them, but when I see things that I like, nine times out of ten I say to myself "...Hmm, I could make that". What a load of confidence I have, eh?!

And now it's your turn:

Friday, September 25, 2009

Guerlain Slavic Beauty

Is that not the chicest palette you have ever seen? As of late, I am a little over the top with palettes, and am appreciating the idea that someone else (namely the cosmetic companies), will make my mind up for me. You'll see what I'm getting at in upcoming posts...but it's my new take on trying new things. Some of the shades that you find in palettes are ones that you would have never set out in search of on your own--only to find that you love them with time!

My attraction to the Guerlain Slavic Beauty look, came with the name and packaging. Their campaign music was also a big push (can you hear the marketing bells going off?), and I loved the fact that they used Natalia Vodianova as their face. Quickly, Tsarina became one of the most used items in my collection, and I tell you--the compliments have been a bit overwhelming! I honestly wasn't sure that plums and purples (mind you, a burnt orange), would be my cup of tea--they have a tendency to cause my eyes to look bloodshot. After a little playing around though, I realized I was wrong. And the blendability--oh, the blendability. I promise to buy more. Quality is not the issue here. The packaging is heavy, and makes you feel as though you have a little jewel on your counter. I think that is how makeup ought to be...special.

Another piece from the collection that caught my eye, was the Russian Doll Liquid Blush. It comes in a very hygienic (beautifully adorned) pump bottle, and is a sheer yet illuminating coral shade. It's perfect for olive skintones, but I can imagine it would flatter any shade. A very small amount goes a long way, so it will have a longer life than the size would otherwise imply.

Are you a fan of Guerlain? In my opinion they've come a long way from their recognition as the "meteorite" makeup line.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

YSL: A Red Lip & Touche Eclat

Red is so not my lipstick color of choice. But as I've been trying to diversify my collection, I thought it would be appropriate to find a shade of red that would suit my olive skintone without screaming "I cost a buck fifty". Of course I needn't look far, because Tali from The Gloss Goss did the groundwork for me! While surfing through her lovely YouTube videos (which, if you haven't had the opportunity to subscribe, I completely recommend), I found that she had picked up the YSL Rouge Volupte lipstick in shade 16 (Red Temptation). I absolutely love this lipstick formula, as I don't feel as though I have to apply lip balm prior to application. It's ridiculously moisturizing, and the color is so pigmented that I've since had a couple of people ask me the name of the shade. Brown girls, listen up--this is the shade for us. It has the perfect undertones of orange (but not in a pumpkiny kind of way), and transforms your teeth to a shockingly Crest-like white. Added bonus? It smells of mango butter.

My sister had come home from work one day raving about the changes she had seen after using YSL's Touche Eclat Radiant Touch. I had to admit, she looked heaps better than when I had seen her in the morning--in a more awake sort of wide-eyed way. If you've ever seen my sister, the wide-eyed comment is a bit of a joke, as her eyes are rounder and larger than a Furbee doll. But I swear, I did detect a difference.

It may be a bit of a shock to some that I didn't already own the Touch Eclat, as it's one of YSL's most popular products--however, I've been having an ongoing relationship with Cle de Peau's concealer for years now, and thought that I'd be cheating if I were to consider another. What I didn't realize, is that both can be used--Touche Eclat does the job of illuminizing and brightening, while other concealers...conceal. My skin was best suited for the first shade (which was a bit of a shock to me), but it took nearly a half hour to come to this decision as the makeup artist had to finally admit that the others did not match the base tones in my skin. If you are interested in this product, I recommend having an artist assist you at the counter for a shade match.

YSL stocks some of my favorite makeup items--are you a fan?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Jin Soon Choi, Liner, and...What?

My most recent stop at MAC resulted in a Jin Soon Choi nail polish purchase. I was looking forward to one color in particular, and that would be the shade Dry Martini. It's a moody, fatigue-like tone that reminds me of olives in a martini--hence, the name. It's a nice diversion from the similarly muted greys that we've seen this past year.

