Archive | October, 2011

Essie Brooch the Subject

19 Oct

My nails and I don’t really like to play by the rules, but sometimes, you have to behave yourself. I recently had a business meeting and I wasn’t totally sure if it’d be okay to let my personality shine through on my fingertips, so I decided to play it safe with a member of Essie‘s Winter 2011 collection, Brooch the Subject.

Essie Brooch the Subject nail polish

Essie Brooch the Subject nail polish

I like this color! I didn’t expect to as I was applying it, as it’s not an identical match for my skintone (this picture makes it seem a little closer than it actually is), but it’s just the right nude: doesn’t make my skin look sickly or red at all – it’s actually quite flattering!

Pros: Flattering shade, if it’s close in color to your skintone, it’ll make your fingers look long and thin – just like a pair of nude pumps! For some reason, I really think Kim Kardashian would like this nail polish. Not sure why.

Cons: I had a lot of trouble with application with this shade. It was much thicker and gloppier than I’m accustomed to with Essie, which was disappointing. It took three aggravating coats. I didn’t apply a top coat and I have a small chip after three days – but that’s my fault.

What do you think? Will you be picking this one up, or any of the others from the Essie Winter 2011 collection? It’s hard to find online at present, but should be available in many of your local salons and Essie retailers soon!

Product Spotlight: Boscia Soothing Cleansing Cream

17 Oct

Hey readers! Hope you had a nice weekend! I definitely did. It’s finally fall here in New York and I am loving it! I busted out the spring/fall cape and totally rocked it. Though a weird thing about my weekend was that I saw a man selling COUNTERFEIT MAC MAKEUP IN UNION SQUARE and freaked out! It blew my mind. I’ve never seen it in person before – only online. Of course I didn’t buy any – who knows what was in it?!

So, in the past, I’ve shared that I use an exfoliating face wash several times a week. I don’t use a face scrub any longer, and I’ll tell you the reason for that soon. You may have been wondering what I use the other days of the week – or what I now use pretty much exclusively!

Boscia Soothing Cleansing Cream

Boscia Soothing Cleansing Cream (picture from beautylish.com)

It had admittedly been a struggle to find something – anything at all – that fit the bill so Boscia‘s Soothing Cleansing Cream is what I’m using right now. I’m obviously pretty picky about products, but when I went into a Sephora to buy a facial cleanser, I only knew that I wanted something mild. My skin was more flaky than a sfogliatelle (or a croissant, if you prefer) – which was why I’d been exfoliating so frequently – but little did I realize that overexfoliating was causing my skin to flake! It’s a delicate balance, my friends. I needed a gentle, milky cleanser to give my skin a break, and after trying a few with the awesome SA at the Union Square Sephora (my favorite one), I went with Boscia.

Boscia‘s Soothing Cleansing Cream is fragrance free, an excellent cleanser, and leaves your skin deliciously touchable. In fact, once you’ve washed your face, you’re suddenly terrified the product’s left behind a greasy film. False, you’re just seriously moisturized. Because of this, though, I advise that you use this product before bed instead of in the morning. (I might not recommend those of you with especially oily skin check this one out.) It’s also a natural product, for those of you who find that important. You really only need one or two little squirts of the product for your whole face, so a little goes a long way.

Though you might go far with just a bit of product, Boscia‘s Soothing Cleansing Cream is unfortunately a bit on the steep side – $26 for 5 oz. It’s also not much of an in-shower face wash for the multi-taskers out there, as Boscia suggests you use it on on a dry face. And, because of the fact that it’s a natural product, it contains no preservatives – so once you buy it, I suggest you start using it so it doesn’t go bad…

It may not be the perfect face wash, but I’m digging it right now. It’s great for fall/winter, especially with its moisturizing qualities. I bought mine at Sephora, but you can also buy it here from Ulta, here from drugstore.com, or here from Boscia‘s own website.

Does anyone else have this face cleanser and like it, or any other Boscia products that they’d like to recommend?

