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Orly Luxe and Color Club Orna-Minted

15 Dec

‘Tis the season for holiday parties, gang! I know I said that Warm and Fozzie was a great choice for all your winter social events, but I’ve got to show you this baby. After all, it’s one of my favorite nail polishes of all time. With an intro like that, how can you resist?

Orly Luxe nail polish

Orly Luxe nail polish

Meet Orly Luxe! You may remember that I wrote about her rose gold sister, Rage, a little while back. Along with their third sister, silver Shine, they are all totally stunning – and my (not-so-secret) easy way to jazz up an outfit. Just like your jewelry, these shades go with everything. Like greige, they’re the perfect neutral polish, but way more fab. They’re equally amazing with jeans and a blazer as they are with your holiday Little Black Dress. Plus, unless you work in finance or something equally suffocating (sorry?), I can see you getting away with these bad boys in the workplace.

Orly Luxe nail polish

Orly Luxe nail polish

I try not to pick favorites, but Luxe is actually my go-to of the three shades. Surprising, as I never wear gold jewelry – but the polish looks so clean and bright, does it not? It doesn’t even need a topcoat, and in fact, I prefer the finish without one – it gives more of a realistic “brushed metal” jewelry effect.

But I kind of wanted to take it to the next level.

I had a holiday party to attend last weekend and was in a crazy rush to get out of the house. And by that, I mean I had twenty minutes to get dressed, put on my makeup, switch purses, and leave. Oh, and I wanted to add a glitter topcoat to my nails. Color Club Orna-Minted handled the pressure well – and added a little surprise to the frenzy before the festivities.

Color Club Orna-Minted nail polish

Color Club Orna-Minted nail polish

As I applied a liberal coat of Orna-Minted glitter topcoat to my ring fingers, I smelled something. And it wasn’t nail polish. It was like Orbit Sweet Mint chewing gum…which has never happened to me while applying nail polish before. I was kind of afraid that I was having an olfactory hallucination, but I didn’t have time to worry about it. I did keep sniffing my nails like a weirdo. FOR TWO DAYS. (By then, I had checked and found out that Orna-Minted is a part of Color Club‘s Scent-suous Collection for this holiday season.) The scent was very strong – in a pleasant way – and lasted even under a thick coat of Seche Vite! I was impressed. The glitter is not typical, which is what drew me to purchasing it at all (I have enough silver glitter topcoats by now). The glitter shapes alternate between small glitter and large, emerald cut pieces – it looks like a bottle of diamonds!

Pros: This is, to be blunt, a bad ass manicure. Yeah, I said it. They’re total Beyoncé nails. They’re also pretty much like Kryptonite in terms of lasting power. Orly Luxe is opaque in two coats. If you’re into scented nail polish, Color Club Orna-Minted is a great one! Not only is the polish itself durable, it lasts a long time scent-wise, with a very pleasant smell to boot. Oh yeah, and this combo is super festive!

Cons: Not the most convenient removal process. Foils are definitely easier to remove than glitters, but I still use the glitter removal technique shown in this post to cut the time I’m chilling with the acetone. The glitter polish was not great to remove, especially the larger pieces. Still – worth it!

Interested in picking up Orly Luxe? You can find it here on Ulta‘s website. I got my bottle of Color Club Orna-Minted at Sally Beauty.

What do you think, readers? Is this not a great alternative to plain red or (shudder) a French manicure for the holidays? It’d look great holding a Champagne flute! Am I right?

Product Spotlight: MAC Kohl Power Feline Eyeliner

27 Sep

It should be fairly evident to you all by now that I buy a lot of makeup. Surprisingly, however, I nearly never purchase backups. There are a few discontinued items that I am kicking myself for not doing this with, but generally, I find that I have enough products to keep me going – besides, there are always new things coming out!

Today, I’d like you to meet MAC Feline eyeliner. I have two – one’s a backup! Let me state here and now that you need this, and though it is limited edition, it is a current (September/October 2011) rerelease on MAC’s site. You can find it HERE!

Okay – so now that you have it in your shopping cart, let me tell you why you need to check out the goods.

