September 28, 2012

Fall Inspired Nails

The moment Fall rolls around I'm ready for all things Fall. Decor, makeup, baking, hot drinks, boots, family time, football - I think it's safe to say I absolutely love this time of year. Unfortunately, we're still having some hot weather here in California (100 degrees in the forecast!), so I can't enjoy most of the things on my list yet.

Even though I can't make the full transition from Summer to Fall immediately, I already mildly celebrated by creating a fall inspired mani! I made a design that reminded me of the falling leaves.

Keep reading to find out how I created this fall inspired manicure.

September 24, 2012

Anastasia 'Kisses On My List' Gloss Set

New holiday items from Anastasia have hit the shelves! One of them is the 'Kisses On My List' gloss set. When I got this set in the mail, I was eager to try each gloss on right away. Of course I had to refrain so I could take pictures, but these are some gorgeous glosses!

This limited edition set comes with 6 glosses - 3 sheer glosses and 3 hypercolor glosses with lasting color (they stain your lips!). Each one is named after rock muses of the 70's.
The set retails for $30 at Sephora and which is a great deal - if you break it down it comes out to only $5 per gloss!

Keep reading for more pictures, info, and swatches

September 18, 2012

NIVEA Review + Giveaway (3 Products & $50)

Win these!

NIVEA sent me some products to review and give away.
Want a chance to win them?
Click here for full review and giveaway details.

September 17, 2012

China Glaze - Stone Cold

Stone Cold is a nail polish by China Glaze from the Hunger Games collection. I came across it at Ulta when I was picking through the clearance rack. It was marked down to $4.99. I loved the way it looked in the bottle and since it was the only one in sight, I made sure to grab it.

I was surprised to discover it had a matte finish. As you can see in the picture, it actually looks sparkly in the bottle. It dries very quickly and it can be a little challenging to spread across the nail evenly.
After it dries, it comes out as a deep gray/charcoal with silver shimmer.

Stone Cold on my nails (taken with a flash)

This polish is so different from my usual color choices. I also don't normally pick matte shades, but this is a cool color! I think it would look good with a shiny top coat too.
Side note: it's not so much fun to remove!

September 14, 2012

Battle of the Dry Shampoos

As part of my effort to improve my hair, I've been only washing it every other day instead of the usual daily routine. I've noticed that my hair has become more balanced, but there's still some visible oil throughout my roots. I like to freshen it up with dry shampoo. With many dry shampoos, you spray the product onto your hair and either brush it out or rub it in after it has time to absorb the oils in your hair. Here are my thoughts on 3 drugstore dry shampoos.

Tresemme Freshstart Dry Shampoo
For Oily/Straight to Normal Hair

To use this dry shampoo, you shake vigorously and spray hair while holding the can 8-12 inches from your head. You leave it for a couple minutes and then brush it out. I would consider this an average product. It doesn't amaze me. When I spray it on my hair it feels pretty wet and doesn't blend well with my dark hair. The scent is decent but can be sometimes be overpowering. This one is probably my least favorite of the three.

Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo

I picked out this one based on it's appearance. It looks like a fun brand, although I hadn't heard much about it prior to my purchase. For this one, you spray it throughout your hair and brush through. It doesn't give any special instructions. It works fine but the spray is very powerful so it's easy to apply too much product. It has a "lite matte finish" and gives a little bit more volume to the roots. The scent isn't bad and and the product works well enough. I don't mind using this one.

Dove Refresh+Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo

This is the dry shampoo that I've heard the most positive reviews from and I can see why. It works perfectly and smells amazing. I love how clean it makes my hair look without appearing that I did anything to it (besides maybe wash it) and it adds plenty of volume. The instructions tell you to shake well, hold 8-10 inches from hair, spray onto roots, rub in with your palm, and brush out. This method seems to work really well and makes me hair look shiny and freshly washed. 

 Now here is the bad news: I bought this dry shampoo 2 times and both times I was only able to get one use out of each before all of the product leaked out. I've read reviews on this dry shampoo and apparently many others have encountered the same problem with this product. 