What’s Cooler than Being Cool? – Rohto Arctic Eye Drops

13 Oct

As I’ve been mentioning non-stop on this blog, I recently was a bridesmaid in and a makeup artist for the wedding of one of my closest friends. Before I left for Roanoke, I bought a new product, which proved to be indispensable.

But I have to say, guys – my gal Coco (Chanel) wasn’t kidding when she said you’ve got to suffer to be beautiful.

I first heard about Rohto eye drops in beauty vlogger Michelle Phan‘s popular Lady Gaga Bad Romance YouTube tutorial. I’m always on the hunt for something to make the whites of my eyes (sclerae!) brighter, and when Visine isn’t pulling its weight in that department – though you have to admit, it can do a lot of different things – you want something that can. We all stay up late, staring at computers, doing whatever, and get red eyes. My contacts make my eyes really red, but I am far too stubborn to wear my glasses. (Hey, I don’t want to sacrifice peripheral vision!) I did a little googling, and this blogger, Your Every Woman, said that the Rohto eye drops hurt. A lot. I was unfazed. Since you guys know I’m willing to put myself through a great deal of physical pain for beauty, I went out that day and picked up a bottle.

Rohto Arctic eye drops

Rohto Arctic eye drops (picture courtesy of travellady.com)

I chose Rohto Arctic, because that was the one that Michelle used in her video, but to be honest, I couldn’t really see much of a difference between the two boxes. It cost about six dollars – same as Visine – at my local drugstore, and it even had an instant $2 off coupon attached to the front. I waited until that night to use it.

I was glad I did. I put a drop in each eye and it was AS IF I HAD CLIMBED MOUNT EVEREST WITHOUT GOGGLES. I’m not sure where the readers of this blog live, but for those of you with distinct seasons, imagine winter. Now imagine really a windy, cold winter, and that you are walking into the wind. And that your eyes are tearing, and how cold those tears are streaking down your face. That is Rohto Arctic. These eyedrops are like having the coldest and worst part of winter in your eyeballs. And you’re going to feel like that for at least 45 seconds.

But when I opened my eyes, they were much, much brighter. And I was really awake! A few minutes later and I kind of wanted to do it again! (Clearly, I am a glutton for beauty punishment.)

I was glad I brought them with me on my bridal excursion to Roanoke. The bride had very red eyes this weekend before the wedding, probably due to lack of sleep. I had been telling her all about Rohto Arctic before I had arrived – how great the product worked – but how it hurt, and she said she would never try them. Hours before the ceremony, however, the tables had turned, and she was cursing as I was applying drops to each eye.

And then, later, asking me for the brand name so she could recommend it to her new husband.

Pros: They work really, really well, are easy to find, and are inexpensive.

Cons: They hurt like you wouldn’t imagine. This wears off, though. And then look at how pretty you are! Also, put your makeup on after the drops, because as soon as you put them in you’re going to cry like you did when you heard that Stabler left Law and Order: SVU. And wait to put your contacts in until after you’ve used the drops.

Interested in torturing your eyes into beautiful submission? Check out your local drugstore or pharmacy, or find Rohto Arctic here at drugstore.com.

Have you tried these? You totally should! They don’t hurt that badly. C’mooonnnn, you know you want to try them.

Essie Lilacism

11 Oct

Hi readers! I hope you had a great holiday weekend. I did for sure! I went down to Roanoke, VA to be in the wedding of one of my best friends, Leah – and she had me do her makeup! I can’t wait t0 see the pictures the photographer took.

I picked out the nail polish for all of the bridesmaids – Leah asked me to pick up some light purple pashminas and matching nail polish for the bridal party, and Essie Lilacism turned out to be a perfect match to the pashminas.