Of course it was a bit difficult to leave with just a dinky polish (I've fallen for so many of their polishes, only to be let down upon returning home--so you know, needed some padding here), and consequently picked up the Pearglide Eye Liner in Black Russian (Love That Look collection). I absolutely love this formula, and would gladly have MAC formulate all of their liners to be this soft--lip liners included! It's not uncomfortable to glide along the waterline, and the color reminds me a bit of Sharkskin. Of the four limited liners, it had the most appealing sparkle--not too much, and not too little.

Want to see something funny? I picked up a boatload of Korean sheet masks a few weeks back. They're pre-moistened (with serum) sheets that stick to your face and perform whatever each one claims to do. I wasn't sure that anything would fit my big head, and decided to try the Apricot one the other night to scare the hubby. I bounced off the stairs like a confused Ninja, and he took the opportunity to capture it on camera (which happened to be laying on the living room table--my fault for leaving it there!). I actually like these things, and now that I think about it, I'm off to apply the royal jelly one! Now you know I'm an honest blogger!

Did anyone snag a Jin Soon Choi polish? Have you tried sheet masks before?

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Eliminating Grey!

Today: two new things in hair and skin. A hairstylist was playing around with my hair the other morning, and he bent over to examine my hairline "...looks like you have some grey hair!" Oh really? You know, I'm well aware of that--in fact, I've told the whole wide blogging world very publicly before. Usually I try to keep it under tight wraps (aka Clairol's Perfect10), but lately I've been working back to back, so when I get home I shampoo with a clarifying shampoo to rid myself of the highly flammable amounts of hairspray. That's a recipe for disaster--fastest way to strip color from you hair: clarifying shampoo. Anyhoot, it wasn't all bad, as he then suggested a new product from the likes of Joico.

re:nu Shampoo, Conditioner, re:nual Serum, & Primer

re:nu is the marriage of Joico and Shiseido laboratories, to create a product that defies the aging process which shows itself in hair. Now, unlike the commercial intro for their website, I'm not in my 40's, or experiencing dullness in quality. However, I do get grey hairs--which is very common in my family (as it is in other Pacific Island communities as well). The Re:nual Serum is said to work at the sebum level of the hair, to create a new kind of...err, creature?...that grows back with more pigmentation. After 5 months, users are to see a 50% change for the better. I'm equipped with a 3 month supply, and I'm ready to do some serious monitoring. Upon announcement of this discovery to older family members, I was informed that they would be expecting a report back. These products are formulated with men and women in mind, so if it does indeed deliver on its promises, many a bottle of Re:nu I'm sure, will be received for Christmas. Yes, and that includes you *cough cough* bro.

I was also suckered into the shampoo, conditioner, and primer (which I'm sure aren't key to having the serum work). But what can I say--I'm an easy sell.

Mario Badescu Cucumber Cleansing Lotion
and Enzyme Cleansing Gel

After testing the sample kit of skincare from Mario Badescu (fill out the questionnaire and wait for an email response), I realized that his Enzyme Cleansing Gel was very similar to an old favorite that I used to use from Jan Marini. It contains extracts from papaya and grapefruit, which are very good at sloughing off the dead skin that can build up on the top layer of our skin. While I was at it, I figured I'd also grab the Cucumber Cleansing Lotion, which is non-irritating and clears out anything that's been left behind. I highly recommend Mario Badescu's products, as I've used several of his products over the years. The price point is very affordable (especially in comparison to other brands), yet his simple approach to skincare always seems to be spot-on. Spot-on..hehe.

In other updates, I am currently halfway through day 6 of my Master Cleanse. It has definitely been the time around, thus far--I haven't been camping out on food blogs all week, nor have I gotten crazy with the Mr. when he eats plate after plate of food in front of me. So, that being said--it's going pretty good! I have more energy, my skin has cleared of some dry patches I was worried about, and I still have four days left until completion. I know of one other person that has decided to do this with me--was there anyone that I missed?