I tweeted about the problem and luckily, Dove replied. They apologized and  gave me contact info so I could explain the situation. They handled everything very well and notified me that  they would pass along my concerns to the appropriate staff. Then they offered to send me coupons which turned out to be 2 coupons for (one) free Dove shampoo, conditioner, or treatment (up to $6.25 value) along with a few other coupons for different products. I was happy with that, but I really hope they fix the problem so I can continue to use it and recommend it. Right now, I don't feel confident enough about it to tell everyone to go out and get it, even though it has been the best dry shampoo I've used thus far.

Final thoughts:
The Dove Dry Shampoo would be the clear winner if not for the leaking issue. Next in line would have to be the Not Your Mother's Dry Shampoo because I prefer it to the Tresemme one. In conclusion, I like using dry shampoos for the days I don't wash my hair. They help tone down the oily/greasy look of unwashed hair and even add some volume. I plan on trying more and maybe even venturing out to higher end brands.

What are your favorite dry shampoos?
Any recommendations for me to try?

September 7, 2012

LASplash Diamond Dust Mineral Eyeshadows

I happened upon a bunch of LASplash mineral eye shadows in the clearance area of my local Ulta.  They were marked down from $7.99 to $5.29 (and on the LASplash website they are listed at $8.99), so I picked out three shades: Passionate Plum, Golden Smoke, and Poise. 

I haven't tried anything from LASplash before, but I've always noticed the brand. Their products always look really fun and colorful. It was the perfect opportunity to expand my horizons.

Passionate Plum - A deep purple with pink glitter
Golden Smoke - A black shade with bright gold glitter
Poise - a shimmering champagne color


Passionate Plum (left) has the least amount of glitter in it and Poise (middle) has the most. Golden Smoke (right) has a fair amount of glitter but it's not very noticeable on the eyes.

The main reason I bought these was because I don't have many pigments in my cosmetics collection. I didn't have any certain expectations for them; I was just happy to try them.

The quality is nice, but I wouldn't say it blows me away. Would I pay full price for these? Probably not. 

Here's why...
It seems like the glitter falls off pretty easily. They are decent shadows, but if you're looking for glittery pigments that add sparkle to your eyes, I wouldn't totally recommend these. That's not to say their other products aren't great, and since I have only tried 3 of these I can't totally write them off either.I would consider buying more of them at the discounted price or with a coupon (or both!).

I do think each little jar will last a long time. There's plenty of product and the shadows (excluding the glitter) are rich colors with good color payoff. 

What products have you tried from LASplash? 
What did you think of them?

September 5, 2012

Sample Stash

Today I realized I've been hoarding all my samples in a box, tucked away in a room and unused. Primarily, they were thrown in the box to prevent products piling around the apartment. Even though it was temporary storage, I still forgot that I needed to actually use those products (Hello, I joined Birchbox for a reason!).

My growing sample collection...
You can't even see everything in there, but there are lots of great products in the box. Some are from Birchbox, others were free with online orders and purchases.  So now my plan  is to start using these products and maybe when they're finished I'll revisit them here and give mini reviews.

Here are the products I'm currently using:

  • Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion
  • Alima Pure Nourishing Lip balm 
  • Sheercover Concealer 
  • DDF Brightening cleanser
Hopefully I'll work my way through the stash and be able to share some great items with all of you. 

Do you use all of the samples you receive?
 Do you give them away? Do you hoard them like me?

September 1, 2012

Sally Hansen Pacific Blue

I've seen people talk about this polish a lot and when I was browsing at the store it caught my eye right away. It's Pacific Blue from the Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear line. This polish is a beautiful bright blue. I don't have any colors like this in my collection.

I've never used the Xtreme Wear polishes before and I'm surprised I haven't. There are tons of gorgeous colors and they're very affordable (I spent $2.99 on this at Target).

I love how it looks against my skin tone, but I have also seen it on people who are more pale and it looks just as good on them too. 

(Picture taken with a flash)

Now I want more of these polishes!
Do you have any polishes from this line?
Any color recommendations?

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