Essie Lilacism nail polish

Essie Lilacism nail polish

I’ve had Lilacism since it came out in spring 2010, and they have since improved the formula. I might have to buy a new bottle because the one I have is completely awful to deal with – terribly streaky and takes at least five coats to reach opacity. However, the other girls got their nails done, and their nail techs said that their bottles were lovely and had a great, creamy formula, taking only two coats. Here’s all of our hands together (and Leah’s, who got OPI‘s Mimosas for Mr. and Mrs.). Apologies for blurriness!

Bride and bridesmaid hands! Essie Lilacism and OPI Mimosas for Mr. and Mrs.

Bride and bridesmaid hands! Essie Lilacism and OPI Mimosas for Mr. and Mrs.

And here’s the back of my head – I got my hair curled by Cathy at Plaza 101 and she did a great job!

My hair for Leah's wedding

My hair for Leah's wedding, courtesy of Cathy of Plaza 101 (Roanoke, VA)

More pictures from the wedding, etc. as I get them! It was truly beautiful (and went by so fast!) and I was honored to be a part of it. I cried all over the place and was teased like you wouldn’t believe

You can find Essie Lilacism pretty easily, including here at drugstore.com, and at many local drugstores.

What did you do this weekend?

How To: Fix Stained Nails

5 Oct

Hey everyone!

I may not have mentioned this on the blog, but I’m going to be in my friend’s wedding this weekend! I’m very, very excited and honored to be a part of her special day – and not only am I a bridesmaid, but I’m doing her makeup as well! I’ll be sure to post pictures once I get them, and also to tell you what products I used.

We’re all wearing matching manicures for the wedding (swatches will go up later in the week) but because the polish is a pastel, I had to be very careful about not wearing dark – or my nails’ personal kryptonite, blue and green – polishes for extended periods of time, even with a base coat.

Even though I was careful, I still have some residual staining from the summer. It’s not all bad though – you guys get a how-to!

What you need:

  • Small glass or stainless steel bowl
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Baking soda

That’s all you need! Pour enough hydrogen peroxide into the bowl so that you’ll be able to cover your nails, then add two tablespoons of baking soda. Blend well. (If you’re making a day at the spa for yourself, you could add some essential oils if you have them, because this blend definitely doesn’t smell all that hot.)

Ms Manicure Block Party 4-Way Buff Block

Ms Manicure Block Party 4-Way Buff Block (kaboodle.com)

Now sit there for at least fifteen minutes per hand. This definitely works! – but if your nails looked anything like mine, they will need more time. (I suggest catching up on TiVo while you do this.) I took the business side of a sponge to my nails and redipped after scrubbing. I found that this seriously boosted my results.

You can complete this mini treatment by gently buffing them with my favorite buff block – I’ve seen it in the $1 travel section at Target! – and slathering them in olive or cuticle oil.

See?! They look almost as good as they did before you started wearing nail polish. Almost.

Does anyone have any easy beauty fixes like this one? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

MAC Mattene Lipstick – Seeds of Desire

4 Oct

So I may have spoken too soon about the whole “FALL IS SUPER AWESOME!” thing.

It is, of course, super awesome! I’ve been wearing scarves and cardigans, wiggled into a pair of stockings the other evening, and my beloved camel cape has been calling at me from the closet. But there is a major downfall to fall. I forgot how cold it is at night. And I haven’t put my electric blanket on my bed yet (oy vey, I just admitted to that geriatric predilection in writing), so I have been tucking my pajama pants into my socks (again! I am really sexy sometimes). Tea helps, but one can only drink so much tea before they feel like they’re going to float away.

Gee, I’m getting really crotchety in my mid-twenties.

But you know what is great about fall? Animal print. And believe me when I say it is everywhere. I officially have a leopard print everything in my closet, and go wherever you want with that, because I’m done elaborating. In my mind, MAC‘s new and limited edition Mattene lipstick in Seeds of Desire is the perfect pairing to all that leopard print, especially for us brown-eyed girls out there (with brown hair).