Anyone else a premature greyer? Who is a fan of Mario Badescu?

Friday, September 04, 2009

Gifted: Origins and Sonia Rykiel

What is all kinds of lovely, is wrapped beautifully, and smells of rose and tiare? Two new gifts of course! I'm so blessed to have friends and family that appreciate (and likewise have an appreciation for) the passion for beauty products. I was shocked to receive a call from my cousin who told me that she had a kit of body products from Origins known as Shedonism. Shedo-what? I needn't wonder another day, before she met me for coffee and plopped a box full of the most amazingly warm-yet-subtle-yet-island-scented items before me. As we munched our way through macarons and lunch (to DIE for, those macarons), I couldn't help but wonder if she'd need to use the restroom or take a call, so I could open up the roll-on oil and douse myself in it again. Not only was there a perfume oil, but also a body lotion, shower gel, and candle. It's perfectly non-offensive mixed with other fragrances, but wonderful all on its own. If you can get your hands on this stuff, by all means stockpile!

So I get home, open my mail box and there lies yet another surprise. Two in one day? Too much (but not too much--you know, I'm not complaining here)! This one I tear open--nobody was around, giving me the chance to be a bit shameless--to find something that I have only read and dreamed about. Hand-carried back from Japan, my girlfriend sent the item from Hawai`i--and that item: Sonia Rykiel's Sublime Lipstick in shade 14. This has started a huge problem--I now want every lipstick from this line, regardless of the color. The smell is divine--like a lightly moisturized rose garden (no idea what that is, but I can imagine it), and the wear is so moisturizing and indulgent. It reminds me of YSL's Rouge Volupte formula, but in the typical size of a lipstick.

Along with the lipstick came a mirror/keychain, and a foundation/powder sample. Now this is where American companies need to step their game up--we never get anywhere near this kind of swag with the purchase of a lipstick! Every other country in the world is doing it...why can't we?

I'm just so thankful. These items have kept a smile on my face through what has been a non-stop work week of hell.

On a side note, I began my 10 day (I think...I have a tendency to extend the dates) detox this morning. It's the Master Cleanse, and I have made it an annual thing for the past four or five years now. It's so refreshing to press reset on our bodies, and although this way is a bit of a sacrifice, well..I like sacrifice. I love being in the kitchen, so it's never really a whiz to complete, but I know there are great things to come back to when I'm finished.

Is anyone with me on the detox (perhaps modified)? What has been your experience with Origins and Sonia Rykiel products?

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Korean cosmetics: Part II

As promised, I am back with a couple more items that I enjoyed from my Korean Cosmetics Experience: Numero Uno. Before going further, I must admit that I will be returning time and again to my little cosmetics shop for new arrivals. I'm shocked with joy, at the pigmentation that these products offer, and am tempted to do some comparisons to the likes of the MAC mineralized products. This price point is friendlier, and the packaging is way cuter--si?

Cathy Cat, Mineral Duo #10

Por ejemplo, this Cathy Cat mineral duo shadow--what color payoff! And the little eyeshadow sponge that accompanies it? Sure, that thing will never be used, but it's still cutesy--and swings off of the little circle nob on the pan by a string.

Iope Air Cushion Sunblock (in shade 23)

My favorite find was the Iope Air Cushion Sunblock. Essentially it's a spongy foundation, with very light coverage. It beholds the powers of SPF 40 (this I love), and that's not all--it claims to block heat, and add a cooling function to the skin. Oh, and it's sweat proof. It reminds me a bit in appearance, of a similar Shu Uemura product, but this one actually feels like water being applied to the skin. Each box comes with a refill of the product, so you get twice the amount of product for your money (which is about $35). I really like.

Is SPF something that you take into account when purchasing a foundation/face product?
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