This sucker is the blackest freaking eyeliner I have ever used in my life. I can’t wait to get my claws into Urban Decay‘s 24/7 in Perversion to do a comparison (it is KILLING me that they haven’t released the full size for individual sale, but this set has the mini for those, like me, who are interested), but they might as well have called this eyeliner Black Hole. I have brown eyes, and this eyeliner makes an impressively stark contrast. The pencil is also exceptionally creamy and smoothno tugging, not ever, and it lines the waterline like a dream.

If you are into a more grungy/punky/laissez-faire eyeliner look, then you will absolutely love this liner. It is extremely blendable. Admittedly, I’m not into smudging. This liner smudges very, very easily, which takes major points off in my book, and even more of a pet peeve, prints onto my upper lid almost immediately after application. If that’s not your bag, keeping MAC Feline from moving around is a simple fix – just pat MAC Carbon eyeshadow on top with a liner brush. However, while I don’t like that I have to add another step to my routine when one beauty product should get the job done, I understand that it is kohl, which is much smoother than your standard eye pencil and therefore transfers more easily.

So why then, if the liner moves around so much and makes me use extra steps, do I like MAC Feline so much?

I typically don’t line the waterline. I think it looks great on most people when they do it, but I feel like on me…well, I think it makes me look like a bit of a putana, which is generally not the look I go for in my day-to-day.

But sometimes, a gal just wants to bring sexy back.

MAC Power Khol Feline Eyeliner

Me wearing MAC Power Khol Feline Eyeliner

Buy MAC Feline for a limited time here. Though it’s limited edition, it’s repromoted once or twice a year on average, so you won’t permanently miss out.

What do you think of MAC Feline? Are you a proud owner? Do you have a beauty product that makes you feel like you could take over the world with a good LBD and five inch heels? I have a handful…would you like to see a series on this?

Product Spotlight: A Rose By Any Other Name – Asquith and Somerset English Rose Bath & Shower Gel

7 Sep

Wednesday already? This week is coasting by. Today, I have a product that’s easy to find locally but hard to find online (weird, right?) – my body wash!

My middle name is Rose, so it’s always surprised me that I haven’t received more rose-scented gifts on birthdays or during the holidays. Some of my favorite fragrances contain rose notes – YSL Baby Doll and Stella McCartney Stella to name a few – and I love the color pink in all of its forms (and red). So when I walked into Marshalls many moons ago and found this product, I was completely delighted.

Asquith and Somerset English Rose Bath & Shower Gel

Asquith and Somerset English Rose Bath & Shower Gel (photo courtesy of fairseasons.com)

Asquith and Somerset makes many different scented soaps and shower gels, but my favorite product is their English Rose Bath & Shower Gel. It’s not too easy to find online, but Asquith and Somerset isn’t at all difficult to find at Marshalls or TJ Maxx stores; virtually every time I visit one, this product is in stock! This body wash creates a great lather and the fragrance lingers on your skin after your shower is over. The bottle has somewhat of an apothecary feel to it, so it won’t just smell nice, but will look nice too! A little goes a long way, but even if I spill a little by accident, it doesn’t matter too much as I usually find it for around $4.

Have you tried this company? Or have you picked up any other awesome finds at TJ Maxx or Marshalls? Sometimes, those stores are where fabulous products go to die. I bought $50 worth of Tony and Tina products there after that beauty brand went out of business…

Orly Rage and OPI Spark de Triomphe

5 Sep

Happy Labor Day, readers! I hope you’re hardly working today, though I know students and employees of my alma mater are busy despite the holiday.

I’m sharing a manicure that I did this weekend, another one of my top ten favorite nail polishes, Orly‘s Rage. Orly Rage is a absolutely beautiful rose gold foil polish. As I’ve said in the past, these foil polishes are just too great to not have as part of your collection – they go on smoothly without obvious brushstrokes, only need two coats to be opaque, and are such showstoppers that you don’t need jewelry!

I am one, however, to gild the lily.

Orly Rage with OPI Spark de Triomphe

Orly Rage with OPI Spark de Triomphe Nail Polish

Look how ridiculous and fierce this would have been without the blinged-out ring finger! But I just can’t help myself, you should know that by now. I added a nice, thick coat of OPI‘s Spark de Triomphe on top of just that nail. Spark de Triomphe, which was one of the Serena Williams polishes that came with a shatter/crackle, is a pretty unique glitter shade. It has silver and gold microglitter in a clear base, but also has larger pieces of silver and gold glitter scattered through the polish. Very, very sparkly.