MAC Seeds of Desire Mattene Lipstick

MAC Seeds of Desire Mattene Lipstick

Seeds of Desire is a member of MAC‘s Fall 2011 Posh Paradise campaign, and is described on MAC‘s website as a “deep brown plum.” I’d call it more of a “rich mahogany” myself.

Me wearing MAC Seeds of Desire Mattene Lipstick

Me wearing MAC Seeds of Desire Mattene Lipstick

Unlike its littermate Potent Fig, Seeds of Desire went on extremely smoothly with no skipping and lasted for at least five hours, which is when I took it off to try on another product. I didn’t eat much while wearing this shade, but I’ve eaten major meals while wearing other Mattenes and they wear off very evenly, to the point that I’m not totally concerned with reapplication. This shade in particular leaves a beautiful stain. Fully applied or worn down, Seeds of Desire would look wonderful on just about anyone. As I also mentioned in my post about Potent Fig, though the formula and finish is technically matte, MAC has definitely changed how they make Mattenes. These lipsticks are not nearly as drying as they used to be, and my lips are definitely not parched like they once were after wearing this product. If you want a moisturizing matte lipstick, this is as close as you’re ever going to get in my book.

As I think they do to deliberately annoy me, MAC has made this (like so many others!) collection of Mattenes limited edition – including Seeds of Desire – so check them out here until they’re gone on MAC’s website, or check your local Nordstrom’s, Macy’s, Saks, Bloomingdale’s…

Are you digging this lipstick? Who else loves leopard print?! And who else – fess up – has an electric blanket and loves it? I know someone out there does. Don’t lie. A lie of omission is just as bad. Come on, guys.

MAC Mattene Lipstick – Potent Fig

3 Oct

Happy Monday, readers! Can you feel it? It’s really fall outside! That’s my favorite part about my birthday – it truly kicks summer to the curb and brings the crisp autumn weather out from wherever it’s been hiding.

The gifts help, too.

To share with you today, I have one of the many beauty-related birthday presents I received last week – MAC Mattene in Potent Fig. Mattene lipsticks are part of the Posh Paradise collection and are limited edition, so if any of the colors I show on the blog intrigue you, snap them up. I had a few in high school and I have to say – MAC really improved the formula. These are much smoother, creamier, and moisturizing than they used to be. As a matte lipstick, they’re still drying, but they last a long time without making the wearer suffer, which is something to celebrate.

MAC Potent Fig Mattene Lipstick

MAC Potent Fig Mattene Lipstick

I have been on the search for the perfect purple cream lipstick for a while now. You know, something that shouts “purple!” without looking like I chugged a bottle of wine or have joined any covens. And I mean a true purple – no burgundy, no wine, no mauve – so while it’s a lovely shade, Dolce and Gabbana Amethyst is out of the running. I have my lilacs and lavenders covered for the most part, but a true purple has been missing from my collection.

MAC Potent Fig Mattene Lipstick

Me wearing MAC Potent Fig Mattene Lipstick

I am sorry to report that while this is a very pretty color, it is not for me – or at least not for regular wear. Not only does this Mattene make me look like I’m on trial in Salem, Massachusetts circa 1692, Potent Fig doesn’t boast the fabulous ease of application that its release siblings do. I had no troubles with the other Mattene shades I received, but this one didn’t didn’t apply nearly as evenly or smoothly.

That’s not to say that someone out there somewhere won’t like Potent Fig. I didn’t hate this! Because I promise, I’ll let you know if I hate something. It’s just not what I wanted out of the product. If you have a darker skintone, I’m sure this lipstick will look much better on you (if you don’t mind the application issues of this particular color too much). It did leave a very pretty stain after I wiped it off, as all the Mattenes have. And it’d be wonderful for many Halloween costumes (but not mine…I’ll let you know soon)!

My search for the perfect creamy purple continues…

You can find MAC Mattene lipsticks, including Potent Fig, here for a limited time. What do you think of this color? Do you know of any purple lipstick shades that I might like? Please let me know in the comments!

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