Orly Rage nail polish with OPI Spark de Triomphe on ring finger

Orly Rage nail polish with OPI Spark de Triomphe on ring finger

I did this manicure as kind of a Beyoncé birthday tribute. (Put a ring on it? Fierce?) I feel like she’d wear this, don’t you? I’m happy with how it turned out, but I’m wondering if I should have added a coat of black crackle on top, because that looks awesome over this shade. I’ll share with you that I was honestly a hair away from adding rhinestones.

It’s nice to know that I do have self control when it comes to my nails. Somewhere very deep down.

I bought my bottle of Orly Rage here from beauty.com. Check OPI‘s website to find your local OPI retailer!

Do any of you have these polishes? (You should!!!) Do you think this is a (Sasha) fierce enough tribute to Beyoncé? Are you excited for the Jayoncé baby like I am? I can’t even think of another child that will be or has been pressured to accomplish greatness as much as theirs. What do you think?

Product Spotlight: Philosophy Cinnamon Buns

2 Sep

Yesterday was the first day of September (yay) and today marks a full month of this blog’s existence (double yay)! I really like to celebrate small victories (but oddly, not big events), so to do so, I thought I’d feature a particularly festive favorite of mine.

If you’re unfamiliar with the philosophy brand, I am so happy that I get to be the one to introduce you! The company has a wonderful, well, philosophy behind it, which essentially states that not only will their products be good for you, but they’ll also make you feel good (inside and out)! They have skincare, fragrance, bath and body, and color cosmetic products. To be honest, I can’t speak highly of their color cosmetics, and their fragrances smell wonderful but don’t last very long. Their real powerhouse products are in their skincare items and their bath and body stuff.

philosophy cinnamon buns

philosophy cinnamon buns (picture courtesy of philosophy.com)

I’ve been really craving all cinnamon things lately, and I think it’s because fall is here! I first met philosophy cinnamon buns 3-in-1 shampoo, shower gel, and bubble bath in elementary school when I received it as part of an awesome, cookbook-themed gift set. Every one of the food-scented 3-in-1s have a recipe on its label (e.g. the pumpkin pie-scented 3-in-1 will have a recipe for pumpkin pie on the bottle), which I think is very clever without being irritatingly cute, a surprisingly hard balance to achieve. And just as each of them has a recipe on the label, they each smell exactly like their namesake. philosophy cinnamon buns is particularly impressive – it smells just like the icing (and looks like it, too, so don’t be tempted to eat any), and is a much better cleanser for your skin and hair than Crisco would be.

If cinnamon buns aren’t your thing (you’re missing out!), maybe you’re in more of a margarita kind of mood. (It’s five o’clock somewhere!)

You can find philosophy cinnamon buns here on philosophy’s website or at Sephora. You can also get it here from QVC.

Who out there has a philosophy 3-in-1? Which one do you have?

Cinnamon side note: I recently discovered Land O’Lakes Spreadable Butter in Cinnamon Sugar and it’s so good that it’s become a problem. I also discovered the potential behind mixing cinnamon, sugar, and cream cheese. HELP. Any other cinnamon addicts out there???

Product Spotlight: Crest 3D White Whitestrips Advanced Vivid

31 Aug

So it’s the middle of the week…how many cups of coffee are you through by this point? I have plans to meet with a coffee-holic friend of mine this afternoon, so I’m sure I’ll hit three or four by the end of the day.

I’m not sure if anyone reading this is obsessed with their teeth like I am. I was fortunate enough to not need braces, which I think made me even more paranoid about something happening to them. (One of my biggest fears is falling down and breaking all my teeth.) I brush at least twice a day – though I’m not the best flosser…sorry, Dr. Giovinazzo! – and have two different toothbrushes, depending on my mood. I’m also really concerned that they’ll get stained due to all the coffee (and, um, red wine) I drink, so I use every stain-preventing product out there. I’ve not paid for professional bleaching – of course I’ve thought about it, but I’ve also thought about what else I could buy with $800 – but I’ve tried the paint-on kind, trays, strips, etc.

Crest 3D White Whitestrips Advanced Vivid

Crest 3D White Whitestrips Advanced Vivid teeth bleaching strips

Crest 3D White Whitestrips Advanced Vivid are the best whitening strips I’ve tried yet. They’re not cheap – about $45 for fourteen uses – but I kind of cheat and do something you’re not supposed to with them in order to get my money’s worth.

I leave them on for twice as long. I seriously don’t recommend this if you have sensitive teeth and/or gums, but by gum, do you see a major difference if you leave them on for an hour instead of 30 minutes. I’d done this with other strips, but they moved around and didn’t give me the whitening that I wanted. These strips are kind of like tooth stickers! You have to fight with these suckers to get them off, even if you leave them on for too long, which means that they won’t slide around during the bleaching process and get whitening gel places that it shouldn’t be.

Crest Advanced Vivid Whitestrips were one of my many beauty secret weapons, but now they’re yours, too! (I’m giving up all my best secrets on this blog!!!) I like to use a few in the days leading up to a major social event. You can find them here at drugstore.com, but I personally like to stalk this prey in a Costco, Sam’s Club, BJ’s, or whatever you guys have in your part of the country: it’s cheaper that way.

Do you guys whiten your teeth? Have any of you had your teeth bleached professionally? Please tell me about your experiences! I’d love to read about them in the comments.

OPI Ski Teal We Drop

30 Aug

Hey readers! It’s such a nice afternoon here in New York City – I hope it is wherever you are!

I’ve made my opinion on fall perfectly clear – it needs to get here stat. It feels like the weather is starting to cool off somewhat (or maybe that’s just psychosomatic on my part), so I’ve started to bust out the fall nail shades! The one I’m sharing with you today is one of my favorite nail polishes of all time, so I’ve mentioned it on the blog before in my top ten favorite nail polishes post.

OPI Ski Teal We Drop nail polish

OPI Ski Teal We Drop nail polish

OPI Ski Teal We Drop is a beautiful teal creme that looks wonderful against my pale skin, but I can see it looking fabulous against any skin tones. It pairs as well with the rich fabrics of fall as it does with denim, which makes me curious…could it be a dupe for Les Jeans de Chanel?

Les Jeans de Chanel

Les Jeans de Chanel polishes, picture courtesy of temptalia.com

In the first picture, Ski Teal We Drop takes on such a strong green cast that I didn’t think it was likely. But on the nail, it’s far more blue.

OPI Ski Teal We Drop swatch

OPI Ski Teal We Drop swatch, direct sunlight

There were no swatches of Les Jeans de Chanel available when I wrote this post, but it looks like that Ski Teal We Drop could be a possible dupe for Chanel‘s Blue Rebel. Peter Philips and Chanel have created some awesome, lustworthy nail polish shades in the past (I am still furious at myself for missing out on Jade), and I own a few bottles myself – but I’ve found the quality of the nail polish to be embarrassingly poor. Sure, it’s a great way to get in on the designer action, but I expect no chipping in the first few days of wear for a price tag of $25. I won’t be buying any of Les Jeans de Chanel – not just because of the poor formula quality, but because the colors aren’t terribly innovative this time around.

But Chanel isn’t who is on trial in this post – it’s OPI Ski Teal We Drop!

Pros: I have practically no complaints about this polish. It’s nearly a one-coater, but I did two. Dries beautifully, the color is unique in my collection, and is shiny without a topcoat!

Cons: My only gripe would be that if you leave it on too long (because it doesn’t chip easily), it can stain your nails – I seem to have the most trouble with blues/greens and discoloration. I really wouldn’t recommend leaving it on for more than a week.

OPI Ski Teal We Drop nail polish

OPI Ski Teal We Drop nail polish swatch, indirect sunlight

Though this nail polish came out last year in OPI‘s Swiss Collection, they must have made it permanent as it’s available to “try on” on their website. You can also get it here on drugstore.com (they show the wrong polish in the picture there – don’t worry, it’s frost-free)!

Do you have this one? (If you don’t, I recommend you pick it up!) What do you think – is it a dupe?

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